Frequently Asked Questions About Oil Changes
Do I save money at a “franchise lube joint?”
- Probably not. Most repair shops’ prices are in line with them.
Could I be oversold?
- Yes – if you don’t know how to identify worn or dirty items. An experienced service writer can save you money.
Should I have my oil changed at the fastest place?
- Definitely not. You have a large investment in your car and only change oil a few times each year — why rush it? Give the oil time to drain out, and have the whole under-carriage inspected. Remember, you’ve run your car thousands of miles. This inspection might keep you from walking those miles.
Should I have my car serviced over a pit or on a hoist?
- A pit is quick and easy but misses a lot. It takes longer to put a car on a hoist, but many more components can be inspected, including: tires and wheels, brakes, suspension, and drivetrain. Additionally, the suspension and steering joints can all be reached for lubrication.
Do I need synthetic oil?
- No, especially if you don’t drive many miles a year though there are advantages to using synthetics. You can run longer intervals between changes and get better gas mileage. These two items may offset the added cost.
What happens if one or more grease fittings are missed?
- If it only happens occasionally, probably nothing. But if it happens regularly, the joint will run dry, get loose or lock up. It can add to excessive tire wear or, even worse, break and possible cause an accident not to mention a large repair bill.
Should I get my tire pressure checked?
- Yes! Correct tire pressure aids mileage and safety. Tire inflation increases with heat, so beware — inexperienced mechanics will sometimes lower your tire pressure thinking they’re over-inflated, not realizing that the tires are simply hot. This will leave you with under-inflated tires! Keep a gauge in your car.
What happens if I don’t change my oil regularly?
- The additive packages in the oil will break down. When this happens, the oil will sludge up and fail to lubricate your engine’s moving parts. This leads to excessive wear, which in turn will mean a large repair bill which could have been avoided. Remember: engines can’t “heal” themselves. Wear from neglect can’t be “cured” by additional oil changes.
What about differential and transmission oils?
- Synthetics work well here, too. In fact, many newer cars and trucks come with it. Depending on the vechicle, 36,000-50,000 miles is where we suggest you change your fluid.
Do I need my coolant changed?
- Yes, at least every two years. The additives can fail, causing the pH levels to fall (become more acidic), which will allow corrosion of parts.
How about my brake fluid?
- Have us check your fluid condition. We have test strips to do this. Two to four years is generally the life of the fluid. With anti-lock brakes on most vehicles, good fluid could ward off an expensive repair.