Keep On Truckin’ – The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado

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The latest generation of Silverado debuted in 2014 and set the automotive world ablaze with praise for GM’s continued devotion to refining their particular brand of style, safety, performance, and technological advancements. Three years later, the Silverado is still topping the sales charts with new additions from fresh colors to technological upgrades and with the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, your choices are greater than ever before.

As usual, the trim levels range from powerful work truck (WT) to the top-shelf beast-mode of the High Country. The starting line for the Silverado’s powertrain is anything but “basic”. The reliably potent 4.3L engine still impresses with its 285 horse-powered V-6 workhorse. Additional technology and upgraded cosmetics evolve with each trim level increase.

Want 20″ aluminum wheels? The ‘Silverado Custom’ is your baby. Looking for satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and standards like Teen Driver mode and a rearview camera? May want to give the LT models a spin.

But if you’re looking for more muscle, don’t worry. Chevy’s got you covered with their LZ and High Country models. You’ll be the king of the road with your 5.3L V8 355 horse-powered 1LZ. Toss in a 6-speed automatic transmission and all the modern technological conveniences and your kingdom will be expanding every time you put it in “drive”.

Still not enough? Then you’re ready for the High Country. An 8-speed transmission and rear-wheel drive replaces the 1LZ’s front wheel (and the 2LZ’s 4-wheel) drive type along with adding 20″ chrome aluminum wheels and the best tech on the market today. All the stops have been pulled with standard interior equipment like power-adjustable pedals and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and that’s just for starters.

Even the safety features get the state-of-the-art treatment by adding features like an ultrasonic parking assist system, forward-collision alerts, lane-keeping assistance, automatic high beams, and much more. So, no matter what you’re looking for, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has it in an incredible array of trim levels and in an indescribable kaleidoscope of exterior and interior colors.

The best news of all is you don’t have to wait to test drive Chevrolet’s newest Silverado. It’s waiting for you now at Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC at prices you’ll have to see to believe. So, shop us online or stop by our showroom today and experience everything the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has to offer. This isn’t a dream. This is a Chevrolet Silverado…

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71

 

Top Six Automotive Maintenance Myths

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Pretty much any complicated machine is going to develop some mythology over time, and the automobile is no exception. Cars have been ubiquitous for more than 100 years, and seemingly with every new innovation comes a new myth that is either created or busted.

Here are the top six auto maintenance myths.

The 3,000-Mile Oil Change

The “three months or 3,000 miles” oil change interval was invented by oil manufacturers, not auto manufacturers. Even 50 years ago, most manufacturers suggested changing the oil at more like 5,000 miles. There is nothing wrong with changing it every 3,000 miles, of course, but if you look at your owner’s manual, you’ll probably see a higher number.

“Tune-Ups”

We put that in quotes because that term, as commonly understood, isn’t relevant to modern engine designs. In the old days, a tune-up involved a whole series of tasks, including changing the plugs and points and tuning the carburetor. Well, modern engines don’t have any of that stuff. Except for spark plugs. So if you as a mechanic to perform a tune-up on a car built within the last 25 years, all he’s going to do is change the spark plugs.

Premium Gas Make More Power

If we’ve said it once we’ve said it 1,000 times: Premium gasoline will do nothing extra for a car that doesn’t require it. This myth persists because the oil companies call high-octane fuel “premium” and low-octane fuel “regular,” implying one is better for the other. There is a bunch of complicated science involved with this, but all you need to know is that if your car doesn’t specifically indicate it is designed to run on premium fuel, premium fuel won’t do a single thing for you that regular won’t. That said, if your car does require premium, you’ll cause it to run worse by running regular.

Filling Your Gas in the Morning

The mythology goes like this: Since temperatures are lower in the morning, the gasoline will be more dense, meaning the parts of it that would be vaporizing during the afternoon are being pumped, as liquid, into your tank. This is nonsense. Gasoline is stored underground, and its temperature isn’t affected enough on the way to your tank for there to be any different.

Dirty Cars Get Better Mileage

This one is out there, but some people actually believe that a car caked in dirt will get better fuel economy than a clean car because of something having to do with dimples on a golf ball or whatever. The opposite is true. the dirt creates more drag. Wash your car.

Wash Your Car with Dish Soap

The thinking goes that since dish soap is great at removing oils, it’s great for cleaning your car. And it’s true: Dish soap will wash the daylights out of your car. It will remove all the dirt, and the grime, and the oils, and the wax, and it will leave your paint and the sun with nothing between them. Use less harsh soaps designed for auto finishes.

If you’ve got work that needs doing on your car, bring it to our expert technicians at Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC. Our technicians know the ins and outs of your vehicle, and will repair it perfectly with genuine Chevrolet parts.

Fury Road: Tips For Avoiding Road Rage

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We’ve all been there.  You’re in a hurry to get to point “B” and it seems as if everyone around you graduated last in their class at the Stevie Wonder Driving School.  Your schedule is packed with appointments at all four corners of the city and it feels like someone has covered your car in ”I love driving 25 MPH” bumper stickers.  You’re late to your child’s music recital and 20 million of your fellow drivers are all suffering from a collective case of automotive cerebral flatulence.

There isn’t a person on this planet with any tenure behind the wheel of a vehicle that hasn’t lost their mind in one of our nation’s major metropolitan traffic jams at least once.  For as long as humanity has gathered together in large numbers and then tried to collectively move from point “A” to point “B”, there have been outbursts of frustration.  From horseback to horse powered vehicles, mankind seems intent on finding more ways to move faster while settling in the highest populated areas on the planet where moving faster makes for great fiction.

Because of the growing number of drivers on our nation’s roadways, the number of road rage incidents seem to be climbing with each passing day.  As more and more stressed out drivers take their frustrations out on their fellow man, the automotive industry is stepping up their attempts to educate the driving public to both the dangers of and methods of avoiding becoming a perpetrator or a victim of road rage. With this in mind, Ron Carter Cadillac is happy to offer the following tips to help keep your commuting as stress and incident-free as possible.

SLEEP IT OFF

According to the National Sleep Foundation, our nation is populated by a growing number of sleep deprived motorists. Full schedules and stressful situations are just some of the contributing factors to sleepless nights that most Americans suffer from.  Whatever the stimulus (or lack thereof) for the restless nights, most of us understand that with restlessness and stress comes crankiness, frustration, and even anger.  Now fill our nation’s highways with stressed-out, cranky drivers and you’ve got a recipe for a buffet of road rage.  The solution can oftentimes be as simple as getting a good night’s sleep. As difficult as that may seem, there are plenty of therapies, medications, and even exercises that will help even the most stressed out among us to get the rest they desperately need. Just imagine how different our daily commute would be if we were well rested. Now fill our highways with rested people and what do you see? Hopefully it’s a decline in road rage incidents.

MAKE TIME

One of the leading causes of road rage incidents is the frustrations associated with running late for work, appointments, etc. Obviously there will be times when circumstances prevent us from making a scheduled appointment time. But, if those circumstances are the norm instead of the exception, it may be time to learn some time management skills.  Trying to make up for a late start on the highway is a perfect catalyst for road rage.  There are many ways to improve our time management habits. One of the biggest steps to improving your drive time is planning ahead. Learning to plan for the next day’s schedule with a little bedtime preparation goes a long way towards alleviating the chaos of a typical morning. Laying out clothes or preparing the kids’ lunches before bedtime may sound like something associated with OCD, but you’ll be amazed at how much time you’ll save with just a little bit of preparation for the next day’s events.  Knowing the next day’s weather forecast will also help with planning a departure time that will allow for unexpected delays without all the rage.  In short, learning how to effectively manage time will go a long way toward reducing the stresses inherent in city commuting.

GET OVER YOURSELF

Yeah we know, that’s pretty blunt.  At the risk of crossing over into insulting territory, we acknowledge that when it comes to subjects of behavior modification, some truths are difficult to hear.  But the truth of the matter is many road rage incidents occur because most drivers believe their driving habits are the standards by which all other drivers are to be measured.  As ego-building as that belief may be, the fact of the matter is no one on the road is more important than anyone else.  If more people drove with courtesy and respect for other drivers, the number of road rage incidents would decline rather drastically.  Consider this tip as a challenge for personal growth and development.  Learning not to take things personally will go a long way toward improving much more in our lives than just our commute to and from work.  After all, we’re pretty safe in assuming there aren’t too many people who are proud of their road rage activities once they have calmed down and the ones that brag about their rage-fueled commutes generally aren’t very popular.  If your priority is avoiding road rage, choosing to keep a healthy, non-self-centered perspective on life goes a long way toward achieving that goal.

RECORD YOURSELF

If you really want a perspective-shifting experience, record yourself driving in traffic.  Many corrective classes for aggressive drivers instruct their students to record themselves and teach them how to analyze their habits in order to curb road rage incidents.  Here are just a few of the analytical questions you may want to ask yourself as you listen to your recording:

Do you regularly speed in order to get to your destination on time?

Do you regularly tailgate other drivers, especially in a freeway’s “fast lane”?

Do you regularly use your lights and horn to communicate your frustration with other drivers?

Do you verbally communicate with other drivers despite the fact that they cannot hear you?

Do you regularly weave in and out of traffic in order to save time?

Do you regularly feel the need to set other drivers straight?

These questions are designed to inform, not rebuke or punish aggressive driving behavior. The idea is to pinpoint observable habits that fuel frustrations that can easily lead to road rage. Once armed with this information, the driver is left with some choices to make. Ignore the behavior or take steps to develop driving habits that will result in a much less stressful driving experience. As always, the choice for personal growth and development is up to each of us to make.

BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER

“All the world needs is love” John Lennon said and nowhere on earth is that fact more apparent than on our roadways. Of all of the tips we could give on the subject of reducing road rage incidents, this one seems the most simplistic.  And yet, if we can invoke another Lennon tune, just imagine what our highways would look like if people were just kinder to one another.  We’re not advocating everyone buy a VW bug and fill it with flowers to spread across the land. But, consider just how different the world would be if kindness was the defining characteristic of humanity.  At the very least the jails, hospitals, and cemeteries would be less crowded with the victims and perpetrators of road rage incidents if we could all just learn how to be excellent to each other.

Yeah, we know.  Road rage seems to be here to stay but if we all just put in a little effort to work on our perspectives and attitudes, especially when we’re behind the wheel of our vehicles, we can imagine a world where road rage incidents become the exception rather than the norm on our highways and byways.  In any event, we hope these tips will not only help you get to your destination with your sanity and self esteem intact but maybe, just maybe, help you learn how to enjoy the journey along the way.

Three Car Mistakes You Need To Stop Making

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You’re not a neglectful person. You pay your bills on time. You RSVP to weddings. You reply to text messages in a timely fashion. You’re on top of it.

But we all have our blind spots, and cars are complicated and, well, we here at Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC have seen it all over the years. As much as we appreciate your business, nothing makes us happier than seeing cars and trucks running in tip-top shape.

So we thought we’d let you in on a few common car mistakes you may be making.

Letting Your Brakes Squeal

Well, the car keeps stopping, doesn’t it? It’s just a little squeak, and it doesn’t even do it every time. No big deal, right?

Here’s the thing: That brake squeal is caused by a part that has no function in your brake system other than to make a terrible and annoying squeaking noise to alert you to the fact your brake pads need changed, ASAP. That sound you hear is a little metal tab digging into your brake rotors. If you don’t replace the pads immediately, that tab — and eventually some other metal parts — will start digging into your brake rotor, and you’ll end up having to replace or resurface that too.

Not Flushing Your Transmission

We know, we know. We’ve seen the looks on your faces. A lot of people look at a transmission flush like it’s a bottle of snake oil, some needless gimmick designed only to separate you from your money.

Trust the automotive community on this one. Think of it like this: Transmission fluid is to your transmission what oil is to your engine. Granted, transmission fluid stays cleaner for longer because, unlike your engine, your transmission isn’t sucking air and fuel into it from the outside, nor are any explosions happening in your transmission. But that oil can’t last forever. If your car has more than about 70,000 miles on it, you’re probably about ready for a transmission flush. Trust us: It won’t cost that much, and you know what they say about an ounce of prevention …

Not Getting An Alignment

As with the noisy brakes, a misaligned suspension generally doesn’t render the car un-drivable, it just renders it mildly annoying — the steering wheel is off center and the wheels pull you to one side, but overall the car works OK.

The trouble is, that poor alignment is doing a number on your tires. It’s making them wear out faster and unevenly, and it might even make them develop this weird choppy pattern that will create more road noise. Just get the thing aligned. It won’t cost much, and your car will thank you.

As always, we’re here to take care of these and any other car problems you may be having. Know you can always trust our technicians to get the job done right the first time, with the convenience Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC has always been known for.

Common Sense Theft Prevention Tips For Your Vehicle

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Every year there are billions, yes you heard that right…billions of dollars worth of personal items and accessories stolen from vehicles. These items can range from a pair of sunglasses, to CD collections, to stereo systems and other valuables. Most thefts happen when you least expect it, but one thing you can expect, is for the thieves to be quick. Although there really is nothing you can do to completely stop these criminals from doing what they are going to do, there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of being a target.

Lock Your Doors

The first step clearly seems like a no-brainer, however, 25% of thefts occur from unlocked vehicles! Whether you are just running in to grab a coffee or maybe you are just running up to return your Redbox, all it takes is a few seconds and a turned back to have your car broken into and your valuables taken.

Keep It Tidy

If you think that you are out of harms way because your car is cluttered with useless and invaluable junk, you might want to think again. One mans trash is another mans treasure, and just because you could live without that stuff doesn’t mean that you should want to fork out the money for a new window. Keep your car picked up and don’t give thieves a reason to believe they will be rewarded for their risk.

Put Your Valuables Away

This may also seem quite obvious, however you would be surprised at how many people leave things laying around. Don’t send theives an invitation to shop freely at your expense. There are some accessories that many of us have in our vehicles, and most of the time we don’t pay attention to the message that they send. Most thieves are experts in their field of work and are aware of all the tale-tell signs. So hiding your iPod in your glove box probably isn’t the best idea if your charger chord is plugged in and hanging out. If you can’t take it with you, make it seem as though it isn’t there.

Create Better Habits

When parking your car, make sure it is in a well-lit atmosphere and be alert of your surroundings. And if you can help it, try not to park your small car, in-between two large vehicles. When you head home, make sure that all of your valuables again, are put away and always take your garage opener, GPS, and other things that might look intriguing. Whether you are home or not, never leave your GPS out in plain-eyes-view. If the thieves really wanted to, they could track where you have been, and potentially find your home to do more damage.

Sometimes theft is unexplainable and unpreventable. However, with these simple steps you could be one step closer to being less of a target for auto theft and car break-ins.  Stop by Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC and visit with our knowledgeable and trusted to staff to get behind the wheel of a vehicle that has enough room and storage to keep your possessions stowed away at all times.

Steps To Winterizing Your Radiator

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As every experienced car mechanic knows, basic maintenance for your vehicle is key to prolonging the life of your car.  While the easiest step in keeping your car maintained is to simply take it to your local mechanic or dealership service department, that is not always an option. So, knowing how to perform fundamental maintenance to your vehicle is always a good idea, especially with the harsh weather we can have in the Houston area.

While our winters are not typically very hard on our vehicles, Jack Frost does pay us a visit from time to time. Those occasional visits can wreak havoc on our engines and supporting systems. One of the primary culprits for system failure is an engine cooling system that wasn’t prepared for winter weather. With this in mind, your friends at Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC offer the following radiator flushing and winterizing tips to help you prepare for whatever weather this winter decides to throw at us.

STEP ONE: NONE LIKE IT HOT

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Always be sure to work on your engine when it is completely cool. This is especially true if you’re planning to drain any fluids from the vehicle (oil, water, etc) as a recently running engine will quickly heat up the engine and subsequent liquids to boiling levels. We’re sure we don’t have to tell you the dangers of exposing your skin to boiling water.

STEP TWO: JACK IT UP…SAFELY

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Consider this a safety step, if done correctly. While many vehicle radiators are accessible without this step, the clearance between the bottom of the radiator and the surface of the ground is typically quite small. So, raising the front of the vehicle and bracing it with jack stands is never a bad idea. Besides, elevating the front of your vehicle will help reduce, if not completely eliminate, air bubbles when flushing your radiator.

STEP THREE: USE A DRAIN PAN

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Back in the day, our grandparents would drain the engine’s fluids directly onto the ground and let nature handle the chemicals and toxins.  Today we’re a bit more knowledgable on the damage your vehicle’s lubricants and cooling chemicals can do to the environment. So, be sure to place a drain pan underneath your radiator to catch everything you’re about to drain from your vehicle. Your grandkids will thank you.

STEP FOUR: INSPECT THE RADIATOR

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Before you start draining the coolant from your radiator, it’s always a good idea to inspect the radiator’s connecting hoses for any signs of wear and tear. There are two hoses, one on top and one on bottom. Be sure they haven’t collapsed at any point as that will restrict the flow of coolant and cause problems with your engine.

Also, it’s never a bad step to give the front of your radiator a good once-over to make sure there is nothing clogging or blocking the metal slats, or “fins”. If there is anything, simply brush them with a nylon brush until the foreign particles are removed.

Finally, inspect the rubber o-rings on your radiator cap to make sure there is no wear and tear that would prevent the cap from making a good seal when it is closed. If there are any issues with the hoses or the cap, you’ll need to replace them.

If the fins are completely clogged or collapsed, you may have a larger problem than a simple flushing can cure. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your mechanic or any of the service technicians as Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC.

STEP FIVE: DRAINING THE RADIATOR

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The radiator drain valve, or ‘petcock’, is typically located at the bottom of the radiator and will be the only bolt-looking device there. To open the petcock, use a wrench or socket/ratchet to loosen the valve. Once it is open, gravity will take care of the rest. Just be sure the drain pain is placed where it can catch the fluids.

STEP SIX: FLUSHING THE RADIATOR

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Draining the radiator will not remove all of the old coolant so a good flushing is required. Here are the steps for flushing your radiator:

  • Use a garden hose to completely fill the radiator with water.
  • Start the car and let it run for 10 minutes. Stop the engine and let the car sit until the engine is cool again.
  • Open the radiator petcock and drain the radiator again. Be advised that this water will contain coolant toxins so handle with care.
  • Repeat this process two or three more times to ensure complete flushing of the radiator.
  • NOTE: you can purchase “radiator flush solutions” from any auto parts store to add to the water as you’re flushing the radiator. These solutions aid in preventing rust and oxidation within your radiator. Just be sure to flush out all of the solutions before filling the radiator with coolant.

STEP SEVEN: REPLACE THE RADIATOR COOLANT

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Close the radiator drain petcock and add your coolant/water mix. You can purchase engine coolant that is pre-mixed with water but if you get the concentrated coolant, you’ll have to mix it yourself. A good engine coolant mixture consists of 50% distilled water and 50% antifreeze. It’s a good idea to combine the two ingredients in a bucket before adding them to the radiator to ensure a good mix.

It is always a good idea to check the owner’s manual for specific coolant requirements or suggestions. If you cannot find that info in your manual, simply bring your car’s make, model, and year info to your local parts shop and they should be able to help you.

FINAL STEP: CLEAR THE AIR

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With the radiator cap still off, start your car and let it run for about 15 minutes with the heater turned on. This action will allow any trapped air to escape from the lines thereby making room for more coolant and preventing any damage to your radiator.  After the 15 minutes are up, replace the cap and remove the jack stand/jack from your car.  That’s it, you’re done flushing and winterizing your radiator.

We hope these tips will help you keep your vehicle running in tip-top condition year round. As always, if you have any questions or need any help with this or any other maintenance on your vehicle, give Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC’s service desk a call. We’re always ready to help you.

 

(c) 2013 Finnegan Auto Blog