A dealer friend of ours recently recounted a terrifying tale in which the protagonist failed to change his oil over the course of 8 years. We’ll spare you the gory details, but know this: the story didn’t end well for the owner of that poor car.
So, let us ask you: When’s the last time you changed your engine oil? If it was when St Louis still had a pro football team, we’re here to push you into the service center, like, yesterday. You don’t even want to know
what happens to an engine when its oil and filters aren’t changed (but we’ll tell you anyway).
When to Change Your Oil
First, you need to know when to change your oil because “never” is not an acceptable length of time.
Although the traditional rule is to change your oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, modern vehicles are typically a bit more lenient, requiring you to get an oil change after 5,000-plus miles. While that extended maintenance time is nice, it can also cause unintended consequences—namely forgetfulness camouflaged as peace of mind, leading to a missed oil change here and a skipped oil filter replacement there.
VP of Fixed Operations, Craig Tegenkamp and myself
Think about this … since you were a baby, it is a common understanding that in order to stay healthy it is essential to have annual physicals. Why should it be any different with your vehicle? You should treat your vehicle as an extension of you! As important as it is for you to have regular checkups, the same goes for your car.
But what maintenance should you have done regularly? I asked Craig Tegenkamp, the Vice President of Fixed Operations for McCarthy Auto Group, just that.
Here’s the top 5 regular “checkups” he suggested:
- Oil change: Every make and model varies in terms of how often you should get an oil change, but it’s always good to go off a general rule. For GM vehicles, Tegenkamp said you should have a minimum of one oil change a year and for import vehicles, every 3000-5000 miles, or two a year.
- Tire pressure, rotation and alignment: You should check your tire pressure after every fill up, Tegenkamp says. And here’s something cool I found out: Every car has a sticker on the inside of the door: Check it out! It will tell you exactly what your tire pressure should be. Tire rotations should be done every 7000 miles according to Tegenkamp.
- Fluids: Transmission, anti-freeze, coolant, engine oil, windshield wiper fluid…All these fluids should be flushed at appropriate times. All will vary. Just make sure you get regular checkups.
- Fuel injectors: These should be flushed out every 30,000 miles, Tegenkamp says. Helps with fuel economy! Who doesn’t love that!
- Brakes: Most cars have sensors on there brake pads. If you start to hear a screeching noise while driving, it’s time to get em checked out!
I want to help you get your car questions answered. Submit a service-related questions via my contact page
and you may see your question answered by an expert technician on this site!
Check your own tire pressure...