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Sorted by Category: Maintenance

Do I need a change? Oil Change that is!

oilMrs. Jones Asks: Why does my book say change my oil at 8,000 Kms and my trusted repair shop is recommending it sooner at 6,000kms?   Mark Says: Well I find that the oil change interval (time and KMS) between oil changes in the book are great if you don't plan to keep your car after the warranty runs out. Why?   Well motor oil is the main lubricant and also a cleaner for you internal engine parts, and when oil is driven up to and over 8,000kms/ 6 months we find that deposits build up inside and can cause issues later on.   New technology in engine designs like:  Variable Valve Timing, Twin Cam overhead valves, Turbo Charging, Direct Fuel Injection, VCT transmission, Hybrid engines are all designed to give us:  more power, use less fuel, reduced tail pipe emissions; All rely on clean quality oil and filter, and maybe some help from additives.   Some of the Problems we see due to extended oil change intervals are:
  • Engine slugging and deposits - repair cost $200-$5,000
  • Stretch timing chains - repair cost $1,000-$2,000
  • Sticking or clogged Variable valve timing solenoids - repair cost $500-$2,500
  • Damaged Turbo chargers - oil starvation due to clogged screens - repair cost $800-$5,000
So let's look at the true cost of replacing the oil a little sooner than the book says and help to avoid some of the above mentioned oil related issues: Let's assume you drive 25k a year, keep your car for 8 years or 200,000kms
  • A basic oil change service costs about $40.00 + tax
  • 25k/8,000km = 3 changes a year at $40 = $120 x 8 years = $960 in oil change service only for 200,000kms
  • 25k/6,000km = 4 changes a year at $40 = $160 x 8 years = $1280 difference of $320 over 8 years 200,000kms
So the cost over 8 years doing 1 extra service annually (shorter interval) is only about $320 for basic oil, sounds good eh? Like the old "Fram Oil Filter"  TV commercial, "pay me now Or pay me later" starts to make more sense now. Cheers, Mark At Mark's Auto Service, we know the importance of scheduled maintenance, including oil changes. You don't have to go to a quick stop or the dealer. Don't worry about your warranty, it's safe here at Mark's.

Don't 'Fall' Behind in Your Vehicle Maintenance

Fall RaodSeasonal car care planning and preventative maintenance can save you money and time as the weather changes. Article from Mobile1 Timely maintenance does more than keep your vehicle running smoothly. It will save you money in both the short- and long-term because you are improving your vehicle's trade-in value, getting the most out of its mileage, and preventing costly repairs down the road. In addition to keeping cash in your pockets, performing routine maintenance and using quality products can help drivers stay safe through even the nastiest of conditions. Maintenance plays a big role in staying safe - according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about one in eight crashes can be attributed to mechanical defects due to neglected vehicle maintenance. To avoid costly repairs and ensure your safety, prepare for harsh conditions in advance by following a few simple guidelines: Early Fall
  • Tune-ups - Get a full engine tune-up, as outlined in your owner's manual.
  • Fix the brakes - Don't postpone needed brake work. Avoiding brake repair can be extremely dangerous, and if you procrastinate, you may end up damaging your rotors and incurring considerably more repair cost.
  • Get an oil change - Motor oil is the lifeblood of every vehicle. Replacing your current oil with a synthetic product that is specifically designed for longer oil change intervals helps to extend the life of your car.
Mid to Late Fall
  • Inspect the battery - If a battery is older than four years, it may not work well in cold weather. When in doubt, replace it.
  • Inspect filters, coolants and hoses - Make sure all filters (oil, gas and air) are in good condition. Inspect the coolant and thermostat to ensure proper engine warm-up, and make sure your heater and defroster work. Coolant should be changed every two years. Inspect for leaking or soft hoses and replace as needed.
  • Emergencies - Put together an emergency kit containing gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter (handy for providing traction on slippery surfaces), tire chains, a flashlight and a cell phone. You may also want to put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.
Late Fall
  • Tire pressure - Inspect tires for excessive wear and proper inflation. Be careful not to under-inflate or over-inflate tires. Low pressure increases wear and fuel consumption, while too much pressure can reduce traction, especially in icy conditions. As the weather gets cooler, your air pressure decreases.
  • Icy windows and locks - Make sure to have window ice scrapers and de-icers available. Also make sure your windshield wipers and front and rear defrosters are working properly. A de-icer for door locks is also useful.
  • Slow down - Do not exceed speed limits and keep safe driving distances. Unnecessary speedups, slowdowns and stops can decrease fuel economy by up to two miles per gallon. Avoid gas-wasting jackrabbit starts and pace your driving to help avoid the need for sudden stops, which is especially critical during wet and icy road conditions.
  • Vehicle warm-up - To ensure proper engine oil flow and lubrication, allow your engine to idle for a few seconds before driving in cold weather, and drive slowly for the first few miles until the oil is fully warmed up. In addition to being good for your engine, this practice reduces emissions and saves fuel.
There's no reason to put off what you can accomplish today - and why wait until it's bitter out?Your car will be more reliable throughout the winter if properly cared for in the fall month.

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