Checking Your Oil: A Beginner’s Guide

Checking the oil in a vehicle is a basic skill that every driver needs to learn. If you’re reading this and you already know how to check your oil, now’s the perfect time to teach someone in your house who may not know – and that includes your kids!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Rags or paper towels.
  • Your car owner’s manual, which is probably in your glove compartment. Don’t feel bad if you need the owner’s manual to find out where to open the hood!
  • A positive attitude. (You really can do this!)

Check the Oil. Even if you can’t change the oil yourself, you can check the oil level in your vehicle. Some vehicles make it easy, and have electronic oil monitors. If your vehicle does not, you’ll start by turning off the engine, and opening the hood.

Look in the owner’s manual to find where oil ‘dipstick’ is. Pull it out of the tube. When you find it, you’ll see that it’s long and thin and will be coated with oil. Wipe the oil off. Put the dipstick back into the tube, then pull it out again. This time, notice where the oil is coating the stick. Dipsticks will have two marking to indicate high and low. It could be the letters H and L, “MIN” or “MAX”, or simply two small holes. The oil level needs to ‘end’ between these two markings.

If your oil is low, give us a call and we’ll help you find the right kind of oil to add, and give you further guidance. Replace the dipstick in the engine, and make sure it’s tight. Wash your hands, and then give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve just taken the first step toward do it yourself car maintenance.

Off The Road Again

Willie Nelson had it right…most of us just can’t wait to get on the road again. But for now, we’re off. Our cars are thick with pollen, we’re getting three weeks to the gallon, and our clocks are still on Daylight’s Savings Time.

All that inactivity isn’t good for your car. If your car is literally just sitting in your driveway for any reason, there are some things that you need to do to keep it from developing problems.

Drive Out. Take a short drive each week. Even if you just go around the block, this will help keep your battery charged and the engine lubricated. It will also keep your tires from developing flat spots.
Brakes Off. Take off the parking brake. With the rainy spring weather we’re having, moisture can cause brake pads and rotors to stick together. If you must park on a hill, put your car in park, and use blocks for extra protection against rolling.

Cover Up. Invest in a car cover to protect your vehicle from pollen, birds, and all the other things that fall during the spring. Some covers even offer protection from hail damage.
Park Smart. Try to park your car off the street, to protect it from accidents and make it less attractive to thieves. It’s always a good idea to avoid parking spots that are under trees, where falling debris and limbs might cause damage.

Keep It Up. Don’t let up on regular maintenance. Washing and waxing, fluid and belt changes are always important, even if you’re not driving. If you need help with maintenance, let us know. We have drop off and pick up service for your convenience and safety.

It doesn’t require a whole lot of effort to keep your car in good shape, even while it’s idle. This shutdown won’t last forever. You’ll be ready, and you want your car to be ready for when we’re all On the Road Again!

At Home? We’ll Come to You!

In these uncertain times, we’re all doing what we can to help keep each other safe. We know that many of you are staying at home, doing your part to keep COVID-19 from spreading. If your car needs maintenance during this time, we can help!

Home Visits. We’re offering basic services, such as bulb changes, wiper blade replacement, and battery servicing – right in your car or driveway. For other services, we can come, tow in your car to our shop, and then bring it back to the home.

During home visits we can make sure that we minimize any contact to maintain social distancing. First, you can tell us where to find your car key! Then, we’ll cover your seat with paper, and make sure that we sanitize all surfaces thoroughly. When we finish, we’ll wipe off your key and put it back in its hiding place.

After their visit, our technicians will call you about their visit, letting you know what they’ve done and talk to you about their findings. We’ll invoice you by email and you can pay on our website.

Pick Up Service. If your car needs to be inspected or need repairs that can only be done in our shop, we come get your car, tow it back to the shop, service it, and return it to you.

The best part is that if your bill is $50 or over and you are within ten miles of our shop, the service is free. For bills under $50, there is a $10 surcharge. Call us for pricing if you live further away!

Drop Off Service. If you’d prefer, you can bring your car to us and drop it off for service and repair. Simply drop your key off in the dropbox, and we’ll let you know when it is finished.

You already know that your car’s health is our priority. We want to assure you that your health is important to us, too! Call us today or send us a message, and let’s make arrangements to have your car serviced – from a distance.

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