What Child Safety Seat Should I Use?

Mother securing her baby in the car seat in her car

The kids are all packed and ready to go, but is the car properly prepared for a family-friendly journey? Many new parents wonder, “What child safety seat should I use?” to keep the little ones protected on the go. The answer depends on the age of your child. From rear-facing seats for toddler to booster seats for children, we’ve created a guide to help you navigate the different options for every age group. Read on for more information and if you need any extra help, feel free to contact Bowman Chevy for all the details!

General Tips

Most car seats are made for a specific age group, as well as a height and weight range. Pay close attention to the height and weight maximums, since children grow rapidly in the first few years. A seat that fit your preschooler may be far too small for your kindergartener. Regardless of price and marketing, the best seat is simply the one that fits your child and your vehicle properly. We recommend getting to know your vehicle’s LATCH system, which is a built-in universal attachment system to secure car seats of any brand.

Car Seats by Age Group

Now that you know the basics, let’s go into the specifics! Here is a quick run-down of the appropriate car seat for each age group. However, be sure to do a little research before you commit to a model – especially if your child is on the cusp.

  • Infants and toddlers should use a rear-facing seat to stay safe on the road. Parents can choose an infant-only seat until they reach around 20 pounds, or they can opt for a convertible seat when the baby is a little older.
  • Toddlers and preschoolers can switch to a forward-facing seat once they outgrow the weight or height maximums of the rear-facing seat. These seats come with a harness to keep your little one secure.
  • Young children between 3 and 8 years old can graduate to a booster seat, which gives them extra height to reach the car’s safety belt. Consider opting for a high-back booster if your car has a lower backseat, or go for a backless booster if your car has a headrest.
  • Older children who have grown to 4 foot 9 inches can use the car’s seat belt normally. Children under 13 should stay in the back, while teens can ride up front with parents.

OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts

Assorted Auto Parts_6752780

When your car is in need of a replacement part or when you are looking to upgrade your vehicle with accessories, there are many options on the market. You may be wondering about the difference between OEM vs. aftermarket parts. While aftermarket parts may have an attractive price point, there are many reasons to opt for OEM parts from Bowman Chevrolet.

What are Aftermarket Parts?

An aftermarket part is any auto part or accessory that is not produced by the original manufacturer of the car. While aftermarket parts may be cheaper than those directly sourced from the original manufacturer, there are a few things to consider.

  • Overwhelming selection – With aftermarket parts, there could be dozens of options for even the most simple components, like spark plugs. This could make it difficult to decide on the best option, and you could end up getting stuck with a low quality part.
  • Quality can vary immensely – When compared with OEM parts, some aftermarket parts may be inferior due to the use of lower quality materials in production. Although the price tag may be attractive, sometimes you get what you pay for.
  • Lack of warranty – To ensure a low price point, may aftermarket parts come without a warranty. Some may even void a vehicle’s warranty.

Why Choose OEM Parts?

OEM parts are created by the vehicle’s manufacturer, so they are a perfect match for the parts they replace. What are some of the benefits of OEM parts?

  • Selection is easy – With OEM parts, there is usually just one type available, so you don’t have to try to determine the quality of the part you choose.
  • Assurance of quality – Because the OEM part you get is exactly the same as the one it replaces, you are familiar with its performance.
  • Warranties are included – Most OEM parts come with at least a one-year warranty against any defects.

Visit the Bowman Chevy Parts Department

At Bowman Chevy, we are proud to offer high quality auto parts to ensure your vehicle operates at peak performance for many years to come. Stop by today to browse our extensive inventory, or set up a service appointment for anything from routine maintenance to extensive repairs from the comfort of your home.

Why Are Tire Rotations Important?

Stack of tires

Rotating your tires is probably not a chore you think about too often, and there’s no alert or warning light to remind you to do it. Why are tire rotations important? Because doing it consistently prolongs the life of your tires and helps keep you and your passengers safe.

Listen to the Recommendations

Take a moment to check your manual to see how often you should be rotating your tires and what the rotation pattern should be. Then, put a calendar alert in your phone or write yourself a reminder. Great! You’ve just taken a big step toward keeping your tires healthy and in good condition. Experts recommend rotating your tires regularly to help maintain even treads on all four tires. That’s important for several reasons:

  • Your ride is smooth and comfortable, with minimal vibrations.
  • The suspension components take less abuse because of the smoother ride.
  • Gas mileage is better when your car is running smoothly and efficiently.
  • Regular tire checks help spot minor issues before they become big problems, which can save you money and major headaches.

What Happens if You Don’t Rotate Your Tires?

Your tires will begin to wear unevenly if you don’t rotate your tires, and this is shown in variations in the tread depth. You (or your service professional) can measure the tread depth in several spots on each tire, and if there are some big differences, then your tires are not wearing properly. An example of this is called “tread feathering.” Tread feathering is quite common, and you can feel it just by touching your tires. If the blocks have sharp edges on one side and rounded edges on the other, then you know that your tires should have already been rotated.

Your front tires also wear out differently than your rear tires, which happens because of the different demands placed on them. That’s why rotating your tires so they work in both the front and back positions helps them last longer and even out their wear.

If your tires are wearing unevenly, you can actually hear and feel more vibrations and road noise, especially on the steering wheel. Pay attention if you notice these symptoms, and take your car in for a tire rotation.

Schedule Your Next Tire Rotation

Tire rotations aren’t just important, they’re vital to the life of your tires. Schedule your vehicle’s next tire rotation at Bowman Chevy’s service department, where we’ll take good care of your tires and whatever else you need. Contact us now to get your tires in tip top shape!