Category Archives: Auto Care

Preventative Car Maintenance

Preventative Car Maintenance

Preventative Car Maintenance

Preventative Car Maintenance Tips

Keeping your car up and running at peak performance is as easy as keeping it properly maintained. While that may sound like a challenge for many drivers, properly taking care of your vehicle can be done through simple maintenance; you can even do it in your own garage. Here are a few preventative car maintenance tips from us here at Sierra Volkswagen.

  • Check the Oil – Your car’s engine will only run for years if it gets regular oil changes. While most manufacturers include a service schedule that indicates when an oil change is required, it never hurts to check it yourself. Simply pop the hood, pull the dipstick out, and wipe it off with a cloth or paper towel. Reinsert it and remove it again. Make sure the oil is between the two lines at the end of the dipstick.
  • Check the Battery – A battery’s lifespan varies depending on the climate you live in. Fortunately, extending its lifespan is as easy as cleaning the contacts. Invest in a battery cleaning brush and battery tester or jump starter. Clean up the contacts and look for any bulges or bumps.
  • Tire Rotations – Your car’s tires should generally be rotated at the same time your car needs an oil change. Tire rotations extend the lifespan of the set of tires, provide a smoother ride, and you can do it at home! Check your owner’s manual for instructions.

These tips should help keep your car in great shape through the years. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time!

Tips on How to Increase Fuel Efficiency

How to Increase fuel efficiency

One of the most important aspects of a vehicle for drivers today is fuel efficiency. If drivers want to save money at the gas pump, then they are going to need a vehicle with good fuel economy. However, there are other ways that drivers can save on fuel as well. If you are looking to increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, then follow these tips on how to increase fuel efficiency.

Slowly Accelerate and Brake

It may be tempting for drivers in a hurry to accelerate quickly and brake only when they have to. While this may get you to your destination quicker, it will not get you there cheaper! Constant accelerating and braking can take its toll on your vehicle’s fuel economy.

Use Your Vehicle’s Cruise Control

Going hand in hand with the last tip, utilizing the cruise control that your vehicle comes packaged with will help you maintain a constant speed on the highway, thus eliminating the need for constant throttle management, which lowers fuel economy.

Remove Excess Cargo

Finding time to remove any excess cargo from your vehicle can be difficult. However, it is very helpful in the long run, as the more stuff you have weighing down your vehicle, the worse your vehicle’s fuel efficiency will be.

If you follow these simple times, you will soon be pleasantly surprised by the amount of money you can save on the road!

Cold Weather and Your Car: How It Affects Performance

cold weather and your car

While some people may enjoy winter for the snowy landscape, the brisk cool temperatures, and the holiday season, the winter can have some drastic effects on your car. We’ve put together a post on cold weather and your car so you know what to be aware of during these cold months.

According to AccuWeather, there are five main things to be aware of: battery, fluids, tires, wipers, and spark plugs. All of these components will take a hit with the cold weather, making them less reliable and more likely to fail.

Cold weather pulls voltage from batteries and electrical systems. Batteries work best in temperatures between 30 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit; however, temperatures outside of this range mean your battery is considerably more likely to fail.

Fluids thicken in the winter. When you change your oil, you should always opt for a thinner, or less viscous, fluid. This makes it more effective in your engine. Also, make sure to get antifreeze/coolant with a 50/50 mix – believe it or not, this mixture is more resistant to cold temperatures than even pure antifreeze.

Colder air means your tire pressure is going to decrease. For every 10 degree drop in the temperature, expect about a loss of 1 psi. That means that if you live in areas like the Midwest, you’ll have to seasonally adjust your tire pressure.

Wipers should be changed annually, and the winter is the perfect time to do this because you tend to use them more at this time.

Finally, spark plugs wear out more in the winter. Bad ignition leads to poor performance and lousy fuel economy. If your car is being difficult when you start it or idling rough, consider changing out your spark plugs.

Tips for Detailing Your Car Like A Pro

Detailing Your Car

Having your car detailed professionally can cost a pretty penny, but the results leave your car looking, smelling, and feeling like new. Whether you just want to clean your car up a bit for your own enjoyment, or you’re selling your car, here are some tried and true tips and tricks for detailing your car like a pro on your own.

Clean the carpets and any upholstery. We recommend using a brush with stiff bristles and an air compressor to shake loose every last morsel of dirt. Use the air compressor to blow dirt from every nook and cranny of the car onto the mats, this way you can easily remove the mats and use the brush and a vacuum to remove the dirt. Use a professional carpet cleaner to clean the mats and floors. If you have leather seats, wipe them down with a leather conditioner.

Clean the ducts to remove smells. Use the air compressor to blow dust and dirt from the air conditioner and heater ductwork. This will help to reduce or eliminate any musty smell that your car’s air system is putting out.

Hand wash and wax.  There’s just no carwash quite like a hand wash. Use a carwash-specific soap (dish soap will strip your car of its wax coating), and be sure to use microfiber towels or a rubber-blade squeegee to dry it right away. Be sure to use a bug sponge to remove all insects that met their demise on the front of your car.

Clean the windows. Use a window cleaning solution to clean all the windows, windshield, and rear glass – both inside and out.

Wipe down all surfaces. Using a soft, clean cloth, wipe down the dash, steering wheel, and every other exposed surface in the cabin.

For more tips, visit popularmechanics.com.

Here at Sierra Volkswagen, we want to know – what are some of your favorite tips for getting your car squeaky clean? Tell us in the comments!

Easy Car Cleaning Tips to Maintain a Tidy Interior

Car Cleaning Tips

Do you have trouble keeping the inside of your car clean? Whether your vehicle tends to fill up with trash, kids’ toys, or pet-related messes – for some of us – it seems as if the car just never stays clean.

Here are some car cleaning tips to get you started:

  • Keep a trash can or trash bag (safely) in reach, and consider adding a second one to the back seat, if you frequently have passengers.
  • Avoid eating in your vehicle, so that you won’t be tempted to casually toss food wrappers or napkins on the ground.
  • If you frequently have pets in the car, consider purchasing an easily washable blanket and/or easily washable mats, to make cleaning a breeze.
  • Take a good look at the back seat of your car at least once a month. If you’re never back there yourself, you’ll never know what kind of mess is accumulating.
  • Lastly, ask for help. If you’ve gotten in over your hand, ask a friend or your kids to help you clean the car, especially if they’ve helped contribute to the mess!

 

Do you have any other ideas? Let us know how you keep your car interior clean in the comments.

Setting New Year’s Resolutions for Your Car

While many of us set and then break our personal New Year’s resolutions, perhaps its time to successfully complete one. Have you ever considered setting resolutions for your car? If not, here are some great suggestions to get you started.

If you want to take better care of your car, try the following:

  • Get your regularly scheduled maintenance done. This simple thing can help you prevent more extensive and expensive repairs in the future. Just get out your owner’s manual, see what it recommends, and try to follow that schedule. Your car will thank you.
  • Drive more efficiently. Think how much money you could save if you used less fuel. One easy way to drive more efficiently is to stop speeding and calm down. Aggressive driving can cause you to use up to 35% more gas.
  • Check your tire pressure. While most newer cars come with automatic tire pressure sensors that alert you when your pressure is low, you should make a habit of checking your pressure anyway. If your air pressure is low, this will reduce the life of your tires and put a dent in your fuel efficiency.

If you’re looking to create better driving habits, check out these suggestions:

  • Don’t text and drive. Simply make the commitment to never do this. If you find you absolutely need to read or respond to a text, pull over. You and your fellow drivers will thank you.
  • Always have a designated driver. Drinking and driving is never a good idea, no matter what distance you’re travelling. Take turns with your friends on being the designated driver to stay safe in 2015.
  • Wear your seatbelt. This simple tool can reduce your chance of a serious injury or even death in an accident by about 50%. You can also have a seatbelts-for-everyone rule in your car where you don’t start moving until everyone is buckled up.

What resolution will you be setting for your car this year?