Spring is here and summer is right on its tail. Bugs are out in full force, and they are going to take over your vehicle whether you like it or not. Bug splatter is not something to ignore as it could cause a great deal of harm to your expensive paint. Inspect your paint weekly for bugs and other paint imperfections. Constantly examining your vehicle, in general, can save you tons of money in repair costs if problems are caught early. Once you notice a build-up of bugs/insects take action to get rid of them before it is too late and time to head to the paint shop.
Keep Your Vehicle Waxed
One of the smartest things you can do to your vehicle is to keep it as clean as possible. Preventative maintenance will keep everything running smoothly for years to come. The first step is to apply a generous coat of wax to your paint or utilize a ceramic coating. This will allow for easier removal of bug splatter and road debris. A coat of wax will create a barrier between contaminants and your paint. There are many products on the market, so all you have to do is choose the one that appeals to you.
A Little Extra Elbow Grease
Removing bugs from your paint isn’t too tough of a task if you make sure to keep up with washing your vehicle weekly. There are a few different methods that prove effective, but it is up to you which one you prefer. A paint-safe bug & tar remover is a strong but gentle cleaning agent that can take out some of the elbow grease. Using soft water with a traditional car wash to compliment the bug & tar remover should do the trick.
There are also “hacks” that you can try at your own discretion. One hack is to use dryer sheets in addition to water to scrub the bug-covered areas. Make sure to clean the area with your bucket of car wash thoroughly so that the chemicals in the dryer sheets do not dry and tarnish the paint. A classic versatile tool is the legendary WD-40. Have no fear it will not damage the clear coat. Lastly, if these methods are not getting the result you want, try using a bug sponge. It is a normal synthetic sponge that is encased with a nylon cover for extra scrubbing power.
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Crossovers have been making their name in the automotive market to bridge the gap between SUVs and cars. However, it seems that many confuse the two. Although they are referred to interchangeably, they are actually quite different. They exist in two completely different categories because they are built and constructed in different ways with different components. You may find that an SUV may cater to your needs better than a crossover and vice versa, but this blog should help you distinguish between the two and which may be better for your lifestyle.
SPORT UTILITY VEHICLE
Let’s start with the Sport Utility Vehicle or SUV as you may better know it as. The Sport Utility Vehicle has been around for decades carting around the family on those grocery store trips and family vacations. With an SUV there is plenty of room to load up the kids, pets, and some may even be equipped with roof racks so you can stack up the luggage and other equipment. The major difference between the crossover is the SUV is built in a way that is called a body-on-frame design. It is built exactly how it sounds with the body mounted to a frame, more specifically a truck frame. This allows for a higher tow capacity and better articulation for offroad use. It is also cheaper to manufacture and allows manufacturers to use the same frame for multiple applications.
An SUV would be considered a more capable vehicle. Many people associate poor gas mileage with SUVs. That is because they tend to have larger bodies and larger motors. Although gas mileage is not the best, tow capacity is optimal. With a bigger body that means there is more cabin space including that sought after third-row seating. Lastly, SUVs are usually configured in a 4×4 drivetrain. By that, I mean that there is usually a solid axle in the rear with selectable 4×4 with a transfer case. So there is one drive-tire in the rear opposed to its counterpart with AWD. As I had mentioned before you may find that the SUV is more capable in terms of tow capacity. There are a number of full-size SUVs that have impressive numbers. The 2020 GMC Yukon is capable of towing upwards of 8,400lbs which means you can tow anything from a small yard trailer to a full-size sedan and everything in between. Of course, it has all the options to keep the family entertained and keep them safe on those long trips.
CROSSOVER TO THE OTHER SIDE
Crossovers are becoming more and more popular due to their practicality. Some crossovers that you may have heard of could include the Ford Edge , Mazda CX-5 , Chevrolet Trax , and the Buick Encore. The main difference between a crossover and an SUV is the construction of the body. A crossover is a small SUV that is mounted on a car frame, hence the name crossover. As time goes on, crossovers are beginning to become more popular with a unibody design. All that means is that the body is one piece in addition to the sub-frame where the engine mounts. They are typically lighter but safer in the way that they have built-in crumple zones to protect the driver and passengers. The biggest advantage of a crossover is its fuel efficiency. Since they are constructed with lighter materials and are scaled-down in size, they do considerably better on fuel. So if you need an upgrade from a sedan, a crossover may be the vehicle for you if you need that extra space, but still want to maintain fuel economy.
We all know Mother Nature can wreak havoc on our vehicles and we cannot escape it, but we can definitely fight back. There are many factors that work against your vehicle. Salt and rust is one that man has been battling since what feels like the beginning of time. Salt is highly corrosive and does not mesh well with paint and metal. Paint on your car is an obvious one, but the rims on your car absolutely take the brunt of brutal winter conditions. Mother Nature can be unforgiving but there are a number of things that can be done to battle back to ensure your car will last for years to come.
WAX ON, WAX OFF
We all love that freshly waxed look. Waxing your car in the off-season is the # 1 way to ensure your paint remains resistant to contaminants. Keeping your vehicle waxed will not only protect from oxidation, but it will repel that damaging salt. Most quality waxes will last nearly a year and remain effective. Waxing your car doesn’t just apply to certain body panels; wax the ENTIRE car. This includes hard to reach places such as the roof, side skirts, and rocker panels. Anything that has paint applied to it, wax it. You will be happy you did. Just make sure to avoid vinyl and plastic as it may cause fading and discoloration.
KEEP THOSE RIMS SHINING
Maintaining your rims are just as important as your paint. These days there are many materials that are used in the manufacturing of automobile rims. Luckily the same waxing process can be used for most materials. Common materials include aluminum, steel, chrome, and painted surfaces. These will all react negatively with the salt and create oxidation and/or rust. Aluminum rims will corrode and the clear coat will begin to peel further exposing it to contaminants. Painted rims will oxidize and become faded. Waxing both types of rims will protect them through the winter months. To further protect rims there is a little trick to follow. Apply WD-40 to all 4 rims with a towel. DO NOT SPRAY IT. If sprayed, it can go through the rim and affect your braking ability. A light coating of WD-40 will ensure an extra slick surface and keep everything looking clean.
DON’T FORGET THE CAR WASH!
Now that everything is waxed and ready to go, a weekly car wash is a must. Just one storm can cover your car and it is important to clean it as soon as possible. The less time the salt remains on the car, the better. If you choose to wash your car yourself it is easier to clean all the cracks and crevices. Make sure to inspect door jams and inside of doors to make sure nothing leaked through. The areas most prone to rust are where panels meet and where metal seams exist such as the areas in the wheel wells. Once the paint cracks and exposes raw steel there is not much you can do to stop rust from spreading. It is best to wash your car when the temperatures are above freezing so that the water doesn’t freeze and create problems with any other parts of your vehicle. If you are not one to wash cars in the driveway the best option is to take it to the neighborhood car wash. The car wash does a great job, but doing it yourself will not only save money, but you will also be able to clean those hard to reach areas. It is highly recommended to utilize the under wash feature at the car wash. The underside of your car is just as important as the paint and rims. Keep that car clean!
If you have any paint issues or imperfections that you want to eliminate, don’t forget we have state-of-the-art auto body shops to bring that paint back to new. Whether you are in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, we have you covered.
Visit any one of our 15 dealerships for the most realistic pricing on new & used vehicles. With 12 manufacturers to choose from, there is a car waiting for you!
During this time, you may not be driving your vehicle as often as you normally do. A vehicle is engineered to be driven. There are many moving parts that may seize if they aren’t exercised regularly. If your car sits outside in one spot for a prolonged period of time, it is exposed to the elements (including small animals) that may find a new home in your engine bay. Tires may begin to lose air, and if parked for months, may even begin to develop flat spots causing a less than pleasant ride. Gasoline that sits for long periods of time tends to break down, and not ignite properly, therefore causing your vehicle to run poorly or not at all. Lastly, avoid using your parking brake. It may hang up and be difficult to release.
How can I avoid all of these problems? Is there anything I can do? Of course, there are actually a number of things you can do to make sure your vehicle remains in proper running condition. First off, drive it two to three times per week to keep everything moving and lubed properly. You do not want to cause damage and have a hefty bill when you start driving the vehicle regularly again.
In order to avoid little critters moving in and making a new home, it is best to utilize a repellent to keep them at bay. Mothballs work great to keep most animals away. Place them around the perimeter of your car in abundance, especially around the front to keep them away from the engine and sensitive wiring.
Make sure to keep an eye on the tires and keep air pressure up to spec. Going for the suggested drive two or three times a week will ensure that the tires do not deflate, resulting in flat spots.
Utilize a gasoline stabilizer that will prolong the life of your gasoline. Bad gas can cause harm to your fuel system, and you do not want a hefty repair bill just to be able to drive your car normally again. When using a stabilizer, you should be able to go months on the same tank of fuel with no problems.
Do not use your parking brake when parked for long periods of time. “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is a good reference when thinking about the function of a parking brake. If you keep it in place for a period of time it may hang up and not release properly. You may end up driving down the road fighting your parking brake and cause unwanted damage.
Have you ever heard of carbon fiber? That lightweight, high endurance material you might associate with race cars because of its durability. It has done a lot for the racing industry due to its desirable characteristics. So what does any of this have to do with a GMC Sierra? Would you believe me if I said GMC will be offering a carbon fiber bed option? There are multiple advantages to a carbon fiber bed and GMC has done well with integrating it successfully. We do not know if it will be implemented on the Chevrolet Silverado (Sierra’s twin). We will have to wait patiently to find out.
> Recessed pockets for dirt bike/motorcycle tires
> Increased cargo volume
> 25% lighter than steel
> Increased payload
> Scratch and dent resistant
> No need for bedliners
Carbon Fiber vs Steel
Steel beds have been used since the very beginning of truck manufacturing because they have proven their durability. Steel beds are malleable but not at the level of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber can be shaped much easier which means more possibilities. It allows for a better bed design for those who put their bed to the test daily. Since carbon fiber can be formed easier, it is more manipulatable. It’s formed easier, so what? Easier shaping abilities allows for an additional cubic foot of bed volume. More Bed Space + Additional Items = Better efficiency.
There is a lot of competition on the baseball diamond these days in the big leagues. This year’s all-star break was an exciting one as usual. In this year’s all-star game there was a record of 10 homeruns hit, shattering the previous record of 6. One of which was hit by Alex Bregman in extra innings to seal the win for the American League. He also received the 2018 Ted Williams Most Valuable Player award. What was his trophy? How about a brand new Chevrolet Camaro SS. Bregman definitely likes his fast cars, choosing the Chevrolet Camaro over the Colorado ZR2. Since the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro is redesigned for the new year, let’s take a look back at a few past generations and see how it has evolved.
Gen 1 (’67-’69)
The 1967 Chevrolet Camaro was one of the original pony cars to compete with the Ford Mustang during the muscle car era. The first generation of the Camaro is one of the most popular muscle cars to restore and modify whether a full restoration or full blown drag racer. It is unarguable that they are so popular with those clean body lines. The 3 years of the first generation are similar but have subtle differences. The ‘67 has round parking lights in the grille, ‘68 has rectangular lights in the grille, and ‘69 has no parking lights in the grille. Just some tricks to help decipher which year Camaro you might be looking at. The first 3 years of the Camaro was offered in base, RS, SS, and Z28 trim packages with a number of engine options. Engine options became more powerful as years went on as competition between manufacturers heightened. Some of the legendary engines include a 327 ci, 350 ci, 396 ci, and a beastly 427 ci. If you are a Camaro lover you might be aware of the 1969 COPO Camaro and the fact that it had that 427 engine pumping out an ground-pounding 430 hp.
Gen 2 (’70-’81)
The second generation Camaro took over in 1970 which had some of the most beautiful body lines of all the Camaros. The newly designed Camaro has a sleeker appearance with a longer overall body and wider stance. The second generation of Camaro ran for about 11 years and throughout that stretch it received a few body design changes. Of course as the 1970s went on the muscle car era began to fizzle out along with the original power and aggression of the Camaro. Although still appealing the second generation ran until 1981. Recall the Transformers movie? You know that rusty, old yellow car that turns into Bumblebee? Yeup, you guessed it a 1977 Chevrolet Camaro.
Gen 3 (’82-’92)
On to the third generation Camaro. Now that the muscle car era is officially over, it was time for a change and drastic redesign once again of the iconic pony car. The next generation took over in 1982 and ran until 1992; a good 10 year run. The third gen was probably the least changed of all Camaros, remaining relatively the same throughout the decade. Trim packages included the sport coupe, Berlinetta, Z/28, RS, IROC-Z, and even convertible. Engine options were rather simple with your choice of a 2.5L, 2.8L, 3.1L, 5.0L, and 5.7L.
Gen 4 (’93-’02)
The fourth generation Camaro was produced from 1993 until 2002 where the Camaro legacy came to an end….or did it? The production of the Camaro seized in 2002 but future concepts began appearing throughout the years until it went back into production in 2009 after the Transformers movie exposed the concept in a big way. The fourth gen received some upgraded performance with a few different engine options including the 3.4L, 3.8L, and three different 5.7L engines. You could also choose between a 4-speed auto, 5-speed auto, or 6-speed manual. There were certainly more than a few special editions of the fifth gen including the 2013 Camaro Hot Wheels Special Edition, 2013 COPO Camaro, and 2013 Turbo Camaro Coupe. The new generation is highly popular due to its modern suspension and handling along with increased power to create the ultimate ride.
Gen 5 (’10-’15)
There were certainly more than a few special editions of the fifth gen including the 2013 Camaro Hot Wheels Special Edition, 2013 COPO Camaro, and 2013 Turbo Camaro Coupe. The new generation is highly popular due to its modern suspension and handling along with increased power to create the ultimate ride. Engine options for the generation included a 3.6L, 6.2L, and 7.0L with choice of 6-speed auto or manual.
Gen 6 (’16-Present)
Last but not least is the sixth sixth generation. Undoubtedly the most advanced and powerful Camaro. Slightly tweaked from the previous generation it shares the same platform as the Cadillac ATS and CTS so you know it will be a smooth ride. This generation can also be found in a Transformers movie; Transformers: Age of Extinction. Of course the new Camaro has its own special editions. From the factory you can order the 50th Anniversary Special Edition, Redline Edition, and a ZL1 that will be sure to throw you back in the seat. You will be able to choose between a 2.0L, 3.6L, 6.2L and five different transmissions. Even with a 3.6L V6 you will be able to experience 335 hp and with the LT4 V8 achieve an output of 650 hp. Pretty impressive for even a modern sports car.
We all know the headaches a simple car battery can cause. I’m sure you have more than one story about being stranded because of a dead battery or needed to ask someone for a jump start. We have all been there and it is not where we want to be that’s why it is important to be able to properly care for your car battery. There are a number of things to consider when thinking about the life of your battery. Luckily we have put a list together of those things to keep you safely cruising down the road.
1. The biggest contributing factor to a failing battery is leaving your vehicle’s lights on without it running. There is a great amount of draw without the vehicle running and will quickly drain your battery. Make sure to turn off all lights!
2. Corrosion around the battery terminals can interrupt the connection to the charging system. If the terminals are not clean they may make a poor connection, and not keep the battery charged
3. A weak or failing alternator can cause the battery to fail prematurely
4. Not driving your vehicle frequently or driving short trips can result in the battery draining power and no holding a sufficient charge
5. Extreme weather can also play a factor. Extreme cold or even hot can greatly impact the cranking amps of the battery
6. Loose cables or connections can affect the electric current and possibly damage the battery