What’s New in the New Fuel Economy Label?

For the past few years, fuel economy has been a smoking hot topic in the auto industry. Automakers have constantly tried to outdo each other in mpg numbers and we’ve definitely started to see a stronger presence of hybrids and electric cars. So it’s only fitting that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would make one of the biggest changes to fuel economy labels since they were created back in the seventies.

Classic Chevy ArlingtonNot only will you now find an estimate of how much you will spend or save on fuel for the next five years (4), you’ll also get an estimate of how much it will cost you to drive 100 miles (5).  But wait! There’s still more. You can compare vehicles by how much it will cost you in gasoline annually (6) and how other vehicles in it’s class measure up (3).

One of my favorite new editions though is the SmartPhone integration. Each label has a unique QR Code® (quick response) that you can scan into your phone. Of course, you’ll have to download the free app first, but after that you’ll be able to make even more comparisons and do personal calculations. See what else you can do in the video below.

If fuel economy weighs heavy on your buying decision list, then I’d definitely recommend downloaded this app. After all, most of you are going to be driving that new Chevy in DFW  for quite some time and it’s cool to see the potential savings before they even happen.

The Reason Behind DFW Traffic Jams

Chevy DFW dealershipHey Chevy drivers, did you know that our beloved DFW metroplex was listed as Forbe’s fifth worst city for traffic congestion in 2010? According to Forbes, the DFW has 43 hours of weekly congestion. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), there are five billion hours  of traffic congestion per year in America and last year, Americans drove the third highest numbers of miles ever recorded — three trillion!

The US DOT divides traffic into two types — volume or recurring traffic and non-recurring traffic. Volume traffic is exactly what is sounds like… too many people on the road. This happens when there are too many people trying to get to the same place and the highways simply cannot handle it. I’m sure you’re all aware of the new construction going on with 635. That has been the most hated highway in Dallas for quite some time and they city has finally decided that it’s time to expand. Will it help? We shall see.

The second type of traffic, non-recurring, is the result of a car accident, disabled vehicle, inclement weather, special events or temporary construction. My new favorite example of this type of traffic is the 18-wheeler that overturned last week carrying frozen chickens. Several highways were backed up and even closed for hours.

Though the US Department of Transportation only divides traffic into two categories, I believe there is a third in this metroplex that I like to call
“DFW Traffic”. It is caused by the following two things:

Bottlenecking – When ever a highway shrinks down to a smaller amount of lanes and people do not know how to correctly merge using the zipper effect (a perfect example of this is on President George Bush Turnpike at Beltline). If you unfamiliar with the Zipper Effect, it’s basically cars taking turns. One car from the right lane goes, then one from the left lane, one from the right, one from the left, forming a single-file line. People do not realize how much time this would save if everyone would do it correctly. Another issue surrounding bottlenecking, is people merging too quickly. There’s always that one man or woman who has  to get over way before the lane actually ends. This causes traffic and is unnecessary.

Rubbernecking -When people will slow down to unnecessary speeds to gawk at a traffic accident (most of the time on the other side of the highway). Now, I’m not saying it’s a terrible idea to slow down by maybe five mph. But 25 mph? That’s going to cause traffic.

There are many of you who know exactly what I’m talking about, and I’m sure there are some of you who are probably realizing that you do one or both of the above mentioned things. Not to worry, now that you’re aware that theses two things can really affect the flow of traffic, you may change up your driving habits a bit the next time you and your Chevy are stuck in traffic on highway 35, 635 or I20.

Are Your Wiper Blades Worn Out DFW?

Chevrolet DFWAfter a long, hot and dry summer, the DFW finally saw some rain this week! The other day, a friend of mine asked me about wiper blades and how you knew when it was time to replace them. He said he had replaced them at the beginning of the year, but they were streaking and skipping when he used them this week. Did any of your DFW Chevy drivers experience the same thing?  I’m willing to bet a lot of you did.

When blades aren’t used for prolonged periods of time, they can begin to deteriorate. The sun’s UV rays also contribute to this, and the ridiculous temperatures we’ve had all summer probably made it worse. Generally, you want to replace your blades once  year. But given the weather we’ve had the past few months, I’d recommend taking a walk outside and examining your blades. Look for broken frames, tears, missing pieces and curvature.

If you see any of these things, you may want to replace the blades. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can always swing by and we’ll help you out. In the future, there are a few things you can do to help prolong your blades life. First of all, try and clean your windshield as much as possible. Try cleaning it every time you stop for gas. This will help keep the oil from other cars and random dirt flying in the air from damaging your blades. The second thing you can do is wipe off your blades with a damp paper towel. Try doing this once a month and I guarantee you’ll see a difference.

The 2012 Chevy Sonic Earns a Top Safety Pick from IIHS

It’s official! The new 2012 Sonic has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, seeing how this subcompact cruiser is equipped with two more air bags than its competitors and has a vehicle safety cage that is 60 percent high-strength steel. 

Chevy Dealer Arlington

Photo courtesy of AutoBlog.com

The Sonic also features a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Top Tethers for Children) system, six months of OnStar service including automatic crash response and panic brake assist technology. Did I forget to mention how smart this subcompact is? Should you be involved in an accident, there are sensors that will diagnose the severity of impact and control the deployment of its 10 airbags.

The IIHS only awards Top Safety Picks to the vehicles that perform with the highest level of safety in their class. The ratings are based on how well they protect passengers in front and side crash tests, in rollovers via a roof strength test, and in simulated rear impacts to evaluate seat and head restraints for protection against neck injuries.

You can see how the Sonic reacts in two of these tests below. If you’re looking for a seriously safe subcompact that averages 40 mpg, then feel free to swing by and take a test drive. 

 

 

Amateur Camaro Ads Do Not Leave Much To The Imagination

Word around the block is that the new Chevrolet Camaro is somewhat of a chick magnet. I am pretty sure that most of you would agree. In fact I think there is probably a huge chunk of guys that have bought the new Chevy Camaro just to attract the attention of the lovely ladies. A friend of mine sent me the link to these new Camaro ads running… I’ll be honest I am not really sure where they have come from. I haven’t seen them on any TV ads so it could just be a digital ad or it could be an amateur’s doing but either way they are really clever and pretty funny.

Take a look and let me know what you think. Does it make you want to go out and buy the 2012 Chevy Camaro?

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

 

Connecting Families on the road with OnStar

OnStar never ceases to amaze me. How many of you out there use OnStar on a daily basis? I do. I love it and couldn’t really imagine my Chevy Tahoe without the power of OnStar. OnStar has announced a new test program called Family Link that will make sure that families have an easier way of connecting to each other when they are on the road. Of course all the vehicles must be equipped with OnStar for this to work but let’s think about this for a second. Your child tells you they are going to a friends house…. but you connect with OnStar and find out that they are galavanting around town in their car etc. This is a great way to keep tabs on your kids to make sure that they are safe and secure.

The optional service allows subscribers to log onto the Family Link website to get a map-type view of the exact location of other family vehicles. The system can also send an email or text to notify them of the location of the vehicle they are tracking as well. Subscribers can choose the day and time and how often they receive these alerts.

This service is particularly helpful for parents of teen drivers to keep tabs on the whereabouts of their young driver on the road.

This invitation-only program includes 10,000 active OnStar subscribers and will be used to gauge interest in this type of program in the future. Other considerations for the pilot include speed, boundary, and arrival/departure alerts. Responses for the program will help decide on the launch and pricing in the future. The test will run until the end of 2011.

—Liza Barth

What do you guys think? Think this will be a service that you would be interested in trying? Think that it should be offered. Let me know what you think.

Thanks to Consumer Reports and Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Which Chevy Bowtie Vehicle Is Your All Time Favorite?

Did you know that Chevrolet is turning 100 years old? For Chevrolet’s birthday they have decided to hold a tournament to decide which bowtie vehicle was and is your all time favorite. The list of contenders is long and let me just say it’s very hard to pick just one. Is is the 2010 Camaro? How about the 1953 Corvette or the 1957 Bel Air? I personally find it hard not to choose the 2009 Corvette ZR1. Apparently it was just as hard for AutoBlog to make their decision. Take a few moments and head over to the Chevrolet site to cast your votes…. Who will be the winner?

You tell me….. Which iconic Chevrolet will get your vote? Which Chevy do you think was mistakenly left out of the race?

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

 

 

Chevy Spark mini car is headed our way!

 

By now I imagine that most of you have seen pictures of the soon to be released Chevy Sonic. I have blogged about it several times now over the passed few months. Now, we have learned that there is another new car headed towards the US. It is….. The Spark. Check out this story written by Autoblog and you tell me…. Are you excited to see that General Motors is diving into different automotive areas?

General Motors wants to take on all segments of the automotive industry. With the all-new Sonic making its way to dealerships later this year, GM will have a new player in the B-segment, and now, a tweet from the automaker has confirmed that the Chevrolet Spark minicar is officially arriving Stateside.

The diminutive Spark will allow GM to have a hand in all areas of the automotive cookie jar. As American car buyers begin to embrace smaller, more efficient modes of transportation, the Spark could be arriving at the perfect time. We got our first glimpse of the automaker’s mini at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, and we were intrigued by the idea of a Chevrolet achieving a combined 47 miles per gallon. Now, it seems we’ll get to experience green machine for ourselves on U.S. soil, starting sometime in 2012

Personally I think this is great for Chevrolet and General Motors! Go big or go home… right?

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

 

 

 

Want to know how speed limits are set?

Do you drive however fast or slow that you want to? Or, do you follow the rules of the road? Have you ever wondered how they set speed limits? I know I have. There have been a lot of talks in the news lately about them changing the speed limit on various highways across N. Texas. One highway in particular that is getting a lot of attention is HWY 75. If you’ve ever driven on 75 you probably have thought once or twice that the speed limit is way to low. When you have to drive faster than the speed limit just to keep up with the flow of traffic then something needs to change. Am I correct on that one?

What’s interesting about the local gov’t here in N. Texas is that they actually do speed studies to determine whether or not the speed limit should be changed. Whereas in many parts of the country the local and state governments completely ignore the science that goes behind speed studies and instead focus on the writing of the speeding tickets…. Which…. makes a lot of people mad.

The video below shows us what the Michigan State Police and Michigan Department of Transportation have been up to. Which is, SPEED studies!! I thought it was a pretty interesting video so I wanted to share it with you. What are some of the highways that you travel in your new or used Chevy that you would like the speed limits to change on?

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

 

Automatic Braking Systems are very important! Here’s why!

You can’t tell me that you have never been in your car and seen in your rearview mirror a car very quickly approaching you…. Or better yet have you been the one not paying much attention to the traffic stopping ahead of you and you are now forced to slam as hard as you can on you brakes to keep yourself and your Chevy from slamming into the car in front of you. Trucks are big and heavy and take a lot longer than most cars to slow down so if you see the truck behind you coming fast…. It could be a very intense situation! Palms sweating and all. You’ve got to check out this video that shows just exactly how important automatic braking systems are. Makes you love technology!

The ADAC is Germany and Europe’s largest automobile club, and the crash test video shows a large LKV truck smashing into two smaller cars – a Renault Megane and Mitsubishi Lancer Wagon – at about 43 mph. The results aren’t pretty. It straight demolishes the little green Renault, while also totaling the Lancer. This video truly shows the force and danger behind a big truck like the LKV, and it can make even the most ardent Libertarian consider government intervention to make Emergency Brake Assist systems mandatory for large trucks.

Hearing it from me really doesn’t do a justice, so check out this terrifying video for yourself. Skip to about 1:25 to see the action, and watch to the end to see automatic emergency braking systems in action.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge and Automotive.com for contributing.