Signs a Car is Badly in Need of an Oil Change

In a perfect world, everyone takes care of their vehicles in a timely manner. However, there are times that individuals fall behind on their car maintenance. When a vehicle is overdue for an oil change in Longmont, there are several signs a person should look for including:

Warning Light Comes On

Almost every feature on a vehicle has a warning light to let the driver know that something has gone wrong, and the amount of lubrication in the engine is no different. If the warning light for this comes on, it’s crucial to stop the vehicle as soon as possible and check the level. If necessary, add as a low level can be extremely dangerous for the moving parts of the engine. Running the car with a low lubrication level can put an individual at risk of seizing up the entire engine block, so it’s important to take these warning lights seriously.

Lubricant Looks Dirty and Brown

When checking the lubrication levels, if one finds that the liquid looks dirty, brown, and is difficult to see through, it is definitely time for swapping out the old for new. This can be done in a home garage if an individual knows how, and if not, one can make an appointment to have the vehicle serviced at a quick lube station. The visual appearance of the liquid is an easy way to tell that it’s time to make an overdue service appointment.

Engine Makes More Noise Than Usual

When one gets to the point that the levels of lubrication are actually lower than they should be in the engine, the parts may begin to rattle or make extra noise as the vehicle runs. If an individual hears the engine making more noise than it usually does when they drive it, it’s likely a sign that the vehicle is badly in need of servicing. These appointments are extremely important and neglecting them can cause the vehicle to completely stop running, so it’s crucial to not miss them or put them off. Doing so for too long can actually be quite dangerous.

Exhaust is Smoking

When a vehicle’s exhaust begins smoking, it can be quite alarming. However, it’s often simply a sign that the oil in the vehicle desperately needs to be changed and that one needs to make an appointment as soon as possible. Instead of panicking, a driver should call the service station that they usually use and make an appointment to have their vehicle fully serviced.

It’s fairly easy to get an oil change in Longmont, even if the vehicle is overdue. All a person needs to do is to call a service provider and schedule an appointment, although they may want to let the mechanics know that it’s been a while since the car was last serviced.

Discuss These Details Before Leaving a Car for Repairs

Leaving a vehicle for car service in Longmont doesn’t have to be overwhelming. While it’s frustrating that it needs worked on, the process itself is relatively simple. However, it is important to discuss numerous details with the professionals at the shop before you leave it there for work, including the following:

Required Repairs

Before leaving a vehicle for repairs, it’s important to take the time to fully discuss the repairs that one is requesting. The scope of the repairs is very important, as it will help show the mechanic where they need to be looking for issues with the vehicle, as well as what repairs an individual is willing to sign off on. This clear document helps keep everyone on the same page so that no one is accidentally confused by verbal requests or descriptions of strange noises that the vehicle is making. Often, a customer will provide a mechanic or writer with a description of what is going on with the vehicle, and then they will summarize it on a ticket. Read over the required repairs before leaving the car, truck, or SUV to be sure the summary is accurate.

Estimated Cost

There should also be an estimated cost for leaving a vehicle for repairs. While the mechanic may not know the full amount that it will cost for all repairs, they should be able to give the owner a decent estimate for the price. This information is extremely important for the owner and may help them determine which automotive shop to work with.

Authorized Amount

The vehicle owner can also add a full authorized amount to the paperwork before leaving it for repairs. This allows them to make sure that the individuals who are working on it don’t go over a specific amount, even if the repairs become more in-depth than their original scope. With a pre-authorized amount, the mechanics will know exactly how much they are allowed to work and how much money they can bill to a client’s account as they make repairs.

How Updates will Proceed

Another important thing to discuss before leaving it for repairs is how updates about the process itself will be handled. Will the mechanic update the client each step of the way, or only when there is a major milestone? How will the client be contacted — by phone, email, or by text? Discussing these updates will help clarify these details before anyone is left in the lurch, so it is an important conversation to have.

Car service in Longmont doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg or be overwhelming. Instead, work through this process to take care of the repairs carefully.

When Do Tires Lose Their Alignment?

Tires can’t just be installed on a car, truck, or SUV and then hold their position forever. Instead, it’s necessary to regularly schedule an alignment in Longmont to make sure that the tires are in good shape and in the correct position on the vehicle. Tires lose their spot on the vehicle in the following situations:

Tire Impacts

While it’s not possible to avoid every single bump, thump, curb, and pothole while going through one’s day, these impacts can affect the way the tires fit on the car. This becomes especially true over time, as while small impacts may not make much of a difference, they can have a cumulative effect. Larger impacts can also have a dramatic effect on the way that the car’s tires fit, changing it all at once and making a big difference at one time.

New Tires

New tires can also be lined up incorrectly on a vehicle. When this is the case, they’ll need to be serviced so that they are set up correctly and wear correctly, otherwise the wear pattern will be strange and the tires themselves won’t last as long. This can lead to increased vehicle maintenance costs over time, while scheduling regular appointments could keep these costs much lower.

Wear and Tear

Over time, regular wear and tear can cause dramatic damage to a set of tires. Simple mileage put in, time on the road, and exposure to road hazards can create major issues. These seemingly simple issues are easy to ignore, but they can cause the wear pattern in a set of tires to vary dramatically from what it should be, until they need to be adjusted on the vehicle. If one doesn’t do this, serious issues can develop. A skilled mechanic can take the time to adjust them for the driver so that they wear more evenly.

Periodic Maintenance is Necessary

Tires aren’t just a set it and forget it vehicle part. They require ongoing maintenance, they need to be adjusted regularly for wear and tear, and they need to be checked periodically to make sure that they are safe to use. This type of maintenance helps ensure that the car is safe to drive and that one isn’t risking an accident or blowout caused by a damaged tire. This periodic maintenance is a crucial part of automotive safety and allows the driver to take the best possible care of their family while behind the wheel.

Those who own a vehicle should take the time to regularly schedule an alignment in Longmont. This essential service helps ensure that it is safe to drive at all times, and that everyone in the family is protected during each road trip.

Avoid Costly Auto Repair in Longmont with Preventative Maintenance

No one wants to have to pay for a costly auto repair in Longmont, although it does become necessary from time to time. It may be possible to limit the amount one needs to spend on fixing a car over the course of its lifetime by working to develop a preventative maintenance schedule. Take care of a vehicle by being sure to check on the following regularly:

Examine the Tires

Before driving the car, take the time to visually examine the tires. Inspect the tread for deep wear and tear, and also look for holes, nails, screws, or any damage that could have been done to the tires while the car was parked. It’s always possible for something to happen to a vehicle while it’s sitting parked, especially if a person regularly parks in a lot, garage, or other unsupervised location.

Schedule an Oil Change

An oil change is another important part of vehicle maintenance that should never be neglected. It’s vitally important that there always be the correct amount of the correct type of oil in a vehicle so that all of the engine parts can move appropriately. Otherwise, there’s a serious risk of parts binding up or the engine seizing completely. When a driver doesn’t know how to change their own oil, it’s important to schedule an appointment to have this task done.

Change Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers may seem like a small insignificant purchase, but they can make the difference between a safe drive and an unsafe one in rainy weather. When wipers start to fray or become worn, it’s important to take the time to change the wiper blades out with a new set so that the vehicle’s windshield stays clean and clear no matter the weather.

Clean Battery Contacts

A vehicle needs clean battery contacts in order to start cleanly and smoothly. Otherwise, there’s a risk that it will stall not start properly. Keeping the terminals clean and clear is an important part of maintaining a vehicle correctly so that it will start smoothly every time it is needed. If one doesn’t know how to do this and is curious about the state of their battery, any service shop can help you with this simple task.

Those who want to avoid paying for a more expensive auto repair in Longmont need to make sure that they take the time to take care of ongoing maintenance needs instead. Taking the time to handle these tasks can help prevent major problems with a vehicle from developing as time goes by and ensure that everyone riding in the vehicle is as safe as possible. Otherwise, there is always the risk of a serious crash happening as a result of equipment failure.

Ways That Regular Oil Changes Keep Vehicles Healthy

Individuals who own a vehicle should be sure to take the time to schedule it for an oil change in Longmont, CO on a regular basis. This essential service has many benefits and will help keep it healthy for the long run, so that the driver can enjoy it for many years to come. Ongoing vehicle maintenance has the following benefits:

 

Lubricates Engine Parts

Having a vehicle regularly serviced and lubed keeps engine parts moving smoothly over one another so that they don’t snag on one another or jam. Without this critical component, pieces of the engine can lock up and the entire thing can seize, leading to the car not working at all. This makes it crucially important that car owners take the time to regularly schedule service for their car and ensure that the vehicle is thoroughly lubricated at all times.

 

Cools Engine Parts

Taking the time to perform regular service on the engine also helps keep parts at the appropriate temperature so that nothing overheats, and cools parts that are too warm. The correct products can help ensure that the car or truck engine parts are maintained at the right temperature so that an individual doesn’t ever have to worry about the engine fully overheating. Otherwise, they run the risk of things overheating and locking up, causing serious issues.

 

Removes Particles and Sludge

Lubricant also washes away sludge and any tiny particles that have scraped loose as engine parts rub together as it circulates through the engine. This lets it serve as a cleaning fluid, removing dirt and debris as it moves around the inner workings of the car. It’s essential to keep these tiny pieces from the vehicle, and the lubricant ensures that it happens regularly and that nothing gets backed up or jammed up with dirt. Lubricant helps keep parts clean, smooth, and shiny so that everything runs just the way it is supposed to.

 

Promotes Overall Longevity

Lubing engine parts also works to promote overall health and longevity of all of the engine parts so that they stand up longer and the vehicle lasts longer. Keeping a car, truck, or SUV carefully maintained means that it will likely be able to run for more miles, so if one is attached to a vehicle, it only makes sense to take good care of it.

Those who are interested in taking excellent care of their ride should schedule it for regular maintenance appointments and a regular oil change in Longmont, CO. These appointments will help keep it running well for years to come, so that one can enjoy driving their favorite model around town for as long as they’d like.

Stay Comfortable With Heating and Air Services

We’re in the dead of winter right now, and that naturally makes most of us want to be warm and cozy. It’s positively the worst time for your heating system to give out. And when it comes to your air conditioning system, you don’t want to wait until it’s practically boiling outside before you discover your AC needs help. Here’s a rundown of some of the problems you may come across with your car’s heating and air.

Regular Maintenance

Like humans, your car should get a periodic “wellness check” to make sure everything is in proper working order. This includes your heating and air conditioning system. Obviously, if you have an immediate problem it needs to be handled, but getting regular maintenance can help you identify small problems before they get bigger. Hose leaks are an example, something which make your system less efficient.

Common AC Problems

There are quite a few signals that your AC system may be having some problems that need to be addressed. If the air pushed out is only slightly cooler than the exterior air, there might be a problem that’s impacting your efficiency. Also take note if your AC pumps out air that smells musty or like mildew. And obviously, if the AC is blowing out warm air instead of cold, you have a problem.

Common Heating Problems

If in cold weather you notice that the car’s interior cabin just doesn’t get warm, or maybe only slightly warmer than the outside, you’ll probably want to check it out, especially if you live in a cold climate. Another point to be aware of for heating and air is if the defroster is working—does it appear to lag or not work at all? Again, if you notice cold air, take your car in for service as soon as you can.

Other Problems

In heating and air, one problem you may notice is that the heat or air only works when the car is in motion and not when it is idling. This can be a sign of a larger system issue. A technician can check for leaks, cracks, and other problems that may impact your system, and again, catching problems before they get worse can often mean a smaller price tag, but it does depend on the specific problem. There are a lot of moving parts to maintain, including belts, compressors, the radiator. Correct pressure in the system is also crucial.

Contact your Longmont auto repair center to follow up on your vehicle’s heating and air issues, and don’t wait for the problem to get worse before you deal with it—depending on the issue, it could get more expensive the longer you let it linger. Here’s to having a warm car this winter!

The Importance of Wheel Alignment

There are a lot of service options out there for car care. Even though you’re not a mechanic, you should still know as much as you can about certain services and why they are important to the life of your car. Today we’re talking about tire or wheel alignment and why it matters.

What is Alignment?

It’s complicated, but essentially it means that the tires on your car are straight and in line with the rest of the car. If you’re driving down a straight road (and there aren’t other cars around!), take your hands off the steering wheel briefly and watch to see if your car is pulling in one direction or another. If that’s the case, there may be a problem with your car’s alignment.

What Causes the Problem?

In short, it’s sometimes the little things that can throw your car out of alignment: hitting a pothole, bumping a curb, and simply wear and tear. Over time, as your vehicle ages, joints start to get looser and rubber starts to wear down. This can also contribute to structure problems.

Even if your car is only slightly out of adjustment, it can cause uneven tire wear and make it more difficult to control your car.

Why is it so Important?

If you think about the car like you would a human, you wouldn’t want to wait to get continual aches and pains taken care of. Misalignment could almost be compared to a twisted ankle. You may start favoring the other ankle, leading you to limp and overcompensate and possibly make the problem worse by not treating it.

When a car is out of alignment, tires wear down faster, which isn’t good for the car, and it certainly isn’t good for your wallet. The other problem is simply an issue of handling. It becomes physically harder to drive your car when the wheels don’t want to go where they are supposed to go.

How Often Should I Have My Car Checked?

It’s not unusual to have your car checked frequently, meaning every other oil change, which could be somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 miles. Many service centers have deals offering a lifetime alignment service for the life of your car, which can be a worthwhile investment.

If you live in the Longmont area and you think that your car isn’t performing optimally, especially with regard to driving in a straight line, you should take your car into the service center and speak to a technician. The worst thing you can do for your car when it’s not performing well is to ignore it and hope it goes away. Deal with the problems as soon as they arise – car troubles tend to get worse with time and driving.

Routine Maintenance Extends Your Car’s Life

The best thing you can do for your vehicle is to stay on top of routine maintenance. Humans don’t go long in between medical check-ups or dental cleanings, and your car shouldn’t be neglected either. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common maintenance areas of which to be mindful, and how often they should be addressed.

Oil Changes

Oil is the most important fluid your vehicle needs to function. Oil lubricates the engine and prevents catastrophic engine damage from heat and friction. Over time, however, the oil filter gets dirty, and the oil starts collecting engine debris. To keep your engine functioning properly, your car needs regular oil changes.

Tradition is your car should get an oil change every 3,000 miles, but the reality is that it depends on your specific car and the way you drive it. To start, check your owner’s manual. Your manual will be able to tell you your limit, which could actually be every 3,000 miles, but it could be 10,000 miles. Alternatively, you can talk to a service center, and they may ask you questions about how much stress you put on your vehicle, which can also impact oil change intervals.

Engine Air Filter

Every engine has an air filter that stops larger particles from getting into the engine. A clogged air filter can have a minor impact on fuel economy, and it can impact acceleration. Either visually inspect the filter or have a service technician make a recommendation. The owner’s manual will offer a recommended interval, which is often around 30,000 to 45,000 miles, but varies based on the severity of driving conditions. If you find yourself faced with a technician who recommends a new air filter every time you go in for an oil change, you may want to look for a new service center, as an air filter change doesn’t typically happen multiple times a year.

Timing Belt

Not all cars have one, but if yours does, it needs to be replaced every 50,000-75,000 miles, or as your owner’s manual recommends. This is a critical piece of maintenance—if the timing belt breaks, you’ll be left stranded on the side of the road and faced with repairs that can cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.

Longmont residents who expect their car to live a long life need to stay on top of maintenance. Write a schedule or talk to your service center to estimate when you might need to take your auto in for maintenance over the course of the year. What you spend on maintenance will pay you back in an extended lifespan and an absence of surprise repairs.

The Importance of Regular Oil Changes

Changing Oil In Longmont, Colorado at Stonum AutomotiveUnless you own a house, your car is probably the biggest investment in your life. Even if you own a car that has a lot of miles on the odometer, it’s still important to protect your investment, and that means taking care of your car.

Care and Keeping of Cars

Like humans, cars can get by without paying much attention to them, but quickly start to deteriorate when neglected. There are little things you can do, like wash your car regularly to protect the paint from salt in winter, and big things you can do, like have your transmission flushed every few years. Arguably the most important thing you can do for your car is to get regular oil changes.

Make the Time to Get Your Oil Changed

When you mention oil changes, some people immediately roll their eyes and don’t think it applies to them, but oil changes don’t take much time, and the expense is worth it compared to the damage that can happen when it goes neglected. In the modern era, most service centers can complete an oil change and basic check-up in just minutes. Don’t make excuses, and make a regular oil change if you want to keep your car in proper working order.

The Risk of Not Getting an Oil Change

Oil has two important jobs. It lubricates engine parts and reduces friction—there are a lot of moving parts, after all. Oil’s other function is to draw heat away from the engine. Over time, when you neglect your oil change, you’ll start to notice a drop in performance. Your engine will sound slower, and even start chugging. Oil get thick, as it starts to collect debris, and becomes much less effective, causing poor performance.

When you continue to ignore its cries for help, engine parts can start to warp or wear down. Worst of all, when ignored long-term, it can lead to total engine failure. Total. Meaning the whole engine would need to be replaced. All you have to do is a quick Google search for nightmare scenarios and you’ll get tons of testimonials in favor of oil changes.

How Frequently Should I Change My Oil

This is a topic of debate, and one some people actually feel passionately about. The old rule, and one you’ve probably heard from a car lover in your life, is that you should get an oil change every 3,000 miles. However, it really depends on your car and the type of oil you use. Synthetic oil needs replacing almost half as frequently as natural oil. City drivers need more frequent oil changes than highway drivers. Check your owner’s manual.

Residents of Longmont, CO need to take every care to stay on top of regular car care and maintenance, including a regular oil change. However, there’s a lot more to proper car care than just an oil change. Talk to your service care center today to talk about what other regular maintenance you’ll need for your car, like tune-ups and tire rotations.

 

Everything to Know About Motor Oil for Your Car

Oil is one of the most important components to any engine’s function. Oil provides
lubrication and prevents engine parts from overheating. Your car is one of your
biggest investments, which makes it important to learn as much as you can about
how your car works. We’ve put together a helpful guide for what you need to
know about motor oil.

Oil Viscosity

Viscosity refers to the thickness of the oil, which fluctuates as it heats and cools.
Motor oil viscosity is rated at 0°F (marked with “W” for “winter”) and 212°F.
You’ll see oil at auto supply stores designated by those two numbers. 10W-30
oil, for example, has a lower viscosity than 20W-50 oil, in both heat and cold.
For use in the winter, 5W oil is recommended.

Generally, thicker oil creates a better seal and lubricates moving parts better than
thinner oil.

Synthetic OilConventional vs. Synthetic

There are two classes of oil available: conventional and synthetic. Both will have
viscosity ratings, but synthetic formulas are designed for certain vehicles and
can combat deposits and potentially last longer than conventional oil. There
are also synthetic/organic blends that have their own benefits.

Oil Additives

Oil isn’t just oil; there are additives that help the oil and your engine perform a
little bit better.

 Viscosity improvers – This helps oil maintain thickness at higher temperatures, as
opposed to thinning as the oil heats up.

Detergents – They’re not quite like laundry detergent. What detergents do is discourage
solid deposits from forming, and help remove some of those deposits. Without
this, the engine can start to lose some of its performance.

Friction modifiers – This can actually improve your fuel economy, as it reduces overall
engine friction.

It’s important to note that while additives are helpful, there can be too much of a
good thing. For example, too much detergent can impact anti-wear balance, while
other additives may affect fuel economy.

Oil Changes

No matter what type of oil you use, oil gets dirty and less effective over time. It’s
critical for the proper functioning of your car to get regular oil changes and
a fresh oil filter at the same time. How frequently you have to do this varies
based on your car. The old rule was every 3,000 miles, but you should check
your car’s owner’s manual, as some manufacturers actually recommend every 5,000
miles or even every 7,500 miles.

If you’re still not sure, contact your service center and a technician can tell you
what’s recommended for your specific vehicle.

The next time you take your car in for an oil change at a Longmont service center, you
can drive in confident that you’re getting exactly what your car needs.