Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Boulder motorists, family car auto makers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Boulder motorists follow?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Are most of your trips less than four miles around Boulder?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero CO temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in CO?
Do you drive often in dusty Eldorado Springs areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Boulder?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold CO weather?
Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Boulder freeway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Eldorado Springs or Lafayette? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Boulder surface streets?
Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and Boulder weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.
Why should Boulder drivers care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Boulder or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to dangerous oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why CO drivers need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.
Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in hot CO summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent detrimental corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs, not to mention your fuel efficiency. If you want some expert advice, talk with your cheerful John’s Auto Care advisor. We can help you restore your family car to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.
To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.
John’s Auto Care
1900 55th St. #104
Boulder, CO 80301