Helpful Hints & Tips

This page contains information to help you properly maintain your vehicle. Regular Service & Maintenance will not only result in Better Performance, Greater Fuel Economy and Increased Personal Enjoyment but also Higher Resale Value when it comes time to trade in your vehicle for a new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Ram vehicle.

What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

Your vehicle is a complex machine. Beneath its sculpted exterior, thousands of parts work in tandem to deliver world-­class performance. Maintaining this level of performance requires that you become as familiar as possible with some of your vehicle's most important parts. These Hints & Tips will help get you started.

Oil Changes

Oil changes remove contaminants like carbon and metal from your engine. If you leave these contaminants there, they can slowly damage your engine and result in expensive repairs. This is why regular oil changes are important.

How Often Should I Check My Oil?

It is important to check your oil between oil changes too. Your Owner's Manual recommends that you check your oil each time you stop for gas. If your oil is below the ADD mark, always top it off.

What Happens If I Run Out Of Oil?

If your engine runs out of oil, it will seize and you may need to replace the entire engine. It's also worth knowing that any engine damage that results from lack of oil usually voids your warranty.

But how often should I have my oil changed?

It largely depends on your personal driving conditions. The majority of Canadian vehicles require more frequent maintenance due to many contributing factors. Check the list on the Vehicle Maintenance page to see if any or many apply to you.

Brakes...Trouble Ahead?

We rely on our brakes to keep us out of trouble. Yet most of us know relatively little about how to look after them and how to recognize that they need attention. Here are some warning signs.

  • Squealing Noise - If you hear a high-pitched noise while you are driving and without applying your brakes, it is usually a sign that your brake pads are worn down and need replacing.
  • Grinding Sound - A metal-on-metal grinding sound usually means your brake pads are completely worn. This will damage your drums or rotors and markedly reduce braking effectiveness.
  • Vehicle Pulling To One Side - If your brake linings are worn or uneven, it can cause your car to pull to either the right or the left when you brake.
  • Why Do I Have To Pump My Brakes? - If you have to pump your brakes to stop your car, there could be a number of reasons. It may be a leak in the brake system, air in the brake lines or you may need a brake adjustment.
  • Why Is My Warning Light On? - If your brake system warning light is on, you possibly have a hydraulic system malfunction. If your ABS light is on, the anti-lock system is not functioning.

If you notice any of these warning signs or if you have any other concern about your brakes, ask your Service Advisor immediately.

How Can I Look After My Brakes?

You should check your brake fluid once every month. Look for the brake master cylinder behind the steering wheel. You should be able to see the fluid level through the transparent tank. Brake fluid depletes very gradually so if you notice a sharp drop get your brake system checked.

Steering Warning Signs

Problems with your steering occur gradually, so pay attention to small changes in the way your car handles, especially when you turn the wheel. If you notice any of these warning signs, ask your Service Advisor immediately.

  • Growling Noise - If your steering growls when you turn the wheel, your power steering fluid may be low. You may have a leak in the power steering hoses or pump.
  • Whining Noise - If your steering whines when you turn at slow speeds, it may be caused by low power steering fluid.
  • Squealing Noise - If you hear a high-pitched squeal, your drive belt is likely to be slipping on the power steering unit.
  • Moaning Noise - If you hear a moaning noise when you turn the wheel, your power steering pump may be about to fail.
  • Difficult To Steer - If you have too much play or looseness in the steering, it may indicate worn parts.
  • Steering Pulling To The Left Or Right - Your suspension may be out of alignment. Unequal tire pressure may also be the cause.
  • Steering Wobbling - Your tires could be the problem. Check to see that your tire pressures are the same and inspect your tires for any damage. If you feel vibrations through the steering wheel, a tire may be out of balance.
  • Steering Suddenly Heavy - If it takes more effort to turn the wheel, you may have lost your power steering belt or run out of power steering fluid.

How Do I Look After My Steering?

Outside of your scheduled maintenance visits, you should check your power steering fluid once a month. We will check your steering components at every maintenance interval.

Tire Pressure & Your Safety

If your tires aren't inflated to the correct specifications, they can be dangerous and cause an accident. Here is why the correct tire pressure is so important for your safety.

What If My Tire Pressure Is Too High?

If your tire pressure is too high, your tires are over-inflated and have less contact with the road. This gives your tires less grip and traction, so it decreases your braking power and increases your effective stopping distance. Over-inflation also increases tire wear in the centre portion of the tread and exposes your tires to damages from objects on the road and potholes. Your ride won't be nearly as comfortable either because your tires are "bouncing" on the road.

What If I Have Uneven Tire Pressure?

If your tire pressures are not equal, your car will pull to the left or the right. You will feel this pull through your steering wheel.

What If My Tire Pressure Is Too Low?

Now you have the opposite situation and too much of your tire is in contact with the road. This makes your tire hot and may result in overheating. In the worst case scenario, this may cause tire failure. Under-inflation also increases tire wear on the tread at the edges and decreases your fuel economy.

What Is My Correct Tire Pressure?

Your recommended tire pressure is indicated on the door jamb of your vehicle. This is the ideal pressure for the tires when used on your specific model vehicle. Note: The pressure on the tire wall is the maximum allowable air pressure, not the recommended pressure. Make sure to check your tire pressure once a month. At the same time inspect your tires for uneven or unusual wear.

Nitrogen Tire Inflation

Why Use Nitrogen?

Nitrogen is becoming a popular replacement for standard air in motor vehicle tires because of the amazing benefits it provides.

What Makes Nitrogen so Special?

It is exactly what nitrogen 'isn't' that makes it such a beneficial inflation medium. Nitrogen is an inert gas, so by definition, it is 'nothing', and that is exactly what you want in your tires: nothing, except proper inflation.

The air we breathe is about 79% nitrogen. The reason air is such a poor inflation product is that it also contains about 20% oxygen. While oxygen is essential to human survival, it is harmful to just about everything that is not a living organism.

While air is not ideal for tires, compressed air is even worse. Running air through a compressor typically adds trace amounts of oil and particulate, as well as water vapour...none of which are recommended for a tire.

So, simply put, nitrogen is air that has been cleaned and stripped of all particulate, oil, water and oxygen, leaving an inflation medium that is pure...and stays put.

The Benefits of Nitrogen

  • Maintain proper/safe tire pressure
  • Extends tire life by up to 30%
  • Improves fuel economy
  • Improve braking and handling
  • Stabilize tire pressure during temperature fluctuations
  • Reduces wheel & rim corrosion
  • Reduces the chance of tire failure by up to 50%

What is so bad about Oxygen?

Oxygen is a component of water and the catalyst of oxidation (rust, corrosion and rot). Without the presence of oxygen there is no opportunity for rust or corrosion to occur or condensation to form.

Additionally, and more importantly, oxygen has a very small molecular structure. So small that it is normal for air-filled tires to lose 1/3 psi/month from permeation (the process by which oxygen molecules in compressed air seep through the tire wall).

Nitrogen on the other hand, has a very large molecular structure greatly reducing the pressure loss from permeation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Nitrogen

Q. Is nitrogen explosive or a hazard?

A. No. Nitrogen is an inert, non-combustible, non-flammable, non-corrosive gas. Nitrogen is very safe!

Q. Will nitrogen affect the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on my vehicle?

A. Yes. Nitrogen will help to maintain proper inflation of your tires and reduce the number of faults detected by the TPMS.

Q. Do I still need to check tire pressure?

A. Yes. But, you should find the tire pressure to be more consistent. We offer FREE tire inflation top-ups in our MOPAR ExpressLane.

Q. What about my spare tire?

A. You should certainly inflate your full-size spare tire with nitrogen to assure proper inflation when it is needed.

Q. Can I add regular air to my tire?

A. Yes. If you ever have to add regular air, in any amount, simply return to the dealership at your earliest convenience and have us purge and refill the tire with nitrogen.

Batteries...Know Before they Fail

How do you know when to replace your car's battery? Because its life varies according to the type of vehicle you drive, the geographical region you live in, and your individual driving habits, it is impossible to specify hard and fast replacement intervals. However you can monitor your vehicle for signs that your battery may be about to fail.

Here are the most common warning signs:

  • Your starter motor is slow to turn over.
  • Your battery light stays on while your engine is running.
  • Your battery loses power fast in cold or extended starts.
  • Your headlights dim when the engine idles.
  • The charge indicator on your battery is yellow or black.

During winter, the number of battery failures increases four-fold. If your battery is more than 2 years old (many battery warranty periods are 3 years), ask us to test your battery and charging system before you have a failure and still have warranty coverage.

Depending on the results, you may choose to replace your battery before it fails. Ask our MOPAR ExpressLane Advisor about a FREE Battery Test.

Wiper Blades & Driving Safety

Wiper blades can be a safety hazard if they become damaged or worn. They impair your visibility and consequently reduce your reaction time in the event of an accident. Yet, wiper blades deteriorate so gradually, it is often difficult to notice. So how can you tell if your blades need replacing?

"Wiper blades should be changed every 10 to 15,000 km."

Inspect your windshield for these signs:

  • Oil-like film
  • Missed sections
  • Blades lifting off the windshield
  • Beading after the blade passes
  • Blades chattering across the glass

Inspect Your Wiper Blades For These Signs:

  • Cracked, split or slashed rubber
  • Worn, ragged edges
  • Road grime, chemical-causing film or other contamination
  • Torn rubber pulling away from the blade
  • Bent or cracked wiper arm or wiper blade
  • Lost flexibility in rubber

How To Replace Your Wiper Blades:

  1. Gently lift the wiper arm and rotate the blade at the pivot.
  2. Pinch the release tab on the wiper blade and slide the blade assembly out from the hook and out of the wiper arm.
  3. Slide on a replacement blade of the same length.
  4. Gently push until locking tab clicks into place.

How To Look After Your Wiper Blades:

  • Wipe off any buildup of road grime, chemicals and salt from the rubber edges of the blade with a sponge or a soft cloth and a mild cleaner.
  • Every time you clean your windshield, remember to quickly clean your wiper blades too.
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