Sunday, May 16, 2010

Preparing Your Car For College Life And Save On Vehicle Maintenance

As a college student with so many things to be concerned about that car maintenance can often be overlooked. While everyone knows that general car maintenance such as frequent oil changes can prevent major engine damage or costly engine repairs some college students find it difficult to properly maintain their vehicle. It may be due to lack of time, money, or simply an oversight.

Synthetic oils can really benefit any individual that struggles to follow the standard 3 month 3000 mile oil changes that have been pushed for so long.  It really is not necessary to change your oil this often if you are using a high quality synthetic oil. Using synthetic oils will save you money, time, and labor costs associated with less oil changes per year.  In fact your engine components will have better protection using synthetics.

I would like to share two companies with you that have been leaders in synthetic lubrication technology - Mobil and Amsoil, and go into the pros and cons of each one. Both of these oil companies sell synthetic oils that allow you to go anywhere between 7,500 - 35,000 miles between oil changes.  Think of the time and money this could save you, even with the extra upfront costs of synthetic oil. Both of these manufacturers provide a warranty with their respective products to provide peace of mind.

Here are some of the pros and cons of each.

Mobil- Pros

  • Can be purchased at just about any oil retailer and many gas stations nationwide
  • Offers a warranty up to 15,000 miles with their extended performance oil
Mobil  - Cons
  • Warranty does not provide coverage if your vehicle is still under factory warranty
Amsoil  - Pros
  • (Could be considered pro and con) Can order online or toll free and have dropped shipped UPS, or may be picked up at 14 North American distribution centers.
  • All Products have a Warranty with one product(SSO)that covers up to 35,000 or one year oil changes
  • Warranty has no disclaimers for cars under factory warranty
  • Offers oil filters for some applications with warranties up to 1 year or 25,000 miles.
  • Have to order online or toll free (could be a pro) and may have a hard time finding in stores and retailers
Just because both of these manufacturers make high performance synthetic lubricants does not mean that you can completely forget about opening the hood! Since you may be going up to 1 year without an oil change you will most definitely need to top off your oil at times between changes.(If you order Amsoil - Get a couple of extra quarts so you have it when you need it) It is OK for engines to use a bit of oil during operation.  This is normal and necessary as the oil lubricates the combustion chamber of an engine to protect the pistons and cylinder walls.  Remember you will need to top off your oil!

A few more things to consider with the Mobil 1 Products.  You will need to change your filters at the recommendation of the oil filter manufacturer. Sometimes this information will be hard to find from the manufacturer - my recommendation would be to change the oil filter at 3 months or 3000 miles unless the manufacturer offers this information and states otherwise. Amsoil may offer the EAO filter for your vehicle application.  If so you are covered for 1year or 25,000 miles whichever comes first.  If the Amsoil EAO oil filter is not available you can use WIX or MANN filters offered through Amsoil for 6 month 7,500 mile changes whichever come first.

Before ordering products from Amsoil be sure to view the Amsoil Drain Interval Chart.  This chart will provide up to date information where the Amsoil recommended drain interval will need to be altered due to known engine manufacturer faults that would not allow you to take full advantage of the Amsoil extended drain intervals. To get savings of 20-25% off of Amsoil products you may also want to consider the Amsoil Preferred customer program which allows you Amsoil dealer pricing on any purchases during your membership period.  While this is not necessary you may find that this program will save you money if your retail purchases are $60 or more for a six month period or around $100 for a 12 month period.

Hopefully by reading this you have come to the conclusion that using quality synthetic products will reduce your vehicle maintenance costs. Also, in addition to the cost savings associated with less oil changes per year you will be saving time and labor charges by not doing the standard 3000 mile oil changes. This will help the environment due to less waste oil being produced.

Give Amsoil or Mobil a try - save money, protect resources, save time, and have peace of mind that you are protected with quality synthetic oil.

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