Every week I get oil questions like, the guy who changes my oil says I should be using thicker oil in my car. I trust him, but I don’t know about this advice. What should I do? It seems far too many people who change oil know more than the engineers who design engines. These morons keep telling drivers to use thicker oil for better protection. But, better protection doesn’t come from thicker or thinner oil. It comes from the right oil the engine was designed to use.
Don’t be a moron and do it because two morons don’t make a genius. Changing oil, no matter how many times anyone does it, won’t magically morph them from oil changer to oil engineer or chemist. Nor will changing oil teach anyone the steps used in a refinery to change crude oil or synthetics into something that can protect the parts inside your engine. This means protection during cold starts, blazing hot days in traffic, and every situation in between. Sadly, changing oil will not make a tech into a metallurgist that can study the amount of expansion of engine parts as it heats up. Nope, changing oil or even repairing engines won’t give anyone the knowledge necessary to make recommendations to switch from the oil recommended by the manufacturer to something not recommended by the manufacturer.
The primary job of oil in an engine is to keep moving parts from touching one another. This is done by means of a thin film of oil in gaps between parts that keep them from touching. But, heres the rub, as engines have become more precise due to sophisticated computer controlled machining….the space or gap for this film of oil has become smaller.This means these engines need thinner oil to pass through those smaller gaps and still provide the film of oil necessary to keep parts from touching. Also, nearly all engines these days have variable valve timing which works off oil pressure. Changing to a thicker oil changes the pressure needed to move oil through the engine. That increase in oil pressure can confuse the car’s computer…which controls the variable valve timing leading to lowered performance, lower gas mileage, or in some cases even a check engine light. Bottom line, changing oil or repairing cars does not give anyone (myself included) the knowledge to determine if a change in oil thickness will be good/bad/indifferent for an engine.
In other words, don’t reinvent the wheel. The manufacturer has spent millions in testing and engineering to determine the right oil for your car. Did the person changing your oil spend millions of dollars to develop their suggestion or is it just mental fantasy or outdated wacko bull? Unless the vehicle manufacturer issues a bulletin telling you to do something different, always use the oil recommended in your owner’s manual. Very few people are smarter than the engineers who designed the engine and typically they won’t be changing your oil.
Just when I think i’ve seen it all, something more amazingly stupid comes along. Oh…Hell no…not politics, car stuff. Like the driver who hit a metal grate and gouged a pork-chop size slab of rubber out of a tire. The four inch by nearly half inch thick chunk was hanging by a small thread of rubber, and the tire’s inner steel belts were plainly visible behind the cut. Anyone could see the tire was totally unsafe to drive on.
It’s what we call a will-pop because, drive on it and it will pop. But, the not so smart driver apparently didn’t want to put on his spare, so a quick internet search found a solution. Yep glue, one of those super strong glues that look so good in commercials. But, they rarely work in real life. Why not glue it? In the commercial, two drops of the sticky stuff will lift an elephant. So, a whole tube…or ten should easily hold the tire together…or not! The tire quickly came apart. Fortunately, it blew out before the car reached any significant speed so no one was hurt.
Then there’s the car that came into the shop with a broken timing belt, and damaged engine. There was nylon material wound around the crankshaft pulley in such a way that it broke the car’s timing belt. Seems the owner had read that you can temporarily replace a broken fan belt with twisted and tied pantyhose. REALLY? How dumb can one person be? There are thousands of these lunatic ideas out there, so please folks…show you have more smarts than an inspired earthworm.
Not going racing, but want a more enjoyable car for commuting? Then concentrate on things that make you feel good, but use restraint. Huge horsepower for commuting makes zero sense, but a great sounding exhaust and intake system with nice tires and wheels would make most drivers feel better about their commute. But, make sure you buy a quality — legal exhaust system as you still have to pass emissions, plus you don’t ugly sound of mufflers that fall apart from vibration.
Speaking of sound, some cheap exhaust systems can be really annoying due to droning inside the car. Cold air intakes must not allow water to enter the engine and, on tire and wheel combinations, seriously consider tire profile. You see the bigger your wheel, the smaller the sidewall of the tires, and for a daily driver that can be a problem. If you drive in areas with rough roads or potholes, tires with very small sidewalls can lead to repeated tire and wheel failures. When a tire hits the edge of a bump or pothole, the tire has to compress to absorb all the force of the impact. This causes excessive energy to be transferred into the wheel, cracking or bending it. Those same forces can also pinch the tire, causing bubbles to form on the side of the tire. Some restraint when modifying a car prevents problems in the future.
I think there may be more fake stories about cars then politics. Myths like, buy a used car and all you’re getting is someone else’s problems. That’s pure garbage. I don’t know if that ever was true, but I do know it isn’t true today. Sure, some used cars are dogs, but many late model used cars are creampuffs due to leasing.
Lots of Drivers lease their new cars to get a lower payment or tax advantage. The typical lease is three years and comes with very strict requirements for maintenance and appearance care. When these cars are turned back in at the end of the lease, the great ones usually become certified pre-owned or C-P-O cars. CPO cars are generally good deals, because they’re thoroughly checked out. Someone else has also paid the big, or in many cases, huge initial depreciation hit for you! Plus, CPO’s have a warranty that may be better than the new car warranty. You also still save some money!
On a three year old luxury or near-luxury CPO, you might save twenty to forty percent or more compared to new. You can choose between paying less money or the same money and step up to a higher level of car. Of course, always get a Carfax vehicle history report, have any car checked from bumper to bumper by a qualified technician before you buy. But do it right, and you will be driving a car where someone else paid your initial depreciation for you. Now that’s smart!
Second location now open!
Easily located at 1101 State Route 3 (Click here for map) in Gambrills/Crofton, MD 21054.
ASE Master Technician Anthony Weber has partnered with Pat Goss, to bring Goss’ Garage to your area!
We’d love to see you, stop by and say hi and see the new shop firsthand!
Call 410-451-4677 (GOSS) to make your appointment
Thank you so much for being with us on this wonderful journey,
and for continuing to be part of Goss’ Garage.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Lately, our weather has been kinda goofy. Warm and raining during the day, then freezing over night. That cycle can create annoying car problems that might cause you to damage your car. Here are some simple Do’s and Don’ts to help avoid costly damage.
Don’t ignore the rubber weather strip around your doors and windows. In rain then freeze cycles, water can get between the rubber and the body of the car…and then freeze! Then, when you are trying to open the door, it is frozen shut. So, you yank on the door to get it open, because you need to get to work. In the process, you damage the rubber or in many cases break the plastic (and now brittle) door handle. You can avoid both issues by using silicone lubricant on the rubber to keep it soft, and to keep ice from sticking to it.
Another disastrous thing many of you do is to use hot water to try to thaw frozen doors and windows. Not smart, because inside a modern car door are electronics that can be damaged by the thermal shock of hot water on cold parts. Another don’t do it is, heat a key to try to thaw a frozen lock. Even though the key may look like an ordinary key but it probably isn’t. This is because most keys today have electronic transponders embedded in them, and heating can kill the electronics. It’s best to prevent frozen locks by using graphite lock lubricant to keep moisture out. No moisture…No Freeze… No Issue! A bit of preparation can save a lot of cold morning grief!
I get lots of synthetic oil questions like, can I put synthetic in an older car? Yes, Absolutely. Most cars can be changed over to synthetic at any time. A.J says, I read on the internet that synthetic oil will keep my new car from breaking in properly. FALSE. If that were true, there would be thousands of new cars that were factory filled with synthetic oil that never broke in properly. Sue asks, can I use synthetic oil in a high mileage car? Sure can! Pete says, I’ve heard that synthetic oil causes cars to leak? That’s bull, use common sense. If synthetic oil caused leaks it wouldn’t be put in new cars and wouldn’t be sold. But sadly, common sense is rapidly becoming extinct. There are three basic oil types, Conventional, Synthetic blend, and full synthetic…or good, better, and best.
Conventional oil provides adequate protection, blends offer better protection and full synthetic provides the best protection. How many miles you want out of your engine determines which oil to use. If you only want warranty protection, use conventional. But, for longer engine life use a synthetic blend and for longest engine life, use full synthetic. Using full synthetic oil and changing at vehicle manufacturer intervals can double…triple…or even quadruple engine life. Also, if your car requires full synthetic…never user a lesser type, and never leave any oil in your engine longer than your owners manual allows.
Drive Gently! – Pat Goss
Don’t let this sudden warm weather fool you! It won’t last forever and if you’ve put off prepping your car do it now, because this time of year it can get very cold very quickly. That could mean frozen parts on your car and hundreds to thousands of dollars in damage. If your radiator has been topped off with plain water or antifreeze, a serious cold snap could cause the engine and cooling system to freeze. This would be killing the engine, radiator or other expensive parts.
It is also important to never add pure water or pure antifreeze to your car. Water freezes at thirty-two degrees and plain antifreeze freezes at eleven degrees both above zero. Another system you may not think could freeze is breaks. But, it can happen and lead to a very scary situation. Break fluid attracts and absorbs water, and it is possible for it to get so water logged it freezes, causing very limited braking. Brake fluid should be flushed out and renewed every two years. Also, if you haven’t been using dry gas in your gas tank there could be enough water in it to freeze your fuel lines and stop the car from running. Use isopropyl dry gas once every month year round to prevent water damaged fuel system parts.
Just installed a spoiler in the shop today, and wanted to show you guys how it was done. Check out some of the pictures below! First we cleaned the surface of dirt and spots, to make sure it is clean before we start. Then we whipped it down with rubbing alcohol (shown with yellow shammy), to clear the surface again of any leftovers. After that, the spoiler can be measured and fitted into place. This is done with the special tape underneath the spoiler, by only peeling part of the tape. Then when the one side is stuck, you can pull off the rest of the tape in a zipper fashion. It just shows, put the time and effort into a job and it pays off.
Uh…oh, Cold weather is here again, and lots of you will be damaging your engines! One of the worst, yet most enduring, car myths ever is that you need to let your car’s engine idle for ten or more minutes before you drive the car. The theory is, this warms the engine and makes it last longer. NOT TRUE…never was true. Warming up an engine is not good for it and in fact, it is bad for the engine.
The myth started nearly a century ago, when engines didn’t run well until they were hot. So, to prevent stalling in traffic, you had to warm your engine up to a point where it would run without stalling or hesitating. It wasn’t good for engines then and it still isn’t now. When you let an engine idle, you are only warming up the coolant in the radiator which will feel good on your keister, but wont do a bit of good for your car. When the car is idling, it is not heating the engine’s oil, transmission, power steering, tires, and all the other things that heat up as you drive. So, by letting the engine heat up, you drive off with a warm radiator and a toasty heater. But, with everything else nearly stone cold which taxes and wears cold parts. The proper method is to warm the car about sixty seconds, and then drive gently until everything reaches normal temperature. This will generally take only five to seven miles. The exception is when you need to warm the car to melt ice or snow to make it safe to drive. Cold keisters make cars last longer!