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Must Haves For Your Summer Road Trip

Road Trip

Make Sure You Are Ready For Anything With These Road Trip Must Haves.

Summer is a great time to take a road trip, whether by yourself or with loved ones. These little adventures are a lot of fun and can be fun to plan for. Before you head out, you want to make sure you have everything covered and packed to be sure your trip is fun, safe and that you are ready for anything. At West Side Tire & Automotive, we have compiled a short list of important items that many people forget when packing for their trip.

Summer Road Trip Essentials

Destination Information:  If you have a set destination, make sure you have both your GPS programmed and print out directions as well. While this may seem redundant, In some more rural areas, your cell phone or GPS may lose signal so your printout is your back up. Always make sure your accommodation information is on hand too! If your trip is a bit more relaxed in planning, keep your GPS or cell phone charged in case you need to find accommodation or a route.

Snacks: There is nothing worse than getting on the road and then getting a bit hungry. Finding convenience stores can be difficult at times and you can find yourself passing exits with nothing nearby. Pack snacks you like and that will keep, like jerky, trail mix, dried fruit and more. It is also crucial to pack water as hydration is very important during these months.

Entertainment: After a few hours, the excitement of the trip can wane after staring at the long and open highway. If you have a group on the road trip, plan some games and entertainment to keep everyone’s spirits up! Consider trivia games and group visual games. Make a playlist to set the mood of your road trip and have everyone sing along. If your trip is two people or less, you can also keep entertained through podcasts, audiobooks, and even magazines.

Emergency Kits: There are two kinds of emergency kits you will need to ensure your trip is safe. First aid is crucial in the event someone is injured. Make sure you have band-aids, alcohol wipes, pain reliever, and any medicine you may need on this trip If you do not have an available box to store them in, place them in a baggie. The next kit you will need will be your road emergency kit. You can buy a pre-prepared one at your local auto store which comes with road signs, gloves, jumper cables and more.

Before you head out for your summer road trip, getting your car inspected and maintenanced can ensure your car is ready for anything as well! West Side Tire & Automotive is always available to offer you professional repair and service for your car in Jersey City, NJ. Call 201-433-5123 today to schedule your pre-road trip service!

What To Expect During Your Vehicle Inspection

Every state requires regular vehicle inspection to ensure that it’s safe to drive and isn’t polluting the air with use. While each state has differing details, most general processes and requirements are the same throughout the country.

We Will Perform Your Inspection Conveniently and Professionally.

Vehicle Inspections Promote Safe, Healthy Vehicles on the Road.

What to Bring

When you get ready to have your vehicle inspection completed, the mechanic will need to verify your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. This is so that the state can confirm that you are driving legally and maintaining financial responsibility.

What Will be Checked

During your vehicle inspection, each of your key systems will be evaluated. A mechanic will check your outer safety equipment including lights, blinkers, wipers, and horn. You will also have your car’s system components checked. The mechanic will address yo9ur exhaust system, test and examine your tires and brakes, check your steering and suspension, and check your fluids, belts, and hoses.

Fees, Follow-Ups, and Extras

The fee for vehicle inspection is $39.75 which includes both inspection and registration fees. If your vehicle doesn’t pass inspection, your mechanic will deliver a report of items that need to be repaired. There is no minimum time limit on inspections, so as soon as your vehicle is repaired, it can be reinspected.

While not always convenient, vehicle inspection is necessary to keep your vehicle legal and out of trouble. When you’re looking for honest, dependable inspection services in , NJ, call the West Side Tire & Automotive experts today at 201-433-5123. Our experienced mechanics will guide you through your inspection process for a convenient, hassle-free experience.

Signs You Have Issues with Your Car’s Brakes

It’s imperative that your car’s brakes get regularly maintained. When maintenance for brakes is put off, they can lead to a lot of problems. If you think you have issues with your car’s brakes, keep reading below to see if your brakes are having these problems.

Brake Light Comes On

Signs You Have Issues with Your Car's Brakes

There Are Signs To Determine If You Have Issues with Your Car’s Brakes.

The most obvious sign that indicates that you have issues with your car’s brakes is when the brake light comes on. When this light comes on your dashboard, it’s a clear sign that you need to take your car in for servicing.

You Hear Grinding Noises

Any types of noises like grinding or squealing can be a sign that your brakes are in need of repairs. Metal against the rotor is most likely what’s causing your car to squeal or making a grinding noise when you step on the brake pedal.

Braking Causes Vibrations

Typically, you shouldn’t feel anything when you brake. However, when something is wrong with your rotors, it can cause the brakes to vibrate or cause the steering wheel to shake.

Pedal Sinks to the Floor

The feeling of pushing on your brake pedal and it’s soft or sinks to the floor is definitely not normal. When your brakes feel soft or sink to the floor when you brake, there might be moisture or air in the system.

Your Car Is Leaking Fluid

Our car’s use a lot of fluid in order to make them perform, but if your brake pedal is soft and you have noticed leaks, it’s probably due to your brakes needing to be serviced.

Call West Side Tire & Automotive today at 201-433-5123 for brake service in Jersey City, NJ.

 

April Showers Bring Stranded Drivers

Spring is here! Flowers are blooming… and rain is pouring. April marks the beginning of storm season, which can result in flooded roads, flooded cars, and stranded drivers. Avoid this dangerous situation by following these safety tips.

In a Heavy Storm Emergency

When visibility gets too bad, pull over to a safe spot to wait it out. Turn off your engine but leave your hazard lights on so passing cars don’t hit you. Don’t park under anything that could be toppled over by strong winds, like poles or trees.

If caught in a hail storm, cover yourself and face away from the windows to protect yourself from shattering glass. 

In a Lightning Storm Emergency

Avoid flood and storm damage to your car by reading our preventive and emergency tips!

In a lightning storm, if a building is close by, run inside. If not, KEEP YOUR HANDS IN YOUR LAP UNTIL THE LIGHTNING IS OVER. Touching the radio or any other electrical outlet in your car can cause you to get electrocuted as the lightning passes through your metal car. Unplug your phone from its charger before using it.

In a  Flash Flood Emergency

People often get stuck in flash floods because rainfall suddenly turns heavy and doesn’t stop. Just one foot of water can cause a large SUV to stall and float away. The best way to escape in a flash flood is to roll your window down, climb through it, then wade through the wade to safety. If you can’t engage the automatic windows, find an emergency escape tool like an umbrella or something sharp that can pierce glass.

If your car or car windows becomes damaged in a storm in Jersey City, NJ, call  West Side Tire & Automotive at 201-433-5123 for professional repairs.

3 Good Driving Habits To Keep in Mind

Are you looking for ways to be a safer driver every day? If so, this article is for you! Today we will go over 3 daily habits that safe drivers live by:

No Distracted Driving

car maintenance

Taking care of your car is an important safe driving habit!

One of the best habits any driver can work on is paying attention to the road. This means no form of distracted driving, whatsoever. This means no texting, obviously, but it also refers to other distractions as well. If you ride with a pet in the vehicle, it is safer to have the pet comfortable restrained by a lead or a barrier, both for their safety, and yours. Children can also be distracting, so providing children with a properly-sized car seat as well as something to do can increase safety and lower the amount of distractions in the car.

Obey Street Signs

Another great habit is to observe and follow all street signs. This includes the speed limit, as well as detour and other warning signs. Being alert to changes in the flow of traffic is essential when driving, particularly through construction zones.

Take Care Of Your Vehicle

The habit where many drivers fall behind is in regards to taking care of the vehicle. If you want your vehicle to last for a long time, you need to maintain it. Most importantly, cars that undergo maintenance are safer on the road!

To learn more about safe driving habits, come visit us today, or give us a call at 201-433-5123!

 

Never Ignore Your Check Engine Light

It sometimes seems as though that check engine light is useless. Most people have had the light come on and worried over it, only to find out that there’s nothing seriously wrong. It can be irritating; plus, having any warning lights on in your car can be irritating in general. It means that you have to find time to get to the shop and have it checked out, if it’s not something small that you can handle alone. No matter how annoying, you should never ignore your check engine light.

Common Check Engine Light Causes

Engine and Oil Lights

Don’t Ignore Your Check Engine Light

There are a few small things that your engine light could indicate. For example, a loose gas cap might trigger your engine light. This is because a loose gas cap might affect your emissions. Your car just wants to warn your about your overall system. Something like this you can handle yourself. To learn about what items you can check and potentially fix yourself, check your car manual. Or, you can ask your mechanic about it, and to show you what to do.

Of course, your check engine light can indicate some much more serious problems. Hopefully, you take good care of your car, overall, and so you catch problems well before your car sensors might. However, items like your exhaust system, your catalytic converter, your spark plugs, and some other details in your engine and exhaust system can also trigger your engine light. All of these can potentially be hazardous if left alone.

As frustrating as the check engine light in your car can be, don’t ignore it. Check the small details if you’re able, and bring your car into the shop if you’re not. Call West Side Tire & Automotive in Jersey City, NJ, at 201-433-5123. We perform all sorts of car repairs and will figure out why your engine light is on.

Start the New Year with New Tires

Yet another new year will soon be upon us. It’s a chance to make things better than they may have been in the previous year, or years. It’s also an opportunity to start fresh, and that applies to both big things and little tasks. For example, you might consider getting new tires.

New Tires for New Mileage

Car Tire in Snow

Start the New Year with New Tires.

If you drive much throughout the year–to work each day, out on the weekends, on vacation, etc.–those miles add up. Your mechanic will inform you of when your tire treads are getting low, that is, if you take your car in for maintenance as often as you should. It’s true that your tires are meant to last for many miles, but they do need to be replaced, eventually, and too many people avoid getting new tires because it’s yet another item on the to-do list.

Save Yourself and Your Money

However, when your tires are worn, the sooner you replace them, the sooner you’ll be able to drive more miles safely. Driving on worn treads is dangerous; it can lead to an uncontrollable blowout on the highway. Then, you may have really expensive repairs on your hands. But, if you have those tires replaced at the start of the year, then it’s one less thing to worry about for the rest of the year.

Bring your car to us this new year. Let us perform maintenance, put on new tires, and have your car ready to get back on the road for the rest of the year. Come see us for auto and tire services in Jersey City, NJ, or call 201-433-5123.

A Working Car Heater in Winter

Winter is coming. How is your car heater doing? There are few things more frustrating in the world of car maintenance than turning on your car in the cold weather and discovering that your heater doesn’t work. You don’t have to wait until then to find time for professional car heating services. Have an automotive professional check your vehicle system today and have a working car heater in winter.

Dials in Car for Temperature

Have a Working Car Heater in Winter with the Help of Professionals.

Common Car Heater Problems

It is normal to experience car temperature system difficulties suddenly when the season changes. A sharp, sudden fall in temperature can affect your car’s battery, lower tire pressure, and freeze various fluids. When you turn on your car and crank up the heater, what happens? Common car heater problems include no air circulation at all, cool air coming from the vents, and immediate, hot gusts of air.

If the air is moving, but there is not heat, that means that your motor is probably fine, but the heating core is not. The vehicle’s heater functions like a radiator. Hot anti-freeze fluid moves through the core so that the air moving over it gets heated. If you have air without heat, the antifreeze isn’t moving through the heater properly.

If you have no air and no heat, then you entire vehicle heater system may be malfunctioning. Your car’s blower and motor are not circulating air. This could be the result of a blown fuse, an electrical problem, dirt and dust in the motor, and more. The best thing to do is have your heater inspected immediately by an automotive professional.

Let us be your trusted automotive professionals at West Side Tire & Automotive. If you’re struggling to have a working car heater in winter, call us immediately at 201-433-5123.

Engine Health and How to Achieve It

Engine CareYou love your vehicle. You wash it, maintain it, change its oil, and make its payments. But did you know that proper engine maintenance can increase your vehicle’s life by up to double? We have created a list of the most crucial engine maintenance tips to keep your engine healthy and running at its best.

Filters, Filters, Filters!

We put this as the first item on our list because it’s really that important. Your filters allow air and fluid flow through your engine and other systems without letting in debris that could cause harm to your vehicle. When these filters are clogged, they don’t allow proper flow which chokes your engine and deprives it of the fuel, lubricant, or air that it needs to work. Keeping your fuel, air, and oil filters changed regularly helps your engine work less and can extend its life by years.

Change Your Spark Plugs

Typically, your spark plugs are changed in a regular tune-up service. However, if you change your oil and filters yourself, you should be aware of when it’s time to change your spark plugs. These plugs are directly related to your engines starting and acceleration power through the electric spark they provide. Replacing your spark plugs on time will help your engine maintain proper combustion which keeps it running smoother and with better gas mileage as well.

Maintain Fluid Levels

Your vehicle cannot run without the proper fluids which deliver important benefits to the mechanics of the engine. The oil in your car works as a lubricant for your engine, resisting any wear or deterioration from friction and high heat. Similarly, the coolant system in your car provides a cooling system for your engine that keeps it from reaching degrading temperatures. When your vehicle is operating on too little fluid, the right amount of protection isn’t offered and your engine can begin to deteriorate earlier than it should. Keeping your fluids at optimal levels helps your engine operate seamlessly and resist breakdown.

Your vehicle is the second biggest investment you will ever make. Ensure it lasts as long as it should by keeping your engine healthy and running efficiently. For more tips on how to maintain your vehicle properly, or if you need engine maintenance, call the Westside Tire and Automotive professionals at 201-433-5123 today.

Benefits of Regular Tune Ups

How long has it been since you brought your car into the shop for a tune up? Tune ups involve changing filters and spark plugs. It is recommended you complete this every 30,000 to 60,00 miles. If your car is ready for a tune up, call the experts at West Side Tire & Automotive and schedule your appointment at 201-433-5123.

Why is a Tune Up Important

Old Spark Plugged Changed During Tune Up

Don’t Wait Until Your Car Stops Running. Come In Today for a Tune Up.

Now, you might be wondering why tune ups matter. You may feel like your car runs just fine. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that your filers or spark plugs don’t need to be changed. Regular tune ups provide excellent benefits that save you money.

Better Gas Mileage
Cars that have dirty filters and bad spark plugs get less miles per gallon. By maintaining your car and getting the spark plugs and filters changed, you can improve your gas mileage and save money at the pump.

A Longer Lasting Car
There are few things as frustrating as dealing with an unreliable car. If you take the time to regularly maintain your car, you will ultimately have fewer problems with your car.  Your car will also last longer.

Increased Value to Your Car
If you ever plan on selling your car, maintaining it properly is a great way to get the most money back on it. If you keep good records of your regularly scheduled maintenance, your car could be worth more money to someone interested in buying it.

Call us today

Don’t wait! Start saving money on your car today and schedule your tune up at West Side Tire & Automotive. Call us today at 201-433-5123.