The Chevy Spark is on the Up and Up in the U.S.

Even though the Chevy Spark is relatively new to us in the states, it’s been cruising around the globe since its 2009 launch in Korea. In fact, there are more than 600,000 thousand Spark owners internationally. In a GM press release on August 2nd, GM shared some really interested facts about the Spark’s global presence including:

  • The Spark is the best-selling Chevy vehicle in India and pink is the preferred color in Korea.
  • In South America, the Spark is seen as a status symbol for up-and-comers.
  • In Europe, the Spark is most popular in Italy.
  • In Africa, customers favorite color choices are red, cocktail green and atomic blue.
  • In Australia, the Spark was originally only offered with a manual transmission.
  • The Spark represents 40 percent of all General Motors vehicle sales in Lebanon.

The Spark was reengineered for the United States to add technology and safety features as well as better ride and handling in city and highway driving, and is already seeing a rise in sales. So how exactly did GM “reengineer” the spark for Americans? They added a seven-inch touchscreen, MyLink (which runs apps of a paired smart phone) and soon a special navigation app.  Autoblog.com actually got to sample a preproduction version of the mapping software running on an iPhone during a test drive and said, the Spark “not only looked great but performed perfectly, including restarting its guidance after we turned the car off and temporarily undocked the phone.”

It looks like mini-cars are on the rise in the U.S., especially for city dwellers. Stay tuned for more info on the Spark, Dallas Ft Worth Chevy enthusiasts.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Chevrolet Volt Owners Speak Out About Thier Savings to Consumer Reports

The word is spreading, DFW. According to Consumer Reports web users, many Chevy Volt owners are claiming they use even less gas than Consumer Reports’ formal tests have assumed.

Consumer Reports has based their fuel economy calculations for the Volt being operated by electricity 70 percent of the time and gasoline 30 percent of the time. But some of their forum users are claiming that they operate almost exclusively on electricity. Here’s a few examples from Consumer Reports:

  • User carriegordo reports driving 7,000 miles on just 7.3 gallons of gas. That’s less than a single tankful in the Volt’s already small 9.3-gallon tank.
  • User marclee reported that 2800 of the 3200 miles he’s driven his Volt have been on electricity. That leaves just 400 on gas. (These numbers are easily retrieved from the efficiency screen on the Volt’s central display.)
  • User themajor1975 reported driving 11,000 miles on 62 gallons of gas.
  • Two other forum users reported driving more than 2500 miles on 10.7 gallons of gas, and 500 miles on just one gallon.

While we can’t say with certainty that this is the case with all Volt owners, it does prove that the Volt has a tremendous amount of potential when it comes to saving on fuel.

Want to hear it from a Volt owner yourself? Check out this customer testimonial from Kory Levoy. He’s spent $38 in gas – in two months!

[Source: Consumer Reports]

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Five Maintenance Tips That’ll Save the Chevrolet Driver in the Long Run

Last month, I told you guys about a study conducted by General Motors where two of their fuel economy engineers, Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning, drove identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs. From their study, we gained a little insight to what mistakes we as drivers make that hurt our overall mpg and also some tips on how to save a little this summer on gasoline. But did you also know that regular maintenance can save you significant amounts of dough in the long run?

In the details of that same study, General Motors provided five maintenance tips for Chevrolet drivers that will save them down the road.

1. Tires. Make them last. Properly inflated tires will improve your fuel economy, and they will last longer. Also rotate tires at manufacturer-recommended intervals.

2. Oil. Always use the recommended grade of motor oil. Motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the performance symbol of the American Petroleum Institute contains friction-reducing additives that can improve fuel economy.

3. Octane. Check your owner’s manual for the most effective octane level for your car. For most cars, the recommended gasoline is regular octane. In most cases, using a higher-than-recommended octane gas offers no benefit – and costs more.

4. Batteries. They can make or break you. Check battery life, replace or charge your current battery and make sure battery cables are free of corrosion. Many breakdowns occur because batteries aren’t delivering full cranking power.

5. Tune-Ups. Get regular engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks. According to the EPA, tune-ups improve performance as well as gas mileage. Check your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance schedules and follow them. This will avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, or the transmission failing to go into high gear.

Keep on this list Dallas Ft Worth, and  you’ll be sure to get a long and happy life out of your new Chevrolet car or truck.

[Source: Media.GM.com]

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Don’t Make Those Common Mistakes that Hurt Your MPG, Grapevine

Did you know that there are so many things we do while driving that actually hurt our MPG in our new or used Chevrolets? While most of us have been taking preventative measures – like regular maintenance and changing our driving habits – to increase our fuel efficiency, a lot of us have overlooked a few things that are counter-acting all the good we are doing.

General Motors engineers Anne Wenzlick (at wheel) and Elizabeth Nunning each drove a Chevrolet Cruze LT for 20 minutes including city and highway driving and a stop for coffee. © General Motors

In a recent press release, GM gave us the results of a study they conducted with two of their fuel economy engineers, Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning. Both women drove the exact same car (A Chevrolet Cruze LT) on the exact same path, but at the end of the study, Nunning got 250 fewer miles per tank of gas. Why? Because Nunning made several of the common mistakes the average driver makes. Hard to believe these things actually make a difference.

Low tire pressure.
“All four tires on my car were five pounds under their recommended air pressure. That’s not enough to change how the Cruze drives, but it does make the engine work much harder to turn the wheels. Check your tires at least once a month, as a tire that is 10 pounds under pressure can cut your fuel efficiency by more than 3 percent.”

Using roof ornaments
“To show support for my Detroit Tigers, I put up window flags on my Cruze for every home game. But, when the boys hit the road, the flags will come down. At highway speeds, up to a third of your fuel is used to overcome wind resistance, so even small changes to your vehicle’s aerodynamics will have a big impact in fuel economy.”

Carrying extra junk in the trunk
“I had six bags of water-softener salt in the trunk I bought on sale at the hardware store. But, according to EPA estimates, every 100 pounds of weight can reduce fuel economy by 2 percent. While I saved at the checkout, that 240 pounds of salt added almost 5 percent to my fuel costs for the trip.”

Not bundling errands
“An engine at operating temperature is up to 50 percent more efficient than a cold engine. So, when possible, it’s much better to run five errands in an afternoon, than running one errand every day of the week.”

Have any of you Chevrolet drivers out there made these mistakes before? Possibly without even realizing it? I know I have. But hey, now you know. Next time you head out on the road, be sure to lighten your load, bundle your errands check your tire pressure and lose those roof ornaments. I promise, it’ll be worth it.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

[Source: Media.GM.com]

 

How to Cope with the Rising Gas Prices in Dallas Ft Worth

Every time my gas light comes on, I cringe. Because I know that I’m about to shell out at least $50. Can you believe that gas prices have risen more than 40 cents since January? It’s sickening, and it’s only going to continue to rise. ConsumerReports.org estimates that the national average will hit $4 by May. With the way I’ve seen the prices rise in the last two weeks, I’m thinking it’ll be sooner than that.

As of today, the average gas price in Texas is 3.834 with a national average of 3.897.  At least we’re still sitting below the national average, right? I’ll bet the Chevy Volt is looking pretty good to most of you right now. Unfortunately, many of us can’t afford to run out and buy a new, fuel-efficient or electric vehicle. We could always drive less, but again that’s not an option for everyone. MoneyMorning.com published a great article on March 29 sharing the only real ways we can save some cash at the pump. Hope this helps, Dallas Ft Worth Chevrolet lovers!

  • Grocery discounts — Many big supermarket chains reward your purchases with discounts at the pump. Publix Supermarkets Inc. (PINK: PUSH) recently offered a $10 gas coupon for every $25 of groceries purchased. That could save you as much as $1.50 a gallon.
  • Gas company loyalty cards — If you usually buy gas from a major national chain, apply for a loyalty card like the BP Visa Card. You get a 5% rebate on all gas purchased at BP plc (ADR NYSE: BP) stations. Shell, Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and others offer similar deals. Savings – 7 to 10 cents a gallon.
  • Rewards cards — If you don’t want to limit your purchases to one brand, sign up for a credit card that offer rewards for filling up at any station. Chase Freedom offers $200 cash back after you make $500 in purchases in your first three months, 5% cash back on gas during certain periods and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Pay cash — If you don’t want to apply for a new credit card, try paying with boring old cash. Many service stations will reward you with a 10-cent-per-gallon discount.
  • Shop Around – Make sure you’re getting the cheapest gas in your area. A recent check of GasBuddy.com for the New York City area showed $3.89 for the best price and $4.69 for the worst — a difference of 80 cents a gallon.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

 

Chevy Sonic Turbos with Six-Speed Automatic Transmissions Are On Their Way!

On March 22nd, General Motors announced some good news for those of you who live for speed but prefer an automatic transmission instead of the classic stick-shift. That’s right Dallas Ft Worth, the Chevrolet Sonic’s fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine will now be available in either manual or automatic transmission. Excited yet?

“Providing the option of a turbocharged engine to our non-stick driving Chevy customers allows us to offer everyone the thrill and power of a fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L powerplant,” said Jim Danahy, vehicle line director and vehicle chief engineer for North American small cars. “Both in the Sonic and Cruze, the engine enables better fuel economy without sacrificing power or performance. It’s really a winning combination.”

According to AMCI Testing, the Sonic’s Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission hit zero to 60 in 7.8 seconds which is faster than both it’s competitors – the Honda Fit and the Hyundai Accent. With the six-speed automatic, you won’t lose too much time. The Sonic with the turbo-automatic combination hit zero to 60 in about eight seconds.

“Traditionally, turbocharging was used to enhance the performance of engines, but today it is as much about fuel economy as a 0-to-60 time,” said Bob Benedict, assistant chief engineer for the Ecotec 1.4L engine. “The turbocharger provides high-pressure airflow for high torque to boost the vehicle and give the driver a fun driving experience with improved fuel efficiency.”

As if that wasn’t enough, we’re looking at EPA-estimated 37 mpg highway and 27 mpg around the metroplex. I told you this was good news. Stay tuned and check in with Classic Chevrolet to find out when you can get behind the wheel of one. In the meantime, check out this video from GM.

[Source: media.gm.com]

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Texas Chevrolet Dealership Says Get the Facts Behind Electric Car Myths

new chevy volt texas

There is already a lot of doubt when it comes to electric cars. Why? I personally believe it’s because people are not properly informed and believe the numerous amount of myths floating around about electric cars. Truth of the matter is that almost all of these myths are not true. The public has sadly been misinformed by friends, family, etc. The good news?  There are actually advocacy groups out there dedicated to giving the public the facts like Plug In America.

I found some great information on their web site debunking the most common myths associated with electric cars. Hopefully, you’ll have a different view point after reading these. Who knows, you may even head up to your Texas Chevrolet dealership and take the 2012 Chevrolet Volt for a little test drive. I’ll bet you’ll find you much more fond of it than you thought.

Myth: Electric cars are only good for short trips.
Reality: Consumers have owned and driven electric vehicles for seven years or more and regularly use them on trips up to 120 miles.

Myth: Electric Vehicles take too long to charge.
Reality: The most convenient place and time to charge is at home while you sleep. Even using the slowest 120-volt outlet, the car can be left to charge overnight, producing about 40 miles of range. Most new BEVs and PHEVs will charge from 240-volt outlets providing double or triple the charge in the same amount of time. Charging stations that reduce charging time even more are beginning to appear.

Myth: Electric vehicles are too expensive for market penetration.
Reality:
The government stimulus package includes a $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit for EVs and PHEVs. Some states, including the great state of Texas where we reside, are considering additional incentives ($5,000 in California and Texas). And, the purchase and lifetime operating cost of an EV is on par with or less than its gas-powered equivalent because EVs require almost no maintenance or repair: no oil or filter changes, no tune ups, no smog checks.

One of the great things about our country and capitalism, is that technology keeps getting better and better and cheaper and cheaper. Think of expensive digital cameras and blu-ray players were when they first came out.

There are plenty of other myth associated with electric cars like the Chevrolet Volt. But try not to believe everything you hear, DFW. If you have any questions about the Volt at all, don’t think twice about giving Classic Chevrolet a call or swinging by the Grapevine car dealership to ask the professionals. They’ll set those doubts straight for you.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

 

Chevrolet Introduces Ecologic™ Environmental Labels

new chevrolet dallas ft worth

Awhile back, I told you guys about the new fuel economy labels that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently modified. Leave it to Chevrolet to take these new revised labels a step further.

On January 26, Chevrolet announced that its vehicles sold in the US will have Ecologic™ environmental labels on the windows, starting with the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, that will let customers see some of the environmental features of the vehicle relating to manufacturing, driving and recycling.

Chevy is the first of the automakers to introduce this new type of label that can be seen as early as March on the rear driver-side windows of Sonics followed by other Chevrolet models later this year.

In a press release, General Motors North America President, Mark Reus, said, “Customers want companies to be honest and transparent about their environmental efforts and sustainability goals, and rightly so. Putting an Ecologic label on each Chevrolet is just one more way for us to share our environmental progress.”

The new label communicates vehicle-specific features to customers in the following areas:

  • Before the road: Environmental aspects related to vehicle manufacturing and assembly.
  • On the road: Fuel-saving features such as advanced engine technologies, aerodynamics, lighter weight components or low-rolling resistance tires.
  • After the road: How 85% by weight of the vehicle can be recycled at the end of its lifespan.

Eileen Claussen, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), said “Chevrolet’s goal to invest millions in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other lower-carbon projects to reduce U.S. emissions by up to 8 million metric tons demonstrates innovative corporate leadership. With this new labeling program, Chevrolet not only gives easy access to information customers want, it again shows its commitment to the environment.”

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t agree more with Eileen. As a lover of Chevrolets in Dallas Ft Worth, isn’t it nice to know how focused Chevy is on ways to save fuel and alternative energy sources? Not to mention how important the environment is to the company.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

[Source: GM Media]

The Truth About Idling Your Chevrolet in Dallas and Ft Worth

new chevrolet dallasIt’s finally beginning to look like Fall in the DFW metroplex. After such an insanely hot summer, I bet a lot of you are thinking that these 50-degree temperatures feel more like the 30s. This morning was the first time that I’ve actually used the heater in my new car. My previous vehicle was an older model, and I remember idling the vehicle anywhere from 5-15 minutes on cold mornings to “warm up the engine”. Though I hate to admit it, there were even times that I would rev the engine in park to try and get the engine warm.

If only I knew now what I didn’t know then about what idling can actually do to your vehicle. There are three common notions people have about idling, and guess what? They are all wrong.

  1. You should warm up your engine before driving. WRONG. This used to be true decades ago, but it’s simply not necessary in today’s modern engines. The only time it’s really okay to do this is in extremely cold weather. But even then, all you need is 30 seconds.
  1. Idling is good for your engine. WRONG. In fact, it’s the compete opposite. Idling in excessive amounts is damaging your engine components including your cylinders, spark plugs and exhaust systems. While idling, fuel is only partially combusted because the engine is not operating at it’s peak temperature. This can lead to a build up of fuel residue on cylinder walls, which can inevitably increase your fuel consumption.
  1. Shutting off the engine uses more gas than idling. WRONG. According to the Consumer Energy Center, two minutes of idling your engine uses equals driving one mile in terms of gasoline. Once you go past 10 seconds of idling, you’re using more fuel than it takes to start your engine.  So it actually takes more gasoline to idle your vehicle than it does to shut it off and restart.

Bottom line, DFW? Avoid idling whenever possible. This is especially true with your brand new Chevrolet during its break-in period. If you’re going to be stopped for more than 10 seconds, your gas tank and engine will be much happier if you turn them off.

Electric When You Want It, Gas When You Need It

Chevy Volt DFWElectric cars are still pretty new to the states and so it’s only natural that people have questions and may be confused. The new, two-part 2012 Chevy Volt ad addresses this very issue in a brilliant way. Check out part one.

What makes the Chevy Volt so unique is it’s ability to switch between running on electricity and gasoline. In fact, it’s the first automobile with this ability.  Not only does the Volt have an on-board electric source allowing you to drive gas-free, it also has an onboard gas generator that produces electricity giving you an additional 375 miles on a full tank of gas!

With all of these options comes choices. Do I drive on electric, gas or both? The answer is simple, let the Volt decide for you! That’s right, the car is actually programmed to give a choice of the three driving modes for the most efficient trip. You can also download an app that will give you real-time data on your battery level!

I’m telling you guys, the Volt brings an entire new meaning to term hybrid.  Here’s the second part of Chevy’s gas station commercials. Enjoy!