Category: Maintenance Tips

Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Car

Remember these summer maintenance tips for your car to ensure you stay rolling this season

The summer is upon us, and if you haven’t brought your ride into Gossett Hyundai Mazda Mitsubishi for seasonal maintenance already, you’ll want to make time as soon as possible. Keeping your vehicle properly maintained in the summer can mean the difference between taking a successful road trip with the family and being stranded at the side of the road.

Check your A/C. Memphis gets awfully hot in the summertime, so it’s extremely important that your vehicle’s air conditioning is up to snuff. If you haven’t had your A/C inspected and serviced recently, make it a point to have that done before making it work overtime.

Be prepared. Sometimes, a breakdown is unavoidable. What can be avoided, however, is being caught out in the sun without the essentials. Put together a summer emergency kit, which should include all-season essentials like a spare cell phone battery/charger, flashlight, blankets, bottled water, and so on. For the summer, consider adding seasonal must-haves like bug spray and sunscreen to ensure your comfort and safety if you should be stuck on the roadside for a time.

There are a ton of different maintenance steps you can take before your big summer road trip, including recommended service for your tires, battery, and fluids. To have that work done quickly and correctly, stop into Gossett Hyundai Mazda Mitsubishi.




Summer Service Tips

Use these summer service tips to make sure your car thrives this season

The summer season is coming in hot, and it pays to have a vehicle that can handle the increase in temperatures and vacation travels. A vehicle operating at peak performance will make hitting the open road much more enjoyable. These summer service tips will make sure your car can handle the hottest season of the year and get you where you need to go in comfort and style.

Cooling System

A car’s cooling system is a necessity in preventing the engine from overheating. As a general rule, the cooling system should be flushed and refilled every two years. A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is recommended for most climates. If you plan on taking care of this maintenance yourself, make sure to leave the radiator cap in place until the engine has cooled. Make sure to have the belts and hoses inspected by a certified technician.

Oil

The engine oil is responsible for cooling, lubricating, and protecting the vital parts of the engine. Fresh oil performs its duties much better than old oil. Consult your owner’s manual to determine how often the manufacturer recommends changing the oil.

Lights

You should inspect your car’s lights every few weeks, and the beginning of the summer season is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Perform a walk around of the vehicle and replace any burned out bulbs. Clean the lenses and inspect them for cracks while you’re at it!

These are just some of the many steps you can take to make sure that your vehicle is up for the task of summer driving. If you need help getting there, the service pros at Gossett Hyundai Mazda Mitsubishi have the expertise and know-how you need.




General Vehicle Maintenance Tips

General Vehicle Maintenance TipsProperly maintaining your vehicle throughout the years could be the difference between racking up 250,000+ miles or calling the tow truck while you’re stuck on the side of the road. You invest in your future when purchasing a car, so taking proper care of it in some senses means taking care of yourself. To help you protect your investment through all the wear and tear, consider these general vehicle maintenance tips.

Wheels and Tires: If you want your tires to last as long as possible, the general rule is to have them rotated about every 5,000 miles (or at the interval suggested by your owner’s manual). In addition, make sure to regularly check your tire pressure and clean off the brake dust on your wheels. Last, but not least, check your tread depth. Bald tires lead to dangerous driving situations.

Engine: The heart of your car requires regular, much-needed attention. Checking your oil level is something you should do periodically to make sure you steer clear of engine problems. To properly check it, park your car on level ground and wait for the engine to cool off. Then, locate the dipstick, remove it, and wipe it clean with a paper towel or other disposable cloth before returning it to its tube. After a few seconds, pull it out again and note where the oil level is. Marks are notched into the dipstick to give you a good reading. The level should be somewhere between the two notches. If it’s below the lower notch, add a little oil.

Checking your coolant level is just as important, as your engine will not run without it. Locate where the coolant reservoir is in your owner’s manual and check the level of it when the engine is cool. There are ‘high’ and ‘low’ markings on the reserve for you to reference. Like with the oil, if it’s low, simply add a little coolant.

Fuel: If you notice that you are not getting the kind of fuel efficiency you would expect, there could be a few problems. The most common issue is tire pressure. Improperly inflated tires could be the cause of lower fuel economy. Also, make sure you’re using the right type of fuel. Some cars require higher octane or premium fuel to get better gas mileage and performance.

These are just some of the steps that you can take to ensure the long, happy relationship between you and your vehicle. If you need help keeping up with your maintenance needs, or if you’re on the market for a fresh start, make your next stop Gossett Hyundai Mazda Mitsubishi.




How to Prepare Your Car for Spring

prepare your car for springYes, it is still February, but warmer weather is not too far away. Now is the time to make plans on how to prepare your car for spring.

  • Give it a wash. Give your car a thorough wash to clean away all the dirt, salt, and grime that gathers over the winter. Don’t forget the undercarriage, as lingering salt residue can cause damage.
  • Clean the inside. Pay close attention to the interior as well. Take out your floor mats and give them a good scrub. You can even spray them down with the hose and let them dry in the sun.
  • Check your tires. Look over your tires and check for signs for wear. You should also have them rotated and aligned, if necessary.
  • Inspect your wipers. After working to clear your windshield of frost all season long, it might be time for a new set. If they are streaking or stuttering, go ahead and get a new pair.
  • Top off your fluids. Check your fluid levels, especially the windshield washer fluid, and refill them, as necessary.

Let us help your car recover from winter. Schedule a service appointment here at Gossett Hyundai Mazda Mitsubishi and we will get your car ready for spring.




How to Clean Your Car’s Interior

There’s no denying that the interior of your car can get quite dirty before you’re finally fed up with it, but when your vehicle finally reaches that point, it’s hard to know where to begin. Fortunately, we here at Gossett Hyundai Mazda Mitsubishi have a few tips on how to clean your car’s interior.

Clean Your Car’s Interior

Remove Trash

Of all the things that make a vehicle look like a mess, trash sits at the top of the list. Take a garbage bag and remove fast food wrappers, old receipts, and other common debris. Once all the trash is out of the way, you can get to the real mess.

Clean the Rugs

Once all the trash and debris is gone, it’s time to start on the rugs. Clean the rugs with a carpet cleaner made for cars. Many come with a plastic brush for more stubborn problems. Wait a few minutes (as long as recommended on the bottle) for the cleaner to do its work then remove it with a good vacuum.

Polish the Dashboard

Your dashboard is often what people see when they first enter the vehicle. Take the time to polish it until it shines. Doing so ensures that your vehicle is presentable from the first glance.




Pay Attention to Your Vehicle Warning Indicator System!

dashboard lightsYour vehicle is equipped with a Vehicle Warning Indicator system. This is a technical term for all those little icons that light up in your dash. A few common indicators you should know are:

Check Engine

This could mean a routine maintenance task is needed. It may also mean that a sudden engine issue has arisen. When you see this light, get your vehicle in for an inspection immediately!

Coolant Temp

See a thermometer icon light up? You will probably notice your temperature gauge is rising as well. Your vehicle is overheating, a condition that could permanently damage your engine. Possible issues could be a faulty thermostat or a busted hose. Either way, get it checked out!

Battery

If your battery indicator lights up, there is possibly an issue with the battery, your alternator, or both. Most car parts stores will check the battery for free. Do it soon before you’re left stranded somewhere!

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

This one is simple. At least one tire is low. Hopefully you’ve got a tire gauge in your glove box (if you don’t, get one!). Pull over somewhere safe and check your tires.

Unfortunately, a lot of people ignore their Vehicle Warning Indicators. If you do, you are losing out on a fantastic diagnostic/warning system that is designed for the sole purpose of protecting your vehicle and keeping it in top-notch shape.




The Basics of Car Waxing: How to Leave Your Car Shining

car washWaxing is a great way to make your car standout from the pack, and it can also add a protective layer to the exterior. It’s important to understand the basics of car waxing, from which products to buy to the right techniques.

The experts at Popular Mechanics say that cleaning and waxing are the most basic maintenance tasks you can do for your car. It all starts with a thorough washing—be sure to get in cracks, and remove any dirt or dust. Any bit of dirt can do serious damage to paint, scratching and pitting the exterior.

Select a high-quality wax. That doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars, but you should also avoid the cheapest products on the market. Typically, paste waxes work the best, and they should have large volumes of carnauba in them. Liquid wax lasts a long time, but it tends to be slightly dull.

Only use clean cloths and synthetic sponges (natural sponges have grit and dirt). Working in straight lines, coat your car in wax (circular motions tend to leave streaks). Rinse off, and dry your car as soon as possible. Water tends to be bad for waxing, so don’t do it when it is raining or if your car is still soaked from washing. Always work in thin layers, as less is more. Too much wax often leads to caked-on product.

Wax every two months or so. This leaves a spotless shine, as well as a protective layer. It’s great for preventing rust and scratches, and it may even increase the resale value of your car in the long run.




How to Change Your Oil

oil changeIf you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person when it comes to your car, here are some tips on how to change your oil.

First, consult your owner’s manual for the type and weight of oil specific to your vehicle. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s suggestions, because using the wrong type of oil could damage your engine.

Second, spread a plastic sheet on the ground, and then drive your car over it. This will keep you from having to do an oil spill cleanup.

Third, jack up your car and set the jack stands in place to hold up the car while you’re underneath.

Fourth, make sure you have all of your tools (filter wrench, drain pan, the new filter) and smear the clean oil on the new filter’s gasket.

Fifth, slide under the car with your tools in hand. Put the drain pan under the drain plug and remove the plug to get the old oil flowing out.

Sixth, remove the oil filter and install the new one. Once the old oil is down to a trickle, install a new gasket on the plug (if required) and tighten it.

Then, you’re done! If this sounds a little too complicated to do on your own, Gossett’s service department is always here to help.




Spring Car Maintenance Tips You Don’t Want to Skip

springWinter is coming to a close and that means your vehicle is probably looking like it’s seen better days. Between the salt stains and sludgy hubcaps, winter does a number on vehicles both big and small. But thankfully the time for spring car maintenance is here, and we’ve got some quick tips for getting your hot rod hot again.

  1. Salt isn’t just ugly, it’s damaging. Salt causes rust, and the sooner you get all of it washed of your vehicle, the better. When you take your car to the wash, make sure the location has sprayers that concentrate on the undercarriage.
  2. Check the wiper blades. You should be changing out your wiper blades around every six months if you want to maintain optimum performance and visibility. Don’t get caught in an April shower without effective wiper blades!
  3. Finally, get your alignment checked. Winter is breeding season for potholes, which can destroy your suspension and wheel alignment.

All in all, spend one weekend afternoon sometime in March paying attention to your vehicle, and your spring car maintenance will be complete!




Maintenance Tips: Signs of a Bad Radiator

When your car starts to show signs of a bad radiator, it’s one of the most important parts to have replaced, especially as we enter the cold winter season. The radiator is vital for maintaining a normal temperature inside your engine, so without it your engine will overheat and stop working.

Overheating is the most noticeable sign of a bad radiator. While you’re driving, it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature gauge, which measures the internal state of your engine. If you notice it starting to raise past its normal level, pull over and let the engine cool off.

You might also notice puddles underneath your car. This can be a sign of a leak in your coolant system. The best way to find the source of the leak is to take the car to a mechanic and have a pressure test done, then have the source of the leak patched.

You might notice a sludge-like substance in your coolant tank as well. This usually indicates rusting, which will continue to affect your radiator, so you have to replace any rusting parts as well as flush your coolant system.

We at Gossett Hyundai Mazda Mitsubishi recommend taking good care of your car by keeping an eye on your radiator!