You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Public Service’ category.

Most auto companies recommend that you change the air filter every 10,000 to 15,000 miles, or every 12 months. Driving in crowded areas where there is heavy traffic — may cause you to stop and start more often, requires you to replace the air filter more frequently. Most vehicles also have a cabin air filter used to clean air entering the car’s interior, but it has a different maintenance schedule than an engine air filter.

Should you fail to replace your air filter at the suggested intervals, you may notice distinct signs of it needing replacement.

8 Signs Your Air Filter Needs Replacing

1. Reduced Fuel Economy. Your engine compensates for lower amounts of oxygen by consuming more fuel to produce sufficient power. Newer cars with fuel-injected engines use onboard computers to calculate the amount of air taken into the engine and adjusts the fuel flow accordingly.

2. Misfiring Engine. Restricted air supply from a dirty air filter results in unburnt fuel exiting the engine in the form of soot residue. This soot accumulates on the spark plug, which in turn cannot deliver the necessary spark to combust the air-fuel mixture. You’ll notice the engine does not start up easily, misfires, or jerks roughly as a result.

2. Unusual Engine Sounds. In normal circumstances, when your car is stationary with the engine turned on, you should sense the smooth rotation of the engine in the form of subtle vibrations. If you notice your car vibrating excessively or hear coughing or popping noises, it is often from a clogged air filter causing dirtying or damaging a spark plug.

4. Check Engine Light Comes On. Many modern engines suck up about 10,000 gallons of air for every single gallon of fuel burned in the combustion cycle. The inadequate air supply can result in carbon deposits — the byproduct of combustion — accumulating in the engine and setting off the Check Engine Light. If that happens, have your mechanic check the air filter among other diagnostics. The Check Engine light can illuminate for a variety of reasons. A mechanic will need to scan the onboard computer for the stored trouble code that triggered the Check Engine Light as well as the source of the problem.

5. Air Filter Appears Dirty. A clean air filter appears white or off-white in color, but as it accumulates dust and dirt, it will look darker in color. However, very often, the inner layers of filter paper inside the air filter might have dust and debris that is not visible even in bright light. This makes it essential that you have your mechanic check the air filter when you take the car in for maintenance. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding replacement.

6. Reduced Horsepower. If your car does not respond adequately or if you notice jerking movements when you press the accelerator, this could indicate that your engine is not receiving all the air it needs to perform. Since it improves airflow, replacing your air filter can improve acceleration or horsepower by up to 11%.

7. Black, Sooty Smoke or Flames Exiting the Exhaust. The inadequate air supply can result in some of the fuel not burning completely in the combustion cycle. This unburnt fuel then exits the car through the exhaust pipe. If you see black smoke coming from your exhaust pipe, have your mechanic replace or clean the air filter. You might also hear popping sounds or see a flame at the end of the exhaust caused by heat in the exhaust system igniting the unburnt fuel near the tailpipe. This is a potentially hazardous condition and needs to be diagnosed right away.

8. Smell of Gasoline when Starting the Car. If there isn’t enough oxygen entering the carburetor or fuel ejection system when you start the car, the excess unburnt fuel exits the car through the exhaust pipe. Instead of seeing smoke or flames coming out of the exhaust pipe, you’ll smell gasoline. This is a clear indication that it’s time to replace the air filter.

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.

We would like to encourage all residents to buy local and help support business owners in our community. Use the hashtag #buylocalreno and share how you’re keeping dollars in the #biggestlittlecity. Sierra Car Care and Tire Center is one of the last few locally owned gas / service / repair / tire store in the Reno area.

Nearest AAA Approved Auto Repair Location to 89509 in Reno, NV

Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers are some of the leading auto repair shops in town. All automotive repair and mechanic services are performed by highly qualified mechanics. Our mechanic shops work on numerous vehicles daily with the best vehicle repair equipment, and are capable of servicing a variety of makes and models.

Whether you drive a passenger car, medium-size truck, mini-van, or SUV, our ASE Certified mechanics strive to ensure that your vehicle will be performing its best. Our superior standards show that our mechanics always have your best interests in mind. Plus, we offer the industry’s best warranty coverage.

Looking for a one-stop automotive repair shop? Than look no further, and allow our highly qualified mechanics to estimate the extent of auto repair you may be looking at. To set up an appointment now, call 1-775-525-2420 or contact us online.

Why Buy Local?

  1. Keep the dollars in our community- every dollar spent locally generates three dollars in local economic success
  2. Local business creates local jobs
  3. If everyone shifted 10 percent of their spending to local businesses, we would generate $350 million in our community

What is a Small Business?

The U.S. Small Business Administration defines a small business as: “Independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field. Depending on the industry, size standard eligibility is based on the average number of employees for the preceding twelve months or on sales volume averaged over a three-year period.

Examples of SBA general size standards include the following:

Manufacturing: Maximum number of employees may range from 500 to 1500, depending on the type of product manufactured;

Wholesaling: Maximum number of employees may range from 100 to 500 depending on the particular product being provided;

Services: Annual receipts may not exceed $2.5 to $21.5 million, depending on the particular service being provided;

Retailing: Annual receipts may not exceed $5.0 to $21.0 million, depending on the particular product being provided;

General and Heavy Construction: General construction annual receipts may not exceed $13.5 to $17 million, depending on the type of construction;

Special Trade Construction: Annual receipts may not exceed $7 million; and

Agriculture: Annual receipts may not exceed $0.5 to $9.0 million, depending on the agricultural product.”

Sierra Car Care Locations

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers – Lakeside Service – Reno, NV Location Details

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers – Northwest Service – Reno, NV Location Details

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers – Village Service – Reno, NV Location Details

Zero Fatalities is all about eliminating fatalities on our roadways. Some people may think zero is an impossible goal, but when it comes to your family and friends, what other number would be acceptable? We’re aiming for zero fatalities because everyone matters.

Always Buckle Up

Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective means of saving lives and reducing injuries in crashes (NHTSA, 2014). Not only are you endangering your life, but not wearing your seat belt could lead to traffic fines.

Don’t Drive Impaired

Between 2013 and 2017, 359 people lost their lives and 682 were seriously injured in impaired driving crashes on Nevada roadways. Even what seems like a small buzz can have deadly consequences if you drive. Illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and lack of sleep can also impair your ability to drive safely.

Focus on the Road

Stay alert when you’re operating a vehicle—especially in less-than-ideal conditions—and don’t drive when you’re not able to give your full attention.

Stop on Red

Intersections are shared by a variety of users including pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, and vehicles. To stay safe at this potential point of conflict, know the laws and know when they apply to you.

Be Pedestrian Safe

Drivers need to watch for pedestrians and yield to them when pedestrians have the right-of-way in a crosswalk. Pedestrians also need to pay attention to vehicles on the roadway and obey rules for walking on and crossing streets.

Ride Safe

Motorcycles are a part of the great American tradition. However, there are certain risks that come with riding a motorcycle. That’s why it’s so important to ride safe and take the necessary precautions when you’re riding on Nevada’s roads.

Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers stand behind the Zero Fatalities goal on Nevada roads. We are happy to do our part in keeping your vehicle running great in order to minimize problems on the road.

Fall Car Care Month in October is a great time to give your car some extra attention before harsh winter weather sets in. Taking some time for auto care preventive maintenance now can help you avoid the headaches of costly repairs later.

Recommended Preventive Maintenance Check:

  1. Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  2. Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
  3. Check the battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
  4. Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
  5. Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.
  6. Check the engine to make sure it is delivering the best balance of power and fuel economy and producing the lowest level of emissions.
  7. Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and safety reasons, such as defrosting.
  8. Inspect the steering and suspension system annually, including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
  9. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  10. Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

For more information please visit any one of our Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers locations around the Reno area.

When should I change lanes?

Crashes

Fender bender? Move to the shoulder. If there is damage only to a vehicle or other property (no injuries), your vehicle is obstructing traffic and the vehicle can be moved safely, move the vehicle to a location that does not obstruct traffic and then return to the scene.

Emergency Vehicles & Traffic Incidents

Move Over Graphic

Drivers in Nevada have certain duties when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle making use of flashing lights or any type of incident that disrupts traffic, including stalled vehicles.

In the absence of direction by a peace officer, the driver of a vehicle approaching a stopped emergency vehicle or traffic incident must:

  • Decrease the vehicle speed to a speed that is reasonable and proper and less than the posted speed limit.
  • Proceed with caution.
  • Be prepared to stop; and
  • If possible, drive in a lane that is not adjacent to the lane in which the emergency vehicle is stopped unless the roadway, traffic, weather or other conditions make doing so unsafe or impossible.

These apply to all types of emergency vehicles including tow trucks, vehicles from the Nevada Department of Transportation displaying flashing amber lights, stalled vehicles and vehicles under repair.

Slow-Moving Vehicles on Highways

Drivers on controlled-access highways must not drive in the far left lane if being overtaken by a faster vehicle. This law does not apply within the geographical limits or a city or town.

Mopeds  New!

Moped operators have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers. However, moped operators have additional responsibilities based on the limitations of their vehicle. Moped operators must remain in the extreme right-hand lane of any road unless:

  • There is a single lane of traffic
  • Preparing to make a left turn (turn must be made within one-quarter mile from entering lane)
  • When driving in the extreme right-hand lane would not be safe; or
  • As directed by a police officer

Bicycles

3 Feet for BikesMotorists passing a bicycle must move into an adjacent lane to the left, if possible. If not, the motorist must pass with at least three feet of space between the vehicle and the bicycle.

For more information please visit : NV Traffic Laws

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

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.

Good windshield wipers aid safe driving

Keeping your windshield clear is paramount to a safe driving experience and your wipers are an integral part of making that happen. If you don’t have a clear view of the road ahead, it’s more difficult to avoid an accident, an object on the road, or defects in the roads surface such as potholes.

If you are currently experiencing trouble with the function of your wiper blades, not just the blades themselves, maybe we can help. If the issue persists, please feel free to bring your vehicle into any one of our Sierra Car Care locations around the Reno/Sparks area and one of our ASE Certified Technicians would be happy to take a look.

When windshield wipers malfunction, they may stop working altogether, which can be very dangerous. There are several reasons why your windshield wipers could stop working.

Top reasons why windshield wipers malfunction:

  1. Torn wiper blades. The condition of your wiper blades directly affect how well your windshield wipers work. If the rubber edges on your wiper blades are cracking or torn, the wiper will not make proper contact with the windshield to clear moisture or debris away. The small gaps or cracks left by the missing rubber can actually trap additional dirt that may scratch your windshield glass. You can sand down the small cracks to elongate the life of your wiper blades or if they are really worn, it is safest to just replace torn wiper blades.
  2. Ice or snow on wipers. Windshield wipers are able to remove small amounts of snow from your windshield, but heavy, ice and snow may need to be manually removed first with a snow brush/scraper before trying to allow your wipers to clear away. Wet snow is heavy and can bend your wiper blades, the wiper arms can skip or strip at the pivots, and the wiper motor or transmission can get damaged. We recommend removing any heavy snow from your windshield before using your wiper blades.
  3. Wiper pivot nuts are loose. The wiper arms are connected to the wiper transmission by a nut on a pivot. A nut tightens onto the pivot stud to hold the wiper arm tightly to the pivot. If the nut is a little loose – which is common – the wiper motor will turn the pivot but the wiper arm will not move. You may see it slightly move when the wiper direction changes, but it does not wipe the windshield. If you have this issue, make sure the wiper pivot nuts are tight.
  4. Wiper fuse is burnt out. When the windshield wiper motor is overloaded, the associated fuse burns out. The fuse is designed to be a weak spot in the windshield wiper circuit. That way, if the motor is overloaded for any reason, the fuse will burn out first, instead of the more expensive wiper motor. If the wiper motor fuse burns out, check for any obstructions that may cause the motor to be overloaded. Heavy snow on the wiper blades or a wiper blade or arm caught on something or snagged together can cause the fuse to blow. Clear the obstruction and replace the fuse.
  5. Wiper motor has stopped working. The windshield wiper motor is an electrical motor. As an electrical component, it can short out or quit unexpectedly and require replacement. If that happens, your windshield wipers will not work at all and you won’t be able to clear any debris. Replace the windshield wiper motor right away.

Visibility is imperative behind the wheel and not worth compromising the safety of your passengers over something that can be simply fixed. If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned issues, and are unable to repair yourself, please visit any of our Sierra Car Care locations around the Reno/Sparks area and one of our ASE Certified Technicians would be happy to take a look.

Related article: Windshield Wipers: Don’t wait for failure

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other followers

Archives

Categories

%d bloggers like this: