Oil Changes, Lubrication, and other car stuff to know and yell!

Posted by: AutoFixit  /  Category: General Car Tips

The way I often describe the lubricants and coolant your car requires is to compare it to the blood in our bodies. If we run out of blood we die within seconds. Well, if we run our engine without oil and coolant in it, it dies within seconds too. Because of this, one should never run a car without being sure the lubricants and coolants levels are full. Having your crankcase full of dirty, broken down oil is still better than no oil at all. I also believe oil gets dirty from the amount of time its been in the crankcase, more than how many miles its been run. We recommend changing oil and filter every 3 months, rather than how many miles its been used. If you use full synthetic oil the cycle time can be extended to 6 months driving quite safely. Its should be noted though, that if you own a car that has a 100,000 miles on it, or “ uses some oil “ just having it changed every 3-6 months is not enough. Someone has to actually check the oil level and fill it back up as it is lost, or you will be driving it without enough oil in it long before your next oil change comes due. When you drive a car till the red oil pressure warning light comes on while its idling, or it flickers when you go around a corners, it means you are running it without oil, at least “some of the time“. This will shorten you engines lifespan and may kill it the first time you let it happen, BE ADVISED.

Coolant is another under hood fluid your engine cannot be without. Back when we all drove cars with cast iron engines if you ran your car up to the red on the temperature gauge, it would often take this abuse with out causing damage. Today our engines are made of aluminum castings and composite plastics. Run this type of engine up to the red even once and you maybe looking at a thousand dollar plus “head gasket“ job. Be aware avoiding this starts with keeping cooling system full of the coolant. There are several types of coolant on the market, we recommend “ global or universal coolant “ only, mixing GM’s “ dexicool “ with the old fashion green coolant we all know, will end up turning the coolant into something that resembles brown muddy sludge, that is costly and almost impossible to flush out when it happens. Using only universal coolant will prevent this from ever happening even if the instant oil change shop puts the wrong type of coolant in, it will mix with any type of coolant. Along with oil and coolant your service should include checking and a “top up“ of transmission fluid, power steering oil, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, differential oil ( with 4 wheel drive vehicles there are usually 2 differentials and a transfer case also) and it should include greasing chassis if it has grease fittings to allow for it. Failure to keep on top of these things will cause irritation, like no washer fluid when you need it, or a brake down because your drive axle bearings failed due to low lubricating oil from a slow leak that did not get topped up soon enough.

When the instant oil shop suggest a new air filter, be aware that a air filter should last a couple years with normal driving, so don’t let them sell you one too often. (they are cheaper at a auto parts store, and most anyone can install it, often it requires no tools ). Cabin air filters are getting more common on cars today, they filter the air coming into the passenger space, they should be changed every year or so. Without being changed regularly cabin filters get pretty skunky, and will start restricting the air needed to properly heat or cool your car inside.

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