Tag Archives: automotive repair

Why Changing Your Oil Is Important

To Change or Not to Change Your Oil

A lot of controversy has shrouded the oil change discussion in recent years with some professionals saying people are changing their oil too often. Oil chemistry and engine technology is constantly improved and the past couple of years have seen huge strides in improvement of the quality and operation of both. However, vehicle owners have already bought into the quick-change behavior that it’s almost impossible to notice these improvements. Vehicle owners are currently spending millions of dollars and changing their oils based on the 3000-mile oil change recommendations.

Today, vehicle manufactures are calling for changing oils after at least 7,500 to 10000 miles with some cars going as high as 15000 miles depending on model and use. The wasteful cycle of changing oils after 3000 miles has been perpetuated greatly buy the need of some service bays busy. You may be dumping your engine oil twice or thrice as often as your vehicle’s service manual recommends.

Vehicle owners have bought into the 3000-mile oil change commandment due to feat over the increasing complexity of car engines. In most vehicles today, the only thing you can access when you pop open the hood is the oil cap. Oil is the last thing that the customer seemingly has direct influence over. It gives the feeling that you are taking better care of your vehicle if you change your oil more often. The biggest mistake that vehicle owners make is not reading their vehicle manual to learn about the recommended change interval of the vehicle.

Customers should be more aware of the amazing changes in the automotive industry. Most vehicles released from the year 2013 are recommended for oil changes between 7500 to 10000 miles for a normal service schedule. The shortest interval for changing your oil currently is 5000 miles in some vehicles. With technology such as synthetic oils, some vehicles have managed to stretch these intervals making the 3000-mile mark obsolete.

The increase in the oil change interval can be attributed to improved robustness of today’s oils. They have better ability to protect the vehicle engine from wear, heat, have low emissions and deliver good fuel economy. More automakers today are also using synthetic oils. Oil life monitoring systems that notify the driver when a change is required in some vehicles help drivers avoid changing the engine oils too frequently. Over sixteen of the 34 carmakers today, use oil life monitoring systems in vehicle manufactured from 2013.

If vehicle owners continue to stay in the 3000-mile oil change system, they will miss out on these great advances in automotive technology and continue to spend thousands of dollars every year unnecessarily.


Break Repair

Why Do My Brakes Squeak

car repair

If you’re lucky, the squealing (or squeaking) noise that your brakes make when you first drive your car in the morning, particularly after rain or snow, is just surface rust being scraped off the rotors by the pads the first few times you apply the brake pedal, or the result of moisture and dirt that collects on the rotors, including from condensation caused by high humidity. If it goes away after a few brake applications, no worries.

If the noise persists most times or every time you apply the brakes or stays on continuously while you’re driving, the cause is more serious — and the fix will be more expensive.

A continuous high-pitched squeal while you’re driving is usually the sound of a built-in wear indicator telling you that it’s time for new pads. As the pads wear down and get thinner, a small metal tab contacts the rotor like a needle on a vinyl record to warn you it’s time for new pads. (Some wear indicators may work differently and engage only when you apply the brakes.)

Other squeals and squeaks will require a brake inspection to diagnose, and may require cleaning, lubrication or adjustment, and possibly new parts. Most brake noise is caused by worn or loose parts.

For example, an unevenly worn rotor (often referred to as “warped”) won’t let the brake pads press flat against the rotor when you apply the brakes, and that can create vibrations that generate noise. Likewise, an unevenly worn pad won’t press tightly against the rotor and may chirp. Another possibility is that the pads are loosely mounted, or the shims that hold them in place have corroded or become loose.

And then there are the pads themselves. Some mechanics warn that bargain-bin pads are more likely to be noisier than higher-quality, more-expensive pads. In addition, loose or sticking calipers can contribute noise.

Because there are several possibilities, and because brakes are a crucial safety feature, it is best to have a pro diagnose noise.

A grinding sound usually means that the pads have worn away, and now the backing plates on which they were mounted are being squeezed against the rotor. This metal-to-metal contact means that you will need to replace the rotor as well — and that you probably ignored some earlier warning signs of brake wear.