What Different Car Noises Could Indicate

There’s nothing quite like the throaty hum of a finely-tuned engine. It’s something we can get used to over time and that’s why when it suddenly changes, it can be disconcerting to say the least. So, what changed? Here’s a short list of what different car noises could indicate.

 

Squealing

If your vehicle squeals when you apply the brakes, it could be telling you that you need new brakes pads. Have your vehicle inspected soon, because once pads wear out completely your rotors could be damaged.

 

Rattling

A loose exhaust system can cause rattling that appears to be coming from underneath your vehicle. You could even take a peek under there to check it out. But, it’s probably better to seek the service of a professional.

 

Grinding

There are a number of kinds of grinding sounds an unhealthy vehicle can make. A light grinding sound could mean that your brake pads have been rubbed down to nothing.

 

If you drive a manual transmission, grinding during shifting could indicate a variety of issues. It could be a dragging clutch or a failing synchronizer. These are problems that normally arise as your vehicle reaches high mileage.

 

If your troubles are stacking up and you think the solution may be a new vehicle, stop in at DeVoe Buick GMC to explore our excellent lineup!

Thanksgiving Road Trip Tips

ThanksgivingThanksgiving Day and weekend typically have horrible traffic, so if you’re planning on taking a road trip out of town, it’s important to keep these Thanksgiving road trip tips in mind.

Auto-related deaths on Thanksgiving have generally less to do with drunk driving and more about long distances and heavy traffic. Try to leave early on your trip, since other drivers will be less drowsy and there will be fewer of them on the road, but you should also avoid leaving earlier than you would normally get up in the morning. Driving too early in the morning isn’t any better than driving at night—you’ll still be sleepy and off your game.

Another thing to look out for is stress. The holidays can take a lot out of us, and getting everyone together for a several-hour road trip with the prospect of dealing with relatives isn’t the most exciting. Heavy traffic just increases stress, so you just have to avoid letting it get the better of you and causing you to drive recklessly. And be watchful of other stressed-out drivers!

When packing food and luggage in the car, make sure everything is secured and won’t move. If you do get in a wreck or even just come to a sudden stop and there are heavy, loose items around, it could seriously injure you or a passenger.

Bring plenty of games, handheld devices, audiobooks, and regular books to keep your kids entertained on the trip. Avoid driving after you eat turkey, especially at night—the Tryptophan in turkey makes you drowsy. If you can, stay with your relatives.

What Does a Car’s Torque Mean?

dashboardThere are a lot of confusing terms when it comes to checking out new cars and reading through the specifications. While horsepower is pretty self-explanatory, torque is a widely referred to spec that not many drivers can define. Even more of a mystery is what torque actually does in a car. So, just what does a car’s torque mean? Let us DeVoe Buick GMC explain.

Putting it plain and simple, torque causes a car to accelerate. While the torque specification is a higher number than the torque on the wheels, it’s still a good indicator of how fast a car can accelerate.

There are a few things that can help a car accelerate other than torque. A lighter car and lower center-of-mass will obviously help.

We’ve defined what torque is but not how it effects the vehicle in reality. Take a truck like the GMC Sierra 1500, for example.

If you’ve ever read the specifications on a full-size pickup, odds are you noticed that the engines fall in the range of a V6 or V8 and may include a diesel option here and there. The reason for that size of an engine is simple: the larger the engine, the more torque it can produce.

An engine with high torque won’t be as effective without large wheels and tires, which is why trucks are usually so massive.

How to Prevent Automotive Rust

rustHere at DeVoe Buick GMC, we are located about as close to the Gulf of Mexico as you can hope to get. Just a mile or so from our doorstep, you’ll find expansive views of the Gulf and the salty breeze in your face. Unfortunately, along with the beauty the beach offers comes the consequences of salty air. The high salt content of humid ocean air can mean that people who live near the beach are especially susceptible to finding rust forming on their cars.

Here are suggestions on how to prevent automotive rust to keep your car looking (and running) its best.

Wash, wash, wash. Make it a priority to wash your car every two weeks, and apply wax every month. This will help eliminate the salt on your car’s paint and undercarriage, and help to protect it from salt for the coming weeks.

Look for damage. Look for scratches, flaking paint, or bubbling paint. Any exposure increases the risk of rust formation, and bubbling paint can be in indication that rust is already forming. When you find any damage, apply a sealant to prevent rust from forming on those areas of damaged paint.

Consider anti-rust spray. If you live in particularly harsh environments or struggle with automotive rust, you can apply an anti-rust spray to your car to protect it further. The spray acts as an extra coat of protectant for your car’s paint job.

For more information on what to do if you find rust on your car, visit howstuffworks.com.

Summer Car Care Tips to Keep You Cool When the Weather is Hot

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Get Summer Service at DeVoe!

While most people think of winter as one of the most dangerous times of the year for vehicles, the summer season has its drawbacks as well. Stay safe this year with these summer car care tips from DeVoe Buick GMC:

  • Keep your car on a regular maintenance schedule. If you haven’t been to the auto repair shop for a tune-up lately, the time is now.
  • Make sure that your tires are appropriately inflated and have enough tread.
  • Take a good look at your windshield wipers. They can really take a beating in the snow, and you’ll want them at their best when it rains this year.
  • Change the air filter. Now that it’s warm, you’re going to want clean, fresh air blasting through the air conditioner.
  • Double-check that your air conditioning is working properly. If it’s only able to drop the temperature inside by about five degrees, you probably wouldn’t have noticed the problem all winter long.

Do you have any other summer car care tips to keep in mind? Let us know your ideas in the comments.

Gas Mileage Tips You Might Not Have Known: Pinching-Pennies Can Add Up

green drivingAlthough gas prices have been low recently, it seems as though they might be on the rise again. That’s why we’ve put together a list of gas mileage tips–saving money has never been this easy.

According to Fuel Economy.gov, there are multiple methods of saving money. Among the easiest is changing your driving habits. By driving the speed limit, removing excess weight, avoiding idling, and using cruise control, you’ll save big in the long run.

Car maintenance is also important. Not only will regular upkeep increase resale value, but it’ll also make your car more efficient. The three major things to stay on top of are tire pressure, oil changes, and air filters. Correct tire pressure reduces unnecessary friction, changing the oil regularly keeps your engine running smoothly, and new air filters optimize air flow, essential for combustion.

Planning and combing trips is also a great way to optimize fuel economy. Carpooling is an obvious tip, but it’s also important to plan out your day to avoid stops. Nothing is worse than unnecessary driving.

Last but not least, consider fuel economy when you’re buying a car. We at DeVoe Buick GMC offer customers the latest in fuel efficient systems in our models. Both brands offer unique engine configurations (like fuel-saving Eco-mode), lightweight materials (carbon fiber and aluminum alloys), and aerodynamic design. When you buy Buick or GMC, you get performance and efficiency.

How to Use your GPS Legally

How to use your GPS LegallyDid you know that using a GPS while driving can be considered illegal? Well… it depends on when and how you use it. We think that GPSs can save a lot of time and effort which is why we want to educate you on how to use your GPS legally.

According to a recent article by Consumer Reports, the NHTSA reported that 421,000 people were hurt and or died in collisions involving distracted drivers. Some of those accidents occurred while drivers were inputting data or looking at directions on their GPS.

Here are a few tips when using your GPS. You should follow these at all times to remain focused on the road and to refrain from getting a ticket.

  • Choose the right device for you. If you do a lot of commuting where you need a GPS, consider getting a standalone GPS instead of using your smartphone. Smartphones eat data and battery life that you may need later.
  • Get as hands-free as you can. In no state are you allowed to hold a electronic device like a smartphone or GPS while you’re driving. Make sure you program your device for the destination before you take off.
  • Mount your device in the right spot. Don’t let your GPS hinder your ability to see out of the windshield. Try sticking your GPS to the dashboard instead of suctioning it to the windshield. Windshield mounts are illegal in 28 states anyway.

Do you have any GPS tips you would add to this list? Let us know in the comment section below! Happy Travels from DeVoe Buick GMC.

Top Summer Car Maintenance Tips (Part One)

Despite rising gas prices, Americans can never seem to resist their desire to get out on the open road in the summer. I know I personally have always loved going on summer road trips. However, as fun as summer road trips may be, long trips on hot summer days can be extremely hard on your car. But wait! Don’t cancel your road trip yet! There are a few simple precautions you can take to make sure your car is ready for a summer trip.

  • Make sure your tires are up to snuff. This doesn’t only mean you should make sure there is enough air in your tires; it also means you should check your tires tread to make sure there’s not too much wear and tear. Tires without enough tread can cause you to hydroplane, which is never a good thing.
  • Change the oil and oil filter. Oil keeps the many moving parts of your car working the way they should, so make sure you check your owner’s manual and get your oil changed after the recommended amount of miles.
  • Change your air filter. Your cars air filter will get clogged with various things over the winter months, so make sure everything is clear. This will allow your engine to breathe better, and thus get better gas mileage.

We hope these few tips help! Keep an eye out for the second and third installments of “Summer Car Maintenance Tips”. And always remember, you can count on the DeVoe Automotive service center for any of you car maintenance needs.

Gas Saving Tips and Tricks

Unless you drive a fully electric car, or a car that runs on vegetable oil, chances are you’re always looking for ways to save gas. I know I am always looking to improve my gas mileage. And yes, even though things like combining trips or carpooling will save you gas (obviously), we wanted to share a few things that you can do to your car right now that will help you get the most out of your gas tank.

First thing you should do is check your tire pressure. If your tires are not filled up to the proper level, you could be decreasing your miles per gallon more than you might think. See, under-inflated tires cause more rolling resistance, and more rolling resistance means more gas. Check your owner’s manual and get some air in your tires.

Next, get any unnecessary weight out of your car. All that junk in your trunk is weighing your car down and causing you to get less MPG. Perhaps it’s time to start leaving the golf clubs in the garage.

Finally, check your air filter. This may not be the first thing you think of when you’re thinking of ways to increase MPG, but a clogged filter limits air flow to the engine, thus decreasing miles per gallon. However, this is a quick fix. All you have to do is remove the air filer, hold it up to the sun, and if you can’t see any sunlight, then it’s time for a new filter. Simple as that.

See how easy that is to increase your MPG? If you have any questions about anything you just read, feel free to stop by the DeVoe Buick GMC service center and talk with one of our certified technicians about some other easy ways you can save gas.