Most experts say that wiper blades need to be changed every six to 12 months. This depends on weather conditions and the quality of blades you purchase. Ordinary rubber blades have the shortest lifespan. Halogen-hardened rubber blades last a bit longer. But silicon blades have the longest lifetimes of all, perhaps exceeding a year even under intense use. Of course they also cost more than ordinary rubber blades.

You’ll know when your wiper blades need to be replaced because you’ll see streaking as they wipe the moisture from the windshield or even large gaps where no water is being removed. They may start making squeaking or chattering sounds (though this can also happen if you run the wipers when the windshield is mostly dry). If left unchanged for too long, the material of the blade can shred and break loose from the arm. This can actually cause damage to your windshield, as the metal or hard plastic of the arm scrapes across the glass. This is not preferred.

Fortunately, you won’t necessarily have to replace the entire blade assembly. Most blade arms will accept rubber refills, giving you the option of replacing only the part that’s damaged. However, blade arms can become bent over time, so make sure that the refill is all that you need to replace in order to fix the problem.

If you are unsure and would like an experts opinion, stop by any of Sierra Car Care’s three locations in the Reno area. We are happy to help!

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Drowsy drivers are a bigger risk factor in vehicle accidents than previously thought. And when darkness falls the problem gets worse.

The research, carried out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found that the “proportion of crashes in which drowsiness was evident was over three times as great during the nighttime hours,” according to Brian Tefft, a senior researcher at the foundation.

The researchers continuously monitored more than 3,500 people from six locations across the US for several months between October 2010 and December 2013, using in-vehicle cameras and other equipment. Of 701 crashes the researchers studied, drowsiness was a factor in 8.8% to 9.5%.
Sleepiness was also a factor in 10.6% to 10.8% of crashes resulting in significant property damage, airbag deployment or injury.
The study says US government statistics indicate that only about 1% to 2% of all accidents involve driving while drowsy, but research has suggested that the problem might be much bigger.
“Experts have long regarded such statistics, derived from police reports based on post-crash investigations, as vast underestimates of the scope of the problem,” the study says.
Although the study confirms that crashes caused by drowsy driving are a significant issue, distracted driving and alcohol-related accidents remain an even bigger problem.
According to the nonprofit National Safety Council, 21% of crashes involved cell phones in 2013.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2015, accounting for nearly a third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
The researchers say the new study is the first to use the PERCLOS measure (the percentage of time that a person’s eyes are closed) to assess the drivers’ level of drowsiness. This measure has been shown to be predictive of drowsiness and lapses in attention.
A report published by the CDC found that more than a third of adults in the United States reported getting fewer than seven hours of sleep daily. To avoid drowsy driving crashes, motorists are urged to try getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep.
“The only true countermeasure to drowsiness is sleep,” said William J. Horrey, Traffic Research Group leader at the AAA foundation.

Roadside assistance is for drivers who find themselves suddenly stranded with an inoperable vehicle. Reasons why drivers call for roadside assistance may vary. A motorist may hit a pothole or foreign object that causes a tire to blow out, or a vehicle’s gas tank might reach empty before the driver can refill it.

In addition, a vehicle may need a jump-start, or the vehicle’s owner may need help accessing the vehicle after being locked out. In general, the roadside assistance service can help motorists with problems like replacing flat tires, filling empty gas tanks, jump-starting batteries, lockout assistance, as well as other minor mechanical repairs. Sometimes there is no way to prepare for the misfortunes of the road.

Sierra Care Care’s roadside assistance is designed to help you recover from these misfortunes and continue traveling.

Benefits of Roadside Assistance

If you find yourself stranded with an inoperable vehicle, give Sierra Car Care & Tire Center a call, click here for a location in the Reno-Sparks area, near you. Our roadside assistance service can help put you on the road again.

Where vehicular trouble is concerned, it helps to know experts are available who can properly identify your vehicle’s problem. You can have peace of mind knowing that Sierra Car Care & Tire Center’s informed staff will be on the scene with a phone call.

Our roadside assistance service is even helpful for when you are able to identify the problem, but lack the proper equipment to tackle it. With roadside assistance, you can rest easy knowing a staff member is on the way to work on your vehicle with the best tools for the job. The next time your vehicle sputters on the side of the road or experiences a flat tire, look to roadside assistance for help. Prompt and professional assistance is only a phone call away.

Discover what Roadside Assistance Services are covered with Sierra Car Care & Tire Center here.

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers proudly serves the Roadside Assistance needs of customers in Reno, NV, Verdi, NV, Carson City, NV, and surrounding areas.

Next to the engine, the automatic transmission is the most costly and complex mechanical component of your vehicle. What’s more, automatic transmission fluid is called on to serve many functions. It operates hydraulic components, smoothes the transmission of power, provides lubrication, keeps seals soft, protects internal parts and acts as a coolant.

To preserve these capabilities, the automatic transmission fluid should be serviced at the intervals specified by the vehicle manufacturer in your owner’s manual.

Modern automatic transmission fluid is a carefully formulated chemical compound, often created with a specific transmission design in mind. While a number of companies market “universal” transmission fluids, many vehicle manufacturers specify unique and proprietary fluids for use in their automatic transmissions. Not using these fluids can affect shift quality and transmission life.

Sierra Car Care recommends that motorists consult their owner’s manual and make sure any fluid used in servicing meets the requirements of the vehicle manufacturer.

Checking Automatic Transmission Fluid
The automatic transmission fluid level should be checked with the transmission at full operating temperature and the engine idling. Typically, at least 15 minutes of operation are required to fully warm up the transmission. NOTE: Some newer vehicles have sealed transmissions without a dipstick.

  • Park the vehicle on a level surface, apply the emergency brake and place the transmission in park or neutral (check your owner’s manual to determine which).
  • Open the hood, then locate and remove the transmission dipstick, making sure to avoid any hot or moving engine parts.
  • Wipe the end of the dipstick clean with a rag, and note the level markings. Some dipsticks have one mark for FULL and another for ADD. Other dipsticks may simply have small holes indicating the maximum and minimum oil levels, still others may have a cross-hatch area indicating the acceptable range.
  • Insert the dipstick fully back into its tube, then remove it immediately and read the level.
  • If the fluid level is at or below the ADD mark, then add enough fluid to bring the level up to the FULL mark. Do not overfill. Typically, the distance between the ADD and FULL marks is equal to one pint of fluid. New automatic transmission fluid has a red or pink tint. Fluid that is red dish-amber to medium brown has been in service for some time, but a minor color change of this type is considered normal and is not cause for fluid replacement. However, fluid that is dark brown or black does indicate a lack of maintenance and should be changed as soon as possible. Milky pink or brown fluid, or burnt-smelling fluid of any color, indicates major problems that should be checked out by a transmission expert as soon as possible.

Note: These instructions are intended as general guidelines. Please consult your owner’s or service manual for specific instructions on changing the oil and filter on your vehicle. Use extreme caution when lifting or jacking any vehicle.

Modern engines and lubricants are far superior to those of even ten years ago. As a result, most vehicle manufacturers now recommend engine oil changes every 5,000 or 7,500 miles under normal operating conditions. However, the auto service industry has long encouraged more frequent oil changes based on the belief that most drivers operate their vehicles under “severe service” conditions. But do they really?

Today, mileage-based oil change intervals are becoming a thing of the past. A growing number of new vehicles are equipped with maintenance reminder systems that determine the need for oil changes based on the owner’s actual driving habits. In practice, most drivers find that these systems call for an oil change at around 7,500 miles and, on vehicles factory filled with synthetic oil, the change interval may be as high as 15,000 miles!

Another outdated belief is that oil color is a valid indicator of the need for a change. While new oil has a light gold to brown tint, the fact that oil in service turns dark brown (or black in diesel engines) does not mean it is “dirty” and needs replacement. It only indicates the detergents in the oil are doing their job of keeping tiny particulates in suspension, while any contaminants large enough to cause engine wear are trapped by the oil filter. In fact, because of their superior detergent packages, synthetic oils often turn darker faster than conventional oils.

Checking Engine Oil
It is easiest to check the oil level when your engine is cold. There is no possibility of burns, and cool oil stays on the dipstick better, making it easier to measure the level. If you have been driving, wait a few minutes before checking the level to allow oil to drain back into the oil pan.

  • Park the vehicle on level ground with the engine off.
  • Open the hood, then find and remove the engine oil dipstick.
  • Wipe the end of the dipstick clean with a rag, and note the level markings. Some dipsticks have one mark for FULL and another for ADD. Other dipsticks may simply have small holes indicating the maximum and minimum oil levels, still others may have a cross- hatch area indicating the acceptable range.
  • Insert the dipstick fully back into its tube, then remove it immediately and read the level.
  • If the oil level is at or below the ADD mark, then add enough oil to bring the level up to the FULL mark. Do not overfill. Typically, the distance between the ADD and FULL marks is equal to one quart of oil.
  • If the oil on the dipstick appears milky or thick, or is very thin with a strong fuel odor, there may be a mechanical problem. Have the engine checked by a qualified technician.

Sierra Car Care recommends that motorists carefully review the oil change interval recommendations in their vehicle owner’s manual, including the definition of severe service use, and then change their car’s engine oil only as often as really necessary. While over maintaining your vehicle won’t hurt the engine, it costs more money and consumes additional natural resources.

Every engine requires fuel to operate. Using the proper grade of gasoline or diesel fuel can have a significant impact on your vehicle’s performance and reliability, and on your wallet.

Gasoline Grades
Gasoline is sold in three grades: regular, mid-grade and premium. The main difference between the grades is octane, which is the ability of the fuel to resist harmful detonation – also known as pinging, pre-ignition, or spark knock.

As long as your engine does not detonate on a given grade of fuel, there is nothing to be gained by spending more for a higher grade. Contrary to popular belief, premium grade fuel does not contain more energy, burn cleaner or improve fuel economy in vehicles that do not require it. Most cars today are engineered to run on regular grade fuel, though some models with more highly tuned engines call for premium.

Modern engines are equipped with knock sensors that allow use of lower grade fuel if the required grade is unavailable. However, engine performance and fuel economy will suffer. Never use less than the recommended fuel grade when the vehicle is heavily loaded or being used for towing.

If your vehicle detonates on the recommended grade of fuel, try switching to another brand; octane ratings can vary slightly between brands. If this doesn’t help, try going up one grade. If this cures the problem, its possible internal carbon deposits have raised the engine’s octane requirement. If your engine knocks regardless of fuel grade, it has a problem that will require the diagnostic skills of a repair professional.

Feel free to come into any of our locations around the Reno-Sparks area to speak with an ASE Certified Professional. We will make sure your back on the road in no time.

Your vehicle shouldn’t lose brake fluid in normal operation. The level drops only slightly with wear of brakes. So if the level is down, there’s a chance there’s a leak somewhere. Consult one of our ASE Certified technicians immediately to have it addressed and avoid possible dangerous reduction in brake performance. Also, your vehicle takes a specific type of brake fluid; typically (but not always), DOT3 or DOT4. In newer vehicles, it will often say right on the brake fluid reservoir cap. If not, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Brakes are a critical system on your vehicle, yet the brake fluid is often neglected. Cars today use polyglycol-based brake fluid identified by the Department of Transportation as either DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid. Silicone-based DOT 5 brake fluid is also available, but used primarily in older collector cars and certain military/industrial applications. DOT 5 fluid is not recommended for modern vehicles with antilock braking systems.

Checking Brake Fluid Level
Brake fluid should be checked for level and condition. Modern brake systems have translucent plastic fluid reservoirs with molded-in MAX and MIN (or similar) markings that make it easy to visually check the fluid level. As long as the level is between the two marks, there is no need to top it up. A fluid level below the MIN marking indicates worn brakes or a leak in the system; take the vehicle to a repair facility as soon as possible for further diagnosis.

Checking Brake Fluid Condition
Brake fluid deteriorates over time from contaminants generated in the system and by absorbing moisture from the air, which lowers the fluid’s boiling point. Color is one indicator of brake fluid condition. DOT 3 and DOT 4 fluids should be clear to amber, while DOT 5 silicone fluids usually have a light purple tint. Any fluid that is dark brown or black should be replaced. Brake fluid test strips, available at most auto parts stores, can also be used to test the fluid condition. Before removing the brake reservoir cap to use a test strip or add fluid, always clean away any dirt or debris to ensure it doesn’t get into the master cylinder.

CAUTION: DO NOT USE BRAKE FLUID OTHER THAN THE SPECIFIC TYPE RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR VEHICLE.

Note: These instructions are intended as general guidelines. Please consult your owner’s or service manual for specific instructions on changing the oil and filter on your vehicle. Use extreme caution when lifting or jacking any vehicle.

Steve and Laurie Yarborough have a strong commitment to supporting local charities personally as well as in business. We believe deeply that we have a responsibility to give back to our community and partnering with charities strengthens all of us.

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers adopt a different local charity each month. We donate a portion of each gallon of gas sold from our service stations on Wednesdays.

Do you have a favorite charity? Please contact us with the name of the charity, their address and phone, and a paragraph on who the charity supports and we will present it to our crew. We would love your ideas and your suggestions!

We are proud to sponsor and help support:

  • Harrah’s Automobile Museum
  • Good Luck MacBeth Theater Company
  • Theatre Works of Northern Nevada
  • Tahoe Players
  • Sierra School of Performing Arts
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northern Nevada
  • We Care Volunteers
  • St. Vincents
  • Red Cross
  • Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra
  • Canine Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary
  • Trauma Intervention Programs
  • Children’s Cabinet
  • Kid’s Cottage
  • Sierra Nevada Donate Life
  • Sierra Nevada Community Sailing
  • Step 2
  • Evelyn Mount Community Outreach
  • Adopt a Vet Dental
  • Northern Nevada Children with Cancer Foundation
  • Shakespeare Animal Fund

Charity of the Month

MST/SCC is honored to recognize a different local charity each month. Our Charity of the Month Program provides awareness and exposure for the chosen non-profit over the course of one month. The charity is featured on all of our social media sites by displaying photos/videos and information about the charity. There are so many worthwhile causes and we at MST/SCC feel very strongly about giving back to the community. If you are a charity or would like to nominate a charity for us to consider for Charity of the Month, please submit your suggestion to us at our Main Office through our online form.

Program Eligibility

  • Charity must serve the local community.
  • Charity must be able to provide copy, photos and video of the work they do in the community.

Review past MST/SCC Charity of the Month program recipients on our News page.

What are the basics?

There is no way to tell exactly how long a tire lasts. The lifespan and mileage of a tire depends of a combination of factors: its design, the driver’s habits, the climate, the road conditions and the care that’s put into the tires.

Keep five years in mind for your tires

After five years or more in use, your tires should be thoroughly inspected at least once per year by a professional. The “penny test” can be used to gauge the tire tread wear.

Ten years is a maximum for tires

If the tires haven’t been replaced 10 years after their date of manufacture, as a precaution, it is highly recommended that you replace them with new tires. Even if they appear to be in usable condition and have not worn down to the tread wear indicator. This applies to spare tires as well.

Proper tire care expands a tire’s lifespan

You can increase your tire’s longevity by maintaining the correct air pressure, performing regular tire rotations and vehicle maintenance.

For original equipment: follow the vehicle manufacturer’s tire replacement recommendations.

How to check the manufacturing date on your tires

Look for the DOT number on your sidewall.

For new wheels & tires come see us!

At Sierra Car Care and Tire Center we promise to offer quality products at competetive prices. Please schedule an appointment to bring your vehicle in today to any of the following locations in the Reno, Nevada area.

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers - Lakeside Service Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers – Lakeside Service
Manager: Rob Wolter
190 W. Plumb Lane
Reno, NV 89509
Phone (775) 825-1185

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers – Northwest Service
Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers - Northwest Service Manager: Nile Bremser
1300 W. 7th Street
Reno, NV 89503
Phone (775) 747-1345

 


Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers – Village Service
Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers - Village Service Manager: Larry Yarborough
1101 California Avenue
Reno, NV 89509
Phone (775) 348-7508

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