Braves Baseball is Back!

Spring means baseball for some, and new cars for others. If the warmer temperatures of the season have you thinking about cars, come on down to Newnan and visit Southtowne Motors.

We thought it might be fun to take a look back at some little known history of our Atlanta Braves franchise, and relive some great memories.

The Braves trace their roots to an early baseball club located in Boston, who started out as The Redlegs in 1876. To avoid confusion with the Cincinnati baseball team, the Boston team was renamed in 1883 as the Beaneaters. The Beaneater name was thought to have a better tie-in with the Boston Community. In 1907, the Beaneaters briefly became the Doves after their new owners, a couple of brothers with the last name of Dovey. Finally, in 1912, the name was changed to The Braves.

Those early Boston Braves teams had some legendary players come on and off their rosters. Jim Thorpe played for the Braves in 1919, Rogers Hornsby and George Sisler played for them in 1928 and even Babe Ruth finished his career with the Braves in 1935. Then came another name change.

The franchise became the Bees in 1935 and kept the Bees name for 5 years before going back to the Braves moniker. In 1952, the Braves played their last game in Boston and in 1953 started play as the Milwaukee Braves. The Braves played 12 seasons in Milwaukee before coming to Atlanta for the 1966 season.

Those first years here in Atlanta featured some great and colorful players. Of course, there was the legendary “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron but those years also gave us Phil Niekro and Rico Carty. The year 1974, of course, was the year Aaron broke the all-time homerun record, hitting number 715.

In 1977, Ted Turner actually became manager of the team after a 17 game losing streak. Turner lost the only game he managed as baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn sent him back to the owner’s box.

The 80’s featured players like Bob Horner and Dale Murphy.

In 1991, the Braves went from worst to first, making it to the World Series just one year after having baseball’s worst record. It was the start of a golden era for Braves baseball. Another colorful player, “Neon” Deion Sanders, helped lead the club to a second consecutive World Series appearance in 1992. It was in 1995 that the Braves earned the name “Team of the 1990’s” by winning the World Series. The amazing run by the Braves that included an astonishing 14 division titles ended in 2006.

It is just about time to once again “play ball” and welcome another season of Braves baseball. If spring has you thinking about Atlanta dealers that can provide a great selection with great deals, we welcome you to our Newnan Car Dealership.

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 Car Dealer Explains, “The Pothole: Your Car’s Worst Enemy”

So, the other day I was driving home from your friendly neighborhood Southtowne General Motors Superstore on a road I travel daily. It was a nice, pleasant day as I was pondering the day I spent at your Atlanta Car Dealer, then “BOOM” I hit a pothole! Not just any old pothole, this thing looked like a meteor landed in the street. Whatever caused it, it wasn’t there the day before and I hit it…hard. So, what could I expect from such a jolting encounter?

  • Potholes cause premature damage to suspension and steering components. Tires and rims can also be damaged by potholes. Shocks and struts take the biggest brunt of the damage to start with. They compress and expand using hydraulic oil to alleviate the effects of driving on uneven surfaces. The bump is transferred to the vehicle; the extent of the bump travels from the tire and wheel directly to the shock absorber. Large potholes can cause the shock or strut to bottom out within itself. The shock is then transferred to the coil or leaf spring of the vehicle.

    In addition to these suspension components, control arms, ball joints, tie rods, idler arms, pitman arms, sway bar and sway bar links, center and drag links, wheel bearings and axle shafts are all susceptible to pothole damage. Because the steering and suspension components are compromised under duress, potholes are a leading contributor to a vehicle needing an alignment. Under- or over-inflated tires can be more easily damaged than one with proper inflation. Rims can dent or crack from severe pothole strikes. Long-term effects of damaged suspension or steering components can lead to premature tire wear and poor handling of the vehicle. In severe cases of pothole damage, even lower engine damage and undercarriage components such as the exhaust system can be compromised.

How Potholes Form

Seeing as this pothole seemingly formed over night (I know it didn’t), I looked up what exactly causes potholes and this is what I found out:

  • Potholes form when moisture seeps below the surface of the roads. The moisture freezes and expands or heats up and contracts, applying stress to the blacktop. As the weight of Atlanta cars continuously drive over these areas, small pieces of the blacktop start to chip away from the road. The more traffic traveling on the road, including the types of vehicles, the more blacktop that chips away and then the larger the pothole becomes. Road crews battle potholes in areas that experience severe winter months by patching the holes with a cold patch. This fills the hole temporarily until weather permits road crews to repair the damage to the roads.

Avoiding Potholes

So the big question is: “How do you avoid hitting potholes that you’ve either been lucky in avoiding, or fresh ones you never knew were there to begin with?

  • Leave enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This allows you to see the oncoming pothole before striking it. Be aware of other traffic or pedestrians on the roads before swerving to avoid a pothole. Lower your speed on pothole filled roads. More damage can be incurred to a vehicle striking potholes at higher speeds, including compromised handling of the vehicle. Water-filled potholes do not allow you to see how large they are until you strike them. Don’t apply the brakes when driving over a pothole. This tilts the vehicle forward and places the amount of stress on the front suspension, which is the first part of the vehicle to strike the pothole.

Have you recently hit a pothole and now your new or used car is experiencing a whole new set of issues? Dented rims, alignment out, blown shock, blown out tire? Give your Atlanta Car Dealer a call . Our pothole damage specialists will get you back on the road in not time “flat”…pun intended.

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?