Stay Cool During the Summer Months!

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Staying cool during a Texas summer is something we joke about in the Lone Star State. It seems impossible to keep the sweat beads from forming the moment you step out your front door and into the summer sun and stifling humidity. The following are 15 tips to help you stay cool this summer.

1. Use a sun umbrella to keep you shaded anywhere at anytime. Traditional rain umbrellas work just fine too.

2. Stop the ice cream truck, grab a tasty popsicle or ice cream cone and remember how much fun summer was when you were a kid.

3. Wrap a wet paper towel around your beverages before sticking them in the freezer. They’ll be ice cold in a fraction of the time.

4. Reach for ice cubes whenever you can. Whether you’re at home or digging in a friend’s cooler at a soccer game, ice cubes can offer a brief escape from the heat.

5. Enjoy iced coffee instead of hot coffee. Pour a pot of coffee into your ice trays, then use those cubes for your iced coffee, so it doesn’t become diluted.

6. Carry a paper fan. It may seem a bit primitive, but a good-old-fashioned paper fan can keep you cooler than if you travel without one.

7. Use a wet towel to cool yourself and your pets down. Place that towel in the freezer or refrigerator first for a whole new level of cool.

8. Bust out the fans. Even those with fully-functional air conditioning units can use fans in stuffier areas of the home. Place one by your bed for extra comfort at night.

9. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Tight clothing can make you unbearably hot on summer days. Opt for loose-fitting clothing that wicks the moisture and heat away instead.

10. Place ice packs or cold compresses on your wrists, elbows, ankles, neck and other areas for immediate relief when you’re feeling uncomfortably hot.

11. Give yourself some space. Unbearably hot summer days are not ideal for cuddling. Sleeping or laying alone keeps your partner’s body heat at bay.

12. Find your local watering holes. The heat of summer is one of the best times to start locating your town’s nearest swimming holes. Rivers, lakes and pools are some of the best (and most fun) solutions to sweaty Texas days.

13. Stay low in your house. Hot air rises, so you may notice your upstairs bedrooms becoming outrageously hot in summer. Opt for a summer of sleeping in the basement or living room instead.

14. Step back from the grill. Steer clear of turning on the stove, oven or grill. Hot summer days are ideal for enjoying cool sandwiches and salads instead.

15. Spend some time in your new Chevy. If you’re tired of dealing with the sub-par air conditioning in your everyday driver, stop in and see us at Classic Chevrolet to feel the cool breeze of air conditioning in your brand-new Chevy.

Know How to Share the Road with 18-Wheelers in Dallas Ft Worth and Grapevine

Let’s be honest. Most of us cannot stand getting caught behind an 18-wheeler, driving next to one or letting one merge into your lane. But the truth is, truck drivers probably hate us more. Think of all the people who see an 18-wheeler with its blinker on and speed up instead of letting them merge into their lane. Or how many times they get cut off in Dallas and Ft Worth traffic because someone saw an opening, cut in and then slammed on their brakes forcing the truck to slam on his brakes.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I haven’t done those above mentioned things and I doubt there are many out there who can say that either. But these trucks are responsible for carrying nearly 30 percent of all the cargo shipped in the U.S. and have just as much right, if not more, to use our Texas highways. In fact,many of the problems we have with these truckers could be avoided if we stopped to consider just how challenging it is to drive one of these bad bays.

I recently came across an article from Edmunds.com where Michael Taylor, transportation special programs developer for the Tractor Trailer Training Program at Triton College in River Grove, Ill., listed off the top five pet peeves truckers had with fellow motorists. Check it out.

1) Riding in a trucker’s blind spots. Trucks have large blind spots to the right and rear of the vehicle. Smaller blind spots exist on the right front corner and mid-left side of the truck. The worst thing a driver can do is chug along in the trucker’s blind spot, where he cannot be seen. If you’re going to pass a truck, do it and get it over with. Don’t sit alongside with the cruise control set 1 mph faster than the truck is traveling.

2) Cut-offs. Don’t try to sneak into a small gap in traffic ahead of a truck. Don’t get in front of a truck and then brake to make a turn. Trucks take as much as three times the distance to stop as the average passenger car, and you’re only risking your own life by cutting a truck off and then slowing down in front of it.

3) Impatience while reversing. Motorists need to understand that it takes time and concentration to back a 48-foot trailer up without hitting anything. Sometimes a truck driver needs to make several attempts to reverse into tight quarters. Keep your cool and let the trucker do her job.

4) Don’t play policeman. Don’t try to make a truck driver conform to a bureaucrat’s idea of what is right and wrong on the highway. As an example, Taylor cited the way truck drivers handle hilly terrain on the highway. A fully loaded truck slows way down going up a hill. On the way down the other side of the hill, a fully loaded truck gathers speed quickly. Truckers like to use that speed to help the truck up the next hill. Do not sit in the passing lane going the speed limit. Let the truck driver pass, and let the Highway Patrol worry about citing the trucker for breaking the law.

5) No assistance in lane changes or merges. It’s not easy to get a 22-foot tractor and 48-foot trailer into traffic easily. If a trucker has his turn signal blinking, leave room for the truck to merge or change lanes. Indicate your willingness to allow the truck in by flashing your lights.

I’m sure you’ve all seen, heard of or been in stuck in traffic due to an overturned 18-wheeler or an accident involving an 18-wheeler. But did you know that the three most common types of accidents involving heavy trucks are crashes caused by the truck’s inability to stop in time, crashes caused by a motorist trying to pass a truck on the right while the truck is making a right-hand turn, and crashes caused by a motorist riding in the trucker’s blind spots.

I know we can easily become angry with these big ole trucks on the road, but it’s important to remember there’s two sides to every story. So next time you’re heading down a Dallas or Ft Worth highway in your Chevrolet, remember what you’ve just read and try to break some bad habits.

[Source: Edmunds.com]

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Get Better Fuel Economy in Your Chevrolet Part II

As I mentioned before in a previous post, the list of things we can do to get better fuel economy out of our Chevrolet 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.

Avoid the Temptation to Speed in Your New or Used Chevrolet

Speeding. We all do it… to some extent, at least. I, myself am guilty of this. I came across an interesting article with some findings from a study that I had to share with you, though, and the facts are clear. In a new study from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), it states that speeding-related traffic fatalities have not been reduced in almost three decades. While it may be tempting to fly down the Dallas Ft Worth highways in our new 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, we have to resist. In 2010 alone, more than 10,000 people lost their lives in speeding-related accidents and it continues to be a factor in almost one-third of traffic deaths each year.

ConsumerReports.org stated that the GHSA report surveyed all 50 states and found that little has been done to improve state laws on speeding since 2005. In fact, the study shows that some are regressing; Seven states have increased speed limits during that time with some reaching up to 85 mph, with only two states having higher fines for speeders and three states having an excessive speed classification. I’m sure you know that the great state of Texas is one of the states mentioned above that has increased speed limits. But to the Lone Star State’s defense, the speed limit was only increased in rural areas where it was really needed. Regardless of whether or not I agree, there are studies that have long shown that higher traffic deaths are attributed to higher speed limits.

As if saving lives wasn’t enough of a reason for you to lighten the load on your Chevrolet’s pedal, you’ll also be saving yourself some precious green on gasoline. That’s right, ConsumerReports.org’s tests have shown that with a family sedan, an increase of 10 mph at highway speeds can drop fuel economy by five mpg.

So Dallas Ft Worth and Grapevine Chevrolet drivers, slow your roll. You’ll potentially save lives and definitely save on gasoline.

[Source: ConsumerReports.org]

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Chevy Sonic Turbos with Six-Speed Automatic Transmissions Are On Their Way!

On March 22nd, General Motors announced some good news for those of you who live for speed but prefer an automatic transmission instead of the classic stick-shift. That’s right Dallas Ft Worth, the Chevrolet Sonic’s fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine will now be available in either manual or automatic transmission. Excited yet?

“Providing the option of a turbocharged engine to our non-stick driving Chevy customers allows us to offer everyone the thrill and power of a fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L powerplant,” said Jim Danahy, vehicle line director and vehicle chief engineer for North American small cars. “Both in the Sonic and Cruze, the engine enables better fuel economy without sacrificing power or performance. It’s really a winning combination.”

According to AMCI Testing, the Sonic’s Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission hit zero to 60 in 7.8 seconds which is faster than both it’s competitors – the Honda Fit and the Hyundai Accent. With the six-speed automatic, you won’t lose too much time. The Sonic with the turbo-automatic combination hit zero to 60 in about eight seconds.

“Traditionally, turbocharging was used to enhance the performance of engines, but today it is as much about fuel economy as a 0-to-60 time,” said Bob Benedict, assistant chief engineer for the Ecotec 1.4L engine. “The turbocharger provides high-pressure airflow for high torque to boost the vehicle and give the driver a fun driving experience with improved fuel efficiency.”

As if that wasn’t enough, we’re looking at EPA-estimated 37 mpg highway and 27 mpg around the metroplex. I told you this was good news. Stay tuned and check in with Classic Chevrolet to find out when you can get behind the wheel of one. In the meantime, check out this video from GM.

[Source: media.gm.com]

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

How to Handle Driving Your New or Used Chevrolet Through a Hailstorm

Looks like the Dallas / Ft Worth metroplex is in for some severe weather this week! I guess it was to be expected seeing how the temperatures the past few months have been much higher than the average.  I was watching the news this morning, and the weatherman was mentioning the high probability for hail with these storms. And of course the first thing that came to my mind? My poor new car sitting helpless all day without any cover. Hail damage is no joke. It’s also not the most pleasant thing to drive through. If you’ve ever been stuck in a hail storm while on the road, I’m sure you can relate.

I decided to do a little research before I left the house the morning to see if there were any tips on driving in a hailstorm. Since I know there are many of you who will also have to be driving through the storms, I thought I’d share my findings. I found the most helpful information on Progressive.com.

Tips for driving in a hailstorm:

  • Stay inside the vehicle. Hail falls at fast speeds, and it can cause injury to those in its path.
  • Stop driving and pull to a safe place so hail doesn’t break the windshield or any windows — driving compounds hail’s impact with your car. Stop under an overpass, and don’t forget to pull out of traffic lanes and onto a shoulder. Avoid ditches due to possible high-rising water.
  • Keep your car angled so the hail is hitting the front of your car. Windshields are reinforced to withstand forward driving and pelting objects. Side windows and back glass are not, so they’re much more susceptible to breakage.
  • Lie down, if possible, and keep your back to the windows. If you have a blanket, cover yourself with it to prevent possible debris from hitting you.

Another thing you want to be weary of when dealing with hail is the aftermath. If it has hailed a lot, the roads will now be covered with a bunch of ice pellets. This can make driving a little slippery. So take caution when driving after a hailstorm.

It’s too bad that inclement weather isn’t a reason to skip work or work from home, isn’t it? Hopefully, the weathermen are wrong, and we won’t see any hail. But if we do, at least you’ll know now what to do to protect yourself and your new or used Chevrolet. Safe travels!

[Source: Progressive.com]

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Texas Chevrolet Dealership Says Get the Facts Behind Electric Car Myths

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There is already a lot of doubt when it comes to electric cars. Why? I personally believe it’s because people are not properly informed and believe the numerous amount of myths floating around about electric cars. Truth of the matter is that almost all of these myths are not true. The public has sadly been misinformed by friends, family, etc. The good news?  There are actually advocacy groups out there dedicated to giving the public the facts like Plug In America.

I found some great information on their web site debunking the most common myths associated with electric cars. Hopefully, you’ll have a different view point after reading these. Who knows, you may even head up to your Texas Chevrolet dealership and take the 2012 Chevrolet Volt for a little test drive. I’ll bet you’ll find you much more fond of it than you thought.

Myth: Electric cars are only good for short trips.
Reality: Consumers have owned and driven electric vehicles for seven years or more and regularly use them on trips up to 120 miles.

Myth: Electric Vehicles take too long to charge.
Reality: The most convenient place and time to charge is at home while you sleep. Even using the slowest 120-volt outlet, the car can be left to charge overnight, producing about 40 miles of range. Most new BEVs and PHEVs will charge from 240-volt outlets providing double or triple the charge in the same amount of time. Charging stations that reduce charging time even more are beginning to appear.

Myth: Electric vehicles are too expensive for market penetration.
Reality:
The government stimulus package includes a $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit for EVs and PHEVs. Some states, including the great state of Texas where we reside, are considering additional incentives ($5,000 in California and Texas). And, the purchase and lifetime operating cost of an EV is on par with or less than its gas-powered equivalent because EVs require almost no maintenance or repair: no oil or filter changes, no tune ups, no smog checks.

One of the great things about our country and capitalism, is that technology keeps getting better and better and cheaper and cheaper. Think of expensive digital cameras and blu-ray players were when they first came out.

There are plenty of other myth associated with electric cars like the Chevrolet Volt. But try not to believe everything you hear, DFW. If you have any questions about the Volt at all, don’t think twice about giving Classic Chevrolet a call or swinging by the Grapevine car dealership to ask the professionals. They’ll set those doubts straight for you.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

 

The Truth Behind the Most Common Gasoline Myths

chevrolet dealership texasIn an era where fuel economy and saving gas has become one of the most important factors when it comes to the car-buying decision, it’s important to know the facts. We’ve all heard numerous car myths, whether or not we knew that they were “myths” at the time.

The problem with most of these gasoline myths is that they have been around forever, and as you know… our Chevrolet cars and trucks have come a long way. So though some of these may have been true at one point in time, they are not so true when it comes to our modern vehicles. I’ve picked out my top three favorite myths to debunk.  Susan Winlaw, co-author of the book, Car Advice for Women (and Smart Men), examines six popular gasoline myths and gives us the facts behind them. Here are my two favorite ones to debunk. Check out what else Winlaw has to say in the video below.

1. Once your gas gauge hits empty, you have at least one more gallon of gasoline.

Most cars actually have about two gallons in their tanks when the gauge hits empty! This myth is actually true! Though we’d like to think that car manufacturers did this to be helpful to those of us who seem to always find themselves running on E with no gas station in sight, it’s really just a marketing ploy. Have you ever noticed how your gauge seems to stay on the full side much longer than it does on the empty?

National auto writer Paul Duchene said, “Gas gauges aren’t linear. They are set up so they actually stay on ‘full’ for a long time, mosey on down to half, then plunge quickly to about a quarter, then gradually make their way down to zero, at which point you have about two gallons left.”

However, running on empty is definitely not something you should do on a regular basis… especially in the summertime.

2. Use premium gas and your car will need fewer tune-ups and get better mileage.Premium Gas Pays for Itself

The only thing that using regular gas could cost you is a few extra horsepower at high speeds. But the odds are, you aren’t going to notice anyway.  Most engine fuel-management systems are perfectly prepared to handle lower-octane fuel.

“The difference between 87 and 93 octane is so insignificant that you will realize neither better mileage nor fewer maintenance bills by buying supreme,” said Duchene.  “It makes no difference unless the car is supercharged or it is absolutely specified that it needs higher octane.”

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

GM’s Window of Opportunity Project Gives Backseat Chevrolet Passengers a Whole New Experience

Over the past decade, road trips have become much less painful for backseat passengers  due to all of the handheld technology (Gameboys, iPhones, DVD players, etc.) we now have, but according to GM, psychological studies have indicated that car passengers often feel disconnected from their environment.

In response to these studies, the GM Research and Development department challenged researchers and students from the FUTURE LAB at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel to conceptualize new ways to help rear seat passengers, particularly children, have a richer experience on the road. Thus, the Windows of Opportunity (WOO) Project was born. And believe me, Texas Chevrolet owners, you’re going to be blown away with what they came up with… interactive car window displays.

In a GM press release, Tom Seder, GM R&D lab group manager for human-machine interface said, “Traditionally, the use of interactive displays in cars has been limited to the driver and front passenger, but we see an opportunity to provide a technology interface designed specifically for rear seat passengers. Advanced windows that are capable of responding to vehicle speed and location could augment real world views with interactive enhancements to provide entertainment and educational value.”chevrolet dealership texas

Before you get too excited, I must tell you that GM currently doesn’t have any plans to put this into production. The Bezalel students were given free reign to create applications for this interactive window without having to worry about whether it could be mass produced or not. So it’s uncertain whether this idea will ever come to light. Still, the design and idea is pretty incredible.

The apps the Bezalel students developed include:

  • Otto, an animated character projected over passing scenery that responds to real-time car performance, weather and landscape. With Otto, passengers can learn about their environment in fun, playful ways.
  • Foofu, an app that allows passengers to create, explore and discover through finger drawing on window steam.
  • Spindow, an app that provides its users a peek into other users’ windows around the globe in real time.
  • Pond, an app that allows passengers to stream and share music with other cars on the road, download favorite tracks, and share messages with other passengers on the road.

GM released this awesome video detailing the project and showing us how the students simulated a vehicle environment. Check it out, Dallas Ft Worth Chevy lovers.

[Source: General Motors]

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.

Avoid Driving Your New or Used Chevrolet Through Flooded Dallas Ft Worth Highways and Roads

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There’s no denying that this rain was much needed in the Dallas Ft Worth metroplex, but man oh man. When it rains in Texas, it pours. Driving in the rain can be stressful enough, but driving to work after it’s been raining non stop since the night before is just plain miserable. Especially when you’re carefully driving along in your new or used Chevy and the vehicle next to you happens to fly by, hitting a huge patch of water that engulfs your entire vehicle causing you to lose visibility for a few seconds. Anyone out there know what I’m talking about?

It’s been said that flash floods are the number one weather-related killer in the U.S. because people think they can drive through deep water or don’t pay enough attention. As I mentioned above, hitting a huge patch of water at any speed over 15mph will not only throw water onto the vehicle next to you, it’ll also jerk your Chevrolet and splash water onto your windshield skewing your visibility. If that’s ever happened to you, you know it’s beyond stomach-dropping. Especially if it happens on one our crowded DFW highways.

Since the weather man tells me that we are aren’t expecting any clear skies until at least tomorrow, I thought it might be a good idea to share some tips on how to drive in these conditions. Hopefully, this will make your drive home this evening and tomorrow morning a little less nerve-racking.

First and foremost, if you see a barricade, DO NOT drive through it. This may seem like a no-brainier, but watch the news tonight and see how many people thought they could make it through. Second, avoid driving through standing water on the road and in parking lots if at all possible. According to Progressive.com, the average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. Not to mention that driving through deep water can potentially stall your engine and even cause irreparable damage.

Last year, a friend and I were driving to Lubbock, Texas, during a horrible storm. The brunt of the storm hit in a small town name Seymour which only has one road out. Thinking that it would be better to get out before the flooding got worse, we decided to drive through. Horrible, horrible mistake. Before we knew it, water was up over her headlights and her engine began acting funny. After we finally pulled through, she had a difficult time accelerating. Three months later, she needed a new transmission. Moral of the story? Don’t guess at the depth of a flooded road or parking lot. Take another route if you can. Replacing the transmission on a Chevrolet or any other vehicle is not cheap.

In the event that an alternate route does not exist and you have no other reasonable alternative but to drive through standing water, Progressive.com suggests the following:

  • Do your best to estimate the depth of the water (if other cars are driving through, take note of how deep the water is).
  • Drive slowly and steadily through the water.
  • Avoid driving in water that downed electrical or power lines have fallen in — electric current passes through water easily.
  • Watch for items traveling downstream — they can trap or crush you if you’re in their path.
  • If you have driven through water up to the wheel rims or higher, test your brakes on a clear patch of road at low speed. If they are wet and not stopping the vehicle as they should, dry them by pressing gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.
  • Stay off the telephone unless you must report severe injuries.
  • If your vehicle stalls in the deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. Keep in mind that restarting may cause irreparable damage to the engine.
  • If you can’t restart your vehicle and you become trapped in rising water, immediately abandon it for higher ground. Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle. If you are unable to get out safely, call 911 or get the attention of a passerby or someone standing on higher ground so that they may call for help.

Don’t become a victim of these dangerous flash floods, Dallas Ft Worth Chevrolet owners. Following these precautions and save your beloved Chevrolet and your life from injury.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.