Posts Tagged ‘Truck’

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.

Auto Finance 101: Which Down Payment is Right for You?

Monday, October 9th, 2017
down payment

You’ve chosen the perfect vehicle, and now all that’s standing in the way is the small matter of payment. If you’re financing a new or used vehicle, the issue of down payments will arise. But just like many aspects of selecting a vehicle, down payments can be complex! Is a down payment necessary? How much will it be? And how is this amount calculated? Here are a few things you should know about down payments before you drive off in your new or used car or truck.

While it was once true that the typical down payment for a new vehicle hovered somewhere around 20%, that is simply not the case now. Many factors will determine which is the right down payment for you and the vehicle you’ve got your eye on. These days, many drivers are putting forth no more than a 10% down payment to purchase their dream car, while others offer a down payment of somewhere in the middle. You’ll need to ask yourself several questions before finding the magic number.

What down payment can you afford?

A down payment of 20% may be impossible with your current income. That’s OK. Dealerships offer a wide range of finance options to make sure you don’t sign up for more than you can handle. Payne is one of them! Contact our finance department for more info.

Will you purchase GAP Insurance?

If you’ll be purchasing GAP insurance for your new vehicle, you can probably get away with a down payment of about 10%. This is because GAP insurance will cover the cost of your vehicle should it be totaled. Car insurance is a whole other ball game, so you’ll want to consult closely with your dealership’s finance department about this issue.

What is Zero Down?

Got good credit? You may be in for a pleasant surprise with zero down. This means that you’re not obligated to give a down payment. A couple of drawbacks to this include higher monthly payments and probably, higher finance charges. You won’t have to save up for months, though, meaning you’ll get your new car sooner than expected. If you do go down the Zero Down route, consider GAP insurance to cover the difference. This is a great option for first time buyers!


Ready to take a new vehicle for a spin? Visit your local Ed Payne auto dealership to view our wide selection of new and used models! Or if you need service on your current vehicle, call us to schedule an appointment!

Car Care 101: Ding and Dent Removal Tips

Saturday, October 7th, 2017
dent removal

When it comes to your car, dents and dings are bound to happen. It’s all part of life, even more so when you’re a frequent driver always on the go! But these dents and dings don’t have to ruin your day, annoying as they may be. There are a few simple, affordable ways to rid your car’s exterior of these tiny little bummers. Follow these steps for a DIY solution to get rid of those imperfections in no time. Learning these handy little tricks will ensure you don’t let a little ding get in the way of smooth ride.

DIY Dent Removal

Step 1: Evaluate the Damage

Most dings and dents can be fixed easy, with little hassle, but there are those that require more extensive intervention. If paint is missing, or the metal happens to be creased or crumpled, you may have to take your vehicle to the dealerships to let the pros handle the rest.

Step 2: Thoroughly Wash and Dry the Area.

This will help clear off any particles before you begin the suction method. You want to make sure you’re working on a clean, clear surface.

Step 3: Use a Suction Cup

This can be highly effective in snapping dents back into place. A dent puller is great for removing shallow dents. Simply push the suction cup into the middle of the dent, taking care to get good suction. Next, push the handles together to lock the dent puller. Then pull the dent out, using a firm and steady pull.

Step 4: Hammer Time

You can also hammer dents out, another common method. A rubber mallet and an old towel are all you need to do this. Wrap the mallet in the towel, then slowly work to tap the ding into place. Hammer the dent from the inside of the metal.

Having some issues with dent removal? No problem. Payne Auto Group can help! Visit our service department for body work. Or browse our selection of new and used inventory from brands like Ford, GMC and Chevy. Here, you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for.

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.

A Look Inside the 2017 Ram 1500

Friday, September 1st, 2017
2017 Ram 1500

South Texas takes its trucks seriously. When it’s power you crave, you can’t go wrong with a Ram. Our Ram trucks sit at the height of durability, and whether you’re looking for style or comfort, Ram’s got you covered. Capable of handling any load you carry, the 2017 1500 is a truck for the ages, and one that will fit perfectly among those bustling South Texas streets. From stellar looks to powerful performance, you’ll find all that plus more in our ultra-spacious Ram 1500 trucks. Furthermore, the 2017 Ram 1500 is backed by a 5-Year/100,000-Mile Diesel Powertrain Limited Warranty for diesel-powered vehicles, and a 5-Year/60,000-Mile Gas Powertrain Limited Warranty for gas-powered models. How’s that for assurance?

…and that’s not all. Some features included in the 2017 Ram 1500 are:

  • High-Strength Steel Frame
  • Hydroformed Tubular Front Frame Unit
  • Eight Ultra-Tough Crossmembers
  • Four-Wheel Disc Antilock Brake
  • Unsurpassed Diesel Powertrain Limited Warranty
  • Available AllSecure® Central Locking System
When it comes to performance, you’ll have to look hard for a truck that does more than Ram. Additionally, these trucks embody the pinnacle of capability, and you’d be hard pressed to find a job they can’t do. From the RamBox Cargo Management System, to wheel-to-wheel side steps and remote keyless entry — all aspects of the 2017 Ram 1500 have been carefully selected to make for an unsurpassed ride. Whether you’re a hunter, a fisherman or just someone who enjoys a casual cruise, Ram is the truck for you.


Ram, like all of the vehicles we carry at Payne, places an emphasis on safety. Safety and comfort are our top priority, and the 2017 Ram 1500 covers all the bases, plus more. Some safety features you’ll find include electronic stability control, lane departure warning and an abundance of airbags throughout.

Are you ready to take a test drive in the Ram 1500 today?

Our Payne auto dealerships are home to a wide selection of stunning cars and trucks. Whether you’re shopping new or used, you’re guaranteed to find just what you’re looking for when you visit one of our South Texas car dealerships. Try your hand at a sporty Chevy Camaro, or opt for power when you try a Ram truck. There’s no shortage of incredible vehicles to choose from when you’re shopping at Payne Auto dealerships.  So call us to schedule a test drive today!

Brake Fluid: What You Need to Know

Friday, September 1st, 2017
brake fluid

Your vehicle’s brakes are serious business. Getting behind the wheel with faulty brakes is a major gamble, and can endanger not only you, but everyone on the road. Like many car features, brakes require routine maintenance to work their best. Among this maintenance is the matter of brake fluid.

Brake fluid is responsible for applying pressure on your brakes, as your brake system is equipped with four brake rotors. This is what allows your car to come to a stop in mere seconds.

Insufficient brake fluid is a problem for more reasons than one. You definitely want to solve the problem before it’s too late! This  problem will manifest themselves in a few ways.

Indicators of low brake fluid may include:

Brake Pressure

Have you noticed that coming to a full stop requires you to press on the brake more roughly than usual? Having to press down hard on your brake pedal, or worse, all the way to the floor, can indicate a problem. Granted, there are several issues that can cause braking difficulty. But low fluid may very well be the culprit.

Pump Pressure

Adequately lubricated brakes shouldn’t require several pumps to be effective. If you find yourself pumping more often than usual, you may have a lack of brake fluid on your hands.

Other Indicators:

Your dashboard may be trying to tell you something if you suddenly find that the brake light has lit up like a Christmas tree. One other indicator is a noticeable leak of break fluid underneath your car.

If you’re unsure about how often to replace your brake fluid, consult your owner’s manual. And don’t hesitate to get your fluid checked if you notice something amiss with your brakes.


Need help with your brakes? Our Payne Service Department can help! For brake fluid replacement and other issues, call us to schedule an appointment.

Buying a New Vehicle? Here’s What to Do!

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
buying a new vehicle

Purchasing a New Vehicle? Here’s What to Do!

Buying a new vehicle is a big step! You’ve done the research. You know exactly what you want. But heading to the car dealerships to negotiate is a different story entirely.

The process of buying a new vehicle can be tricky if you don’t quite know what to expect. Here’s what you’ll need to do – start to finish – to drive away in your dream vehicle unscathed.

Step 1: Research!

First of all, these are cars we’re talking about. There are endless options to choose from. So, you’ve definitely got your work cut out for you! Truly think about what kind of features you’re looking for. Furthermore, explore cars within your budget and those just slightly outside your budget. You may be able to work out a great deal!

Step 2: Get pre-approved

Applying for a pre-approved car loan is a great step in the car buying process. You’ll get input into what you can afford, and what kind of interest rate you’ll be looking at. Furthermore, all this can help you decide on a model. And have things like your salary information and other debts at hand to make the process run more smoothly.

Step 3: Consider your trade-in

Determine your trade-in value before you hit the dealership. Consequently, this will offer a clear picture of what your car is worth. Additionally, you can also use this to negotiate. Be honest about your car’s condition. Because some trade-in sites will vary, overall, it’s a smart move to estimate what you’re working with before you really begin shopping.

Step 4: Locate and test-drive the car

You’ve selected a few great models you’re interested in. Finally it’s time to test drive! Hit the dealership where your car is in stock, and get an up-close look at the interior and exterior. And make sure it aligns with what you’re looking for in a new vehicle.

Step 5: Negotiate

Talk to your salesperson about the best deal possible. As a result, you may be able to negotiate based on the value of your trade-in. Also, inquire about rebates and any other offers car dealerships may have available.

Step 6: Review your deal

You’re almost done! Because you’ve selected the new vehicle you love, now you should speak to the finance department to see if you can score a better interest rate from what you’ve already gathered. They can’t offer you a better option than your previous inquiry? No biggie! Fortunately, you’ve already been pre-approved!

Step 7: Inspect your vehicle

Finally, it’s important to do one last inspection. Make sure the vehicle is equipped with everything it should be, and that there are no dents or scratches. Your car should be in fabulous shape when you purchase it. Anything less just won’t do!


Are you ready to get started? Your local Ed Payne car dealerships have a wide selection of awesome models to choose from. Visit one of our Valleywide dealerships today with help buying a new vehicle, or contact our maintenance department for vehicle service.

Truck Accessories to Spice Up Your New Ride

Saturday, August 26th, 2017
chevrolet truck accessories

So, you’ve just purchased a new truck.


Nothing says power like a heavy-duty truck, and while your new ride is certainly capable of plenty, a few add-ons can’t hurt. You want your truck to reflect your personality, and whether it’s an extra hint of function or luxury you’ve got your eye on, there’s something available just for you.

Luckily, there are plenty of Chevrolet truck accessories that can improve both the look and feel of your shiny new ride. Whether it’s more storage, or a protectant against the elements that you’re hunting for, don’t settle for anything less than the best. Here are a few awesome Chevrolet truck accessories you may want to consider once you get comfortable in your new ride.

Grille Guards

Grille guards protect your truck’s front end while keeping scratches in check, giving it a heavy-duty look ideal for driving in South Texas. They also provide low-speed pushing power to your truck’s front end.

Storage Boxes

Trucks are great for storage, but we can’t possibly blame you if you’re looking for something extra. Consider a tool or storage box to keep your equipment secure as you drive. Today’s waterproof designs ensure they’re safe and sound, wherever you go.

Ladders, Racks and Ramps

A lot of people choose trucks for their towing capabilities. Make this easier on your truck with a ladder or ramp.

Tonneau Covers

Perfect for harsh weather, tonneau covers can help keep rain, snow and other debris out of your truck bed as you drive.

Step Bars

You may be able to get in and out of your Chevrolet truck easily, but can your passengers? Consider a step bar to give your guests a little boost.

We hope you love your new Chevrolet truck. Heck, we know you do!

If you haven’t yet purchased one, stop by one our Ed Payne Rio Grande Valley dealerships to check out our wide selection. We’ve got brand new models from brands like Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Dodge and so much more. Stop by and visit us today!

Car Care 101: How to Replace Headlights

Friday, August 25th, 2017
replace headlights

We don’t have to tell you that headlights are an important part of your vehicle. Headlights burn out from time to time, and you’ll need to get these replaced quickly in order to keep driving safely. While you can certainly employ the help of a mechanic to change our your headlights, the process is fairly straight forward. You can even do it yourself, if you have just a few minutes and your car’s owner’s manual in tow. Here’s how to replace headlights, from start to finish:


Firstly, you should look to your vehicle’s owner’s manual before tackling this headlight job. It should give you a basic set of directions for how to get started.

Get the Right Bulb

It’s vital that you use the correct bulb when changing out your headlights. Not all bulbs are created equal, and you’ll need to use the one that’s designed for your vehicle.

Be Careful

Headlights are delicate. Take extra caution when detaching them, as broken wires can bring on a new set of problems you’ll need to fix.

Use Grease

Using a small amount of dielectric grease at the bulb’s base will help it get proper electrical contact. So this will help you get the most bang for your buck out of your bulb.

Take Aim

Headlights are only effective if they’re aimed properly! A number of factors can cause headlights to lose their balance and accuracy. Once you replace your headlights, park them in a garage and test the lights to ensure they’re working as they should.

Now that you’re well versed in how to replace headlights, you can get to work! And if you’re hoping to purchase a new or used vehicle, we can help! Our local dealerships have a wide selection of high-quality vehicles to choose from. Whether you’re looking for Ford, Chevy, Dodge or GMC, our local dealerships are bound to have exactly what you’re looking for. 

Let’s Talk Towing!

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

In the realm of trucks, towing capacity is everything. But did you know there’s a right way and a wrong way to tow? Here are a few dos and don’t for towing in your new truck.


Confirm Your Truck’s Capabilities

All trucks have different towing capabilities. You should definitely consult your owner’s manual before tacking any particularly heavy duty towing jobs.

Secure Your Components

Make sure all of your trailer’s parts are secure and intact, or you could be in for a world of trouble if things fall apart as you drive. Better safe than sorry!

Distribute Weight Carefully

When loading your cargo, make sure it’s distributed evenly. This will make the trip easier on your tires, and your vehicle in general.

Reverse with Caution

Backing up in a truck with a trailer can present a challenge for even for the most seasoned drivers. Your trailer will steer in the opposite direction of your vehicle. Take this into account when you drive.


Forget About Your Tires

Don’t attempt to tow if your tires aren’t fully inflated.

Don’t Drive Recklessly

Avoid slamming on the brakes while you are driving, or tailgate or speed while you are towing. 

Don’t Overestimate Your Truck

Don’t try to tow more than your truck can handle.

Don’t Forget About Balance

Don’t pack your trailer unevenly.


Follow these do’s and don’ts and you’ll be ready for towing in no time. Additionally, if you’re looking for a shiny new truck to do it in, stop by one of our Payne dealerships, located conveniently throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Whether you’re in Weslaco, McAllen, Edinburg or Rio Grande City, our Payne car dealerships have a wide selection of models to choose from. With us, you’re sure to find just what you’ve been looking for. Schedule a test drive with us today!