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October is Car Care Month. Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center would like to remind motorists that as the weather cools, a complete vehicle checkup may be necessary to maintain safety and maximize efficiency.

We have provided a comprehensive checklist for winter car care for those who prefer to complete the inspection independently. Or if you are not so comfortable inspecting your vehicle yourself, you can bring your car into any one of our four locations around the Reno – Sparks area.

Winter Car Care Checklist

Battery and Charging System – A fully charged battery in good condition is required to start an engine in cold weather. It is recommended to speak with one of our ASE certified technicians who can test your battery and replace it on-site, if necessary. Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers Full Service Auto Repair Shops can also test and replace weak batteries.

Battery Cables and Terminals – Make sure the battery terminals and cable ends are free from corrosion and the connections are tight. This task can be easily accomplished using a few simple steps:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of baking soda with 1 cup (250 ml) of very hot water.
  2. Dip an old toothbrush into the mixture and scrub the top of the battery to remove corrosion buildup.
  3. You can even dip the ends of the battery cables in hot water to dissolve any corrosion on the cable ends themselves.

Drive Belts – Inspect the underside of accessory drive belts for cracks or fraying. Many newer multi-rib “serpentine” belts are made of materials that do not show obvious signs of wear; replace these belts at 60,000-mile intervals.

Engine Hoses – Inspect cooling system hoses for leaks, cracks or loose clamps. Also, squeeze the hoses and replace any that are brittle or have an excessively spongy feeling.

Tire Type and Tread – In areas with heavy winter weather, installing snow tires on all four wheels will provide the best winter traction. All-season tires work well in light-to-moderate snow conditions provided they have adequate tread depth. Replace any tire that has less than 3/32-inches of tread. Uneven tire wear can indicate alignment, wheel balance or suspension problems that must be addressed to prevent further tire damage.

There are several popular ways to check your tire tread depth. One easy way is the penny test.

  1. Simply insert a penny into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you.
  2. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch and it’s time to replace your tires.

Tire Pressure – Check tire inflation pressure on all four tires and the spare more frequently in fall and winter. As the average temperature drops, so will tire pressures – typically by one PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Proper tire pressure levels can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker typically located on the driver’s side door.

Also, if your tires have been filled with nitrogen, we suggest re-filling with nitrogen as well. You can come into MST Tire Center for Nitrogen Services.

Air Filter – Check the engine air filter by holding it up to a 60-watt light bulb. If light can be seen through much of the filter, it is still clean enough to work effectively. However, if light is blocked by most of the filter, replace it.

Coolant Levels – Check the coolant level in the overflow tank when the engine is cold. If the level is low, add a 50/50 solution of coolant and water to maintain the necessary antifreeze capability. Test the antifreeze protection level annually with an inexpensive tester available at any auto parts store.

Lights – Check the operation of all headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and back-up lights. Replace any burnt out bulbs.

Wiper Blades – The blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Replace any blade that leaves streaks or misses spots. In regions where snow is common, consider installing winter wiper blades that wrap the blade frame in a rubber boot to reduce ice and snow buildup that can prevent good contact between the blade and the glass.

Washer Fluid – It is best to fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with a winter cleaning solution that has antifreeze components to prevent it from freezing.

Brakes – If there is any indication of a brake problem, have the system inspected by an ASE Certified Technician at one of our four locations around the Reno – Sparks area to ensure all components are in good working order.

Transmission, Brake and Power Steering Fluids – Check all fluids to ensure they are at or above the minimum safe levels.

Emergency Road Kit – Carry an emergency kit equipped for winter weather. The kit should include:

  • Mobile phone pre-programmed with rescue apps and important phone numbers including family and emergency services, and car charger
  • Drinking water
  • First-aid kit
  • Non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers
  • Bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats
  • Snow shovel
  • Blankets
  • Extra warm clothing (gloves, hats, scarves)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Window washer solvent
  • Ice scraper with brush
  • Cloth or roll of paper towels
  • Jumper cables
  • Warning devices (flares or triangles)
  • Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)

For more information or if you would like to setup a COURTESY WINTER VEHICLE INSPECTION appointment for your vehicle, please just find a Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center location near you.

courtesy-winter-inspection

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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.

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.

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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
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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.

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