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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OK, what do you do when you apply your brakes and there is minimal resistance resulting in the brake being depressed all the way to the floor? First, you read this, then you call Freeman Grapevine, you could have a very serious issue.
The best way I can explain brake problems is to quote some expert advice. My guys in the Freeman Service department know this stuff like the back of their hand. They can diagnose a brake issue almost as quickly as it takes to pull into the service bay. My guys are really busy, so I pulled to following information for 2carpros.com. It is a well rounded description of common…and not so common…braking issues. Thanks for the info guy!
Also check the rear of the brake master cylinder for fluid leaks, if brake fluid is present the master cylinder seals have failed and the master cylinder needs to be replaced. Replace any parts that are leaking or show signs of previous leakage. Refill and bleed the brake system as needed. (Note: if brake fluid has contacted the brake components i.e. brake pads or brake shoes the brake lining material is contaminated and must be replaced) If the brake fluid in the reservoir is full proceed to the next step.
Brake Master Cylinder
Brake Master Cylinder is Full of Brake Fluid – If upon inspection the brake master cylinder is full of fluid, the brake master cylinder may be bypassing internally. This means the seals inside the master cylinder have failed allowing the fluid from the front of the master cylinder plunger to slip through to the rear of the plunger and back into the fluid reservoir. Allowing the brake pedal to go to the floor with out pressurizing brake fluid into the system. Replace master cylinder with new unit and bleed system as needed.
Failing Axle Bearings – The vehicle axle bearing holds the wheel true to the axle shaft while allowing the wheel to rotate. If the bearing fails it will allow the rotor to move back and forth, forcing the brake pads inward into the caliper. Then as you apply the brake pedal it will go to the floor as the caliper fills with fluid. In this case it may take one or two pumps to the brake pedal to regain normal operation. Inspect and replace failed axle bearings as needed, finish by bleeding and adjusting the system.
Air in Brake System – When brake calipers or rear wheel cylinders fail they can allow air into the system when the brake pedal is released. Bleed the brake system by loosening the air bleeder, if air is observed from the bleeder replace the caliper or wheel cylinder and re-bleed system. This condition is rare but it does happen.
If you believe that you are experiencing any of these problems, bring your Buick, or GMC into Freeman Grapevine immediately so we can take a look at it. The last thing you what while cruising at 60mph on the highway is to encounter a brake failure.
So, we’ve had a pretty mild winter here in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. Freeman Grapevine is willing to bet that means we are going to have another scorcher of a Summer this year. That being said, “How is your GMC, or Buick’s A/C Working”?
This is something that Freeman Grapevine recommends that you check now. A broken A/C unit in Texas heat can probably be one of the most frustrating and uncomfortable things I can imagine going wrong with my car.
So, how do you know if your Air Conditioner needs service? There are two ways. You can do your research on the net and find videos like the one below. There are a lot of useful videos that can be found and used to diagnose almost any problem you may encounter.
Of course, once you diagnose an A/C issue, what then? How do you fix it? Well, that’s the easy part. Bring your Buick or GMC into Freeman Grapevine. We’ll confer with you about your suspected issue and check ourselves. Upon finding the issue we’ll repair the problem quickly and cost effectively. There are a lot of things you can do yourself, but messing with your A/C unit, other than diagnosing a potential problem, can exasperate the issue. You are much better off having us take a look at it.
At Freeman Grapevine, we take child safety very seriously. As a Dallas Fort Worth car dealer, it is our responsibility as much as it is yours to provide safer solutions for children while they are in your Buick, or GMC.
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.
The Children Hospital of Philadelphia has put together a great video on airbags and keeping children safe.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them here. If you’d like to see us, Freeman Grapevine, just stop by and we’ll look and some really safe and very kid friendly vehicles for you and your family.
Summer is here, school is out and that means: It’s Road Trip Time! Here at your Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC dealer, Freeman Grapevine, we love our road trips. Of course when you sell some of the best cars on the road, it’s hard not to.
If you are planning on taking a road trip this year, be it a family reunion, or just visiting parts of the US, we know that that price of gas is the first thing you are going to consider before you even make the decision on where you should take your road trip. In fact, in many cases the price of gas is going to dictate where you go and how long you are going to be gone. Factor in all of the food and lodging you may be spending cash on, and all of a sudden, that fuel tank seems like it is getting smaller.
So how do you save on gas and still go where you want? Check out this great list of gas-saving road trip tips I found via CNN :
Pick the right tool for the job: If you have more than one car to choose from, don’t just try to squeeze everyone into the one – or two – that go the furthest on a gallon. First of all, if you think you’re saving gas by splitting the crew into two small cars rather than taking the big SUV, you’re not. Remember, two small cars will burn gas twice as fast as one, and that’s probably faster than your SUV.
Also, packing too much into a small car can lead to the use of roof-top racks and bins, which seriously undermine fuel economy. (More on that in a moment.) Besides that, jamming everyone and everything into a too-small car can be just plain uncomfortable on a long trip and the point is to have fun, not start fights.
Pack light and smooth: Extra weight cuts fuel economy, so try to pack as light as possible. The savings are slight, but every extra 100 pounds cuts your fuel economy by about 2%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
More importantly, don’t pack more than you can fit inside the vehicle. This is especially important. Packing stuff on roof-top bins and racks cut fuel economy by about 21%, according to tests done by Edmunds.com.
And those roof-top racks with crossbars, even if left empty, also cut fuel efficiency. Take them off. Leaving them in place can reduce fuel economy by about 1%, according to Edmunds.com.
Use your cruise control: There are times when cruise control isn’t appropriate, such as in areas with heavy traffic or in bad weather. Also, using cruise control on hilly roads can actually use more fuel, not less, as your vehicle struggles to maintain speed while driving up hills.
But if you’re driving over relatively even terrain, cruise control can prevent unnecessary speed changes which waste gas. In tests by Edmunds.com, using cruise control at 77 mph improved fuel economy by 10 to 15 percent.
As an added benefit, cruise control prevents speed creep – the tendency to gradually increase your speed the longer you drive – and that can keep you from getting a costly speeding ticket.
Stay to the right: Even if you’re driving at a constant speed, going too fast wastes gas. Within the range of normal highway speeds, each 10 miles per hour faster will reduce your fuel economy by 15% to 20%, according to tests by Consumer Reports and Edmunds.com.
Going too slow isn’t safe either but at least try to stay out of the left lane where the traffic is fastest, unless you really need to pass someone. Again, this can also keep you from getting a ticket.
Calm down in town: When not in highway traffic, take it easy on the pedals. Aggressive acceleration and hard braking waste an amazing amount of fuel. In testing by Edmunds.com, aggressive driving cut fuel economy by about 25%.
Don’t worry about A/C: It’s debatable whether it uses more fuel to drive with your windows down on the highway or with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on. In tests by Consumer Reports and Edmunds.com, it depended on the vehicle and speed. At 65 mph, using the air conditioner was slightly more draining. At higher speeds, it probably wouldn’t be.
Avoid getting stuck: This is something you’ll probably want to do anyway, but really try not to get stuck in traffic. Idling and slow driving wastes a lot of fuel, so plan to drive at times when few others are. Also, plan alternate routes ahead of time in case you hit unexpected snarls. Driving a little bit out of your way can use less fuel than crawling down the straight-and-narrow.
GPS satellite navigation tools can help by making it easier to change routes on the fly. Some newer models even include traffic warnings on the screen so you can see what you’re getting into.
Little things: For reasons of both safety and fuel economy, you should give your car a good once-over before setting off. Make sure tire pressure is set correctly, your filters are clear, your fluids are fresh and the engine is running well. These things will make only a slight difference to your fuel economy, but you should do them anyway to prevent wasting time waiting for a tow truck.
Make the most out of each road trip and who knows, with all of your savings you might be able to afford just one more road trip! But the main thing to do on a road trip is to have fun!
And now there are even apps that can help you watch your gas usage too. Check out FuelFrog which tracks your fuel usage once you provide them with the information for distance traveled, the price paid and how much fuel was used.
Before you hit the road, we always recommend checking that your fluids are good, especially the oil and the coolant levels. If you need to get your vehicle checked out before you hit the road, swing by Freeman Grapevine for a complete check up.
I don’t like the fact that I have to write articles like this, but every year it seems that Texas drivers and pet owners need a reminder. It pains me…strike that…INFURIATES me when I see dogs left in cars by themselves. First off, your dog’s temperature is already roughly 100.5°F to 102.5°F. In order for them to diffuse heat, they have to pant and cool the blood flow through their tongue since they have no sweat glands and do not perspire. As if that isn’t enough, they are wearing a fur coat!
What many people don’t know is that even on moderately cool days, the temperature inside a car can be fatal. Even when its only 70 degrees outside, in just one hour, the temperature inside a car can soar to over 110 degrees, and cracking the windows doesn’t really help.
If you think that your four-legged friends would be “OK” for a few minutes as you ran in to a store, think again. In fact, don’t think about it. Go ahead and sit in your car with no air running for 10 min. and then see if you feel the same way. I’ll even let you crack the windows. Sweat much?
No one is immune to catching a case of “the stupids”. You may think it will only take a few minutes to grab those groceries or chat with a friend, but that few minutes can translate into life threatening heat exhaustion for your best friend:
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
If your dog has heat stroke he will progressively show these signs:
Pale gums, bright red tongue;
Disorientation and your dog doesn’t respond to his name;
Increased heart rate;
Dogs Prone to Heatstroke
Young puppies and older dogs;
Dogs with an existing illness or recovering from illness or surgery;
Dog breeds with short faces – Bulldogs, Shar pei, Boston Terriers, Pugs – have narrow respiratory systems that easily get overwhelmed in hot and humid conditions;
Double coated breeds such as Chow Chows; and
Dogs bred for cold climates such as Malamutes, Huskies and Newfoundlands.
If you suspect that your dog may have heat stroke:
Make sure your dog is out of the sun and has access to water but don’t let him drink too much.
Cool him with cool/tepid water – either immerse him in a bath, gently hose him or apply cool towels to his body. Importantly do not leave wet towels on your dog and do not use very cold water – both prevent your dog form being able to cool himself.
Move your dog to an area where there is cool air circulating, such as an air conditioned room or stand him in front of a fan. The cool circulating air will help your dog to reduce his temperature.
Remember, your dog can’t tell you that he is uncomfortable, so you’ll have to use common sense. Under no circumstance should you leave your dogs unattended in a car. Regardless of how hot you believe you car will “actually” get, you are going to be wrong. Then you will be left with a tragedy that is not only emotional, but quite possibly legal as well. You will get fined for endangering an animal by leaving them in a hot car, or could even be arrested for animal cruelty if they die.
Keep your pups safe, keep them out of your hot vehicles. If you have any comments, questions or advice, leave a comment below or see me at Freeman Grapevine!
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.
For those of us here at your Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC Dealer, Freeman Grapevine, who have, or have had loved ones overseas, this weekend is both special and heartbreaking.
As we wait for our soldiers to make their way back home, we anguish everyday they are gone hoping for their safe return. Most come back to us and that joy is immeasurable. However, some do not, and that pain is equally immeasurable. Memorial Day is a time of remembrance. Don’t lose sight of that this weekend as you spend time with your family and friends. Remember, there are tens of thousands of families across the United States who don’t barbecue, or go to they lake…they sit patiently awaiting for their loved ones to come home.
Freeman Grapevine salutes all of the brave men and women of our Armed Services for their continued defending of Freedom and Democracy. We also thank equally the families of those soldiers for their selflessness in offering their sons and daughters to fight with Honor to defend Truth. We will not forget your sacrifice.
The Memorial Day rush has already started. Well, maybe not actually started, but I can guarantee that all of us here at Freeman Grapevine are thinking about what we’ll be doing this weekend. Either going out to spend the weekend on the lakes, headed to friends and family for a great cookout, taking the family out camping or any number of other activities, chances are you are going to be on the road during one of the most dangerous times of the year.
AAA said 37.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more, or about 1 percent more than last year — an estimate derived from a national phone survey of 1,500 adults. More than 80 percent of those travelers will take road trips, while another 10 percent will fly. The remainder will be packed into trains and buses.
Keep in mind that over this three-day weekend, though, an average of 161 people are killed in car accidents in the U.S. per day, 40% due to drunk driving. With that in mind, local law enforcement will certainly be out cracking down.
All of us at Freeman Grapevine, we want all of our Dallas Fort Worth Buick & GMC customers to stay safe this weekend. There will certainly be more people on the road, including you an your family, so stay aware and don’t drink and drive. Wouldn’t it be great if DFW could have a holiday weekend with no Driving/DWI related injuries? You can make that happen.