Category Archives: Car Maintenance Tips

Important Vehicle Maintenance: Regular Service Tips

Every vehicle purchase at Wantagh Mazda comes with a free first oil change. However, you shouldn’t stop with just the first service appointment. Regular vehicle maintenance is essential for preserving performance and fuel economy, and it can even extend the life of your car. That’s why we’ve put together a list of important vehicle maintenance for you to keep track of.

According to Consumer Affairs, it used to be that you should start with an oil change once every 3,000 miles or every three months, but today’s engines can go longer between changes, so you should check your owner’s manual for the interval needed. Oil degrades over time, losing essential detergent compounds and getting dirtier the more you drive. Because oil is used to lubricate parts and to move heat away from moving components, that means delaying an oil change could have long-term effects.

Important Vehicle Maintenance at Wantagh Mazda

Next, check the tires at least once a month. You should use a tread-depth indicator to measure tire tread—anything less than 2/32-inch could be dangerous. If you don’t have a tread-depth indicator, you can just to do the penny test. Simply flip a penny upside down and put it in the middle of the tread. If you can see above Abe Lincoln’s head, you need new tires. While you’re at it, check the tire pressure as well, and every few oil changes, make sure to have your mechanic rotate your tires.

Finally, top off the fluids every few months. You should check coolant/antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and steering fluid.

These are just some of the basic things you can do to keep your car in prime condition. Stop by our service center for all your maintenance needs.

How to Get Your Car Ready for Spring

Woman cleaning her car

 

We don’t want to get too excited about the weather warming up, but spring sure feels like it’s coming soon. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about getting your car ready for spring, so follow these easy tips!

Winter is harsh on your car, so a big part of getting ready for spring is cleaning up the mess winter left. Cleaning under your car is one of the most important things you can do, since built up slush and salt can stick and start to cause your car to rust, and it’s a spot we often forget to clean.

You’ll also want to clean the inside of the car out. Stepping in it with your wet, muddy shoes all winter has probably left it pretty grimy—wash or vacuum the carpets, clean off the seats, and scrub the inside of the windows and windshields.

Change your windshield wipers. You should do this about once a year, and they’ve just taken a serious beating. You’ll also want to switch back over to all-season blades if you have winter ones installed. Check the tire pressure and add or release air as necessary, since cold weather takes a toll on tire pressure.

Change your oil and top off any fluids that need it, since winter is rough on your engine and you may very well have lost some. And if you have questions or want to schedule post-winter service, we’re happy to help here at Wantagh Mazda!

How to Prepare Your Car for the Winter

As we move through the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the festivities and fun. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes we forget to take care of the little things, like readying your vehicle for winter. Here is how to prepare your car for the cold to keep both you and your car safe.

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Prepare your car and yourself for the winter

While the snow is great during the holiday season, the salt that comes along with it does serious damage to cars if the proper steps are not taken. To prevent damage from the salt, it’s important to winterize your car. In the beginning of the winter season, wash and wax your car thoroughly to keep the exterior of your car from rusting. Do this once every month or two to keep your car healthy.

Once you’ve taken care of the exterior of the car, put together an emergency kit just in case something should happen while you’re driving. This kit includes things like a warm blanket, extra clothes, a flashlight, flares, spare food, and anything else you think you may need in the event of an emergency.

 By taking these few simple steps, you ensure the health of both you and your vehicle for many years to come.

Should You Get Winter Tires This Year, and Why?

Get Winter TiresThe winter months are finally approaching, and you know what that means: snow, and lots of it. Luckily, there is one easy way that you can prepare for wintery roads, regardless of what sort of vehicle you drive.

With winter tires, your chances of driving through the snow without a slip or a loss of traction are much, much higher, especially compared to standard, all-season tires, with which most vehicles tend to operate.

Winter tires are designed specifically for snow and ice, though they also perform beautifully on dry roads. Compare this design to that of all-season tires, which aim to tackle each season as best as possible, sacrificing winter integrity.

Not only are winter tires better for driving in the snow and ice, but also, they are created with a different type of tread rubber that stays flexible at lower temperatures. Regular tires tend to freeze up and even deflate when the temperatures get cool.

If you drive on all-season tires this winter, you certainly won’t be doomed, but why risk it? If you are in a snowy area or have a snowy commute, consider switching it up this year with winter tires.

For more information on why you should get winter tires or to check out a winter-ready vehicle, contact us or visit us anytime at Wantagh Mazda.

New Car Care Tips

New Car Care Tips from Wantagh Mazda on Long Island

Taking care of a new car is an easy task to accomplishment thanks to modern engineering. Most cars don’t need routine maintenance for thousands of miles. There’s still work to be done to ensure your car runs in tip-top shape in the later years though! Here are a few new car care tips to help you in the long run from us here at Wantagh Mazda!

  • Read – Learning about your car is one of the best things you can do. Knowledge is power, after all. Start by flipping through your owner’s manual and read up on the important points, especially things you may end up doing yourself in the future. Make sure to mark the service schedule as well!
  • Drive – It’s important to break an engine in the right way. Avoid flooring it and idling for long periods of time. Drive normally and your engine will run like a dream for years to come..
  • Insure – If you chose to forego gap insurance, it might be time to reconsider. The last thing any driver wants is to get into an accident early into their car’s lifespan. If the car is totaled and you don’t have sufficient insurance, you’re stuck paying for a car you no longer own. That’s a situation no driver wants to be in.

For more new car care tips, contact one of our service specialists at Wantagh Mazda in Wantagh, NY

5 Summer Essentials to Keep in Your Car

Now that summer is in full swing, your summer schedule is probably fairly routine, and may include frequent occurrences of the phrase, “I’m bored.” If you want to break out of your mundane schedule and add some spontaneous adventures to your summer, here are five essentials to keep in your car to make sure those adventures aren’t cut short.

summer essentials to keep in your car

  1. Sun protection. You don’t have to end a fun day at the park just because the sun came out. Keep a supply of sunscreen along with hats and sunglasses in the car to keep everyone’s skin protected.
  2. Snacks. Sometimes it seems as if kids can eat their weight in food in a single day. Make sure you have some heat-proof snacks in your car so you don’t have to spend a fortune at the drive-through. Snacks like graham crackers, nuts, and granola bars (without chocolate) are great choices.
  3. Water. Bring along a reusable water bottle for everyone in the family. You can also keep some cardboard juice boxes for emergencies when you can’t find a water fountain to refill your bottles.
  4. Insect repellant. If you want to take an impromptu hike through the woods, you’re going to need some insect repellant. This will also come in handy when you’re sitting in the grass and watching fireworks.
  5. First aid kit. Scraped knees and splinters are pretty much guaranteed to happen in the summer. Take care of these small injuries right away with your in-car first-aid kit.

Here at Wantagh Mazda, we want to know…. What summer essentials do you keep in your car?

Spring Car Care

Winter has finally come and gone, leaving the wonderful, albeit rainy, spring season in its wake! There’s plenty to do now that things have finally warmed up, and taking care of your car is one of them. Dirt, grime, and salt can build up over winter and, if left untreated, could result in rust of paint damage. Don’t take a hit on your car’s trade-in value! Take these spring car care tips from us here at Wantagh Mazda!

Spring Car Care

  1. Wash and Wax – Whether you’re on your way home from work or parked in the driveway, the first thing your car needs is a good wash. By washing your car thoroughly, you eliminate most of the salt, dirt, and grime that built up over winter. A quick wax doesn’t hurt either!
  2. Tires – Now that winter’s over, this is the perfect time to take care of your tires. Check the tread depth and air pressure. If you added air to compensate for the colder weather, make sure your tires aren’t overinflated now that things have warmed up! If they are, let some air out.
  3. Inspection – Checking your car’s belts, hoses, and engine can likely be done at home, but if you want to be safe, have your local dealership perform a full inspection. They’ll make sure everything is in tip-top shape and ensure that you’re good to go until next year!

How to Remove Odors From a Car

How to Remove Odors From a CarWhether it’s cigarette smoke or a spill, removing unwanted odors from your car can be tough. Even if you roll down the windows, the smell won’t go away. Once the smell has made its way into the carpet and seats, it can be incredibly hard to get rid of. Fortunately there are ways to remove odors from a car. Here are a few cheap and effective methods from us here at Wantagh Mazda.

  1. Cinnamon Sticks – Great for winter, the smell of cinnamon can easily overpower any unwanted odor. Boil several cinnamon sticks in water then pour it into a mug. Roll up your windows and leave the mug in your car until it cools. The smell of cinnamon will quickly take over your car, leaving you with an enjoyable scent every time you drive.
  2. Cat Litter – Designed to absorb unwanted smells in the litterbox, cat litter can remove smells from your car as well. Just leave a bowl of litter in your car overnight. By morning, the smell will be gone and you can reuse the litter for your feline friend!
  3. Newspaper – While most news is digital, physical newspapers still have some use. Crumple up a few pieces and leave them in your car overnight. The newspaper will absorb nearly any smell.

How The Difference Between Winter Tires and Regular Tires Can Keep You in Control

Now that the winter weather is starting to hit the area, it’s important to consider any changes you will make to your vehicle. One huge difference you can make it is to switch our your current tires for winter tires, also known as snow tires.

The difference between winter tires and regular tires is simple: While standard, all-season tires are decently equipped to function throughout the year, winter tires are made especially for snowy, icy conditions.

Winter Tires and Regular TiresThe tread on winter tires is specially designed to create maximum friction and grip on snow and ice with more, detailed siping – making it less likely that you will lose control of your vehicle.

Winter tires are also formulated with a different kind of rubber that remains more flexible at lower temperatures, and, the particular tread patterns within the rubber make it more difficult for snow to build up.

And when the highway is coated in a slick layer of ice – additional grip, flexibility, and lack of build-up can absolutely mean the difference between a car collision and smooth sailing.

For more winter weather driving tips, visit us anytime at Wantagh Mazda.

Never Fear, Your Vehicle Winterizing Tips Are Here!

vehicle winterizing tips

We know it still feels early, so don’t get angry with us for reminding you that winter is coming (as if a certain immensely popular HBO show hasn’t pounded that into your brain already). We here at Wantagh Mazda just want you to be prepared, so we’ve whipped together a couple of vehicle winterizing tips to keep you safe from swerving, stalling, and skidding on the roads this winter.

First and foremost, a solid set of snow tires is always your best bet for increasing your safety on winter roads. For virtually any car, your traction over snow and ice will be drastically improved. And while we’re talking about tires, make sure your tire pressure meets the standards stated in your owner’s manual. The fluctuating temperatures can wreak havoc on your pressure.

Test your fluids—refill your wiper reservoir (and get new wipers, while you’re at it) with de-icing fluid. Check to make sure your antifreeze is the proper blend of 50% water and 50% coolant.

As with tire pressure, the cold decrease the power of your car’s battery by up to 50%. If you’ve been experiencing any of the tell-tale signs of a faulty battery, like malfunctioning electronics or a coughing ignition, or if you’re just driving an older vehicle and haven’t gotten a new battery in a while, now might be the time to replace it with a new one.

That’s in for our quick list of vehicle winterizing tips, but there are always more ways to stay safe. Talk to a professional or give our service department a call for more information.