Oil Changers

Servicing Tips - Fluids

The Right Automotive Fluids for your car.

2016-08-15 04:16:03

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for drivers. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won't work as well and could even cause damage.

In addition to new grades of engine oil, many vehicles now leave the factory with synthetic oil. You should always use the grade recommended by their manufacturer.

All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several different types of coolant sold. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. 

Most passenger vehicles on the road today use either DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid. Your vehicle power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.

Now, the thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids and that using the right fluid is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you've got that down, it's easy to remember to check with your friendly and knowledgeable technicians at Oil Changers or your vehicle owner's manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.

Give us a call.

Oil Changers
03 3442374
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441


Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle

2012-04-26 12:00:00

If you've walked through the fluids section of an automotive parts store recently, you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?

As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the engine, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.

First let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with engine oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.

Some vehicles come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use this for the life of the vehicle. The safe bet is to always use what the manufacturer recommends. The recommendation is what's been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.

Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, from corrosion. We've seen specialised coolant for General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and others.

The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years.

The really good news is that the friendly and professional service advisors at Oil Changers have databases that tell them the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your service advisor for upgrades or additives that'll meet your needs while being consistent with the manufacturer's recommendations.

Oil Changers
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441
03 3442374


How to Know When to Change Your Oil

2012-04-20 12:00:00

Today in the Oil Changers auto care blog, we're going to talk to you about oil change intervals.

It seems that as engine technology advances vehicle manufacturers make their engine service intervals longer.  What they don't make as well known is that they also recommend the engine oil to be changed at a certain time interval regardless of the number of kilometers you have driven in that time ie kilometers travelled or time since the engine oil was changed, whichever comes first.

Under real world conditions the engine oil starts thicken up and form a sludge before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance. Quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This sludge clogs the vehicle's small engine passages so the oil doesn't  flow as well to some parts of the engine. This can result in engine damage. We see it too often at Oil Changers.

Here's the bottom line for vehicle owners: with longer oil change intervals, it's essential to follow them closely. Back in the day of 6 months or 5,000 kilometers, if you went an extra month or an extra thousand kilometers, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn't have time to build up much sludge.

But if your recommended interval is 10,000 or 15,000 kilometers (or more) and you go over another thousand, you're potentially getting into heavy sludge territory. You need to follow service intervals very closely and don't forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop start driving, short trips, driving in dusty or polluted conditions, hot or cold weather, or towing heavy loads, you're driving under severe service conditions. Your Oil Changers service advisor can help you determine which schedule to follow.

So check your owner's manual or talk with your Oil Changers service advisor about where and how you drive. Should you change your oil closer to the regular schedule, or the severe service schedule? You need to make the call.

Let me give you an example of this. Some newer vehicles have an oil change indicator. It has a sophisticated computer algorithm that tracks number of cold starts, engine temperature, RPMs, mileage, and many more variables to come up with a recommendation for when to change the oil.

Depending on driving conditions, the indicator in one test vehicle came on at anywhere from 4,000 to almost 10,000 kilometers. It's typically just over 7,000 kilometers. Sometimes we drive roads that are easy on the vehicle – like a long road trip. Sometimes, we're drive hard miles – like towing a heavy trailer or a lot of around town driving but, usually, it's a combination of both.

Once again, it's up to you to make the call as to when to change your oil to protect your vehicle engine. Another place where drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming out filled with synthetic oil. 

It can cost a bit more than a conventional mineral engine oil so some people are tempted to use a conventional mineral oil for their oil changes. It's always best practice to use the oil recommended by your Manufacturer. Check your owner's manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.

Oil Changers
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441
03 3442374