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.

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!

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!

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!

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