What does a brake inspection include?

Inspecting your brakes are an absolute must to ensure your safety while on the road. A brake condition check includes:

  1. Check brake pedals - 3 things to check for include 1) the height (measurement of the brake pedal to the floor while at rest); 2) free play (measured by pedal movement from rest until brakes are applied); and 3) reserve distance (distance from the brake pedal to the floor when brakes are applied). Issues with your brakes will be determined if the brake pedal height is off, if there is too much free play, or if the reserve distance is incorrect.
  2. Check brake fluid - should be changed every 1 or 2 years to ensure proper working brakes.
  3. Check brake lines and hoses for cracks or leaks
  4. Check disc brakes or drum brakes
  5. Check parking (emergency) brakes

Check Engine Light On? We Can Help!

Your check engine light could be on for a variety of reasons. It can be caused by something minor like a loose gas cap or a major problem such as a bad catalytic converter. Below are some of the top reasons for why your check engine light is on. To have it diagnosed by professionals, contact Menlo Park Chevron today!

  1. Oxygen Sensor needs replacing - The oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. If you don't replace your oxygen sensor as needed, you can expect to your vehicle to: burn more fuel than necessary; lose fuel economy; get less miles per gallon; and damage your spark plugs and catalytic converter.
  2. Gas cap is loose, damaged, or missing - Gas caps seal the fuel system to maintain pressure in the gas tank and prevent fumes from being released into the air. If you don't tighten or replace your gas cap, your vehicle can lose gas through evaporation.
  3. Failing Catalytic Converter - Catalytic converters protects the environment by converting harmful carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If you don't replace a bad catalytic converter, you can expect a failed smog test; reduced performance and fuel economy; and high temperatures while the vehicle is running.
  4. Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) needs replacing - The MAF measures the amount of air entering your car's engine to determine how much gas is needed to run efficiently. If you don't replace the MAF as needed, faulty sensors can damage spark plugs, oxygen sensors, or the catalytic converter; and your vehicle will experience reduced performance and fuel economy.
  5. Spark plugs needs replacing - Spark plugs ignite the air and fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of your vehicle. If you don't replace your spark plugs as needed, your vehicle will experience poor performance; reduced fuel economy; clogged catalytic converters; or damage to ignition coils and oxygen sensors.

Winterize Your Vehicle

Is your car ready for winter? Snow, ice, rain, or freezing temperatures can affect various parts of your vehicle, as well as your safety and the safety of your passengers. Check out these tips and contact Menlo Park Chevron to help you prepare your vehicle for winter and stay safe on the road.

  1. Belts and Hoses - Check belts and hoses for wear and tear, cracks, and proper tension.
  2. Lights - Check all lights and replace any burned out bulbs. Keep head light and tail light lenses free of dirt.
  3. Battery - Test your battery at Menlo Park Chevron and remove any built up corrosion on the battery's posts and cables.
  4. Emergency Kit - Keep a roadside kit in your trunk just in case of emergencies.
  5. Tires - Check tires for worn tread, uneven wear, and proper tire inflation. Replace any tires if needed
  6. Windshield Wipers - Inspect wiper blades for wear and tear. Replace windshield wiper blades at least once a year.

What You Need To Know About Tires

How long do tires last? You can expect to replace your tires at least 50,000 miles from the tires that come with any new vehicle, but tire life depends on many factors, including the quality of the tire, the type of car it is mounted on, the expected length of tread life, and how the car is driven. Driving a car whose wheels are out of alignment will lower your tire's lifespan, as will driving for extended periods on tires below their recommended pressure. How often should you rotate your tires? A good time to rotate your tires is when you get the oil changed. In most cases that means every 7,500 miles or six months, though some have stretched the oil change interval to 10,000 miles. How often should tires/wheels be balanced? Have the balancing checked at least every two years, or more often in areas where roads are not well-maintained.

What You Need To Know About Oil Changes

How often should I get an oil change? You should change the oil as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, stated in your owner's manual. Most mechanics recommend an oil change every 5,000 to 6,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first. Why do I need an oil change? Oil lubricates and cleans moving parts and performs a vital cooling function as it circulates. Over time and repeated exposure to cold starts, short trips, and engine heat, oil gets dirty, becomes thicker, and loses its ability to prevent sludge and deposits from forming. Mechanics often say that changing the oil is the best preventive medicine for extending engine life.

How Long Does A New Car Battery Last?

The average life expectancy of a car battery is about three years, but there are several factors that can have an impact on that estimate. Heat can decrease a battery's lifespan significantly because hot weather causes liquids inside batteries to evaporate and causes internal damage, which can all occur whether you are driving or parked. There are various signs that indicate your car battery is failing and needs to be replaced, including sluggish engine cranking, electrical problems, or a rotten egg smell. Come to Menlo Park Chevron to have your battery's performance tested!