Why Regular Oil Changes are Critical

importance of oil changes

The Significance of Regular Oil Changes for Your Vehicle

As a driver it’s crucial to grasp the significance of oil changes. Oil changes rank among the simple maintenance tasks you can carry out for your car. Consistent upkeep plays a role in prolonging your vehicle’s lifespan and ensuring its operation. In this blog post we will delve into the importance of oil changes, indications that your car requires an oil change, recommended frequency for oil changes, and the advantages of routine vehicle maintenance.

The Importance of Regular Oil Changes
Oil is essential for maintaining engine performance by minimizing friction and controlling heat. Over time oil becomes contaminated with dirt and debris leading to reduced efficiency and potential harm to engine components. Regular oil changes help sustain a normal level of oil to keep your engine in top notch condition.

Signs that Indicate Your Car Requires an Oil Change
There are some signs to suggest that it’s time for an oil change. These signs include:

  • Odd engine noises
  • Presence of oil leaks
  • Noticeable burnt oil smell

Moreover, if your vehicle is not performing up to par or experiencing a decrease in fuel efficiency it may be time to consider getting an oil change.

Frequency of Oil Changes
The frequency you should change your oil depends on the make and model of your vehicle and the oil used, but most vehicles generally require an oil change every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. However it is always recommended to consult your owner’s manual for maintenance guidelines. If you frequently drive in conditions such as hot weather, dusty roads or stop and go traffic – you might need more frequent oil changes.

Benefits of Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance plays a crucial role in ensuring that your vehicle operates efficiently and helps prevent costly repairs down the line. This includes oil and oil filter changes, brake inspections and electrical checks. By adhering to maintenance schedules, potential issues can be identified, leading to savings in both money and time in the long term. Additionally, regularly maintained vehicles tend to save on fuel costs while enhancing road safety by reducing the likelihood of breakdowns.

 Kinds of Oil

  • Conventional Motor Oil
    Conventional motor oil has its origins in crude oil that is pumped from the ground and processed. A base oil is produced to which additives are added, changing the properties of the oil to give it viscosity, protection properties, and improved heat breakdown levels.
  • Full Synthetic Motor Oil
    Synthetic motor oil is completely made with artificial or synthesized components. Additives are added to give it properties similar to those of conventional motor oil.
  • Synthetic Blend Oil
    Synthetic blend oil combines both full synthetic oil and conventional oil. This blend generally has more conventional oil than synthetic oil and it includes the beneficial additives of synthetic oil that help protect the engine.

Be sure to check your car’s specifications for the right oil to use. Depending on your vehicle, conventional oil should be changed every 3-5,000 miles, full synthetic will need to be changed every 10,000 to 15,000 miles, and synthetic blend needs to be changed every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.

Professional Oil Change Services
For car owners who find changing their oil both time consuming and messy, opting for professional oil change services at a service center can be a much more convenient solution. They will properly dispose of the oil and filter and ensure your vehicle is ready for the road.

To summarize, regular vehicle maintenance, especially oil changes, plays an important role in maintaining optimum performance for your vehicle. It’s important to be aware of the indicators that signal when an oil change is needed and how frequently it should be done based on your car make and model. By adhering to regular maintenance practices, car owners can save both time and money in the long run while enjoying a safe and dependable driving experience.

Car-X is Your One Stop Auto Repair Solution
Car-X has been providing quality, reliable automotive service since 1971. Proper maintenance and service of your vehicle can make a big difference in providing you with many miles of trouble-free driving. Contact Car-X today and schedule an appointment for an oil change on your vehicle and we will make the process easy and fast!

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Can My Flat Tire Be Fixed?

At some time or another, most people will experience a flat tire on their car. Flats can happen for a variety of reasons, and the good news is that in most cases, tires that have gone flat can be repaired. However, not all tires can be repaired.flat tire

In this blog, let’s take a look at the various ways a flat tire can be repaired, when it can’t, and the importance of having a good quality spare should you ever need it.

Why Do Car Tires Go Flat?

Car and truck tires can go flat for a number of reasons, including:

  • Punctures from a nail, bolt or glass in the tread area.
  • Broken bead.
  • Faulty valve stem.
  • Damage to the tire’s sidewall.

Punctures

There are many objects in the street or highway that can cause a tire puncture. If a sharp object has torn a hole in the tread of your tire, it can usually be repaired.

One- & Two-Piece Patches

A highly effective way to repair a punctured tire is with a patch. Today, there are both one piece and two-piece patches available. A qualified technician will be able to determine which type of patch should be utilized.

With patches, it’s important to know that the location of a tire puncture can only be in the area known as the crown. The crown is defined as the region between the shoulders of the tire.

The angle at which the tire injury occurred will determine whether a one piece or two-piece patch should be used. If the injury angle is less than 25-degrees, a one-piece patch repair can be made. Tires that have a puncture angle of more than 25-degrees require a two-piece patch.

 Sidewall Damage Cannot be Repaired 

When inflated, tires are under a tremendous amount of pressure, especially around the sidewall area. If a tire experiences damage to the sidewall, it cannot be repaired safely. Tires with sidewall damage must be replaced.

 Broken Beads

The bead is the seal between the tire and the edge of the rim that is designed to keep air from escaping. Age, weather conditions, or hitting a big pot hole can cause a tire’s bead to fail. A qualified tire technician can remove the tire from the rim, clean both thoroughly and apply a special bead sealer adhesive. Once dry, the tire can be re-inflated and put back on the car.

Broken Valve Stems

The valve stem is mounted into a tire’s rim and allows for the filling and releasing of air. If a valve stem is broken or faulty, it will not hold air. Valve stems can be easily replaced by a qualified technician.

Everything You Need to Know About Spare Tires

Nobody really thinks about their car’s spare tire, until they need to use it! Be sure to check the air pressure in your spare tire every time you check the rest of the tires. Be sure to follow the instructions on the spare tire with regard to inflation limits.

While some cars have full size spares, many vehicles today have what are known as “space savers” or “donut spares”. These types of spare tires are much smaller than your car’s regular tires, and should only be used for a very limited amount of time and miles. No matter what kind of spare tire you have, be sure it is in good condition, has adequate tread, and properly inflated.

Car-X is Your One Stop Tire Solution!

Car-X has been providing quality, reliable automotive services since 1971. Maintaining your tires is important to do all year long. If you have a flat tire, our experienced team can get you back on the road in no time. We also carry a large selection of brand name tires at a great price should you need them.

Call Car-X today and schedule an appointment for all of your tire repair or replacement needs! 

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Catalytic Converters

For nearly fifty years, the catalytic converter has been an essential componentcatalytic converter, parts, function, works of an automobile’s emission and exhaust system. These devices have also been in the news in recent years, as they are frequently stolen from the underneath of cars.

What is a Catalytic Converter?

First appearing onto the automotive scene around 1975, a catalytic converter is an oval-shaped device that is connected to a car’s exhaust system. The converter receives toxic gasses from a car’s engine, and transforms it into less harmful pollutants. This is accomplished through a chemical reaction process inside the unit.

What is the Purpose of a Catalytic Converter?

The principle purpose of a catalytic converter is to reduce the amount of emission pollution a gasoline or diesel engine produces while running. Starting in the 1970s, many people were becoming concerned about the air quality in populated areas, as it related to the amount of pollution automobiles were producing.

Where is the Catalytic Converter Located on a Car?

The catalytic converter is normally located about halfway down a car’s exhaust pipe, between the engine and the vehicle’s muffler.

How Do Catalytic Converters Work?

When a car’s exhaust gases travel through a heated catalytic converter, several chemical reactions take place that reduce the amount of toxic fumes the vehicle emits into the air.

What is Inside a Catalytic Converter?

A catalytic converter has multiple components within its metal container that make it work. When heated, a ceramic material, known as a substrate provides a suitable surface area for the unit’s chemical reactions to take place.

The precious metals Platinum (Pt), Palladium (Pd), and Rhodium (Rh) are also contained in the device, which are responsible for the chemical reaction that cleans a car’s exhaust before it is released into the atmosphere.

Why Are Catalytic Converters Stolen?

catalytic converter, stolen, theft Catalytic converters are often stolen because they contain the precious metals, Platinum (Pt), Palladium (Pd), and Rhodium (Rh). After removing the converter from a car, thieves extract these valuable metals from the device and sell them. These metals are considered rare, as they are mined mostly in South Africa and Russia.[/caption]

Criminal activity involving catalytic converters has skyrocketed in recent years, partly due to supplies being adversely affected by the worldwide Covid Pandemic.

How Are Catalytic Converters Stolen?

Stealing a catalytic converter from a vehicle is not easy. Thieves climb under a car with a reciprocating saw and cut the unit off the exhaust system. This process is extremely noisy, but only takes several minutes to do.

Are Catalytic Converter Thefts Covered By Insurance?

If an auto owner has Comprehensive coverage on their policy, the theft of a catalytic converter would be covered.

What To Do If Your Catalytic Converter is Stolen

Should you become the unfortunate victim of a catalytic converter theft, the first thing to do is remain calm. Call the police and file a report. It is also important to alert your insurance company about the theft that has occurred.

Car-X Can Help

Your friendly, local Car-X Tire & Auto can help if your catalytic converter is stolen from your vehicle. Our experienced technicians will replace the unit and restore your car’s exhaust system back to normal operation. We’ve been helping motorists with all types of car repairs since 1971, and we are here to assist you too.

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Should I Have My Car Inspected? 6 Great Reasons To Do It

Vehicle InspectionModern cars are extremely complex machines, with many systems and components working together to make your vehicle operate at top performance. As cars age and accumulate miles, it is very important they be regularly inspected to ensure safety and proper operation. In fact, 15 states in the U.S. legally require that cars be inspected to be permitted on roads and highways.

So, should you have your car inspected? The answer is certainly, yes! Let’s take a look at 6 critical systems on your vehicle that should be inspected at regular intervals.

Brakes

The brake system is one of the most critical safety components on your vehicle. Every car owner’s brake system will require maintenance at some point, as regular driving will begin to wear brake pads, shoes, and sometimes rotors, drums, or calipers.

Visit a qualified auto repair facility to ensure that your brakes are working as they should. The shop will do a visual inspection of the brake system and a test drive to determine if the brakes are performing as they were designed to do.

Steering Components

Your car’s steering system is made up of numerous components, working together so the vehicle can safety turn and travel down the road. When parts such as tie rods, idler arms, pitman arms. drag links, or other components become worn or damaged, your car will not steer as well as it should.

Not only can worn steering parts affect vehicle safety, but cause premature tire wear.

An inspection by a reputable repair shop can identify any potential issues with your car’s steering system.

Engine

Has the check engine light on your car’s dashboard suddenly come on? This could be an indication that your vehicle needs attention. Repair shops today have software-based diagnostic tools that can determine why the check engine light is on.

In addition, as cars age, gaskets can leak, causing fluid loss from the oil pan, transmission, or cooling system.

If you notice motor oil or other fluids on the ground where you park your car, bring it to a repair shop for an evaluation. An inspection can quickly determine where leaking fluids are coming from, so the shop can offer a solution to repair the problem.

Fuel System

For nearly all cars today, gone are the days of simple carburetors and fuel delivery systems. Modern fuel systems are extremely complex, and if not working properly, can affect both driving performance and safety.

In addition, like any other component of your car, fuel systems can get dirty over time. An experienced repair facility can inspect it to ensure the system is performing properly.

Filters

Your car has a number of filters that help it operate at top performance. When air or cabin filters become dirty, they can affect both performance and comfort as you drive. If you have not had your car’s filters changed or inspected for some time, have a repair shop look at them as soon as possible.

Tires

When it comes to the old expression “where the rubber hits the road”, your car’s tires are what connect it to the streets you drive on. Over time, tires experience tread wear or can be damaged by potholes.

Be sure to have a qualified repair shop inspect your tires to ensure they are inflated properly, have a safe amount of tread left, and are in good condition.

 Car-X is Your One Stop Vehicle Inspection Solution!

Car-X has been providing quality, reliable automotive services since 1971. When it’s time to have your car inspected for safety and performance, you can count on the pros at Car-X to help!

Our experienced technicians will make sure your vehicle is safe and performing as it should.

Call the Car-X Man and schedule an appointment for your vehicle. Let us help you enjoy many miles of trouble-free driving.

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Why is My Check Engine Light On?

Check Engine LightYou are driving your car down the freeway, and everything seems to be fine. Then suddenly the Check Engine Light illuminates on the dashboard. When this issue occurs, it is important that you address this problem in a timely manner.

In this blog, we will take a look at what to do when your Check Engine Light comes on, some possible reasons for it, and most importantly, how to get the problem resolved.

What is the Check Engine Light?

Today’s vehicles are extremely intricate machines, with many onboard computers controlling all the vehicle’s complex operations.

When the Check Engine Light becomes illuminated it is a warning to the driver that the car’s onboard computers have detected a problem that a system in the vehicle is not performing as it should.

Your vehicle will also tell you the severity of the situation by illuminating the Check Engine Light in several different ways.  A solid yellow light means that the issue at hand is not immediately urgent but should be addressed.

A flashing light is an indication that something is seriously wrong and requires immediate attention.

Anytime your Check Engine Light comes on it is very important to take your car to a qualified repair shop to diagnose the issue.

Top Reasons That Check Engine Lights Appear

Engine Issues

Various engine problems can trigger the Check Engine Light to come on. Whether it be low oil pressure, overheating, or drivability issues, the light is a warning that something is going on that should not be happening.

Transmission Problems

Your car’s transmission plays a critical role in its operation, as it transfers engine power to the wheels, so the vehicle can move. Some transmission issues are mechanical in nature, and others are electronic or computer related. Transmission problems may cause the Check Engine light to illuminate. 

Emission System

Today’s modern cars are equipped with sophisticated emissions systems that are designed to minimize the amount of pollution a vehicle produces while in operation.

There are many sensors and other components that make up a car’s emission system. If any component stops performing as it should, the Check Engine Light will appear.

Overheating

Engines and transmissions produce a tremendous amount of heat as they drive down the road.

A car’s cooling system is designed to keep the vehicle’s operating temperature within the proper range. When this system develops an overheating problem, serious damage to the engine can result.

How Do You Resolve a Check Engine Light Problem?

Just as cars have many sophisticated on board computers today, modern repair shops invest in complex diagnostic equipment that is used to determine what is wrong with a vehicle, and the best strategy to fix it.

Highly trained technicians connect to a car’s computer system by using diagnostic equipment at the repair shop. Based on a wide variety of trouble codes and performance measurements, a technician can interpret the nature of a vehicle’s issue and decide how to properly repair it.

Once the proper repairs have been made, the technician can “clear” the Check Engine light and turn it off. Then the technician will take a test drive and ensure all systems are operating properly.

Car-X is Your One Stop Auto Repair Solution!

For more than 50 years, the pros at Car-X have helped our customers keep their vehicles on the road and operating at top performance. In our shops, we have the latest diagnostic equipment for most type of vehicles, and our experienced technicians receive specialized training on how to use it. Should you find yourself with a Check Engine light illuminated on your dashboard, be sure to visit your local Car-X repair shop today.

We will get you back on the road in no time! Click to request an appointment today.

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Why Your Car’s Engine Is Making a Rattling Noise

Are you hearing a rattling or pinging sound from your car? Is the noise coming from the engine area? An engine rattling noise can be a sign that something is wrong, and should be addressed as soon as possible. Let’s take a look at some possible reasons why your car’s engine is making unusual sounds.

A Rattling Noise from the Engine When Accelerating

Noises coming from the engine when you are pushing on the gas could be caused by a loose or weak timing belt, chain tensioner, cracked flywheel, or a broken flexplate.

These issues will only get worse over time, not better.  It is important to bring your car into the repair shop as soon as possible.

Noises Coming from the Engine When Idling

A common problem that may be causing a rattling noise while idling involves the engine’s hydraulic valve lifters. This part of your car is responsible for opening and closing the engine’s intake and exhaust valves.

When a lifter is not working properly, a loud ticking sound can usually be heard under the hood.

Another issue that could be causing a rattling noise at idle is piston slap. If one or more of your pistons no longer fit properly in the cylinders due to wear, piston slap can occur. This is something that should be checked out right away. 

Engine Noises Happening When the Car Is Hot 

An engine ticking noise when the car is hot could indicate low oil pressure. Insufficient oil pressure can be damaging to an engine regardless of its age, so having a qualified mechanic take a look at it is highly advisable.  

Find Help with Your Auto Repair and Services

Car-X has been providing quality, reliable automotive service since 1971. Proper maintenance and service of your vehicle can make a big difference in helping to care for your car.

Call the Car-X Man or schedule an appointment for your vehicle, and we can help repair the issues related to noises coming from your car’s engine—keeping you safe and your vehicle functioning properly.

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Why Does the Inside of My Car Smell Like Gas?

gas smell in car, car smells like gasIf the inside cabin of your vehicle smells like gasoline, it could be a sign that there may be more significant problems, and you should address them as soon as possible. While the smell of gas fumes on occasion isn’t as alarming, a strong odor from inside the vehicle should be investigated right away.  

In this article, we will discuss potential reasons why the inside of your car smells like gas, such as possible fuel or exhaust leaks, a malfunctioning gas cap  a failed pressure regulator, and more.

Fuel Leaks

If the smell of gasoline seems to be coming from the engine compartment, this could be a sign that there’s a leak in the fuel system. It is very important to have this checked out right away, as a leak in the fuel system could cause a fire under the hood.  

Exhaust Leak

In contrast, if the gasoline smell seems to be coming from the car’s exhaust, this could be a sign of an exhaust leak. One of the main functions of a car’s exhaust system is to ensure drivers aren’t breathing in exhaust fumes. If you begin smelling gas fumes at the front of the vehicle near the engine or inside the cabin, the car’s exhaust system should be checked out.

Malfunctioning Fuel Cap or EVAP system

There is also a chance the gas smell in your car cabin is because of a faulty gas cap or EVAP (emissions) system. If your vehicle’s gas cap isn’t sealing correctly or is loose, damaged, or missing, gasoline fumes may escape through the fuel filler. Modern cars are also designed with EVAP systems to capture these gas fumes, so if that’s malfunctioning, it could be the source of the gas odor.  

Failed Pressure Regulator

A failed pressure regulator may also leave your car with a gas smell. If the regulator is not working correctly, the vehicle’s fuel mixture may be off, causing an abundance of fuel to be present in the system. This will cause the car to run “rich”, which could produce a strong odor of gas in the passenger cabin.

Car-X is Your One Stop Auto Repair Solution!

Car-X has been providing quality, reliable automotive service since 1971. Proper maintenance and service of your vehicle can make a big difference in its ability to provide you with many miles of trouble free driving.  

Call the Car-X Man or schedule an appointment for your vehicle, and we can help repair the issues related to what is causing your car to smell like gas—keeping you safe and your vehicle functioning properly.

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How to know your wipers need to be replaced

Most of us pay little attention to our wipers, until we need them the most. The rain is coming down fast and thick and you can’t see 5ft in front of you. You turn on your wipers and you can barely see out better than you could before. Your heart begins to race as you guess how far in front of you that car is and where the road lines are, and that is when accidents happen. Before this occurs, take a look at your wipers from time to time and ask yourself these questions:

  • Are they torn, cracked or even broken off in some places?
  • Are your wipers causing streaks or leaving grime after using wiper fluid?
  • Do you hear a chattering sound when using your wipers?
  • Are the wiper frames distorted/bend?

If you answer yes to any of those questions, you need new wiper blades. It is good practice to get ahead of these problems and change your wipers when the seasons change. This is not a costly maintenance, so make the choice to remain safe on the roads and get some new wiper blades. We at Car-X are more than happy to help you replace them if you don’t know how to do it. Call, or go online to www.carx.com to make an appointment today.

Driving in Hazardous Weather

Winter driving, snow tires

Preparation, practice, staying calm and caution are the keys to staying safe in hazardous driving conditions. Conditions such as snow, heavy rain, or even thick fog often relate to an increase in traffic incidents/crashes. Don’t let this make you think that a little bit of snow or rain doesn’t also call for precautions when driving. Vehicles leave oils and exhaust that can accumulate on roads and a small amount of precipitation can lead to slick and slippery road conditions. Though, there may be times where you cannot protect yourself from every danger on the road you can do your part to minimalize the risk.

Driving in Fog

Fog is more common in the colder months and reduces visibility and gives an incorrect perception of your current driving speed. If you feel at any point that you are unsafe to drive or if visibility is so poor, make the choice to pull over on the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If the weather conditions are bad stay in your car and wait for the fog to dissipate. It is not easy to say how long that will take but it is always best to take the safe route when in dangerous weather while driving.

If you must drive in the fog, following are some tips:

  • Use your low beam headlights, whether it is day or night. High beams will reflect light back at you in fog, making it even more difficult to see. Use fog lights if your vehicle has them.
  • Make sure your windshield is clear and use your wipers and defrosters as needed to increase your visibility.
  • Always signal well in advance for turns and brake early when approaching a stop to help others see your vehicle.
  • Keep your windows and lights clean to improve visibility.

Driving on Slick/Slippery Roads

Rain is at times not the only cause for slippery roads, any time water gets on the road it can be dangerous to drive. When the weather is dry the oil from our vehicles builds up on the roads and then when it mixes with fresh rain the road conditions can turn hazardous. Large amounts of rain fall, especially when coupled with freezing cold, also leads to slippery conditions.

Tips for driving on slippery roads:

  • Slow down – there is less friction causing reduced traction. When you completely lose traction that is when hydroplaning can happen, sending your car out of control.
  • Increase space between other cars – with less traction you will need more room to brake.
  • Turn on headlights – increase your car’s visibility to other cars.
  • Don’t use cruise control.
  • Drive in the tracks of the cars in front of you – the path the car in front of you is leaving less water on that part of the road.
  • Check your tires – The tread on your tire helps channel water out the way and helps provide traction. If your tire tread is low, you increase the risk of losing control of your vehicle.

For the colder months the same applies to snow and ice. During winter weather conditions it is important to regularly check your car tires for low tire pressure and tread depth, along with your battery. Extreme cold often leads to a dead battery and that is the last thing you want when out in winter weather. Also, remember to make sure your gas tank always has at least a half tank full during the winter.

Car sitting idle for weeks or months? Here’s what you need to know.

car sitting idle, auto repair, car maintenance, car care

Has your car been sitting for weeks? Maybe even Months? If so, there are some things you need to know to keep your car working properly for when you need it. The main issue that you might run into is a dead battery. That is why it is good practice to drive your car for a few minutes every two to three weeks. The last thing you want to happen is to be in an emergency situation where you need to use your car and it won’t start due to a dead battery.

A dead battery is the main concern but there are other issues that can occur with letting your car sit dormant for too long. You many also run into a problem with your tires. Over time, and especially in the colder months, your tires will slowly lose air pressure and if you don’t refill the tires and continue to let the car sit this can cause permanent flat spots. Driving with flat spots on your tires will cause a bumpy ride and even a bit of noise. By keeping your tires inflated and driving your car every couple of weeks, you will avoid this problem and help retain your tire’s shape.

A less common issue that can happen is rodent infestation in your car. Sometimes rodents will take up residence under the hood or even in the exhaust pipe. The biggest problem that can happen is the rodents may chew through wiring harnesses and other parts made of soy and other organic materials used on modern vehicles.

Make sure to do a routine check on your car every couple of weeks. Drive it for a few miles to make sure everything is working. Keep your tires inflated and gas tank full. If you find yourself with a dead battery, flat tire, or even damage by rodents your local Car-X is here to help. Find your Car-X here.