Fall is one of the best seasons for road trips. The Texas temperatures are more mild, destinations are less crowded and the fall colors create exciting scenery along the way. However, it’s important to know that your vehicle is in top condition before you hit the road, and your tires are a big part of that.
These tire safety tips will help you stay safe on the roads as temperatures drop this season.
Check for Signs of Wear and Tear
Do a visual inspection of your tires before you hit the road. Check for over or under inflation by seeing if your tires are wearing more in certain areas than others. A majority of the wear on over-inflated tires will be in the center of the tread, while you’ll notice more wear on the edges of the tread if your tires are under-inflated.
Low tire pressure is something you may encounter on a road trip in the cooler months. Keep a pressure gauge in your vehicle to check your tire pressure often. Your recommended tire pressure is listed on a sticker inside your driver-side door, or you can find it in your owner’s manual.
Check Your Tire’s Tread
One of the easiest ways to check if your tires have enough tread is to use a coin test. Insert a coin into the tread groove with George Washington’s head facing down. If Washington’s head is not visible, your tires are ready to hit the road. If you can see a portion of Washington’s head, you’ll want to stop and see us at Classic Chevrolet for a dependable set of new tires.
Be Aware While Driving
Be aware of any unusual thumping or vibrating noises while you’re driving. These signs could alert you that one of your tires has a flat spot, a separated belt or another issue.
Bring your vehicle to our service department at Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine, Texas, to ensure your tires are in top condition before you hit the road.
Before you head out on a road trip, be sure to bring your vehicle in to Classic Chevrolet to have it checked out. If it’s near time for service, have it serviced before you leave instead of bringing it in when you get back – you’ll feel better about knowing that everything has been checked and that your vehicle is ready for a road trip.
You’ll also need to pack the necessities for your road trip – and these are not the things you’ll be using every day. These are things you may need in the event of an emergency. If you already have an emergency kit, be sure to rotate the food and water in the kit so you have fresh for the road trip.
Food and Water
Even in the warm months, you need an emergency kit that will sustain you and protect you from the elements should you get stranded. Each person should have a couple liters of water and enough high-energy food for at least one meal for two to three days. You may use high-energy bars, peanut butter and jelly, peanuts, nuts and other foods that store well. Chocolate is a great high-energy food; however, it melts too easily.
First Aid and Safety
Make sure you have an extensive first aid kit that includes several sizes of bandages, gauze, tape, a needle and thread, antibacterial cream, eye wash, tweezers, cleaning solution for cuts, alcohol pads and more. The smaller kits that are available do not have nearly enough in them for just one person, never mind a whole family.
You should also have at least one flashlight, extra batteries, a flare gun and reflective triangles especially if you will be traveling in a remote area. Never rely on your cell phone – you may get stranded in an area that has no service.
Pack an extra change of clothing plus a blanket for everyone. Even summer nights could get cool in some parts of the country. The extra clothing comes in handy if you get stranded on your way home and everything else is dirty or if you get stranded on the way to your destination – you won’t have to look for a washing machine.
Visit Classic Chevrolet
Stop by Classic Chevy to have your vehicle serviced or at least checked before you leave on a road trip so you better eliminate the chance of being stranded.
Nicholas A. Tonelli/Flickr Creative Commons
If you haven’t winterized your vehicle yet, you should have it done as soon as possible. The certified technicians at Classic Chevrolet will be glad to help you ready your vehicle for winter’s harsh months whether you are driving a pickup truck, SUV, crossover, sedan, minivan or sports car.
If you haven’t had your radiator flushed in the past three to five years, it’s a good idea to get it done and to ensure that you have the proper mixture of water and antifreeze for the winter. Antifreeze not only keeps the block from freezing during severe cold temperatures, but it also keeps the block from rusting. It also lengthens the life of the engine’s freeze plugs and any metal water piping.
Always be sure the fluids are topped off and that your vehicle has no leaks. This includes power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, oil, windshield washer fluid and antifreeze. If you don’t repair a leak and you end up losing all of a certain fluid, you could be stranded in the freezing cold weather with no way to keep warm.
If your vehicle does not have all season or mud and snow tires, you should change your tires immediately. “Summer” tires or highway tires don’t have enough traction for snowy roads and that could cause an accident. Also, if you do have the proper tires but the tread is nearly worn to nothing, change the tires as soon as possible.
Not only do you need to make sure you have enough material on your vehicle’s brake pads, but you must also be sure the power brake booster, calipers and hoses are all in good working condition. Most vehicles have ABS brakes. If your vehicle’s ABS light is lit, stop by our service department to have the ABS checked and repaired.
Your vehicle should have an emergency kit – at the minimum, a first aid kit. However, in the winter you’ll want to add several things for a good emergency kit including blankets, bottled water, nonperishable high-energy food, a shovel, a flare gun and flares, safety triangles, a set of dry clothes, a flashlight and extra batteries, and a heavy winter jacket.
Visit Classic Chevrolet
Visit Classic Chevy to get your vehicle ready for winter and to reduce your chances of being stranded with no heat. Even if you are confident that your vehicle won’t break down on you, you never know when someone else on the road could cause you to slide into a snowbank at a time a tow truck can’t get to you.
You might need tire chains if you head up north this winter/Todd McCann/Flickr Creative Commons
Winter is just around the corner; that means it’s time to prepare your Chevy for the season. Several service items are a “must,” while others depend on how you use your Chevy during the winter months. Make an appointment with Classic Chevrolet to have your vehicle serviced for winter before it gets too cold.
If you just had your oil changed and used 5W-30 or another “winter” viscosity oil, then you can skip this step. However, if your vehicle uses a thicker viscosity oil during warmer months, you will need to have it changed. Since oil tends to thicken when it’s cold, your engine needs oil that won’t get quite as thick during the cold months.
Check your owner’s manual for the time frame to flush the cooling system. If it’s almost time stop by for a coolant flush – don’t wait until the middle of winter. If you had a coolant leak in the past and just added water, you definitely need to have the system flushed and refilled with the proper mixture of antifreeze and water. If it gets cold enough, the water in the block and cooling system could freeze and could cause massive problems including a cracked block.
Check your tires to see if they are worn – if you look between the treads, you will see a small “bump.” If the tread is almost even with the bump, then you need to replace the tires on your vehicle. Choose tires that match your winter driving. If you stay on well-cleared roads, then you don’t need mud and snow tires; however, if you drive off road, even on gravel roads, you may want to consider all-terrain or mud and snow tires. If you typically drive through farm fields, you may want to add a set of chains for those snowy days when you just have to get a load of hay or other feed out to the animals.
Winter Service at Classic Chevrolet
Call or visit our web site for a service appointment at Classic Chevy so that your vehicle is ready for the winter. In addition to service, don’t forget to check your emergency kit. Replenish items that are out of date and add extra blankets and jackets to the kit.
The National Academy of Sciences/Flickr Creative Commons
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated eight Chevrolet vehicles with a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for the 2014 model year. Chevy had more high-scoring vehicles than any other automaker, including Toyota and Ford. You can find these models at Classic Chevy, so if you are in the market for a new vehicle but want something with high safety ratings, stop by our dealership today.
Though NHTSA has been testing vehicle safety since 1978, the Overall Vehicle Score was just added to the mix in 2011. Tests include rollover evaluations, side pole crash and side impact crash tests, and frontal crash tests.
The vehicles that scored high for the 2014 model year include the Traverse, Impala, Cruze, Camaro, Sonic, Silverado, Malibu and Volt. The Volt got 5-Star crash ratings for side crashes and rollovers in addition to the Overall 5-Star rating.
The Traverse is the first vehicle in the industry to features a seat-mounted center airbag and has had the airbag since the 2013 model year. It also features seat-mounted side impact airbags, dual stage frontal airbags and head curtain side impact airbags.
The Camaro was rated 5 Stars on every test: Side crash, front crash, rollover and overall safety. The Impala was rated 5 Stars on side and frontal crashes. The Sonic and Silverado feature lane departure warning and forward collision alert. The Silverado also features a safety alert seat that vibrates to warn you. You can also select audible warnings.
The Malibu has tons of safety technologies and includes the side blind zone alert. Additionally, the Malibu features 10 airbags, side blind zone alert, a rear vision camera and rear cross traffic alert. It also features four-wheel ABS brakes and traction control.
The Cruze has 10 standard airbags – the most in its class. Combine those with a rear cross traffic alert, rear vision camera and side blind zone alert and you have a pretty safe car. You’re even safe in a sports car if you’re a Chevy fan. The Camaro has – in addition to its safety features – OnStar, which is offered free for the first six months. It will call for help even if the airbags don’t deploy in a crash.
Stop by Classic Chevrolet today to test drive any of these vehicles, especially if safety is your biggest concern.
Photo by Aubrey “starshaped” (Flickr Creative Commons)
Driving in the winter takes a toll on your vehicle, whether from dings or dents from ice and snow mishaps or salt residue. You can avoid many problems with some proactive measures when driving in the winter. For those you can’t avoid no matter how hard you try, the service department at Classic Chevrolet is here to help.
Not all accidents can be prevented, but your actions can go a long way in protecting your vehicle. If the roads have just been salted, wash your vehicle, especially the undercarriage. Salt eats paint and rusts metal, including the frame, fuel lines and metal parts on brake lines.
If you normally park near or under a tree and are expecting an ice storm, park elsewhere. Ice buildup on branches could cause the branch to break off the tree and crunch your vehicle. Even if it’s a small one that makes a dent, you still need to bring the vehicle in for service – even if the branch scratched the paint and left no dent, the exposed metal will start rusting.
Make sure you get your vehicle serviced before winter weather sets in and throughout the winter season.
Fall and Early Winter Checks
Checking your vehicle is not only an important part of maintaining your vehicle, but it is a safety check, too. When you bring your vehicle into Classic Chevrolet for service, the service techs check your brakes, tires, belts, hoses and more. If anything is worn or looks like it may not last, the techs will recommend that you replace the part.
Bald tires or the wrong tires can cause accidents, especially in the winter when it snows or sleets. If the braking system is not working properly – this includes the ABS brake computer – you could crash. Low brake pads, rotors that are overly grooved, dry-rotted brake lines and a leaking master cylinder will all cause stopping problems.
A belt or hose that fails while you are driving can cause you to be stranded with no heat in the vehicle. This includes heater hoses – not just hoses to and from the radiator. If the serpentine belt or a V-belt fails, you could lose the function of the water pump, alternator, air conditioning compressor and power steering pump – or all components if your vehicle has a serpentine belt instead of separate belts.
Stop by Classic Chevrolet today for a service check if you have not checked your vehicle this past Fall or early Winter. Make sure you have the proper tires for the season – if not, request all-season or snow and mud tires. Keeping your vehicle properly maintained and checking for failing components can save you from getting stranded or from crashing.
Before you hit the road, even for a short trip, you should have your Chevy checked. If you haven’t brought it in for regular maintenance at Classic Chevrolet and it’s due, all our service department to schedule a maintenance appointment. If you have completed all maintenance and your Chevrolet is running good, you should still check it before you go on a long trip.
Road Trip Tips: Traveling long distances can be tiring. Add holiday traffic, bad weather or both, and tempers tend to run short, drivers get frustrated and tired and accidents happen. You can avoid accidents by:
- Share driving responsibilities with someone, even on trips as short as four or five hours.
- Leave early. If you expect your trip to take 12 hours, leave 13 or 14 hours before your arrival time. This gives you time to stop several times for food and rest on the way. Your trip is also less stressful.
- Plan your trip around heavy traffic times. If you have to drive through a large city area halfway through the trip, leave at a time that allows you to avoid the area during rush hour.
- Keep a cooler with ice, water and soda where you can reach it. This way, you won’t have to stop every couple hours for a drink – you only need to stop every four or five hours to refresh yourself.
- Bring plenty of good music. You may drive in an area with no radio reception. Good music also helps keep you alert.
If you are in the market for a new vehicle, stop by Classic Chevrolet to test drive this 2014 Chevrolet Equinox. For more information call the dealership or click on the photo. Photo Credit: Classic Chevrolet.
Service Tips: You can bring your vehicle into Classic Chevrolet for maintenance or service before you leave. However, if you’ve just had your vehicle serviced, you still need to check the fluids and other items before you go on a long trip. Things you should check include:
- Belts for dry rot, tears and looseness
- Hoses for leaks
- Brakes – sometimes you can see the brake pads through the wheels
- Oil and water leaks
- All the fluids including power steering fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, clutch fluid (if applicable), oil and transmission fluid (if applicable).
- Tires for wear or for signs of separation
If you notice something that concerns you such as a bubble on the tire – a sign of separation , uneven tire wear, brake pads that look thin, leaking water or oil or any other thing that may give reason for concern, stop by Classic Chevrolet to let our certified service technicians check your vehicle.
Traveling brings families closer together and it wouldn’t be a family trip without your pet. Giving your pets a chance to see different places and new experiences is healthy and fun for them. It is also a way to avoid the trauma and cost of boarding your dog or cat. Traveling long distances isn’t so easy for all animals. Try taking your pets on shorter trips first to get them acclimated to traveling in a car. Even if it is short rides around town in your Chevy, each outing will help your pet get used to riding in the car.
It’s vital that you pack your pets essentials such as medical and vaccine records. Make sure your pet’s tags are up to date with phone number and address in the event your pet gets lost. Remember your pet’s meds, food bowl and scooper along with a crate. Feed your pet only a light snack before leaving on your trip. Pets can become carsick. Once you’ve arrived at your destination or stopped for the day, go ahead and feed them normally.
Packing for your pooch is just as important as packing for yourself. Familiar scents help to comfort your pet and make them feel more at home. Any blankets or pillows that your pet uses should be put in the car or crate. Along with proper bedding, a few good chew toys will help keep your dog occupied for hours. A lot of chew toys come with hollowed out centers. Kongs are a great idea for dogs. They are durable and can be easily filled with treats, frozen peanut butter, or other snacks. This will keep them entertained indefinitely.
Remember your pet needs rest breaks and water on your trip. They aren’t like humans so they can’t go too long without potty breaks. Aside from a bathroom break, it’s a good chance for your pet to stretch their legs, get some water and some exercise. A tired pet makes a happy pet and better traveling companion. Make sure you have your leash ready. Your pet might not be able to wait while you are digging to find their leash.
So the next time you and your furry friend want to go on a road trip, stop by your Grapevine Chevy dealer for an awesome car!
Happy Holidays, everyone!
As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to think about those New Year’s resolutions and where the best parties will be to toast the coming year. Here at your DFW Chevy Dealer, we’ve compiled a list of New Year’s Eve parties that you, our valued Chevy customer, would like to attend. Check out the best ones, make your party plans, and pay the babysitter extra before you drive down to these New Year’s Eve bashes.
2013 New Year’s Eve Events
Big D NYE
Victory Park is hosting the biggest New Year’s Eve bash complete with food, music and fireworks. The party begins at 8:00pm and runs up until 2:00am. Admission is free and there will be live television coverage starting at 10:30pm. Watch for celebrities and entertainers to make an appearance. So visit the multiple stages or watch what is happening on the available high-definition large screens.
3090 Olive Street 300
Dallas, Texas 75219
Rock The 2013 At The Intercontinental Hotel-Addison
If you are looking for more of an inside New Year’s Eve party, then take a drive to the Intercontinental Hotel-Addison where you can drink and dance the night away from 9:30pm to 1:00am. This year’s band is Emerald City, who have been named The Entertainers of The Year. Ticket prices start at $70 as this covers the live music. This event sells out every year, so get your tickets as early as possible. If you don’t want to drive home, spend the night at the hotel as you can make reservations at 972-386-6000.
Intercontinental Hotel Addison
15201 Dallas Parkway
Dallas, Texas 75001
Gaylord Texan Resort New Year’s Eve Ballroom Gala At The Texas Ballroom
For local New Year’s Eve celebrations, check out Gaylord Texan Resort’s annual Ballroom Gala held in their Texas Ballroom. Hear a variety of live music played by Downtown Fever. Dance the night away to Rock, Swing, Pop, Hip-hop, R&B and many more music genres. After the event, you can continue to party at the resort with just your close friends and family. The event starts at 8:00pm and lasts up to 12:30am.
Gaylord Texan Resort
1501 Gaylord Trail
Grapevine, Texas 76051
Your DFW Chevy Dealer Wants You To Drive Safely This New Year’s Eve
Before you take that first sip of champagne, ensure that you have a designated driver or some other means of transportation to get home safely. Even try to find a place to bunk up for the night. Never place your Chevy keys into the ignition if you are intoxicated. Your life, and the lives of other drivers on the road, is important to your loved ones. Drive safely and have fun this New Year’s Eve.
See you in 2013!
If you are visiting your favorite Dallas Chevy dealer
sometime soon, keep in mind that this innovative company has done it again. Chevy has continued research toward technological advances that make it possible to have the best on a more affordable budget with better technology.
Take, for instance, the flexible venting driver side airbag co-developed by General Motors and safety restraint distributor Takata. The new airbag costs less than traditional airbags yet has the same protection power as a traditional airbag. It works with a special venting technology, which allows the airbag to deploy in a more efficient manner.
Receiving positive reviews and a 5 star overall rating, this new airbag technology was recently tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Chevy’s 2013 Cruze
. It is easy to see how the car would receive this review, considering the new airbags are included with the same safety equipment as past models. So far, it seems to work well and work safely.
Though the venting airbags work similarly to the traditional ones and provide just as much protection, they may be safer than the traditional ones. They are lighter, more compact, and flexible. Therefore, the risk of injury upon deployment is lesser.
Other airbags rely upon one inflator that deploys if there is a low speed crash, then there is another used in the event of a high speed crash. However, the venting airbag uses only one inflator that can provide the right amount of protection in either case. In addition, the force of the driver’s impact with the airbag is deflected as the air in the bag is able to be moved out and away from the driver.
The Chevy Cruze
received the same 5 star overall rating the previous two years with the old two stage airbags as it has for the 2013 model. It is continuing that same standard of safety even as Chevy continues to innovate.
According to the GM general director of vehicle safety and crashworthiness, Gay Kent, the new technology has become an important part of Cruze’s consistent success in the safety testing. This particular airbag technology is an excellent way to manage the forces applied by a crash incident. And the safety ratings only mirror the confidence of the new safety technology being implemented as well as the old technology still in use.