Tag Archives: dallas GMC Truck

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.

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.

Front Wheel, Rear Wheel, All Wheel Drive: Their Pros and Cons

For many new car buyers, the drivetrain of their potential new car is just a given. Meaning that they buy the car for whatever reasons they may have and usually the type of drive train is a secondary consideration. I’m talking the commuter vehicles, sedans and light trucks and SUVs. If you have a perpetual mud stain on your truck or SUV from “goin’ muddin'”, then you know what section of the article to immediately skip to.

As I was looking around for some good information to really explain the pros and cons of all the different drivetrains, I ran across and article that has a pretty good desctiption. Take a look below and tell me what you think. Thank you National Motorist Association for the great article:

Rear Wheel Drive

There are two main advantages to owning a RWD car. The first is that RWD is both simple and rugged — especially if it’s a solid axle design — and can take a lot of abuse without needing expensive repairs. Accidentally run over a curb in a solid axle RWD car, for instance, and you probably won’t break anything. But hit a curb (or even a deep pothole) in a FWD car and the odds are much higher that something expensive will be damaged. This is why cop cars and other “service” vehicles are overwhelmingly RWD.

The other advantage RWD cars offer is better balance — and because of this, better handling. While a FWD car has most of the weight of the engine and transaxle (the transmission and axle assembly are one unit in a FWD car) over the front wheels, a RWD car spreads the weight of its drivetrain more evenly front-to-rear. This is why most sports cars — and virtually all race cars — are RWD.

And cons? As anyone who has owned one will tell you, RWD cars are at their weakest in poor weather — rain and snow. Even with modern traction control, a RWD car is more prone to loss of traction on slick roads. In snow, RWD cars are best left home.

Front Wheel Drive

As with RWD, FWD offers two main advantages — just very different ones. The first is economy. It is cheaper to design and build a FWD car. There are fewer parts — and the drivetrain is easier and cheaper to install as the car rolls down the assembly line. FWD also helps cut down the car’s weight by eliminating the separate transmission and axle assemblies used in a RWD car. This, in turn helps the car get better gas mileage. This is why FWD is most commonly found in economy-type and lower-cost cars.

The other FDW plus is better traction than a RWD car can deliver — especially in rain and snow. The front wheels pull the car instead of the rear wheels pushing it. And, the weight of the engine/transaxle sits on top of the (front) drive wheels, which further helps the car get a grip. FWD cars are typically very capable in poor weather — even excellent, when fitted with snow tires.

Cons? FWD cars are nose-heavy, which isn’t optimal for handling — especially high-speed, high-load handling. A related problem is that the front wheels have to do two things at once — put the power to the ground and steer the car. This, too, is not optimal for a performance/sporty car. In a high-powered FWD car, it can sometimes be difficult or awkward to keep the car pointed straight ahead as the car accelerates. The front wheels may jerk to the left or right — a problem called “torque steer.” Modern FWD cars are less prone to this thanks to electronic traction control, but it’s still not the hot set-up for performance applications — which is why very few “serious” performance cars are FWD.

The final thing to know about FWD is that it’s relatively fragile. Half-shafts and constant velocity (CV) joints are more susceptible to injury than a rugged lump of cast iron — as in a RWD car’s solid axle. While a RWD car’s axle may outlast the car and never require service beyond the occasional lube change, it is far more likely that a FWD car will need new CV joints/boots or something else as the years roll by.

All Wheel Drive

The best thing about AWD is that it gives you some of the advantages of both RWD and FWD — while minimizing the weaker points of either of those layouts.

The number one advantage of AWD is excellent traction — both on dry pavement and in poor weather. This is why AWD appeals to both the performance-minded enthusiast as well as the person who just doesn’t want to get stuck in the snow. Some AWD systems are based on RWD layouts (examples include the Mercedes Benz E-Class) while others are built around FWD layouts (such as any new Subaru). The RWD-based versions are usually more performance-oriented but all AWD vehicles do an impressive job of balancing handling/driving dynamics with “go anywhere, anytime” bad weather capability.

But there are downsides — the two biggest ones being weight and cost. AWD cars can weigh several hundred pounds more than an otherwise identical RWD or FWD car. This hurts the car’s acceleration — at least, when compared with an otherwise identical RWD or FWD version of the same car. And the added weight means the car will use more fuel — especially if the engine’s power has been increased to compensate for the added weight.

The last downside with AWD is the cost. AWD, when offered as an option, usually adds significantly to the car’s sticker price. If it’s standard equipment, the car will usually cost more than otherwise equivalent FWD or RWD cars. And because there are more components, there are more things that will need to be serviced — and which may eventually fail and hit you up with a big bill as the car gets older.

So, you’ll pay more up front — at the pump — and down the road. But that may be worth not getting stuck or losing control in hazardous weather conditions — and still being able to tear into corners when it’s nice out.

So, what do you prefer? We all know that Dallas Fort Worth has some very unpredictable weather, which drive train do you thing is better for TEXAS driving? Leave me a comment…better yet, come out and check them out for yourselves!

Make Your Tires Shine DFW!

Often overlooked, your tires need care too. Keep them looking sharp and turn some heads, DFW!

For most car owners and all car lovers, the look of their car is not only important, it’s an investment of time and care . It is not enough that the engine and the other parts are in mint condition, the exterior should do its job of looking fine and attractive as well.

Of all the exterior parts of the car, the tires are the ones that get dirty the most since they are in contact with the ground all the time. They get dirty whether you drive your car or not. Now, I’m not talking about just cleaning to maintaining their good looks, I’m talking about making them look like brand new.

What Can You Use?
There is more than one way to achieve that brand-new shine look on your car tires. It is just a matter of what suits your taste and preference (and your budget as well).

Spray-on
One of the most popular tire shine products available are the spray-on kinds. The solution is in a bottle with a sprayer and nozzle on top. Many prefer to use it because it is very easy to apply on the tires. You can just spray it directly on the tires and wipe it after a couple of minutes. To make an even distribution over the whole tire, do not spray too close to the tire. Also, spray with a sweeping motion to cover a bigger area of the tire and not just spray on one spot at a time. When applied correctly, you can achieve a nice wet look gloss off your car tires. However, some brands of spray-on tire shine leave stains when it gets on your side panels. You should wipe it off immediately. It would help if you apply it inside the garage so the breeze will not scatter the mist. If you keep getting it on your side panels and rims, apply it on a sponge or piece of cloth first and use it to apply the solution on your tires.

Gel
In terms of long-lasting effect, many gel products do better than spray-ons. They last for more than a week even through the rain and even through carwash. They are not as easy to apply and may take longer since you need to use an applicator, a sponge or terry cloth but others prefer it that way since it  gives them control on how much of the gel is used. The gel gives a nice black color to the tires without a very glossy effect. However, if you do want more gloss, you can apply a second coating after a few minutes. Do not drive your car right after applying the gel. Many formulas are silicone-based and can attract dust and dirt when still wet. Gel tire shine products are usually more expensive than other similar products.

Foam
Foam tire shine products also come with a spray nozzle. It is also very easy to apply, perhaps easier than the other spray-on kinds. It even helps clean your tires off from the dirt that your pre-wash was not able to remove. Just wipe the foam after a couple of minutes and your tires are clean and shiny. However, be careful with some products that may turn your tires brown or yellow. Some tires really do not agree with certain tire shine products so you may have to try a new product.

How To Do It

Most tire shine products have their own application procedures printed somewhere on the container, but in general, here are the steps in achieving that fine shine you want your car tires to have. Clean your tires first before the rest of the car. Even if you spray dirty suds or water on your side panels, it is fine since you will clean them next. Pay attention to the wells and grooves that your tires have. They collect a lot of dirt so they might need some extra scrubbing.

Wait till the tire is dry or at least not too wet from the washing. Spray your chosen tire shine product evenly on the side of the tires. Leave it on for a minute or two and then wipe it using a sponge or a terry-cloth, distributing it evenly across the tire wall and removing any overspray.

Making your tires look shiny is a very easy thing to achieve. But before trying on any product on your tires, ask your friends who might have used them, or look for some reviews online. Many car maintenance forums are eager to help and answer your questions with regard to tire shine products. Of course, if you want a professional opinion you can always swing by Freeman Grapevine and we’ll take a look.

An Insider’s Perspective

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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.

Price

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.

Trade-In

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.

Financing

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.

Learn to Tell The Difference Electrical VS. Mechanical Problem

	Buick dealer dallas, buick dealer fort worth, dallas Buick Dealer, dallas fort worth used car, Dallas GMC Dealer, dallas GMC Truck, dallas new car, dallas Used Car, dallas Used Truck, dfw driving, fort worth Buick dealer, freeman grapevine, GMC Dealer, GMC Professional Grade, GMC Truck, making a GMC, professional gradeDoes your car have electronics? The answer is obviously, “Yes” (well for most of your anyway). You do realize that those electronics are going to have to be looked at due to a malfunction at some point. Today’s cars are very complicated and are as much computers as they are vehicles. Freeman Grapevine has the knowledge to diagnose and fix any type of electrical issue.

The electrical systems in new cars have definitely made driving a lot easier over the decades. The seemingly endless innovations in electrical systems have helped us enjoy a more comfortable and easier drive. However, it can’t be Peaches and Cream all of the time. Let’s say, you have problems starting your car and notice other problems with the electrical system. Let’s cover some of the issues that you could face with your new  vehicle’s electrical system:

Common Automobile Electrical System Problems Are :

Car’s Battery Is Dead – This is the most common problem…and most obvious. Check your battery by engaging your headlights and judge by the illumination.

No Power Stored in the Battery – When you turn the key, what do you hear? A little click? Does it sound like it want’s to turn over? It is possible that your car’s battery does not have ample power to crank the starter. You need a new battery.

Alternator is Not Working – A damaged or broken alternator could be the culprit. No alternator? No battery recharge. If your car suddenly start to lose “juice” while drive, you’ll know it could be your new car’s alternator.

Problem with Starter or Solenoid – Good parts gone bad parts. If it’s the starter, it won’t turn over. If you have Solenoid issues, you might find it harder to brake.

Battery Cables Might Be The Problem – A loose cable might be the root of the problem…give them a wiggle before you run out and buy a replacement.

Electrical Fuses – Check for any blown fuses in your fuse box. Also, feel around for any loose wires.

Cracks In Alternator Belt – Too much or too little tension, as well as cracks in the alternator belt cause trouble.

Ignition System Has Problems – You have a busted ignition switch. Give your mechanic a call.

Loose Spark Plugs – Loose or old plugs will certainly affect the operation of your vehicle. Are you loosing power as gears change? Does it lurch as if the gears aren’t engaging? It might be the internal combustion and the culprit is usually the plugs and cables.

Now these are just guidelines you can crosscheck with a Freeman Grapevine Service Consultant any issue you might have experienced. I you can talk with your mechanic about your new car logically by doing a little research, you help him help you even faster. Just give us a call to set up an appointment.