Common New Car Repairs

An inevitable part of car ownership is car repair. While most owners expect a few repairs as their vehicle grows old, new car repairs can have drivers caught off guard.

For those of you who have purchase a new Chevy, you’re vehicle is backed by a 3 year or 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper coverage – so new car repairs may not worry you too much. However; it still good to know what type of new car repairs to be on the lookout for. Below is a short list of some of the most common new car repairs.

Remote Keyless Entry – That’s right, as convenient as it can be to unlock your door while you have a hand full of groceries, this is also one of the top repairs for owners.

New Car Repair - Battery
Get your battery inspected by one of our GM Certified Service Technicians

Battery – While batteries aren’t meant to last forever, some drivers may forget to check these in particularly harsh weather or hard driving conditions. According to J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), original owners of three-year-old vehicles ranked this as the most frequent new car repair.

Exterior lights (excluding headlight components) – 3.4% of new car owners recorded that they needed to change taillight, brake light, and/or turn signal lights during the early years of car ownership.

Tire-Pressure Monitoring System – Knowing just how much air is in your tires is critical and often overlooked safety feature. 1.8% of new vehicle owners reported to J.D. Power that they had to have repairs done on this system.

While we hope your vehicle always runs smoothly, we’re also here for when it’s not. If you come across these or any other issues with your car, stop by our service department and talk to our outstanding service staff. They’ll be sure to take care of you.

Winterize Your Car – National Car Care Month

As much as it may pain some of you to hear (and delight others) winter is almost here. One way to start preparing for the cold and snowy months is by winterizing your car.

With October being National Car Care Month it’s a great reminder to get you car ready early for the months ahead.

Whether you decide to bring your vehicle in to Stalker Chevy and have our Certified Service technicians take care of your car or if you want to do an inspection of your own, here are a few things you should make sure to get checked.

Roads get slick and conditions are less than perfect for driving during our winters. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have the proper amount of tread. If you do a decent amount of driving on roads that don’t get cleared quite as much you may want to consider snow tires or ones with extra grip.

Even if your tires are gripping the road just fine they aren’t the only thing responsible for helping you stop in a safe manner. A thorough inspection of your brake system is important before winter hits. Brake lines, rotors, pads, drums, fluid, are all critical components to keeping you safe on snowy or icy roads.

The cold weather can do damage to your engine just by it being too cold. Make sure your car has the proper level of antifreeze, as well as other engine fluids like power steering, radiator, transmission, and windshield washer fluids.

While making sure your car can warm up and run safely and efficiently is great, it’s always good to make sure you can stay warm in your vehicle too. Make sure to get your HVAC systems checked out. No one wants to ride around in a frozen car all winter.

Be sure to have your defrosters and wiper blades inspected too. These are often items that get overlooked, but you can’t drive if you can’t see (Another reason not to text and drive).

And lastly check your battery, belts and hoses. Cold weather can do a number on all of these items. Cold weather is known to drain batteries more rapidly and being stuck in the cold is the worst. Belts and hoses typically have a pretty long shelf life, but you don’t want to ignore them. Especially in the winter when a break or crack can really leave you stranded.

While this takes care of most of the mechanical side of winterizing your car, there are some additional things you can do to further prepare your vehicle.

Check out our next blog installment for more information on how to fully winterize your car!

How to Prepare Your Car for the Last Days of Summer

Summer is very nearly at its end.  You might have noticed the nights getting a little bit cooler, a few more leaves falling from the trees, football getting back into season, schools going back into session, and so on.  Autumn is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean that we are entirely out of the woods when it comes to late-summer heat.

Prepare Your Car For the Summer
Summer Road Trips with the Top Down

There’s nothing worse than sliding into a car that’s been broiling all afternoon in the mid-day heat, but summer weather can do more than make you sweaty and give you a bad case of butt-sticking-against-leather-seat syndrome.  Neglecting certain basic maintenance needs can lead to decreased performance and lead to an uncomfortable ride all around.

As pointed out in a video from HowStuffWorks, step number one is making sure that your coolant system is up to snuff.  Check your radiator for contaminants and make sure that antifreeze levels are adequate.  Ensure that the coolant fan is functional, as its function is extremely vital to the engine’s temperature level.  Also, check the radiator core for rot, belts and hoses for cracks and leaks, and other components of the vehicle’s cooling system.  This will lead to better performance, less possibility of overheating, and fully functional A/C.

Furthermore, on days when the weather gets hot, be certain to protect your car from the heat by parking in the natural shade of a tree or purchasing a windshield sun shade.  It is of particular importance to not leave children or dogs in hot vehicles, not even for short periods of time.  What’s more, parking in the shade actually promotes better fuel economy, leading to more savings for drivers at the pump.

Park in the Shade to Improve Fuel Economy
Park in the Shade to Improve Fuel Economy

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also recommends changing to a specific set of summer tires to combat the hot asphalt.  These tires should have a shorter sidewall and less-aggressive tread.  For those not looking to keep season-specific tires, it is nonetheless important to ensure that your all-season tires are inflated, rotated, and aligned properly.

And here’s something: did you know that a cleaner car will be cooler than a dirty one?  A car that shines deflects more of the sun’s rays than one that doesn’t.  A dusty car is more likely to absorb the sun’s heat.  All the more reason to take advantage of that sunshine while you can, run your car or truck through a car wash, and make that baby shine something fierce.

Whether summer or autumn, winter or spring, the folks at Stalker Chevrolet are here to help.  Stop in for more maintenance tips to help prepare your ride for the upcoming season.

Common Car Myths

Car myths are something new and old drivers struggle with alike.  New drivers will hear something and not know any better to dismiss it, and older drivers have been known to hold onto folklore about their vehicles for decades.  We’re here to dispel some of the more common car myths out there.Red Car Insurance Myth

  • Reds Cars Cost More to Insure– This has most likely developed from people mistaking correlation for causation.  A lot of sports cars are red and sports cars cost more to insure.  At no point does an insurance company ask for your car color when giving you a quote.
  • The 3,000-Mile Oil Change– This is quite possibly the most widely known (and often times accepted) myth out there.  Today, vehicles should get an oil change around every 7,500 miles, but getting one more often won’t hurt, and if you drive in extreme conditions or tow frequently, you’ll want to schedule service for an oil change more often.
  • Vehicles that run on regular benefit from premium gasoline– Years ago, only premium fuel contained detergents that helped to clean the engine, and cars would benefit from the occasional premium fill-up.  Today, the EPA requires detergent in every grade of fuel, so stick with your recommended octane level.
  • Chevy AvalancheLet your engine warm up before driving– In the winter, this can be an appealing option, especially if you have a remote-starter, but modern vehicles actually warm up much faster when they are being driven.  Vehicles operate at their highest efficiency when they’re warm, so letting them idle in the driveway cold will cost you some gas.

Check out Cars.com’s list for additional myths, and be sure to visit us today at Stalker Chevrolet with any other vehicle-related questions you might have!

When Should I Change My Tires?

One of the most overlooked features on a vehicle is the tires.  Unless you feel noticeable slippage on the road it can be hard to know when to change your tires. But no need to fear, your trusted Certified Service technicians at Stalker Chevrolet are on the case to help you better understand your tires.

When you start asking yourself, “Is it time to change my tires?” you can start by checking the tire pressure. Chevrolets now give drivers the option to check their tire pressure from the media console; however, should you choose to use a manual pressure gauge here are a few things to remember:

  • Check your tires “cold” – Your tires should be at rest for at least three hours for a more accurate reading.
  • Compare the measure psi (pounds per square inch) with the psi found on the sticker inside the driver’s door of your car or in your owner’s manual.
  • If your psi is too high, let air out until the numbers match. If your psi is too low add air until it reaches the proper amount.

Check Tire TreadNow that you’ve checked your tire pressure, it’s time to check the tread. Check your tire tread roughly once a month or before you head out on long journeys. Look for uneven wear and tire damage, these could be signs that your alignment is off or you need to replace a tire. Catching this early could save a lot in the long run.  To check the tread depth on your tires simply take a penny and place it where your tread appears lowest with Lincoln’s down into the groove. If our 16th President’s head is covered at all then you are within the safe and legal amount of tread (approx 2/32 of an inch). Once below this amount your Chevy has much more difficulty gripping the road.

Worn tires is one of the primary reasons to replace your tires, another is tire damage. If your tires have damage, it’s typically easier to notice when it’s time to replace them.  For instance you may run over something that punctures or slashes your tires.

If after all your eyeball testing and feeling your tires to see if they look worn you still can’t tell if they need to be replace, stop by and see us. Our team will make sure the next time you hit the road, you’ll be riding on safe tires.

Proper Tire Care

So When Should I Change My Oil?

Keeping your engine properly lubricated will help you get the maximum performance and life from your car, truck, or SUV.  And for the past several decades the general rule has been to change your oil every 3,000 miles. But does that still hold true? That depends on a few factors, but for most people that answer is no.

Because of the many advances in engine technology and the advances in engine lubricants, newer vehicles can typically go over 5,000 miles before an oil change is required.  That is not to say you should always go more than 3,000 miles before an oil change, there are extenuating circumstances.

Truck drivers who are consistently hauling or towing heavy loads; especially in high traffic areas, may need to change their oil more frequently. Another set of drivers that may need to change their oil more frequently than their owner’s manual recommends, are driver that put greater strain on their engines, stopping abruptly or accelerating quickly will wear down you engine faster.

To help you keep track of when you should change your oil, Chevrolet’s are Engine Oil Life Systemequipped with an Engine Oil Life System (OLS) that monitors the use of your oil based on your driving habits and engine conditions. Because this system adjusts to your personal driving habits you can be sure to know that when the OLS light comes on you need to stop by Stalker Chevy for an oil change.

The Certified Service technicians at Stalker Chevrolet are trained to understand your vehicles needs and when you’ll need your oil changed. We’re here offer you quality car care and provide a detailed inspections to let you know the best options for your Chevy.

For the best practice on oil changes for your vehicle consult the maintenance schedule in your Chevrolet Vehicle Owner’s Manual.