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)

Get a New Car, Even if You Have the Bad Credit Blues

So you need a car but have bad credit? Don’t worry; bad credit car loans are highly prevalent in today’s world, so you are not the only person in this boat. Nearly 25% of Americans have issues with their credit. As long as you prepare yourself and follow the right course of action, the Southtowne GM Superstore should be able to purchase the car you want as well as receive a bad credit car loan.

As I just mentioned, preparation is the key. Your first course of action should be to review your credit history so that you can ensure that there are no errors. There are many free credit websites out there you can use to help you.

The next important step to obtaining a bad credit car loan is to determine how much you can truly afford to pay for your car. It is absolutely essential that you be honest with yourself about how much you can afford and don’t let your eyes get bigger than your wallet. You should have a number in mind for how much you can afford for both a down payment and monthly payments.

Now that you have taken care of the preparation, you must be prepared to provide proof of employment and income so that the lender can have all of the information in front of them, which will facilitate your bad credit car loan. The lender may not always ask for these documents, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when applying for a bad credit car loan.

Once you have followed the aforementioned steps, you must take extra steps in the future to ensure a clean credit history. You must make it a priority to make on-time payments for your bad credit car loan so that there are no bad marks on your credit history. You will also want to avoid car title loans (or any other type of loan for that matter) in the event that you need cash. It is much more logical to consider a refinance car loan.

If you still have questions about bad credit car loans, you can find answers and other great information here at Southtowne and through other mediums, such as forums and reviews of companies. You can also get a lot of help through loan companies. Although your credit may be a little worse than you would prefer, these companies still want to be able to make loans work since that is how they make money so they will certainly be willing to discuss bad credit car loans with you.

So take a deep breath and don’t worry! You can still get a car.

Atlanta, can you decipher the codes on the walls of your tires?

Some days I feel like I’m surrounded by nothing but tires.  Okay, that might be because I work at an Atlanta Car Dealership,  I thought I’d spend a few minutes explaining what those letters and tires mean on your tire.

 

Well here they are. After reading the following, you’ll be able to tell the tire guy with confidence,” I need a new set of (Brand of Choice) P215/65R 15 95H M+S.

OK, now for what all of that means.

– First up is a letter or letters, indicating the tire’s purpose: “P” for passenger cars or “LT” for light trucks are the most likely letters you’ll see.

– Next is a three-digit number. This is the tire’s width (in millimeters) from sidewall edge to sidewall edge.

– Then, a two-digit number which is the tire’s aspect ratio, or the ratio of height to width. The smaller the number, the shorter the sidewall.

– Next, a letter, probably “R,” which indicates radial construction. Almost every tire you encounter will be a radial nowadays, unless you’re buying tires for a classic car.

– Then, another two-digit number, which is the diameter of the wheel that the tire is intended to fit.

– Next, an optional two- or three-digit number. This is the tire’s load index number, and its inclusion is not required by law. The load index number corresponds with the tire’s load-carrying capacity. Discount Tire has posted a handy chart with the load index numbers and loads. Simply put, don’t install a tire with a lower load index number than your manufacturer recommends.

– Next, a letter. This is the tire’s speed rating. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendation. You should only need to upgrade to a higher speed rating if you have modified your vehicle for track use, or if you are heading to Germany to drive on the Autobahn.

– Next, some more letters, usually “M+S” or “M/S.” This stands for mud and snow, and applies to most radial tires sold in America.

There are more numbers and letters, most of which you don’t really need to worry about unless your tires are subject to a recall. They refer to the tire’s place and date of manufacture, the maximum inflation pressure, maximum load rating, composition, materials, tread wear, traction and temperature grades. Diving deeply into these ratings will yield a trove of information – most of which differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. Unless you are obsessive about your tires, you will probably be okay trusting in your tire guy’s interpretation of the small print.

The next time you shop for tires, you’ll understand what all those letters and numbers mean.  And remember, every good Atlanta Tire Center like, specifically the Southtowne GM Superstore will help you select the best tires for your vehicle.

Atlanta, Keep those kids happy while traveling in your new car

With all of these new gadgets available it’s hard to remember what driving with toddlers and kids was like years ago.  Just like it’s hard to remember how things got done before the internet! All kidding aside, we wanted to share a few aftermarket accessories to make traveling with toddlers and kids an enjoyable one for everyone in the car.

The first and the more popular choice is a rear DVD entertainment center.  You can order these when you purchase your new Southtowne vehicle or you can have one installed one in your current vehicle.  You can also have your system so that it can hook up to individual sets of headphone so that you don’t have to hear one more episode of Sponge Bob. From what I can tell from my friends with kids, this is the best solution out there to keep boredom from setting in.

Another great accessory for your GMC, Cadillac Or Chevy is a backseat entertainment car organizer. You can load these things up with snacks, drinks, a ton of toys and keep it all organized. This also helps you to drive more safely as you won’t be looking for things in your bag since the backseat entertainment car organizer will have everything your passengers will need in a very organized, easy to get to way.

If you find that your backseat is getting dirtier and dirtier, then here are a few tips to keep it clean!

  • Install a “car-bage” can in the backseat and teach the kids to use it!
  • Protect your upholstery with protective seat covers.
  • Install seat back protectors. Kids like to put their feet and shoes everywhere. One place that is often overlooked until it’s too late is the back of the drivers and front passengers seat.
  • Toys are great to keep kids occupied, but it’s not so great when you find them scattered everywhere in the car.  Add a “toy box” or toy organizer to your car. The key to making this work is that the kids need to get into the habit actually using it!
  • Protect the upholstery in the trunk or cargo area of your vehicle with a cargo mat.

Snack and play trays are also a great addition to the vehicle, especially on road trips. This make coloring, or even doing homework, that much easier for them.

Sunshades are also a great and help protect from sun damage. Yes, you can get sun damage though the side windows while driving, depending on the type of window your vehicle has.

I hope that one or a combination of the products listed above will come in handy when you’re traveling with your youngster! If you have any ideas you’d like to share, post them below or stop by the Southtowne GM Superstore.

Atlanta Drivers, Winter Break Is Over…School is Back In Session!

Atlanta cars and Atlanta drivers, the winter break has come to an end, and your kids are probably not too excited to get back on that school bus to go to school. With more kids outside waiting for the bus or walking into their school, it is very important to pay heed to school zones and bus stops.

During the Winter and Summer breaks, it is easy to drive by schools and not pay attention to those school zones because they are not in use.  This can create driving habits where you are driving on auto pilot and not slowing down when you need to.  Many school zone signs have flashing lights that are activated when they are in use to help grab your attention, but after three months of not having to slow down it can be easy to miss.  Be sure that you heed all school zones, and pay extra attention around you to make sure that there aren’t any little ones crossing the street to begin their school day.  Also, many cities have strict laws against using your cell phone in school zones, so be sure to not use your phone while driving to work.

While nobody likes being stuck behind a school bus, with its frequent stops and slow driving speed, you should never pass a bus with its stop sign out.  Whether you are moving in the same direction, or come across one in another lane, you need to stop for buses.  Even if there is no bus in sight, if you see kids waiting at a bus stop, slow down and give clearance.  You never know when the kids may start playing near the road or if they may run out of no where to get to their bus stop.

Remember, please pay attention at all times when you are making your morning drive.  Thanks, The Southtowne General Motors Superstore.

Atlanta Cars, your New Year’s Resolution is to learn to change your own oil

This new year, the Southtowne General Motors Superstore challenges you to make this resolution: Learn to change your own oil in your Atlanta car.

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It is always good to learn about the technical stuff when it comes to your new car. Now, I’m not talking about learning how to rebuild a carburetor while hanging upside down and blindfolded. I’m talking about knowing enough about your vehicle that when your mechanics as what kind of oil you’d like in your new car you don’t say “Olive.”

It really is easier than you think.

Watch and Learn:

Now if you still think it’s too much to handle, or you just don’t want to deal with the mess, swing by with your Southtowne car, and we’ll give you a good deal on an oil change.

The Future of Navigation devices in Atlanta cars

At The Southtowne General Motors Superstore, we’ve seen all of the advancements in Atlanta cars. In some cases, we’ve even had a glimpse into the future well before the buying public. In this piece, we’re going to take a look at the advancement in GPS systems in Atlanta cars.

Within the last decade, driving has been made a whole lot easier with the invention of car GPS systems.  It has allowed us to unteather ourselves from cumbersome folding maps and, good news men, we will never have to stop somewhere and ask for directions.  So, where do we go from here?  Well MIT and Volkswagen are teaming up to test out new and exciting ways to get from point A to point B.

Their new navigation tool is being called AIDA, and it works by using the top of your dashboard as a virtual map.  In the video below you will notice how it will allow you to do more than just drive with knowledge of the route, but also reserve a table at a restaurant and buy tickets to an upcoming show.

So what do you think?  Does it look more cumbersome and distracting than helpful, or would you be willing to get one if they came out?  Let me know in the comments!  And if you still need directions to find a great new car in Atlanta, swing by the Southtowne General Motors Superstore.

Hey Atlanta, check out Smart Jumper Cables

It’s one of the most inconvenient things that comes with car ownership…the dreaded, Dead Battery. At Southtowne, we’ve heard of our fair share of dead battery stories. According to car-care expert Pat Goss, if you plan on jumping your new car with your old conventional jumper cables, DON’T! They can damage your vehicle’s electrical systems.

I know what you are thinking:  “The few times I’ve jump-started my battery, my old cables have worked just fine.” Goss recommends a set of new “Smart Jumper Cables”  as they can help prevent potentially expensive damage.  So, are traditional cables really likely to damage a modern vehicle’s electrics, or is using “smart” cables merely advisable?

From what I gathered, I would consider the warning to be quite strong and here’s why:  

When you successfully jump-start a car, you have one vehicle with a strong battery and one with a dead one, both running with their electrical systems hooked together. Both alternators are working hard trying to charge the dead battery and replenish the energy drawn from the good one.

As long as the cables are connected, the two batteries act as buffers to contain maximum voltage rise. But when the first cable end is removed, the systems go haywire because the voltage reference is gone. It instantly changes from the level of two batteries and two alternators to one battery and one alternator. When this happens, the alternator will climb to a very high voltage level. This high-voltage spike shoots through the electrical systems of both cars.

This is like a volt surge running through a computer. It usually doesn’t destroy anything instantly, but it can weaken components of both vehicles, including the engine control computer, alternator, sound system or any of the dozens of electronic modules in modern cars.

Smart cables have built-in surge protectors like the professional units used in auto shops for many years.  These dampen voltage spikes to prevent surge damage to electronics. An added bonus is that they also have an automatic polarity adjustment which will eliminate the possibility of damage (to you or the vehicle) from the sparking, or shorting that can result from hooking up cables backwards  (positive to negative).

Of course my purpose is to enlighten you about the potential danger of jump-starting modern vehicles with old-style cables. If you are unsure if your cables are the right ones for the job, you can always swing by Southtowne Motors.

Does anyone have a set of smart cables? How do you like them?

Hey Atlanta, do you know the Importance of Proper Tire Balance

By a show of hands, how many Atlanta Cars out there are experiencing their steering wheel shaking, or their seats rumbling during highway speeds. Probably a lot of you out there. I know you feel it, and I know that most of you tend to ignore it. Tire Balance. Everyday driving can affect the balance of your tires. In the video below, Nitto Tire explains how your tires can come out of balance and how routine inspections for tire rotation and balance can extend the life of your tires and increase your driving enjoyment.

Proper tire balance and rotation are instrumental to keeping your tires in the best possible shape for the road. If you think about it, those are the only four points your car is connected to the road, so why have one that is obviously unbalanced? You know it is causing damage to your tire…maybe even your alignment if it is bad enough.

Need a tire balanced and you happen to be in Newnan? See the Southtowne GM Superstore, we can do it in 5 min…and don’t expect us not to give you a lecture on proper tire rotation while you are here…all we want is to keep you out on the road, where you belong.

Hmmm…maybe the next blog will be about the Importance of tire rotation

Southtowne GM Superstore and the five most dangerous drivers

If there is one thing that I’ve noticed in all of my years at the Southtowne General Motors Superstore and being involved with Atlanta new cars, it’s that there are not many people out there who will openly admit that they are a bad driver. In fact, the majority of the bad drivers out there honestly think they are great drivers!

Driving a car is one of the most dangerous things we do and we do it daily. If you’ve ever been in a serious accident, you know all too well how instantaneous and sudden that moment was. I’ll bet you didn’t leave the house PLANNING on having an accident. That’s why they are called accidents.

No matter how good of a driver you may consider yourself to be, if you aren’t playing defense every time you hit the road, you could get blind-sided. Be aware of the others around you. Learn to recognize the following types of drivers and how to avoid them; it may help you avoid an accident!

The 5 Most Dangerous Drivers

The Distracted Driver

A wide consensus puts distracted drivers as among the most dangerous on the road today. Various reports have found between 30-50% of all accidents are caused by distraction. The two most common distractions? Texting and Rubber-necking. So while mobile technology has made its way into the automobile and has become an epidemic of the streets, it’s not the only thing distracting drivers. Eating, changing the radio station, and a variety of other distractions also are to blame.

That said, study’s show: a driver who is talking on their cellphone is statistically just as dangerous as a drunk driver and that doesn’t even take into account texting, which is worse.

The Impaired Driver

This category doesn’t just cover drunk drivers, either. These types of drivers are mentally or physically impaired in one way or another that prevents them from being able to safely maneuver a vehicle through the streets. Being a safe driver means having awareness, being alert, and being physically capable to respond accurately to all driving conditions. Alcohol, drugs or other chemicals, physical disabilities, even physical and mental degradation due to old age can impair ones ability to drive. Driving while impaired is dangerous to the driver and everyone else on the road.

Obviously drunk drivers are the most notorious of this type. Considering recent events, a reminder of the dangers of drunk driving probably isn’t necessary for most of us. But it can’t hurt. If you drive intoxicated or otherwise with your ability impaired, it’s just a matter of time before you cause an accident.

The Reckless Driver

If the elderly fit into the impaired driver category, then young drivers fit into this one. I remember when I first got my license: I felt like I was invincible. My friends egged me on to race them around the streets of my town. I’ll even admit, I fell for it a few times. That is, until a car full of classmates wrapped around a tree killing two and seriously injuring the third. Now, every time I visit that third friend, his wheelchair reminds me of the dangers of driving recklessly. Of course, young people aren’t the only people who are guilty of this, but they might just be the worst offenders. Driving must be respected. Those who do not are doomed to learn the hard way.

It was almost fun to research videos for this type of driver. There’s so many popular videos on youtube of people doing stupid things in cars and crashing that I had a hard time narrowing it to one. That’s why I settled on this one.

The Aggressive Driver

If you’ve ever driven in rush hour, you probably know this guy all too well! These types can’t stand being behind anyone. In bumper to bumper traffic, they’ll do anything just to move one…. Car…. FURTHER! They speed, drive too close to others, see the use of signals as a sign of weakness, and are generally quick to anger.

It’s difficult not to come across at least one of these drivers in daily city commute. But please, don’t be one of them.

The Angry Driver

Road rage is a very real state of mind. It’s an emotional place that has been known to cause some of the most bizarre and shocking behavior. Driving with emotion may not sound too harmful, but believe me it causes its share of incidents on the roads.

So, Atlanta motor enthusiasts, do you fall into any of these first five categories? If so, shame on you! You are a part of the problem. However, for the rest of you;”Great job!”. It’s a pleasure to share the road with you.