With the holidays among us, it’s important to keep your car running so you're not stranded traveling between events. Luckily, Levin Tire & Service Center is here with five simple things you can do to keep your car running in tip-top shape.
- Check and change your oil. After fuel, oil is the most important fluid in a vehicle. Nothing will help keep your engine running longer than a regular oil and filter change. Running your car with little to no oil in it can cause severe damage.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Keeping your tires at the correct amount of pressure not only helps you stay safe but has a plethora of other benefits. Keeping them inflated can prolong the life of your tires and boost your fuel economy. One thing to keep in mind is that temperature difference can affect your tire pressure. Cold air may cause your pressure to drop, while warm air may cause the pressure to rise.
- Check and add low fluids. Aside from the oil, there are a few other things you should check regularly such as antifreeze, brake and transmission fluids. Antifreeze helps keep the engine from overheating by absorbing engine heat and dissipating it through the radiator. Levin Tire recommends checking this fluid at every oil change. It’s important to remember to not check this while the engine is running. Brake fluid connects the pedal to the brakes themselves. When applying the brake pedal, the fluid is pressurized by a plunger inside the lines, which causes the brake pads to clamp on the rotors. When adding more brake fluid, be sure it’s the appropriate kind for your car. Brake fluid comes in several varieties. Transmission fluid lubricates and cools gears, clutches, and valves in the transmission. Most cars have a dipstick that will allow you to check this liquid while others require a mechanic to inspect the fluid condition. If you have a dipstick, make sure the engine is running and in park or neutral. The fluid should be amber or red in color. If it’s dark, cloudy or gritty it could mean there are other issues that need to be addressed.
- Check your battery levels. Aside from the initial start of the engine, the battery is a key role in your vehicle’s electrical system. Car batteries typically last five to 6 years, but like other parts, it all depends on how the car is treated. With a similar effect from the weather like tire pressure, the temperature has a significant impact on battery life and performance. While it takes extremely low temps for a battery to freeze, the cold can reduce its ability to transfer full power.
- Lights. Ensuring all the car’s lights are working correctly is another key to driving at night during this holiday season. This can be done by turning the head and rear lights on and walking around the car looking for any bulbs that may not be working.
Since 1918, Levin Tire has been a trusted service leader in Northwest Indiana. For more information on the services they provide, visit www.levintirecenter.com.