corn roastedNothing says summer like a corn roast, and nobody does it better than the Highland Rotary Club.

This year’s Highland Rotary Club Corn Roast is scheduled for August 5th from 4:00 – 7:30pm.

This annual event – held at Main Square in Downtown Highland, Indiana – is one of our favorite community events of the year, and not just because of the delicious food.

All proceeds from the event will be donated directly to Highland Schools and the Highland Police & Fire Departments, as well as several charities, including:

• Hearts in Motion
• Polio Plus
• Dollars for Scholars

Tickets for the event are just $6 in advance and $8 at the gate. Your ticket gets you all the corn you can eat, a choice of two hot dogs or one sausage, plus sauerkraut, dessert and a choice of soda or water.

RSVP for the event here and purchase your advance tickets at Levin Tire Highland, Highland Chamber of Commerce, or Cakes By Karen.

Hope we see you there!

fotolia 38692373If you’ve been driving a car for more than a few years, it’s probably been drilled into your head to change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. It’s habit for most of us to change our oil this often, but oil technology has vastly improved over the last decade and we don’t have to change our oil as often now.

Changing your oil too frequently not only adds up in cost over the years, but it also adds thousands of gallons of contaminated oil to the waste cycle. So changing your oil less frequently is an environmentally friendly practice!

According to Edmunds, the majority of automakers today call for oil changes at either 7,500 or 10,000 miles, and the interval can go as high as 15,000 miles in some cars.

“Among 2013 models, the majority of automakers call for oil changes at either 7,500 or 10,000 miles based on a normal service schedule, more than double the traditional 3,000-mile interval. The longest oil change interval is 15,000 miles for all Jaguar vehicles. The shortest oil change interval is 5,000 miles in some Hyundai and Kia models with turbo engines and Toyota vehicles that call for non-synthetic oil. Toyota has been shifting its fleet to 10,000-mile oil change intervals using synthetic oil.”

AAA cautions, however, that those extended oil change periods assume that drivers are following the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil type and service intervals for their vehicle. Always check your vehicle owner’s manual for oil type and service interval information.

When you pull in for an oil change, tell your technician what your vehicle manufacturer recommends are, but also let him know what your planned driving habits are for the coming months. For example, if you’re going to be traveling long distances in high-temperature areas or towing summer sporting equipment, he may recommend a synthetic oil for this service, which will better protect your engine under these extreme conditions.

You can always go back to conventional oil in about 7,500 to 10,000 miles.

Synthetic Oil LevinWe’ve all done it. We suddenly realize we can’t remember when we last changed the oil in our vehicle, so we pull into the most convenient oil change shop and choose the least expensive option they offer.

But you could be doing your vehicle and its engine parts a disservice.

While it’s a safe bet to choose the type of oil recommended in your owner’s manual, the more costly synthetic oil change will perform better under extreme conditions.

Benefits of Synthetic Oil

• Maintains integrity under extreme heat
• Lubricates engine components better
• Has good purity
• Won’t become sludgy
• Extends the period between oil changes

If you’re driving long distances in high temperatures, such as a summer road trip in the desert, or towing a boat or other summer fun toys, you’ll benefit from synthetic oil’s integrity under extreme heat. Just know that opting for a synthetic oil change doesn’t mean you have to stick with synthetic forever. You can certainly go back and forth between conventional and synthetic oil as your driving habits dictate.

If you’re driving an older domestic model, your owner’s manual likely says that conventional oil is fine. But if you’ve racked up a lot of miles over the year, a semi-synthetic or full synthetic will better lubricate your engine components and reduce sludge formation to help you keep that car running well for several more years.

High-Mileage Oil

Popular Mechanics says that nearly two-thirds of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer. Internal seals and gaskets can become brittle and shrink as they age, which allows oil to seep through. This can lead to leaks that stain your garage floor or leaks into the combustion chambers which burn the oil.

High-mileage oils, typically a semi-synthetic blend, are specially formulated with seal conditioners that increase the flexibility of hardened seals to reduce seepage. These formulas also have a higher viscosity and a higher dose of anti-wear additives to prolong the life of your engine components.

This video will answer any questions you have about choosing between conventional and synthetic oil.

When in doubt, consult your vehicle owner’s manual and talk with your trusted service technician about what’s best for your vehicle and your driving habits.

Oil Filter LevinThe short answer is yes, but we want to explain why.

While many vehicle manufacturers recommend changing the oil filter every other time you have your oil changed, this practice is left over from the long-held 3-months or 3,000 miles oil change schedule. It also helps vehicle manufacturers keep their total-cost-of-ownership calculations lower.

But most of the vehicles on the road today can go from 7,500 to 10,000 miles between oil changes, which means that filter has worked through its useful life by the time you pull into the shop. If you don’t change your oil filter at every oil change, you’re starting out with no less than a quart of contaminated oil already in your engine. And the whole point of an oil change is to remove contaminated oil.

What Does the Oil Filter Do? 

The oil filter keeps grit, grime and other debris from entering your engine. When the filter has collected all of the debris it can hold, oil can’t flow thorough it anymore. While oil filters feature a bypass valve that lets oil continue to pass through into the engine when the filter is clogged, that oil is unfiltered, so dirt and debris are also getting into the engine.

Oil filters are also a good indicator of engine conditions. If you’re curious about what’s inside your oil filter, ask your technician to cut it open and check for any larger particles or metal shavings that could indicate a problem with your engine.

So next time you swing into a Levin Tire & Service Center location for an oil change, ask us to change the filter, too.

Tire Safety Week Levin TireYour tires are the only part of your vehicle connected to the road. They affect your stopping distance. Impact the handling. Absorb shock. In short, your tires are the most important safety feature on your vehicle.

Think about that for a minute.

Now think about the last time you checked the air pressure. Measured the tread depth. Replaced them.

Michelin was right – there is too much riding on your tires to ignore them. This week is National Tire Safety Week, so we’ve compiled a few tips for you to use to keep tabs on your tires.

Do a Visual Inspection of Your Tires
Check for obvious signs of damage like bare spots, visible threading, goose eggs and uneven wear patterns.

Check your Tire Pressure
Use a quality tire pressure gauge. We like the digital ones because they’re easy to read. Make sure the tire pressure in all five of your tires (check the spare, too) align with your vehicle owner’s manual. Do this before you start driving for the day, though – the pressure in the owner’s manual is for cold tires.

Tires that are overinflated will wear primarily in the center, which can reduce your stopping distance considerably, especially in wet conditions. Underinflated tires will wear along the edges, which can lead to a blowout if you hit a pothole just right. Low tire pressure can also compromise your fuel economy.

Take your Tires for a Spin
If your steering wheel is pulling or vibrating, there may be an alignment issue or your tires may be underinflated on the side to which the vehicle pulls.

Check the Tread Depth on Your Tires
Have a quarter in the cup holder? Insert it into the tread, head first. If you can’t see the top of Washington’s head peeking out, they’re in good shape with at least 4/32” of tread. You can try this test with a penny, too. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.

Keep Up with Routine Tire Maintenance
Keeping up with the routine maintenance on your tires is the best way to ensure they’re always safe. Have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Get them balanced if you notice vibrations at higher speeds. And get the alignment checked if you notice the car pulling to one side.

During National Tire Safety Week, which runs from May 29 – June 4, all Levin Tire and Service Centers throughout Northwest Indiana are offering free tire inspections. We’ll check the tread depth and the air pressure, look for signs of wear, and take them for a spin to identify any handling problems.

If you need new tires, we offer a full range from economy tire to top-of-the-line models that will keep you safe on the road and even improve your driving experience.