Quality Oil Changes:
It’s a good idea to pay close attention to the quality of oil and filter being used on your car or truck. Cheap oil changes are not saving you money in the long run. Most modern engines are running complex timing chain systems and variable valve timing. These components create new challenges for your engines and lubrication system.
The timing chain systems are often running four camshafts in today’s V-6 and V-8 engines. These long chains use multiple guides and tensioners maintain proper valve timing and operation. Engine oil lubricates these chain guides. The chain tensioners operate off of engine oil pressure, cheap engine oil breaks down faster causing sludge. This sludge will cause premature wear of the chain guides. This sludge will also get into the small orifices that feed oil to the tensioners. This causes the tensioner to not hold the chains properly. These conditions can both cause timing chains to jump time. This will often bend valves and allow very expensive engine damage to occur. Improper filtering from a “bargain” oil filter will cause the same results. Variable valve timing components are operated by oil pressure much like chain tensioners. They have multiple tiny pathways for oil to travel in and out. Oil sludge will plug up these pathways causing the failure of these complex pieces. The result will be very poor performance of the engine and check engine lights for VVT codes. Variable Valve Timing components are usually expensive and time consuming to replace.
The worst result from oil sludge is total contamination of the engine. Anywhere engine oil is present, sludge can form. Even if you replace the defective components and start using higher quality oil and filter it may be too late. The remaining sludge can come loose and get into the engine oil possibly causing all the issues all over again. The best thing to do is make sure quality oil and filters are being used before problems start.
Something else to keep in mind is the fact that many car makers advise running a full synthetic oil in their engines. This does raise the price of an oil change considerably at times. The advantage is much better engine protection with longer time between oil changes. In the long run this can save you from high cost engine repairs or possibly replacement. The longer change intervals can turn out to not be much more expensive in the long run.
Our primary oil is Pura-tech 5W-30 semi synthetic. The base oils in it are made by Chevron. It offers some of the benefits of a full synthetic while maintaining the price of a premium conventional oil. The filters we use are NAPA Gold series. They provide a level of filtration that is a step above the factory filter. They have a higher amount of filtration material. The media as it’s called. We have cut some of these filters open for comparison. They consistently have more and higher quality media than most factory filters. If you have any questions, always feel free to give us a call.
Extended & Aftermarket Warranties
We have dealt with numerous aftermarket warranty companies over the years. Only a few have actually helped our customer out. For the most part they do not. They always seem to have a “LOOP HOLE” to use to get out of doing anything! We tell everyone to be sure to always READ THE FINE PRINT.
These warranty companies never cover EVERYTHING. In fact, they usually don’t ever cover the full diagnostic time. They rarely cover a shops full labor rate because they already have a preset rate in place along with set rates on parts. These rates are never the same as what the part sells for.
In the instance you have an engine or transmission failure they will only pay for a USED unit to be put in. We have even had two occasions where the car lot sold the customer an extended warranty knowing the vehicle didn’t even qualify for the coverage! They were trucks that had aftermarket exhaust, wheels and tires on them. These add on's disqualified the trucks for coverage. The car lots still sold these people warranties that can cost anywhere from $1000 to $2000.
ALWAYS be sure to read the fine print and ask questions regarding coverage before buying.
The Importance of Keeping Diesel Fuel Filters Changed Regularly
Diesel fuel filters are usually much higher than gasoline filters. The change intervals are always closer as well. The price of the filters is much higher due to the filter media inside.
Filters are rated in microns. The smaller the micron rating the smaller the particle it will catch. Most diesel fuel filters are rated at 5 microns. This is an extremely tight filter. To put it in perspective, a good oil filter is around 15-20 microns. A really good oil filter will be around 10 microns. A good gasoline fuel filter will be around 10 microns. When you get down to the 4-5 micron level the filter media gets expensive.
This media must be this fine to protect the injection pumps and injectors. The clearances inside these pieces are extremely precise. Particles over the 4-5 micron rating can damage these injection parts over a period of time. High quality fuel filters can run between, $60-$100 just for the filters. We primarily use NAPA Gold series filters. We do use factory Motorcraft filters on some of the Powerstrokes. The NAPA Gold series are very high quality filters. We have used them for years with very good results.
The change intervals on these filters are usually every 15,000 – 20,000 miles. The change time is short to make sure the filter doesn’t become restricted. It also makes sure any water collected in the filter is disposed of.
When a filter becomes full of debris, it will restrict the fuel flow. This kills power and efficiency. It can also damage injection pumps and injectors. Lack of proper fuel flow will allow heat to build and premature wear.
Water in the system will allow corrosion to form. It only takes a very minor amount of corrosion to take down injection components.
As expensive as fuel filters changes can be, fuel system components are MUCH higher.
Replacing the fuel filters on a 2013 Chevy 3500 HD with a Duromax runs about $200.00. This is labor and using a NAPA Gold filter. Replacing the injectors in this same truck runs about $5800.00. This is just labor and the injectors from Bosch. No other gaskets or diag time included. You can change the fuel filter 29 times for this amount of money! If you change it every 15,000 miles, that would be 435,000 miles. In all honesty, getting that kind of mileage out of the injectors would be tough even with religious maintenance practices. I do have a customer with a 04 Duromax that he bought new and he has changed the filter like clockwork. He has also run some fuel additive since day one. He has 240,000 miles on his factory injectors and pump. The truck runs very well still. Balance rates are great with no smoke. Proper maintenance does pay off in the end.