What Makes a Car “Eco-Friendly”?

By sarah | Posted in Car Information on Friday, June 23rd, 2017 at 3:38 PM

We all know we should be doing what we can to help the environment. This most definitely extends to our cars! Reducing your carbon footprint is a good idea, both for the environment and the lifespan of your vehicle. There are a few things you can do to”greenify” your car. Some of these include:

Check Your Tires

There’s good reason why you should check your tire pressure monthly. Aside from reducing your chances of a flat or blow-out, good tire pressure can improve your fuel economy by as much as 3.3%! A smooth-running vehicle will not only benefit you, but also the environment! Definitely keep this in mind before you hit the road for a long trip.

Remove Excess Weight

Aside from aesthetics, removing the junk from your backseat and trunk can have definitely help your car’s eco-friendliness. Reducing your car’s weight, by whatever means necessary, will help it drive more smoothly and thus, reduce the impact on your engine.

Check Your Air Filters

A dirty air filter can most definitely restrict airflow to your car, making it work harder to keep cool. Check your filters regularly to ensure they’re in tip-top shape. This will keep you cool during summer, and your car much healthier, to boot!

Drive Smart

We shouldn’t have to tell you that driving like a maniac is ill-advised for safety reasons. But beyond that, driving smart can help reduce your car’s impact on the environment, as well. Keep this in mind the next time you see an approaching stop sign, or when you’re tempted to drive 90 mph on the freeway.

 

Not too sure how to maintain your car? No worries! Our Ed Payne Service department is here to help. Schedule an appointment today, or stop by one of our local car dealerships to view our latest range of new and used models.

 

 

3 Silly Car Myths to Forget About NOW

By sarah | Posted in Car Information on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 at 8:03 PM

There will never be a shortage of car advice from relatives, friends, and even strangers! And while it seems like everyone’s got something to say about the topic, some of these opinions are likely to be based at least partially on myths. Passed down from generation to generation, these myths have withstood the test of time. Unfortunately, they could be doing harm to your vehicle. We’re here to cut through the myths, so you can be sure you’re never led astray.

“Warm Up the Car!”

While it was once true that cars needed to be “warmed up” prior to driving, that was during a time of less sophisticated carburetors. Luckily, these days, carburetors simply don’t require time to get juiced up. They’re good to go, as is! Sure, you could warm up your interior by running your car for a few minutes, but you certainly won’t be doing your engine any favors by doing so.

Premium Fuel is Better

The common consensus is: The more expensive, the better. But such does not ring true for your vehicle’s fuel. The myth that premium fuel is simply better for all cars couldn’t be further from the truth. Filling up with premium will make absolutely no difference if your car is made for regular fuel.

Idling Saves Gas

You may have been taught to resist turning your engine on and off at all costs, but idling isn’t such a great option for fuel conservation, either. If you’re idling for longer than a period of 10 seconds, you’re wasting more gas. Think smart!

 

Got maintenance? Call to schedule an appointment with your local Ed Payne Service Department, or visit one of our McAllen, Brownsville or Weslaco car dealership to view our latest and greatest models.

How to Extend the Life of Your Vehicle

By sarah | Posted in Car Information on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 at 3:36 PM

Eating healthy, not smoking, hitting the gym a few times a week — these are the cornerstones of a healthy life. But when it comes to your car, are you really doing everything you can to make it last? Being a good car owner means more than filling it up with gas as needed. There are plenty of other steps you can take to show your car a little extra love.  A few of these include:

Regular Maintenance

Just like in healthcare, preventative care is important for your vehicle. Taking measures to properly care for your car before a major incident happens is key. In fact, something as simple as washing it regularly can have lasting effects on the health of your car. From punctual oil changes, to transmission flushes every now and then, all these culminate into a happy, healthy vehicle for you and your family.

Tire Balancing

You may often overlook a good tire balance as an extra, rather than a necessity. The truth is that tire balancing serves the greater purpose of keeping your wheels flowing smoothly, thus preserving the inner workings of your vehicle. Consider a tire balancing if you feel heavy vibrations when driving your vehicle. You’ll want to get this fixed before it turns into a major problem later down the road. Literally!

Brake Replacements

If you’ve recently stepped on your brakes and been met with an annoying screeching sound, a brake pad replacement may be in order. Aside from the danger associated with faulty brakes, you could be doing harm to your vehicle by not replacing them. Speak to your mechanic if you suspect something is amiss. Better safe than sorry!

Your local Payne dealership can get your car ready to hit the road. Call to book an appointment with our service department, or stop by one of our valley car dealerships for a close look at our new and used vehicles.

What Does a Safety Inspection Check For?

By sarah | Posted in Car Information on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 at 9:01 PM

Vehicle safety inspections: an annoying but totally necessary part of life. Your car is only as good as how it runs, and an inspector is tasked with making sure yours is ready for the road. According to the Texas Department of Public Transportation, there are 20 things to be checked during annual safety inspections. Some of these include:

1. Horn

Your car’s horn only works if people can hear it!

 

2. Windshield Wipers

Ever been caught in a rainstorm with bum wipers? Two words: not fun.

3. Mirror

Because how else are you going to check for boogers?

4. Steering

Proper steering is non-negotiable.

 

5. Seat Belts

Safety first!

6. Brakes (system) (Parking – beginning with 1960 models)

Don’t worry – a little screeching is OK.

7. Tires

You can put your penny away for now.

8. Wheel Assembly

What’s a car without wheels, anyway?

9. Exhaust System

How’s your car breathing?

 

10. Exhaust Emission System (beginning with 1968 models)

Is your car’s breathing disturbing others?
Looking for more car tips? We’ve got them, plus so much more! Visit your local Payne Auto dealership to view our latest models, or to schedule an appointment with our service department!

Car Care 101: What’s a Transmission Flush? And Do You Need One?

By sarah | Posted in Car Information on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 at 6:46 PM

You may have heard your mechanic utter the words “transmission flush” at some point. You’re not alone if you were left scratching your head at the term. A flush can do wonders for your car’s performance, and its lifespan. You may scoff at the idea that your car has to undergo yet another maintenance process, but this type of flush can really benefit your vehicle.

So, what is a transmission flush?

A transmission flush is a process in which oil is removed and replaced from a transmission. A special machine is used to clear out sludge and grime, then the transmission is filled with new oil. This ensures your vehicle is running only on clean, fresh oil.

The cost of a transmission flush is dependent upon several factors. From the make and model, to the type of flushing machine used and the amount of oil your car requires. So, what are you waiting for? Contact your local Ed Payne dealership for more information about how your car can benefit from a flush.

Car Care 101: Avoid These Common Car Wash Mistakes

By sarah | Posted in Car Information on Monday, June 19th, 2017 at 7:30 PM

Clean cars are good. Dirty cars are bad. Seems simple enough, right?

Wrong!

Even if you’re washing your vehicle regularly, you may be doing more harm than good. For instance, did you know the time of day in which you decide to wash your car can impact the result? Cleaning your car in direct sunlight will cause it to dry way faster. This means major water spots! Washing a car is far different from washing your dishes, or yourself in the shower. With delicate parts and a paint job to worry about, it couldn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with a few car wash fails, so you can avoid these pitfalls in the future. Here are a few common car wash mistakes many of us make when trying to get our vehicles nice and clean.

Using the Wrong Soap

If you’re like most of us, you reach for the dishwashing soap, bucket and a towel when you’re gearing up to wash your ride. Unfortunately, this isn’t best practice, and is one of the most common car wash mistakes. Dish soap contains too many harsh chemicals, which can damage your car’s paint job. Instead, opt for a special car washing soap, which can be purchased for under $5 in most places. Furthermore, different parts of your car require different cleaners. Those made for tires will help cut down on dirt and grime, while other cleaners, like for your dashboard, are more gentle. Choose wisely!

Using the Wrong Cloths

It may come as no surprise that not all car washing cloths are created equal. If you’ve been using any basic cloth to get the job done, it may be time to reevaluate. Towels can easily scratch the surface of your car, while chamois don’t pick up dirt quite as well as they should. You should also avoid paper towels, which can leave lint behind. And don’t forget newspaper, which will leave streaks. Microfiber is by far your best bet for a streak-free dry that won’t damage your vehicle.

Overwashing

You’ve heard that too much of a good thing can be bad. This is true in regard to car washing. Washing your vehicle too often, even if you’re using all the right tools, can spell danger for your car’s precious paint job. Avoid overwashing to keep your car looking sleek and shiny for as long as possible.

 

Got more questions? We’ve got answers! Check out our Ed Payne service blog for car maintenance tips and so much more. Or if you’re searching for a new vehicle, visit one of our valleywide Ed Payne dealerships.

 

What is Adaptive Cruise Control?

By sarah | Posted in Car Information on Sunday, June 18th, 2017 at 9:28 PM

Summer time is the ideal time to schedule a road trip, but driving for long stretches of road can be exhausting! Cruise control is a major plus when you’ve got miles of road ahead of you. And you don’t need to be a frequent cross-country driver to realize the benefit of cruise control, either. With new cars, comes a variety of cool, new features to learn. We’re going to dive into Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), what it is, and how it can help you next time you hit the road.

What is ACC?

Adaptive Cruise Control goes by many names. Some of these include active cruise control, intelligent cruise control, autonomous cruise control, or radar cruise control. This type of smart cruise is quickly gaining traction among the automobile crowd for a variety of reasons. It slows and speeds up automatically, in pace with the car directly in front of you. It allows the driver to set a maximum speed, and radar sensors monitor traffic ahead. The system then instructs the driver to stay 2-4 seconds behind. It’s perfect for long trips with stop-and-go-traffic, and those rush hour roads that seems to never end. Adaptive Cruise Control is in line with self-driving cars of the future. It’s intended to help you better evaluate the road in a way that’s easier and safer than ever before.

 
Are you in the market for a new or used vehicle? Ed Payne Auto Group’s got you covered! Visit one of our local Ed Payne Brownsville, Mission, or McAllen car dealerships to view our latest selection. We’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for! 

Car Care 101: My Windshield is Cracked!

By sarah | Posted in Car Information on Friday, June 16th, 2017 at 10:40 AM

Cracked Windshield?

There are few things more anger-inducing than a sharp rock plunging itself into your windshield on the highway. Such is life. While you can’t always avoid these unfortunate incidents from happening, you can take steps to alleviate the damage. McAllen, and South Texas in general, are hot as ever, meaning a small crack can quickly turn into a shattered windshield if you’re not careful. Keep these in mind when opting for repairs or replacements.

Size

Chances are good that a chip less than an inch in diameter can be repaired. The same goes for a crack less than three inches long. Cracks and chips larger than this can be a doozy, and may require a replacement altogether.

Type

Believe it or not, there are many different types of cracks. From star break, to bulls-eye, to dings and pits, determining which type of crack your windshield has is the best way to get started with a fix. Multiple cracks can be harder to repair, but a single crack or chip smaller than a quarter can likely be salvaged.

Location

The location of your chip or crack is important when determining a course of action. This is because discoloration, unevenness or mistiness can all occur after a repair. If these happen to effect your sight when driving, they could present a problem.

Let’s face it: things happen, especially a cracked windshield. McAllen, Brownsville and Weslaco Payne dealerships can help. If you’re in need of windshield repair, our Service departments can get you fixed up and ready for the road right away. Call or schedule an appointment today, or simply stop by one of our dealerships to check out our new and used models.

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: Deciphering the Dreaded Check Engine Light 

By sarah | Posted in Car Information on Thursday, June 15th, 2017 at 6:58 PM

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: Deciphering the Dreaded Check Engine Light

It’s tempting to stick a piece of tape over that Check Engine light constantly rearing its ugly head on your dashboard. But doing so would be doing a major disservice to your car. Instead of driving down the “ignorance is bliss” route, you’ll need to dig deeper into this annoying issue. You may be saving yourself a ton of money and heartache in the long run. Fixing the problem before it causes major damage to your vehicle is definitely wise. Here are a few things your car may be trying to tell you once that Check Engine symbol pops up.

Loose/Damaged/Missing Gas Cap

Hardly a cause for major concern, a loose, missing, or damaged gas cap may very well cause your Check Engine light to creep up. Your car’s gas cap not only seals your fuel system, but it also helps maintain pressure in your tank. Not to mention, it prevents gas fumes from seeping out while you’re driving. Screw it on tightly, or call your local dealer for a replacement to keep your Check Engine light at bay.

Damaged Spark Plugs or Plug Wires

Spark plugs ignite your car’s air/fuel mixture, courtesy of a spark from the ignition coil via spark plug wires. Your car may be in for a world of hurt if either is damaged. From poor performance, to reduced fuel economy, spark plugs and spark plug wires help keep your car running smoothly. You’ll definitely want to replace them if they’re not up to par.

Damaged Oxygen Sensor

Your car’s O2 sensor measures the unburned oxygen in your exhaust system. If it’s damaged, you’ll need to replace it. Your engine may burn more fuel than necessary, causing you to lose fuel economy if you don’t! A faulty sensor can also damage your catalytic converter or spark plugs. Be sure to call your dealer if you believe something is amiss.

Damaged Catalytic Converter

Intended to protect the environment, your car’s catalytic converter converts carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide. The catalytic converter can become damaged due to neglected maintenance (hey, it happens!) so need to replace it, as it can affect fuel economy, performance and temperature.

Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor 

The mass airflow sensor is in charge of measuring the air entering your engine, which determines how much fuel your engine needs to run efficiently. A faulty sensor can damage your O2 sensors, catalytic converter and spark plugs, which will reduce both your performance and fuel economy. Have it replaced to get your car running as smoothly as intended.

Now that you’ve gotten to the bottom of that pesky Check Engine light, you can start on the path to recovery. Check out our blog for more maintenance tips and car advice from our skilled team of experts at Payne Weslaco Motors.

Car Care 101: What is a Tune-Up?

By sarah | Posted in Car Information on Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 at 9:24 PM

The term “tune-up” is one that rears its head quite often in the auto world. You may have heard it plenty, but may not know what it means. Not to worry! We’re here to help.

What exactly is a tune-up, and should you be worried about getting one in the near future?

A tune-up is basically a thorough check and fix of your car’s engine parts. It’s important to keep your engine in great working order to preserve the life of your vehicle.

The following should be inspected during a tune-up:

  • Battery voltage
  • Power balance or dynamic compression
  • Engine vacuum
  • Fault Codes
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Idle Speed
  • Ignition timing

*This list isn’t all-inclusive, and some may not even apply to your vehicle.

In addition to checking your vehicle for major issues, a tune-up will also take preventative measures to ensure your car’s engine stays healthy. The following should be replaced during a tune-up:

  • Spark plugs
  • Rotor and/or distributor cap (if applicable)
  • Fuel filter
  • Air filter
  • PCV valve and breather filter
  • O2 sensors

*This list isn’t all-inclusive, and some may not even apply to your vehicle.

 

Interested in a high-quality tune-up? We can help! Contact your local Payne Auto Dealership to schedule a maintenance appointment, or simply stop by our Weslaco auto dealership to view our latest selection of new and used cars and trucks. Here you’ll find a team of skilled professionals eager to make your automobile dreams a reality.