Category: Maintenance Tips

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!