33125 Interstate 10 Frontage Rd Boerne, TX 78006 210-547-3377

How To Make Your Daily Commute Easier

It’s a tough job driving to work—just ask one of the many Americans that commute to their jobs daily.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average commute takes about 25.5 minutes one way.  However, 10.8 million people drive an hour or more to work each way. Some have it worse: approximately 1.7 million Americans commute 90 minutes or more each way.

The key to driving to work is getting there on time and that means having a trustworthy vehicle that’s in tip-top shape. Tires are often overlooked by vehicle owners, but they should be a priority. Tires have an enormous effect on braking, steering, comfort, handling and fuel efficiency because tires are the only parts of a vehicle that actually touch the road.

Many commuters would be surprised to know that today’s high-tech tires can help drive down the costs of driving. Bob Abram says, “There are so many new, innovative technologies, such as the use of orange oil in our tires, which saves drivers money either by having tires that last longer or tires with increased fuel efficiency. We now incorporate orange oil in everything from light truck/SUV tires—like the GEOLANDAR H/T G056—to the Sport V105 for luxury and high-performance vehicles.”

But, no matter how much technology tires pack these days, nothing can take the place of proper maintenance in getting the most out of them. No matter what your daily commute is, the more driving you do, the more you should check your tires regularly, especially the air pressure. When you maintain the right tire pressure, you can cut down on your annual fuel costs. Tires that are under-inflated by 8 pounds per square inch can reduce vehicle fuel economy by as much as 2 percent. For the best gas-saving results, take 5 minutes every month to check your tire pressure.

Abram recommends checking your tires when they are cold (at least 4 hours after the vehicle has been driven). Check tire pressure with a reliable tire gauge and make sure the valve stems have a plastic or metal cap to keep out dirt, water, and foreign objects such as nails. You can find the tires’ proper inflation level (as recommended by the car maker) on a placard in the glove box, the owner’s manual, or on the vehicles door.

Some more tips:

  • Tires that are balanced correctly will provide a smoother ride and help prevent improper wear. You can get your tires balanced at the same time as your regularly-scheduled rotation.
  • Rotating your tires will also prevent uneven wear and promote a better ride. Weight distribution on your vehicle can vary so it’s best to rotate your tires a few times a year, such as every time you get your oil changed.
  • Check tire alignment once a year. Misaligned tires create unnecessary tire wear and higher fuel consumption.
  • Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch (the lowest legal limit) to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. Best to replace before 2/32 depending on your drive—geographically and the type of streets you drive on. Winter traction and wet traction start getting compromised well before 2/32. For example: rural streets that aren’t regularly plowed would be different than city streets that are regularly plowed.
  • Checking tread depth: place a penny upside down into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you’re driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire(s). 

Find Your Vehicles Hidden Features!

Most relatively new vehicles have a lot of special features built right in that many drivers don’t actually take the time to figure out how to use to their full potentials.

The Basics:
It may not make for the most exciting read, but pull your owner’s manual out of your glove box and take the time to do some light reading and research. A good place to start is with the Radio, Navigation, or Bluetooth section. Many newer vehicles have built-in Navigation and Bluetooth features. Take the time to figure out how to use them. Most new vehicles also come with a free trial for satellite radio service. If the vehicle is equipped, make a call to the service provider and see if you’re eligible for a free trial.

Even if you know the basics of how your vehicles technology works, you can always find something that was “hidden” or find a feature you never knew your vehicle had. From controlling streaming music over Bluetooth to changing interior settings, such as your vehicles lights, to fit your preference, you might be able to do a whole lot more than you expected!

Use What You Have:
You might know what your car can do, but have you actually taken the time to set it all up so it actually works? Many vehicles offer voice dialing, and several vehicles can even read and respond to text messages or emails via voice command. If you want to take the extra step, you can download your phonebook through the Bluetooth phone service. Your vehicle may have a lot to offer you, make sure you take advantage of every feature it has! For those of you that have vehicles with Navigation, open up your Navigation settings and take a couple minutes to set up the basics. Example: Enter your home address, which can save you some time later on. Some vehicles have features such as keyless entry keypads, which can be configured to provide an additional level of access and convince. 

How To Maximize Your Resale Value

Spring is the perfect time for anyone that owns a vehicle to upgrade their ride. Dealerships are often hot spots for deep discounts on both new and used vehicles.

Don’t forget about sprucing up the one you’ll be trading in. you can get more money out of your current vehicle at transaction time if you make sure it’s up to par.  

Dealerships use resources like Kelly Blue Book or the National Automobile Dealers Association to calculate the worth of your vehicle on the used market.

Factors such as age and make of your vehicle are out of your control. Some models have great reputations for holding their value, while others may require expensive parts and labor for repair.

While you may not be able to do much to change these dynamics, what you can impact is your vehicles condition. How you maintain your vehicle over the course of ownership can make a big difference in how much money you can expect when the time comes to trade it in.

Cleaning Tips:

  • Carry out a thorough cleaning inside and out every two weeks. This will help keep the interior fabric free of dirt that can fray its color. It will also save your exterior paint finish from being harmed by a buildup of pollutants.
  • Fix dings promptly before they turn into rust spots. Just like any other maintenance, the quicker you take care of a small issue, the less likely it is that it will snowball into a massive one.
  • Park far away from other cars or shopping carts. This can help you avoid dings or scratches that can require expensive repairs.
  • As much as you can, avoid smoking or eating in your car. Cigarette burns and food stains can drop your vehicles value in a hurry because the dealership knows it will have to invest money into repairs to get top-dollar from a buyer
  • Never neglect oil changes, which when done regularly can lengthen the life of your engine. 

How To Get Your Vehicle Ready For Spring

Spring is less than a month away!

It's almost time to put away your sweaters, coats, and boots and get out your shorts, sandals and tank tops. Has your vehicle benefited from the same maintenance you’ve done on your wardrobe? Warmer weather means long drives, going out of town, and taking time to do seasonal maintenance that can help prevent later troubles.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure your vehicle is ready for spring:

1) Check your tire pressure

2) Get your tires balanced and aligned

3) Check your windshield wiper blades

4) Rotate your tires

5) Flush and top off your fluids

6) Change your air filter

7) Check you radiator, gas cap, battery, and spark plugs

8) Wash the underbody of your vehicle

9)  Wax your vehicle after washing it

10) Test your AC and make sure it’s functioning properly