October is Fall Car Care Month. We suggest you stop into Mavis Tire of Mahopac to pick-up our Automobile Maintenance Guide. Its a helpful reference guide with tips on the proper care of your car. One of the areas we cover in the guide is the importance of maintaining your Automobile’s Fluids. Most people will agree that having the oil changed in your automobile is probably one of the most common routine maintenance items you will perform. That said, did you know that there are several other fluids that should be checked, refilled and flushed on a regular basis? You can confirm this with your owners manual, but since we’re experts, we’ll just tell you. Transmission Fluid Like other vital automotive fluids, transmission fluid deteriorates over time. Hard use - such as frequent stop-and-go city driving, hauling heavy loads, trailer towing - will accelerate the deterioration. That kind of driving raises the transmission's operating temperature, and heat puts more strain on the transmission and the fluid. Brake Fluid Brake line flushes are recommended by most automobile manufacturers at about every 30,000 miles. This is because some of the parts, like the rubber in the valves in the master cylinder, calipers and wheel cylinders can deteriorate over time. This can cause flaking that ends up in your brake fluid, compromising the fluid's effectiveness and even decreasing your stopping power. Power Steering Fluid Many car manufacturers recommend flushing the Power Steering system after 35,000 - 40,000 miles. Over time natural wear [...]
We might not have had that much snow this year but we sure do have a lot of potholes. Aside from causing your car to bounce they can cause severe damage to its suspension system. That’s because a car’s suspension system takes the hit every time you hit a pothole. Your car’s suspension helps to regulate the bouncing motion that your car would go through out on the road, so your drive is more manageable and comfortable. Signs that your Suspension System is in need of maintenance include: Pulling to one side as you drive The Car is visibly lower on one corner The vehicle dips during braking The car continues to bounce after hitting a bump or pothole The vehicle rides roughly The shocks look oily or damaged Your car’s suspension takes care of you and its time you took care of it. With our early spring promotion going on, now’s the time to schedule an appointment to have your car’s suspension evaluated. Bring your car in for a check-up and if you do need any repair on its suspension or front-end, we’ll give you 25% off the services portion of the repair. Simply mention that you saw it in our Newsletter to get your 25% off. Stay safe and happy driving!
Winter Emergency Kit for Your Car The late November snowstorm caught many people off guard. The winter storm was very slippery and produced much more snow than was originally anticipated. If that wasn’t enough of a warning that you should have a winter emergency kit already packed and, in your car, then I’m here to tell you that an emergency kit is a must. If you should become stranded while driving or unable to return home due to a disaster, here’s a short list of items that you should consider putting into your emergency kit. Cell phone car charger Drinking water Blankets and extra warm clothing, hats, and gloves Cat litter or sand to provide traction Snow shovel Windshield ice scraper Duct tape Fire extinguisher First aid kit Flashlight and extra batteries Foam tire sealant Jumper cables Multipurpose utility tool Nonperishable snacks Portable electric tire air pump Rags Reflective warning triangles or roadside flares Tire pressure gauge Tow strap or tow rope While we still can’t predict the weather with 100% accuracy, by keeping an emergency kit in your car at all times, you’ll at least be prepared for the unexpected. Safe driving!
Comfort and Safety First! There are some very important reasons for maintaining Shocks and Struts: your comfort and safety. Shocks and Struts help keep your car’s tires in contact with the road. In doing so, they provide a crucial role in your vehicle’s ability to steer properly, stop properly, and maintain a stable ride. Customers often ask, “What is the difference between shocks and struts?”. The answer is simple. They both do the same basic job - to damp the movement of the spring and stop oscillation and bounce. Each vehicle is designed differently and although they provide the same role, shocks and struts are not the same parts. They can’t be used interchangeably. Shocks can’t be put on a car made for struts and vice versa. Some cars even have shocks on the rear axle and struts on the front. The most obvious difference between the two is that a strut is a structural part of the vehicle’s suspension system, whereas the shock is not. A strut is also a necessary part of the steering system, which affects the angles of alignment. 6 Signs that your Shocks & Struts Need Replacing: Bumpy or wobbly ride. The primary job of shocks and struts is to keep your suspension from having too much movement. Stiff steering, car leans or sways, or you hear unusual noises when you turn. Poor steering response is usually the first sign that shocks and struts need replacing. Feeling like a nose-dive or lurch when braking. [...]
Back to School Car Care Tips Back to school time means more driving to and from sports practices, playdates and carpooling for all sorts of activities. If your car is an integral part of the back to school life, make sure you keep it in top condition to help keep you and your passengers safe. The Car Care Council has recently released this “Five Point Check-Up” that should be performed by vehicle owners for the start of the school year: 1. Check lights and wipers for better visibility, 2. Perform a complete brake inspection, 3. Check tires for under inflation or excessive wear, 4. Make sure seat belts and car seats are fitted and positioned properly, 5. Consider installing a back-up detection device. Watch the Car Care Council’s video on Back-to-School Car Care!
Why Winter Tires are a Good Idea Now that the weather is changing and the cold is setting in you are probably thinking about some of those maintenance items you’ve been putting off on your car. High on your list may be new tires and upgrading them to help keep you and your family safe during those harsh winter storms. Here are a few things you should keep in mind as you are considering new tires for your car. First and foremost, consider how much time you spend in your car. Are you commuting back and forth to work each day? Are you driving the kids to after school activities? The more time you spend in your car, the higher concern you should have when the weather turns cold and icy. Remember, only winter tires are designed to excel in the colder temperatures, slush, snow and ice that we experience here in the northeast for three or more months a year. I know, you’re probably saying to yourself, Vinny, I have AWD, I don’t need winter tires. Well according to a consumer reports study, they found that all-wheel drive wasn’t effective in braking or certain cornering situations in the bad weather. In fact they reported that the study “conclusively showed that using winter tires matters more than having all-wheel drive in many situations, and that the difference on snow and ice can be significant.”* So the one thing a driver can do to increase traction...to actually get more grip [...]
Tire Pressure Indicator Lighting up? No pressure... What do the upcoming Daytona 500 and cold winter weather have in common? Race car teams spend a great deal of time and tactics working out tire pressure and winter weather can have an impact on your tire pressure. For race car drivers, tire pressure can be critical in managing handling performance, avoiding blow-outs and extending the gas mileage of the car. While most of us aren’t running our cars around a track, these factors are also critical for ensuring everyday driver safety. That’s why these days new cars come standard with Tire Pressure Monitor Systems (TPMS). TPMS is typically a warning light that is on your dashboard and lights up when your one or more of your tire’s PSI (or “pounds per square inch”) falls below the manufacturer’s recommended level. As a rule of thumb for every 10-degree Fahrenheit fall, your PSI will fall by 1 unit (and for every 10 degrees increase the inverse relationship applies). So, if you’ve left your car outside overnight on a cold winter’s night when the temperature can drop as much as 30 to 40 degrees you may find the TPMS warning light pop on after ignition. If this occurs, you simply may need to add back some air to those tires. You can find your car’s optimum PSI on a plaque usually inside the driver door panel. Though you may find that once you start driving the PSI has risen as the friction from driving your car will likely lift tire [...]