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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.

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.

Regular preventive maintenance is probably the single best thing you can do as a car owner to keep your ride happy and save money on repairs in the future.

Anyone who’s ever worked on cars or spent a ton of money getting their car repaired will tell you: Don’t ignore preventive maintenance! When you refer to your vehicle’s Owner’s Manual, you have everything you need to troubleshoot simple repairs, now and in the future.

The basics, like; changing your oil, checking your tire pressure, and getting scheduled inspections are crucial to extend the life of your vehicle. At Sierra Car Care and Tire Center, our technicians encourage all drivers to take preventive maintenance seriously to extend the life of your vehicle.

Preventive Maintenance Pointers

  • Learn to check your fluids. Even if you don’t ever learn how to change your antifreeze, power steering, coolant, or even your wiper fluid, you should learn how to check those fluid levels for your own safety. In some cases, you can see the tank level directly, but most have gauges or dipsticks you can pull out to check current levels against a notch that indicates optimal levels. Even if your owner’s manual doesn’t have much to say about checking your transmission fluid or antifreeze, don’t be afraid to open the hood and see if you can find it. If you’re running low, add more or get it changed. Most importantly, never ignore a leak.
  • Check and change your oil regularly
  • Get your tires rotated and balanced
  • Replace your cabin and engine air filter
  • Replace your windshield wipers when your view becomes impaired
  • Check your battery and clean the contacts if they start having build-up
  • Inspect and replace your spark plugs and wires regularly, according to your Owner’s Manual

These are just a few things that every vehicle needs, and almost all of them are things you can do yourself. We can’t stress enough the importance of checking your owner’s manual for anything we may have overlooked here, or anything specific to your vehicle. If you don’t have your manual, you can find it pretty easily online. Check with your manufacturer first—they may even have a PDF copy on their website. Here is a resource to find your Owner’s Manaual, Edmunds has a list of online manuals here organized by manufacturer (US only).

If you have questions or think you would rather have an expert ASE Certified Technician take a look under your hood, feel free to stop by any of our Sierra Car Care Reno locations.

FREE BRAKE FLUID FLUSH With Any Complete Brake Service

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$19.95/Pair Premium Windshield Wiper Blades on Localsaver.com

$89.95 A/C SERVICE on Localsaver.com

Preventive maintenance is the care and protection of your vehicle against potential major auto repairs. Negligence is the most common and costly way to see money wasted on repairs that could have easily been prevented through regular service intervals.

Depending on your vehicle’s manufacturer, avoiding preventive maintenance on certain parts and components has the potential to void warranty coverage. Car maintenance intervals have been designed to improve the reliability, durability, and resale value of your vehicle.

Based upon your driving conditions, these service intervals may arrive sooner than you expect. For example, short commutes can actually hurt a vehicle because most engines thrive during long drives.

Driving short commutes, experiencing stop-and-go traffic, and carrying heavy cargo are all aspects of severe driving. However, severe driving can also be reinforced by your environment. Hot or cold weather, mountainous or rough roads, and dusty or salty environments can all affect your vehicle.

Because of these innumerable factors, adhering to a rigid service schedule can keep your vehicle operating at maximum efficiency for years to come.

Preventive Maintenance Prolongs the Life of Your vehicle

Vehicle components and parts naturally wear out over time, and road hazards can negatively impact critical components. By adhering to the preventive maintenance schedule in your vehicle owner’s manual, you will help ensure that your vehicle always runs at optimal conditions.

Depending upon the vehicle’s service interval mileage, our staff may inspect the function of your steering and suspension components, fluid filters, belts and hoses, brakes and axles, and more to help ensure that your vehicle functions efficiently.

At Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers, our staff can look at the level of vital vehicle fluids. We are also able to review exterior and interior lights, examine windshield wiper blades, check batteries, inspect hinges and locks, determine level of ball joint wear, check transmission components, fix exhaust system components, and conduct both tire wear inspection and inflation checks.

It is important to schedule preventive maintenance for these and other components to ensure they continue to work as intended. Remember that environmental conditions may affect your ideal preventive maintenance schedule. Depending upon your environment, you may need to seek more frequent inspections and replacements.

Contact us today to learn more about recommended car maintenance service intervals for your vehicle.

Schedule your Preventive Maintenance Appointment

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers proudly serves the Preventive Maintenance needs of customers in Reno, NV, Verdi, NV, Carson City, NV, and surrounding areas. Please click any of the following links to setup an online appointment for your vehicle or you can contact us at a store near you to make an appointment with one of our ASE Certified Technicians.

Air Filter Replacement

Fuel injection

Oil and Filter Change

Spring Checkup

Winterization Checkup

Wiper Blades Replacement

7,500 Mile Service

15,000 Mile Service

22,500 Mile Service

30,000 Mile Service

37,500 Mile Service

45,000 Mile Service

52,500 Mile Service

60,000 Mile Service

67,500 Mile Service

75,000 Mile Service

82,500 Mile Service

90,000 Mile Service

97,500 Mile Service

105,000 Mile Service

112,500 Mile Service

120,000 Mile Service

127,500 Mile Service

135,000 Mile Service

142,000 Mile Service

150,000 Mile Service

157,500 Mile Service

172,500 Mile Service

180,000 Mile Service

 

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.

oil-changeThere are many choices when it comes to picking the appropriate oil for your car’s engine.

Viscosity is the most important property of a lubricant. Understanding viscosity promotes the ability to reduce wear, improve fuel economy and make more horsepower.

Viscosity (a fluid’s resistance to flow) is rated at 0° F (represented by the number preceding the “W” [for Winter]) and at 212° F (represented by the second number in the viscosity designation). So 10W-30 oil has less viscosity when cold and hot than does 20W-50. Motor oil thins as it heats and thickens as it cools.

Remember that using oil with a viscosity that is too high can result in excessive oil temperature and increased drag. Using an oil with a low viscosity can lead to excessive metal to metal contact between moving parts. Using the correct viscosity oil eases starting, reduces friction and slows wear.

It is important that you pick the viscosity (thickness) that’s suitable for the temperatures your vehicle normally operates in (check your owners manual), and you’re done. Well, not quite. There’s a whole lot more to the story than that.

Armed with knowledge of viscosity grades, you can now select the right one. In return, you will prevent wear, improve fuel economy and make more horsepower.

Is oil really the lifeblood of an engine?

That’s a long-popular analogy, but it’s really not an accurate description. Blood carries nutrients to cells, but it’s air that carries fuel—the “nutrition”—for an engine. However, without oil to lubricate and cool moving parts, keep them clean and help to seal the pistons in the cylinders, the engine would run for only a matter of seconds, then sieze. So, yes, oil is important.

Oil is so important that we want no less than the best the engine can get—for a good low price, of course. Now, what if you could custom-blend the oil so it had exactly the characteristics you believe that your vehicle needs for the type of driving you do?

Recommended Oil Types 

The weight or viscosity of oil recommended for your vehicle should be located in your owner’s manual, or you can just ask one of our ASE certified Technicians. Changing your oil and filter according to this schedule can save you big $$ and reduce the need for repairs down the road.

After determining the correct viscosity, the next choice in motor oil is what type? Higher mileage blends can benefit engines over 75K miles. Synthetic blends and full synthetics can bring additional protection and often flow more easily during severe cold than conventional oils.

If you are not sure, just ask! We have trained professionals at all of our 4 locations in the Reno and Sparks area. We are more than happy to assist you, for appointments or walk-ups.

Our fully qualified ASE Certified Technicians will do everything possible to keep your vehicle running safely and efficiently.

Please visit: www.sierracarcare.com for a location nearest you.

Related Article: Why Switch Oil Viscosity?

veterans-day-2016
Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center would like to offer all Active Military and U.S. Veterans 10% off any automotive service.

We’re celebrating you this Veterans Day and every day! We are happy to help those men and women who put their life on the line so our country remains free.

Simply provide proof of current or former military service, and you can take 10% off any automotive service. See us at any of our four locations in the Reno-Sparks area for more information.

veterans-save

During Hot August Nights, Cars are “Cherry” and Cruisin’ is “Cool”!

August 2, 2016 – August 7, 2016

The Biggest Little City shifts into high gear for Hot August Nights, the largest classic car and nostalgic event in the country! Thousands of visitors come to pay tribute to the exquisitely powerful automobiles and electrifying music of the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s.  The world’s premier classic car event, Hot August Nights showcases more than 6,000 vehicles from this golden era of design with events all over Reno and Sparks.  Restored hot rods and sexy muscle cars give enthusiasts a first-hand experience of popular decades done by.

Don’t forget to gas up before you hit the road at any of Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers four local gas stations. If your run into any trouble while out there on the road; flat tires, overheating, A/C troubles just come on in and we will get you back on the road quick. Need roadside service, give us a call. We service the greater Reno area.

Entertainment Line-Up
The line-up of free musical performances are phenomenal and will feature headliners America and The Monkees, as well as other acclaimed musicians and tribute bands. For more information about the entertainment, click on the link at the bottom of this page.

Tuesday, Aug. 2
  • Lady an the Tramps, Sparks Victorian Square
Wednesday, Aug. 3
  • Kraig Parker/World Premier Elvis Tribute, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
  • Ronny & the Classics, Sparks Victorian Square
Thursday, Aug. 4
  • Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
  • Satisfaction/The International Rolling Stones Show, Sparks Victorian Square
Friday, Aug. 5
  • America, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
  • 60’s Summer of Love, Sparks Victorian Square
Saturday, Aug. 6
  • The Monkees, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
  • Abbacadabra – the ultimate Abba tribute, Sparks Victorian Square

AutoCross and Drifting (new motorsport added to the line-up)
Filling the air with a different sort of engine roar and tire squeal,check out the new AutoCross & Drifting presented by Amsoil at the Reno Livestock Events Center!  Drifting began in Japan decades ago,novice and professional drifters take to the course showing off their oversteering and maneuvering skills on slicks. Entrance to Swap Meet,  AutoCross & Drifting presented by Amsoil is $10/day; a pit pass is only $10 more.

Dazzling Diva (new to line-up)
The newest venue for the ladies.  It will feature more than 200 booth of ladies clothing, accessories and jewelry. Held at the Reno Ballroom, Aug 3-6, 10am-5pm.

MAG Auction (new auction company)
Motorsport Auction Group is a collector car auction featuring muscle cars, street rods, classic cars, vintage cars, and leading automobile products. This is a great event for car enthusiasts looking to buy or sell rare automobiles. Among the featured automobiles is a 1939 General Motors Futurliner Bus, which measures 33ft long.  The auction takes place at the RSCC, Aug 4-6.

Click here for more information

Hot August Nights Official website, event schedule

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