Ask a Tech: All Your Maintenance Questions Answered

December 6th, 2018 by

You have questions, our Factory-Trained & Certified Technicians have answers!

Q: How often do I need to change my oil?

There is no downside to frequent oil changes. In fact, frequent oil changes protect and aid gas mileage. However, there are many variables that determine how often an oil change is needed. Climate conditions, mileage driven, and highway versus city driving all affect your vehicle’s need for fresh oil. We recommend you refer to the manufacturers specifications in the scheduled maintenance section of the owners’ manual. Most vehicles have a recommended interval of 5 months or 5000 miles or 7 months or 7500 miles.

Q: Should I consider using synthetic motor oil in my vehicle?

Synthetic motor oil is recommended for vehicles that operate in extremely hot or cold climates, vehicles that are used for towing and high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines. Although more expensive than mineral-based oils, synthetic motor oils can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between oil changes.

Q: How often should I rotate my tires?

Your tires should be rotated with every oil change, or every 5000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires causes premature wear. You should also have your alignment checked every 12 months or 12000 miles. This will help you get the most mileage out of your tires.

Q: Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the recommended interval?

Yes. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost to repair an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.

Q: I have a belt making a loud squeal sound. Should I have it replaced?

It is important to inspect and replace belts regularly. The belt system in your car helps your alternator and air conditioning compressor to operate correctly, among other things. When a belt breaks, it can cause costly damage. To avoid this, inspect belts regularly for wear. If they show signs of wear, it is recommended that you replace them.

Q: What does it mean if my Check Engine light or Service Engine Soon light comes on?

There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicles engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the Check Engine light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to be running fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent any long term problems.

Q: What should I do if my car starts to overheat?

Overheating is a very serious problem. If your car overheats for too long, it can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off. Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator; the hot fluid can cause severe burns. The best thing to do is have your car towed to your local dealership for service.

Q: Why is my engine oil milky brown?

Milky brown engine oil is an indication that coolant has gotten into the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket or other gasket, a failed transmission cooler or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician immediately.

Q: How do I make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?

Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected periodically to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.

Q: When should I replace my car’s fuel filter?

To help ensure dependable performance, replace your car’s fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles, or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. This ensures that your fuel pump is not overworked and helps keep your fuel injectors clean.

Q: When should I change my spark plugs?

For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 60,000 miles. Driving style and the type of plugs can affect the mileage interval. Newer engines use a platinum plug that lasts longer than a conventional plug.

Posted in Car Care