Latest blog posts, news & information

25

March

2015

Road Tips

The Perfect Car Tips for Any Trip

Across the country people are planning to take longer road trips this year. If you plan to be one of them, here are five maintenance tips to consider for today’s cars.

* New tires? “For four-wheel drive cars and trucks, buy new tires as a complete set,” says Engineer and Vice President of Rock Auto, Tom Taylor. “Mixing old and new tires or just mixing tire brands can create small differences in tire diameter that may be enough to overheat and damage four-wheel drive parts.”

* What spare tire? Adding air to the spare used to be all that was needed, but many newer cars do not have a spare tire. They may have “run-flat” tires or come equipped with an air compressor and sealant. Become familiar with your vehicle’s spare tire system before you leave town and decide if it is adequate. Maybe you will want to upgrade to a full size spare.

* Why new struts? Pushing down on a fender and counting the bounces is not a good test for the shocks and struts on modern cars. “Some people are happy that their struts seem to be lasting forever but they don’t realize that the struts actually wore out thousands of miles ago,” says Taylor. “Bad struts lead to unnecessary wear on a whole slew of additional parts including the brakes, rubber boots, suspension bushings and engine mounts.” For the safest handling and braking, replace your struts and shocks at 50,000 miles or at the mileage recommended by the manufacturer.

* Just the belt? Modern engine belts last a long time. Most car owners do not resist when their mechanic tells them it is time to replace the belts after many miles or years. “Owners should listen to their mechanics when they are told the belt tensioners need to be replaced along with the belt,” says Taylor. “Those are the spring-loaded pulleys that keep the belt at the correct tension. Putting a new belt on old tensioners can mean premature wear on the new belt or damage to the alternator or other components spun by the belt.”

* Hose looks new? New engine hoses also now last much longer than they used to. Hoses do eventually fail and the damage often starts in the hose’s inner layers where it is out of sight. A burst radiator hose still means a disrupted trip and today’s aluminum alloy engines are often even more susceptible to heat damage. Follow the guidance of your repair manual or mechanic on when to replace hoses.

Some owners may get away with leaving a radiator hose untouched for decades, but for the rest, common sense assessment of risks and rewards shows why these tips are worth following.

25

March

2015

Road Tips

Defeat drowsy driving dangers: Tips for staying awake at the wheel

 

One in five fatal accidents in America involves a drowsy driver, according to a recent report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Unfortunately, driving while fatigued is common in today’s business world. Yet the consequences of driving when you’re tired can be tragic.

“Drowsiness is similar to alcohol in how it compromises driving ability by reducing alertness and attentiveness, delaying reaction times, and hindering decision-making skills,” says Dr. Nathaniel Watson, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and national spokesperson for the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, which is raising awareness of the dangers of driving while fatigued. “Drowsy driving is deadly, but it can be prevented.”

The Healthy Sleep Project has issued a Drowsy Driving Health Advisory, which urges every driver to take responsibility for staying “Awake at the Wheel.” Drivers should make it a daily priority to get sufficient sleep, refuse to drive when sleep-deprived, recognize the signs of drowsiness, and pull off the road to a safe location when sleepy.

“Rolling down the windows or turning up the music will do little to increase your alertness while driving,” Watson says. “You can drink coffee for a short-term energy boost, but if you catch yourself drifting into other lanes or nodding off, it’s absolutely time to pull over and take a nap.”

Getting seven to nine hours of nightly sleep is the best way to prevent drowsy driving, according to the Healthy Sleep Project. Drivers should also avoid driving late at night or alone, and they should share the driving with another passenger on long trips.

How do you know if you’re too sleepy to drive? If you experience any of these warning signs, you should pull over or have another passenger take the wheel:

* You keep yawning or are unable to keep your eyes open.

* You catch yourself “nodding off” and have trouble keeping your head up.

* You can’t remember driving the last few miles.

* You end up too close to cars in front of you.

* You miss road signs or drive past your turn.

* You drift into the other lane of traffic.

* You drift onto the “rumble strip” or onto the shoulder of the road.

The Healthy Sleep Project also encourages transportation companies to promote public safety by adhering to hours-of-service regulations, scheduling work shifts based on sleep need and circadian timing, implementing an evidence-based fatigue management system, and screening commercial drivers for sleep diseases such as obstructive sleep apnea.

“There is no substitute for healthy sleep – it’s essential to promote personal safety and optimal alertness behind the wheel,” Watson says. “Evaluate your sleep habits, address potential problems with a board-certified sleep specialist, and make sleep a priority to protect yourself, your passengers and other drivers from avoidable, life-threatening accidents caused by drowsiness.”

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior Makes EV Driving Personal

The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s contemporary passenger environment is designed to be fresh and inviting, with intuitive technology interfaces and attention to detail conveying an upscale ambience.

“The 2016 Volt maintains the high-tech interior design aesthetic of the first-generation Volt, but has more user-friendly elements creating an inviting balance between ambiance and functionality,” said Crystal Windham, Chevrolet Interior Design director. “The new interior will appeal to existing owners, but also to those who will be new to the Volt family because of its integrated, yet familiar technology.”

Like the exterior, the Volt’s cabin flows with sculpted cues, visual jewelry and a greater emphasis on form. The instrument panel, for example, flows into the door panels, while the center portion of the instrument panel flows almost seamlessly into a more ergonomic center console.

New colors, blue ambient lighting and softer materials surround occupants and enhanced acoustic performance provides a quieter and refined environment.

Additional customer comfort and convenience features include:

  • Standard rear-vision camera
  • Enhanced charge status indicators – including a light on top of the instrument panel that can be viewed at a glance from outside the vehicle
  • Center armrest that is longer and higher than the current model
  • New storage bin in the front console
  • Available heated rear seats
  • Available heated steering wheel
  • Available wireless smartphone charging

The Volt retains its signature dual digital color displays, with larger, eight-inch-diagonal screens – one in front of the driver for the instrument cluster and driver information center, and the other in the center of the instrument panel that controls the Chevrolet MyLink system and other apps.

The center stack is simple and intuitive, projecting approximately one-third fewer icons, and offering separate climate control knobs. Buttons below the center display offer a clear and convenient operation. Most of the features can be controlled with a single rotary knob and four buttons.

Returning technologies and new amenities include:

  • OnStar 4G LTE with three years of service and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (with a three-month/three gigabyte data trial)
  • Siri Eyes Free and text message alerts (requires compatible iPhone)
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity
  • Automatic climate control
  • Keyless access and ignition
  • Auxiliary 12-volt power outlets and dual USB ports
  • Remote start
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Premium cloth seats and available leather-appointed seating
  • Available Navigation and Bose® premium audio
  • Heated driver and front passenger cloth seats
  • Available safety awareness includes front and rear park assist, forward collision alert and lane-departure warning

Seating and trim
A new bench seat design in the rear provides seating for up to three passengers. When the middle seat is not in use, the outboard rear-seat passengers can fold down an armrest.

The standard cloth seats feature a distinctive hexagonal pattern that blends a high-tech appearance with natural biometrics, similar to the pattern at the center of a sunflower. Lighter, natural color tones complement the seats and reinforce the cabin’s warmth.

The available leather-appointed seating features a Volt-exclusive, warm brandy color with jet black accents.

The upscale look and feel of the Volt is reinforced with three interior color choices: jet black, light and dark ash gray and jet black and brandy.

2015 Silverado Offers Custom Sport Package

With the new 2015 Silverado Custom Sport special edition, Chevrolet pays homage to one of its most iconic pickups, adding a sophisticated monochromatic look to double- and crew-cab Silverados.

The Custom Sport package features body-colored front and rear bumpers and a body-colored grille surround with a chrome-accented black grille. Other accents include 20-inch chrome wheels, chrome door handles and mirror caps, and chrome body-side moldings. The package also includes projector beam headlamps, tow hooks and heated power-adjusted mirrors.

“The Custom Sport special edition was inspired by Chevy Custom Sport Trucks of the late 1960s,” said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks marketing director. “Those CST models added a touch of elegance to a great all-around truck, just like the Custom Sport package for the new Silverado.”

The redesigned 1967 Chevrolet pickup entered the market at a time when trucks were starting to move off the jobsites and into the driveways of cities and suburbs. The 1967 Custom Sport Truck, with its bright trim, plush carpet and bucket seats, helped launch a wave of personal use pickups that continues today.

For the 2015 Silverado, the Custom Sport package will be available as LT and LTZ models, including Z71s. LT models will be available in black or white, while LTZs will come in black or White Diamond Tricoat.

Package prices will vary from $1,950 to $2,950, depending on the model. Dealers can place orders starting this month.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive & active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

19

January

2015

Uncategorized

Congrats to the Chevy Colorado, 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year

The download on downsizing and creating a great midsize pickup.

It’s rare for any vehicle to get unanimous approval from Motor Trend editors. But the Chevrolet Colorado did just that winning the 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year in a landslide.

For me, it wasn’t the nicely loaded Colorado Crew Cab Z71 that convinced me to vote for the Colorado. That’s a great pickup, riding high on those bouncy Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires with a promise of off-road hoopties. It was the least assuming truck out of the 10 vehicles we drove, tested, loaded and unloaded for nearly a week in Arizona. A very basic, extended cab Chevy work truck with a price tag of $23,300.

First, that’s something you rarely hear anymore: A pickup costing less than an addition to your house. This little truck is downright affordable. But it never felt cheap. Many editors noted the interior comfort, the quiet ride and how it seemed the right size for the right price at the right time.

In the Motor Trend story, I note the Texasification of pickups. It’s been an ongoing issue as fullsize pickups continue to grow larger– often out performing heavy-duty pickups from two decades ago. They are truly testaments to engineering capability. (Full disclosure, at one point, we drove the Colorado next to a ‘90s Chevy S-10 and were blown away at how big the Colorado looked.)

But the world is not just one giant construction site or open country where someone needs to wrap chains around a rock and pull it somewhere. There are city streets to traverse, suburban neighborhoods to cruise down, Home Depot parking lots to squeeze into and fullsize pickups can be challenging in tight spaces. Fitting one in your garage can be a hassle if not a physical impossibility. Every time I got out of a fullsize truck and jumped into the Colorado, it was much easier to drive. In fact, it is downright fun with sharp steering feel, nice acceleration and a nimbleness that big rigs inherently don’t possess.

Of course, Truck of the Year testing is not a direct head-to-head comparison. The Colorado did not beat the Ford F-150 or the GMC HD 2500 in a showdown. In fact, if you’re looking to buy a fullsize pickup, the choices are nearly limitless with fantastic pickups from Ram, Ford and GM. But the Colorado did outperform everyone against the testing regiment Motor Trend has in place.

The week of testing includes both instrumented testing and real world driving. There is a day spent on a closed course and another day driving 21-mile loops through the Hualapai Mountains in Arizona. We log hundreds of miles on all of the vehicles during testing. We analyze the numbers and add to it our impressions of all of the trucks. And after we’re done putting every truck through its paces, we have “Real MPG” connect its machines to every vehicle to analyze tailpipe emissions every second during an 88-mile drive loop in Los Angeles to determine a vehicle’s fuel economy. (All of those numbers are available at MotorTrend.com.) No one else is that thorough. No one.

Ultimately, this year, the Colorado was the most impressive to judges – all fulltime editors at Motor Trend – against a rigid set of criteria including: Design Advancement; Engineering Excellence; Efficiency; Safety; Value; and Performance of Intended Use.

Really, the Colorado is a big test for Chevrolet and consumers.

The midsize pickup segment has been shrinking for decades. American pickup makers, Ford, GM and Ram have all said in the past that little trucks never made sense because their price point is too low, they steal business from the more profitable fullsize trucks and why would a person buy a midsize truck when they could get a fullsize truck for the same price.

My answer has always been: Because some people want a smaller truck. And make no mistake, the Colorado is the best midsize pickup in its class. (It should be because the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma are old.)

Furthermore, the Colorado doesn’t pretend to be a midsize Silverado. It doesn’t tow as much, carry as much or weigh as much. It’s not supposed to. True pickup guys may grumble, but this pickup wasn’t made for them.

Designers took a lot of care to make sure they weren’t creating a baby Silverado. Instead, they designed an aggressive looking pickup and gave it all of those cool Silverado features such as the bumper step, cargo management system and plush interior.

A smaller pickup means it will have a lot more versatility than its bigger counterparts. This is truly a lifestyle vehicle that could handle daily commutes without emptying the tank; weekend camping trips and the occasional run to the hardware store. You may not want to build a new house with this truck, but you can certainly fix the one you live in with it.

Sure, a bigger rig can do many of those things, but downsizing one’s life can certainly include the vehicle you choose to keep in your driveway. Particularly this one, as it takes up a little less space, uses a little less gas and leaves a few more dollars in your wallet than its bigger counterparts.

So congratulations to the Chevrolet Colorado for winning Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year honors for 2015. To the engineers, designers, factory workers and executives who brought new life to a midsize pickup, it’s a well-deserved award for your tireless dedication and work.

Every judge agrees, and that doesn’t happen often.

How Automated Tech Can Seamlessly Improve Your Drive

Smart accessories – i.e., smart watches, networked thermostats, home automation – are growing increasingly popular with consumers, and it’s easy to see why. Devices like these not only provide unparalleled levels of control, but also adapt to users’ preferences, behaviors and schedules. Although it might be hard to think of a car in the same light, the automobile may very well be the ultimate smart accessory. In fact, there’s plenty of technology within the Chevrolet lineup that proactively works to make your drive a little easier.

-Automatic Headlamps: Ever forget to switch your headlamps on during the early hours of dusk? You’re less likely to do so in a Chevy. From the Spark to the Silverado HD, the majority of new Chevrolets feature automatic headlamp controls as standard equipment, allowing a photovoltaic cell in the dashboard to sense the level of ambient light outside, and automatically switch on exterior lights.

-Memory Keys: Tired of adjusting your seat position mirrors every time you get behind the wheel? You might have noticed many Chevrolet models offer the ability to program these settings into memory, but you might not have noticed how seamless the system truly is. After programming these memory settings into one of two memory banks, simply grab a correspondingly-numbered keyless remote fob, and click the unlock button. Voila – the car adjusts to your settings, meaning you’re ready to roll as soon as you grab the door handle. You can find this feature in everything from the Volt to the Traverse.

-Magnetic Ride: Have you ever wished your suspension could adjust to the conditions of the road surface? Chevrolet models equipped with Magnetic Ride Control can do just that. Sensors analyze the road every millisecond, and can adjust the firmness of the dampers in as little as five milliseconds.

-Adaptive Cruise: Cruise control is great for long journeys, but in dense traffic, drivers may find themselves needing to frequently adjust speed or brake. The 2015 Impala, Tahoe and Suburban can shoulder some of that burden thanks to an available adaptive cruise control system. A forward-looking radar can detect vehicles ahead and allow the vehicle to accelerate or brake in order to maintain a driver-selected “gap.” Although drivers still need to pay careful attention to road conditions and override the system when necessary, studies have indicated adaptive cruise control can safely reduce brake applications on the freeway by 25 times.

-Automatic Parking Assist: Do you repeatedly circle the block in order to avoid parallel parking? Unsure if you can back into a narrow perpendicular spot? The 2015 Chevrolet SS’ new AutoPark system takes the uncertainty out of both maneuvers. A series of ultrasonic sensors embedded in the front and rear bumper fascia begin looking for a suitable space after the driver presses a Parking Assist button. Once the system finds a suitable spot, the driver only needs to control brake, throttle and transmission while the car effortlessly steers itself.

-Tire Telepathy: The Corvette Stingray and Corvette Z06 keep close tabs on their tires. As tire temperature can alter grip and affect traction and handling, both Corvettes actively check the tire temps and adjust traction control, ABS and other settings to maximize performance.

The Corvette isn’t the only Chevy that watches over its tires – in fact, every new 2015 Chevrolet keeps watch over tire pressures, and notifies the driver in case air pressure drops to a dangerous level. On vehicles equipped with OnStar, owners can go a step further via the RemoteLink smartphone app and keep tabs on tire pressures at all times.

15

December

2014

Uncategorized

Buick Envision to go on sale in third quarter of 2015

Following an earlier concept and successive teasers, Buick revealed the new Envision crossover a little over a month ago. The thing is, it was launched in China, for China. The question, then, is whether it will make the jump to the North American market. And the answer is: quite possibly.

According to division sales chief Duncan Aldred in speaking to Edmunds, Buick is looking into the prospect of bringing the Envision to the US: “We can’t confirm anything, but clearly it is a very nicely designed and executed product that is very much a Buick,” said Aldred.

If and when the compact crossover would appear in US showrooms, it would slot in between the smaller Encore and the larger Enclave. It would likely be offered in front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and mild hybrid configurations. Sources expect it to arrive in the third quarter of 2015 as a competitor to the likes of the Mercedes GLA, Lexus NX and Lincoln MKC.

2014 North American Car and Truck of the Year

The all-new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Chevrolet Silverado have earned the titles of 2014 North American Car and Truck of the Year, respectively. This marks only the third time in the awards’ 21-year history that one automaker has swept both awards.

“It is a distinct honor for the entire Chevrolet team to have both Corvette and Silverado recognized with these prestigious awards,” said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “Chevrolet is in the midst of the most aggressive product transformation in the brand’s more than 100-year history. Corvette and Silverado truly embody the passion, commitment and focus that is driving us to deliver the most expressive designs, innovative technologies and engaging performance in every vehicle that wears the bowtie.”

North American Car and Truck of the Year are awarded annually at the start of media week at the NAIAS. Forty-nine automotive journalists from the United States and Canada vote to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.

North American Car of the Year is just the latest of more than 20 awards and recommendations the 2014 Corvette Stingray has received since its introduction last fall, making it the industry’s most awarded car of the year. Stingray is the most powerful standard Corvette model ever with 455 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque from a 6.2L V8 engine. And it packs an even more impressive 460 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque with the available performance exhaust system, enabling models with the available Z51 Performance Package to sprint from 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds. The Stingray engine features advanced technologies including Direct Injection, Variable Valve Timing and Active Fuel Management to balance performance with the greatest efficiency of any sports car on the market — an EPA-estimated 29 MPG highway when equipped with the 7-speed manual transmission. Learn more about the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray.

The all-new 2014 Silverado completed the sweep, winning the award for North American Truck of the Year. Silverado was recognized for features such as its available 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine, which generates 355 horsepower for confident towing and hauling, yet seamlessly switches to four cylinders to save fuel during light-load driving. With an EPA-estimated 23 MPG highway, Silverado offers the best fuel economy of any V8 pickup. Silverado 1500 also recently received the highest possible 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for Safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.

20

November

2014

Chevrolet, Rossi News

Winter Driving Tips

Severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for automobile travel. Motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies. We want to remind motorists to be cautious while driving in adverse weather.

We recommend the following winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
  • Pack a cellular telephone plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  • If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Original post can be viewed here: http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/roadway-safety/winter-driving-tips/

Five Habits That Will Ruin Your Car | Rossi Chevrolet Buick GMC

Avoiding these habits can go a long way in preventing an expensive repair bill.