Spring Car Service Tips for the Season Ahead

Warm spring weather is quickly rolling in, which means now is the perfect time to take care of some seasonal car maintenance. Whether you’re a DIY type of owner or someone who prefers to let the professionals handle maintenance, spring car service is a must. Here are a few items to attend to that will help you enjoy all that the season has to offer without having to fret about car trouble.

Spring Car Service Tips - Gossett VW Germantown

Change the Oil

Engine oil performs multiple roles within the engine block, all of which are a necessity to keep your car moving. Since oil is responsible for lubricating, cooling, and protecting vital components, it’s extremely important to get an oil change for the spring season. After all, who wants to break down and wait for roadside assistance when there’s spring weather to enjoy?

Check the Tires

Winter weather can do a number on your tires. That’s why it’s so important to perform an inspection every week during the spring. Checking your vehicle’s tires doesn’t take long, especially if you have a keen eye. Simply walk around the vehicle and keep an eye out for bulges, cracks, and other abnormalities. You can also perform the penny test to ensure that you have an acceptable level of tread depth. It wouldn’t hurt to check the tire pressure and inflate or deflate the tires accordingly, either.

Inspect the Lights

A properly functioning lighting system is a necessity all year round, so it makes sense to inspect your headlights and taillights in every season. As the warmer weather rolls around, begin inspecting your vehicle’s lighting system by performing a quick walk around before you leave. Take note of any dim or dead bulbs and replace them as necessary.

These are just a few of the steps that you can take to ensure that your vehicle is up for springtime use. To have your spring maintenance needs fulfilled, stop by the service center at Gossett Volkswagen Germantown.

Car Care New Year’s Resolutions to Protect your Vehicle

A new year is quickly approaching, and with it an opportunity for a fresh start in all aspects of life. This time around, commit to these car care New Year’s resolutions from Gossett VW Germantown and feel better than ever before about your car.

 

Schedule seasonal tune-ups

Regular tune-ups might seem costly and time-consuming, but they’ll save you both time and money down the road. Your technician can spot potential problems and fix them before they turn into costly major repairs later on.

 

Keep it clean

Let’s be honest: a clean car just feels better to drive. This year, resolve to take care of any spills or messes as they come up. It’s easy to sweep things under the floor mats, but neglecting your cars interior can worsen your experience and potential harm your vehicles upholstery, lowering its resale value.

 

Monitor Tire Pressure

Driving with improperly inflated tires puts extra strain on many areas of your vehicle. Keeping an eye on your tire pressure throughout the year is extremely simple and will keep your car on the road longer.

 

When deciding what to focus on this year, don’t forget how important you car is. If you take care of it, you can count on it taking care of you for years to come.

Car Care New Year’s Resolutions

How to Change a Flat Tire

Change a flat tire

One DIY task that every driver should learn is how to change a flat tire. Follow the steps below to learn.

Supplies

  • Car jack
  • Lug wrench
  • Flares/reflective triangles
  • Wheel block
  • Owner’s manual
  • Something to kneel on (like a floor mat)

Steps                                              

  1. Pull over in a location that is as safe, flat, and solid as you can and turn on your emergency flashers. Set up flares or reflective triangles behind your car.
  2. Set your parking brake and put a wheel block behind the wheel diagonally opposite to the flat tire. Put your floor mat by the flat tire for you to kneel on.
  3. Open your owner’s manual and read through for any specific instructions for your particular vehicle.
  4. Remove the hub cab, if you have one.
  5. Use the lug wrench to loosen, but not remove, all the lug nuts on the wheel.
  6. Position the jack just behind or in front of the flat tire. There will typically be a particular area along the car’s frame, sometimes indicated by an arrow, where the jack can safely lift.
  7. Slowly raise the vehicle until the tire is just a few inches off the ground.
  8. Finish loosening the lug nuts, remove them, and slowly pull off the tire.
  9. Get your spare tire, which should be located in your trunk or possibly on the underbody (for trucks and SUVs).
  10. Line up the spare tire with the studs, slide it on, and finger-tighten the lug nuts.
  11. Lower the car slowly and remove the jack.
  12. Use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts as tight as you can.
  13. Clean up your area.

If you need some new tires for your car, come visit us at Gossett VW Germantown.

Summer Car Care

Gearing up for summer vacations and road trips is one thing, but properly caring for your car all the time is quite another, so here are a few simple summer car care tips from us here at Gossett VW Germantown.

Windshield Wipers

Spring brought heavy rains, so depending on where you live odds are your windshield wipers were put through their paces in April and May. Worn wipers are a cause for concern, especially if you live in a wet climate. Consider buying a replacement set before thunderstorms arrive. A new set of windshield wipers is both cheap and easy to install at home.

Summer Car Care

Clean Inside and Out

It pays to keep your car clean both inside and out all year ’round. The hot summer weather can cause grime to melt and stick to upholstery, a problem that no driver wants to deal with. So, clear out any leftover fast food wrappers and other debris, then sweep out the interior and take care of the seats as best you can.

Once the interior is taken care of, wash and wax your car thoroughly to properly prepare it for summer.

Sunshade

Keeping your car cool under the summer sun isn’t easy. Fortunately, sunshades are relatively cheap and take just a few seconds to set up prior to leaving the vehicle. A simple sunshade can significantly lower the temperature inside the car!

What To Do After An Accident

what to do after an accident
Accidents happen, and sometimes even the most careful drivers find themselves involved in a collision. There’s no doubt that car accidents are stressful situations. Knowing what to do after an accident can help you handle the situation should such a misfortune occur.

If a collision happens, before anything else you should take a deep breath. Try to get your bearings. This can be difficult in a scary situation like this, but if you’re not collected you’ll have trouble handling the rest. Next, check to see that everyone is ok. If there’s any chance of injury, no matter how potentially mild, call an ambulance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

The next call you should make is to the police. You’ll need them there to file a report as well as to help clean up and to direct traffic. Once you’ve sent for their help, secure the area from traffic. If possible, drive damaged vehicles to the side of the road. Turn on your hazards, or set out traffic cones or emergency flares to help warn oncoming drivers. Make sure that you and any others are out of traffic’s way as well.

Lastly, notify your insurance agency. You’ll want give them as many facts about the accident as possible. From there, they can help you figure out the next steps in repairing your vehicle and getting back on the road.

Most of our used vehicles at Gossett Volkswagen Germantown are equipped with their own preventative and reactive security features. To learn more about features like these which may help protect you and your family, stop in and see us today.

Auto Service Basics: Importance of Tire Rotation

VW TireThe tires are one of the most important parts of a vehicle, seeing as how they keep you rolling along the road. Taking care of your tires is easier than you might think and can be done every time you get your oil changed. Rotating your tires is one of the simplest ways to extend the life of your tires. Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of tire rotation from us here at Gossett VW!

Rotating your tires prevents them from wearing out faster than they should. The front tires take on the weight of the engine and transmission. They also lead the car around corners, which means they wear significantly faster than the rear tires.

The act of rotating your tires is quite simple. Simply move the front tires diagonally and replace them with the rear tires. The front driver’s side tire, for example, should move to the rear driver’s side and be replaced by the rear passenger’s side tire. The front passenger’s side tire should move to the rear and be replaced by the rear driver’s side tire.

Don’t include your spare tire in tire rotations, as it’s for emergency use only. Make sure your vehicles aren’t asymmetric or uni-directional either; otherwise, rotating them the wrong way could cause problems.

What Do Your Vehicle Warnings Indicators Mean?

check engineWe’ve all been there. You’re driving along, ABBA’s greatest hits blaring from your stereo, without a care in the world, and then all the sudden, one of the Vehicle Warning Indicators lights up on your dash.

Now you have a couple of options. You could place a small square electrical tape over the icon. Out of sight, out of mind. But then you’d be ignoring a really great preventative maintenance tool from workings its magic. Instead, why not learn what all they mean?

  • Service Engine – This light indicates that a routine maintenance task is due. It could also indicate an urgent issue with your engine.
  • Tire Pressure – One or more of your tires are low. Find a safe place to pull over and check the tires.
  • Battery – This light means that your battery may be dead or your alternator might be faulty. Take your vehicle to a car parts store. Most will check your battery for free.
  • Coolant Temperature Warning – If your coolant temperature is rising, it might mean a faulty thermostat. It likely means a coolant leak, like from a ruptured hose.
  • Oil Pressure Warning – Your engine has low oil pressure. This is likely due to the fact that you’ve burnt off a significant amount of oil or there is a leak. Check the oil level immediately.

Spring Car Maintenance Tips

oil changeNow that spring is here, it’s time to help your car shake off the effects of winter. Follow these spring car maintenance tips to keep it in tip top shape.

Get oil changes and tire rotations when the manual says to! The end of winter is a great time to clean your car up, remove any built-up salt and slush from the undercarriage, check your fluids, inflate your tires, and get new windshield wipers if it’s been more than six months. Winter is harsh, so give your car some TLC.

When it comes to car maintenance, you want to make sure you’re following the guidelines in your owner’s manual for oil changes, tire rotations, and so on. If you notice your car acting strangely, like having trouble starting, take it to a technician quickly so you can take care of it before the weather gets hotter. Heat can be just as rough on your car as cold!

Have your car inspected and check to make sure the battery is working and your belts are in good shape. Now is the time to get these things fixed, before the problems get worse!

If you need a spring inspection done to prepare your car for spring, bring it to Gossett VW of Germantown’s renowned service department.

Changing Your Brakes: When Should You Replace Them?

brake repairBrake maintenance is one of the most important aspects of vehicle ownership. Not only will replacing the pads make other brake components—including rotors—last longer, but it also reduces stress on your car. In the long run, regular maintenance can actually increase resale value, especially if documented by a site like CARFAX.

Changing your brakes can be easily performed by any mechanic; however, knowing when to take the vehicle in is vital. According to Cars.com, the life of your brakes varies depending on usage and where you are located. In urban areas, stop and go traffic means a shorter life. In town, 8,000 miles is a rough estimate of when to replace brakes, and in rural areas, you may go up to 25,000 miles. Unfortunately, there is no clear rule of thumb; however, a mechanic can check the thickness of brake pads and for wear or warping.

Many brakes have built-in sensors that scrape against the disc when they need replaced. This sounds like an annoying screeching sound. You should also listen for grinding and other squeaks that indicate your brakes are bad. Also, if your brake pedal pulses when you apply the brakes, it may be a sign that your rotors are warped.

What happens if you don’t replace your brakes? Aside from the obvious dangers that go along with greater stopping distance, taking care of your brakes early can prevent catastrophic damage. For example, letting your pads go too long will ruin rotors. Let rotors go, and shoes and linings can be easily damaged as well.

If you need brake work done on your car, bring it to Gossett VW!

Car Maintenance Tips: Signs Your Tires Are Bad

tireEspecially now that it’s starting to get cold and having tires with good traction is more important than ever, it’s time to start looking for signs your tires are bad or worn out.

Take a good look at your tires. There shouldn’t be any bulges, cracks, or gauges in the rubber; it’s a good idea to take it to your dealer to check for leaks. These are usually a sign of low tire pressure, which could indicate an air leak or just deflation.

An important thing to check is your tire tread. When it gets cold, you are definitely going to want tires with good tread! Not only do tires firm up more in the cold weather, which makes it harder for them to grip the ground, but tires with low tread are slicker on wet/icy roads as well.

Check your tire pressure regularly when it’s cold. Cold air reduces tire pressure, which reduces traction, so fill your tires up with more air whenever they need it. This is also important because driving on underinflated tires actually makes them wear faster.

Do yourself a favor and check your tires, folks!