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.

Manual Versus Automatic

manual transmissionWhen it comes to manual versus automatic transmissions, both have their pros and cons, and it’s important to understand the differences when you go to make a decision on what car to buy.

If you have the resources and patience to learn to how to drive manual, it could save you a lot of money. Cars with manual transmissions tend to have lower sticker prices and use less gas than automatics.

Manual transmissions are also preferred by auto enthusiasts and sports car drivers. Acceleration is greatly improved with manual transmissions, and driving lovers prefer the better performance and extra control the stick shift provides.

Then again, with automatic transmissions being the more common choice, fewer and fewer people know how to drive manual cars. So if you want to learn, it could be difficult to find a teacher or even someone who owns a manual car. Plus, automatic cars don’t require learned skills to be able to get them up a steep hill. If you’re not an enthusiast and you prefer easy to exciting, automatic is probably right for you.

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.

The Buick Verano’s Tires Are Key to the Perfect Ride

Verano's TiresHave you ever considered how much planning and strategizing it takes to design the best tires for your vehicle? For the Buick Verano, the GM Tire-Wheel Systems group worked hard, collaborating with Continental Tire to provide you with tires that will not only get you from point A to point B, but will also maximize your driving experience, improve your fuel economy, and help to keep you safe.

Chris Arabian, a member of GM’s Tire-Wheel Systems team, said of the Verano’s tires, “For the Verano, we needed to ensure we provided ride comfort, while also balancing fuel economy and rolling resistance, and delivering an engaging driving experience.”

The Verano’s base trim is outfitted with 17-inch tires engineered to increase fuel economy and decrease rolling resistance.  The model’s Turbo trim wears 18-inch tires, improving the vehicle’s responsive handling and sporty drive.

We at DeVoe Buick GMC think GM’s team hit the nail on the head in choosing the Verano’s tires, but you can stop by and take a test drive to see for yourself.

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.

Stop Dozing off Behind the Wheel

One of the most dangerous hazards out their driving on the road with you is actually yourself!  Last year, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) falling asleep while driving caused 100,000 reported crashes.  Those crashes resulted in 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries.

Our goal, here at DeVoe Buick GMC, is not only to provide you reliable new and used vehicles, but also to help you stay safe on the road.  We recently found an article in the New York Daily News that highlighted some very useful tips to fight off fatigue when you are behind the wheel.

  • When you feel sleeping taking over, don’t try to fight it; pull over for a quick refresher nap or switch drivers if you have people with you.
  • If you are going on a road trip, take people with you!  Having company to play road games, to talk to or even to share the driving responsibilities with is a huge help.
  • Make sure you have some extra cash in case you need to stop off at a hotel for the night.
  • Pack snacks for your long drive, but avoid eating heavy meals.
  • Try to drive at times when you would normally be awake.
  • Stop at rest areas to take a break and refresh.  Many of them offer drinks or snacks and sometimes have great scenic views.

Next time you head out on the road, make sure you are well rested and keep these tips in mind.