Safe Travel Tips for those Holiday Road Trips!

The road in the winter mountains in the background

Even with a quality vehicle from SouthTowne Motors, you should prepare yourself for holiday road trips. Remember, even a new car that is running perfectly doesn’t save you from Mother Nature, nor does it save you from others on the road.

Why Holiday Driving is Dangerous

Any time traffic increases, whether because of a holiday or special event, the chances of having an accident increases. More people are on the road, which means that tempers could be running short. Also, more people are out celebrating at night – and some of those people may not have the good sense to find someone else to drive after they’ve imbibed just a tad too much.

Safe Travel Tips

Regardless of the time of night or day, you should always keep your eye out for erratic drivers. Watching at least 100 feet in front of you helps you to see someone coming at you – possibly in the wrong lane – a little quicker, which may give you those few extra seconds you need to get out of the way.

When following someone, even on the highway, stay at least three or four car lengths behind. On surface roads, you should stay at least one car length for every 10 mph behind the person in front of you. If someone has to stop fast or swerves to miss someone or something in the road, you’ll ram right into them if you are too close. While it’s tempting to try to “rush” the person in front of you, especially when he or she may be doing under the speed limit, be patient until it’s safe to pass.

If the weather is bad – whether it’s rain, fog, a mix of precipitation, or snow, drive slower. That means leaving earlier so that you reach your destination safe and on time. Even rain decreases the distance you can see in front of you. Furthermore, roads are slippery when they are wet – and in case where it’s near freezing, can ice over with “black ice,” a sheet of ice that is clear. You can’t tell that from non-iced roads.

Stop by SouthTowne Motors and Be Safe

Stop by SouthTowne Motors to have your vehicle checked before you head out on a road trip, especially on a holiday week or weekend.

Top 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a New Car

Dealer Vehicles in Stock

Before you head out to buy a car, you need to determine whether you want new or just new to you. Whichever you decide, make sure you go to a reputable dealership, like SouthTowne Motors, so you know that you’re getting a vehicle that’s in good shape.

How Much Can You Spend?

Determine what your upper limit is and stick to it. Make sure it’s something you can afford – you don’t want to set yourself a limit then get excited about a certain model only to find out you can’t afford it. Determining your upper limit will also help you determine whether you will buy new or used.

What Kind of Vehicle Do You Want?

This plays in with the previous question. If you want to upgrade to something on the lower end of luxury or if you want to go luxury, your only option may be used. You can find some great deals on pre-owned luxury vehicles at places such as SouthTowne Motors. Many of the vehicles are only a few years old, so you will still have lots of the newer bells and whistles.

Consider the Cost to Own Your New Vehicle.

You might be able to afford the payment on an SUV or a luxury sedan, but can you afford the service, maintenance, repairs and gas? The cost of gas could be a deal-breaker. If you want something that has a 25-gallon tank, runs on premium and gets 17 mpg in the city, you have to be able to afford that – or your vehicle will just sit in the driveway waiting for you.

Do You Need Utility, Luxury or Reliability?

While most vehicles, even pre-owned are reliable, you still have to make a choice between utility, luxury or money. Usually, sedans and coupes get better gas mileage than utility vehicles. While you might want that SUV, you may have to settle with a reliable sedan to get yourself back and forth to work. Determining what you want helps you determine whether the vehicle falls into your price range. It definitely determines whether you are going to buy pre-owned or new.

Where Should You Buy?

Choosing a dealership will ensure that you get a reliable vehicle – and gives you more choices for vehicles. Head to SouthTowne Motors today to test drive any vehicle on the lot.

Holiday Shopping Tips

Young woman doing Xmas shopping online

Whether you plan to shop this Black Friday or not, you have to admit that there are some really good deals available. If you do plan to brave the stores and malls the Friday after Thanksgiving (or avoid all the fuss and just shop online), here are some tips to keep in mind for holiday shopping that everyone should subscribe to.

Save Early and Know Your Budget

Though it’s a bit late to start saving if you haven’t been, it’s still a tip to keep in mind for next year. What you can do right now is figure out your budget. This helps to ensure that you spend only what you’re willing to spend and lets you know how much money is going to go towards purchases for each person on your list. This will help you narrow your gift search to items within that particular price range.

Do Your Research

Once you decide what to get someone, or once you know the budget for that person at least, you can begin to research gifts within that range and can look for the best deal. Whether shopping in store or online, it pays to do some research to make sure you’re not paying the full amount.

Have a Plan on Black Friday

Check out catalogs, advertisements, and mail offers and know where you want to shop. Make sure your top shopping destination is your first stop on Friday morning in order to maximize your chances of snagging the best deals there. Don’t oversleep the morning of (the turkey will have probably done its job knocking you out) and make sure you prepare the night before so you’re not looking for your keys at the last second.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

If you’re looking to really surprise someone this holiday season, it’s hard to beat a new car. Stop by SouthTowne Motors to shop our inventory of new and pre-owned vehicles. View our inventory online for your convenience.

Hand-held Soup for the Car

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The weather is cooling off finally, which means that a cup of hot soup may be sounding good soon. Instead of spending lots of money on hand-held soups to go, you can make your own. In addition to the soup ingredients, you’ll need a thermos for each person in the vehicle. Then, you can either stop at a rest area so the driver can also enjoy soup with the family or you can eat the soup on the go – and it will stay nice and warm.

Pack up your SouthTowne Buick, Cadillac, GMC or Chevrolet, plus your favorite soup, and head out on that road trip you’ve been planning.

Hearty Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds beef tips or sirloin cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 slices slab bacon, cut into quarters
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cubes beef bullion
  • 4 medium potatoes, large diced
  • 4 medium carrots, large diced
  • 2 medium onions, large diced
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Redfish seasoning (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf

Set the crock pot to medium or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Saute the bacon in the bottom of the crock pot until it is translucent. Add the beef and lightly brown on all sides. Mix the flour and water until there are no lumps. Pour it over the beef. Add the bullion and spices. Reduce heat to 250 degrees Fahrenheit or medium low. Cook for 4 hours. Add vegetables and cook for 2-3 more hours or until beef pulls apart with a fork.

This recipe serves four, but can be frozen if you want to double it or if you have only two people. Once hot, ladle it into thermoses. If you freeze it, thaw it when you’re ready to use it, heat it in the microwave, and then ladle it into thermoses.

Vegetable Version

Use the same recipe except omit the beef and the beef bullion. Add chicken bullion for some “body.” You can also add chicken if you don’t want to go completely vegetarian.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Before you head out on a road trip, be sure to have your vehicle serviced at SouthTowne Motors. If you are in the market for a new vehicle, stop by to test drive your next vehicle before you take a road trip.

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a day that kids anticipate all year long. It’s an opportunity for them to dress up as their favorite characters and head door to door in search of candy. However, Halloween can be a more stressful holiday for parents.

Parents have the difficulty of deciding if their children are old enough to trick-or-treat without supervision, and if they’ll be safe doing so. This guide will help ensure that you and your kids stay safe on this exciting fall holiday.

Hit the Streets Safely

Walking on the streets at night can be dangerous, so it’s best to be  cautious at all times. Always cross the streets at corners, using crosswalks and traffic signals.

Advise your children that they should always look left, right and left again when crossing streets. Don’t let them use electronic devices, like cellular phones, while walking.

Walk on designated paths or sidewalks whenever possible, and if there are no paths, walk far off of the left side of the road facing traffic. Always carry a flashlight while trick-or-treating.

Should Your Child Be Accompanied?

It’s difficult to tell whether or not your child should be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating. However, Safe Kids Worldwide suggests that any children under the age of 12 should never be alone at night without supervision. If your child is old enough to trick-or-treat without supervision, make sure he or she travels with friends and stays in a familiar area.

Choose a Safe Costume

It’s no surprise that kids always want to have elaborate costumes, but it’s important to keep those costumes safe. Always decorate costumes with reflective tape on them and choose light colors whenever possible. Kids love carrying glow sticks, and they can be handy safety devices too.

Here at SouthTowne Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC, we want you to have a safe and reliable vehicle for your family too. Stop in and see us for an unbelievable deal on a brand-new, top-quality car, truck or SUV this fall.

Spookify Your Ride

Halloween pumpkins cut in shape of face

Spook your passengers this Halloween season, or simply express your Halloween pride, by decorating your Newnan Buick. There are lots of different ways you can do this. If you need a few ideas of how to decorate your ride, here are some easy things to do for both the inside and outside of your vehicle.

Getting into the festive spirit doesn’t have to be expensive. The dollar store can be your best friend for cheap decorations that go a long way. Turn your back window into a spooky theme. Simply purchase fake cobwebs and a bag of plastic spiders. You can also look for small coffins that will easily lay down in the back window. Spread the cobweb out and add your creepy crawlers along with your coffins. This is not only enjoyable to passengers, but other drives can see your spectacular spider cemetery while driving buy. You can even go as far as to add spider webs to the ceiling of your car and gently weave the plastic spiders through the webbing.

Create a spooktacular Halloween playlist that everyone can sing along to when they ride in your car. Not sure what to add to it? Here are some of the classic seasonal songs to get you started.

  • Ghostbusters, Ray Parker Jr.
  • Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon
  • Monster Mash, Bobby Boris
  • Thriller, Michael Jackson

The sense of smell is a wondrous thing that can help get everyone in the spirit. Stop by your local retailer and grab some festive car air fresheners. You can never go wrong with apple cinnamon or spiced pumpkin this time of year. Now that you’ve got into the Halloween spirit in the interior, lets work on your car’s exterior.

Grab some decals that can easily be stuck to your window. Look for small ones so they don’t block your vision. Look for the easy peel and stick decals with words such as “Do Not Enter” or fun shapes like bats and pumpkins. Apply them to your windows. Another great touch is fake severed body parts made for car trunks. These are great for adding that extra touch to your vehicle’s overall Halloween décor. When placing these, be sure they don’t cover your license plate.

Remember to have fun with your SouthTowne Motors vehicle this year.

What Your Teen Needs to Get Their License

Got a teen driver that’s ready to get their license? Here’s what they’ll need in order to do that.

They’ll need to be 16 years old, of course. Before they can try for a proper license, your teen will need to go to a driving school and take the course there and ultimately pass a written permit test and a driving skills test.

After that, it’s simply a matter of heading in person to a Georgia DDS office with the following in hand:

  • 1 document proving their identity, such as a valid U.S. passport or certified U.S. birth certificate.
  • 1 document that verifies their SSN, either a Social Security card or a W-2 with their name and SSN if they have a job already.
  • 2 documents that prove Georgia residency (teen dependents can use their parents utility bills and other recent residential documentation).
  • A driver’s license fee of $32 (lasts for 8 years).
  • Proof of passing a vision exam.
  • Proof of passing the written permit test and driving skills test.

And that’s pretty much all they’ll need to be able to legally drive!

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Once your teen has their license in hand, it’s time to get them their own ride. SouthTowne Motors, in Newnan, Georgia, can help on that account. SouthTowne Motors has a large inventory of appropriate cars for a teen: reliable, safe, efficient, functional, and affordable. Exactly what your teen needs to get to school, to a part time job, to hang out with friends, and to generally enjoy that new found freedom that a license brings. Search our online inventory today and then come by with your teen to take a test drive.

Extending the Life of Your Brakes

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Changing your brakes is inevitable. The grinding or squeaking sound your brakes give off is a clear indicator that you need to change them. But let’s try to keep them from making that sound as long as possible.

Here are a few tips and tricks to extend the life of your brakes from SouthTowne Motors, your Newnan car dealer.

Speeding destroys your brakes

Stopping hard from high speeds is the number one killer of brakes. Even speeding just a little will shorten the lifespan of your brakes. Braking at high speeds forces the brakes to dissipate one-third more energy, which causes heat due to friction when applied. This can drastically reduce the life of your brake pads. The extreme clamping force needed for a last second brake can also crack your braking pads. Simply being mindful of your speed can add months to the lifespan of your brakes.

Don’t ride the brakes

Avoid riding the brakes, especially when coasting down hills. This could possibly be the worst thing to do when trying to expand the life of your brakes. The best method is to alternate between coasting and braking, giving the brakes a chance to cool off so they won’t over heat and cause faster deterioration of the brake pads. The more coasting you do, the longer your friction materials are going to last.

Get them flushed

The brake fluids need to be changed periodically. Most mechanics call it bleeding and flushing. This can be extremely beneficial if you have an older vehicle, or if you purchased one used. By flushing the brake fluids, it will make the internal components last longer and the brakes function better. The older the brake fluid is, the higher the moisture content is within the fluid. Old brake fluid can result in failure of the wheel cylinders and brake calipers.

Get inspected

Everything wears over time and your brakes are no exception. Having a regular brake inspection performed will make it easier to note problems before they develop. The brakes will be able to tell you a lot about your car, for instance if your wheel alignment is off. It is important to get on a regular maintenance schedule with your car.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

If it is time, however, for your Chevy brakes to be replaced or inspected, head south of Atlanta and come see us at SouthTowne Motors!

Tips for Cleaning Your Car

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Whether you just bought a vehicle from SouthTowne Motors or you have a vehicle that you’re not quite ready to trade in yet, you’ll want to keep it in good shape by cleaning it between the times you have it detailed. Cleaning the inside keeps the upholstery, carpets and other materials in good condition; and cleaning the exterior keeps the paint and metals in good condition.

Interior Cleaning Tips

Leave the vacuuming for last. You’ll knock crumbs and dirt onto the floor and seats when you clean the other surfaces. Be sure you have the proper chemicals for the type of material you’re cleaning. You’ll need vinyl cleaner for the dash, unless you vehicle’s dash is leather or other materials, upholstery cleaner for cloth seats, and leather cleaner for leather seats. Since most vehicles have plastics in the interior, be sure the products you want to use are made for plastics or are safe for plastics.

If you have a product you’ve never used before, be sure to test it on a part of the item that is not easily visible. Even though you may buy a leather cleaner for your leather seats and steering wheel, that cleaner could still adversely affect that material.

Once you clean the entire interior, be sure to vacuum the floors. Once that’s done, you can clean the carpets with a steam cleaner. Add your favorite air freshener and you’ll be done with the interior.

Exterior Cleaning Tips

The exterior also has different materials. You may need rubbing compound to freshen up the paint or you may need chrome polish for chrome wheels. Keeping the paint waxed helps keep that clear coat string so that it doesn’t peel. Once you let chrome wheels go to the dogs, it’s nearly impossible to get that shine back as they will rust.

Be sure you know what type of wheels you have as chrome polish may damage aluminum or other wheels. Use tire black to restore the look of tires. And, you can also find products to bring the black back on black rubber or plastic trim.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

For new and used auto sales and service, drop by SouthTowne Motors. If you need help getting your car looking nice, we can give it a quick service check and detail it for you.

Tips for Visiting Your SouthTowne Service Tech

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When you bring your car into the dealership for service, the technician needs to check many things. You can make your tech’s job easier if you keep everything needed easily accessible, including the lug nut key. These bite-size car tips by  are good to follow no matter which brand of car you drive.

Tip #1

Find your lug nut key and put it in the glove box or the console where the tech can easily find it. This could reduce delay in getting your vehicle serviced.

Tip #2

Be sure the floors in the car are free of debris. Some of the computers are located under the seats or in the kick panels.

Tip #3

If you need to leave your vehicle after hours, make sure you leave your keys and don’t lock them in the car, especially if you park in front of the bays. If the technicians have to move your vehicle before you can get there, they won’t be able to and your vehicle will hold up the day’s work.

Tip #4

Make sure you have enough gas in the tank for the technicians to diagnose the problem and take a test drive. Sometimes, the vehicle may have to run for more than just a few minutes to test overheating issues. Furthermore, intermittent problems take longer to find, and the technicians may have to test drive or let your vehicle run for quite a while. If your vehicle runs out of gas during diagnosing or testing, it will take longer for the technicians to get you back on the road again.

Schedule Service at SouthTowne Motors

Stop by SouthTowne Motors and say hello, test drive a new or used vehicle or to get your car serviced.