Posts Tagged Maintenance

It’s Time To Service Your Vehicle and Chevy Explains Why

Here at Rogers Auto Group, we know it is important to get the most value of your next vehicle investment.  Choosing a new or used car and purchasing one can be a big decision that can have an impact on your life every day and on top of that, we’re sure you want the driving experience to be free of frustration and problems.  That’s why one of the best things you can do is to keep up with your routine service schedule.

In an effort build awareness of this fact, Chevy released a new video on its YouTube channel today that explains the value of routine service in a pretty unique way.  Just how unique, you ask?  Don’t let us spoil the surprise.  Instead, just take a peek at the video below.

Find it as enjoyable as we did? Or, maybe you’re finally realizing it’s time to relieve your car of its automotive allergies? Either way, Rogers Auto Group — located at 2720 S Michigan Ave, Chicago IL — would like to hear from you. Leave us a comment below, or if you’re interested in reaching our service department, simply dial 877-644-4370.

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Top 7 Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your Car

A car is not only a big investment financially, but it’s also something you rely upon to get you around reliably and safely.  There’s no better way to protect your investment and avoid unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs than preventative maintenance.  Performing simple preventative maintenance on a regular basis can keep your car running longer and save you money.

1.    Oil and Filter:  Changing your oil and filter is one of the most basic yet most important components of preventative vehicle maintenance.  An engine’s oil keeps all its moving parts lubricated, and changing it regularly ensures proper levels and keeps the oil clean.  Your owner’s manual will tell you how often to change the oil for your vehicle, but most recommend oil changes every 3,000 – 5,000 miles or every 3 to 6 months.

2.    Battery:  If your battery goes out, you won’t be going anywhere, so including this in your preventative maintenance checklist is imperative.  Most car batteries will last 3 to 4 years if properly maintained.  Simple preventative measures you can take include cleaning the battery terminals, maintaining battery fluid levels, and disconnecting the battery if you won’t be driving your vehicle for more than two weeks.

3.    Brakes:   Your brakes are central to your vehicle’s safety system and neglecting them can not only be dangerous but also costly.  Pay attention to the sounds of your vehicle.  If you hear squeaking when applying the brakes, it’s probably time to get the brake pads replaced.  Neglecting the warning signs can lead to further damage to your vehicle’s braking system.

4.    Tires:   Performing preventative maintenance on your vehicle’s tires can extend their life and keep your vehicle running more smoothly.  The easiest thing you can do is ensure that your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure.  This provides your vehicle with better traction and fuel economy, and prevents uneven wear on the tires.  Tire rotation, balancing, and alignment according to your manufacturer’s recommendations can also extend the life of your tires and keep your vehicle riding safely.

5.    Fluids:  Keeping your vehicle’s fluids at the proper levels and changing them at recommended intervals is an essential and easy component of preventative maintenance.  Check your owner’s manual, and pay close attention to antifreeze/coolant, power steering, brake, transmission fluid recommendations.

6.    Belts and Hoses:  A quick visual inspection of your car’s belts and hoses can prevent a costly repair down the road.  If your belts have any cracks or missing segments, it’s time to replace them.

7.    Air Filter:  Your vehicle’s air filter helps keep dirt out of your engine, and a clean air filter can mean increased fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and a longer life for your engine.  Air filters are generally recommended to be changed every 12,000-15,000 miles, and it’s an inexpensive procedure you can do on your own.  Check your owner’s manual for your air filter specs.

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Tire Rotation, Wheel Alignment, and Tire Balancing: What’s the Difference?

Your tires are one of the most important components of your vehicle, and properly maintaining them is a must for ensuring a safe ride.  Like the shoes on your feet, tires are the car’s direct contact with the ground and can wear unevenly and eventually become too worn to do their jobs.  Proper maintenance measures like tire balancing, tire rotation and wheel alignment can address these issues and help your car reach its maximum level of performance and safety.  But what do these terms mean and how often should you get them done?

Tire Rotation

Tire rotation is simply the process of moving your tires to different locations on your vehicle, and it’s necessary to ensure even wear on your tires.  Tires wear unevenly through normal use of your vehicle, and can be affected by factors like front and rear axle weight differences, exertion applied from steering and braking, whether you have front-wheel, rear-wheel, or four-wheel drive, and the condition of your tires’ alignment and inflation.  Rotating the tires can evenly distribute this uneven wear.  Why is this important?  Evenly worn tires make for a smoother ride, improved handling, better braking, increased traction, and better gas mileage.  Not to mention, the tires will simply last longer, so you can achieve their maximum value.  Most manufacturers recommend tire rotation roughly every 5,000 to 10,000 miles, but check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s specifications.

Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment is the process of adjusting the angles of a vehicle’s tires to be perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other.  It involves precise adjustment to a vehicle’s suspension components to ensure that the suspension and steering systems are operating at their desired angles.  Wheels can become misaligned through normal wear or an unfortunate run-in with a pothole.  How do you know if you need an alignment?  You’ll feel your car pulling to the left or right, your car or steering wheel will vibrate at higher speeds, and tires will wear unevenly.  Getting your alignment fixed will improve handling and gas mileage and reduce wear on your tires and steering column.  Unlike tire rotation, which should be performed at regular intervals, wheel alignments are only necessary as a repair if you notice any warning signs.

Tire Balancing

Tire balancing is the process of ensuring that the mass of a tire is uniformly distributed around a car’s axle.  It is most important to perform this service when you purchase new tires or if an existing tire incurs damage and is repaired.  The most noticeable symptom of unbalanced tires is vibrations felt when driving at speeds over 40 mph.  Balancing your tires can make for a smoother ride and evenly worn tires, and reduce stress on your wheel bearings and suspension system.

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5 Tips to Prevent Your Car from Rusting

Preventing rust on your car is one of the most important things you can do to extend your car’s life and maintain its resale value.  While many new vehicles come with rust warranties, no car is immune to the effects of environmental elements and simple science.  When metal comes in contact with oxygen and water, there is rust.  The bad news is that once rust starts, it’s hard to stop.  The good news is that preventing rust from starting takes a minimal amount of time and money.  Ensure a long rust-free life for your car by following our simple tips:

1.    Keep your car clean:   Regular car washes shouldn’t be considered a luxury just for visual appeal but rather a necessity for car health.   Your car’s paint job is the first line of defense against rust, so it is important to keep it free of elements that can cause corrosion in the paint, which will eventually lead to rust.  Wash your car twice per month to remove dirt and road salts, and pay special attention to your car’s undercarriage and wheel wells where elements can easily build up.  Salt poses an extra risk for rust, so during winter months, take extra care to keep your car clean.

2.    Apply a wax twice a year:  Along with regular car washes, applying a wax to your car can go the extra mile in protecting your vehicle’s exterior.  Waxing your car applies an additional layer of protection between your vehicle and the elements, and can greatly extend the life of your paint job and prevent rust.

3.    Fix paint chips promptly:  A small nick in your paint job might seem like more trouble than it’s worth to deal with, but leaving your car’s metal exposed to air and water will lead to rust before too long.  Keep a bottle of touch-up paint handy, and use a reputable body shop for larger repairs.  Tending to problems quickly will save you from rust in the long run.

4.    Protect your floors:  Rust isn’t just a problem for your car’s exterior; it can begin on the inside as well.  Slushy snow and salt on your shoes can seep into your floor mats and start rust on the floorboards where you can’t even see it.  Make a small investment into heavy rubber floor mats to add a solid layer of protection for your vehicle’s floors.

5.    Park inside:  While this isn’t an option for everyone, storing your vehicle indoors is one of the best ways to protect it from rust.  Removing your vehicle from outdoor elements like sun, extreme temperatures and precipitation puts it at less risk to rust.

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10 Simple Ways to Extend the Life of Your Vehicle

Whether your car has 1,000 or 100,000 miles on it, it’s never too early or late to establish a routine for making it last as long as possible.  Following these simple tips can not only extend the life of your vehicle, but also minimize your repair bills and maintain your car’s resale value.

1.  Change your oil regularly:  Changing your oil improves gas mileage and protects your engine, and is one of the most important factors in ensuring a long life for your car.  Recommended time between oil changes is 3,000-5,000 miles or every 3 to 6 months.

2.  Don’t neglect your fluids:  Oil changes are typically no-brainers for car owners, but don’t forget about your vehicle’s other vital fluids.  Antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid are all important to proper functioning and can harshly affect your car’s life if not tended to regularly.

3.  Heed your “Check Engine” light:  No one likes to see that ominous “Check Engine” light illuminated on the dashboard, but ignoring it could mean bigger trouble and bigger costs down the road.  Get yours checked out as soon as it comes on to prevent small issues from becoming bigger ones.

4.  Maintain your tires:  Your tires are one of the most important components of your car, and a few simple maintenance measures can make them last longer.  Be sure that your tires are properly inflated, and get your tires balanced and aligned according to your manufacturer’s recommendations.  Not only will these steps provide you with the safest ride, but they’ll extend the life of your tires by many miles!

5.  Perform scheduled and preventative maintenance:  Pull that owner’s manual out of the glove compartment, and check out your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule.  Keeping up with regular maintenance to some of your car’s vital systems can not only extend the life of your vehicle but can help avoid costly problems.

6.  Keep it clean, inside and out:  Wash your car’s exterior regularly to help maintain the paint job, and spring for a wax from time to time for extra protection.  Bird droppings, road salts and grime can all eat away at your vehicle’s finish and lead to rusting and corrosion.  Don’t forget about the interior either.  Clean spills promptly to prevent stains and upholstery damage, and invest in all-weather floor mats to protect your carpeting from dirt and corrosion.

7. Park smart:  Park indoors as often as possible to protect your car’s exterior from fading, rust and corrosion.  If this is not an option, park in the shade or use a car cover.  When you’re out running errands, park in a secluded area of the parking lot to prevent dings from careless drivers.

8.  Drive kindly:  Aggressive driving, abrupt accelerations or stops, and riding the brakes or clutch can wear out your car’s components quickly and lead to costly repairs.  Drive smoothly and your car and wallet will thank you.

9.  Don’t drive on empty:  Make an effort to fill up your tank before the gas gauge dips below 1/4 full.  Driving on low fuel can increase the likelihood of dirt, rust, and debris forming the fuel system.

10.  Don’t fill up if you see the fuel truck:  If you pull into the gas station and see a fuel truck refilling the tanks, drive off to the next gas station.  When gas station tanks are refilled, this stirs up sediment in the underground tanks which can get into your engine and lead to performance problems and costly repairs.

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8 Easy Ways to Save Money on Gas

Whether you’re driving across town or across country, everyone wants to save money at the pump.  You might think your gas costs are solely at the mercy of pump prices or your vehicle’s mpg stats, but being mindful of your driving habits and monitoring a few key vehicle components can improve your fuel economy and save you big bucks at the pump.  Check out our tips below to start driving more efficiently and thus saving more money.

1. Mind Your Tires:  Be sure your tires are inflated to your manufacturer’s specified level. A properly inflated tire has minimized friction with the road, therefore improving your gas mileage.  Proper tire alignment can also reduce the strain on your engine and save you even more money on gas.

2. Check Your Air Filter:  Your air filter is like the lungs of your vehicle, and keeping it clean is not only beneficial to a well-running engine, but it can also improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.  It’s an inexpensive part, and recommended replacement is about once per year.

3. Slow Down:   Everyone wants to get to their destination quickly, but as your speed increases, so does your aerodynamic drag.  For every 5 mph you reduce your highway speed, you can reduce fuel consumption by 7%.  Slow down and save money!

4. Drive Smoothly:   Driving smoothly can increase your fuel economy by as much as 20%.  Avoid sudden stops and starts, and brake and accelerate slowly and steadily for best results.  When you hit the open highway, use cruise control to maintain a consistent speed and help use your fuel more efficiently.

5. Don’t Idle:   If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute, turn off your car.  Restarting it uses less gas than letting it idle for this length of time.  Additionally, in the winter, there’s no need to warm up your car for it to run safely, so you can save big on fuel by bundling up and hopping right in.

6. Lighten Your Load:  Clean out your trunk and leave only the necessities.  For every 100 extra pounds you cart around in your vehicle, there’s a loss of 1 to 2% in fuel efficiency.  When you pack for a road trip, travel light to save on gas.

7. Mind Your AC and Windows:   Cranking the air conditioning puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used, so roll your windows down or use your AC sparingly to improve fuel economy by up to 20%.  Be mindful of your windshield defroster as well, since this can similarly decrease fuel economy.  However, when you hit the highway, roll those windows back up to decrease drag and increase fuel economy.

8. Fill Up Smartly:  Be sure to choose your gas station wisely to find the best price possible, and fill up your tank all the way on your visit.  Smaller stints of refueling can negatively affect your vehicle’s emissions system, not to mention waste your time with multiple visits to the pump.  And make sure you don’t let that needle get too close to “E” before refilling, as running a vehicle on low gas can shorten the life of the electric fuel pump.

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Car

With 2013 just around the corner, you might be compiling your list of New Year’s resolutions.  While you’re making plans to get healthier or more organized, consider applying some of these resolutions to your car.   Paying mind to your vehicle in your resolutions list can keep your car running smoothly all year long and beyond.

Stay Healthy:  Many New Year’s resolutions include hitting the gym or eating better, and your vehicle can benefit from a healthier lifestyle too.  Resolve to keep your car in good shape by sticking to a maintenance schedule and addressing mechanical problems promptly.  Get your oil changed regularly, monitor fluid levels, check tire pressure and rotate tires, get regular tune-ups, and address your “check engine light” if it comes on.  These are just a few simple steps you can take to keep your car in good health.  Check your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance regimens.

Go Green:  Going green is great New Year’s resolution, and applying this mindset to your vehicle doesn’t only help the environment, but it can also save you money.  Aggressive driving and speeding can increase your fuel consumption by up to 35 percent, and letting your car idle for 10 minutes a day produces almost a quarter ton of carbon dioxide emissions and costs you more than $80 every year.  Pay mind to your driving habits and you could save on fuel costs while being kinder to mother nature.

Keep Organized:  Getting your household or finances in order might be on your resolution list.  Consider applying the same organizational motivation when it comes to your car.  Keep your maintenance records organized, lay out a maintenance schedule for the year, be sure your loan and insurance payments are made on time.

Stay Clean:  Does your resolutions list include cleaning out the basement or the fridge?  Don’t forget to include your vehicle on those cleaning sprees.  Regular cleaning of your car’s exterior can help maintain your paint job, and keeping your interior clean can reduce wear and tear and staining.  Extra clutter in your back seat or trunk is not only unsightly, but the unnecessary weight can reduce gas mileage.  Clean up for a more pleasant and fuel efficient ride.

Be Safe:  Resolve to be a safer driver in 2013 and protect your own well-being as well as those of your fellow drivers out on the road.  Obey traffic laws, buckle up, avoid cell phone use and distracted driving, replace worn wipers to improve visibility, and stay home in bad weather.

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