Tag Archives: underinflated tires

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.

 

 

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!

Your Tires Are Sucking Your Bank Account Dry

Alright, maybe not “dry”, but they could really be affecting your MPG. It’s no secret. The tires you choose to put on your Dallas GMC could be affecting your fuel economy. Larger rims, low pressure tires, it doesn’t matter, if your tires aren’t inflated to the proper PSI, you’re just burning fuel and ruining your tires.

If you choose to spend big bucks on your tires, you should take as good of care of them as your can, right? I ran across a story in Consumer Reports that I thought I should share with you.

Your car’s tires can play an important role in helping you get the best gas mileage and save money at the pump. Checking tire pressure regularly is one step toward optimum fuel economy, but your choice of tires can also help.

Automakers often specify low-rolling-resistance tires as original equipment to enhance vehicle performance in government fuel-economy tests. But replacement tires are not limited by any vehicle manufacturer’s requirements, and attributes such as all-season grip and tread life are big selling points. In the past, consumers often had to weigh a trade-off between low rolling resistance and other performance capabilities, such as wet braking. But in recent years, tire manufacturers have been achieving a better balance of rolling resistance and all-weather grip.

Consumer Reports recently tested a few all-season tire models with low rolling resistance and found that those tires can improve fuel economy by an additional one or two mpg. The reward for replacing a less-optimum tire can be a payback covering most of the cost of the new tires over their lifetime in fuel savings. Moreover, you generally don’t have to pay more to get a tire with better rolling resistance.

Here are some additional tips for getting the most fuel economy from your tires:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated. (A label on the driver’s doorjamb tells you the correct pressures to use.)
  • Check inflation pressure at least monthly; do this when the tires are cool.
  • If you were happy with the tires that came with the car when it was new, consider replacing them with an identical set. Low rolling resistance is a common trait of original-equipment tires.
  • Before buying replacement tires, check Consumer Reports’ Ratings for tires that excel in overall performance and use rolling resistance as tie-breaker

If you ever have any questions regarding your tires, or more importantly, “the feel” of your car, call us at Freeman Grapevine, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Fort Worth & Dallas: FIX YOUR POTHOLES

Hey, it happens even to the best of us here at Freeman Grapevine. You’re driving along, focusing on the road ahead, and you might not even notice the huge hole in the road…until you drive over it.

Bam, you just hit a pothole. It might have sloshed your coffee, or made your CD player skip. You quietly curse the pothole and you might even shake an angry fist in the rear view mirror, but then you just go about your day. What you might not know is, driving over potholes can cause serious damage to your car.

First off, what exactly is a pothole? Well, as roadways freeze and thaw, some of the water erodes the dirt beneath the surface of the road. Then the asphalt will start to crack and chip away. This leads to small holes in the road, and they will eventually turn into potholes.

How can potholes affect you? Well, you could notice immediate damage via a flat tire or long-term damage could start to affect your alignment and steering. Pothole damage accounts for about 500,000 insurance claims every year, so you should look for any signs of damage as soon as possible.

If you have aluminum rims, they might become bent or warped if you hit too many potholes, and they just can’t withstand the impact that older, steel rims can. If you hit a deep pothole, it could chip away some of the rust proofing on the undercarriage of you car, and you will want to get that repaired as quickly as possible.

The biggest problem will have an effect on your steering and shocks. If you notice that your car starts to pull in one direction or the other when you let go of the steering wheel, your alignment is probably off. If you notice that your drive is becoming a little rougher and you can feel every little bump in the road, those potholes might have messed up your shock springs.

Let me know if you have any funny or nightmarish pothole stories, and I might include them in a future blog post! Of course, if that pothole has left you with any of the issues I mentioned above, then feel free to bring it into Freeman Grapevine so we can take a look.

Dallas GMC Dealer gives hints on the “Right” way to buy as used car

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I’ve always wanted to do a “How To” list. If there’s one thing I know about, it’s buying and selling new and used cars. So here it is, the insider’s secret on “How-To-Buy a Used Car”

The one thing to always remember is that it won’t be a bargain if you have to spend a ton of money on repairs, so learn how to spot a lemon (buying from a reputable Dallas GMC dealer is a great first step). However, you’ll still want to follow this list regardless of who you buy from.
To complete this How-To you will need:

Time

Patience

Diligence

Step 1: Figure out how much you can spend

Figure out how much you can spend—either in cash or in monthly loan payments. Tip: Don’t forget about the costs of owning a car, like insurance and maintenance.

Step 2: Research models

Research the models you’re considering. Car information websites will help you compare both the performance and long-term reliability of various cars.

Step 3: Locate car

Locate a car that you want to check out. Search used car lots, classified ads, car dealerships that sell pre-owned vehicles, and special used-car publications and websites.

Step 4: Ask seller about condition

 

Ask the seller about the general condition of the car, including mileage, extra features, and whether service records are available.

Tip: If you’re buying the car from an individual, ask if he or she is the original owner and the reason for selling the car.

Step 5: Inspect & test-drive

Inspect the car and test-drive it. You want to make sure that it performs well, runs smoothly, and feels right.

Tip: Don’t let the seller rush you through the test-drive.

Step 6: Find out if warranty included

Find out if the car comes with a warranty.

Tip: If a warranty isn’t included, have a mechanic inspect the car for you. Let the seller know that the sale is contingent on a professional inspection.

Step 7: Get vehicle history report

Get a vehicle history report from one of the companies that sell them online. See if the vehicle has been damaged in an accident or flood—and if the odometer may have been rolled back.

Step 8: Find out worth

Find out how much the car is worth by consulting online used car guides or visiting the library.

Step 9: Negotiate

Negotiate. Using the market value of the car as a guide, make an offer on the low end. Don’t be afraid to walk away.

Tip: If you’re trading in your car or having a dealership arrange financing, negotiate the price of the car before you discuss trade-in value and financing to assure you get the best deal.

Step 10: Close the deal

Close the deal. If you’re buying from a private seller, make sure you get the title. Register your new vehicle with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Tip: If you’re buying from a dealership, they will handle most of the paperwork for you. Just make sure you read any contracts or paperwork carefully.

Step 11: Drive home

Drive home in your snappy new ride.

As always, if you have any comments, suggestions or questions leave me a note, or if you’re in Grapevine, just swing by Freeman Grapevine.