You probably want to make sure your spare car runs reliably even though you may not use it every day. You can always get help for your car maintenance in Brevard, NC, at Jiffy Lube of Hendersonville & Brevard. Below is a continuation of our blog about maintaining a vehicle that is not often used.
Keep It Covered While in Storage
Use a high-quality cover that securely fits your vehicle. The right cover keeps out moisture and allows for air flow, which helps protect the exterior from scratches and dirt. You may also want to put steel wool in the air cleaner intake and exhaust pipe to keep small animals out.
Protect the Battery
The battery in your car loses its charge if it isn’t driven every few weeks. To prepare the car properly for storage, you don’t need to keep the battery charged. You can connect the battery to a trickle charger with an automatic shut-off feature, which ensures the battery doesn’t get overcharged.
Taking the Car Out of Storage
When you are ready to use the vehicle again, remember to undo all of the storage prep you did originally. You will need to address the preparations you did that involved the battery and exhaust pipe.
Preparing for Use Again
- Check for wildlife damages in chewed belts, hoses, and wires.
- Be sure to remove steel wool from the exhaust pipe.
- Be sure the rubber in the windshield wipers is not cracked.
- Check the tire pressure.
- Check fluids and top off as needed.
- Reconnect the battery and make sure the battery terminals are clean.
If you own a vehicle, you understand the importance of performing maintenance. However, if you have a vehicle you store at your vacation home or a spare car you only drive every so often, there are some steps you should take before leaving it for an extended period. You may want to start by cleaning your vehicle from top to bottom, including washing, polishing, and waxing the outside. You may also want to consider spraying any unpainted metal with undercoating to help protect against rust. If you own a vehicle you rarely use, you may want to review the following maintenance tips:
Fill Up the Gas Tank
If you will be storing the car longer than 30 days, fill up your gas tank. A full tank prevents moisture from building up inside the tank. You can also add a stabilizer to the tank when it’s almost full, as the shelf life of standard fuels is only about three months.
Inflate the Tires
If your car is sitting for a long period, the temperature may change, and the tires can slowly lose pressure. That’s why it’s a good idea to inflate your tires to the recommended air pressure.
Top Off Fluids
Before you leave your car dormant for an extended period, top off your vehicle’s fluids, which include brake fluid, engine coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze, and windshield wiper fluid.
Also, be sure to change the oil as part of your car maintenance in Brevard, NC, at Jiffy Lube of Hendersonville & Brevard.
To keep your vehicle in great shape, be sure to bring it into Jiffy Lube of Hendersonville & Brevard for an oil change in Hendersonville, NC. Also, if you notice any unusual sounds, bring in your car to our qualified mechanic as soon as possible. The following tips to maintain an older car are a continuation of our blog on keeping your vehicle in good running condition:
Maintain your wheel bearings.
Wheel bearings ensure the smooth running of the tires. At your next car checkup, make sure to ask for a wheel inspection to see if your bearings are in good working condition. This usually only involves adding some grease to the bearings to get them moving smoothly again.
Change your brake fluid.
Changing your brake fluid helps to keep your brakes free of rust and corrosion.
Keep your exterior clean.
The common recommendation is to wax and wash your car four times per year at a minimum.
Keep the interior out of heavy sunlight.
In warm clients, the vehicle’s interior can fade from continual exposure to the sun. Try to park in the shade as often as possible, especially if you live in a warm climate. Also, use a sun shade to keep your interior fresh and looking new.
Wipe off debris.
In cold climates, salt sticks to the bottom of a vehicle. Make sure you eliminate all of the salt and any other debris before you wash your vehicle; otherwise you may get paint damage.
Most of us rely on our vehicles for a variety of reasons. In general, most vehicle owners are good at keeping their vehicles in good running shape. Every vehicle owner most likely wants to keep his or her vehicle in the best possible shape so they can to avoid repair costs or even a new vehicle replacement. In today’s world, it is easier than ever to keep your vehicle in great shape so that it can run as long as possible. The best way to keep your car healthy is with regular maintenance that includes all of the following:
Change your oil and oil filter often.
Regular oil changes extend the life of your engine. Not changing the oil causes a lot of problems with the engine over time. Make sure you note the date and mileage after each oil change, so you know when your vehicle is due for another one.
Replace your transmission fluid and differential oil.
Check your vehicle’s manual for the suggested timeframes for changing your transmission fluid and differential oil. Also, add new coolant. Once in a while, it makes sense to flush out your coolant and add fresh coolant. Your car’s manual should suggest the intervals when it’s best to add new coolant.
Rely on Jiffy Lube of Hendersonville & Brevard for regular car maintenance in Brevard, NC. Call (828) 966-9464 for more information.
We continue our blog on “Common Questions About Oil Changes,” with the following questions and answers.
What happens during an oil change?
During an oil change in Hendersonville, NC, the mechanics at Jiffy Lube remove your old, gunky oil and replace it with synthetic oil, synthetic blend, conventional, or high-mileage oil depending on your vehicle’s needs. After replacing your oil filter, an inspection of the fluids, lights, and battery is conducted to make sure the vehicle is safe.
Why should I do a full oil change instead of just topping it off?
If you just add new motor oil to bring your oil levels back up to normal, the old, sludgy, dirty oil mixes with the new clean oil. This prevents the new oil from working as well as it could. In an emergency, you can top off your oil if, but make sure to follow up with a full oil change.
Can I switch brands of oil between oil changes?
Switching motor oil is not a problem as long as the motor oil meets the viscosity grade and engine oil specification in your owner’s manual. It is also okay switch between synthetic and conventional motor oils.
Is it better to change your oil when it’s hot or cold outside?
It’s important to change your oil throughout the year. If it is cold outside, run your engine for five minutes before the oil change so that the oil flows out of the drain plug easily when changing the oil.
Can cold weather affect when I need an oil change?
Follow the vehicle owner’s manual to determine the proper oil drain interval. Oil drain intervals are not at all dependent on outside temperatures.
All vehicles need regular care to stay in good working shape. One of the most important steps to take to help your car run smoother and longer is to keep your engine’s motor oil fresh and clean by taking it in for an oil change in Hendersonville, NC, at Jiffy Lube. Read the questions and answers below to find out what some of the most commonly sought answers are to your most pressing oil change questions.
Why do I need an oil change?
Vehicle engines need oil to run smoothly and avoid developing complicated issues in the future. Your engine needs fresh motor oil on a regular basis because oil lubricates all the moving pieces in the engine to keep everything running properly. Oil changes also help stop your car from overheating by reducing friction, transferring the heat, and absorbing by-products from combustion.
If the vehicle’s oil level gets too low or too old, your vehicle could end up with a decreased engine life, sticking piston rings, and an overheating problem. By getting your oil changed regularly, you can keep your engine in good condition and provide the best protection for all of its components and parts.
When should I get an oil change?
Different engines have different needs, so it’s best to follow the specifications set by the vehicle manufacturer. The typical recommendation is to get an oil change every three months or 3000 miles. While many drivers stand by that guideline, innovations in tighter build tolerances and higher-quality synthetic oils, many sources suggest a 5,000-mile oil change should be the new normal.
We are always happy when winter is over, and spring is on its way. Frozen conditions, slush, salt, and cold temperatures take a toll on everything from your vehicle’s tires to its wiper blades. So, get your car ready for spring by giving it a thorough once-over to undo winter’s damage. Make sure your car is in road-ready condition with car maintenance in Brevard, NC, from Jiffy Lube of Hendersonville & Brevard. Some of the steps to take to get your vehicle ready for spring include the following:
Inspect Hoses, Belts, Gaskets, & Seals
It’s important to check for issues like cracked hoses and belts because rubber parts can dry out quickly. Also, be sure that components like gaskets and seals are checked for possible leaks.
Have the tread life and the quality of the rubber checked on your tires. Rubber breaks down over time and needs to be replaced. Also, check to ensure there’s enough air pressure in each tire.
Wash the Vehicle’s Underbody
Driving in the winter coats the bottom of your car with salt, sand, and other grime that can cause corrosion. Corrosion leads to rust problems, which can make your car hard to resell or even dangerous to drive.
Replace Wiper Blades
In the winter, wiper blades work hard. That’s why they should be changed each spring and fall.
Winter brings unpredictable weather and potentially hazardous road conditions. That’s why it makes sense to prepare your car for any road condition with car maintenance in Brevard, NC, from Jiffy Lube of Hendersonville & Brevard. Regular inspections keep your vehicle safe on the road, which helps you avoid costly repairs in the future. Throughout the year we prepare our customers for the roads in our Western North Carolina towns, so we always consider extreme road conditions. Whenever you’re driving on a daily basis, be sure your vehicle can handle all of the following conditions:
Heavy storms can create unsafe road conditions. In addition to reduced visibility from rain and fog, wet roads impact traction—in fact, 30% of accidents in which cares run off the road are caused by wet roads. You don’t want to risk hydroplaning, which can make rain one of the most dangerous conditions for driving. Some of the ways to increase your safety while driving in hazardous conditions include:
- Prepare: Be sure that your headlights are easily seen by other drivers in such conditions as rain, mist, and fog. Be sure that your AC, defroster, and wipers are working properly to improve your visibility during rainstorms.
When ice is hidden underneath the visible surface on the road, it is known as “black ice.” It increases the chance of an accident and accumulates on bridges, overpasses, and tunnels.
- Prepare: Make sure your tires can give your vehicle enough traction to handle slick roads, and that your brakes will stop your vehicle safely.
You also want to pay attention to mud because thick mud on a slick road can impair your vehicle’s ability to stop and even makes it difficult to steer. After a heavy rain or snow, unpaved country roads are especially treacherous.
- Prepare: You want to be confident that your alignment has been checked and corrected to avoid damage to your wheels and tires. Drive slowly and avoid muddy back roads when possible.
As we stated in “Helpful Tips to Avoid Holiday Traffic, Part 1,” it is essential to become familiar with the street names, exit numbers, and alternative routes before heading out. For example, when you’re traveling on a congested highway and know your exit is coming up, you can think ahead and not wait until the last minute to merge. It’s thought that merging at the last minute is the cause of around 40% of traffic congestion.
Breakdowns and accidents cause a lot of traffic jams. Stop by Jiffy Lube for an inspection and an oil change in Brevard, NC, before you hit the road for the holidays. That way any threatening issues can be addressed before your road trip.
Use Traffic Apps
Before you head out, check your favorite source for traffic updates. Google shows real-time traffic conditions, and there are a variety of apps and websites (along with radio stations) that provide current traffic reports. Plan alternative routes as needed.
Check the Weather
Rain and snow often contribute to traffic delays. Consider the forecast and plan accordingly. You may need to allow for extra time if rain or snow is predicted.
Prior to long trips, make sure your emergency kit is stocked and packed in your vehicle. Check the tire pressure in your spare tire and make sure your jack, lug nut wrench, and tools are in place. A quick check will confirm that you are prepared to handle a flat tire or other auto emergency on the road.
The holidays are always the busiest times on the roads. Winter’s holiday season brings unpredictable weather and road conditions across the country, which makes long road trips a bit stressful. Before you start on your long holiday journey, bring your vehicle in for an auto inspection in Brevard, NC, from Jiffy Lube. Our mechanics will thoroughly inspect your vehicle, fix any minor issues before they become costly repairs, and give you the peace of mind you need to embark safely on the road. Additional tips to help keep you and your family safe and secure in your vehicle along the way to your destination include:
If you have the time, it’s best to avoid traveling on the busiest days. Also, if possible, don’t use major highways during rush hour (7–10 a.m. and 4–7 p.m.). Save time and trouble by planning your route ahead of time, or use a GPS or smartphone to identify alternative routes.
It sounds obvious, but when you are driving in heavy traffic or slick winter road conditions, pay strict attention. That means you should avoid distractions like the radio and your cell phone, to focus only on the road ahead. Staying alert enables you to react to changing road conditions faster, stay safer, and avoid congestion.