Posts Tagged ‘Oil Change’

Checking Your Automatic Transmission Fluid

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

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.

What is Adaptive Cruise Control?

Monday, November 5th, 2018
mcallen car dealerships

Summertime is the ideal time to schedule a road trip. But driving for long stretches of road can be exhausting! There’s nothing fun about a frozen leg after 12 straight hours of manning the wheel. Aside from a strong cup of coffee, and maybe some good music, there isn’t much you can do to lessen the blow of constant driving. 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! There are cool, new features to learn with each new vehicle. We want to get you geared up for summer. We’re going to dive into Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). We’ll learn what it is, and how it can help you next time you hit the road for a long drive this season.

Are you ready to roll? Read on!

What is ACC?

You may be surprised to find that 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, and keeps in pace with the car directly in front of you. It also 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? Payne Auto Group‘s got you covered! We’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for! We’ve got a wide selection of new models to keep you happy! 

4 Tips for Improving Gas Mileage

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

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:


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!

5 Vehicle Repairs You Should Never Do at Home

Monday, September 17th, 2018

Maintaining your vehicle can be as easy as keeping the interior clean too as difficult as transmission repairs. Though there are some maintenance repairs you can do yourself, like changing the oil, there are some repairs you should never do yourself. In this article, we will outline five vehicle repairs you should never do at home.

Windshield Replacement

Driving with a damaged windshield can pose many problems. Not only is it dangerous to you, but also to your passengers, as the glass is now fragile and more prone to shattering. Replacing your vehicle’s windshield on your own is a bad idea for multiple reasons. You may order the wrong size glass, or be taking a gamble on a windshield that may not be totally safe. It takes professional tools to install a windshield correctly, tools a layperson may not have access to or know how to use. Lastly, the supplies you will need to replace your own windshield can cost the same or more as getting it professionally done.

Fuel Pump

There are several signs you may need to get your fuel pump replaced. Some of these signs consist of your engine sputtering, the temperature of your car rising, or your engine refusing to start. The fuel pump transfers fuel from the tank to the engine. Replacing the fuel pump on your own can be risky if you don’t attach the hoses correctly. Not attaching the hoses correctly can cause catastrophic damage to the engine which can require being outfitted with a new engine altogether.


The transmission is one of the most important functioning parts of your vehicle. The transmission diverts power to the driveshaft and rear wheels. Symptoms your transmission has failed are whining and clunking noises, lack of response, a burning smell, or leaking fluid. The transmission contains many, many complex parts. Without the transmission, your car wouldn’t be able to move forward or reverse. You should never attempt to repair your transmission yourself. This complicated procedure should only be done by professionals, or risk completely ruining your car.

Air Conditioner Repairs

Although some air conditioner repairs are relatively easy to DIY, if you are not car-repair-savvy, you’re better off taking your vehicle to a professional. Refrigerant needed for your AC is toxic when inhaled or ingested, so if you are not familiar with handling this liquid, you should let a professional take over. Adding refrigerant may not be the end-all fix. Your AC may have a more serious problem that requires some time and effort to fix. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best to leave it to a professional.

Drivability Problems and Error Codes

When it comes to drivability problems and error codes, it could be anything from an actual drivability error or an error with the program. Either way, when you have these error codes it’s best to have a mechanic look over your vehicle to diagnose the problems.


Maintaining your vehicle is a daily task. Preventative care will help keep you from having to deal with massive fixes in the future. While there is a lot of car maintenance that doesn’t require a mechanic, major parts of your vehicle, like the transmission, need a professional to look at it.

If your car needs maintenance, Payne Auto Group has service centers across our dealerships. Please visit our website for more info and locations of our service centers!

Safe Driving: Say No to Hydroplaning

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

If you’ve ever been caught driving in the middle of a rainstorm, you may know the sudden terror that comes with hydroplaning. With the South Texas weather as unpredictable as it is, you can never be too cautious when it comes to safe driving, especially during heavy rain. And while you may think you’re taking every step possible to drive safely, accidents still happen. You can minimize the chances of hydroplaning, however. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your car’s tires remain firmly on the ground next time those thunder clouds roll in:

Slow and steady…

Driving too fast can be dangerous – rain or not. You don’t even need to be driving more than 40 miles per hour to put yourself at risk. Anything above 35 miles per hour on a wet road is part of a recipe for disaster. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to wet or even damp roads. Take your time when it’s driving. Other drivers on the road will thank you, so they can do the same.

Wiggle room

You’ll need to be extra careful when the rain is pouring, meaning that three or four-second gap goes straight out the window. Leave some additional room between you and the car in front of you, allowing more time to stop in case you hit a puddle, or the road gets particularly slippery. You should also try to drive on the tracks set by the car in front of you. This cuts down on some of the slippery sludge found on roadways, making it easier for your tires to remain firmly on the road.

Take care of your tires

Worn tires plus rain can equal a deadly accident! You never want to take a chance when it comes to your tires. Checking your tires more frequently during rainy months will ensure a good line of defense against hydroplaning, especially during that rainy South Texas weather. Make sure they are properly inflated and rotated, and the tread depth is enough to keep you safe. This will all help to curb instances of an accident as the rain pours down, and with fall finally here, it may be a rainy season indeed.
Looking for more car care tips? We’ve got ’em, plus so much more! Visit our website to view our latest inventory, or stop by one of our Valleywide Ed Payne auto dealerships for more information on how to lease or purchase a new or used vehicle. We’ve got a wide selection of stunning models from brands like Ford, GMC, Chevrolet, Fiat and more.

Make Your Vehicle Last: Tire Balancing and Other Auto Care Tips for a Longer Car Life

Friday, September 29th, 2017
tire balancing

Make Your Vehicle Last: Auto Care Tips for a Longer Car Life

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. From regular washes, to routine oil changes and alignments, don’t overestimate your vehicle’s ability to run itself.

A few auto care tips you can utilize this season 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. Visit our blog for more auto care tips, or call to book an appointment with our service department. You can also stop by one of our valley car dealerships for a close look at our new and used vehicles.

Auto Finance 101: Do I Need a Co-Signer?

Thursday, September 21st, 2017
auto finance

The process of purchasing a vehicle can be complicated enough. From annual percentage rates, to GAP insurance and extended warranty, it seems the intricacies of auto finance are never-ending. Add terms like “co-signer” into the mix, and you’ve entered a whole other ball game!

If you’ve recently been shopping for cars, you may be wondering what a co-signer is, what it does, and whether or not you’ll need one to purchase the vehicle of your dreams. The answer isn’t black and white.

In fact, several factors can impact whether or not you need a co-signer. Here are a few ways to determine whether or not you’ll need a co-signer to purchase that new vehicle you’ve got your eye on.

Do I need a co-signer?

You might. You might not.

If you are seeking a hefty loan, but don’t have the good credit score to back it up, your lender may request that you acquire a co-signer. This person is usually a family member or friend with good credit, who promises to pay back the loan should you not be able to. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, but if you have a good history of on-time payments, a co-signer is a great solution to help you get the car you truly want.

Some factors that may determine your need for a co-signer include your credit score and the amount of loan you’re seeking, among other things. If you need a new vehicle, but you’re certain your credit score is not great, you might want to already start considering a co-signer early on. Of course, this will make the process with the finance department run much more smoothly.

A co-signer is a benefit to both you and your lender. Ultimately not only does your lender gain peace of mind from knowing you will repay your loan, but you may also walk away with a better interest rate, given the good credit of your co-signer. Bringing on a co-signer during your car buying journey may be just the ticket to driving away in an awesome vehicle you can feel good about.

Need help with auto finance?

In the market for a new or used vehicle? Our Ed Payne auto finance department can help you quality for your dream ride. Visit us to view our latest in new and used from Ford, GMC, Chevy, Dodge and so much more!

Flat Tires: Common Culprits Behind Your Flat

Thursday, September 14th, 2017
flat tires

Flat tires = major bummer. Not only can they leave you stranded, but they can put a dent in your pocketbook once you add up the costs of a new tire, roadside assistance, and other factors. But what if you could banish flat tires for good?

Avoiding flat tires for the rest of your life is beyond the realm of realism, but there are certainly a few things you can do to minimize your chances of a flat.

Here are some causes of flat tires:

Road Conditions

The road you drive on is filled with hidden dangers. From pot holes, to debris like nails and glass, there are plenty of things that can wreak havoc on your tires. Safe driving is one of the only things that can help minimize the chances of a flat on the road. Sure, some incidents may be avoidable, but being aware of your surroundings, driving at a reasonable pace, and taking care to avoid pot-hole ridden areas is your best line of defense.


Did you know that flat tires are more common during the summer months? This is because hot weather can do unforeseen damage to your tires. High temperatures may cause your tire’s air to expand, increasing its internal pressure. This can cause a leak, or even a total blowout if you’re particularly unlucky.


Contrary to popular belief, flat tires can be caused by other factors other than an actual hole in the tire. In fact, a leak or malfunction of your valve stem may very well be to blame. This tiny part allows you to fill your tire with air, and it can also make for a major problem if it’s leaking. Be sure to keep this in working order to avoid a flat in the long run.


Experiencing a leaky valve? Our Payne Auto Service can help! Contact us to schedule an appointment with a technician who can get your ride ready to go in no time.


Faulty Air Conditioner? Consider These Fixes!

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Fall is here, meaning there are cooler times ahead!


Anyone who lives in South Texas knows that our weather can be quite erratic, and what should be fall can easily turn into an extended summer. One thing you definitely DON’T want during this time is a dead air conditioner, in your vehicle or your home.

A/C ain’t coolin’ like it used to? There are a few reasons this may be so.

Some of these include:

  • A Freon leak, which could be the cause of a failed o-ring, hose, seal or component
  • A clogged expansion tube
  • A clogged refrigerant charging hose
  • Failed compressor/compressor clutch
  • Failed blower motor/motor resistor
  • Damaged or failed condenser
  • Damaged or failed evaporator
  • Vacuum leaks
  • Failed switch, fuse, relay, control module, blend door or solenoid

Does your A/C go from cool to warm? If so, you may be dealing with a specific problem that needs attention.

Here are some causes of cool-to-warm A/Cs.

Clogged expansion valve

The refrigerant won’t flow into the evaporator properly if this important valve is blocked.

Faulty compressor clutch

Your compressor can’t maintain correct pressure if the clutch is not engaging properly. This can result in hot air coming from your A/C.

Blown Fuse

A blown-out fuse may be the culprit behind your cold A/C’s warm path.


Does your A/C need some work? Don’t worry — we can help! Our skilled mechanics can get your air conditioning system working in no time. Call our Service Department to schedule an appointment, or simply stop by. While you’re here, you can take a look inside some of our newest models.



What is a HEMI?

Friday, September 1st, 2017

You may have heard the word “HEMI” uttered often around the automobile world, but unless you’re a connoisseur of cars, you may not be entirely familiar with what it is.

In short, a HEMI is a type of engine; and a glorious one, at that.

It is cylindrical in shape, hence the name “Hemi” – short for “hemisphere”. This type of engine was first used in passenger cars, and gained their fame for their impressive horsepower. Over time, these engines became synonymous with ruggedness, and such it has remained for decades.

Benefits of HEMI

When you’re talking HEMI, you’re talkin’ power!

These engines are built differently by sheer design, meaning they do things your typical engine simply can’t. For instance, their hemispherical head reduces imbalances in fuel’s temperature. This helps in a faster loss of heat, which means good news for your engine. HEMIs also boast larger valves allows for more efficient airflow, which helps  your engine.

Some of today’s top models boast HEMI engines, rendering them forces to be reckoned with on the road. In fact, a variety of brands, like Fiat and Alpha Romeo, have been incorporating HEMIs into their designs for more than 50 years. Much like the brands themselves, the reliability of the HEMI has stood the test of time. While not everyone will benefit from the boost of a HEMI, there’s no denying they’re good for a sweet ride.

World’s Fastest Car?

In fact, it’s said that the world’s fastest car runs off a HEMI, but are we really surprised? The powerful Dodge Demon is said to churn out an insane 840 horsepower, courtesy of a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Demon V-8. It’s so fast, this car shuns passenger seats in leiu of speed. Be on the lookout for this bad boy in the coming months. But if you simply can’t wait, there’s the less-speedy but still powerful Dodge Hellcat.

The good news? Your local Payne Auto dealership is home to a wide variety of HEMI-powered cars and trucks. Ideal for navigating that rugged South Texas terrain, these powerful cars and trucks will take you where you need to go, and look good while doing it.


Are you in the market for a new or used car or truck? Ed Payne car dealerships has them. Stop by one of our Valleywide dealerships to view our latest selection of models from brands like Chevrolet, Ford, Fiat, Mitsubishi, Dodge and more! Or contact us to schedule a maintenance appointment with our skilled repairs staff.