Car Care: Give Your Car Its Spring Physical

It’s the right time to have your vehicle serviced

Today’s cars and trucks last longer than ever. They are generally more trouble-free than ever before, also, and the best way to keep them that way is the automotive equivalent of a physical. Just as your doctor checks over your systems and structure, your dealership’s service department will look over your vehicle with expert eyes.

Don’t wait until a “Service Engine Soon” warning pops up on the instrument panel or a tire blows out. By then, it may be too late to avoid an expensive repair or considerable inconvenience. Prevent problems on the road with a spring checkup. Here are some items that should be included.

Electrical System: Your car’s battery and alternator should be checked to be sure the charging system is up to snuff, the battery is within its serviceable lifespan and has enough reserve, and all cables and connections are clean, tight, and corrosion-free. Belts should also be checked for tightness, cracks and excessive wear, as a broken belt will stop you in your tracks.

Tires and Wheels: Whack a few killer potholes lately? Modern tires are also better than ever before, but you need to keep an eye out for problems that can lead to tire failure. Have a trained technician examine your tires for cuts in the tread or sidewalls, bulges, bubbles, dry rot, signs of belt separation or other problems that could leave you stranded, and make sure tires are properly inflated. Wheel damage is common, too, so be sure to include them in the inspection.

Suspension and Alignment: At the same time your tires and wheels are inspected, your suspension and wheel alignment should also be examined. Shock absorbers can fail, steering components can bend or become loose, and bushings can wear out. Winter conditions can be hard on the parts designed to support you, as can rough roads or frequent trips into the back country. For predictable handling, even tire wear and maximum fuel efficiency, it’s important that all four wheels––not just the drive wheels–– are properly aligned. If you can’t remember the last time you had it done, now is the time to have an alignment performed. Your tires will last longer and you’ll avoid spending the extra money at the pump that can result from misaligned wheels.

Fluid Levels and Filters: Because today’s cars can click off tens of thousands of miles without problems, it can be easy to forget about checking, topping off and replacing its vital fluids. Coolant and brake fluid both have finite lifespans and require replacement, as indicated in your owner’s manual. Your dealership’s technicians have special tools to check the age and protection level of the engine coolant, and they’ll also have the coolant specified by the manufacturer for use in your car. Brake fluid needs attention as well, and your routine driving conditions––frequent towing, heavy stop-and-go driving, etc.––can make it necessary to have these systems serviced more frequently than indicated in the manufacturer’s basic schedule.

Spring is a great time to treat your car to an oil and filter change. Whether it’s hot or cold where you live, idling a lot, sub-zero temperatures or excessively hot conditions can all degrade engine oil, leaving delicate components more vulnerable to premature wear and corrosion. Moisture and acids can build up in the oil, as well, so getting it changed in the spring ensures proper protection. Don’t forget to have the engine’s air filter and, if equipped, the cabin air filter checked and replaced if needed. Also remember that necessary chassis lubrication is part of the usual “L.O.F.,” or “Lube, Oil, Filter,” service. Those parts are especially susceptible to wear and corrosion, whether salt is used on the roads where you live or not.

As the seasons change again, it’s a great time to rejuvenate your automobile. Good planning and preventative maintenance can ensure a worry-free summer ahead.

This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.

Tech Tips: Brake Terminology

Tech Tips: Brake Terminology

What you need to know about brake components…

Many drivers don’t think much about their vehicle’s brakes unless they have trouble stopping. What does that squeaking, squealing or grinding really mean, though? The braking system is a complex collection of parts. Here’s a list of basic braking system components to help get you acclimated.

Pads: The brake pads are what convert the kinetic energy of your moving wheels into thermal energy and actually bring you to a stop.  When you press your brake pedal, the pads are squeezed against the rotors (more on those below) to slow and then halt the rotation of your vehicle’s wheels. Some pads have built-in wear indicators that produce a high pitched squealing when the pads need to be replaced. Making sure you get the right brake pads for your specific model is important to ensure even wear, proper stopping and minimal noise.

 Calipers: Brake calipers house the brake pads and are normally found in one of two types: floating or fixed. Dirt or corrosion can negatively impact caliper performance and can even cause them to stick, leading to the pads dragging on the rotors even when the brake pedal isn’t depressed. This can cause reduced fuel economy, overheating and excessive wear.

 Rotors: When you press down on your brake pedal, the pads clamp down onto the rotors (also known as discs) and stop the wheels from spinning. There are various kinds of rotors, including drilled and slotted, which provide less surface area than traditional solid rotors but help distribute heat and minimize wear. Brake rotors are as important as the pads. If you feel pulsing when you decelerate or your steering wheel shakes (sometimes extremely hard), your rotors may be warped. They should be inspected for damage and replaced if necessary.

 Brake Fluid: Hydraulic braking systems rely on brake fluid to convert the force you exert on the brake pedal into the pressure braking components exert on your wheels. Brake fluid also amplifies braking pressure. The Department of Transportation has several classifications for brake fluid––DOT 3 and DOT 4, for example––which reflect a fluid’s boiling point, viscosity and formulation. Consult your owner’s manual or your dealer’s factory trained technicians for information about the type of fluid recommended for your make and model and how often it should be changed.

Brake Line: As most automobiles on the road today have hydraulic brake systems, they also have brake lines that channel the brake fluid to the brakes themselves. Air in brake lines or a ruptured line can cause complete brake failure, so brake lines should be periodically inspected by trained technicians to insure safe operation.

Jack Maxton’s service technicians know the right parts to use for your specific make and model, so whether your brakes are squeaking, squealing, grinding or simply not stopping the way you want them to, the best place to go for brake system diagnostics and service is your dealership. You’ll never have to wonder if they’re using the right parts or the right tools, and you’ll have added peace of mind and confidence behind the wheel.


Vehicle Profile: 2014 Chevrolet Cruze

Vehicle Profile: 2014 Chevrolet Cruze

Small size, big value

The Chevrolet Cruze, on sale here at Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio, delivers that perfect mix of individuality, performance and equipment, which is one reason it is Chevy’s best-selling passenger car around the world. With a deep selection of powertrains, striking design and premium features, the five-passenger Chevy Cruze is the perfect automotive companion. Now, an all-new clean turbo-diesel engine choice gives the 2014 Cruze unmatched fuel economy, as well.

The biggest news for the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze (MSRP $17,520) is the Cruze Turbo Diesel model (MSRP $24,985) and its new 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine. Chevrolet harnessed extensive diesel expertise, here and in Europe, in developing this four-cylinder, which is the cleanest diesel that General Motors has ever put into production. With 151 hp and a stout 264 lb/ft of torque, the Cruze Diesel is fun to drive, and thanks to its inherently efficient diesel engine, it returns an EPA-estimated 46 mpg highway. When it becomes available this summer, the Cruze will be the most fuel efficient non-hybrid gasoline or diesel car sold in America.

The automotive press was quick to recognize the virtues of the Cruze. U.S. News ranked it ahead of 36 other vehicles––including the Honda Civic and Civic Hybrid, Kia Forte and Rio, Subaru Impreza, Dodge Dart, Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta Hybrid, Toyota Corolla, MINI Cooper and many others––in the “Affordable Compact Car” category. Kelley Blue Book reviewers said, “The Cruze stands out from other compacts with its comfort-oriented ride and overall feeling of solidity and strength,” while the Edmunds review said, “It’s hard not to take a shine to the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel. Big-torque performance and hybrid-baiting efficiency is an alluring combination, while the Cruze’s intrinsic goodness continues to impress three years after its launch.”

The Cruze also offers two Ecotec® gasoline engines. The first is a 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder with Variable Valve Timing that delivers 138 hp, 125 lb/ft of torque and an EPA-estimated 25 mpg city, 36 mpg highway. The second is a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder. It produces 138 hp, 148 lb/ft of torque and even better fuel economy, EPA-estimated at 26 mpg city, 38 mpg highway.

In addition to the Cruze Turbo Diesel, the 2014 Cruze lineup includes LS, 1LT, Eco, 2LT and LTZ trims.

The LS comes with the 1.8-liter engine and either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with ActiveSelect manual control. Some of the great standard equipment on the LS includes Bluetooth® wireless connectivity, CD/MP3 audio, a tilting/telescoping steering wheel with audio and phone controls, a USB port and auxiliary input jack, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, OnStar, a six-way adjustable driver’s seat, 10 standard air bags and an Enhanced Acoustic Package that employs more than 30 separate noise-abating treatments to the vehicle to keep noise out of the cabin.

Both the 1LT and 2LT are powered by the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, and both offer a six-speed manual transmission and a six-speed automatic with ActiveSelect. Highlights of 1LT standard equipment include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 16-inch alloy wheels and cruise control. Choosing the 2LT will snag you 17-inch wheels, heated leather seats and a sport-tuned suspension.

The LTZ is the most luxurious version of the gasoline-powered Cruze trims. It features 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior accents, automatic climate control and foglamps all as standard equipment. It also comes standard with the Chevrolet MyLink stereo with seven-inch touch-screen, rear-vision camera display and voice recognition; keyless access with push-button start; and a remote vehicle start system.

The Cruze Eco combines the best convenience and luxury features from the other trims and adds a collection of fuel saving technologies. It comes with the same 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and available six-speed automatic transmission as the LT and LTZ trims, but its standard six-speed manual transmission is Eco-specific, featuring gearing designed to maximize fuel economy. The lightweight, 17-inch alloy wheels are wrapped in low-rolling-resistance rubber, and the Eco front fascia includes a lower air shutter to improve aerodynamics at highway speed. The result of these and other Eco-specific features is an EPA-estimated 26 mpg city, 39 mpg highway with the six-speed automatic and 28 mpg city, 42 mpg highway with the manual.

Regardless of your choice of Cruze trim, you can rest easy knowing that you and your passengers are protected by the car with the most standard safety features in its class. On top of the 10 airbags, the Cruze provides standard StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System and four-wheel antilock brakes. Additional driver assistance and safety systems that are standard or available, depending on trim, include Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist and a Rear Vision Camera. Plus, the Chevrolet Cruze is the only car to include the OnStar suite of safety and convenience features.

Your new 2014 Chevy Cruze is designed to protect you, and Chevrolet is committed to protecting your Cruze. Every new Cruze comes with a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and two years of free scheduled maintenance.

There are lots of compact cars on sale today, but none of them can offer what you get from the Cruze. Come in today for details about the new Cruze Turbo Diesel and the rest of the Cruze line, and experience the excellent new 2014 Chevrolet Cruze for yourself.

See Chevrolet Cruze Inventory at 

GM Finishes Testing the DC “Combo” Fast Charge Station

GM test charge station that can provide 80 percent charge in 20 minutes

For several days this summer, GM was joined by BMW to conduct tests and assess the functionality of the new DC “Combo” Fast Charge stations. When testing wrapped up, engineers representing both automakers were satisfied with the capabilities of the charge stations, which will allow drivers of electric vehicles to achieve approximately 80 percent charge in just 20 minutes.

The combination of AC and DC charging is made possible with the combo connector, which makes it much easier for a variety of electric vehicles to utilize the DC Fast Charging stations. Not only is the system convenient, it is efficient. It works with a single charge port on the cars and allows for a faster rate of electricity transfer.

This increased convenience and speed is a significant help to current drivers of electric vehicles who are not able to charge their vehicles at home on all or any nights. Reducing the need to have continuous access to an at-home charger also overcomes one of the main barriers to widespread adoption of electric vehicles, which is an advantage for automakers.

The Society of Automotive Engineers’ new DC fast charge industry standard will be useful to a range of electric vehicles in the near future. The Chevrolet Spark EV is one of the first vehicles expected to reap the benefits of the enhanced convenience created by these charging stations.

ABB was one of the suppliers that participated in this testing along with Aker Wade, Eaton and IES. “This successful testing is an important milestone that underscores our commitment to enable the next generation of electric vehicles,” said Cal Lankton, director of ABB’s EV Charging Infrastructure for North America. “By offering a broad charging portfolio, we can fully support the needs of all EV drivers and infrastructure providers.”

A strong motivator encouraging the industry-coordinated effort behind the testing to confirm the software and hardware of the DC Fast Change system was to accelerate the release of SAE Combo DC Fast Charge Infrastructure. The cooperative spirit was aided by the fact that the release of this technology will provide an advantage to so many engineers and automakers all over the world.

“This unprecedented cooperation among OEMs and equipment suppliers demonstrates the maturity of this important technology that will help speed the adoption of electric vehicles around the world,” said Britta Gross, director of advanced vehicle commercialization policy at GM.

One important factor in hastening the success of the electric car industry is ensuring that common standards are applied to the design of emerging technology. Towards this end, the majority of automakers had previously adopted the SAE 120V/240V AC connector so that all plug-in vehicles would be able to utilize any charging infrastructure. In a similar move of solidarity, eight automakers – GM, Chrysler, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler, Porsche and Audi – agreed to adopt the SAE combo fast charge connector. This commitment protects the DC Fast Charge connector standardization.

This advance in the technology that underlies the use of electric vehicles will result in myriad benefits. Increased convenience will improve the lives of current electric vehicle drivers and this will entice new consumers to adopt these types of vehicles, benefiting GM and the environment.

This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.

GM’s History of Design Innovations – Automaker’s groundbreaking design department celebrates 85 years

General Motors was the first automaker to recognize and focus on the importance of automotive design, something taken for granted today. Led by Harley Earl, GM Design was created in June of 1927 to “study the question of art and color combinations in General Motors products.” Earl and his department moved the company to offer multiple colors for models, develop concept cars and, perhaps most significantly, institute yearly model changeovers.
Standing on that kind of history, it’s no surprise that General Motors is a global leader in automotive design today, with 1,900 men and women in 10 international design centers focused on the future and creating “art that moves you,” driven by current GM Design leader and Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn.
“Our global team is united around its passion for designing vehicles that make an emotional connection with customers,” said Welburn. “What was true 85 years ago is still true today: A designer’s role is to create a beautifully executed exterior with great proportions that draw you in, and an interior that invites you into a relationship that develops and grows.”
In recent years, Cadillac and Buick have each undergone design renaissances, and Chevrolet has become a global brand with a globally recognized design language, apparent in such vehicle introductions as the Chevy Camaro sports car, the Malibu midsize sedan, and the Cruze compact car.
Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range went from concept to production in just three years, winning “North American Car of the Year” honors and co-winning the European “Car of the Year” award along the way.
“Our global structure allows us to design more new vehicles and to dedicate more people using the latest technology and tools to bring them to market,” said Welburn. “The diversity of thought, experience, culture and perspective we foster here is unrivaled, and it fuels our creative process.”
Those who make a living handing out automobile design awards have taken notice of GM’s innovations. Buick was named to the “Hottest Brands of 2010” list by the cable network MSNBC, while the new Chevy Camaro won several awards that same year, including “World Car Design of the Year” at the 2010 New York International Auto Show, “Collectible Car of the Year” from the National Automotive History Collection, Kiplinger‘s “Best New Sports Car” award, Ward’s “Best Sports Car Interior” award, and a “Best in Design” distinction from Popular Mechanics.
In 2011, the same year the Chevrolet Volt was named “North American Car of the Year,” the Volt was also named Motor Trend “Car of the Year” and Motor Week “Driver’s Choice Best of the Year.” Also in 2011, the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon was named an Automobile magazine “All-Star,” an “Editors Choice Top 10 Vehicle” of the year by MSN Autos and “Most Wanted” by Edmunds Inside Line.
Most recently, the all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS luxury sedan made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show as the most technologically advanced production car in the brand’s history; the Buick Encore small crossover was unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit; the Chevrolet MiRay concept car won “Best Concept” in the annual Detroit News Readers’ Choice Awards; and the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS compact luxury sports sedan is currently challenging the world’s best premium cars.
Additional milestones in GM’s history include pioneering the concept of “advance design” in the 1930s, making it the first company to use special studio teams to explore engineering and design possibilities. The following decade, GM became the first automaker to hire women designers.
To test drive “art that moves you,” stop by today. Schedule a test drive.

GM: Ecologic – Yeah, it’s a green thing.

If you heard the phrase “Going Green” twenty years ago, you may have wondered if someone was talking about the Incredible Hulk. Now you hear it on a daily basis and if you have not joined the eco-friendly lifestyle, you may be a little behind the times.

GM has been working on eco-friendly vehicles for some time now. The Cruze Eco (which offers 42 mpg highway) and the Chevy Volt (a leader for electric cars) are a couple examples of their hard work.

GM just announced Chevrolet will start placing labels on the back window of all its new cars and trucks as a way to advertise the eco-friendly benefits of its vehicles. GM will start in March with the 2012 Chevy Sonic, placing the labels on the driver side rear window. The so-called “Ecologic” labels will start appearing on other 2013 Chevy vehicles later this year.

The labels will give buyers details on fuel-saving technologies, a vehicle’s recyclability at the end of its lifecycle, and green aspects to its manufacturing. The Chevrolet label differs from the Environmental Protection Agency window sticker, which is generated by the government to give buyers a way to compare fuel economy on new vehicles.

GM says it’s going the extra step to give consumers more information. The Sonic label, for instance, shows the car’s features, such as recyclability and technologies that contribute to fuel savings, along with benefits to the owner.

“Customers want companies to be honest and transparent about their environmental efforts and sustainability goals, and rightly so,” said GM North America President Mark Reuss in a statement. “Putting an Ecologic label on each Chevrolet is just one more way for us to share our environmental progress.”

The label communicates vehicle-specific features in the following areas:

Media Source:

Safe Drivers and Happy Holidays



I know we are all in a hurry to get to the in-laws’ house to eat tasty turkey and mashed potatoes, but don’t let getting there put you in a bad mood.  Those pesky speed limit signs can really disrupt a busy holiday schedule. Sometimes it may be easier to ignore them, but unfortunately we cannot think this way.

Yes, speed limits were instated for a reason! Research shows that for every
mile per hour you drive over the speed limit, the likelihood of an accident
increases by 5 percent. I want us all to remain on the research end to understand
this percentage, so take their advice and don’t speed.

So many things are distracting us when we drive. When listening to the
radio we think we hear our phone… curiosity takes over and we have to dig for our
cell. Then the “secret” texting happens because of the new law against texting.
It may be a law, but it is going on right under our noses. Like Jim Morrison
says, “Keep your eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel.”

Aside from those distractions, make sure your vehicle is safe to drive. You
can read more about getting your car ready for winter in a previous blog: There is nothing more irritating than trying to figure out a noise your car is making while driving. Prep your car before you leave on a long trip to try to avoid some of the stress.

Finally, try to be extra aware of your surroundings. There will be holiday
parties and get-togethers where a few drinks are shared. It is a mind boggling
statistic that 30 percent of all fatal accidents include alcohol. It may be an
inconvenience to stay at someone’s house after a party, but you will feel better
about it in the morning.