At one time, there were only a couple of choices for motor oil. Today, that is no longer the case, and hasn't been for quite some time. Here's a quick breakdown of what you need to consider when it's time for an oil change:
- Viscosity: Viscosity is how thick your oil is, and how it retains its pour properties at various temperatures. In this respect, synthetic oil is far superior. Conventional oils will thicken in cold weather and thin out when very hot, while the viscosity of synthetic is much more uniform. Check your owner's manual -- many newer models require a thinner, lower-viscosity oil, which also helps the engine run more efficiently. Viscosity is expressed as a numerical value -- the lower the number, the thinner the oil. Many are designed to work a ...[more]
The temperatures are inching upward, the days are getting longer and the first buds are starting to appear on the trees. Spring is on its way, and soon it’s going to be time to do a little preventive maintenance on your ride. No need to dread it -- it’s all pretty routine stuff!
- Air filter - If you haven’t changed your air filter since last year (or can’t remember when you changed it at all), it might be time. It’s an easy and cheap fix, and it pays off in your vehicle’s performance and fuel economy.
- Cabin filter - Older vehicles often don’t have a cabin filter, but it can make a lot of difference in how pleasant your vehicle is to drive. Stale, smelly air? Change it!
- Wipers -- Get a good look at them. Are they showing signs of age li ...[more]
Nobody needs to remind you this has been an especially harsh winter.
Winter is not just hard on vehicles and the people who drive them -- it’s hard on roads, too. With fluctuations in temperature and freeze/thaw cycles, pavement materials expand and contract, leaving streets with cracks and potholes. Add in the effect of washouts from heavy rain, caustic de-icing chemicals and damage from vehicles with studs or tire chains, and you can end up with springtime road surfaces which are a real mess.
Unfortunately, you can’t wait for the highway department to repair damaged pavement...you’ve got to get where you’re going, and your car’s tires, suspension and alignment are likely to pay the price. A hard impact on a pothole can be enough to tweak your front end alignment out ...[more]
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