Christensen Automotive | Gardnerville 775.782.2605 , Carson City 775.882.8888, Reno 775.322.8100, South Lake Tahoe 530.544.9940, Fallon 775-423-5455

You’ll Be “Thankful” For This Pre-Holiday Travel Checklist

This time next week will be Thanksgiving and along with preparing the traditional Thanksgiving dinner you should also give some thought to preparing your vehicle for the inevitable driving most of us do over the holiday. Last year AAA projected that approximately 43.6 million travelers would take a trip at least 50 miles away from home, the vast majority of which would travel by car. So it makes sense to ensure that you or your mechanic has given your vehicle a quick maintenance and safety check prior to setting off for Thanksgiving dinner. Here is a quick guide of what you should check: Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, and loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. You can find the optimum pressure for your vehicle on the sticker on the inside jam of the driver’s door. Check lighting to identify any problems with exterior and interior lighting as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen. Clean road grime from all lenses with a moistened cloth or towel. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag. Check wipers. Wiper blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Replace them if they leave...

Car Battery Care and Maintenance

Extreme temperatures are tough on batteries. Heat causes the water/acid mixture in the battery to evaporate quickly and winter is tough on batteries, for a few reasons: The use of lights, heater, wipers, heated seats etc. demands more current from a battery. The battery also cannot produce its normal amount of energy because of the cold as the chemical reactions that generate electricity are slower at lower temperatures. Depending on the type of oil in use, the oil can become something akin to molasses and requiring more energy to turn the engine over. Most batteries these days are considered maintenance free and on average will last you on average 3 – 5 years depending on your driving habits. They also come with a warranty so if they completely discharge before they are supposed to you can get them replaced either for free or pro-rated depending on the brand. So how do you know if your battery just needs to be recharged or replaced? If you have accidently left the car lights on and the battery has died a simple recharge either by jump starting and taking it for a drive and letting the alternator do its job or using a specific car battery recharger may be all you need. However, signs that you need to replace your battery include: Battery no longer holds a charge regardless of how long you charge the battery for. Damage to the battery casing Excessive wear and tear The warranty period has ended You have taken it to a service professional or auto parts store and had your battery tested and the voltmeter has...