Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Tips to Help You Drive Safely at Night

2016 Chevy Impala

While driving is dangerous in general, it can be truly so when night falls. Vehicles already impair our vision with their structures, creating blind spots, but these blind spots get significantly worse when you drive at night. To help make up for our lack of sight when the sun sets, here are a few tips to help your night driving:

Dim your interior lights. While it’s important to know how fast you are going and your engine temperature, it’s okay to dim your dash lights. For some reason, this never occurs to many people. The glare from the dash lights can dramatically diminish your view of the road.

Keep your windshield clean. Clean your windshield regularly clean, both inside and out! Make it part of a weekly maintenance routine.

Aim your headlights. A lot of people also don’t know that they can aim their headlights. Do your research to find the adjustment screw and park about twenty feet from a flat white surface, like a closed garage door. It takes some finesse to get them properly aimed. You’ll know if you’ve got them aimed too high because everyone will be flipping their brights at you!

See if you need glasses. Get your eyes checked! Occasionally, a person may have fine sight and only need glasses to drive at night.

In the end, if you don’t particularly like driving at night or you are not comfortable with it, try to do all of your driving during the day! At Bradshaw Automotive, we want you to be safe while driving on the road, day or night!

Why Do You Need to Change Your Oil?

Oil Change

Oil plays a key role in the life of your vehicle, affecting everything from lifespan to fuel efficiency. 50 years ago, you would have needed an oil change every 500 miles. Fortunately, that isn’t the case today but you still need to change your oil on a regular basis. Today, many automakers suggest changing the oil every 7,500 to 15,000 miles, just to ensure your car keeps running smoothly

Oil does three major things within the engine block. First, it lubricates the metal parts that are constantly grinding together to create motion. Second, it draws away some of the heat produced by friction between metal parts. Third, it carries away shavings, dirt, and grime, preventing carbon and varnishes from building up.

When oil goes unchanged, it can lose its viscosity, increasing the chances of engine damage. Because of this, not changing your oil can be costly in the long run. Carbon deposits and sludge can come out of old oil, as a result of carbon buildup around the cooler parts of the engine. When this occurs, it can only be solved through an expensive engine cleaning or replacing worn piston rings.

If you go too long without changing your oil, the pistons could seize entirely and the camshafts could take damage. That would lead to some hefty bills for replacement parts that no driver wants to pay, so make sure you change your oil on a routine basis. Let our service department help you with any of your service related needs here at Bradshaw Automotive, including getting your oil changed!

Things You Should Keep in Your Car in Summer

Driving

If your car breaks down in the summer, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar area, you’ll want to have a car that’s stocked with essentials. Here are some items you should always keep in your car.

1: Food and water! Keeping some snack bars in your glove compartment and a case of water in the trunk could save you while you’re waiting hours for a tow truck to find you, especially on a hot day.

2: A quart of oil. Most people don’t check their oil as often as they should, and if your oil starts to get low when you’re in the middle of a long drive or you start having car troubles, having a quart in the backseat can save you from a disaster.

3: A cell phone charger if your car supports it. Today a cell phone can get you out of just about any situation—you can even make emergency calls when you’re out of range. If you break down, you will want your cell phone.

That’s just a few of the things you should keep in your car during the summer. Check your fluids and drive safe, and hopefully you’ll avoid a breakdown!  Tell us at Bradshaw Automotive what other things you think we should keep in our cars as well in the comments below!

Summer Car Maintenance Tips

Summer Road Trip

You know it’s summer when it hits 90 degrees, and your car knows it too. Taking care of a car in summer requires a slightly different approach than in the milder months or even in winter, especially since summer is the most popular time of the year to take road trips.  This makes it even more important to take care of your vehicle in hot weather.

One of the most important things you can do is keep track of your tire pressure, since it changes with the weather. Under-filled tires can cause an easily avoided blowout, and overfilled ones can decrease friction with the ground.  This can cause sliding or other potential dangerous situations on the road.

Your car is most likely to overheat in the summer, so it’s one of the most important times in the year to regularly check your fluids. Make sure your motor oil and coolant are topped off, especially before taking any road trips. You can also keep your car cool by parking in the shade and using your air conditioning if you have it.

We hope these summer car maintenance tips are helpful to you and keep you safe on the road this summer!  Tell us at Bradshaw Automotive if you have any other helpful tips for taking care of your car in the heat!