Extreme weather can do a number on your vehicle. In the Summer, beyond making your legs stick to your leather seats, the heat can cause serious problems for drivers. It’s important to prepare for the hot weather months ahead.

Here are five safety tips to help ensure that you, your family, pets and vehicle handle summer safely:

  1. Monitor tire pressure: Check tires before and during long trips. For an accurate result, use your gauge when tires are cold, usually before driving in the morning or after you’ve been parked for a while. Tire air pressure increases as the temperature goes up. Scientists have figured out that for every 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) that the temperature rises the tire pressure will increase by one pound per square inch (PSI). Doesn’t sound like much but there’s typically only 30-35 PSI in the tires of passenger vehicles.
  2. Fuel Economy: Gas evaporates quicker in a hot vehicle than it does in a cold one. Keeping your car in a garage or shade as much as possible will improve your fuel economy.
  3. Check fluids: Flush and fill the vehicle’s cooling system on schedule to prevent overheating. Check the level, condition and color/concentration of coolant regularly. Be careful around the radiator cap. Don’t touch or remove it until the engine is cool.
  4. Vehicle Battery: Hot weather can drain the life out of your car’s battery. When the temperature gets particularly high, the battery fluid can evaporate, meaning that damage can occur to the internal structure. 
  5. Professional checkup: For automobile safety, there’s no substitute for regular automotive checkups and fluid checks. Your mechanic should also inspect drive belts, hoses and clamps. At Sierra Car Care we offer a complimentary inspection to let you know how your vehicle is doing. We will recommend any work we see as vital and let you know about the overall general health of your vehicle. Click here for coupons.
  6. Use window shades to deter hot surfaces: Test vinyl seating surfaces and metal parts like safety belt buckles to prevent burns before placing your child in the car. Car shades are inexpensive, effective solutions to keep cool in extreme heat.
  7. Child and pet safety: Never leave children or pets alone in a vehicle, even with the car windows down. The interior temperature in a car or truck increases rapidly on hot days. It can soon exceed 100 degrees in the car. Be careful even when parked at home. Make sure to take your child and animals indoors with you, and don’t allow them to wait for you in the car. You could get a phone call, lose your keys temporarily or experience some other delay and forget them.

When you need auto repair come into any of our three Sierra Car Care locations around the Reno, NV area.

Our brand may have changed, but we are still operated by the same great management. Thank you for your trust.

 

We are a full service auto repair company. Our ASE Certified mechanics specialize in repair of all makes and models of vehicles. Enjoy competitive tire prices and gas pumps that are open 24/7 at three convenient locations in Reno.

 

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers carry name brand tires for customers across Reno NV, Sparks NV, Verdi, NV, Carson City NV, and surrounding communities. Our tire prices are some of the lowest in Washoe County. When you buy your tires from us, the mount and balance are free. We also offer free tire repairs and free tire rotations for the life of the tires.

Not sure which tires are right for your car? Try our online tire catalog and search by vehicle, brand, or tire size. We offer one of the largest inventory of tires in Reno. If you have any questions or need help with other Reno, NV auto repair services, then stop today!

Michelin Tires Reno, NV

MICHELIN® founders Édouard and André Michelin were brothers from Clermont-Ferrand and Paris, France. Their small rubber factory was incorporated…

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BFGoodrich Tires Reno, NV

“The everyday tire with performance that’s anything but,” is the heart and soul of BFGoodrich®. The vision of BFGoodrich® is to be innovative and deliver products that make a difference…

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Uniroyal Tires Reno, NV

The United States Rubber Company was founded in 1892. It was one of the original twelve stocks of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In 1941, they bought a controlling…

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GT Radial Tires Reno, NV

GT Radial Tires are made and sold all throughout different countries including U.S., Canada, Asia, Australia, Europe, France, Indonesia, and Italy…

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Bridgestone Tires Reno, NV

Bridgestone or “Stone Bridge” (the direct translation of the name from Japanese) was founded in 1931 by Shojiro Ishibashi in Japan. Japan slowly started producing…

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Continental Tires Reno, NV

Continental is one of the world’s leading automotive industry suppliers. Continental AG was founded in 1871 in Hanover, Germany. It is currently one of the five largest automotive…

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Cooper Tires Reno, NV

Cooper traces its roots back to Akron, Ohio when in 1914 two brother-in-laws purchased the M&M Company, a company which made tire patches and repair kits…

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General Tires Reno, NV

William O’Neil and his partner, Winfred Fouse, founded the General Tire and Rubber Company in 1915. General Tire was an outgrowth of the Western Tire…

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Goodyear Tires Reno, NV

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling. With just thirteen employees, Goodyear began producing bicycle and carriage tires…

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Hankook Tires Reno, NV

Hankook Tire was established in 1941 in Seoul, Korea. Hankook began production in 1942, originally producing 110,000 tires a year. Today, they produce over 50 million…

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Pirelli Tires Reno, NV

Giovanni Battista Pirelli founded Pirelli & C. in 1872. The company focused on producing telegraph cables in the 1870s and 1880s. In 1890 Pirelli developed their first bicycle…

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Yokohama Tires Reno, NV

The Yokohama Rubber Company, Limited was established in 1917 in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture with a joint investment from Furukawa Electric Company, Ltd…

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There are several things that might happen if a significant amount of excess oil is added to your engine.

Changes in the oil pressure and overall lubrication of the engine can lead to:

  • Engine damage such as bent rods in the engine or collapsed valve pipes
  • Catastrophic engine failure where the engine sustains enough damage that it cannot be repaired, but must instead be replaced
  • Excess engine wear from inconsistent oil pressure over time
  • Spark plug fouling, resulting in the need to replace spark plugs more frequently
  • Excess oil deposits in the catalytic converter

Automotive oil reservoirs are designed to hold a bit of extra oil to compensate for fluid expansion in warm conditions, and to help prevent damage to the engine in case excessive oil is added to the engine. As a result, half a quart may not cause any damage to your engine, but much more than that could lead to engine damage.

When too much oil is poured into the reservoir, the excess oil can be pulled into the crankshaft as it spins. The oil is mixed with air and aerates – also known as ‘foaming’ – like what you might find on your morning latte. The combination of oil and air results in decreased oil pressure as the oil pump is unable to continue pumping the oil effectively.

Overfilling the oil can cause the car to have misfires and run rough. It will also blow a lot of smoke out of the tail pipe. This usually will not cause any long lasting damage.

If you are worried that you have overfilled your vehicles oil just bring it into any of our Sierra Car Care and Tire Center locations and our mechanics can let you know what they recommend.

Your vehicle’s dashboard lights play an important role in precautionary maintenance. These lights indicate an issue with your car that needs either an immediate action or checking.

If you have a check engine light on, that requires immediate attention, feel free to bring your vehicle into any of our three locations around the Reno area.

 

Right Front Tire Low Add Air to Tire

On most newer vehicles there is a sensor that monitors the tire pressure.  When the vehicle senses one of your tires drops in pressure this light will illuminate.
Reasons for Tire Pressure Loss
  1. There is an object that has punctured the tire like a nail or screw
  2. The “bead” where the tire meets the rim becomes unseated or is not properly sealed
  3. The “valve stem” where air in placed in the tire is worn or leaking
  4. There is a dramatic change in outside temperature that required the inside tire pressure to be adjusted

Make sure you take a tire warning light seriously!  Low pressure can affect steering and braking of your vehicle. Any puncture or leak could cause the tire to burst and loss of control of the vehicle. Stop by and see us, Sierra Car Care and Tire Center, so we can check your tires for leaks and adjust the pressure as needed!

Most vehicles do not come with a stabilization program in their software systems. This program measures a variety of information to determine if your vehicle has the potential for sliding or losing control.

The system can independently reduce the engine speed and/or brake individual tires to reduce or correct the vehicle from a potential spin out. It is not absolute in its ability to keep you out of every potential spin situation, but it is incredibly successful in keeping vehicles safe.

Refer to your owner’s manual for information relevant to your specific vehicle.

Like all belts on your car, the timing belt is subject to wear and tear. It is best to defer to your owner’s manual for recommended replacement intervals (generally somewhere between 50,000 – 80,000 miles, may vary depending on make and model).

How the timing belt system works:

The timing belt is a toothed belt that keeps your engine synchronized (in time). It ensures that the camshaft and crankshaft are in synch during operation, and that the valves open and close at the right times in relation to piston movement. As such, it is perhaps the single most important maintenance item on your car and should be replaced at the manufacturer’s recommended service interval.

To sum this up in a nutshell, the piston and valves in your engine essentially take up the same space. Obviously, they can’t do this at the same time, or they’d crash into each other and cause serious damage. The timing belt ensures that their movement is timed correctly. When the belt breaks, timing is thrown off. The most common outcome here is bent valves (due to impact with the piston), but it can also cause damage to the cylinder head, or even to the camshaft itself.

Common reasons for this to happen:

  • Failing Water Pump Pulley: The most common cause of squealing or squeaking from the timing belt cover is the water pump pulley. If the bearings in the pulley are beginning to fail, they will make noise. Eventually, they’ll seize and the water pump will no longer operate, causing your engine to overheat.
  • Serpentine or V-Belt Slipping: Another common cause here is noise transference from a slipping serpentine or V-belt. In these instances, the sound is actually coming from the belt slipping on a pulley and it just SOUNDS like it’s coming from behind the timing belt cover.
  • Belt Too Tight: Again, the sound cannot be coming from your timing belt, but if you’ve recently had your serpentine belt or V-belt replaced, it could be adjusted too tight, which will cause squeaking or squealing.

How important is this service?

If you’re hearing a squealing or squeaking sound from behind the timing belt cover, chances are good that it’s the water pump pulley. If this pulley fails, your engine will overheat, causing potentially devastating damage (up to and including a cracked block). The best defense here is to ensure that the water pump is changed when the timing belt is changed, and to always follow the automaker’s service recommendations. One of Sierra Car Care’s professional ASE Certified auto mechanics can listen to and inspect your engine, diagnose the problem and then repair it.

Spring is here! With more sun and rising temperatures comes an entirely different strategy for car care. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here are a few simple tips to help you care for your vehicle as winter makes way for spring.

Check Your Tire Pressures

Tire pressure is especially important in the spring. As air temperatures get cooler during the winter, tire pressure decreases. As the air in your tires get warmer in the spring, tire pressure can increase. If the pressure increases past your manufacturer specification (because you added air during the winter), it can seriously affect your car’s drivability and fuel economy and increase the risk of a tire blowout. This is an important part of car care, so if you don’t feel comfortable checking your car’s tire pressures by yourself, bring it into an one of our locations to check the tire pressure.

Inspect Your Wiper Blades

As spring temperatures warm up, check your wiper blades for any signs of cracking or wear. The wiper blades themselves can wear dramatically over the winter months due to ice buildup or other harsh conditions. In most parts of the country, you’ll need those wipers for spring rains, so be sure they’re in good working order after winter comes and goes.

Check Under the Hood

Check belts and hoses to ensure the cold winter temperatures haven’t rendered them brittle or heavily worn. Check your coolant to make sure it’s not too old — an important factor for avoiding overheating as temperatures gradually climb. If you aren’t comfortable performing these checks on your own, contact any of our locations. While you may get billed for an hour of labor, it’s better than going into the spring with potential issues lurking under your hood.

Check Alignment and Suspension

Winter is known for being harsh on roads, and that in turn can be harsh on your vehicle. If you find yourself frequently traversing roads with huge potholes or rocks that have emerged from the asphalt, it could ruin your car’s alignment or damage suspension components. Our advice: If you’ve taken your car to a mechanic to check under the hood, ask for a quick suspension and alignment check to make sure nothing is too far outside the manufacturer’s specifications.

This year, many drivers will need actual tire chains during weather-related road controls on Mt. Rose Highway, Kingsbury Grade and parts of U.S. 50.

The new rules apply to any vehicle unless it is four-wheel or all-wheel drive with snow tires, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.

In the past, snow tires were allowed for any vehicle during some chain restrictions no matter the type of vehicle. The change is specifically for the length of Mt. Rose Highway, Kingsbury Grade and U.S. 50 between Glenbrook and Carson City. Tire and chain requirements won’t change on any other highway corridors, according to NDOT.

How to tell if your tires qualify as ‘snow tires’:

Both Nevada and California define “snow tires” as having special tread for greater traction on a slipper surface AND have a sidewall marking (M-S, M/S, international symbols) indicating that it is an approved all-weather tires. The tire must have at least 3/16 inches of tread depth.

Roadside chain restriction signs have been updated to reflect the change.

The switch to chains is aimed at helping traffic move better – and more safely – around the Tahoe area, according to NDOT. More than 300 crashes have happened on the roads in three recent winters, according to NDOT.

Updated Nevada road conditions, including winter road closures, are available by calling 511 or going to nvroads.com.

Related Articles: NDOT

Valentine’s Day can mean more than just chocolates and flowers.

How about a gift that lasts and shows that special someone you really care? This year, instead of your usual Valentine’s Day gift, why not try new brakes or tires – to really say, “I love you”? This year buy something that will help your loved one get where they need to go.

Invest in a gift that lasts

BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-FREE OIL CHANGE (PREMIUM, SYNTHETIC & HIGH MILEAGE)

ALSO INCLUDES: Preventive Maintenance Vehicle Inspection.

Most cars and light trucks. Not valid with any other offer. Limited to all filters in stock. 4×4 / AWD $5 extra. Up to 5 qts. add $3.95 waste disposal fee. Limited time offer. Purchase at any of Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers four locations in Reno. Limited time offer.

Sierra Car Care and Tire Center

We pride ourselves on providing preventive maintenance and auto repair services including oil changes, brake replacement and many other services at affordable prices.

For auto repair and tires give us a call at (775) 525-2420 or contact us online to get a free quote. Feel free to stop by any one of our four tire and auto repair shops located in Reno, Nevada.

Set up an appointment today: Contact us here.

By performing a battery check, we can help save you the money, time and frustration with electrical system or unexpected battery failures. The advanced testing system tests the battery’s ability to deliver the correct current, to anticipate what temperature a battery could fail to crank your vehicle.

EARLY DETECTION

The purpose of early detection and preventive maintenance is to find a battery problem before a battery failure leaves you broke down, in the cold. It could be as simple as looking for cracks in a belt or excess wear. Even though your vehicle started today, your battery could fail when you least expect it. Come into any of our locations in the Reno area to have your battery tested.

Discover your battery’s condition in a few minutes. Early Detection Test only determines if a battery is good or going bad; it can detect if it is questionable. There are 3 possible conditions when testing of your battery:

  • BAD – Needs replace soon
  • MARGINAL – May fail in extreme to moderate cold or heat
  • GOOD – In 6 to 8 months you should re-test
  • MARGINALITY – The battery may start the car but its performance has started to decline. Extreme cold or heat may cause a marginal battery to completely fail.

Know when to expect battery problems:

Winter Car Breakdown - Woman Call For Help

  • Battery – Over 30% of vehicles with batteries 3 years or older can experience battery failure.
  • Heat – Whether from climate or high under-hood operating temperatures, heat speeds up battery corrosion.
  • Cold in Extreme conditions – Retards the battery’s chemical reaction that creates the cranking power in a vehicle and increases the current needed to start a vehicle.
  • Continuing to Crank with Little Driving – drains battery power without giving the vehicle’s charging system a chance to recharge the battery.

Living in certain areas can affect the life of your battery. You should inspect your battery and replace every 3-5 years. Batteries working in colder area’s last longer than warmer climates.

Related Articles: Avoid Winter Battery Failure

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