Does This Cop Car Scare The Be-Jesus Out Of You?


Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Car And Truck Care Myths Now Debunked!

So it’s time to start thinking about your car or truck. Time for some maintenance right? Well there are a few misconceptions out there. I found a great article from Consumer Reports on the myths of car care. Even if you have no ill intentions it’s true that you could do stuff which will lead to spending more money, causing damage to your car or truck and even putting your safety at risk. Below are the myth’s from Consumer Reports and a link to a nice video that helps spell it all out while adding some additional myths as well. When taking your car or truck to a Dallas Chevy dealer for some maintenance at least now you’ll know if you caused the damage yourself  or not. Right?

Myth: If regular-grade fuel is good, premium must be better.
Reality: Most vehicles run just fine on regular-grade (87 octane) fuel. Using premium in these cars won’t hurt, but it won’t improve performance, either. A higher-octane number simply means that the fuel is less prone to pre-ignition problems, so it’s often specified for hotter running, high-compression engines. So if your car is designed for 87-octane fuel, don’t waste money on premium. Only use premium if your car’s owner’s manual says “required.”

Myth: Let your engine warm up for several minutes before driving.
Reality: That might have been good advice for yesteryear’s cars but is less so today. Modern engines warm up more quickly when they’re driven. And the sooner they warm up, the sooner they reach maximum efficiency and deliver the best fuel economy and performance. But don’t rev the engine high over the first few miles while it’s warming up.

Myth: A dealership must perform regular maintenance to keep your car’s factory warranty valid.
Reality: As long as the maintenance items specified in the vehicle owner’s manual are performed on schedule, the work can be done at any auto-repair shop. If you’re knowledgeable, you can even do the work yourself. Just keep accurate records and receipts to back you up in case of a warranty dispute on a future repair.

See  Consumer Reports for the cool video and additional information on car or truck care myths.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Tips On How To Test Drive That Used Car or Truck

When you are in the market for a new car or truck whether it be used or not, you know that a good test drive is important to finding the best value in a used car. You  want a safe, reliable car right? Here are a few tips on how to test drive that used car or truck. Thanks to Edmunds.com for putting such a great article together. The article is long. So I just found bits and pieces for you guys. If you want to read the full article just see Edmunds.com.

1) Always have an open mind - You must be able to walk in there unbiased and unprejudiced. Keep your analysis as objective as possible so you can leave there with a good feeling of what that car has to offer you and your family. Forget that your dad was a Ford lover and you’re test driving a Chevy. The main thing is what’s best for you.

2) Set a benchmark. You need to set your own benchmarks. So maybe you aren’t sure which car or truck you’re interested in or what type you need. But that’s not a big deal at all. It’s more than ok to be torn between a car or a truck or an SUV. Just start by test driving as many cars or trucks as you can. Get a feel for what you like and what’s gonna be good for you and your family. You may find that you wanted a small coupe but you really like the way a truck handles better.

3) A pre-test inspection is key. Go ahead and look under the hood. You have the right to take a look. If you smell any kind of overpowering odor that could mean big trouble. checks for any poor maintenance signs. Don’t hesitate to check the oil and transmission fluid dip sticks and look for dirty or low fluid levels. Don’t be embarrassed to get on your back and look under the car. Check those hoses and belts for any cracks.  You want to be sure you’re getting a good car right? Check the tires! The point is that looking at all that stuff is important and you can do it. If you don’t know what to look for ask the Dallas Chevy dealer if you can take the car to your mechanic and have it checked out. The only reason they may say no is because there is something wrong with it. Keep that in mind.

4) Notes notes notes. Taking notes is important. Make sure you take notes about the ride, note any noises, get a feel for the steering, comfort of the cab, how do the brakes work, what do the tires look like, or anything else that you think is important. This will help you get a sense of what the vehicle has to offer.

5) Take your time. I know i’ve talked about this before but I think it’s worth mentioning again. Don’t get pushed into anything you’re not ready for. Don’t settle for a short test. If you want to drive the car or truck for an extra 10 miles just say so and don’t be afraid.

6) Try to be consistent. Just remember you are the test instrument. So try to drive like you normally would. 35 on the surface streets and 60 on the highway is a good way to start with out sending shocks to the seller. Just drive like you normally would. If you normally drive like a maniac then don’t do that!! ha ha.

7) Turn the radio off. Unless you’re scoping out the sound system, leave the radio off. This is so you can hear any unusual noises. Maybe even turn the A/C off and on and check for noises there as well.

8) Get a second opinion. Like I said before it’s probably a good idea to take the used car or truck to a mechanic for a thorough inspection and a test-drive. You’ve already looked over the car and have made your own opinions. It’s a wise investment to get a second opinion. – Edmunds.com

Can you think of any other good tips to take with you when test driving a used car or truck?


Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Buying A Used Car or Truck? Here Are Some Negotiating Tips!

So you are going to buy a used car or truck huh? Well here are a few negotiating tips for buying used that will save you money!

Although it may seem a little trickier than finding buried treasure there are good negotiating tips for used car or truck buying. Salespeople spend everyday selling, while the rest of us might have to try and get a good deal every few years. Because of this, most of us don’t really have a clue on how to negotiate. Hopefully these tips below will help you on your way to buying a used car or truck successfully.

1) You Need To Be Prepared – This may be the most important negotiating tips when buying a used car or truck. Obviously do your research. You’ve heard me say that a time or two. You must know how much the used car or truck you are looking at usually costs. Check out Kelley Blue Book and you can get a good estimate of that. The more you know the more of an advantage you will have when you walk into that Dallas Chevy dealership.

2) Know What You Can Afford – Know exactly how much money you have and how much you are prepared to pay. Just don’t share that information with the salespeople right off the bat. Salespeople know what the car is worth and they try to get the most money that they can from the car. Doesn’t mean they are trying to screw you over they just want to make a good deal too. Keep the amount of money you have a secret and get ready to play let’s make a deal.

3) Never Act Intimidated –
Just know that you do have the power to deal. Walking onto a car or truck lot can be intimidating but don’t be nervous! You can do it. Don’t let anyone rush you and make sure you take your time and you really love what the car or truck you are about to purchase before taking the leap.

4) By All Means Take Your Time – Again, don’t feel rushed. A good rule of thumb is to walk away and think about it over night and come back the next day when you are 100% positive you are ready to purchase. You must take the time to process everything and discuss it with friends or family. If the car is gone the next day then it wasn’t meant to be and there is a better car or truck out there for you. No sweat.

5) Check Out Several Dealerships - You need to go to as many car and truck used car lots as you can. Make sure that you do that! It’s imperative to know what’s going on at other dealerships. You may find a better deal. You may not but you need to shop. The more used car and truck lots you visit, the more information you will have to negotiate with. Showing the salespeople that you know exactly how much another lot will charge for a similar car will give you the leverage you need to get a great deal.

I hope that these tips will help you in finding a good deal on your next used car or truck. Send me any other tips you can think of.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

This Could Be The Weakest Link In Your New Or Used Car Or Truck!

Your new or used car or truck has a weak link…. It’s TRUE! Believe me when I tell you….YOUR TIMING BELT IS THE WEAKEST LINK IN YOUR ENGINE!

What is a timing belt?

A timing belt, timing chain or cam belt is part of an internal combustion engine. It connects the crankshaft to the camshaft(s), which control the opening and closing of the engine’s valves. Some cars only have one camshaft; others have more than one. Timing belts are used with engines that have overhead camshafts in place of the old timing chains because they’re easier and cheaper to manufacture. – EHow

If your car has less than 100,000 miles well maybe you don’t need to worry but if you have more miles than that on your new or used car or tuck then the mere mention of the timing belt should fill you with spine tingling fear. Why? A worn timing belt will quickly deteriorate into a BROKEN timing belt which could then result in catastrophic engine damage. You never want to be stranded right? I’m sure you like walking but not 20 miles to work… I wouldn’t.

Timing belt service is not inexpensive and trying to save money going for the lowest bidder can be a prelude to disaster. I suggest using top quality parts, done by a mechanic that knows your type of vehicle. A local Dallas Chevy dealer can help to. They will know if there are common faults that prevent the service from lasting through another full service cycle.

BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY - Typically, thousands of dollars or more in damage can be donw when a timing belt fails. A lot of times the engine is destroyed.

So your car or truck is new, that doesn’t matter, just remember that the weakest link is the one that takes the rest of the car or truck with it. That’s just one of the many many reasons you must follow the manufacturers recommended mileage intervals for timing belt replacement, so an experienced mechanic and or Dallas Chevy dealer can inspect the timing components to ensure they ALL can keep on driving with confidence. The basic timing belt service on most four cylinder vehicles starts at around $300.00. Be sure to read your owner’s manual for your actual mileage to have your timing belt looked at.

Does anyone have any timing belt horror stories? Send them over to me…. I’ve heard some pretty interesting ones in my time.

Check this video out.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Keeping Premature Brake Wear At Bay In Your New Car or Truck.

Brakes are one of the most important parts on your new or used car or truck. They will need to be replaced every now and then when they are going bad. Here are some symptoms to look for.

1) Ever heard that annoying high pitched squeal from your brakes when you apply pressure to stop?  A majority of vehicles brake pads contain a thin hard metal tab within the brake pad that acts like a fingernail on a chalkboard when pads are worn down to the minimum thickness. This is the sound of warning. The sound that tells you it is time to replace your brakes.

2) You should never notice any grinding when listening to your brakes. No squealing, no dragging, no thumping either! If  you hear any of this then you should take your car or truck into the shop and have your brakes checked. Any of these sounds could lead to further damage if left unchecked.

3) If your new or used car or truck has anti-lock brakes or ABS, then you will most definitely notice a pulse of the brake pedal in certain weather conditions like heavy rain, snow, ice, or if you have to slam on your brakes. If for some odd reason your brakes are pulsating and you are not currently dealing with these weather conditions then you better high tail it over to see your mechanic. Normal braking should be a smooth operation.

Why Good Brakes Go Bad

Obviously, certain driving conditions can accelerate brake wear. Stop and go traffic creates the most wear, but there are other types of driving that cause premature wear. Aggressive driving certainly will cause more wear, as will unnecessarily riding the brake pedal during driving. It follows, then, that the best way to maximize the life of brake pads is to avoid aggressive driving and avoid stop and go situations when possible.

It’s also good to coast as much as possible, and to not rest feet on the brake pedal in non-braking situations.

Brakes will wear out eventually, but there are ways to make them last as long as possible. That’s a good thing, since brake jobs are among the more costly of basic maintenance services, due mostly to labor involved. Keeping brakes in good shape may be costly, but it’s worth it. – Car Reviews

Check out this video on brake replacement if you think that you can handle the job. If you need help from a local dallas chevy dealer feel free to bring it down to us we’ll take a look!

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Are The Seats In Your Car or Truck Killing Your Back?

I think we’ve all experienced back pain while driving at least a time or two. It’s usually always in the lower back… I wanted to find out what the connection was between driving and lower back pain. Research has come up with a few different things that can cause lower back pain. Vibration from the engine, sitting position and how long you are driving the car.

First things first is to make your seat more comfortable and here are some tips.

The Seat – You need to make sure that your bottom is sitting all the way in the back of the seat. When you slouch the lower back is not supported. Sitting up right with your bottom all the way to the back of the seat will help you sit more upright and minimize the stress on your spine.

The Backrest – You should place the seat at a 10-15 degree incline from the vertical position. If for some reason this feels unnatural to you then you need to make the seat more upright. It was unnatural for me so I had to play with it a few degrees. The main idea here is that if you are sitting at a bad angle it can strain your neck and your sitting bone.

The Headrest – This is good in helping your posture and it will help lower injuries in an accident. The bony bit at the back of your head (known as the ‘inion’) is a good guiding point, the headrest should be level with this. There should be about 1 inch between the back of your head and the headrest. This allows for the ligaments and the muscles of your neck to control the posture of your head better and giving better support in case of an accident.

Seat/Pedal distance – You want to make sure that you do not over stretch your legs and you also want to make sure you don’t have to twist your body in any way. If your knees are bent and you can’t move them very easily then you need to stretch out a bit. If you’re legs are completely straight when you push down the gas then you need to tighten up a bit. It is normal to have your knees bent at about a 45 degree angle.

The Arm position - Your arms should be as relaxed as possible, elbows bend around 20-30 degrees. You want to reduce any stress on your shoulders so you should adjust your steering wheel to a mid to lower position. And remember 10 and 2 on the steering wheel.

Take breaks – Just remember if you’re on a long trip to take a break. I once drove 14 hours without stopping unless it was a quick bathroom break then back to the car. My body was so stiff I was hurting the next day. It’s always better to travel with someone else but if you are alone stop at a rest stop every couple of hours and walk around a bit. It’ll help trust me.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Getting A New Car or Truck? Thinking About Leasing?

Are you getting a new car or truck? Can’t decide whether to lease or buy? Well when deciding whether or not to lease a car, it is important to consider several factors. Consider this leasing 101.

When you are leasing a car or truck, the monthly payments are generally lower than the monthly finance payments because you are paying for the car or trucks depreciation during the term of the lease, plus rent charges, taxes and other fees. Remember though, after paying for all that you must then return the car at the end of the lease unless your lease permits you to buy the car or truck.

There are different lease offers and terms, including mileage limits and how long you want to keep the car  or truck before you decide on a lease, make a firm decision on these before you go to the dealership. Most leases only permit you to put 12,000-15,000 miles per year on the vehicle. Well if you commute quite a distance to work or you like to travel you’re going to put lots of miles on that car and the typical charge is 20 cents per mile you go over. That can sneak up on you if you’re not careful.

When you lease a car or truck, you are basically purchasing the right to use that car for a predetermined amount of time and miles. At the end of the lease you may return the car or truck and pay certain fees and charges or you can buy the car or truck for an additional “already agreed-upon” price. You should be careful not to sign a lease for more time than you truly want to keep the car or truck as can be very heavy early termination charges if you end the lease early. Don’t forget that you are ultimately responsible for excessive wear and damage to the car or truck. You are also responsible for bringing the car or truck in for service in compliance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. You will also have to have insurance that meets the leasing company’s standards.

I know people that love leasing vehicles and swear by it. I also know people that don’t care for it at all. Ultimately the decision is yours. What will it be? Buying or Leasing??? Hmmm.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Improve Safety In Your New or Used Car or Truck

It’s dangerous out there and with recent recalls across the board I think it’s important to know what you can do to improve safety in your new or used car or truck. Here are a few things that you can do to be proactive in your own safety. The streets of DFW are busy busy. Better to be as safe as you can than sorry.

Buckle up. This is a no brainer. You should always wear a seat belt no matter how old you are or if your in the front or back seat. Fifty-five percent of those killed in passenger vehicle occupant crashes in 2008 were not wearing a seat belt. Sixty-four percent of those killed during the night were unrestrained, compared to 45% during the day.

Stop drinking and driving. Alcohol was involved in nearly 12,000 fatalities in 2008, or 32 percent of all highway deaths. Try getting a designated driver or calling a cab. The last thing you would want to do is hurt yourself, your passengers or someone else on the road.

Ignore those distractions. Cell-phone use can slow a driver’s reaction time as much as having a blood-alcohol concentration at the .08 percent limit. Nearly 6,000 deaths were attributed to distracted driving in 2008. Don’t talk on a cell phone or send or read text messages, or perform any other activities that take your eyes or your mind off the road. This includes eating, putting on makeup, changing CDs, reading…..You’d be surprised at what people try to get away with in their cars.

Go the speed limit. You should always try to drive at the posted speed limit in optimum driving conditions and slow down when weather conditions such as fog, wind, rain, snow, or ice can make driving hazardous.

Know your car. Would you know what to do if your car suddenly accelerated or if you lost braking ability? Be prepared for anything and make sure you know how your car is going to react whether it be driving on black ice or what to do if you car starts accelerating on it’s own.

Watch out for your tires. Keep your tires properly inflated it’s an easy way for you to avoid a flat tire or a nasty blowout, which can result in losing vehicle control. Driving on balding tires is dangerous, as well.

Just be careful out there. If you have any other tips you’d like to share let me know.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Stop Texting While Driving In Your Car Or Truck With A Phone App

Cell Cease(TM) Phone Application Wants You and Your Teen Driver To Keep Your Eyes On The Road….

I’ve written to you guys before expressing my concern with kids and even adults texting while driving. It’s never been a more serious issue than right now. In addition to CD’s, passengers, makeup, food etc., teens can be easily distracted. Texting has become a very fast, easy way to communicate these days. I have friends that don’t even call me anymore. If they want something they just text me, and I’m ok with that, but not while they are driving. A new cell phone application has decided to tackle this distraction in the car head on and I think it’s awesome! It was designed specifically with teens in mind but I believe it may even be an awesome tool for adults to use. Cell Cease(TM) will prohibit your teens from texting while they are driving. It will also allow them to continue to receive phone calls from approved phone numbers, which you as the parent can completely control. It will also always allow calls incoming and outgoing from 911 so no need to worry about that one.

“According to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 25% percent of U.S. teens aged 16 to 17 who have cell phones admitted to texting while driving, and twice as many say they have been in the car with someone that has. This and other driving distractions have been the cause of a reported 5,870 fatalities and 515,000 injuries in the past year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Texting has been found to be so dangerous, professional truck and bus drivers who “text and drive” can be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.” Cell Cease(TM)

Keep in mind that since this application is constantly running it will eat your battery life up. If you or your child is just a passenger and not the driver they are still unable to use their phones as long as the phone is moving faster than 5 mph. I think it’ll be very interesting to see how this works out for folks.
Let me know what you guys think and drive safely out there.
Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.