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The Wilks Tire & Battery Service Basic Guide To Synthetic Oil
Synthetic motor oil has been around for a long time, and more and more new vehicles are leaving factories with synthetic in their engines. But a lot of drivers don't really know much about it.Let's start with conventional oil – the kind folks are used to. Conventional oil is made up of naturally occurring hydrocarbon chains, which means its molecules are long and have various lengths. Like a pile of pencils, some of them new and some of them used.Synthetic oil is man-made. Its molecules are more uniform and regular in shape – more similar to marbles than pencils. Some synthetic oil starts with a petroleum base that's modified and others are entirely synthesized from other materials.Synthetic motor oil works better in both hot and cold temperatures. It's more chemically stable so it doesn't readily evaporate or break down in the high heat produced inside your vehicle engine. This means it resists turning to sludge, which is a real engine killer.Remember that marbles and pencils thing we were talking about? Well, that makes synthetic oil slipperier than conventional oil which means less friction in your engine. Your vehicle engine runs cooler, wears less and lasts longer. You also get a boost in power and maybe even an improvement in fuel economy.Synthetic oil also lasts longer so you change it less often – which is great for the environment. With longer oil change intervals, you need an oil filter specifically built for the longer service life of synthetic oil. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Wilks Tire & Battery Service service adviser about synthetic oil and synthetic blends – they might be just what you need to improve engine performance and extend the life of your vehicle.Give us a call.
AL: What Is the Risk of High Oil Change Intervals?
AL residents may have heard that vehicles don't need their oil changed as often as they used to. That's true. But it's not the whole story.Owing to improved engine technology and higher oil quality, most newer vehicles can go longer between oil changes than their older counterparts.So what is a good time interval for oil changes? How do AL residents know when to change it? And why do we change it in the first place?Oil lubricates a vehicle's engine, which protects it from friction damage. Over time the oil can collect dirt and contaminants that inhibit its performance. But dirty oil isn't the only problem for AL residents. What you really want to avoid is called oil sludge.Oil sludge is caused by moisture in the oil and by hot spots in your engine that burn off oil. This sludge is a gooey gel that can clog engine passageways, which can block lubricants from reaching vital engine parts. The result can be engine wear or even engine failure.Sludge forms rapidly in an engine that is driven under what are termed “severe conditions.” A vehicle's owner's manual includes recommendations for oil change intervals under both normal and severe conditions. Severe conditions include towing a trailer, driving in polluted or dusty conditions, hauling heavy loads or using a car top carrier. Also, extremes in climate such as very hot or very cold temperatures constitute severe conditions for vehicles.Some people may be tempted to overlook the severe conditions preventive maintenance schedule in their 's owner's manual because of the word “severe.” But consider this: the most common form of severe conditions is stop-and-go driving, rush hour commuting or only driving your vehicle on short trips around the area.
When a vehicle only makes trips under four miles/six kilometers, or under 10 miles/16 kilometers in freezing conditions, the engine doesn't get warm enough for condensation in the oil to evaporate. The result? You get oil sludge build-up. If your driving patterns are the same as any of the conditions that count as severe, you should be changing your oil more frequently under the severe conditions schedule. The team at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville can help you understand what type of oil to use in your vehicle and how it can affect your oil change schedule. Some vehicles are filled with synthetic or synthetic-blend oil at the factory. The owner's manual will recommend that this oil continue to be used in the vehicle, and oil change intervals will be based on this type of oil.Also, if your vehicle uses conventional oil, but you have some of those severe driving habits we talked about, you can switch to a premium-grade oil to give your vehicle extra protection. The answer to why we change our oil is fairly simple: to protect our engines and make our vehicles last longer and run better. But the answer to how often to change our oil is more complex: it depends on our vehicle, our driving habits, where we live and what kind of oil we use.
When it comes to oil changes, a little information can go a long way to helping people save money and extend the life of their vehicles. Stay safe, and stay on the road.
Wilks Tire & Battery Service Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle
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Today's Wilks Tire & Battery Service post focuses on using coolant. If you pour in the wrong kind, it won't protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your vehicle owner's manual. Of course, your Wilks Tire & Battery Service service advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.Brake fluid is confusing for some Albertville drivers. Back when we opened Wilks Tire & Battery Service, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Albertville residents mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That's not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your vehicle.Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at Wilks Tire & Battery Service: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in vehicle automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to Wilks Tire & Battery Service professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today's high-tech vehicle engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances.That's where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those vehicle engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.At Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as impressive as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, make sure you always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.
Wilks Tire & Battery Service428 N Broad StAlbertville, AL 35950256.878.0211
Wilks Tire & Battery Service Service Tip: Why Synthetic Oil Is Good For Your Vehicles
Hello AL! Today's vehicle care topic is: Synthetic Oil vs. Petroleum Based Oil. Synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil. If you aren't currently using it, why not? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why, we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations. The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is slipperier, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there's less friction. This results in myriad benefits: better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn't sludge up like conventional oil so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up. (We see that too often at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville.)Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals for many models. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your Wilks Tire & Battery Service service advisor about how you drive in and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil for your vehicle. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.Most of us have a busy life and occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead, admit it. Since we're not perfect, doesn't it make sense to use a motor oil that's got your back?What about price? Petroleum based oil may appear to win out on this point, but let's consider all the facts. Although synthetic oil costs more, it lasts longer, protects your vehicle engine better and increases fuel economy. You'll likely save money in the long run. If you're serious about making your vehicle last longer, consider using synthetic motor oil.Give us a call.
How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Wilks Tire & Battery Service
Today in the Wilks Tire & Battery Service auto care blog, we're going to talk to Albertville drivers about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Wilks Tire & Battery Service customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).In real world Albertville driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville.The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the vehicle owner had to follow a new, lower service interval and provide proof of oil changes in order to make a warranty claim.So here's the bottom line for Albertville vehicle owners: with longer oil change intervals, it's essential to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers), if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles or couple of thousand kilometers, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn't have time to build up much sludge.
But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles (10,000 kilometers) and you go over another thousand miles or couple of thousands of kilometers, you're getting into heavy sludge territory. You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And don't forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop and go driving in AL, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted Albertville conditions, hot or cold weather or haul heavy loads, you're driving in severe service conditions. Your Wilks Tire & Battery Service service advisor can help you determine which schedule to follow.So check your vehicle owner's manual or talk with your Wilks Tire & Battery Service service advisor about where and how you drive in Albertville. Should you change your oil closer to the regular schedule, or the severe service schedule? You need to make the call.Let me give you an example of this. Some newer vehicles have an oil change indicator. It has a sophisticated computer algorithm that tracks number of cold starts, engine temperature, RPMs, mileage and many more variables to come up with a recommendation for when to change the oil.Depending on driving conditions, the indicator in one test vehicle came on at anywhere from 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to almost 7,000 miles (11,000 km). It's typically just over 4,000 miles (6,500 km). Sometimes our driving is easy on the vehicle – like a long road trip. Sometimes, our driving is hard on it – like towing a heavy trailer or a lot of around town driving. But, usually, it's a combination of both.Once again, it's up to you to make the call as to when to change your oil at Wilks Tire & Battery Service to protect your vehicle engine. Another place where AL drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming to Albertville owners filled with synthetic oil. Without going into a lot of detail right now, let's just say that synthetic oil lasts longer and is very resistant to oil sludge.But it also costs quite a bit more, so some people are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. Now, it's always best to use the oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Check your owner's manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.But getting back to the problem, if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you can't use the synthetic interval. You need to shorten it.
Wilks Tire & Battery Service 428 N Broad St Albertville, AL 35950 256.878.0211
The Right Automotive Fluids for Albertville Drivers
All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Albertville drivers. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won't work as well and could even cause damage.In addition to new grades of engine oil, many vehicles now leave the factory with synthetic oil. People in Albertville should always use the grade recommended by their manufacturer.
All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your vehicle cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.Most passenger vehicles on Albertville roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your vehicle power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.Now, the thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids; using the right fluid is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you've got that down, it's easy to remember to check with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Wilks Tire & Battery Service or your vehicle owner's manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.Give us a call.Wilks Tire & Battery Service256.878.0211428 N Broad StAlbertville, AL 35950
The Right Fluids for Your Vehicle
The current vehicles in the market have over a century of engineering behind them. They have evolved into complex and powerful machines. Developments in their engines, however, have coincided with advances in many other vehicle components, including the fluids.It's up to people in Albertville to always use the right type of fluid for their vehicle. Your service advisor and your owner's manual are resources for auto advice on exactly what types of fluid your vehicle needs. Improper fluids can damage your vehicle and void your warranty.Some of the fluids that have changed significantly in recent years are cooling system fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil. Each of these comes in many varieties now, and it's hard to know exactly which one your vehicle needs.Cooling systems were once made of iron, steel and rubber. One coolant could be used to protect all of these materials. But new cooling systems have components made from a variety of metal alloys and several kinds of plastic, and coolants now contain additives that protect these various materials from corrosion. Since the materials vary among manufacturers, they require different additives, which means there are now several coolants on the market. The type of coolant your vehicle needs depends on the materials used in its cooling system.Most vehicles used to require DOT 3 brake fluid. But now many vehicles need DOT 4 or DOT 5. Some Albertville drivers mistakenly think the higher numbers reflect an increase in grade—that DOT 4 is somehow better than DOT 3. But the truth is, the numbers represent variations in formulation. The different formulas have evolved to meet the demands of newer and better brake systems. For a long time, transmission fluid came in two varieties: regular and friction-modified. But transmissions have come a long way recently and so have the fluids that protect and lubricate them. There are several new types of fluid on the market, but your vehicle is designed for just one of them.Of all the automotive fluids, motor oils have experienced perhaps the greatest advances in engineering and technology. A number of new weights and formulations have recently been developed to meet the needs of modern engines, which have more parts and tighter tolerances than ever before. Engines have become more sophisticated and complicated, but they have also increased in power and fuel efficiency. Despite these changes, Albertville vehicles still need them to be highly durable.That's the job of motor oil. Motor oil still has to perform its original function—lubricating and protecting the engine. It is formulated to help clean the engine as well. Modern motor oil also has to be thin enough to penetrate small engine passages yet still be resistant to vaporization.Specialized motor oils have also been developed for high-mileage vehicles. If your vehicle has 75,000 miles/120,000 km or more on it, you might consider switching to one of these motor oils. They contain extra detergents that help clean older engines, additives that condition seals and gaskets that can become brittle with age. High-mileage motor oils come in weights and types just like regular motor oils, and Albertville drivers should match the proper weight and type of high-mileage oil to their vehicle in the same way you would regular motor oil.Over time, vehicles have developed in complexity and variety, and their fluids have developed as well. Each vehicle is matched to a set of fluids that meet its specific requirements. AL vehicle owners should take care to learn their vehicle's fluid requirements before topping off at home. A large part of preventive maintenance for Albertville drivers is making sure your vehicle's fluids are clean and adequate, but they must be the proper type as well. As our vehicles become more sophisticated, car care becomes more sophisticated as well.Learning about proper fluids for your vehicle will help you maintain its performance and prolong its life. Talk to us at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville.
Wilks Tire & Battery Service 428 N Broad St Albertville, AL 35950 256.878.0211
Using Proper Fluids in Your vehicle
Today, Wilks Tire & Battery Service is writing about the proper fluids for your vehicle. It's become more complicated with changes in automotive design and manufacturing. It's not that people in Albertville are confused as much as they don't realize how much things have changed in recent years.
If you have questions about the fluids in your vehicle, please don't hesitate to stop by Wilks Tire & Battery Service. You can find us on 428 N Broad St in Albertville, AL 35950.Just give us a call at 256.878.0211.
Let's take engine oil. Twenty or 30 years ago, there were just a handful of different weights of oil. The weight of an oil is a scientific measure of its properties, particularly its viscosity or thickness.It was common in those days to use a lighter weight oil in the winter when it's cold outside. That way the oil would be able to splash around inside the engine and protect the parts before it was fully warmed up. And a heavier weight oil would be used in the summer. The thicker oil wouldn't thin out too much in the summer heat and vaporize in the engine.Modern valve trains have become very complicated with more moving parts and small passages than ever before. The valve train is in the top of the engine, so when the vehicle has been turned off for a while, the oil tends to run down to lower areas. That means the valve train parts are vulnerable at start-up, before the oil starts circulating.So new weights of oil have been introduced to meet the engineering specifications of these newer engines.Manufacturers are recommending specific weights of oil. The recommendation is often printed on the oil fill cap. It's certainly in the owner's manual. Of course, Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville can look it up for you.It's more important than ever to have the correct weight of oil. The wrong weight could actually harm the engine.Other fluids are also becoming more sophisticated. In the last few years new types of transmission, power brake fluid and coolant have all been introduced for some of the same reasons as for engine oil.In addition, vehicle manufacturers are now using a wider variety of materials in these systems. Looking at the cooling system as an example, it used to be that the parts were all made out of steel or iron and the hoses were rubber. Now, some parts are plastic, aluminum or other materials.So the anti-corrosion additives contained in the coolant, or anti-freeze, need to be different in order to protect the different materials used to make the cooling system. If you use the wrong coolant that wasn't formulated to protect your plastic cooling system parts, they could become corroded and fail. And if you're using the wrong coolant, your cooling system won't be covered under warranty. So it's important to use the right coolant and to not mix different types.Your owner's manual or service advisor at Wilks Tire & Battery Service can make sure you're using the right type. You may have heard of universal coolant. Universal, or global, coolant can be added to other types without harmful reactions. That's OK for an emergency top off, but following your manufacturer's recommendation for your vehicle or other auto type is always a safe bet.In the area of brake fluid, there are a couple of new formulations. It's important to remember that the new ones aren't better than the old ones. They're just different formulations for different vehicles. So if your vehicle calls for DOT 3, using DOT 4 or DOT 5 is not an upgrade. Use the recommended formula.There are fluid formulations for vehicles with higher mileage. These are special engine oil, transmission fluid and so on that contain additives to condition and restore seals and gaskets in older engines.They're fine to use as long as they're a variant of the proper fluid. In other words you can use a high mileage engine oil as long as it's also the correct weight recommended by the manufacturer. Same goes for transmission fluid; as long as it's the right type for your transmission.
Super Slick at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville: Synthetic Oil
When you get an oil change, it's always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the manufacturer recommends. But sometimes we're asked if we'd like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for Albertville drivers. Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides advantages over conventional motor oil. First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for Albertville drivers, cooler operating temperatures and more engine power. Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It provides better protection for severe conditions like stop-and-go driving around Albertville and very hot or freezing AL temperatures. Also, synthetic oil doesn't generate oil sludge like conventional oil. This prevents small engine passageways from becoming clogged, which can significantly extend the working life of your vehicle engine. Manufacturers are aware of the advantages of synthetic oil, and many of them are using it to fill their vehicles before delivering them to be sold. Many owner's manuals now come with the recommendation to use only synthetic oil. Because synthetic oil wears better and protects better than conventional motor oil, it can be changed less often. If your vehicle came with a recommendation for synthetic oil, you may have noticed that the recommended period between oil changes is longer than what you're used to. However, if you switch to conventional oil, you need to be aware that you can't follow this longer service interval. You'll have to change your oil more often. On the other hand, if you are using conventional oil and you switch to synthetic oil, you may be able to lengthen the time between oil changes. You can ask the pros at Wilks Tire & Battery Service for more information. They can offer you good auto advice about oils and service intervals based on your driving habits and requirements. Oil changes are the hallmark of preventive maintenance at Wilks Tire & Battery Service. All Albertville drivers need them. So we should get excited about a product that reduces how often we need them. Synthetic oil is more expensive, yes, but it can pay for itself by lasting longer than conventional oil. And when you add in the hidden savings of an extended engine life and improved fuel economy, not to mention increased engine power, there's a good chance that synthetic oil actually saves cash in the long run. All Albertville drivers pay for vehicle care. But understanding what we're paying for can make us more savvy shoppers.
The Wilks Tire & Battery Service Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle
The automotive professionals at Wilks Tire & Battery Service would like to give Albertville drivers an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, vehicles are becoming more sophisticated every day. Fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.The Albertville do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many AL ] owners rely on the advice of their friendly and knowledgeable Wilks Tire & Battery Service service advisor to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their vehicle and their driving habits in the Albertville area.Let's start with engine oil. Albertville drivers who have been paying attention will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the AL scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. The vehicle manufacturers recommend the weight of oil for each vehicle they make. The recommendation is based on engine design. Your Albertville service center will know what weight your vehicle manufacturer recommends - and it's important to follow those recommendations. Your service advisor at Wilks Tire & Battery Service can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can tell you all about conventional and synthetic oils.Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, vehicle manufacturers only recommended a couple of different types of coolant. Now, several different formulations are needed because of the high-tech materials that vehicle manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant in your vehicle can actually void your warranty, so it's important to get that right.Transmission fluid is becoming specialized for Albertville vehicles as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that require specific formulations. Recently, new, somewhat confusing, standards for brake fluid have also been released.Not too long ago, there was a good chance that all of the vehicles at your house would use many of the same fluids. However, as automotive technology advances, the array of basic automotive fluids AL drivers need will grow. And, some of the formulations will cost a little more for Albertville drivers. Fortunately, Wilks Tire & Battery Service will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you'll get the right fluids your vehicle needs. It's all part of the commitment we make to your driving peace of mind.