5 Things to Know About Oil Changes for Your Car

If you’re confused about motor oil—the right time to change it, how often to change it, what’s the best oil for your car—Consumer Reports’ chief mechanic, John Ibbotson, can set you straight.

1. When to Change the Oil

The answer to a lot of these questions is the same: Check your owner’s manual. It should be your car maintenance and operation bible. Don’t make assumptions on the interval based on past experiences or guidance from mechanics who profit from the work, because the timing has evolved over the years.

Many cars, pickups, and SUVs now have service reminder monitors that alert drivers when to change their oil. “These systems typically monitor the number of miles a vehicle has traveled, and they also sense how hard the car is being driven, and adjust accordingly,” Ibbotson says.

Make sure you get your oil change soon after you receive such an alert.

Oil level gauge.

2. How Often to Check the Oil Level

Checking car oil.

You should keep an eye on your car’s oil levels. Our reliability survey results have shown that even newer cars can need the oil to be topped off between changes.

CR recommends checking your oil level at least once a month. Be sure to get repairs done at the first sign of a leak.

Check the owner’s manual and follow the automaker’s recommendations. Some newer cars have electronic oil monitors and don’t have traditional dipsticks for manual inspection.

If you do have a dipstick, and you’re checking it yourself, make sure the car is parked on level ground. If the engine has been running, be aware of potential hot spots under the hood.

With the engine off, open the car’s hood and find the dipstick. Pull the dipstick out from the engine and wipe any oil off from its end. Then insert the dipstick back into its tube and push it all the way back in.

Pull it back out, and this time quickly look at both sides of the dipstick to see where the oil is on the end. Every dipstick has some way of indicating the proper oil level, whether it be two pinholes, the letters L and H (low and high), the words MIN and MAX, or simply an area of crosshatching. If the top of the oil “streak” is between the two marks or within the crosshatched area, the level is fine.

But if the oil is below the minimum mark, you need to add oil.

Pay close attention to the oil’s color. It should appear brown or black. But if it has a light, milky appearance, this could mean coolant is leaking into the engine. Look closely for any metal particles, too, because this could mean there is internal engine damage. If you see either of these conditions, get the car to a mechanic for further diagnosis.

If everything is okay, wipe off the dipstick again and insert it back into its tube, making sure it’s fully seated. Close the hood and you’re done.

3. How Often to Change the Oil

Changing car oil.

Some swear by the “every 3,000 miles or every 3 months” rule, but advances in engines and oil have made that guidance obsolete. Many automakers have oil-change intervals at 7,500 or even 10,000 miles and 6 or 12 months for time.

“Your owner’s manual has more detailed information about your car than any mechanic does,” Ibbotson says. “Don’t get talked into too-often oil changes. Follow the manual and your car’s engine should stay well-lubricated and perform well.”

Over the course of two years and 30,000 miles, assuming that your oil change costs $40 a pop, you could save $240 if you get it changed every 7,500 miles vs. every 3,000 miles.

It’s not just about miles: If you don’t drive your car a lot, your oil still needs to be kept fresh. Even if you drive fewer miles each year than your automaker suggests changing the oil (say, 6,000 miles, with suggested oil-change intervals at 7,500 miles), you should still be getting that oil changed twice a year.

Why? Oil becomes less effective as it ages, and by not getting the engine warm enough, excess moisture that forms in the engine will not be removed, which can lead to shorter engine life.

4. Choosing the Right Oil for Your Car

Again, take a look at your owner’s manual. “Don’t be upsold into synthetic oil if there is no need,” Ibbotson says.

In many newer models, the weight of your car’s motor oil is printed on the cap where you add oil. “Make sure you know what’s recommended or required by your automaker before you visit your mechanic so that you can control the cost of the oil they’re putting in,” he says.

If you have a much older car, do you need special motor oil?

“Not if it’s running well,” Ibbotson says. “If you’re not sure what oil you should be using because you don’t have an owner’s manual, check with your local dealer or an online enthusiast group for your particular model,” he says.

5. Do You Need Synthetic Oil?

Conventional engine oil vs. synthetic engine oil.

“Only if your manufacturer calls for it,” Ibbotson says, “because it can cost from two to four times as much as conventional oil.”

Synthetic oil is designed to be more effective at resisting breakdown (and because of that, it lasts longer) and withstanding high temperatures.

There are situations where that resistance to breakdown can help prolong the life of your engine.

“If you make lots of short trips, standard motor oil may never get warm enough to burn off moisture and impurities, which means it may not be doing enough to protect your engine,” Ibbotson says.

Another consideration is your lifestyle. “If you live in a region with very cold winters or very hot summers, or if you use your vehicle for towing or hauling heavy material, synthetic oil is your best bet,” he says. “While synthetic generally holds up better and can serve for more miles, it is equally important to not extend oil changes beyond the time interval recommended by the manufacturer—typically six months or a year if it is a motor that is not driven many miles or on many short trips.”

Synthetic oil can also help engines that are prone to building up sludge; some Volkswagen and Toyota models have had sludge issues in the past. This residue, formed when oil breaks down, can block the flow of oil, leading to the quick death of an engine. Synthetic oil would be beneficial in these engines because it helps to reduce sludge buildup, helping to extend the engine’s lifespan.

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Harrisburg Will Be Closed Today 8/9 For Sealcoating The Lot

Sorry about being closed today but we are sealcoating the lot. Harrisburg is the only central PA store open on Sundays so we will see you next week!

No Appointment 5 Star Service

Take $9 Off Any Oil Change In Celebration Of A Fun Holiday –

Beer is  one of the oldest drinks the world has ever known. International Beer Day gives fans worldwide just one more excuse to have a round on the first Friday in August. Beer has a reputation as the drink of choice for the ordinary working man or woman. When it’s served up cold and frothy or strong and We celebrate International Beer Day on the first Friday in August every year – August 7, 2020 –, when summer’s end begins to loom large. The start of another weekend beckons us to put aside our work, set aside differences, and come together to celebrate our shared love of beer.

Beer somehow manages to do what politicians have tried to do for centuries – unite people in a common cause for good. Our insatiable thirst for beer gives us reason to pause; to stop what we’re doing, sit down and converse with one another over a pint or two. The conversation may be pleasant or not, calm or animated, but somehow beer makes it possible to agree to disagree and still walk away friends. Plenty of us have no doubt solved many of the world’s problems over a few pints of beer.

HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL BEER DAY

Celebrating mankind’s common thirst for what is likely the world’s oldest and most beloved beverage is what International Beer Day is all about. Humans have been fascinated with beer since the first grains were accidentally discovered to have fermented, producing a bubbly aromatic product that someone dared to taste then drink, did not die but instead felt a lovely little buzz, smiled and said, “Wow.” Mankind has been obsessed ever since with perfecting beer recipes and brewing processes in pursuit of the next “Wow.”

Beer has been consumed by almost every culture throughout human history. The oldest evidence of man’s obsession with brewing beer dates back to ancient Babylonia and Mesopotamia. Archaeologists have unearthed recipes for beer that were written on clay tablets in 4300 B.C., and ceramic vessels from 3400 B.C. that are still sticky with beer residue. Everyone drank beer in ancient Egypt: pharaohs, peasants, priests, even children, as part of their everyday diet.

What may be the first song about beer, “Hymn to Ninkasi”—an ode to the Sumerian goddess of beer—dates back to 1800 B.C.  and includes a recipe for a beer brewed by female priestesses.

By the Middle Ages, Christian monks were brewing beers, and introduced the use of hops. Until then, beers were brewed with local additives like dates and olive oils to add flavor. Today’s beers continue to be brewed with hops, herbs, or fruits that add flavor. Macro, micro, or craft, the art of brewing beer today remains a craft that employs age-old techniques carefully perfected over centuries and millennium.

Our collective love of beer is what Jesse Avshalomov no doubt had on his mind back in August of 2007 while he and a few friends enjoyed some conversation and brews in the beach community of Santa Cruz, California. Back then his reasons for founding International Beer Day were:

  • Gather with friends and enjoy the taste of beer
  • Celebrate those responsible for brewing and serving beer
  • Unite the world under the banner of beer, by celebrating the beers of all nations together on a single day

In retrospect, Jesse’s LinkedIn profile reads he “…invented International Beer Day as an experiment in virality gone horribly right.”

To you, Jesse. Cheers!

Remembering 156 Years of Valvoline Motor Oil

Valvoline motor oil appeared in 1866. The lubrication technology, and it’s familiar packaging, has evolved over the years.

Valvoline motor oil first appeared in 1866, and just as the lubrication technology has evolved over the years, so has the familiar package that we see on store shelves when it is time to change the car’s oil.

The early metal cans became cardboard with metal tops and bottoms, and then plastic. The plastic jugs got newly designed no-spill pour spouts. After we get used to the new design, it is easy to forget about the old one, but taking a look back, there are some very familiar styles here.

15 Best valvoline images | Vintage gas pumps, Old gas stations ...
valvoline flag | eBay
JIMMIE JOHNSON # 48 VALVOLINE OIL BOBBLE HEAD 2016 | #1811680869
Antique, Vintage and Contemporary Advertising Collectibles
Valvoline oil | Etsy
valvoline flag | eBay
44 Best valvoline images | Mark martin, Vintage gas pumps, Vintage ...

Take $5 Off Any Oil Change With This Coupon

We want to recognize all those hard workers out there with this goofy national holiday – National Work Like A Dog Day. It may be a dog-eat-dog world out there, which can force you to work like a dog even during the dog days of summer! Work Like a Dog Day, which is celebrated on August 5, honors people who put in that extra bit of hard work. This quirky day is inspired by the reputed strong work ethic of canines, especially service dogs. Today, pause to appreciate the hard workers who inspire (or in some cases, frustrate) you. There’s no other day like this one so stick around because we’re sharing some fun ideas for the hard-working canine in you!