As a proactive person who likes to take care of my things, I’ve always wanted to know how to really care for my cars. Recently I started doing all the servicing and repairs on our Mercedes and have learned quite a few things along the way. After tons of research and hands on experience, here are my top 5 recommendations to keep your car running great for years to come.
- Get your oil analyzed
Your engine doesn’t always give you feedback when things aren’t right. Before you go in for (or do) your oil change, send a sample to Blackstone Labs. For only $25, they will have a lab tech analyze your oil and alert you to the condition of your engine and find potential problems areas. Fixes are generally much cheaper when detected early. They will also help you to figure out the best oil change intervals for you and your car.
- Use synthetic oil
There is a lot of debate about synthetic vs. conventional oil. Many say synthetic oil isn’t necessary when a car is properly maintained. While that is true, many have hectic schedules that lead to the occasional extended oil change interval. Synthetic oil is a great insurance policy and it’s not really that expensive when you consider the cost of engine repairs. Also, the engines that have used synthetic always look better when you open them up – no sludge, etc. I prefer Mobil 1, but make sure it meets the requirements for your car.
- Get an OBD II Scanner
Cars don’t always display a Check Engine Light (CEL) when a few problems have occured. Again, early detection can help you to diagnose problems early when they are inexpensive. Just purchase an OBD II scanner and plug it into your car. It will let you know what (if any) engine related errors have occurred. If you don’t want to spend the money, most auto parts stores will do it for you for free. I like this Actron scanner I purchased from Amazon.com.
- Use top tier gas
All gas is the same, right? No, not all gas has the same detergent additives. These detergents are important to keep many modern engines free of deposits. Google around for issues people have experienced. Many problems have been reported with poor gas and Mercedes, Porsche, and Audi, to name a few. Just check Top Tier Gasoline to find a top tier gas retailer.
- Use Chevron Techron Concentrated Fuel System Cleaner every 3,000 miles
Even when you use good gas, mistakes happen and stations end up with bad gas. Perhaps a little diesel ends up in the gas tank or some water in the tank. German fuel injectors are around $200 a piece and many newer engines have 2 per cylinder. So for a German V8, you might be talking $200 x 8 x 2. Techron is great stuff and can help clean up your fuel system and keep it running trouble free.
A little preventative care will keep your car running great for years and many miles to come. Happy driving!