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The serpentine belt is one long, snaking, winding belt that keeps your alternator, power steering pump, air conditioning and, in some cases, your water pump running smoothly and effectively. Without this belt, the battery will not get charged and none of the electrical accessory components in the car will work.

Typically comprised of rubber and guided by hydraulic (or spring-loaded) belt tensioners or idler pulleys, serpentine belts connect your alternator, water pump, power steering system AND air conditioning unit to your crankshaft and transfer power from your engine to these vital components.

Since these belts perform such an important task, having them inspected and changed out regularly is extremely important to your vehicle’s health. If they wear out and snap from constantly being exposed to the intense heat produced by your engine, your engine can shut down completely and cost you a lot of money in repairs to the various systems supported by serpentine belts.

Signs your serpentine belt needs to be replaced include loss of power, noticeable vibrations, audible squealing and steering difficulties. Loud Drive Belt– If there is a noisy squealing coming from the serpentine belt then it is important that you have your vehicle inspected immediately. If the issue is being caused by leaking or spilled motor oil though, it can mean a complete replacement is needed for the belts and it will need to be replaced immediately before any more damages can be caused.

If you notice any of these warning signs or think it’s time for your serpentine belt to be replaced, be sure to schedule an appointment at Sierra Car Care and Tire Center by clicking HERE or by giving us a call at (775) 525-2420!

Our friendly, ASE-certified technicians can help you set up a proactive preventative maintenance plan for your vehicle that will include serpentine belts as well as several other components you may not be aware of but perform important tasks for your engine.

When winter is near, many motorists begin winterizing their vehicles to prepare them for the cold, ice, and snow.

Winterization involves checking and changing many different components. Coolant should be changed to help ensure that liquids do not freeze and prevent the engine from starting. Likewise, the starting and charging system should be checked.

It is important to keep in mind that an old battery is especially prone to failure in winter, because cold weather can slow the chemical reaction required to generate electricity.

Other items that may be checked include the windshield wiper blades. During winter, increased precipitation can hinder visibility. As such, it is good to have working blades.

Under winter driving conditions, balding or worn out tires can be especially dangerous. Many motorists switch their regular tires to all weather or snow tires, which tend to handle winter conditions better than regular tires. Ultimately, during the winterization checkup maintenance, our service staff will make sure that your vehicle is equipped to handle the tough winter conditions.

Schedule a Winterization Service at any one of our Sierra Car Care and Tire Center locations in the Reno area.

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.

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

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. Fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  2. Hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
  3. Battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
  4. Brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
  5. 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. Engine to make sure it is delivering the best balance of power and fuel economy and producing the lowest level of emissions.
  7. 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. Steering and suspension system annually, including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
  9. 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. 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 locations around the Reno-Sparks area.

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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