Spring is the Season for Change
May 30th, 2012
As the weather changes and the world is energized to get out and do something, you can start with a simple change: changing the fluids in your vehicle. It’s fast. It’s easy. It’s not expensive, and it is the single most important thing you can do to maintain your car or truck.
A quick run down of the fluids in your vehicle are Oil, Coolant, Transmission Fluid, Brake Fluid, Power Steering, and Washer Fluid. To maintain your vehicle’s proper functions, you want to make sure you are changing the oil, and flushing out or replacing the coolant and transmission fluid. Washer fluid should be checked and topped off whenever it is low (most vehicles have a light that will indicate when the reservoir needs to be filled). Brake Fluid and Power Steering Fluid should rarely, if ever, need to be changed. Really, unless your vehicle has had damage or is pretty high up there in the miles, these are systems that don’t need to be flushed, topped off, or replaced.
Let’s talk Oil change. This is the biggest spring-cleaning on any vehicle’s list. Your vehicle uses oil to keep all of its parts lubricated, free from debris, and distributes some of the heat so that vital parts do not get damaged. Over the course of several months, typically around a few hundred miles, that oil starts to lose some of it’s magic. Time and driving conditions add to this, and eventually the oil will need to be replaced. Once the oil starts to lose it’s lubricating properties and break down, it is not going to protect your engine against wear and tear. Oil also becomes dirty, trapping that debris within the oil filter rather than letting it gunk up the engine. This is exactly why most highly trained automotive technicians will recommend replacing your oil and filter every 3,000 miles, or every three months. The added bonus of your springtime oil change? Better gas mileage. Better performance. A smoother ride and healthier engine. The best news is, this is such an easy and quick way to keep your car running smoothly and reliably. Oil changes can be done on a lunch break, for less than the cost of a fancy dinner, and can save you time and money in the long run.
Now that winter is done, it’s a great time to not only change your oil, but to check your coolant. Again, the coolant isn’t really something that wears down like oil, but it is a really smart decision to flush your coolant out every one to three years, depending on your vehicle and driving conditions. Coolant keeps the engine from over heating, and like oil, distributes some of the heat throughout your engine.
Transmission fluid is only going to be an issue if you have an automatic transmission, as manual transmissions work on a completely different system. If you have a high-mile vehicle, ask your mechanic about a transmission flush. This will help repair and maintain your vehicle from some of the wear and tear, and will also help with the lifespan of your transmission, probably one of the costliest parts of your vehicle to replace.
Keep in mind, with most oil changes, your technician will also be checking and topping off fluids, taking a look at your hoses and belts, inspecting your tires, lights, and brakes, as well as replacing the filters. Oil filters get replaced with the oil change, but air filters also need to be checked and replaced as needed.
We’re here to help you with all your spring-time vehicle needs, including your spring oil change.
Posted in: Auto Repair 101