Ask A Tech
ASK A TECH... ASK JOE
You've got questions. He's the factory-trained Chrysler, Jeep® Dodge and RAM Service expert with the answers you need to keep your vehicle running like new.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GET A WHEEL ALIGNMENT AND HAVE MY TIRES BALANCED?
JOE: Because poor wheel alignment may result in:
- Fast tire wear
- Uneven tire wear, such as one-sided wear
- Vehicle pulling too much to the left or right
Improper wheel alignment will not cause vehicle vibration. Vibrations may be a result of the tire and wheel being out of balance. Maintaining proper tire balance will reduce vibration and reduce spotty, uneven wear of the tires.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING NEW TIRES?
JOE: Look for tires that are the equivalent to the originals in size, quality and performance. Refer to your original tire for proper size or check your owner's manual. Failure to use manufacturer recommended replacement tires might adversely affect the safety, handling and ride of your Chrysler, Jeep® Dodge and RAM vehicle. Contact your dealership or authorized tire dealer with any questions you may have on tire specifications or capability. Be aware that replacing original tires with a different size might result in false speedometer and odometer readings.
USE MY CELL PHONE A LOT FOR BUSINESS WHEN I'M ON THE ROAD, BUT I'M CONCERNED ABOUT BEING DISTRACTED WHILE DRIVING. IS THERE ANYTHING AVAILABLE THAT WOULD ALLOW ME TO MAKE AND RECEIVE CALLS MORE SAFELY?
JOE: A safe and smart solution is to install UConnect™ in your vehicle. It's an advanced, hands-free communication system that uses simple voice commands (in English, French or Spanish) to dial your phone. It mutes your radio before receiving a call and allows you to store up to 32 names (four numbers per name) in the system's address book. It also works with any wireless phone that incorporates Bluetooth™ Hands-Free Profile Technology 1.0 or higher and starting with 2002 models and is available on most Chrysler, Jeep® Dodge and RAM vehicles. For more information, contact your retailer.
I'M HEARING A LOT ABOUT NITROGEN. DOES FILLING MY TIRES WITH NITROGEN REALLY IMPROVE GAS MILEAGE?
JOE: Possibly. The important thing is to make sure your tires are properly inflated, which does improve gas mileage. If you already check your tire pressure regularly, you probably don't need nitrogen in your tires. The added benefit of nitrogen is that it contains no moisture which is present with a standard air fill. The absence of moisture provides a more stable pressure resulting in tires that are properly inflated longer. So, if you're not in the habit of monitoring your tire pressure once a month and you are driving around with under inflated tires, then yes, nitrogen may help improve your gas mileage. Remember, whatever type of tire fill you choose, be it air or nitrogen, tire pressures should be checked every month as outlined in your scheduled maintenance booklet. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is listed on the tire pressure label located on the driver's door pillar.
I'VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THE NEW MOPAR FLAT WIPER BLADES. ARE THEY REALLY BETTER?
JOE: Mopar Flat wiper blades are aerodynamically designed with a built-in spoiler to distribute pressure evenly across your windshield ? even at high speeds, which reduces streaking and smearing. The streamlined profile also reduces noise and vibration. The all-season rubber formulation stays flexible in cold weather and has a bonded protective coating that resists wear. Plus, there's an innovative wear indicator that changes colour over time so you know when to install a new set. Customers often tell me that once they've experienced the difference, they wonder why they ever drove without them.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I ROTATE MY VEHICLE'S TIRES?
JOE: It depends on your tire model. Proper rotation is very important ? it helps to equalize tread wear, smooth out the ride and gain the maximum life from your tires. Balanced tires also ensure that your vehicle's wheels don't form a "heavy" spot that can cause vibration and premature wear on tires, shocks and other suspension components. Ask your Chrysler, Jeep® Dodge and RAM Service Retailer or consult your Owner's Manual for your specific model's tire rotation maintenance schedule.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY VEHICLE NEEDS NEW BRAKES?
JOE: A high-pitched squeal when braking or driving often means that the wear indicators on your brake pads are touching the rotors. Or, if you hear a grinding noise, your pads may be completely worn. Additionally, if your vehicle is pulling to one side, your calipers may be sticking or worn, or you may have a loose suspension component. In all cases, you should have your vehicle inspected by a factory-trained technician at your Chrysler, Jeep® Dodge and RAM Retailer.
HOW CAN I TELL WHEN TO REPLACE MY BATTERY? WHAT TYPE IS BEST FOR REPLACEMENT?
JOE: The most common signs that a battery replacement is needed:
- Your starter motor is slow to turn over
- Your battery light stays illuminated while your engine is running
- Your battery loses power fast in cold or extended starts
- YYour headlights dim when the engine idles
It's best to stick with your manufacturer's recommended battery replacement or an Original Equipment Manufacturer battery. OEM Parts are specifically designed for your vehicle and offer a seamless transition. Also, OEM batteries usually include a limited warranty upon purchase. Some replacement batteries are designed specifically for extreme temperatures, so choose a battery that best suits your driving habits and climates. See your Chrysler, Jeep® Dodge and RAM Service dealership for a battery test to determine if it time for replacement or if you're unsure which battery will best suit your needs.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CHECK MY TIRE PRESSURE?
JOE: Tire pressure should be checked at least once a month. At the same time, you should check for uneven or unusual wear. If your tires aren't inflated to the correct specifications, they can be dangerous and cause an accident. Here's why the correct tire pressure is so important for your safety:
WHAT IF MY TIRE PRESSURE IS TOO HIGH?
If your tire pressure is too high, your tires are over-inflated and have less contact with the road. This gives you less grip, traction and power, and increases your effective stopping distance. Over-inflation also increases tire wear in the centre portion of the tread and exposes your tires to damage from objects on the road and potholes. Your ride won't be nearly as comfortable either because your tires will be "bouncing" on the road.
WHAT IF MY TIRE PRESSURE IS TOO LOW?
Now you have the opposite situation and too much of your tire is in contact with the road. This makes your tire hot and may result in overheating. In the worst case scenario, this may cause tire failure. Under-inflation also increases tire wear on the tread at the edges and decreases your fuel economy.
WHAT IF I HAVE UNEVEN TIRE PRESSURE?
If your tire pressures are not equal, your vehicle will pull to the left or the right. You will feel this pull through your steeling wheel.
WHAT IS MY CORRECT TIRE PRESSURE?
Your recommended tire pressure is printed on a sticker in your glove compartment, door jamb or fuel-filler door. This is the ideal pressure for the tires used on your specific model vehicle.
NOTE: The pressure on the tire wall is the maximum allowable tire pressure, not the recommended pressure. If you are having problems with maintaining tire pressure or if you notice any unusual or uneven wear or damage to your tires, see your Chrysler, Jeep® Dodge and RAM Service dealership as soon as possible.