Summer Maintenance Tips For Your Car

summer maintenance tips - salem, OR

Whether you’re staying at home or going on a big road trip this summer, keeping up with servicing your vehicle is crucial to the health of your vehicle. Here’s some summer maintenance tips for what you should be paying attention to.

Tires

While the colder months can do a number on your tires due to hazardous weather conditions and low temperatures, summer’s heat can also affect them. Hot pavement pops tires easier and the warm weather can cause them to overheat, so keep an eye on your tires’ health.

Coolant

The engine needs to keep cool in the summertime, so make sure there’s plenty of engine coolant and that other parts of the system, such as hoses, are in proper working order.

Air-Conditioning

If the engine needs to keep cool, so do you. It’s a good time of year to have your HVAC system checked out (that’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) to prevent getting overheated and dehydrated on the open road.

Essential Fluids

Make sure all your fluids besides coolant are topped off, too. Oil, brake fluid, and even wiper fluid could all be in need of a routine change, a refill, or a checkup.

Wipers

Summer may mean hot sun at the beach, but it also means big thunderstorms. Stay prepared for downpours by investing in a pair of brand-new windshield wipers.

If you need any extra help besides these summer maintenance tips, don’t hesitate to call us here at Withnell Dodge.

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How to Do a DIY Oil Change

DIY Oil change - salem, OR

Need an oil change? You can save yourself a few bucks and do it yourself! You don’t have to be an expert on cars to perform your own DIY oil change.

Run your car engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil. This helps the oil flow faster. Also, before you remove the drain plug, unscrew the oil cap from under the hood of your car in order to prevent a vacuum from forming.

To prepare, use a jack to raise your vehicle enough to work underneath it and slide a drain pan underneath the oil plug. Make sure you’re wearing gloves to protect your hands and prevent a mess, then remove the plug with a socket wrench and allow the oil to drain.

You can then change the oil filter while you’re waiting for the oil to drain.

Once the oil has been drained, all you have to do is replace the drain plug before refilling it. Make sure you have the proper type of oil and amount as per your owner’s manual, and pour it into the oil cap before replacing it.

That’s all you have to do to perform a DIY oil change. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us at Withnell Dodge.

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Dashboard Lights and Meanings

Dashboard light meaning

If you notice a light come on your dashboard while you’re driving, it’s important to know which ones mean something dangerous so you can react quickly. Here are some of the most urgent dashboard indicator lights.

One dashboard indicator light to look out for is the coolant temperature warning, which means that your engine is overheating. If you see this, pull over as soon as you can and immediately turn on the heat to full blast so you can let some of the heat out of the engine.

It isn’t as urgent, but if you see the check engine light come on, you should get to an auto parts store and ask them to diagnose it for you as soon as possible. The check engine light often means something minor, but it could be a serious engine problem, and if you wait to get it checked out, you might wish you hadn’t.

The oil pressure warning is another light to keep an eye out for. It means your oil pressure is low, which can be hard on your engine, so pull over when you can and check the oil pressure. If it’s dangerously low, you don’t want to drive on it.

These are just a few dashboard indicator lights you should know. Give us a call at Withnell Dodge today to find out more about dashboard lights.

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Used vs. Certified Pre-Owned

Certified vs. Used

If you’ve ever wondered the difference between a used car and a car that’s certified pre-owned, you’re in luck! Just read our easy explanation on used cars vs. certified pre-owned cars. The easiest way to understand is to know that all certified cars are used, but not all used cars are certified.

Used cars are cars that have been owned or leased by another driver and now they’re being sold at a lower price. Used cars are a great choice for drivers on a budget because they open up more options to you than new cars, they’ve skipped the big depreciation period so you get more return on your investment, and they have lower associated costs like insurance.

Certified pre-owned cars are cars that meet certain criteria and go through an inspection so that they can be guaranteed to be like new. If a vehicle is certified pre-owned, it must have under a certain mileage and not be older than five model years. CPO cars are inspected by dealership technicians and have old or damaged parts replaced with new factory original parts.

Certified pre-owned cars are slightly more expensive than used cars but come with a lot of benefits like warranties and roadside assistance programs. If you have the money to spring for a CPO, check it out! Ask about our collection of used and certified pre-owned vehicles at Withnell Dodge today.

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How to Change a Tire

Change a tire | Withnell Dodge

Now that winter is over, you might find that your tread is wearing low or your tires are damaged and you need to replace them. Or you learned it the hard way and you’re stranded on the side of the road right now. Either way, here’s a helpful guide on how to change a tire.

Steps to Change a Tire

Changing a tire is a simple process if you have the right tools. You’ll need wheel wedges to keep the car from moving, a jack, and a lug wrench. First, you need to push the wheel wedges up against the wheels so they don’t move. Then take off the hubcap or wheel cover if the nuts are covered up.

After that, take your lug wrench and start loosening the nuts around your wheel, but don’t take them off all the way. Next, you want to use the jack to raise your car up so that the wheels are six inches off the ground. If you aren’t sure where to put the jack or how to use it, check your car’s owner’s manual.

Once the car is up, unscrew the nuts the rest of the way and take them off. Now you should be able to jimmy your tire off. Put the new tire in its place, and reverse the process from there—screw nuts on until they’re hand-tight, then lower the jack until the wheel just touches the ground. Use the lug wrench to screw the nuts as tight as you can.

Finally, lower the jack all way to the ground and make sure the nuts are as tight as they can get. It’s a good idea to check the new tire’s pressure when you do this. If you need any more help with changing a tire, let us know at Withnell Dodge!

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River Rock Concert Series: What We Know So Far

River Rock concert series | Uncle Kracker | Withnell Dodge

The annual River Rock concert series will start back up this July 13 after a rousing success last year. Withnell Dodge is proud to have been involved with the series and loved the chance we got to engage with the community, and we can’t wait to see what River Rock serves this year.

Last year’s River Rock series featured artists Uncle Kracker, The Junebugs, and St. Lucia. This year’s lineup will be announced sometime this month, so keep an eye out! Last year prices ranged from $10 to $25, with a bundle for all three shows at $39, and children under 10 were admitted for free. No prices have been released for the 2017 shows yet, though.

The concerts are held at the amphitheater in Riverfront Park in downtown Salem, and tickets can be purchased online or locally at several banks in the area and right here at Withnell Dodge when they become available! Last year doors opened at 5:30pm with first come, first serve festival seating, so get there early! Feel free to bring a picnic, chairs, and anything else you need to be comfortable (besides your pets). The concerts will go on rain or shine, so grab an umbrella and a poncho and head out to Riverfront Park!

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What is a Ram Power Wagon?

Ram Power Wagon

2017 Ram Power Wagon

There’s little down the Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 are capable in their own right, but they aren’t optimized for true off-road adventures. While they’ll perform well when tackling dirt, mud, and snow, they tend to struggle heading up rocks and traversing hefty snowbanks. Fortunately, the Ram Power Wagon is ready to fill the gap for those in search of an all-encompassing, all-terrain truck.

What’s the difference?

The Ram Power Wagon is designed to go beyond where the road ends. Standard features include a massive 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine that delivers 410 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque, a disconnecting sway bar, and front and rear lockers. Coil springs offer a comfortable ride and the off-road suspension ensures no unexpected jolts, even on harsh terrain.

Rock crawling, open desert, and snowbanks are no match for it. Where other trucks falter, the Ram Power Wagon prevails.

Why would I want it?

The new Ram Power Wagon mainly appeals to drivers who want the full capability of a truck off-road. There are few limits factors that the Power Wagon can’t push through, making it a great truck for a weekend getaway. That’s not to mention the thrilling roar of the engine and peace of mind knowing that nothing will damage this tough truck’s durable exterior.

Check out the Ram Power Wagon at Withnell Dodge! You won’t be disappointed.

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Ram Truck Special Editions

Ram Truck Special Editions

Ram 3500 Night special edition

The standard Ram truck models are incredible, to say the least. Incredible capability meets classic, muscular style to create an unmistakable truck. Still, some drivers design a little more customization in their truck. Well, the Ram truck designs have heard their pleas. There are plenty of Ram truck special editions to choose from for the 2017 model year.

2017 Ram Night

The Ram 1500 Night special edition brings flat black badging, an available sport performance hood, and a Mopar Performance Cat-Back Exhaust System.

The 2017 Ram 2500 Night special edition boasts bold 20-inch black-painted aluminum wheels. Available black badging and a black leather-trimmed sport bench offer a design no competitor can match.

The biggest of the bunch, the Ram 3500 Night special edition brings a black-slotted grille and flat black badging. Drivers can add an all-black interior to complete the look as well.

2017 Ram 1500 Sport

Stand out in the 2017 Ram 1500 Sport Copper special edition. The exclusive Copperhead Pearl Coat paintjob and black hood stripes are sure to attraction attention near and far.

Limited to just 2,000 units, the 2017 Ram 1500 Sport Ignition Orange special edition brings a sport performance hood, racing stripes, and black badging. As one would guess, the truck comes in an exclusive orange paintjob.

Contact us here at Withnell Dodge at (877) 303-1959 to inquire any of the wonderful Ram truck special editions!

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Everything You Need to Know About Car Tire Maintenance

Car Tire MaintenanceCar tire maintenance is important to maintaining a comfortable ride and also the safety of you and your passengers. Here are some pointers.

Tires Last Five to Ten Years: Five years is a good rule of thumb for when you should start checking your tires for wear, but if you drive well and keep good care of your vehicle’s tires, they can last up to ten years without needing to be changed.

Rotate Every 5,000 to 8,000 Miles: Every tire on your vehicle carries a different amount of weight, which causes them to wear differently. In order to maintain a balanced drive and help your tires last longer you should have them rotated about twice a year.

Practice Good Driving Habits and Proper Maintenance: Proper maintenance includes rotating regularly and keeping tire pressure at the recommended amount; meanwhile, driving habits like sudden braking and speeding will wear your tires more quickly, so be aware of your driving it you want to extend the life of your tires.

Inspect Your Tread Depth: How do you tell if your tires need to be changed? You can check the tread depth of your tires with a tread depth gauge or with a penny. To do so with a penny, just put Abraham Lincoln upside-down in between the treads of your tires; if they’ve worn down enough that you can see the tip of his head, you need a change.

As we head into winter, car tire maintenance is more important than ever on slick roads, so be careful! Get more car maintenance tips here!

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What to Do When You Have a Dead Car Battery

Dead Car BatteryUh-oh—you’ve got a dead car battery. Wondering what to do now? You have a lot of options whether you’re prepared with a charger or jumper cables or simply need to call for help.

Jump Your Battery: Jumping your battery will require enlisting the help of someone else – a neighbor, friend, co-worker, anyone with a car you can use to revive your own vehicle’s dead battery. Park the vehicle nose to nose and connect the jump cables to the battery terminals, and allow the rescue car to run for five or so minutes – however long it takes to get your car running again.

Use an AC Charger: You can find chargers at auto parts shops for around $40 or so, and they’re handy to keep around in case of emergency. You can use a charger to charge a dead or weak car battery in a pinch.

Call a Towing Shop or Roadside Services: If all else fails, a towing service might be able to help, but they’ll need to tow your vehicle back to the shop before they can do anything. If your vehicle’s manufacturer offers free roadside assistance, you might want to take advantage of that, too.

A dead car battery is more common in the winter because of the freezing cold temperatures, so make sure you keep these helpful tips in mind.

If you need to make a service appointment, schedule one here or call Withnell Dodge Service Department at (888) 716-2258.

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