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Why are Oil Changes so important?

Most people know that standard vehicle maintenance begins with regular oil changes every 3-5,000 miles on the road.  What many people don't know, is why changing your oil is so important, and what type of oil is best for your car.  We aim to answer those questions in today's entry.

First, let's talk about why your oil needs to be changed, and what oil does for your car.  Oil is the main lubricator for all the moving parts in your engine, as well as keeping those moving parts cool.  It's very important because without oil (or without quality oil) your car's engine could be at risk to damage from grinding parts and overheating.  Replacing even a part of your engine will end up being more than an oil change any day of the week, so it's a big deal to make sure that you've got fresh oil running through your vehicle.   Now, you may be thinking, "why change it every 5,000 miles?"  Well that's because over time, the additives in your car's oil get used up, and the oil can build up sludge and leave deposits in your engine.  That's a no-no.  One of the quickest ways to cause permanent damage on an engine is to leave old dirty oil running through it.  So, as you can tell, it's crucial that your car's oil is being changed on a regular basis, now how do you know what kind of oil to put in it?

There are a few different types of oil out there, there's conventional oil, synthetic blend or semi-synthetic oil, and fully synthetic oil.  For those of you that don't know, synthetic means it was created in a lab, so the synthetic blend and fully synthetic oils have been modified or created in a lab to perform better in certain areas.  Conventional oil is just that, oil refined from crude oil.  Conventional oil is definitely the cheapest, and gets the job done in most vehicles.  Synthetic oils will be more expensive, and tend to perform best in older and/or high-performance vehicles.  Synthetic oils boast longer life and lubrication, but aren't always worth the extra money.  Without getting into too much detail on why different oil is better for different engines, your best bet is always to consult your owner's manual, and a car-care professional about what should be going into your engine.  And don't forget to ask why!  If someone suggests a fully synthetic oil for your 2012 Chevy Cruze, ask them why!  Newer, everyday vehicles tend to function just as well on conventional, or semi-synthetic oils as they would on fully synthetic oils, so keep that in mind before shelling out the extra cash!

Lastly, remember that within these categories, there are several other factors to consider, like the viscosity, or the quality of the oil itself.  These are questions that should be asked to your car care professional.  They will help you make sure that you get the right kind of oil, and the best kind of oil, running through your vehicle.

Posted on Feb 2, 2014 by Dennis Broehm  •  Comments

Tire Pressure is more important than you think!

Tires are sort of the unsung heroes of the car world.  They do so much, and are so important, yet they are one of the most forgotten about parts of a car, at least from a consumer perspective.  time and time again people don't think to change their tires, check the air pressure, or even inspect them at all!  We want to let you know that it is absolutely worth a few seconds to check your tires and make sure they are in good shape, and their pressure is in a good spot.

Tire pressure affects many different facets of how well your car drives.  Not only is it unsafe to drive on under, or overinflated tires, it's also less efficient!  Driving on underinflated tires makes more of the tire touch the road at all times, which creates more friction, making your car work harder to get up to speed and stay there which lowers MPG.  Not only that, but more friction means more heat, which leads to faster wear and tear, and could lead to severe tire damage which could get you in a nasty accident.  

On the flipside, if your tires are overinflated, less of the tire's surface will touch the road when you're driving, which is also no good.  Overinflated tires will make your car bounce on the road and have less overall traction, meaning that your stopping distances would be much greater as well.

For these reasons and many more, it's crucial that you have the proper tire pressure and that you check on it frequently.  Most car's ideal tire pressure is around 30PSI, but it is different from car to car.  If you are unsure what your car's ideal tire pressure is, there is a label on the inside of your driver's side door that will tell you.  You can also check your owner's manual, or consult a professional, like us!

Safe driving everyone!

Posted on Jan 1, 2014 by Dennis Broehm  •  Comments

Slip…Slide…Curb…Ouch!

            Driving in the winter is not always forward.  Sometimes it goes sideways.  Often not a problem, unless an obstacle, such as a curb, gets in the way.  After a curb hit, it is important not to ignore the symptoms of damage.  How does the car handle?  Steering wheel shaking when driving or braking?  Noise when driving forward?  Does the car now pull or drift to the side of the road?

            Suppose I don’t notice immediate changes?  Subtle changes in a control arm or a change in toe-in may not be felt, but will cause significant tire wear and potentially ruin the front tires.  This may lead to future tire failure and potential breakdowns or even safety issues.

            Bottom line…after hitting a curb, get the vehicle checked out immediately to confirm damage or lack of damage.  To read further, check out this article - http://www.youfixcars.com/car-hit-a-curb.html

Posted on Nov 11, 2013 by Dennis Broehm  •  Comments

Surprise!  You own it!

Life is full of surprises. Some are fun.  Others…not so much.  Like searching for a quality used car.  The tires look shiny, but the engine leaks oil.  The inside is detailed, but the exhaust is noisy.  Which repairs are expensive?  You are getting rid of a broken car and the last thing you need is another one.

So be pro-active!  Find an independent auto technician with experience and ask for a second opinion.  Ask for specifics on the condition of the suspension parts – tie-rods, steering rack, ball joints and bushings.  What about the condition of the brakes – worn, rusty, pulsating?  How is the transmission fluid?  Is there evidence of leaking on the backside of the motor, or around the intake gasket?  Will the shocks and struts be ok?

Has anyone tried to hide damage or rust by painting over it?  Does the A/C work ok or does it make noise?

For a nominal fee you can save yourself countless head-aches and thousands of dollars.  Use the information to negotiate a lower purchase price or to convince yourself to throw the keys and run away.

Check out the video - http://youtu.be/Gm-Gxz75iLo

Posted on Sep 9, 2013 by Dennis Broehm  •  Comments

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