How to Protect Your Vehicle from the Florida Sun

Summer is quickly approaching and temperatures are rising. While you’re protecting yourself by lathering on the sunscreen and donning a wide-brimmed hat, you might also want to consider how to defend your vehicle from the Florida sun. Our team at Rivard Buick GMC in Tampa is here to offer some helpful tips.

Protect your Buick or GMC vehicle’s interior by avoiding direct sunlight. Park in the shade whenever possible. And though it might seem like a hassle, placing a sun visor in the front and rear dash will significantly reduce internal temperatures.

Consistent washes will prevent your car’s exterior paint from cracking and fading. You should also regularly wax your car to help protect it from the sun’s harsh rays. You might even consider investing in paint protection film for optimal exterior armor.

Extreme heat can negatively affect your tires and systems under the hood, too. Check your tire pressure often to help prevent a dangerous blowout on the road.

Our expert service techs are available to inspect any make or model’s belts, hoses, battery, and A/C — systems that can take a beating during the hottest summer days. We’re also available to top off fluid levels such as oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid if needed.

Visit us at Rivard Buick GMC when you’re ready to prep your vehicle for the summer heat.

Do You Need a Truck or SUV?

Here at Rivard Buick GMC, we have a great selection of family-oriented trucks and SUVs to choose from. We’ve outlined some of the key advantages of trucks and SUVs to help you make the right decision for your family in Tampa Bay.

Truck perks

Towing performance is one of the most distinct advantages that trucks have over SUVs. Many trucks come with a towing package to further enhance the vehicle’s pulling strength. So, if your family has a camper, some rec vehicles, or a boat to transport, then go with a truck.

Another benefit is that trucks have a spacious truck bed for transporting any possessions, landscaping equipment, or home improvement materials. Granted, full-size SUVs can have generous interior space for people and things. But a truck is the better choice if your family has sharp, heavy, and/or dirty objects to transport — especially if you prefer to keep the cabin clean and clutter-free for passengers.

SUV perks

SUVs typically have more passenger space than trucks. Smaller SUVs can accommodate up to five people, on par with extended cab truck configurations, while larger SUVs can fit as many as eight passengers. So, if you have a large family to chauffeur around Florida, an SUV makes a better choice.

Maneuverability is another strength that SUVs have over trucks. They tend to have a tighter turning radius than trucks do and a slightly shorter frame, which makes them less stressful to drive in traffic or in cramped parking lot scenarios.

Still not sure whether to go with a truck or SUV? Stop by Rivard Buick GMC to browse our inventory in person. We’ll help you pick the right truck or SUV to fit your family’s budget, lifestyle, and preferences.

Ways to Save on Car Expenses

Ways to Save on Car Expenses | Tampa, FL

Owning a car is expensive, but you can decrease your automotive spending with a few tweaks to how you take care of and drive your vehicle. Here are a few ways you can save on car expenses in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Perform regular maintenance

You want your car to last as long as possible, well past the length of your loan payment. The best way to do that is to refer to your owner’s manual and stick to its recommended maintenance schedule. Regular oil changes, maintenance, and tire checks are imperative to the proper functioning and longevity of your vehicle. Make sure you regularly check the inflation of your tires and monitor signs of damage, bulges, disappearing tread, and bulges. When all the components of your car are working as they should, you can evade costly repairs at the service center. Regular maintenance checks, too, can spot small issues before they become big problems.

Fill up with the right fuel

Don’t overspend on gas if your car doesn’t require premium gasoline. The increased price will deplete your funds quickly, and may even hinder your car’s performance if your engine doesn’t require high-octane gas. Check your owner’s manual and fill up your car’s tank with the suggested fuel.

Don’t be aggressive

Aggressive driving habits like hitting the gas pedal hard or slamming on the brakes will burn more fuel than necessary and add extra wear and tear on your vehicle’s components. Speeding, too, will tax your car and cost you more at the pump.

For all your maintenance needs or to test-drive a new Buick or GMC model, visit Rivard Buick GMC in Tampa, Florida.

Five Reasons Why Your Car Needs an Oil Change

car needs an oil changeWe all know that maintenance is an important part of car ownership. Unfortunately, many of us neglect it—often because we don’t realize how important such maintenance is. To shed some light, here are five reasons why your car needs an oil change.

  1. Clean

    . One job the oil does is help keep your engine clean. It will collect any dirt and debris that gathers there. However, over time, this causes your oil to break down and turn into sludge. Regular oil changes prevent this from happening.

  2. Cool

    . All the moving parts in your engine create a lot of heat. The oil helps maintain a safe operating temperature by drawing out some of the heat.

  3. Lubricate

    . As the metal pieces in the engine move, they create friction. To prevent them from seizing up, they need to be lubricated with oil.

  4. Improve Engine Health.

    By following the recommended oil change schedule in your owner’s manual, you can help ensure a long life for your car. Whenever you go too long between oil changes, it can rob your car of some of its potential life.

  5. Maintain Efficiency.

    A dirty engine has to work harder, which causes it to run inefficiently.

If you have fallen behind on your car’s maintenance, schedule an appointment here at Rivard Buick GMC to get caught up.

Tailgating Tips for the Best Football Season Ever

Tailgating Tips
Tailgating Tips

The wait is finally over: football season has arrived again. What better way to celebrate the best time of year than with the best tailgating party ever? Pack up the cooler, load the grill into the truck, gather your friends, check out these tailgating tips, and prepare to have the time of your life!

Show up Early and Mark Your Spot

You’re not the only one who’s excited that it’s tailgating time. Show up early to make sure you snag the perfect spot in the stadium lot, and once you do, decorate your area with your team colors so your friends know where the party’s at.

Get Organized

Bring along a few common household items to improve your tailgating experience. A pop-up hamper and a trash bag turn into the perfect mobile trash can, and a toolbox transforms into a grill tool organizer. Get creative!

Turn Your Cooler into a Food Warmer

Coolers are just for keeping drinks cold, right? Wrong! Heat some bricks in your oven, wrap them in aluminum foil, and place them on top of some towels in a cooler to make the perfect food warmer for all your favorite tailgating fare.

Find the Perfect Truck

Tailgating without the proper vehicle can make game day a dud. Stop by Rivard Buick GMC today and find out what makes the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 the perfect tailgating pickup.

Summer Driving Tips

Summer Driving Tips
Summer Driving Tips

Whether it’s across the country or just to the neighborhood pool, there’s almost no doubt you’ll be travelling this summer. Use these car and driving tips to make sure your summer adventures are safe and efficient.

Get a Checkup

Before you head out on any lengthy trip, it’s best to make sure that everything is in order with your vehicle. Bring your car into the service department at Rivard Buick GMC to get a maintenance checkup. We can change your oil, rotate your tires, and check your fluid levels, your hoses, and your filters.

Plan Stops

Taking a long road trip is fun, but also challenging at times. When the kids begin to get restless, that can become a distraction and make it more difficult to focus and have fun. Plan to stop every couple of hours so that passengers can stretch out, take a walk, or grab a snack before hitting the road again.

Summer-Specific Safety

Be sure to never leave a child in a car unattended, not even with the engine running and not even for a couple of minutes. Cars heat up quickly in the summer, and an unattended child is at risk of heat stroke. Also, be aware that in the summer season kids will be out and about more, so be extra cautious when driving through neighborhoods or parking lots. Use a backup camera to check behind the vehicle and always stay alert of your surroundings to keep you, your passengers, and pedestrians safe.


What to Do When Your Power Steering Goes Out

Rivard ServiceLosing your power steering while driving isn’t the worst thing that can happen, but it can be pretty frightening, and it’s important to know the best way to handle it when the power steering goes out so you don’t panic and can get to where you’re going safely.

Usually, failed power steering is the result of too little power steering fluid, which is easy to remedy—unless there’s a problem with the pump itself, which is a lot less common. The first thing to do when you notice that steering has become much harder is to put on your flashers to let other drivers know you’re having car troubles and then slowly pull over to the side of the road and gradually come to a stop.

Turn the car off and restart it, testing the steering wheel to see if it turns normally. If you’re still having problems, either call a tow truck or, if you’re near one, drive very slowly to a mechanic.

There are warning signs of low power steering fluid, so you may be able to avoid losing it altogether if you pay attention! Whining sounds when you turn the wheel can indicate imminent failure.