Category Archives: Car Tips

June is National Camping Month: Here’s What to Pack

National Camping Month
Let’s Go Camping!

June is officially designated as National Camping Month. That means it’s about time to head to the great outdoors. There are a number of things you should pack in your new Chevy SUV, and we’ve put together a list of camping tips to help you make the most of your experience outdoors.

First, according to the Boy Scouts Guide, every camper should at least pack the bare essentials. This includes the following:

  • First-Aid Kit
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Clean Water (64 oz/person per day) or water purification tablets
  • Bug Spray

You won’t make it far without water or bug spray, and a first-aid kit is essential for anyone who plans on spending time outdoors.

What food should you pack? If you drive an SUV or crossover, you can probably pack a few coolers—one for meat or other raw food and one for fruits and veggies. Bananas and apples, hot dogs, and grilled cheese all make for great campfire meals.

In lieu of a traditional tent, you might also consider SUV tents. You can easily prop open the back of your car, put the seats down, and make a comfortable shelter for you to spend the weekend in. If possible, you should also bring an air mattress to make sleeping more comfortable (though some simply prefer a hammock covered in a mosquito net).

These are some of the basics to pack for camping. Above all else, remember to read up on “Leave No Trace” principles. These refer to practices like putting out the fire properly, taking any garbage with you, and leaving flora and fauna untouched. Before you leave, stop by Bradshaw Automotive to make sure your car or SUV is ready for the trip.

Thanksgiving Travel Tips

Thanksgiving Travel TipsHalloween has come and gone, which means November is already here. Thanksgiving is right around the corner which means it’s time to make travel arrangements, if you haven’t already. Traveling during the holidays can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to reduce your stress levels. Here are some Thanksgiving travel tips from us here at Bradshaw Automotive to help streamline your holiday season!

  • Packing – Take the time to create a packing list and go over it several times before leaving the house. Instead of throwing everything into random suitcases, take the time to organize this year as well. Consider shipping some of your nonessential items to your destination through the mail. Doing so can reduce baggage costs at the airport and prevent the hassle of struggling to fit everything into the car.
  • Technology – Use technology to your advantage this holiday season. Many airlines have apps that provide passengers with pertinent information about their flight, such as tickets, locations, and more. Some apps even have airport layouts to help passengers make their flight on time. Drivers should use a navigation app that updates with real-time directions. Doing so means avoiding common road hazards and arriving at your destination as quickly as possible.
  • Call Ahead – Call your family or friends before you arrive. A 15-minute window gives them plenty of time to finish up whatever it is they’re doing and greet you rather than trying to multitask.

Best Driving Apps for Trips, Traffic, and More

Whether you’re planning on taking a long road trip soon or just looking for apps to make your daily commute in Greer, SC easier, we’ve compiled some of the best driving apps for smartphones that tell you about traffic, the best stops to make on road trips, and more.

Waze is a great app to use if you’re in the middle of a traffic jam. It’s not perfect for longer-term driving because it tends to drain your battery, but it’s great when you’re in heavy traffic because it can suggest an alternate route to take that will get you to your destination faster.

For road trips, there’s no better app than Roadtrippers, which suggests places to eat, cool sights to see, the best hotels in the area, and even campgrounds. Plus, if you put your route into the app, it can estimate how much gas you’re going to buy.

RepairPal is great to have if you find yourself with car trouble while away from home or if you just don’t have a trusted mechanic in town. It gives you average prices charged by local mechanics and keeps you from overspending.

Electric car drivers have to get PlugShare, the app that lets you quickly find charging locations in the area, with more than 40,000 stations registered in the app across the US. With the still limited ranges of most electric cars on the market, PlugShare is a life saver.

 

These are just a few great apps that make driving more fun and stress-free. Find more here!

Could Keeping Gym Essentials in Your Car Work For You?

Working Out

If one of your New Year’s resolutions this year is to hit the gym this year, we have one big recommendation for you: keep your gym essentials in your car. Many active, gym-goers find that getting ready to go is half the problem.

When your belongings are already stashed in the vehicle and ready to go, there’s almost no excuse not to get up and leave. And if you have enough equipment prepared – you can conduct an impromptu visit to the gym!

There’s no need to keep an entire separate gym bag in your car, but if you can keep as much as a change of clothes and sneakers in your vehicle, you can be ready at a moment’s notice.

Plus – shouldn’t you have a water bottle, a clean towel or two, and some healthy snacks ready in your in case of emergencies anyway?  So whether you head to the gym or you end up on the side of the road, you are prepared!

Whatever you do, don’t forget to take your smelly gym laundry out of the car when you get back home! Hopefully this helpful trick will help you to reach you New Year’s Resolution this year!  For more tips and tricks, visit us at Bradshaw Automotive.

Tips to Help You Drive Safely at Night

2016 Chevy Impala

While driving is dangerous in general, it can be truly so when night falls. Vehicles already impair our vision with their structures, creating blind spots, but these blind spots get significantly worse when you drive at night. To help make up for our lack of sight when the sun sets, here are a few tips to help your night driving:

Dim your interior lights. While it’s important to know how fast you are going and your engine temperature, it’s okay to dim your dash lights. For some reason, this never occurs to many people. The glare from the dash lights can dramatically diminish your view of the road.

Keep your windshield clean. Clean your windshield regularly clean, both inside and out! Make it part of a weekly maintenance routine.

Aim your headlights. A lot of people also don’t know that they can aim their headlights. Do your research to find the adjustment screw and park about twenty feet from a flat white surface, like a closed garage door. It takes some finesse to get them properly aimed. You’ll know if you’ve got them aimed too high because everyone will be flipping their brights at you!

See if you need glasses. Get your eyes checked! Occasionally, a person may have fine sight and only need glasses to drive at night.

In the end, if you don’t particularly like driving at night or you are not comfortable with it, try to do all of your driving during the day! At Bradshaw Automotive, we want you to be safe while driving on the road, day or night!

Why Do You Need to Change Your Oil?

Oil Change

Oil plays a key role in the life of your vehicle, affecting everything from lifespan to fuel efficiency. 50 years ago, you would have needed an oil change every 500 miles. Fortunately, that isn’t the case today but you still need to change your oil on a regular basis. Today, many automakers suggest changing the oil every 7,500 to 15,000 miles, just to ensure your car keeps running smoothly

Oil does three major things within the engine block. First, it lubricates the metal parts that are constantly grinding together to create motion. Second, it draws away some of the heat produced by friction between metal parts. Third, it carries away shavings, dirt, and grime, preventing carbon and varnishes from building up.

When oil goes unchanged, it can lose its viscosity, increasing the chances of engine damage. Because of this, not changing your oil can be costly in the long run. Carbon deposits and sludge can come out of old oil, as a result of carbon buildup around the cooler parts of the engine. When this occurs, it can only be solved through an expensive engine cleaning or replacing worn piston rings.

If you go too long without changing your oil, the pistons could seize entirely and the camshafts could take damage. That would lead to some hefty bills for replacement parts that no driver wants to pay, so make sure you change your oil on a routine basis. Let our service department help you with any of your service related needs here at Bradshaw Automotive, including getting your oil changed!

Awesome Smartphone Driving Apps

Man texting while driving
Don’t Text and Drive!

While it is never a good idea to use your smartphone while you are driving, there are a handful of smartphone apps that can greatly improve your driving experience. Here are a few:

GasBuddy

Ever fill up at a gas station and head down the road to see another gas station offering considerably cheaper gas? Say goodbye to that horrifying experience with Gasbuddy, an app that will easily help you find the cheapest gas in your area.

Spotify

There are a lot of music streaming apps out there, such as Pandora and Google Play, but Spotify is one of the best. The free version permits shuffled streaming, while the Premium version costs $10 a month and allows you stream pretty much any music you want.

XLR8

Does your neighbor speed by your house often in his loud sports car? Why not get some revenge (in a fun, safe way)? The XLR8 app connects to your car stereo and uses the accelerometer of your vehicle. As you accelerate, you’ll hear engine sounds from your favorite sports car.

Waze

Waze is a “community-based traffic and navigation app.” Users log the site of traffic jams, allowing other users to avoid them. Users also constantly update maps, meaning that Waze offers the most up-to-date navigation.

Summer is here and these awesome smartphone driving apps can really enhance your road trip!  Tell us about some of the best apps you’ve used to help your driving here at Bradshaw Automotive!

Do You Know the Best Month to Buy a New Car?

If you had to guess, when would you say is the best month to buy a new car? If you said December, you’re not alone. However, according to new data published by TrueCar.com, August reports the lowest average car prices of the year.

The study calculated the average price per transaction per month for the past five years. During August, new cars sold for an average of $29,296, while December defied popular belief with the highest average of the year at $31,146.

TrueCar.com attributes August’s lower prices to the exchange of older inventory for the new models which often debut around this time.

2015 Chevy Tahoe
August is the best time to buy a new car, like the 2015 Chevy Tahoe!

“This is a great example of the power of data, which shows dealers are clearing out older inventory in August,” said Scott Painter, TrueCar founder and CEO.

With only a few days left in August, the only other question we have for you is this: Why aren’t you on your way to Bradshaw Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac yet? Bradshaw offers plenty of new 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars for Upstate South Carolina buyers! We’ll see you soon!

The Benefits of Owning a Diesel Car Are Numerous: Owners Save Thousands

Buying a car can be downright overwhelming when you consider monthly payments, insurance, fuel costs, repairs and maintenance. If you’re looking to save money, choose a diesel. While upfront it may cost more, over the long run, a diesel can save you $2,000 to $6,000 in total ownership costs over three to five years as compared to their gasoline counterparts, according to research by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

Not only are diesel models more fuel efficient, but they depreciate more slowly than gasoline models. According to AOL Autos, “UMTRI’s research compared 12 diesel vehicles to their gasoline counterparts and found they achieved between eight and 44 percent higher miles per gallon, resulting in ten to 29 percent lower fuel costs overall. When looking at depreciation, UMTRI found that 11 of the 12 diesel cars analyzed held their value better than their gas counterparts during the first three years of ownership, with eight logging savings of 17 to 46 percent. Over five years, there was an overall savings of 10 to 39 percent in depreciation costs.”

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Diesel
Cars like the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Diesel are proving more fuel efficient that gasoline vehicles.

Diesel cars are becoming more and more common, with diesel trim variations available on many mass-market and luxury vehicles. More benefits of owning a diesel car? Not only are diesel cars more efficient and hold their value better, but their more fun to drive, too. Diesel cars typically offer more torque and in return, faster acceleration, and at lower rpm than their gasoline siblings.

Interested in a diesel? Stop by Bradshaw Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac to learn more and see what all the hype is about.

Best Cars for First-Time Buyers: 2014 Chevrolet Spark

Are you a first-time car buyer looking the right vehicle to serve your lifestyle needs? Chances are, you’re already overwhelmed with all the options currently available on the automobile market. So many factors can influence the car that you choose; interior space, safety features, entertainment technologies, fuel economy and overall price are important to consider when car shopping.

2014 Chevrolet Spark
The 2014 Chevrolet Spark is the perfect car for the first-time buyer!

Luckily, there’s a car on the market today that covers all the needs of new car drivers: the Chevrolet Spark. Here is a list of reasons the Spark is perfect car for the first-time buyer.

  1. Great Fuel Economy: As a first-time car buyer, money is likely tight for you. Between paying bills, buying food, housing yourself and repaying college loans, spending a fortune on gas is the last thing you want to worry about. With its 31 MPG city and 39 mpg highway EPA-estimated fuel economy, the Chevrolet Spark will help you save greatly at the pump, allowing for one less stress item in your monthly budget.
  2. Compact Size: The Spark’s compact size makes it both fuel efficient and easy-to-handle, making it a great choice for new car buyers. Foregoing the extended second- and third-row seating that is typically reserved for family vehicles, the Spark’s hatchback design still offers plenty of cargo space and seating for up to four passengers.
  3. Great Features: Standard safety, comfort and entertainment features on the 2014 Spark include a Driver Information Center with vehicle stats and tips, an AM/FM audio system, anti-lock brakes, Hill Start Assist, stability control and OnStar. Upgraded trim levels include other great features like Chevrolet Mylink, Bluetooth, Remote Keyless Entry, cruise control and much more!
  4. Affordable Price: The base-level 2014 Chevrolet Spark has an MSRP of just $13,480, a price that is sure to fit into your budget without breaking your bank account!

Don’t step into your first car-buying experience before checking out the facts! Call Bradshaw Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac in Greer, SC today or visit our website to schedule a test drive in a new Chevrolet Spark and find out all the Spark can offer you!