Servicing Tips - Fluids
Oil Changers Advice on What to Pour into Your Vehicle
Changes in vehicle design and manufacture have resulted in changed fluid requirements for our vehicles. With the sophistication of engines, transmissions, differentials, etc., it's best to always use the proper type of fluid for your vehicle. Using incorrect fluids can actually damage your engine.
As engines have become more sophisticated, new weights (or grades) of engine oil have been introduced. Today, there is a much wider range of oil grades for engine oil as well as a variety of formulations and specifications for different types of engines.
Transmission fluid, brake fluid and coolant/anti-freeze have changed because the materials that go into making the systems they protect have changed. The fluids in our vehicles generally have two jobs: to lubricate and to prevent corrosion. The fluids formulated for your vehicle are specifically designed to protect the materials that make up its engine parts. Using the wrong fluid may leave some parts vulnerable to corrosion. Further, using the wrong fluids can also void your vehicle's warranty. So Oil Changers recommends that you follow the fluid recommendations in their owner's manuals.
Good vehicle care always includes proper attention to your vehicle's fluids. Understanding and using correct fluids will keep your vehicle running well and will help prevent early corrosion and wear of vital engine parts.
Talk to your Oil Changers service advisor for more information.
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand, New Zealand 8441
What Is the Risk of High Oil Change Intervals for your car?
You may have heard or seen on TV that vehicles don't need their oil changed as often as they used to. That's true. But it's not the whole story.
Owing to improved engine technology and higher oil quality, most newer vehicles can go longer between oil changes than their older counterparts.
So what is a good time interval for an oil change? How do you know when to get your car serviced? And why do we change it in the first place?
Oil lubricates a vehicle's engine, which protects it from friction damage. Over time the oil collects dirt and contaminants that inhibit its performance. But dirty oil isn't the only problem. What you really want to avoid is called oil sludge.
Oil sludge is caused by moisture in the oil and by hot spots in your engine that burn off oil. This sludge is a gooey gel that can clog engine passageways and which can block lubricants from reaching vital engine parts. The result can be engine wear or even engine failure.
Sludge forms rapidly in an engine that is driven under what are termed “severe conditions.” A vehicle's owner's manual includes recommendations for oil change intervals under both normal and severe conditions. Severe conditions include towing a trailer, driving in polluted or dusty conditions, hauling heavy loads or using a car top carrier. Also, extremes in climate such as very hot or very cold temperatures constitute severe conditions for vehicles.
Some people may be tempted to overlook the severe conditions preventive maintenance schedule in their 's owner's manual because of the word “severe.” But consider this: the most common form of severe conditions is stop-and-go driving, rush hour commuting or only driving your vehicle on short trips around the area.
When a vehicle only makes trips under six kilometres, or under 16 kilometres in freezing conditions, the engine doesn't get warm enough for condensation in the oil to evaporate. The result? You get oil sludge build-up. If your driving patterns are the same as any of the conditions that count as severe, you should be changing your oil more frequently under the severe conditions schedule.
The team at Oil Changers can help you understand what type of oil to use in your vehicle and how it can affect your oil change schedule. Some vehicles are filled with synthetic or synthetic-blend oil at the factory. The owner's manual will recommend that this oil continue to be used in the vehicle, and oil change intervals will be based on this type of oil.
Also, if your vehicle uses conventional oil, but you have some of those severe driving habits we talked about, you can switch to a premium-grade oil to give your vehicle extra protection.
The answer to why we change our oil is fairly simple: to protect our engines and make our vehicles last longer and run better. But the answer to how often to change our oil is more complex: it depends on our vehicle, our driving habits, where we live and what kind of oil we use.
When it comes to oil changes, a little information can go a long way to helping people save money and extend the life of their vehicles. Stay safe, and stay on the road.
Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle
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.
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441
How to Know When to Change Your Oil in your Vehicle
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 kilometres, if you went an extra month or an extra thousand kilometres, 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 kilometres (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 kilometres. It's typically just over 7,000 kilometres. Sometimes we drive roads that are easy on the vehicle – like a long road trip. Sometimes, our vehicles are used for fairly hard work – 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.
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441