April 21, 2017

The Benefits of An Oil Change

  Oil changes are an important part of your vehicle and deserve your attention. Engine oil is responsible for carrying out a number of important engine related duties. Oil helps to reduce friction against the engine. The older the oil gets, the dirtier it becomes. Oil is equally important in that is reduces the engine’s operating temperatures. Frequent oil changes ensure that your vehicle’s engine has a steady supply of clean engine oil. Clean engine oil that flows better and absorbs engine related heat. Oil also helps to increase engine lubrication, which in turn prolongs the longevity of your engine and its internal parts. It also helps to prevent engine sludge. Small pieces of metal flake off from the engine parts and get picked up by circulating engine oil. Old oil can get loaded with particles and can cause build up within the engine and major damage.   Synthetic oil is similar to traditional petroleum-based motor oils and the two can be used interchangeably. There are some advantages to using synthetic oil though. Synthetic oil has a greater lifespan. This means it does not need to be changed as often as traditional motor oil. This is because synthetic motor oil is both slower to decompose chemically and less susceptible to evaporation over time. Synthetic oil is highly recommended in warmer temperatures because it flows more easily and performs better with higher temperatures.   If you are using traditional petroleum motor oil, it is recommended that you get your oil changed every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever comes first. If you are using synthetic oil, it breaks down much slower than normal oil. It is generally considered safe to extent the intervals between oil changes when using synthetic oil by up to fifty percent. Synthetic oils are engineered not to build up on engine components and some are designed to clean engines as they lubricate. It does not matter what type of oil you use in your vehicle as long as you are cautious and make regular oil changes.   You can tell if the vehicle needs an oil change by looking for the oil dipstick that is labeled for oil under the hood. Pull the dipstick out and check for the oil level. If the oil level is below the marked spot on the dipstick, make sure to replace the oil as soon as possible. You may also notice a light on your dashboard that will resemble an oilcan. If you notice this light, you should have your oil level looked at immediately. Oil is an important liquid for your vehicle. Regularly check your oil level in the vehicle to help improve the reliability. If you are unsure if the oil should be changed, bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the vehicle and oil for you.
April 17, 2017

Inspect the Brake System of Your Vehicle

  One way to help keep the vehicle operating at top performance levels is to make sure it is maintained properly. The brake system is important because it allows the vehicle to slow down or stop when you need it to. Proper brakes can also decrease the chance of an accident, like a collision or rear-ending another vehicle. If anytime between visits you notice something out of the norm, make sure to bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for you. If you ignore any warning signs of a brake problem, you could be doing more harm than you realize. It is always recommended to bring your vehicle in at the first sign of an issue, no matter how small it might be.   Having the brakes checked works best when the tires are completely off and we can actually see, touch, and measure the brake pads. It is possible to estimate the brake pads with the tires on, but a more accurate estimate of their life is when the tires are off. Checking the brakes can happen each time the tires get rotated, when you get new tires put on or if there is going to be a tire alignment. If you notice an issue, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.   They brakes should be inspected because then we can notice if any issue is starting to form with them. The brakes are an important part of your vehicle because they allow you to slow down, turn a corner properly, and also stop the vehicle. With a proper working brake system, you will be able to stop when you need to. This will increase the safety of your vehicle because you can trust the brake system. If you notice that the brake pedal is spongy, or extremely hard, then bring the vehicle in. There could be an issue with the brake lines of your vehicle.   By bringing the vehicle in, we will check the brake pads and how much thickness is left on each one. If one is lower than the others, then they should all be changed at the same time. Besides the brake pads, we will inspect the rotors and the calipers that work the braking system. Even though the brake pads see the most amount of work and get used up, the other parts sometimes need frequent checking too. When the brake pads are replaced, sometimes the rotors will also need replacing. If the brake pads get too low, then it could cause wearing on the other parts behind it. Having us inspect the brake pads and brake rotors can help provide you with a safe and reliable vehicle.    
April 10, 2017

Driving on a Spare Tire

  One part of the vehicle that is easily forgotten about until it is needed is the spare tire. This is because you will not need to drive on the spare tire unless the regular goes flat or blows out. You will want to inspect the spare tire when you check the regular tires as well. This includes air pressure, tread wear, and the overall condition of the tires. If you notice anything out of the norm with the tires, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can.   While full-size matching spare tires and wheels require the greatest amount of storage space, they are the most versatile. Full-size matching spare tires and wheels should be integrated into the vehicle’s tire rotation pattern from the beginning. This will essentially create a set of five tires that will last longer than just four, as well as will wear out the spare tire before it ages out. If the vehicle has all-wheel or four-wheel drive, the spare tire will remain at a similar tread depth to the other tires on the vehicle, reducing driveline stress when called into service. Additionally, when it is time to replace the vehicle’s tires, they can be replaced as a set of five allowing you to benefit from using the latest tire technology or select a more desirable tire size that fits the original wheels.   Full-size temporary spare tires and wheels match the vehicle’s original tire dimensions, but typically feature lighter-weight construction and a shallower tread depth to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel economy and make the spare easier to install. While most of today’s vehicles are originally equipped with alloy wheels, full-size temporary spares are typically mounted on steel wheels and should be used only as spares.   Temporary compact spare tires are physically shorter and narrower than the vehicle’s standard tires and wheels. Their smaller dimensions require they operate at higher inflation pressures typically sixty pounds per square inch than standard tires. The compact temporary spare tire and wheel that comes with a vehicle is designed to fit that vehicle only. Never attempt to use a temporary compact spare tire and wheel on another vehicle unless it is the exact same make and model. All temporary spare tires are designed for short-term use only and they are not designed with the same capabilities in terms of load capacity, speed capability, or all-weather traction. Always check your vehicle’s owner’s manual and the temporary spare’s sidewall for instructions on proper use. It is also important to recognize that controlling a vehicle may be more difficult when using a temporary spare, and temporary spare tires are usually accompanied with warnings that advise against towing a trailer, or traveling over fifty miles per hour for further than fifty miles.