Just as the way you live can age your body, the way you drive can add years to your car.
Having your oil changed falls under Car Maintenance 101, but doing it yourself has been a rite of passage for generations of auto enthusiasts. Patrick McIntyre of The List heads to Avus Autosport in Glendale, CA for some tips on how to properly swap the synthetic on an older model BMW.
A day after Ford announced it was scaling back the complimentary maintenance program for its Lincoln brand, General Motors has gone in the completely opposite direction, offering most of its 2014 lineup with free maintenance. Since 2011, Cadillac models have all come with a four-year/50,000-mile complimentary maintenance program, but Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles will now come standard with free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles for the 2014 model year.
Complimentary scheduled maintenance programs have been great tools for luxury automakers to draw in new customers, but some are starting to scale their programs back considerably. According to Automotive News, Lincoln is joining Jaguar and Volvo on the list of automakers reducing the length of time it will be providing free maintenance to its customers.
In May of 2011, we ran a story about a small company seeking backers for an innovative do-it-yourself device engineered to measure the level of contaminants in a vehicle's motor oil. Armed with the knowledge, consumers could extend oil change intervals, save money and help the environment. Things apparently went well for the startup, as its Lubricheck hit the market this year and it wasn't long before a sample landed in our hands.
Audi UK has introduced the Audi Cam, a new – and for owners, hopefully more informative and reliable – way to interact with service advisors and technicians. After a car is dropped off, technicians will use a Flip-like camera to videotape and provide audio commentary for any issues diagnosed. Each problem gets its own clip to keep file sizes small, then the video is uploaded to a private, PIN-coded page just for the owner.
In a survey conducted by Valvoline, sixty-percent of ASE certified Master Automobile technicians questioned said that a vehicle's oil should be changed every 3,000 miles. Twenty-nine percent said between 3,000-5,000 miles is acceptable and just two percent voted that between 5,000-10,000 miles is okay.