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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Almost all of our stores it is the landlord responsibility to have our lots plowed, and I am not going to force my guys to shovel our driveways as thats not what they signed up for when I hired them, so we apologize in advance if our lots are not cleared off yet. WE ARE OPEN! Thank you! – Costa

Why Do Drivers Love Primewell PS830/850 Tires?

Primewell PS830 tireAll-season touring tires don’t get more affordable or reliable than this. Buy Primewell PS830/PS850 at Firestone Complete Auto Care today.

Why Buy Primewell PS830/850 Tires?

Primewell PS830/PS850 touring tires deliver reliable all-season traction at an affordable price point for budget-conscious drivers. Engineered for cars and minivans, these S- and T-speed rated tires provide both exceptional handling and superior ride comfort.

Every Primewell tire is put to the test to ensure it meets customer expectations and manufacturer standards. Before they hit the sales floor, PS830 and PS850 tires are quality tested for stability at high speeds, riding comfort, wet and dry handling, braking and cornering, and road noise levels. With a set of Primewell tires on your car, you’ll find yourself getting used to uniquely quiet and comfortable drives.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more affordable all-season touring tire than Primewell PS830/PS850. Additionally, you can get a free tire quote for Primewell PS830 and PS850 tires online, and then calculate your out-the-door price, so you know what to expect before you head into the store. After all, the checkout line is no place for surprises!

PS830/850 Tire Features & Benefits

From research to development, each feature in Primewell PS830/PS850 tires has been formulated to deliver what drivers desire most—safety, reliability, and mileage. Primewell prioritizes drivers’ safety and peace of mind, so you can cruise confidently for many miles to come.

1. EXTENDED SHOULDER GROOVES: Deliver excellent cornering stability.

2. FOUR WIDE CIRCUMFERENTIAL GROOVES: Ensure effective water evacuation for optimum all weather performance.

3. ADVANCED VARIABLE PITCH TREAD BLOCKS: Promote a quiet and smooth ride under high-speed driving conditions.

4. ALL-SEASON TREAD DESIGN: Enhances year-round performance with open-slotted shoulders.

5. CIRCUMFERENTIAL CENTER RIB: Enhances lateral traction.

Primewell Tires Prioritize Driver Comfort

Your comfort getting from Point A to Point B is what matters most. Whether you’re cruising down country roads, highway lanes, or city streets, Primewell PS830 and PS850 tires deliver an exceptionally comfortable driving experience. You can thank the variable design for reduced tire noises, and for an upgraded music- or podcast-listening experience. Additionally, you can corner confidently with wide shoulder blocks made to ensure ride stability.

You need to have confidence in your vehicle’s tires, which is why each Primewell tire is put through one of the tire industry’s most rigorous and thorough quality control systems. Additionally, all Primewell tires feature a barcode on the sidewall which allows drivers to trace it through the entire production process, all the way back to which raw materials were used in its construction.

Shop Primewell PS830 & PS850 Tires

At Firestone Complete Auto Care, we’re here to help you select the right tire type and size for your vehicle, budget, and driving style! Stop by your local Firestone Complete Auto Care to learn about Primewell PS830 and PS850 tires and other touring tires. You can also make your tire shopping experience even easier by ordering your Primewell tires online and having them delivered to your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care, where they can be installed by expert technicians. Order your Primewell PS830/PS850 tires and make your tire installation appointment now.

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Go Where the Trail Takes You with Destination M/T2 Tires

Destination MT2 tire covered in mudEvery day is a fresh adventure – and Firestone Destination M/T2 tires can tackle wherever your adventures take you. When you’re blazing your own trail, be prepared with max traction tires you can trust, from Firestone Complete Auto Care.

Buy Firestone Destination M/T2 Tires

Rough terrain calls for tough truck tires. Whether it’s work or play that takes you into uncharted territory, you need to have confidence in the tires you choose to put on your vehicle. Firestone Destination M/T2 tires were engineered for off-roading, delivering maximum traction for drivers of pickup trucks, Jeeps, SUVS, and off-road vehicles.

With the right set of tires on your vehicle, you won’t hesitate to tackle tough trails and rocky roads that would stop other drivers in their tracks. Trust your tires to help you stay in control in out-of-control conditions.

What Are Max Traction Tires?

Max traction tires are made to perform in off-road environments with loose soil, dense mud, and jagged rocks. Firestone Destination M/T2 tires proudly bear the “mud tire” designation. As Firestone max traction tires, Destination M/T2 tires are ready for:

  • Digging into soft surfaces to provide more traction than a regular tire can produce
  • Standing up to the punishment doled out by gravel, rocks, sticks and more — resisting what could be a troublesome puncture when adventuring in remote areas
  • Ejecting mud and rocks, preventing accumulation in treads

Drivers can also adjust Firestone Destination M/T2 tire pressure depending upon the trail conditions they face.

Are Max Traction Tires Good in Snow?

Though not designed explicitly for snow, max traction tires such as the Firestone Destination M/T2 can provide solid off-road grip and stopping power when the snow flurries start to fall. It’s all thanks to their aggressive tread.

Destination M/T2 Tire Benefits

Up For Anything

There’s little ground that these tires can’t cover. Designed with off-roading in mind, the Destination M/T2 tires feature:

  • Mud and stone ejectors to clear debris away from the tread
  • 23-degree attack angles for ultimate pulling power on soft surfaces
  • New tread compound, three-ply sidewall construction, and more aggressive upper sidewall lugs to provide grip in muddy and wet conditions
  • Increased resistance to chips and tears, meaning you can depend on these tires to last for the long haul

Suited for All Seasons

Destination M/T2 tires can handle bone-dry dirt paths and slush-covered streets. The tread features additional grooves that impressively provide 20% more biting edges. More biting edges mean you get improved traction on slippery or snowy surfaces, so even Mother Nature herself can’t stop you from getting to your destination.

Built to Last

Tires are an investment, and this is one investment that will pay off. You can count on your Destination M/T2 tires to last for a long time, thanks to their:

  • Three-ply sidewall and serrated upper sidewall lugs, which make these mudders more resistant to chips and tears that can occur on rough ground
  • Debris ejectors that protect the tread from the effects of stone drilling

Where To Buy Firestone Destination M/T2 Tires

When the untamed back roads are calling your name, there’s one Destination to head to first: Firestone Complete Auto Care.

Firestone Destination M/T2 tires are available at Firestone Complete Auto Care. Buy them online, or stop by one of our convenient locations. We know you’re busy – save time by scheduling an appointment, so you can spend less time shopping for tires and more time enjoying them.

Visit your local Firestone Complete Auto Care today to learn more about Destination max traction tires, including Firestone Destination M/T2 prices. We also offer a full line of Firestone tires for cars, trucks, and SUVs.

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Meet Firestone Destination X/T & A/T2 Tires

Car with Firestone Destination tireTruck owners know that no two days are the same and sometimes, the job calls for taking the road less traveled. Whether cruising on paved city roads or navigating rocky paths that can hardly be considered “roads” at all, your truck needs Firestone Destination all-terrain tires you can trust. Firestone Destination X/T and A/T2 tires are built tough so you can get where you need to be, no matter what terrain you’re up against.

Buy Firestone Destination X/T and A/T2 Tires

Duty calls – and sometimes it calls you far off the beaten path or into unpredictable weather conditions. With Firestone Destination X/T or A/T2 tires, you can handle the road with confidence, whether it’s a rugged gravel road or a snow-covered mountain pass.

There’s almost no place you can’t go when you drive with a set of all-terrain Destination X/T or A/T2 tires on your truck.

What Are All-Terrain Tires?

Most roads are smooth and flat. (Except for the occasional pothole or two.) Many different types of tires are available for driving on them. When the physical characteristics of your route to work change, though, run-of-the-mill OEM tires won’t cut it.

That’s where all-terrain tires come in. All-terrain tires are designed to usher you past obstacles and down trails that force drivers with regular tires to turn around. If the roads in your area are predictable but the weather’s not, consider Firestone Destination LE3 all-season tires, instead.

What Are All-Terrain Tires Good For?

The best all-terrain tires won’t require you to turn around. They’ll handle whatever Mother Nature gives you — and whatever your responsibilities demand of you.

Essential all-terrain tire features help support:

  • Safe, assured braking
  • Dependable traction in a range of conditions
  • Quiet and comfortable on-road performance

Destination X/T Benefits

Firestone Destination X/T tires deliver proven “anywhere” traction and durability that drivers of heavy-duty trucks can depend on. Designed for superior off-road performance, Destination X/T tires can cover most ground. Their unique tread design with Hydro-Grip Technology cuts through water and provides enhanced snow traction, providing dependable performance through rain, snow, ice, and slush. And with a specially formulated tread rubber and TractionTech Package, Destination X/T tires are built to last on and off road throughout the 50,000 mile limited warranty.

Destination A/T2 Benefits

You’re on a paved road one day and a rock-covered one the next, and you need a tire that can handle both journeys with ease. That’s where Firestone Destination A/T2 tires come in.

The aggressive tread design with stone rejectors and special tread compound allows the tire to grip gravel and dirt roads, while the tire’s specially developed rubber compound and tread pattern mean you get quiet, comfortable rides when you’re back on the highway. The tire’s Hydro-Grip technology allows you to get where you want to go, rain or shine (or light snow or ice).

Where To Buy Firestone Destination A/T2 or X/T Tires

Looking for a set of durable and reliable all-terrain tires to take you on-road, off-road, and everywhere in between? Firestone Complete Auto Care is your Destination.

Firestone Destination A/T2 tires and X/T tires are available at Firestone Complete Auto Care, and our friendly tire technicians are ready to help you decide which is best for your vehicle. Buy tires online or in one of our convenient locations. Want to save time? Schedule an appointment!

Visit your local Firestone Complete Auto Care today to learn more about Destination all-terrain tires, including the Firestone Destination A/T2 and X/T price. We offer a full line of Firestone tires for cars, trucks, and SUVs.

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Travel Well with Toyo Extensa HP II Tires

Sports car with performance tiresWhen performance, reliability, and price matter, choose Toyo. Shop Toyo Extensa high-performance all-season tires at Firestone Complete Auto Care, your local Toyo tire dealer.

Buy Toyo Extensa HP II

It isn’t greedy to want it all. It just means you need Toyo’s Extensa HP II tires.

The Extensa HP II is a high-performance all-season tire for passenger cars that offers drivers:

  • Superb handling in dry and wet conditions
  • A comfortable and quiet ride
  • An affordable price

Anyone seeking a great driving experience deserves such high-performance features in an affordable tire. They can find it all in the Toyo Extensa HP II.

What Are High-Performance Tires?

It’s a question common among many people looking for new tires: What are high-performance tires?

As the name suggests, high-performance tires are designed to give drivers handling, grip, and cornering improvements over standard all-season tires. They’re ideal for sportier vehicles, such as sports coupes and sedans.

Are you looking for a tire capable of powerful traction in dirt, mud, sand, snow, and similar conditions? Where stability is never guaranteed, and durability and climbing power are paramount? Look at tires designed for those scenarios, such as Firestone’s Destination line.

For drivers seeking a top-quality ride every time they’re behind the wheel, it’s high-performance tires or bust.

Learn more about performance tires here.

Toyo Extensa HP II Tires Are Engineered to Excel

Few tires can boast the detailed engineering Toyo brought to the Extensa HP II and its:

  • Improved all-season traction, a result of a special silica compound combined with a new, unidirectional tread design.
  • Unique tread blocks, which feature single-cut and double-cut tapers that enhance braking performance.
  • Full depth multi-wave sipes, which minimize irregular wear for a smooth, quiet ride and improved light snow traction.

After more than 70 years of producing tires for everything from hybrids to commercial trucks, Toyo applied everything it learned to the Extensa HP II.

What About Toyo Extensa HP II Reviews?

For their ideal blend of performance, comfort, and reliability, Toyo Extensa HP II tires win over drivers who appreciate value without compromise. They cite:

  • How the Extensa HP II meets their highest expectations, including handling under dry and wet conditions
  • The quiet yet assured ride
  • Superior traction across a range of driving scenarios, including snow and ice

For all their praise, however, reviewers often return to the same point: the remarkable value the Extensa HP II tire offers.

Where To Buy Toyo Extensa HP II Tires

If you’re in the market for a tire that checks off all the right boxes, you’re in the market for the Extensa HP II from Toyo. You can buy your new Extensa HP II tires online at Firestone Complete Auto Care for the ultimate in convenience, or browse other Toyo tires for sale.

Like the in-person experience? Then make your next stop the nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care location. Schedule an appointment to save time!

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