Oil Changes are generally recommended every 5,000 miles on modern vehicles.
Regular oil changes are part of the standard maintenance of every vehicle. Oil lubricates the pistons of the engine and other moving parts to reduce friction while the engine is running. Older vehicles need an oil change about every 3,000 miles. Most modern vehicles have a manufacturer’s recommendation for oil changes at every 7,500 miles. Yet, for extreme weather conditions like we experience in Arizona, it’s best to have an oil change about every 5,000 miles. Of course, these are general guidelines. The exact number for each vehicle is noted in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. When you get your oil changed at our shop, we’ll leave a discrete sticker on your windshield in the top driver’s side corner that indicates the mileage at which you should return for the next oil change.
Other fluids in your vehicle include brake fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, transmission fluid, and battery fluid. All these fluids are checked during standard maintenance vehicle checks at 30,000 miles, 90,000 miles, 150,000 miles and at every 5,000-mile oil change. Also, we’ll often top off these fluids during other services and repairs.
The level and condition of brake fluid is also observed during our free brake checks. The brake fluid is important for lubricating the hydraulic unit of the anti-lock brakes and the calipers.
Coolant is installed in the radiator with distilled water in a 50/50 solution. The coolant helps to keep the engine from overheating while running. Some of the coolant is distributed through the heater/AC unit. That’s why if you’re car starts to overheat while driving, it’s best to turn off the AC and even turn on the heat. It may seem counter-intuitive to turn on the heat when the engine is overheating (especially in hot Arizona weather). Yet, it redistributes the coolant from the AC system to the engine, which is why it works. There is an engine temperature indicator on the dash of the vehicle which shows the temperature while the engine is running. If the engine begins to overheat, a light on the dash will probably illuminate. Check the owner’s manual for engine temperature lights and indicators, and bring your car to the shop if it ever overheats.
The power steering fluid helps to lubricate the power steering unit. When it’s low, some makes and models will transmit a hum that sounds similar to a Delorean– the car in the Back to the Future movies. This sound does not indicate that you’re about to travel through time. It means your power steering needs to be serviced. Of course, if your vehicle is a Delorean and you’re worried about the power steering then you might have a dilemma since it sounds the same. No wonder Doc Brown was a little crazy.
The windshield washer fluid can be used to help clean a dusty, dirty windshield while driving in non-rainy conditions. It is important to keep this refilled after use so that there is always fluid available to increase visibility while driving if needed.
The transmission fluid helps keep the transmission lubricated. The function of the transmission is to relay the energy produced in the combustion engine onto the drive train, which transmits into the wheels turning so that you drive forward as you apply the accelerator pedal.
Low battery fluid can indicate the need to change the battery, which is primarily used when turning the key in the ignition. Often the condition of the battery terminals will also indicate the need to change the battery.
One fluid which is not checked or refilled during standard maintenance is the refrigerant in the AC system. That’s because the AC should not be opened unless there is a specific problem with the AC. Read about our Free AC check and AC services.
“I took my Chevy Tahoe in for an oil change and they really went the extra mile and rotated the tires, checked fluids and found a few issues I was not aware of. All this for a better price than the big box lube shops. I now have a new repair shop!” –Marc B.
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