Everyone in Greenwood Village, Colorado knows we are advised to go to our local dentist twice a year. Oral-conscious people have both a teeth-cleaning and examination. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When our dentist is done, he/she tells us what was found – “Everything’s fine, see you in six months.” Or “You’ve got a small cavity starting, let’s schedule an appointment to take care of it.” By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary issues.
This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big expensive problems. And you avoid those huge bills.
If Denver folks understand the wisdom of using this system for handling dental care, why do many resist when facing the same system for our vital car maintenance?
Following the auto manufacturer’s recommended intervals can be confusing. First, there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing …you get the point.
Every item has a recommended interval and it’s hard for drivers to keep it all straight – even if you’re part of the 1% of the Colorado car owners who read their owners’ manual.
And if you have more than one car, truck, or SUV the complexity is multiplied. You’d need a computer program to keep track of everything. Well, that’s how your service center Centennial does it. For example, Davis Repair subscribes to automotive databases that have your vehicle’s recommended intervals. You may have wondered how they know what else to recommend when you take your car in for an oil change – it’s all in the database.
Well, it’s not all in the computer. There are other variables that can’t be accounted for in the schedule. Things like Denver weather conditions (snow, sun, snow, sun… in the same week), altitude, and where and how you drive in Colorado. Talk about these things with your honest, helpful Davis Repair technician and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner’s manual is more appropriate.
Since anything that’s not highway driving in moderate weather is considered severe, most of us do at least some “severe weather driving” around Denver, Colorado and it should be taken into account. If you’ve left your house in the past couple of week here, you know what we mean.
Let’s take your basic oil change as an example – what issues are involved? The oil you put in your truck is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your truck engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.
Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That’s why most vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.
It’s easy for local drivers to think, “Gee, I’ve only driven 2,000 miles in the last 3 months. I can wait on that oil change.” But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a detrimental environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that starts degrading its effectiveness even when it’s just sitting there.
Many people don’t realize how harmful it is to skip an oil change. There are a lot of harmful metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it’s clogged up because you haven’t changed it, it can’t trap any more.
Oil sludge is another problem; sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think ‘Vaseline’. Obviously, sludge doesn’t lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don’t get properly protected by the oil. That’ll lead to premature wear.
If you’ve missed some oil changes, don’t despair. Just talk with your Davis Repair service professional. Fess up – you’ll feel better (we are not here to judge.) We can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your truck on the road and avoiding costly repairs.
Take a look at the auto tips video in this post for more information.
6867 South Emporia Street
Centennial, Colorado 80112