Frequently Asked Service Questions at Serra Honda Grandville

Our Service Department at Serra Honda Grandville wants to make sure all your questions regarding service are answered. We're equipped with professional and factory trained technicians able to help you with any vehicle service you may need. Take a look at our categorized FAQs below for answers on questions about Tires, Brakes, Oil Changes, and more. Don't hesitate to give us a call for more information at (866) 574-4228


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 Serra Honda Grandville and we’d be happy to take care of it for you.

When should my tires be replaced?

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. Improper inflation or lack of tire rotations on a regular schedule can cause uneven tread wear. 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.

  • 1) Place your penny in the lowest tire tread grooves with the head of Lincoln pointing downward or upside down.
  • 2) Move the penny along the groove.
  • 3) 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?

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. 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. 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 its tires is typically listed on a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door or in your owner’s manual. Suggested PSI is usually between 30-35 PSI for optimal tire performance. 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 to ensure the best wear on your tires and optimal vehicle handling. If you’re unsure about the PSI measurements, consult our expert tire techs at Serra Honda Grandville.

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. Your spare tire is not built to withstand what a regular tire can. Getting your tire replaced or patched is a simple fix that we at Serra Honda Grandville 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 mean 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 or every 6,000-10,000 miles. 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?

Cold air naturally compresses, meaning the air in your tires will too, which causes the PSI measurement to decrease. The sensors in your tires are designed to signal the tire light to go on when PSI measurement is below normal. 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 wipers?

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 windshield 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 Serra Honda Grandville.

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 Serra Honda Grandville 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 like squealing, grinding, or steering wheel vibration when braking, bring them into 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. Brakes do include wear sensors to make a screeching sound when they need to be checked or replaced. 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 into 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:

  • Increased braking distances
  • Squealing or grinding when applying brakes
  • A soft pedal or the pedal goes to the floor when braking
  • 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.


What type of oil should I put in my Honda?

It is encouraged that all Honda vehicles use Honda approved Oil, which we carry at our Serra Honda Grandville Service Center. Check your car’s owner manual for the correct oil type based on viscosity and your vehicle’s specific engine, or ask any of our expert Serra Honda Grandville technicians for help.

How often should I get my oil changed?

At Serra Honda Grandville we recommend you change your oil every 3000-5000 miles, or when your dashboard engine light goes off. Getting an oil change is easy at Serra Honda Grandville! You can visit our Express Service Lane or schedule an appointment on our website to save time.

Should I consider getting synthetic oil?

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. It’s up to you to decide, but our service experts at Serra Honda Grandville would be glad to take you through the differences at your next oil change.

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, because it is a serious problem.


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

If you have a fuse that’s continually burning out, it might be a defect in the circuit that’s causing the issue. For replacing 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. Bring your vehicle into our service center if you need help replacing a fuse or have any possible circuit issues.

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

We suggest replacing your fuel filter every 30,000 miles to keep your car running it’s best. You can also reference your owner’s manual for a suggestion specific to your make and model.

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. If you have worn or loose clamps, loose belt tension, fractured or soft belts, cracks or hardened hose pipes, etc. you may need to have them repaired or replaced. If this is the case, you should bring your vehicle in right away to avoid any serious damage.

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 or suspect replacement, bring your vehicle into Serra Honda Grandville for inspection and replacement when necessary.

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 spark plugs are a big component for optimal vehicle performance so it’s important to have them inspected and changed.

When should I have my vehicle’s suspension serviced?

There are a few signs that your suspension is having issues including:

  • Rough ride with excessive bounce
  • Nose-diving stops
  • Excess tipping on turns
  • Leaking shocks
  • Uneven tire tread

If you’re experiencing any of the above signs, it’s important to bring your vehicle into Serra Honda Grandville as soon as possible as a bad suspension system can sacrifice your safety on the road.

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

Common signs of transmission problems include high pitch sounds when the transmission “slips”, a burning smell, and fluid leaks. The most common alert when your car is having transmission problems is that the “Check Engine” light will be on. If you experience any of the signs listed bring your vehicle into Serra Honda Grandville's Service Center immediately 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. If you notice any of the signs listed our expert service technicians would 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. If 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 it could mean your antifreeze is leaking and therefore not able to protect your vehicle as well. 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?

Coolant is important to keep your vehicle running its best without overheating. We recommend having your coolant changed every two years or 24,000 miles. 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 in no time.

How often should I have my battery inspected?

A normal battery’s life is 3-5 years. If you’ve had your battery for 3 years or longer, we recommend having it inspected or tested professionally every year. 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 Serra Honda Grandville to have your connection checked professionally.


How does my driving style impact my vehicle?

Being aware of your personal driving style can help you adjust for better vehicle performance. For example, if you’re an “aggressive” driver who rapidly accelerates, brakes hard or often, and often speeds your brakes may wear more quickly and your fuel-efficiency might suffer. If you drive more gently by driving the speed limit, accelerating at a slower pace, etc. you’ll experience better fuel efficiency and less wear on components overall. If you often drive on bumpy dirt or rough roads your suspension might be more likely to wear as compared to smooth roads. Regular maintenance and inspection of components with heavy wear will help extend the life of your vehicle.

What fuel is better for my car?

The correct fuel type is often based on your vehicle’s specific make, model, and engine. Most of the time regular unleaded will do the job. Premium is only required for high-performance vehicles because of the high-octane percentage needed specifically for the engine’s function. Whatever fuel you do use, make sure to never mix as you could cause serious engine damage by doing so.

Can I use E85 fuel in my Honda?

Honda vehicles are not cooperative with E85 fuel. If you ever have any other fuel-type questions, always address your owner’s manual or ask one of our service technicians for any gasoline requirements.

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 including turning up your heater to pull heat away from the engine, and turning off the air conditioner to take strain off the engine. An overheating engine can be dangerous and could cause damage internally. If your engine is still overheating after taking the two steps listed, 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?

Certain components on your vehicle contain sensors to monitor that the component is working properly. If the sensors pick up any strange performance, your check engine light will illuminate. There are plenty of reasons the light could come on, so it's important to have it checked professionally. To prevent damage or long-term problems, bring your vehicle into our Service Center at Serra Honda Grandville to have it looked at.

What is that weird smell coming from my car?

It can be alarming if you’re not sure what the strange smell emanating from your vehicle is. Make sure to note what the scent smells like and where it’s coming from if you can tell. Some causes of smells can involve simple fixes like a new filter for the mildew scent coming from your vents, or more complicated fixes like the burning smell coming from applying your brakes. Bring your vehicle to our service center and we’ll help identify the cause of the smell and send you out onto the road stench-free!

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

Your vehicle will actually warm up faster by being driven that it will just idling. All your vehicle needs, even in very cold weather, is no more than 30-seconds of warm-up. 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?

Cold weather can put a lot of strain on your vehicle. Hard starts happen because of the oil density, which can be syrup like in cold weather. Synthetic oil can help with this issue. Older batteries can also be a cause for a hard start in cold weather. We can test your battery professionally to see if that’s the issue. If you’re having problems starting, you can bring your vehicle in to have diagnosed by our expert technicians at Serra Honda Grandville.

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 or sticky situation. Considering the medical needs of the driver or passenger, what you may need based on the kind of emergency, and the weather in the places you drive will help you when packing or checking a kit. A first aid kit, flashlight, and jumper cables can serve as a base for your kit. Other items you might want to include are: a multipurpose tool with scissors and pliers built in, a blanket, a piece of carpet or cardboard for traction, a snow brush, extra cash, fix-a-flat or an electric tire inflator etc.