Tag Archives: car maintenance tips

Is Your Vehicle Not Handling Like It Used to? Here Are the Possible Causes

Vehicle Handling

Every vehicle owner is familiar with the feeling that something is a bit off with their vehicle’s handling. It happens to every car, sports utility vehicle, or truck eventually. One of the most common reasons why someone inquires about auto repair services is because they feel like their steering is off. Perhaps the vehicle doesn’t seem as responsive as it used to. Maybe it drifts. You could even feel like your vehicle requires more forceful steering wheel turns in order to get the desired motion. Whatever the specifics are, something seems wrong with how the vehicle is handling.

 

This is such a common problem that you’d think you could give a definitive answer to what was going wrong right away. Unfortunately, that’s not the case when it comes to vehicle handling issues. For those who aren’t so keen on doing their own auto repairs, think of it this way. Have you ever been sick and Googled your symptoms? You’d think a sore throat means strep or a cold. But it turns out that a sore throat is actually a symptom of a dozen different illnesses. Without going to a doctor, you’d never be able to properly figure out what is actually wrong. While you can guess, only a professional has the tools to give the proper diagnosis. It’s not too different when talking about your car or truck. Sure, you may have an idea of what’s going wrong, but a mechanic can properly identify where the issue with your vehicle’s handling is actually occurring.

 

The truth is that different parts of your vehicle could be causing that sensation of your vehicle not handling properly. If you’ve reached a point where your vehicle is behaving that way, it’s probably well past time to bring it into a mechanic to check out, anyway. It could be something that would have been caught during a routine maintenance visit several months ago. It’s good to have a general sense of what the issue could be before your appointment, however. While you may not be able to make the determination yourself about what is wrong, you won’t be so surprised when the mechanic comes back from inspecting your vehicle and lets you know what needs to be done. Here are some of the most common reasons why a vehicle can suddenly feel like it’s handling poorly.

 

Transmission Issues

 

Getting your transmission looked at is something you need to do a few times (probably) during the life of your vehicle if you keep it for many years. Alternatively, it’s something you need to do if you drive it long distances with regularity. You should at least get your transmission fluid changed when appropriate. It’s hard to give hard numbers on when you should, so consult your owner’s manual. However, keep in mind if you drive under stressful conditions (hard stops, stop and go traffic) often, then your transmission needs to get checked more frequently.

 

Now, unfortunately, transmission issues can be behind your vehicle’s odd performance. Generally, one of the most feared phrases one can hear come out of a mechanic’s mouth is “It’s the transmission” because it’s often a costly fix. As is usually the case, early intervention when it comes to transmission issues can keep repair costs down.

 

If it’s just your transmission fluid that’s old, getting it changed may be just the fix you need. However, if the fluid is so old and dirty that it’s causing noticeable performance issues, it could be that there’s damage already from particles in the fluid. If the gear teeth get worn down or break, a vehicle can slip out of gear, causing the handling issue you’re experiencing.

 

Tire Problem

 

If it’s not the transmission, and hopefully it isn’t, there’s a good chance that it’s something to do with your tires. In fact, this is probably the most common reason as many people tend to not take care of their tires as often as they should. To be fair, life is busy. Who is going to remember to do the penny test on their treads when the kids have three different practices to get to after school?

 

A variety of things could be going on with your tires that are causing the vehicle to handle oddly. The first thing you want to check is your air pressure. Whether it’s too low or too high, you’ll feel it. Low tires control poorly and you may hear screeching when making turns. Too much air makes you feel every bump in the road and can even cause a blowout.

 

Tires can also be misaligned or not secured. If you changed your tire yourself recently, make sure that it’s set firmly against the back disc. If the nuts on the tire aren’t secure, you’ll definitely feel a vibration while you drive. If you notice that one front tire is wearing down faster than the other, that usually signals an alignment issue.

 

Suspension Is Off

 

If the issue isn’t the tires themselves, it could be something very close nearby. It could either be something wrong with your suspension or an axle. When something happens to the suspension, the telltale signs are usually obvious. One thing to look for is a dramatic pulling to one side while driving. You may notice a sensation of bouncing up and down when coming to a stop. The vehicle doesn’t just settle into position anymore. An axle can get bent relatively easily. It takes some force, but it can certainly happen if you’re in an accident or hit a particularly deep pothole. A bent axle can alter a vehicle’s handling.

 

Brakes Need to Get Checked

 

Another common reason for poor handling is that there is something wrong with the brakes. Brake fixes are one of the most typical kinds of auto repair because often issues aren’t investigated until there are serious problems. There are many indicators that something is amiss with your brakes. You can hear them squeal or grind, feel them grinding, and in some instances even smell them. If it is your brakes that are causing your vehicle to handle oddly, it’s going to be while you’re trying to stop. If you’re just driving along and feeling yourself drift, that’s not going to be your brakes. But, if you’re feeling a pull when braking, you might have your culprit right there. Hopefully, it’s as simple a fix as getting your brake pads replaced. Of course, if you’ve been driving on damaged brake pads for a significant amount of time, you’ve increased the chances of causing damage to the discs or drums. If there are issues at that level, you could be looking at more serious repairs.

 

Conclusion

 

No matter what specifically is causing your vehicle to handle poorly, it’s important you get it fixed as soon as possible. It’s dangerous to drive for long with a vehicle that doesn’t respond properly to your control. Depending on the root cause, you could be driving on what’s shaping up to be a major repair. Come get it fixed before it turns into one. Contact us today to schedule a time to bring your vehicle in. At Independent Motors, we’re dedicated to doing right by our customers. We’ll be honest about the work your vehicle needs and we’ll provide the service at a fair price.

Does the Heat Have You Stressed? Your Vehicle is Feeling it Too

Vehicles in the Heat

Our automobiles are built pretty tough. Two tons of metal being propelled by a controlled explosion pretty much has to be tough by definition. That’s a pretty cool way of describing a car and an accurate one if you think about it. But, our cars and trucks are not invincible as we are all inevitably reminded whenever we have to worry about what the next auto repair will be. Regular maintenance is part of responsible vehicle ownership. And, to be perfectly honest, if you want to save money in the long run you’ll want to keep up with your repairs. Smaller maintenance tweaks cost far less than major repairs when something goes wrong or, worse, you need to buy a whole new vehicle.

 

In order to effectively stay on top of your vehicle’s maintenance, it’s important to know when you need to keep on top of certain issues. Believe it or not, the weather can really put the hurt on your vehicle. That goes for extreme weather in either direction. But, as of this writing we’re in May, so let’s focus on how the hot summer months can really put additional stress on your vehicle. The summertime is ripe for causing situations where you would need to invest in auto repair. So, keeping an eye on certain parts of your vehicle would be in your best interest.

 

The main system you have to keep an eye on is related to cooling and powering that cooling. The cooling system of the vehicle itself along with the air conditioning to keep its occupants cool are put under heavy stress during the summer months. As a result of this stress, your battery can really suffer as well. Additionally, though not connected to the other components, your tires and oil are other components of your vehicle you’ll want to keep an eye on once the temperature really goes up. Here is what you need to know about these vehicle components that get especially stressed during the summer.

 

Batteries

 

It only makes sense to start with the part that powers all the others. It’s important to keep an eye on your battery all year, but the warm months are when it’ll be put under the heaviest load. But it’s not just usage that wears the battery down. Environmental factors play a big part.

 

Heat is especially bad for batteries. Vibration isn’t great either, but in a moving vehicle that’s hard to avoid. But, you can make sure your battery is properly secured to minimize issues. Thermal runaway is something you’re going to be looking to avoid. If you want a very in-depth read on the math and science behind battery thermal runaway you can check out this blog post. For many, the pictures of batteries will be enough to demonstrate the possible destructiveness. Have your mechanic make sure the battery is securely mounted and the charging output is correct.

 

Cooling Systems

 

Clearly, your cooling system will be working overtime to make sure your vehicle doesn’t overheat. This means being mindful of your coolant levels. Driving around with low coolant for too long can cause serious damage. There are two things when it comes to coolant that you should be mindful of. The first is that coolant, like any other vehicle fluid, will eventually break down due to use. Similarly to your car’s oil, your coolant contains compounds that protect your vehicle from conditions like corrosion, freezing, or boiling. And, similarly to oil, once coolant breaks down and damaging particles get through, major parts of your vehicle can get clogged and cease to work properly. In this case, it would be your radiator.

 

Running low on coolant and not replacing it regularly isn’t the only thing you need to be mindful of. An already damaged radiator or, more commonly, worn out hoses can also be causing you to lose coolant at an even faster rate. Because of the already intense outside temperatures, engine overheating becomes even more likely.

 

Air Conditioning Systems

 

Can you imagine driving around in high temperatures without being able to keep yourself cool? Pretty horrible, right? If you want to actually stand being able to be in your car for long periods of time, you need to make sure your air conditioning system is working reliably. It’s important to note here when you’re discussing auto repairs, air condition system repairs in particular can be very expensive if the issue is severe enough. That’s why you want to get out ahead of any issues.

 

You should bring your vehicle in so a mechanic can inspect belts, clear out any clogged vents, and check for leaks that could be an indication of a greater problem brewing. Your mechanic will also check your refrigerant to ensure there is enough present to optimally run your air conditioning system. With these simple maintenance measures put in place, you can avoid a full air conditioning system replacement.

 

Tires

 

If your battery, coolant levels, and your air condition system are all looking good, you’re in pretty good shape. But, your tires need some attention, too. People often forget about their tires and assume they’re always good to go as long as they’re not bald. But, the summer brings unique risks that can degrade your tires quickly.

 

To put it simply, the combination of high temperatures and low air pressure can make for a risky situation. While you should always be aware of the status of your tire pressure, the increased heat and very hot asphalt can cause issues with deflated tires more quickly. Temperature changes have a greater impact on air pressure than many people may realize. Always inflate your tires to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI.

 

Oil

 

We’ve already touched on coolant and mentioned oil there, but it’s important to reiterate the importance of being cognizant of the status of your motor oil. All of your vehicle’s fluids are critical to proper function. Like with many vehicle components, they should be minded all year. But the summer brings its own challenges.

 

Hot engines need proper lubrication to run properly. They run even hotter during the summer, so the need for consistent oil levels is very important. In the past, you may have heard you need to use thicker motor oil for the summer. This used to be the case but many modern engines have done away with this requirement. This is due to the fact that most engine wear occurs during short period after start up and it’s easier for thinner oil to lubricate all the engine components quicker than thicker oil. The most important maintenance item to remember is to periodically check your oil levels to make sure they are where they should be and bring your vehicle in for regular oil changes to avoid the buildup of engine-damaging sludge.

 

Conclusion

 

If the hot weather has you feeling stressed, your car would agree if it could speak. The summer months, while fun to take a trip during, are really taxing on your vehicle. But, by keeping an eye on the above components and bringing in your vehicle now for some pre-summer maintenance, you can avoid more costly repairs. At Independent Motors, we strive to provide you with the best service at the most competitive prices. And we value honesty above all. We’ll be up front about what would be best for prolonging your vehicle’s life. Call us today to schedule a time to bring in your vehicle and get ready for the summer.

What You Need to Know About Changing to Summer Tires

Summer Tires

The changing of the seasons brings a yearly ritual that we all hopefully enjoy as it signals warmer days and nicer weather. More days are spent with the windows open. The outdoor furniture gets cleaned off in anticipation of more use. We start planning our family vacations. We change the tires on our car.

 

Wait, what? We change the tires on our car? One of these things is not like the others.

 

You do change your tires, right? If not, perhaps you should find out more about using summer tires.

 

It’s safe to say tires are one bit of automobile subject matter that people don’t generally like to think about until they experience a flat. That’s because the process of changing tires is often characterized as time consuming and expensive. Who wouldn’t want to avoid a process that costs you money and time as much as possible? Human nature aside, you could only be causing yourself to incur more expenses down the line by ignoring your tires. Often, the most expensive auto repair can be avoided if proper maintenance is performed at regular intervals.

 

While some may feel a tire is a tire, practically speaking that isn’t true. The reason why we have tires for different seasons is because environmental conditions can have more of an impact on a vehicle than one might realize. Tires, in particular, are designed to deal with a great deal of stress, wear, and tear. Extreme temperatures sometimes require extra fortification that is specifically built into the corresponding season appropriate tire. If you’ve ever wondered what the real difference is between summer tires, winter tires, and even all year tires, this is the quick guide for you.

 

Why Not Just Use All Year Tires?

 

This is probably the first question that comes to mind when you start seeing all these different kinds of tires. Can’t I just stick to one decent set that’s good enough all year round without having to worry about changing them every few months? The answer, as with all things, is “it depends.” Clear as mud, right?

 

There are three different points to keep in mind when trying to determine what kind of tire is right for you: the climate you live in (or plan to be driving in), the expected driving conditions of that place, and the kind of performance you’re looking to get out of your vehicle. The thing with all year tires is that are decidedly, well, middle of the road. They are the Goldilocks tire. All year tires are just right if you live in a mild climate that doesn’t experience extreme weather in any direction, doesn’t necessarily have a whole lot of rainfall or other conditions that would make roads wet, and you’re not driving a car that you’re looking to get as much control over as possible. We’ll get to the control part shortly.

 

If you live in an exceptionally warm climate or a cold one with significant snowfall, your all year tires won’t give you the best performance available. This can lead to other problems, to say nothing of the increase in the chances of having an accident. Each kind of tire gives you additional control, including braking ability, depending on the driving conditions. For example, summer tires have the most precise handling and are a good investment for people with sports cars who greatly value having maximum control on sharp turns and the like.

 

Let’s take a look at winter tires first and why it’s not advised to keep them on your vehicle beyond the snowy months.

 

Why You Need to Switch Off from Your Winter Tires

 

To start, many people ask if they can just keep their winter tires on all year. Is there really that big of a difference? No, it is strongly recommended that you do not keep your winter tires on. Depending on how the weather changes, it can be exceptionally dangerous to do so. That’s because winter tires are constructed differently.

 

The rubber on winter tires is designed to stay soft. That’s because you want the rubber remaining soft enough in the very cold weather of winter. That design will help you have better control and brake sooner in snow. What this means is, in warmer weather when the pavement gets surprisingly hot, the rubber on winter tires can ball up. In some cases, it can even disintegrate. It doesn’t need to be explained how that can quickly turn into a dangerous situation.

 

Additionally, winter tires offer less fine control, making tight turns far more difficult. And in rainy conditions, even all year tires perform better. In dry conditions, winter tires need far more room to brake compared to summer or all year tires. Your chances of making a sudden stop safely diminish if you keep winter tires on beyond the recommended months.

 

The Benefits of Summer Tires

 

You now know how important it is to take the winter tires off once the snow is gone for the year. But, what are the specific advantages of using summer tires during the warm months?

 

The tread compounds in summer tires are designed in such a way that your vehicle will have better traction on hot asphalt. Summer tires are created with performance in mind, as stated earlier. This is why they are ideal for high-performance vehicles. You get increased precision, responsiveness, braking, and cornering. The shallower tread depth on summer tires grips the road better than all year tires.

 

Summer tires offer the best handling experience. All year tires, because they have to be serviceable in performance during light winter months and warmer months, handle comfortably enough. But you sacrifice precision and braking. Additionally, summer tires don’t tend to last as long as all year tires because of their shallow tread. If all year tires get about 60,000 miles, summer tires maybe get around 25,000.

 

Getting Your Tires Regularly Checked

 

Speaking of keeping an eye on your tread, it’s important to be aware of when it’s time to change tires regardless of the seasons. Bald tires are an unnecessary danger. They can pop with more ease, offer little control, and skid with more regularity. In extreme cases, the tire can be worn down to a flat even if no significant puncture has been made.

 

If you’re not sure how long ago you bought your tires or you can’t tell if the tread is too worn down, bring your vehicle in to get looked at. A bald tire is an extreme case that occurs after using tires for far too long. A tire doesn’t have to be completely bald before it starts having performance issues. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to old tires.

 

Conclusion

 

Doing your due diligence and maintaining your tires is important for both extending the years of use of your vehicle and, more importantly, your own personal safety. Part of that due diligence is making sure you’re installing the appropriate tires for the season. At Independent Motors, we’re committed to providing you with the best auto repair services at honest, reasonable prices. Call us today and schedule a time to bring your vehicle in. One of our expert technicians will provide you with the professional service you deserve.

How to Best Prepare Your Vehicle for Spring

Get Your Vehicle Ready for Spring

When it comes to maintaining a vehicle, the first thing that springs to mind is cost. Why is it so expensive to get auto repairs done? Can’t they be done for cheaper? For many people, having to get their car or truck fixed is an unavoidable burden. After all, unless you live in some specific cities, it’s pretty hard to get around without a vehicle. There are a few things one can say to these understandably outraged sounding questions.

 

The first thing is to find technicians you can trust! We do exist. But instead of talking about the people doing your repairs, let’s talk about the bottom line and what is really the most important issue to you: your money. Owning a car costs money, there’s no way around it. But there ways to save more of that money in the long run and that’s by properly maintaining your car. See, many times when you bring your car in because something has gone wrong, you get hit with the information that there are actually many things wrong and this visit is going to cost you more than anticipated. This is not an unusual scenario and can sometimes feel like you’re being worked over a bit. Some shops may run that way. But, the truth is, if you’re suddenly surprised by a bunch of repairs that need to be done, it’s probably because the proper maintenance wasn’t done all along to upkeep the vehicle.

 

Taking proper care of your vehicle can help you avoid those situations where you hear that seemingly everything has gone wrong at once and you need to fix it or buy a new car. By maintaining your vehicle, you can keep it running for years and miles to come. That’s why it’s so important to take the changing of the seasons seriously. Making some maintenance decisions to properly meet the conditions the changing of the weather brings is an important part of extending the life of your vehicle. For the most part, you probably take winter pretty seriously. The fear of ice, other dangerous driving conditions, and the effects the cold can have on your car are well known and widely shared. But, the shift to spring requires its own tune ups as we’re about to discuss.

 

Here are some of the best ways you can prepare your vehicle for the spring. Getting into the habit of preparing your car for the changing seasons will help make sure your car gets to see more of them.

 

Get it Cleaned

 

This first tip is one that sometimes gets overlooked because it’s assumed that you’re only getting your car washed for aesthetic purposes. Everyone knows how dirty vehicles can get during the winter because of the snow, salt, and dirt that can accumulate. But, making sure to get your car thoroughly cleaned isn’t just about having it look presentable when you’re driving around in the warm spring weather.

 

That same salt that makes unsightly streaks on your car’s exterior could be wreaking havoc in your undercarriage. Salt can cause quite a bit of damage over time due to rust and corrosion. Your muffler, exhaust system, coil springs, brakes, and more could be experiencing corrosion due to this build-up of salt. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re washing it out.

 

Replace Windshield Wipers

 

Windshield wipers tend to get forgotten when it comes to replacing them in a timely manner. Sure, they might streak a little, but you just spray more fluid and that kind of helps. This isn’t a practice that’s terribly safe. Windshield wipers are cheap enough that you shouldn’t risk a dangerous situation just for the sake of putting off replacing them a bit longer. If you’re seeing streaks, get new ones. The winter takes a heavy toll on your windshield wipers. That old “April showers bring May flowers” saying isn’t wrong, either. Don’t get caught in heavy rainfalls without reliable, new windshield wipers.

 

Get Your Tires Inspected

 

This is a big one. There is a lot to be done when it comes to your tires and it all relates to your safety, to say nothing of extending your vehicle’s use. Winter is generally the time of year where most potholes develop in the road due to plowing, salt, and bad weather. If you’ve ever hit one at even a somewhat slow speed, you know it can feel like a small explosion. Now imagine what that’s doing to your car.

 

The first thing you’ll want to do is get your winter tires removed if you use them. If you don’t and you’re sticking with all year tires, you’ll want to get them rotated and aligned. Hitting those potholes can mess up your alignment and significantly shorten how long your tires last. It’s also a good idea to check out the tread on your tires. Bald tires are always dangerous but are especially so in rainy weather where you’ll be relying on your ability to stop quickly and not skid.

 

Check your Battery

 

Car batteries get put through their paces in the winter months. A lot of electricity needs to be generated to do all of the work of not only driving through rough conditions, but also heating your car, defrosting, and everything else that makes driving both possible and comfortable. Bring your car in for a battery check to see if it needs to be replaced. You don’t want to find yourself stuck on the side of the road with a dead battery. Definitely make sure to get your battery checked if you can’t recall replacing it within the past few years.

 

Replace or Top Off Fluids


It’s always a good idea to periodically check your windshield wiper fluid, engine oil, and brake fluid. The fluids of your vehicle keep things running smoothly. Even if you aren’t due for a change, topping off fluids, especially windshield wiper fluid, is a good idea. You don’t want to be stuck with wipers that can’t improve your visibility or brakes that don’t stop fast enough.

 

Do a Brake Inspection

 

Which leads us to the last point of getting your brakes inspected. The warmer months are when we travel the farthest. It’s important to get a sense of what shape your brakes are in before doing all of this driving. The winter weather can be quite hard on your brakes, especially if you were driving around with low fluid levels. While you know it’s time to get your brakes checked if the lamp comes up on your dash, you’ll also want to be wary of any noise coming from your brakes or a grinding sensation. You might need new pads.


Conclusion

 

Some of this information might be known to you and some of it might be brand new. Hopefully, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s in your best interest (and your wallet’s) to get regular maintenance done on your vehicle so you can avoid the costly major auto repairs that will show up down the road if you don’t take the proper care. Give us a call today and set up up an appointment with one of our technicians. The team at Independent Motors is here to provide the service you need at a fair price.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Maintaining Your Automobile’s Oil

Maintaining Your Vehicle's Oil

Having a vehicle is a necessity for most people. While there are certainly enthusiasts out there who love cars, the vast majority of us need our automobiles to get us from point A to point B reliably. This is a reasonable expectation that sometimes becomes unreasonably expensive. But, does it have to be?

Spending money on your car is unavoidable. Everything you own requires maintenance at some point or another. But, if you aren’t diligent with your upkeep, you could actually be making things more expensive for yourself than they need to be. There are ways to maintain your car, extend its life, and save money in the long run by cutting down the chances of needing more serious automobile repairs or a full replacement.

Extending the Life of Your Vehicle

Many of the suggestions you’ll see about how to extend the life of your vehicle are objectively true (and obvious) but not the most practical. For example, the number one way to keep your car going for longer? Not driving it as much. You can’t really argue there, but how many people are just driving for miles for no reason? With the exception of opting to fly instead of driving cross country, there are few ways to reduce how often and how far you need to drive your car in order to get things done. Short trips (under about ten minutes) are another contributor to wear and tear due to the presence of water and rusting that occurs in the engine. Again, though, a short ten-minute drive translates to a much longer walk that may not be feasible if you’re going to the grocery store to pick up food for an entire week.

So, what is in your power to change that you might not be doing currently? Well, do you remember the last time you had your oil changed? If you don’t and you routinely ignore the reminder sticker your mechanic might have placed on your windshield, chances are it’s been far too long. Changing your oil regularly is not only important, it’s one of the major ways you can extend the life of your engine.

But, what are the facts when it comes to changing your oil? When should you bring it in to have it done? What kind of oil should you use? What’s so bad about not being on top of your oil maintenance? We’ll have the answers to these questions and more. We’re going to try to provide you with everything you’ve ever wanted to know about maintaining your automobile oil.

Let’s get started.

The Effects of Not Changing Your Oil

First, what’s so bad about not being diligent with your oil changes? It turns out you could be doing quite a bit of damage to your engine if you’re going too long between oil changes. While the “oil is a car’s lifeblood” analogy is a little exaggerated, you could be significantly shortening your engine’s “lifespan” if you leave old oil in for too long.

What happens is as oil is exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods of time, which in a car is always, the anti-oxidizing and anti-wear additives break down. To put it simply, this is how you get that nasty looking sludge build up in your engine which basically gums up the works and chokes it, causing the engine to break down faster. This makes it difficult to perform its lubricating function, which means there is greater friction in all of those moving metal pieces.

Damaging substances also build up over time in your oil and your filter can’t catch it all. Tiny particles of metal and dirt will continue to cycle through in your fluid, wearing down the engine due to abrasion. All of that dirt and dust can even affect the air intake because it gets past the filter.

The bottom line is, all of these compounding problems which will require more expensive auto repairs down the line can be avoided if the oil is changed enough so there isn’t a chance for all of these particles to build up. You could be taking years off your car if you aren’t changing your oil regularly. When should you change it, then?

When Should You Change Your Oil?

The short, vague answer is “It depends.” That’s true because auto and oil technology have made the hard rules not as final as they once were. But you’d still probably be wise to stick to them.

You’ve probably heard about the 3,000 miles or three months (whichever comes first) rule and it’s a good one to follow even if your particular vehicle can go a bit longer without that oil change. Many modern vehicles come with recommendations of 5,000 miles. Some even feel that 7,500 is a better number. 5,000 miles is a good, safe number to stick with if you feel that 3,000 is too frequent.

Also, keep in mind that if you put more wear and tear on your car by, say, rushing from red light to red light, you’ll need to change your oil more frequently.

What Kind of Oil Should You Use?

If you walk into any auto repair store, you’ll notice that the shelves are lined with a wide variety of motor oils and you may not be sure what to choose. A few factors come into play here, including the weather you’ll be experiencing and the make of your vehicle. Winter weather requires different oil than more temperate seasons. Your owner’s manual will tell you what type of oil is recommended for your particular vehicle.

Often the conventional oil vs synthetic question comes up. Again, your owner’s manual will have that information. Synthetic oil is more expensive and generally are for high tech engines like one would find in a Corvette. Not every engine needs them and in fact, your engine may actually need conventional oil instead. There are also synthetic blends which are popular with SUV drivers because they offer high load protection. Synthetic blends also aren’t much more expensive than conventional oil. Again, reference the recommendations in your owner’s manual.

There is also higher-mileage oils specifically designed to meet the needs of vehicles that have passed that 75,000 miles mark. They should slow down some of the wearing down process in the engine which occurs over time thanks to the anti-wear additives found in these high mileage oils.

Of course, if you’re shopping around for oil, that implies you want to do the oil change yourself. While the difficulty of doing so is moderate, many people don’t have the space, time, or interest in dealing with mess to change their oil themselves.

Conclusion

Have you ever thought so much about your car’s oil? If you haven’t, now you know why you should and why it’s so important to get regular maintenance performed on your automobile. Changing your own oil can be tricky. Not everyone feels comfortable doing it, and if you do have the time and the know how, you’re aware of how much of a mess it is. Why not have the professionals change your oil for you? Schedule an appointment with us today. The team at Independent Motors is here to meet all of your automobile maintenance needs with friendliness and professionalism. Remember, our team doesn’t work off any commission and is dedicated to helping you at a fair price.