Oil change considerations?

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Regular oil changes are essential for modern car engines, which can reach 100,000 miles before their first tune-up. Choosing between self-service and professional oil changes depends on the driver’s skills and the complexity of the oil filter. Local auto service centers offer competitive prices and discount coupons, but drivers should choose the best value for their needs. Motor oils are designated by their relative weight, which varies depending on the car’s needs and the weather conditions. Advanced oil change options include lubricating the chassis, inspecting the tires, and filling in other fluids.

Some of today’s most modern car engines can achieve 100,000 miles before their first scheduled tune-up. Unfortunately, there is no 100,000 mile miracle motor oil to protect them. After a few thousand miles or kilometers of service, virtually all commercial motor oils become contaminated with abrasive metal filings, carbon deposits, and other particles circulating through the engine block. This condition can only be fixed with a regularly scheduled oil change. The problem for drivers is knowing when an oil change is necessary and how to avoid spending too much money for too little service.

It is important to note that virtually any mechanic, hobbyist or professional, can perform a standard oil change. It can be time consuming and complicated, but the oil change procedure is not especially difficult. However, what can be difficult is the proper disposal of the old oil and the fitting of a new oil filter. This is why many drivers seek out professional service stations for an oil change: they have approved methods of oil disposal and trained mechanics who can reach even the most complicated oil filter from under the ground. Your first decision should be to tackle the oil change yourself or visit a local auto repair center.

If you decide to have the car serviced at a local oil change shop or garage, compare the price to the service. Because these stores rely on repeat business from loyal customers, there is a lot of competition for ‘introductory’ services like oil changes or tire rotations. Local auto service centers routinely offer discount coupons in the local newspaper or phone book or in mass mailing circulars. One company may offer a full oil change and safety inspection for $16.95, while another may advertise a chassis oil change and lube for $12.95, as long as you agree to use their brand oils and lubricants. Even the cheapest oil change coupon should provide the most essential service of all: replacing your old oil with fresh oil.

Once you’ve decided on the best value for your needs, you need to consider what type of motor oil your car should use. Motor oils are designated by their relative weight, which translates to how thick they are and how much heat they can take before breaking down completely. Cars driven in the winter in Minnesota may require a “10w 30” weight oil that will not turn to a thick syrup in the cold. A small car driven in hot southern summers might use a “5w 20” weight to prevent overheating. Every car’s needs are different, so ask the wizard to select the best motor oil for your particular engine. Sometimes it is the same throughout the year, but in other circumstances it may have to change with the seasons.

If you’re planning to take a long car trip or really want to keep your car in top running condition, you may want to consider more advanced oil change options. A basic oil change at a local shop can cover the cost of the oil, a disposal fee, and a quick inspection of the car’s other fluids and hoses. The next step may include lubricating the chassis, inspecting the tires, filling in other fluids, and a more thorough inspection of the belt. Luxury oil change services vary from location to location, so be sure to ask the manager or attendant what to expect in exchange for the higher charges.

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