Recommended Vista Service Intervals

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

 

Everyone in Vista, California knows we are advised to go to our Vista dentist twice a year.  Oral-conscious Vista residents have a teeth-cleaning and examination. Once a year, we get x-rays to look for problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye. When our dentist is done, he/she tells us what was found – “Everything’s fine, see you in six months.” Or “You’ve got a small cavity starting, let’s schedule an appointment to take care of it.” By the time you leave, you have a plan for addressing any necessary issues.

This system works so much better than waiting for a painful problem before going into the dentist. Small problems are fixed before they turn into big expensive problems. And you avoid those huge bills.

If Oceanside folks understand the wisdom of using this system for handling dental care, why do many resist when facing the same system for our key car maintenance?

Taskers Automotive
1806 E Vista Way
Vista, California 92084
760.724.2184

 

Following the auto manufacturer’s recommended intervals can be confusing. First, there are recommendations for so many things: oil changes, transmission, coolant, air conditioning, power steering, brakes, fuel system, filters, belts, hoses, alignment, rotation, balancing …you get the point.

Every item has a recommended interval and it’s hard for Vista car owners to keep it all straight – even if you’re part of the 1% of the California car owners that read their owners’ manual.

And if you have more than one sedan, the complexity is multiplied. You’d need a computer to keep track of everything. Well, that’s how your service center Vista does it. For example, Taskers Automotive subscribes to automotive databases that have your vehicle’s recommended intervals. You may have wondered how they know what else to recommend when you take your car in for an oil change – it’s all in the database.

Well, it’s not all in the computer. There are other variables that can’t be accounted for in the schedule. Things like Oceanside weather conditions, altitude, and where and how you drive in California. Talk about these things with your helpful Taskers Automotive service advisor and you may decide that the severe service schedule in your owner’s manual is more appropriate.

Since anything that’s not highway driving in moderate Oceanside weather is considered severe, most of us do at least some of that around Vista, California and it should be taken into account.

Let’s take your basic oil change as an example – what issues are involved? The oil you put in your sedan is a blend of base oil and special additives. There are detergents to clean the inside of your sedan engine and corrosion inhibitors. A good quality motor oil will not only lubricate your engine, it will help it stay clean inside and run cooler.

Now, these additives deplete with use and time. That’s why most auto manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations include both a time and mileage element – like 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.

It’s easy for Vista auto owners to think, “Gee, I’ve only driven 2,000 miles in the last 3 months. I can wait on that oil change.” But you need to remember that the inside of your engine is a harmful environment. The oil is contaminated with combustion by-products that starts degrading its effectiveness even when it’s just sitting there.

A lot of people in Vista don’t realize how harmful it is to skip an oil change. There are a lot of detrimental metal parts moving around in your engine. Small bits of metal wear off and are floating around in your oil. They can be carried to more delicate areas of the engine where they cause damage. Your oil filter is designed to trap metal particles and other dirt, but if it’s clogged up because you haven’t changed it, it can’t trap any more.

Oil sludge is another problem for Vista motorists. Sludge is oil that has turned to a gunky jelly – think ‘Vaseline’. Obviously, sludge doesn’t lubricate. It can also clog small oil passages so that all the parts don’t get properly protected by the oil. That’ll lead to premature wear.

If you’ve missed some oil changes, don’t despair. Just talk with your helpful Taskers Automotive technician. Fess up – you’ll feel better. And he can help you get back on track. Following recommended intervals is the key to keeping your sedan on the road and avoiding expensive repairs.

Take a look at the auto tips video in this post for more information.

Hey Vista Drivers, How Many Miles Are On Your Car?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

 

Nowadays, Vista auto owners are paying more at Oceanside gas pumps. For some families in the greater Oceanside area, it adds up to several hundred dollars every month. That’s got to come out of the budget somewhere. This is one of the reasons many California auto owners are putting off buying a new car. They plan on keeping their old vehicle for a year or two longer than before.

Even now, 2/3 of the personal vehicles on our local Vista, California interstates have over 75,000 miles on them. The average age of vehicles is over nine years. And most people in Oceanside can’t afford to be stranded or inconvenienced by a break down. So following a regular maintenance schedule, like personal diet and exercise plans, is actually critical to preserving your investment.

Determining what to do for a higher-mileage vehicle can be challenging because many auto maker’s manuals don’t publish service intervals after 60,000 miles. Thus, Vista motorists need to be better at keeping records and planning for preventive maintenance.

You can start by figuring that services with a recommended interval should still be performed on that interval, even after you’re past the tables in your service manual. For example, a service might be recommended every 15,000 miles. Well, just keep doing it every 15,000 miles for as long as you have your car.

Now higher mileage engines operate under more stress. Some Oceanside automotive experts suggest that the severe service schedule is more appropriate and that routine service should be performed at shorter intervals. Check with your owners’ manual or service advisor at Taskers Automotive to see if the severe service schedule is right for your vehicle.

And keeping current with your full-service oil change schedule is important for a couple of reasons. First, older engines have had more time to build up oil sludge. Skipping an oil change here and there can really compound the problem for your sedan.

Another equally important reason is that your other fluids are routinely checked and topped off. Power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant and transmission fluid can be kept at optimal levels even though the older seals and gaskets are leaking more than when they were new.

And speaking of older seals and gaskets: they start to dry out and become more brittle with age. You may want to consider using high mileage formulation oil and fluids. These products contain critical additives to condition seals and gaskets to keep them from leaking. The high mileage formulations cost more than standard products, but they are well worth it in terms of preventing serious repair bills down the road.

Older vehicles in the Vista, California area need repairs and replacements that newer ones don’t. Things like timing belts, radiator hoses, suspension work, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries. That may seem like a lot of stuff to have done, but it works out to be cheaper than new car payments.

With a high-mileage sedan, a couple of relationships will become pretty important to Vista drivers. The first is with your technician at Taskers Automotive. You need someone you trust to take care of your car and be mindful of your needs. Ask for help to develop a plan to keep your vehicle road-worthy that works within your budget, and for the Vista, California area driving conditions.

The next relationship is with your vehicle itself. We’re not talking about naming your car or tucking it in at night. We just mean – pay attention and get to know your vehicle. Notice unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Then you can describe the changes to yourservice specialist at Taskers Automotive and head off problems. We can’t do anything about the price of gas, but we can properly maintain Old Faithful to keep it safely and economically on the local Vista, California roads.

Take a look at the attached automotive tips video from AutoNetTV.