See The First Look At The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze!

The all new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is on its way to your local Texas Chevy dealer. I wanted to give you a first look at how it drives, handles and let you know a little bit of what some of the critics are saying. The Chevrolet Cruze is going to be the replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt and even though it is a smaller car, it has a big bite. Thanks to Consumer Reports for sharing their thoughts with us on the brand new Chevrolet Cruze. I don’t think you will be disappointed by any means of the word. Check out this story, watch the video and then weigh in with your thoughts on the brand new Chevy!

Chevrolet replaces the mediocre Cobalt this September with an all-new sedan, the Cruze. Already on sale in many markets around the globe, the Cruze will give the division a much more competitive small car in the States than in the past. We borrowed one recently to give our auto engineers a chance to preview this significant new model and share their impressions in this First Look video.

The Cruze will be offered with two engines: a base 1.8-liter, four-cylinder and an up-level 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that has the potential to optimize performance and fuel economy. Both the automatic and manual transmissions offered are six-speed units. Much of the marketing attention will be on the 1.4-liter turbo, with its promised 40 mpg on the highway.

However, the bigger story is that all Cruzes, regardless of trim level or engine, are a marked improvement over the outgoing rental-ready Cobalt. Most of GM’s recent small cars have been underwhelming, but in our time with the Cruze, we found it to feel substantial and much more refined.  We think the car handles well, with responsive steering and a well-controlled ride. Noise levels are relatively low, and the cabin feels roomy for the class. Price concerns aside, the Cruze has much promise, and we are looking forward to purchasing a production example and running it through our exhaustive test regimen when it goes on sale.

—Jeff Bartlett

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Windshield Washer Fluid VS Water. Which Should You Use?

So how many of you out there use water to clean your windshield instead of windshield washer fluid? Did you know that using water could potentially make you sick? I came across this article from Consumer Reports and I thought I needed to share it with my readers. You should use windshield washer fluid instead of water regardless if it makes you sick or not. It will clean your windshield better and when you get your regularly scheduled oil change at your Dallas Chevy dealer they will fill it up for free.

The AFP (Agence France-Presse) reports that using only water in your car’s windshield washer reservoir could increase your chances for contracting Legionnaires’ disease.

The report, coming from a recent Health Protection Agency (HPA) study, stated that motorists could increase their chances of getting the disease by around 20 percent if additional washer fluid isn’t added to the mix.

The researchers for the study interviewed 75 patients in England and Wales who had recovered from community-acquired Legionnaires’ disease between July 2008 and March 2009, comparing them to a group of matched people who had not experienced any similar infection. Willing participants were questioned on their driving habits, possible Legionella sources in vehicles, and known risk factors.

The bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease usually grow in the water or ventilation systems of large public buildings. When inhaled, the bacteria can cause pneumonia.

The AFP reports that this is the first time a link has been made between the disease and windshield washer fluid, and it goes on to say that “adding screen wash could mitigate the transmission of Legionella bacteria to drivers and passengers.” An HPA spokesperson commented that “further studies are now needed to determine whether the use of screen wash in wiper fluid could play a role in preventing this disease.” The HPA is exploring ways of taking this study forward with other organizations participating. The study found two exposures associated with vehicle use where there was an increased risk of Legionnaires’ disease: driving through industrial areas and driving or being a passenger in a vehicle without windshield wash in its wiper fluid. These associations had not been previously identified.

The abstract stated that “Not adding screenwash to windscreen wiper fluid is a previously unidentified risk factor and appears to be strongly associated with community acquired sporadic cases of Legionnaires’ disease.”

The HPA carried out the study after finding that cases of the potentially fatal disease were five times more prevalent among professional drivers in England and Wales than expected.

Between 400 and 550 cases of Legionnaires ’ disease have been reported in England and Wales in the last two years, with around one third of those infected as a result of travel to another country.

So next time your windshield wiper fluid needs to be topped off, use a washer detergent, not just plain water. It may cut down the risk of disease and certainly will keep the windshield cleaner.

—Mike Quincy


Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Checking A Used Car or Truck For Flood Damage!

With recent flooding in Tennessee and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, I thought it was important to share with you some things to look for when purchasing a used car or truck so that you are sure it’s not flood damaged. Flood damage at times can be difficult to detect but I am hoping these tips from Consumer Reports will help you when you are on your search. You can always get a Car Fax report on the used vehicle you are researching or call your local Fort Worth Chevy dealer if you have questions.

Here are some hints on what to look for:

  • Inspect the carpets to see if they are wet, damp, or muddy.
  • Check the seat-mounting screws to see if there is any evidence that they have been removed. To dry the carpets, the seats must be removed, not generally a part of normal maintenance.
  • Inspect the lights. Headlights and taillights are expensive to replace, and a visible water line may still show on the lens or reflector.
  • Inspect the difficult-to-clean places, such as gaps between panels in the trunk and under the hood. Waterborne mud and debris may still appear in these places.
  • Look for mud or debris on the bottom edges of brackets or panels, where it wouldn’t settle naturally.
  • Look at the heads of any unpainted exposed screws under the dashboard. Unpainted metal in flood cars will show signs of rust.
  • Check if the rubber drain plugs under the car and on the bottom of doors look as if they have been removed recently. It may have been done to drain floodwater.
  • If you need to dig deeper, remove a door panel to see whether there is a water mark on the inside.
  • If you are from an area impacted by a flood and have a car that was not damaged, be aware that buyers may still suspect that it was. Consider having a mechanic inspect the car before you sell it so that you can present potential buyers with a clean bill of health.

    Likewise, months and even years after a major event like the Tennessee flooding, damaged cars can surface in other parts of the country. It best to be vigilant when considering a used-car purchase.

Here is a good video with some tips from Car Fax:

Have you ever purchased a flood damaged vehicle unaware of it? Did it cause you any headaches?

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.