Levin Learn Blog
- Levin Learn Blog
Is the brake light on your dashboard illuminated? If so, your vehicle is trying to tell you that there’s something wrong with the braking system.
Your vehicle’s brake light might activate for a number of reasons. The simplest cause is that the parking brake isn’t fully released. If the light remains illuminated after the parking brake is disengaged, your car could have a more serious issue.
Every time you drive, you press the brake pedal up to a 100 times. With each push, your brake pads are working hard to stop a vehicle weighing about 2 tons. These pads slowly wear down, so maintaining them is extremely important.
A brake fluid leak or hydraulic pressure loss can also activate the brake light indicator. Both problems require immediate brake service. Leaks can contaminate other components of your brake system, and cause a low brake fluid level that results in brake failure.
What should you do when your brake light comes on?
If you’re on the road, ensure your brakes are still stopping your car. If you notice a severe lack of brake pressure, pull over safely and have your car towed to a trusted mechanic.
Your braking system is one of the most important safety mechanisms in your vehicle, and should be in good working order at all times.
How will Levin fix the problem that’s causing the brake light to display?
A Levin Tire and Service Center certified auto technician will thoroughly inspect your brakes. After we diagnosis the problem, we’ll bring you into the shop and show you what repairs are needed. We encourage you to ask questions to learn more about your vehicle. At Levin Tire, we’re dedicated to educating our clients about brakes so they can spot potential issues before they become costly to fix or make a vehicle dangerous to drive.
As part of our brake repair service, we turn rotors to extend their life and replace them when needed. Our brake service also comes with a 24 month/24,000 mile warranty.
If you suspect your brakes may need to be replaced, be sure to have them inspected right away. Delaying simple fixes can lead to more costly repairs down the road. Drive in to one of our Levin Tire and Service Center locations in Indiana today!
- Levin Learn Blog
Many drivers think a leak is the major cause of an underinflated tire, but there’s another contributor – the weather.
When the temperature drops in the cooler months, air contracts, and molecules get closer together. This reduction in volume causes tires to lose pressure – they drop 1 pound for every 10 degree drop in temperature.
Just like oil changes and sparkplug replacements, routine tire maintenance keeps your vehicle roadworthy. That’s why it's important to check your tire pressure regularly, especially in the winter months.
Underinflated tires drastically increase braking distances and affect both handling and steering. Plus, under-inflation causes irregular wear, which can cost you more money than maintenance. In worst-case scenarios, underinflated tires can overheat, which might lead to blowouts.
Underinflated tires have more surface contact with the road, which means more rolling resistance and friction – all contributors to poor gas mileage. Under-inflated tired also wear faster, which means you’ll need to replace your tires sooner.
How to Check Tire Pressure
To achieve proper tire pressure:
• Use the inflation pressure guide recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Check your owner’s manual or inside your vehicle’s doorjamb for this information.
• Remove the cap from the tire valve.
• Quickly place the open end of your gauge over the tire valve stem and ensure that the gauge’s measurement component is completely inside the tire valve.
• Once the measurement stick shoots out, read the number on the far right of the stick, which is your tire pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). (Digital tire pressure gauge readings will give you an accurate estimate of the pressure on the output screen.)
• Repeat this procedure 2-3 times on each tire for accuracy.
• Repeat this process for all 4 tires (and the spare, if you have one).
Bring your vehicle to a Levin Tire location and we’ll check your tire pressure and add air – for free! Contact us at 800-475-5005 for more tire maintenance tips.
- Levin Learn Blog
Regular automotive maintenance goes a long way towards improving the dependability and safety of your vehicle. In honor of Fall Car Care Month, the Car Care Council recommends 10 maintenance procedures to ensure your car is functioning properly before winter arrives:
1. Check fluid levels, like oil, brake, transmission and power steering as well as antifreeze/coolant and windshield washer solvent.
2. Check belts and hoses to ensure they’re not cracked, loose, frayed or have excessive wear.
3. Check the battery. Ensure the connection is tight and clean, and replace the battery or its components if necessary.
4. Check the brakes every year and have the rotors, linings and drums inspected with each oil change.
5. Check the exhaust system for damage, leaks or broken supports, especially if you hear an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks are dangerous and should be addressed immediately. Drive in or have your car towed to a convenient Levin Tire location.
6. Check the engine to ensure it’s delivering the best fuel economy and balance of power and producing low emission levels.
7. Check the HVAC system every year since proper cooling and heating is critical for both interior comfort and safety, like defrosting.
8. Check the suspension and steering system every year, like the struts and shock absorbers.
9. Check the tires, like tread and pressure, and have them rotated. You might need a wheel alignment if Levin detects uneven wear.
10. Check the lighting and wipers so you can see and be seen. Ensure that all lighting, both inside and out, is working properly. Replace old wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving through rain, snow and ice.
Visit Levin Tire, your trusted Northwest Indiana auto service center, this October for a comprehensive vehicle inspection and tune-up.
The team at Levin wishes all drivers in our communities a happy and safe fall!
- Levin Learn Blog
Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for kids. About 40 million trick-or-treaters between the age of 5 and 14 hit the streets annually – and where children go, safety concerns follow.
According to Consumer Reports, more kids get hit by cars on Halloween than any other night.
Children are enjoying experiences and sensations that are fun, but also highly distracting. Parents and drivers alike can take specific steps to keep our community’s kids safe while trick-or-treating this Halloween.
• Children 12 and under shouldn’t be alone at night without adult supervision. If your children are older, remind them to stick to well-lit, familiar areas and trick-or-treat in groups.
• Cross the street at corners, using crosswalks and traffic signals where available.
• Have children carry flashlights and reflective gear to help them see and be seen by drivers.
• If you can’t walk on a sidewalk, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
• Watch for vehicles that are backing up or turning. Teach children not to cross between parked cars and to never run out into the street.
• Stay particularly alert between 5:30pm to 9:30pm, which are peak trick-or-treating hours.
• Drive slowly and expect heavier pedestrian traffic. Turn your headlights on before dusk to spot kids from a greater distance.
• Eliminate distractions while driving so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
• Look for children at intersections, curbs and medians.
• Drive slowly in residential areas.
At Levin Tire in Northwest Indiana, we want our community’s drivers to stay safe not only on Halloween, but year-round. Consider getting a tune-up at one of our locations this month to ensure your car is functioning properly.
The team at Levin Tire wishes you safe travels this Halloween!