January 31, 2017

Improve the Visibility out of the Windshield

When you drive you will want to make sure the vehicle is in the best condition possible. You will want to make sure that you bring the vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections. One part that we can inspect is the windshield. The windshield, for many drivers, is the most used item of their entire automobile. It is also one of the biggest parts of keeping drivers safe on the road. It is all that stands between drivers and the open road. Most blades are not hard to snap off and replace, nor are they expensive. An inspection of the wiper blades also is easy, simply run your hand and your eyes on one at a time and feel along for holes in the edge or torn pieces of rubber that could render the windshield wiper ineffective. If it leaves significant streaks or does not appear to be hugging the contour of the glass, than it might be time to look into a replacement wiper blade. One item that goes along with the windshield and the windshield wiper blades is the washer fluid that will help them clean. Often green or turquoise, this fluid is one of the ones that should be checked before any likely adventure in the rain or in questionable weather. Windshield washer fluid keeps bugs from impeding your vision as a driver, and thus allows you better vision of the road and better planning when obstacles come up. In the event that the unthinkable does happen though, and your windshield does require repair or replacement, there are many options available and some of them do not even require a direct fee. If you have full coverage of your vehicle, most of the time little cracks and even possibly big ones are entirely covered by the insurance. It is recommended to have the windshield replaced as soon as you start to notice damage or issues to it. Cracks and divots can impair your vision. This may allow you to not see an object in the road ahead. Cracks and chips will typically grow and get larger as time passes. There can be repairs to the windshield if the chip is small enough and caught early. If you notice any issues, make sure to contact us and we can inspect the windshield for you.  
January 20, 2017

How the Temperature Affects the Tire Pressure

Tires must be properly inflated to achieve maximum handling, traction, and durability as designed by the tire manufacturer. It is the air pressure that supports the weight of your vehicle, not the tire itself. Tire pressure should be monitored frequently for safe driving and optimal tire performance. Tire pressure can change with fluctuations in temperature. First, it is important to remember that gas expands when heated and contracts when the temperature declines. Here, the daily temperatures rise and fall between day and night, as well as seasonally. As the days get shorter and colder during fall and winter, it is especially important to check your tire pressure. Second, it is important to know that the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle. This can be found in the owner’s manual and the tire placard for the vehicle. The recommended air pressure is based on cold inflation pressure. This means that the tire pressure should be checked in the morning before the tire has been run, before the ambient temperature rises during the day, and before the tire is exposed to direct sunlight. A good estimate to use when comparing tire pressure to air temperature is for every 10 degrees Farenheit; tire pressure will adjust by 1 psi. For example, if the outside air temperature increases 10 degrees, the tire pressure will increase by 1 psi. If the air temperature falls 10 degrees, the tire pressure will decrease by 1 psi. Here, the difference between the average summer temperatures and average winter temperatures is about 50 degrees. This means that your tires will fluctuate approximately 5 psi between the coldest and warmest times of the year. A drop of 5 psi during colder months will affect traction, handling, and durability. This is why it is important to remember to check your inflation pressure, especially during colder times of the year. Make sure to check the tires regularly for proper air pressure. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the tires for you.
January 10, 2017

Careful Driving for Winter

  In the winter, there are some things you will want to inspect on your vehicle on a regular basis. Check the air pressure of the tires on a regular basis. It should be at the amount recommended by the vehicle owner’s manual. It is important to keep the tires at the appropriate pressure because it can help prevent issues to the vehicle. Under inflated tires can run the risk of blowing out when they are driven on. Tires that are over inflated are more prone to pick up sharp objects that might be on the road. Tires typically lose a pound of air pressure for every ten-degree drop. Tires that are poorly inflated will not be able to grip the pavement as well as they should.   It is always important to have the windshield is clean and clear this winter. To help with visibility in the winter, make sure the windshield is free of any cracks, divots, or dirt build-up. The windshield wipers should also be inspected and replaced on a regular basis. If the blades begin to wear or have rips on them, they will not be able to clean the window as efficiently as they could. It is also important to make sure to turn the wipers off when you park the vehicle. This way you can help prevent the wiper motor from getting frozen. If the wiper motor becomes frozen when the wipers are on, this could lead to the motor burning out.   When twigs or other debris build-up in areas of your vehicle, it could cause issues. This is because it will block areas on the vehicle where water is supposed to flow out. It can then lead to corrosion or leaks. The most common spot to look is the air plenum near the windshield. Also, check the sunroof if you have one. Sunroofs have drains that allow water to flow down to the ground. Leaves and other debris can cause water build-up or leaks as well.   Winter puts a lot of stress on the battery of your vehicle. This is especially true if you park the vehicle outdoors. The battery should be inspected so that it is cleaned off of any debris build-up. This can cause a poor current to and from the battery. You can also bring your vehicle in and we can inspect it for you. Having a good battery can help the efficiency and reliability of your vehicle.