Levin Learn Blog
- Levin Learn Blog
The radiator and the coolant (antifreeze) within it are the essential components of your vehicle’s cooling system. The antifreeze circulates through the engine to keep it from overheating when you’re driving. It also prevents the engine block from freezing and cracking when the temperatures dip.
As the coolant circulates through the engine, it can pick up particles of dirt and other debris. As contaminants collect, the fluid can’t work as well. It can even become acidic and start corroding your engine parts. This is very bad, and very expensive to fix. You should have the cooling system flushed regularly to keep it working properly and prevent expensive repairs down the road.
Most vehicle manufacturers recommend flushing the cooling system every 24,000 to 36,000 miles, which works out to every two or three years, depending on your driving habits. (If you do a lot of driving in hot climate, dusty regions, you’ll want to change it more often. Most drivers in Merrillville, Indiana won’t have to worry about that.)
You can drain, flush and refill the radiator yourself, but many vehicle owners are intimidated by this kind of automotive maintenance. That’s where your Merrillville Levin Tire & Service Center location comes in. Our ASE-certified mechanics will drain the coolant, flush the system of any remaining contaminants, and refill the radiator with new coolant. We’ll even dispose of the old coolant according to environmental regulations.
Call the Merrillville location at 219-200-4659 to get a quote and set an appointment for a radiator flush today.
- Levin Learn Blog
You know it’s a good idea to have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle, but according to CarMax, only 24% of drivers actually have one.This checklist will help you assemble a winter driving emergency kit quickly and easily.
This checklist will help you assemble a winter driving emergency kit quickly and easily.
- Road flare or reflector triangles
- Sturdy, compact snow shovel
- Kitty litter
- Battery-powered radio
- Flashlight + batteries
- Hand warmers
- Change of clothes, including hat, coat and gloves
- Bottled water & non-perishable food
- First-Aid kit + any essential medications
- Tire chains
- Tow strap
- Jumper cables
- Fully inflated, full-size spare tire
- Tire jack
- Space blanket
- Strike-anywhere matches
- Small fire extinguisher
Road flares and reflective triangles will warn on-coming motorists of your position. The shovel will help you clear snow away from the tires and get unstuck if you run off the road, and the kitty litter will give you traction on slippery slopes.
The radio will keep you abreast of any changes in the weather and alert you to the availability of emergency services. The flashlight will illuminate a dark vehicle if your battery dies and give you visibility for repairs.
Hand warmers will keep your fingers nimble for repairs and make sure you’re comfortable while you’re hunkered down. If you get wet or sweaty while working on the vehicle, you’ll be glad to have clean, dry clothes.
Bottled water and non-perishable food will keep you satiated until you get rescued or make the repairs needed to get back on the road.
The first-aid kit will help you attend to minor injuries sustained in an accident. Tire chains and a tow strap will help you get out of a ditch if a passing motorist or rescue vehicle arrives to help. Jumper cables will help jumpstart a dead battery.
A flat tire is, at best, inconvenient. But donut spares don’t work great in the snow. The full-size spare is what you want in the winter, and you’ll need a tire jack to make the change.
Space blankets are made from a reflective Mylar fabric designed to reflect body heat back onto the wearer to maintain body temperature.
Strike anywhere matches will help you build a fire if necessary and the multi-tool will come in handy in more ways than you can imagine.
The fire extinguisher enables you put out any small fires that occur in an accident.
Click the image above to load our full winter emergency kit checklist for download.
- Levin Learn Blog
We’ve had record-setting winters in this region over the last few years. That means it’s more important than ever to make sure your vehicle can take everything Mother Nature throws at it.
Proper preventative maintenance will ensure that your vehicle doesn’t breakdown on the side of the frozen highway.
Winter Car Care Checklist
Cold temperatures are hard on batteries. Check your battery and charging system to make sure it starts right, every time.
Make sure you have enough antifreeze. The cooling system should be cleaned and flushed every two years. Align this with the first dip into the 30s so you’ll always remember.
Check wiper blades for rubber corrosion. Replace them at least once a year—every six months is better—to maintain good visibility.
Check tire tread depth. If they’re measuring less than 5/32”, they won’t handle as well in the snow. Winter tires typically have a deeper tread than all-season tires. If you do a lot of winter driving, consider getting winter tires.
Check your tire pressure every week. Tire pressure drops 1 PSI for every 10 degree drop in temperature.
Use the right oil weight. Colder temperatures can make oil more viscous and reduce engine efficiency. A winter weight oil will lubricate the engine better.
Check lighting inside and out. Replace any dead bulbs and make sure headlights are properly aimed.
This short video from CarCare.org covers these tips and a few additional tricks that will help you get through the winter safely.
Your Levin Tire & Service Center locations can take care of your winter car checkup. Call the location near you to make an appointment today.
- Levin Learn Blog
Defrosting your windshield can be a hassle, especially on freezing Indiana mornings.
Here’s a lifehack that will save you time and keep you from getting frostbite. All you need is:
- a spray bottle
- 70% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
- tap water
Put 1/3 cup of water to your spray bottle, then add 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol. Swirl the bottle to combine the liquids. Don’t worry if the bottle starts to feel a little warm. This is normal. Cap the bottle with the nozzle.
Spray the mixture over your windshield, making sure to cover the entire surface. If the ice is thick, let the mixture sit for a moment, run your wipers or scrape it off, and reapply the mixture until your windshield is clear.
Check out this video to see how well this really works and try it out tomorrow!
- Levin Learn Blog
Antifreeze, also referred to as coolant, is a 50/50 mixture of water and glycol, which lowers the freezing point of the water. In cold environments, antifreeze prevents a cracked engine block. In hot environments, antifreeze prevents engine overheating.
Antifreeze also prevents corrosion of essential engine and radiator components.
Cooling system failure is a leading cause of vehicle breakdowns. To keep your cooling system in good working order, automotive repair experts recommend a complete system flush every 30,000 miles or every two to three years, whichever comes first.
In between cooling system service, check your coolant level once a month to make sure it’s between the full and minimum marks. If you’re running a little low, pull into any Levin Tire & Service Center location for a complimentary top off.