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

Show Your Car Some Love

Saturday is Valentine’s Day and your car does not want Candy or Balloons. Instead it will appreciate some love in the form of any preventative maintenance services that may be due or simply checking vital fluids, filters and tire pressure. It is a simple fact that vehicles wear out with use. The good news is they take much longer to wear out if they are shown some love and properly maintained, ultimately leading to fewer expensive break-downs. Regular oil changes are a good place to start. It is true that many manufacturers say that it’s all right to go up to 7,500 miles between oil changes, but that’s recommended only under ideal conditions. They also describe “severe conditions” in which the oil has to be changed more frequently. Many people might be surprised to learn that the conditions they drive under would qualify as “severe.” These include frequent stop-and-go driving (includes rush hour on most freeway/expressway routes), driving in high ambient temperatures, driving frequently over hilly terrain, driving in dusty conditions, or frequent high speed or loading conditions. Under such conditions, the oil change interval is lowered to around three months/3,000 miles. Using the red “oil pressure warning” light (not to be confused with the oil change interval light) as a signal to change the oil is a bad idea. By the time the light comes on, severe damage to your engine may have already occurred. The best starting point for establishing routine maintenance intervals and procedures for your particular vehicle is your owner’s manual. You’ll notice that it usually specifies a lot of “inspection” procedures. That is the...

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...