Helpful Information

Helping you make informed decisions


Helpful Information

Motor Oil

Oil is an essential lubricant in your engine. It lets metal press against metal without damage. For example, it lubricates the pistons as they move up and down in the cylinders. Without oil, the metal-on-metal friction creates so much heat that eventually the surfaces weld themselves together and the engine seizes

Let's say that your engine has plenty of oil, but you never change it. Two things will definitely happen:

  • Dirt will accumulate in the oil. The filter will remove the dirt for a while, but eventually the filter will clog and the dirty oil will automatically bypass the filter through a relief valve. Dirty oil is thick and abrasive, so it causes more wear.
  • Additives in the oil like detergents, dispersants, rust-fighters and friction reducers will wear out, so the oil won't lubricate as well as it should.

Eventually, as the oil gets dirtier and dirtier, it will stop lubricating and the engine will quickly wear and fail. Don't worry, this isn't going to happen if you forget to change your oil one month and it goes over the recommended change interval by 500 miles. You would have to run the same oil through the engine for a long time before it caused catastrophic failure, but damage can occur slowly over time and lower your car’s lifespan .

Filters

The oil filter goes to work protecting the engine by blocking large particles that might cause harm if allowed to circulate freely through it. Oil filters also protect the engine by preserving a tiny fraction of oil when the car engine is turned off. An engine at a standstill enables oil to drain into the bottom of the engine, thus leaving the moving parts at the top of the engine dry. The filter retains a small amount of oil allowing the engine to quickly circulate it to the top to ensure proper lubrication.

As filters get more and more dirty, and eventually saturated, large particles that would have been kept out of the engine are released into the flow by a bypass valve. This is good because it keeps the engine from failing completely when the filter is at capacity; however, large particulates will thicken the engine oil to the point where it no longer is providing enough protection, causing large amounts of friction and wear.

Windshield wipers

You'll know when your wiper blades need to be replaced because you'll see streaking as they wipe the moisture from the windshield or even large gaps where no water is being removed. They may start making squeaking or chattering sounds (though this can also happen if you run the wipers when the windshield is mostly dry). If left unchanged for too long, the material of the blade can shred and break loose from the arm. This can actually cause damage to your windshield, as the metal or hard plastic of the arm scrapes across the glass.

Air Filter

Any engine that runs by internal combustion of fuel requires air to operate. That's because without air, specifically, oxygen, fuels like gasoline can't burn and provide the explosive force to power the engine.

In modern automobiles, the air must be cleaned before it gets sucked into the engine, if not, you run the risk of allowing in debris, causing poor performance and potentially shortening the life of the car. Foreign particles act as abrasives on the metal parts of an engine, wearing away at engine bearings, piston rings and cylinders.

In addition, modern engines rely on a precise ratio of air to fuel. Fortunately, today’s engine air filters allow just the right amount of air in, while protecting it from dirt and dust. But even the best air filter can withstand only but so much abuse from the outside environment.

Knowing when to change your air filter all depends on how hard the car is driven and under what conditions. If the car sees much use in dusty, harsh conditions (think of stop-and-go city driving with lots of construction going on), then more frequent air filter changes are in order.

Some experts recommend changing your air filter as often as every 3,000 miles (or 4,828 kilometers), while other say to simply use your judgment in visually spot-checking the air filter and change it out when it looks dirty.

Our recommendation is to consult the owner's manual or a model-specific guide and follow the manufacturer's recommendations on type and frequency of replacement filter (we can get this information and provide it to you at request).

In any case, it's a smart and proactive policy to at least inspect the air filter every 6,000 miles (9,656 kilometers). It costs nothing to look, and it could save you from expensive repairs in the future .