Category Archives: Used Cars

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.


Do your homework to avoid buying a lemon

I know everyone’s fear of buying a use car is the potential of inheriting other peoples’ problems…buying the dreaded “LEMON”. It may look gorgeous on the outside, but it’s what’s under the hood that determines whether or not the car will be a money pit. Here are a few tips on what to look for when taking that potential used car for a test driving

1) Pull out the oil dipstick while the engine is running – DO NOT rev the engine! Watch the dipstick’s hole as the engine idles; if you hear or see any air, gas or oil escaping the dipstick holder it means the rings are worn. A slight escape of air from the dipstick is the first stage of ring failure which is not a serious problem but will get worse until gas and oil start escaping the dipstick holder. The result is less power and leaking oil in the sump. Look for white emulsification on the dipstick which would indicate a cracked cylinder head, which is a serious problem.

2) Look at the exhaust pipe while the car is running. White smoke from the exhaust indicates there’s engine oil remaining on the bore that the rings haven’t scraped off, which means oil could be leaking. Black smoke means the fuel injectors are dirty on a diesel engine.

3) Remove the radiator cap and check for oil. Oil in the water also means a cracked cylinder head.

4) Have a pre-purchase inspection performed! A compression test should also be done for failing rings on any used vehicle. This test requires a trained mechanic because of the equipment used and the test is complicated. The readings must be done ‘dry’ and ‘wet’, and it even depends on if you are above or below sea level.

The bottom line is, “Do your Homework!”

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to swing by and take a look at our great selection of pre-owned.

Fort Worth, this is how you buy a used car

You won’t see this guy at Freeman Grapevine

So, you’ve gotten as many miles out of the old girl as possible. She’s starting to cost too much to maintain, but buying a new car is not an option. What do you do? We’ll you can drive that old beater until you finally decide to leave it, abandoned and forgotten on the side of the road as you hoof it to the nearest sign of life, or you could have thought about picking up a used car for less than new…and you still would have had something to trade in.

Here’s a step by step check list:

Step 1: Starting out.

If you’ve decided to buy a used car, you’ve already made a smart decision. You can get a car that’s almost as good as a brand-new one, without suffering the depreciation that wallops new car buyers as soon as they drive the car off the lot. Used cars — even those that are only one year old — are 20 to 30 percent cheaper than new cars.

Step 2: Locating the right used car.
At the beginning of the car-buying process, many people already have in mind the car they want. It’s possible that you need to expand your horizons when considering what to buy. You might want to think of other vehicles in the same class. These cars were built for the same market, but they often have different features at lower prices.

Step 3: Used car bargains.
The cost of a used car is based on its condition, mileage, reliability, performance and popularity. Of course, you want a car that is reliable and performs well.

Step 4: Research your prospective used car.
One vital step to getting a great used car deal: you have to run a vehicle history report on any used car you are considering buying. Several companies sell these reports, which are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), but Carfax seems to be the most comprehensive. You will find out the vital information about the used car including whether or not it has a salvage title (it has been declared a total loss by the insurance company) or evidence to reveal if the odometer has been rolled back. This is also the time to decide if you want a Certified Used Car.






Step 5: How much can you afford?
The smart shopper will consider how to finance the car at the beginning of the shopping process. This will avoid unpleasant surprises later in the game and help you make an unemotional decision that fits your budget.

Step 6: Set up financing for your used car.
You have three ways to pay for your used car: Financing through a bank, on-line lender or credit union, financing through the dealer, or cash.

Step 7: Used car markets.
There are advantages to buying a used car from a new car dealership. Many used cars, on new car lots, are trade-ins. Dealerships usually get these cars at rock-bottom prices. If you make a low offer — but one that gives them some profit — you just might get a great deal. Furthermore, many dealerships offer certified used cars that have been thoroughly inspected and are backed by attractive warranties.

Step 8: Test driving a used car.
Used car shopping will involve inspecting the vehicle to determine its condition. This process is simplified if you buy a certified used car that has passed a thorough inspection and is backed by a manufacturer’s warranty. But while buying a certified used car removes a lot of the guesswork about the vehicle’s mechanical condition, you pay for this service. Try to arrange your test drive so that you start the engine when it is completely cold. Some cars are harder to start when they are dead cold and, when doing so, will reveal chronic problems. Turn off the radio before you begin driving — you want to hear the engine and concentrate on the driving experience.

Step 9: Negotiating for a used car.
Whether you are buying a used car from a dealer or a private party, let them know you have the cash in hand (or financing arranged) to make a deal on the spot. Preface your offer with a statement like, “I’m ready to make a deal now. I can give you cash (or a cashier’s check) now. But we need to talk about the price.”

At this point, you need to have a persuasive argument about why the price is too high. So let’s talk about pricing. The foundation of successful negotiation is information. This is particularly true when buying a used car. And yet, the condition of used cars means prices will vary widely.

Step 10: Closing the deal.
Once the contract is ready, review it thoroughly. In most states, it will contain the cost of the vehicle, a documentation fee, a smog fee, a small charge for a smog certificate, sales tax and license fees (also known as DMV fees). Make sure you understand the charges and question the appearance of any significant, sudden additions to the contract.

Finally, you should inspect the car before you take possession of it. If any repair work is required, and has been promised by the dealer, get it in writing in a “Due Bill.” Make sure the temporary registration has been put in the proper place and — you’re finally on your way.

There you have it…trade secrets revealed. If you need a used car, show you appreciation for the tips above by swinging by and taking a few for a test drive.

How do you know what used Car to buy

dallas fort worth used car, dallas Buick Dealer, Dallas GMC Dealer, dallas GMC Truck, dallas new car, dallas Used Car, dallas Used Truck, dfw driving, GMC Dealer, GMC Truck, new carHere 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?

Shopping For A Used Car In Dallas Fort Worth

With the holidays just around the corner, there are thousands of anxious teenagers crossing their fingers and hoping that they might get the ultimate present this year…a car of their very own!

Now we know, that most cars parents buy for their children, and even those kids who work hard all summer and are ready to buy their first car, probably aren’t going to purchasing a new Buick, or GMC. However, buying used is certainly going to make that dream car more in their reach.

What’s the first step in buying a used car in Dallas Fort Worth? Make a check list and follow it. There are a few things that you are going to want to discuss with your kids, dealer and financier.

1. Think about purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle. A certified pre-owned vehicle generally can be purchased with the manufacturer’s extended warranty and have had a complete inspection.
2. Make sure the vehicle suits everyone’s needs. If this vehicle will be a family car, bring everyone along to take a test drive to make sure everyone is comfortable in the car. If you have small children, bring your child safety seats to make sure they fit and can be easily installed.
3. Purchase a vehicle history report and have it inspected by a qualified mechanic. By following both of these suggestions, you can may avoid unexpected issues later on.
4. Look into promotional programs. Many manufacturers offer incentives when you purchase their used vehicles. Ask your local New Jersey used auto dealer for more details.
5. Look into financing before hand. Before purchasing your vehicle, look into interest rates to be sure you are getting the best rate you can find. Check with your dealer, bank or credit union.
6. Negotiate on the price of the vehicle. When purchasing a vehicle, you should negotiate based on the total price of the vehicle rather than on what you want your monthly payments to be. Your monthly payments can always be lowered, by extending the life of the loan.

Now the best part is that when you’re ready to buy a used car, I just happen to know a great place that has an amazing selection and the best customer service in DFW. Swing by Freeman Grapevine anytime and ask for David Parrish, I guarantee that he’ll take great care of you and get your in a reliable vehicle you can be proud of.

Dallas Buick and GMC Owners: Freeman Grapevine Has The Cure For Your Foggy Headlights


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.

Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC: Get More For Your Money, Buy Used

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There is some pretty good advice about buying a used car in this video. Take 2 minutes to watch and when you are ready to buy a new car, check out the used selection first. There are a lot of hidden gems that can give you many years of great driving and save you more than just cash, a good used car can save you headaches. Remember to check around for a reputable dealership or just see your Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC dealer, Freeman Grapevine…I know, I’m a little biased.


If you remember one thing, remember this: Would your driving life have been different in a new luxury car that costs almost 3 times as much money? Maybe. But, keep in mind that a lot of times, you can get more car for less money if you choose the right used Buick, or GMC from Freeman Grapevine.

Freeman Grapevine: DFW Winter Driving tips

So far, this winter has been fairly moderate, but it’s still just the beginning and here in Texas, particularly Dallas and Fort Worth, cars fall easy prey to our sudden cold snaps. So, in keeping with the Boy Scouts motto, “Always Be Prepared” here’s just a little refresher on driving in foul Winter weather.

For those not used to navigating ice and snow covered roads, which is ALL of us, this can be, with little, doubt the most dangerous driving time of the year. Even those of you that have been raised in the Northern and Midwest states could take a few minutes and reflect upon some good safety tips and make sure we keep our precious cargo safe.

Getting Winter Ready

  1. Check you fluids — It is very important to have a well supplied anti-freeeze  resorvoir in cold weather. Wiper fluid is also often consumed in large quantities, and don’t just use water or it will freeze on you.
  2. Tires and Brakes – A good set of well tread tires can be the difference of being in the ditch or safely on the asphalt. Pressure must be kept up as well, since cold weather promotes flatter tires. Anti-lock brakes are the best for winter, but you should always have good brake pads for icy stops.
  3. Wipers- Nothing beats a set of maintained wipers in a blizzard or sleet storm. Rain-X is also a valid choice for extreme climate conditions.
  4. Battery and Engine — Good clean battery posts and a good charged battery are a must when starting in cold weather. Engine tune-ups and regular oil changes also are a must for reliable winter travel.


But that’s not all folks, there are a few other key points to remember.

  • Stay home if you can, as there is no substitution for safety
  • Know your route — research road closures and delays
  • Have plenty of fuel — this will provide much needed warmth
  • Have a well stocked safety kit — flashlights, jumper cables, water, etc
  • Cell phone – communications are important when stranded
  • Drive safely — keep plenty of space between you and cars or obstacles

You can stay safe during these winter months! See Freeman Grapevine with questions and feel free to share your driving experiences.

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:




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.