With the hustle of the start of the school year, most people’s schedules are about to get a lot busier. But, as always, it’s important to remember to take care of your car in the midst of it all. Use these car maintenance tips from Lewis Nissan to get you and your car ready for the fall season.
The condition of your tires is largely responsible for how efficiently your car is performing as well as for how safely it can drive in inclement weather. That being said, the beginning of fall is a good time to give your tires a closer look before the cold weather rolls in. Check to see that the tread isn’t too worn and that there are no visible signs of wear, like bumps or cracks. If you really want to play it safe, bring your car in to have a professional take a look and give your tires a rotation.
Fall tends to bring a lot of rain along with it, as well as fog, frost, and even snow. Be ready for the weather by replacing your wiper blades. It’s easy, inexpensive to do, and will make a huge difference when it comes to visibility.
An old battery can sometimes work fine in mild weather, but once it starts to get cold it may have trouble starting. Get your battery checked now so that you can replace it if it’s time. Otherwise, you may be stuck needing a jump unexpectedly.
If you are willing to modify your car, window tinting is a way to permanently keep your car cooler. Just be wary of your state’s regulations on how much tint you can have.
Use Remote Start
If you have a remote start system (like many Nissans do!), start your car before you get into it. You can also start your A/C system with many remote start key fobs, so blast that a few minutes before you get into your car.
As part of your pre-winter maintenance, you should check to make sure all your car’s lights are working properly. With night falling so much earlier and vision hazards like snow, rain, and fog a serious concern in the upcoming months, having working lights is more important than ever. Here’s a quick guide on how to replace a headlight if one of yours is out.
If you have a newer vehicle, changing the headlight is easy. Pop the hood and find the back of the headlight inside the engine compartment. There are multiple bulbs, so you have to figure out which one needs replaced before you can buy a new bulb.
Once you figure out which one needs replaced, check your owner’s manual for the right kind or ask someone at a parts shop, and they’ll help you find the right one. The owner’s manual will also tell you what kind of tools to use to replace the headlight, so get these as well if you don’t already have them.
Your manual should have directions from here for your specific vehicle, but there are general directions you can follow. First, you have to remove the plastic catch or metal clip holding the wiring in place. Remove the old bulb by pulling it out from the base, then secure the wiring back into place and put in the new bulb.
Sometimes life hits you with unexpected circumstances. With winter just around the corner, car owners everywhere need to be prepared for when the snow falls and the roads freeze over. Here are some tips and tricks for when winter deals you a bad hand.
Keep Your Car Fueled
You should always drive with at least three quarters of your gas tank filled just in case you slide off the road or find yourself in an emergency situation. Having plenty of fuel could save your life.
Have an Emergency Kit
Having an emergency kit with a fleece blanket and first aid supplies inside your car is better than having it in your trunk since you may not be able to access your trunk in an emergency. Fleece is one of the few materials that keeps you warm even if it’s wet.
Have a Container on Hand
If you need to stay hydrated, prepared for winter weather by having a container in your car to collect snow will allow you to use the snow to hydrate yourself.
Most importantly, if you find yourself stranded in an emergency situation, don’t panic. When you panic, you make poor decisions that don’t help you in the long run. Take a few deep breaths, and think about what you need to do to survive.
While it certainly isn’t ideal, we all find ourselves on a solo road trip from time to time, especially if you travel for work. Unfortunately, there is no escaping the mindlessness of eight hours on the road without someone to talk to. However, we have a few tricks to keep you awake and as entertained as possible.
A Strong Playlist
This is the foundation of any solo road trip. Without a nice playlist, you’re going to be stuck listening to the same songs on the radio for hours and hours.
Audiobooks and Podcasts
These are a great way to learn something new or get lost in a story. Some can get a bit tedious after a while though, so don’t listen for so long that you start to nod off.
This is a bit of a different way to get your entertainment, but listening to truckers and other travelers talk on the radio can be highly entertaining. You can even join in if you feel inspired.
Exercise on Breaks
If you’re pulling over for gas or a bathroom, get in a little bit of exercise while you can. Going on a short walk or doing some pushups and jumping jacks can get your blood flowing and loosen you up.
While solo road trips aren’t always ideal, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself entertained so that you don’t go crazy in your car. Do your best to have fun and enjoy the scenery around you.
Fall maintenance is basically pre-winter maintenance. For fall, you want to make sure you check your oil and get an oil change if necessary—and if you do get an oil change, make sure you’re getting a multi-grade viscosity oil that will be good for winter driving.
Go for a battery test at a parts store where you can do it for free. Extreme temperatures are hard on your battery, so you want to make sure the summer heat hasn’t killed it and that it’s in good shape to withstand the winter cold.
Now is also a good time to get new windshield wipers. Winter is the hardest time of year on your blades, so it’s a good idea to get some that are designed for good winter performance.
Check the coolant levels. Antifreeze is hugely important in winter, and if you have low levels or some kind of leak, you want to get it fixed ASAP.
Check the tire pressure. It’s still warm right now, but as it gets colder you might start to lose pressure, which reduces your tire traction.
Going on a long road trip this summer and think your family might get bored? Don’t worry! Lewis Nissan is ready to provide you with fun road trip games that the whole family will enjoy! But remember, safety first! So if you’re the driver, you might want to opt out of playing while you’re behind the wheel.
I Spy – Probably the most well-known road trip game to play, I Spy is a classic. Family members of all ages will enjoy guessing what other people are seeing! Have one person look around and choose an object that the others have to guess. The only clue they give is “I spy with my little eye something that begins with (insert the first letter of the object’s name)”. You can also do colors instead of the objects first letter of its name.
20 Questions – Another classic, 20 questions can help pass the time quickly. Whoever goes first thinks of anything. Each member of the car asks one question at a time and you go around in a circle. You can ask if it barks, can you peel it, anything! All of the questions have to be able to be answered with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ response. If you reach the 20th question and don’t have a winner, everyone has one last chance to figure it out before the answer is revealed.
License Plates – This one is pretty self explanatory but still a crowd pleaser! You can have younger kids find the letters of the alphabet on difference license plates and the first one to Z wins. You can have older kids “collect” out-of-state plates they see while on the road. The one with the most when you get back home is the winner!
Try some of these fun games for your last-minute road trips this summer or your weekend getaways after school starts back up. Make sure your car is always ready and stop in and see our service department today!
Keeping your car in good shape throughout summer is just as important as during the winter, since hot weather can have a big impact on your car’s fluids, tires, and engine. Follow these summer car maintenance tips and your summer will be smooth sailing!
Inspect your tires fairly regularly, about once every two weeks. Check the tread and the tire pressure, as tires might become overinflated during the summer, and make sure there are no bulges or cracks in the tire.
Get your oil and oil filter changed, or do it at home if you know how. Clean motor oil will keep your vehicle running more smoothly. You should also check the coolant levels and consider whether it might be time to do a coolant flush. Coolant lasts much longer than motor oil, though, so it may not be necessary.
Check your belts and hoses for leaks, cracks, and fraying, and measure the width of your brake pads to see if they need to be replaced. Finally, keep your battery clean. Disconnect the battery cables and wipe the terminals down. This will keep the battery from overcharging.
There’s no denying that we’re in for a hot summer this year. Make sure you get your Nissan ready for the warm weather before it’s too late! Here are some tips to use as a guideline on how to get your vehicle ready for a hot summer!
Air Conditioning – If your AC is only marginally operating, it will fail during hot weather. Bring your vehicle in to our service department and have one of our technicians look at it.
Cooling System – One of the greatest causes of summer breakdowns is overheating. Your cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. You should periodically check the level, condition and concentration of the coolant.
Tires – Make sure you get your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check your tire pressure often and check them while they’re cold before driving far distances. Always make sure your spare tire is properly inflated and that the jack is in good condition.
Battery – While a battery can fail anytime of the year, you should check and see the condition your battery is in. Clean the battery from corrosion and check the cable connections. Re-tighten all connections as necessary to ensure your battery is ready to go.
These are just a few tips you can follow to get your vehicle ready for a hot summer. You can always stop in and see our service department to get your vehicle checked out. Or give us a call and schedule a service appointment!
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer which means plenty of people are hitting the roads to welcome summer. This Memorial Day Weekend before you take off for your long weekend, make sure you read these tips on holiday travel.
Allow Extra Travel Time – Make sure you allot yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Account for heavier traffic than normal since it is a holiday weekend and lots of people are traveling. Don’t push traffic lights or your speed to reach your destination early.
Stretch Your Legs – Make sure you get out of your car and stretch your legs. Walking every couple of hours will help you stay alert while you’re driving. An easy way to do this is when you stop, park a little further away than you normally would so you can take a longer break walking in.
Know When the Highest Times of Risk Are – The greatest risk for traveling on a holiday weekend is Friday afternoon as people are getting off of work and are ready to enjoy their long weekend. The sun will be setting and travelers will be tired from work that day so make sure you stay alert!
These are just some tips before you head out to enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. If you need to get your car serviced, bring it to Lewis Nissan today!