Vehicle Maintenance Tips

Check the tire pressure.

Tire pressure is important at all times. It's critical to have properly inflated tires, as this assures the best possible contact between the tire and the road. Come by any of our locations and we will check the tire pressure for you. Properly inflated tires will also last longer and improve gas mileage. The given tire pressure specifications are for when the tires are cold, therefore the pressure should be checked when the tires are cold. Also, an improperly inflated tire can heat excessively, potentially leading to a blow-out on the highway.

Change the engine oil

Make sure you check your oil to make sure it is clean and full. We recommend you have your oil changed every 3,000 miles.

Inspect the belts and hoses.

The belts and hoses in modern cars last a long time. But that doesn't mean they don't have the potential to fail. Before winter begins, have the belts and hoses inspected on your vehicle. And if you're not sure when they were last replaced, consider having them changed, especially before commencing a long road trip.

Inspect the wipers and wiper fluid.

Visibility is always important and our experience tells us that winter storms can be quite severe in some parts of the country. The life expectancy of a wiper blade is one year. If your car's blades are dried out and not making full contact with the windshield, replace them. Also check and fill your wiper fluid reservoir. A winter snowstorm isn't the best time to run out of wiper fluid or to discover your blades aren't performing properly.

Check the battery.

A battery gives little warning before it goes dead. And it'll likely do so when you least expect it. Cold weather can put additional strain on a battery similar to what is experienced in cold weather. If your vehicle battery is more than three years old, have it tested at a certified automotive repair facility. Also, make sure the posts and connections are free of corrosion. If you're embarking on a long trip, consider replacing the battery if you don't know how old it is. These days, batteries are not very expensive, and it's cheap insurance when you're out on the open road. We also recommend that you always carry jumper cables, as mentioned below in the emergency kit section.

Check coolant/antifreeze mixture.

The ideal mixture of coolant and water inside your vehicle's radiator is 50:50. If the mixture deviates from this norm, then hot-weather performance (and cold) can be compromised. If you were to put pure water in your vehicle's radiator, it would boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. But if you combine the water with an equal amount of antifreeze, the new mixture boils at a much higher temperature. You can check the composition of a radiator's mixture by using an antifreeze tester. You can find these at all auto parts stores, and they are inexpensive and easy to use. If the mixture's balance is off, adjust it by adding either coolant or water.

Carry an emergency kit inside your car.

Things you might consider carrying include the following:

1. A flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit. 2. Jumper cables. 3. Extra clothes and gloves. 4. Paper towels. 5. Extra washer fluid. 6. Food and water. 7. Basic tools like wrenches, a ratchet and sockets, screwdrivers and pliers or Vise-Grips.