Frequently Asked Questions
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- How often should I change my oil?
- Oil today is not the same as the oil 30 years ago. Synthetic oil can last up to 15,000 miles if you get the right type. Your car’s manual will let you know more about the type of oil to use and how long it should last. You can also talk with a mechanic to determine the details of when you should come in.
- How often should I change my battery?
- The warranty on your battery is about three years after it was purchased, and it’s generally recommended you change it around then or possibly even before. If you need to know the date, look for the code on the battery. The code is typically written as letters to represent the month (where A is January) and numbers to represent the year. So a code of E18 would mean an expiration date of May 2018.
- Why won’t my car start?
- A dead battery or starter is normally what will cause the clicking noise you hear if the car is having trouble starting. It may also be an issue with the alternator or the timing belt. The culprit could even be a bad sensor. If you have a voltmeter, you can check the battery by testing the car both when it’s on and when you’re trying to start it. If it’s at 12 and at least 10.5 respectively, it points to a problem outside of the battery.
- What does the Check Engine light mean?
- The check engine light may mean you need service right away, in which case you’ll need to hook the car up to a code reader to find out what the issue is. However, sometimes the check engine light will appear and then disappear almost as quickly, in which case it was likely an issue with an oxygen sensor that was corrected.
- How often should I replace my tires?
- Tires typically go from between 20,000 to 40,000 miles, but each model type can vary. Check the manufacturer recommendations for more information. Highway tires for example tend to go for far less than 40,000 miles. Even if you don’t drive very often though, tires more than 6 years old can become brittle when exposed to the sun or rough terrain conditions.
- How often should I check my alignment?
- Always have the alignment checked after you replace your tires, or if your car starts to pull toward the left or right. Check once a year even if you don’t have any noticeable problems though to ensure optimum performance.
- What signs should I look for to see if I need new tires?
- Check your tread by looking at the wear bars, or by inserting a penny into the grooves of the tread. If the tread has thinned to the level of the bars or if you can’t see Abe’s head, it’s time for a replacement. Also, if you feel like the handling has changed or like you’re sitting lower to the ground, you may want to see a tire expert to talk about replacement.
- What if I need help in choosing the right tires?
- Technology with tires has changed drastically, and most people need a little guidance. Talk to a technician at Scott Clark Nissan who can tell you what’s new and what’s best for your car. Typically though, you won’t go wrong if you choose the same type of tires the original vehicle came with.
- How often should I change my belts and hoses?
- Your owner manual should have a section about when to change out the belts and hoses of your car, or you can open up the hood to see for yourself. Cracking or dry rot are both major signs, as are shiny bottoms on the belt or hose.
- What’s the difference between OEM and generic?
- The Original Equipment Manufacturer is the company that made your car, meaning all parts are coming straight from the factory where your original part was made. OEM parts come with a warranty regardless of who you buy them from.
- Generic parts are made by a third party company. While the part will likely work in your car, you have no warranty and no way to determine the quality. When it comes to your safety, experts will tell you it’s a far better decision to buy OEM.
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- What is a certified professional technician?
- A certified professional technician is a person who has passed the testing standards of the Automotive Service Excellence group. Those who are certified have the training and the experience to maintain and fix your vehicle using the most up-to-date methods and technology.
- Can I hire a mechanic that isn’t certified?
- Many people look for cheap mechanics, but it can end up coming at a much bigger price. If a mechanic makes a mistake, it can leave you stranded in more ways than one — especially because there likely won’t be a warranty on that work.
- ASE Certification and Scott Clark Nissan
- We don’t take chances when it comes to your safety. Scott Clark Nissan only uses OEM parts and certified mechanics, so you know your car can go the distance when you pull it out of the driveway. We help you keep your car’s resale value by performing routine maintenance and repair work, and all of our services come with a warranty. We take care of problems when they’re small, so you don’t end up paying more down the road.
- What is Nissan Bluetooth Connect and how do does it work?
- Nissan Bluetooth Connect is the automaker’s innovative and integrated technology system. It pairs your favorite mobile device with your Nissan’s Bluetooth Connect system to deliver seamless and hands-free access to a variety of today’s most crucial tasks. The Nissan Bluetooth Connect system makes it possible to stream the music of your choice, send a text message or receive an anticipated phone call — all by using a wireless, voice-activated system that allows you to keep your hands on the steering wheel. At Scott Clark Nissan, we want you to be able to take advantage of this cutting-edge system so let your sales associate or service technician know if you need help activating it.
- What is Nissan HomeLink and how does it work?
- Nissan HomeLink uses the latest in technology to actively link you to your home’s functions while you are in the comfort of your Nissan. Using three buttons that are integrated as part of your vehicle’s interior, Nissan HomeLink enables you to sync up to three of your home’s remote-controlled devices. Once the system is activated, you can close your garage door after guests leave, remove the security alarm from your home to allow service personnel to enter, turn on interior lighting when dusk falls or turn off the exterior lights when your children leave for school. Because Nissan HomeLink depends on your vehicle’s electrical system for power, you don’t need to change batteries.
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Driving & Maintenance Tips
- How to get better gas mileage
- Constantly changing your speed reduces your gas mileage.
While this is unavoidable if you are driving through city streets or along local roads completing errands, you can maintain the same speed when you are out on the highway. Use cruise control to keep at the same steady speed. Maintaining a speed of about 55 MPH provides you with the most efficient gas mileage. However, today’s highways often don’t allow you to do so. Simply set your cruise control for the posted speed limit and aim to maintain that as closely as possible.
- Stay a Safe Distance Away.
When you are traveling behind another car, leave as much distance between the two of you as possible. An adequate amount of space between you and the car in front of you means that you won’t have to make frequent adjustments to your own speed just because the other person does. These adjustments — no matter how small they are — all use up more gas.
- Braking Efficiently.
The way you brake your car can have a detrimental effect on your gas mileage. If you wait until you are nearly at the stop light or stop sign, you’ll use more gas as you hit the brakes more forcefully. Timing your stops so that you are able to do so gently helps you get better gas mileage. When you follow this approach with stop lights, you might find that you don’t even have to stop completely because the light has already changed before you even got there.
- Save Gas By Maintaining Your Vehicle.
Following the recommended maintenance schedule outlined by the manufacturer of your vehicle is one of the easiest and most effective ways of getting the best gas mileage. Doing so also improves the lifespan of your vehicle and its performance. Taking your vehicle in for maintenance when things such as the “check engine” light comes on ensures that the sensors and other vehicle components are inspected and replaced promptly, if they need to be. Routinely inspecting your tires for wear and ensuring that they have the right tire pressure helps improve your gas mileage as well. The right tire pressure means that your vehicle needs less gas to operate smoothly while you’re driving.
Following this strategy when you’re traveling along the highway also allows merging traffic to do so without you needing to adjust your speed every time. Another reason for you to maintain an adequate amount of space in between your car and the one in front of you is safety. Doing so provides you with a cushion in which to act if the car in front of you needs to stop or slow suddenly.
- Constantly changing your speed reduces your gas mileage.
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Does Your Car Have a Safety Recall?
Recalls have been in the news a lot lately. We know you have questions about the effect of these recalls on the safety of you and your passengers. We can’t service every vehicle with an open recall, but we can alert you if your vehicle has one.