Friday, July 27, 2012

Five Easy Steps to Changing a Tire

If you have gone your entire life without changing a tire, consider yourself lucky. However, if you are like most of us, this nuisance of this task has crossed your path at least one time. Here are few easy steps to help eliminate the stress of changing a tire:

Step 1 – Gather the tools you’ll need. If your car came with a spare tire, most car manufactures will also place the essential tools you will need to change that tire next to it under the trunk floor. Upon lifting the flooring, you should find a spare tire, diamond jack, and tire iron.

Step 2 – Loosen lug nuts. The lug nuts holding the wheel to the hub will need to be loosened before you beginning using the diamond jack to lift the car. Use the tire iron and some elbow grease to loosen the lug nuts. Be careful not to round off the edges with all that force or you won’t be able to get them off yourself. Do not remove the lug nuts all the way, just to the point where you will be able to use your hands to unscrew them the rest of the way.

Step 3 – Crank the car up. Now it’s time to use the jack. The jack needs to be located under the vehicle so that it pushed up on the frame in order to raise the car correctly. Typically car frames will have a notch next to each tire where the top of the jack will fit. After placing the jack under this slot, twist the lever to start opening the jack and the car should start rising.

Step 4 – Welcome new tire. Use your hands to unscrew the lug nuts the rest of the way. Remove the flat tire by pulling it straight off and make the new tire match up with the holes on the rim with the bolts on the car. Lift the spare tire up and hold it in place as you tighten the lug nuts by hand. When the lug nuts are as tight as you can get them by hand, lower the car slowly with the jack.

Step 5 – Tighten lug nuts. When the car is safely back on level ground, finish tightening the lug nuts with the tire iron. Be sure to tighten lug nuts in a diagonal pattern (ie: after tightening the first one, go to the lug nut diagonally across from it).

To help you feel more comfortable, there is no harm in practicing these steps in the safety of your driveway before you actually have to use them on the road. Practice makes perfect and in doing so you’ll have the confidence you need to change your own tire the next time it is necessary.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tips and Techniques for Driving in Rain

Rain on the roadways is often underestimated, and always a real danger. With a cautious attitude and the following rainy day driving tips, you can stay safe and dry no matter what the storm brings.

Before you hit the road, make sure that your car has been maintained for optimal performance in all weather. Tires and windshield wipers are easy parts to check at home. Tires should have the proper pressure and the tread should be in good condition. Windshield wipers should be regularly checked  for effectiveness. Take your car in for service to have the brakes and defroster functions regularly maintained. When you know there is a storm coming, allow for extra travel time so that you are never rushed down a rainy highway.

While traveling through stormy weather, let caution be your guide. Maintain a safe distance behind the car in front of you, especially large buses and trucks that throw a lot of water off their wheels. To help your visibility in a downpour, turn on the defroster to defog the windows. Switching on the headlights or fog lamps can also maximize visibility, but don’t turn on the high beams; the extra light will only further obscure your vision against the rain.

In the event of an emergency, you should be prepared with an emergency kit that includes at least the basics like road flares, a flashlight, jumper cables, a quart of oil, a first aid kit, multipurpose tool and extra fuses. Hydroplaning can be a serious threat on slick roads. If you do hydroplane, don’t hit the brakes; steadily steer the car as it glides, maintaining your trajectory until the tires can gain traction.

With a bit of preparation and careful driving, you can be road-ready when a storm hits. Maintain your car, take your time, and stay cautious if you find yourself caught in the rain.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pros and Cons of Leasing and Buying

As with any financial decision, the choice to lease or buy your next car is solely dependent on what you need to fit your lifestyle. Both buying and leasing have perks and pitfalls, so let’s weigh the options to see which choice is right for you.

Buying is a process that is readily understood by the first-time car consumer. You want the car, they sell the car, you buy the car. Easy, right? The car you purchase is yours to own until the day you choose to sell it. Ownership can be very economical, with the reward of resale value at the end of your run. With any luck, you’ll be driving the same car for years to come.

But this model doesn’t fit everyone’s tastes. After three years of ownership, the ride can get stale. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a brand new car again? The technology and style of cars changes so quickly, it’s tempting to trade in that purchased car for the latest model. That can be a difficult choice if you’ve already put a hefty down-payment on a purchased car.

With leasing, a new car can be had every few years, giving you the option of driving the latest and greatest the automotive industry has to offer, time and time again. Leasing can avoid the pain of scraping together the down payment for a new car, or hassling over the resale value of your current vehicle. With a lease, you can often get a better equipped car with more bells and whistles than you could buy outright. Down payments on leased cars are usually low.

However, just like buying a car, leasing isn’t perfect. Interest rates on leased cars are often higher than those of equivalent loans, so you’ll be paying more per time spent driving the car, even though lease payments tend to be lower per-month. There will also be limited mileage on your car, with a lease allowing an average of just 13,000 miles per year.  Limited mileage can be a source of stress, as you tally up your distance every day. Overage miles typically cost from 10 to 25 cents each.

Ask yourself what you want out of a car as you consider the pros and cons of leasing and buying. Each is a good option, depending on the demands of your lifestyle.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nimnicht Buick GMC Hosts Jacksonville Roasters Semi-Annual Meeting

On June 16th, Nimnicht Buick GMC hosted the Jacksonville Roadsters for their semi-annual business and activity planning meeting.

The Jacksonville Roadsters is a Jacksonville based car club that consists of proud owners of the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.  The club was established for members to be able to get together once a month for rides to enjoy food, friendship, and beautiful cars. This group has taken their ‘Roadsters’ on outings to State Parks for picnics, drives down A1A, and even for a lap around the Daytona 500 speedway. All Solstice and Sky owners are welcome to join the club.

Nimnicht Buick GMC is honored to be a part of this amazing group. Some group members even purchased their treasured Roaster vehicle from us back in 2006. We are proud to host their functions and value their continued patronage to our Service Center.