Car Care Tips from Bridgestone

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I recently had the opportunity to visit beautiful Arizona, which is my new happy place by the way, to learn about some new Bridgestone tire products...and boy did I learn a lot! I'm ashamed to admit that anything to do with our cars is usually the hubs' department. But the fact of the matter is, I'm in my car without my husband more often than I'm in it with him and it's my responsibility to know the ins and outs of my own automobile...and that includes what tires I drive on, as well as the car care that's required to keep it in safe working order.

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I wish everyone could spend a few days with Bridgestone. I walked away with so much helpful information, as well as an amazing test track experience, about which tires would match my needs and the realization that while I heavily researched my last car purchase to make sure it fit all my wants, I didn't put any time into the tires that came with said car, which is kind of crazy when you think about it.

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Tire safety is just as important as airbag and side impact safety. If something goes wrong on the road, we should want our tires to be top notch! Am I right? And sure you want your car to be fuel efficient, but did you know tires play into that as well? The Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus tire is a great one to consider if fuel efficiency is important to you for instance. And did you know that with Bridgestone Driveguard tires you can drive on a flat tire at up to 50 mph so you can get yourself to a safe place? That really appeals to this mama who drives around with such precious cargo! With a growing family and a potential mini van purchase looming, you can bet I'll be paying much more attention to tires this time around.

So, let's talk some more about car care...I had the chance to ask Gozde Shipman, Store Manager at Firestone Complete Auto Care in Las Vegas some important questions about car care...I hope they help you as much as they did me!

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Q: What are some important things that you think people neglect when it comes to caring for their cars?

A: Generally the smallest things that get ignored will result in the biggest costs. That one small drip of oil you see on your driveway could one day lead to engine damage due to lack of oil. Or, the smallest amount of battery corrosion can eventually lead to replacement of the connectors or even battery cables.

Getting familiar with the basics is the easiest way to keep your car running newer, longer. That's where we come in. We’re more than happy to perform a free courtesy check and then go over the basics with you: how to check the air filter, tire pressure and wear, and fluids.

Q: Can you give us some top car care tips for busy moms?

When you’re out and about, the last thing you want is to be stuck on the side of the road. You can avoid the tow truck by becoming familiar with your car. Don't be afraid to open up the hood and take a look! Locate your air filter, engine oil dipstick, brake fluid reservoir, power steering fluid reservoir, coolant reservoir, radiator hoses, battery and belts.

An easy thing you can do to make sure your car is in good condition is to check your oil level. The proper way to check the oil level is to pull the dipstick out, wipe it clean and re-insert it to see the level. If the oil level is low, schedule an appointment to have it checked out as soon as possible. Overfilling the engine with oil will cause more harm than good, so don't try to top it off yourself.

Do a visual inspection of your battery. If there is corrosion, it will look like white or blue/green shaving cream has built up. Your local car care professional can easily clean your battery posts and spray the battery with a protective film.

In general, follow the vehicle manufacturer's scheduled maintenance service. That is the best way to keep your car in tip top shape.

Q: What sort of maintenance should we be focusing on to keep our tires in optimum condition?

A: We like to remind drivers to inflate, rotate and evaluate. To check inflation, you can use a tire pressure gauge to make sure your tires have proper pressure. You can find the recommended pressure right on the inside of your vehicle’s doorjamb. Properly inflated tires wear better and will give you better gas mileage. Also, if you bring your car to us, we’re happy to check your tire pressure free of charge.

Rotate and balance your tires every six months or 6,000 miles, or according to manufacturer recommendations, by taking your car to an auto care center. While you’re at it, have your alignment checked. Vehicles with alignment issues tend to waste more fuel and create uneven or premature tire wear. This is also a good way to keep your suspension inspected on a regular basis to avoid future problems.

Evaluate your tread depth to make sure you have enough traction to grip the road. The penny test is a simple way to do this. Just place a penny upside down in your tread. If any part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you’re good to go. If not, it’s time for new tires.

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were provided with travel and accommodations to attend the event.

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