Dallas GMC Dealer Explains the Truck Driver’s Blind spot better than anyone

If you’ve ever driven, or even ridden in a car in Dallas or Fort Worth, then there is no doubt you’ve seen the large, commercial trucks that roam our already over crowded highways and byways. Especially right out here in front of Freeman Grapevine on 121 and 114, in fact, you literally see them everywhere, transporting goods to stores and construction sites, but their drivers may not be able to see you.

Now, you get used to dealing with big rigs on the road. The are imposing, they are loud and they always seem to find a way to pin you between the barrier wall and their cargo trailer. I haven’t even mentioned the tsunami that incurs when they hit patch of standing water on the highway. A wall of water is the best way I can describe it. For a seasoned driver, this is tolerable, but for a new driver it’s terrifying.

So, when I found an article about the Street Survival School held at the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center, I was eager to find out what skills they were teaching our young drivers. The idea was to set up a demonstration to show teen drivers the limitations with truck drivers’ visibility and teach the young motorists how to safely maneuver around big vehicles. Something we all could have probably benefited from as young drivers.

During this class session, they parked one of their track-maintenance dump trucks, a 10-wheeled monster, in the parking lot, with shiny new cars arrayed around it as if on a freeway. The kids got to climb in the cab to check which cars they could see. The nearest car behind, barely visible by bobbing your head among the various mirrors, was parked about 50 feet behind the dump truck. This gave the young drivers a real feel for the visibility limitations of commercial truck drivers, and it will hopefully encourage them to think about how they position themselves in traffic.

Seeing what it is like for a truck driver provided valuable insight for these kids, no doubt. The adage about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes really goes a long way when seen from the driver’s seat of a rig. Watch the video below and see for yourself. It might just make you a safer driver, as well.

 

 

Avoiding Common Driving Annoyances Pt 2.

A few days ago, I started a short series called: Avoiding Common Driving Annoyances. My first goal was to write about all of those things that really bug you about OTHER drivers. Then I thought about it. First, we are already way too negative and really should be striving to be courteous drivers and share the road with patience and understanding. Second, I realized that virtually everything that “annoys” me are things that I either do myself, or are just too completely beyond my control.

  • Can’t keep your take-out food warm while taking it home? Look, I know I can invest in some of kind of over priced underperforming insulation product. But why do that when I can just wrap the food in a blanket? I already have them in the back for cold game nights. The secret though? Wrap it in a blanket then put it on the seat warmer on the passenger side.
  • Can’t tell exactly where you should stop your car whe you pull into the garage? Easy fix. Pull your car into the garage to a position where you know the door will close. Grab that tennis ball that Fido keeps bringing you to toss. Punch a hole through it. Thread a string or fishing line through it. Then simply hang it from the ceiling so that it just touches the center of the windshield. Next time you pull in, just pull up until the ball rests on the windshield and you’re set.
  • Can’t get your remote fob to work farther than a few feet from your car? If you are looking to extend the signal’s range by an extra 20 to 30 feet, try holding the fob directly under your chin, or straight above your head when you press the button. You essentialy become an antenna extention. It may seem silly, but I’ve had customers do this with decent success often. Of course, I suggest a battery change too. A fresh battery for your fob seems to do the trick every time.

Yes, I know these “Driving Annoyances” might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often I hear about some of this stuff. Now if you’ll pardon me, my food is getting cold and I need to pay attention to the tennis ball I have hanging from the ceiling as I pull into the garage.

Freeman Grapevine: No-Brainer Insurance

I’m always shocked when I hear about drivers who have no insurance. Let’s face it, if you drive you need insurance. There are no “if, and’s or but’s”At some point in your driving career, you are going to need it for a fender bender, cracked windshield or total car loss.

People spend a lot on new cars and they require proper care, maintenance and PROTECTION. Here is where new car insurance comes into play. New car insurance helps safeguard  you against costly vehicle repairs, most of which you probably never saw coming in the first place.

Insurance is a no-brainer. Get it. Stay Protected…besides, it’s the Law. Swing by Freeman Grapevine and we can talk about how insurance can protect your Buick or GMC.

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Avoiding Common Driving Annoyances

Avoiding common driving annoyances is something we all attempt to do when we get behind the wheel to face the madness of DFW traffic. But what about all of the annoying things you do as a driver? All of the things that seem to plague you throughout the day. Seriously, this sort of stuff happens to all of us at least one in our lives.

  • Can’t remember where you parked your car? : Sorry folks, this happens to the best of us. Regardless if it is because the parking is inefficient and confusing, or you just didn’t pay attention to where you parked, if this happens to you frequently, I have a suggestion. Use an app. There are quite a few to choose from. With names like ‘MyCar Locator’, ‘Car Finder’, ‘Find My Car’ or ‘Where Did I Park’, I’m sure you’ll find one you like.
  • Can’t avoid driving directly into the glare of the sun when it’s low on the horizon? : I can’t stand when this happens! There’s one point in my daily drive that’s a solid mile of setting Sun in my eyes during most of Spring. I told a friend, who is a pilot , and he told me a trick he does when he has to fly into the Sun for long periods of time. He carries a tinted translucent plastic sheets, they make them for cars too. You can find them under names like clinging shades, glare screens, or clinging glare blockers. There are types that attach to the visors as well that you can find at most automotive parts stores.
  • Can’t get that key on or off your key ring? : OK, this isn’t actually about driving, it’s more like a life hack. Remember those “snake fanged” staple removers you were likely obssesed with in elementary? Well, now they have another use! Be careful when you do this, but you can use the teeth to pry apart the loops. The harder you squeeze, the larger the opening.

These are just a few for now. I’ve got more I’ll be adding to what is looking like a 3 part blog series. It gives you some time to think about the things that annoy you whether you driving, or it has something to do with driving; I want to hear about it.

 

Vent Windows Can Be A Costly Window Repair

One would think that some of the smaller components, such as those little vent windows wouldn’t cost too much to replace…that is until you’ve actually broken one. Of course, everyone knows that there are many components of automotive glass on the car that will largely differ in cost. Lots of individuals don’t understand how much the tiny vent window on a new or used car in Dallas may cost to fix.

Here’s a scenario you may have experienced:

You’re running behind for the most important meeting of your life and after switching off your car, you grab the keys and put them on the passenger seat while you collect your notes. After this you hop out of the vehicle and click the lock button on the door prior to shutting it. As you are actually letting go of the door, you remember your keys sitting in the front…but it’s too late. The door slams and is now locked…with your keys inside. Now what? Call a locksmith? Nope, there’s no time. So you choose to break the small vent glass and take care of the cost later…after all, how much can that actually cost?

So your meeting is over and you now need to contact and arrange an autoglass replacement for that small vent window you decided was your key back into your car. Of course, after talking with the autoglass center, you find out that the little vent window you broke is one of the priciest parts of glass on your automobile. D’OH!

What people don’t understand is that the vent window might be small compared to the other glass on the car but it is not often mass produced like the windshield or door window. Quite often, the vent window will need to be special ordered which means the manufacturer will likely need to commit additional time to custom cut this piece of glass. The vent window normally consist of lots of curves which will also increase the time it will take to custom cut the window.

Therefore should you find yourself in a bind and feel you must break a window on your automobile then you should bust the door window rather than that small vent window. The vent window can ultimately cost you 2 or 3 times what it would cost to replace the door window. Sad but true.

Finding it tough to search for a windshield repair service center nearby? Hope is not dimmed yet, whether you are in Fort Worth or Dallas come to your Texas GMC dealer with all your new and used car needs and let us help you today….and that includes choosing another way to retrieve your keys without breaking the bank.

When Is It Time To Change Your Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers increase your visibility during a rainstorm.

One of the most important factors of safe driving is your visibility. If your vision is obstructed in any way, you are putting yourself, your passengers and other people on the road at risk. Driving in the rain or snow is a risky proposition, to begin with, but having worn wiper blades makes it even worse. Your windshield wipers are very possibly the most important feature on your car when there’s a downpour. If they aren’t performing at the highest efficiency, then you can’t see the things that you need to see. Ninety percent of the decisions you make while driving rely on your ability to see clearly. During a rainstorm, your car is being bombarded with rain in multiple instances, from the sky, from the ground, and from other cars.

Most experts say that you should replace your wipers every 6 to 12 months, but with our harsh Texas summers, I’d keep it closer to every 6 months. During the months of July and August, when the heat is bearing down on us, it’s warping and cracking the rubber of your wipers, making them less and less effective. Even our yearly freeze takes its toll on them too. When you use the wipers as ice removers, you tear and disfigure them and they no longer make full contact with the windshield.

Replacing your wipers is a simple and fairly cost-effective fix. A pair of replacement blades will generally run you $15-40. The name-brand, high-quality blades, or odd sizes, may run a bit higher. If you must drive when it’s pouring outside, then a functioning set of wiper blades is well worth the money you spend to help you see better.

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More Front End Clicking Noise

 

The other day I wrote about bearing noise coming from your front wheel drive car. It usually sounds like a constant “hum”. Today I want to cover a different noise: Clunking or clicking when you take a turn. Let’s say that you’ve already determined that something is wrong with your wheels. But, what exactly is it? Do you hear a clicking noise when you make a turn? Do you see grease around the tires? If you do, these are symptoms of a problem with your car’s axle system. The axle system is simply what enables you to turn and move the wheels. When the axle goes bad, you may also feel extra tension when turning the steering wheel.

If this sounds like it could be your auto repair issue, watch  the video below with Mechanic’s Master Mechanic, Michael Renteria for a more detailed explanation. Michael, an ASE certified technician, explains why your car’s axle system is throwing grease (cracks in CV boot) and why you’re hearing clunking or knocking.

Now if you’ve found that you believe that you are having an axle problem like described in the video above, you are going to want to bring in your vehicle as soon as possible as to avoid causing any further damage to your front axle. Bring your GM vehicle by Freeman Grapevine and we’ll check it out for you.

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What Is Inspected At The 75,000 Mile Maintenance Check

Everybody wants to have a vehicle that lasts forever, or at least long enough to give the vehicle to your oldest child when they go off to college. One thing to remember is that the moment you drive the new vehicle off the lot is when your car’s factory scheduled maintenance begins.

Having regular factory maintenance inspections ensures that your vehicle will be working at its best as any issues can be addressed before they become serious issues. Your vehicle maintenance will consist of basic scheduled service and intermediate scheduled service.

75,000 Mile Service Check

The 75,000 mile service check is an intermediate scheduled inspection that isn’t as intensive as a major service check but the inspection involves more than just checking and changing your vehicle’s oil. Most mechanics and dealerships will perform many of the same services, with added tweaks to stay competitive against other service centers. Here are some of the basic things that are done during the 75,000 mile service check.

Visual Inspection: A good mechanic will visually inspect areas of the vehicle that experience the most wear-and-tear. They should inspect all belts, hoses, suspension bushings, brakes, and motor mounts. The vehicle will also be inspected for leaks, unusual noises when in operation and strange noises that may indicate a problem.

Filter Replacements: You’ll have the oil and filter replaced, the engine air filter checked and perhaps the cabin air filter changed.

Recall Issues: Freeman Grapevinewill also check if your vehicle falls into the manufacturer’s recall list for any significant problems that need to be fixed so the driver won’t be put at risk while out on the road.

Some other maintenance your service technician may perform include tire replacement, shock/strut replacement, and replacing the drive belt. In addition, a safety inspection will also be performed so that you are rest assured you will be driving a tip-tip vehicle out on the road. If any leaks are noticed, the service technician will be able to find out where it is coming from and fix the problem.

So keep an eye on your odometer and make sure to schedule your 75,000 mile factory maintenance inspection so that your vehicle can be checked for any potential problems. With this inspection, your vehicle will last for a very long time without needing extensive major repairs due to negligence.

How Often Do You Rotate Your Tires?

I would say that the majority of people know that regular scheduled maintenance is a necessity when it comes to owning a car to keep it running properly. One of the most common maintenance produces is getting oil changed. A no -brainer, right?! Well, you’d think so, but there are a handful out there that just don’t get their oil changed. And then they end up with some major, and sometimes even irreversible damage to their vehicles engine.

But enough about the importance of oil changes. Another important maintenance procedure you need to have done is getting your tires rotated. Now this one I can understand being overlooked….sometimes!  For some reason, people seem to always forget about the tires, which is crazy to me because they are the ones doing the ground work…no pun intended!

Keeping your tires properly maintained not only keeps you safe…very important, but also helps you to get the most wear out them as well.  And if that’s not enough, rotating your tires also helps you get better gas mileage as well  which all adds up to saving money, and, in this economy is a very important thing.

If you find that you have trouble remembering to rotate your tires, I suggest you add it in when you get your oil changed. To get the most of your tires, you want to keep them on a regular rotation so that they wear evenly. But even more frequently, you should at least check the tire pressure. Driving with low tire pressure is unsafe and can make your tires more susceptible to flats and punctures and can even make driving your vehicle challenging.

If you need a service shop, then of course I recommend giving Freeman Grapevine a try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.  And of course you’re always welcome to come check out our great selection of new and use vehicles too!

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