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!