How do you determine when it's time for your car maintenance? Do you go by how many miles you've driven or the length of time since your last appointment? If your answer is the length of timing, then your car may be traveling more miles than it should before receiving services. If you answered miles, your vehicle may be traveling too little and not receiving the proper preventative maintenance it should. If your answer was both, good job! Let me explain why it's important to keep track of both timing and mileage.
When you get maintenance services, like an oil change, you'll notice that we put a small sticker in the top left-hand corner of your windshield, like the one above. This sticker usually displays a date and mileage. So, if you drive your car every day and reach 136,920 miles you are due for service even though it's only September 17th. If you drive your car for fewer miles and you only have 136,215 miles by September 26th, you're still due for service. You gauge your service needs by whichever comes first, the date, or the mileage.
Why can't you just go by one or the other? Why would you get an oil change again when you didn't drive your car as much and have lower mileage? A car is meant to be driven, so when it's sitting in your driveway it's actually worse for your car. The oil not only acts as a lubricant keeping all your engine's parts moving but it also works as a cooling and cleaning agent. As oil runs through the engine it moves damaging particles, caused by wear & tear, into the filter and also washes away chemicals caused by combustion that may cause damage as well. Also, like any substance, the oil will break down over time and will not perform as it should if it lays stagnant in a vehicle that is not being driven enough or has been sitting.
For vehicles that are driven more often than not, it is the opposite circumstance. As you drive, the oil in your car does as it should, but eventually needs to be changed so your vehicle can continue to be lubed, cooled, and cleaned as it runs. Another major thing to consider when determining your maintenance schedule is whether your driving habits fall into normal or severe. Most New Jersey drivers today, are categorized as severe drivers and not because we are poor drivers or speed too much but because of the driving conditions influenced by geography, climate, and traffic.
It is super important to get regularly scheduled maintenance when you're due for it. If you're unsure when you are due or have not received any maintenance services in an extended period of time, give us a call or visit our website. We can help you determine when to come in for service and get you back on track.