Tag Archives: Dallas GMC Dealer

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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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.

 

 

Freeman Grapevine: No-Brainer Insurance

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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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Need a new car, check out used first!

 

Let’s face it; when living in Texas, it is virtually mandatory that you own a car. Here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, that is especially true. With a limited public transportation system and long distances to cover to get to wherever you need to go, you are going to have a difficult time with travel without a reliable car.

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to purchase, own and upkeep a brand new, fresh off the lot vehicle. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t own a reliable used vehicle. In fact, when you decide to buy a used vehicle, you are already taking a step in the right direction. “Why is that?,” you ask. Or, maybe you are thinking, “…but I don’t want to inherit someone else’s problems”. The fact of the matter is that a major advantage of buying a second-hand car is its lower price. The moment a vehicle leaves the lot as a “new” car and is driven on the streets, its value drops immediately. That’s just the way it is, although some automobiles are driven for only a few years, their prices are considerably less than the exact same car sitting on a dealer’s lot.

This is good news for the savvy used car buyer. Looking for a car that has just come off lease is an excellent way for you to get more car for less money. In fact, you are going to have more choices, with more of the options that would probably be way out of your budget if you bought the car new. Having more choices is great because it introduces more makes and models which means you won’t have to settle for an inferior vehicle or one you just can’t learn to love.

OK, so you’ve saved cash off the top just because you went the used car route. Where else are you going to save a few bucks? Good question.

In Texas, (as in every other state) you must carry insurance on your vehicle. You are responsible, at bare minimum, to carry liability insurance. On a new car, fresh off of the lot, your insurance coverage is automatically going to be on the higher end of the payment spectrum. Buying a used car will help keep some of the insurance costs down. This is a good thing, especially with gas prices continuing to climb.

The bottom line is that when looking for a new car, it doesn’t have to really be new…just new to you. Doing some serious research and conferring with your dealer about your budget and what you’d like to have in your driveway will not only save you money and time, but you’ll have a car you can be proud of. More importantly, you’ll have a car you can rely on.

If you have any questions about buying a used vehicle: What you should look for, what your should expect etc., give me a shout. I’d be happy to help!

 

Fort Worth and Dallas New Car: Know your ABC’s

I was running out for lunch the other day and I noticed something during my trip that I thought I needed to write about.

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.

If you have any questions about child safety in your vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact me at Freeman Grapevine. You can even swing by, and we’ll show you thee proper way to install your child safety restraint systems.

 

Tire Tread Depth For Maximum Safety

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.

How To Evaluate Your Shock Absorbers

Okay, Dallas Fort Worth, how do you know when  you need replacement shocks? The rule of thumb is every 50,000 miles, but it could be sooner, or even later. Your shock absorbers are an often overlooked but vital aspect to your Freeman Grapevine Buick, or GMC.

Checking your shocks is actually a very simple thing to do. In fact, it is something you can do yourself  fairly easily. Replacing shocks takes a little more technical “know how” and the right tools, but can also be done at home.

One way is by visual inspection. Inspect each shock absorber for fluid leaks, which show as dark stains in the road grime that collects on its body and mounting points. Examine the body for deep dents, and the piston rod for signs of pitting or rusting

How is your car handling while driving? For example, after hitting the bump does your new car, or truck continue to bounce up and down? If the answer is “yes”, then you will almost certainly need new shocks. Paying attention now, because shock absorber degradation may happen gradually and then worsen over time until. In fact, if you wait too long you can damage other parts and components of you car.

It is important to replace worn out shocks is because they are responsible for keeping your tires in contact with the road. Worn shocks will permit the tires to completely lose contact with the roadway. This can be especially dangerous if you hit a dip or a bump during a high speed corner. Good shocks will also help to minimize body roll, also very important during cornering.

If you think that your shock may be worn and just can’t figure it out on your own, swing by and we’ll take a look at them. Freeman Grapevine can recommend the right ones.

Hints To Buying a New Car

The excitement of buying a new car usually comes just before you make that decision to get a new car, and just after you’ve left the lot with that new car and sealed the deal.  Who really enjoys the actual process of buying a new car? Not many. However the car buying process shouldn’t be as stressful as it is perceived when you understand the process.

For instance, do your research first, have a few options in mind, procure your loan early so you know what is really in your budget and don’t be scared to shop around. Of course I want you to come and buy from Freeman Grapevine, but for your own satisfaction, see what else is out there.

The advice on this video should help out. Additionally, do some research online before you go, and do some research on the dealership itself too.

So the bottom line is: Be Prepared! Not only do you want to do your research, but you also want to know what your credit report score is before you go. If you walk in to a dealership and they know more about your credit than you do, that’s just bad. Also, when you do check your credit report, you may find an error that will affect whether you can get a car loan or not!

After all is done, then come to Freeman Grapevine. We like our buyers to be educated about the industry, the products and the Dallas car dealers.

But if you aren’t, that’s okay too!

Help! My New Car Won’t Start Because it’s Too Hot Outside!

It is usually a cold engine, which is exposed to extreme weather that is most often difficult to start. However, hot engines sometimes have problems too. Hot engines can be tough to start, and many people do not know how to deal with this situation when it occurs to their cars. I live in Texas, it is important to know exactly why it happens and what to do.

The most common reason why a hot engine will not start is because the problem is related to fuel. When your new car engine is too hot, fuel cannot circulate well, due to the way vapor obstructs its workings and therefore the engine just will not start, as it should. To keep your engine running at the correct temperature and to protect its alloys and metals, you need to use a properly designed coolant.

A new car’s engine temperature will rise until it has been turned off. During this time,the highest concentration of vapor is being circulated and chances are that it may obstruct the engine to a greater extent. Obviously, when and if you are driving in hot weather and have just turned off the car engine you may experience start problems. Here’s a novel idea; wait for a few minutes until trying to start it again. Then go and get a high quality engine coolant.

Now here’s the good news…Fuel injected engines do not experience this problem as much

Now THIS is a hot engine!

as other engines, because the fuel remains inside the injectors under high pressure. Therefore, the vehicle does not have the same issues when it comes to starting a hot engine. For most of us this is the case, but if you are having a hard time starting your car under extreme heat conditions, then it may be time to change over your old car to a newer car with fuel injection.

Just a point of note, many of the older models or the used automobiles from the 90’s don’t have fuel injected engines. Proper maintenance of its engine was the best solution for the engine temperature. It is always best to have a record of the old car’s past problems or issues to be able to get an expert inspect it properly.

Another reason why you may have an engine, which is hard to start while hot, is that it may be due to seasonal weather as refiners change from one fuel blend to another. Gas refiners often change a higher volatility fuel to a lower one when summer approaches. This is simply because hot weather causes fuel to evaporate more quickly. If refiners change back to a higher volatility fuel, while cars are still exposed to days of extreme temperatures, this may cause swift evaporation of the fuel which, in turn would create too much vapor within the engine.

…And for goodness’ sake people, check your radiator water, and keep it at its advisable volume, this will help absorb a lot of engine generated heat.

OK, that’s it. Strange topic, but it’s one that seems to be a daily occurrence for some folks under the hot Texas sun. If you are having an issue like this, you can always bring your car by for the experts to check it out.

The Top 5 New Car Maintenance Issues

NEWS FLASH! You have to do more than just fill up your car with gas and occasionally clean the windows!

The American Automobile Association conducted nationwide clinics at 25 different AAA clubs that included inspecting 6,082 vehicles to find out the five most common car problems–all of which are easy to fix with just a little time and not too much money.

1. Tire pressure

Drivers should check tire pressure at least once a month to ensure tires are not under- or over-inflated. Low pressure in the tires can increase wear and fuel consumption, while having too much pressure may reduce traction. Keeping tires properly aligned will also help assure longer tire life and improve fuel economy.

2. Clean Air Filter

Maintain and replace air filters as often as is recommended in your owner’s manual to ensure better air flow through the engine. This, in turn, will improve engine efficiency and result in more power and better fuel usage. (This is probably one of the easiest and most overlooked general maintenance

3. Insufficient tire tread depth

For sufficient traction, tires should have a minimum of 5mm tread depth. Use a depth gauge to check. Most tires also have built-in tread wear indicators that let you know when tire replacement is necessary. If you happen too have a Quarter or Penny on you you can check the depth by placing the coin head down in the tread like the picture below:

4. Engine oil that is low or needs to be changed

Dirty oil will increase engine wear, while low oil levels can lead to overheating. If the oil level drops too low, lubrication will be lost and severe engine damage can result. Regular oil changes will add longevity to the engine.

5. Worn-out windshield wiper blades

Rigid, cracked or torn wiper blades can greatly reduce visibility when driving in rain and snow, which could increase your chance of having a crash. Examine and replace your windshield wiper blades once a year or sooner if streaking begins.

Your vehicle should be well taken care of. Whenever there is a need of the auto repairs you should contact the best auto repair facility in the town.