Oil Change Tips and Advice for New Car Owners

Oil Change Tips and Advice for New Car Owners

Just bought your first car? It is a very exciting time driving your first vehicle off the lot, and whether it is new or used it will take some care and effort to keep it well maintained. There are many aspects of routine maintenance that are essential for keeping your vehicle operating in peak condition, and preserving the value and quality of your auto over time.

One very important aspect of vehicular maintenance is regular oil changes. Why are oil changes so important you ask? Well, quite simply oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle that helps makes sure you get to point A to point B without incident or breakdown. As humans it is not practical, or even possible, to swap out old blood for fresh every few months, so we need nutritious food and exercise to keep our blood rich with the necessary nutrients and oxygen our bodies need to function. Oil provides a similar service for your vehicle, but becomes dirty and contaminated over time. The main difference being that swapping out old oil for new is not only possible, but crucial for the health of your vehicle.

What does oil do for your vehicle?

The main function of oil in your automobile is to provide lubricant to the many working parts of the engine, absorbing heat and preventing the engine’s metal components from grinding against each other. Fresh oil prevents excessive wear on the engine, reducing friction, and keeping it from overheating and seizing up.

What happens to oil over time?

As you continue to drive your vehicle, the oil works to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently. As time passes, the oil begins to lose its viscosity with ongoing use. As the oil thins, it becomes less effective in providing the engine the protection it needs against excessive friction and wear. It also starts to accumulate debris and grime, and even metal shavings if left too long unchanged. Once the oil is contaminated it is no longer doing its job effectively, and can also damage the engine components which may result in costly repairs.

How often should the oil be changed in my vehicle?

The answer to this question varies depending on make and model of the vehicle, type of oil used, driving frequency, as well as the conditions you are driving in on a daily basis.

There are varying opinions on how often your oil should be changed, so the safest bet is to follow the guide in your owner’s manual. This is especially true for new car owners while the warranty is still in effect. Going against the recommendations in the owner’s manual can result in the warranty being rendered void. To keep your warranty intact, you should follow the guidelines on oil type, kilometrage, and time recommendations.

Warning Signs it May be Time for an Oil Change

While you should absolutely follow the recommendations laid out in your owner’s manual, there are also some telltale signs that can be observed to help ensure your engine is not being damaged by contaminated and ineffective oil.

Some warning signs to look out for include:

  • Check engine or oil light is illuminated
  • Strange sounds
  • Strong odors
  • Heavy exhaust
  • Oil is dark in color
  • Extensive travel

Check Engine or Oil Light

This is a very obvious warning sign that your oil is due for a changing. The oil light means your car is directly communicating with you that oil is low or polluted. If the check engine light becomes illuminated this could be a sign of more serious issues, indicating you are at risk of causing damage to the engine.

Strange Sounds

Any clunking or knocking noises emanating from your vehicle could be a signal that the oil is no longer providing sufficient lubrication for the engine. This issue should be addressed immediately to prevent serious damage and expenses.

Strong Odors

If it smells like something is burning while you are driving, or you can smell oil from the inside of your vehicle, chances are your oil is past its prime or may even be leaking.

Heavy Exhaust

Anytime you see heavy smoke coming from your exhaust pipe, it is a good idea to take your car in for servicing as soon as possible. There is most likely a problem with the oil or the engine.

Dark Colored Oil

Fresh oil is amber colored with a slight translucency to it. You can check the color of the oil with the dipstick. If it is black in color and contains particles, it is time for an oil change.

Extensive Travel

Any time you are going on a long trip or doing extensive driving over a short period of time, the oil in your vehicle is going to be working overtime. You may consider changing the oil before or after such an occurrence to prevent excessive wear on the engine.

Auto Glass Windshield Repair When Replacements Just Won’t Cut It

Auto Glass Windshield Repair When Replacements Just Won’t Cut It

Do you have a substantial chip or crack in your windshield? Perhaps what started out as a small blemish has now taken over the safety of your windscreen? Whatever the case, getting your car in for a professional assessment is the best next step forward. If the crack is small enough and caught in time, you may be able to get away with a simple repair to your existing windshield. However, if the damage is extensive, or the chip has been left to fester too long, an auto glass replacement is likely the only viable course of action remaining. Even the most cautious of drivers can fall victim to a damaged windshield. It can happen out of the blue when you are least expecting it. Chips and cracks can be caused by anything from errant debris flying up off the road to an accident with another vehicle. Let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent causes of windshield damage.

Common Causes of Auto Glass Damage

Damaged windshields are generally a freak occurrence that can happen for a variety of reasons, and can come in all shapes and sizes. Analyzing the size and location of the blemish can usually determine whether a repair or replacement is needed. Some of the more frequent causes of windshield harm, include:

  • Road debris
  • Harsh weather
  • Severe temperatures
  • Changes in pressure
  • Improper installation
  • Low grade glass
  • Automobile accidents

Road Debris

One of the most common causes of a cracked windshield is small stones or rocks flying up off the road and contacting the glass. Typically when this happens the damage is only to the outer surface and can be taken care of with a quick repair. However, when small blemishes like this are left untreated they can quickly blossom into a more serious and costly issue.

Harsh Weather

Storms and other tough weather conditions can also result in damage to your windscreen. Of all the dangerous types of weather to drive in, it is generally hail that ends up causing the most problems for auto glass. The major concern with hail is that you don’t even have to be driving for it to play havoc with your vehicle. High winds can also be problematic, blowing tree branches or other debris into your windshield.

Severe Temperatures

Another detrimental aspect of Canada’s harsh weather conditions is the extreme temperatures that can fluctuate considerably from day to day. Windshield damage can occur in severe weather swings due to the properties of glass that cause it to expand when hot and contract when cold. Granted, most auto glass is specifically designed to withstand heavy thermal strain, but when glass is continually exposed to severe temperatures it can weaken over time.

Changes in Pressure

Just as is the case with severe temperatures, rapid changes in air pressure can result in windshield damage. Traveling at high speeds or exposure to high winds can cause stress cracks. Excessive speeds or extremely strong winds put undue physical weight on the windscreen, potentially causing it to crack under the pressure.

Improper Installation

If you have installed the windshield yourself, or perhaps got the work done at a questionable establishment, it may not be tight enough to offer sufficient protection. When the windscreen is too loose, you will likely notice heavy vibrations while driving. It is probably no surprise that a loosely fitting, vibrating windshield is more susceptible to cracks and damage. Ensure proper installation with a trusted professional like Valvoline Express Care.

Low Grade Glass

Again, it should not come as any surprise that the lower quality of glass your windshield is comprised of, the higher the risk of something going wrong. Low quality auto glass is more likely to have manufacturing defects which can cause weak spots in the windshield making is more vulnerable to chips and cracks. Valvoline Brampton, partnered with Uniglass Plus, offer a Securi-Clear® lifetime warranty on your windshield, meaning you never again have to worry future repair costs.

Automobile Accidents

Car accidents are another serious concern for auto glass safety, and can result many different types of damage to your windscreen. Of course, there are accidents where the entire windshield is shattered, leaving no mystery of whether or not a replacement is needed. But, even a minor fender bender can inflict small cracks or excess pressure from a bent frame. After an accident it is always a good idea to get a professional assessment, even if the damage to your windshield seems insignificant.