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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


How Often Should I Change My Oil?
Changing your vehicle's oil is one of the most important things you can do to avoid larger problems later on.

However, there's a lot of controversy about exactly when engine oil gets old and how often it should be replaced with new oil. Because there are many factors at work - how you drive, the condition and age of the engine, the external environment you drive in, and stop-and-go versus highway driving - it's an inexact science. Owner's manual recommendations for oil and filter changes vary from 3,000 to 10,000 miles.

We recommend that you change your oil and filter every 5,000 miles. That's our best estimate. It may be too soon for many people and too late for a few, but for the vast majority, 5,000-mile oil changes will help your engine last to a ripe, old age.

You may want to consider changing your oil more frequently if:

  • You drive like a crazy person: jackrabbit starts, heavy acceleration or high-speed driving
  • You live where the climate is extremely hot or cold
  • You often drive on dirt roads
  • Your engine is old and burns oil
  • You frequently carry heavy loads


Why should I change my air filter?
The air filter stops airborne contaminants from getting sucked into your car's engine. It's a paper filter that stops debris such as dust, leaves and wayward pelicans before they get inside the engine and do damage.

Should I do this service when it's recommended?
Yes.

Why do I have to do this?
Because, eventually, your air filter will get plugged up.

What happens if I don't do this?
If your air filter gets too dirty or clogged, your engine won't be able to suck enough air into the combustion chambers. The engine will then run rich (i.e., too much gas and not enough air). When this happens, your car will lose power and run roughly. Your Check Engine light also may come on.

How Often Should I Receive a Tune-up?
Most cars have factory scheduled services due at the 7500, 15,000 and 30,000 mile intervals, which may include tune-up related items. Your driving habits may require servicing more often.

Do I really Have to Rotate My Tires?
We know that all tires rotate. But we're talking about another kind of rotation - rotating tires to different corners of the car and maybe even reversing the direction in which they turn.

Many tires are rotated front- to-back and side-to-side, but some tires are directional, which means they're only supposed to turn in one direction. They have to stay on the same side of the car. Directional tires often have arrows on the tire's sidewall to show you the direction in which they should turn.

If you're not sure which kind of tires you have, check with your mechanic.

Should I do this service when it's recommended?
You should do this service only if you can do it for $20 or less, in our opinion.

The financial benefit of rotating tires is that you'll increase the useful life of the tire. But if you pay more than about $20, you'll probably wipe out any savings you might have gained.

What is the difference in a dealer service center and your independent service center?
We are a specialty shop that has been working on cars over 25 years. We we understand what you need to keep your car running reliably and safely without braking the bank every time you visit, We have a friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff that will also give you and your car the special attention that you deserve.

Associations

  • ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
  • Car Care Aware

Vehicle Tips

  • According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect.
  • The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of coolant should be checked. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.)
  • Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled. The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a pro.
  • Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual, or more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage or tow a trailer.
  • Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended, or more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard stops, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
  • A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
  • Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; let the tires cool down first. Don't forget your spare and be sure your jack is in good condition.
  • Check your owner's manual to find out what fuel octane rating your car's engine needs then buy it.
  • Keep your tires inflated to the proper levels. Under-inflated tires make it harder for your car to move down the road, which means your engine uses more fuel to maintain speed.
  • Lighten the load. Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so clean out unnecessary weight in the passenger compartment or trunk before you hit the road.
  • Use the A/C sparingly. The air conditioner puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used.
  • Keep your windows closed. Wide-open windows, especially at highway speeds, increase aerodynamic drag and the result is up to a 10% decrease in fuel economy.
  • Avoid long idling. If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle.
  • Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. For example, driving at 65 miles per hour (mph) rather than 55 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20 percent.
  • Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.
  • Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.
  • Inspect the engine's belts regularly. Look for cracks or missing sections or segments. Worn belts will affect the engine performance.
  • Have the fuel filter changed every 10,000 miles to prevent rust, dirt and other impurities from entering the fuel system.
  • Change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 to 18,000 miles. This will protect the precision-crafted components of the transmission/transaxle.
  • Inspect the suspension system regularly. This will extend the life of the vehicle's tires.