Five Tips you Should Know for Successful Trailering

ColoradoBoatWhether you are heading up north with your boat for the weekend, or hauling a camper on a cross-country road trip, Bowman Chevrolet is here to make sure you have all the information you need before you hit the road.

1)  Know the terms

Six trailering terms everyone should know:

  • AXLE RATIO – The relationship between driveshaft revolutions per minute and the rear axle revolutions per minute. The most powerful and efficient ratio for each individual is determined by the frequency and the usual weight being hauled.
  • CURB WEIGHT – The weight of an empty vehicle, without payload or driver, with standard equipment, fuel, coolant and oil. It is also known as the vehicle weight.
  • GROSS COMBINED WEIGHT RATING (GCWR) – The maximum weight of both your loaded vehicle and your loaded trailer combined.
  • TRAILER TONGUE WEIGHT – The amount of weight put on the trailer tongue to keep it balanced for a safer driving experience.
  • GROSS TRAILER WEIGHT – The weight of a loaded trailer.
  • GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR) -The actual weight of the entire Chevy truck or SUV and its contents, including fuel and occupants.

2) Know how to pull your own weight

Before hooking a trailer up to your truck, make sure you know the towing capacity – how much the truck can safely pull. For example, the Chevrolet Colorado can pull up to 12,500 lbs. and the Chevrolet Silverado 35000HD can pull a maximum of 23,300 lbs. When figuring out the maximum weight that your truck can carry, keep in mind the added weight of extra passengers and added equipment. The driver and the base equipment are already included in the given weights in the Chevrolet 2018 Trailering Guide.

3) Know what hitch is right for your vehicle

Picking the correct hitch and successfully setting up electronic connections between your truck and trailer is imperative. A proper hitch positively affects the way your truck handles corners and brakes. When purchasing a hitch, it is important to know how much weight your trailer can carry. The weight limit for your trailer dictates what hitch is right for your truck, whether it is a fifth-wheel hitch or a gooseneck hitch. Visit the Chevrolet 2018 Trailering Guide to determine which hitch is best for your truck.

4) Know how to properly load your trailer and complete a safety check

Once you believe your trailer is correctly attached, double check to ensure everything is secure. Test your brake lights, adjust your mirrors and always use safety chains. The chains will keep your truck connected to your trailer in the event the hitch ball becomes disconnected. When loading your cargo, 60 percent of the weight should be loaded in the front half of the trailer. Heavier items should be loaded in the front and lighter items placed near the rear. You also want to check the tire pressure on both your truck and trailer. Finally, make sure the breakaway switch is connected and working properly while checking that all the loads are secure.

5) Know that the more you drive, the easier the ride

The first couple times you trailer, it may take some time getting used to the difference in the way you drive. A slow, constant speed will help keep the trailer safely behind you at all times. With the gross combined weight rating, your truck will need more time to come to a complete stop. The trailer will need more space to turn, so prepare to make wide turns. And remember, practice makes perfect.

For additional information about trailering and towing, and specifics about each Chevy truck, check out Chevrolet’s Trailering and Towing Guide.

OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts

Assorted Auto Parts_6752780

When your car is in need of a replacement part or when you are looking to upgrade your vehicle with accessories, there are many options on the market. You may be wondering about the difference between OEM vs. aftermarket parts. While aftermarket parts may have an attractive price point, there are many reasons to opt for OEM parts from Bowman Chevrolet.

What are Aftermarket Parts?

An aftermarket part is any auto part or accessory that is not produced by the original manufacturer of the car. While aftermarket parts may be cheaper than those directly sourced from the original manufacturer, there are a few things to consider.

  • Overwhelming selection – With aftermarket parts, there could be dozens of options for even the most simple components, like spark plugs. This could make it difficult to decide on the best option, and you could end up getting stuck with a low quality part.
  • Quality can vary immensely – When compared with OEM parts, some aftermarket parts may be inferior due to the use of lower quality materials in production. Although the price tag may be attractive, sometimes you get what you pay for.
  • Lack of warranty – To ensure a low price point, may aftermarket parts come without a warranty. Some may even void a vehicle’s warranty.

Why Choose OEM Parts?

OEM parts are created by the vehicle’s manufacturer, so they are a perfect match for the parts they replace. What are some of the benefits of OEM parts?

  • Selection is easy – With OEM parts, there is usually just one type available, so you don’t have to try to determine the quality of the part you choose.
  • Assurance of quality – Because the OEM part you get is exactly the same as the one it replaces, you are familiar with its performance.
  • Warranties are included – Most OEM parts come with at least a one-year warranty against any defects.

Visit the Bowman Chevy Parts Department

At Bowman Chevy, we are proud to offer high quality auto parts to ensure your vehicle operates at peak performance for many years to come. Stop by today to browse our extensive inventory, or set up a service appointment for anything from routine maintenance to extensive repairs from the comfort of your home.

Why Are Tire Rotations Important?

Stack of tires

Rotating your tires is probably not a chore you think about too often, and there’s no alert or warning light to remind you to do it. Why are tire rotations important? Because doing it consistently prolongs the life of your tires and helps keep you and your passengers safe.

Listen to the Recommendations

Take a moment to check your manual to see how often you should be rotating your tires and what the rotation pattern should be. Then, put a calendar alert in your phone or write yourself a reminder. Great! You’ve just taken a big step toward keeping your tires healthy and in good condition. Experts recommend rotating your tires regularly to help maintain even treads on all four tires. That’s important for several reasons:

  • Your ride is smooth and comfortable, with minimal vibrations.
  • The suspension components take less abuse because of the smoother ride.
  • Gas mileage is better when your car is running smoothly and efficiently.
  • Regular tire checks help spot minor issues before they become big problems, which can save you money and major headaches.

What Happens if You Don’t Rotate Your Tires?

Your tires will begin to wear unevenly if you don’t rotate your tires, and this is shown in variations in the tread depth. You (or your service professional) can measure the tread depth in several spots on each tire, and if there are some big differences, then your tires are not wearing properly. An example of this is called “tread feathering.” Tread feathering is quite common, and you can feel it just by touching your tires. If the blocks have sharp edges on one side and rounded edges on the other, then you know that your tires should have already been rotated.

Your front tires also wear out differently than your rear tires, which happens because of the different demands placed on them. That’s why rotating your tires so they work in both the front and back positions helps them last longer and even out their wear.

If your tires are wearing unevenly, you can actually hear and feel more vibrations and road noise, especially on the steering wheel. Pay attention if you notice these symptoms, and take your car in for a tire rotation.

Schedule Your Next Tire Rotation

Tire rotations aren’t just important, they’re vital to the life of your tires. Schedule your vehicle’s next tire rotation at Bowman Chevy’s service department, where we’ll take good care of your tires and whatever else you need. Contact us now to get your tires in tip top shape!

What’s the Difference Between an Automatic and Manual Transmission?

hand on manual gear shift knob

Automatic vs. manual transmission? Gone are the days when every teenager learned how to drive on a stick shift car. Now, it’s much harder to even find cars equipped with manual transmission, unless you’re in search of one. Why? Well, let’s take a look at the difference between the two. They both take the energy from the engine and channel it to the wheels, with gears making sure that the wheels don’t spin as fast as the engine, but automatic and manual transmissions work in very different ways.


Automatic Transmission

Automatic transmissions are popular and widespread, frankly, because it’s less work to drive. You don’t have to shift gears manually, and you only have two pedals to deal with – the accelerator and the brake. If you commute in a lot of traffic or live in a hilly area, you’re likely to prefer an automatic because your foot won’t constantly be on the clutch. Another big benefit of an automatic is that it’s practically impossible to stall out, unlike a manual transmission. Also, automatic transmissions don’t require as much maintenance, so there’s a cost-savings there, too.

Manual Transmission

A car with a manual transmission, or stick shift, may seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually fun to learn and drive in the right situations. Besides the brake and accelerator, you also use a clutch pedal to switch gears. It’s a timing thing, and if you make a mistake, it’s easy to stall out. However, driving a stick shift car is an engaging experience, and you feel an element of control that’s missing when you drive an automatic. Plus, manual transmissions are found all over the world, so knowing how to drive one is a key skill.

What’s Your Choice?

Automatic vs. manual transmission is a personal preference, and you should really take the time to explore what’s right for you. Bowman Chevy would love to help you out with that. We’re happy to show you both types of vehicles and have you test drive whatever you want. Our state-of-the-art service center can also take care of all your maintenance and repair needs. Come on down and see us, or contact us online today to schedule an appointment!

What is StabiliTrak®, Anyway?



StabiliTrak® is the the perfect name for this Electronic Stability Control System designed to keep your vehicle stable and on track, vastly improving safety in a variety of situations. Standard on all Chevrolet vehicles, StabiliTrak® helps drivers be more confident, especially in low-traction, uncertain driving situations.

StabiliTrak® Benefits

This system takes a lot of the stress out of driving when you feel like you don’t have as much control of your vehicle. Benefits include:

  • More control when you don’t have as much traction, like in ice, snow, rain, and on loose dirt and uneven pavement
  • Smooth stability during sudden lane changes or actions to avoid other cars or obstacles
  • Reliable assistance to help keep you on your intended path, including automatic reduction of engine power and braking
  • Help avoiding collisions, thanks to increased stability and control

How Does StabiliTrak® Work?

Chevrolet’s goal is to help you avoid collisions completely, and StabiliTrak® is a great example of proactive technology that is always working behind the scenes to protect you and your passengers. The system is engineered to monitor and compare your steering input with the way the vehicle is actually responding. Its control module manages that function and springs into action via minute engine torque and braking applications if it determines that you’re losing lateral traction. There’s no need for you to engage the system.

StabiliTrak® In Action

Here’s an example of how StabiliTrak® works. Let’s say your car begins to fishtail on a slick, wet road. The system would sense the back end losing traction and control, and it would automatically apply the outside front brake to counteract that motion and put your vehicle back on track. Or, maybe you’re trying to make a turn on a slippery road, and your car doesn’t respond. StabiliTrak® would automatically apply the inside front brake and return your car to your intended path.

StabiliTrak® Demonstration

At Bowman Chevy, we can show you the ins and outs of StabiliTrak® – how it works and the many benefits it provides. We’d love to show you our inventory and give you a full demonstration. Give us a call at 877-433-5922, or contact us online today to find out more about this proven collision-avoiding technology!