Top Questions to Ask Before Buying a Used Vehicle

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When you buy a used vehicle from a dealership such as Classic Chevrolet, you don’t have quite so much to worry about. If you are considering buying a used vehicle from an individual or a small car lot that sells only used vehicles, you cannot count on the seller being completely honest. When you buy used at a large dealership, you can find certified pre-owned vehicles and the dealership will process the registration for you.

Title Questions

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure the title you are getting is not a rebuilt title. If a vehicle has a rebuilt title, that usually means that it was totaled and then repaired. If the title is a rebuilt title, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should discount the vehicle – sometimes an insurance company will total a vehicle with hail damage and other damage that doesn’t affect the frame.

Accidents and CarFax

Ask for the CarFax – and if no CarFax is available, find out if the dealership has any information or noticed anything with the vehicle that shows it could have been in a crash. You can also look for signs. A different paint color on the inside of the door jams means that the vehicle was painted. While this doesn’t necessarily mean it was in a crash, it could have been. When you test drive, have a friend watch as you drive away to see if the vehicle dog tracks.

Maintenance

Ask if the vehicle looks as though the previous owner kept up on maintenance. While you can’t tell how often the vehicle was maintained less for a CarFax report, you or the dealership can look for signs such as an oil-caked mess under the valve covers, foul-smelling transmission fluid and dirty oil.

Options

Ask the salesperson if the vehicle was ordered with any special options. Sometimes a buyer might add a towing package that didn’t come with that particular trim level, an upgraded stereo system, different wheels, a different engine, and additional safety equipment that might have been optional.

Tires

Be sure to check the tires to ensure that they have enough tread to last for at least a year. If the tires are worn uneven or are low on tread, you may want to negotiate an alignment and tires into the deal.

Stop by Classic Chevy to browse through our used car lot and to test drive several of our pre-owned or barely used models.

 

Do you really need all those bumper stickers on your Chevy?

Texas Chevy Dealer I’ll admit… I am not really a bumper sticker person. I may have had one bumper sticker on my car ever and it just so happened to be the bumper sticker from the college that I went to. Let’s face it people… Do you still care about that election that happened in 2004? Do you care that your kids made A honor roll for a school that they don’t even attend anymore? Do you really still have an obsession with that band that you saw on the road 4 times back in college? My guess is that now you are thinking about it you are ready to get rid of them. The problem is you see that those lovely little bumper stickers that you have loved for so long have been on your Chevy for years! By now it is baked on to your car and you can guarantee that when you pull them off you will have some problems.

When you are ready to get rid of those bumper stickers you need to take a look at some of these tips and hints first because unfortunately if you aren’t careful you could actually cause more damage to your car.

1. Spray the sticker with a lubricant (such as WD40) and try to peel it off. If this doesn’t work, proceed to step two.

2. Wet a rag in boiling hot water and soak the area where the bumper sticker is for 30 seconds or more. Similar to removing wallpaper from your home. Try and peel it off. If unsuccessful, continue on to the next step.

3. Soften the adhesive with heat from a blow dryer. Start to peel off a corner of the sticker while continuing to apply heat, or gently scrape off the sticker with a rubber spatula or a putty knife with its metal blade wrapped in duct tape. Do not use a razor blade; it can scratch paint and bumpers.

4. Wipe the remains of the sticker away with a soft, lint-free rag dampened with rubbing alcohol.

5. Buff the bumper or panel with a polishing compound and a fresh coat of wax to complete the job.

Should you have any issues removing those bumper stickers head on over to your Texas Chevy Dealer and let us help you. We’ll have your Chevrolet looking brand new in no time….. or at least we’ll try our best!

Thanks to Brandi Hodge and EHow for contributing.

 

Back to school… Back to school. Bus Safety Tips!

It’s that time of year. Summer is coming to an end and it’s time for your little humans to go back to school. Even though my little humans aren’t riding the bus yet I still worry about them riding the bus someday. There are certain worries that go through a parents mind when your children are getting ready to go back to school. That’s why when I came across this article from Consumer Reports I knew that I needed to share it. I don’t think this is an article that you would typically come across. Sure you may see some of these tips and hints on your local news but this one goes into a little more depth I think. Not to mention that Consumer Reports is very very good at what they do and the stuff that they put out. Now, it is true that the big yellow school bus is one of the safest modes of transportation but I think what worries parents more is the getting on and off of the bus and the walk from the bus stop.

Check out some of these school bus safety tips. We can’t always take our children to school in our new Chevy’s…. Sometimes we need to let them go and see the world!! Or at least we can drop them off at the bus stop right? It’s not always about your kids though…. Parents you need to be careful as well.

Tips for drivers:

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school. Better yet, walk around your car or out to the sidewalk to check for any children walking in your path before you get in.
  • Drive slowly and watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks. Also be aware of children playing or waiting around bus stops.
  • Be alert and aware on the road. While children are typically taught about looking both ways, they could dart into the street without looking if they are late or distracted.
  • Learn the school bus laws in your state. Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to pickup or drop off children. Drivers need to slow down and prepare to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm signal indicate that the bus is stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Cars must stop a safe distance away and not proceed until the red lights stop flashing, the stop sign folds back, and the bus continues on its way.

 

Tips for children:

  • Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • When the bus approaches, stand at least 6 feet away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 feet ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
  • Use the handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing or backpacks don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.

 Hope that these tips will keep you alert, aware and reasonably sane as you send your little humans back to school!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

What Cars Made The List Of The Top 10 Cars For Family Travel? Do You Drive One?

Summer and winter holiday’s are the perfect time for families to start traveling. Everyone loves a good road trip right? You also want to be comfortable. Especially if you have children. When my wife, kids and I are going on a road trip we pretty much pack up our entire house. With that said, I was glad that Consumer Reports made the Chevrolet Traverse one of the top 10 vehicles for family travel. Not only did the Traverse score well on the road test from Consumer Reports but it also has good seating and cargo arrangements. It’s more than comfortable to ride in, scored well in all crash tests, and has proven reliable in owner surveys.

Chevrolet Traverse LT ($39,920)
The quiet, steady-riding Traverse handles well and offers plenty of room for people and cargo. Among the larger of the “mid-sized” SUVs, the Traverse has a third-row seat that’s comfortable even for adults. Rear visibility could be better, and fuel economy of 16 mpg is mediocre at best. – Consumer Reports.

Have you made it out and test driven the new Traverse yet? If you’ve got a big family this may just be the car for you. Let your Texas Chevy Dealer take you for a test drive. I don’t think you will be disappointed by any means of the word.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

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.

Driving Your New Car Or Truck In Summer Heat? Check Out These Tips.

It’s summer time in Texas. Which means it’s very very hot outside. It may even be 112 degrees as your reading this. Texas summers are brutal and it can not only do a number on your car but it can do a number on you too! Consumer Reports put together some very very good information on driving in the summer heat that I thought was pretty good for my fellow Texans. I know it gets hot in other states too so read on and learn something! We want you to be safe, cool and relaxed when you are driving to visit your Dallas Chevy dealer!

It’s hot outside, but even hotter inside a car. On a 90-degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can quickly rise another 20 degrees in just the first 10 minutes. We all know the deadly consequences of leaving children or pets in a hot car. But in everyday driving, just getting in your car after it’s been parked in the sun for a while can be uncomfortable and has the potential to cause burns. Here are some tips on how to prepare for driving in the summer heat.

When parking, reducing the amount of sunlight coming in through the windows can minimize heat buildup inside the cabin:

  • Park in the shade if possible.
  • If you need to park in sunlight and you have a sunroof, close the shade.
  • Put a sunshade in the windshield and another over the rear seat window, especially if you’ll be carrying children in car seats. Folding-type shades are easy to store while driving.
  • If you’re parking in a secure area and there won’t be any rain, lower each window an inch or two. If you have a sunroof, you can leave it in the tilt position to provide extra ventilation.

When getting into your car, be careful not to burn yourself on hot surfaces:

  • Open the windows for the first few minutes to let buildup heat escape.
  • Bring a towel to sit on if you’re wearing shorts and have leather or vinyl seats.
  • Be careful when buckling up to not touch the metal part of the seatbelt as you can burn yourself.
  • Keep a light pair of gloves in the car if you find the steering wheel too hot to handle.

Driving in hot weather presents unique challenges for passengers and pets:

  • If carrying children or pets in the backseat, bring plenty of water and snacks, and plan to stop more often to tend to them.
  • Remember that the rear seat and cargo areas in SUVs, wagons, and minivans can be considerably warmer than the front-seat area. If you’re carrying passengers back there, and there are no backseat temperature controls, adjust the front a/c vents so they direct air to the rear.
  • If you’re headed to the store, bring a cooler bag to keep frozen items from melting or defrosting before you get home.
  • Keep in mind that high temperatures can mean power outages, which means that any gas stations that are affected could be out of service. Filling up in the morning will help you be ready for the unexpected.

For more advice on summer road travel, see our guide.

Liza Barth 

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.

Keeping Your Children Safe In Your New Car or Truck This Summer.

I almost hate watching the news now. It can just tear you up. I hate learning that a parent left their child in the car in this summer heat and that child has died. It is so sad and it really makes me angry. I wish parents would realize how dangerous it is to leave your child and pets in the car for even a second in this heat. After hearing of another case of this on the news last night I thought it was important to share with you some tips on keeping your children safe in the summer. The same thing goes for winter and life in general. You should NEVER leave your kid alone in the car ever. 

Summer can be a fun time of year with warm weather, school is out, and everyone heads outdoors. But it also means that parents need to be extra vigilant to keep tabs on their children and help keep them safe. The child safety group Kids and Cars have documented 100 non-traffic fatalities so far this year–35 frontovers, 32 backovers, and 18 related to heat. Sadly, we can expect more tragic accidents as injuries and deaths peak in the summer months. Just last week seven children died from heat stroke after being left in the car.

Here are some tips that everyone can do to help prevent such tragedies.

  • Never leave a kid alone in a car. In the summer, there are significant risks, with the interior temperature rising quickly, and children being particularly vulnerable to temperature changes. Beyond temperature, there are security concerns and risk that a child could disengage a parking brake or otherwise move the vehicle.
  • Check your car before you leave, especially if you have a change in your normal routine. To avoid accidentally leaving a child in the car, some people use a stuffed animal in the front seat as a reminder that a child is in the rear. You can also put an essential item like your purse or briefcase in the back seat, so you know you have to open the back door.
  • Before you pull in or out of a driveway, check all around to make sure no children are in the way and proceed slowly, with music off. A backup camera can help if you have a large vehicle. 
  • Lock up your car. To avoid children playing in the car when it is unattended, keep it locked with the windows up when you are not using it.
  • Look around. If you are in a parking lot, casually look around to see if any children are left in their vehicles. If so, take action and call 911 immediately.

For more on child safety, see our kids and cars safety section. —Liza Barth

As a father of 2 young children this was an important one for me to share with you. Be safe out there. 

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.