Checking Your Automatic Transmission Fluid

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Vehicle Repair on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 at 6:48 PM

Transmission fluid is one of the most important fluids you need for your vehicle to run smoothly.

If your vehicle hesitates when your automatic transmission shifts gears, check the transmission fluid level before you let any mechanic start talking about servicing or adjusting your transmission or selling you a new one. To check your automatic transmission fluid, look for a dipstick handle sticking out of your transmission. This is located toward the rear of an in-line engine on vehicles with rear-wheel drive as shown here:

There are several types of fluid for the transmission. Each is made for a specific type of automatic transmission. Newer transmissions from the major automakers require different fluid than older ones. Because so many different kinds of transmissions are around these days, check your owner’s manual or dealership to find out which type of fluid your vehicle requires.

A faulty transmission and one that’s just low on fluid share many of the same symptoms! If your vehicle hesitates when your automatic transmission shifts gears, check the transmission fluid level before you let any mechanic start talking about servicing or adjusting your transmission or selling you a new one. Obviously, adding transmission fluid is a lot cheaper than replacing the whole transmission system! For more info on regular maintenance, check out this monthly checklist for your vehicle.

If your vehicle is in need of service, schedule an appointment online at any of our Service Centers.

How to Care for Your Headlights

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Car Information on Monday, November 5th, 2018 at 9:46 PM

Caring for your headlights is like caring for your eyes. are really important features of any vehicle and it is imperative you keep your lights clear and working.

In this article, we’ll outline some tips on how to properly care for your vehicle exterior lights.

Inspect Headlights

The first thing you must do is inspect your lights. How dim are they? Is the plastic foggy and yellow? Is one of the lights out?

It’s important to assess the damage if there is any before you go out and pay for supplies or go to a mechanic.

Buy Supplies

Once you assess the damage, go out to buy supplies. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there with DIY hacks on how to clean up your headlights. Whether it be a simple bulb change to actually cleaning the headlights, it is important to follow the correct steps to ensure you don’t damage your vehicle.

Conclusion

Keeping your lights clear and working is essential to safe driving.

If your vehicle is in need of service, schedule an appointment online at any of our locations!

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for the Winter

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Car Information on Thursday, November 1st, 2018 at 8:52 PM

As the summer weather ebbs away and the air becomes crisp, you realize that winter is coming. 

Just as you prepare your home for the winter, you should prepare your vehicle as well! In this article, we will outline tips on how to properly winterize your vehicle.

Replace Fluids

It is very important to refill or replace the liquids in your vehicle.

  • Coolant – Making sure the right mixture of antifreeze and water will prevent freezing in your vehicle’s radiator.
  • Oil – As the temperatures drop, the oil in your car can expand and become thick. Some mechanics will recommend switching to a thinner oil if your area’s temperatures drop below freezing.
  • Wiper fluid – Make sure you replace your wiper fluid with freeze-resistant fluid

Check Tires

There are four kinds of tires you can choose from when it comes to seasonal tires:

  • All Season Tires – These are the most common and are perfect for areas that have mild winters.
  • All Weather Tires – These tires maintain good handling in both cold and heat and can be left on all year around.
  • Studded Winter Tires – These tires are only allowed from October 1 through April 30. The metal studs in the tires are used to help gain traction through icy areas.
  • Winter Tires – These tires are best used in moderate winter areas as they are made to trek through packed snow and rough ice. They are made from a compound that stays soft in cold conditions to help reduce tire problems due to the cold temperatures.

Check the Battery

Your battery can also be negatively affected due to cold winter temperatures. Be sure to look over your battery, battery cables, and battery fluid for any cracks or leaks. If your battery fluid is low, you can refill it with distilled water. If you notice you’re having a hard time turning your vehicle on, you may need to replace your battery.

Prepare an Emergency Winter Kit

It is always important to store an emergency kit in your car just in case. In this kit you should keep:

  • A flashlight
  • A blanket
  • Gloves and a hat
  • Batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Ice scraper
  • Road flares
  • Jumper cables

Of course, you can always add to your winter kit with essentials tailor made for your family.

Conclusion

If your vehicle needs service, create an appointment online for any of our Service centers!

Keeping your vehicle winter ready is keeping your family safe, Regardless!

 

Safe Driving Tips for Halloween

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Community on Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 at 6:16 PM

Safe driving is imperative! Especially on Halloween! Navigating the streets as children trick or treat is something that every safe driver should be extra vigilant about.

If you’re taking your little ones out for a night of trick or treating, be sure to follow these safety tips!

Motorists

If you’re planning on hitting the roads on Halloween night follow these safe driving tips:

  • Drive 5 below the speed limit in residential neighborhoods
  • Watch out for children as they walk on the street, medians or other walkways close to the road
  • Keep an eye out for trick or treaters in dark costumes, as you may not see them on the road
  • Always yield to pedestrians
  • Eliminate distractions like your cell phone or loud music in the vehicle
  • Always use a designated driver if you plan to drink

Conclusion

Halloween should be a fun and exciting time for everyone who plans to participate. But with fun comes safety and it is important to stay vigilant while on the road.

Review these safe driving tips to keep you and your family safe this holiday!

Happy Halloween from the Payne Auto Group!

 

What To Do if Your Engine Stalls

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Car Information on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 at 7:30 PM

The engine is the most important mechanical part of any vehicle. The engine converts gas into motion and helps get the car running. It’s like the heart of the vehicle, making sure everything runs smoothly.

Though, without proper maintenance, your engine can stall and leave you stranded! Some of the reasons why your engine may have stalled could be:

  • An empty gas tank
  • Coolant sensor reading as hot
  • Bad battery
  • A bad fuel pump

It is very important that you keep up routine maintenance on your vehicle to avoid engine stalls and other mechanical failings.

What to Do if Your Engine Stalls

In the case that your engine stalls while you are driving, first you will lose power steering and power brakes. The first thing to do after turning on your hazard lights is to apply the footbrake and steer yourself out of traffic if you are in traffic. Next is try restarting your vehicle. If you cannot restart it on your own, call a friend for jumper cables. If the jumper cables do not work, then you should call a tow truck or roadside assistance for help.

If your vehicle stalls while you are idling, such as if you are at a stoplight, first you should turn on your hazards. Put your vehicle in ‘park’ and try to restart your vehicle. If that does not work, call for roadside assistance to help get your vehicle out of the way. You should not get out and try to push your vehicle out of the way by yourself.

Conclusion

It is always important to assess the situation before making any decisions. Never attempt to move your vehicle by yourself and always call for assistance when needed.

If your vehicle needs service, schedule maintenance online at any of our Payne service locations.

Sound Systems: Which Vehicles Hold the Best One?

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Car Information on Monday, October 15th, 2018 at 9:02 PM

For all those audiophiles out there, making sure your vehicle can match your sound preferences without having to upgrade to an aftermarket system, is a big deal! Buying a new car is an investment, an investment you want to work for you!

In this article, we’ll outline some vehicles that come equipped with the best factory sound systems!

Chrysler 300

Since 2011, Beats by Dre has been outfitting the Chrysler 300 with this sound system. The sound system includes 10 premium speakers, a trunk-mounted dual-voice coil subwoofer and a 12-channel 552-watt amplifier. Limited and 300C trims offer an optional 19-speaker Harman/Kardon setup.

Mitsubishi Outlander

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander also is a stand out for audiophiles. The Outlander is equipped with Premium Rockford Fosgate Audio. This system “pumps up to 710 watts through nine speakers including a 10-inch dual-voice coil subwoofer with Punch Control to deliver deep, rich bass and crystal-clear highs.

It also encompasses the latest audio technology such as Digital Signal Processing, DTS Neural Surround, PremiDIA-WIDE Surround, and Dolby Volume.” [X]

Volkswagen

Fender has proudly been featured in select Volkswagen models like the Passat, Beetle, Tiguan, Atlas, and Golf.

The Beetle and the Atlas boast a 12-speaker Fender Premium Audio system, featuring a center channel speaker and third row speakers, gives all passengers a full, complete listening experience.

The Golf, Passat and the Tiguan‘s 9-speaker system deliver uncompromising clarity regardless of volume, distinct mid-range tones and powerful bass response, all without distortion.

It’s easy to see how Fender and Volkswagen want to bring the best sound quality they can for potential buyers.

Conclusion

As vehicles become upgraded, so do their sound systems. Newer models come better equipped for entertainment purposes. If you’re looking to upgrade check out our inventory!

 

New or Used Vehicles: Why Both Are Great Options

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Car Information on Thursday, October 11th, 2018 at 6:49 PM

So you’re in the market for a vehicle, but don’t know if buying new or used is right for you. In this article, we’ll outline all the major pros of buying a new or used vehicle!

Pros of Buying New

Buying a new vehicle has many advantages and it comes with that “new car smell!”  Buying a new car comes with a lot of advantages, such as a guarantee that the vehicle is new and not used by any other individual.

Warranties are also something to look consider, as a new car often comes with a time-frame warranty. There is always the option to purchase a warranty for a used or Certified PreOwned vehicle, but when buying a new car, the new car comes with a warranty. Financing is also available for newer vehicles as they have not hit their depreciation yet.

New technology and safety features are also common with new cars. If you’re interested in connectivity or advanced safety features, a new car will have those features compared to a used or older model. This means that you will always have the latest and up to date features and tech.

Pros of Buying Used

Buying used may hold a lot of advantages for a lot of people. Buying used can open up a lot of different doors for many people. A used car can still be a newer model or even a luxury brand.

Due to used cars generally being less expensive than brand new cars, a buyer may be able to splurge on a nicer or newer used vehicle.

Depreciation also works in buyers favor here too. Some models depreciate as much as 40% as fast as the first year it’s been released. With a used car, a buyer doesn’t have to worry about depreciation once they roll off the lot.

Cheaper insurance is also a factor in buying used as used vehicles don’t need Gap Insurance to cover the vehicle. Tax and registration fees are generally lower for used vehicles as well.

Overall

Buying a new or used vehicle have a lot of benefits that really depend on what you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for a new car with the latest tech, or an affordable car with great benefits, check out our new and used cars on our website and schedule a test drive today!

4 Tips for Improving Gas Mileage

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Car Information on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 at 5:11 PM

With gas and diesel prices spiking, many people are turning to the Internet to find tips for improving gas mileage. If you don’t drive a fuel-efficient vehicle, your gas mileage might be a constant thought in the back of your mind.

In this article, we will talk about how to improve gas mileage so you can stay away from the pump longer!

Properly Inflate Tires

Did you know that properly inflated tires can reduce fuel consumption by up to 3%? Making sure your tires are properly inflated keeps your gas mileage looking great!

It is recommended to check your tires on a weekly to monthly basis. Not only does keeping your tires properly inflated help with fuel consumption, but it also reduces uneven wear and tread.

Lighten the Load

It seems like simple math when you think of how much effort it takes to pull heavier things. An extra 100 pounds increases fuel consumption by 1–2%. This especially comes into play when you’re in stop-and-go traffic.

Lightening the load in a non-hybrid car can come in various forms. You can go as far as removing seats from the vehicle to just cleaning out the vehicle of useless items.

Don’t Idle

Not only is idling your car bad for the environment, but it’s also bad for your wallet too! Idling your vehicle for two minutes is equivalent of driving a mile. You can waste almost a gallon of gas if you leave your car idling for more than an hour.

Maintain Your Vehicle

This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised what a simple oil change or spark plug replacement can do for your car! Some of the things you can do for your vehicle to increase gas mileage are:

Conclusion

There are many little things you can do to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy. As gas prices go up, keep in mind some of these tips to help improve your mileage!

If you’re looking to upgrade to a fuel efficient vehicle, check out our inventory and schedule a test drive online!

Tire Repair Kits: What To Know

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Vehicle Repair on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 at 7:27 PM

In the past, automakers equipped vehicles with a full or small spare tire. Nowadays, automakers are opting for a small tire repair kits instead. Though, having a tire repair kit in your vehicle isn’t such a bad idea.

There are many tire repair kits out on the market today and each does different things. In this article, we will outline the various tire repair kits and what each of them does.

Aerosol Inflators

Aerosol inflators are used to pump a sealant into a flat tire, plugging small punctures from the inside. Aerosol inflators have grown in popularity due to the easy-to-use nature and readily available nature of the product.

Pressurized-can sealers, such as the ubiquitous Fix-A-Flat, are one-time-use products that have a dispensing tube that screws to a tire’s air-inflation valve. These sealers can both patch a hole and inflate the tire. [X]

Tire-sealant kits combine a portable 12-volt air compressor and a replaceable container of sealant. More and more new cars supply this kind of kit in lieu of a spare tire. [X]

It is important to note that aerosol inflators should only be utilized for very small holes in the tread of the tire. These products should not and cannot be used to fix holes more that 6mm big or for tears on the sidewall of the tire.

Another thing to note is that once you use these products, you must take your vehicle to a professional soon. Typically at 100 miles or so after use, go by what the instructions on the product state. The professional must clean out the residue from the product left behind on the wheel and inside the tire.

Tire Plugs and Patches

The biggest pro of using a tire plug is the cost. Tire plug kits are some of the cheapest on the market today. Tire plugs are made of short strips of leather covered with a gooey, unvulcanized rubber compound. When forced into a nail hole, the plug fills the hole and the rubber goo vulcanizes under the heat of driving to fully seal the repair. [X]

Tire patches, on the other hand, are usually done by professionals as the patch goes on the inside of the tire. This fix is generally the most reliable when it comes to tire repair and the strongest and most effective repair. Though, unless you have the tools to remove the tire from the rim, you cannot patch a tire yourself.

Conclusion

There are a few options out there if you want or need to plug a small hole in your tire. There is always the professional option and Road Side Assistance if you’re in a real pickle.

If you want to get your tires examined, please schedule an appointment online with our Service Center!

5 Things Every Teen Driver Should Know

By Bimmy Payne | Posted in Community on Monday, October 8th, 2018 at 8:25 PM

So your teen just got their license and is feeling on top of the world! They eagerly ask you if they could take the car out to go to the mall or go visit friends, but, like all parents, you hesitate.

Teen drivers are statistically more at risk than adult drivers due to their inexperience. According to research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 16- to 17-year old drivers are nine times more likely to be involved in a crash than adults and six times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults.

Of course, when parents become involved in teaching their children safe driving, these statistics become less shocking.

Teaching your teens what to look out for and how to be safe on the road not only protects your child but also their passengers and others around them.

Here are three tips for protecting your teen driver.

Minimize Distractions

Minimizing distractions is the number one thing that can help teen drivers stay safe. Some of these distractions include using cell phones, having rowdy friends in the car, or even eating while driving.

Minimizing distractions can greatly reduce the chances of getting in a car accident. While your teen may have the ability to drive alone now, parents should instill rules for using the vehicle.

Drive Defensively

It’s important to reinforce driving defensively. This means keeping a safe distance away from the car in front, obeying all traffic signs and traffic rules, and generally just being aware of the surroundings.

With time and practice comes wisdom, and teen drivers need to keep up what they learned in defensive driving in “real world” situations.

Vehicle Maintenence

Driving is a privilege, and your teen should treat the vehicle as such. This means teaching your teen the basics of car maintenance.

Teaching your teens routine maintenance can really help them out in case they encounter an emergency. Some tips you can teach your teen about are:

  • How to change your vehicle’s oil
  • How to check fluid levels
  • How to change a flat tire
  • How to use a tire repair kit

These tips can really help your teen navigate any kind of problem they can encounter.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while your teen may have their license, they aren’t equipped with the knowledge and wisdom of navigating the road.

It is the job of parents to help prepare their teen driver for the wide open road!

If you’re looking for a great vehicle for your teen, visit our website and schedule a test drive once you find the perfect vehicle!