Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 13, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: What's really necessary during an oil change?

Niagara Gazette — Have you ever gone to a quick lube place for an oil change and, while you’re waiting in the lobby, the service bay/sales person informs you that a certain service must be performed on the vehicle immediately to avert a disaster of immense proportion? The “recommended service” usually includes one or more of the following:

• High mileage oil

• Fuel system cleaning

• Brake fluid flush

• Transmission flush

• Transfer case or differential fluid change

How should you respond? Knowledge is power; power gives confidence to make the right decisions. So let’s look at each service, the validity of the claim, and whether or not you should follow the advice.

Does your vehicle need high mileage oil?

High mileage oils supposedly are formulated with more robust additive packages for better lubrication and rust inhibition, along with a nourishing agent to bring old, hardened oil seals back to life. Well, if that’s true, why didn’t the company initially give me their best formulation so that my car would get more mileage out of the engine in the first place?! Not being an expert in lubrication and petroleum products, I consulted an expert in the industry to gather more information. Dan Watson, a Certified Lubrication Specialist (STLE), sent me some bullet points to consider when offered “high mileage oil.”

High mileage oils are fortified with additional additives for improving the ability of the oil to deal with byproducts of combustion and enhance engine cleanliness.

Why not make all oils with robust additive packages? (My point exactly) Engines would stay cleaner and be better protected with the stronger additive package from the start.

The age of the engine has nothing to do with the protection needed to maintain the engine and prevent wear.

Start the engine out using high quality synthetic engine oil and you will have superior protection and cleanliness from the start (no need for a “better oil” at a higher mileage).

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