Category Archives: Car Tips & Tricks

Checking Tire Tread: Is it Time for New Tires?

Checking Tire Tread - McKinney, TXTires are one of the most important parts of your car, especially since it’s the only component that touches the road. Bad tires can decrease fuel economy, reduce handling, and increase the likelihood of a breakdown. That’s why it’s important to get new tires when the time is right. How do you know if you need new tires? Read on to learn about checking tire tread.

One of the easiest ways, according to Pep Boys, is to try the penny test. Simply take a penny, flip it upside down, and put it in the middle of the tire tread. If you can see above Abe’s head, that means you have less than approximately 2/32 of an inch left on your tires. Any less, and it would be illegal in most states to drive.

You should also check tires for wear and tear. This includes bulges, cracking, and bald spots. Bald spots or patches of missing tread are often signs of misalignment because the vehicle is probably not riding properly. Bulging and cracking are signs that the rubber may be going bad. Additionally, tires should be replaced after about five years even if you don’t use them, as rubber compounds breakdown over time.

Not sure if you need new tires? At El Dorado Chevrolet, our specially trained staff can easily tell you if it’s time for new tires, a tire rotation, or if your pressure is getting low. Call or stop by for all your tire maintenance needs.

Spring Car Maintenance Tips

Spring Car Maintenance Tips | El Dorado Chevrolet

A simple wash and wax is great, but what every car really needs is some love and care to kick off spring. Vehicles that have endured a harsh winter are in need of some routine maintenance in order to prepare for warmer weather. Check out these spring car maintenance tips from us here at El Dorado Chevrolet and enjoy the warmer weather!

  • Tires – Fluctuations in temperature can cause your tire pressure to go up and down constantly. That’s why it’s important to check each tire’s pressure once a week to ensure they’re properly inflated. As the weather gets warmer, your tire pressure will likely rise, so be sure to keep an eye out to avoid over-inflation problems.
  • Wipers – Winter isn’t exactly a lightweight in many climates, so odds are your wipers felt some of the pain. Worn wipers simply won’t do in heavy spring rains. Take a few minutes out of your day to replace your old wipers with a new set. They’re relatively inexpensive and are a vital safety feature to your vehicle.
  • Battery – A car requires more current to start during colder weather. That can put some strain on your car’s battery, which is why it’s important to look it over once a month. If your battery is more than two years old, consider getting a new one, just to be safe.
detail your car

Detail Your Car Like a Pro – Your How-To Guide From El Dorado Chevy

Over time, it is expected that your car will become dirty. However, there is no need for you to take it to a professional to have it cleaned. Save yourself some money, and do it yourself. If you follow these simple tips, you will be able to detail your car like a pro.

washing your car

The first step is to get out the air compressor. This is a great tool to get all of the dust out of the corners and cracks of your car. If you blow it from the corners of your car and into the center, it’s much easier to vacuum later. You can also turn it onto your vents to clean out the air system.

After getting rid of the dust, move to the exterior of the car. It’s important that you don’t use an acidic cleaner on your car. This will eat away at the protective layers on your paint and rims. Instead, use a soap that was designed specifically to be used on cars.

car detailing

If you follow these simple steps, your car will be looking clean and professional in no time. You’ll also save yourself a bit of money by not taking into a shop.

fix a scratch on your car

How to Fix a Scratch on Your Car Like a Pro

Throughout the life of a car, there are lot of nicks and dings that happen on accident. You will inevitably experience a scratch on your car at some point in time. Instead of spending a bunch of money to have it fixed at a shop, learn how to fix it on your own. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be able to fix a scratch on your car like a pro.

  • Step 1: Clean the surface around the scratch, and make sure that there isn’t any dirt or residue. This should be done with a soft cloth. Masking the trim around the area where you will be working may be a wise idea.
  • Step 2: Polish the area that you cleaned. After a few strokes of polish, clean the area with a soft rag. Make sure that it’s dry. Go slowly to make sure that you don’t go through the clear coat.
  • Step 3: Purchase primer and matching paint. If you are unsure what color paint that you need, simply take a sample into the store to get it matched.
  • Step 4: After applying the primer and sanding it smooth, apply the new paint to the area. Sand and buff it if necessary before applying the final coat.

Now that you know how to fix simple scratches, you will save yourself a lot of money.

Windshield Wipers

Three Tips for Making Your Windshield Wipers Last Longer

Your windshield wipers play a major role in your ability to drive safely, but are all too often overlooked. In an effort to save you time and money on replacement blades, we come up with a few maintenance tips to keep your windshield wipers working better for longer.

Don’t use them on a dry surface. Always turn your windshield wipers off before turning off the engine. Your wipers take on extra friction whenever they wipe across a dry windshield, so be diligent about turning them off when wet conditions clear up.

Always scrape ice and snow. Windshield wipers are all too often used as a mechanism to clear built-up ice and snow. The extra weight, friction, and uneven surface cause the rubber blades to wear more quickly. Instead, use your defroster and manually scrape your windshield before employing the wipers.

Clean your wipers and windshield. Help your windshield wipers out, and take a minute to clean the windshield every time you get gas, ensuring the wipers are clearing a clean surface. Also be sure to use a clean cloth or paper towel and water or window cleaning solution to wipe the blades down. Be gentle so that you don’t damage the blade, but you should see that anything that has collected on the wiper’s surface will come right off, leaving a smooth edge.

For more tips, to make your windshield wipers last longer, visit raineater.com.

If you need more information about replacing your windshield wipers, call our parts department at El Dorado Chevrolet today!

Spills

How to Clean Common Car Spills

We’ve all had one of “those days.” You’re running late, the baby spilled milk in the backseat, and you just hit a bump in the road and your coffee is now everywhere – except in the mug. Now what?

Here are some tips for how to clean these common car spills, so you can officially erase that morning from memory.

Milk – When not addressed quickly, spilled milk can become a smelly problem. Begin by soaking the area with cold water, then thoroughly clean using a few drops of dish soap, cold water, and a rag. Wipe down the area with a clean, wet rag, and allow to dry. Another option is to use baking soda and water to make a paste, and apply that to the stain, allowing it to sit for several minutes. When it’s dry, vacuum the baking soda up. The baking soda will also help neutralize the smell.

Coffee – The oils found in coffee can be particularly difficult to get out of your car’s upholstery. Create a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts warm water, and spray it onto the stain. Wipe the area down with a clean microfiber cloth or sponge.

Please note that we always recommend testing any solution you plan to use on your car’s upholstery on an unseen area to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage. Each car’s fabric and upholstery is different, and may react differently to the products suggested in this post.

For more information on cleaning car upholstery, visit housecleaningcentral.com.

Here at Ell Dorado Chevrolet, we want to know your stain-lifting secrets. Tell us your go-to solutions in the comments!

Extending Car Life is Easier than You Think

extending car life

Everyone wants their car to last as long as possible. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ways on extending car life, to help you get the most out of your vehicle.

According to Carcare.org, the best thing you can do is preventative care. This consists of regular maintenance and checkups, like those performed at El Dorado Chevy’s Service Center. This includes things like oil changes, tire rotations, vehicle alignment, radiator flushes, and more. Check your owner’s manual to see if it’s time for a checkup.

Driving less aggressively will also keep your car in good shape. Rapid acceleration, speeding, and heavy braking all add to the wear and tear of your car. Remember to relax when you’re behind the wheel.

Protect your car, inside and out. Cleaning is an important part of maintenance, and can even add to the resale value of your car. By regularly cleaning the exterior, you prevent excessive scratches that can lead to rust. Consider waxing your car to add an extra layer of protection.

Finally, know your car. Though our certified technicians here at El Dorado know a lot about cars, it’s important for you to know what’s important. If your car is running odd, handling funny, or making strange noises, don’t hesitate to bring it in.