Ballas GMC Buick, in Northwest Ohio, Explains Hydroplaning

Ballas Buick GMC wants you to be safe. Information is a good way to be prepared.  If you do get into an accident, don’t fret. The Ballas Collision Center; located in Toledo, OH; is a quality, skilled group of highly trained professionals. If you do get into an accident, don’t fret. Stop by the Ballas Collision Center anytime for a free estimate.

What is Hydroplaning??

The best way to get out of a hydroplaning situation is obviously to never hydroplane in the first place. To do your best to avoid hydroplaning, make sure to:

• Have proper tread on your tire. If your tires are too worn, make sure to have them replaced.

• Travel at reduced speeds when roads are wet.

• Avoid sudden starts and stops in the rain.

In the event that you do hydroplane, make sure you’ve watched this video and have identified the type of vehicle you drive and what actions to take to remain safe.

Ballas Honors & Distinctions:

  • #1 volume Buick dealership in Ohio (2010)
  • GM Mark of Excellence- 2009 & 2010-
    • Only awarded to the top 50 dealers defining them as the “finest dealers who have committed themselves to unsurpassed performance and customer satisfaction.”
  • BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics Winner- 2007
  • UT College of Business & Innovation’s Business Pacemaker of the Year 2011
  • 5/3 Bank Platinum Dealer Award
  • Professional Parts Guild Dealership Award
  • President of the Buick/GMC Local Marketing Group (Marianne Ballas)
  • Elected to the Buick/GMC National Dealer Council (Marianne Ballas)
  • Board of Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce (Marianne Ballas)
  • University of Toledo Foundation Board member (Marianne Ballas)
  • Board of Toledo Hospital (Marianne Ballas)

Tired? Don’t Drive Drowsy Warns Ballas Buick GMC in Toledo, OH

Ballas Buick GMC wants you to be extra careful when driving.  We have prepared several blogs to help drivers be better prepared for the roads. If you do get into an accident, Ballas will be there for you in this stressful time. The Ballas Collision Center; located in Toledo,OH; is a quality, skilled group of highly trained professionals.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving drowsy causes more than 100,000 crashes per year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities. Additionally, accidents caused by tired drivers will result in $12.5 billion in damages.

Drowsy driving is a major problem throughout the United States and that is why there is a public awareness campaign on November 6-12, 2011 designed to educate everyone on the road, especially young drivers.

Facts about Driving When Tired

According to National Sleep Foundation surveys, half of American adults admit to operating a vehicle while drowsy, and 20% say they have fallen asleep at the wheel within the past year. This means, at any given time on the road, there could be a driver in the lanes around you who may be too tired to drive.

Drivers who are overly tired typically experience diminished judgment and slower reaction times, similar to those who are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or are texting and driving. In fact, sleepiness or fatigue causes the following:

  • Impaired vision, reaction time and judgment
  • Trouble with short-term memory and information processing
  • Reduced performance, attention and motivation
  • Greater chances of moodiness and aggressive behaviors

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week is a great way to educate drivers about sleep safety but eliminating the causes of the problem is something we all must focus on all year. Here are a few tips from DrowsyDriving.org:

Before “hitting the road”

  • Get enough sleep (most adults need 7-9 hours to maintain proper alertness)
  • Take breaks, especially on long road trips (about every 100 miles or 2 hours during long trips)
  • Pull off the road, finding a safe spot to nap if you’re sleepy
  • Take a buddy (someone to talk with and share the driving, especially if you get too tired to drive)
  • Avoid using your mobile phone, alcohol and sedating medications (check your labels or ask your doctor)
  • Consider a caffeinated beverage (The equivalent of 2 cups of coffee can keep you alert for several hours)
  • Don’t rely on the radio or the wind from an open window to keep you awake
  • Don’t drive at times you’d normally be sleeping
  • Always, wear your seat belt

About Ballas Buick GMC: Ballas Buick-GMC has been a fixture in the Toledo business community since 1970. Ballas earned the coveted General Motor’s “Mark of Excellence” award in 2009 , 2010 and  2011 (for business excellence). For more information, please call us at 419.535.1000 or stop by 5715 W. Central Ave 43615.

Tire Speed Ratings You Can Understand from Ballas Buick GMC

In the cloudy realm of what tires are best it is easy to choose the wrong set.   That is . . . until Ballas Buick GMC, located in Toledo, OH steps in.  Ballas offers tires, alignments and body repair for the times a driver might encounter a problem with the tires on their vehcile.

If you have ever looked closely at your tires, you have noticed they have tiny codes written on the sidewalls.  Often we know the code indicating the size of the tire.  But little known is the code that indicates the tire’s speed ratings.  To a casual onlooker, it may be assumed that one tire is like any other tire in reagrds to its speed rating.

The speed rating is imprinted withthe letters M through Z.  Why?  When the famous highway, the autobahn, in Germany was created, the speed ratings bcame needed.  The autobahn has a series of lanes that have top speed postings.  These postings are NOT a speed limits, like we are used to seeing here in America.  These are postings quite the opposite.  they are the minimum speed at which a vehicle may travel in that lane.

When the autobahn was opened in the 1930’s the production of tires was not the exacting science it has become.  Hence, the need to rate tires on the speed the tire could endure so as not to have a blow out at such extremely high speeds.  Today’s modern vehicles can easily reach speeds of 149 mph, which is why the W and Y ratings were set forth.  Most sedans and minivans, however, do not require tires capable of such speeds and are often in need of H rated tires.

When you find yourself in need of new tires for your vehciles, please consider Ballas Buick GMC as your source for knowledgable asisstance in selcting the best tire to suit your vehicle and your budget.

Our parts staff has over 200 years of GM parts experience. We use four locators to search for those “hard to find” items. Whatever your needs are the Ballas Buick-GMC parts department is always ready to help.  We look forward to serving you.  Ballas Buick-GMC has been a fixture in the Toledo business community since 1970.  Ballas earned the coveted General Motor’s “Mark of Excellence” award in 2009 and 2010 (for business excellence).    For more information, please call us at 419.535.1000 or stop by 5715 W. Central Ave 43615.

Toledo GMC Buick Dealership Is Getting You Back On the Road Again After a Flat Tire

The worst nightmare for most drivers is getting a flat tire.  Many drivers don’t know how to change a flat tire.  Ballas Buick-GMC, located in Toledo, Ohio is here to help you.  Our service center and new tires available for sale will be very helpful to you in this time of need.  For those needing new tires, customers can receive either a $100 or $50 mail-in rebate (paid in form of debit card) on top of the 30-day tire price match guarantee from Ballas Buick-GMC from now until the end of May 2012.

No driver wants to be stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire. Calling an emergency roadside service for help can be time consuming, especially in the winter.

Roadside assistance isn’t available in some areas, so depending on where the vehicle breaks down, it may not even be available. Knowing how to fix a flat may be the best possible solution.

Here is a quick and easy, step-by-step instructions for changing a flat.

Tools Needed: Spare tire, Jack, Lug Wrench, Wheel Lock Key (optional if you have wheel locks)

1. Think Safety First – If a flat happens while driving, pull over as far off the road as possible. Make sure there is enough room to work next to the car, away from traffic. Hit the emergency brake and turn off the engine. Put the car’s hazard lights on and set up safety flares, warning lights or reflective markers if you have them.

2. Remove Spare Tire – Go into the trunk and get the tire out along with the necessary tools. There should be a jack and lug wrench in with the tire. If you have wheel locks, be sure to locate the lock key.

3. Put Jack In Place – Slide the jack underneath the vehicle in the correct placement, perpendicular to the lifting rail. You can also find information about the correct place to put the jack in the owner’s manual. Crank it so the jack comes into contact with the frame of the car.

4. Raise The Car Up – Raise the jack by turning the hand crank until the tire begins to lift off the ground. Be sure to raise the car high enough to remove the tire.

5. Loosen The Lug Nuts – Use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts. Depending on what kind of wheel the vehicle has, the hubcap might need to come off first. Turn them counter clockwise, loosen each lug nut before removing any of them. It is important to do this in a criss-cross pattern.

6. Remove The Flat – Once all the lug nuts are loosened remove them, placing them in the hubcap so they don’t get lost and then take the tire off the car. Lay it flat on the ground, so it doesn’t roll away.

7. Push Spare Tire On – Line up the spare tire with the lug bolts and push it onto the car. Once the tire is on, take the lug nuts and start screwing them in by hand.

8. Lower Car To Ground – Lower the jack with the hand crank until the car is safely on the ground.

9. Tighten Lug Nuts – Take the lug wrench and tighten the lug nuts all the way, again doing so in a criss-cross pattern.

10. Clean Up – Reinstall the hubcap and put the flat tire, jack and lug wrench back in the trunk.

It’s important to note that a spare tire is not meant for extended travel. After changing a flat, take your car right away to a local tire retailer. They can inspect it and possibly fix the damaged tire. Some tire retailers offer free flat repairs when you buy new tires. They can get you fixed up and back on the road again, as quickly as possible.

About Ballas Buick GMC:
Ballas Buick-GMC has been a fixture in the Toledo business community since 1970. Ballas earned the coveted General Motor’s “Mark of Excellence” award in 2009 and 2010 (for business excellence). Mrs. Ballas represents a very small minority of female dealership owners which is less than 1% nationally. She also serves on the National Dealer Council for the Buick GMC Division of General Motors with 21 other dealers from across the nation representing all five regions of the U.S. For more information, please call us at 419.535.1000 or stop by 5715 W. Central Ave 43615.

Warning Signs: What Steering Wheel Vibration Can Be Telling You

Your car’s handling on the road can be a strong indicator of a possible issue. A vibrating steering wheel or a car that pulls to the left or right and not straight on a level road may be a warning sign that your vehicle needs a tire alignment or new tiresBallas Buick GMC’s Service Department is known for its tire selection and auto repair. Located in Toledo, Ohio, values, savings and high quality service are some of the reasons you want to do business with Ballas Buick GMC.

Right now we are offering a great deal on new tire purchases made now.  Customers can receive either a $100 or $50 mail-in rebate (paid in form of debit card) on top of the 30-day tire price match guarantee.

As a car’s speed increases, pulling and vibration problems will generally get worse. If you happen to identify any of these signs, it is best to have a certified auto professional double check your automobile to confirm the problem and fix it before it gets worse. This will not only help you save money by maintaining your vehicle and preventing other issues, but also keep you and your passengers safe on the road.

A Closer Look at the Warning Signs

When a car with average sized tires hits 60 miles per hour, its tires will rotate an average of 850 times per minute . At speeds like these, any kind of variation in the balance of the vehicle’s tires will cause the steering wheel to vibrate or feel unstable.

If ignored, wheel vibrations can create more problems like excessive tire wear and damage to a vehicle’s suspension and steering. The vehicle’s performance will continue to worsen and handling the car will become more difficult.

Wheel alignment and tire balancing are inexpensive services that local tire retailers can perform quickly. While advanced suspension and steering problems are costly and require intensive repair.

For cars that haven’t had regular maintenance performed in awhile, another possible fix for steering wheel vibration might be a power steering flush.

The power steering system produces an extreme amount of pressure and generates lots of heat. Contaminants build up in the system over time and they lessen the amount of fluid that passes through the power steering system’s valves.

Sometimes a buildup of contaminants can also cause the steering system to pulsate, which is worse when the wheel is turned fully in one direction or another. A power steering flush could also be performed at local tire retailers. Talk to an ASE certified automotive professional to see if your car needs this or any other regular maintenance flushes.

It’s always better, for a cars general health and a car owner’s wallet, to address a small problem now than a bigger problem later.

Have you had any warning signs with your vehicle lately? What were they and what did you do as soon as you noticed them?

About Ballas Buick GMC: Ballas Buick-GMC has been a fixture in the Toledo business community since 1970. Ballas earned the coveted General Motor’s “Mark of Excellence” award in 2009 , 2010 and  2011 (for business excellence). For more information, please call us at 419.535.1000 or stop by 5715 W. Central Ave 43615.

How To Stay Safe Driving In The Rain

You want to keep it safe, right?  Of course you do.  We have prepared some tips for how to stay safe driving in the rain.  The service department at Ballas Buick GMC offers tires at a price you can’t beat.  Our service and our prices from  Ballas Buick GMC, located in Toledo, Ohio is one of the reasons, Ballas is the number ONE Buick dealership in Ohio.

Driving in the rain can obviously be more dangerous, but if you take these proper precautions you can decrease your risk of incident.

  • Check your tires to make sure they’re in good condition and are not in need of replacement and keep them properly inflated.
  • Replace your windshield wipers regularly, once a year or so.
  • Treat your windshield with a rain dispersant.
  • Turn on your headlights when driving in the rain.
  • Slow down to avoid hydroplaning.
  • Leave more space between you and other cars. Stopping distance increases on wet surfaces.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be driving safer rain or shine.

Customers can receive either a $100 or $50 mail-in rebate (paid in form of debit card) on top of the 30-day tire price match guarantee.

About Ballas Buick GMC:
Ballas Buick-GMC has been a fixture in the Toledo business community since 1970. Ballas earned the coveted General Motor’s “Mark of Excellence” award in 2009 and 2010 (for business excellence). Mrs. Ballas represents a very small minority of female dealership owners which is less than 1% nationally. She also serves on the National Dealer Council for the Buick GMC Division of General Motors with 21 other dealers from across the nation representing all five regions of the U.S. For more information, please call us at 419.535.1000 or stop by 5715 W. Central Ave 43615.

How to select a quality repair facility for vehicle service

The superior service for auto repair available at Ballas Buick GMC, located in Toledo, Ohio is one of the reasons, Ballas is the number ONE Buick dealership in Ohio.  We offer many ammenities to our guests and GM World Class technicians

But perhaps you are a vehicle owner that doesn’t trust auto repair centers or perfers to take a risk at the corner fix-it-shop.  Ballas Service offers 5 manners to measure the quality of an auto repair facility.  We are certain you will find Ballas Buick GMC head and shoulders above the others.

1.  LOOKS:  The repair facility should appear clean, well maintained, well organized and professional.  (Even before our renovations, Ballas was a well appointed, professional repair facility.  We have prided ourselves on keeping a tidy shop even while we were under construction.) 

2.  TECHNICIANS:  The technicians should be qualified by ASE at the minimum.  (Ballas has ASE and GM World Class technicians.  Our technicians receive ongoing training in the latest technologies and techniques.)

3.  EQUIPMENT:  A quality shop will have state-of-the-art and up-to-date equipment.  That facility will also have access to repair data for all makes and all models.  (Ballas Service utilizes the latest technology every day.)

4.  WARRANTY:  Quality shops offer warranties on their parts and labor for nearly all work done.  (Ballas offers such a warranty.)

5.  AMENITIES:  The facility should offer comfort and convenience to its guests while they wait.  The restroom must be clean.  (Ballas has a long list of lovely amenities for our guests such as: Coffee, Shuttle service, Car rental, HDTV, Wi-Fi internet, Children’s play area, Comfortable chairs, Amble exciting reading materials, Morning doughnuts in service, Desk space to keep up with your office work.)

 About Ballas Buick GMC:
Ballas Buick-GMC has been a fixture in the Toledo business community since 1970.  Ballas earned the coveted General Motor’s “Mark of Excellence” award in 2009 and 2010 (for business excellence).  Mrs. Ballas represents a very small minority of female dealership owners which is less than 1% nationally.  She also serves on the National Dealer Council for the Buick GMC Division of General Motors with 21 other dealers from across the nation representing all five regions of the U.S.  For more information, please call us at 419.535.1000 or stop by 5715 W. Central Ave 43615.

Ways to Save: Buying Tires on a Budget

Looking for ways to save on new tires? There are plenty of things vehicle owners should keep in mind to ensure a new tire purchase doesn’t break the bank.  The superior service for tire selection and  auto repair available at Ballas Buick GMC, located in Toledo, Ohio is one of the reasons, Ballas has been a trusted fixture in our community.  We offer many amenities to our guests and GM World Class technicians. To better serve our customers, we offer our customers tips toward understanding their tires.

The first step should always be calling Ballas Buick GMC. Tire experts will be able to offer up a selection of tires that will fit a given vehicle along with prices. Owners should have information like the tire’s width, height and diameter in hand to get the proper quote. That quote will include information about price, installation cost and mileage warranties.

Finding out what kind of guarantees tire manufacturers offer is another way to help you save money. Some tire dealers offer significant perks when car owners purchase a full new set of tires. There are retailers that offer free lifetime alignment checks, tire rotations and flat repair for the life of the tire’s mileage warranty.

These aren’t necessarily things that will save owners money in the short term, but can significantly decrease the cost of maintenance over the long-run. If two tire retailers offer the same model at the same price, these value-added bonuses should be something shoppers should ask about.

Ballas is also offering a great deal on new tire purchases made now.  Customers can receive either a $100 or $50 mail-in rebate (paid in form of debit card) on top of the 30-day tire price match guarantee.  Tires included in this promotion are: Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Hankook, and Pirelli.  $50 rebate tire manufacturers are: BFGoodrich, Dunlop, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Michelin, and Uniroyal.  The 30-day tire price match guarantee manufacturers are: BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Michelin, Pirelli, and Uniroyal.

About Ballas Buick GMC: Ballas Buick-GMC has been a fixture in the Toledo business community since 1970. Ballas earned the coveted General Motor’s “Mark of Excellence” award in 2009 , 2010 and  2011 (for business excellence). For more information, please call us at 419.535.1000 or stop by 5715 W. Central Ave 43615.

Get the Best Tire Traction on Slick Roads

The superior service for tire selection and  auto repair available at Ballas Buick GMC, located in Toledo, Ohio is one of the reasons, Ballas has been a trusted fixture in our community.  We offer many amenities to our guests and GM World Class technicians. To better serve our customers, we offer our customers tips toward understanding their tires.

Wet or slick roads are just as dangerous as snow and ice.  They might be more dangerous because we tend to underestimate how tricky they can be.  A wet surface can lock up a vehicle just like the toughest winter weather conditions.

Slippery When Wet

Water decreases the traction between a vehicle and the road. In some cases, the loss of traction can cause a vehicle to hydroplane and prevent a car or truck from steering, braking or accelerating.

Tires aren’t defenseless and certain tires are more prepared than others. A tire’s tread design, pattern and internal structure all impact how well a tire maintains its traction on wet roads.

Ballas is offering a rebate for tire purchases made now.  You can’t beat this deal.  Customers can receive either a $100 or $50 mail-in rebate (paid in form of debit card) on top of the 30-day tire price match guarantee.  Tires included in this $100 promotion are: Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Hankook, and Pirelli.  $50 rebate tire manufacturers are: BFGoodrich, Dunlop, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Michelin, and Uniroyal.  The 30-day tire price match guarantee manufacturers are: BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Firestone, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Michelin, Pirelli, and Uniroyal

About Ballas Buick GMC: Ballas Buick-GMC has been a fixture in the Toledo business community since 1970. Ballas earned the coveted General Motor’s “Mark of Excellence” award in 2009 , 2010 and  2011 (for business excellence). For more information, please call us at 419.535.1000 or stop by 5715 W. Central Ave 43615.

10 ways to help you save fuel from Ballas Buick GMC, Toledo OH

The superior service for auto repair available at Ballas Buick GMC, located in Toledo, Ohio is one of the reasons, Ballas is the number ONE Buick dealership in Ohio.  We offer many ammenities to our guests and GM World Class technicians.  To better serve our customers, we offer our customers tips toward fuel economy.   

1.  TUNE UP:  Properly tuning your engine can improve fuel economy by as much as 4%.  Fixing a serious issue, such as a faulty oxygen sensor can boost milleage up to 40%.

2.  PUMP UP:  Properly inflated tires improve gas mileage by up to 3.3%

3.  UNPACK:  An extra 100 pounds of cargo reduces fuel economy up to 2%.  A loaded roof rack cuts fuel ecomony by up to 5%.

4.  SLOW DOWN:  Gas mileage usually dreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.  Every 5 mph over 60 mph is like adding an additional 29 cents per gallon for gas.

5.  AVOID IDLING:  A car gets 0 mpg when the engine is idling.

6.  CHILL OUT:  Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower gas mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% in city driving.

7.  PUT IT IN OVERDRIVE:  Using the overdrive gear on the highway saves both fuel and engine wear.

8.  UNCLOG:  Replacing a severly plugged air filter on an older car with a carburated engine improves fuel economy by up to 14%.

9.  USE THE RIGHT OIL:  Using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of oil improves fuel economy by 1% to 2%.

10.  PLAN YOUR TRIPS:  Plan routes and timing to avoid heavy periods of traffic congestion.

 About Ballas Buick GMC:
Ballas Buick-GMC has been a fixture in the Toledo business community since 1970.  Ballas earned the coveted General Motor’s “Mark of Excellence” award in 2009 and 2010 (for business excellence).  Mrs. Ballas represents a very small minority of female dealership owners which is less than 1% nationally.  She also serves on the National Dealer Council for the Buick GMC Division of General Motors with 21 other dealers from across the nation representing all five regions of the U.S.  For more information, please call us at 419.535.1000 or stop by 5715 W. Central Ave 43615.