Vehicle Education

Though we are always here to help, we know that some vehicle issues can be avoided through vehicle education information and simple maintenance practices.

Under-inflation can lead to tire failure. It results in unnecessary tire stress, irregular wear, loss of control and accidents. A tire can lose up to half of its air pressure and not appear to be flat!

It's important to have the proper air pressure in your tires, as under inflation can lead to tire failure. The "right amount" of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner's manual.

  • When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cool - meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. (NOTE: if you have to drive a distance to get air, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate air pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the air pressure inside to go up as you drive. Never "bleed" or reduce air pressure when tires are hot.)
  • Remove the cap from the valve on the tire.
  • Firmly press a tire gauge onto the valve.
  • Add air to achieve recommended air pressure.
  • If you overfill the tire, release air by pushing on the metal stem in the corner of the valve with a fingernail or the tip of a pen. Then recheck the pressure with your tire gauge.
  • Replace the valve cap.

A bad jolt from hitting a curb or pothole can throw you front end out of alignment and damage your tires. Have a tire dealer check the alignment periodically to ensure that your car is properly aligned.

Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid tread wear and should be corrected by a tire dealer. Front-wheel-drive vehicles, and those with independent rear suspension, require alignment of all four wheels. Have your alignment checked periodically as specified by the vehicle owner's manual or whenever you have an indication of trouble such as "pulling" or vibration.

Also have your tire balance checked periodically. An unbalanced tire and wheel assembly may result in irregular wear.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (402) 342-2248.

You can slow down uneven tread wear by rotating your tires - which simply means moving them around so that they "trade places" on your vehicle in a systematic way. Rotation is important because each tire on a car carries a different amount of weight, making them wear at different rates. By rotating them, you basically even out those differences. Your owner's manual will tell you how often to rotate your tires, but as a rule of thumb, it should be done every 8,000 to 10,000 miles. You might want to rotate them sooner if you see signs of uneven wear. Misalignment and other mechanical problems can also cause such wear, so check with your mechanic to determine the cause.

There are various patterns for rotating tires. A common one for front-wheel drive vehicles involves moving tires in a criss-cross fashion, with the left front tire trading places with the right rear, and front trading with the left rear. If you have a full-size spare, you can include it in your rotation pattern - but don't do so with a small "temporary use" spare, because those are meant only for low-speed, short distance emergency uses.

NOTE: If your tires show uneven wear, ask your tire dealer to check for and correct any misalignment, imbalance or other mechanical problem involved before rotation. Before rotating your tires, always refer to your vehicle owner's manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated approximately every 8,000-10,000 miles.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (402) 342-2248.

Another critical part of your tire is the tread, which gives you the traction to stop and hold the road on curves. Tire tread also funnels water out from under the tire, which helps to reduce "hydroplaning", where a car actually rides up on a layer of water and becomes dangerously difficult to steer or stop.

According to the NHTSA, about one out of every 10 cars on the road has at least one worn out or bald tire. There are several things you can do to stay out of that group, and help the tread last longer on your tires. For starters, make sure that your tire dealer balances your tires when installing them. Balancing involves placing small weights on the rim to counteract heavy spots, or slight variations in weight, in the wheel. If a tire is not balance, it will shimmy as you drive, and your tread will wear down quickly. You must also make sure that you car's suspension is properly aligned.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (402) 342-2248.

Check fluid level with engine running and transmission in park. If low, add the type of automatic transmission fluid specified in the owner’s manual or on the dipstick. For maximum performance, change every four years or 48,000 miles, or as directed in the owner’s manual.

Battery should be securely mounted. Battery connections should be clean, tight and free of corrosion. If the battery is three years old or more it should be tested and replaced if necessary.

Check V-belts and serpentine belts for looseness and condition. Replace when cracked, frayed, glazed, or showing signs of excessive wear. Replace the timing belt as specified in owner’s manual. Typically this is 70,000 to 90,000 miles. Not replacing the timing belt could cause a breakdown or serious engine damage.

Check the entire brakes system at least once per year, including brake pads, shoes, rotors, drums and all steel and flexible brake lines.

Many newer cars are lubed for life, some still require this service. Check owner’s manual. Replacement steering and suspension parts may require periodic lubrication.

Check level at reservoir. Never remove the radiator cap on a hot engine. If antifreeze is low, add a 50/50mix of antifreeze and water. Change coolant at least every two years on most vehicles.

Inspect air filter at each oil change, Replace annually or when leaking, torn, oil soaked, or dirty.

The Car Care Council recommends changing engine oil every 4000 miles depending on the vehicles make and model, how you drive the vehicle and the conditions under which you drive. Synthetic oils can last twice as long, 7000 to 9000 miles.

Inspect for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is unusual noises. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.

Inspect hoses at each oil change and replace when leaking, cracked, brittle, , bulging or restricted.

Replace bulb immediately if light is out, check fuses first.

Check this fluid with the vehicle warmed up. Add correct type of fluid if low. If frequent topping off is required, inspect for leaks and replace if contaminated.

Inspect system annually, including shocks, struts, and all chassis and suspension parts. Replace if damaged or worn. Symptoms of worn suspension parts include uneven or irregular tire wear and bouncing after bumps.

Replace annually or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering.