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Miss Your Exit…Don’t Take The Short Cut

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Pretty close to the front of my dealership, Freeman Grapevine, there is a fair amount of construction going on at highways 121/114. Now, granted there are a lot of orange cones around and this can make driving on these roads, at times, a tad bit confusing. The construction seemingly changes almost daily, but that is no excuse for what I saw yesterday.

I was traveling on 121/114 about to take the exit that would push me up towards Grapevine Mills mall. That is Business 121. There was a white sedan traveling in the right lane. At that exit you can do one of three things. You can stay on 114 by staying in the left lane. You can use the middle two lanes to access 121 Business, the way I was going. Or, you can stay in the right lane which is an exit for the airport. The person in the white sedan was traveling at a pretty good clip in the right lane when the realized the were not taking the exit they needed. She had almost completely exited when she made a seriously dumb move…cutting across an unpaved exit median without slowing down. Instead of just taking the eit and making a U-turn, she decided it was better to pull an tricky, dangerous and illegal move which, you guessed it, cut me off. It caused me to hit my brakes hard and change lanes quickly, even though I was in the proper lane which cause everyone behind me to hit their brakes as well. For all I know, it could have caused an accident behind me.

So, this person missed their exit, veered into my lane and nearly cause an accident…why? because she was on her phone. That’s right, she cut across 100ft. of median into my lane because she couldn’t pay attention to the signs on the road that were obviously placed for the airport exit. To make it worse, as I pulled along next to her, she was laughing about her dumb move to the person on the other end of the line. She had no clue that she nearly hit me, nor did she seem to care.

Look, this is the first rule of driving, it is your responsibility to drive. It is also your responsibility to be respectful of everyone else on the road. If you miss your exit, or are exiting inadvertently, don’t make your own route across the median. Don’t take the short cut. Just exit and turn around. You may not think you are causing any problems, but clearly you are.

It made me pretty mad. I spend a lot of time railing against distracted driving and her was this aloof driver that almost took out my vehicle and others with just that. Keep your eyes on the the road and your hands on the wheel. It’s part of your responsibility as a driver.

What do you feel about this type of unnecessary aggressive driving? Tell your us what you think.

 

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Guess What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Oil

Freeman Grapevine is wondering: “Do you know what can happen if you don’t change your oil regularly”? I can already hear the grumbling.

“Yes Ozzie, our engines will have to work a little harder. No big deal, these modern cars can handle that sort of thing.” Really? Take a look at the video below. The car that is the subject of the video is all of 5 years old and it looks like someone has poured tar into the engine. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself.

Oil changes viscosity under the extreme and constant pressure, heat and friction your engine produces. Over time, your oil will begin to solidify and turn to a gunky tar that puts your engine’s life at risk quite literally. An engine that hasn’t had regularly scheduled oil changes is subject to a catastrophic malfunction, or break down. You could be looking at a total engine replacement, and that is not a cheap repair. In fact, cleaning the engine when it has reached this state is similarly expensive procedure.

I know I’ve written about this before, but I really want you to get the most out of your Buick or GMC vehicle, and in order to do so, that means regularly changing your oil. It really is a very simple and inexpensive thing to do.

If you haven’t had your oil changed in the past 5,000 miles, then it’s time to bring your new or used car into Freeman Grapevine and get it done. Remember, it’s going to cost you a lot more money the longer you neglect your engine’s necessary oil changes.

10 Most Stolen Vehicles In the United States

Although car thefts have seemingly gone down in recent years, the fact of the matter is that they are in a flux point in part due to modern security systems. Modern vehicles have seen an increase in the quality of security that is provided for them. Namely the keys themselves now have a chip in the key itself with a code that tells the car, “Yes. I am the correct key for this vehicle.” Sounds pretty fool-proof huh? well car thieves are now starting to find ways around this added precaution, which sometime requires the participation of a third party at a locksmith, or unsecured dealership. However, since the thieves tactics have gotten a little more complicated, the model years of the cars being stolen have been surprising older.

So, what do auto thieves like to steal? It seems the older the better. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released Hot Wheels, its list of the 10 most-stolen vehicles in the United States

I can only imagine that having your car stolen is an awful feeling. If you saw a car you own on the list in the video, just take extra precautions when parking it. Don’t leave anything of value in your car. Remember, older vehicles are the ones being stolen at the moment, so we ask that you be aware and lock your vehicle, always…Hey, maybe it’s time to break out The Club.

Do You Know How Your Engine Works?

Freeman Grapevine loves cars. Just like all of you, when we leave here we drive home and experience the same things your do. Sometimes it’s frustration from traffic, others it’s an exhilarating rush when we put the pedal to the metal to overtake a slower vehicle, but how does all of that work?

Most people only seem to know the essentials of their engines: it needs gas and oil changes. What else is gong on in there? How does it work? How is power generated. Well, here’s a good video. Your engine: 101.

Pretty cool, huh? If you think you are having any engine issues, feel free to swing into the service department at Freeman Grapevine.

Can You Pass This Awareness Test

Lot’s of time when we are driving it’s easy to miss objects and things that you aren’t looking for. Yes, you look when you change lanes. Yes, you look when you make a turn. Yes, you see speed limit signs. Yes, you see school zones. How often do you miss things you aren’t looking for on the road? More often than you think. Here’s an example. Take this short awareness test and see if you can pass.

Pretty interesting, huh? It’s not always easy to spot the things you aren’t really looking for. Cyclists, motorcyclists, people jaywalking, animals in the road and a plethora of other obstacles and impedances.

The bottom line is that anytime you get behind the wheel of your Buick, or GMC you need to be sensitive to everything you see and hyper-sensitive to the things that you don’t. That is your responsibility as a driver in Dallas, Fort Worth and anywhere else you may drive.

Take it even further and throw in the fact that you might be on the phone, or trying to text. What do you think you chances are of seeing and reacting to something unexpected in the road? I’m going to say, not very good in the least.

Just be sure that every time you get behind the wheel your focus is on the road and expect the unexpected. Just another friendly reminder from us here at Freeman Grapevine.

Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC, Diagnose Tailpipe Smoke

So, you started your Dallas Fort Worth Buick or GMC and you’ve noticed some smoke being emitted from your tailpipe and you aren’t really sure what’s causing it. More times than not, tailpipe smoke is not a very serious issue, but on some occasions it can be.  There are four different types of smoke your vehicle can emit and of course you don’t want to have a bad tailpipe smoking issue so below are some tips on how to tell what type of smoke you may be seeing.

Thin white smoke: No need for concern

If your tailpipe is emitting a thin cloud of white smoke which looks more like a vapor then there is no need for concern.  This is the result of a normal condensation buildup inside of the exhaust system. You’ll probably see some drops of water as well fall from your tail pipe,  this is also no need for concern. Condensation usually builds up over the night and is can be seen during the first start up in the morning. This thin white smoke should dissipate quickly after leaving the tailpipe

Thick white smoke: Call the tow truck or Get to Freeman Grapevine

If billowing white smoke is coming out of your tailpipe and does not look anything like the vapory white smoke as describe above then you most likely have a serious problem and need your vehicle to be seen by your Dallas service department at Freeman Grapevine.  This thick white smoke is an indication of engine trouble and means that there is potential for overheating. Driving with this condition may cause even more damage. Possible engine problems could be a blown head gasket, damaged cylinder head, the engine burning coolant or a cracked engine block.  All of these are serious problems that need immediate attention as they affect your engine.

Black Smoke: See Freeman Grapevine Service Department

If the exhaust of your vehicle is emitting is black or dark, then you need to get your vehicle checked out right away as your engine may be burning too much fuel.  There are two different kinds of black smoke, one being okay and the other not so much. If you start your car in cold weather and get black smoke, but then it clears up as the engine warms up then it’s not really anything to worry about.

However, if the black smoke keeps on coming out, then it may be an indicator of a dirty or clogged air filter, a clogged fuel injector, or a faulty sensor. Regardless, you will need to get your vehicle checked out.

Grey or Blue Smoke: See Freeman Grapevine Service Department

Oil being burned in the engines combustion chamber may result in thick grey or blue smoke coming out of your tailpipe. This problem can range from something minor as a clogged oil passages or something more serious.

If your engine is burning oil, it stands to reason that your oil level will be decreasing and will need to be checked often and topped-off. If this problem is not fixed you will eventually ruin your spark plugs, which can cause an overall decrease in gas mileage.

So you see that there are different types of smoke your car can produce, not all of it is bad, but most of them are. If you believe you are burning anything other than water vapor, then you are going to want to get your car serviced by your Fort Worth Service Professionals at Freeman Grapevine.

What’s In Your Car’s Emergency Kit

Getting caught with your pants down. It’s a phrase we’ve all used and a few of us have probably experienced. Freeman Grapevine, wants to know if you you have your new car survival kit as to NOT get caught with your pants down in the event of a road side emergency or inconvenience.

What’s in a New Car Survival Kit you ask? All of the essential that will get you, at the very least, off of the side of the roadway and to a safe area you can leave your vehicle until further help arrives.

Jumper Cables
None of us ever leave our lights on on purpose, or run the radio just off of our battery because we know that it will wear down the charge. That’s not even saying anything about having an old tired battery that is on it’s last legs and always seems to struggle when that key is turned over. How many time are you going to cross your fingers hoping that battery has enough of a charge to actually start your car? If you say, “until it doesn’t start any more”, then you’d better have a set of jumper cables in your car. Or better yet, a portable battery charger/jumper. This way you don’t need a good Samaritan to help you in your time of need.

Flashlight
It doesn’t have to be night in order to need a flashlight. Have something to look at in your engine for whatever reason? A flashlight will come in handy. Then again, breakdowns at night always seem to be the norm, or at the very least, Murphy’s Law. Don’t have a flashlight in your new Atlanta GM? Expect to break down when you need light the most.

Tow Rope
It takes up very little space and can really get you out of a jam, quite literally. Now towing your car yourself should be reserved for the experienced, as it can be a little tricky if you don’t have your tow rope at the proper length. Plus, you have to be able to locate the appropriate tow points on your vehicle. A poorly anchored tow rope will pull the bumper off of your car. It’s a good thing to have, just consult your owner’s manual for proper tow points.

Blanket
This is obvious. If it’s cold outside, you are going to want a blanket in the case of a breakdown. Plus, if you travel long distances at any given point and need to pull into a rest area, to take a nap, it will be nice to have a little extra comfort.

First Aid Kit
We all keep a cabinet of first aid items in our home, so why not in the car? It will come in handy for a paper cut, or aid in a more serious situation.

Tire Gauge
I do posts on the importance of proper tire care all of the time. If you don’t own a tire gauge, you need to read my blogs a little more carefully. It’s an invaluable tool, costs less than $5 and is the size of a pen. Just get one already!

Empty Gas Can
I still don’t understand how people run out of gas on the road, but it happens. If you are the type who never looks at your instrument cluster, then it might be a good idea to throw a spare gas can in the trunk of your car. I’ve seen people walking down the road with them, so apparently people still don’t understand that your car will tell you that you are almost out of gas. Regardless, at least they were smart enough to prepare.

Have any other suggestions about what should go in your New Dallas, or Fort Worth vehicle? Tell Freeman Grapevine!

Fort Worth, what’s your opinion on “checkpoint” apps?

Every year, there are thousands of DWI related accidents, injuries and deaths on Texas highways. In Dallas and Fort Worth alone you are bound to see one or two stops that you know are alcohol related. Did you know that there are DWI phone Apps out there that a night help drivers avoid speed traps and DWI check points? That is to say, an application for your smart phone, be it Blackberry, iPhone or whatever. Do you think that the apps are designed to help drunk drivers avoid getting caught, or are they a way to keep people from driving drunk altogether? I think the jury is still out on this.

I guess the bottom line is that if you just don’t drink and drive, you’ll have nothing to worry about and you can that that $1.99 you are going to spend on that App and put it towards something more useful…like taking a taxi.

Freeman Grapevine, your Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC dealer is curious to know what you think about using technology to potentially avoid a DWI check point. The police, by their own admission want you to know that they are out there, so they could care less if there is a phone app tipping you off of their location, but you may feel differently. Do you think that these apps help, or harm drivers?

 

Veteran’s Day Should Be Every Day

Veteran’s Day was yesterday and your Dallas Fort Wroth Buick GMC dealer, Freeman Grapevine wants to extend our warmest “Thank You” to all of the men and women who have served in our nation’s military with honor and pride.

The thing to remember is that it shouldn’t take a National Holiday for you to recognize the sacrifice that so many have made in order to secure our freedom and liberty for threats both overseas and stateside. Their job could possibly be the hardest in the world…and they volunteered to do it. They put themselves in harm’s way so you and your children hopefully won’t have to. For that, EVERY day should be Veteran’s Day.

Never forget that when you wake up in your comfortable bed, somewhere a soldier is waking up in a sleeping bag in the middle of a country that isn’t his own. When you kiss your kids goodbye before you go to work, you know that only 8 hours separates you from seeing them again. Where as when a soldier kisses his or her child goodbye before going to work, they won’t see them again for another 6 months.

Remember, every day should be Veteran’s Day. If you see, or know a vet, shake their hand for their service. It’s the very least you can do to honor their sacrifice.

Exercise Your Right To Vote

I know this isn’t my regular topic of conversation about Buick and GMC vehicles, in fact, I’d say it’s more important. I just wanted to remind you that you should exercise your right to vote tomorrow. Every 4 years, it seems like the voter seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

Now I’m not here to tell you to vote for, after all, this isn’t a political blog and I believe that everyone has the right to vote for whom they choose. I just wanted to remind you of the importance of turning out to vote and have your voice be heard. True, it is a voice among millions, but it is your voice none the less. This is your chance to support you government and your country and all you have to do is participate.

Think about it, how many countries in the world are there where the people are told who will lead them, regardless of the popular opinion? How many countries is it a crime for you to speak your mind, or voice your opinion? For those people, I’m sure they’d gladly trade places with you just so they are allowed to have an opinion and a hand in shaping the future of their country.

Even further, if you don’t vote, you are just letting others make the decisions for you. What happens when yo don’t agree with the guy “they” put in the White House? Do you have a right to complain? Sure. But since you decided to muzzled yourself instead of voting, do people have to ignore you? Yes. The point is, if you don’t vote, you give up your voice. That resounding American voice that billions of people across the world WISH they had.

The bottom line is, if you choose not to vote for the next leader of this country, then you are turning your back on the very principles that this great country was founded upon. Get up and vote, Dallas Fort Worth. Your vote matters…but only if you do it. An uncast vote is a wasted opportunity to change America for the better.

Vote.