Car Care Tips for Dallas, TX as well as Irving, Carrollton, Preston Hollow, Farmers Branch, Las Colinas, North Dallas, University Park, Plano and Coppell.
- How do I save on gas?
- Car fueling tips
- What are all the warning lights on my dash?
- Do I have to go to the dealership for repairs or scheduled maintenance?
- How often should I change my oil?
- Why change your antifreeze?
- Save money on repairs
- Summer weather automotive tips
- How do I prepare for a long trip?
- Should I repair my car or buy a new one?
- Is my car safe to drive?
- Winter weather automotive tips
- Tips to prepare your vehicle for holiday travel
- What are you breathing inside your car?
- What is Calculated Load?
- Avoiding suspension troubles
- Steering sytem making noise?
- The importance of using the correct oil for your BMW
- Top Tier Detergent Gasoline
- How many miles are too many?
How do I save on gas?
Use regular gasoline
Unless your vehicle requires premium gasoline, filling up your car with high-octane gas is a waste of money. The premium gas doesn’t boost your gas mileage or performance. If you're not sure what grade works best for your vehicle, your owner's manual will tell you. You can also ask your mechanic what grade to use. Using regular gasoline over high-octane gasoline could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Don't top off
Don't top off when filling your car's gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around or seep out. Stop pumping at the first indication that your tank is full when the automatic nozzle clicks off.
Tighten up the gas cap
Gas will evaporate from the gas tank if it has an escape. Loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year, according to the Car Care Council. So be sure to tighten up that gas cap each time you fuel up your car.
Go for the shade
The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also zaps fuel from your gas tank. So park your car in the shade of a building or tree whenever possible. And buy a good windshield shade. A windshield shade blocks sunlight and helps to keep heat out of the inside of your car.
Use your garage for your car
Got a garage? Clear it out and make room for your car. Parking in your garage will help your car stay warm in winter and cool in summer, and you won't have to depend as much on your gas-guzzling air-conditioning or defroster when you drive.
Pump up your tires
Don't get caught driving on under inflated tires. Under inflated tires wear down more quickly, and they also lower your car's gas mileage. Your car's gas mileage may plummet by as much as 15 percent. Driving on under inflated tires may also reduce the life of your tires by 15 percent or more.
Check your tire pressure once a month
Buy a digital gauge and keep it in your glove box. Compare the pressure in your tires with the recommended pressure listed in your owner's manual and on the placard located in your car door. Then inflate your tires as needed. Be sure to check tire pressure when your tires are cold. A good time is early in the morning after your car's been idle overnight.
Keep your engine in tune
Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can boost gas mileage by about 4 percent. So be sure to give your car regular tune-ups. You'll also want to watch out for worn spark plugs. A misfiring spark plug can reduce a car's fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent. Ensure your mechanic checks for them.
Replace air filters
When the engine air filter clogs with dirt, dust and bugs, it causes your engine to work harder and your car becomes less fuel efficient. Replacing a clogged air filter could improve your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent and save you 15 cents a gallon. It's a good idea to have your engine air filter checked at each oil change. The Car Care Council recommends changing your car's air and oil filters every three months or 3,000 miles or as specified in your owner's manual.
Use the right oil
You can improve your vehicle gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. Use motor oil with the words "energy conserving" on the API (American Petroleum Institute) performance label. This oil contains additives to lower the friction.
Don't skimp on maintenance
Your car's performance depends on it being properly maintained. The owner's manual of your vehicle will tell you what maintenance is needed and when. If you have any questions, your auto repair shop will be able to show you the recommended maintenance for your car. Follow the car care guidelines outlined in your owner's manual. Not only will they improve efficiency, they will also save you money on costly repairs in the long run.
Tips for fueling your car
One of our clients discovered that you can get bad gas. She had pulled into a convenience store where the price of fuel was very cheap and filled her tank. Within 24 hours after fueling, she found herself stranded with a car that would not start and had to be towed to Marshall Motors.
When we removed the fuel filter we found water mixed with the fuel. The fuel tank had to be drained and the filter replaced.
Here are some tips on fueling that could save you money on expensive repairs.
- Not all fuel is the same. Some prices are cheaper because non-fuel "additives" are added to increase volume.
- Fuel tanks, both in your car and the ones at the gas station (underground) have trash and debris that can cause damage to your engine fuel system. That is why all cars have fuel filters; to trap the trash that collects in your car's fuel tank.
- It is a good idea to replace the fuel filter about every 20,000 miles, or once every year.
- If you pull into a filling station and the tanker truck is there filling the underground tanks, either wait until the next day or go to the next station. As they fill those tanks, they stir up all the trash that has accumulated in the underground tank.
- Last but not least, almost all late model cars (made after 1990) have the fuel pumps inside the fuel tank. The pump is located in the fuel tank so that the gasoline can keep the pump cooler. When fuel runs too low in the tank, it can cause the pump to over-heat and shorten the life of the pump. This is the most common cause of fuel pump failure. So when the fuel level light comes on, it's already to low. Try to use your 1/4 mark on your fuel gauge as the empty mark.
How Do I prepare for a long trip?
Have your regular maintenance done
A week or so before you leave, have regular maintenance done, like oil and filter change, or routine maintenance. Specifically, ask the shop to check the air filter and change it if necessary. Changing the air filter is an inexpensive way to enhance fuel economy and performance. Also have them check the tires again. If the pressure has gone down since the last check, you may have a leak that can be fixed on the spot.
Have your repair shop check the tire pressure and adjust it if necessary
If the pressure is too low, it can cause a blowout at high speed. Also have them check the tread on the tires for excessive wear. (You can also do this yourself by placing the head of a penny into the tread of the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, you probably need new tires.) Be sure to have your repair shop check to see that the spare tire is inflated and the appropriate tools are available to install it if necessary.
Have the auto repair shop check the coolant
Are you going somewhere with a warmer or colder climate? Let your repair shop know so your mechanic can adjust the mixture of water and antifreeze to ensure the car is protected against temperature extremes.
Buy a road atlas or GPS
If you don’t have a current road atlas, get one. Hours and hours of expressway can get boring. Getting off the beaten path can add an entirely new dimension to your trip.
Clean out your car
The day before you leave, thoroughly wash and vacuum the car. It’s much nicer to have your trip in a clean car.
Make sure your paperwork is in order
Make sure your license, registration and insurance are all current and accessible.
Fill the gas tank
Might as well get it out of the way now. Besides, gas is often more expensive on the road.
Look at what you’ve packed
Open your suitcases and take one last look — do you really need all that stuff? Did you forget anything?
Enjoy your trip!
Do I have to go to the dealership for repairs or scheduled maintenance?
No. In fact there are laws that require the factory to honor your warranty as long as you have proper documentation of the appropriate maintenance being done.
Just have any legitimate mechanic do it, and hold onto your records and receipts. If you have a maintenance schedule book, have the mechanic sign it.
What are all the warning lights on my dash?
The lights should say Check Computer!
That's right, if your vehicle was made after 1990 you don't drive a car, you drive a four-wheel computer!
Your car has Computerized Fuel Injection, Computerized Ignition System, Computerized Transmission, Computerized Braking System, Computerized Steering System, Computerized Air Conditioning. Are you catching on?
The warning lights on your dash are part of the on board computer system that monitors most, and in many cases, all of the major functions of the vehicle. Earlier models just monitor the engine with some also going into the transmission system. On newer cars, the computer monitors every facet of the vehicle.
Engine parameters are constantly a precisely adjusted by the computers & control modules in your car according to various conditions including:
- Frequency or infrequency of servicing
- Load (how hard your engine has to work)
- Engine temperature
- Gasoline quality & level
- Ambient or outside air temperature
- Road conditions and more
When a light comes on, it means that a component os sytem is not working properly. Diagnostic trouble codes are stored in your engine control module and need to be addressed.
When your check engine light comes on, call Marshall Motors immediately to schedule an appointment. We want to help you keep your repair costs down!
Should I repair my car or buy a new one?
The first question to ask onseself is: Do I still like my car? We find most people still say they love their car! All of us would love not having a car payment, yet when a car repair comes up, we tend to think... "I'm going to sell that car!" Realizing the costs that come with a new car is one of the first things to look at when considering the benefits of repairing an older car. Start crunching the numbers and you will be surprised! Take the cost of the new car payment, the higher insurance cost, and the new car licensing fees into account per year; then take a look at your existing car the same way.
Consumer Reports conducted studies on vehicle maintenance and they concluded that the average (calculated over a five year period) amount spent on Marshall Motors' brands is about $3000.00 per year. From our internal studies we found this to be consistent with our customers' repair needs. Yet, despite this cost, if you are driving a car that is part of Marshall Motor's service line, you are driving one of the safest cars in the world! It will bring you years of reliable service.
Another question is this: 'How many miles can I get out of my car?' Here are some quick answers: We one customer drive his Mercedes for 500K miles! We also have a BMW customer with 279K miles. We have seen BMW X5's with close to 300K miles and still running strong. How's that for longevity?
How often should I change my oil?
How often you change your motor oil depends on a number of things:
- The type of vehicle you drive.
- The amount of stop and go traffic you drive in.
- Humidity and condensation.
- The existing wear and tear already on your engine.
- The type of oil you use.
The better grade of oil you use the better it will hold up. Older vehicles burn more gas and build up more carbon deposits in the oil. Most new models are more fuel-efficient and burn less gas.
When you drive a vehicle that averages gas mileage of 1 – 20 miles per gallon - and that's a lot of gas, you get a lot of carbon. Oil manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 3000 miles.
Now a lot of our newer model vehicles are designed to be more efficient at burning fuel. The objective of burning gasoline better is less carbon and carbon monoxide. So with newer vehicles getting gas mileage of 25 miles per gallon or better, oil manufacturers say you can get by with changing the oil every 5000 miles.
Ok, how about synthetic oil?
Oil is designed to better lubricate and better dissipate heat. Using synthetic oil, according to oil manufactures, will add about 2000 miles to an oil change, and that is a standard rule of thumb.
Now the thing to know is this – most engines designed after the year 2000 are more efficient at burning gasoline and in the operation of the internal workings of the engine. Lighter, softer metals and closer tolerances in most late model vehicles are designed to use only synthetic oil, because it does lubricate better and dissipates heat better.
So, my point is this. Get with the people that care for your car, figure out what the best schedule is to change the oil in your vehicle, and stick with it! And remember to have the tire air pressure checked and corrected at every oil change!
Invest in preventative maintenance by spending a little money every few months and keep your car running safely and efficiently - this will help prevent those big-ticket items such as replacing an engine.
What about the oil filter?
To reduce the costs of vehicle ownership and maintenance, many car makers say the oil filter only needs to be replaced at every other oil change. Most mechanics will tell you this is false economy.
The oil filters on most engines today have been downsized to save weight, cost and space. The "standard" quart-sized filter that was once common on most engines, has been replaced by a pint-sized (or smaller) filter. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that a smaller filter has less total filtering capacity. Even so, the little filters should be adequate for a 3,000 mile oil change intervals — but may run out of capacity long before a second oil change at 6,000 or 15,000 miles. Replacing the oil filter every time the oil is changed, therefore, is highly recommended.
Why change your antifreeze?
One of the most important areas to be aware of is your car's antifreeze. Your car's engine is cooled by water, antifreeze is mixed with the water to keep the water from freezing in the winter months, and it also helps prevent overheating in the summer months by lowering the water's boiling point.
Antifreeze coats and lubricates the engine, water pump, thermostat, and the inside of your radiator and engine block to keep rust and corrosion from building up inside.
The average life of antifreeze is two (2) years. After two years, antifreeze will begin to break down and lose its ability to protect your car's engine from freezing and can cause corrosion, damaging your car irreparably.
Is my car safe to drive?
This is a very important question. There are several things that could make a vehicle unsafe to drive as well as things that could damage it more if it were driven. The best thing to do if there is any question in your mind is:
Call your auto repair shop
Your mechanic will be able to assess the situation enough to let you know if it's safe for you to drive or if it needs to be towed.
Don't under any circumstance drive an unsafe vehicle!
If there is any question on the safety of your vehicle, we will help you arrange to get it towed to our shop.
Save money on repairs
Automotive technicians are often compared to doctors. This comparison undoubtedly makes some techs smile and others grimace. But in the end, the two professions have a lot in common. It may surprise consumers to find that by choosing these professionals wisely, they can get better care at a better price.
When it comes to choosing a repair shop, many experts praise the virtues of the clean facility, a wall covered with ASE certificates or a coffee pot and some tasty snacks. While these items are important, these four vital questions tell most of the story:
- Will the service advisor or tech take time to listen to your description of the car’s problem?
- Can they explain things to you in laymen’s terms?
- If necessary, will they test-drive the car with you?
- Do they have the knowledge and equipment to diagnose and repair it the first time?
Back to the doctor/technician comparison. Some doctor’s are great diagnosticians. They can pin point a problem when their peers are coming up with empty charts. What’s the difference between that doctor and the people wearing white coats? Possibly his/her knowledge and perhaps equipment, but probably it’s listening skills that sets the really great docs apart from the good ones.
When choosing a professional, the variety that looks after your car or the variety that looks after your body, ask them the four-questions. In effect, audition them. See how the doctor takes care of your flu and how the tech deals with an oil change before visiting with something more serious.
Watch how they handle their time and be aware of how much time is allotted to you. Are they tuned into your problems and asking relevant questions? Are they providing an objective opinion based on information they’ve gathered during your discussion? Can they explain the problem and solution to you in laymen’s terms?
The bottom line is this, time is money. The less time these people are willing to spend with you often multiplies the amount of time needed on the back end. In the case of both the doctor and tech, the extra time spent having to fix you or your car a second or third time not only is expensive, it can be detrimental to the car or patient’s condition.
We only hire the best technicians and service advisors with the ability to handle any situation you have with your vehicle. That’s the reason we have built the reputation of being the most knowledgeable shop in the area.
Winter weather automotive tips
When winter is upon us, there are some tips that can help you prepare for the changes in the weather that can surprise any of us. Taking some basic actions to be prepared will make it easier for you to be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at us.
When using your heating system, there are some tips to help keep you warm and your windows clear. When using your defroster, make sure you are using the fresh air from the outside of the car. Have you ever seen someone driving down the road and all the windows are fogged up? The reason is the car is using the inside air in the car and the system can't get rid of the moisture in the air. And that's why the windows fog up. Also, using the air conditioning in this mode helps too since one of the things the A/C system does is remove the moisture from the air and with the heat on you will keep the inside of the car warm. In fact some of the newer cars automatically turn on the A/C and use fresh air in defrost mode. If you don't know about your vehicle, look in your owner's manual, or just drop by and we will be glad to show you how it works.
Your wipers are also key to keeping your windows clean. Making sure you have the proper washer fluid that is ready for the cold weather will also help you do this. Having a snow brush in the car with an ice scraper will keep you prepared for whatever happens.
Keeping your tires inflated properly and make sure you have good tread will help you with traction and control. A lot of the newer cars have great things like anti-lock brakes and traction control which help with the bad weather. But these systems work much better when you have the most grip you can with good tires.
All of these things mentioned above are checked every time we service your vehicle because we want you to be safe while driving, especially during this time of year. If you would like to stop by we would be glad to check these things for you
We also recommend the following tips to make sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road for family gatherings during the holiday season.
- Get a basic tune-up — Hoses, belts, spark plugs and wires should be checked and changed if necessary.
- Protect against freeze ups — Antifreeze/coolant is extremely important in colder temperatures. If there is too much water and not enough antifreeze/coolant in the system, it can freeze up, expand and crack key engine components.
- Check tire tread — Bald tires are not only unsafe, but can potentially lead to a disaster on slick roadways. Tires connect the car to the road, so traction is imperative during winter. Tires are a solid investment, providing more traction when accelerating, braking and turning.
- Replace worn brake pads and shoes — Having maximum stopping power is essential.
Tips to Prepare Your Vehicle for Holiday Travel
Winter can be the harshest time of year for your vehicle, and a break down in the cold can be a chilling experience.
We recommend the following tips for making sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road for family gatherings during the holiday season.
- Get a basic tune-up — Hoses, belts, spark plugs and wires should be checked and changed if necessary.
- Protect against freeze-ups — Antifreeze/coolant is extremely important in colder temperatures. If there is too much water and not enough antifreeze/coolant in the system, it can freeze up, expand and crack key engine components.
- Check tire tread — Bald tires are not only unsafe, they can potentially lead to a disaster on slick roadways. Tires connect the car to the road, so traction is imperative during winter. Tires are a solid investment, provinding more traction when accelerating, braking and turning.
- Replace worn brake pads and shoes — Having maximum stopping power is essential.
- Check windshield wipers — If they streak or cause problems, you should buy blades especially made for winter conditions. Visibility is crucial this time of year.
- Be prepared for an emergency — While routine maintenance can afford drivers a certain level of comfort, having a well-stocked kit provides peace of mind. Keep a cellular phone, a good ice scraper, blankets, snacks, bottled water and warm clothing in the kit.
- Pay attention — Take a moment to listen to weather and traffic reports. When the conditions are too hazardous, motorists should stay off the roads. If people must travel when roads are bad, it is important they know their vehicle and use extreme caution. Keeping an 8-10 second distance between cars, reducing speeds on hills, and wearing seat belts will all help prevent accidents from occurring. It is also a good idea to always keep at least half a tank of gas in vehicles during winter months. It will be your only source of heat if stranded.
Summer weather automotive tips
Summer can be tough on cars, especially during high temperatures when heat can destroy batteries and stress the cooling system and tires. As a precaution, these vehicle components should be checked periodically during summer to help avoid breakdowns and car problems, according to the Car Care Council.
Life of your Battery
Excessive heat and overcharging shorten the life of a battery. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, which will eventually destroy a battery. To get the most life out of a battery, the council recommends having the electrical system checked to make sure it is charging at the correct rate. If your car’s battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it often, especially in hot weather and add distilled water if necessary. Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt can become a conductor, which drains battery power. If corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator and inhibits the current flow.
The Cooling System
The cooling system also works harder during hot temperatures to prevent overheating of the engine. To keep the cooling system working effectively, the coolant and distilled water mixture for a vehicle’s radiator should be 50:50. As a reminder, never open a hot radiator cap when checking the coolant level in the reservoir. As a rule of thumb, the coolant should be changed annually on most vehicles. This will keep the cooling system fresh and clean inside, which helps prevent corrosion and assures that the coolant has the proper boiling point and protection.
A pressure test, thermostat test, a cooling fan test and a visual inspection for leaks and corrosion should also be done annually. Hoses and drive belts should be checked for cracks, bulges or frayed edges. The radiator should be kept clean by periodically using a garden hose and a soft brush to carefully remove bugs, dirt and debris.
Tires also need special care in warmer weather as high temperatures put added stress on them. To maximize tire life and safety, check the tire condition and inflation pressure monthly, and have the tires rotated every 6,000 miles. Summer heat will cause the pressure within a tire to rise, therefore, it’s important to check the pressure when tires are cold. The owner’s manual includes the recommended air pressure for your vehicle’s tires.
“It takes very little time and money to make sure your car runs properly during summer, and although breakdowns happen, they can definitely be minimized by taking a few extra preventive maintenance steps,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
What are you breathing inside your car?
Most cars are equipped with a cabin air filter that prevents you and your passengers from breathing harmful pollution, pollen and mold spores that enter your vehicle's cabin through the fresh air vents. Unchanged cabin air filters can impair the health of drivers and passengers, leading to headaches, nausea and allergies.
Your car's cabin air filter is quite sophisticated, trapping almost 100% of the airborne contaminants before they reach you through your vehicle's heating and air conditioning system. An estimated 85% of cabin air filters in cars today have not had their recommended replacement.
In addition to health concerns, unchanged cabin air filters can restrict airflow, causing decreased performance in your vehicle's heating and air conditioning.
Eventually a restricted cabin air filter fails, allowing debris to bypass the filter and enter into dash air vents, blowing directly onto you. It also allows debris to collect in the A/C and heating components which causes A/C and heating parts to fail.
A dirty cabin air filter can create havoc with the blower motor, heater core and the air doors in the vent. In English, this means it could burn out a bearing in the blower motor (expensive to replace), and/or plug up and restrict the air flow when you use your heater, defroster or A/C.
Most cabin air filter are located:
- Behind or underneath the glove compartment.
- Under the hood on the passenger side.
Replacing the cabin air filter is a nightmare job. It requires a technician to take apart the dash of the car to remove the debris blocking the air. When a vehicle is built, the heater box is one of the first parts installed in the dash. So to clean out the debris, the technician has to work backwards and take everything out of the dash to get to the heater box. This could easily turn into 12 to 15 hours of labor, and it is a very expensive job.
Preventive maintenance is the best way to avoid an extremely dirty cabin air filter!
What is Calculated Load?
Does it mean the number of passengers you can carry? Does it mean the measurement of your intake at lunch versus what you can have for dinner?
No! It has everything to do with the efficiency and performance of your car!
The days of ignition points and carburetors are long gone! Now the computer in your car "calculates" everything! To make any car run it takes gas, air and spark. The ability of computers, its sensors, and modules are what has taken cars from 6 miles per gallon of gas to 30+ miles per gallons of gas.
The sensors and modules in the car signals the computer to make adjustments to handle the "demand" or "load" for gas, air and spark.When your car is well "tuned," this means the fuel injection system is clean, the air intake system is clean, the engine oil is clean, and the spark plugs are clean. Only then can the computer "calculate" the most efficient "load" for your car's engine. "Calculated Load" is what it takes to keep your car's motor running correctly and efficiently.
Here's the first thing you need to know: Not changing your oil at regular intervals, not changing spark plugs when due, not changing air and fuel filter when due, the greater the "load" it puts on your engine. This means the computer "calculates" more gas to keep your motor running. Remember, the greater the load, the more fuel it demands.
Here's the second thing you need to know: When gasoline does not burn efficiently, when the oil gets dirty, when the air filter restricts the air intake in your engine, it causes carbon build-up in the engine. The more the carbon builds up, the more the computer has to compensate the "calculated load." Once the carbon has built up, just replacing the filters and spark plugs does not clean up the carbon left behind.
What can you do to improve your gas mileage and engine efficiency? There is a very positive solution to the question. Replacing spark plugs, engine air and fuel filter, and changing the oil & filter can make definite improvements. But they are not enough on their own because they do not remove all the contaminants and carbon build-up. It takes performing an Intake Purge with a Fuel Injection Flush, then your systems will glisten clean, just like they were brand new. Fuel efficiency will immediately improve as well as exhaust emissions. Most importantly, your little jewel doesn't have to work so hard to run well!
Avoiding suspension troubles
It's becoming increasingly more evident that Dallas is committed to making some street and highway improvements. This will be great when it's completed; in the meantime, it's difficult to navigate and can be hard on the suspension and steering of your car. These systems on your car consist of more than just shocks and springs. There are control arms, bushings (lots), ball joints, links, tie rods, and more that determine how your car rides and handles. Frequently, they can wear without you noticing.
When these parts get really bad, you might notice knocking or rattling noises when going over bumps or when braking. You could hear a crunching noise, a clicking noise, a groaning noise; these are just a few of the more common sounds that indicate steering and suspension problems. You might look at your tires to see if they are wearing "unevenly." The best and safest bet is to bring your car to Marshall Motors and allow us to perform a complimentary inspection. We would be happy to go over the results with you and show you what we find.
Steering system making noise?
Let Marshall Motors maintain your vehicle to avoid simple problems like this
Complaints about noise from the vicinity of the hydraulic system:
Many complaints about noise from the steering system, particularly during the colder seasons, can be caused by the fluid level in the power steering pump reservoir being to low, without the system having a leak. This is a natural occurrence from evaporation of power steering mineral oils.
Depending on the reservoir, small shortages are sufficient to cause the pump to take in air or foaming fluid, which then produces noises. As a result, if a complaint is received about noise when the engine is running, such as hissing, gushing or humming from the vicinity of the pump, first check the fluid level in the reservoir.
If the fill level is only slightly lower i.e. just under the relevant specified marking, correct this before performing any other work on the steering system and reassess the vehicle.
To prevent this type of effect, we recommend always filling the fluid level in the power steering pump reservoir to "Maximum" for the corresponding temperature, particularly during winter inspecions or other relevant vehicle checks.
The Importance of Using The Correct Oil For Your BMW
How much do you value the engine in your BMW? The life of your engine depends in no small part on the quality of the oil you put in it - oil is its lifeblood. Most people never pay a huge amount of attention to their oil.
Thanks to the new more high performance engines in the BMWs just since 2004 manufactured engine oils underwent something of a revolution.
This is notable just in television commercials, take Castrol for example. They led the field for years with their GTX mineral oil. This was eventually surpassed by semi-synthetic and fully synthetic oils, including GTX2 and GTX3 Those were surpassed by Formula SLX which can cost upwards of ($75) for 5 liters, and most recently, Castrol GTX Magnatec which is muscling in on the hitherto separate world of friction reducers That's just a slice of one manufacturers products. There are thousands.
Your engine oil does several things. Primarily it prevents all the metal surfaces in your engine from grinding together and tearing them apart from friction; ( reason to keep your oil changed regularly ) it also transfers heat away from the combustion cycle. Then the engine oil must also be able to hold in suspension all the nasty by-products of combustion such as silica (silicon oxide) carbon, and acids. Finally, engine oil minimizes the exposure to oxygen and thus oxidation at higher temperatures. It does all of these things under tremendous heat and pressure.
Here's the bottom line; each manufacturer is always looking to improve their products. Each year manufacturers come out with something newer and better. With the advancement of technology in each new BMW, comes newer and more improved engine oil.
If you're not using the proper oil for your model car, then yes it will fail and be catastrophic to your "expensive" – high performance – BMW engine.
So make sure that whoever is maintaining your oil service is using the correct oil for your model and year of BMW!
Top Tier Detergent Gasoline
TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline is the premier standard for gasoline performance. the world's top automakers, BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi , General Motors, Honda, and Toyota recognize that the current EPA minimum detergent requirements do not go far enough to ensure optimal engine performance.
Since the minimum additive performance standards were first established by EPA in 1995, most gasoline marketers have actually reduced the concentration level of detergent additive in their gasoline by up to 50%. As a result, the ability of a vehicle to maintain stringent Tier 2 emission standards have been hampered, leading to engine deposits which can have a big impact on in-use emissions and driver satisfaction.
These automakers have raised the bar. TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline help drivers avoid lower quality gasoline which can leave deposits on critical engine parts, which reduces engine performance. That's something both drivers and automakers want to avoid.
What does that mean to me?
With most cars manufactured since 2000 and, almost all cars manufactured after 2006 the type of gasoline you use can have a big impact on #1 Performance #2 Gas Mileage #3 Internal Engine Wear. With the improvement of gas mileage in cars comes the improvement in efficiency in the way your car's engine works! I'm not going to get all Technical on you in explaining how the internal parts of an engine works, but what you need to know is that in order for the newer style engines to be able to achieve their highest gas mileage possible, best performance for a long time, and with the least amount of wear on the engine, be sure of what gas your car requires! Most Octane ratings are posted right on the inside of your car's gas flap. If not, it is definitely in your owner's manual.
The different brands and ratings in gasoline means, the different amounts of petroleum versus the different amounts of fuel cleaner, additives, and lubricant. These are more important to late model cars than the petroleum in the gas.
At one time just using straight petroleum gasoline was how it was done. However, straight petroleum burns, leaving an extremely high level of carbon, carbon monoxide, and all kinds of other crud, both inside your engine and in the air we breathe!
Here's a good rule of thumb! First of all understand WHO the TOP TIER FUEL manufacturers are! You know them – Exxon / Mobil, Chevron, Shell, etc. -- Not -- 7/11 or Race Track, or QC etc. When it comes to providing gas to the stations the best rule is to understand that the manufacturers take care of their stations first! The "non" manufacturers will get the second grade fuels and usually buy the cheapest grade of that!
As a European or Japanese owner, you appreciate the exceptional performance of some of the world's finest automobiles. The best way to help maintain that performance is to use the properly approved gasoline. By fueling with gasoline from a TOP TIER RETAILER and using the proper octane rated fuel, doing this will help to ensure the longevity and performance your automobile was designed to deliver for a very long time!
How many miles are too many?
We find that a lot of clients we talk to still think that 100,000 miles is the life-time of their car. -- That's far from the truth!
Most cars manufactured since 1995 are designed to double or triple that. This is in thanks to the Honda and Toyota companies. Back in the mid 60's both Honda and Toyota began introducing a more refined and precision automobile. More light weight with more efficient engines than their American big block counter-parts. With time, American manufacturers began to wise up and get on the band wagon of building competitive automobiles, and the heavy wear and tear gas guzzlers are now collectors.
As the automobile has progressed, so has its longevity. Look around when you drive the freeways and see how many 1995 to 1999 model cars you notice on the road. You may think well that's not so old - well that's now 13 to 17 years. And what are the miles on those cars?
There's a good possibility that if you owned a 1995 to 2000 model car, that it was more likely to meet its demise from an accident than from mechanical failure. Take into consideration that neglect and lack of most basic maintenance will kill just about anything. But most late model vehicles with just the basic care do last much longer than our parents' cars lasted.
The average life of most cars built from 1995 to 2000 was 7 years and 200,000 miles. From what I've seen in the 35 years of being in business is with most of your German and Japanese cars it is closer to 10 years and 300,000 miles.
Cars are better made every year so do not judge your car by the miles you put on it, but by the care you give it. A well maintained car lasts longer, holds better value, and costs you less.
So how many miles are too many?
I pay no attention to miles; I pay much more attention to the care a car has received. If you want to see come by Marshall Motors and let us show you. I drive a car with 190,000 miles, while January's Mercedes has 250,000 miles. And our lead Tech, Richard drives an Audi with over 300,000 miles. 100,000, it's just broken in!