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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.

Siarre Car Care and MST Tire Center

Best Place to Get a Car Repaired: Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center

Welcome to Reno News & Review’s “Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada 2014”, the state’s most accurate, most unbiased and biggest popularity contest. Participate in the yearly poll to tell everyone who is the “best-of-the-best” in Reno.

Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center WOULD LIKE YOUR VOTE!

Sierra Car Care has taken care of Reno and Sparks with valuable ASE certified automotive repair and outstanding customer service. With our 5 full service gas and repair stations around the Reno and Sparks, Nevada area, we are close when you need us!

We are a Full Service auto repair company providing repairs for all ranges of vehicles; from passenger cars and trucks, to RVs and even fleet vehicles. Each store specializes in tires from MICHELIN®, BFGoodrich®, Uniroyal® and many other brands. Our tire prices can compete with Costco and the Tire Rack.

Each year, Reno News & Review chooses a special aspect of Northern Nevada to feature in their poll. This year, they’ve decided to highlight the women of arts, business, politics and culture. Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers are owned and operated by Laurie & Steve Yarborough and are an equal opportunity employer.

We would like your vote! Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center would appreciate your recognition for the following Section: Goods & services – Best place to get a car repaired. Hurry voting ends July 25, 2014. Vote Here: http://www.newsreview.com/reno/ballot/bestofreno14

The readers’ poll will be conducted from June 5 through July 25. Published results will be available on Aug. 7th, 2014.

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.

______________________________________________________________________

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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