How to Know When It Is Time To Get New Tires

First of all, the main function of tread on a tire is to make sure that water that is under the tire is moved away for improved traction. Tires are no longer safe when they’re worn out, and this is usually when they reach 1/16th of an inch of tread.

Part of knowing when to change your tires is knowing what to look for. Many tires in the United States have tread wear bars, and these bars become flush with the tread when the tires need replacing. When you see this, you’ll know the tire is no longer safe to drive on.

You can also do something called a penny test. With this test, you place a penny in the spaces between the tread with President Lincoln facing you. Put this in the space near the thickest part of the tire. If you can see Lincoln’s head or any copper above it, replace your tires. If his hair is partially visible, you’ll need to consider getting tires soon. If the tread comes up past his forehead, your tires are still good, and you can continue to drive on them.

Alternatively, you can use a tread depth gauge to determine the same thing. You can download them online or buy a tool to check the tread depth.

You may also want to take your car in for repairs or adjustments if you see that the tread on your tires is wearing inconsistently. If your wheels are misaligned or the tires need rotated, you might see that one section is wearing out fast than the others and needs to be replaced.  If you are unsure about your tires do not hesitate to bring your car in to our Atlanta Car Dealership and have one of our service experts look at it.

Were Cars Built Better in the Past?

Did you ever hear someone say how much better cars were in “the old days”? We got to thinking about new and used cars recently and quite frankly, other than the fond memories, there is actually very little that you could find better about cars from the sixties and seventies than you can find at an Atlanta Chevy dealership, today. When you think about it, what we have as now is so superior to what was built before, it almost seems silly to compare. But compare we will.

Tires

Car tires in the past actually had inner tubes like bicycles. They would puncture frequently and blow-outs were common. In fact it was not uncommon to see multiple people roadside changing tires after a flat, even on a short trip. Today’s tires are nearly indestructible.

Mileage

Nobody gave much thought to mileage in the sixties and seventies because gas was so cheap. How does 29.9 cents a gallon sound? The fact is many muscle cars of the 70s got around 10 miles per gallon. A car that got 20 mpg was a rarity. Today finding one that DOESN’T get 20 mpg would be an exception.

Safety

Have you looked at a dashboard or steering wheel from decades ago? Pretty scary stuff! Today’s padded dashboards, airbags, seatbelts and safety bumpers are incredibly more safe for you and your passengers.

Longevity

It used to be that a car nearing 100,000 miles was at the end of its lifespan. Today 200,000 miles plus is common. Today’s cars don even show that much rust, which was always a problem with the cars of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Comfort

Ergonomic seats have replaced old stiff, bench style seating. Not to mention air conditioning, smooth transitioning transmissions, infotainment systems and power everything.

Yes, it may be popular to think about those old cars but the reality is todays vehicles are much safer, economical, long lasting and comfortable than those of the past. See the latest advancements at Southtowne Motors.

Tips To Make Waxing Your Car Less Of A Chore

Keeping your new Chevy truck or Buick sedan looking its best will require the regular application of car wax. A properly maintained layer of wax will protect the finish of your vehicle and allow your car or truck to shine on a sunny day. If you want to handle this task on your own, there are a few basic tricks for applying an even and smooth coat of wax to cars in Atlanta without a lot of mess or fuss.

Choose Your Workspace

Don’t park your car right in the driveway for waxing if it’s a warm and sunny day warns Auto.com:

This will harden the wax on your car too quickly. Ideally, you should wax indoors, such as in a garage. If you can’t manage that then park your car in the shade.

Scrub It Down

Applying a layer of wax over bird dropping residue and tiny grains of dirt and dust will only damage your finish further. Give your car a thorough but gentle scrubbing before you start, or take it to a hand car wash to save some time and work. The surface should be completely dry before you begin.
Colored Waxes
Basic wax is white, but it melts down to a clear and shiny finish when buffed enough. However, residue left in the cracks and seams can remain white, leaving obvious marks on your black or dark colored car that take a few days to fade away. Popular Mechanics recommends using a black or colored wax for a better looking finish on a dark car.
Use Power
Many car enthusists find the circular rubbing motions require for buffing relaxing. If you don’t want to spend hours working the wax onto the car’s exterior, attach the soft microfiber applicator pad to a power buffer. The device will spin the pad in circles while you focus on polishing each area evenly, which is crucial because allowing wax to harden without enough buffing will leave an uneven finish. Your arm won’t be half as sore and worn out at the end of the task.
Remove Streaks and Haze
If the wax does dry unevenly during the buffing, you may end up with unsightly streaks. An alcohol based wax cleaner can remove these spots and prepare new and used cars for reapplication without damaging the clear coat or paint below.
Sources: 

Popular Mechanics, “How To Clean, Wax and Detail Your Car”, Mike Allen

How To Keep Your Car Cooler In Warm Weather

If you drive one of the more reliable Atlanta used cars, you likely rely on your air conditioning system throughout the summer and early fall. The heat of asphalt on the freeway, when combined with temperatures of 100 degrees F or more, can make it hard for your air conditioner to keep you cool. Using a few extra tools could help you enjoy a cooler ride without taxing your car’s system.

Stay Cool In The Parking Lot

Preparing your car or truck before you leave it in a sunny parking lot all day can make it a lot more comfortable when you get back in it after work. Most people can’t find a shady spot on a July day in Atlanta, but a basic windshield visor can bounce a lot of heat back out of the glass. It also protects your interior upholstery from fading and cracking due to UV exposure. Don’t forget the rear windshield if you would like a deduction of 10 degrees or more over the course of a day.

Covering the exposed surfaces is the next best option if you don’t have a windshield visor on hand. Throwing a blanket over the front seat and hanging a towel over the steering wheel will keep you from burning yourself if your vehicle features black leather interiors. Toss these extra materials in the trunk and slide in without having to wait for your blistering hot seats to cool. Keeping the windows open a tiny amount is the best way to prevent heat build up. Hot air can escape through even the smallest openings. If you have a modern Atlanta Buick, the security system is designed to prevent anyone from opening the doors through such a minimal opening.

Staying Cool While You Travel

Nothing can be draped over the windshield to cut off the constant glare of the sun when you’re heading down the highway. Window tinting will go a long way to reducing heat when the car is parked or in motion. Consider the health of your engine and tires when the temperatures head into the triple digits. AAA recommends having the engine coolant tested and changed at the start of the season. Driving around without sufficient coolant reserves could result in an expensive and dangerous overheating incident. Visiting Southtowne Motors in the spring will help you prepare your vehicle properly before the heat of summer sets in.

 

Source: WTOP, “Tips To Keep Your Car Cool As Summer Heat Looms“, Adam Tuss

How To Get More Miles Per Gallon

The Question on everyone’s mind every time they pull up to the gas pump to fill up is, “How can I go more miles without having to fill up again?” I know that this Atlanta Car Dealer wants to spend less time at the pump just like you do, so I looked into easy solutions to make the most out of every drop of gas you put in your Atlanta Buick, GMC, Chevrolet or Cadillac.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and am willing to bet that many drivers spend very little to no time learning the basics of how an automobile engine works.  Most people just get into their cars and drive. However, the vast majority of us consider a vehicle’s fuel economy both when purchasing and driving. Some go to great lengths to find ways of improving gas mileage such as purchasing different exhaust and air intake products, fuel additives, and tires. That’s all well and good, but those are minor improvements.

When it comes down to it, the engine is the most intricate and vital component of that car’s ability to be useful.  Engine damage is also, often, the most expensive to repair. It’s internal components are subject to extreme heat and friction, which wear on these parts over time. They are constantly exposed to temperatures nearing 200 degrees and moving thousands of times per minute. Even with regular servicing and preventative maintenance, the wear on these parts is inevitable and adversely affects an engine’s efficiency over its lifespan.

It’s the efficiency of an engine which consumers often overlook when considering fuel economy. So, what is an easy way to know that you are working just as hard to protect your engine as your engine is working hard to service your driving demands?

Well, for starters, consider Synthetic oil as your next oil change. When compared to traditional petroleum based oils, Synthetic has a stronger viscosity or stickiness. It also takes longer to break down in extreme temperatures and is less subject to evaporative loss. Substituting synthetic oils for traditional oils when servicing a vehicle protects these parts better and, in turn, leads to greater engine efficiency. Its efficiency directly affects the amount of fuel being used or wasted in the combustion process. Therefore, one of the most best ways of improving gas mileage is to protect the efficiency of a vehicle’s engine over its lifespan with a synthetic lubricant.

This might be a good way to visit the pump less and with the rising prices of gasoline in our present day economy, a greater portion of the population is in need of finding practical ways to improve gas mileage. Using a synthetic oil for engine lubrication is one significant way a consumer can improve fuel economy and save a substantial amount of money over time. How much money? Well, how much are you willing to gamble?

Ask your Atlanta car dealer, The Southtowne General Motors Superstore what the best option for your car is. Of course you can direct any questions or comments here as well.

Prepping Your Ride for Warm Weather Adventures

Spring is rolling in fast and soon you will experience “on the road” fever where the highways and the byways beckon for both on-road and off-road exploration of the countryside and especially the North Georgia mountains. Whether you choose to hitch a trailer to your Yukon XL with its impressive pulling power, load off road vehicles into your Chevrolet Avalanche, or take a scenic ride in your Buick Verano or the new Cadillac XTS, you will have power, comfort and versatility at your fingertips.

After several months of winter conditions featuring plenty of super cold temperatures and ice and snow, your car or truck is probably in need of a little tender loving care and hands-on attention to ensure it’s running in tip-top condition before venturing out on an extended road trip. Even new cars and trucks benefit from a check-up after months of chilly cold weather especially if it’s due for an annual service check.

At Southtowne Motors, one of the best car dealers in Newnan, expert technicians are standing by ready and waiting to repair, replace, upgrade and tune your vehicle providing comparable pricing and quality customer service.

If the transmission or battery in your older model car or truck is feeling the strain of time, bring it in to Southtowne for a check-up or replacement. Get an oil and filter change for extra zip and efficiency and if the tires are looking a frayed or worn, have them replaced for a smoother and more gas efficient ride. Before heading to scenic back roads, be sure the clutch and brakes are in good order for those power climbs in the mountains and don’t forget to have brake and power steering fluids checked and topped off.

Whatever you need for quality travel time whether it’s perusing the impressive inventory of new and used cars or trucks or servicing your current ride, the staff at Southtowne can handle your needs and have you on your way in no time.

GPS And You: What You Need to Know

At Southtown Motors, we know how much you hate getting lost. That’s why we’ve compiled this information on different types of GPS systems that you can use to keep you going in the right direction.Why use a GPS? A GPS can be useful on a vacation, for work, during emergencies, when you’re participating in recreational activities, and anytime you need to know where you’re going. There are so many uses that you can come up with, you’ll end up using your GPS all the time.

You can use a Sat-Nav, or Street Navigation System, which is the most common type. This form of GPS can be built into your car in some cases, or you can purchase one aftermarket. Some are attacked to the dashboard or to your window for easy use. These GPS systems will tell you how to get to a place with step-by-step instructions. You may be able to get US and international maps, and you can also search for places, businesses, and by activity.

Sports GPS systems are also an option. These could be set for marine information, or they could be wristwatches that you can keep on you. The GPS will monitor where you are, so it can keep you moving the right way.

You can also get a GPS on your cell phone. There are many apps available that track your location through the use of the phone’s internal GPS and Internet usage. These systems will have trouble working if you don’t get a signal, though, so be careful when you take them out of the city.

No matter where you’re going or what you want to do, a GPS can help you get there without a struggle. You simply place the address or location into the computer, and it will help you understand the route you need to take. Some are even wise enough to know when there is going to be a problem with traffic.

Atlanta, How Do You Find A Good Car Mechanic

Every mechanic, either an independent or a dealership, will claim to be the best mechanics in the business. So how can you counter some of these claims? First, ask your friends. There’s  chance they may have used the mechanic you were considering before and would be a very good source of information.

If you think you’ve found a mechanic, now do your research. Do they have any bad reviews? If so, do they sound legit? Do they have an active Facebook page? Check and ask questions, they should answer. Are they accredited or ASC certified? Check out the video below for some excellent advice and what to look for when choosing the right mechanic or you.

Research is really important here. If you choose the wrong mechanic, you may find yourself spending a lot more money than you had planned on. Also be wary of the mechanics who are telling you about any amount of additional work that needs to be done. Not everything is as urgent as some people like to make them out to be. Don’t ignore their advice, just be wary…maybe get a second opinion from a mechanic who’s name you know and trust.

How To Check Your Catalytic Converter

What is your catalytic converter and what does it do? In layman’s terms, the catalytic converter allows your car to “breath out”. Think of it this way. Your filters on your air intake system allow air to move into the engine, which is essential for combustion. However, your car also needs to “breathe out” and this is done through the tailpipe. In order for air to move from the engine to the exhaust pipe, it must pass through the catalytic converter, which will take much of the dangerous vapors out of the exhaust itself.

The problem is that sometime these catalytic converters get clogged. If that happens your Buick, GMC, Cadillac or Chevrolet is going to run poorly, if it even runs at all. The inability to disperse exhaust will ultimately affect the performance of your car. In the video below this is explained, and a demonstration is performed on how you can check the pressure before and after your catalytic converter. We don’t really recommend you performing this type of diagnosis if you don’t have prior mechanical knowledge. It’s best to bring it in to your Atlanta mechanics and have us take a look at it for you. However, it’s a good video and explains the type of repair you could be looking at.

Again, if you are experiencing an issue with your catalytic converter or exhaust system, it is highly recommended that you bring your Atlanta new or used car into the Southtowne General Motors Superstorefor further inspection. We will be able to tell quickly if you are experiencing too much pressure in your exhaust system and can correct the issue quickly and efficiently. Just give us a call and set up an appointment. Do it soon, as you don’t want to be operating your vehicle with a blocked, or clogged catalytic converter.

Atlanta Cars, How Do You Know If You Have A Busted Muffler?

It’s no secret, especially when they pass you, some people love loud cars and go to great lengths to modify their exhaust systems to sound just right. Now this post isn’t about exhaust mods, but if you are into that sort of thing then we suggest you check out the Southtowne GM Superstore for some great aftermarket modification including modifying your exhaust system.

Now, if loud cars aren’t your thing and you didn’t modify your exhaust system, but it sounds like you did, then you may have a muffler problem.  It wasn’t too long ago that this very thing happened to a friend of mine. His car was extremely loud!  It was like it was when he was 18 when he purposefully put holes in his muffler to achieve a louder car sound. I don’t recommend this at all as your muffler is a key part of your car’s exhaust system. Not only does it reduce noise, but it also prevents exhaust fumes from entering into the passenger compartment of a car. If exhaust is entering  your vehicle then you may be faced with even more problems than just a broken muffler. Carbon monoxide from your car can be deadly.  If you suspect you have a broken muffler, here are some things to check out:

  1. Turn your car on and listen for low pitched rhythmic sounds or a rumbling. If you do have a broken muffler it will create a loud exhaust noise.
  2. Inspect your muffler for holes or rust. Rust usually happens from the inside out, and is an indicator that holes are developing.
  3. Look for unusual exhaust smoke. This may be a big cloud when you hit the gas or even a very subtle one.
  4. If you vehicle starts to slowly overheat, this may also be an indication of broken muffler. The exhaust system can affect engine performance.
  5. Check to see if there are any water leaks near the back of the car. This too is an indicator of a hole in the muffler.

If have done the above suggested checks on your vehicle but still are unsure, please schedule an appointment with the service department at the Southtowne GM Superstore to get this taken care of right away. Of course, if you’re are liking the new sound your car is making, first get your muffler fixed first and then let’s talk about what Southtowne can do for a proper exhaust system modification.

Source: (Ehow)