The short answer is, “Yes.” Keeping the last theme of car cleanliness going from my last post, have you ever thought about how much bacteria and unpleasant microbes are covering your Buick or Gmc’s steering wheel? Probably not. When was the last time you actually gave your steering wheel and antibacterial rub down? Never? Think about this scenario for a second…it’s happened to all of us. You get in the car and turn the steering wheel and you feel something sticky on the back of it which probably came from your hands in the first place. Remember that big greasy burger you ate in the car before your last meeting? However, you kind of just ignore it but eventually your hand touches it again, and again, and again. When you stop touching it and realize that you should probably clean it off? Or, do you even care? Maybe you should.
Researchers at Queen Mary University in London claim that there are, on average, 700 different kinds of bacteria per square inch of steering wheel. That compares to 80 distinct bacteria types on a public toilet seat. Even worse, the trunk has 1,000 bacteria types per square inch. The most common form of bacteria was bacillus cereus, which can cause food poisoning.
The reason cars are filthy is simple; we simply don’t clean them. While we vacuum, dust and disinfect our home on a semi-regular basis, only one third of study participants cleaned their vehicle once a year or more. That sounds pretty crazy (and a bit lazy), but think about it. You may jettison the trash and vacuum the carpet on a somewhat regular basis, but how often do you wipe down that nasty steering wheel? And when you think about how many Americans regularly eat in their vehicles, our cars could be a reason why we are sick as often as we are. Now we know why valet parking attendants tend to wear white gloves.
As a side note, even beyond cleanliness, the study also shows that many drivers know next to nothing about their vehicles. For example, two-thirds of us don’t know how to change a tire, while one third of those surveyed don’t even know how to put air in the tires. It’s a sad, sad world.
So are you officially grossed out? You better run and get your car cleaned!! Let me know if you are interested in keeping your Buick or GMC bacteria free.
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.
Does 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.
If you have a bad fuel pump, you don’t need us to tell you. If a car has a bad fuel pump, it will normally exhibit a loss of power, or it may not start whatsoever. If the car is turning over, but doesn’t actually catch, this is called a “No-Start Condition”. There are various steps you can take after you’ve determined that you indeed do have a no-start condition. It could be as simple having a faulty fuse, or as complex as having a total fuel pump failure.
Check out the great video below by Eric the Car Guy!
I think one important issue that isn’t included in the video is the presence of sediment. Sediment can and will collect at the bottom of your fuel cell. A great way to avoid sediment deposits is actually quite easy. Keep your tank at least a quarter of the way full at all times. This small attention to detail might just save the life of that fuel pump.
If you’ve run through your diagnostic checks and you think you may have a fuel pump problem, call Freeman Grapevine before your issue gets worse. A broken fuel pump will certainly leave you stranded roadside, or worse..in the middle of the road.
When was the last time you changed your cabin air filter? If you have to think about it, it is probably time to change your cabin air filter. If you are scratching you head right now because you didn’t even know that your Buick, or GMC had a cabin air filter, then you really need to read this and watch the video.
Now keep in mind, not all Buicks and GMCs have cabin air filters. However, many do and if your Buick or GMC has a cabin filter, it should be changed once a year.
So, where is the cabin air filter? If your Buick or GMC has one, it will be behind the glove box. Consult your vehicle’s handbook for it’s location. If you’ve lost or misplaced it, call your Freeman Grapevine.
Using online sources, like YouTube are also incredible place to find information.
Rather not deal with it? No problem, we will take car of it for you. Just give service a call and book an appointment. Having purified cabin air is really going to improve your comfort level by filtering out unwanted spores, dirt, dust and fumes.
If you are driving an older car, than you may notice that it isn’t as easy as it used to be to make turns. If you think that you are having to use more force to turn the wheel, or that it starts to stick, then that means that you are probably going to need to add or flush your power steering fluid. Like many other parts of your car, your power steering is accomplished by a fluid that helps you drive your car with ease. Over time, the steering fluid may get low, or become dirty and contaminated, which means you have to get rid of the old, and add in the new.
This can be easily done at home, but there is more to it than taking off a cap and adding more fluid. The video below is a great walk through on how to flush your car’s power steering fluid.
If you still feel that you are having problems turning your steering wheel, then you may want to take your car to a mechanic to make sure there aren’t any bigger problems. You can’t drive what you can’t steer. If you are looking for a new car that you can control with ease, then just swing by Freeman Grapevine and I’ll get you a great deal on a new Buick or GMC.
Living in Texas, Freeman Grapevine is well aware of how the winds can suddenly pick up in our less populated areas. Expect it to happen even more as the weather changes from cold to warm. This temperature shift can cause high winds that can literally sweep across the country. While you may look outside and see a bright and sunny day, that doesn’t mean that driving conditions can be severe. A common problem of driving during high winds is that most drivers don’t take the same precautions they would during rain, snow, or fog because you cannot see the windy conditions.
I’m sure you have felt it in your car before. You are driving at speed and suddenly you feel your vehicle being pushed into another lane from a strong wind gust. During sever high winds, it may seem as though you are moving your steering wheel from one side to the other as though driving in a mini slalom course. So what should you do when driving in high winds?
Wind can create difficulties for drivers of all vehicles. High winds are especially challenging for trucks, RVs and trailers, but they also affect cars and, not surprisingly, SUVs as well. When you experience high winds:
Reduce your speed
Be careful when driving close to trucks, buses and other large vehicles
Pay attention to travel warnings and bans; some states restrict the use of certain vehicles when winds are high
Take great care making steering corrections when going from protected to open areas.
Please keep these tips in mind when driving during windy conditions. Just because you can’t see it, winds can still wreak havoc on your car. Have you ever had any problems with driving during high winds? The picture above is pretty telling in regards to how furious straight line winds can become.
Feel free to share your driving stories, or any scary encounter you may have had with unexpected wind or weather in our comments section. Or, just stop by Freeman Grapevine and tell us about it!
Here at Freeman Grapevine our used car selection is growing larger by the day. Why is that? Well, it’s a direct result of today’s modern lease programs and the rate at which people are turning over their cars for the latest models or style. The good news for you is that the chances of you falling into a really great used car are pretty good…that’s if you know what to look for. I found a good video that demonstrates 5 easy ways to judge the condition of the used car you are looking to buy.
Keep in mind that if you are purchasing the car from Freeman Grapevine we will have already given it a multi-point inspection and give you a CarFax report on the history of the vehicle.
Remember, there are some very good things about buying a used vehicle, namely you can get more car for your money. Besides, does it really matter if it’s used? It’s new to you!
Does anyone have any suggestions on buying a used car?
We see a lot of foggy headlights come through the Freeman Grapevine Service Department to be restored. Hazy, or foggy headlights are fairly common place, especially in constantly changing and extreme weather conditions of the DFW Metroplex. Keep in mind, that cleaning foggy headlights might not be a problem that you have to deal with right now with your new Buick or GMC, but it might pop up somewhere down the road. Most modern new car headlights are made out of plastic, and as the years pass, light causes them to oxidize and it forms a yellowish tint over the lenses. This wasn’t really a problem back before the 1980s when most headlight covers were made of glass. That’s right all you youngsters, at one time headlights were glass and almost as easy to change as light bulb…but I digress.
Modern car manufacturers put a coating on the headlights to help keep the oxidizing at bay, but given enough time, those headlights are still going to fog up. This can have a severe impact on your night time driving visibility. Light rays can be cut and diffused by an oxidized headlight lens to the point of being dangerous.
The good news is, if you notice your headlight lenses are starting to turn yellow, you don’t have to throw them out and get new ones (which a lot of people do, unfortunately). It’s extremely expensive to buy replacement lenses. You can save yourself some money and make your headlights good as new by fixing it yourself or bringing your car into Freeman Grapvine, and we can clean them to look like the day your bought your Buick or GMC.
I found this do it yourself from Auto Amateur Bob that explains the process perfectly:
Again, If you’d rather a professional take a look at your hazy, foggy or oxidized headlight lenses, just swing by Freeman Grapevine. We’ll be able to clean them in a flash and it’s just one less thing you’ll have to worry about.
The 2012 GMC Terrain as been one of GM’s most popular vehicles since it’s debut. In fact it’s one of the most popular vehicles I sell here at Freeman Grapevine. I suspect that one major reason is the size. Somewhere in between a compact and a mid-sized SUV, the GMC Terrain is the perfect for the “Goldilocks” crowd: Not too big, not too small, but just right.
Terrain is a true crossover inside and out. It has the capability and cargo space you’d expect from an SUV but the comfort, technology, quietness, and superior fit and finish you might expect to find in a luxury sedan. Which means that the Terrain continues to offer the driving public and small SUV shoppers an excellent alternative to the rest of the herd.
Let’s check out the new 2012 GMC Terrain:
The Terrain is the classic “‘tweener”. It’s wider and more powerful than it’s earlier relatives, without compromising any of the utilities offered to both drivers and passengers. In fact, some of it’s coolest changes can’t bee seen, like the integration of modern electronics and a back-up camera.
Of course the only way to really get a feel for the 2012 GMC Terrain is to come on over to Freeman Grapevine and see one for yourself. You are going to really be impressed by both what’s under the hood and inside the cabin.