As I mentioned before in a previous post, the list of things we can do to get better fuel economy out of ourChevrolet goes on and on and some of these things don’t really do enough to make a difference.
Lucky for you, we’re here to educate you on the ones that do make a difference. We’ve already talked about how we can save by shopping around for low prices, passing on premium gas unless it’s required, reducing our drag, monitoring our tire pressure and selecting “eco” routes. Today, I’ll share a few more tips you can add to your list to really make difference.
No idling. There is no need to warm up your car or keep it running while waiting for passengers. The general rule-of-thumb is to turn off your car if you know you’ll be stopped for more than 30 seconds. Don’t worry about the starter, it is designed for multiple, repeated starts. If your Ford has a push start button, then there is really no reason you should idle.
Combine trips. Avoid making multiple short trips or try to combine all errands into one trip. If you can, avoid rush hour, as sitting in traffic burns more gas and emits more pollutants. Why not try carpooling?
Watch your speed. For those of you out there who like to drive fast, this one will make a huge difference. Did you know that the faster you drive on the highway, the worse your gas mileage will be? ConsumerReports.org saw fuel economy in a tested Camry drop 5 mpg when we cruising speed was increased from 55 mph to 65. Driving at 75 mph cost an additional 5 mpg. Even though it may be hard for some of you to do, try it. I promise you’ll see a difference.
Drive smoothly. Avoid hard acceleration and braking when possible. In the same Camry, ConsumerReports.org found that frequent bursts of acceleration and braking reduced fuel economy by 2 to 3 mpg.
Give the other tips a try and let us know what the results are. I doubt we’ll find anyone who says they didn’t see even a little bit of a difference. In the meantime, check out this video from ConsumerReports.org.
Awhile back, I told you guys about the new fuel economy labelsthat 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.
The Corvette has been around for what seems like decades… six to be precise, and this year, GM has something special planned to mark the Corvette’s 60th anniversary – a special edition 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible. A lot of times, “special editions” usually just mean a different trim, paint job, wheels or little logo. But that’s hardly the case here.
The 427 Convertible borrows hardware from the Z06 and has the same rear axle as the Z06 along with magnetic ride control. Under the hood, the 427 sports a 427-cubic-inch LS7 V8 under its hood producing 505 horsepower and 470lb-ft of torque. You know what that means, don’t youDallas Ft Worth Chevrolet lovers? If you guessed that this is the most powerful Corvette Convertible ever produced, you are correct. The 427 Convertible blends elements of the Z06 and ZR1 models to create the fastest and most-capable convertible in Corvette’s history. Excited yet?
The 2013 model is more than just a “special edition” for Corvette’s 60th anniversary. It also marks the final year for the current ‘C6′ generation. In a press release last week, Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy for Chevrolet, Chris Perry, said “We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate these milestones than bringing back one of the most-coveted combinations in the brand’s history – the Corvette convertible and a 427 cubic-inch engine.”
Like the Z06, the 427 Convertible is only available in a six-speed manual transmission (as it should be in my opinion) and also features several carbon-fiber components that help reduce weight, including a carbon fiber raised hood, carbon fiber Z06-style fenders and carbon fiber floor panels.
Now lets talk power-to-weight ratios. This is a calculation that measures actual performance of an engine. It’s also used as a way to compare overall performance between vehicles. The ratio is the engine’s power out divided by the weight of the vehicle. Here’s a few ratios from some of the well-known speedsters out there:
Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet – 6.90
Audi R8 5.2 RSI Spyder – 7.58
Aston Martin DBS Volante Convertible – 7.82
Ferrari California Convertible – 8.31
With the weight reduction, the 427 Convertible’s curb weight comes to 3,355 pounds (1,522 kg). Combined with its 505-horsepower LS7 engine, it gives the 427 Convertible a power-to-weight ratio of 6.64. In case you didn’t notice, that’s better than all the mentioned above.
According to Chevrolet, the combination of low mass and high output will make the 427 Convertible one of the fastest convertibles in the world, delivering estimated 0-60 performance of 3.8 seconds, quarter-mile performance of 11.8 seconds, lateral acceleration of 1.04 g and a top speed of more than 190 mph.
The 427 Convertible will makes it’s first public appearance on Jan. 21 at the Barrett Jackson collector car auction in Arizona, and is scheduled to arrive at Chevrolet dealerships early this summer. I’ll be sure to post more updates as they come, DFW Chevy fanatics.
Uh oh. One of the headlights is out on your Chevrolet car or truck. You might as well be driving around with a huge flag sticking out of your window with the words “Pull Me Over” written on it. Not to mention, your view through your front windshield has now significantly decreased. If you’ve ever driven without your headlights on (hopefully this happened by accident), then you know how difficult it can be. Not to worry though, replacing a headlight is one of the easiest DIYs when it comes to car maintenance and will only take you about ten minutes to do the actual work.
First things first. Pop the hood and go ahead and disconnect the battery in yourChevrolet. Now you’ll need to locate the bulb holder. Usually, this is a plug shaped like a trapezoid with three wires coming out of it.
Photo Courtesy of Body Shop Zone
Once you’ve located the bulb holder, you’ll need to remove the wire harnessing. If the holder has a plastic catch, it can be removed by pressing the lever and pulling firmly on the plug. If it has a metal clip, simply pull up and away from the holder. Other bulb holders may have a screw cap that just needs to be unscrewed.
With the wire harnessing removed, you can now pull the old bulb out. If you haven’t already purchased a new bulb, then grab the old bulb and head to you local Dallas or Fort Worth auto supply store. This way you’ll be sure to get the correct bulb for your vehicle.
Once you have the new bulb, grab a clean rag and wipe it down. From here on out, it’s a reverse process. Place the bulb into the back of the headlight the same way you removed the old bulb. You’ll know it’s all the way in when there is no rubber gasket showing. Then, re-plug the wiring in and re-secure the bulb. Finally, reconnect the battery and test out your new headlight. If it’s not working, you may want to retrace your steps or bring it by to see one of the Classic Chevrolet service pros. There may be something more going on.
I’ll never forget the moment when I drove my first new car off the Dallas dealership lot. Nothing compares to the smell, the look and the feel of a brand new Chevrolet. I know there are many of you who know exactly what I’m talking about and if you’re like me, you’re going to want to keep your new car in top condition for as long as possible.
Have you ever heard of the “break-in period” for a new car? If you haven’t, it’s typically the first 1,000 miles of life on your car. It’s tempting to see what your new car is capable of the second you drive it off the lot, but it’s very important for you to be patient. During the few hours of driving, keep your acceleration at a low to medium pace and keep the engine RPMs under 3,000. Also try to keep your speed under 55 mph for those first 1000 miles, and don’t put to much stress on the drive train. This means no towing trailers or putting heavy construction materials in the trunk or on the roof rack.
Once you’ve made it through the “break-in period”, you should still drive your car with care every single day. When your car is first warming up, do not race its engine. Doing this will quickly add years of wear, especially if it’s cold outside. The engine and drive train experience the most wear during the first ten to twenty minutes of turning on the ignition, so accelerate slowly if possible during this time.
When you make turns, don’t hold the steering wheel all the way to the left or right for more than a few seconds. Doing so can damage the power-steering pump. When you pull up to a red light, shift into neutral (be sure to keep your foot on the brake). If you leave the car in drive while in a stopped position, the engine is continuing to push the car.
There are a number of small tips and tricks we can do while driving in Dallas and Fort Worth everyday that will help extend the life of your new Chevrolet. Start out by adjusting your driving habits to the tips mentioned above and stick around for more to come. If you’re look for a new Chevrolet to take care of, come see us at Classic Chevy Texas.
Hey DFW Camaro lovers, I have some exciting news. Earlier today, Chevrolet announced that its most-powerful convertible ever, the 2013 Camaro ZL1, will debut at the LA Auto show next month. According to a press release issued by General Motors, this Camaro will deliver more performance and technology than many exotic cars and ultra-luxury convertibles. I told you I had exciting news!
The ZL1 will be powered by a 580-horsepower LSA 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine, so I’m sure Camaro Chief Engineer, Al Oppenheiser, wasn’t kidding when he said, “This is a car that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you drop the top – or hit the gas.”
The convertible will share all its characteristics and engine parts with the 2012 ZL1 coupe model which recently lapped the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife course in 7:41.27 minutes. The only changes we’ll see are a tower brace under the hood, a transmission reinforcement brace, an underbody tunnel brace and a set of X and V braces under the body. All of these are aimed at stiffening the chassis to better handle and apply all the power the LSA generates. Check out this video of the 2012 Camaro ZL1 at Nordschleife.
Are you getting excited yet? The ZL1 convertible will most likely be available for purchase in the late months of 2012. Until then, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the latest updates!
We’ve all heard of the dangers of texting while driving time and time again, but there are still those who continue to do it. Hopefully, my fellow Chevy DFW drivers out there have taken this matter seriously. If not, time to listen up. A new study coming to us from the Aggies shows these dangers are far worse than most experts believe.
Earlier this week, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), an agency of the Texas A&M University System, released a report revealing that reading or sending a text message while driving doubles a driver’s reaction time. The study consisted of 42 drivers between the ages of 16 and 54.
First, participants were asked to drive a course with and without texting, and their reaction times to a periodic flashing light were recorded. Without texting, reaction times fell between one and two seconds. With texting, the reaction times doubled to three and four seconds. Furthermore, drivers were more than 11 times likely to miss the light all together when texting.
As the drivers’ reaction times were being recorded, their ability to maintain proper lane position and speed was also being measured. The results showed that drivers were less able to:
safely maintain their position in the driving lane when they were texting. Plus, their swerving was worse in the open sections of the course.
maintain a constant speed while texting, tending to slow down in an effort to reduce the demand of the multiple tasks. By slowing down, a driver gains more time to correct for driving errors (such as the tendency to swerve while texting). Speed variance was also greater for texting drivers than for non-texting drivers.
Christine Yager, an associate transportation researcher in TTI’s Center for Transportation Safety who managed the study said, “Most research on texting and driving has been limited to driving simulators. This study involved participants driving an actual vehicle. So one of the more important things we know now that we didn’t know before is that response times are even slower than we previously thought.”
Research doesn’t lie, friends. It’s a fact that texting while driving slows reaction time. So why risk you an accident in your new Chevyto send or read a measly little text message? Surely your life is worth than that.
Even if you’re not a fan of The Fast and The Furious movie franchise, you’ve got to at least check out the fifth movie, Fast Five, for the cars alone. The list is long and ranges from 1960s classics to 2011 models. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know that my favorite on the list is the 1965 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport. You could probably say I’m a little biased, but even Dennis McCarthy, one of the most well-known picture car coordinators in the business, calls it the “Hero Car”. And with good reason.
Built by Mongoose Motorsports, this replica of a Grand Sport features the Chevrolet 502 big block backed by a Borg Warner Super T-10 four-speed transmission and rides on CS Corvette suspension. Here’s a breakdown of the car’s role in the movie from Dennis McCarthy himself.
According to McCarthy, all of the Fast Five vehicles had a pretty rough life on set. The only ones still drivable were the Hero and two stunt cars. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and you’re a car lover like me, I definitely recommend you check it out. Here’s a scene from the movie featuring the Corvette. Enjoy!
There’s nothing worse than the feeling you get when you’re being pulled over. Whether or not you’ve broken a traffic law or may have a headlight out you’re unaware of, it can be stressful seeing those red and blues flashing behind you. If you know how to handle the situation, it’ll be easier for you to remain calm and possibly up your chances of receiving a ticket.
First and foremost when you see the police’s lights behind you, signal and pull over to the side of the road. Make sure you pull as far over to the right as possible without putting your entire vehicle in the grass. Be sure you don’t do this too quickly though, you don’t want the officer to have to slam on his brakes.
Once you’ve pulled over, go ahead and turn off the car. Roll your window down and place your hands on the wheel. If it’s night time, turn on one of the interior lights. A lot of times people will have their license and registration ready for the officer by the time he gets there. However, I would recommend waiting until he asks you for it. That way, it doesn’t look like you are rummaging about in the vehicle.
When the officer comes to your window, don’t speak first. I’m sure you’ve all seen people in movies saw “What seems to be the problem, officer?” This can come off sarcastic or cocky regardless of how you meant it. Answer all of the officer’s questions with “yes, sir” or “yes, mam”. This is common courtesy in any situation.
I’ve heard that one of the first things officers learn is to make up their minds on whether or not to give a ticket before leaving their vehicle. However, you have nothing to lose by being extremely polite and cooperative. You never know, you may be let off with a warning for your little four mph over offense in your new Chevy.
Electric 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!
Hi, I'm Hagen Durant, General Manager of Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine, TX - I am a huge car and truck enthusiast and love talking cars. I'm a cyclist, health nut, father, geek, and drummer. I look forward to giving you great information about cars and trucks, driving tips, maintenance and so much more.
If you have any questions or would like to make suggestions feel free to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org