Ask Joe

You’ve Got Questions. Joe’s Got Answers.

Joe knows your Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram and FIAT® Brand vehicle inside and out. Count on him and your trained and certified Mopar® Service and Parts experts to keep your vehicle running like new.

When should a battery be replaced? What kind of oil is best for your vehicle? Get important service and maintenance tips right here, right now. Just choose your subject of interest and see what Joe has to say.

Despite what well-meaning friends may tell you, brake wear is unique to every driver depending on a few factors:

  • Your driving habits
  • The condition of your overall braking system
  • The quality and composition of your brake components

Brakes wear a little every time they are applied, so those subjected to stop-and-go traffic, aggressive driving habits and a heavily loaded vehicle will require replacement much sooner than those used in single-passenger, long highway commutes.

It’s a commonly held belief that the signs of brake system issues are readily noticeable to the driver. A pulsing brake pedal, a high-pitched squeal or, worse yet, harsh grinding sounds are certainly indicators that your brake system requires maintenance – but by the time you experience any of these conditions, it may be too late for minor repairs. Regular inspection and maintenance by your Mopar® service experts can resolve discrete issues within your braking system (dragging, seized calipers, worn pads, etc.) before they lead to larger issues – impacting both the safety of your vehicle and the significance of the repair.

Softer pads (organic) offer better stopping power but at the expense of wear; ceramic pads, on the other hand, have a much longer lifespan but give up a little stopping power. Economical brake components typically have a shorter life span than high-quality products designed specifically for your vehicle. Ask your Mopar® service expert about the options and which brakes are right for you.

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If you use your vehicle in dusty or off-road conditions, you should check it every time you get an oil change. It’s a good idea to change it on a regular basis because that can improve your mileage by up to 10 percent and increase the life of your engine. When you bring your vehicle to our Mopar® service lane for an oil change, we’ll check your air filter as one of the many courtesy checkups we do. If it needs to be replaced, we can do it right here!

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There are many brands of filters out there. I know it can be confusing, but I would use the air filter that was designed and engineered for your vehicle. If you’re driving a Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® or Ram Brand vehicle, Mopar® air filters are the best option. They’re designed to achieve high, virtually unrestricted airflow while maintaining filtration levels critical to ensuring long engine life. However, if you’re driving another make, we have you covered with either our Mopar® branded air filters or our Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar® air filters, which offer excellent value and performance. Both are available in our parts department. Also, no matter what make or model vehicle you drive, we can check and replace your air filter right here in our Mopar® service lane.

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Fuel filter replacement and application vary by brand and model, so we recommend consulting your owner’s manual for full details or see your service advisor for the proper replacement interval for your vehicle. If your fuel filter does need to be replaced, our parts department probably has it in stock and we can replace it right here!

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The quality of gasoline products today far exceeds that of years ago, but a good fuel filter is still necessary to trap any contaminants before they reach the engine. Mopar fuel filters maximize dirt retention to ensure trouble-free motoring. We know diesels, and Mopar offers 5.9L and 6.7L diesel fuel filters that capture water and prevent it from contaminating the injector pump and fuel injectors. Bring your vehicle into a Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep or Ram dealer and we can install one for you if you need it.

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Cabin air filters keep airborne contaminants and irritants out of the vehicle's cabin. Mopar cabin air filters trap a wide variety of contaminants, including dust, mold, pollen, smoke, allergens and even odours. Furthermore, they offer advanced charcoal filtration technology for allergy-sensitive vehicle owners bothered by airborne pollen and dust. If you need your cabin air filter checked or replaced, we can do it right here in our Mopar service lane. We’re sure to have the right cabin air filter in our parts department at your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep or Ram dealer. Stop by, and we’ll take care of it for you.

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For optimal performance, your cabin air filter should be replaced every 12 months or 18,000 kilometres. By the way, we check and replace cabin air filters in our Mopar service lane. Our parts department is sure to have the new cabin air filter you need in stock if you require one. So bring your vehicle into a Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep or Ram dealer so we can take care of that for you.

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Here are 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
  • Your headlights dim when the engine idles
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It's best to stick with your manufacturer's recommended battery replacement or an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) 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. To determine if it’s time for replacement or if you’re unsure which battery will best suit your needs, see your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® or Ram dealer. They’re sure to have the right battery for your vehicle in their parts department and they can install it right there.

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Your vehicle’s steering and suspension are calibrated for optimal performance to maximize fuel economy and safety while at the same time minimizing wear and tear on your vehicle’s components. Even without nudging curbs or hitting potholes, the simple rigors of everyday driving can cause these systems to fall out of calibration – in the best-case scenario, causing premature wear of steering and suspension component as well as your tires; in the worst-case scenario, making your vehicle unpredictable and unsafe as you travel down the road.

If you are experiencing any of the following, you may have an alignment issue and should book an appointment with your local Mopar service experts for an alignment inspection to properly diagnose the problem:

  • Uneven tire wear
  • Drifting
  • Vibrations felt through the steering wheel
  • Steering wheel not centered, even though your car is driving straight
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In temperatures below 7° Celsius, you need winter tires.

At precisely 7° Celsius, the superior adhesion of winter tires begins to make a difference, regardless of road or weather conditions. With their specifically formulated rubber compounds, winter tires reduce vehicle stopping distances by up to 25% – performance that can make the difference between a close call and calling for a tow.

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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, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® or Ram Brand vehicle. Also, you should be aware that replacing original tires with a different size might result in false speedometer and odometer readings. Your Mopar dealer has the right tires for your vehicle in stock at very competitive prices.

If you have any questions regarding tire specifications or capability, contact your dealer before you buy new ones.

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Rotating your tires based on the schedule presented in your owner’s manual is very important. The front tires on your vehicle wear differently and more quickly than the rear tires – especially if it is a front-wheel drive. Rotating tires from front to rear several times during their lifecycle will:

  • Help to equalize tread wear
  • Provide an opportunity to inspect your tires for any damage
  • Ensure that you maximize the life of all 4 tires

There are several different acceptable methods for rotating your tires based on the set-up of your vehicle:

  • Staggered wheels (front and rear tires are different sizes)
  • Unidirectional tires (tires specific to one side of the car)
  • Asymmetrical tires (tread pattern changes from inside to outside of the tire)

Your Mopar service expert can determine the proper tire rotation for your vehicle.

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Typically, tire pressure should be checked at least once a month as tires that are not properly inflated can compromise both the handling and safety of your vehicle.

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If your tire pressure is too high, your tires are overinflated 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.

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If your tires are underinflated, 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.

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Your recommended tire pressure is located on a sticker in the driver’s door jamb or fuel-filler door. This is the ideal pressure for the tires used on your specific model vehicle. The pressure indicated on your 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 Mopar service experts as soon as possible.

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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.

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You should refer to your owner’s manual for your proper oil change interval; and if you drive a 2008 or newer Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® or Ram Brand vehicle, the oil change indicator system will alert you when you need to change your oil. Vehicles built prior to 2008 follow a 3-month/5,000-kilometre oil change interval. When you do need it changed, our Mopar® service lane can get it done in 30 minutes or less! Plus, we do lots of courtesy checkups and top off fluids with every oil change. It doesn’t matter what make or model your vehicle is. We do them all!

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Depending on how your vehicle is equipped, the oil change indicator system can display various messages (change oil soon / change oil now) and will indicate the percentage of oil life remaining.

A fixed oil change indicator system was first introduced in the 2008 model year and is similar to the new variable oil change indicator system introduced for the 2013 model year. Advancements in engine design, engine oil formulation and vehicle electronics allow for the extension of engine oil change intervals. These advancements reduce the environmental impact of oil changes and help reduce ownership and maintenance costs.

The new system utilizes a fully variable metrage algorithm and monitors driving habits, hardware differences and environmental conditions continuously compared to the previous system that did not adjust the oil drain interval beyond 5,600 kilometres. Also, the new system supports the “Percent Oil Life Remaining” dash display along with the “Change Oil Soon” and “Change Oil Now” dash display features.

When it’s time for an oil change, our Mopar service lane can do it in 30 minutes or less and we do a whole list of courtesy checkups with every oil change.

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There are three kinds of engine oil: regular, blended and synthetic; and there are many viscosities, like 10W-40 or 20W-50, for example. My best advice is to refer to your owner’s manual for the proper viscosity and type. By the way, no matter what make or model your vehicle is, we can take care of changing the oil right here in our Mopar service lane and we do it in 30 minutes or less! Plus, we do a whole list of courtesy checkups with every oil change. Bring your vehicle into any Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep or Ram dealer, and we’ll take care of it for you.

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Absolutely. Engine oil filters suspend dirt, metal particles and sludge, allowing only clean oil to circulate through the engine. Clean oil also contributes to better fuel economy. Mopar filters are designed using FCA US LLC Engineering specifications, which means they help maintain peak engine efficiency and performance. Also, no matter what make or model your vehicle is, we can change the oil right here in our Mopar service lane. Your Mopar dealer has the right Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar oil filter and we do an extensive courtesy checkup with every oil change.

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All vehicles are a little bit different. You should refer to your owner’s manual for the proper way to check your fluids. The following fluids should be checked regularly:

  • Brake Fluid
  • Coolant
  • Differential Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Windshield Fluid
  • Engine Oil

By the way, we check and fill all of these fluids during the courtesy checkup we do with every oil change in our Mopar® service lane. It doesn’t matter what make or model your vehicle is. We do them all and we do it in 30 minutes or less! See a Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® or Ram dealer, and we’ll take care of it for you.

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If your wiper blades become damaged or worn, they can be a safety hazard. They impair your visibility and consequently reduce your reaction time in the event of an accident. Yet, wiper blades deteriorate so gradually, it is often difficult to notice, but here are some signs you can look out for.

Inspect your windshield for these signs:

  • Oil-like film
  • Missed sections
  • Blades lifting off the windshield
  • Beading after the blade passes
  • Blades chattering across the glass

And inspect your wipers for these signs:

  • Cracked, split or slashed rubber
  • Worn, ragged edges
  • Road grime, chemical-causing film or other contamination
  • Torn rubber pulling away from the blade
  • Bent or cracked wiper arm or wiper blade
  • Lost flexibility in rubber

If you see these signs, it’s time to replace your wipers. By the way, when you bring your vehicle into our Mopar® service lane, checking wipers is one of the many courtesy checks we do with every oil change, and if they need to be replaced, we can do them right on the spot! Or, if you’d rather replace them yourself, our parts department has the blades your vehicle needs.

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If your wipers need to be replaced, we can certainly do that in our Mopar service lane. Or, if you’d rather do them yourself, our parts department has the blades your vehicle needs.

Once you have your wiper blades, simply do the following:

  1. Gently lift the wiper arm and rotate the blade at the pivot.
  2. Pinch the release tab on the wiper blade and slide the blade assembly out from the hook and out of the wiper arm.
  3. Slide on a replacement blade of the same length.
  4. Gently push until locking tab clicks into place.
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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. They’re available at the Mopar parts counter, or your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® or Ram dealer can install them for you.

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Looking after your wiper blades is a great idea, and it’s really simple to do.

Wipe off any buildup of road grime, chemicals and salt from the rubber edges of the blade with a sponge or a soft cloth and a mild cleaner. Every time you clean your windshield, remember to quickly clean your wiper blades too.

Another added benefit of looking after your blades is it gives you an opportunity to inspect them. By the way, that’s just one of the many things we do during the courtesy checkup with every oil change in our Mopar service lane. If you need new blades, we can install them on the spot!

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It probably is. Huge bumps and potholes can seriously affect your shocks and struts after a while. They’re also the most overlooked service parts on a vehicle, but they affect ride control and comfort and can also affect a number of related parts. We can check your shocks and struts at your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® and Ram dealer, and we can replace them if needed. I would suggest using only Mopar® shocks and struts. We have them in stock in our parts department. Mopar shocks and struts are the original equipment on your vehicle and they optimize vehicle handling and tire life, and they’ll keep your vehicle riding smoothly.

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Yes, you will definitely need to replace it. You should check your owners’ manual for the recommended interval. In today's vehicles, a single drive belt provides power to many engine components. Replacing it at the recommended interval can prevent a breakdown or serious engine damage. Quality-tested Mopar® belts offer precision fit, optimal service life and original equipment performance. When it’s time to replace your drive belt, or if you see it’s damaged, see your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® or Ram dealer. We’re sure to have the belt you need in our parts department.

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You will need to replace them eventually. Check your owners’ manual for the recommended interval. In today's vehicles, hoses carry vital fluids under high pressure. Replacing them at the recommended interval can prevent a breakdown or serious engine damage. Quality-tested Mopar® hoses offer precision fit, optimal service life and original-equipment performance. When it’s time to replace your hoses, or if you see any damage or leaking, see your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® or Ram dealer. We’re sure to have the hose you need in our parts department.

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The power steering fluid should only be checked if a leak is suspected, abnormal noises are apparent and/or the system is not functioning as anticipated. If you’re hearing noises, or if you’re having any problems with your steering, bring it into your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® or Ram dealer as soon as possible.

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Generally, if your steering is growling or buzzing, it could be because your power steering fluid is low. If it’s squealing, your drive belt is probably slipping on the power steering unit. If it’s moaning when you turn the steering wheel, your power steering pump may be about to fail. If the steering wheel feels loose, it may indicate worn parts. If it feels wobbly or it’s pulling, it could be because your tire pressure is low or your suspension is out of alignment. And finally, if it feels heavy, you may have lost your power steering assist. If you’re experiencing any problems with your steering, see your Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® or Ram dealer as soon as possible.

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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 BluetoothTM Hands-Free Profile Technology 1.0 or higher, and starting with 2002 models, is available on most Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep® and Ram Brand vehicles. Contact your dealer for more information.

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