At Kernersville Auto Center, we offer express oil change services for all types of vehicles. This is one of the most basic and important things you can do to keep up with maintenance your car. Without regular oil changes, your vehicle will simply stop running. Here are 10 common questions we hear from our customers about motor oil, along with our expert advice.
When Should I Change My Oil?
Oil change frequency depends on several factors, but the number one rule is that you should follow your vehicle‘s manufacturer recommendations. You can find this information in your vehicle maintenance guide, but if you no longer have this booklet, we can look up the recommendations for you.
At one time, the general rule was to change your oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months. However, this is not the best schedule for every vehicle. Depending on the type of oil you choose, you could go 5,000 miles or even more between changes. That said, you should always check with a professional before going longer than 3,000 miles between oil changes.
Occasionally, we do recommend that some clients change their engine oil more often. A technician may recommend you change your oil sooner if you idle your vehicle a lot, drive constantly in stop-and-go traffic, do a lot of heavy hauling, or drive primarily on dirt roads or off-road conditions.
What Type of Oil Should I Choose?
You have two main choices. First, you can go with conventional oil. Your second option is synthetic oil. Both work for most vehicles, though some luxury vehicle manufacturers recommend full synthetic.
Both conventional and synthetic oil are a refined version of crude oil. It flows through your vehicle to provide engine lubrication. Without this engine oil, your engine would overheat and eventually seize.
Conventional oil is less expensive upfront. However, it is not as highly refined as synthetic oil, which goes through special refinement processes to ensure the molecules line up perfectly on top of removing impurities. Although synthetic oil is more expensive upfront, it can help your engine last longer. We recommend synthetic for most customers, though conventional is of course an option we provide as well.
You can also get a synthetic blend oil for your vehicle. As the name implies, a synthetic blend is a combination of conventional and synthetic oils. They aren’t as expensive as synthetic oils, but they are also more effective than conventional oils.
This article goes into more detail about your oil options.
Does Oil Viscosity Matter?
You might notice that all bottles of oil are labeled with two numbers such as 10W-30 or 5W-40. Do these matter for your vehicle?
In short, yes. These numbers refer to the oil‘s viscosity (also know as weight). Like with the oil change interval, we recommend going with your vehicle‘s manufacturer recommendation for viscosity.
The lower the number on the bottle, the thinner the oil will be. You might not notice much of a difference, but your vehicle will! The first number refers to how the oil performs during the winter, which is why there is a W behind the number. The second number refers to how it performs at a higher temperature. At one time, you had to use a different oil during the winter and summer. Today, you can use one oil weight which performs optimally at all temperatures.
Do I Need High Mileage Oil?
Here at Kernersville Auto Center, we use the highest quality automotive products available. For some clients, we recommend a high mileage motor oil. High mileage oils are available in both full synthetic and synthetic blend oils. They are best for vehicles with 75,000 miles or more.
High mileage oil has additives to help cars with aging engines. By using the right type, you can stay on the road longer. While you are at our shop, we are happy to perform other vehicle maintenance or do a quick engine tune up. With preventative care through routine maintenance, you don’t have to worry about breaking down unexpectedly.
Can I Mix Oil Types Together?
Oil is oil. Whether you choose synthetic or conventional, it is the same basic substance. However, it doesn’t make sense to mix your own blend of oil. Havoline oil is, in our opinion, the highest quality product on the market. Their research team has spent decades perfecting their oil blend, so it makes sense to leave it to the professionals.
Now, that’s not to say you have to worry about removing every last drop of oil from your vehicle before switching from conventional to synthetic or vice versa. We do follow best practices and remove the old oil instead of just topping it off with new oil. However, it isn’t going to hurt your car if a few drops of oil are remaining.
You can also switch back to conventional oil at any time if you decide to try synthetic and don’t like it. You aren’t stuck with that choice forever.
Do I Have to Change My Oil Filter Too?
Yes, we do recommend changing your oil filter whenever you have your oil changed. Our quick oil change service includes a new oil filter. It is a part of your routine maintenance that we don’t recommend skipping.
Your oil filter protects your engine from any impurities that build up in the oil over time. First, dirt and dust from the road can make its way into your engine, where it collects in the oil. A little dust doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it can actually wreak havoc by causing friction in your engine. Second, oil breaks down over time due to the engine heat. As it breaks down, particles form, which the filter catches.
If you don’t change your oil filter when you change your oil, all that collected dirt and debris will contaminate your new oil. You’ll need another express oil change sooner if you don’t change your filter.
How Much Will an Oil Change Cost?
The cost of your oil change depends on three factors:
- How much oil does your vehicle need?
- Do you want conventional oil or synthetic oil?
- Does your vehicle need high mileage oil?
We keep costs as low as possible with fair and transparent pricing. When you first come to our shop, we’ll give you an exact quote for the oil change and any other routine maintenance or automotive service you need that day. You won’t get a surprise bill at the end of the work. As a leading automotive service provider, we take pride in honest pricing for all customers, whether you are a long-time client or this is your first time coming to Kernersville Auto Center.
If you do fall in the “long-time client” category, we have a special loyalty program for you! During your first or next automotive service, sign up for our loyalty program to earn points. You’ll receive points for every dollar you spend. You can then redeem those points for any services you may need, such as a car wash, quick oil change, tire rotation, brakes replacement, and more. You can even get a discount on major automotive repair as needed.
Can I Change My Own Oil?
The question isn’t can you change your own oil but rather should you change your own oil? For most people, the answer is an easy one: it makes more sense to bring your vehicle to Kernersville Auto Center. Here’s why:
- We’ll make sure you get the best oil for your vehicle. Not only do we follow your car maintenance guidelines, but we also use our expertise to recommend specific types of oil when needed.
- Changing your oil can be extremely messy. Stains are next to impossible to remove from your garage floor.
- We ethically dispose of the old oil. This is not a product you can just dump down the drain.
- You’ll get a very fast oil change when you bring your vehicle to our shop. Our mechanic professionals have experience changing oil every single day, so it takes them a fraction of the time it would take you to change your own.
- We can check your other fluids while you are here and top off anything that is low.
- While you’re here, we can perform other services as needed. Even if you don’t have any other automotive service scheduled, we do a quick review of your maintenance schedule to let you know if any other automotive repair services are recommended.
In short, it just makes sense to trust a professional instead of trying to do it yourself.
What Other Regular Maintenance Does My Car Need?
In addition to a fast oil change, you need other routine maintenance occasionally:
- North Carolina State Inspection – you need this annually to legally drive your vehicle. We are an inspection station and can also perform your emissions test if needed, based on the county where you live.
- On a monthly basis, check all lights, tire inflation, and windshield washer fluid. You can do this at home and fix problems as needed or bring in your vehicle if you need our help.
- Schedule a tire rotation every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. It’s easy to remember if you have us rotate your tires whenever you get your oil changed.
- Every 12,000 to 15,000 miles (depending on your make and model), you should change your air filter.
- You’ll need a transmission fluid change about every 30,000 miles for most cars, but up to every 100,000 miles in some newer cars. If you need transmission service for enhanced functionality, we can handle this as well.
- Have your shocks and structs inspected every 50,000 miles. A professional can tell you if it is time to replace or if they still seem to be in good condition.
- Other car parts should be inspected and replaced as needed. This include spark plugs, your battery, and the serpentine belt.
It is often overlooked, but don’t discount the importance of car washing and waxing as part of your routine maintenance. Car washes remove dirt, road salt in the winter, bird droppings, and anything else that could mess up your paint job. If acidic substances aren’t removed, they can eat through clear coat and paint, which leads to rust. So, make sure to stop by our car wash regularly or wash your car at home.
Where Can I Get an Express Oil Change Today?
Our team of licensed mechanics is ready to take care of your car. We have experience with a wide range of makes and models, including diesel engines and luxury vehicles. Here’s what people are saying about Kernersville Auto Center:
“We have trusted our vehicles to Mac and his team for over a decade. An asset to the community. Always professional and personable. I don’t go anywhere else.” – Tim Icenhower
“My experience was absolutely awesome. They are the best. Friendly, courteous and fast. That is all that you can ask for.” – Rick Maynard
“These guys are great. One of the only mechanics I trust to look at my car if anything goes wrong. Never had an issue with their oil change, and they were able to patch a punctured tire for cheap.” – Doomie Grunt
If you need fast service, we’re here to help. While we do recommend making an appointment, we also accept walk-in customers for services like oil changes. Your wait may be a little longer if you walk in, so click here to make your appointment today.