How often should you change your oil?

“Normal” vs. “Severe” driving conditions – Upon reviewing most owner’s manuals, you will find that almost all list oil-change recommendations for what is considered “normal” operation and for “severe service” conditions. What many fail to do is to define what is meant by “normal”, or what the American Petroleum Institute (API) identifies as “idea”. However, the service manuals will not define “severe service.” Thus, you may be left with the understanding that anything which is not “severe service” must be “normal.” Bring us your car and we’ll be happy to guide you!

Why service automatic transmission fluid?

Like engine oil, automatic transmission fluid is a lubricant and needs periodic replacement. It also serves as a hydraulic fluid and coolant. Heat causes the fluid to oxidize and to begin to break down. As fluid loses its ability to properly lubricate and cool the transmission, even more heat is generated, which increases the rate of oxidation. As oxidation takes place, acid, varnish and sludge are formed and viscosity deteriorates.

What about the transmission filter?

In most cars, the transmission filter resembles a “bug” screen designed to stop large particles of contaminants. In fact, many import cars do not have transmission filters at all. Too often, the transmission filter is confused in its performance with that of an oil filter.

What about differential gearbox services?

Most of us grew up believing that differential gearbox fluid was something to be checked and topped off, but not changed. Depending on the make and model of the automobile and its usage, automobile manufacturers generally recommend that differential fluid be completely replaced at intervals from 12,000 to 48,000 miles. Vehicles used for towing (even occasionally) and some models with limited slip differentials require service every 12,000 miles. In today’s sophisticated market, the average automobile probably needs this service about every 24,000 to 30,000 miles.

What service is required for standard transmissions?

Recommended change interval every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. Basically the same conditions apply for standard transmissions as for differential gearboxes. Many manufacturers recommend that the lubricant be changed in the area of 30,000 miles, some earlier.

PCV Valves – What are they and when should you service?

Recommended every 20,000 to 30,000 miles. The Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system is a controlled vacuum leak system. Its basic function is to vent the crankcase fumes back into the carburetor to burn off. It also removes moisture and sludge from the engine at the same time. Proper maintenance of the PCV valve should be a top priority for any new car owner. A PCV valve must be clean to operate efficiently. A clogged or sticky valve, creates engine deposit buildup and increases internal pressure. This results in blocked pump screens and passages that inhibit proper engine lubrication. A clogged PCVB system can cause oil contamination, increased oil consumption and lower gas mileage. Automotive manufacturers recommended inspecting and/or replacing the PCV valve every 12,000 to 24,000 miles or once a year. For maximum engine performance, it is a good idea to change the breather element then, also.

Air filters: What are your inspection and replacement policies?

Automatic air filters have always required periodic maintenance. An automotive engine runs much smoother when the air filter is clean. If the filter is wet, damaged or dirty, it should be replaced with a new one designed specifically for your engine. Running your car with a clogged filter could result in hard starting, stalling and poor gas mileage. An air filter may become clogged or loaded with contaminate quicker, depending on the nature of the area where the vehicle is driven, such as dusty conditions. A damaged filter can cause the engine to have excessive wear. The most common way to determine if a new air filter is needed is by a visual check and a judgment call. At Champion, we inspect your air filter at every oil change. Our recommended guide is that the air filter be changed every third oil change or 10,000 – 12,000 miles. This, of course, after inspection by your service technician and you, our guest.

Do you replace wiper blades?

Champion can install complete wiper blade and arm sets or refills while we service your vehicle. Ask any of our service technicians for price information.