Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My pre-summer driving routine - why Motor Oil Matters

You'd think that I'd leave things like changing the oil, rotating the tires and all of the rest of the car stuff to someone else in the house. At first glance, it doesn't feel like something that the lady of the mansion should have to be bothered with. But this lady is the daughter of a wholesale automobile dealer. I grew up having it drilled in to me how important it is to maintain your car. My first job was actually washing cars on the lot (I'm sure that someone was following me around and taking them to the back of the garage and re-washing them, because knowing me they were covered in streaks). In high school I worked in my dad's business as a title girl and other office duties.


Even so, I was never really good at keeping the cars that in good working order. My nickname was "Crash" and I'm sure that I ruined radiators from not keeping them full of anti-freeze, etc. At least I learned from my mistakes. I now take my car in for service according to the manual. Well - let me clarify - I take my car in for service when a screen pops up on my dash TELLING ME TO (when I need oil it tells me the % of oil life left) - as you can see I was down to 5%.

What I hadn't realized is that 54% of customers who take their vehicles for service and repair are women. April was National Car Care and National Informed Women Month, so what better time to take care of  maintenance? Because I drive a hybrid I had this notion that the ONLY people who could change my oil and take care of the car were the dealers. I had no idea that Jiffy Lube would change "Hal the hybrid's" oil for me.

Did you know that using a high quality of oil will actually help with GAS MILEAGE? Gas has been going up and I'm guessing that it will continue to rise, as it always does in the summer months. Low-quality oils that do not meet industry standards or the vehicle manufacturer’s requirements could actually cost consumers in the long run by potentially damaging the vehicle’s engine or maybe even voiding the manufacturer’s warranty! That's why I don't "do it myself" and take my car to a place that uses quality oil products (like Penzoil, Quaker State, etc.). To learn more about the importance of using the proper motor oil in your car - check out the Motor Oil Matters site (it's got tips, Q&A's and more).

My oil change at Jiffy Lube took all of 15 minutes (not even enough time to go through all of the e-mails on my phone as I waited).  My car was WAY on the other side of the garage  (it's the guy in the blue shirt working on Hal), but after changing the oil, they went over everything that they did and brought out my air filter to show me that it was in good shape. I was ready for the "hard sell" on a filter, but they were honest and SHOWED me that it was fine.

If you're totally clueless about cars or just want to learn more, there's a great site called Ask Patty that offers advice SPECIFICALLY geared to women. I have it bookmarked in case I need to get answers, find a local mechanic, etc. (they actually RATE the service centers - making me feel a bit better about NOT getting ripped off). I like being armed with as much information as possible.


There's NOTHING worse than having car problems. I know that in the summer months I do a lot more driving than usual, as do most of us. Vacations, the beach, beautiful weather - all include getting into the car. That's why it's SO important to take care of your car, change the oil, etc. I should be all set for a while. now.....how about YOU?

Thank you to MotorOilMatters.org and Shell Lubricants for providing me with a gift card and information through MyBlogSpark as well as this giveaway. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are strictly my own.

GIVEAWAY




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