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The Truth in Caring for Your Vehicle

It's time to get down to the truth about taking care of your vehicle. Deciphering what's a myth and what's not can help finacially and also increase the longevity of your vehicle.

Should I change my oil change every 3,000 miles?

For the best results over the life of your vehicle, it is important to perform routine maintenance, including regularly changing the oil in your vehicle. Conventional motor oil provides your engine with protection against wear and friction for up to 3,000 miles. Beyond that, the protective capabilities of the oil may begin to break down, putting vital engine parts at risk for wear. Using synthetic oil can increase the time between oil changes and in the end, save you time and money. Always adhere to manufacturer's guidelines on oil to ensure that your vehicle's warranty is not affected.

If my vehicle is still under warranty, do I have to take it to a dealership for all maintenance issues?

In order to keep your factory warranty, you simply have to stick to the schedule in the owner's manual. If you choose to do the repairs at home, be sure to hold on to your receipts in case documentation is needed down the road. If there are certain items listed in your manual and they are performed on time, you can have your vehicle serviced at any shop.

Do I need to let my engine warm up in the Winter before putting the vehicle in drive?

All you need is 30 seconds for your vehicle to warm up during the colder months. In extreme cold, let your vehicle warm up by slowly driving for a couple of miles. If by chance you are starting a vehicle that hasn't been driven in a while, allow a couple of minutes for it to warm up before driving off.

Should I always inflate my tires to the PSI number listed on the sidewall?

The PSI number on your tire's sidewall is not specific to any type of vehicle. A more accurate pressure number comes from your manufacturer and can be found on the doorjam sticker, gas door or glove box.

Should I use dish washing detergents as an exterior wash?

Dish detergents and soaps are made to tackle tough grease and oil. Using dish soap will tackle your vehicle's wax and possibly your paint the same way. Instead, use a soap that is designed for the exterior of a vehicle.

When it comes to oil filters, are they all the same?

Depending on the quality of oil filter you choose, your engine can be protected very well for several thousand miles. Less expensive oil filters are made with a lower quality paper and cover up to 3,000 miles, at which point the filter will begin to lose its ability to filter the contaminants from the oil before it enters the engine. Higher quality filters are comprised of more dense fibers, which can protect your vehicle's oil for up to 12,000 miles. Regardless of the filter you choose, it is important that you routinely replace it to maximize the life of your vehicle's engine.

By following the above tips and suggestions, you can not only extend the life of your vehicle, but you can do so without breaking the bank in the process.

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