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Frequently Asked Service Questions at Graff Chevrolet Durand

At Graff Durand, we’re here to make your vehicle service experience positive and seamless. We know vehicle service comes with a lot of questions. This section of our website is here to help you better understand your vehicle and its service needs all in one place! Below you’ll see service categories like Tires, Brakes, Oil Changes, Wiper Blades, Under the Hood, and General Car Care to click on for easier navigation. Feel free to use this page as a resource, and don’t hesitate to give our Service Department a call for any further questions at (866) 529-1655.


What is the main cause of tire damage?

Improper inflation can be a main cause of damage to your tires, however there are other situations like an object puncture or a faulty tire that can cause a flat tire or tire damage. We recommend regularly checking the air pressure in your tires to ensure proper inflation. If you need your tires checked, inflated, or repaired bring it by Graff Chevrolet Durand and we’d be happy to take care of it for you.

When should my tires be replaced?

Improper inflation or lack of tire rotations on a regular schedule can cause uneven tread wear. Any noticeable or irregular tread wear or abnormal bulges or wear on the tire’s sidewall could be a sign your tires need to be replaced or at the least evaluated. A simple way to test your tire’s tread at home is the popular “Penny Test”. Check out our FAQ about Tire Tread Testing below to try it for yourself. If you have any concern regarding your tires, you should have your tires checked.

How do I check my tire’s tread?

An easy and popular method to check your tire’s tread is the “Penny Test”. Follow the steps below on your tires to determine if you may need new tires.

  • Place your penny in the lowest tire tread grooves with the head of Lincoln pointing downward or upside down.
  • Move the penny along the groove.
  • If at any point in your tire’s tread Lincoln’s head isn’t covered by the tread, it means your tread is extremely worn and your tires aren’t equipped well enough to grip the road properly.

If you discover uneven tread or feel that you have “bald tires” you’ll want to have your tires inspected by our service experts to evaluate whether you need to replace them. Having good tire tread is especially important in inclement weather, so make sure to regularly check.

Why is it important to have the correct tire air pressure?

Having the correct air pressure in your tires helps you save on fuel, can help enhance your handling of the vehicle and can help extend the life of your tires. If you aren’t sure of the correct air pressure for your tires, you can find the recommended PSI in your owner’s manual or on the sticker in your driver’s side door. You can use a tire gauge to check yourself or bring your vehicle into our service center to have checked.

How do I know what the correct PSI is for my tires?

Your vehicle’s recommended PSI (pounds per square inch of air pressure) for it's tires is typically listed on a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door or in your owner’s manual. Make sure to use the PSI listed on the inside of the door or owner’s manual and not the one listed on the tire itself as it’s the max PSI which can change the handling characteristics of your vehicle and decrease the life of your tires. Suggested PSI is usually between 30-35 PSI for optimal tire performance. If you’re unsure about the PSI measurements, consult our expert tire techs at Graff Chevrolet Durand.

How long can I drive on a spare tire?

Every situation is different, but try not to drive over 50 miles in distance on a spare tire and never drive over 50 mph as a spare is not built to withstand what a regular tire can. Getting your tire replaced or patched is a simple fix that we at Graff Chevrolet Durand would be happy to take care of. Getting it done as soon as possible is necessary for your safety on the road.

How often should I get my wheels aligned?

Properly aligned wheels means optimal performance, proper fuel-efficiency, even wear, and cost savings in the long run. Road conditions like potholes, driving on dirt roads, and regular driving wear can affect your vehicle’s tire alignment, which can in turn affect the wear on your tires. If the conditions above sound similar to your regular driving circumstances, then it can be wise to get a tire alignment every other oil change to extend the life of your tires. Additionally, if you have a new set of tires installed on your vehicle, you’ll also want to have an alignment performed.

Why are tire alignments important?

Routine tire alignments are important because they ensure your tires remain perpendicular to the road and parallel to each other, which will allow even tread wear and better handling overall. With the proper tire alignment and tire pressure you can improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, and you can drive confidently knowing you are safe because your vehicle won’t pull to one side or another.

How often should I have my tires rotated?

We typically recommend that you rotate them every other oil change. Having your tires regularly rotated will help extend the life of them by creating even tread wear.

Why does my tire light go on when it’s cold outside?

The sensors in your tires are designed to signal the tire light to go on when PSI measurement is below normal. Cold air naturally compresses, meaning the air in your tires will too, which causes the PSI measurement to decrease. This is why sometimes you’ll notice the light will go off during the daytime when air temperatures warm up. If your tire light is illuminated, you can bring your vehicle into our service center to ensure your tires are inflated to the optimal level. Having your tires properly inflated also means optimal fuel efficiency.

How do I know what kind of tires to choose?

If you need a full set of new tires, you can ask for the same brand that you had before or ask about new tires. If you didn’t like the tires you previously had, we can help you explore the tire types to find the right tires that fit your needs and budget. If you’re replacing just one or two tires, you should match the new tires as close as possible to the other tires you already have for the best handling and even tread wear.


Where can I find the size of my wiper blades?

Each vehicle requires a certain wiper blade size, sometimes two different sizes for each side. You can find the wiper blade size in your owner’s manual, online, or simply by asking our service technicians.

How do I know what wiper fluid to use?

The most common form is already diluted and ready to pour into your tank, while the other form is a concentrate you need to dilute with water. Whichever solution you use, make sure the fluid has a proper amount of antifreeze to be able to withstand the temperatures of the climate where you live and drive. You’ll find the temperature threshold on the label of the fluid. If you need help refilling or need help choosing the type, you can consult our service experts at Graff Chevrolet Durand.

How do I know if my wiper blades need to be replaced?

If your wiper blades aren’t doing their job and are leaving streaks, have cracked or dried out rubber, or are damaged in any way it may be time to have them replaced. At Graff Durand we can get your vehicle fitted with new wiper blades in the correct size that will allow you to see clearly out on the road.


How often should I have my brakes checked?

Being one of the largest safety components on your vehicle, it’s a good idea to consider having your brakes checked about every 5 months or every 5,000 miles. Depending on how you drive, you might need to have them checked more regularly. If you find yourself often driving in stop-and-go traffic, brake riding, or making hard brakes, your brakes may wear more quickly. If you notice any signs of brake wear, bring them in to our service center to have them inspected.

What does it mean when my brakes are squealing?

Squealing sounds coming from your brakes isn’t uncommon, but you should pay attention. While it could be harmless in some situations, it can also mean your brake pads or rotors are having issues and need repair or replacement. If your brakes continue to squeal, bring it in to our service technicians to have them serviced as soon as possible.

Why is my steering wheel shaking when I brake?

The most common reason for a shaking steering wheel when braking is warped brake rotors or rotors that are too-thin and aren’t able to disperse the heat. If you’re experiencing this issue, it’s important to have your brakes looked at and repaired so you’re safe on the road.

How do I know if my brakes need to be replaced?

There are a few symptoms to look out for that may suggest your brakes may need to be replaced. They include:

  • A soft pedal or the pedal goes to the floor when braking
  • Increased braking distances
  • Squealing or grinding when applying brakes
  • Steering wheel vibration when stopping
  • Metal flaking on brakes

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, bring your vehicle into our service department so we can diagnose the issue and have you back on the road safely.


How often should I get my oil changed?

Every 3,000-5,000 miles is recommended to have your oil changed. New cars and synthetic oil can stretch the interval time between oil changes. You can check your owner’s manual for suggested intervals or consult our service experts at Graff Chevrolet Durand.

Should I consider getting synthetic oil?

You might have heard that synthetic oil is better all-around for your vehicle. Because this oil is synthetic, it doesn’t break down as easily as conventional oil and will provide longer intervals between oil changes. Synthetic is especially beneficial to high-output, turbocharged, towing engines. Vehicles that operate in very hot or very cold climates will also benefit from synthetic.

Why is my engine oil milky brown?

A blown head gasket, a cracked casing, or a failed transmission cooler can all be causes of a coolant leak which can cause that milky brown color to occur. If you’re seeing milky brown oil, bring it into our service department immediately to have it looked at, as it is a serious problem.


I have a burned out fuse, what should I do?

If you have a burned out fuse, it’s critical to have it replaced with a fuse of the same amperage. The amperage should be printed on the side of the fuse for reference. If your fuse burns-out again, it might be a defect in the circuit that’s causing the issue. Bring your vehicle in to our service center if you need a fuse replacement or have any further issues.

When should I have my vehicle’s fuel filter replaced?

Typically your owner’s manual will recommend how often, but we suggest replacing your fuel filter every 30,000 miles to keep your car running its best and dependable.

Why should I have my belts and hoses inspected?

Cracked or broken belts & hoses can cause serious problems for you and your vehicle, ending in costly repairs. By having your belts & hoses inspected regularly you can avoid needing repairs in the long run. Whining noises and even a disabled car might be thanks to worn or broken belts and hoses. If this is the case, you should bring your vehicle in right away. When inspected, our technicians will check for:

  • Worn or loose clamps
  • Fracturing, or softening of belts
  • Proper belt tension
  • Appropriate drive pulley alignment
  • Hardening, cracking, or softening of hose pipes
  • Leakages, cracks, and splits

How often should I have my belts and hoses replaced?

To keep your vehicle running its best and to avoid serious problems that can be costly to repair, you should have your belts & hoses replaced every 30,000 – 60,000 miles. If you suspect any issues it’s important to bring your vehicle into our service center right away to.

When should I get my spark plugs changed?

We recommend having your spark plugs replaced every 30,000 miles or 30 months, whichever comes first; although, some vehicles come equipped with 100,000-mile platinum tipped spark plugs. Your vehicle’s spark plugs are largely responsible for fuel economy and overall engine performance.

When should I have my vehicle’s suspension serviced?

There are a few signs you may need to have your suspension looked at. Look out for: uneven tread on your tires, a rough ride with excessive bouncing, nose-diving stops, a tipping feeling when turning, and leaking shocks. If you notice any of the above signs with your vehicle, bring it into our service center for a complete inspection so we can get you back on the road safely.

How do I know if my car is having transmission problems?

The most common alert when your car is having transmission problems is that the “Check Engine” light will be on. Common signs of transmission problems include high pitch sounds when the transmission “slips”, a burning smell, and fluid leaks. If you experience any of the signs listed, or your engine light comes on, bring your vehicle into Graff Durand to have diagnosed.

Why is my alternator important to my vehicle?

Your alternator helps create the electricity your vehicle needs to power all your electrical devices. Your vehicle’s alternator sparks your engine to get it started, with the help of the battery, and recharges the battery it while your vehicle is running. Without your alternator your vehicle would rely solely on your battery, which doesn’t have enough power by itself to control everything that runs on electrical power like your radio, wiper blades, lights, etc.

How do I know if my vehicle is having alternator problems?

Typically if you’re having problems with your alternator, your check engine light will come on. You may notice your vehicle lights dim, the car may ‘growl’ or ‘whine’, or the battery may be dead. Our certified service techs can help resolve or diagnose any alternator issue, so if you notice any of the signs above we’d be happy to perform an inspection and get you back on the road safely.

How often should I check my antifreeze?

We recommend getting into the habit of routinely checking not only your antifreeze, but also all of your vehicle’s fluids once per month. Some signs of an antifreeze problem include: your temperature gauge is higher than normal, your coolant light turning on, or you notice a coolant leak by seeing yellow, green, or pink puddles under your car. If you notice a leak or think you may have anti-freeze problems, bring your vehicle into our service center for an inspection.

How often should I have my coolant changed?

We recommend having your coolant changed every two years or 24,000 miles. Coolant is important to keep your vehicle running its best without overheating. You can schedule an appointment for a coolant flush online by visiting our Schedule an Appointment page.

When should I have my A/C serviced?

If your A/C system isn’t cooling you and your vehicle off as efficiently or quickly as it should be, bring your vehicle into our service center for an inspection. Our expert service techs can resolve any A/C issues and get you back on the road and have you cooled down in no time!

How often should I have my battery inspected?

If your battery is 3 years+ old we recommend having it inspected or tested professionally every year. A normal battery’s life is 3-5 years. If your vehicle is having trouble starting, especially in cold weather it’s a good idea to have it inspected.

How do I know my car battery has a good connection?

Making sure to clean and inspect your battery cables and terminals regularly will ensure a good electrical connection. You can always bring your vehicle into Graff Durand to have your connection checked professionally.


What fuel is better for my car?

You can refer to your owner’s manual to find the correct fuel type for your vehicle, if you’re unsure. The correct fuel type is often based on your vehicle’s specific make, model, and engine. Premium is only required for high-performance vehicles because of the high-octane percentage needed for the engine. Don’t mix fuels, because it can damage your engine.

What is that weird smell coming from my car?

There are many sources that can cause the unusual smell coming from your car, and it can be alarming if you’re not sure what it is. Make sure to note what your smelling and where it’s coming from, like mildew when your fans are blowing, or a sweet smell coming from your vents. Bring it into our service department so we can diagnose the issue properly and get you back on the road smell-free!

How does my driving style impact my vehicle?

Driving styles vary by driver and by driving environment. For instance, if you’re an aggressive driver – fast accelerating, speeding, and braking quick and hard – you’ll likely notice a decrease in fuel-efficiency. If you often drive on rough roads, your cars alignment is more likely to be affected. If you know your style you can adjust to get the most out of your vehicle’s performance.

What should I do if the engine temperature begins to rise too high?

If the temperature gauge begins to rise too high, you can cool off your engine a few ways. You can cool it off by cranking up your heater will pull heat away from the engine. In turn, turning off your air conditioner will help as it puts a strain on your engine. If your engine is still overheating, pull over to turn the engine off so you can avoid any damage and call for assistance.

What does it mean when my engine light is on?

If something is not working properly your check engine light will come on . There are plenty of sensors around your vehicle to ensure that your vehicle is running correctly. To prevent damage, or long-term problems, bring your vehicle into our service center at Graff Durand to have it looked at. We’ll get you back on the road without a check engine light in no time.

How long should I warm my car up for in the winter?

Even in very cold weather your vehicle needs no more than 30 seconds to warm up before being driven. It will actually warm up faster by being driven that it will just idling. Make sure to drive gently for the first 10 minutes in cold weather to help it properly warm up without putting too much strain on the engine.

Why is it hard to start my car in cold weather?

There are a few reasons your car can have issues starting in colder weather. For instance, oil becomes thicker in cold weather, which makes it harder for the engine to spin. Another reason is that your battery could be weak which makes it hard to start. A bad fuel mixture, or low fuel can make it more difficult for your car to start in cold weather too. If you’re experiencing issues with your vehicle in the harsh winter weather, bring it by our service center so we can properly diagnose.

What should be in my car emergency kit?

While you should never expect to be in an emergency, there are plenty of items to keep on hand in your car that will get you out of an unfortunate situation. Thinking about the medical needs of the driver or passenger, what you may need based on the type of emergency, and the weather or climate of the places you drive will help you pack a kit. A first aid kit, flashlight, and jumper cables are a good start. Other items might include a multipurpose tool or Swiss army knife, a blanket, a piece of carpet or cardboard for traction, a snow brush, extra cash, etc.