Tire Maintenance

Where the rubber meets the road is more than just a commonly used expression – it is where the safety and performance of your Chevrolet vehicle begins. We usually become proactive in tire maintenance as the season changes.  And the seasons are changing as we speak… so here are the ins and outs of tires.

How long do tires last?

40 years ago, the average life expectancy of a tire was not more than 2 years!  Today it is best to change your tires after every 6 years at least.  After tires hit a life span of 6 years, they should be discarded. This is because rubber loses its elasticity and resistance properties over that period.  Ultimately, the life expectancy of a tire greatly depends on its maintenance, environmental conditions and the driving style of the driver.

Factors Affecting the Life of Tires

  • Climatic Conditions – If you stay near the beach or if it rains a lot in your area, the chances are the moisture in the air will ruin the rubber faster.
  • Road Conditions – A bumpy ride can also reduce your tire’s life
  • Exposure to Sun – Simply put, the more the exposure to the sun, the sooner the tire ages.
  • Other Factors – Avoid exceeding the total limit of weight allowed for your tires to carry.
  • Quality of Maintenance – How long you can use tires depends a lot on how you took care of it in the first place. When the tires are neglected or the wheel alignment is not correct, it will accelerate the aging process.

How to Extend Your Tire’s Life

Tire life can be increased by taking a few simple steps which will help protect them from premature rotting:

  • Check your tires for proper inflation pressures on a monthly basis. Buy and use a good digital tire gauge even though your tires may be equipped with tire pressure monitors. Do not use the maximum pounds per square inch (PSI) noted on the tire’s sidewall as the measure for proper inflation; the recommended PSI for your vehicle’s tires is located on the driver’s side door jamb or in the owner’s manual for your car. Under or over-inflation of your tires inhibits the effectiveness of stabilizing additives found in most tires.
  • Park your car in a garage or carport to decrease the tires’ exposure to the elements.  Protection from excessive heat and UV rays will help protect your tires from premature rot.
  • Apply a tire conditioner that is formulated to protect tires from UV rays and/or ozone. Household cleansers and petrochemical or silicone containing tire cleaning products can actually remove much of the tire’s protective waxes.
  • Drive the car regularly and at moderate speeds. Car tires that sit, unmoving, for long periods of time do not flex. Therefore, the stabilizing additives do not distribute as designed.
  • Buy new tires that were manufactured no more than two years prior. Dates are located on one side of each tire, and use numbers that coincide with week and year of manufacture. For example, 1209 means it was made in the twelfth week of 2009. Ask for tires that have UV stabilizers and ozone shielding additives.

  • Outside edges: tires that are worn on the outside edges have been under inflated.
  • Center of tire: tires that are worn in the center have been over inflated.
  • One of the edges: when the tire is worn on one side but not the other the camber angle is off either negative or positive. (Positive camber: is when the top of the tire leans away from the vehicle. Negative camber is when the top of the tire leans in towards the vehicle. This can also be caused by bent or damaged front end parts: tie rods, ball joints, etc.)
  • Tire is feathered: when the tire is feathered across the tread the tie rods are worn or the vehicle needs to be aligned.
  • Tire is scalloped: when the tire is scalloped or cupped across the tread it is usually caused by bad shocks or struts. This can also be caused by out of balance tires.

Rotate Your Tires

When tire rotation is done at the recommended times, it can preserve balanced handling and traction and even out tire wear. Tire rotation can even provide performance advantages.

Many tire mileage warranties require tire rotation to keep the warranty valid. When should tires be rotated? We recommend that tires be rotated every 6,000 to 10,000Km even if they don’t show signs of wear.  Consider tire rotation with oil change intervals while the vehicle is off the ground.

Tire rotation helps even out tire wear by allowing each tire to serve in as many of the vehicle’s wheel positions as possible. Remember, tire rotation can’t correct wear problems due to worn mechanical parts or incorrect inflation pressures.

If you maintain your tires, observe the wear on your tires, rotate your tires and recognize a tire has a life of it’s own, you will maximize it.

LaSorsa Chevrolet
3510 Webster Ave.
Bronx, NY 10467
(800) 743-1788

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Why You Should Learn How To Drive Stick

I used to be very intimidated by the stick shift. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. When I was 18, some friends and I went on a road trip across the country. The car was a manual transmission and I didn’t take my turn at the wheel until the third day… it wasn’t pretty.

Then, one winter, I got a job in the mountains, where all we had to drive were trucks… all of them manual. I had no choice… either get mocked for not being able to drive, or suck it up, get over the intimidation of it and learn to drive stick. I learned and I love it!

Why would people choose a manual transmission over an automatic?

Control – Many drivers prefer the enhanced sense of control that comes with the additional attention required to drive a manual transmission They also get better performance when passing, and better road feel when rounding curves and driving on steep hills, especially when they’re slippery. Many also believe that the more interactive style of driving helps them to remain more alert.

Save Money – Driven to full efficiency manual shift vehicles offer the best economy. The acquisition cost alone can save you $1,000 or more, plus the additional taxes and finance charges. Your fuel savings can vary from 10% – 15%, which could easily add up to several hundred dollars per year. Brake replacements tend to be less frequent and transmission repairs do not require a specialist.

Vehicle Choice – Some vehicles come available only in manual shift. This may be especially true of new sports cars during the early stage of their launch into the market. There are also those who derive tremendous pleasure out of driving a manual transmission correctly. For these people sheer joy of driving is unimaginable without a manual transmission. Once they drive one they will probably choose it for life.

There are other reasons, such as:

Travel – Traveling to Europe? Renting a vehicle is certainly a convenient way to wander off the beaten path and discover less well-known attractions. Renting a manual transmission can save you thousands of dollars and you have a wider range of vehicle selection. The fact is, most European rent-a-car agencies rent only stick shifts. Automatics are rare and very pricey. What’s more, even when you book ahead, you can’t be guaranteed of getting one.

Job Opportunities – Whether it’s landing a role in a film or being a hotel valet or a car jockey, knowing how to drive a shift opens up countless jobs.

Emergencies –You’re better able to respond to any emergency, especially if immediate medical attention is required. Possessing the skill to drive a manual vehicle can make all the difference. And save lives. Though less urgent, but equally as important, you can be the designated driver when a friend has had “one too many.”

There are many websites that will walk you through the process of driving stick shift, or you can contact a driving school… either way, I know driving a manual transmission has made me a better driver, and gotten me out of a few slippery situations. I suppose the general rule “Be Prepared” is a good one to take from my driving experience.

LaSorsa Chevrolet
3510 Webster Ave.
Bronx, NY 10467
(800) 743-1788

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GM & Safe Kids Worldwide Mark 15 Year Partnership

The General Motors Foundation, General Motors and Safe Kids Worldwide celebrated 15 years of the Buckle Up program a few weeks ago.  The program has helped reach millions of parents and caregivers and their young passengers during a rapid evolution in auto safety technology.

through the Buckle Up program, (the nation’s most extensive multifaceted child passenger safety program) Safe Kids, the GM Foundation and GM continue efforts to keep children and families safe in and around cars.

“The GM Foundation’s 15 year commitment to Safe Kids Buckle Up is a sterling example of corporate social responsibility at its best,” said Kate Carr, Safe Kids President and CEO. “There is no doubt that countless child fatalities and injuries have been prevented as a result of this partnership and the GM Foundation’s long-term dedication to it,” Carr added.

The Safe Kids Buckle Up program began with a focus on child safety seat checks at GM dealers. Over the past 15 years, it has grown into a multifaceted program that addresses child safety in and around vehicles. To date, certified experts at nearly 80,000 car seat checks have inspected more than 1.5 million car seats for proper installation. Additionally, more than 550,000 car seats have gone to at-risk families, many at no cost through the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza; and more than 22 million people have been exposed to the program’s events and outreach activities.

The Buckle Up program also includes:

  • 118 mobile child safety vans, completely equipped to conduct child passenger safety events;
  • 500 permanent child safety seat inspection stations, including at GM dealerships;
  • Spot the Tot and Never Leave Your Child Alone, programs aimed at preventing fatalities and injuries to children in and around vehicles;
  • Safest Generation (for kids 11 and 12) and Countdown2Drive (ages 13 and 14) to address the needs of older children and their families; and
  • Activities that advocate for stronger state child passenger safety laws.

“The safety initiatives created through our partnership help ensure that our nation’s youth are protected from the time they are infants to teenagers getting behind the wheel for the first time,” said GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard. “These initial lessons instill good safety habits that last a lifetime.”

For parents who want assistance, Safe Kids hosts car seat inspection events across the country throughout the year. Parents are invited to bring their car, child safety seat and child to an event in their area where certified child passenger safety technicians provide one-on-one “hands-on” help with installation. Parents and caregivers can locate an event in their community by visiting the Safe Kids website.

LaSorsa Chevrolet
3510 Webster Ave.
Bronx, NY 10467
(800) 743-1788

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iPhone Apps for your Vehicle

There are thousands of apps available to iPhone users, so many in fact, that you can get lost trying to find ones that are useful to you. Not to worry, we’ve done some digging and have found 5 usefully car apps to possibly make life a little less stressful, and maybe even, a little more fun.

  1. GasBuddy (Free)
    GasBuddy is pretty simple yet very effective. It locates the cheapest place to fill up in a short radius. While a few gas stations don’t appear on the screen, prices are usually 100% accurate. This app lives up to its name; plus it doesn’t cost you a penny. 83 Ratings = 5 Stars
  2. Honk ($0.99)
    Parking tickets are a thing of the past with Honk, which helps you keep an eye on your parking meter. In addition to a programmable alarm (2, 5 or 10 minutes remaining), Honk can refresh your memory if you forgot where you left your car. This precious app will ensure that your future downtown stints don’t leave a sour taste in your month. 11 Ratings = 4.5 Stars
  3. Dynolicious ($12.99)
    How does all that tuning translate on the road? Using the iPhone’s built-in accelerometer, Dynolicious calculates your vehicle’s 0-100km/h acceleration, quarter mile time, horsepower total, lateral Gs, and other performance metrics. All you have to do is to create a profile for your car and voilà! 26 Ratings = 4.5 Stars
  4. Car Minder Plus ($2.99)
    Your car will love you with this app. Manage all your car maintenance needs, log repairs, track fuel economy, and look up when a service is due. Manage multiple cars, and get the most out of each of them.  57 Ratings = 4.5 Stars
  5. Garmin/Navigon/TomTom (0$ to $59.99)
    There is something for everyone, with prices ranging from 0$ to nearly $60. And believe me, it’s a significant upgrade over Google Maps. You can find various points of interest, plan long trips with multiple stops, and get clear turn-by-turn directions… we are in road trip season after all!

Did we miss any? Let us know if you use a vehicle app that you love.

LaSorsa Chevrolet
3510 Webster Ave.
Bronx, NY 10467
(800) 743-1788

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Leasing VS Buying Vehicles

 

 

Leasing is growing in popularity, and represents a viable alternative to buying.

Why? Because it costs less.  You’re basically paying for the estimated depreciation of the vehicle over the lease period, rather than paying for the whole value of the car. Of course, all you’re getting is the use of the car during that period, rather than actual ownership of it in the end.

Here is a quick rundown of some advantages and disadvantages to leasing rather than buying:

Advantages:

  • A lease costs less than a purchase, you only pay a portion of the vehicles cost
  • Monthly payments are lower
  • No large down payment. When the lease begins, you pay the first month’s payment, title, taxes, registration, banking fees, and a security deposit.
  • You don’t have to worry about selling the car when you no longer want it.

Disadvantages

  • You don’t own the car.
  • You aren’t able to customize the vehicle or make modifications to it as you could if you bought it.
  • There are additional charges for excessive mileage (for example, more than 15,000 miles a year) and any damage to the car.
  • Generally, you will need to have the maximum insurance coverage limits.

The decision to lease or buy will always depend on your personal circumstances. If your objective is to one day be rid of car payments and you want to own, buying a car may be the best option. If, however, if your goal is to drive a new set of wheels every four years and minimize your monthly costs, leasing a car may be a good alternative.

Stop by the dealership, let our finance team help you make the right decision.

LaSorsa Chevrolet
3510 Webster Ave.
Bronx, NY 10467
(800) 743-1788

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Save Money, Chevy Maintenance Tips

In a recent post we wrote about Chevrolet and OnStar teaming up to conduct a study to demonstrate 10 common mistakes drivers make that hurt their fuel economy.   We had focused on the driving habits… for this post we’re going to look at maintenance.

You may remember Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning drove identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs with an EPA estimated at 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, but Wenzlick averaged 37 miles per gallon using efficient driving habits in a properly maintained Cruze, while Nunning managed only 21 miles per gallon driving inefficiently and ignoring common maintenance.

So what common maintenance practices can save you money?

  • Tire pressure
    “All four tires on my car were five pounds under their recommended air pressure. That’s not enough to change how the Cruze drives, but it does make the engine work harder to turn the wheels. Check your tires at least once a month, as a tire that is 10 pounds under pressure can cut your fuel efficiency by more than 3 percent.” says Nunning
  • Use the recommended grade of motor oil
    Motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the performance symbol of the American Petroleum Institute contains friction-reducing additives that can improve fuel economy.
  • Use the most effective octane level for your car.
    Check your owner’s manual. For most cars, the recommended gasoline is regular octane. In most cases, using a higher-than-recommended octane gas offers no benefit – and costs more.
  • Ignoring the “check engine” light
    “I called OnStar to run a remote diagnostics check on my Cruze, because the check engine light was on. Turns out the light was on because the gas cap was loose. But more serious engine problems can cut your fuel economy by up to 40 percent.” says Nunning
  • Batteries can make or break you
    Check battery life, replace or charge your current battery and make sure battery cables are free of corrosion. Many breakdowns occur because batteries aren’t delivering full cranking power.
  • Engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks.
    According to the EPA, tune-ups improve performance as well as gas mileage. Check your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance schedules and follow them. This will avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, or the transmission failing to go into high gear.

Chevrolet has 10 models that offer 30 mpg or better on the highway, and our Service Department is open Monday – Friday from 7:30AM – 5:30PM, and Saturday 7:30AM – 4PM.

LaSorsa Chevrolet
3510 Webster Ave.
Bronx, NY 10467
(800) 743-1788

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Drive Smart, Save $100 a Month at the Pump

Chevrolet and OnStar teamed up to conduct a study to demonstrate 10 common mistakes drivers make that hurt their fuel economy.  General Motors fuel economy engineers Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning drove identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs with an EPA estimated at 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, on a typical workday commute. For the route, they drove both cars for 20 minutes, including city and highway driving as well as stopping for coffee.

The results show that sweating the small stuff could save drivers as much as $100 a month in fuel costs. Wenzlick averaged 37 miles per gallon using efficient driving habits in a properly maintained Cruze. Driving inefficiently and ignoring common maintenance, Nunning managed only 21 miles per gallon. The difference means Nunning would get 250 fewer miles per tank of gas, while Wenzlick would save $100 a month – or $1,200 a year – assuming 15,000 miles and $4 a gallon for gas.

“Ann and Beth’s results support data from OnStar that shows the fuel economy of drivers in identical cars can vary by 75 percent,” said Roger Clark, manager of the GM Energy Center. “With a well-maintained car, the best drivers get up to 25 percent more miles per gallon than average. When you combine a poorly maintained car with inefficient driving habits, the fuel economy of the worst drivers can be 50 percent below average.

So, what can you do to get better gas mileage?

  • Get out of the drive-through lane.
    “While Beth waited in the drive-thru with her car running, I shut off the engine and went inside for my morning coffee. Idling for 15 minutes burns through an average of a quarter of a gallon – adding another $1 to the cost of your latte.”
  • Take it easy
    “In the city, I accelerated smoothly while Beth demonstrated one of the most common mistakes we see on the road: Jumping on the gas at every light, only to hit the brakes as she caught up with the traffic ahead. Such aggressive driving isn’t going to get you home any faster, while driving smoothly can improve your mileage by 20 percent.”
  • Driving 70, not 80.
    “On the highway, I drove 70, compared to Beth’s 80. Again, a 10-mph difference likely won’t add much time to your daily commute, but it will save you up to four miles per gallon on the highway.”
  • Use cruise control
    “I tried to maintain a constant speed during our drive, while Beth’s fluctuated with traffic. Try using cruise control when possible, and maintaining a constant speed over time, which is much more efficient than speeding up and slowing down over and over again.” …read more tips and common mistakes here

LaSorsa Chevrolet
3510 Webster Ave.
Bronx, NY 10467
(800) 743-1788

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