Chevy Fuel Economy Engineers Say Sweating the Small Stuff Could Save $100 a Month in Fuel Costs

© General Motors

In these times of extremely high gasoline prices, consumers and automakers are constantly looking for ways to improve their fuel economy. Earlier this month, Chevrolet released the results of a study they conducted which showed that sweating the small stuff could actually save Chevrolet drivers up to $100 a month in fuel costs.

Two of General Motors fuel economy engineers,  Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning,  drove identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs with an EPA estimated at 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, on a typical workday commute. They drove both cars for 20 minutes, including city and highway driving, as well as stopping for coffee.

The results?  Wenzlick averaged 37 miles per gallon using efficient driving habits in a properly maintained Cruze. Driving inefficiently and ignoring common maintenance, Nunning managed only 21 miles per gallon. The difference means Nunning would get 250 fewer miles per tank of gas, while Wenzlick would save $100 a month – or $1,200 a year – assuming 15,000 miles and $4 a gallon for gas:

Roger Clark, manager of the GM Energy Center, said “The fuel economy of every vehicle is greatly affected by how you drive, and how you care for your vehicle. Often, relatively small changes to your driving habits and vehicle maintenance can make the difference between being on the bottom, or the top, of the fuel-economy scale.”

Check out five of the things Ann Wenzlick did to drive more efficiently in her Cruze:

  1. Get out of the drive-through lane.
    “While Beth waited in the drive-thru with her car running, I shut off the engine and went inside for my morning coffee. Idling for 15 minutes burns through an average of a quarter of a gallon – adding another $1 to the cost of your latte.”
  2. Take it easy
    “In the city, I accelerated smoothly while Beth demonstrated one of the most common mistakes we see on the road: Jumping on the gas at every light, only to hit the brakes as she caught up with the traffic ahead. Such aggressive driving isn’t going to get you home any faster, while driving smoothly can improve your mileage by 20 percent.”
  3. Driving 70, not 80.
    “On the highway, I drove 70, compared to Beth’s 80. Again, a 10-mph difference likely won’t add much time to your daily commute, but it will save you up to four miles per gallon on the highway.”
  4. Use cruise control
    “I tried to maintain a constant speed during our drive, while Beth’s fluctuated with traffic. Try using cruise control when possible, and maintaining a constant speed over time, which is much more efficient than speeding up and slowing down over and over again.”
  5. Roll up the windows
    “One of the most common questions we get is ‘Is it better to drive with the A/C on, or off?’ At slower speeds, turning off the air conditioning can save you a little, but I always roll up the windows on the highway. Beth was driving with her windows down, and the increased air pressure acted like a parachute trying to slow her down – consuming much more energy than air conditioning ever will.”

I’m sure you’ve all heard some of these tips before, but now you have proof that it really does make a difference. Next time you head out in your new or used Chevrolet, remember these five things above.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

[Source: Media.GM.com]

Keep Your New or Used Chevy Cool During the Hot DFW Summer

Summer is approaching quickly. Some might even argue that it’s already here given the fact that we are seeing temps in the 90s already in Dallas Ft Worth. I can’t believe I’m already having to find ways to keep cool, and it’s only May!

Keeping ourselves cool is not the only thing we have to worry about when it comes to the summer months, though. There are also several things we can do to help protect our cars in this heat. Gastorf-Schrumpf Motors suggests the following:

1. Check the coolant.  Obviously the level of the coolant is important, but so is the strength of the coolant.  Before you check the coolant, make sure that the radiator is cool.  Water and antifreeze are both needed in the summer – antifreeze raises the boiling temperature of the coolant and protects against corrosion.

2. Tire Pressure.  Tire can create heat and can expand and create air pressure.  This can cause tires to become hard and more likely to blow out.  Remember to check tire pressure when the tires are cool.

3. Clean Filters.  It is important to make sure that the air filter is clean.  Also check the filter in the air conditioner and cabin to keep air flowing properly.

4. Belts and Hoses.  Keep an eye on belts and hoses on older cars.  Check your records to see just how old they are, but also visually inspect them too.  Refer to your owner’s manual or contact your mechanic if you are not sure if they should be replaced.

5. Wax your car or truck.  Waxing provides a shield for the paint from the ultraviolet rays from the sun, and summer smog in urban areas.

Hopefully these tips will help keep your new or used Chevrolet in tip-top shape this summer.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Spring Car Tips for Your New or Used Chevrolet: Maintenance Checks

Since we’ve had such a short winter in the DFW, Spring has come on fast. As with any changing season, it’s important to give your new or used Chevrolet a thorough inspection. We’ve already discussed the tires on your car or truck, so now let’s talk about a few other things we’ll need to inspect starting with the windshield wipers.

While we didn’t experience much snow this winter, we are definitely getting our fill of rain this Spring. That being said, it’s extremely important to have windshield wipers in good, working condition. If they’re leaving streaks or missing parts of the windshield, it’s probably time for new blades. According to ConsmerReports.org, most blades are ready for replacement after just six months, so  be sure to check on them before the next batch of rain hits us.

While we’re looking at the wiper blades, lets go ahead and pop that hood. Is it looking a little dirty? Whether you answer was yes or no, a quick and easy clean can only do your engine good. ConsmerReports.org suggests cleaning engine parts with plain soap and water or with a commercial degreasing product like Gunk. Remember though, there are several things you need to avoid getting wet. Click here to check out our post on the proper way to clean your Chevrolet.

You should also take this time to check on the battery terminals. Look for corrosion on the battery and on the terminals. Just like the rest of the engine, it’s a good idea to clean the terminals even if you don’t see corrosion. If you need help with this, check out our post on Corroded Battery Terminals.

As always, you can give Classic Chevrolet dealership a call if you need help with any of this maintenance checks.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.  

Spring Car Tips for Your New or Used Chevrolet: Tires

Well, it’s safe to say that we had a short winter here in the Dallas Ft Worth Metroplex. Now, while we’re in the midst of Spring, is a perfect time to do some maintenance on your new or used Chevrolet. Let’s start with the tires. Even though I know you all have been checking your tire pressure on a regular basis, it’s still important to inspect your tires and wheels after any season.

For starters, go ahead and check that tire pressure. Under-inflated tires can cause heat build-up and with the dreaded, steamy summer on the way, you’ll want to keep your tires properly inflated to be able to handle the inevitable heat.

If you haven’t already inspected your tires for wear and tear, reach in your pocket and perform the penny or quarter test. As you know, we’ve already had a lot of rain this season and I’m sure there’s more to come. With rain, comes hydroplaning. So make sure your tires have the tread to take on those flooded Dallas Ft Worth roads and highways.

According to ConsumerReports.org, if your tires have less than 4/32-inch of tread left, then it’s time to go shopping. You can easily check tread depth by inserting a quarter into a tire’s deepest grooves, head pointing down. If you can see the top of George Washington’s head, that means you have 1/8 of tread or less, and it’s time to start shopping for new rubber. If you’re not sure, or need any help at all, you can always head down to the Classic Chevrolet service department. They’ll be more than happy to help.

Why It’s Important to Regularly Change the Oil in Your Grapevine Chevrolet Car or Truck

grapevine chevrolet service coupon

Photo Courtesy of OilChangeAdvice.com

Oil changes. Sure we all know that it’s important to have the oil changed on our new and used Chevrolet, but the question is… do you know why? Though there are many reasons, here are two particularly important ones:

Engine Sludge. By regularly changing your oil, you’ll prevent the formation of engine sludge and even help to remove sludge that has previously formed. So what exactly is sludge? As your oil deteriorates, it thickens and breaks down. This causes the oil to gel and can result in complete engine failure. This of course is in the most extreme cases, but still. Why would you even want to trek down that path?

Engine Friction and Operating Temperatures. No matter what you do, your engine oil is going to age and get dirty. This reduces its friction-reducing capabilities which will increase wear on your Chevrolet engine. Changing oil regularly ensures that engine friction is kept at a minimum by replacing old, degraded oil with new, clean oil. Regular oil changes will help reduce the engine friction and also results in a decrease in engine operating temperatures.

So Grapevine, the next time you are complaining or whining about having to take your Chevrolet car or truck in for a routine oil change, remember these two things and please, think of your beautiful Chevrolet engine.If you’re not sure whether or not it’s time for an oil change, you can always give the Classic Chevrolet service department a ring. They’re always more than happy to help. In fact, you can take your vehicle in and have the oil changed, a four-tire rotation and 27-point vehicle inspection for only $29.95. Click here for more details.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Know Where Your Tire-Changing Tools are Located on Your New or Pre-Owned Grapevine Chevrolet

classic chevrolet jack and lug wrench

Photo Courtesy of TiresOnSale.org

If I could pick one thing that I thought every car owner should know how to do, it’d be how to change a tire on their new or used vehicle in Dallas/Ft Worth, hands down. I know that some of you may be saying, ‘That’s what AAA is for’, but come on now. Knowing how to do this is not only extremely handy, but also something to boast about given the fact that most people (especially in my generation) couldn’t even tell you what lug nuts are! Let alone where they are.

One of my favorite things about Chevrolet car and trucks is that they have all the tools you’ll need to change a tire already on board the vehicle. Just by knowing where these tools are, puts you ahead of the game. Even if you don’t know exactly how to change you tire, hopefully you’ll at least be able to identify what is what and where your tools are. Oh! And let me also tell you that “Fix-A-Flat” is absolutely not acceptable! But that’s a whole different story…

Okay, back to the task at hand. If you don’t already know, almost all new Chevrolet models should have the materials you’ll need to change a tire somewhere in the vehicle. In fact, I recommend locating these tools the next time you head out in your Chevrolet. If you’re unable to find them, give Classic Chevrolet’s service department a call. They’ll be able to tell you where the tools should be. If for some reason you are missing anything, you can always pick up any one of these tools at your local hardware store or the Classic Chevrolet service parts department.

There are three things you need to always have on board when you head out in your Chevrolet car or truck: a jack, a lug wrench and a spare tire. Again, if you’re driving around Grapevine in a newer Chevy these three things should already be on board. Once you find them, you’re halfway there to being back on the road after a flat. If you yourself don’t know how to change a tire, odds are you know someone who does. And once they arrive to assist you, you can already have them set up and ready to go.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

The Truth Behind the Most Common Gasoline Myths

chevrolet dealership texasIn an era where fuel economy and saving gas has become one of the most important factors when it comes to the car-buying decision, it’s important to know the facts. We’ve all heard numerous car myths, whether or not we knew that they were “myths” at the time.

The problem with most of these gasoline myths is that they have been around forever, and as you know… our Chevrolet cars and trucks have come a long way. So though some of these may have been true at one point in time, they are not so true when it comes to our modern vehicles. I’ve picked out my top three favorite myths to debunk.  Susan Winlaw, co-author of the book, Car Advice for Women (and Smart Men), examines six popular gasoline myths and gives us the facts behind them. Here are my two favorite ones to debunk. Check out what else Winlaw has to say in the video below.

1. Once your gas gauge hits empty, you have at least one more gallon of gasoline.

Most cars actually have about two gallons in their tanks when the gauge hits empty! This myth is actually true! Though we’d like to think that car manufacturers did this to be helpful to those of us who seem to always find themselves running on E with no gas station in sight, it’s really just a marketing ploy. Have you ever noticed how your gauge seems to stay on the full side much longer than it does on the empty?

National auto writer Paul Duchene said, “Gas gauges aren’t linear. They are set up so they actually stay on ‘full’ for a long time, mosey on down to half, then plunge quickly to about a quarter, then gradually make their way down to zero, at which point you have about two gallons left.”

However, running on empty is definitely not something you should do on a regular basis… especially in the summertime.

2. Use premium gas and your car will need fewer tune-ups and get better mileage.Premium Gas Pays for Itself

The only thing that using regular gas could cost you is a few extra horsepower at high speeds. But the odds are, you aren’t going to notice anyway.  Most engine fuel-management systems are perfectly prepared to handle lower-octane fuel.

“The difference between 87 and 93 octane is so insignificant that you will realize neither better mileage nor fewer maintenance bills by buying supreme,” said Duchene.  “It makes no difference unless the car is supercharged or it is absolutely specified that it needs higher octane.”

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Why It’s Important to Rotate the Tires on Your Texas Chevrolet

texas chevrolet dealershipIf you stick to a routine maintenance plan for your Chevrolet car or truck, you’ll notice that tire rotation frequents the list of service intervals. The question is, do you know why? For starters, rotating your tires will help your tires last longer and also ensure safer driving.

It’s a known fact that your front tires wear faster than your rear tires, especially if your Chevrolet is front-wheel drive. By rotating your front and rear tires, you’ll be equalizing the tread wear and maximize the tires’ life.

Unless you know exactly what you are doing, I don’t recommend rotating the tires on your own. It’s always best to leave these types of tasks to your Chevrolet service department. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine told me that they had saved some money and rotated their tires on their own. He told me that he switched the front and back tires, but also switched them from left to right. I asked him if he followed the correct rotation pattern, and the look on his face quickly let me know that he had no idea what I was talking about.

If you’re going to perform DIY maintenance, make sure you do your homework. As tires age, they develop wear patterns which are often tied to the suspension and alignment. So it’s important to know exactly where to rotate them. Rotation patterns differ from front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive vehicles. Incorrectly rotating the position can result in a shorter life span. For these reasons, I suggest leaving rotating tires to the service experts. The recommended interval for rotating your Chevrolet’s tires is ever 5,000 to 10,000 miles. But as I’ve said many a times before, this all depends on your driving habits. Refer to your Chevrolet owner’s manual or give Classic Chevrolet’s service department a call. They’ll gladly help you figure it out.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

When’s The Last Time You Changed the Air Filter on Your New or Used Chevrolet

When you purchase a new car in Texas, you’ll probably receive a recommended service schedule. Usually, you’ll have to have these certain milestone checkpoints completed in order to have any warranty-related service performed.

chevrolet service ft worth dallas

There are several things that will appear on each milestone check, including an air filter. This is actually something that is often overlooked if you don’t routinely have maintenance performed, but it’s a crucial component in keeping your engine running smoothly and efficiently.

So what exactly does the air filter do? Similar to the air filters in our houses, a car air filter helps clean the air that passes through the engine and into the vehicle by trapping dirt, dust and debris. Without it, these particles could quickly build up and slow your Chevrolet’s engine performance. Air filters also help provide clean air inside your vehicle. This is why you don’t start coughing when passing through an especially dusty area or smoke.

If you have been neglecting your routine maintenance – including checking the air filter – you should probably bring your new or used car by Classic Chevrolet’s service department and let them take a look. A dirty air filter can cause your engine to deteriorate due to excess wear and tear. You probably won’t miss that stuffy/heavy feeling inside the car.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Increase Tire Life on Your Dallas Ft Worth Chevrolet By Switching to Nitrogen

Did you know that using nitrogen instead of air in tires has been around for years? It’s been used on airplanes tires, those huge tires you see on tractors, racing tires and now, our Texas Chevrolets. Not only does switching to nitrogen increase your tire life by 30% or more, it also dramatically increases the safety of your new or used Chevrolet. Studies show that using nitrogen reduces tire failures and blowouts by up to 50%.

Other benefits of switching to nitrogen include:

chevrolet service grapevineEliminates corrosion, oxidation and normal tire pressure loss associated with oxygen-filled tires. Nitrogen escapes tires much slower than oxygen. While oxygen-filled tires can lose up to 2 psi per month without any punctures, nitrogen-filled tires take about six months to lose 2 psi.

Improves fuel economy up to 10% a year, and provides better handling and tire performance. Overtime, using nitrogen in your tires can improve vehicle handling and fuel efficiency through better tire pressure retention and cooler running tire temperatures.

Reduces running tire temperature. When oxygen reacts with different things, it’s known as oxidation. When oxidation occurs rapidly, a “burning” process occurs. If tires on race cars and airplanes were using air, they could actually easily catch fire because they run so hot.

With benefits like that, why wouldn’t you want to use nitrogen? If you’re ready to make the switch, head down to Classic Chevrolet where we are proud to say we provide nitrogen. So what are you waiting for, Grapevine Chevrolet owners? Start improving your tire performance today. Save time and make an appointment online or just swing by the Chevrolet dealership and visit the excellent Classic Chevrolet service department.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.