The Importance of Tire Rotations

The Importance of Tire Rotations
The Importance of Tire Rotations

There are a lot of steps you need to take to ensure your vehicle is running smoothly. One of those is tire rotation. The importance of tire rotations cannot be overstated. Let’s look at a few reasons why you need to do this. Then, you can schedule a service appointment at Stalker Chevrolet to get your car back on track.

  • To determine how often you need your tires rotated, you should check the owner’s manual. In general, many manufacturers recommend a rotation after driving for about 5,000-6,000 miles.
  • With regular tire rotations, you can ensure your tires will have a long life. A rotation makes sure your tires are wearing evenly across all four wheels. If you have a full-size spare, you can also “rotate in” that tire as well.
  • There are specific rotation patterns for different types of vehicles. To know which pattern you should use, you need to know your vehicle’s drive type (front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, etc.), the size of your tires and wheels, and if you have directional tires.

Along with tire rotations, you should also routinely get the tires aligned. Over time as you go over bumps and drive through potholes, your tires can become angled incorrectly. An alignment makes sure everything is lined up correctly.

For all your tire and car care needs, contact Stalker Chevrolet. Our service center can get you what you need.

Using Summer Tires: Why All-Season Tires May Not Be Enough

Most drivers stick with all-season tires because they come standard on many vehicles. Such tires are versatile and can work in many driving conditions, but all-season tires are not always the most suitable tires for your car. For instance, using summer tires may save you money in the long run, improve handling, and prevent blowouts.Using Summer Tires - Stalker Chevrolet - Creston, IA

According to Popular Mechanics, all-season tires are the most popular tires on the road because they usually come standard on vehicles. Despite the phrase “all-season,” such tires do not actually work best in all conditions. Winter tires are specially designed for cold temperatures and slippery surfaces, and in the same manner, summer tires are made for hot asphalt. In their specific conditions, they both work much better than ordinary all-season tires.

Summer tires are made with special rubber compounds that stand up in hot temperatures. They are also great for damp-road traction like you experience in the spring. They don’t work as well in the winter on snow and ice, but if you substitute tires out twice a year, you’ll be better prepared for the seasons.

Why should you bother? In addition to improved handling and safety, switching to summer tires can save you money in the long run. Because such tires are designed for the conditions in which you are driving, they tend to last longer. All-season tires don’t have to be changed every winter/summer, but they are also mediocre in terms of durability and handling.

Switching to seasonal tires is right for most drivers—is it right for you? For more information about tire care and replacement, stop by Stalker Chevrolet today.

Getting Your Car Ready for Spring

The cold weather has finally passed, so it’s the perfect time to start getting your car ready for spring. Follow these routine maintenance tasks to help your car recover from winter and keep going strong through spring and summer.

One of the most important things you can do when winter is over is thoroughly wash your car inside and out. Between the harsh chemicals and salt that spray the outside of the car and the grime that builds up inside, your car takes a beating in the winter. Remember to thoroughly clean the undercarriage to remove any leftover salt, and scrub the inside of the windows to improve visibility.

Next, you should replace your windshield wipers. They get pretty worn out during the winter, and you’ll want them in good shape for the rainy spring months. While you’re at it, use a pressure gauge to make sure your tires are properly inflated, since they can lose a lot of air when it’s cold.

Finally, get an oil and filter change and top off any oils that are low. If you notice that anything is dangerously low, have your vehicle inspected to make sure you don’t have leaks in your system. If you’d like to schedule service at Stalker Chevrolet, just give us a call!

Get Your Car Road Trip Ready

Now that summer is here, you and your family might be making some big road trip plans for the coming months. If you have a long car trip in your near future, make sure your car is road trip ready with these simple steps.

1. Check your fluids. You want to make sure all your vehicle’s fluids are in their ideal state. This includes the oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and even windshield washer fluid.
2. Inspect your wipers. If your windshield wipers are leaving streaks, it’s time to replace them.
3. Have the battery tested. You don’t want to be left with a dead battery while on vacation. Have it tested to make sure it has enough juice to last through the season.
4. Check your brakes. If you will be driving longer than 1,000 miles or driving through mountains, make sure all your brakes are at least 50%. If they are less than that, have them replaced.

5. Check your lights. Make sure all your lights, inside and out, are working. This includes your headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights
6. Inspect your tires. Check your tires to make sure the tread is adequate and can handle any tough driving you may be planning.
7. Repair any lingering issues. If there have been any strange sounds coming from your car or if there is anything else that just doesn’t seem right, get it resolved before you hit the road.

Road Trip Ready Chevy Silverado

Schedule a service appointment today with us here at Stalker Chevrolet and we will make sure your car is road trip ready.

Holiday Road Trip Pre-Departure Checklist

Before you head over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house this holiday season, make sure your car is up for the challenge. Here is our road trip pre-departure checklist to make sure you don’t find yourself stranded while everyone else is enjoying the party.

“The last thing anyone wants during the holiday season is to break down miles from home in the middle of nowhere,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It’s always a wise idea to have your vehicle checked out before you leave home to identify any potential problems that can be serviced before your holiday journey.”

  1. Check your tires. Be sure to check your tire pressure and tire tread to make sure they are in good shape before hitting the road. Not only does the safety of your passengers (and yourself) depend on it, but you’ll also improve your car’s efficiency.Tires on the 2015 Chevy Colorado
  2. Check your batteries. If your battery is nearing the end of its useful life, you’ll want to get it replaced before you leave. Frigid temperatures will only magnify any problems the battery has, possibly even leaving you stranded with a car that won’t start.
  3. Check your fluids. Check your engine oil, engine coolant, transmission fluid, power-steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
  4. Check your windshield wipers and lights. Finally, ensure that your windshield wipers effectively clear your windshield without leaving distracting streaks, and check all the lights, including the interior lights, headlights, high beams, blinkers, reverse lights, and brake lights.

Frozen Windshield

Here at Stalker Chevrolet, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

Heavy Keychain Putting a Strain on Your Ignition

Besides your key and fob, what else do you have on your keychain? A few of those handy discount cards. Maybe a gym membership ID. A bottle opener. A few house keys. A shed key. Some keychain flair. All of these things make for a heavy keychain, and a heavy keychain can cause damage to your ignition.

While adding these items to you keychain may be convenient the strain they put on your ignition could be inconvenient for your wallet.

Heavy Keychains

Heavy keychains continually sway while you drive and that coupled with gravity will wear on your ignition. This wear can cause a worn tumbler which would prevent you key from being able to engage and turn the ignition lock.

You may be wondering, “how much weight is too much?” While there’s really no definite answer, if you can see you key hang under the weight while in the ignition it’s probably too heavy. According to an article published cbslocal.com, GM stated in federal filings that drivers should not have any additional items hanging on the car’s key ring, except your car’s fob.

If you like to carry excess items on your keychain, consider removing them while driving and reattaching while in motion. This may seem like a hassle in the beginning, but once it becomes routine you should have no trouble. Plus you’ll know that you’re taking preventative measures against ignition damage.

If you’re still curious about excess weight on your keychain or any other car issues give us a call. We’d be more than happy to talk to you about any of your vehicle issues.

Spring in to Service – Car Care Awareness Month

Dust off your lawn mower, fire up the grill, and bust out your baseball glove; spring is here. And with spring’s arrival comes spring cleaning and car care.

Proper car care can you in more ways than one. Perhaps the most notable is safety. Taking care of your vehicle and making sure all scheduled and required maintenance has been done is a major factor in overall car safety.

Car Care Service
Stop by Stalker Chevrolet during Car Care Awareness Month

Proper car care can also save you money. And who doesn’t like to save money?!  Making sure your car is properly tuned, having proper tire pressure, keeping your engine oil regulated, replacing dirty air filters, and having a tight gas cap can all aid in saving you money at the gas pump. Along with those more minor maintenance tips, having serious maintenance or repairs done can also greatly improve your gas mileage; saving you potential hundreds in the long run.

Another way you’ll save money with car care is through making your vehicle more dependable. Keeping up on your regularly scheduled maintenance will allow your car to stay on the road longer and with less major upkeep. This will save you in cash from gas to repairs to rentals.

During car care month we hope you keep our Certified Service Technicians in mind when deciding where to have your vehicle serviced.

Brrrr…Cold Car Care Tips

Guess what everyone…it’s cold. Really cold. And when it’s cold nearly every outdoor activity becomes more difficult (save for skiing, snowboarding, etc.).  While I’m sure there are plenty of you that enjoy the snow and cold, your car is unlikely to have the same feelings. So while we’re in the grips of near record cold temperatures here are a few tips to make your life a little easier.

Cold car care preventative maintenance tips

Have your battery tested/Change your battery. Cold weather can zap the power from a battery pretty quickly. If you’ve had your battery for a few years it may be best to bring your vehicle to a service department and have the battery changed. You can have the service team check for loose cables and corrosion as well.

Check your fluid levels. It’s important to keep your car at optimum efficiency in the cold so you’re not left stranded at any time. Antifreeze and oil are key because they help regulate your fluid temperatures and keep you engine parts well lubricated.

Check your windshield wipers. In any driving situation being able to see what’s in front of you is important. Wiper blades designed to combat the snow and ice of the winter will increase your visibility and help keep you safe.

Chains on Tires
Extreme cold weather and winter conditions can do a number on your vehicle, if you aren’t prepared.

Our last preventative cold car care tip is checking up on your tire pressure. Cold air compresses more quickly causing a dip in your tire’s PSI. Depending on how much the temperature drops this could affect your tires overnight. Be careful not to over inflate you tires. The PSI on the tire is the max pressure the tire can take. Not the preferred amount for the weight of your vehicle. That number is on the driver side door frame and owner’s manual.

We realize getting out in the cold isn’t fun. But getting stuck in the cold is worse. Make sure you take care of you car this winter.

Chevy Headlights, Taillights, and You

The winter months mean cold temperatures and slick streets, but they also mean shorter periods of daylight. During this time it’s important to know some signs of wear on your Chevy headlights and taillights. These lights not only help you see better and further, they also help people see you.

Cold temperatures affect your battery, so make sure you have a strong battery. This will help keep your headlights and taillights strong. Another aspect that is often overlooked is cleaning your headlights and taillights. While some may not wash their vehicle as frequently during the winter months, keeping those headlights and taillights clean will increase your visibility.

In the event that your headlights and/or taillights have gone out replacing them in a timely manner is critically. Not only do you want to have full visibility again, but you don’t want to keep non-working parts in your vehicle. A dead bulb may create excess corrosion and damage the socket or wiring. Each Chevy vehicle is a bit different in how the lights are housed, so make sure to check your owner’s manual to find out the specifics of you vehicle. Or you can always take your vehicle to your local Chevy service center and have the lights replaced by a Certified Service Technician with genuine GM parts.

Your headlights and taillights are an extension of your eyes on the road. Make sure you take care of them so that you stay safe this winter and throughout the year.

And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Winterizing Your Car – Essential Items

In our last blog we discussed winterizing your car from a car care prospective. But there are more steps to take to make sure your car is properly winterize.

While we certainly hope your car always runs smoothly and you never have any complications, we want to do our best to make sure you’re prepared.

For starters make sure you have a blanket, extra set of warm clothes, and boots in your trunk for an emergency. Iowa winters can get pretty chilly, and if you’re stuck on the side of the road waiting on help that time will go by much faster if you can remain warm.

Cold Weather Car Breakdown
Keeping Key Items in Your Car Can Keep You From Being Left in the Cold This Winter

Next make sure you have an emergency kit. This doesn’t pertain to just the winter months, many of these items should be in your car at all times.

  • Flares
  • Radio
  • Engine Oil
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Antifreeze
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries – Batteries will get cold and lose a bit of life over the course of the winter. Bring back some of the juice by placing the battery between your elbow or underneath your arm for 30 seconds to warm them up.
  • First aid kit
  • Sunglasses
  • Rubberbands
  • Bungee Cords
  • Spare Cash – 10 to 20 dollars can stretch when you in a tight spot.
  • Multitool – A small handy device to do a variety of task.

The Boy Scout motto of, “Always be prepared”, applies when dealing with winterizing your car.

We hope our tips on packing essential items and winterizing car care were helpful. Drive safe this winter and look out for more information from Stalker Chevrolet. Remember to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.