Are Snow Tires Necessary for Your Car?

snow tires - Bangor, ME

There are pros and cons to buying snow tires.

The type of tire on your car is something most drivers don’t think about. Those that dot end to live in an area that receives large amounts of snow or face slick roadways. Unlike snow tires of the past, modern day snow tires bring plenty of benefits without most of the drawbacks. Here at Varney Buick GMC, we’re going to help you answer one important question: are snow tires necessary for your vehicle?

To put it simply, most drivers won’t need snow tires at any point in their lives. Those that do likely live in climates where heavy snowfall is a given and ice-covered roads are common for several months of the year. Both conditions represent a threat to drivers which is why many opt for snow tires.

Snow tires are great for stopping on snow-covered roads due to their increased grip but they also offer few drawbacks when it comes to driving on cold, snowless roads. Modern snow tires offer improved handling over their late counterparts as well. Every new vehicle comes equipped with Electronic Stability Control and, as a result, snow tires perform nearly as well as all-season tires.

As a general rule of thumb, install snow tires around late November and remove them near the end of March.

Should You Get a Car with Four-Wheel Drive?

2017 GMC Sierra 1500 - Bangor, ME

Here in Maine, having a car with four-wheel drive is wise.

Most vehicles come with a standard two-wheel drive system but sometimes you might need more than that. There are quite a few factors that go into determining what kind of configuration you need for your new vehicle. Let us here at Varney Buick GMC help answer that troubling question. Should get you four-wheel drive on your new vehicle?

If you live in a warmer climate with little snow or rain, the answer, generally, is a flat no. Four-wheel drive systems are best suited for getting through tough obstacles that two-wheel drive configurations have difficulty with.

Drivers who live in an area where it rains and snows should consider opting for all-wheel or four-wheel drive on their new vehicle. All-wheel drive is generally best for light rain and snow. The computers will take control and coordinate how much power goes to each wheel. That system tends to have some trouble with worse weather.

Muddy roads and heavy snowfalls are the perfect environment for a four-wheel drive vehicle to shine. Drivers have to activate four-wheel drive. By doing so, power goes to all wheels turn at low speed to drive through most obstacles. As a result, four-wheel drive vehicles, such as the GMC Sierra 1500, are perfect for tackling snow-covered roadways.

What Is Usually Done When Lifting a Truck

2015 GMC Sierra - Bangor, ME

Make an informed decision before altering your truck.

Lifting a truck involves the choice of two different options, a body lift kit or a suspension kit. Both choices have their positives, but ultimately it depends what you are looking to get out of your pickup truck. Do you want a slightly boosted truck with good performance and off-road capabilities, or are you aiming for that full-on monster truck look? Check out the options below to weigh your choices.

Body Lift Kits

Doing a body lift kit rather than a suspension lift involves raising the body of the truck without requiring new shocks or changing how your truck rides. It’s also the less expensive lifting option. Many off-road enthusiasts choose to opt for a body lift kit because it keeps the factory suspension in their vehicle while giving them more ground clearance.

Suspension Lifts

A suspension lift kit is different from a body lift kit because a body lift kit can only raise your truck up to three inches. If you want to lift your truck as high as it will go, a suspension lift is the better option, and it allows you to buy bigger tires for your pickup, too. This also makes the suspension more articulate.

As said above, choosing what option you want when lifting a truck depends entirely on your personal preferences. Whether you want a body lift kit for a more confident attitude without changing your ride quality or a suspension lift for an all-out aggressive vibe is up to you.

Buick Earns Highest Marks in Customer Satisfaction Survey

2017 Buick Envision - Bangor, ME

Buick vehicles are perfect for drivers of any age.

J.D. Power has long conducted statistical research regarding customer satisfaction in the auto industry that both consumers and manufacturers alike use to inform their purchases or production processes. In a recent customer satisfaction survey for 2016, Buick came out on top, according to J.D. Power, as the most trusted and satisfying mass market vehicle brand for this year.

What, exactly, put Buick at the top of the list? Data suggests that ensuring vehicle owners understand the innovative technology in their vehicles and helping them to utilize it to enhance their driving experience. Based on information gathered through the SSI (sales satisfaction index), Buick earned a score of 809 out of an 1,000-point total.

“Our sales satisfaction ranking shows that our ability to deliver a meaningful purchase-to-ownership process is paying off for our customers well beyond when they leave our stores,” says Global Buick Sales, Service, and Marketing vice president Duncan Aldred.

J.D. Power constructed the 2016 U.S. SSI by taking into account consumer responses of almost 29,000 buyers who purchased or leased a vehicle in April or May of this year. Out of everyone involved in the customer satisfaction survey, Buick owners were the most satisfied with their dealer and vehicle.

How Buick Is Changing Their Image

2017 Buick Cascada - Bangor, ME

Appealing to any age: the 2017 Buick Cascada.

Everyone knows what the perception of Buick was just 10 to 20 years ago. However, very quietly, Buick has gone from being a brand mostly known for catering to older folks to becoming a more youthful brand that is closer in quality to luxury automakers like Lexus and Cadillac. Here is how Buick is changing their image.

One thing that has changed significantly is the marketing campaign being run by Buick. Whereas they focused on older generations in the past, they have shifted their marketing efforts to a younger crowd as a way to alter perception of their cars. Their ‘That’s Not a Buick’ campaign acknowledges their history and presents the brand in a different light.

However, it has been more than just advertising that has changed perception of the brand. Buick has actually reworked the style of their cars to make them more appealing to a younger crowd. It has essentially been a complete overhaul of Buick vehicles. From the shape of the exterior to the the modern technology and available features in the interior, Buick has successfully lowered their demographic.

It will be interesting to see how far Buick takes this. For now, it’s enough to enjoy the high-quality cars that Buick continues to send out.

GMC Releases Sierra HD All-Terrain X

In the crowded market for pickup trucks, it’s crucial that automakers create trucks that work for all kinds of different drivers. Some people use their truck for work, some use it as their everyday transportation, and others use it for play. That’s why GMC has released their new Sierra HD All-Terrain X vehicle for driving off-road. Here’s what to expect.

The All-Terrain X is a monster of a truck, and its 18-inch black-painted wheels wrapped in LT275/65-18 Goodyear Duratrac MT tires stand out immediately. As you move around the truck, it becomes clear that GMC paid attention to even the smallest of details with this trim. In the bed of the truck, there is a black sport bar mounted that’s designed to be compatible with LED off-road driving lamps for driving at night.

As heavy-duty as this truck is, most people will not be using it for work. It comes standard with the Z71 suspension with off-road shocks, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a heated steering wheel, and heated seats.

This truck is built to last in tough conditions, and it’s the ideal vehicle for any off-road adventures. Explore the new Sierra HD All-Terrain X today to see what it’s all about.

Popular Truck Upgrades to Consider for Your Work Truck

GMC Sierra 1500 - Bangor, ME

Take your truck to the next level by upgrading its accessories!

Customizing your truck with aftermarket parts is one of the best ways to not only make it your own, but make it fit your work or home needs. Whether you drive a pickup for your job, your daily life, or both, these popular truck upgrades will make your day easier.

GMC drivers, the perfect way to customize your truck for amazing off-road performance or just better engine output is a Rocky Ridge package. Rocky Ridge is the leading producer of aftermarket performance upgrades for trucks and SUVs. Ask us about Rocky Ridge packages at Varney Buick GMC!

For more basic upgrades, look into getting a liner to protect your bed from scratches and gouges. If you don’t need to protect your whole bed, get a tailgate cover plate to protect the part of your truck that gets the most use.

Depending on the kind of truck you buy and the level of towing you want to do, you might need to buy a heavy duty hitch. The hitch that comes with your truck doesn’t always cut it for big jobs! Toolboxes and bed extenders are also popular choices.

Improve your truck’s performance by upgrading the air intake system, installing a less restrictive exhaust system, and a higher suspension for better handling and a less vulnerable undercarriage. Don’t forget to change your tires to match the new suspension.

Upgrades can make a huge difference in performance and utility, so make sure you consider ones that might be right for you!

Why It’s Important to Have the Right Tire Pressure

tire pressure gauge - Bangor, ME

When was the last time you checked your car’s tire pressure?

As the weather gets colder, it’s important to regularly check the pressure in all four of your car’s tires and make sure they’re at the correct psi for your car. Cold weather tends to make air compress, making your tire pressure go down, and having the right tire pressure is essential.

Tire pressure is a big deal because when the pressure is low, you have less traction with the ground. This is never a good thing, but it’s especially bad in winter, when the roads are icy and slippery. Those slippery roads happen to coincide with the worst time of year for maintaining tire pressure, so you have to check it regularly.

Of course, you need to keep an eye out no matter what time of year it is, but fall and winter are especially crucial! You may have already noticed your tire pressure light go on with the changing temperatures.

Tire pressure is also an important part of shock absorption. When you go over a bump with low tires, you’ll feel it a lot more than if your tires are properly inflated. Driving with the right psi is safer and more comfortable.

So invest in a good pressure gauge—they’re cheap!—and check those tires regularly. You can find the right pressure in your owner’s manual.

Check Out These Back-to-School Driving Safety Tips for Teens

back to school - Bangor, ME

Now that school is back in session, safe driving is more important than ever.

Finally old enough to drive to high school on your own? Or perhaps, your teen is finally old enough to drive to school without you? Either way, it is a good idea for you or your teen to revisit some back-to-school driving safety tips before the school year begins.

Here is some advice to keep in mind before class starts back up again this year:

  • Remind yourself of where the school zones are, and always obey the lower speed limit in school zones.
  • Get ready to share the road with buses once again. You should give school buses extra space and always stop when their stop signs go up.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for younger kids waiting for the bus, or other children walking to school.
  • Though it is much easier said than done, try to get enough sleep before driving to school. Driving while sleepy can be deadly.
  • Lastly, even if you are late for class – do not speed on your way to school. You will regret that tardy notice much more if it is accompanied by a totaled car.

For more safety tips or to start the semester behind the wheel of a brand new car, contact us or visit us anytime at Varney Buick GMC.

Is Cheap Gas Okay For Your Car?

fuel pump - Bangor, ME

Cheaper may not be better for your car when it comes to fuel.

When you are running low on gas, how do you decide where to fill up the tank? If you, like most drivers, are choosing gasoline based on its price, then you may be potentially damaging your car.

Studies show that cheap gas can harm you vehicle, especially if your vehicle utilizes gasoline direction injection (GDI), which is true for about half of all cars currently on the road in the United States, for good reason.

Vehicles that utilize GDI technology are more reliable and efficient, as long as you use quality gasoline. In fact, GDI tech can raise fuel efficiency by 15 percent and reduce emissions by 30-50 percent, making the choice obvious.

However, cars that are fueled by GDI require more expensive, higher quality gasoline, which includes not just gasoline but also additives that keep direct injection engines clean and properly functioning.

The next time you need to fill up the tank and wonder, “is cheap gas is okay?” – think about the difference that a slightly higher quality purchase could make. If your engine is in better shape, your vehicle will last much longer, potentially saving you the money spent on more expensive gas.

For more tips and information – or to check out one of our many available, fuel-efficient vehicles, contact us or visit us anytime at Varney Buick GMC.