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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.

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At Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center we take preventive car care maintenance seriously. Preventive maintenance repair is based upon your vehicle manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule to ensure your vehicle runs efficiently and lasts longer. Your technician will run down the check list from the owners manual and make suggestions according to what is recommended for your vehicle at the current interval of mileage.

Why are Routine Maintenance Services Important?
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.

Highly Recommended Mileage Service Intervals for Most Effective Preventive Maintenance. Click for more information.

There are additional mileage services recommended for most vehicles, the above mentioned are just a few of the major mileage service recommendations from our technicians. If you are currently experiencing a problem, you may want to check your mileage to determine whether you should schedule a service or not.

Depending on whether you purchased your vehicle new or used, may determine whether you have a warranty. If you do have a warranty, it may be contingent upon performing regular services for your vehicle. Depending on your vehicle’s manufacturer, avoiding preventive maintenance on certain parts and components has the potential to void warranty coverage.

During a scheduled maintenance service at the above mentioned mileage intervals, our staff may inspect the function of the following items and more to help ensure that your vehicle functions efficiently.

  • Steering System
  • Suspension Components
  • Transmission
  • Exhaust System
  • Check Battery
  • Fluids
  • Filters
  • Belts
  • Hoses
  • Brakes
  • Ball Joints
  • Axles

We are also able to review exterior and interior lights, examine windshield wiper blades, inspect hinges and locks, 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 on your environment and driving behavior (frequent stop & go or rough roads may impact wear and tear on your vehicle), you may need to seek more frequent inspections and replacements. Contact us today or call 1-775-525-2420 to learn more about recommended maintenance service intervals for your vehicle.

Our technicians promote preventive repair because they believe that by keeping up with your vehicle manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule it will help your vehicle run smoother for longer.

Mechanic with a wrenchSierra 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.

Our number one goal has always been complete customer satisfaction. Our vehicle repair shop has a long-standing reputation for quality repairs. Whether you need routine auto maintenance services or emergency vehicle repairs, contact us online or visit us during business hours.

Areas Served : Carson City NV | Reno NV | Sparks NV | and surrounding areas

Auto Repair Services

flat-tireLet’s take a look at some of the most common roadside emergencies drivers may face.

So, You Have a Flat Tire…
Are you prepared for this? Maybe you ran over a nail at a friends house, or a jagged rock on a dirt road… flat tires happen. But the important thing to think about is: Are you prepared for a flat tire, should it happen to you?

We are in the heaviest part of the travel season and good tires matter, especially with climbing temperatures across the U.S. The last thing you need is less than satisfactory tires when you may or may not have family members with you.

  • Always check tire pressure before any extended driving trips.
  • Make sure you have sufficient tire tread for the trip on or off-road. Try the penny test to measure tire tread. This is especially important for RVs, Campers and Tow Trailers. Search our online tire warehouse for all your tire needs: MST Tire Center | Tire Warehouse

Quick Solutions For a Flat Tire
Important items you will need to repair your flat tire:

  • Spare Tire / Donut
  • Jack
  • Lug Nut Bar

If you are missing any of these items, you had better call a tow truck. (It is recommended to check your spare tire each month and keep it properly inflated as well, so it’s ready to go when you need it most.)

If you have a nail stuck in your tire, leave it in, until you are somewhere you can either get a tire plug kit (temporary fix) or get your vehicle to a tire repair shop.

Is Your Vehicle Leaking Antifreeze?
Did you get ready to leave only to find a puddle of green below you vehicle? You may have a leak in your radiator. This can cause over-heating, reduced engine performance, and ultimately engine failure if not properly taken care of.

Cars are not supposed to leak antifreeze, also known as engine coolant. The fluid runs from different parts of the engine to others and is always contained. If you see this greenish fluid on the ground or other engine parts, something is broken or split and must be repaired or replaced.

If you are not a trained mechanic even the quick-search remedies online may not help, you may want to see a car care professional, preferably an ASE Certified Technician

Smoke Coming From Under the Hood? This could be caused by a few different things, oil on your engine, accidently leaving the oil cap off and driving, blown head gasket, over-heating radiator, etc. Maybe you took your vehicle to one of those “Express” oil change service stations, and they got oil all over your engine?

There are a number of reasons this may happen, but if you car doesn’t start after cooling and maybe adding some water to the radiator… you may want to get your vehicle towed to the nearest service station.

Did You Turn the Key in the Ignition Only to Find that Nothing Works and Your Engine Won’t Start?

If you are having trouble starting your engine, visit us for a battery replacement service. We will determine if the battery is the cause of the problem and in need of replacement.

If your battery has low voltage, it may just be time for a replacement. On average, a battery will last 3-5 years, but driving habits and exposure to extreme elements can shorten the life of your car battery.

If your battery is good, then you may need an inspection on your engine starter and/or electrical system.

These are just a few of the most common roadside emergencies drivers face on the road. If you find yourself in need of an expert opinion for you vehicle, just come on by and we’ll take care of you.

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STOP BY ANY OF OUR 5 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS IN RENO-SPARKS

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Lakeside Service

(775) 825-1185
190 W. Plumb Lane & Lakeside
(1 block West of So. Virginia)

Northwest Service

(775) 747-1345
1300 W. 7th & Elgin
(1 block W. of Keystone)

Village Service

(775) 348-7508
1101 California Ave. & Booth
(S. on Keystone to Booth St.)

Sierra Car Care Sparks

(775) 358-6186
800 Prater Wy. & Pyramid Wy.
(1/2 mile N. off I-80 exit)

MST Tire Center

(formerly Mill Street Tire)
(775) 329-6434
3180 Mill Street & Telegraph
(2 blocks East of Terminal)

Here, at Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers, we want our customers to be in the know about how to properly care for their car or truck. We provide an extensive range of auto service repair / maintenance services, including:

  • Belts and HosesCar Tune-up from Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center
  • Brake Repair
  • Vehicle Inspection
  • Lube, Oil, and Filter Change
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Exhaust System Repair
  • Climate Control Systems
  • Cooling System Repair
  • Tire Services
  • Wheel Services
  • Axel, CV Joint, Driveshaft Repair
  • Diesel Engine Repair
  • Differential RepairASE Certified Technicians
  • Electrical and Electronic Systems
  • Engine Diagnostics and Performance
  • Four Wheel Drive System (4WD)
  • Nitrogen Inflation
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Starting, Charging, and Batteries
  • Steering and Suspension System
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Transmission Repair

Hopefully, with the following helpful car care tips you will be able to improve gas mileage and reduce tire wear when driving in and around Reno, NV and Sparks, NV. We also hope this helps you understand when and why your car needs to be serviced by the professional ASE Certified Technicians at Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers full service auto repair shop.

Car Maintenance and Care

  • Change your fluids on time, every time.
  • Change your oil every 3,000 miles for regular, 5,000 miles for synthetic oil.
  • Change antifreeze fluid every 30,000 miles.
  • Change brake fluid every 30,000 miles.
  • Change transmission fluid every 30,000 miles.
  • Schedule a maintenance check every 15, 30, 60, and 90,000 miles.
  • Replace your air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first).
  • Replace your fuel filter every 2 years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first).

Tire Maintenance and Care

  • Tire Tread Comparison MST Tire Center or Mill Street TireRotate your tires every 5,000 miles or every 6 months.
  • Check your tire pressures approximately once a week. Low tire pressures can affect fuel economy, handling and comfort. To accurately measure your tire pressure, check tires when they are cold. Wait at least three hours after driving.
  • Always make sure that your wheels are properly aligned. Badly aligned wheels will again lead to dragging of the car on the road.
  • Check your spare tire each month and keep it properly inflated so it¹s ready to go when you need it most.
  • Use the penny trick to determine if the tread on your tires is worn to low. Take a penny and put Abraham Lincoln’s head into one of the grooves of the tread. If part of his head is covered by the tread, you’re OK. If you can see all of his head, it’s time to replace the tire. When the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch, tires must be replaced.

Gas Mileage Tips

  • gas_savingsCheck and/or change your air filter every 6 months to improve fuel economy and keep your engine running smoothly.
  • Don’t top off. Don’t bother topping off when filling your car’s gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around or seep out.
  • Tighten up that gas cap. Gas will evaporate from your car’s gas tank if it has an escape. Loose, missing, or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year.
  • Go for the shade. The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also evaporates fuel from your gas tank.
  • Use the right oil. You can improve your car’s gas mileage by 1 percent to 2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil.

And most important of all……

  • Always check for potential problems before they happen. Following these recommendations will help keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come. However, please refer to the required maintenance schedule provided by your vehicle’s manufacturer for the intervals specific to your vehicle.

So, give Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers a call at (775) 525-2420 today to schedule your next maintenance appointment.

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Gas for Goodness: Supporting Our Community

Cystic_Fibrosis_Walk_LogoEvery Wednesday in April, we’ll make a ($.01) penny donation to a local charity for every gallon of gas sold from our Sierra Car Care/MST Tire Centers. And we’ll donate $1.00 per tire sold each Saturday at MST Tire Center on Mill Street.

All donations in April will support the CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION – Nevada Chapter.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:

  • Clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
  • Obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event. Each year, more than 125,000 people participate in hundreds of walks across the country to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research and drug development.

We need the public’s continued support to fulfill our mission of finding a cure and improving the quality of life of those with the disease.

So when you need gas or new tires, you can also support our local CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION – Nevada Chapter by visiting any of our 5 locations on Wednesdays for gas and Saturdays for tires (Mill Street location only).

Walk in Great Strides today and help add tomorrows to the lives of those living with cystic fibrosis.

For more information,visit:
http://www.cff.org/chapters/nevada/
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cysticfibrosisfoundation
Thanks for supporting our community!

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