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Posts Tagged ‘auto maintenance tips’

With the start of the Spring Break for many schools in and around the Indy metro area; and Easter weekend around the corner, motorists need to be extra careful and pay more close attention to the increased hazards on roadways with more vehicles on the road.

fb_Spring Break on the Beach

Some Common Sense Rules to Keep in Mind:

  • Check the vehicle you will be driving before leaving for your trip – oil, windshield wiper fluid, tire pressure, and that no indicator lights are on your dashboard – it’s always important to make sure the basic functions of your vehicle are working properly.
  • Have a Road Safety Kit on hand in case of emergency.  Suggestions to include bottled water, road flares, orange triangle, flashlight, jumper cables, jacking kit, blanket, tools, and First Aid Kit.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before leaving.
  • It is also important to take a break from driving every few hours or switch drivers.
  • Buckle up!!
  • Be prepared for higher volumes of traffic on the road than normal (sometimes traveling early morning helps to avoid some of the rush).
  • Use a map or GPS.  Plan your route ahead of time, especially when planning to drive through an unfamiliar area.
  • Do not drive under the influence.

Wishing you all a safe and fun Spring Break and Easter weekend!!

I hope you found our Safe Driving Tips for the Upcoming Holiday Weekendhelpful! We would love to hear from you with your ideas and suggestions for future posts!

From our family to yours: be “safe on the road, and happy motoring”!

OBrien Automotive Family Celebrating 80 Years in the Business_small“Our family works for you.
Since 1933.”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, Anderson, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealers!

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Simply put; at all of our O’Brien Automotive Family’s central Indiana locations, we love tires!  We carry all the best brands; Firestone * Dunlop * Goodyear * Yokohama * and BF Goodrich to name a few.  We’ve got lots of tires in stock, and we know the specs on every one.  When it’s time for you to replace your tires, we’d love to help. We handle every service, maintenance, tires and repairs with the best parts, prices and people around.  And we believe our customers notice.

Take our certified technicians and service advisers for example.  Sure; their work is top notch, but they also happen to be some of the friendliest people around.  Plus, we do the “little things that count”: cover your steering wheel and add paper floor mats so that your carpeting stays clean!

Then, there is our price’s; We guarantee the LOWEST prices on tires and offer services like tire rotations and flat repairs, not to mention some of the fastest quality maintenance and repair work you’ll find. Why should you consider a dealership for your tires?

FB_Your Dealer Has teh Tires For Your Vehicle


Concerned about tire safety? Check out these videos; great info!

Cooper Cares – Mom Tire Safety with Johnny Unser
&
Tire Safety inspired by the Indianapolis 500 with Johnny Unser

The O’Brien Automotive Family of dealerships are one of central Indiana’s best source for new Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, FIAT, and Toyota & Scion brand vehicles along with a large inventory of pre-owned vehicles & Factory Certified Pre-Owned. Our goal is to make as many central Indiana customers as satisfied as possible when it comes to selection and competitive prices. We welcome you to stop by one of our convenient locations, call us at 317-534-2256, chat online (Indianapolis location Chrysler Brands – Greenwood location Chrysler Brands * FIAT Brand  / Toyota & Scion Brands), or submit a request make an appointment to test drive your next vehicle today. Check out our current service specials by visiting this site! Questions? Simply call:

Still haven’t pointed your car in our direction? We’ve got lots of great reasons to stop by – our service specials or parts specials for instance! Or, you can just schedule an appointment now. Did I mention we’re open on Saturday’s?

From our family to yours: be “safe on the road, and happy motoring”!

OBrien Automotive Family Celebrating 80 Years in the Business_small“Our family works for you.
Since 1933.”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, Anderson, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealers!

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Check Engine Light On_Round jpegThe first step is not to panic! Realize that this is your car’s way of telling you there’s a problem that might just be a loose gas cap, but could be more serious and costly. Even if your car is driving OK, the problem won’t go away and could get worse and cost more to repair. To minimize further damage to your vehicle, it is important to have the problem diagnosed ASAP!

Here are the top 5 most common “check engine” light repairs, according to CarMD’s repair database. Most of these repairs have more to do with durability problems than faulty parts. Let’s face it, drivers are holding onto their cars longer than ever before, which is why it’s so important to fix small problems before they result in more expensive repairs.

    1. The no. 1 most common fix is “replace Oxygen Sensor.” The O2 sensor monitors the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust and tells your car’s computer when there is either too much, or not enough fuel. So what’s it mean to you? A faulty O2 sensor costs less than $200 to fix but can lead to as much as a 40% reduction in gas mileage if ignored. At the price of gas today, this can cost you more than the actual repair over time.
    2. The no. 2 most common repair is “replace loose, damaged or missing gas cap.” Simply tightening the cap for free or replacing it for a couple dollars is the fix, but if left unchecked can result in a 0.5% decrease in gas mileage and harm the environment.
    3. “Replace catalytic converter(s)” is now the no. 3 most common car repair, but it shouldn’t even be in the top 10. A catalytic converter usually won’t fail unless a related part – such as a faulty spark plug – is ignored for too long. This is a great example of why it’s so important to address small problems early. A damaged catalytic converter will cost approximately $1,000 or more to fix.
    4. The no. 4 most common repair is “replace the Mass Air Flow Sensor.” The MAF sensor is responsible for calculating the air coming into your car and determining how much fuel to shoot into the engine. When malfunctioning, it can lower MPG by 10 to 25%. It costs about $375 to fix, but is vital to saving dollars at the pump.
    5. The small but mighty spark plug is no. 5. Responsible for igniting a car’s air/fuel ratio, spark plugs are essential. When they fail, they can cause a “misfire,” reduce gas mileage, and ultimately melt/ruin your catalytic converter. Having the repair done by certified mechanic costs a couple hundred dollars, but can save you thousands.

Whatever you do, don’t lazily slap a piece of black electrical tape over it and go about your business. Cars just need a little love from time to time to stay in good shape, and neglecting a minor issue could lead to bigger problems down the road. Here are the reasons why the ‘ole black electrical tape is not the best idea: Check out this video!

I hope you found our “Check Engine” Light Is ON…So? tips helpful! We would love to hear from you with your ideas and suggestions for future posts!

From our family to yours: be “safe on the road, and happy motoring”!

OBrien Automotive Family Celebrating 80 Years in the Business_small“Our family works for you.
Since 1933.”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, Anderson, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealers!

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car care tip  Your ability to see clearly is imperative to driving safety. Having an unobstructed, clear view out your windshield is always critically important, and never more so than during the winter months. Just a few minutes of basic maintenance before the poor weather starts can help insure the best possible visibility during the shorter days and longer nights of winter.

  • Dead bugs, sap from parking under trees and even bird droppings all make it hard to see out, and can be hard to remove completely. A clean rag and some vinegar can usually loosen up any residue that has been left on the glass.
  • Living in Indiana, we all know that frost, snow and ice left on the windshield while you drive can make navigation downright dangerous. Always completely scrape and clear snow and ice, from all of your vehicle’s glass, before getting underway. Don’t forget to clean the inside surface of your windshield completely and regularly.
  • Film from smoke and other substances builds up inside over time and can significantly reduce visibility. Glass cleaners containing vinegar make the task quick and easy.

With the glass clean inside and out, don’t forget to remove any leaves or twigs that may be left in the inlets at the base of the windshield. These will restrict airflow into the cabin that is needed for heating and defrosting the inside of the windows.

Torn-Wiper-Blade  Oxidation and long-term exposure to the sun will cause wiper blade rubber to harden and crack. Just as with tires, winter temperatures also cause rubber to stiffen. Like winter tires, winter wiper blades are made from different rubber formulations that stay pliable in sub-freezing temperatures, and they often have covers or shrouds over the wiper frames to prevent ice build-up. When you buy wiper blades, make sure you get the right size for your vehicle. If you have a hatchback, station wagon, van or SUV with a rear wiper, don’t forget to replace that blade as well, so you can see out the back. It is recommended by the Be Car Care Aware that wiper blades be replaced each year, a good point of reference is either the anniversary date of purchase or when you roll back the clocks in the fall.

Remember to keep the windshield washer fluid reservoir full throughout the year. It’s especially important to use a de-icing washer fluid during the winter months to prevent the fluid from freezing. These fluids typically contain some ethanol or ethylene glycol to lower the freezing point

It doesn’t take much effort to maximize your visibility, so spend a few minutes to care for your windshield and wipers. If you live in the snowy North, don’t forget to put an ice-scraper in the car. If you stop by today, we’ll help you keep your car ready for anything.

OBrien Automotive Family Celebrating 80 Years in the Business_small  The O’Brien Automotive Family of dealerships are one of central Indiana’s best source for new Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, FIAT, and Toyota & Scion brand vehicles along with a large inventory of pre-owned vehicles & Factory Certified Pre-Owned. Our goal is to make as many central Indiana customers as satisfied as possible when it comes to selection and competitive prices. We welcome you to stop by one of our convenient locations, call us at 317-534-2256, chat online (Indianapolis location Chrysler Brands – Greenwood location Chrysler Brands * FIAT Brand  / Toyota & Scion Brands), or submit a request make an appointment to test drive your next vehicle today. Check out our lease specials by visiting this page. If you should  have any questions, please give us a call!  If you do not see the particular vehicle you were hunting for on the internet lease specials list, don’t fret. Simply call:


“Our family works for you.

Since 1933.”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, Anderson, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealers!

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With the change in temperature; winter appears to be rapidly approaching. Now is the time to make sure your brakes are operating properly. Brakes are a vital safety feature on your vehicle so it’s important to make sure your brakes are working properly. Any time you notice these symptoms (or any others), it’s a good idea to have your brakes checked.

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • Brake warning light that stays on
  • Continuously squealing or grinding brakes
  • Drifting to one side of the road when braking

What Are Your Options?

Brake linings are a maintenance item and are designed to wear. There are three main types of brake pads available for your vehicle. The different friction (stopping) materials—organic, semi-metallic, and ceramic—each have their own characteristics. When it’s time to replace your brake pads or shoes, discuss your driving habits and how you use your vehicle with your shop or parts provider. Original equipment brake pads from the dealer are always a good option if you have been satisfied with the braking performance. Questions? Don’t hesitate to give our Factory Certified Technicians a call!

When your car ‘speaks‘ to you, it’s usually saying that something’s wrong, something needs fixing. We have several service offers that you might want to take advantage of; for instance, a FREE Multi-Point Inspection / Cooling System Service / Tune-Up and more! Perhaps you would like our service offers sent to your mobile device? Check out our offers today!

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

Read Full Post »

Many of us take for granted that our cars will start for us in the morning and get us to where we need to go. Without regular car maintenance, however, this reliability won’t last long.

Sounds like squealing, thumping, hissing and grinding are all signs that your vehicle may be trying to tell you something. “It’s important for car owners to listen and act accordingly when their vehicle speaks up,” says Larry Bronson, one of our long-term Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Greenwood Service Advisors. “By checking out what your vehicle is saying; you can take care of the problem now and avoid a breakdown or more costly repairs later.”

 

 

 

 

 

Per Larry, “Any noise that is new, different or suspicious may indicate a problem”:

  • A high-pitched squeal that stops when pressing on the brake pedal is a sign that a vehicle’s brakes should be inspected.
  • A grinding noise? This could be the result of worn brake pads that should be replaced.
  • Thumping that increases and decreases with the speed of the vehicle could mean a tire problem like a bubble in the sidewall or torn rubber that could lead to a blowout.
  • Hissing noise under the hood may be caused by a disconnected or cracked vacuum hose.
  • A squealing noise while revving the engine could be due to a slipping drive belt.
  • An audible tapping or engine clicking noise coming from the front of your car could mean a worn engine part or low oil pressure.
  • Deep knocking Noises? You should probably not use the car until the knocking engine noise has been fully and properly tested, diagnosed and repaired.
  • Squealing when accelerating? This is your fan belt telling you it is in pain.

When your car ‘speaks‘ to you, it’s usually saying that something’s wrong, something needs fixing. We have several service offers that you might want to take advantage of; for instance, a FREE Multi-Point Inspection / Cooling System Service / Tune-Up and more! Perhaps you would like our service offers sent to your mobile device? Check out our offers today!

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

Read Full Post »

Winter seems to be quickly approaching; and winter driving comes with it, are you road-ready? In addition to the added perils of winter driving, the change in weather can bring havoc to your car’s systems. Freezing temps, salted roads and wintery precipitation can gang up on your car if you have not done recommended maintenance throughout the year. As with any change of season, you should make sure you are up to date on recommended Winter Specific Maintenance:

  • Check your antifreeze
  • Inspect your tires
  • Replace your wipers
  • Check your windshield washer fluid
  • Clean your battery posts
  • Inspect your spark plug wires
  • Inspect your brakes
  • Check Your Engine Oil

In addition to my list of recommended winter specific maintenance suggestions, a checkup might include additional items depending on the type of vehicle that you drive. I would strongly suggest that you schedule a time before “the snow hits” so that you are prepared for our Indiana winter.

We have several service offers that you might want to take advantage of; or instance, a FREE Multi-Point Inspection / Cooling System Service / Tune-Up and more! Perhaps you would like our service offers sent to your mobile device? Check out our offers today!

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

Read Full Post »

 

I left the dealership this past Friday, and hadn’t gone a mile until my “low tire” light came on. Don’t know how you would react, but my heart sank. So, I thought I would provide some insight about this feature. I had not given it any thought, but vehicle manufacturers began to phase in TPMS beginning in the 2006 model year and were required to install it in all vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2007.  I talked to one of our Service Advisors and asked for him to explain to me how the feature works: There are two kinds of monitoring systems direct and indirect. To keep it short and sweet, the direct system monitors the actual pressure in the tire while the indirect system uses existing sensors in the ABS system which watches wheel speed to detect smaller tire diameter caused by under-inflation.

So, the culprit that caused my light to come on? When the temperature outside the tire changes, it will affect the pressure inside the tire. In the fall, the colder weather will significantly lower your tire pressure. If your tire pressure has been set during the hot summer months, the first major cold wave will cause the air to contract inside your tire, lowering the pressure, thus setting off your TPMS.

 

 

Word of advice: To alleviate that annoying tire light, check your tire pressure monthly, during the morning, when tires are cold. During this time, make sure all tires are at the PSI indicated in your manual. Additionally, you might consider replacing the air in your tires with nitrogen. My Service Advisor explains: by using nitrogen the molecules are larger than oxygen molecules. Seepage is thus reduced through the tire walls and where the tire meets the rim. Any moisture in the tire is also eliminated, which can affect inflation.

Questions about using nitrogen vs air in your tires? Check with one of our Service Advisors at your next Express Lane Service visit – no appointment needed!

Or, Schedule your appointment today…. CJDR Greenwood location / CJDR Indianapolis location / Toyota Scion location.

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

Read Full Post »

Fall is quickly approaching! The crisp days of fall offer an excellent opportunity to focus on preventive maintenance for your vehicle. Our seasonal service recommendations will help to prepare your car for the months ahead, so add a few minutes to your fall car care routine and make sure it’s ready before the cold sets in. Doing so will help it run better, last longer and retain its value, while providing safe and reliable transportation for you and your family.

So, about the time that our clocks “fall back”, you need to take care of what I like to call the “four b’s”:

  • Brakes – Does your car take a little longer to stop? Do you feel a slight pull to one side or a wobble in your seat or steering wheel when you brake suddenly? Do you hear any squeal or squeak when braking? Sometimes the squeak is due to the accumulation of brake pad ‘dust.’ This is normal for many vehicles. Just hose out your wheels as thoroughly as you can. (It’s best to allow to dry before driving.) If that remedies the squeak, good. If not, or you have any questions about your braking system’s performance, just bring your vehicle in and we’ll be happy to check things out for you.
  • Battery – more batteries fail in cold weather than any other time of year. It takes more power to start a cold engine, and cold also decreases the available cranking power the battery has available. Batteries don’t always die slowly. They can fail without warning, too.
  • Belts –Inspect engine belts for cracking and pliability. If they are rigid, they should be replaced. Hoses deteriorate from the inside out; test them for spongy, brittle or bulging areas. Not sure about the condition? To make it through the winter problem-free, schedule an appointment for an inspection!
  • Blades – Examine wiper blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. In addition, wipers tend to build up a thin layer of grime during the summer that keeps the rubber blade from contacting the glass, which could result in smeared windshields and poor visibility.

In addition to inspecting my “four Bs,” a fall maintenance checkup may include: changing the oil; checking the radiator fluid levels; inspecting or replacing the oil filter and the air and cabin filters; inspecting the heating and exhaust systems; balancing and aligning the wheels; topping off all fluids; examining lights to make sure they work and that headlights are properly aimed; and rotating the tires, making sure to check the tire pressure and inspect the treads for wear.

Schedule your appointment today…. CJDR Greenwood location / CJDR Indianapolis location / Toyota Scion location.

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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So, what does this light mean? The “check engine” light is part of your car’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. Since the 1980’s, computers increasingly have controlled and monitored vehicle performance, regulating such variables as engine speed, fuel mixture, and ignition timing. In some cars, the computer also tells the automatic transmission when to shift. When this onboard diagnostics system finds a problem that it can’t correct, the computer turns on a yellow warning indicator that is labeled by either “check engine,” “service engine soon,” or “check powertrain.”

Don’t you wish the alert could be a little more specific? Nope, it can’t. Unfortunately, the check engine light comes to life if anything, and I do mean anything isn’t 100% under the hood. This means that you could be staring at a major repair; or, your gas cap could be too loose (no kidding).

The most common problems that trigger the light are emission control malfunctions. The emission control system is what your car uses to try to keep our air a little cleaner. Here are a few of the more commonly occurring issues:

  • Your gas cap isn’t on tight enough. — Obviouosly, if this is what triggered the light, this is an easy enough problem to fix. Tighten the gas cap, and usually after 4 normal “global starts and cool downs”, the light will go off. (In layman’s terms: Drive the car as normal and after it has been driven 4-times, with the car being shut off and the engine gets cold between the starts / equals a “global start”)
  • Your engine got wet where it didn’t like it — Any electrical burp under the hood can cause one of your car’s gazillion sensors to take a funny reading. When it does, you can expect to see the Check Engine light. More common than rain water getting in there is the overzealous owner who sprays his engine down at the high pressure car wash, shooting water into every crevice of the engine, thus lighting the light.
  • Your spark plug wires are bad — As your spark plug wires start to get old, they may develop tiny cracks which can let little bursts of electricity out. This electricity was supposed to be going to a spark plug, and since it didn’t, the engine will misfire slightly, meaning one of the spark plugs didn’t spark enough.

What happens when I ignore the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT or put off the recommended service? There are two kinds of CHECK ENGINE LIGHT alerts. A non-flashing, but lit CHECK ENGINE LIGHT, is usually a less severe problem that shouldn’t cause immediate problems but needs to be checked as soon as possible. There is also a flashing and illuminated CHECK ENGINE LIGHT means your vehicle senses a critical system error (such as a major cylinder misfire ) and you need immediate attention before potentially breaking down and possibly damaging other critical and expensive parts. In this case, continuing to drive can lead to further damage rather quickly or can leave you stranded.

Bottom line; when the “check engine” light comes on, It’s like someone saying “My leg hurts a little,” or “I get out of breath when I climb stairs.” A doctor — or, for your car, a mechanic — still has to figure out what’s really causing the problem.

Schedule your appointment today…. CJDR Greenwood location / CJDR Indianapolis location / Toyota Scion location.
Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

Read Full Post »

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