What To Do When You Have A Bad Starter

So you get up in the morning just like every other day. Nothing unusual. You make it out to the car without the kids spilling something on you. You put the key in the ignition, turn it and…nothing. No crank; nothing. Is there a click? Could it be the engine? It could be your starter! How do you know if it is your starter?  Check out this great video from Eric the Car Guy. He does a fantastic job with not just diagnosing the starter problem, but also discusses the the tools and meters used to check voltage. Might not be a bad thing to have in your garage.

Now, chances are you are not a professional mechanic and changing the starter out of your own GM vehicle probably isn’t an option. You are going to need a reliable Atlanta car mechanic, so do your research and choose a dealership with positive feedback. If you have a Buick, GMC, Cadillac, or Chevrolet feel free to bring it in and we’ll take a look at it.

Atlanta GM Dealer, What Is Anti-freeze And Do I Have A Leak

“This lime green stuff my mechanic pours into the radiator?” Sure. We’ll go with that. This “Lime-Green Stuff” is essential to both protection against freezing and dissipating the heat generated by your engine. Temperatures can get very hot in an an engine. Engine coolant, also known as anti-freeze, is used to regulate those extreme temperatures. The reason we use a combination of water and anti-freeze is to both raise the boiling point and lower the freezing point.

How would you know if you had a radiator leak? The first signs will be a pool of coolant under your engine. However, many leaks can be slow and nearly unnoticeable.

IF you think you mat have a coolant leak, you’ll want to get that checked out ASAP. A very small leak can turn to a very large problem very quickly. Call the Southtowne General Motors Superstore and set up an appointment and let your Atlanta GM dealer take a look at it.

Atlanta GM Dealer Says Don’t Neglect Your Check Engine Light

It’s never good when your check engine light comes on, but don’t panic, it may not be that urgent.   There are several meanings that you’re vehicle is trying to communicate via the check engine light.  This can be anything minor to a loose gas cap to a major engine problem.  You do not need to pull over right away and call for help in most cases. Continue on your way, but you will need to get it checked out regardless.  Check out some explanations below from your Atlanta Buick, GMC ,Chevrolet, Cadillac Dealer, The Southownte General Motors Superstore

One of the most easiest things to do if your check engine light has come on while your driving is to pull over somewhere safe and double check that your gas cap is on correctly.  If that doesn’t work then continue on your journey and try to see if you notice anything different about how your vehicle is driving, though this may not always be noticeable.

Some vehicles will illuminate the check engine light in two different colors, an orange and a red. In other vehicles, the check engine lights will warn the varying degrees of importance by either a solid check engine light like or a blinking one.  You should refer to your vehicle’s manual to see which way your vehicle works. If you are seeing an orange check engine light then that is indicative of a not-so-serious problem.

If your check engine light is on, but may go off or if it is orange this indicates a not so serious problem. Try to pay as best attention as possible to any performance changes. For example if you’re driving in the city and the check engine light is on or flickers on and off, but then disappears when you get on the freeway then you may have some type of driving condition problems. Some of these problems  may include:

  • computer-related problems such as a sensor that it faulty
  • emissions problems
  • anti-lock brake issues
  • safety restraint system issues

If your check engine light is blinking or if it’s a red color then you have a have a more serious problem.  Some say that you should actually pull over and call for a tow to your service shop. However, others are willing to chance it to their destination and deal with it as soon as they can. Some of these problems include:

  • low brake fluid
  • a broken or missing belt
  • faulty alternator
  • battery problems
  • low fluid levels for oil or anti-freeze

Stay in-tune with your car so that you can safely diagnosis if you need to make an appointment immediately at your Atlanta GM Dealer, the Southtowne General Motors Superstore or if you can wait a few days. But don’t wait too long!

Atlanta Car Dealer: The Importance Of Changing Your Hoses

What’s the single most important component in your Atlanta car’s engine? If you said the Radiator and Hoses, then you win!

Your Atlanta Car dealer, The Southtowne General Motors Superstore really wants to impress on you that properly maintained radiator hoses are extremely important to a vehicle cooling system and keeping you from experiencing a roadside breakdown. Since the development of large internal combustion engines, they have had cooling hoses to recirculate the flow of coolant to keep the engine from overheating. Today we still find hoses on vehicles. The fact is that hoses are probably the only thing that haven’t changed much in engine development over the years even though the engine itself has gone through revolutionary changes. Cooling hoses are responsible for the exchange of coolant from the engine to the radiator (cooling the heated fluid) and then returning it back to the engine, repeating itself over and over in a cycle. Due to the extreme heat, environment and pollution hoses can become hardened, start to crack and even break over time. Hoses are a lot like belts as they age their reliability lessens. Southtowne recommends replacing your hoses every 2 year or 24k miles on your Atlanta Buick, GMC, Cadillac or Chevrolet.

Every vehicle owner should know the importance of the radiator hose. When this auto part fails to function properly, the engine is likely to overheat. No matter how sturdy a radiator hose is, it will be subjected to deterioration sooner or later. In view of that, it is best to change your automobile’s radiator hose once every four years. It is also essential to bring them to the experts here at the Southtowne General Motors Superstore for regular assessment.

Atlanta Car Dealer: You Think You Have A Small Garage

So, you think your garage is small? Check out this garage: 60 inches wide to fit a car that is 58 inches wide! I guess all of us, even those of use here at your Atlanta car dealer, Southtowne, who have complained at one time or another about the amount of space we need to house our vehicles need watch this video. The best part is how the guy has to get out of his vehicle once he is actually in his garage.

I don’t know about you, but this certainly helps me appreciate the amount of space we afford to our vehicles at our homes. I don’t think I’ll ever complain again about not having enough space around my place. That guy has us all beat. Did anyone notice his age by chance? He’s 87. Remarkable.

If you have any odd car related video or stories you’d like to share with your Atlanta car dealer, the Southtowne General Motors Superstore, please do. We’re always interested in stories like this. The really shed light on how good our driving lives really are.

Are The Tires On Your Atlanta Buick, GMC, Cadillac Or Chevrolet Costing You Gas

It’s no secret. The tires you choose to put on your Atlanta Buick, GMC, Cadillac or Chevrolet could be affecting your fuel economy. Larger rims, low pressure tires, it doesn’t matter, if your tires aren’t inflated to the proper PSI, you’re just burning fuel and ruining your tires.

Spending big bucks on your tires? You should take as good of care of them as your can, right?

Your car’s tires can play an important role in helping you get the best gas mileage and save money at the pump. Checking tire pressure regularly is one step toward optimum fuel economy, but your choice of tires can also help.

Consumer Reports recently tested a few all-season tire models with low rolling resistance and found that those tires can improve fuel economy by an additional one or two mpg. The reward for replacing a less-optimum tire can be a payback covering most of the cost of the new tires over their lifetime in fuel savings. Moreover, you generally don’t have to pay more to get a tire with better rolling resistance.

Here are some additional tips for getting the most fuel economy from your tires:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated. (A label on the driver’s doorjamb tells you the correct pressures to use.)
  • Check inflation pressure at least monthly; do this when the tires are cool.
  • If you were happy with the tires that came with the car when it was new, consider replacing them with an identical set. Low rolling resistance is a common trait of original-equipment tires.
  • Before buying replacement tires, check Consumer Reports’ Ratings for tires that excel in overall performance and use rolling resistance as tie-breaker

If you ever have any questions regarding your tires, or more importantly, “the feel” of your car, call your Atlanta Buick, Cadillac, GMC dealer, The Southtowne General Motors Superstore and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Atlanta Car Dealer Recomendation For Improved Performance

If you are like every American driver, you are looking for ways to improve your cars performance and gas mileage. Your Atlanta car dealer, the Southtowne General Motors Superstore, wants to remind you that one of the easiest things you can do to increase performance is to change your intake air filter. The air filter is an important part of the intake system in your vehicle as it is what helps your engine “breathe.”  Your engine runs on an exact mixture of air and fuel, but before it is combined it runs through the filter first. This is to get out all of the dirt and foreign particles which could possibly damage the engine.  A dirty air filter affect your vehicles performance.

Another important reason to have a clean air filter is that it will help with gas mileage. And with gas prices higher than we would like, it’s a great reason to check your air filter to make sure it is clean. Usually once a year, preferably twice is good to change your air filter, however if you live in highly polluted area then you should check and change it more often.  Air filters can also be checked during your routine oil change.

If you would like to check and change your own air filter it is a fairly easy process.  Open up the hood and locate a large plastic tube that leads away from the top of the engine. Follow this to a large box that maybe metal or plastic, round or square, depending on your vehicle.  This is the air filter box which contains the air filter. Pop off the top and locate the filter. If the filter is brown or black, then it is restricting the passage of air and should be replaced immediately.

It’s important to check and replace your air filter to maintain your vehicle’s performance and extended the life of it. You could set up an alert in your phone to remind you to check it every 3 to 6 months.  Or if you’d like help, just bring it on by to our service department at you Atlanta Buick, Cadillac GMC, Chevrolet dealer, the Southtowne General Motors Superstore.

Atlanta Car Dealer: Memorial Day Tribute

The saying goes, “the only thing harder than being a soldier is loving one”. Take the time this Memorial Day Weekend to imagine one of your loved ones over seas fighting for Democracy, Truth and Freedom. Then imagine them not making it back. That is what Memorial Day is really like for thousands of families across the United States who have lost their soldiers in battle.Your Atlanta car dealer, The Southtowne General Motors Superstore salutes every soldier’s service.

I wish a simple “Thank You” could express the immense gratitude our Southtowne Family feels. Your bravery and heroism has not gone unnoticed and will not be forgotten.

Debunking Atlanta Car Maintainance Myths

If you’ve kept up with Atlanta GMC Dealer, the Southtowne General Motors Superstore, you already know that we like to give a lot of education when it comes to maintaining your cars.  I’ve started, I want to share my favorite cars myths of all –maintenance myths. I think these are my favorite because they are the most common. They’re also the most important because you may think you are doing what’s best for your car when in reality, you might be compromising your safety and your wallet. That being said, let’s not waste anytime.

Myth: Engine oil should be changed every 3,000 miles.
Reality: Despite what oil companies and quick-lube shops often claim, it’s usually not necessary. Stick to the service intervals in your car’s owner’s manual. Under normal driving conditions, most vehicles are designed to go 7,500 miles or more between oil changes. Changing oil more often doesn’t hurt the engine, but it can cost you a lot of extra money. Automakers often recommend 3,000-mile intervals for severe driving conditions, such as constant stop-and-go driving, frequent trailer-towing, mountainous terrain, or dusty conditions.

Myth: Inflate tires to the pressure shown on the tire’s sidewall.
Reality: The pounds-per-square-inch figure on the side of the tire is the maximum pressure that the tire can safely hold, not the automaker’s recommended pressure, which provides the best balance of braking, handling, gas mileage, and ride comfort. That figure is usually found on a doorjamb sticker, in the glove box, or on the fuel-filler door. Perform a monthly pressure check when tires are cold or after the car has been parked for a few hours.

Myth: If the brake fluid is low, topping it off will fix the problem.
Reality: As brake pads wear, the level in the brake-fluid reservoir drops a bit. That helps you monitor brake wear. If the fluid level drops to or below the Low mark on the reservoir, then either your brakes are worn out or fluid is leaking. Either way, get the brake system serviced immediately. You should also get a routine brake inspection when you rotate the tires, about every 6,000 to 7,000 miles.

Myth: Flush the coolant with every oil change.
Reality: Radiator coolant doesn’t need to be replaced very often. Most owner’s manuals recommend changing the coolant every five years or 60,000 miles. Of course, if the level in the coolant reservoir is chronically low, check for a leak and get service as soon as possible.

Myth: After a jump-start, your car will soon recharge the battery.
Reality: It could take hours of driving to restore a battery’s full charge, especially in the winter. That’s because power accessories, such as heated seats, draw so much electricity that in some cars the alternator has little left over to recharge a run-down battery. A “load test” at a service station can determine whether the battery can still hold a charge. If so, some hours on a battery charger might be needed to revive the battery to its full potential.

Myth: Let your engine warm up for several minutes before driving.
Reality: That might have been good advice for yesteryear’s cars but is less so today. Modern engines warm up more quickly when they’re driven. And the sooner they warm up, the sooner they reach maximum efficiency and deliver the best fuel economy and performance. But don’t rev the engine high over the first few miles while it’s warming up.

Myth: Dish washing and laundry detergents make a good car wash.
Reality: Detergent can strip off a car’s wax finish. Instead, use a car-wash liquid, which is formulated to clean without removing wax.

Source: Consumer Reports

Heard of at least one of these before? I knew it. I’m sure some of you may be in shock right now realizing that all of you’ve known about DIY car maintenance has been wrong, but don’t fret the Southtowne General Motors Superstore has you totally covered. You should never hesitate to give us a call with any car maintenance questions or any questions about cars in general. After all, we want to ensure your car lives the longest and healthiest life that it can.

Atlanta Car Dealer: Kids And Hot Cars Don’t Mix

I write about this topic once a year, usually at the beginning of summer I don’t think that this topic is talked about enough actually and should probably get in the habit of writing another one in 6 months. Being an Atlanta Car Dealer, the Southtowne General Motors Superstore, I, for obvious reasons, have a connection to the automotive world that most people do not have. My days and nights are consumed with cars, new technology, the automotive industry and wondering if I turned off the lights at the dealership after I leave. So it pains me when I read stories about forgetful, or neglectful parents leaving their children in hot cars. Look, I understand that sometimes things happen, but this is one of those things that just can’t, not even for a minute.

Just take a look at this video to see why it’s dangerous and get a tip on how to prevent you from forgetting your child:

The video was an eye opener, showing  that babies heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults, and how large a gap there  is between the outside and the inside temperature of a vehicle.  So please, the next time you want to run in for a quick coffee purchase and leave your baby in the back seat, don’t do it.  It might be a death trap.  To learn more, check out kidsandcars.org for other kids & cars related safety tips.

Also, I know how tricky those car seats are, so if you’re by Southtowne and would like us to demonstrate how to properly install the car seat, we’d be more than happy to help.  A secure car seat can help prevent injury among children involved in car accidents.