Quick Oil Change
In my previous article I talked about the why and when of an oil change. Let’s look at how and what in this article. The obvious how part is draining dirty oil and putting in clean oil and a new filter. This is what most “do it yourself” people think an oil change is and they don’t see the value in spending $30 and going out of their way to spend a half an hour or more to wait while someone drains the oil and tries to sell them an air filter or some other service they don’t need or want. And you can’t blame them if they don’t trust the people servicing their vehicle.
What most DIY oil change people I’ve meet fail to realize is the importance of the inspection that is performed at the oil change interval. Checking air and breather filters, wiper blades, battery, coolant strength, transmission, power steering, coolant, brake and washer fluid level, leak and contamination checks, inspecting all belts and hoses, checking all lights, lubing doors and hood hinges, checking tire pressure, tread depth, brake pads and rotors, cv joints, suspension, exhaust, greasing steering components are a few examples of what is included on a normal oil change.
Your vehicles owners manual list many of these and also others depending on your current mileage. Rotate tires, change fuel filter, spark plugs, cabin air filter, differential and transmission service, flush cooling, brake and power steering system, change timing belt, checking the EVAP system are required at different mileage intervals along with your oil change.
It’s kind of an extensive list and it’s so important that most vehicle manufactures will not uphold your vehicles warranty unless you have receipts for the required mileage services performed according to your owner’s manual. You don’t have to go to the dealer to have the service items done but you do need to get them done on time to keep your warranty valid!
I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that a quick oil change weather it’s performed by a DIY person or an inexperienced employee is not going to be good enough to keep your vehicle dependable and up to date with its required maintenance and may even invalidate your warranty.
When I talk to friends, relatives or new acquaintances in other areas of the state or country and they find out that I’m a mechanic or start talking about cars I’m often asked “how can I find a good mechanic?” My answer is ask neighbors’ and friends about local independent shops and bring your vehicle into one for an oil change a few times and get to know the owner and mechanic. Ask a lot of questions about what is done on an oil change and have them show you and explain any service needs they find in terms you can understand. Try to build trust and a relationship with them. Transportation is the second largest drain on a person or family’s budget after housing so it will be one of the most important relationships in your financial life.