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Not long ago, to keep a car running beyond the 200,000-mile mark would have seemed about as likely as driving it to the moon. But big improvements in powertrain technology, rust prevention, lubricants, and more have led to game changing improvements in reliability and durability. Now, almost any car can make it well into six-figure territory with proper care.

That is good news for drivers, who are keeping their cars longer than ever before; the average age of all cars on the road is more than 11 years, up from about eight years in 1995, according to Polk research. Still, motorists might not realize the long-term financial benefits of keeping a car for 200,000 miles.

Buy a Safe, Reliable Model

You can coax any vehicle to 200,000 miles with enough patience and cash, but that doesn’t make doing so a good idea. The best way to minimize visits to the shop is to start with a model that has a reliable track record. And you don’t have to look far for a source; Consumer Reports compiles comprehensive reliability information.

In addition to choosing a reliable model, make sure to pick a car you’ll want to keep for a long time. Don’t compromise on the features you want or buy less or more vehicle than you think you’ll need. If this is going to be a long relationship, it may as well be a happy one. So choose a vehicle that will fit your lifestyle and that you’ll enjoy driving.

If you’re buying a used car, be on the lookout for signs of neglect or abuse. Check the car for dents, rust, and mismatched body panels. Look for paint overspray, which is often a sign of repair work. Make sure all interior components are in good condition. A mildew smell, discolored carpeting, and silt in the trunk are indicators of water damage. All components under the hood should be free of corrosion and grease. Check the fluids and watch out for damp areas in the engine compartment and under the vehicle, which might point to leaks.

When you’ve found a vehicle you’re interested in, take it to an independent mechanic for a diagnostic inspection, which costs about $100 to $150. A mechanic can help you spot signs of wear or abuse that you might not see.

Stick to the Schedule

Follow the maintenance schedule in your car’s owner’s manual. It spells out when to take care of every service for the life of your car, including routine oil and filter changes, tire rotations, and more major service such as timing-belt replacement. Even missing one oil change can contribute to premature engine wear or cause damage, and reduce the chances of your car remaining reliable for long.

If you’ve neglected following your vehicle’s maintenance schedule, it’s not too late to get with the program. Have a mechanic inspect your vehicle and take care of any apparent problems, no matter how minor. Then introduce yourself to your owner’s manual and start fresh. Even if your vehicle doesn’t make it to 200,000 miles, it will definitely last longer with proper ongoing care.

Following the maintenance schedule has gotten easier over the years because longer-lasting components and fluids have increased service intervals. Today, it’s common to go 10,000 miles between oil changes, and some spark plugs don’t need replacement for 100,000 miles.

Many new models from a wide variety of carmakers make it even easier to stay on top of maintenance, with sensors that take into account your mileage and driving habits to determine the optimum time for maintenance. They monitor the miles driven since the last service and record data such as how much stop-and-go driving is done, the engine temperature during each trip, and the time the engine spends operating at higher speeds. The system then calculates how quickly your oil is breaking down and alerts you when service is due, and can even adjust a car’s complete service interval to compensate for the severity of use.

The End of the Road

No matter how well you choose and care for a car, someday it will be time to move on because it’s costing too much or is no longer safe. Still, saying goodbye can be a tough decision, especially if you’re attached to your car. Here are signs that it’s probably time to find another vehicle:

  • It needs a big repair that will cost more to fix than the car is worth.
  • Rust is compromising the structural integrity.
  • It remains unreliable even with frequent repairs.
  • It has been in a flood or a serious accident.

Be careful not to over-maintain your car, that waste’s money. If you think your vehicle needs a maintenance inspection, see any of our Sierra Car Care Locations around the Reno area for fast, friendly service.

Hot August Nights - Kay Sawyer Dean

Photo By: Kay Sawyer Dean

Once again we begin Reno’s Hot August Nights! The plethora of events taking place in Reno and Sparks in August make it a hot spot for visitors from around the world, near and far alike. The biggest little city is an exciting place to be! The events, festivals, and concerts are some of the best attributes this city has to offer. They allow us to share our city with travelers from all over.

We are currently wrapping up July’s amazing Artown events to bring us into the long awaited Hot August Nights. It’s the largest classic car event in the country and participants span the entire region.

Our classic car appreciation is shown all year long at Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center. We display are classics in front of the stations, to share our deep roots in the automobile industry. We love this time of year!

Classic Car Sierra Car CareCome and enjoy the event with the whole family! You will see restored hot rods, muscle cars, classic cars, some with hoods open and some cruisin. It is enough to make any hot rod enthusiast nostalgic of popular decades of the past. You can expect to see more than 5,000 classic vehicles in this year’s showing! The events include: Show-n-Shines, drag races, burn-outs, nightly cruises, swap meet, sock hop, prom, and more. All of this whilst the best performers from the era provide headline entertainment!

At Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers, we would like to remind you that if you need a cold drink or to fill up your gas tank we are right there, next to the action in Sparks and Reno. We carry packaged VP Racing Fuels at all locations and from the pump at our Pyramid and Prater location in Sparks, NV. When you crave the most power, best performance and must-have fuel consistency, you need VP Racing Fuels.

Barrett-Jackson Cup 2013

Hot August Nights – Tahoe South
Aug. 2, 2013 – Aug. 3, 2013

Hot August Nights – Reno and Sparks
August 6, 2013 – August 11, 2013

INAUGURAL BARRETT-JACKSON CUP
ANNOUNCED AS GRAND PRIZE
AT 27TH ANNUAL HOT AUGUST NIGHTS

SHOW-N-SHINE COMPETITION TO
FEATURE $40,000 PRIZE PURSE

ULTIMATE BEST OF SHOW PRIZE PURSE $20,000

Our closest Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center location to the Victorian Square in Sparks, NV, is on the corner of Pyramid and Prater. We have a few locations close to the downtown Reno strip; they are, California Ave, Lakeside and Plumb, and Keystone and 7th.

If you find yourself in need of tires during the event, we have exactly what you are looking for at our Tire Warehouse location on Mill Street, MST Tire Center. Because we have an extensive inventory of more than 4,000 tires in-stock, our unparalleled tire selection assures you that we will have the replacement tire for your car or truck.

Daily Event Schedule for Hot August Nights
There will be many different activities to fill each day of Hot August Nights. For a detailed events schedule click here.
Upcoming Events in Reno-Sparks and Surrounding Areas:
  1. Artown
    Hot August Nights
    Lake Tahoe Summerfest
    Sparks Farmer’s Market
    Reno-Tahoe Open
    Shakespeare Festival
    Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series
    Rib Cook-Off
    Burning Man
    Balloon Races
    Camel Races
    Reno Air Races
    Street Vibrations
    And Much More!!!

Carefree vacation time

Here are a few vehicle maintenance tips to keep your family on the road, while saving you money this summer.

Whether you choose to perform minor check-ups  and repairs yourself or you prefer a professional mechanic look it over, here are a few tips that  can keep you safe before you hit the road.

We want your journey to be as carefree as your vacation.

Tire Pressure
Check tire pressure to make sure all tires, including the spare, are properly inflated and have been rotated. You will benefit by getting higher gas mileage and a decreased chance of blowout.

Also, if your tires have been filled with nitrogen, we suggest re-filling with nitrogen as well. You can see our MST Tire Center (formerly known as Mill Street Tire) for Nitrogen Services.

Tire TreadTire Tread Comparison MST Tire Center or Mill Street Tire
Check the tread depth of all your vehicle and trailer tires before you go.Put a penny in the tread and if you can’t see Lincoln, you are safe to hit the road. But if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tire tread is likely too low.

You may need to invest in new tires before any long road trips or off-roading. Go to any of our  5 locations for new tire recommendations and check out our current tire specials here.

Brakes
Do your brakes squeak, squeal, or grind, or does your pedal feel “soft”? If the last inspection was more than 24,000 miles or 12 months ago, you may need your brakes inspected by a professional ASE certified technician.

Oil
Make sure the oil in your vehicle is filled up to the fill line and you can still “see through” it. An oil change is recommended every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. But, if the oil is black, that is usually an indication you need to change the oil and filter.

We offer a Buy one, Get one oil change FREE Deal. See the yellow coupon below for details.

Transmissions and Gear Boxes
Are you hauling a trailer or any toys, like; boats, ATVs, or motorcycles?  You may want to check and/or change the transmission fluid in your vehicle before you make that long haul.

Lights and Windshield WipersWindshield Wipers at Sierra Car Care
Walk around the vehicle and make sure all lights are in working order and your light casings are clean. If your wiper blades are worn out, they may need replacing.

Learn more
In many cases, early detection of engine or tire problems can be the difference between $ and  $$$. Bring your vehicle into any of our Reno or  Sparks locations for a FREE Vehicle Inspection. Includes: test antifreeze, battery, charging system, belts, hoses, fluids, and tires!

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.

___________________________________________________

SPECIAL OFFER: Buy One Oil Change, Get One FREE!
Come in for an oil change and receive a free oil change voucher good for up to one year. Pass it to a friend, loved one, or keep it for yourself.
Offer Expires: June 30, 2013
Mention Coupon Code: FREE OIL
___________________________________________________

Gas for goodnessScoutreach Boy Scouts of America

Every Wednesday in June, we’ll make a 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 June will support Scoutreach. This sponsorship will allow 45 boys to go to day and overnight summer camps that would not be able to attend otherwise.

The Scoutreach Division gives special leadership and emphasis to urban and rural Scouting programs. Scoutreach is the Nevada Area Council’s commitment to making sure that all young people have an opportunity to join Scouting, regardless of their circumstances, neighborhood or ethnic background.

“I think that being a scout is good for learning about sportsmanship, responsibility, and team work.  Some skills that I have learned being a scout are tying knots, jamboree, and teamwork.”  Andy,  Anderson Elementary

“Cub Scouts is helping me in everyday life because it has taught me about team work.  It teaches me to how be a leader, and I just like it because we learn to work together as a team.  That is why I like being a cub scout.”  Jordan D.,  Alice Maxwell Elementary

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

For more information,visit: www.Scoutreach.org
Thanks for supporting our community!

Do you know a local charity you’d like us to consider supporting?
Please see details here.

Check engine light

We’re often asked, “What’s a coolant flush, and do I really need one?”

In short, yes! Here’s why…

The name coolant is misleading because it does more than heat or cool your engine, and protect your engine from freezing in the winter.

Coolant keeps your car running and prevents expensive bills like replacing radiators, head gaskets, and heater cores.

These repairs could run you $400 -$1500. But a simple coolant flush done every 2-5 years can help you avoid those high bills.

How Coolant Works
Today’s engines run hotter than older cars. And to meet government fuel mileage regulations, manufacturers make most engine parts out of aluminum. This includes your cooling system, radiator, and heater core.

The problem is, aluminum corrodes easily, especially when heated. So, our hotter-running cars mixed with aluminum parts combine to break down your engine coolant faster.

Engine coolant contains inhibitors that protect metals from eroding and corroding. It does this by raising the boiling point and lowering the freezing point of your engine’s cooling system.

So, just like the carton of milk in your refrigerator, engine coolant breaks down over time and needs changing.

When Should I Change My Coolant?
If you want to avoid hefty car repair bills, change your coolant regularly. It’s best to have a professional check your coolant and recommend your next change.

So come into any of our 5 full service auto repair stations in the local Reno Sparks area to have one of our ASE certified technicians give youexclusive 3 years 36,000 mile warranty
a FREE Vehicle Inspection.

Includes: test antifreeze,
battery, charging system,
belts, hoses, fluids,
and tires!

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

___________________________________________________

SPECIAL OFFER: SAVE $60 off a Complete Coolant System Flush
Only $109.95 for most cars and light trucks
(Plus tax and $3.95 environmental fee)
Offer Expires: May 31, 2013
Mention Coupon Code: COOL
___________________________________________________

Please Meet…. 

Katie FrazierKatie Frazier, Account Manager
Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center – Reno

“I’ve been working for Steve and Laurie for over 12 years and I can honestly say that I love my job and the people I work for and with. Steve and Laurie are committed to customer service and building customers for life. They also feel that way about their employees. I feel truly blessed to be a part of the Sierra Car Care team.”

Gas for goodnessSAFF education is the present

Every Wednesday in May, we’ll make a 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 May will support Sierra Association of Foster Families (SAFF).

SAFF in Reno, Nevada, a 501c3 non-profit organization, focuses on the education of children and teens in foster care, as well as that of their birth parents and foster parents, by creating and facilitating educational programs for reducing the catastrophic statistic of:SAFF success is the future

  • 85% of adults in American federal and state prisons
    DO NOT have a high school diploma and…
  • 70% of those adults were once-upon-a-time children
    and teens in foster care.

So when you need gas or new tires, you can also support our local Sierra Association of Foster Families by visiting any of our
5 locations on Wednesdays for gas
and Saturdays for tires (Mill Street
location only).

For more information,visit: www.EducateFosterYouth.org
Thanks for supporting our community!

Do you know a local charity you’d like us to consider supporting?
Please see details here.

shocks and struts for all vehicle typesIf you feel like your car is bouncing and rocking too much on rough roads or turns, it may be time for
new shocks and struts.

A quick way to tell is by giving it the old “bounce test.” Push down hard on the bumper or body of your car. If it bounces more than twice after letting go, your shocks or struts are worn out and need replacing.

Surefire signs they need replacing:

· The nose dips when braking.

· The body rolls or sways too much when cornering or driving in heavy winds.

· The suspension bottoms out when backing out of the driveway or hauling extra weight (or people).

· Failed bounce test

Look for signs as well:

If you’re wondering when to replace your shocks and struts, examine your vehicle for signs of problems. If there are noticeable fluid leaks; if the shocks, struts or mounts look dented or damaged; or if your tires show unusual wear patterns, like cupping, it may be time to replace them.

Because in addition to driving performance,
worn out shocks increase other risks:

· Increased risk of skidding on wet or slick surfaces

· Requires more braking distance on rough roads

· Increased suspension wear

· Faster tire wear

Stop by any of our five locations and as a courtesy, we will gladly
inspect your shocks and suspension for no charge.  

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

Gas for goodnessThe Solace Tree Logo

Every Wednesday in April, we’ll make  a 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 Solace Tree.

The mission of the Solace Tree is that all  children, teens and their family members have the freedom to express their feelings  associated with death in a safe and loving environment. Our peer support programs and educational opportunities help children and teens learn to cope and adjust to the changes in their lives.

In 2002, while teaching at an elementary school and finishing his Masters degree in school counseling, Emilio Parga discovered he had cancer. He was also assisting students  who had lost parents to suicide, accidental death and cancer. In his attempt to provide these children with emotional support, he realized that many kids and teenagers in Northern Nevada had lost a parent, sibling or caregiver throughout the year, and that there were no grief support programs for them. Knowing all too well a child or teen’s need for support when a family member or caregiver dies, Emilio decided there was no time to wait and he created the Solace Tree in 2004.

So when you need gas or new tires, you can also support our local, the Solace Tree by visiting any of our 5 locations on Wednesdays for gas and Saturdays for tires (Mill Street location only).

For more information,visit:  www.SolaceTree.org
Thanks for supporting our community!

Do you know a local charity you’d like us to consider supporting?
Please see details here.

Sierra Car Care/MST Tire CenterTune your radio to 96.1FM and/or 1270AM at 10:00AM tomorrow (Saturday) morning to find out more about why you should shop local with Sierra Car Care/MST Tire Centers.

We are being interviewed on “The CarBuyer Advisor” and would like to remind consumers of what to keep in mind when choosing the right car care center.

We will be discussing The Consumer Bill of Rights for car repair facilities, the benefits of ASE certified technicians, and the many products and services our shops provide every day.

We will also be discussing “Gas for Goodness,” a local charity donation program we started. We will be asking the community to share their favorite local non-profit and how we can help.

So, listen in and we’ll announce an ON AIR DISCOUNT for you loyal customers who are interested. Just remember to tune your radio tomorrow morning at 10:00AM to 96.1FM and/or 1270AM. Thank you for your continued support.

WHEEL DEALS FACEBOOK EXCLUSIVE COUPON:
$10 OFF ANY BRAND OF RIMS FOR YOUR TIRES
Facebook Logo Visit Facebook for Details.

Also, we will have a booth at the 2013
Nevada Women’s Expo, Are you going?

Nevada Womens Expo 2013 Logo

March 23-24th, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center

It’s not just for the ladies – we have prizes for every driver!
So tell your friends, family, and loved one’s to come and see
what all the excitement is about.

We also have entrance coupon discount tickets
for the Nevada Women’s Expo available at our 5 locations
in Reno and Sparks, if you are interested. Just visit
www.sierracarcare.com for a location near you.

We hope to see you there!

Car Tune-up from Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center

Much like your body, your car needs a regular check up to keep it running smoothly and prevent big problems.

That’s the job of a tune-up.

Depending on the mileage and type of car, a tune-up generally includes replacing
a few small parts that don’t
cost much, but they wear down easily and lower your car’s performance. And these parts can cause very expensive damage when they’re worn.

Typical tune-ups include replacing spark plugs, fuel induction service, changing the air filter and fuel filter, as well as inspecting other system components for wear or damage.

If you’re not sure when your car needs a tune-up, check your owner’s manual for a schedule. Or call us for advice.

Like your health, it’s a lot less expensive and much easier to do a little preventative maintenance now, than pay to fix a bigger problem later.

Laurie Yarborough
President, Mill Street Tire Center

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

SPECIAL OFFER: INSTANT $25 OFF a Full Ignition Tune-Up
Keep your car running smoothly and reliably for many years ahead.
Offer Expires: March 31, 2013
Mention Coupon Code: IT25
___________________________________________________

Please Meet…. 

Jake Koeber - Manager Sierra Car Care in SparksJake Koeber, Store Manager
Sierra Car Care – Sparks
(on corner of Prater and Pyramid Way)

“I work for Sierra Car Care because it’s a local shop where the big boss knows your name and truly cares about your family. You can’t ask for more than that in today’s world, where it’s everyone for themselves. Here at Sierra Car Care we are about the customer, the customer comes first.”

Gas for goodnessShakespeare Animal Fund

Every Wednesday in March, we’ll make a donation 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 March will support the Shakespeare Animal Fund.

For many elderly and disabled their animals mean everything in the world to them, and when their animals become ill or injured they have no money for emergency veterinary care. That’s where Shakespeare Animal Fund steps in.

Founded in January 2004 in memory of a dog named Shakespeare, the organization’s mission statement is to stop the suffering of animals by paying emergency veterinary bills for elderly, disabled and other low income individuals. And to date the fund has paid out more than $275,000, most in the northern Nevada and northern California areas. A registered 501©(3), all donations are tax deductible.

So when you need gas or new tires, you can also support our local, Shakespeare Animal Fund by visiting any of our 5 locations on Wednesdays for gas and Saturdays for tires (Mill Street location only).

For more information,visit: www.ShakespeareAnimalFund.org
Thanks for supporting our community!

Do you know a local charity you’d like us to consider supporting?
Please see details here.

Auto mechanic checking car battery

If your vehicle’s electrical system seems to be haunted, turning devices on and off, or creating problems on start-up, you may need to speak to a professional.

The electrical system is powered by, and dependent on, the car battery and alternator. If the battery is not charged, or the alternator is not producing enough power, your vehicle and devices may not run properly or perform correctly.

What are some causes of electrical problems?

  • Insufficient battery charge (or defective battery)
  • Starter or alternator
  • Bad spark plug and/or wires
  • Blown fuses or bad sensors
  • Bad master control unit

Intermittent electrical issues are the most difficult to find and fix yourself. When a fuse “blows”, circuits lose their continuity and devices stop functioning. We can check any code using our advanced electrical diagnostic equipment. Save time and money by starting at the root of the problem.

Why service your electrical system?

  • May increase gas mileage
  • Ensures smooth running engine and inside components
  • More powerful performance

In many cases, early intervention can be the difference between a small problem $ and a big one $$$. Bring your vehicle into any of our Reno or Sparks locations for an electrical diagnostic check. Our fully qualified ASE Certified Technicians will do everything possible to keep your car running safely and efficiently.

SPECIAL OFFER: FREE BATTERY CHECK / TEST!
Check battery charge and inform you if battery is in good condition
or needs replacing. Offer Expires: February 28, 2013
Mention Coupon Code: TEST

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


Gas for goodnessNorthern Nevada Childrens Cancer Foundation

Every Wednesday in February, we’ll make a donation 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 of February’s donations will support the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation.

When you donate to Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation, you join our cause to support children in our community. A gift of any size will greatly benefit a family whose child is undergoing cancer treatment or suffering late effects from treatment. When a child is stricken with cancer, the needs are great.

So when you need gas or new tires, you can also support our local, Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation by visiting any of our 5 locations on Wednesdays for gas and Saturdays for tires (Mill Street location only).

For more information,visit: www.NVchildrenscancer.org
Thanks for supporting our community!

Do you know a local charity you’d like us to consider supporting?
Please see details here.

Shop Local at Sierra Car Care and MST Tire CenterAs you shop this holiday season, remember to support local business. By shopping at locally owned businesses, you help to boost our local economy and sometimes your own wallet. Let me explain how.

Buy Local – Support Yourself
When purchasing from a locally owned business, rather than from
a nationally owned business, significantly more of your money
is re-circulated on the local level through business-to-business
purchases, increased labor force, and promotional offers, which helps
to strengthen the economic  base
of the community.

Don’t just Shop – Invest & Create Jobs
When you shop any locally owned independent business, you are investing
in our local economy with everything you buy. This investment helps build
a strong local job market by increasing the need for employees, while
encouraging competitive consumer prices.

Buy Local – Support the Community
An average of 250% more support is provided for non-profit organizations
and local charities from small local business owners than from large companies.
At Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center we are dedicated to giving back
to our local community. A portion of your purchase at the pump on
Wednesdays and tires on Saturdays (at Mill Street location only) is donated
to a different local charity every month.

You see, by choosing to pump local at any of our full service Sierra Car Care
gas stations or purchasing tires from MST Tire Center, you are helping to keep
money in our local economy and  boost the job market.

We, at Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers would like to offer you our
Customer Loyalty Bonus when you Shop Local. So, remember us when
shopping for your family this holiday season and  you could save:

Buy any $100 Gift Card for only $90
or any $50 Gift Card for $45

Our goal is to build a strong, vibrant community that offers the value, the
professionalism and the services you need for all your vehicle maintenance
needs. We look forward to serving you! Happy Holidays!

Shop local. Buy local. Support local.

Please visit www.SierraCarCare.com for more information and locations.

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