Tag Archives: vehicle maintenance

Are You Normal? Learn Which Oil Change Schedule is Best for You

If your vehicle doesn’t have an oil life monitor, it’s likely the owner’s manual includes two maintenance service schedules: one for “normal” driving and one for “severe”.

And, if you’re like most drivers, you probably consider yourself to be “normal”.

That’s where you could be making a big mistake in how you maintain your vehicle.
Are you a normal driver? Or severe?

American Automobile Association (AAA) research has shown that more than half of all motorists follow the wrong maintenance schedule for their vehicles.

“When polled by AAA,” the study states, “only six percent of motorists felt they did most of their driving under severe service conditions. But when asked about the actual driving behaviors that create severe operating conditions, 62 percent of motorists admitted they drive their vehicle that way all or most of the time.”

Findings from a February, 2011, poll of drivers in six Western states revealed even more startling numbers. More than 90% of respondents consider themselves “normal” drivers, yet 89% of those people have driving habits that define them as “severe”.

“Manufacturers provide differing sets of recommendations for severe driving conditions because of the increased wear they put on vehicle components and fluids,” said John Nielsen, director of AAA Approved Auto Repair and Auto Buying Services. “With increased traffic congestion and longer commutes becoming more common, many motorists do not realize what they think of as normal driving is actually severe when it comes to wear and tear on their vehicle.”

“Maintenance schedules for severe driving conditions,” AAA explains, “typically recommend having the vehicle’s fluids and filters changed on a more frequent basis, and more frequent inspections of some components.”

So, which maintenance schedule is best for you?

We recommend that you follow the “severe” maintenance schedule for your vehicle if:

  • The majority of your driving consists of short trips (five miles or less);
  • The majority of your driving consists of longer trips but includes a fair amount of idling (such as the stop-and-go traffic common in many people’s  morning and evening commute);
  • You often tow a trailer or haul heavy materials;
  • Frequently drive in extreme heat (more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Frequently drive in extreme cold (less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit); or
  • Frequently drive in humid conditions.

If none of the above apply, congratulations! You’re a “normal” driver.

From Our Customers: I’m Done Doing My Own Oil Changes

This was my first time using an oil change service.
I have always done my own because I’m paranoid about some buffoon stripping my oil pan drain plug. But I needed my (transmission) fluid changed and they have the equipment to completely remove the old fluid. While I was having that done, I had them do an oil change, too.
I was very pleased with the service, the courtesy of the workers and the cleanliness of the environment. I got to sit in my car and read a complimentary newspaper while they worked.  Additionally, they checked all my lights and other fluids.
I think I’m done doing my own oil changes.
~ Jimmy Y.
via Yelp

17 Tips for Maintaining and Driving Your Vehicle in Winter Weather

iStock_000029634386XLargeWhether you’re headed over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house for the holidays or planning a family weekend on the ski slopes, ’tis the season for driving in snowy, icy and rainy conditions.\n\nTo ensure you and your passengers enjoy a safe trip, we’re sharing 17 important vehicle maintenance and driving tips from our friends at AAA.\n\nWe also recommend you read two informative and free AAA brochures: “How to Go in Ice and Snow” for tips on driving on icy and snowy roads and “Get a Grip” for tips on driving in rain and on wet pavement.\n\n \n\nAN OUNCE OF PREVENTION\n

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  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent your gas line from freezing.
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  • Avoid using your parking brake in snowy, rainy and wet conditions. If it gets particularly cold, the brake can freeze in place.
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  • Carry an emergency road kit. Your kit should include a snow scraper, shovel, gloves, flashlight and batteries, warning flares, jumper cables, water, food, extra clothing, first-aid supplies, a bag of cat litter or sand, basic tools, and a mobile phone and charger.
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  • Don’t warm up a vehicle in a garage or other enclosed space.
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  • Share your travel plans, especially if you’re traveling through isolated areas. Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
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\n \n\nPREPARE AND MAINTAIN\n\nSpend a little time on your vehicle before your trip to ensure a safe, worry-free journey.\n

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  • Check your tire pressure and tread depth. Having the right pressure and traction in winter weather is a must. Don’t mix radial tires with other types of tires.
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  • Replace wiper blades. If your blades leave streaks or miss spots, it’s time for new ones. Also make sure you have enough washer fluid that won’t freeze in the reservoir.
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  • Ensure the battery is working properly. Check all cable connections and make sure there’s no corrosion on the terminals. You may want to replace the battery if you haven’t done so in the last three to five years.
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  • Check that all your lights are clean, bright and working properly. This includes your headlights, brake lights and turn signals. If your plastic lens headlights are dull or don’t provide enough light, consider a Headlight Restoration.
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  • Check your antifreeze — both the amount of fluid and the fluid’s freeze protection level. Worn-out fluid may not protect against freezing or overheating and can lead to costly engine damage. Learn more about your vehicle’s cooling system and the benefits of Cooling System Flush service.
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  • Have your vehicle inspected. Take the time to service your car before a road trip, especially if you’re close to scheduled maintenance.
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\nOil Can Henry’s Famous 20-Point Full-Service Oil Change is an exceptional value that includes a complimentary safety inspection to help keep your vehicle at peak operating efficiency. We check your lights, battery, wipers, brake fluid, air filters, PCV valve, and Serpentine Belt. We also check and fill your windshield wash, coolant, transfer case fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, differential fluid, and tires.\n\nIf you need a Cooling System Flush, Headlight Restoration or Automatic Transmission Flush, trust the trained technicians at your local Oil Can Henry’s. All our services meet manufacturer warranty requirements, so you don’t have to hassle with appointments and drop-offs at the dealership. Learn about the wide variety of preventive maintenance services we offer here.\n\n \n\nBE IN THE KNOW\n\nMake sure you’re familiar with basic techniques necessary to drive safely in winter conditions. Specifically:\n

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  • Stopping distances are significantly longer on snow, ice and wet pavement, so increase your following distance from the 3-4 seconds recommended for dry roads to 8-10 seconds.
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  • Drive in the lane that has been most recently cleared and avoid making turns through areas with built-up snow.
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  • Don’t use cruise control on slippery surfaces.
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  • Brake gently; don’t pump the brake pedal.
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  • If you find yourself in a skid, don’t panic. Look and gently steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go.
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  • Watch for frost. Cold night time temperatures can lead to frost on vehicles and on the roads. Slow down or brake gently when approaching bridges or overpasses, where frost is more prone to accumulate and create hazardous conditions. Also watch for shaded areas that could create black ice, especially during early morning or late night hours.
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\n \n\nSafe travels — and Happy Holidays — from all of us at Oil Can Henry’s!

From Our Customers: These Guys Have Never Let Us Down

Oil Can Henry's - The Dalles, OregonThese guys have never let us down.\n\nThey service our ’93 work rig, ’02 daily commuter, our recently purchased ’07 commuter and my BFF’s ’04 commuter.\n\nThey communicate perfectly during the service and take all the time you need.\n\nI’ve brought two newly purchased used vehicles here for the basic oil change, asked them to be my eyes and ears and check it all over and been so thankful I did. They catch little things the dealership overlooked.\n\nThe techs are respectful and have a great sense of humor.  Good old school service and knowledge you don’t come close to getting at their “giffy” or competitors.  They back up their work and work hard.\n\nMuch respect. We’ll keep going here for years and cars to come.\n\n~ Jack H.\nThe Dalles, OR

September Anniversaries: Making the Best of It

Oil Can Henry's - West Linn, 8th CourtResidents of West Linn, Oregon, enjoy a wonderful quality of life highlighted by beautiful scenery, diverse recreation opportunities, lush parks, and bountiful farmers markets.\n\nSo, it should come as no surprise that West Linn has twice been named to CNN/Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” list (2009 and 2011).\n\nWe at Oil Can Henry’s wholeheartedly agree with that assessment.\n\nFor more than 23 years, we’ve provided local drivers and visitors with quick, convenient and thorough vehicle maintenance services they can trust and, in the process, developed a special place in our hearts for West Linn.\n\nOur Willamette Drive center opened in 1991, and our 8th Court center, located just off I-205, opened seven years later, on September 8, 1998. Congratulations, and a big Thank You!, to our hard working teams at both locations. And, a tip of the Gatsby cap to our Watsonville and Whittier centers, which are also celebrating anniversaries this month:\n

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