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Checking your car's oil level is one of the most vital things that you can do to extend the life of your engine. Not only is it important, but it is a very fast and simple task to complete as well.
Follow the steps below to check your oil level:
1. Let the engine sit for 10-15 minutes not running for the most accurate reading.
2. Make sure that you are parked on level ground.
3. Safely prop your hood open and find the dipstick (which generally has a brightly colored handle, usually orange/yellow, and have the word OIL labeled on them).
4. Pull the dipstick out and wipe it down with a towel or rag, and then replace it into the engine, making sure that it goes all the way in.
5. Now, pull the dipstick back out- and be sure NOT to turn the stick upside down to read as the oil will run and you will not have an accurate reading. The dipstick will have two marks on the bottom (usually lines or holes in the stick), and you can read the oil level by looking to see where the oily section and dry section meet. If you find this mark between the two then you are all set!
If it is below the bottom mark that means that you need to fill the oil. When you do this, be sure to never fill it more than a liter at a time without checking the level again, as you do not want to overfill the engine. Most manufacturers consider normal oil consumption to be 1 liter per 1,600 kilometers, if you find you are using much more than this you might want to schedule a service appointment. Our service professionals will check to see if a little preventative maintenance can save you from having
**IF YOUR LIGHT IS FLASHING, TURN OFF ENGINE & CALL A TOWING COMPANY**
Your check engine light came on, now what? These tips can help you determine whether your vehicle has major engine problems or just a loose gas cap. We've all been there before. You're driving along when you notice a yellow light out of the corner of your eye. A quick glance at the dash confirms your fear. It's the check engine light. If you're like most car owners, you're not sure if you should continue to panic or not, and you have little idea what that light is trying to tell you or how you should react. The often misunderstood check engine light or "service engine soon" message can mean many different things. It could be a misfiring engine, a broken oxygen sensor or simply a loose gas cap. When you see the check engine light it doesn't necessarily mean you need to pull the car over to the side of the road and call a tow truck. It does mean you should get the car checked out as soon as possible. If you ignore the warning, you could end up causing further damage. It could also be a sign that you're getting poor gas mileage and emitting high levels of pollutants. In any case, if the check engine light is on in your car, it's time to schedule a service appointment. At our service department, we have factory-trained technicians who can easily check and diagnose what's behind your check engine light message, at a cost that is nearly always lower than a private garage.
What to do when your check engine light comes on:.
- While it's true that extreme problems like low oil pressure or an overheating engine will trigger your check engine light to come on, your dashboard has other lights and gauges to warn you of serious problems, and probably soon.
- A good rule of thumb is to always read your owner's manual and learn about the different reasons that would trigger the check engine light to come on. It should also give you a tour of the other gauge and warning indicators on your dashboard.
- If your check engine light is on, the first thing to do is look for a serious problem that requires immediate attention. Check your dashboard gauges and lights for indications of low oil pressure or overheating. These conditions mean you should pull over and shut off the engine as soon as you can find a safe place to do so. On some cars, a yellow "check engine" means investigate the problem, while a flashing "check engine" means stop right now & call roadside assistance.
- Next, try tightening your gas cap. This often solves the problem. Keep in mind that it may take several trips before the light resets. Some vehicles have a separate indicator that warns of a loose gas cap before the condition sets off the "check engine" light.
- Even if you don't notice an extreme problem, you should definitely still have the check engine code read and the problem fixed. If you want to diagnose the malfunction yourself, you can buy a scan tool at most auto parts stores. Prices range from about $40 to several hundred, depending on the model and the features. These tools will give you instructions on how to decipher the engine codes. If you don't have the mechanical skills already to diagnose and fix the problem, it's a more cost-effective decision to go directly to your service department.
Gasoline prices continue to rise and fall. There are many ways that new or used car owners can improve overall fuel economy by as much as 20 percent.
The first thing that effects fuel economy is how you drive the car.
-Plan your trips - Try to accomplish multiple things in 1 trip. You can also try to car pool or walk to your destination. This won't decrease fuel consumption but will help you drive less, which means less gas.
-Do Not Speed - If you are on the highway driving 100KPH instead of 110KPH will save you 1-2 kilometers per liter over the duration of your trip. Try using your cruise control it reduces fuel consumption by maintaining a constant speed.
-Throttle Less - Accelerate and brake with ease. You will save on fuel as well as wear and tear on your brakes.
-Don't warm up - Thanks to new technology most modern cars only really need 30 seconds to get warm.
-Windows up - Having the windows down on the highway can decrease fuel economy by up to 10 percent.
The other major thing that effects fuel economy is the maintenance of your car:
-Oil - Use only manufacturer's specified motor oil, and change it per factory recommendations, can improve fuel economy as well.
-Weight - The less weight in your vehicle the better fuel economy. An extra 45 kilograms increases fuel consumption by 1 to 2 percent.
-Tires - Make sure your tires are set to recommended pressure at all times this can increases fuel economy by as much as 3.3 percent.
-Filters - A clean air filter and fuel filter will allow the air and fuel to flow unencumbered and can help you save up to 10 percent on fuel costs.
-Sensors - The oxygen sensors, engine emissions system and evaporative emissions control systems if damaged can all decrease fuel mileage by 20 percent or more.
-Gas - The owner's manual will list the correct octane gasoline you should use for your car. Purchase recommended grade of fuel, premium-grade fuel won't improve economy in cars designed for regular.
Sooner or later, it happens to the best of us, we get a flat tire. Most of us have a roadside assistance membership of some kind but it is always good to know how to do this.
Follow these simple steps to fix the problem and be on your way in no time:
-Find a safe spot to pull over. If you're on the highway, getting off is the safest bet. Drive as short of distance as possible to prevent further tire damage. Otherwise, pull as far onto the shoulder as possible.
-Don't park in the middle of a curve, where approaching cars can't see you.
-Choose a flat spot, jacking up your car on a hill can be a disaster.
-If you have a manual transmission, leave your car in gear.
-Be sure to set your parking brake!
-Turn on your hazard lights.
-Block the wheels. You can use a big stick, rock etc.
-Get the jack, wrench, and spare tire from the trunk of the car and bring them over to the tire that is flat. Use other tools or supplies if needed.
Loosen the Lug Nuts:
-First use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts.
-You may need to remove the hubcap. Don't remove the lug nuts at this point; simply loosen them by turning the wrench to the left (2-3 turns counter-clockwise).
-If the lug nuts are really tight, try placing the wrench on the nut and standing on the wrench arm to use your full weight on it.
-Lift the vehicle using the lifting instructions in the owners manual.
-Remove the lug nuts & remove the wheel.
Attach the Spare Tire:
-Place the spare on the car.
-Line up the lug nut posts with the holes in the spare, and push the spare all the way onto the hub until it can't go any farther.
-Put on the lug nuts by hand.
-Don't put them on tightly!
-Use the jack to bring the car back down to ground level.
-Remove the jack from underneath the car.
On the Ground:
-Make sure the lug nuts are tightened.
-With the car back on the ground, you can now tighten the lug nuts.
-Rather than tightening them one by one in order, start with one lug nut, tighten it about 50%, move to the opposite nut (across the circle) and tighten that one about the same amount.
-Keep tightening opposite lug nuts gradually in turn until each lug nut is tight.
-Put your flat tire and tools back in your trunk.
-Make sure you don't leave anything on the side of the road.
If you are lucky a tire isn't completely destroyed when it goes flat. If the flat is caused by a nail or other sharp object, and you can't or don't want to change your tire you may be able to give yourself a few kilometers of leeway by using a flat-fix type spray. Simply follow the manufacturer's directions. In ideal situations, the spray foam will allow you to at least find a close off-ramp and pull into a service station or a rest stop before you have to change your tire. If your tires appear worn or you have had a flat tire and need it fixed or replaced, contact our service department for a fast and cost efficient solution.
Changing your vehicle's oil at the recommended intervals is the best thing you can do to ensure it has a long life. As simple as this task may sound, many people are confused about exactly how often their car's oil needs to be changed. While you can always change your oil on your own, at our dealership we offer fast oil change service at a fair price, allowing you to go about your day without breaking your wallet.
In the past, it was standard for oil changes to occur every 5,000 kilometers, or three months, whichever came first. Now, that standard does not always apply. Oil quality has improved over the years, and the automotive industry has begun to take driver's travel and driving habits into account when making recommendations. As such, how often you change your oil should depend on you personal driving habits.
If you use the car only for short trips on city streets, particularly in cold weather, you probably should have the oil changed every three months. Why? On short trip, the engine doesn't reach its proper operating temperature, which can cause condensation of water inside the crankcase and oil can be diluted by gasoline.
If you mostly use your car for occasional longer trips, it is acceptable to wait six months or more to change the oil.
One thing you should absolutely consider when deciding when your oil needs to be changed is your car warranty. Many manufacturers specifically require warranty holder to change the oil based on time. If this is the case for you, it is worth it to change the oil according to the guidelines until the warranty expires. If your engine needs a warranty-covered repair in the future, your manufacturer might decline to cover it if you didn't follow their recommended timeline for oil changes. To avoid a headache, follow their recommendations.
Another reason why the manufacturer's recommendations are worth considering is that the automaker has done extensive testing on your vehicle's engine to define the recommendation. Their recommendations are based on lab and real-world driving to determine how it performs under many conditions. Through that testing, they have developed a set of guidelines for maintenance and the frequency of oil changes.
Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/RAM manufacturer's recommendation is to get your oil changed every 8000 kilometers, 6 months or 200 engine hours.
Octane gas is available in several different grades, with each number representing the resistance to burn the fuel has; the higher the rating, the slower the burn. The most common form of octane gas is 87octane. Generally speaking, octane gas increases the cost of fuel, and the higher the grade you purchase the more money you will spend.
You can determine what type is needed for your vehicle by:
-Looking at the owners manual.
-Checking the manufacturer's website.
Most find higher-level octane gas to be desirable because they feel that it keeps their car engines running smoother and because they feel it is a cleaner fuel. The truth though is that although it may be cleaner, most engines will notice minimal difference with the higher gas grade. If you have questions or concerns about your vehicle, please contact our service department to get answers and fast, cost efficient solutions.