Tag Archives: 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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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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How Often Do You Rotate Your Tires?

I would say that the majority of people know that regular scheduled maintenance is a necessity when it comes to owning a car to keep it running properly. One of the most common maintenance produces is getting oil changed. A no -brainer, right?! Well, you’d think so, but there are a handful out there that just don’t get their oil changed. And then they end up with some major, and sometimes even irreversible damage to their vehicles engine.

But enough about the importance of oil changes. Another important maintenance procedure you need to have done is getting your tires rotated. Now this one I can understand being overlooked….sometimes!  For some reason, people seem to always forget about the tires, which is crazy to me because they are the ones doing the ground work…no pun intended!

Keeping your tires properly maintained not only keeps you safe…very important, but also helps you to get the most wear out them as well.  And if that’s not enough, rotating your tires also helps you get better gas mileage as well  which all adds up to saving money, and, in this economy is a very important thing.

If you find that you have trouble remembering to rotate your tires, I suggest you add it in when you get your oil changed. To get the most of your tires, you want to keep them on a regular rotation so that they wear evenly. But even more frequently, you should at least check the tire pressure. Driving with low tire pressure is unsafe and can make your tires more susceptible to flats and punctures and can even make driving your vehicle challenging.

If you need a service shop, then of course I recommend giving Freeman Grapevine a try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.  And of course you’re always welcome to come check out our great selection of new and use vehicles too!

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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.

A Refresher in Driving Etiquette Just for You!

So it may have been a few years since you’ve been in drivers ed, or let’s face it, maybe even a few decades! And quite possibly, over the years, you may just have forgotten some things and are now making some uber driving faux pas and you don’t even know it.  Sheesh, and you wonder why you get honked at!

Now let’s get refreshed. Drivers etiquette refreshed that is!

  1. Pedestrians have the right of way. So you may be a few minutes on time and the person who is crossing in the crosswalk, at the pace of a snail it seems, is taking forever. You need to back off and give them their space. No one even really likes having to be in the crosswalk, much less be antagonized in one by you!

  2. Tailgating is not going to get you there any faster. It may actually take you longer because you were following to close that you got yourself in an accident. Rule of thumb is that you need to leave one and a half car lengths between you and the car in front of you.

  3. Not letting other vehicles merge is not very nice and won’t get you on Santa’s good list either. And, it can be extremely dangerous if you’re hogging the right lane when others are trying to merge onto the freeway. Let them in.

  4. Turn up the radio, nah turn it down! Not everyone wants to hear what you’re listening to.

  5. Don’t leave your brights on. This can make it extremely hard for oncoming traffic to see which begs me to ask the question of why would you do this?! Use your brights courteously.

  6. Please use your turn signals. They were invented to give other drivers a little heads up so that they can slow down and not end up connecting with the rear of your car because you had to take a quick turn and they had zero response time.

  7. Driving too slowly is as bad as driving too fast. They both are real dangers.

  8. The parking lot is full, but you just could have had a spot if only this person didn’t double park! Just don’t do it.

  9. Sure traffic light may not seem like they are on your side today, but honking at them is not going to change the computers mind. Try to leave a few minutes early as you never know when the traffic sign gods are not on your side.

  10. After a snow storm it is very important to clear as much snow from your vehicle as possible. Why? Because you have the chance of losing all of that snow to the vehicle behind you and causing a lack of vision and possibly an accident for them.

Be a better driver by immediately following these easy drivers etiquette tips today! And if you have something you’d like to share please stop by Freeman Grapevine or post on our facebook wall!

Common Car Problems That You Don’t Need to Kick Up a Stink About!

You know you’ve done it!  An indicator light goes on in the instrument panel or you hear a new, strange noise and of course you’re thinking that something must absolutely be wrong with your car and it needs immediate attention! Well relax, take a deep breath and let’s sort through some of the common car problems that you just don’t need to kick up a stink about!  And of course you can also come chat with us at Freeman Grapevine too!

The check engine light goes on and immediately you panic that just maybe, maybe…your car is going to blow up.  Take a deep breath and calm down. More than likely the check engine light is just signaling to you that you need to take your car in for a scheduled mileage maintenance. Usually the check engine light will show up in two colors, amber for non-emergency maintenance and red for you should probably hurry up and get it checked out sooner rather than later. Double check your vehicles manual to be 100% sure though as not all vehicles are the same.

Click. Click. Click. Ohhh, a new sound just sounded. What to do? Again, no need to panic. A lot of noises you hear are things that don’t need to be fussed about and will actually just sort themselves out. Just like how that rock got stuck between tires treads and is making the clicking sound, it will soon work itself out. Or if it’s really driving you crazy you can very carefully do some detective work and try to figure out which tire it is and get it out yourself.

A locked steering wheel and your key won’t turn. They’re not broken. You just need to put a little muscle into really. Seriously, grab the steering wheel and turn it hard in one direction and turn the key. If it’s still not working try the other direction.  But don’t force the key. You don’t want to break it or the ignition as that will be a very costly fix all for nothing. Once you get the steering wheel in the sweet spot the key should turn just as it normally does.

You think you might have a leak. So you just pulled out from your where your car was currently parked only to notice that there’s liquid there that you swear wasn’t there before. First, it really could have been there before and you just like to freak yourself out. Or maybe there is some liquid, but if it’s not a lot then there’s usually nothing really to worry about. In fact, if you’ve been using your AC a lot lately it could just be built up condensation. If you notice a color to the liquid then you may have a coolant leak. This could potentially be a problem so if you suspect it is check your coolant level, but carefully as the car needs to be completely cooled before doing so.

Hopefully those few common car problems mentioned above will help calm your nerves when you’re driving. But if you suspect a problem, please don’t hesitate to contact our service department so that we can get it fixed for you, just contact Freeman Grapevine today!

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.