Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Vista motorists, sedan manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should you follow?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Are most of your trips less than four miles?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero California temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway?
Do you drive often in dusty areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Vista?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold California weather?
Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Vista freeway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Oceanside or Carlsbad? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on surface streets?
Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and Vista weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.
Why should Vista drivers care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Vista or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why California auto owners need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.
Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in pleasant California summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs, not to mention your fuel economy. If you want some expert advice, talk with your helpful Taskers Automotive advisor. We can help you restore your sedan to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.
To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.