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Understanding tire tread wear and being able to read the signs of overuse, or excessive wear is extraordinarily important in ensuring you are driving on the safest tires possible. I’ve written about it before, and no doubt you’ve read other articles on safe tire tread depth. But today I want to find out, specifically, how much tread is needed to safely bring your car to a complete stop?
Check out the video below. This will answer the question above.
A poorly maintained set of tires is nothing to mess around with. You have to always remember that they are they only things that are between you and the road. Stopping power just isn’t in your braking system, your tires must have enough tread available to actually grip the surface you are on. You can never tell when you are going to have to use emergency, or evasive maneuvers while on the road. Even a simple trip to the store can potentially be hazardous if your tires aren’t properly maintained.
Time for a new set of radials? Freeman Grapevine has the tire you need for less than you think.
Recently a customer came to us at Freeman Grapevine and asked, “Why is car buying so difficult?” I understand why she asked that, it can be very challenging, and can be as equally frustrating for both a customer and the dealer, but it doesn’t have to be. As an insider, let me explain why,
There are three main components to buying a car: price, trade in and financing. Let’s review each.
This should be the easiest part of the car buying process. When a customer researches a car, and inevitably gets quotes from multiple dealerships, they should compare apples to apples. In other words, you want to make sure you’re comparing the same vehicle with the same equipment and options. A simple way to do this is to make sure the MSRP’s are the same.
As a salesperson, the hardest question to answer for a customer is “what’s your best price?” I’ve told my sales people to show customers the invoice when asked that question. This shows what the dealer paid on that car. Most good dealerships will gladly show you the invoice so you know where their numbers are coming from. You should calculate in any rebates, as well as a small profit, which all dealers are entitled to make. It’s that easy.
If you’re trading in a vehicle, you’ll want top dollar for it. Determining the trade-in value isn’t an exact science. The year, make, model, condition and mileage all factor in to the equation. Most customers research their vehicle’s worth on Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com) or NADA Guides (www.nadaguides.com) to give them a ballpark estimate before bringing it to the dealership.
The last piece of the puzzle is financing. A customer’s credit score is the biggest component of this. Whether you have a good financial history including paying off creditors on time & every month, your monthly income and how many outstanding balances you have, all affect your credit score. A dealer’s relationship with its lenders is also important. If they work with several lending institutions that offer a variety of financial programs depending on a person’s credit, can make the difference between going to one dealership or another.
A tip if you’re credit isn’t as great as you’d like: the higher down payment, the better.
Of course this is the process in a nutshell, however, it really is this easy. There is no reason buying a car should be stressful, or uncomfortable. In fact, buying a new Buick, or GMC from Freeman Grapevine will be one of your most pleasant car buying experiences ever. Trust me. We know how to take car of our new Buick and new GMC customers.
At Freeman Grapevine, we take child safety very seriously. As a Dallas Fort Worth car dealer, it is our responsibility as much as it is yours to provide safer solutions for children while they are in your Buick, or GMC.
Let me first start by saying that in the late 80’s automakers began installing airbags in cars for safety reasons, and there’s no doubt that over the past 30 years airbags have saved thousands of lives.
However, it is important to note that airbags are designed to protect average-sized adults…not young children. I know we’ve all heard it, but airbags can pose a serious risk to children who ride in the front seat.
In fact, according to research conducted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “children exposed to airbags during a crash are twice as likely to suffer a serious injury”. The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “children under the age of 13 are safest seating in the back seat of a car”.
The following are some safety guidelines for children riding in a car.
Infants seated in a rear-facing safety seat should never be placed in the front seat of a car that has an airbag – When the airbag engages, the force of the airbag is directed right at the infant’s head as it comes out of the dashboard.
Children seated in a forward-facing child should not be placed in the front seat of a car that has an airbag. – Again when the airbag engages, the child’s head is in the path of the airbag as it emerges from the dashboard.
Remember for children 13 and under: The safest place to be in a car is the back seat.
For children ages 13 and up riding in the front seat remember:
All children should wear a lap/shoulder belt.
Move the front seat as far back as possible from the dashboard.
Make the sure the child doesn’t lean forward.
Have the child sit upright against the seat at all times.
Note: Engineers are constantly improving airbags to improve safety. Known as 2nd-generation, or de-powered airbags, these airbags are still NOT designed for children. Children are best protected in the rear seat.
The Children Hospital of Philadelphia has put together a great video on airbags and keeping children safe.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them here. If you’d like to see us, Freeman Grapevine, just stop by and we’ll look and some really safe and very kid friendly vehicles for you and your family.
Summer is here, school is out and that means: It’s Road Trip Time! Here at your Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC dealer, Freeman Grapevine, we love our road trips. Of course when you sell some of the best cars on the road, it’s hard not to.
If you are planning on taking a road trip this year, be it a family reunion, or just visiting parts of the US, we know that that price of gas is the first thing you are going to consider before you even make the decision on where you should take your road trip. In fact, in many cases the price of gas is going to dictate where you go and how long you are going to be gone. Factor in all of the food and lodging you may be spending cash on, and all of a sudden, that fuel tank seems like it is getting smaller.
So how do you save on gas and still go where you want? Check out this great list of gas-saving road trip tips I found via CNN :
Pick the right tool for the job: If you have more than one car to choose from, don’t just try to squeeze everyone into the one – or two – that go the furthest on a gallon. First of all, if you think you’re saving gas by splitting the crew into two small cars rather than taking the big SUV, you’re not. Remember, two small cars will burn gas twice as fast as one, and that’s probably faster than your SUV.
Also, packing too much into a small car can lead to the use of roof-top racks and bins, which seriously undermine fuel economy. (More on that in a moment.) Besides that, jamming everyone and everything into a too-small car can be just plain uncomfortable on a long trip and the point is to have fun, not start fights.
Pack light and smooth: Extra weight cuts fuel economy, so try to pack as light as possible. The savings are slight, but every extra 100 pounds cuts your fuel economy by about 2%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
More importantly, don’t pack more than you can fit inside the vehicle. This is especially important. Packing stuff on roof-top bins and racks cut fuel economy by about 21%, according to tests done by Edmunds.com.
And those roof-top racks with crossbars, even if left empty, also cut fuel efficiency. Take them off. Leaving them in place can reduce fuel economy by about 1%, according to Edmunds.com.
Use your cruise control: There are times when cruise control isn’t appropriate, such as in areas with heavy traffic or in bad weather. Also, using cruise control on hilly roads can actually use more fuel, not less, as your vehicle struggles to maintain speed while driving up hills.
But if you’re driving over relatively even terrain, cruise control can prevent unnecessary speed changes which waste gas. In tests by Edmunds.com, using cruise control at 77 mph improved fuel economy by 10 to 15 percent.
As an added benefit, cruise control prevents speed creep – the tendency to gradually increase your speed the longer you drive – and that can keep you from getting a costly speeding ticket.
Stay to the right: Even if you’re driving at a constant speed, going too fast wastes gas. Within the range of normal highway speeds, each 10 miles per hour faster will reduce your fuel economy by 15% to 20%, according to tests by Consumer Reports and Edmunds.com.
Going too slow isn’t safe either but at least try to stay out of the left lane where the traffic is fastest, unless you really need to pass someone. Again, this can also keep you from getting a ticket.
Calm down in town: When not in highway traffic, take it easy on the pedals. Aggressive acceleration and hard braking waste an amazing amount of fuel. In testing by Edmunds.com, aggressive driving cut fuel economy by about 25%.
Don’t worry about A/C: It’s debatable whether it uses more fuel to drive with your windows down on the highway or with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on. In tests by Consumer Reports and Edmunds.com, it depended on the vehicle and speed. At 65 mph, using the air conditioner was slightly more draining. At higher speeds, it probably wouldn’t be.
Avoid getting stuck: This is something you’ll probably want to do anyway, but really try not to get stuck in traffic. Idling and slow driving wastes a lot of fuel, so plan to drive at times when few others are. Also, plan alternate routes ahead of time in case you hit unexpected snarls. Driving a little bit out of your way can use less fuel than crawling down the straight-and-narrow.
GPS satellite navigation tools can help by making it easier to change routes on the fly. Some newer models even include traffic warnings on the screen so you can see what you’re getting into.
Little things: For reasons of both safety and fuel economy, you should give your car a good once-over before setting off. Make sure tire pressure is set correctly, your filters are clear, your fluids are fresh and the engine is running well. These things will make only a slight difference to your fuel economy, but you should do them anyway to prevent wasting time waiting for a tow truck.
Make the most out of each road trip and who knows, with all of your savings you might be able to afford just one more road trip! But the main thing to do on a road trip is to have fun!
And now there are even apps that can help you watch your gas usage too. Check out FuelFrog which tracks your fuel usage once you provide them with the information for distance traveled, the price paid and how much fuel was used.
Before you hit the road, we always recommend checking that your fluids are good, especially the oil and the coolant levels. If you need to get your vehicle checked out before you hit the road, swing by Freeman Grapevine for a complete check up.
I don’t like the fact that I have to write articles like this, but every year it seems that Texas drivers and pet owners need a reminder. It pains me…strike that…INFURIATES me when I see dogs left in cars by themselves. First off, your dog’s temperature is already roughly 100.5°F to 102.5°F. In order for them to diffuse heat, they have to pant and cool the blood flow through their tongue since they have no sweat glands and do not perspire. As if that isn’t enough, they are wearing a fur coat!
What many people don’t know is that even on moderately cool days, the temperature inside a car can be fatal. Even when its only 70 degrees outside, in just one hour, the temperature inside a car can soar to over 110 degrees, and cracking the windows doesn’t really help.
If you think that your four-legged friends would be “OK” for a few minutes as you ran in to a store, think again. In fact, don’t think about it. Go ahead and sit in your car with no air running for 10 min. and then see if you feel the same way. I’ll even let you crack the windows. Sweat much?
No one is immune to catching a case of “the stupids”. You may think it will only take a few minutes to grab those groceries or chat with a friend, but that few minutes can translate into life threatening heat exhaustion for your best friend:
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
If your dog has heat stroke he will progressively show these signs:
Pale gums, bright red tongue;
Disorientation and your dog doesn’t respond to his name;
Increased heart rate;
Dogs Prone to Heatstroke
Young puppies and older dogs;
Dogs with an existing illness or recovering from illness or surgery;
Dog breeds with short faces – Bulldogs, Shar pei, Boston Terriers, Pugs – have narrow respiratory systems that easily get overwhelmed in hot and humid conditions;
Double coated breeds such as Chow Chows; and
Dogs bred for cold climates such as Malamutes, Huskies and Newfoundlands.
If you suspect that your dog may have heat stroke:
Make sure your dog is out of the sun and has access to water but don’t let him drink too much.
Cool him with cool/tepid water – either immerse him in a bath, gently hose him or apply cool towels to his body. Importantly do not leave wet towels on your dog and do not use very cold water – both prevent your dog form being able to cool himself.
Move your dog to an area where there is cool air circulating, such as an air conditioned room or stand him in front of a fan. The cool circulating air will help your dog to reduce his temperature.
Remember, your dog can’t tell you that he is uncomfortable, so you’ll have to use common sense. Under no circumstance should you leave your dogs unattended in a car. Regardless of how hot you believe you car will “actually” get, you are going to be wrong. Then you will be left with a tragedy that is not only emotional, but quite possibly legal as well. You will get fined for endangering an animal by leaving them in a hot car, or could even be arrested for animal cruelty if they die.
Keep your pups safe, keep them out of your hot vehicles. If you have any comments, questions or advice, leave a comment below or see me at Freeman Grapevine!
There is some pretty good advice about buying a used car in this video. Take 2 minutes to watch and when you are ready to buy a new car, check out the used selection first. There are a lot of hidden gems that can give you many years of great driving and save you more than just cash, a good used car can save you headaches. Remember to check around for a reputable dealership or just see your Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC dealer, Freeman Grapevine…I know, I’m a little biased.
If you remember one thing, remember this: Would your driving life have been different in a new luxury car that costs almost 3 times as much money? Maybe. But, keep in mind that a lot of times, you can get more car for less money if you choose the right used Buick, or GMC from Freeman Grapevine.
For those of us here at your Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC Dealer, Freeman Grapevine, who have, or have had loved ones overseas, this weekend is both special and heartbreaking.
As we wait for our soldiers to make their way back home, we anguish everyday they are gone hoping for their safe return. Most come back to us and that joy is immeasurable. However, some do not, and that pain is equally immeasurable. Memorial Day is a time of remembrance. Don’t lose sight of that this weekend as you spend time with your family and friends. Remember, there are tens of thousands of families across the United States who don’t barbecue, or go to they lake…they sit patiently awaiting for their loved ones to come home.
Freeman Grapevine salutes all of the brave men and women of our Armed Services for their continued defending of Freedom and Democracy. We also thank equally the families of those soldiers for their selflessness in offering their sons and daughters to fight with Honor to defend Truth. We will not forget your sacrifice.
The Memorial Day rush has already started. Well, maybe not actually started, but I can guarantee that all of us here at Freeman Grapevine are thinking about what we’ll be doing this weekend. Either going out to spend the weekend on the lakes, headed to friends and family for a great cookout, taking the family out camping or any number of other activities, chances are you are going to be on the road during one of the most dangerous times of the year.
AAA said 37.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more, or about 1 percent more than last year — an estimate derived from a national phone survey of 1,500 adults. More than 80 percent of those travelers will take road trips, while another 10 percent will fly. The remainder will be packed into trains and buses.
Keep in mind that over this three-day weekend, though, an average of 161 people are killed in car accidents in the U.S. per day, 40% due to drunk driving. With that in mind, local law enforcement will certainly be out cracking down.
All of us at Freeman Grapevine, we want all of our Dallas Fort Worth Buick & GMC customers to stay safe this weekend. There will certainly be more people on the road, including you an your family, so stay aware and don’t drink and drive. Wouldn’t it be great if DFW could have a holiday weekend with no Driving/DWI related injuries? You can make that happen.
Manufacturing one of America’s best selling crossover vehicles with 3rd row seating, the Enclave, can certainly pile on the pressure when it comes to making any changes for the new model year. It’s not simply changing a color here, or a contour there. Nor is it as drastic as laying down a blank sheet of paper and doing a total redesign. Great care has to be taken when making any change. Especially to a vehicle that already has proven it’s worth in the marketplace.
According to Motorauthority.com, addressing most of these issues fell to lead sculptor at GM Nick Barkley, who worked on the original as well as the latest 2013 model. In addition to manipulating full-scale clay models, much of Barkley’s creative work is done in the digital space with three-dimensional modeling programs.
“Buicks have been some of the toughest work I’ve done because they are so sculptural,” said Barkley, a designer at GM for 12 years. “There are so many concave and convex forms. To make an organic, hand-shaped look show through the forms is both difficult and rewarding.”
Asked to name the most-challenging element of the Enclave’s design, Barkley immediately pointed to the traditional waterfall grille that went through countless looks before a final form emerged that met both the design team’s standards and manufacturing capabilities. He notes that the production version remains true to the earliest clay mockups.
When it comes to the Buick Enclave, the design of which is never truly completed. The same can be said for every other model in Buick’s line-up as well. There is a yearly ebb and flow of design ideas. Some of which actually make it to the final production version of the vehicle, while most end up on the cutting room floor. That is the constant desire for Buick to be a consistent leader in automotive design and production value. It’s is Buick’s drive for excellence and setting trends that are not easily duplicated, or copied. Hence, this is the reason why vehicles like the Enclave is America’s best selling crossovers.
I invite you to come and see for yourself the truly unique and inspired design work that you get when you purchase a Dallas Fort Worth Buick from Freeman Grapevine.
I think we’ve all firmly come to grips with the advancements of technology. I know Freeman Grapevine has certainly opened our arms to technology. Ever since the release of the personal computer in the early 80’s, they’ve only gotten smaller, faster and more useful. In fact, when I see someone who doesn’t have a smart phone I wonder how they made it this far without one?
For those of us who do have smart phones and are information junkies, like myself, I give you the top 5 automotive apps fore your new, or used Buick, or GMC that no driver should be without.
For just $2.99, iPhone users can download the iGasUp application and have updated gas station locations and fuel prices at their fingertips. The app gives users the 10 closest gas stations based on the phone’s current location. iGasUp boasts a network of more than 110,000 filling stations across the U.S. Once a driver uses his or her iPhone to pull up the closest 10 gas stations, the information can be sorted by cheapest or closest. The prices are updated frequently and each has a time stamp that indicates the freshness of the price. Users can then plot their course to the filling station of their choice by using the interactive Maps found on the iPhone.
Trapster displays your location on a map using the iPhone’s WiFi location capabilities. Reported speed traps, which users enter into the Trapster’s network database, pop up along your route. Trapster’s settings allow users to setup their iPhones to give voice alerts of approaching speed traps and the dynamic radar feature compensates for a driver’s speed and direction in radar to relay accurate warnings. Signal cameras and police traps show up on the display as icons for easy recognition.
With a network of more than 330,000 users worldwide, nearly two-thirds of those being iPhone owners, the Trapster network has reported more than 5 million speed traps worldwide as of November 2011. It seems that Trapster has replaced the CB radio as the best method of radar detection — with the exception of illegal radar detection devices. And it’s free, too.
Here are some of the things that INRIX Traffic can do (even without the $24.99 upgrade):
Incidents: A list of traffic events, updated via the Internet, which may affect the route you plan to take. These include accidents, crowds at major sporting events, convention traffic and other tie-ups reported by members of the INRIX Traffic community.
Comparative Traffic: A map of the local area with traffic density marked out in color-coded lines that tell you which routes have light traffic and which routes are bumper to bumper.
Predictions: A timeline that allows you to project traffic for the 15-minute interval during which you plan to be traveling.
There are several other traffic apps available for the iPhone, but INRIX Traffic has a solid community of users reporting conditions and, if you use the app, you join that community too. If what you see on the road doesn’t agree with what you see on the app, you can report the mistake with the click of a single on-screen button.
The free GoPoint app works with the GoPoint cable (which costs $100, but can be purchased online for less) to plug into your car’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port. This is the sort of thing that your local mechanic will do using a piece of equipment that cost thousands of dollars, but your iPhone can do it for the cost of a cable and the time you spend downloading an app. Some people would consider that a bargain.
What sort of information can the GoPoint app extract from the OBD port? Well, if you already know that your car is experiencing some kind of problem — for instance, if the Check Engine light is flashing — the GoPoint app can give you the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) for it. These are standardized codes and the GoPoint app will define them for you in plain English. Unless you’re a mechanic, you might not be able to deal with the problem itself, but you’ll know what to expect when you take your car into the shop and can verify that your mechanic isn’t just inventing expensive problems that will cost you a fortune to fix.
Oh, yes — once you’ve purchased the GoPoint cable, there are additional apps that work with it, not just from GoPoint but from third-party developers, so that you can do things like monitor your fuel economy in real time.
Parker for iPhone
This app gives you a rooftop view of the local street situation and tells you where the parking places are. With the cooperation of the Departments of Transportation in several major cities, including New York, Dallas, Los Angeles and Boston, the San Francisco company Streetline has installed electronic sensors in selected neighborhoods to detect whether parking places are occupied or empty. This data is broadcast to a central location and can be accessed via the Parker app.
Parker for iPhone has a wealth of features, as well as a built-in tutorial to show you what they are and how to use them. They include the ability to choose a city and an area within that city that has parking sensors, a map showing a numeric count of the number of open spaces within a specific area, color coded icons on that map to point you to blocks with the largest number of open spaces, and a special display showing the fee charged by meters or commercial parking garages at the place where you want to park. In some instances, you can even pay for parking directly from the app. And once you’ve started a meter ticking, Parker will not only time it for you and remind you when it’s about to run out, but will use your iPhone’s built-in GPS to predict whether you have enough time to walk back to your car before the meter expires. If you drive much in major metropolitan areas, Parker can make your life easier and save you from a lot of frustration when you need to get out of your car and walk.
We’ve come a long way from the personal computer taking up and entire desk to fitting in the palm of our hands. Sometime I wonder what I’d ever do without my magic little phone.
There are thousands of beneficial apps out there. Can you suggest any others to Freeman Grapevine that would make our customer’s driving lives easier?