Winters are rough on our vehicles—rougher than any other time of year. Make sure your vehicle survives it through another cold and snowy season by following these winter car care tips:
Regularly check your tire pressure: Tires lose pressure quickly in the winter—about a pound of pressure for every 10-degree decrease. Manually check your tire pressure each week and pump them up as necessary. Also, test your tread depth while you’re down there to ensure you have enough tread to handle snowy and icy roads.
Or just put on snow tires: We can get a fair amount of snow here in Kentucky. Consider investing in snow tires this winter season.
Check all your exterior lights: It gets dark much sooner in the winter, which means more “nighttime driving.” Make sure you can see and be seen by testing your exterior lights once a week, including headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals.
Leave up your wiper blades: If you park outside, raise your windshield wiper arms up so they don’t get stuck to your windshield with ice.
Don’t let your fuel drop below half a tank: Always having half a tank of gas is a safe bet in the winter in case you get stranded and need to run your heat until help arrives.
If you’re worried about your vehicle or need help getting it ready for ice or snow, make sure to find a repair shop now before you get in trouble down the line.
Check their certifications: Mechanics can earn multiple certifications. The most important is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE, but some shops may also carry AAA or Automotive Service Association certification.
Choose a make-specific mechanic: Often, dealerships have service departments with technicians trained specifically on the very makes they sell, making them more familiar with cars of that make.
Read reviews: The internet is your friend when it comes to choosing a mechanic. Research potential mechanics and see how customers have felt about their experiences.
But also check the Better Business Bureau: Go to bbb.org to see what formal complaints have been filed about mechanics you are considering.
Ask around: Most of your family and friends probably own cars and get them serviced regularly. Ask if they have a mechanic they highly recommend; you could even post on social media asking for recommendations from your wider network of acquaintances.
And don’t forget convenience: The world’s best mechanic probably doesn’t live right next door to you. Aim for a quality mechanic, but don’t force yourself to drive over an hour to see him or her.
If you’re car is beyond the help of a mechanic, contact us at Chip Wynn Motors and take a look at our inventory of affordable used cars.
We have had an unseasonably warm winter in Paducah thus far, but we’re just getting started now that we’re into January. There is still time to have some crucial winter maintenance done to your car before the temperatures drop any further.
Change your oil now before it gets too cold to spend time outside under your car.
Have your tires rotated. Replace them if the tread is worn and you notice them sliding on wet pavement.
Test your battery. Battery performance suffers in the winter, so you’ll want a top-performing battery when temperatures drop.
Check your lights: Visibility decreases in the winter time, so it is more crucial than ever to make sure your headlights, taillights, brake lights, etc., are all operating. Replace any bulbs that have burnt out.
Ask a professional to inspect your engine for any work that might need to be done.
Replace your windshield wiper blades to make sure you can remove snow during a blizzard.
Pack an emergency kit in the trunk of your car. Your car should always have an emergency kit, but in the winter, it is important to add coats, hats, gloves, and blankets.
Are you concerned your current daily driver won’t survive the winter? Browse our used car inventory at Chip Wynn Motors.
The more consistently you take care of your car, the better it will run and the longer it will last. Sounds like a good deal doesn’t it? There are actually plenty of simple maintenance tasks that owners can perform on their own, like changing your air filter. And remember, if you ever need help with your car maintenance, Chip Wynn Motors is here to answer your questions.
Why Changing Your Air Filter is Necessary
Your engine needs air to run, but the air that gets pulled into the engine is often full of debris, like dirt, pollen, or even bird feathers. How would you like breathing that in? Your engine doesn’t like it either, which is why vehicles contain air filters. These filters keep the bad stuff out. But once they get too dirty, they can no longer do an efficient job. With a dirty air filter, you don’t get the best fuel economy, and you end up putting out more emissions. Plus, dirty air is bad for your engine’s longevity.
How to Change Your Air Filter
In order to change your air filter, all you need is the correct replacement. You can get this at your local auto parts store and use your owner’s manual to help you find the right fit. Changing your air filter will only take a few minutes. Start by locating your air filter under the hood. The filter is stored in a black box near the engine. Open this box and make a note of how the current filter is installed so that you can mimic its orientation. Remove the old filter and replace it with the new, then close up the box and shut the hood. That’s all it takes to change your air filter and keep your engine clean and happy.
Your brakes are one of the most important features on your car. But, how much do you really know about them? Here is a quick comparison of drum vs. disc brakes.
Drum brakes are called that because the braking components are housed inside a drum-shaped cylinder attached to the wheel. Inside the drum are braking shoes. When the brake pedal is pressed, it pushes these shoes against the inside of the drum causing the wheels to slow down. Because the shoes are kept within the drum, it can cause excess heat to build up inside the drum under heavy braking conditions, causing the brakes to lose some of their stopping power.
The majority of brakes used on vehicles today are disc brakes. Their design and ultimate stopping power are superior to drum brakes. As opposed to having the components inside a drum, disc brakes use a rotor, caliper, and brake pads. The caliper has two brake pads, one on each side of the rotor, that squeeze together when the brakes are engaged. Since all components are exposed to the air, they are much less likely to overheat.
We at Chip Wynn Motors want you and your vehicle to be safe, so if you have any questions about your vehicle’s braking system, be sure to have it checked out.
One of the most important safety features on your car is your brakes. That is why keeping them in prime working condition is extremely important. Here are four signs that you need new brakes.
Squealing sound when stopping.
If you hear a high-pitched squealing sound when you step on the brakes, this could mean your brake pads are wearing thin. Most pads have a built-in safety device, called an indicator, that will make this sound to let you know the pads are getting thin.
Reduced stopping power.
If it takes longer to come to a complete stop or it feels like you have to press your brake pedal down further, this could indicate a leak in your braking system. Look under your car to see if there are any puddles of fluid forming while you are stopped.
If you feel any vibrations while braking, this could mean your brake rotors are warped.
If your vehicle pulls to one side while braking, this could be a sign your brake pads are wearing unevenly or your brake fluid is dirty.
If you notice any of these issues while braking, be sure to check them yourself or have a professional take a look.
Changing your oil regularly is one of the best ways to maintain your car. However, there are several types of motor oil now on the market. In particular, you’ll have to choose between various viscosities, a measure of thickness, and between regular and synthetic oils. Below are some tips on choosing motor oil that’s right for your car.
Does It Meet The Standards?
One of the steps in choosing the right oil, according to Popular Mechanics, is to make sure it meets the standards of the American Petroleum Institute (API). Oils that meet API standards are marked on the label of the container. You should also check to see that your oil has passed the Energy Conserving test, a test measured by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
Types Of Oil
Next, choose between conventional or synthetic oils. Most conventional oils are made from a combination or recycled oil and refined petroleum. This type of oil has been in use for years, and it lasts roughly three months or 3,000 miles. Synthetic oils are specially designed in laboratories, and they often contain more durable compounds and detergents. These last about five months or 5,000 miles.
Finally, choose the right viscosity, or thickness. There are two numbers that show you this. For instance, 10W-30 can be broken down like this: “10” is the thickness at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (“W” stands for winter) while the “30” is the thickness at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. So, 20W-50 has more viscosity than 10W-30. You typically want thicker oil so it better coats the engine, but oil that is too thick will slow movement. The 5W rating is usually recommended for winter, while 10W is good for summer.
We at Chip Wynn Motors hope this helps. And remember, a simple oil change can keep your used car running longer.