Monthly Archives: October 2011

Why Get An Oil Change?

Why Get An Oil Change?

Your vehicle’s owner’s manual recommends regular oil changes and so does your auto repair mechanic. Many vehicle owners change their oil for this reason alone but when you’re watching your budget you may question whether or not you need to have the oil changed in your car.

Changing your oil regularly can be one of the best investments in maintenance for your vehicle. It can save you from costly repairs to your engine.

Your engine operates at high temperatures. Over time this causes thermal breakdown in the oil in your engine. Parts of the engine can rub together and wear out when not properly lubricated.

The oil also absorbs water, duct and combustion byproducts. Over time the oil will get saturated and will not be able to absorb any more of these items. Once this happens this stuff remains in the engine and can cause corrosion.

In addition, oil contains additives that can neutralize acids. Eventually these additives get used up and are no longer effective.

Without regular oil changes your engine will not last as long as it could. An oil change is pretty inexpensive so it is a good investment to protect yourself from major repair costs caused by the lack of oil changes.

So the question isn’t so much whether or not you should change your oil but how often you should change it. Your owner’s manual states the proper intervals for your specific vehicle. However you should take into account other factors also.

You may want to change your oil even more frequently if you do a lot of high-speed driving, have a habit of taking off quickly from a stop or have periods of heavy acceleration.

If the climate is extremely hot or cold your oil may need changing more often. Already here in Harford County we have had some early cold temperatures. And this summer we had some extremely hot temperatures. So you should be thinking of changing your oil now.

If you drive on any dirt roads, even a dirt or gravel driveway, consider changing the oil more often. Your engine has to deal with more dirt and your oil helps to filter this dirt and keep it out of your engine.

If your vehicle is old and it burns oil, change the oil more frequently. And if you carry heavy loads – towing a boat, towing a trailer or regularly carrying additional weight in your vehicle – this would be a good reason for more regular changes.

When the oil is changed the oil filter is also replaced. This is a great way to help you avoid more costly repairs. So even if you’re watching your budget more carefully these days, an oil change is a must to help you avoid those budget-busting car repairs. If you would like to receive great service and still get a great deal on your oil change visit us a Forest Hill Car Care where we understand providing old-fashioned service at competitive prices. Located in Forest Hill, Maryland we provide auto repair service to many of your Forest Hill, Bel Air, Fallston and Harford County neighbors.

Vehicle Maintenance And Sensible Driving Habits For Harford County

Vehicle Maintenance And Sensible Driving Habits For Harford County

Regular vehicle maintenance and sensible driving habits will help the environment and save you money in the long run, according to the pros at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Well-maintained vehicles pollute less, last longer and command greater resale values. Follow these tips from ASE to become a more savvy and environmentally conscientious car-owner.

* Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent, for instance. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the owner’s manual to keep your vehicle in peak condition.

* Keep tires properly inflated and aligned to reduce the effort required by the engine. This reduces gasoline consumption.

* Find a good technician. Forest Hill Car Care in Forest Hill, Maryland has ASE certified technicians and a strong and solid reputation for good service.

ASE-certified auto technicians have passed one or more national exams in specialties such as engine performance and air conditioning.

* Have your vehicle’s air conditioner serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Older air conditioners contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service.

* Avoid speeding and sudden accelerations. Both of these habits guzzle gas.

* Don’t let the car sit idle with the engine running. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine to conserve fuel.

* Consolidate errands to eliminate unnecessary driving.

* Remove excess items from the vehicle to reduce weight and improve gas mileage. A lot of people carry around a lot more weight in their car from excess stuff in the trunk then they realize. Also, be sure to remove that rooftop luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag.

ASE was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals. Its certified technicians wear a blue-and-white ASE shoulder insignia. They also carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the ASE sign – look for the ASE sign when you visit Forest Hill Car Care.

3 American Muscle Cars Extraordinaire

3 American Muscle Cars Extraordinaire

The Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, and Chevrolet Camaro are muscle cars extraordinaire. Only the Mustang is currently being produced. There may be plans to bring back the Challenger and Camaro. Is this the new age of Aquarius or are we witnessing a new muscle car era?

Bear with me as I step back in time to formulate what I believe are three terrific American built performance cars: the Ford Mustang, the Dodge Challenger, and the Chevrolet Camaro. Currently, the Mustang ,Challenger, and the Camaro are in production..

So, what is it about American performance cars that set them apart from the rest? In one word: muscle. Read on as I compare and contrast these three vehicles and share with you my feeble attempts to explain the culture behind the cars.

So, you think I forgot the Chevy Corvette and Dodge Viper when talking about performance cars? No, I did not. Both models are performance cars as well as race cars. On the other hand the Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro are mass produced performance cars with muscle. There is a difference in the way a typical race car handles, rides, and performs vs. a muscle car.

Typically, a muscle car was a coupe version of some of the larger cars that were pervasive on U.S. highways in the 1960s and 1970s. The Mustang and Camaro, however, were designed separately [although they both heavily borrowed parts from other models] and these “pony” cars were a category all to themselves. For comparison’s sake, they join the Dodge Challenger, a performance version of Mopar cars of its time. All three were compared by critics of that time and all three will once again be compared in a few years when production has been ramped up.
Ford Mustang – Step back in time with me to April 1964 to an era when America was heavily involved in the space race, Lyndon Johnson was president, and General Motors ruled autodom.

Ford, for its part, had been nipping at GM’s heels for years, but the failed Edsels of the late 1950s had cost the company dearly. Still, it was the time of the New York World’s Fair and Ford used the fair and television technology to promote its newest offering, the Mustang. A 2+2 coupe borrowing parts from the Fairlane and Falcon, the 1964 ½ model was the first one sold and is widely credited with being the best introduction of a new vehicle ever. With a V6 engine standard and V8 optional, the all new Mustang quickly broke sales records and has been a hot seller ever since. Indeed, with the introduction of the “retro” look Mustang in 2005, the car once again has spawned interest in the muscle car segment as both DaimlerChrysler and General Motors craft competing models of their own.

Dodge Challenger – After the success of earlier muscle cars including the Dodge Charger and Plymouth Cuda, the Dodge Challenger was launched as a 1970 model. The car borrowed heavily from the Cuda although the sheet metal was somewhat different and the wheelbase was stretched by a couple of inches. Because the muscle car era was in decline at the time of its introduction, the Challenger lasted only five model years before it was cancelled. The concept Challenger currently on display at many auto shows is based on the 1970 design and is the talk of message boards and blogs across the nation. Look for Hemi powered engines as being favored by many owners; the car is likely to share some technology with the Magnum wagon and Charger sedan.

Chevrolet Camaro — GM was asleep at the wheel when the Mustang came out. It took nearly three years before the company could respond and when it did the Camaro and Pontiac Firebird were the result. Although both cars sold well over the years, neither one could match the Mustang’s sales levels and by the time the last cars were sold in 2002, production dropped to a trickle. Still, the end of the Camaro after 35 years stirred renewed interest in the name and thanks to the retro Mustang, the entire muscle car category is growing once again.

So, just who can be expected to purchase a muscle car these days? People just like me: middle aged men who grew up with the original models. In addition, a whole new generation of younger drivers tired of the “me too” look of so many of the compact cars out there. Muscle cars of today are so much different from earlier era cars as they incorporate the look of the originals while harnessing today’s technology. Thus, fuel savings will be decent without sacrificing performance: a true win-win situation.