How to Protect Your Vehicle from the Florida Sun

Summer is quickly approaching and temperatures are rising. While you’re protecting yourself by lathering on the sunscreen and donning a wide-brimmed hat, you might also want to consider how to defend your vehicle from the Florida sun. Our team at Rivard Buick GMC in Tampa is here to offer some helpful tips.

Protect your Buick or GMC vehicle’s interior by avoiding direct sunlight. Park in the shade whenever possible. And though it might seem like a hassle, placing a sun visor in the front and rear dash will significantly reduce internal temperatures.

Consistent washes will prevent your car’s exterior paint from cracking and fading. You should also regularly wax your car to help protect it from the sun’s harsh rays. You might even consider investing in paint protection film for optimal exterior armor.

Extreme heat can negatively affect your tires and systems under the hood, too. Check your tire pressure often to help prevent a dangerous blowout on the road.

Our expert service techs are available to inspect any make or model’s belts, hoses, battery, and A/C — systems that can take a beating during the hottest summer days. We’re also available to top off fluid levels such as oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid if needed.

Visit us at Rivard Buick GMC when you’re ready to prep your vehicle for the summer heat.

Choosing the Right Motor Oil for Your Vehicle

It’s common knowledge that oil changes are an important part of car care. But what type of oil is right for the particular model that you drive? Here are a few pointers for choosing the right motor oil for your vehicle. However, we recommend starting with your vehicle’s owner manual to see which type of oil the automaker recommends for your particular make and model.

Primary oil types for your car

Conventional oil is the most economical choice when the time comes for an oil change. It’s comprised of crude oil that’s been refined during the manufacturing process. Synthetic blend oil is oil that has fewer impurities due to chemical engineering processes. Though once more common for performance vehicles, it’s now a pretty common engine oil that many newer models were designed to use.

Two other options you can go with are synthetic blend and high mileage oil. The former is a combination of conventional and synthetic that’s a cheaper alternative if you don’t need synthetic but want something a step up from conventional oil for your ride. High mileage oil can be pricier than synthetic but can be worth the expense if you want to extend the life of an older vehicle. This oil type has additives that not only boost engine performance but also prevent leaks and restore seals to keep your well-traveled car running smoothly.

Two more tips about oil changes

Oil type isn’t the only thing to consider when it comes to oil changes. Check your car’s owner manual to see what viscosity grade the oil you go with should have. And make sure to check the manual for the automaker’s recommended oil change frequency, since some vehicles might need more frequent oil changes than others.

Still not sure which engine oil your car needs? Or simply want to save yourself some time and avoid the mess? Contact Rivard Buick GMC in Tampa Bay, Florida, to schedule your vehicle’s next oil change.

Five Reasons Why Your Car Needs an Oil Change

car needs an oil changeWe all know that maintenance is an important part of car ownership. Unfortunately, many of us neglect it—often because we don’t realize how important such maintenance is. To shed some light, here are five reasons why your car needs an oil change.

  1. Clean

    . One job the oil does is help keep your engine clean. It will collect any dirt and debris that gathers there. However, over time, this causes your oil to break down and turn into sludge. Regular oil changes prevent this from happening.

  2. Cool

    . All the moving parts in your engine create a lot of heat. The oil helps maintain a safe operating temperature by drawing out some of the heat.

  3. Lubricate

    . As the metal pieces in the engine move, they create friction. To prevent them from seizing up, they need to be lubricated with oil.

  4. Improve Engine Health.

    By following the recommended oil change schedule in your owner’s manual, you can help ensure a long life for your car. Whenever you go too long between oil changes, it can rob your car of some of its potential life.

  5. Maintain Efficiency.

    A dirty engine has to work harder, which causes it to run inefficiently.

If you have fallen behind on your car’s maintenance, schedule an appointment here at Rivard Buick GMC to get caught up.

Summer Car Maintenance Tips

Summer Car Maintenance
Summer Car Maintenance

If you are making some summer road trip plans, you need to make sure your car is ready for the road, too. Here are a few tips on summer car maintenance to help you stand up to the heat.

  • HVAC. There is almost nothing worse than having your A/C go out while on a road trip. Get your system thoroughly inspected and repaired, if needed, before you hit the road.
  • Battery. Summer heat can wreak havoc on your car, especially on the battery. Have your battery tested to make sure it won’t give out on you when you need it most.
  • Tires. Your tire pressure will fluctuate with the changing temperatures. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. In addition, inspect your tires for any signs of extreme wear and check the tread depth.
  • Windshield wipers. Your windshield wipers should be replaced every six months or so. If yours are leaving streaks, stuttering, or have cracks, it is time to replace them.
  • Brakes. If your brake pads are getting thin, you may want to consider replacing them before starting a road trip, especially if this trip will include any mountain driving.

If you need any service done on your car this summer, schedule a service appointment with us here at Rivard Buick GMC.

Spring Cleaning for Your Car

Car CleaningHere are a few tips to help you with spring cleaning for your car.

  1. Throw away the trash. Open up all the doors and your trunk. Bring along a trash bag and a box. Put the trash into the bag and anything you want to keep into the box.
  2. Wipe down hard surfaces. Starting from the top down, clean all the hard surfaces in your car.
  3. Vacuum. Remove the floor mats. You can give these a good beating to remove the caked-on winter grime and then vacuum them. Vacuum all the carpeting and seats.
  4. Clean the upholstery. If you have leather seats, be sure to use the correct cleaning product and wipe down the entire seat. For cloth seats, spot-clean as needed.
  5. Power wash the floor mats. (Optional). If you floor mats and still incredibly dirty, get out your power washer or hose and spray them down. Be sure they are completely dry before you put them back in your car.
  6. Wash your car. Once the inside is spic and span, it’s time to whip the exterior into shape. Don’t forget to clean from the top down. For the underbody, you can run through an automatic car wash.

Once your car is all clean, take it out for a drive to enjoy its dirt free state.