Basic Automotive Terms For All Drivers

Desert Oasis Auto Repair Car Maintenance

Even though you may not know how to repair cars, you still drive one every day. Not being able to replace a dipstick does not mean you shouldn’t care about it.. You must learn the basics of your car in order to use it effectively. There are a few, simple automotive terms that every driver should be able to recognize. 1. Dipstick Dipsticks are typically used to measure the amount of liquid in your vehicle. By inserting and removing the stick, the liquid will leave a mark indicating the amount left. The most common dipstick in a car is the oil level dipstick, but there is also usually one for brake fluid, coolant and maybe a few others on some models. 2. Spark Plug A spark plug is a small device that sends electrical currents from a car’s ignition to the combustion section. It is designed to ignite the mixture …

Can Heat Kill a Car Battery?

Desert Oasis Auto Repair Car Maintenance

Car Batteries in the Desert Hello 100-degree temperatures!  Welcome back to Las Vegas.  You really don’t think much about your car battery dying in the heat, but once you’ve moved to the desert, it’s a lesson you learn fast.  Car batteries survive an average of two years or 30,000 miles. Here in Las Vegas, residents that move from the East coast and Midwest regions can expect that their car batteries will drain out within the first couple years in dry, desert heat. We see it all the time here at Desert Oasis Auto Repair. “When most motorists think of dead batteries that cause starting failure, they think of severe winter weather, but summer heat is the real culprit,” says Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “Many battery problems start long before the temperatures drop. Heat, more than cold, shortens battery life.” As a rule of thumb, every additional …

To Keep Your Car Running Like New, Check its Coolant Level

Desert Oasis Auto Repair Car Maintenance

Coolant prevents car engines from freezing up in icy weather, but also keeps it cool during the steamy summer months that Las Vegas tends to provide us. To keep your car running like new, check your coolant levels regularly. Here are the steps to check your car’s coolant level. Where is the Cooling System Located? Most modern radiators come with a colored cap to make it easy to find. However, with every make and model the location varies, so if you do not know where it is located, read your car manual. Open the Radiator Cap In general, you want to wait 45 minutes to an hour after running your car to remove the radiator cap.  Some mechanics squeeze the upper hose of the radiator, and when it gets soft, this indicates the pressure has diminished, so it is safe to open the cooling system. Checking the Coolant Level For …

Do Your Tires Need To Be Rotated?

Desert Oasis Auto Repair Car Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance is essential for all vehicles regardless of how expensive or new they are. One important detail of maintaining a vehicle is having the tires rotated. Many people underestimate the importance of tire rotation. It is just as essential as an oil change. It is in your best interest to have your tires rotated when you have your oil changed. Rotating Your Tires When your tires are rotated, they are moved from the side they are currently on to the opposing side. The tires will be moved from front to back to ensure that all tires wear out evenly. Tires that are not rotated properly will experience uneven tire wear – which will cause the driver to experience a decrease in gas mileage and poor performance in general. Why Is Tire Rotation Important? Tire rotation is important for many different reasons. One of the most essential reasons you should …

Everything You Need To Know About Car Fluids

Desert Oasis Auto Repair Car Maintenance

The fluids used in your car play an integral part in your car running smoothly. If a car’s fluids run out, it can break down quickly. Read through our list of auto and engine fluids to find out just how each plays its part to help run your car smoothly. Motor Oil The motor oil in your car passes through every part of your engine to lubricate it and cool it down while it runs.  The oil prevents metal components from making contact with one another.  You need to make sure you have motor oil that is rated for your vehicle (especially important for European import vehicles) and you must make sure you have motor oil that is going to work in your climate.  Some motor oils are made for hot weather, and there are others that are made just for cold weather.  If your motor oil runs out or …

Oil Changes are Best Left to the Pros. Here’s Why

Desert Oasis Auto Repair Car Maintenance

It may seem advantageous to change the oil on your car, but there are serious drawbacks. Here are four reasons right to reconsider: Tools and parts are expensive If you think tools are cheap, guess again. A professional car mechanic spends thousands of dollars on tools. They need many tools to meet the demands of the job. To change motor oil, you must purchase these tools, and if you’re not careful, the number will grow. For example, if you buy the wrong size wrench, you must return and exchange it. What happens when the tool or part is wrong and the car is disabled? You’ll need a bicycle to use as alternative transportation to the auto parts store. Add “bicycle” to your “tools to buy” list. Watch it grow. Service garages see incomplete Do-It-Yourself projects occasionally. The cost of oil and tools is marked up at the auto parts store, …

Your Car’s Battery in the Desert Heat

Desert Oasis Auto Repair Car Maintenance

When you drive in Las Vegas, your luxury vehicle’s car battery is especially sensitive to the heat associated with desert conditions. Here are three tips to keep your car battery working well in the desert. If you follow these tips, you are unlikely to end up on the side of the road or stuck in a parking lot with a dead battery. Clean the battery: Without a doubt desert heat can speed up the internal corrosion process of a battery. In fact, within a few months it can damage the battery beyond repair. To avoid this, remove any corrosion by cleaning up the battery connections with a scouring pad or brush. Wait until the engine cools down to avoid burning yourself and exercise caution while cleaning the battery. Check water level: Believe it or not, the water level of a battery can drop quickly and drastically due to the desert’s …

Common Reasons for Failing an Emissions Test

Desert Oasis Auto Repair Car Maintenance

Every year it’s the same annoying concern, will my vehicle pass or fail the emissions test? Not only can you not drive your car until you pass the test, but you will need to spend money to fix the issue. Furthermore, when trying to fix the problem, you will often waste money if you don’t know where to start and what to fix. While true, if you know what causes you to fail a smog emissions test, you can save yourself plenty of time and money. Therefore, if you fail the emissions test, you need to take your vehicle to a certified mechanic. Oil and filter change: Often, if you fail the test, it is the result of not changing the oil. New cars have computers, and it will often throw up an error if you have not changed the oil for thousands of miles. Fortunately, if you take your …

Tips for Driving in Hot Weather

Desert Oasis Auto Repair Car Maintenance

With the summer quickly heating up, now is the time to think about how to care for your car when driving in the hot weather. A few simple precautions will keep your car running in top shape as warmer weather approaches. The following are important tasks that need to be done to ensure your car is ready for summer. Check the Battery While the cold is known for being hard on batteries, few people realize that hot weather can also harm the battery. In fact, it can often cause more damage than the cold does. Do a visual inspection of the battery, looking for cracks or leaks. If your battery has removable filler caps, be sure the battery’s fluid level is full. Add distilled water if needed. As hot weather can speed up corrosion, periodically check the posts and clean any corrosion with a scrub brush. Fill the Coolant System …