How and Why You Need To Check Your Car's Oil02/24/2021
Oil is one of the most important fluids in your vehicle. If you have a new car or one you bought at a used car dealership in Boise, ID, you need to know why, when and how to check the oil. You should also know when to have your oil changed.
How To Check Your Oil
Checking your oil is relatively easy. With the car turned off and preferably cool you:
- Locate the dipstick
- Pull the dipstick out
- Wipe off the excess oil using a rag
- Reinsert the dipstick
- Pull the dipstick out again and look at the engine side end
You should see something like "add oil" towards the bottom and "full" an inch above that with crosshatched lines in between. If it reads full or near full, then you are fine. If it reads closer to add oil, you should add some oil but never go over the full line. It is important to check the oil regularly to detect leaks.
Why Check Your Oil
No matter what make or model car you have, it needs some form of oil or lubricant. Motor oil is vital for your car's most important parts, such as the valves. If there is no lubricant in your engine, your engine will seize up and overheat. Then you will have to replace your motor. Checking your oil is a vital part of car maintenance
When To Check Your Oil
If you know you do not leak, you should check your oil at least once per month. If you have a leak, you have to check the oil more frequently until you have it fixed by a licensed auto mechanic or repair shop specializing in these types of leaks.
When You Need an Oil Change
When you look at your oil, it should appear a very light brown or clear. If it is dark, you should get an oil change. You should also get your oil changed every six months or 1,000 miles, depending on your car or oil type. Checking your oil is not difficult and is essential. Remember to always read your car owner's manual and follow its guidelines.
3 Reasons Your Car's Brakes Might Squeak
Being able to stop your car efficiently when you need to is a critical component of safe driving. If your brakes are squeaking, it is important to know whether it is a critical problem that warrants brake replacement or whether the issue can be resolved in some other way.
These are three reasons your brakes might squeak.
- Worn Brake Pads
Brake pads contain a metal disc that is exposed as your brake pads wear down. This functions as a warning to the vehicle owner that the brake pads need to be replaced. If you know how to, you can replace the brake pads yourself. If you don't want to do the repair yourself, you can take your car to a service station in Meridian, ID, and have them replace the pads for you. A mechanic will usually also check your rotors for damage while your car is being serviced.
- Warped Discs and Rotors
Hard braking can accelerate the rate at which your brake pads wear down. It also generates heat that can contribute to the warping of your brake discs and rotors. If your discs and rotors are warped you may need brake replacement. You can reduce the chances of this happening by avoiding hard braking whenever possible and replacing your brake pads whenever they become worn.
- Dirty or Rusted Rotors
Dirt, debris, rust or wear and tear on your rotors can cause the surface to lose its smoothness, resulting in squeaky brakes. A mechanic may be able to file your rotor surfaces to remove debris and rust and smooth out the surface. Some squeaking noises may be a sign that you need brake replacement; however, usually, it indicates a maintenance problem that if addressed promptly can save you from needing more expensive repairs. You should have your vehicle's brakes inspected as soon as possible to avoid potential brake failure or additional damage.
The Most Common Car Leaks01/22/2021
You pull out of your driveway and you notice a brown stain on the pavement where your car was parked. This is a clear sign that something is leaking. It's most likely motor oil, but there are many other fluids that your vehicle uses that have the potential to cause a steady drip. Identifying the kind of car leak you have is the first step of getting it fixed.
Keeping your oil at the right level is crucial for engine lubrication. If left undetected, an oil leak can cause irreparable damage to your car after a while. There are several reasons why your car may be oozing motor oil:
- Lax car maintenance schedule
- Loose oil filter
- Uneven tightness on gasket and oil pan
- Cracked or faulty seals
- Worn out components
Another common car leak, particularly in the winter months, is antifreeze. If the chamber gets cracked, you may see pink, green or yellow liquid running from under your car. A timely repair keeps your engine's temperature in check.
If the puddle is near your tires, it may be brake fluid. This liquid can be brown or clear, and it is crucial for making sure your brakes work properly. Fixing this leak as soon as you notice it helps keep you and your passengers safe on the road.
This brown or red fluid shows up under the middle of your vehicle when it leaks. Your car's transmission helps it shift gears more easily, taking some of the pressure off the engine. Delaying repairs can cause extra problems. No matter what fluid you find pooling beneath your vehicle, a car leak is never something you want to ignore. What starts as a small stream can become a much bigger issue in very little time. Timely maintenance and repair are the keys to keeping your vehicle running smoothly and reliably.
Keeping Your Car Clean During a Quarantine01/22/2021
COVID-19 has everyone washing their hands and not touching public surfaces, but many people forget about the surfaces we touch every day without even realizing it. Surfaces like those in your car. Fortunately, there are quick ways to disinfect your car during the quarantine.
Where To Concentrate Your Cleaning
Where you clean is extremely important to keep yourself safe. You want to concentrate on areas that you are likely to touch, such as:
- Door handles inside and out of the car
- Your key fob and keys
- Your ignition
- The armrests
- The consol and buttons
- Seatbelts and buckles
What To Use When Cleaning
Your car has a variety of surfaces that can become contaminated with the virus. Although some disinfectants cover a variety of these, the interior of your car might need different cleaners. Optimally you want to use the correct cleaner on the correct part. Isopropyl alcohol of at least 70% can clean and disinfect most of the surfaces in your car without damaging them. It is also extremely effective against COVID-19.
The exception to this is leather or vinyl interiors. Alcohol will damage leather and cause it to dry out. In this case, a dealer approved conditioner that contains a disinfectant is necessary.
What NOT To Use When Cleaning
Although it might seem like a good idea, you never want to use bleach or ammonia on your car's interior or exterior. Although effective for disinfecting, these chemicals will damage the clear coat, paint and other surfaces. Many quarantine tips suggest using these, but in this case, using them will cause more harm than good. When in doubt, you can always consult your car owner's manual to ensure a substance is safe for your car.
The majority of the websites containing information on COVID-19 caution you to clean commonly touched surfaces. As many return to working outside their home, properly cleaning and disinfecting your car will become more important. Make sure you know how to disinfect it properly."