Your car may be clean on the outside, but is it clean on the inside?
The life expectancy of your car depends on your answer: Motor oil gets contaminated by substances like dust, metallic shavings, and even antifreeze. And did you know that the additive package, which is part of your fully formulated motor oil, will break down in time and become a contaminant too?
As contaminants are whipped into the oil, sludge is formed. This sludge will stick to parts of the engine causing the engine to perform less efficiently. Eventually, this sludge can cause engine failure.
Neglecting oil changes is hazardous to your engine’s health, especially if you drive under severe driving conditions, which most people do. Severe conditions include making short trips, driving in stop-and-go traffic, extended idling, driving in dust or dirty air, towing trailers and cold weather driving.
Changing your oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first, is generally recommended. However, you should follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual. Even a car that is not running will get oil contamination as a result of accumulated moisture. If the car isn’t run long enough to get rid of the moisture, it becomes damaging.
Your AOCA member lube professional can help you determine the best oil change schedule for your care and your driving conditions.
Rotated, properly inflated tires give you a smooth, safe and less costly ride!
Maintaining proper air pressure in your tires protects against tire wear, gives you the best ride and allows you to handle your car safely. You should check your tires’ air pressure when the tires are cool. Most tires require air pressure of between 32-44 PSI (pounds per square inch). Tires should generally be filed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Both over inflation and under inflation cause excessive tire wear.
Tires are costly, so you will want to get maximum wear out of them. Having your tires rotated regularly will give you a smoother ride and will extend the life of your tires by making sure they wear evenly. Whether you have radial or non-radial tires will determine the type of rotation required.
Convenience is the reason you should have your tires rotated at your AOCA member fast lube. When having your oil changes, simply ask if its time for a tire rotation. Tires should be rotated every 7,500 miles or as specified in your owner’s manual. Why make a trip to the tire store? Let your AOCA member lube professional take care of your engine and your tires.
Have you ever had a product that you believed was covered under a warranty?
But when you needed the product repaired the warranty was not honored? This is frustrating, to say the least. Your car is one of the most expensive investments you make, and you don’t want to get caught in a warranty predicament.
Keeping your car properly maintained during the first year is an important part of protecting your warranty. Your owner’s manual tells you what is required. It is not necessary to have your car dealership perform services to meet warranty requirements. Be sure to always save maintenance receipts. Your AOCA member lube center can help. They will:
- Keep your oil and filter changes current.
- Perform fluid maintenance as outlined in your owner’s manual.
- Keep you informed about what needs to be done when.
Sometimes consumers think they must replace filters with the dealer brand in order to keep their warranty. This is not true. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a federal law, states that a manufacturer may not require the use of any brand of filter or other article unless the manufacturer provides the item free of charge under the terms of the warranty.
Your AOCA member lube center is happy to answer questions regarding your warranty requirements.
How do you prefer your drinking water – clean or mixed with dirt?
Your car engine would answer the same way regarding motor oil.
The oil filter’s job is to remove oil contaminants. It sifts out the solid particles while allowing the oil to flow unrestricted through the engine. When the oil filter becomes full or “clogged,” the oil and contaminants will flow around the filter. This “by-passing” is a safety mechanism. As far as your engine is concerned, dirty oil is better than none at all. However, when by-passing occurs, contaminants head straight for the engine where they can eventually cause permanent engine damage. Studies also show that fuel economy and emissions are adversely affected during by-passing.
Protect your engine by having your AOCA member lube professional change your oil filter every time you change your motor oil. Changing your oil filter on a timely basis will keep your engine drinking clear, clean oil!
Well-lubricated manual transmission and gear boxes mean smooth driving for you and your car!
Gear lubricant is a special oil formulated for the extra lubrication needs of gear boxes such as the manual transmission, the differential, the steering gear box and the transfer case in four-wheel drive vehicles. These gears perform best when operating in a pool of oil.
Normal use of your vehicle will subject these fluids to high temperatures which break down the fluid, causing it to become gummy. Once gummy, the oil loses its ability to lubricate properly which can cause abnormal wear on gears, even leading to axle failure.
Gear box fluids get low, if too low, bare metal contact and higher heat can occur causing premature wear on parts.
Differential fluid is one of the least checked fluids. Your vehicle’s differential is a gear box that allows your vehicle’s wheels to turn at different speeds. Well-lubricated differentials can help reduce tire wear, give you better road traction and steering stability.
Gear box lubricants should be serviced between 12 and 24 months or between 12,000 and 24,000 miles, depending on your vehicle and its individual driving conditions. Owners’ manuals give specific recommendations.
Ask your AOCA member lube professional to check the levels and quality of your gear box lubricants so you and your car get the smooth drive you both deserve.
Clean, fresh air! You live better with it and so does your engine.
Your engine’s air filter captures airborne contaminants, like bugs and dirt, out of the air before they enter your engine. Each gallon of gasoline burned by your engine requires 10,000 gallons of air – that translates into a lot of contaminants being sucked into your air filter. Left unchanged, dirty air filters can lead to poor acceleration, lower gas mileage and poor engine performance.
We can all breathe cleaner air by having our PCV valves and breather elements changed regularly. The positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve and breather element process exhaust fumes to reduce air pollutants. Changing PCV valves and breather elements help the air filtration system do its job effectively.
Your air filtration system – air filter, PCV valve and breather element – should be replaced approximately every 9,000 miles, according to the recommendations in your owner’s manual.
Ask your AOCA member lube professional to check these filters so you and your car can breathe easier.
A clean filter means a breath of fresh air.
A cabin air filter is a mechanism that keeps air inside the passenger compartment of your car from becoming stale and unhealthy. Some consumers are not even aware that their car has a cabin air filter. Many newer model cars have the component tucked away inside the dash or elsewhere where it is not easily seen.
Although hidden, a cabin air filter performs a very important function. Not to be confused with an engine air filter; this piece of equipment removes contaminants such as dust, pollen, mold spores, and other small particles form the air that circulates through your car’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system and into the car’s passenger cabin.
To keep air quality at its best, filters should be replaced according to manufacturer’s recommendations, generally once a year or every 15,000 miles/24,000 kilometers – more frequently if you drive in dusty or industrial environments. Regularly changing cabin air filters also can maximize the life of your car’s HVAC system by reducing debris and corrosion on the evaporator core.
Cabin air filters stop most airborne particles, and some are even capable of eliminating odors. That’s welcome news for people with allergies and others concerned about air quality. Changing a cabin air filter is a quick process on most vehicles, and the cost is minimal. Ask your AOCA member lube professional if your vehicle needs a cabin air filter change. You’ll breathe a whole lot easier!
A well-serviced transmission. You and your wallet will reap the benefit!
Replacing your automatic transmission filter and fluid at recommended intervals will save you time, money and aggravation.
Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) keeps the moving parts of the transmission lubricated so they can run smoothly. ATF is a specialized, high quality lubricant with as many as 15 additives designed to meet the special lubrication needs of an automatic transmission. The goal of most engine lubricants is to reduce friction as much as possible. Automatic transmissions, however, need a certain amount of friction to give the proper feel when shifting. Many different ATFs are available. Your AOCA lube professional will choose the ATF that is right for your car.
The automatic transmission filter protects the moving parts of a transmission by removing harmful metal filings and abrasive particles from the transmission fluid. It keeps the fluid clear and clean so it can cool and lubricate the transmission properly.
As your AOCA member lube professional to check your automatic transmission fluid level each time you have your oil changed, especially if you do a lot of stop-and-go driving or towing with your vehicle.
Keep your life and your car running smoothly and safeguard the environment!
Maintaining a healthy car is almost as important as maintaining a healthy body, and life is tough when your vehicle does not function the way it should.
Visiting your AOCA member lube center regularly will help you maintain a healthy, hassle-free vehicle. Your center’s professional technicians may spot a potential problem that can be easily addressed now. Ignored, that little problem could grow into a great big, expensive problem later.
Your body demands fluids, so does your car. Having brake, steering system, battery and automatic transmission fluids inspected regularly can save you from any number of dilemmas, like when you shift your transmission into drive, and it won’t!
Today’s lifestyles are rough on cars. Most motorists drive under severe service conditions. Making short trips with many stops is taxing on your vehicle. Your AOCA member lube professional can keep your engine running smoothly by providing timely oil changes.
Did you know that one gallon of oil disposed of carelessly can ruin one million gallons of fresh water? AOCA member lube centers take care of used oil and filters properly. And, well-serviced vehicles help keep the air cleaner.
Visiting your AOCA member lube center regularly not only keeps your life and car running smoothly but safeguards the environment as well.
Ever wonder what TPMS really is?
All vehicles manufactured since September 2007 (and some earlier models) are equipped with TPMS or Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Your owner’s manual and dashboard lights will confirm that you have TPMS.
The TPMS is designed to provide a warning if a tire is significantly underinflated (25% or more). Tires are monitored individually by sensors attached to a special tire valve on each tire including the spare.
When the TPMS warning lamp on the instrument panel illuminates while driving, the system has detected at least one tire with a pressure below the accepted minimum psi for the vehicle. Such warning requires immediate attention to safely operate the vehicle. Illumination can also be caused by extreme temperature fluctuation and will self-correct.
Sensor batteries wear our requiring sensor replacement. They also can be damaged from accidents, pot holes, striking a curb, driving on a flat tire or flat tire repair. Some TPMS sensors use metals that corrode and may break during routine inflation.
Any service procedure requiring the removal of the wheels may require that the TPMS system be reset, or recalibrated, depending on the type of system the vehicle uses.
Your AOCA member lube center is happy to answer questions regarding your tire pressure monitoring.