Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How to Check Your Oil and Tire Pressure

MT. PLEASANT, Mich.,–– Every vehicle owner has to deal with routine maintenance at some point or another. Oil changes, tire rotations, and filter replacements are all necessary forms of routine maintenance that keep your vehicle running at peak efficiency. On the bright side, though, you can check several important components in the comfort of your own home. We've put together instructions to help you learn how to check your oil and tire pressure. If your tires' pressure is low or you need an oil change, schedule an appointment with us at Graff Mt. Pleasant for fast and friendly service today!

How to Check Your Oil


How to Check Your Oil and Tire Pressure

Checking your oil is easy and only takes a few minutes! Follow these quick steps to find out whether or not you need an oil change:

What You'll Need: A cloth 

Directions:
  1. Wait a few minutes after turning off your vehicle for your engine to cool down.
  2. Pop the hood and locate the yellow dipstick on your engine. (It should look similar to the image above.)
  3. Pull the dipstick out of your engine and wipe it on a cloth.
  4. Reinsert your dipstick and remove it one more time.
  5. Take a close look at the indicators on your dipstick. Locate the "full" and "empty" labels. If your oil levels are on or below the "empty" component, it's time for an oil change!

Signs You Need an Oil Change


How to Check Your Oil and Tire Pressure

Typically, you should get your oil changed every 3,000-5,000 miles, or whenever your vehicle owner's manual tells you to do so. If you aren't sure whether or not you need an oil change, don't worry, it is very easy to figure out for yourself! Keep an eye on these factors to determine whether or not you need an oil change:

  • Your Oil's Color: Fresh oil recently has a light brown, honey color, but over time, it darkens and becomes thicker. If your oil turns black, it's time to get an oil change, as black oil can contain particles that will damage your engine's components!
  • Your Oil's Consistency: The next time you check your oil, take a little bit of oil from your dipstick and rub it between your thumb and finger. If it feels coarse and gritty, it means your oil contains contaminants and needs to be changed.
  • Your Check Engine Light is On: If your check engine light comes on while you drive, schedule a service appointment right away. It could mean your oil needs to be changed or could potentially be something more serious. It's better to be safe than sorry!
  • Your Engine is Louder Than Normal: If your vehicle's engine is louder than it usually sounds, it could mean that your oil needs replacing. As engine oil ages, it loses a lot of its lubricating properties, which can cause your engine's components to create friction and can cause potential damage. Make sure this doesn't happen by scheduling service as soon as possible!

How to Check Your Tire Pressure


How to Check Your Oil and Tire Pressure

Checking your tire pressure is almost as easy as checking your oil! It only takes a few minutes, but you'll want to check all four tires to be sure that they are all at least at the minimum pressure that is required of your vehicle. If you aren't sure what level your tire pressure should be, consult your vehicle owner's manual for more information. Follow these steps to check your tire pressure so that you can determine whether or not you need to re-inflate or replace your tires.

What You'll Need: a reliable tire pressure gauge

Directions:

  1. Wait several hours after driving to check your tire pressure when your tires cool down. That way, you'll receive a more accurate reading, as heat from driving can temporarily reduce your tire pressure.
  2. Remove the end caps on your tires' air valves (the small golden cylinders on your tires). Make sure to set them in a safe place so that they don't get lost.
  3. Insert your tire pressure gauge to check your PSI reading. 
    1. If your reading is above the recommended PSI, push the air valve in to let out a little bit of air.
    2. If your reading is below the recommended PSI, fill your tire with air until you reach the recommended level.

Signs Your Tires Need Replacing


How to Check Your Oil and Tire Pressure

It's best to check your tires' air on a monthly basis so that they are always properly inflated or to see if they need replacing. Use these helpful tips to determine whether or not your tires need to be replaced:

  • Your Tire Keeps Deflating: This could be a leak in the tire or could mean your cap is loose. Either way, bring it in to our Service Center and we can have it looked at and patched up right away!
  • Your Tire is Flat: If your tire is too flat to drive on, you'll want to change it with your spare and bring your vehicle in as soon as possible! Driving on a flat tire can damage your vehicle's wheel, spokes, and other important components that make it possible for you to drive.
  • Your Tire's Tread is Low: If your tires have low tread, they're unable to grip the road efficiently and make driving on dirt roads or through weather conditions a much more difficult experience. Use the penny method to determine the tread level of your tires. If the tread is too low, bring your vehicle in and we'll replace your tires.

Keeping up on your routine maintenance can be the difference between you and a costly repair bill. Learning how to check your oil and tire pressure can help you save money and keep your vehicle running its best for years to come. Getting an oil change or tire replacement soon? Browse our service coupons to save on routine maintenance, from battery replacements to oil changes. See why Graff Mt. Pleasant should be your choice for vehicle service and feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

At Hank Graff Mt. Pleasant we strive to provide our customers with a car buying experience that is accommodating, stress-free and fun! Visit us at our Chevrolet dealership located at 4580 E Pickard Rd in Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48858 or our Buick GMC Cadillac dealership located at 116 N. Mission St in Mount Pleasant, MI 48858.

Websites: Chevrolet: HankGraffMtPleasant.com and Buick GMC Cadillac: GraffBGC.com

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