What to Do When You’ve Gone Flat

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A flat tire can easily ruin your day. However, a flat tire is even more frustrating when you’re not sure what do when one occurs. These 10 steps to fixing your flat tire will help you feel confident if you’re ever confronted with the hassle of a flat tire on a road trip or even your daily commute.

1. Locate a safe place to stop.

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Don’t panic when you come to the realization that you have a flat tire. Simply locate the nearest exit (if you’re on the freeway) or a safe, uncrowded place to pull off of the road. Choose a location with flat ground to make jacking your car off the ground easier.

2. Turn on your hazards.

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Your hazard lights will let everyone know that something is wrong with your vehicle and that they should pass you slowly. Once your hazards are on, locate your spare tire, jack and a wrench.

3. Loosen your tire’s lug nuts.

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You won’t need to remove your lug nuts at this point, so simply loosen them by turning your wrench counter-clockwise. You may need to put the wrench in place and stand on the wrench arm to loosen extremely tight lug nuts.

4. Start jacking your vehicle off the ground.

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Be sure your jack is securely in place, then jack your vehicle up roughly six inches. If you can’t locate your jack, your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you exactly where to find it.

5. Take the tire off.

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Now is the time to fully remove the lug nuts and take the tire off the car. Be careful not to let any of the lug nuts get lost. Pull the tire directly towards you and off of the vehicle.

6. Place your spare tire where the flat tire was.

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Carefully align the holes in the spare with the lug nut posts to ensure the tire is in the correct place. Push as hard as you can to make sure the tire is as far as it can go onto the wheel base.

7. Screw the lug nuts back on.

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You don’t need to fully screw them down yet, so just make sure they’re properly holding the wheel on the vehicle.

8. Lower your vehicle back to the ground.

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Use the jack to lower the car slowly to ground level. Remove the jack and set it out of the way.

9. Tighten the lug nuts.

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Now that the vehicle is on the ground, you can tighten the lug nuts one by one. Tighten one lug nut about 50-percent of the way, then tighten the opposite lug nut the same amount. Tighten the opposite lug nuts in this manner until they’re as tight as possible.

10. Carefully place the tools back in your trunk, making sure not to forget any items on the side of the road.

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Place the tire in your vehicle, so you can dispose of it properly.

When you’re in need of new tires or any other vehicle maintenance, there’s no better place to go than Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine, Texas.

Car Won’t Start? It May Be Your Battery

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When it’s cold out, it is entirely feasible that you walk out to start your car and it won’t start – even if you have a newer battery. A no-start situation could be for just about any reason; however, the first thing you should check is the charging system. You’ll need a voltmeter to do this; and you can pick one up at any auto parts store or at many dealerships including Classic Chevrolet.

Step 1: Set the voltmeter to volts. Touch the red lead to the positive battery terminal and the black lead to the negative battery terminal. If the voltmeter reads at least 12 volts, you have enough voltage in the battery; however, you could have a dead cell, which means that you don’t have enough amperage to activate the starter.

Step 2: Holding the leads on the battery terminals, have someone try to start the vehicle. If the voltage drops below 10, you don’t have enough amperage to start the vehicle. Charge or replace the battery.

Step 3: Once you charge the battery, you’ll need to test it again. With the vehicle running, touch the red lead to the positive battery terminal and the black lead to the negative battery terminal. If the voltage is less than 13.5, the alternator is most likely not charging well, though the battery could have a low charge. If you are sure the battery is completely charged, you’ll need to replace the alternator.

Step 4: Turn the vehicle off. Leaving the leads on the terminals, have someone start the vehicle while you are watching the voltmeter. If the battery voltage drops to 10 volts or less, the battery is bad and will not hold a charge. If the voltage does not drop below 10.5 yet does not rise above 12.5 when the vehicle is running, the alternator is weak and should be replaced.

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It is also possible to have a bad battery and alternator. If the battery had to work too hard because the alternator was not charging, you could have drained the battery so that it will never recover. If you need a new battery, alternator or both, call the service department at Classic Chevy to schedule an appointment to have your vehicle repaired.

The 5 Signs You Know You Need to Change Your Windshield Wipers

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Windshield wipers don’t last forever, and when they fail, they can cause serious vehicle safety issues. Fully-functioning windshield wipers make driving in undesirable weather conditions easier, so you can arrive at your destination safely and on time. These five signs that prove you need to change your windshield wipers could save you from a number of inconveniences and dangers down the road.

1. Check for smears or streaks. If your wipers are causing smears or streaks on your windshield, it’s likely you need new wiper blades. Listen carefully for scraping or chattering sounds when you use your wipers. These sounds are also indications that you should replace your wipers before they fail and leave you in a difficult situation.

2. Examine your wipers for dirt, debris or tears. Take a look at your wiper blades and wipe them with a damp cloth to help discover any tears or breaks in the rubber edge. Keep an eye out for anything that refrains your wiper from sliding snuggly against the glass.

3. Take note of your wipers while driving. You can tell a lot about the condition of your wipers when using them. If the blades are pulling away from your windshield when you’re traveling at high speeds, instead of resting tightly against the windshield, it’s likely they need to be replaced.

4. Examine the metal arm of the wiper to ensure it is not cracked or bent in any places. If you see any cracks or bent pieces, the wiper is probably not resting properly on your windshield and is creating the smears you see and chattering sounds you hear when using them.

5. You haven’t changed them in more than 6 months. Most wipers need replacing after roughly 6 months of use. This is usually when they begin to lose their snug fitting and fail to provide clear vision when driving in rain and other undesirable weather conditions. Fortunately, windshield wipers are an inexpensive vehicle accessory, especially here at Classic Chevrolet, and they can be changed in a matter of seconds.

There’s no reason to worry if you experience any of the above difficulties with your vehicle. Simply bring your car, truck or SUV to Classic Chevrolet, and our certified service repair team will replace your wipers quickly and affordably. We can also inspect your entire vehicle to determine what precautions you need to take to keep your vehicle in top condition. Give us a call, log online or stop in and see us in Grapevine, Texas, today.

Buying a Chevy Should Be One of Your New Year’s Resolutions

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If you have been considering buying a new vehicle but have been putting it off, make it a New Year’s resolution to buy a Chevy from Classic Chevrolet. Test drive your favorite model to see what fits your family the best including trucks, SUV models, sedans and coupes. You’ll have several trim levels to choose from on most models, so you can also get the features you want.

2016 Model Year Features

New 2016 models are out and we have vehicles starting at about $15,000 and ranging to over $100,000. Depending on the trim level, a Chevy’s safety features might include the StabiliTrak stability control system, electronic traction control, daytime running lights, several airbags including head curtain airbags and seat-mounted side-impact airbags; OnStar Guidance with automatic crash response, navigation, roadside assistance, advanced diagnostics and stolen vehicle assistance; basic OnStar for five years, rear vision cameras and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Some of the convenience features you might find include power seats, custom floor consoles, USB charging ports, leather-wrapped steering wheels with mounted audio and cruise controls, enhanced multi-color displays, power door locks and windows, remote keyless entry with extended range, theft deterrent systems for unauthorized entry and immobilization and illuminated sliding vanity vanity mirrors.

Entertainment features might include Chevrolet MyLink Radio, an 8-inch diagonal touch screen, Bluetooth, voice activation, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM satellite radio with a three-month all-access trial subscription, OnStar 4G LTE, built-in WiFi hotspot and more.

Trucks, Cars and SUVs

Pick your poison: full size trucks for those who need to haul or just like a truck come in three flavors: the 1500, 2500HD and the 3500HD. And, those flavors have many choices for trim levels, from the work truck to the highest trim level with all of the bells and whistles.

Sedans and coupes come in hybrid styles; sporty, “need for speed” styles; and sedans for those who are looking for something that’s perfect for commuting and taking a road trip. And, then you have the SUV for those who need an all-purpose vehicle for hauling things or packing up the family for a road trip.

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Stop by Classic Chevy to test drive a new vehicle for New Year’s or make it your New Year’s resolution to get a new Chevy in January.

Businesses and the Section 179 Deduction: What You Need To Know

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When you pick up a vehicle from Classic Chevrolet before the end of the year, you may be able to take a Section 179 Deduction if you use it for business. The “Hummer Tax Loophole,” as this deduction was sometimes known as, has been modified for the upcoming year so that the so-called abuse of buying large SUV models and writing them off as a business expense could not happen.

However, you can still use the Section 179 deduction when you buy a vehicle for business, especially if you finance or lease the vehicle. Certain vehicles do not qualify for more than $11,060 while others will get the full deduction. To know which vehicles are eligible for the full deduction, visit the IRS website or speak with your accountant.

If you choose a passenger vehicle, van or truck that is not going to be used as an ambulance or hearse that is specifically for the business; is not a transport van, taxi or otherwise used to transport property or people for hire; and is not a vehicle that has been modified for business – including adding a business name; you may be able to take the Section 179 deduction if you use the vehicle more than 50 percent in a qualified business.

Limitations

If a vehicle such as an SUV or a crossover SUV weighs more than 6,000 pounds but is under 14,000 pounds, you could expense it out for $25,000 as long as the vehicle is financed and placed service before the last day of the year. You may also have to meet other conditions.

Vehicles That Qualify for the Section 179 Deduction

If you have a heavy vehicle that is not considered to be an SUV and it has a cargo space that is at least 6 feet long inside and that cargo area is not easily accessible from the cab, you may be able to qualify for the Section 179 deduction. Most pickups fall into this category.

A vehicle that seats nine or more passengers behind the driver’s seat will most likely qualify. And, any vehicle that features a fully enclosed driver’s compartment and cargo area but has no seating behind the driver’s seat, and does not have a body section extending more than 30 inches ahead of the windshield, such as a cargo van, may qualify.

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Stop by Classic Chevy to test drive a vehicle that may qualify for a Section 179 deduction if you need a vehicle to use for work purposes.

5 Myths About Buying a New Car

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Buying a new vehicle doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, locating the perfect Chevrolet, purchasing it and driving it away can be as easy as one, two, three. A small number of tricky dealerships and salespeople have destroyed the fun of the car buying process for shoppers, and they’ve made those shoppers leery of all dealerships — even those that are 100-percent honest.  There are countless misconceptions about car buying and car dealerships. The following are five of the most misunderstood myths.

1. The Contract Will Be Loaded with Fine Print

Contrary to popular belief, your car dealership and salesperson are not trying to fool you into overpaying. It used to be commonplace to read all of the fine print on your vehicle contract before purchasing, but that can be extremely time consuming. Fully reviewing all of the numbers and asking questions to a qualified salesperson can help the process move along more smoothly without you having to spend all day reading.

2. Deals Are Better on Rainy Days

It is a common misconception that you can get a better deal on a vehicle in the rain — when other shoppers have decided to hold off on purchasing their new vehicles until the sun shines. Here at Classic Chevrolet, we can help you find the best deal on any Chevy vehicle without having to worry about the weather.

3. Extended Warranties Are Not a Good Deal

Car buyers take on so much new information when purchasing a vehicle, they often don’t want to hear about extended warranties and other options. If the extended warranty is offered by the manufacturer, it’s likely it will pay for itself in no-time.

4. A Test Drive Isn’t Necessary

In recent years, car buyers have turned to online and magazine reviews more than feeling the comfort and performance of a vehicle for themselves. It’s always important to test drive a vehicle, so you can feel if the vehicle will be a proper fit for you. Of course, reading reviews about reliability can help you understand how much bang you’ll likely be getting for your buck, but feeling comfortable behind the wheel is important too.

5. Paying Cash Will Get You a Better Deal

Many car buyers assume they’ll get a drastically better deal on a vehicle by paying with cash. However, paying with cash doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to save big bucks. Dealerships often make less profit on the sale when it is paid with cash, so you could be missing out on some money-saving incentives.

Let Us Help

Here at Classic Chevrolet, we’re trusted for being an honest dealership full of helpful and attentive dealers. Start your car purchasing process with us, and we’ll help you locate the vehicle you want and need for a price that makes you feel comfortable.

How to Prepare Your Chevy for the Cooler Months Ahead

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Whether you just purchased a new vehicle from Classic Chevrolet or you have a vehicle that is a few years old, you’ll need to get it ready for the cooler months ahead. This means getting it ready for any road trips you might take during the holidays and the rest of the winter and ensuring that the mechanics are solid.

Tires

If you have all-season tires on your vehicle, make sure the tread is good enough to last throughout the winter. Have the tires balanced and rotated. Your service technician will also check for a separated tire and whether the tread shows a problem with the alignment or suspension. If you still have summer tires on your vehicle, it’s time to change to winter tires.

Belts, Hoses and Brakes

Have your vehicle’s belts and hoses checked for wear and possible leaks. The last thing you want is to have a belt or a hose leave you stranded on a cold day. Your service technician will check the accessory belts, heater hoses, water hoses, power steering hoses and brake hoses. You’ll also want to check your vehicle’s brakes including the pads, rotors, calipers and brake hoses. And, if applicable, the tech will check the drums, wheel cylinders and the ABS system.

Other Mechanics

If the check engine light is on or you suspect any other problems, bring it to the attention of the service adviser so that he can have the tech check and possibly repair these issues.

Emergency Kit

Even if you don’t have plans for long road trips, you should have an extensive emergency kit in your vehicle. It could save your life even if you are stranded for just a couple hours while waiting for a tow truck in the city. The emergency kit should include an extensive first aid kit, extra blankets, a change of warm, dry clothing, a liter of water for every person in the vehicle and high energy snacks such as granola bars, peanut butter and crackers and other non-perishable items.

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Stop by Classic Chevy today to test drive your next new vehicle or give our service department a call to schedule an appointment for service.

Are You Up for an Oil Change?

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Part of keeping your vehicle in great running condition is ensuring that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance, including oil changes. Changing the oil in your vehicle is one of the most important maintenance items you do for your vehicle.

Engine Sludge

Engine oil gets dirty – very dirty. Eventually, the oil will get so thick that it won’t drain back into the oil pan, nor will it get into the heads where it is needed. Over time, the oil also breaks down to create more sludge. When it gets this bad you could cause engine failure because the pertinent parts won’t get the oil needed to keep metal from rubbing metal. And, on top of that, it can start building up in the heads, which causes the engine to work harder and use more gas.

Operating Temperatures and Friction

Oil contains ingredients that reduce friction. The more friction in an engine, the hotter the operating temperatures and the more wear you’ll put on the internal engine components. It also makes the engine run warmer, thus taxing the cooling system.

And, when the engine runs hotter, that means the sensors are going to try to adjust the fuel mixture to lean the mixture out to cool the engine. In some circumstances, this could damage the engine. Changing the oil at the recommended times keeps the friction and crud in the engine at a minimum; and you’ll have a smoother-running vehicle that will serve you for many miles.

When You Should Change the Oil

Consult your owner’s manual to see when you should change the oil as it varies depending on the vehicle you are driving and on your driving habits. If you often drive in the mountains, sit in traffic for long periods of time or frequently tow heavy loads, you may have to change your oil sooner rather than later. If your commute is easy on the vehicle, you might be able to go up to 7,000 miles between oil changes, depending on your vehicle and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

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Call our service department at Classic Chevrolet to make an appointment to have your oil changed and for any other maintenance the manufacturer recommends.

Why You Should Trade In Your Old Car

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When you stop by Classic Chevrolet to test drive a new vehicle, you have the choice of trading in your old car or not. You could sell it yourself, however you may not be able to sell it right away. There are many benefits to trading in your old car when you buy or lease a new car.

Instant Gratification

When you trade in the vehicle, you won’t have to wait for someone to buy it and have that money tied up in something you may not drive again. Plus, you can apply the cash from the trade to you new vehicle to lower the price of the new vehicle.

Upside Down

When you’re upside down on a vehicle, it’s harder to sell it because you may owe more than what you could sell it for on the street. Often, you can trade in a vehicle that is upside down. You may have to take the difference onto the price of the new vehicle; however, this means that you don’t have to wait until you could at least break even if you are more than ready for a new vehicle.

Vehicle Repairs

If you sell a vehicle on the street, you have to ensure that its in good running condition and that the wear and tear items are not overly worn, else you will have a hard time selling it. Replacing tires, brakes and other wear and tear items means that’s less cash in your pocket.

Although you should make sure the vehicle is in good condition when you trade it in, you’ll lose less money on the sale for something like brakes that have a few thousand miles left on them. You will want to make sure the interior is clean and that there are no dings and scratches on the paint for maximum value.

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Stop by Classic Chevy today to test drive a new Chevrolet and see what you can get for the trade in value on your old car or truck. You may get enough so that you can afford more vehicle than you originally thought.

Chevrolet Models with the Best MPG

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If you are looking for a vehicle that has the best gas mileage and prefer a Chevy, stop by Classic Chevrolet to test drive the 2015 Volt, Spark, Cruze or Malibu. All four vehicles get excellent gas mileage: The Volt gets 35 mpg* in the city and 40 mpg* on the highway; the Spark gets 31 mpg* in the city and 39 mpg* on the highway; and the Cruze and Malibu get 25 mpg* in the city and 36 mpg* on the highway.

Common Interior and Convenience Features

Convenience features that may be common to all of these models, depending on trim levels, may include automatic climate control, single- or dual-zone air conditioning, front and rear cup holders, a center console with covered or uncovered storage, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, a rear window defroster, a display center with a touch screen, power programmable door locks, and driver mode controls for normal, sport, mountain and hold modes.

Safety Features

Safety features you may find in any of these models include dual-stage front, side impact and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, a passenger-sensing system for the airbags, a child presence detector, roof rail side impact airbags, daytime running lights, lockout switch for the rear windows and doors for child safety, the LATCH system for child safety seats, OnStar Basic for 5 years, OnStar Directions and Connections for 3 years, StabiliTrak, traction control, an anti-theft alarm and engine immobilizer, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Entertainment Features

Entertainment features you may find in any of these models include Chevrolet MyLink radio, a CD player, MP3 player, AM/FM radio, a color touch screen display, Bluetooth, at least four speakers, auxiliary input jacks, USB ports, SiriusXM radio, MyVolt (for the Volt only) and an external antenna.

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Stop by Classic Chevy today to test drive any one of these vehicles with excellent gas mileage and learn more about each model’s safety, security, convenience and entertainment features.

*Estimates only. Actual mileage may vary depending on driving habits.