- What is the ideal schedule for changing the oil in my car?
- Each automaker has an established schedule of recommended time frames for a variety of maintenance services that are necessary for ensuring that your vehicle continues to operate reliably. For your convenience, this information is included in the owner’s manual that accompanied your vehicle. If you are not able to successfully locate your owner’s manual, simply contact our helpful service center team and they’ll be happy to tell you the intervals.
- When should I change my battery?
- Every car battery includes a warranty whose end date is included prominently for your convenience. Typically located on the top of the battery, look for a code that is made up of a two-digit number and a letter. The number is the year that the battery expires while the letter indicates the month. The letter “A” correlates to January, the letter “B” correlates to February and the pattern continues through the alphabet until December is reached. For example, a code that reads J19 means that your battery expires in December 2019.
- In order to avoid being stranded in the event that your battery doesn’t last until its expiration date, the service technicians at McDonough Nissan suggest that you either replace it before it reaches that date or that you bring your vehicle to our service center for a battery check. We can tell you if the battery is able to hold a charge successfully.
- My vehicle won’t start. What’s wrong with it?
- A dead battery, bad starter or bad alternator could all cause no-start situations; just as a stretched or broken timing belt or a bad sensor.
- If the issue is a starter, you will generally hear a click when you engage the ignition. However, a dead battery could also cause that symptom. If you have a voltmeter, check the battery. It should have at least 12 volts when the vehicle is off. Have someone turn the key while you check the voltmeter. If the voltage does not drop below 10.50 volts, the problem is most likely the starter, assuming that all other systems are working fine.
- What if my “Service Engine Soon” light turns on?
- A variety of issues can cause your car to not start. Two of the most common — a bad starter and a dead battery — also typically give the same symptom which is a clicking sound. In order to tell them apart, use a voltmeter to check the voltage that the battery is emitting.
- Start by getting a reading on the battery’s voltage while the vehicle is off. It should be at least 12 volts. Next, while someone else engages the ignition, check the battery’s voltage again. If it doesn’t dip below 10.50 volts, it is likely that the starter is to blame.
- Several other issues could be the reason that your car is not starting including a bad alternator, a timing belt that is broken, a malfunctioning sensor or an overstretched timing belt.
- Why is my “Check Engine Soon” light on?
- If your “Check Engine Soon” or “Service Engine Soon” light is illuminated, there is an issue with your vehicle that requires the use of a code reader. One exception to this occurrence is when the “Check Engine Soon” light appears and then disappears on its own. This is called a soft code and typically indicates that the oxygen sensor has determined that the oxygen mixture is wrong.
- How to Buy Tires
- Your tires are one of the most important components of your vehicle and it is important to know when the right time to purchase new ones are as well as how to choose the right one. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, tire problems are significant factors in many crashes. Tires that are poorly sized or worn out can do many things to work against you including making your vehicle less gas-efficient. So how can you know when the right time is for new tires? Luckily, you have McDonough Nissan here to help.
- How to Determine if You Need New Tires
- Tires are an investment and you want to make sure you need them before you purchase them. While different model vehicles and tire brands may have different ranges for tires to last, the average is that your tires should last you anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 miles. Of course, new tires are the best, but you will want to frequently check the tread to determine if they need replacing. A simple trick is to slide a penny into one of the tread grooves on the tires. If the tread still overs part of Lincoln’s head, you are good but if it doesn’t, it is time to replace them.
- You also need to pay attention to the age of the tires even if they have plenty of tread left. Even if the tires look great, if you have had them a few years and have never replaced the tires, it is time to. Even without the tread wear or mileage reflected the need to replace the tires, there could be normal wear and even environmental issues that can take a toll on the tires. This is not always obvious, but an example would be the rubber getting brittle after five of six years of being in the sun. If you are unsure of the age, one of our technicians can help determine this for you.
- What Tires Should You Buy?
- If have determined that you need to purchase new tires, then you need to figure out what tires to look for. The best place to start is with the tires that are recommended by the manufacturer. There may be specific tire styles or brands that work best with your model. However, if you no longer have the manual for your vehicle, we can help you determine the best ones for you. You can also do some comparison shopping to see what others may work for your model. We are always here to explore your model options and want to make sure you are safe on the roads. Before you purchase, be sure to stop by McDonough Nissan so we can ensure you get the best ones for your vehicle as well as look for comparable ones for your budget, if needed.
- When should I replace my belts and hoses?
- Your car’s manufacturer has a recommended replacement schedule that is noted in your owner’s manual. Other signs include belts that have dry rot, shiny bottoms or a loss of tension. Hoses that are cracked or soft should also be replaced.
- Are OEM and generic parts different?
- OEM parts are those made by the “Original Equipment Manufacturer” which is Nissan in this case. These parts are made to Nissan’s exact standards and can be sold by either the manufacturer or by a third party. OEM parts are warrantied against defects.
- Generic parts are those that are manufactured by another company to fit your vehicle. However, they do not have to meet the same quality standard that OEM parts do.
- You do not want just anyone working on your vehicle. You want to make sure that you have a certified professional. Here at McDonough Nissan, we only have certified professionals on staff because we want to make sure your service is done right the first time and will last a while.
- What is a Certified Professional Technician?
- A certified professional technician is a mechanic that has made an effort to meet all of the rigorous standards established by the ASE. They have gained certification and have also obtained extensive experience in maintaining and repairing vehicles.
- What If I Want to Use a Mechanic That is Not Certified?
- While you can definitely do that, it is not recommended because you are not given any assurance about their current level of expertise. You also do not know the kind of parts they will use and their quality. You would not likely be provided a warranty after the work is completed meaning if something were to go wrong, they may not fix the issue for free. There is no guarantee and you may even have to spend more money later to get it fixed.
- At McDonough Nissan, that is something that you do not ever have to worry about. We take maintenance and repair of any vehicle very seriously. Since we only have ASE certified technicians on staff and we only use OME parts, both the parts and the labor are covered under a warranty. This warranty will protect you in case there is a defect or if one of our technicians makes a mistake. We always use the best parts and quality service so you can know it is done correctly the first time.
- How Should I Use Nissan Bluetooth Connect?
- The Bluetooth Connect from Nissan is a way for you to connect your mobile device for easier driving. This integrated system is automatic. All you have to do is set it up, and Bluetooth Connect takes care of the rest. All of the apps on your phone, from your favorite songs to the newest podcasts, can be played over your speakers. Conduct calls without using your hands, and never miss a word. Simply follow the instructions for syncing your phone to Bluetooth Connect to your car. If you have questions, McDonough Nissan can help you understand the details and capabilities of this truly convenient feature. We want you to take advantage of all the amazing things your Nissan can do!
- How Should I Use Nissan Homelink?
- Left the porch light on, and don’t want it to attract all the bugs outside your front door? UPS coming and you need to open the gate? Homelink allows you to control the appliances in your home without actually being at your home. With a combination of wireless, electric, and radio-control systems, you can operate a variety of devices to keep your home safe or to make your life more convenient. Turn on your security system when you’re out of town and turn on the lights to make criminals think twice. You’ll have three buttons in your car to control up to three remote-control devices. The best part is, you won’t have to change out any of the batteries because it works through your Nissan’s electrical system.
Nissan Bluetooth Connect
Driving & Maintenance Tips
- How do I get better gas mileage?
- When you feel like you’re visiting the pump more often than you used to, you may want to evaluate your driving habits to get better gas mileage. Constant stop-and-go traffic is one of the best ways to deplete your tank, so you may want to start avoiding rush hour if at all possible. When you’re on the highways, use cruise control to stay at the same speed. Preferably, you’re going around 45 to 55 miles an hour at all times, but that’s not always an option for drivers on busy interstates. Instead, follow the posted signs for better mileage, and consider it a bonus that you won’t put yourself at risk for a speeding ticket.
- Another easy way to reduce the amount of time you spend accelerating (and decelerating) is when you leave enough space between you and the driver in front of you. It means you won’t be quickly braking if they come to a sudden stop or slamming on the gas to fill the large gap between you. The same is true for those who are trying to merge or switch into your lane. The more space they have, the less you’ll spend adjusting your speed for them. You’ll pick up another safety bonus in that you’re far less likely to get into an accident when you have enough space to slow down in the case of an unexpected event.
- Start getting into the habit of giving yourself enough room at traffic signals too. The longer you wait to brake at stop lights or signs, the more your brakes have to work and the more gas you use up. It spells out frequent repairs for you, and brakes are definitely not something you’re going to want to replace more often than you need to. Gently apply pressure to the brakes and gas pedal whenever and wherever possible, and then start seeing the change in how far your next tank gets you.
- And finally, pay attention to your car’s maintenance for an excellent way to reducing the fraction of your budget you spend on gas. Air filters, tire pressure, oil changes, spark plugs, fuel injectors: there’s a lot happening in your car that you don’t see, and it’s all important to your tank. Tires that don’t have enough pressure translates to your car having to work harder to stay on the road. McDonough Nissan Service has seen how these inefficiencies cost people more money over the years, which is why we take the time to inspect it all. Whether your check engine light is on or you’re just thinking that your tires feel a little low, let us get you the fixes you need to optimize your car’s time on the road when it comes to gas mileage.