Maintaining Your Chevy this Winter

Maintaining your Chevy from Classic Chevrolet is important at any time, but winter maintenance is more important. Most of the winter maintenance you need to worry about is for the cooling system and tires, though you should not let these things overshadow other maintenance.

Tires: Before the first snow, check the tires. You should have all-season tires or mud and snow tires for the winter. If you don’t, it’s probably a good idea to get some now. The tires should have excellent tread. If the tread is the same height as the wear bars, you might as well be driving with ice skates instead of tires. If the tread is worn, replace the tires as soon as possible. Worn tires are dangerous any time, but more so in the winter if there is snow on the ground.

Furthermore, check for uneven wear – this could be caused by an alignment problem or suspension problem. It could also be caused due to wrong air pressure in the tires. If only the center is worn, the air pressure is too high. Release some air until the pressure is as recommended by the information on the tire. If both sides of the tire are wearing evenly, but the center is not worn, the air pressure is too low.

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Chevrolet Silverado – with proper winter maintenance your vehicle will last longer.

If only one side of a tire is wearing, the problem is most likely in the alignment. Have the wheels aligned, and then switch the worn tires to the non-drive wheels. If your vehicle is front wheel drive, move the problem tires to the rear. If the vehicle is rear wheel drive, move the tires to the front wheels. If the tire is worn too much on one side, you may have to replace it.

Cooling System: You’ll find several types of antifreeze on the market. Always use the type recommended by Chevrolet. If the antifreeze is long lasting, you should flush the cooling system every five years or as recommended by your maintenance schedule. If you put another type of antifreeze in your vehicle, it may need to be changed as early as every three years. Ask the service department to put the Chevrolet-recommended antifreeze in when it flushes the cooling system.

If you are unsure of any maintenance required to drive safely or protect your vehicle during the winter, make an appointment with the service department at Classic Chevrolet to have everything checked.

Can Tires Greatly Affect Your Fuel Economy?

In a world where everyone is trying to save money it should be no surprise that the question has arisen…. Can your tires improve your fuel economy? Can it hurt your fuel economy? The answer to both questions is yes. I have spoken to you all many times about the importance of good tread, proper inflation etc. All of this and more are important for keeping you safe and your wallet a little fatter. Check out the video below courtesy of the folks at Consumer Reports and if you have any questions regarding your tires that you can’t answer give your Texas Chevy dealer a call…. we’d be more than happy to help!

Your car’s tires can play an important role in helping you get the best gas mileage and save money at the pump. Checking tire pressure regularly is one step toward optimum fuel economy, but your choice of tires can also help.

Automakers often specify low-rolling-resistance tires as original equipment to enhance vehicle performance in government fuel-economy tests. But replacement tires are not limited by any vehicle manufacturer’s requirements, and attributes such as all-season grip and tread life are big selling points. In the past, consumers often had to weigh a trade-off between low rolling resistance and other performance capabilities, such as wet braking. But in recent years, tire manufacturers have been achieving a better balance of rolling resistance and all-weather grip.

Consumer Reports recently tested a few all-season tire models with low rolling resistance and found that those tires can improve fuel economy by an additional one or two mpg. The reward for replacing a less-optimum tire can be a payback covering most of the cost of the new tires over their lifetime in fuel savings. Moreover, you generally don’t have to pay more to get a tire with better rolling resistance.

Here are some additional tips for getting the most fuel economy from your tires:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated. (A label on the driver’s doorjamb tells you the correct pressures to use.)
  • Check inflation pressure at least monthly; do this when the tires are cool.
  • If you were happy with the tires that came with the car when it was new, consider replacing them with an identical set. Low rolling resistance is a common trait of original-equipment tires.
  • Before buying replacement tires, check Consumer Reports’ Ratings for tires that excel in overall performance and use rolling resistance as tie-breaker.

Power Sunroof Problems In Your New Car or Truck?

I know that sometimes things can happen. Tires go bald, radios short out, etc. It can be frustrating. Why does your power sunroof start acting funny? How do you fix it? What happened!?! It can be maddening. Well thanks to Online Auto Repair for the tips and hints on how to take care of this problem. Sure you can call your local Fort Worth Chevy dealer for help but some of you are do it yourselfers and there is nothing wrong with that at all! 

Many malfunctions in the sunroof system fall into 2 categories that can often be related to each-other. Water leak issues and electrical problems. Sometimes wiring or switch corrosion can be caused by the water leaks. 

A power sunroof can slide the roof panel open or closed. You can also tilt the roof panel up in the back to allow fresh air into the passenger compartment. When driving down the road this can also pull a vacuum and remove stale air from the interior cabin.

In most cases power sunroofs are not that much different than electrically operated power window systems found in most automobiles. Many common parts are shared such as system relays, a master control switch and the motor assembly to perform the movement. 

Note that most power sunroof systems are protected by a circuit breaker instead of a fuse. This is in case the sunroof begins to bind. It protects the motor by opening the circuit breaker. Often when people have power sunroof problems they will begin to look for the fuse when there is actually none. A circuit breaker will reset automatically when it cools down. 

Power sunroof common problems

Often power sunroofs are a popular option that does not get used very often. When this system sits for months or years without being used often components can develop corrosion that may hinder operation when it is finally desired.

Since a sunroof is part of the exterior surface of the vehicle a complete watertight seal is necessary. If this seal fails or the automatic drain becomes clogged with debris and water sits around the components the corrosion mentioned above will be accelerated. For this reason a very common sunroof problem is water sealing and drainage.

Diagnosing power sunroof problems is pretty straightforward. The first thing to check would be the circuit breaker. Next you would want to verify power at the motor connector. In that case you would be working from the load back towards the battery. If there is no power at the motor you can break out a wiring diagram and do some pinpoint checks at the relay and switch.

To read the full article you can see OnlineAutoRepair.com

Have you ever had issues with your power sunroof? How did you fix it? 

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Do You Want The Perfect Garage? Check Out These Tips!

This garage is a mess. Horrible. 

You want the perfect garage don’t you? It’s the place where you park your baby. It’s the place where you tinker with your toys. It’s your man cave!! Ladies don’t worry it can be your cave too if you love cars like I know most of you do. 

Here’s the thing. You want a perfect garage? There are some things that can help you on your way. If you want to see all the tips check out Jalopnik, but I will share with you a few of my favorites. My garage is my secret getaway and it’s the place I park my Chevy. So I am proud of it. 

10.) Radiant Heated Floors

Suggested By: Eric Irish

Why You Need It: For those cold winter nights when you’ve almost got that last bolt un-siezed and you’re this close to getting the old part out, keep your feet warm with radiant tile. Heck, why stop in the garage? Get the whole house done while you’re at it!

8.) A Lift

Suggested By: Van Sarockin

Why You Need It: Van Sarockin suggests a lift of the hydraulic nature, but really whether it’s hydraulic or electric, having a lift in your garage is a luxury that truly makes it perfect. It’s often the one thing everyone wishes they had in the garage, but few get to the point of actually installing one.

7.) Live-In Shop Assistant

Suggested By: doug-g

Why You Need It: Need a tool from across the room? Forget to bring the part you needed under the car with you? No problem! With a live-in shop assistant, you can stay working under the car and send your assistant off to grab parts, turn up the stereo, and bandage your hand. Also, they’re good for delivering pizza.

6.) A Fridge

Suggested By: snapoversteer

Why You Need It: Snapoversteer says: “There’s something about a garage that makes it perfectly acceptable to drink a beer at 11:00 a.m.” For as long as mankind has toiled away in the garage, there has been beer there to help the process along. And that beer needs to stay cold, yet close at hand. The garage fridge is the perfect solution.

3.) Dry Erase Walls

Suggested By: stoke

Why You Need It: For when you absolutely need to scribble something down, but don’t want to stop to find a pen and paper, these walls are covered in paint that replicates a dry erase board. Diagram out your whole build, get shopping lists together, and draw on the wall the whole time! It’s all erasable, so when you’re done with that list, get a new one going in its place!

Those were just a few of my favs. What do you have to have in your garage? What’s important to you? If you have any questions or need any help getting your garage together give your Texas Chevy dealer a call. They have some pretty good ideas!

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

The Importance Of Spark Plugs In Your New Car or Truck.

Do you know what spark plugs are used for? Do you know how important they are? Well they are a very important part of your new or used car or truck. They must be properly working for your vehicle to be working. 

spark plug  is an electrical device that fits into the cylinder head of some internal combustion engines and ignites compressed fuels such as aerosol gasoline, ethanol, and liquefied petroleum gas by means of an electric spark. – Wikipedia

Ok… So why are these funny looking things so important?

In a gasoline engine the importance of good sparkplugscannot be denied. The electrical arc between the electrode and the ground strap is like a miniature bolt of lightning that ignites the air fuel mixture and in turn generates the power that drives the wheels. 

These miniature lightning bolts are commonly called sparkplug firing by most mechanics. If the sparkplug doesn’t fire, the engine doesn’t start. When diagnosing a no start condition some mechanics will say the reason the engine won’t start is because there is no fire.

It is the ignition system that produces the electrical energy that fires the plug. Spark also must be maintained long enough to allow complete combustion of the air fuel mixture in the cylinder. The ignition system then has to deliver this electrical energy to each sparkplug at the right time. – Online Auto Repair

Can you now understand why it is so important to have good spark plugs? Bad spark plugs = car can’t/may not start. When you come to visit your Fort Worth chevy dealer for a tune-up make sure you ask if they will be replacing the spark plugs. Feel free to ask me any questions.

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.

Eating In Your New Car Or Truck Could Cause You To Get Food Poisoning.

Eating in your car. I can’t say that I have never done that. I think at some point everyone eats in their car at least once. This is very true for commuters who travel long distances to work and home and almost have to eat in their cars. I came across this blog about how eating in your car could make you sick and of course I had to stop and read it. I am a firm believer that you should try to keep your new car or  truck clean at all times. Mostly because it just looks good….but now it’s also because it can keep you healthy. 

Check out the story from AutoBlog. After you are finished reading this and decide you need to have your car cleaned and detailed make sure you call your local Fort Worth Chevy dealer for help. We don’t want you getting sick either! 

Ever eat in your car? If so, we’re thinking there is a good chance there is currently at least one french fry stuck between the driver seat and the center arm rest. That’s pretty bad, but a study by researchers from British auto accessories retailer Halfords shows that there probably are a lot more disgusting things in your ride than some fried potatoes or a few chunks of shredded lettuce. Scientists swabbed the door handles, steering wheel, shift knob, radio and seats and found bacteria ranging from Staphylococcus to Bacillus Cereus. Those names just sound unhealthy, and in reality they are the germs that cause food poisoning, impetigo severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Those nasty germs enter your car through the soil you walk on, the pets you travel with, the passengers you transport and the very hands you use to eat all that food.

That’s really bad news if you eat in your car regularly, and the study by Halfords shows that 70 percent of people do just that. Further, half of those study admitted to leaving food behind in the car, giving those bacteria the sustenance they need to help ruin your week. And don’t think that since this is summertime that the sun will bake your interior to the point where the germs die off. Quite the contrary, the nasty little microbes multiply faster as your vehicle heats up, bolstering the little buggers for the impending fight against your immune system.

To protect yourself from these germs, the best defense is to keep your hands clean and leave the eating for a clean kitchen table. But if you must eat while driving, scientists feel that car owners should clean their vehicles as often as one would wipe down that kitchen table. We’re not the type to shy away from every germ nature has to offer, but something as serious-sounding as Staphylococcus makes us want to make with the disinfecting wipes in short order.

What do you guys think? Kind of makes you want to never eat in your car again right?

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

You Can Change Your Oil In Your New Car Or Truck Yourself. If You Want To.

A lot of people change their oil in their cars and trucks themselves. Lots of people don’t know how to change their oil and would rather just take their cars to their local Dallas Chevy dealer. I found this video that does a really great job of explaining how simple it can be to change your oil yourself if you want to. It’s a fairly simple task but you better make sure you don’t make a mess in the driveway.

Do you change your oil yourself?

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.

Get A New GM Car or Truck? They Can Email You Now If Your Car Is Sick!

Cars and trucks have had diagnostic systems for years something that had greatly benefited us for a long time. Now this concept has gotten even better. There’s a way for your car or truck to send you an email every month and let you know if your new car or truck is having any issues or needs any attention. This is pretty much the idea behind General Motors’ OnStar diagnostic system. In January Onstar sent an email to 1.8 millions Chevy owners and here’s what they learned about their cars: 11% were told they are overdue for an oil change, 38% got the news that they have a least one tire with low pressure, and 1% had some sort of mechanical problem, most of those were just annoying issues like the gas cap wasn’t on tight enough.

When you get your new GM car or truck you can sign up to get a monthly e-mail which then will let you know what’s wrong with your new car or truck. That’s pretty great in my opinion.

“At Chevrolet, we have significantly reduced customer warranty claims over the past few years, as we continually strive to make the most dependable cars and trucks on the road. A key part of that success is OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, which helps Chevrolet and our customers keep vehicles in top running condition,” says Chevrolet General Manager Jim Campbell.

It’s just another reason why you want and need OnStar in your new car or truck.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.