Getting Your Car Ready for Summer

FIAT2With summer creeping ever closer, our minds wander to the road trips and vacations that await. Before you hop in your car and take off with that childlike excitement, there are a few things you should check.

Inspect Tires and Brakes

Quite possibly the most important thing to check are the tires and brakes. Make sure you’ve switched back from your snow tires if you had them on your car. The tires should be replaced if there is a substantial amount of wear. Before you head on your journey, properly inflate them to avoid any issues on the highway. As for brakes, have a qualified service technician inspect them for any cracks or corrosion. Having brakes fail on the road is never a good start to a vacation.

Check the Fluids

Check the levels of all the fluids your car needs: oil, wiper, coolant, transmission, etc. Keeping each of those to their proper levels will ensure your road trip or vacation is smooth sailing. If you’re traveling through some of the hotter climates in the U.S., you’ll want to focus on the coolant. Make sure you have the proper balance of water and coolant (50:50 is ideal), otherwise, you could end up on the side of the road miles from the nearest mechanic.

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Battery 

Adding to the list of things you never want to deal with on vacation, a dead battery can be easily avoided. If you’re unsure of the age of your battery, have it tested and, if need be, replaced. We know it’s not fun to buy a new battery, but it’s worth it if you don’t want to end up at the mechanic when you should be at the beach.

Emergency Kit

An easy way to avoid some of the possible issues you could experience on the road, add an emergency kit to the list of things to pack. This kit should include basic things like jumper cables and a small set of tools (wrenches, pliers, etc). Also include extra clothes, food, and water in case you’re stranded for a short period of time. It’s bad if you have car issues on your vacation, but it’s worse if you’re not prepared for these situations.
Taking the time to check all these aspects of your car is a worthwhile investment to make sure your vacation is filled with smiles. If you have questions regarding servicing your car, visit your FIAT Minneapolis dealership.

What could void your vehicle’s warranty

IMG_9734A new car warranty is an agreement between you the driver and the carmaker. This agreement states that the carmaker will pay for repairs until the warranty ends, but only if you hold up your end of the agreement. One simple mistake on your end and the warranty will be gone for good. If you’ve just gotten a new car recently, here are three things that could void your warranty:

1. Ignoring routine car maintenance. Getting your car regularly serviced is the best way to keep it in top-notch condition. Continue reading

Simple checks can prepare your car for winter

battery3Owning a vehicle in the Midwest means you should prepare it for winter weather conditions like snow, sleet and sub-zero temperatures. Here are some simple tips for winterizing your car this season:

1. Check your battery. Even if yours is relatively new — less than three years old — make sure to check its cables and clamps for corrosion. It can be cleaned with baking soda, water and a toothbrush. Always fill your battery with fluid. If low, fill the holes with distilled water. Continue reading

How often should my car’s belts and hoses be replaced?

engine7The hoses and belts in your car pump vital fluids and move critical parts that keep your car running and you comfortable throughout your drive. The coolant hose, for example, cycles coolant fluid from the radiator to the hottest part of the engine and returns overheated fluids back to the radiator to restart the process. Meanwhile, you car’s serpentine belt runs the necessary pulleys for proper steering pump, water pump, alternator and air pump operation – all vital to your car’s performance on the road and your comfort inside. Continue reading

What your squeaky brakes actually mean

BrakesEveryone wants to be sure that their brakes are working properly. After all, effective brakes are very important to one’s safety. So when drivers’ brakes start squeaking, it instantly makes them panic, scared that their brakes might go out at any moment.

Squeaky brakes don’t necessarily mean that they need to be replaced. The squealing noise is always a sign that the brake pads are wearing. It is actually caused from the brake pads squeezing the metal rotor, which causes it to vibrate. Continue reading