Category Archives: Car Care Tips

How to Protect Your Car from Floods: The Basic Tips

protect your car from floods

Unfortunately, nature and weather is a big part of our lives, and whether or not we think humans have this civilization thing all figured out, we can’t fight back against a natural disaster. Floods can come at any moment due to thunderstorms, earthquakes, hurricanes, or even the sudden thawing of snow. So how do you protect your car from floods?

Preparation is Key

It’s important to keep an eye on the situation ahead of time so you can act quickly if the weather gets bad. If minimal seasonal flooding is common where you live, consider putting your vehicle up on blocks or even investing in vents or grates.

Plan Your Evacuation

In the event of a severe flood, know where to go, when and how you’ll move your vehicles (tow them, drive them, or any other options you can think of), and think of anyone who can help out. Additionally, always keep your vehicles ready for an emergency: keep them full of gas and start them often to make sure their engine turns over.

Minimize Damage

Sometimes damage is unavoidable, but you can help prevent doing more by taking the covers off cars as they’re drying. Make sure no displaced animals have sought shelter in or under your vehicle, take photos for your insurance agent, and seek professional help for cleanup.

This is the best way to protect your car from floods when they happen, or to keep your expensive vehicle looking nice even if damage occurs.

Classic Car Costs: What’s the Actual Price of Ownership?

Collecting classic cars is a great hobby. Not only can you admire some of mechanical and aesthetic designs of older models, but you can even drive them. Few collectibles are used as extensively as classic cars. However, there are some hidden costs to owning one. Read on the see more about classic car costs.

classic car costs

According to Fox News, one of the biggest mistakes classic car shoppers often make is buying for investment. That’s because it’s extremely difficult to know which cars will appreciate in value unless you study market trends extensively. Plus, many car buyers are biased, whether they admit it or not. What you see as a rare icon may not interest others.

Pay attention to market value. Generally, the price of a vehicle (as well as any product in general) is determined by its age, condition, original features, and scarcity. The National Automobile Dealers Association is a great resource for checking the value of a car before you buy. Make sure to have the car inspected before you buy as well.

Car insurance is one expense many buyers forget about. Classic car insurance is usually distinct from regular car insurance. In fact, it often costs less. That’s because most classic cars are not driven as often and they are better maintained. Nonetheless, the costs can add up depending on the value of the car. If possible, get a policy with a high guaranteed value as opposed to agreed value—guaranteed is usually more extensive.

Finally, be aware of storage and maintenance costs. Many special edition vehicles may require special storage facilities, especially if they don’t meet emissions or safety standards. Plus, restoration and repair costs can add up if you don’t have extensive tools or abilities. Shop around for local repair and storage facilities to get a better idea about costs before you buy.

How to Get the Best Fuel Economy in the Cold

fuel economy in the cold

Winter is by far the harshest season for your vehicle, whatever your vehicle is, and in more ways the one. But, one of those sneaky, damaging ways that might surprise is your gas mileage. You fuel economy in the cold can suffer, but there are a few foolproof steps you can take to protect your tank and your wallet this winter.

  • Park your car somewhere warm, like your personal garage or in an indoor rather than outdoor parking garage when you’re out and about. This will up the starting temperature of your engine when you turn your car on.
  • The cold can mess with your tire pressure, so keep an eye on your PSI and adjust as needed. Improper tire pressure can drastically affect your fuel economy.
  • You may have been told at some point in your life to let your car heat up before driving away. While this is a good tip, you probably don’t need to let it idle as long as you think to get your engine good and hot. Turn it on and let it idle for just 30 seconds to a minute, then drive gently. Idling can cost you anywhere from 2-5 cents per minute in fuel.
  • Don’t leave your seat warmers or front/rear defrosters running longer than needed, as these are big drains on your fuel.
  • Our final tip for increasing your fuel economy in the cold is to use cold weather weight motor oil. This varies by vehicle, so check your owner’s manual for details.

Snow Driving Tips for Winter

Snow driving tips

 

Driving in the sleet and snow is a dangerous task on the best of days. As winter approaches, it might not be a bad idea to review winter driving safety tips, especially if you have a new drivers in the house. Just in case you need a starting point, here are a few snow driving tips from us here at Bill Walsh GM Superstore.

  1. Beware of Black Ice. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Black ice can be present on roads that appear clear as day. At night when the temperatures drops, the risk is even greater.
  2. Take it Slow. Slow down! Driving at normal speeds on slick snow- or ice-covered roads is a danger in itself. Taking a corner while accelerating makes the risk of sliding off the road or into other vehicles much greater. If you drive at normal speeds and need to brake unexpectedly, you could find yourself in an accident.
  3. Don’t Pass Plows. As a general rule, don’t pass snow plows or other maintenance vehicles. Obviously they’re there to clear the road ahead which means the road behind the plow is much better than the one in front. In addition, the plow extends nearly 10 feet outside the truck itself. Play it safe; don’t pass plows.

Keeping Kids Secure: Child Safety Systems

child safety systems

If you’re a parent, then you certainly understand the importance of child safety systems in your car. As recently as 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been updating regulations and urging parents to stay up-to-date on the latest systems, from LATCH to car seats.

According to Edmunds, LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. This innovative system comes standard on most GM vehicles, offering a better way to secure child safety seats. Basically, seats have a hidden anchor point that’s easier, and safer, to latch onto than a regular seat belt.

Of course, weight limits are important to remember. If your child weighs more than 65 lbs, you shouldn’t use the LATCH system. Also, remember that top tethers should be used for forward-facing seats and can be used with LATCH as well.

Children under two years old should ride in rear-facing seats, always in the backseat. Children should use booster seats until they exceed the maximum weight of child seats, and are generally taller than 4 ft. No child should sit in the front seat unless they’re 13 years or older.

For more information on child safety systems, visit SafeCar.gov.

Summer Car Care Tips

While summer may be the season of vacations, summer car care is just as important as any other time of year. The summer heat can make small problems bigger in a short amount of time. That’s why it’s a good idea to check over your car before the heatwave hits home. Here at Bill Walsh Chevrolet, we’ve got the car care tips to keep your vehicle running all summer long.

  • Check your tire pressure. While tire pressure will lower in colder weather, the exact opposite happens in warm weather. The air in your tires will heat up and expand, causing increased pressure. If the pressure gets too high, a blowout is just a pothole away, then you’re stuck changing a tire or waiting for a tow. Maintaining proper tire pressure also increases fuel economy.
  • Keep your car cool. This one sounds obvious, we know. No one likes getting into a hot car and burning your hands on the seatbelt (PSA: always wear your seatbelt). Keeping your car in the shade, whether beneath a tree, building, or in the garage, can keep your paint looking fresh. Some waxes include UV protection so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to rub some on. A sunshade will also help prevent cosmetic cracking inside the vehicle.
  • Check your battery. This goes for all seasons. Small cracks or bulges will grow worse in the summer heat. Check for problems or deformities now before they become a major problem once summer really arrives.