by Pat Goss
Now whether your car is new, it’s old, or some place inbetween, it has vital fluids. And the most important of those vital fluids is the engine oil.
Now, you can have a newer car that may have an oil-like monitoring system on it, but remember that most of those monitoring systems do not tell you the condition of the oil. All they do is make a guess based on the number of revolutions of the engine, the temperature of the oil, and a bunch of other factors that they plug into an algorithm.
If you really want to be great about taking care of your car, find out what type of mileage you put on your car and follow either a time or mileage oil change interval. If you drive a lot of miles you change it on mileage covered by the wheels. If you don’t do much driving, well then you do it on calendar months. But the big thing is to change the oil. And to always use the proper type of oil.
You see, there are different qualities of oil and most modern cars require the highest quality that you can buy. Many require full synthetic oil in order to maintain warranty coverage. Also, there are all types of oil viscosities or thicknesses. And the one thing that you may run into is somebody that tells you that thicker oil is better. Thicker oil may have been better many many years ago. But not anymore. The car is set up today to work properly with the recommended oil in it. So follow the owner’s manual.
Then we have specialty oils that they address certain problems. While the advertising people would like you to think, that these problems are going to occur usually at 75,000 miles on every car out there. So they’ll tell you to use their product at 75,000 miles. Well, no two cars are exactly the same. Wait until your car has a problem that that specialty oil might address and then use it, not before.
Second thing, automatic transmissions. Virtually all cars these days come with automatic transmissions in some form. These transmissions have fluids. And the fluids have to be changed on a regular basis. Now the best way to do it is to flush the transmission, that’ll get rid of all the old contaminants and all the old fluid and so on. And, it’ll make the transmission last longer. But when it comes to fill or top off the transmission, well your going to be faced with a whole bunch of different fluids. And you will probably be faced with one or two that say they fit everything. Well one size does not fit all properly. You should always use transmission fluid that is recommended for your particular year, make, and model car. And that of course will keep the transmission going longer and help to prevent problems.
So vital fluids- they really are vital! Make sure you understand them and that you change them regularly. And if you have a question or comment, drop us a line right here at MotorWeek!