Summer is gone and fall has arrived, which means it’s time to take care of your car’s regular maintenance! Take the time to ensure your vehicle is up and running smoothly, especially before winter arrives—the cold weather will only make problems worse. If you aren’t sure what to do, here are some proper fall car care tips from us here at 171 Nissan.
- Oil – There’s a reason oil usually makes it onto car care lists. Oil plays three major, crucial roles in your engine, which is why it’s important to keep up with proper maintenance. Check your owner’s manual to see when your car needs an oil change. Old oil won’t perform as well as the weather grows colder and that can cause major problems.
- Engine – Speaking of the engine, have any problems like rough idling, stalling, and hard starts, address it immediately. Doing so will save you a bundle of money and a good amount of headaches as it gets later in the year.
- Lights – Fall and, subsequently, winter are a good time to address your headlights. Replace any burnt-out bulbs, clean the lenses, and inspect areas around the lights for chips, cracks, dents, or other possible problems. You’ll be glad you did!
If you drive to the city every day for work, you know better than anyone that cities are the worst place for fuel economy. Backed up traffic and all those stop lights seriously work against you (unless you drive an EV). Here are some tips for improving fuel economy in the city.
Fuel efficiency tips are different in the city than on the freeway. Using cruise control and avoiding idling aren’t that easy in the city. If you can take an alternate route, do it, even if it’s a little more scenic or takes longer—in the end, avoiding the thicker city traffic will save gas and probably time. But if you have to sit through city traffic, it’s a little trickier to save fuel.
If you can avoid it, don’t use the air conditioner. It uses extra gas, and the air doesn’t even stay very cool while you’re idling. You should also make sure your car is as light as possible—excessive cargo, especially on the roof, uses more gas to move and can reduce your car’s aerodynamics.
Drive sensibly. Avoid slamming on the brakes or speeding up quickly after idling. You’re going to have to stop again soon anyway. Give yourself time to coast a little and brake gently, and speed up after a light slowly.
It’s also important to get routine maintenance done so that your car is in its best shape. A car in bad shape uses more fuel than one in good shape!
For more tips or to get your car checked for its regular maintenance, stop by 171 Nissan today and come into our service drive![Top]
Cars these days are becoming more and more fuel efficient, but if you’ve got an older car or a huge SUV, your car might be a gas guzzler. However, you’re not doomed to those low mpg ratings! There are plenty of ways to improve fuel efficiency while keeping the spacious interior and solid body you’re used to, and we are going to share some with you!
An easy way to use less gas (as it’s the whole reason cars get better mileage on the freeway than in town) is to use your brakes less. In stop and go traffic, there’s no need to speed up so fast if you’re just going to have to punch your brakes in a few seconds. Speed up gradually and you’ll save more gas than you’d think. Also, give yourself plenty of time when you are coming up on a stop sign or a red light. This will also help you use your brakes less and save on gas.
Don’t be afraid to lose a few mph on hills—let the car slow down, and coast down the hill on the other side to speed up. Pick a route with as few traffic lights as possible and, if you possibly can, take back ways home from work to avoid rush hour traffic. Driving in rush hour might as well be driving with your gas cap off. If you are looking for more ways to take care of your car, check out our Common Car Maintenance FAQ’s here at 171 Nissan![Top]
The winter months can cause serious damage to your tires – tires that will need more tread than ever during the rainy spring season. Proper tire maintenance can help you prevent hydroplaning, fuel waste, and the dreaded flat tire.
Here are some tire maintenance tips to get you started:
- Be sure to get your tires (and entire vehicle, for that matter) looked over regularly by a professional, who will notice things that you do not.
- Keep your tires inflated to the amount indicated inside the car door. Try to get as close to the appropriate number as possible, and remember that over-inflation and under-inflation are both bad for your tires.
- If you are noticing that your vehicle seems to be pulling to one side, the problem is likely due to one or more of the tires. Be sure to identify the culprit and get the issue solved.
- Learn the penny trick to evaluate your tires’ tread, and be sure to get new tires if necessary.
How do you make sure your tires are well-maintained? Let us know at 171 Nissan your ideas in the comments. We hope that these tips will help you keep your car in the best shape possible![Top]
We might not have had a winter as bad as our friends to the North, but our cars certainly weren’t immune to some of winter’s automotive punishments. Regardless of how you think your car is faring as we head into spring, it’s important to take the time for some spring car maintenance to make sure it’s in tip-top condition for that coveted arm-out-the-window, hair-blowing-in-the-breeze driving. We at 171 Nissan have some great spring car maintenance tips to make that happen.
- Replace your windshield wiper blades. These babies actually need to be replaced about twice a year. Now is as good a time as ever, since spring is traditionally the rainiest of seasons. You won’t want streaks across your windshield during a big storm.
- Clean the engine air filter. People often forget to clean this part of their car, but you should be doing this once or twice a year as well.
- Change the oil and top off fluids. Depending on how much you drive, you’ll need to change your oil about two or three times a year. The rule of thumb is between every 3,000 and 5,000 miles. If you aren’t comfortable changing your oil and topping off your fluids, our service department is more than happy to help!
- Check batteries, plug, and wires. Take a look under the hood to make sure these components are all in order, as cold weather can have negative effects. If your battery is more than a few years old, or if you’ve noticed that your car is having trouble starting right away, you may want to have it tested and replaced if necessary.
- Check your tire tread and pressure. If you don’t have a tire pressure monitoring function built into your vehicle, be sure to reference the inside of your door to determine your car’s proper tire pressure and check to be sure your tires are filled correctly. (Often, after winter, you’ll need to add some pressure to your tires.) To check the tread of your tires, grab a penny and place the edge into the tread of each tire. If no part of Mr. Lincoln’s is covered by the tread, you’ll probably need to invest in some new tires.
- Check wheel alignment. Potholes can be nasty foes of wheel alignment. If your car veers off to one side more than the other, you might need to have your alignment checked. Not doing so could cause your tires to wear out prematurely.
- Check your lights. Make sure no lights are in need of replacement bulbs. This includes inside lights, as well as all lights on the outside.
And while you’re performing routine spring car maintenance on your vehicle, you might consider a bit of spring cleaning for your car if it’s getting particularly cluttered!
Do you have any spring car maintenance tips of your own? Please share them below![Top]