The Tire Service and Maintenance Guide

Tire service and maintenance

The Tire Service and Maintenance Guide

Everybody knows that tires are integral their vehicle’s performance and safety. Regardless, most people don’t even think about their tires except when scheduling their biannual seasonal rubber changeover or fixing a flat. Here’s everything you need to know about tire service and care.

Cost of Inflation

Keeping your tires properly inflated has a number of benefits. First, having the correct PSI improves your fuel economy. Second, having correctly inflated tires decreases your stopping distance and improves handling. I don’t need to explain why being able to maneuver and stop effectively is important for your overall safety on the road. Finally, keeping your tires at right pressure reduces the risk of getting a flat, and generally prolongs the tread life.

To get the best from your tires, you should be checking your tire pressure at least once a month. However, fluctuations in air temperature cause the pressure to change quickly, so if the weather has suddenly changed, you might want to check again.

If you haven’t been keeping an eye on proper inflation, your tires will tell the story. Excessive wearing on the outside shoulders suggests under inflation. Excessive wear along the center suggests your tires are overinflated. The fix is simple, inflate your tires properly!

Don’t fill your tires up to the maximum pressure indicated on the sidewall. That’s not the ideal driving pressure. Ideal driving pressure is indicated on a sticker in the doorwell as well as in your owner’s manual. Unfortunately, you can’t fix all tire wear issues so easily.

Nitrogen

Despite what you may have heard, nitrogen is not an incredible mystery element. Our air contains 78% nitrogen and less than 21% oxygen, so your tires are already “filled with nitrogen.” However, getting your tires inflated with pure nitrogen does have an advantage.

Namely, nitrogen is less susceptible to changes in temperature than oxygen. That means the pressure in your tires won’t change that dramatically with the weather. As a bonus, because filling your tires with pure nitrogen involves repeatedly flushing the air, you’ll also end up with less water inside your tires. Water can change pressure like oxygen and it corrodes your wheels.

Serious Tire Wear

Unfortunately, even consistently well-inflated tires can suffer wear problems. If you notice that your tire wear is uneven (one side and not the other, or seemingly random), you may have bigger problems to worry about.

If you excessive tire wear on one side of the tire, you most likely have alignment problems. A wheel alignment is relatively inexpensive and will improve your steering and increase the life of your tires. Excessive single-side tire wear can also be caused by various damaged parts at the front of your vehicle like ball joints and the suspension. Bring your car to a trusted mechanic – it should be easy to diagnose.

If you notice seemingly random or erratic wear, there are probably greater underlying problems. Wheel bearings, poorly mounted wheels, and suspension problems are all likely culprits. Of course, most people aren’t going to get on their knees to diagnose mysterious tire wear. Fortunately, you can just take your vehicle to your trusted mechanic, or whomever performs your tire service, and he or she will diagnose the issue with little difficulty.  

Right Tires for the Season

An obvious tip for prolonging the life of your tires is to use the right tire in the right season. Most importantly, remove your winter tires before it gets too warm outside. Winter tires are comprised of pliable rubber, that remains flexible in cold temperatures. But in summer, the rubber expands and becomes extremely soft, making it susceptible to road wear. So, take your winter tires off when the temperature reaches seven degrees or you’ll greatly decrease the life of your tires.

Follow these tips to stay safe and prolong the life of your tires. Click here to learn more about the tire service we offer. Did you know that Capital GMC Buick Cadillac offers a 30-Day Tire Price Match Guarantee?

Motor Oil and Oil Change 101

Motor oil and oil change 101

Motor Oil and Oil Change 101

It’s nearly 2018, a year that promises amazing technological advances like automated driving and hover cars. And the average person can easily learn about those technologies thanks to information-sharing power of the internet. And yet, some drivers on the road don’t understand what their engine oil does, how often they need an oil change, and what will happen if they don’t replace it. If you are one of those drivers, don’t worry – I won’t tell anyone. Read ahead to find out everything you need to know about motor oil and oil changes.

What Does Engine Oil Do?

In the simplest terms, engine oil lubricates the parts in your engine. Without engine oil, pieces of metal would just be scraping against one another until they welded together or literally melted (it wouldn’t take long). Motor oil also cools the engine and cleans rust, dust, and contaminants from your engine. With these critical responsibilities, motor oil is as important as gasoline for your vehicle.

Synthetic Oil Vs. Conventional Oil

You probably know that there are two main kinds of oil, conventional and synthetic. Conventional oil is crude oil from the ground that is then refined. Synthetic oil is refined, but it is also purified and distilled into uniformly-sized molecules. Those molecules produce less friction and heat as they interact in your engine. Considering that engine oil is designed to cool and lubricate, that’s a good thing. Synthetic oil is also free of paraffin which inhibits the flow of conventional oil. But which should you use?

Quite simply, synthetic oil performs better and lasts longer. Even if your manufacturer does not expressly recommend that you use synthetic oil, you should consider it. But, all motor oil from major brands is sufficiently advanced to provide effective lubrication and cooling. If you want to save some money and stick with the conventional oil recommended by your manufacturer, you shouldn’t suffer any serious consequences.

How Often Should I Change My Oil?

A great number of variables affect oil change intervals, so it’s not possible to provide a one-size-fits-all answer. If you have your oil changed by a professional, they will likely provide you with a sticker indicating when you should return for another oil change. And, of course, your owner’s manual will have its own oil change schedule. You can follow that provided two things remains true.

First, you have to be using the type of oil recommended in the same manual. If you switch from conventional oil to high-mileage synthetic (or vice-versa), your manufacturer’s suggestions will no longer apply.

Second, you should only follow the oil change interval schedule if you drive in a “normal” fashion. Abnormal driving habits include any of the following:

  • Frequent cold starts
  • Aggressive acceleration
  • Short driving trips
  • Medium to short driving trips in the cold
  • High-speed driving
  • Excessive idling
  • Towing or hauling
  • Driving in dusty or polluted regions

A few of those habits are pretty unavoidable for Saskatchewan drivers – especially those whose vehicles spend time outside. That means you should probably be changing your oil more frequently than the owner’s manual suggest.

If you’re lucky enough to have technology in your vehicle that determines oil change frequency, use that as an indicator. It’s no longer necessary to change your oil every 5,000 kms if your vehicle is equipped with this technology. The Oil Life monitor is a complex system that uses your driving habits, conditions, engine speeds and temperatures, and several other factors. A truck towing trailers regularly will need an oil change sooner than a vehicle used for highway and city driving. The vehicle will display a message to the driver with an accurate calculation stating when to change oil or how much oil life remains. Although the science is there to determine oil change frequency, it’s important to check your oil levels regularly. And if you change your own oil, remember to reset the oil life monitor so you don’t get a false “change oil soon” message. 

Your Filter, Too

If your oil change interval is longer than the life of your filter, you can harm your engine. Dirty oil from your engine passes through the filter and then reenters the engine. A healthy filter removes contaminants to help your engine remain clean and efficient. An expired filter can’t do this effectively. So, get a filter that lasts as long as your oil – the factory-trained technicians at Capital GMC always provide you with an appropriate filter for your high-quality oil.  

If you have any other questions about your engine oil, our technicians will be happy to answer them for you.

Winter Tires: What, Why, & When?

 

Winter tires vs. the rest
If you live in Saskatchewan, alternating winter tires and three-seasons (formerly all-seasons) is vital.

Why Do I Need Winter Tires?

Why are winter tires important? Well, let’s start by talking about your summer tires. Summer tires are very firm. During the warmest months of the year, the heat of the pavement and the rubber, as well as the friction between the two, causes your tires to increase in elasticity. So, to maintain a good grip, your tires must be naturally stiff.

Inversely, cold temperatures causes rubber to contract. If you use summer tires, they will become even stiffer, reducing the amount of rubber in contact with the driving surface. Less contact means less grip. On the other hand, winter tires are naturally soft and are typically inflated to a lower pressure than their summer counterparts. Despite the cold temperatures, winter tires remain pliable, and give you more surface area in contact with the road. Subsequently, you get better grip (50% better than three-seasons), shorter stopping distances, and a decreased likelihood of sliding.

All-Weather Tires

All-weather tires are not the same as all-season tires. They’re best for urban areas that routinely see mild winter weather. Before you ask, a two-foot Saskatchewan blizzard is not mild winter weather. All-weather tires don’t perform very well on ice or snow packed snow. However, they are very competent for fresh, light snow; rain, and dry pavement. Consequently, all-weather tires have become popular tires for urbanites to use throughout the entire year. They are much more effective in winter than three-season tires. However, they will not outperform winter-specific tires.

When do I need winter tires?

Winter tires aren’t just for snow. They perform much better on dry pavement in cold temperatures, too. How cold? Well, according to the Canadian Tire and Rubber Association (which exists for reasons I can’t fathom), you should switch to winter tires when the temperature dips below 7℃. In Regina, the average temperature for September is about 11.6℃, dropping to 5.1℃ for October. So, if you want to maximize your grip on the road, and preserve the tread life of your all-weather or summer tires, put your winter tires on at the beginning of October.

Tire Storage

Once you have two sets of tires (possibly on two sets of wheels), you’re going to need somewhere to store them. If you have a shed or garage, you might end up lugging your tires back and forth twice a year. Or, you can use Capital GMC’s tire storage facility. When we change out your seasonal set we’ll put the other tires in our temperature-controlled storage. Once it’s time to switch back, we’ll have your tires waiting for you.

Conclusion

Basically, if you want the best traction and performance in winter, get winter tires. While it seems more expensive to buy two sets of tires, using one set during the improper season will cause it to prematurely wear. Alternating two sets of tires will save you money in the long run. However, if you refuse to get two sets of tires, remember to go with all-weather tires, not three-season (all-season).

 

Winter Maintenance Tips: Frozen Fluids

Winter maintenance tips: frozen fluids

Winter Maintenance

When it’s extremely cold outside, a cup of warm coffee can freeze in the air. I’ll admit that antifreeze is designed for slightly higher performance than a cup of Tim Hortons. But, at the same time, most vehicle fluids aren’t designed for Saskatchewan winters. Here are a few things you should know about fluids as you perform your winter maintenance:

Antifreeze

Its name can be a bit misleading because pure antifreeze only has a freezing point of about -8C°. The freezing point is only lowered by the addition of water. Most of the antifreeze you can purchase comes pre-mixed with water at a 50/50 ratio. That balance will be sufficient for most temperatures, except the extremes. During the coldest months, increasing the ratio of antifreeze to water (approximately 65/35) will lower the freezing point of your antifreeze dramatically while keeping the boiling point from dropping too low. Take note, however, that modern vehicles are calibrated to read their internal temperatures with a 50/50 blend.  

Winter-Blend Gasoline

You may not know it, but the gasoline you pump in June is different from the blend you pump in December. The difference hinges upon the Reid Vapor Pressure rating (RVP). The higher the RVP, the more easily the fuel evaporates. Summer blend gasoline has a lower RVP to prevent evaporation and decrease excessive pollution. Winter-blend fuel has a higher RVP so that enough gasoline can evaporate even in freezing temperatures. Fortunately, refineries take uncertainty out of the equation for consumers and supply winter-blend gasoline only during the appropriate months. So, this technically isn’t a winter maintenance tip, but it’s still good to know.

Oil Viscosity

For most drivers, remembering to have their oil changed regularly concludes their thoughts on the subject. They rarely consider the type of oil they’re using. Engine oils have a number of distinguishing features, but only viscosity is relevant to cold temperatures. Viscosity is the oil’s thickness, and different oils retain optimal viscosity at different temperatures. That’s why it’s important to pick the right oil for your climate. In the rating 5W-30, 5W is the winter rating (30 is the high-temperature rating), tested at 0°F. The lower the number before the W, the quicker oil will flow in your engine when it is cold.   

Bottom Line

Regular maintenance is essential to keeping your vehicle on the road and avoiding costly repairs down the road. No matter what time of year you need it, our service specialists are here not only to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape but to help you learn best practices when it comes to maintaining a healthy vehicle. Call us today at 1-866-789-3032 or better yet, come in and see us!

All-Season vs. Winter Tires

Capital Ford Lincoln Regina

It’s that time of year again. The ice and snow slow traffic down, vehicles are in the ditch, and everyone is bundled right up! Yes, that dreaded -40 weather is here and it has us all dreaming of escaping to a hot beach down in Mexico. Sadly, we can’t run away all winter to an exotic location to keep away from the freezing cold but we can make it a little easier for us. Getting in an accident in our winter months can be dangerous and sometimes fatal so they best way to keep us away from the ditch and away from sliding into someone is by getting great tires for the cold. The debate for as long as I can remember has always been Winter or All-Season tires. Here are a few details about each tire to help you choose the best tire for you.

All-Season Tires

All-season tires provide grip in wet/snowy conditions. They also allow you have stable handling and even tread wear. All-Seasons are also better known as a 3-season tire. Though they do fairly well in the winter they lack compared to a winter tire. All-seasons are meant more for the beginning signs of winter like light snowfall and slush, but when it comes to ice and get through deep snow they become almost useless. They were tested and manufactured during “winter months” in southern states that don’t experience the same winters as we do here in Saskatchewan. So, sure, they’re great for a winter in Cali, but they will not help when the windchill is -36 Celsius and the streets are pure ice.

 

Winter Tires

Winter tires excel in snow and ice. These tires are meant to perform in snow, ice, slush, sleet, and cold but dry weather. The reason why winter tires are superior compared to all-season or summer tires is the tread and material they are made out of; the special design allows for the tires to travel through the snow with ease and the material is a soft rubber material which expands in the cold for better grip. The tread also reduces the snow build up and allows for the driver to be more confident on the road.

It’s safe to say if you live in Saskatchewan you should have winter tires on your vehicle by the time the winter months hit. Better traction means fewer accidents and that’s something everyone likes to hear!

Talk to our Service Department about the right tires for your vehicle and when you should have them switched over for the proper season.

 

Why Your Car Hates Winter as Much as You

Capital Used Cars

 

Winter can be as hard on your vehicle as it is on you, even if the signs are a little less obvious (your truck can’t cry in front of the fireplace, clinging to a coffee mug). Here are a few reasons winter is tough on vehicles, and ways that you can help.

Summer Tire Wear

Living in Saskatchewan, the primary reason for switching to winter tires is obvious: it’s better to stay on the road than slide off of it like a shuffleboard. But, even for experienced drivers who choose to leave their summer tires on, cold weather can be costly. When the temperature falls, even 7o can do it, accelerated tire-wear will begin to show on your summer set. Unlike more flexible winter tires, summer tires are built to withstand heat, not salt, sand, and ice. In the long run, using one set of tires will not save you money because you’ll be replacing them more often.

Frozen Fuel Lines

The sound of an engine failing to turn over might be the seasonal anthem of Saskatchewan winters. To make sure their vehicles start every day, most drivers know to plug in their block heater overnight and to keep their battery fully charged by avoiding short trips. One problem drivers might not be aware of is a frozen fuel line. In sub-zero temperatures, moisture-rich air in the gas tank, mixed with fuel, can freeze. When the freezing occurs along the fuel line, it becomes impossible to start the vehicle. Keeping the gas tank full helps prevent this problem by limiting the amount of moisture in the gas tank. Plus, having plenty of fuel ensures you never get stranded in the cold!

Hold the Salt

Although we’re grateful when city crews spread salt and sand around major roadways, the material can be as hard on your car as it is on the ice. In particular, as it’s sprayed up by your tires, salt will damage the exterior of your vehicle. The salt used on the road lowers the freezing point of water to prevent the formation of ice. But this property also means that salt can extremely corrosive, and promote rust with prolonged exposure. Underneath your vehicle, rust damage can lead to costly fluid leaks. On the exterior, rust damage is unsightly and will hurt the resale value of your vehicle. In order to combat rust-damage, all you need to do is wash your vehicle monthly in winter – just make sure you don’t freeze your doors shut!

Tire Storage: Protect Your Tires from the Elements with Capital

Capital Ford Lincoln Regina

Tire Storage at Capital: Free Up Some Extra Space!

Tire storage is essential for Saskatchewan seasons. We’re lucky enough to experience all four seasons, yes “lucky”. We also live in a place where many car owners know that winter tires are not the same as all-season tires. Winter tires are critical for surviving Saskatchewan’s harsh winters on the road, especially when Mother Nature can’t make up her mind and throws freezing rain at us the same week as a deep freeze.

Capital has the storage space to keep your off-season tires during the summer or winter. Our temperature-controlled storage space keeps tires at optimal temperatures: cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Your tires are protected from nature’s elements so they’re not diminished when you’re ready for them the next season.

Capital Ford Lincoln Regina

When you are ready for your tire swap, we’ll have them ready for you, just as you left them. Free up that extra space in your garage or balcony or basement, whatever. Let us take care of them for you.

Enjoy the convenience and benefits of Capital’s tire storage:

  • Secure, temperature-controlled facility.
  • More storage room for you in your home.
  • You don’t have to transport them from A to B. We’ll do the swap here too!
  • We treat you and your tires with respect and care.

Tire storage is available for just $49.95 per season.

For more information, just ask your service advisor or give us a call: 1-866-789-3032

Fabulous Fall Fix-up

Capital GMC Buick Cadillac Regina

Fabulous Fall Fix-up

Fall is here, keep your drives to school and work safe with this maintenance special from Capital GMC’s Service Centre!  Ensure that your vehicle is running smoothly with a multi-point inspection, tires are getting you the best fuel efficiency with a wheel alignment check and nitrogen flush, and don’t get caught out in the cold: let us test the “health” of your battery to prevent any unwanted failures.

Package includes:

  • Multi-point inspection
  • Alignment check
  • Nitrogen Flush
  • Battery Fitness Test

Sale Price – $139.95

Regular Price – $234.80

Winter is right around the corner, make sure your vehicle is prepared. Stay tuned for our winter tires sales! Coming soon!

This deal is only on for a limited time, so get it while you can. You can check out our other Service Specials for the latest deals from Capital GMC Service.

Capital GMC Buick Cadillac Regina