Winter Car Care Tips

Winter Car Care Tips
Winter will be here before you know it. While we don’t see extreme temperatures very often here in Texas, the colder temperatures do take a toll on your car. In order to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape and can get you where you’re going without any worry, there are a few things that need to be checked and maintained.
 

Battery Power

Cold temperatures significantly reduce the power that your battery puts out. If your battery is getting close to the end of its life, it may be time to invest in a new one. Of course, you can always bring it in to a mechanic or auto parts store to verify that it is still providing enough cranking amps to weather the Winter temperatures.
 

Anti-Freeze

Making sure your car has a proper amount of anti-freeze will make things much easier on your engine. Anti-freeze lowers the freezing point of the fluid that keep your car from overheating. Your engine requires anti-freeze/coolant to keep moving throughout the engine to maintain its temperature. When your coolant is a frozen block of ice, it could result in expensive damage to your engine!
 

Windshield Wipers/Wiper Fluid

If it’s below freezing outside and raining, your sight becomes compromised by ice forming on your windshield. The first line of defense against ice forming in your line of sight is a good windshield wiper. If your wipers have tears and cracks in them, they will likely run right over ice that has frozen to the glass. Installing a new set of wipers and filling your wiper fluid reservoir with specially formulated ice melting fluid will help you keep your windshield ice free!
 

Tire Pressure

Cold weather also means your tires air pressure takes a dip. hen your tires are low on air pressure, they can droop and lift the tread in the center of the tire off of the ground. This is dangerous because the tread of your tire is what gives you traction on wet and icy roads! Once the temperatures drop, double check your tire pressure to the manufacturer’s specifications!

When Should I Get New Brake Pads?

Brake Pads

What’s the one thing you rely on to stop your car? The brakes! Brake pads are the first line of defense to prevent you from getting into a fender-bender. Mashing on the brake pedal has certainly gotten you out of trouble before! So, it’s worth the time to make sure your brakes are in proper working order. Here are a few warning signs that it may be time for a new set of brake pads.

 

Screeching

Modern brake pads are designed to make shrill screeching sound when the pads have worn down to a certain level. When you press on the brake and it starts making that sound, head over to our shop and we can get you taken care of.

 

Vibrating Pedal

When you come to a hard stop and feel the pedal vibrating, that could mean that your brake rotor needs to be resurfaced and, possibly, your brake pads need to be replaced. In modern cars with ABS brake systems, you will feel the pedal vibrate when you come to a hard stop. This is caused by the ABS system stopping the brakes from locking up, helping you keep control of the car.

 

Stopping Distance

If you’ve noticed that you have to press down on the brake pedal a little harder to make sure you stop in time, that could mean that your brake system needs to be looked at. It could be a leak of brake fluid, or insufficient surface area on your brake pads.

 

Warning Lights

In most modern cars, they are equipped with a sensor that will notify the driver when it’s time to take a look at the brakes. Check your owner’s manual to see just how your car will let you know. Most cars will flash a light around the speedometer and odometer when you start your car.

 

 

 

August 2018 Car Events

Ferris Car Show

Ferris ISD School Supply Drive-in
Saturday, August 4th, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. @ 1025 E. 8th St. Ferris, TX 75125
Ferris High School will have a benefit to provide school supplies to less fortunate students. Early Entry fee will be $20 or a backpack full of school supplies. Day of show will be $25 or backpack.
Top 25 awards plus best in show car, truck, and motorcycle.
For more info contact Taylor Oster at 214-263-7899 or TOster@ferrisisd.org

Classic Car, Truck & Lowrider Show

SH Classic Vintage Car Club
Saturday, August 4, 2018 /1PM-6PM @ Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, This will be the Biggest Classic Car show in North Texas. We’ll have Food Trucks, Vendors Exhibits and Old School Music. It will be fun time for the entire family.
Trophies Awarded in Several Classes.
$20 Pre-Registration and $25.00 Day of Show

Peach and Melon Festival Car Show
(Sat) Aug 11, 2018 @ 931 E Navarro Ave, De Leon, TX 76444
Along with a whole day of Peach and Melon Festivities, the Terrill Antique Car Museum in De Leon will be open from 9 to 3pm.
There will also be a Tractor pull at 7:30pm.
For more information:
(254) 893-6600 or http://www.peachandmelonfestival.net/index.html

Highland Village Lions Club Balloonfest Car Show

Highland Village Lions Club Balloonfest Car Show
(Sat) Aug 18, 2018 @ Highland Village Unity Park, Highland Village, Texas
Registration 9:30 am to 11:30 am
https://lionsballoonfest.com/

11th Annual Karem Classic Car Show

11th Annual Karem Classic Car Show
August 25, 2018 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm @ Karem Kamp
400 Karem Circle, Waco, Texas 76712 on Hwy 185 between Hwy 6 and China Spring Road
$30.00 Entry Fee
If you’d like to check out all our entries, spectator admission is free
All Makes and Models
Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles and Scooters
First 100 entries get a Dash Plaque and T-Shirt
All entries are registered for $100 Cash Drawing
Rain or Shine – No Refunds
Lots of Shade, Large Pavilion and Restrooms
Food Concession opens at 7:00 am
Breakfast – Lunch – Soft Drinks

What Is The Zipper Merge?

Zipper Merge

Living in Dallas – Fort Worth has its upsides. There’s always plenty of things to do, more restaurants than we could ever eat at and very mild Winters. But, there is one major drawback: traffic. Living in a highly concentrated urban area means continual growth and construction to accommodate that growth. It’s no secret that the bulk of our highways are under some form of construction at all times. It feels like Interstate 35W in Fort Worth has been under construction for the better part of a decade. With knowing that there’s a good chance that anywhere you go in the metroplex, it’s a good idea to know what a zipper merge is.

Why is it called a zipper merge?

A zipper merge is when a lane is being blocked off ahead of you and they are forcing your lane to merge into another lane. In a perfect world, the drivers in the lane that is being closed are waiting until the moment when they have no more room to drive in their lane and are merging into the other lane, much like a zipper (hence the name).

The problem with the zipper merge is that drivers tend to believe that merging before they have to, in anticipation of the merge, are causing traffic to slow to a much slower pace than is necessary.

Why does this happen?

A slowdown is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to reach the point of stopping completely! When you zipper merge, both lanes of traffic are traveling at the same speed up until the point of merging. When a driver merges too soon, it slows down the lane that is not merging and causes multiple slowdowns, resulting in stop-and-go traffic. Long story short: merge into the open lane when you are forced to, instead of trying to get a jump on the cars in front of you. You may think you’re doing a good deed, but you’re likely causing the traffic to be a little slower that it has to be.

Car Necessities

car necessities

 

When we first learned to drive a car, our parents had some words of wisdom that they heard from their parents who heard it from their parents and so on and so forth until the days of covered wagons. Everything from “Make sure to call me when you get there” to “Here’s how to change a tire.” I was very lucky. Apart from my parents imparting their wisdom, they also gifted me with several things that have been essential in my survival on the open road.

 

Jumper Cables

 

I can not tell you how many times I have used this particular set of jumper cables. They are at least 25 years old. I have not just used them on my vehicle, but many a stranded stranger as well. The concept is not rocket science. My father first told me DO NOT EVER touch the battery clamps together.

  • You work with the dead battery first.
  • First, connect the red (positive) side of the clamps to the red dead (positive) battery post.
  • Then, connect the red (positive) clamp to the charged battery.
  • Third, connect the black (negative) clamp to the charged battery
  • Fourth, connect the black (negative) clamp to a ground on the dead car. An example of a ‘ground’ would be any part of the metal frame.

Start the charged car first and let it run. Then start the dead car and let it run. You are going to remove the clamps in reverse order. Black ground/ Black Charged/ Red Charged/ Red Dead

TIPS: If your battery is dead, it is usually one of two things. You either need a new battery, which you can change out at any automotive place OR your alternator is out. The alternator charges the battery when the car is running. If it goes out, then things like headlights, cabin lights, windshield wipers, will not work and they will drain your battery so that you can not start it.

 

Ice Scraper

 

Having an ice scraper in Texas seems like a minor thing. We are known for our triple digit temperatures, not our frigid winters. But ice scrapers can be used for so much more than scraping ice. You can now purchase ice scrapers with a small enclosed blade on the handle. It looks a bit like an envelope cutter. This little piece of ingenuity is a seatbelt knife. It is used in the event of an accident, especially one that involves water. It will allow you to safely cut your seat belt off. The ice scraper is also sturdy enough to break through the glass on your window. I have seen people use their ice scraper for more than just ice. It works great as a paint scraper or to scrap the dough off of the countertop. I have even seen one used to spread caulk.

 

A First Aid Kit

 

Another thing that my mother was adamant that I packed was a first aid kit. Thankfully I was able to find a travel sized first aid kit in the camping section of my local grocery store. It has bandages and ointments and medicine for heartburn. The most important thing it had in it though was an emergency blanket. In Texas, we have fairly mild winters, but if you were ever stuck out in the middle of nowhere, and a headlight goes out, and then the alternator goes out, that blanket will be your saving grace until help arrives to save you. No one wants to freeze waiting for help.

June Car Events

June Car Events

 

King of the Big 3

Ennis, Texas

Texas Motorplex (7500 W. Ennis Ave, Ennis, TX, 75119)

Date: (Sat) Jun 09, 2018

Gates Open at 8AM

 

Gate admission = $10 (everyone pays gate admission)

Car Show entry = $10

Test-n-tune = $20

Swap Meet = FREE to sell

 

The King of the Big 3 is a premier event for automotive enthusiasts featuring spectacular Chevy, Ford and Mopar vehicles. The event will be highlighted with a huge car show, high-powered racing on the track, USACI auto sound competition, swap meet and pin-up girl contest.

A TV crew from the Menards Chevy show will be on site filming for episodes that will air on Velocity in the fall.

 

Come on out to the Motorplex and join the fun!

 


 

Calvary Car Show

 

8th Annual Calvary Car Show

Grand Prairie, Texas

Calvary Baptist Church (401 W. Church St., Grand Prairie, TX, 75050)

Date: (Sat) Jun 16, 2018

 

Admission: Free

Register On Site – $25 per entry Free CCS t-shirt & calendar included with each entry

Registration begins at 3pm

To be included in judging, entries must be turned in by 6:30 pm

 

100% of Proceeds & Donations Go To Send Kids To Church Camp

 

Rain out date will be the following Sat. 6-23-2018

There are indoor restrooms and air conditioning to cool down and eat.

 

Any questions, call John Parker 469-774-7191 www.CalvaryGP.net

 


 

Elm Street Rod Run

 

Hillsboro Car Show Elm Street Rod Run

Hillsboro, Texas

Roadside America Museum (212 East Elm Street, Hillsboro, TX, 76645)

Date: (Sat) Jun 23, 2018

Gates Open at 8AM

Show from 10:00AM-2:00PM

Awards at 2:30PM

 

Admission: Free

Entry Registration:      $25 Pre Entry

$30 Show Day

 

100s of beautiful cars, vendors and lots of local downtown shopping and restaurants

 


 

Bluegrass On Ballard Car & Motorcycle Show

 

Wylie Jubilee – Bluegrass on Ballard & Car Show

Wylie, Texas

Downtown Wylie (100 North Ballard Ave., Wylie, TX, 75098)

Date: (Sat) Jun 30, 2018

Venders open at 10AM

Musis starts at 2PM

Car show is from 4PM- 10PM

 

Admission: Free

Entry Registration: $20

 

200+ car show, live bluegrass bands, 100+ vendors of art, crafts, unique items and food, in historic downtown Wylie, rain or shine.

 

Details and to pre-register vehicles Click Here

For More Information Contact: Craig Kelly 972-516-6016 or craig.kelly@wylietexas.gov

The Beach and Your Car

Beach Vacation

Photo courtesy of Nate B/flickr

As you begin planning your summer vacations and beach locations, take a few minutes to also plan car care for your trip to the ocean. The mix of salt and sand can wreak havoc on your vehicle if you are not carefully prepared.

If you plan on staying in a hotel, choose one that has a parking garage. The added cover for your car helps to keep the salty dew from settling in every nook of your vehicle. It also keeps the sun’s heat from holding the salty moisture inside your vehicle.

If you have a day at the beach and a sand-side drive, be certain to wash and wax your vehicle afterward. Use the sprayer to get deep inside the wheel wells, in the door seams, and in the engine bay. Make certain to scrub out any place that salt crystals have accumulated or where sand is present. Insider tip: Use a sprinkler beneath your vehicle to help get to those hard to reach places. Corrosion tends to be a major issue the closer you are to the ocean, so it is important that you take the necessary precautions to slow down the buildup of rust. After washing your vehicle, apply a wax. The wax will help coat the paint and protect it from the harsh saltwater and abrasive sand.

Once you have finished your day at the beach, it is not just the exterior that needs attention. Sand and salt can stain the seats in your car or truck, so it is important that you work to keep it out of your vehicle. If you have a choice between a chair and a towel at the beach, choose the chair. Lawn chairs and popup chairs will keep the seat portion off of the sand, thereby keeping less sand intact. If you do happen to use a towel for seating arrangements, shake it out thoroughly away. Insider tip: Use a mesh beach bag or a shoe drying bag for your beach belongings. The holes in the bag will allow more sand to sift through, meaning less sand is taken to your car.

Protecting the seats can be done with a covered sheet. Wrapping it around the back and seat portions will allow the sand and salt to accumulate within the sheet, thereby keeping it off of your interior. You can then shake it out when you clean. Covers for the front seats can also be done with single fitted sheets. No, they aren’t as pretty as custom seat covers, but they will protect the color and integrity of your seats for the trip. Plastic or rubber floor mats are recommended, as they can be shaken out and sprayed down easily. Insider tip: Make sure to scrub down the interior of your car too. Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth dipped in a 50/50 water and white vinegar solution. Then wipe down your interior with a protectant for your particular material type: leather, vinyl, plastic, wood. There are even products to protect your seats from the salty moisture that you can use in preparation for your trip.

 

May Car Events

Nostalgia Nights

 

Nostalgia Nights

Every Friday in May from 6:00PM to 10:00PM

6220 US 287, Arlington, TX 76017

 

This weekly car event is for the entire family. There is food within walking distance, Rock & Roll music, and beautiful classic cars on display! It doesn’t get much better than that.

Classic Cars were created 1972 or prior, although they allow for custom cars and later model muscle cars when there is extra parking. If you are interested in bring your car in, please check out this flyer!

Admission is free.

Cars in the Park

May 12th, 2018 (Rain Date: May 26th, 2018)

400 South Grand Ave., Waxahachie, TX

 

This is an event is located in the Getzendaner Park and will be fun for the whole family. The gates open at 8:30 A.M. Registration is from 9:00 A.M. to Noon. The car show will begin at 10:00 A.M. and will continue until 2:00 P.M. There will be a raffle and lots of music.

More information located on this flyer.

Entry Fee is $15.00.

 

Car, Truck, and Bike Show

May 19th, 2018 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.

Registration is from 10 A.M.-11:30 A.M.

5400 Sandshell Drive, Suite 100, Fort Worth, TX 76137

 

If you are looking for more than just amazing cars, come check out this show. There will be 34 classes for vehicle registration and they will be giving out 56 awards. Bring your family and come check out a wide assortment of classic vehicles on display.

Registration fee is $20.

 

36th Lone Star 55-57 Chevy Nationals

May 24th, 2018 through May 27th, 2018

Nationals begin at 5 P.M. on the 24th and running until 8 P.M. on the 27th

DFW Airport Marriott, 8440 Freeport Pkwy, Irving, TX 75063

 

This event is hosted by the Dallas Area Classic Chevys. Please bring the entire family to this event includes Sightseeing Tours by bus to ‘The Star’ as well as the Gas Monkey Grill. Saturday night fun includes a Drive-In showing of ‘Two Lane Blacktop” and a performance by ‘The Vinyl Stripes’. Sunday events include the Tri Chevy Poker Run, Vintage Railroad Tours to the Stockyards, and a live performance by the Route 66 band. This full weekend event also includes lots of food, drag racing, and oldies music all weekend.

For more information, explore this link.

Tire Care

tire care

 

One of the most important pieces of tire care, but certainly one of the most overlooked, is the regular inspection of your five tires. Yes, even as you inspect the four tires on your vehicle, you also need to take care inspecting your spare. This will be the tire that helps you go from the side of the freeway to an auto mechanic’s shop. Tire care needs to be done both monthly and before a trip, to ensure that you are driving on safe and balanced tires. Let’s look at what those monthly inspections should entail.

 

Tire Pressure

The very first thing that you need to consider is how much air is actually in your tires. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires are a safety hazard, as well as a drain on your gas mileage. Tire pressure should be checked with a pressure gage when the tires are cool, usually when the car has been at rest for a bit. There are two places to find out how much pressure should be in your tires; it is located in your user manual, or there is usually a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door with the information. Occasionally it is located on the trunk lid, on the inside of the fuel door, or even in the console. It is not recommended that you use the information located on the outside wall of your tires. It usually includes passenger capacity, load tolerance, recommended tire sizes, as well as air pressure at Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). If you have modified your vehicle, it is recommended that you write down inside your users manual what the tire manufacturers recommend for your particular tire.

 

Tread and Damage

Monthly you also need to check the tread on your tires as well as check for damage. Tread can be checked easily with the penny test. Place a penny, top side up, inside of the treads. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you need to take your tires in to be replaced. While you are checking tread, pay attention to the wear patterns on the tires. If the sides of your tires are worn, but the center intact, then you may have under inflated tires. If the wear is in the center of the tire, then your tires are likely overinflated. During your inspection, run your fingers along the back outside perimeter. If you feel any sort of metal or wiring, you need to have your tires replaced immediately. Also, check for a build-up of soot around the insides of your wheel housing. This could indicate that your brake pads need to be replaced soon.

 

Right Tires for the Job

Also be aware of the seasons that you are moving into when you choose tires for your vehicle. All Weather Tires are a good investment when you live in temperate climates, but for areas with heavy snow or heavy rains, there are tires that will more safely get your vehicle from one destination to another. All-terrain tires are another option for many vehicles. When choosing tires, you should be aware of your destination location, your current location, as well as the time of year that you will be traveling. Certain vehicles don’t handle well with particular tires, so it is important to speak to an expert who has been trained to match your tires with your needs, knowing that budget is also a consideration in that.

Take your tires in regularly for a balance and rotation, as well as monthly checks, and you will be on your way to a safer and more efficient trip.

Transmission Flush

 

transmission flush

Photo courtesy of Amara U/flickr

Most car owners put off some services until problems arise. A vehicle’s transmission is key to driving and signs of it failing should not be ignored. A transmission flush is important to the health of a vehicle and is an excellent preventative measure. The purpose of the transmission is to ensure that the right amount of power is going to the wheels so your vehicle can drive at any given speed. It shifts gears similar to that of a bicycle, without the chain, the bike cannot go. A car’s transmission works in the same way. If it is not properly maintained, you can lose fuel-economy or the loss to drive at all.

A transmission flush is the process where all of the oil in a transmission is removed and new oil is then run through. A special machine is used to push out any grime or sludge so that all debris is removed and 100% of the used oil can be replaced with fresh quarts.

There is a difference between a transmission flush and a fluid change. Having your transmission flushed requires a professional grade machine. The process involves removing contaminants from the torque converter and cooler lines and uses special solutions to do so. Changing transmission fluid simply drains using gravity. This process does not guarantee that all contaminants will be flushed out.

For automatic transmissions, a flush is recommended at 50,000 miles and up to 100,000 miles or every two years. The average cost for a flush is between $125-$250 for a full service.

Some signs that your transmission may be failing and need a flush include slipping or feeling like your car is not changing gears, hearing clunking noises when changing gears, delayed engagement between gears, fluid leaks, and warning lights. If your vehicle is experiencing these symptoms, contact us today for an inspection.