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...

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...