How to know when to switch your car tires around.
Tire wear can become uneven for a number of reasons. A car’s weight dispersion can be a factor, especially if you have a front-wheel drive vehicle. Not only do the tires on these have to endure the steering, braking and accidental bruises from parking but also carry the entire weight of both the engine and the front axle.
At this point, you may be wondering why you even need to be spending this much time on tire rotation. Well, for one thing, it’s safer. If you have balder tires on the front, you are at risk of losing control of the steering and getting into an accident.
A good jumping off point would be to look at your owner’s manual, which will probably supply a number between 5,000 and 7,500 miles. The manufacturer actually built the car, and as such should be viewed as the highest order when it comes to maintenance advice. Though, manufacturer recommendations are based on ideal driving conditions – driving short distances, never over the speed limit, that kind of thing – something the average driver would be hard-pressed to accomplish. As such, you’re better off using the “severe conditions” maintenance schedule, which will have you changing your oil roughly every 3,000 miles.
So, once you’ve uncovered the carmaker’s estimated oil change mileage, there are a few issues that need to be reviewed to adjust that estimate. Hard driving is a major wear and tear factor in determining the mileage amount for an oil change. If you’re driving in a lot in extreme conditions (both hot and cold), stop-and-go traffic, towing a trailer or hanging out on dusty roads, you must change your oil more frequently.
That little light can mean a lot of things. How do you know if it’s a serious problem or just a small issue?
Your car seems to be behaving normally
No strange noises
No strange smell
You’re getting the same gas mileage
A consistent rattle, knock or other unusual noise
A severe loss of power
A serious decline in gas mileage
The vehicle does not start
Learn how to pick the right motor oil for your vehicle.
Each type of oil is graded by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The higher the grade number – up to 70 – the higher the viscosity. These numbers are often referred to as the weight of the oil. In addition to numbering, motor oil that meets low temperature requirements gets a “W” after the viscosity grade. Simple enough, right?
As your car ages, it will need slightly thicker oil for added lubrication. The parts of your car’s engine will have worn over time, increasing friction; thicker oil will help condition seals in older cars. An oil’s thickness changes with the outside temperature as well. It will become thinner with warmer temperatures and thicken when it’s cold.
There are three overarching types of oil – conventional, synthetic and synthetic blend. Conventional oil is organic and limited in its capabilities when compared to the synthetic oils, which have fewer imperfections in their chemical buildup. Conventional oil is highly reactive to temperatures, which isn’t true for synthetics; also, synthetics give you better engine performance, as they are more slippery.
What are the differences between the gas grades you put in your car?