What Dashboard Signals May Mean

Whether you drive a car, SUV, or truck, statistics show that the most likely issue your vehicle is going to develop is some sort of check engine warning or light on the dashboard. Most of the time, these signals occur due to your vehicle’s ECU, a component also known as the engine control unit. When the ECU detects an error code after one of the vehicle’s many sensors is triggered, a corresponding check engine light appears. However, complicating the issue is the fact that there are over 200 of these error codes that can appear at any given time. As a result, as a part of your auto repair in Longmont, it’s essential that when you see a light, you don’t just go off a hunch. Instead, you want a warning light inspection done so you can figure out what the true cause is and get the repairs you need. However, with such frequency, what exactly is the most common root cause of a check engine light? Here’s what you need to know. 

Traditional Auto Repair Problems

A vehicle doesn’t work if the engine isn’t going right, so if there’s a problem there, it will lead to greater issues elsewhere. As a starter example, let’s talk about an issue with your engine sputtering. Most of the time, efficient engine running happens when both the air and the fuel meet and burn in the engine’s combustion chamber. For this to take place, though, a bunch of different parts of the fuel and ignition systems all need to work properly. One single problem with the system could lead to a sputtering engine and your vehicle not being able to do its job properly. This makes it essential that you avoid the issue by getting properly scheduled service or alignment in Longmont. In addition, sometimes, you may need to replace these parts. This is why it’s essential that you follow manufacturer guidelines to replace things as needed.  

However, there are other engine issues you want to be aware of, for example, fuel economy. When an engine is working well, it’s generally burning fuel at a proper rate for your fuel economy. In short, every dollar you spend on this gas will end up having more value. However, the thing about this is that like the rest of your engine, having a good fuel economy is contingent on several different parts working properly. This includes things like fuel filters and oxygen sensors, but the truth is that even missing your oil change in Longmont, CO, can play a role. As a side note, the condition of these parts isn’t affected by how good a driver you are or the quality of your vehicle. Eventually, these parts will get dirty and worn. When this happens, your engine will need to burn more fuel to drive the same distances as in the past.

On the topic of things that can slow your vehicle down, we should mention the battery. On average, a battery lasts around 3 years or 50,000 miles, whichever mark it reaches first. The reason for this is that around this time, a battery will no longer be able to hold a charge and gets a lack of electric currents. However, some issues can speed up exactly when a battery dies. Generally, this is a damaged component like an alternator. However, everything can be going right and your battery will still eventually die, so it’s best to keep to that 3 year/50,000 mile interval when it comes to getting a replacement. This even applies if your battery seems to be working well.

Another component you want to be on top of in terms of wear and tear is the brakes. Part of the issue with the brakes is that when exactly they wear out is more dependent on how you drive versus your type of vehicle or a certain interval. For example, a driver in the country and driver in the city can have the same make and model of vehicle, but the city driver stops more and wears out their brakes faster. How exactly you know this is happening can vary. Some modern automobiles have a dashboard brake wear warning. In other cases, you need to listen for a squealing sound when applying the brakes. 

Off The Beaten Path

Up until this point, most of the issues we’ve discussed are relatively easy to get to the bottom of. If you hear or feel something odd with your brakes, you likely have a brake issue. If your engine has an issue, you’ll have that handy dashboard warning. It’s similar to checking your oil to figure out if you need an oil change in Longmont or not. However, in other cases, you may get a check engine light but have a lot less of a clue what exactly is taking place. Here’s how to tackle those issues. 

As a start, let’s talk about alternator problems. Generally, the alternator should be working to keep your electrical systems running after the car starts. Along with this, it provides a charge to the battery to make sure things stay in proper condition. However, if the alternator breaks, the opposite happens and your battery gets more wear and tear. This makes it essential that you keep to the service schedule.

Another possible problem that could lead to your check engine light appearing is an issue with the starter motor. This component’s job is to make sure your engine properly cranks over, beginning the process of starting. Generally, this fails due to something called the electrical solenoid getting damaged. However, there could be other potential issues in place. It’s taught to detect when your starter motor will break down or is showing its age. As a result, the best thing you can do is regularly get inspection and get car service in Longmont done, so you can have it checked. 

Overheating, funny as it may sound, isn’t likely to be the cause of your dashboard warning, even on the hottest summer day. This is largely because modern models especially have extremely complex and powerful cooling systems in place. As long as you follow manufacturer guidelines and get things like radiator flushes and water pump changes, you should be fine.

Why Oil Change is Important

Many people have been told that they need to change their oil every 3,000 miles. This was just a rule they had to follow, and often times it came with no explanation of why this is important, and what can happen if they don’t do it. In many cases, this has lead to individuals simply forgetting about it, since they were unable to associate the rule with any significant effects. In reality, there are several reasons why one should ensure that they do an oil change in Longmont, Co, at the proper time.

Why is Oil Important

To understand just how important it is for vehicle owners in Longmont Co. to change the oil on time, one should first understand why oil is so important. Essentially, this fluid is important for a car to run smoothly, because it creates a protective film between metal parts of the engine, ensuring they don’t rub against each other, thus keeping the vehicle in good order. In addition, it takes the heat made by the engine away from it.

Why Does Your Car Oil Have to Be Changed

Initially, oil is an amber color, and fluid. However, as time passes, particles of dirt from the engine get caught in the oil. This is great for the engine because it is important to keep it as free of debris as possible. Nevertheless, it starts to lose its effectiveness, and with more use, the oil becomes thicker, which reduces its fluidity, and thus, its capacity to lubricate the parts of the engine. When this happens it’s time for an oil change by a trusted Longmont, Co. service center.

Not Changing the Oil

Not changing the oil can lead to many issues for the engine of the vehicle. Most commonly, different parts of the engine will start to heat up too much, because as the oil loses its lubricating power, the parts start to rub against each other, creating additional heat, which, in the long run, will result in components wearing out, and the engine performing worse than it ought to.

If this goes on for a really long time, it will lead to the engine breaking down completely, which means one will have to replace it all together. Indeed, this is something to avoid as much as possible, because it is extremely expensive to do. So expensive, in fact, that many prefer to sell the vehicle to a scrap yard, and purchase another one.

With all of this in mind, performing something as quick and as simple as an oil change should not be overlooked. Maintaining a simple maintenance schedule on a vehicle can go a long way to extend the life of the automobile.


Signs a Car Needs Its Oil Changed

An oil change for Longmont residents is quite a simple service to get. Nevertheless, if it is done on a regular basis, it can have a huge effect on one’s engine, helping it last longer, and improve its performance. The issue is that most individuals don’t know what signs to watch out for, telling them that their oil needs changing. Rather, they look at the car mileage and use that as an indicator. While this works in many cases, there are instances where the car mileage isn’t the only or best indicator, resulting in one driving his or her car without changing the oil way longer than they should. To prevent this, it helps to know what signs to watch out for.

Dirty Oil

When the oil is clean, its color is amber. As time passes, it becomes darker and darker in color, gathering different particles from the engine. It’s hard to guess when an oil’s color will start to change, which is why it’s a good idea to check the level and color monthly. If one notices that the liquid has started to become darker and thicker, it’s time to schedule an oil change with a trusted Longmont service center.

Engine Noise

When the oil is clean, it works as a barrier between different pieces of the engine, ensuring there is no direct contact between them. When it starts to have issues, the barrier it provides isn’t as efficient, which leads to the engine producing louder noises than normal.

Check Engine or Oil Change Light

If the oil has reached a low level, there should be an indicator that lights up to notify the driver. If one sees it, they should immediately check the level, and if it is indeed low, schedule an oil change in Longmont as soon as possible. If one’s car has been running on low to empty, the check engine light may light up, letting the driver know that they risk their engine being damaged.

Exhaust Smoke

If it is cold outside, seeing a vapour that’s translucent coming from the tailpipe is no big deal. However, if smoke is coming out of it, then it may be a sign that there is an oil leak in the engine. In addition, smoke may also be a sign that there are parts of the engine that are not working as they should.

Oil Smell Inside the Car

If one can smell oil in their car, it is either indicative of a leak, or that the car is overheating, which leads to its oil burning in the exhaust zone.

Oil change should not be treated lightly since despite being a very simple procedure, it can lead to many benefits.

5 Car Maintenance Mistakes

Your car is an investment. Regular preventative maintenance is one of the best ways that drivers can keep their vehicle running smoothly and prolong its longevity. This will help save you time and money in the long-run, since you will be able to identify and prevent costly damage before it occurs.

However, keeping up with regular tune-ups is easier said than done. If you’re not a natural-born mechanic, here is a list of the most common car maintenance mistakes to avoid.

1. Skipping Oil Change

Having regular oil changes in Longmont is one of the most crucial car maintenance tasks. Oil keeps your engine lubricated and helps siphon away heat, reducing the likelihood of damage or overheating. While the general rule of thumb used to be having a replacement done every 3,000 miles, drivers can now go anywhere from 5,000 to 7,500 miles before needing to have an oil change done.

2. Skipping Brake Checks

Are your brakes making an annoying squeaking or grinding sound? Don’t just raise the radio volume and hope it goes away. Your brakes are an important part of your vehicle’s safety features, and these strange sounds are often a sign that your brake pads are worn. Another common sign is a brake pedal that feels spongy or takes too long to engage when you press down.

3. Ignoring the Check Engine Light

Even if the sign of trouble isn’t immediately obvious, there’s a reason why your check engine light is on. While this can sometimes be due to a bad sensor, there might be something else amiss with your vehicle. Having your light checked is quick and easy, but waiting can result in expensive issues down the road that could have been avoided.

4. Using Home Glass Cleaner On Windshields

Though it might seem convenient, never use home glass cleaner on your vehicle’s rear windshield. These products often contain ammonia, which can deteriorate the thin red wires that are responsible for defrosting your glass. Instead, use a product specifically formulated for auto glass.

5. Not Checking Your Fluids

Though motor oil is the lifeline of your vehicle, it’s not the only fluid that needs to be checked and replaced regularly. Your engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid all need to be checked, replaced, and/or topped off regularly. Each fluid has its own respective reservoir under your engine hood that will let you see where your current levels are.

The Importance of Doing Regular Oil Changes for Your Car

One of the best measures to prolong the lifespan of your car and its engine is to perform regular oil changes. Keep in mind that the oil in your car is like the lifeblood of the vehicle. If it isn’t changed regularly, there can be debris in the oil that can block several parts of the engine and cause it to fail. The great thing is, a regular oil change is easy to do, especially with the assistance of a trusted car service facility in Longmont, Co.

The oil change can be done as part of regular maintenance. Therefore, you don’t need to take extra time off to do this because it can be done alongside other maintenance checks. Experienced mechanics will recommend getting your oil changed when you have driven about 3,000 miles or when three months have passed, whichever comes first. Still, with the use of high-performance oil, this can be prolonged and timing can be extended.

To further appreciate why you should do regular oil changes, here are the benefits of doing so.

1. It provides better engine performance

Clean oil guarantees that your engine is in top shape. When you change the oil regularly, it guarantees that there is no debris in the oil that goes around the engine. The debris can cause blockage in the engine, which can lead to it performing poorly. Worse, the engine can fail when oil is not changed immediately.

When your car’s engine is in top shape, it allows you to drive optimally with the best fuel economy. Hence, you don’t waste any fuel and get your money’s worth every time you top up.

2. Avoid debris build-up

Pristine oil is debris-free, which means there is no debris build-up inside the engine. Imagine the engine is like the heart: if there is debris or plaque in the arteries, it can be fatal. This is the same with the car; if the engine is blocked, the car will fail. It will be costly to repair it if there is even still a chance to revive it. It will be more expensive to buy a new one when this could have been avoided with a regular oil change.

3. Better fuel economy

As mentioned before, if the oil is clean, the engine performs at its best. Hence, you get the best fuel economy. You get a lot of drive with every gallon of fuel.

4. Reduced emissions

With clean oil, your car doesn’t produce any harmful emissions. In a way, you don’t contribute in polluting the air around simply by changing your oil regularly.

5. Prolongs the life of your car

It is expensive to buy a new car so as much as possible you want to extend the life of your existing vehicle. With just a simple regular oil change, you can do this and add more years to your car’s life.

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.

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.

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.

4 Reasons to Have Your Car’s Oil Changed Regularly

One of the most important things a driver can do for their car maintains its inner workings. While receiving an oil change might not seem important to some drivers, it is extremely so. In fact, those who choose to neglect their cars for years at a time can end up facing many complications, as their car will have failed to be properly lubricated. On average, Americans spend about $120 dollars on oil changes every year — a small price to pay for a properly maintained vehicle. Whether one’s car is receiving an alignment in a Longmont garage or having its tires changed, asking the mechanic whether or not an oil change is in order can be beneficial. The following are the top 4 reasons to have your car’s oil changed regularly.


Helps You Get the Most Out of Your Gas Money


When a car is running on a relatively low amount of oil, it can begin to experience a decrease in efficiency. One of the most noticeable results of poor car lubrication is getting fewer miles out of one’s gas tank. When an engine is poorly lubricated it can begin to burn through fuel faster than it usually does, which can result in a decrease of funds and functionality. When a car owner has their oil changed regularly, however, they can expect to see positive changes immediately. As a matter of fact, car owners can expect to see an improvement of about 2%.


Oil Changes Help Maintain a Car’s Innerworkings


As many longtime mechanics would say: oil is to cars as water is to humans. In other words, oil can help prolong the lifespan of a car. As a car runs, it is normal for it to encounter large dirt particles. These can lead to early onset corrosion if not taken care of properly. In order to minimize these particles, mechanic recommends changing a car’s oil every 3,000 miles or so. Without oil and filter changes, sludge can become present in a car’s inner workings, which can cause its engine to grow tired.


To Maintain the Engine’s Lubrication Levels


When a car’s engine is running, it is normal for there to be moving parts underneath its hood. These parts (pistons, valves, etc.) end up producing a significant amount of heat due to the friction they are exposed to. Cars that have been properly lubricated can handle the amount of heat expelled, whereas unlubricated cars cannot. This added heat and dryness can have drastic effects on a car’s engine.


Expands Your Car’s Lifespan


All in all, a car that receives its needed oil changes can experience a longer lifespan than those that don’t. Routine maintenance is encouraged as it helps cars maintain a long and happy road-life.




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