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BG MOA provides additional protection to engine

In Oil Change, Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Staying on top of your car’s oil changes can prevent expensive repairs in the future.

Recommended every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, this service keeps your engine working right.

You can read more about oil changes and why they are important by checking out one of our previous articles.

There is a way to protect the engine even further – BG MOA

About BG MOA

BG MOA prevents sludge build up and reduces engine wear. 

This oil additive also helps your oil protect the engine better and last longer.

It can help improve fuel efficiency, as well.

During a BG MOA oil change, our technicians change the oil and oil filter and add the BG MOA.

This supplement offers great protection for stop-start engines as well as turbocharged engines, which are becoming more prominent on so many vehicles today because of fuel economy and power.

Some people talk about oil additives taking regular oil and turning it into synthetic oil. That isn’t the case. The BG MOA takes regular oil and not only gives more protection but helps it last longer.

All of the stop and go traffic many of us experience while commuting in Northern Virginia is really hard on these engines.

If you’re like a lot of people who miss their oil change interval, this helps keep your engine protected, even during your busy time of life.

Another myth is that you can’t add BG MOA to synthetic oil. That’s not true. For many years, we have been using synthetic oil in oil vehicles and do add the MOA to it. The additive just helps protect the engine even better. 

Even though it does help extend the life of oil and its synthetic fluid – which you would normally have a longer oil change interval anyway – we still suggest changing the oil at about 5,000 miles for synthetic oil, or whenever your car’s manufacturer recommends. Because of the stop and go traffic, you want to keep the engine clean and prevent expensive repairs down the road.

The amount of money it costs to add MOA to your oil change – whether it’s conventional oil or synthetic oil – is minute compared to the cost of replacing an engine. 

Engines today are made up of variable valve timing, multiple camshafts and turbo chargers that have bearings with tight tolerances. Preventing sludge build up and making sure those parts are working correctly is one of the best things you can do to maintain your car.

BG Lifetime Protection Plan

If you have your oil changed at HomeTowne and decide to have BG MOA added, ask a service adviser if your vehicle qualifies for the BG Lifetime Protection Plan.

It covers several areas, including the engine, power steering, transmission and brakes.

We had a customer who had regular BG Transmission Fluid services performed on their Dodge, which are notorious for having transmission problems. It had nothing to do with the fluid, they just broke. This customer did have a transmission problem and BG held into its end of the bargain. 

So, there can be benefits with using BG services.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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What impacts oil change prices?

In Oil Change by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

As the due date for their next oil change draws closer, a lot of drivers wonder how much it will cost them.

A few factors can have an impact on the bill.

Oil change prices can depend on how many quarts a vehicle has and the type of oil it needs.

The make and model of a car also play a role.

For example, an oil change for a BMW, Mercedes, or other luxury vehicles may cost more because they require special scan tools to reset the maintenance lights.

Mercedes and BMWs have several lights that can be triggered, so it’s important for technicians to take their time and check them off.

When and why to change your oil

The manufacturers of some cars, like the Mercedes-Benz built after 2010, suggest changing the oil and oil filter every 10,000 miles or after one year.

If you’re driving an older Mercedes-Benz, you may be better off changing your oil at the 5,000 mile mark.

TECHNICIAN TIP: One of our technicians wants to make sure he’s taking care of his Mercedes. He likes to change his oil at 5,000 miles and top off the fluid to keep everything clean in the engine. He also does that because the stop and go traffic in Northern Virginia can be pretty hard on a car.

Because there are so many different types of oil out there, it’s hard to stock every single one. At HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire, we use synthetic oil so every car gets the best oil. Read about our switch to full synthetic.

Therefore, with all of the commuting, we recommend a 5,000 mile interval with our oil, as that’s also a good time to rotate the tires.

Our technicians rotate the tires and perform a courtesy check during every oil change.

If you don’t change your oil or if you go too long without an oil change, it can cause damage to the engine. Running on too little oil prevents the oil from getting to components it needs to.

Regular oil changes keeps your engine working properly. They also help prevent sludge buildup.

Read more about what happens during an oil change and why they are important.

Checking your oil

We recommend checking your oil every other time to fill up on gas. 

If you notice you’re low on oil, it’s OK to add oil between oil changes as long as it’s the right type, viscosity and amount.

However, it’s important to keep an eye on it, because a vehicle shouldn’t use or lose oil. If you’re losing more than a quart or two between oil changes, it could mean that there’s a leak or the oil is being consumed internally.

Depending on the type of engine you have, the valve can go bad on the intake manifold. That can lead to an oil consumption problem.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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How to prevent sludge build up

In Oil Change by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Dirty oil — known as sludge — can solidify and block passages overtime.

It was found on the valve covers and solenoids of a 2012 Ford 150. 

The truck was brought in after its check engine light turned on. The customer also noticed an overall loss of power.

Lack of oil maintenance and combustion gasses that are traveling to oil can cause sludge to build up.

Deposits begin to stick to the walls of tiny passages, corners, and areas where there isn’t much oil flow. 

Proper oil maintenance and using higher quality oils can prevent sludge from building up.

We recommend having your oil changed every 5,000 miles, because we use full synthetic oil.

Read about our switch to full synthetic oil and how we’re different from other shops.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Why are oil changes important?

In Oil Change by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Regular checkups are important to one’s health. The same proves true for vehicles.

Between every 3,000 and 5,000 miles, it’s a good idea to have the oil changed. 

This is one way you can maintain your car and its engine.

When changing the oil, our technicians remove the drain plug, which releases oil from the engine.

After we catch the oil, we replace the drain plug and change the oil filter. The oil filter is located on the top or bottom of the engine, depending on the vehicle’s design.

Then, the technicians put the correct viscosity and amount of oil in the car, place a reminder sticker on the windshield, and reset the reminder on the dashboard. 

We use full synthetic oil.

Oil changes
Oil change

When performing an oil change, our technicians also do a courtesy inspection where they check various components, including the lights, tires and brakes.

Read more about the courtesy inspection and our switch to synthetic oil.

Why should I get an oil change?

Oil changes help ensure that an engine is functioning properly, and avoiding them can lead to damage down the road.

For example, if your car takes five quarts of oil and you’re running it on three and a half or four quarts, it may run and sound fine. However, you’re destroying the engine, because it’s not reaching every part it’s supposed to. 

You may not experience a problem until 30,000 or 40,000 miles later when metal particles are found in the oil. By this point, parts have started to break down.

Earlier this year, one of our technicians discovered metal shavings when doing an oil change on a 2014 Jeep Cherokee SRT8. The engine on the Jeep was replaced soon afterwards.

Many new, fuel-efficient cars have high compression, which means your car may be burning oil without you knowing it.

They also have oil lubricated turbos that can be destroyed overtime. 

Another reason it’s extremely important to change your oil is that the engines have much tighter tolerances. A lot of engines have variable valve timing, and if sludge starts to build up that can cause problems with the oil solenoids that control the camshafts and can actually plug return galleries from the top of the engine so the oil can’t get back down to the oil pan as quickly.

Having your oil changed early isn’t a bad idea. We also suggest checking your oil every other time you fill your gas tank, because you can’t tell when you’re driving your car if it’s low.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Signs that you need a new engine

In Oil Change, Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

The engine is one of the most vital parts of a vehicle.

Without it, a car is useless.

Its lifespan can range from a couple of years to a vehicle’s lifetime.

A 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 8’s engine reached its limit last month.

In addition to its check engine light turning on, the vehicle hesitated when accelerating and a tapping could be heard from inside the engine.

Checking the spark plug was the first step for the technician, Jason. 

During a diagnostic test, there was a misfire on one of the cylinders.

The Jeep was also in need of an oil change. When he was removing the oil, Jason noticed metal shavings that resembled glitter. This led him to believe that the issue laid deeper in the engine.

Engine
Metal shavings in oil

A vehicle that needs a new engine may shudder or experience slower acceleration.

Other signs can include smoke from the exhaust and the check engine light turning on.

Proper maintenance, including regular oil changes, can help extend it.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics. 

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Oil change service levels

In Oil Change by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Written by Sydney Jones, General Service Technician for HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Most car owners know that they have to change their oil to keep their car running, but many don’t know the intervals between oil changes and how different types of oil can change that interval. 

Many GDI engine owners are unaware of the BG Oil Change service and the various levels of this service that each offer different things. 

In general, the basic rule is that you get your oil changed every 3,000 miles. However, this is if you use Conventional oil which is perfectly acceptable for most cars. 

Most mechanics will recommend synthetic oil, which costs a little more but improves the way your engine runs and lasts for 5,000 miles, leading to a more cost effective solution in the long run. 

Oil Change Service

If your car is registered under the BG Warranty, however, and you’ve kept up with your oil changes you are offered three different levels of an oil change service, each service providing more care to various parts of the engine.

Depending on where your car stands, you may need one of these services above your generic standard oil change. 

The Basic Oil Change is called “basic,” but is a step above your normal oil change and lasts much longer than 3,000 or 5,000 miles. 

The Premier Oil Service is a better option that also keeps your fuel system clean. 

If you’ve recently bought a new car either from the dealership or from an independent seller, you may want to consider having a Performance Oil Service done to give the car a fresh start. It completely cleans out the system, removes sludge, and allows the engine to run better. You should, then, routinely have this service done every 24,000 miles to keep your engine running at peak performance. 

The Premier Oil Service paired with the Fuel/Air Intake service would give you a fresh, clean engine with optimal running capabilities.

All of these Services can be performed at any BG Certified shop, such as Hometowne Auto and Tire Repair.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Oil changes: how are we different than other shops

In Oil Change, Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Having your oil changed regularly is one way you can make sure your engine continues working properly.

So what do we different than other shops during an oil change?

In addition to changing the oil and oil filter, we do a courtesy inspection. 

The inspection covers safety items, such as your wiper blades and brakes, and maintenance items — whether something is leaking or if a part is wearing out.

Tires is one thing we check out.

Maybe the tires are at 4/32 inches, and they don’t have to be changed right this minute but we give you a heads up that you’re getting close to the end of the service life.

It’s not just the oil change that we do, it’s looking over your vehicle to make sure we can stay on the road.

Tire rotation is another service that we try to include with oil changes.

A lot of shops charge an extra $20 or $25 to perform a tire rotation.

We are able to include it up to a certain size tire rim.

Our switch to full synthetic oil

When doing an oil change, our automotive technicians use full synthetic oil.

Manufacturers having many different vehicles and various types of engines that require certain oil specifications — regular oil, semi-synthetic oil, or full synthetic oil. 

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire decided to use full synthetic oil in all vehicles rather than carry 30 different types of oil.

The change has allowed us to reduce the price of full synthetic oil for oil changes. 

Synthetic is also better for vehicles that use regular or semi-synthetic oil. It has better properties that help their engines last longer.

We still use the weight that manufacturers recommend for each vehicle.

If you own a car that requires Mobil 1 oil, such as a BMW or a Mercedes, we do offer it as a full synthetic option.  

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

Here’s a New Year’s resolution: Take better care of your car

In Cabin Air Filter, Oil Change, Tires & Wheels, Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

We’re now in the new year, and it’s time to make the annual commitments to improving your body, spending more time working on something you care about, saving money for vacation, etc.

But what if you made your New Year’s resolution a commitment to taking better care of your car?

It’s a win-win – by taking care of your car, and investing in some basic maintenance items, you’re not only extending the life of your vehicle, but you’re saving money in the long run.

Here are some ways you can take better care of your car this year.

tire pressure is important to your tires lasting a long time and helps save on gas

Tire pressure is important to your tires lasting a long time and helps save on gas

Keep an eye on the tire pressure.

If the air pressure in your tires is too low, it can cause several issues, so it’s important to keep an eye on the pressure level, and keep your tires full per the manufacturer’s guidelines.

If your tire pressure is low, it can cause steering issues, which leads to abnormal tire wear. And over time, that abnormal wear means your tires wear down faster. That also means you’ll be spending money on replacing your tires sooner than you would normally.

“Buy a good tire gauge, because some of the cheap ones are like a dollar, and they may not work that well. You need to spend $5 and $20 for a good tire gauge. Therefore, you know you’ll have the correct pressure in the tire,” said HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire owner ST Billingsley.

Billingsley also recommends keeping a 12-volt air pump in your vehicle at all times. That way, if you find one of your tires is low, you can simply add air wherever you are, instead of trying to find a gas station with a working pump that offers air.

Wash your car.

washing your car underneath helps keep the metal from rust and corrosion

Washing your car underneath helps keep the metal from rust and corrosion

It sounds simple, but keeping your car washed regularly is an important part of upkeep.

“The reason you want to wash your car, especially with all of this road salt through the winter time – even in the summertime though – if you wash your car…you’re helping to remove road grime and road salts, whatever you’re picking up while driving,” said Billingsley.

According to Billingsley, when you’re driving, dirt and mud can fly underneath your car and pack in near the car’s ball joints and bushings. If moisture is left to collect there, it can rust the parts and lead to the need to repair and replace these components more often.

Replace your cabin air filters regularly.

People have started to understand the importance of cabin air filters, and how they provide clearer air when driving in your vehicle, but making sure they’re regularly changed is something you need to commit to as well.

cabin air filters clean up the air coming into the passenger compartment of a car or truck

Cabin air filters clean up the air coming into the passenger compartment of a car or truck

According to Billingsley, the key is to change them at least twice a year, depending on manufacturer’s guidance and the environmental conditions where you live.

“You really need to be changing them twice a year. And a good time to change it is right after pollen season, because it’s going to be clogged with pollen, and right before wintertime – right before Thanksgiving,” said Billingsley.

While no one’s perfect, if you commit to making even some of these changes this year, you’ll be on your way to better maintenance and upkeep of your vehicle, which will save you in the long run.

Regular maintenance can save you money on car repairs

In Automotive Diagnostics, Brakes, Oil Change, Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

 

Chances are, that whenever possible, you’re trying to save money – particularly when it comes to big ticket items like car repair. While some car repair is unavoidable – like normal wear and tear on the vehicle, or getting into a road incident – there are actually ways that you can avoid major repair work. In order to do that, you need to make sure your car is getting regular maintenance.

axle-cv-joint-volvo-hometowne-auto-repair

This is why it’s important to get your car inspected regularly.

“Most repairs come from lack of maintenance,” said HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire Manager Rich Campbell.

Just like with preventative medical care, regular and preventative maintenance on your vehicle can fix problems when they’re still small, or help you to avoid them altogether.

Each time you bring your car in for an oil change – 3,000 to 7,000 miles depending on specifications for your vehicle and the type of oil you use – technicians need to do a full inspection of the vehicle’s fluids, steering, suspension, and brakes.

If the shop you’re going to now isn’t doing this full inspection with every oil change, you need to find a new shop.

This full inspection looks at all of the common places where wear and damage can start to show in your vehicle, and provides service advisors with the information they need, so they can make appropriate recommendations for your vehicle.

oil-change-auto-repair-woodbridge-virginia-hometowne-auto

Keeping your car maintained with regular oil changes and tire rotations will help your vehicle last longer.

At HomeTowne we provide recommendations ranked by level of urgency, so that even if you can’t handle all of the maintenance immediately, you can come up with a game plan.

Spending a few hundred dollars on importance maintenance here and there is far more reasonable than thousands on unexpected repairs, so make sure that you’re maintaining your vehicle and budgeting for maintenance work, so you can keep you and your car happy, and out on the road.

7 things to do, to get your car ready for the spring

In Brake Fluid Flush, Cabin Air Filter, Oil Change, Tires & Wheels, Vehicle Fluids, Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Now that the hard winter months are behind us and we’re moving into spring, it may be time for you to do some ‘spring cleaning’ and bring your car to the shop for some maintenance.

Here are some seven things we recommend for your vehicle, now that spring is on its way:

7 things to do, to get your car ready for the springGet your cabin air-filter swapped out.

While getting your cabin air-filters changed regularly is an important part of regular maintenance, it’s even more important when it’s springtime, in order to keep pollen and other things in the air out of your car.

“That cabin air filter filters your pollen, the dust, and getting ready for spring you want a good, fresh cabin air filter in there,” said Rich Campbell, manager at HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire.

 

Get your car’s fluids flushed, especially your coolant.

7 things to do, to get your car ready for the spring

Radiator hose replacement at HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire

Now that winter is pretty much over, it’s a good idea to get all of your car’s fluids checked, flushed, and refilled – especially your coolant, as the coolant keeps your car cool and working properly, as temperatures continue to climb.

“Given the fact that we’re going to start coming in to warmer weather, your car’s going to be running a little hotter because the ambient temperature’s going to be warmed up, so coolant’s a good fluid to get changed now,” said Campbell.

 

Get your tires inspected, to make sure they’re in good shape.

7 things to do, to get your car ready for the spring

Brake fluid flush on Jeep at HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire

During the winter, driving through snow and ice can really take a toll on your tires. Having your tires inspected, to make sure that they’re still safe to drive and have enough tread on them is huge as spring rains move through the area. If your tires are worn down, you won’t be able to have the traction you need, for stopping time on wet surfaces. A few seconds may not sound like much when it comes to traction on your tires, but can make a huge difference when your stopping time is impaired.

“You need to make sure you’ve got adequate traction,” said Campbell.

If you use winter tires, it’s time to swap them out.

While many people now opt for an all season tire, if you’ve invested in winter tires for the bad weather in Virginia, then now it’s time to preserve the life of those tires, and switch over to some all season or summer tires.

Get all of your bulbs and lights checked.

7 things to do, to get your car ready for the spring

Replacing tail light bulb at HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire

This is another part of good vehicle maintenance that you should be doing year round, but as part of your vehicle ‘spring cleaning’ it’s a good idea to make sure that all of your lights and bulbs are working correctly, and replace the ones that have fizzled out.

Get your hoses checked for dirt and grime buildup.

During the winter time, things like salt and grime can work their way into your car, specifically your houses, and cause a problem later if it goes unchecked. You don’t want to wait until you’re having a problem with your hoses, to find it was something that could have been prevented with a little maintenance.

“Dirt and grime accumulates from the winter salts we’ve endured. That salt’s pretty tough on the underside of a car,” said Campbell.

7 things to do, to get your car ready for the spring

Wheel Alignment at HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire

Get your alignment checked.

In the winter you’re bound to deal with all of the potholes that have accumulated from snow and plowing, and maybe you even ran into a few curbs during a storm. No matter what the reason is, getting your alignment checked and corrected, and having a technician check for tire wear are important parts of springtime maintenance.

The multi-point courtesy check that HomeTowne does will pick up a lot of these issues and more, and comes free with all of our standard oil changes. Be smart this spring, and make sure your car is ready to go for spring and summer road trips, not stuck in the shop for costly problems.