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

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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.

The Importance of Changing Your Filters

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You need to be aware of the maintenance schedule for your vehicle — especially for filter changes. Many people do not think of changing the filters on their vehicles and often do not take the vehicle in for service at the appropriate times. Ignoring your vehicle’s filters is asking for trouble.

Air Filter

You should check the condition of your air filter every 3,000 miles or three months. If it is dirty — pull it out and check both sides — replace the filter. The air filter keeps dust and debris from entering the engine. When it gets too dirty, the engine cannot breathe properly, which could cause problems with running and could affect fuel mileage.

Fuel Filter

The fuel filter is not a filter you can easily check yourself. Some vehicles have two fuel filters — on under the car on near the frame and one in the engine compartment, usually near the firewall. Your owner’s manual will tell you when you should change the fuel filter. The fuel filter makes sure anything that gets into the gas tank doesn’t end up in the injectors. The fuel injectors have a very small nozzle that sprays fuel into the cylinders. If the nozzle gets clogged, the engine will not run properly or may not run at all.

Oil Filter

You should change the oil filter every time you change the oil. Most vehicles recommend changing the oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever comes first. Some vehicle manufacturers have extended the time to change the oil, but it is still a good idea to change the oil at the 3,000-mile mark. Dirty oil could cause oil sludge to form in the oil galleys. When that happens, the oil cannot lubricate essential parts and your engine could freeze up.

Transmission Filter

This is another filter that you cannot easily change yourself. It is inside the transmission pan. Transmission service requirements vary widely from vehicle to vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the transmission service timeframe. A clogged transmission filter could affect the way your vehicle shifts, which could also affect fuel mileage. If left dirty long enough, you could damage the transmission.

Cabin Air Filters

Cabin air filters are usually found behind the glove box if your vehicle has them. Your owner’s manual will tell you when you should change them. These help keep the air inside the vehicle clean.

Visit SouthTowne Motors in Newnan

If you do not know when you should change your filters, a service technician at SouthTowne Motors will be able to tell you when to bring your vehicle in for service. When you call, have the year, make, model and engine size ready for the technician so that he can look up the proper timeframes for your vehicle.

Get Connected on the Road

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When you test drive a new Chevy at SouthTowne Motors, chances are that it will have 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hot spot. If you work out of your vehicle, this will make your job easier. And, if you have a family and take a lot of road trips, this will keep the kids quiet for hours.

You’ll be able to respond to emails and download files right from your vehicle. The signal is stronger when you have OnStar with 4G LTE and a hot spot. So strong in fact, that you’ll be able to play games, stream movies and television on the go. And, the vehicle powers the hot spot, so you won’t have to worry about the battery in your device.

GM partnered with AT&T to bring you this great feature; and you can connect up to seven smart devices at a time. This allows you to access apps and any other information you may need or want. And, with RemoteLink, you can keep track of your vehicle’s data plan.

Features

Emergency features included with OnStar 4G LTE include automatic crash response, emergency services, crises assist and roadside assistance. Crisis assist alerts you to severe weather including thunderstorms, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes and winter weather. This features also alerts you to natural resources and man-made disasters such as hazardous material situations, power outages and terrorist activity. Natural disasters include landslides, earthquakes, wildfires, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

Roadside assistance includes lock-out service, flat tire change, emergency tow from a public road or highway, a battery jump start and emergency fuel delivery.

Security features include stolen vehicle assistance including stolen vehicle slowdown, remote ignition block and theft alarm notification. Additional features include navigation, connections and diagnostics.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Stop by SouthTowne Motors to test drive a new Chevrolet with 4G LTE and a Wi-Fi hotspot and to learn more about OnStar services and your favorite vehicle’s standard features and additional options.

Buying vs Leasing

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When you choose SouthTowne Motors for a new vehicle, you have the option to buy or lease. When you buy a vehicle, you finance it for a number of years until it’s paid off – or you can pay cash if you have a lump sum sitting around, though not many people do. If you like a new vehicle every couple of years, you might want to lease.

Buying a Vehicle

If you drive more than 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, depending on what the cap is on a lease, you could be charged up to $0.35 per mile if you go over that number of miles. Those who know they are going to drive over the mileage cap for a leased vehicle may want to buy a vehicle or have a second vehicle to put those extra miles on.

When you buy a vehicle, you can personalize it without facing a penalty. If you add something to a leased vehicle, you’ll have to remove it and put it back to how you purchased it or you will be charged for the changes the dealership makes to change the vehicle back to its original condition.

And, if you like to see the payments disappear to not have them again for a while, you’ll probably want to buy a vehicle instead of leasing it. Also, if you keep your vehicle in good condition and don’t mind keeping it for at least five years, you’re more likely to buy.

Leasing a Vehicle

When you lease a vehicle, you’ll be capped as to the number of miles you can put on the vehicle during the year. You won’t be able to make any major changes to the vehicle to personalize it, and definitely won’t be able to make permanent changes without getting charged.

However, with a lease, you’ll get a new vehicle every two to three years and the vehicle stays under warranty if the warranty expires at the same time as the lease. If you prefer to drive a vehicle that is more expensive than what you could typically afford, leasing allows for lower payments, so that you can drive more vehicle for the money. Often, leasing also affords you a smaller down payment.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Stop by SouthTowne Motors to test drive a new vehicle and to discuss finance or lease options with your salesperson.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter Weather

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Whether you just purchased a new vehicle from SouthTowne Motors or you have a vehicle that is a couple of years old, you’ll want to make sure it’s ready for winter weather. Though winter might be almost over, it’s still early February and Mother Nature could have some surprises in store, even for Newnan, Georgia.

Tires

Make sure the tires on your vehicle have at least 6/32 of tread. While 2/32-inch is when you would normally change them, that is not enough tread to get a good grip in snow, even a heavy dusting. Also be sure that the alignment is good when you have the tires checked. If you don’t have all-season or mud and snow tires on your vehicle, you’ll need to get those summer tires off as they won’t have good traction in the snow.

Wash and Wax

When the counties and towns salt and brine the roads, it splashes onto your vehicle and if you don’t have protection on the paint – and you don’t wash it off right away – it will eventually damage the paint. Washing the vehicle and giving it a good coat of wax helps to slow down that process. Even with the wax, you should wash the car as soon as you can if you’re stuck behind a salt or brine truck; or if you drive on slushy roads.

Mechanical Aspects

Have your vehicle checked to ensure it’s mechanically sound. The last thing you want is to break down because of a broken belt or hose in the middle of a cold snap. If you just completed vehicle maintenance in the last couple months, it’s a good idea to bring your vehicle in to have the belts, hoses, battery, tires, brakes and suspension checked.

If your vehicle’s check engine light is lit up or if you hear any new noises or squeaks, have those problems repaired.

Fill the Tank

If a winter storm is expected be sure to keep the gas tank full. Even if you have to just top it off because it’s more than three-quarters full, top it off if a snow or ice storm is expected.

Visit SouthTowne Motors of Newnan, Georgia

Give our service department a call at SouthTowne Motors to set up an appointment to have your vehicle checked, repaired or for maintenance.