Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t see the answer to your question on this page, please don’t hesitate to call us and one of our friendly representatives will be happy to assist you.

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How often should I change my oil?
While you may have heard every 3 months or so, those rules have vastly changed. For example, if you use synthetic oil it will last much longer than regular. Your specific frequency should be mentioned in your manual, so check that first. Or talk to a mechanic who knows your vehicle, and can set up a schedule for you.
How often should I change my battery?
Check the code on your battery to determine the expiration date first. The code will be letters and numbers, where the letters are the month and the numbers are the year. The letters follow the order of the months, so if your code reads D20, then your battery expires in April of 2020 as D is the fourth letter of the alphabet which corresponds to the fourth month of the year.
It’s recommended you change the battery prior to the expiration date, especially if you tend to run short errands rather than long road trips. If you choose to wait though, Ted Russell Nissan can test your battery to determine how well it holds a charge so you can drive without worry.
Why won’t my car start?
Your car may not start because of a dead battery or because the starter has turned faulty. You can check your battery’s charge with a voltmeter. If the battery has at least 12 volts when it’s off and 10.5 volts when you’re attempting to start it, then you likely have a problem with the starter. Cars also may not start due to a malfunctioning sensor, timing belt or alternator.
What does the Check Engine light mean?

These lights are here for a reason. This video will let you know what that reason is.

If the light comes on and then clears up right away, it means a sensor detected an imbalance that ended up working itself out. However, if the light goes on and stays on, your car will need a code reader that can pinpoint the problem.

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How often should I replace my tires?
If you’re typically driving on well-paved roads, your tires may go up to 40,000 miles, but gravel or rough roads mean more frequent replacement. Manufacturers will typically recommend replacing around 30,000 miles or so, but again, it’s dependent on your driving style and type of tires. For example, if you have soft rubber tires or highway tires, you’ll need to get them replaced more often.
When should I check my alignment?
Any time your car starts to pull to one side or the other, you should get your alignment checked. Poorly aligned tires have to do more work, which means more tread wear. Always have it checked immediately after you replace your tires. Regardless of whether or not your car veers though, you should aim for once a year to check the alignment of your tires.
What signs should I look for to see if I need new tires?
You need your tread to be 1/8″ or more, so check the wear bars on your tires first. Once the tread is about even with those bars, you’ll need to replace the tires. Or stick a penny into the tread upside down. Tires that are still in good shape won’t show any part of Lincoln’s head.
What if I need help in choosing the right tires?

The right tool for the right job and the right tire for the right Nissan. Here’s how to figure it out.

Generally speaking, you’re making the right decision to get the same type of tires that came with the original car. Or you can talk to our technicians to find out more about what’s on the market and how it fits with your personal driving style.
It’s important to understand why tires matter to your car. The National Center for Statistics and Analysis reports that poor tires, ones that are improperly fit or that are worn, factor into many vehicular accidents. At the very least, driving around with bad tires cost you gas and makes the ride uncomfortable. You think you need new tires, but what’s the next step?
First, Decide if You Really Do Need Tires
Purchasing tires is a serious investment and not something you should buy on a whim. Generally speaking, you can ride from 20,000 to 40,000 miles on your tires, but that can vary by vehicle. The manufacturer will provide a recommendation for tire replacement based on testing done on your specific make.
Age of the tire is also something to consider. Wear and tear due to changing seasons and other environmental factors take a toll, as well. Most rubber becomes brittle after about six seasons in the sun.
A good way to tell if your tires are worn is to slip a penny into the tread. If you can still see Abraham Lincoln’s face, the tires are usable. New tires are always going to be the better choice, though, if you are unsure. If the tread seems fine, but you don’t know how old the tire is, pull into a service center. A technician can pull a code off the tire’s sidewall and tell you the age of it.
How to Pick New Tires
The vehicle manufacturer is your best resource when choosing tires. The car manual should offer size, brand and style recommendations. You can also contact your dealership and ask what tire they find works best for your model.
The next step is to do some research. Take the list of brands suggested by the manufacturer and see what other drivers say about them. Consumer reviews can offer valuable insight on affordability and performance for any tire.
Do some comparison shopping, too, especially if you are on a tight budget. Your dealership might be the most practical option. Call and find out if they offer discount programs to buyers – see if you can get a good deal or an upgrade. Check around at local tire shops and online, as well, for sales. If you don’t like the brand recommended for your model, ask about compatible tires that will save you a few bucks or work for your model.
Tire purchases are an investment in your comfort, car safety and vehicle performance, so take your time to find the ones that are a perfect fit. Your tire journey starts with figuring out if you need tires and ends with you finding ones that fit perfectly, so don’t be afraid to ask your dealer for help picking out the right tire.

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When should I replace my belts and hoses?
The time frame varies. When hoses start to get soft or if they are showing cracks, they should be replaced. When belts show dry rotting, the bottom side is shiny or if the tensioner can no longer keep tension on the belt, it’s time to change the belts.
What is the difference between OEM and generic parts?
OEM parts are “original equipment manufacturer” parts. They are made by the manufacturer – in this case, Nissan. The parts may be sold by Nissan or by third parties. Generic parts are made by another manufacturer to fit your Nissan. While most generic parts do fit, they may not have the quality that OEM parts have.

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Certified Professionals

Why use ASE-Certified technicians?
When an ASE Certified auto repair technician repairs your vehicle, you have the peace of mind that the repair will be done correctly the first time and you also have the peace of mind knowing that our certified technicians use quality OEM parts. A technician must be trained to use the special equipment required to properly diagnose today’s vehicles. Without this equipment, technicians cannot properly diagnose a problem. An inaccurate diagnosis could cost you needless additional expense.
Using OEM parts means that you have a warranty on the part that was replaced; you also have warranty on the work done on your vehicle. In the event that a part is defective or that a certified technician does make a mistake, that work is under warranty.
What’s wrong with uncertified mechanics?
When you choose a mechanic without Nissan certification to repair your vehicle, you won’t be certain that the person knows how to do the job. Nor will you know if that person uses quality OEM parts. Furthermore, that person may not be ASE Certified and may not guarantee the work and the parts. used.
What are the certification requirements?
The technicians who work for Ted Russell Nissan must take and pass the ASE certification test in their specialty. Or, if a technician is a master technician, he or she must pass a group of tests in a series. A master technician must also have two years of documented hands-on work experience.
For automobiles, a master tech must pass eight tests for the master status. For collision repair, a tech must pass four tests in the series. The A series for automobiles and light trucks include:
  • Engine repair
  • Automatic transmission/transaxle
  • Manual drivetrain and axles
  • Suspension and steering
  • Brakes
  • Electrical/Electronic system
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Engine performance
The ninth test in the series is for light vehicle diesel engines and that test is not required to become a master technician.
Master techs in body repair or collision must pass these four tests:
  • Painting and refinishing
  • Non-structural analysis and damage repair
  • Structural analysis and damage repair
  • Mechanical and electrical components
All master tech must recertify every five years.
Call our certified technicians at Ted Russell Nissan to schedule an appointment for maintenance and repairs.

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What is Nissan Bluetooth Connect and how do I use it?
With Nissan Bluetooth Connect you can connect instantly and automatically when you start your vehicle, place and receive wireless calls, talk hands-free, eliminate cord clutter, and stream your music wirelessly. Pairing your portable device is a quick and easy process that will keep you connected while keeping your hands on the wheel. Check out our video on Nissan Bluetooth Connect to find out how pairing works.

Setting up your Nissan with your smartphone is a match that’s guaranteed to last. Here’s how to make it happen.

Nissan Bluetooth Connect

What is Nissan HomeLink and how do I use it?
Nissan HomeLink is Nissan’s vehicle-based wireless control system which allows you to control your garage door, front gate, home security system, interior and exterior lighting, as well as various appliances and electronics. Three buttons, seamlessly integrated into your vehicle’s interior grant you easy, instant access and eliminate the need to keep multiple remote control devices in your vehicle. HomeLink is easy to connect to up to three devices and is compatible with nearly all garage door openers and gate systems, along with an increasing list of other radio-frequency (RF) controlled devices. Furthermore HomeLink is powered by your automobile’s electrical system; so you never have to worry about replacing batteries.
Plus even when you’re away from home, you can utilize apps to control your RF devices for increased security, reassurance and peace of mind. Check our video on Nissan HomeLink to set it up for your vehicle.

Who needs another remote control in their lives. With Homelink in your Nissan, not you.

Nissan HomeLink

Driving & Maintenance Tips

How do I get better gas mileage?
  • Regardless of the speed you are driving, it increases gas mileage over starting from a complete stop.
    Letting your car slow well before you get to a stoplight can reduce the chance you have to come to a complete stop. The only exception to this is if you are driving an electric vehicle with regenerative braking. In this case, you do want to come to a complete stop.
  • Slowing down and speeding up uses more gas on the highway.
    When you keep a good distance from the car in front of you, you won’t have to slow down when the person in front of you slows down. Use cruise control when you can. This also allows traffic to merge into your lane on the highway without making you slow down. The closer to 55 mph you are, the better the gas mileage will be. However, since 55 mph is pretty much a thing of the past on most highways, just try to keep within the speed limit and keep the same speed.
  • Keeping your vehicle well maintained will also help with gas mileage.
    Old plugs cause the vehicle to use more gas. Certain sensors may also affect gas mileage, so it’s a good idea to have the codes checked and the sensors repaired when the check engine light comes on.
  • Good tire air pressure keeps the proper resistance between the tire and the road.
    If the air pressure is too low, the vehicle has to work harder to keep it rolling and you will use more gas


Does Your Car Have a Safety Recall?

Recalls have been in the news a lot lately. We know you have questions about the effect of these recalls on the safety of you and your passengers. We can’t service every vehicle with an open recall, but we can alert you if your vehicle has one.

Find out if your car is affected.

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