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.

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter
How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

Here in Iowa, winter comes early and lasts for a long time. That means now is the time to prepare your car for winter. With a few easy steps, you can help make sure you will make it through the season.

  • Fluids. Your vehicle’s fluids are its blood. If any of them are low or dirty, your car will not run properly.
  • Tires. During the winter months, you need tires that can cut through ice and snow and still stay pliable even when it is frigid outside. Consider switching to winter tires for optimal performance.
  • Lights. As the days gets shorter, you will be spending more time driving in the dark. Make sure all of your exterior lights are working and angled properly.
  • HVAC. You will need both your heater and air conditioner during the winter. Your heater warms you up, while the A/C removes the fog from your windshield.
  • Emergency kit. In case disaster does strike, you want to be prepared. Make sure you have an in-car emergency kit with items like high energy snacks, water, blankets, road flares, a small shovel, etc.

If you want to make sure your car is ready for the cold weather ahead, schedule a service appointment right here at Stalker Chevrolet. We will give your car the professional touch.

Fall Car Maintenance: Seasonal Service You Can’t Forget

Fall car maintenance is a great way to keep your car in shape. Temperatures dip, air quality changes, and driving habits also begin to vary. Plus, it’s a great time to change your oil and wipers, helping you to prepare for winter.

According to Bankrate, you should always check your tire pressure in the fall. That’s because colder temperatures cause air pressure to decrease. In fact, a 1° dip in temperature causes the pressure to decrease by 1 psi. Under inflated tires cause added friction, which adds wear and tear and lowers fuel economy.

Four Tires

 

The air quality can also dip in the fall as the seasons change. Getting a new air filter can increase fuel economy and performance by optimizing air flow. At the very least, it’s a good idea to blow your current air filter out with compressed air.

Change your wiper blades. You should get new wiper blades at least once or twice a year, depending on your driving habits. Getting them in the fall will prevent you from waiting too long. The winter is often the harshest on the wipers.

Finally, get your car’s oil changed. You should change the oil about every 3,000 miles. For the average driver, that’s four times per year—or once every season. Now that the fall is on its way (the official start is September 22nd), you should consider changing the oil to prepare for harsher weather.

Some of you may be able to handle a few of these maintenance items on your own, but if you need some assistance we’re hear to help. Call, stop by, or schedule an appointment on line and our highly trained service team will be more than happy to take care of you.

How to Change a Car Fuse in Five Simple Steps

It’s not uncommon if you find a fuse has blown in your car – in fact, that’s its purpose. A fuse is designed to regulate how much electricity flows through it, and when it becomes too much, the fuse blows to prevent serious damage. Thankfully, it’s not difficult to learn how to change a car fuse, and even better, it’s inexpensive to do so. Follow these five simple steps to get the job done.

Car Fuses

  1. Locate your car’s fuse panel. Usually found under the steering wheel, the fuse panel has several different color-coded fuses plugged in. Check your owner’s manual for the exact location in your car.
  2. Remove the fuse panel cover. When you remove the cover, you may notice that there is a handy diagram on the back that shows what each fuse powers.
  3. Locate the blown fuse. Determine which fuse needs to be replaced by looking for a black fuse or one where the metal filament is broken.
  4. Remove the broken fuse. Using tweezers, pliers, or your fingers, carefully remove the blown fuse. These break easily, and it’s much easier to pull out an entire fuse than a broken one.
  5. Put the new fuse in. Make sure you’ve obtained the correct replacement using your owner’s manual. Be sure you have the correct amperage, as using the wrong fuse can cause serious electrical problems. Simply use your finger to push and secure the fuse into the slot.

That’s it. Easy, right? If you find you need more help, refer to dmv.org or give us a call at Stalker Chevrolet!

How to Know if My Brakes Are Failing

Your brakes are the single most important safety system in your car. Without the ability to slow and stop your car on demand, you’ll be left to the mercy of the objects around you – which is why it’s imperative that you understand and pay attention to the signs that could indicate your brakes are failing.

New Disc Brake Pads

How to know if my brakes are failing:

  1. Sounds. The first, and most obvious indication that your brakes could be failing is if they are squeaking, squealing, or otherwise making unusual sounds. This sound is your first indicator that your brake pads are wearing down and need to be replaced.
  2. Grinding. If you feel a grinding or vibrating feeling through the pedal when you apply the brakes, your brake pads have worn all the way down, leaving them to scratch and grind the rotors. Don’t delay in getting this repaired, as this can cause more serious damage to your vehicle’s rotors.
  3. Unresponsive brakes. If you notice you have to put extra pressure on your brakes to get a response, or the response is delayed, there could be a leak in the brake fluid system. Have this addressed right away, as stopping can become increasingly challenging and unpredictable.

For more signs that your brakes need attention, visit esurance.com.

Worried about your brakes? Make an appointment at Stalker Chevrolet.

Three Overlooked Car Maintenance Items

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, car maintenance can often be left on the backburner. Even when we do the basic regular oil changes and checkups, we often forget to take care of some important maintenance items.
These are our top three commonly overlooked car maintenance items:

  1. Wheel alignment and tire rotation. These are often done at the same time, but car owners often overlook scheduling this service. The back tires wear differently than the front tires, so it’s important to have the tires rotated on a regular basis to ensure all the tires are wearing evenly. Also be sure to have your alignment checked, especially if you notice your car pulling to one side or the other. Ignoring this pull can result in over-worn tires and less-efficient driving.

Wheel Alignment

  1. Timing belt replacement. The timing belt needs to be replaced every 50 – 60,000 miles (check your owner’s manual). Failing to replace a slipping or broken timing belt can cause the piston and valves to collide, destroying the engine.
  1. Brake Service. Your car’s brake fluid should be checked on a regular basis, and replaced if it turns a dark brown color. In the event water is absorbed into the brake fluid, the brake’s hydraulic system can be corroded over time.

Car Disc Brakes

Here are even more services you shouldn’t overlook.

Make an appointment at Stalker Chevrolet to have your car caught up. We are happy to help!

Chevrolet Certified Service Rescue Squad Put to Work at Woodward

Classic cruisers occasionally die on the road for any number of reasons.  In an effort to keep things moving at this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise, the Chevrolet Certified Service Rescue Squad was hard at work, rescuing cruisers that stalled, overheated, or ran out of gas. The squad was conveniently prepared to assist any participants at a moment’s notice.

“It’s called the ‘The Dream Cruise’, but an overheated engine, a drained battery, or a flat tire can turn that dream into a nightmare for enthusiasts whose countdown clock to Woodward starts the day the last one ends,” said Chris Brandt, Chevrolet Certified Service advertising manager in a statement. “No one wants to break down or cause ‘The Dream Traffic Jam,’ so Chevrolet Certified Service technicians will help cruisers with the kind of minor issues that can be easily remedied.”

GM Certified Service Technician
Certified Service Technicians were on hand to help those in need at the Woodward Dream Cruise.

In an effort to help participants better prepare for this year’s event, the automaker compiled a list of the most common issues from last year’s event. Dying batteries, low fluid levels, low gas levels, and tire and wiper conditions all made the list of things to look over before heading to this year’s event.

Learn more about the annual Woodward Dream Cruise here.

Chevrolet continues to deliver reliable and capable vehicles, year after year. Stop by Stalker Chevrolet to check out our exciting lineup.

Signs That Your Car Needs a New Battery

Don’t wait until you find yourself stranded with a car that won’t start to acknowledge issues with your battery. Instead, pay attention to these five warning signs that your car needs a new battery, and save yourself the headache of towing a vehicle with a useless battery.

Car Battery

  1. Slow engine turnover. If you have noticed that your car is slow to crank when you start the engine, your battery could be failing. Have a technician test your battery life before you find it won’t crank at all.
  2. Dim lights. If you notice the lights in the cabin, dashboard, or exterior are more dim than normal, it could be related to a lack of power in the battery.
  3. Check engine or battery dashboard light. Don’t ignore your dashboard lights. The check engine light and the battery light can be an indicator that your battery is losing power.
  4. Low battery fluid. Car batteries usually feature a translucent area in the battery casing where you can check the fluid level.When the fluid falls below the lead plates inside, it’s time to have your battery tested, and likely replaced.
  5. Age. Car batteries tend to have a useful life of around three years. It’s always a good idea to have your battery checked at the three year mark.

For more battery warning signs, visit firestonecompleteautocare.com.

Here at Stalker Chevrolet, we can help you determine if you need a new car battery. If you have any concerns about the life of your battery, make an appointment with our service department today!

GM Certified Service Technicians

At Stalker Chevrolet we’re proud to have GM Certified Service Technicians working on your cars and trucks (We’re also proud of our World Class Technician). But what does that mean to you as the customer?

It means that our technicians go through state of the art automotive service training, including course work and real world experience on the same GM vehicles on the road today.

GM Certified Service Technician

Technicians are trained via blended learning strategy. This strategy combines traditional instructor based classes, web-based training, video, simulations, and print based training. The blended approach sees that technicians fully retain the training and are ready to provide excellent service.

This extensive training gives allows our technicians an advantage when diagnosing and fixing any issues on your vehicle.

Additionally, our service staff will have first-hand knowledge of your vehicle and when it may need scheduled maintenance or if certain components aren’t running optimally.

Of course our technicians aren’t limited to knowledge on GM vehicles only. Our technicians are well versed on several manufactures; foreign and domestic, and we’d be more than happy to diagnose, discuss, and repair your vehicle.

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.