Community Matters

We’re feeling pretty bad that we haven’t posted in over a month, but we’ve been really busy with a few other projects around the dealership that needed our attention! Here’s a brief run down on what we’ve been up to this past month!

This past October, Chevrolet partnered with the American Cancer Society to help raise money and awareness in fighting breast cancer. Chevy dealers all over the country participated in the #IDriveFor program where Chevrolet promised to make a $10 donation every time someone test drove a Chevy vehicle. Thousands of people across the country went to their local Chevy dealers and made this October event a success. If you have a spare minute, check out the hashtag #IDriveFor on Twitter and see participation from around the country!

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October is a time of year where pink ribbons are everywhere and this year was no different. We made sure that we were dressed for the occasion by putting our pink ribbons on our big blue arch and on our Service drive. We even convinced our Fairbanks Family to wear pink on Fridays.

Here at Chuck Fairbanks Chevrolet, we had the opportunity to deliver a very special 2015 Equinox to Elena, a breast cancer survivor and a great friend of the dealership. Salesman Alfonso Diaz made sure that Elena’s triumph over cancer was celebrated with her very own pink bowtie.

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In addition to the #IDriveFor campaign, October brought a new community service opportunity for our family. The Ellis County Music Center approached us to be a partner for their 2nd Annual Food Drive for the Waxahachie CARE Food Pantry and we were excited to say yes to the challenge.

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All month long we invited our Facebook and Google+ followers to drop off their donations to the New Car Showroom floor so we could STUFF-a-TRUCK to deliver to the Food Pantry. Along the way, we learned that the Waxahachie CARE food pantry serves about 400 families each month and over 1/3 of their patrons are over the age of 55.

We are proud to say that our Fairbanks family answered the call to help the community and collected over 720 lbs. of non-perishable food items for the food pantry. Salesmen Wes Snow and Scott Scholfield made the delivery in our new 2015 Chevy Colorado to the Music for Meals event on November 8th.

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If you follow our Facebook page, you already know that we are big high school football fans. With the regular football season winding down, it’s time to gear up for our other favorite high school sport, Varsity basketball! We had lots of fun helping the Midlothian Panthers kick off their 2014-2015 Basketball season at their 2nd Annual Hoop Madness! Chuck Fairbanks Chevrolet is proud to sponsor the Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball Teams this year! We plan on making it to a few games and hope to see ya’ll there!

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Is Your Vehicle Ready for the Heat?

7 Day forecast from a few years ago!
7 Day forecast from a few years ago!

 

 

Living in Texas in the summertime is no joke! It is also no joking matter when it comes to taking care of your vehicle for the summer months ahead. There are a few things to take into consideration when it comes to preparing your vehicle for the summer. The Texas summer heat can be especially brutal to a vehicle unless it’s properly maintained and prepared. Your vehicle is working overtime in the summer months, so it’s important to know how to prepare your vehicle for these hot conditions.

  1. GET YOUR VEHICLE’S AC SERVICED.

During the summer, a vehicle left in the sun is much hotter than it is on the outside. When left outside, the vehicle can heat up fast! The sun hits portions such as the dashboard, steering wheel, and upholstery that can easily reach temperatures up to 150 degrees.  On average, the inside of your vehicle can heat up 19 degrees after being in the sun for ten minutes. It becomes harder to cool down your vehicle when the temperature goes up, so it is important to take the right precautions to prevent the AC from going out in your vehicle. Invest in one of those spiffy sunshades. It will help keep the direct sunlight off of your dash and lessens the chances of you burning your palms on the wheel.

  1. CHANGE THE OIL ON TIME AND ADJUST THE VISCOSITY AS NEEDED.

Viscosity refers to the thickness of the oil. For example, honey has a higher viscosity than water. This is how engine oils are sold.  Most of the oils are multi-viscous, which means that the thickness of the oil can change depending on the temperature. The warmer the oil is, the thinner it will usually be. When the oil is too thin, your vehicle may not get the proper lubrication that it requires. Solving this issue is an easy fix. Get the oil changed to one that is a little thicker than the one that you were using during the winter months.

In order to determine what type of oil your vehicle should use during the summer months, you should consult your owner’s manual. The manual lists the ideal oil recommendations for certain climates of the year. If you are unsure about which type of oil and the viscosity of the oil to put in your vehicle, be sure to ask one of our service advisors!

  1. CHECK THE PRESSURE OF YOUR TIRES.

 Having properly inflated tires is important not just during the summertime, but all year round because this guarantees the best possible contact between your vehicle’s tires and the road. The proper tire pressure can be found in the owner’s manual. It might be necessary to compensate for the hotter weather. This is especially important when you take a vacation and will be doing a lot of driving. Not having properly inflated tires can negatively impact fuel mileage. Another thing to keep in mind is that driving with tires that are improperly inflated, you run the risk of having a blow-out. What’s worse than having a blow out? Having to change a blown out tire during rush hour traffic in July. Been there. Done that. No thanks!

Keep checking the blog this summer for easy ways to keep your vehicle running smoothly. As always, if you have any questions about your vehicle, please don’t hesitate to give our Service department a call!

 

 

4 Things I’ll Never Ignore About My Brakes Again! A Cautionary Tale by Tammy DeYoung

ABS Warning Light
ABS Warning Light

Have you seen the TV commercial where a lady eats an unhealthy snack, then hits herself in the forehead and says, “I could’ve had a V-8!”

Instead of snack time, picture the waiting room of an auto repair shop.
Instead of that lady, picture me, smacking my forehead saying, “I could’ve saved BIG bucks!”

My dad always told me, “Have your car serviced at the first sign of trouble to avoid bigger trouble later.”  But I didn’t listen. Sigh.  I knew something  was wrong with my car, but I procrastinated finding out.  And now, instead of shopping for a new spring wardrobe for myself, I’m buying new shoes and ALL the pricey accessories for the braking system of my car.

It all came to a peak when my husband switched cars with me one day and called me a little upset.  “How long have the brakes been making that awful noise?”  he asked.  “This is really bad!”

“I haven’t heard any awful noises,”  I said, which was the truth!  They hadn’t been making any awful noises.  But there were other warning signs I had ignored and didn’t realize how serious it was.  I’m blessed to have a spouse that is understanding of my ignorance.

But, I don’t want you to suffer my fate!  I don’t want you to get that phone call from your spouse!  Mostly, I don’t want you giving up that to-die-for handbag because you were careless getting your car repaired!   So I’m on a mission to share what I learned the hard way!

What are those warning signs I ignored?

I asked Chuck Fairbanks Service Advisor, Blake, to explain to me what I should have done early to prevent such a big brake repair later.

“Listen to your car,” said Blake.  “Like a pet,  your car will talk to you and tell you what’s wrong!”

Hmmm….I like that analogy!  I have two dogs that definitely have “warning signals” telling me what they need!

“So, what should I listen for?”  I asked.

1.  Any type of squealing when applying pressure to your brakes.  There are wear indicators built onto the brake pads that will make noise when they need to be serviced.  Replacing the pads at this stage is much more economical.  Like I said, picture the V-8 commercial!  At this stage, you have tons of money leftover for new clothes!

2.  A pulsating or a shuttering in your brake pedal when applying pressure.  This means there is some type of imperfection in the brake rotators that need immediate attention.  So no, it doesn’t mean the tires need air or that the road is bumpy!  At this point, you can still buy plenty of spring dresses if you act quickly!

3.  Brake light warnings illuminated on your instrument panel!  When the light comes on, take your car in for service!  I confess, mine did say “ABS Tracking is Off” but I just thought it was some sort of switch and I would get around to it.  I have no idea how much I would have saved at this point, but I’m fairly sure I could have still bought a lovely new handbag.

4.  Grinding noises.  This is really really bad. This means your brakes are “metal on metal” which is never a good thing and results in more extensive damage and more expensive repairs.  A this point, the personal shopping spree is pretty much over.

Thankfully,  Chuck Fairbanks Chevrolet  has an excellent Service Center with expert care at a reasonable cost!  I’m still smacking myself in the head because my procrastination created a problem that never had to be.  If I would have just brought it to service when I first felt that pulsating, or saw the light come on, I’d be a fashionista right now!  Instead, I will just have to be content knowing my car has a shiny new braking system.

I have learned my lesson and will NEVER let it happen again!  But I leave you with one more piece of advice from Blake:
 “If you are driving and you hear a ‘ding! ding! ding! ding‘ sound in your car….and your seat belt is fastened……that means something is wrong and your car needs service!”

Good advice, Blake!  And thanks for taking care of my brakes!

Does My Vehicle Need an Alignment?

Evidence of a Bad Alignment
Evidence of a Bad Alignment

Do you ever feel like your vehicle is pulling a certain direction? You probably need to have your alignment checked. Did you buy new tires recently? Did they check your alignment? Are your tires uneven feeling? You guessed it, you need an alignment. A simple adjustment to the alignment of your vehicle can solve a multitude of problems!

Adjusting the alignment of your vehicle is needed when the parts that hold the wheels in place begin to wear out. When these parts wear out, your wheels are no long parallel to each other or completely flat against the road.

One of the ways your vehicle will let you know that it needs an alignment is how the tires are showing wear. If the outside part of your tire is getting worn down, but there is still plenty of tread in the middle, you might want to have your alignment checked. It also helps to check the passenger side tires against the driver side tires. All of your tires should show roughly the same amount of wear, if not, you need an alignment.

Another thing that you might have noticed, while you were driving, is that strange feeling that your vehicle is pulling to one side. When you feel like you have to really try to get the steering wheel to line the car up straight. If you feel like you are having to work hard at driving your car in a straight line, it’s a good idea to bring it into service and let the professionals take a look at it.

Whenever you purchase new tires, you should have your alignment checked to reap the full benefits of having brand new tires. New tires allow you to have better control of your vehicle, but if your alignment is off you lose this extra control.

If you feel like you are experiencing any of these things, swing by our service center and ask one of our service advisors to take a quick look. Our service advisors are always happy to answer any questions about the routine and not-so-routine maintenance of your vehicle.

What Does This Light Mean?

One of the most popular phone calls that the service department handles usually references a light that has illuminated on the dashboard. Join us on Wednesdays as we cover the basic, and not so basic, lights on your dashboard, what they mean and what to do about them!

The first light on our long list of dashboard lights is the tire pressure light. Here is what the tire pressure light looks like.

Tire Pressure Light
Tire Pressure Light

See those four rectangles on the bottom? Those represent tire treads. Who knew?

Anyways, the tire pressure monitor system warns the driver when there is a significant loss, or gain, in tire pressure in any of the four tires.  This light will stay on until the tire pressure is corrected. The proper tire pressures for your specific vehicle can be found on the Tire and Loading Label which is located just below the door latch on the driver’s door.

During colder weather, your tire pressure light might come on at the start of your drive and then turn itself off during your drive. This could be an early indicator that your tires could use a little more pressure.

If your tire pressure light comes on and stays on, your tires will need your attention sooner rather than later. The easiest thing to do is to swing by a gas station that has an air pump and add a little bit of air to your tires. If you are unsure about adding your own air to your tires, like me, then you can always swing by a dealership and ask them for a little assistance.

It’s important to note that the tire pressure monitor system, aka the tire pressure light, can alert you about low tire pressure, but it is not a replacement for normal, monthly, tire maintenance. It is the driver’s responsibility to maintain correct tire pressures. Tires with low pressure causes increased treadwear on the outsider edges of the tire and can reduce your fuel economy because your vehicle is having to work harder to get down the road.

Stay tuned on Wednesdays for our weekly post “What Does This Light Mean?” brought to you by our awesome service department!