Summer vacation driving means long hours at highway speeds, in hot temperatures, and it also means unusual stresses on any vehicle. That’s why it’s so important to start any road trip vacation with an oil change. We do a lot of oil changes – a LOT – at Sea Tac Tire & Auto Tech in Puyallup, WA, and we’d like to talk about why oil changes are so important in the summer.
- Motor oil does more than reduce the friction between moving parts…it’s also essential in keeping your engine’s operating temperature down and preventing overheating. Oil can only heat up and cool down so many times, though, before it starts to chemically break down and lose its effectiveness. In addition, motor oil picks up contaminants like carbon and soot, byproducts from the combustion process; in time, these contaminants will build up on crucial engine assemblies in the form of sludge.
- If you’re going to hauling heavy loads or pulling a trailer, it’s often advisable to go to a heavier viscosity oil. Oil will thin out at extreme temperatures, and a thicker oil can do a better job of keeping the engine’s upper end (valves and pistons) lubricated in extreme usage. If you regularly tow heavy trailers like a boat or travel trailer, it’s advisable to install an oil cooler and transmission cooler. These setups circulate oil or transmission fluid through a small radiator-like device and help ward off overheating and potential problems. We can easily install an oil or transmission cooler at our Puyallup, WA location!
- Manufacturers now recommend synthetic oil, and so do we. Earlier formulations of synthetic oil were rumored to cause oil leaks, but that hasn’t been true for years (if it ever was). Synthetic oil is more stable and less prone to break down than mineral-based oil; as a result, you can go 8-10,000 miles between oil changes. Oil changes with synthetic oil can be an especially good idea if you know that your car’s engine is prone to sludge buildup. While oil changes with synthetic oil are considerably more expensive, over the life cycle of a vehicle the cost is about the same, considering the longer oil change intervals.
At Sea Tac Tire & Auto Tech in Puyallup, WA, we want you to have a fun and safe summer, regardless of your plans. If your plans include a road trip vacation, give us a call to set up an appointment and let us do an oil change and checkup before you go!