Archive for December, 2011

Service Tips: Oil Change

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Oil ChangePerforming regular maintenance on your vehicle is one of the easiest ways to keep your vehicle in peak condition, maintain its long-term health, and help you get the most out of your investment. One of the most important parts of regular maintenance is regular oil changes.

Why are regular oil changes important?

Oil is one of the most important, but underappreciated components of your vehicle’s overall health. Your vehicle’s engine has hundreds of constantly moving parts, many of which are rubbing against one another causing extreme heat. As the oil travels through your engine, it cools and lubricates these parts, helping your engine run at maximum efficiency.

Because of the constant temperature fluctuation your engine faces on a daily basis, your oil should be changed regularly or dust and debris can make their way into your engine and contaminate your oil, making it less effective.

How often should I have my oil changed?

Most manufacturers recommend that you change your oil every 5,000 miles; but many newer model vehicles come with advanced synthetic oil that can last up to 10,000 miles between changes. Check your owner’s manual to find out more about your recommended maintenance schedule.

New England’s wide range of temperatures throughout the year also put added strain on both your engine and your oil. Even in warm weather, during a short commute your engine may not warm up all the way, which can affect the life of your oil in the long term.

Need to know if your oil needs changing? Get a lesson on checking your engine fluids from the H-Team:

What’s Going On?

Monday, December 19th, 2011

A New Service Building
Anyone who has visited the dealerships in the last several months knows 2011 has been a year of great change for the Heritage dealerships. New and different heavy-duty construction vehicles are arriving on what seems like a daily basis in preparation for the start of construction on the new 32 bay, 35,000 square foot service department for Heritage Toyota Scion.  The new building will take the place of the longest standing building on our campus: the northernmost (and original) Toyota sales building. You can check out the artist’s renderings of the new building on our website. We’re also documenting the construction process on our Heritage Toyota Scion Facebook page.

Spreading the Christmas Cheer
Our staff is also getting in the Christmas spirit and spreading good cheer throughout the community.  Two departments in the dealership have adopted area families with the help of the Salvation Army; they’ve all pitched in and shopped till they dropped to give a great Christmas to families in need.

The Penguin Plunge
The fundraising and goodwill doesn’t stop with Christmas though.  You may have noticed brightly colored boxes filled with bottles around the dealerships if you’ve visited us recently.  We are collecting bottles and cans to raise money for the Special Olympics of Vermont’s Penguin Plunge, taking place in February at Lake Champlain.  For the second year in a row, Heritage will help sponsor the Plunge, as well as gather a group of hearty individuals to brave the chilly lake water as part of the event.  If you’re interested in donating, or even joining the H-Team at the event, stop by our First Giving Team page.

From all of us on the H-Team, we’d like to wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!

Winter Tires v. All Season Tires

Friday, December 16th, 2011

tire treadsDespite the unseasonably warm weather and lack snow we’ve had in the Champlain Valley thus far this winter, it’s still time to decide whether you’re going to keep your all season tires on your car or put on some winter tires. Here at Heritage, we’re often asked why someone should switch over their tires and if they really need to switch to winter tires.

First, winter tires were built for handling snow, much like many Vermonters. The treads of a winter tire are designed to push snow out on every rotation; therefore you always have clean treads to grip the snowy roads. The softer rubber used in these treads is designed to move and allow snow to filter through instead of trapping it. All season tires are made of a harder rubber and are great for gripping a dry, paved road, but once there is snow on the ground it fills the treads creating an extremely slick tire surface. Unlike winter tires, the snow isn’t pushed out of the treads and is packed down on every tire rotation until the treads can’t fill with any more snow.

Does this mean that everyone who may drive on snow should invest in winter tires? Not necessarily; the decision should also factor in your location. If you live in Chittenden County on a paved road, you can get away with all season tires much easier than someone who lives in Waitsfield or Jericho and relies on unpaved back roads.

The biggest resistance we receive when talking to customers about snow tires is regarding the price. Consider this, when you buy an additional set of tires that will be used for 6 months out of the year, your all season tires are also not being used for 6 months, it essentially doubles the life of both sets of tires. We hope you make the best decision for you, your wallet, and your car. If you have any questions regarding winter tire safety, please stop by or give us a call; we’re more than happy to help.