As we head into winter and the holiday season, it’s time to make sure your car is running in tip-top shape – because no one likes to be stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck in the snow. Luckily, there’s no need to sweat with Levin Tire & Service Center by your side.
From tires to oil changes to shocks and struts, Levin Tire & Service Center is the go-to place when you need your car serviced, and their knowledge staff is here to keep your car moving. We sat down with Levin Tire & Service Center’s expert team for a question-and-answer on some of the most common questions when it comes to car maintenance.
The Engine: From a check engine light to a tune-up, Levin has you covered when the engine is out of whack. Don’t forget to have them replace the spark plugs when it’s time, too.
Q: How often should you replace a car’s spark plugs?
A: It’s different for every manufacturer. Most car makers say the spark plugs need to swap out every 30,000 miles. However, some spark plugs are made to last longer.
Fuel System: If it’s time to clean the fuel system or replace the filter, talk to your friends at Levin and get that taken care of straight away.
Q: Why is it important to get your car’s fuel system cleaned?
A: There are multiple benefits to getting a fuel system cleaning at Levin. We provide a complete intake system cleaning by safely and effectively removing carbon build-up, cleaning the upper engine and intake systems from the plenum to the catalytic converter. The benefits of the service include: eliminates hydrostatic engine lock, removes carbon deposits, cleans intake valve seats and combustion chamber, cleans oxygen sensor, helps return compression to original factory levels, eliminates rough idling, knocking, pinging, and engine run-on, reduces emissions and can improve power and performance.
Belts and Hoses: Heater hose, radiator hose, serpentine belt, or timing belt, Levin can handle them all. If you’ve got a squeak or a leak, give them a call to see what they can do for you.
Q: How often do belts and hoses typically need to be changed? Are there any signs drivers need to be aware of when a belt or hose is going out?
A: Belts should be inspected every five years or 60,000 miles. Some of the sights and sounds that indicate it might be time to change a belt include the belt squealing, changing to a brown color, or cracking.
Lighting: If your lights are dim, flickering, or just burnt out, don’t risk being left in the dark! Levin’s technicians can get those changed for you to be sure you can drive safely down the streets.
Suspension System: A bumpy ride just won’t do. If you’re noticing issues with shocks and struts, ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, or the control arm, or have no idea what any of that means, it’s O.K.! Levin knows and can get those issues taken care of for you.
Q: How often should shocks, struts, ball joints and tie rods be replaced? What are the signs they need to be replaced?
A: We recommend a front-end check yearly to inspect all these items because of the change in weather that we experience in the Midwest, which also leads to potholes in the roads causing some of these components to work harder than normal. Monroe, a leading manufacturer in shocks and struts, does recommend replacing shocks and struts at approximately 50,000 miles, but the best way to know how these components are performing, would be to have them checked every 12 months along with the alignment.
Fluid Exchange: Whether you need to change out the fuel system, cooling system, transmission fluid, brake system, or power steering system, Levin’s got it.
Q: How often should a car’s cooling system, transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc., be swapped out?
A: This used to be a much easier question to answer as far as a timeline or mileage, but manufacturers have started to offer a lot of extended life products in their new vehicles. We recommend checking the owner’s manual in the vehicle which will lay out the maintenance intervals to follow.
Batteries and Electrical system: A visit to friends or family can’t begin with a car that won’t start. Make sure your battery, alternator, starter, and charging systems are all up to snuff before you head out this fall.
Q: Typically, how long do car batteries last?
A: Batteries should last approximately three to five years. But the harsh winters that we have been experiencing lately could greatly decrease the life of the battery depending on how much usage they received during the cold weather. We recommend getting the battery checked between two to three years after installation. We can run a quick test to check the levels on the battery. Also, it is important to choose a battery with a good warranty. Most of our batteries come with a three-year warranty that includes the first 18 months at free replacement.
One thing we can all agree on – having issues with your car can be stressful and nerve-racking, especially when you’re on your way to a holiday party. Be sure to keep your car running strong through the holiday season—get your car checked by one of Levin Tire & Service Center experts today.