Category: Auto Care


Perhaps the worst part of seeing the check engine light come on in your car is the uncertainty that comes with it. The check engine light can come on for a wide variety of the reasons and while not all of them are as costly and as massive as you may think, it’s important to know where to look first and what the most common causes will turn on the check engine light and how to fix them as fast as possible before the issues and the costs begin to pile up.
 
Check Engine Light ON

It’s important to note:

When you see the check engine light turned on in your vehicle, don’t hesitate to take your vehicle to professionals and begin to have it assessed to properly determine the cause. While it can be frustrating and tough to figure out why it’s on, ignoring the light could potentially lead to far more costly and extensive repairs. It’s also important to remember that while the sensors in your vehicle can be reset, which would turn off the light, that by no means indicates that the problem has been solved, if any of these issues go undiagnosed and unattended, it can lead to irreversible and expensive problems down the road.

  • Faulty Oxygen Sensor – Your oxygen sensor over time becomes covered in oil ash and it can reduce the sensor’s ability to change the mixture of fuel and oxygen. A faulty sensor can lead to a dramatic decrease in fuel efficiency of up to 40% and could potentially lead to severe catalytic converter damage if left unattended. This is the most common cause of the check engine light so if yours is on, there’s a good chance it could be the oxygen sensor but be sure to have a professional mechanic determine the reason for the light by reading the error code.
  • Check The Gas Cap – It’s hard to imagine but sometimes the problem can be as simple as the gas cap being loose. You can have this diagnosed by a auto mechanic but simply buying a new gas cap is an inexpensive enough alternative to try if you’d like to avoid mechanics altogether.
  • Aging Ignition Coils – Sometimes a vehicle can have more than 1 ignition coil and if it gets to hot under the hood, it can lead to accelerated wear and tear though it’s recommended to change them over the years as they wear out with time and should an ignition coil fail, it can lead to damage to the catalytic converter, a costly and time-consuming repair when compared to the relatively low cost of a replacement ignition coil.
  • Is Your Engine Light Solid or Flashing? – It’s important to pay attention to what exactly your engine light is doing; a solid light signifies a less severe problem, though service is recommended immediately regardless, you can breathe a little easier knowing that the issue, while serious nonetheless, is not a full on catastrophe. A flashing light on the other hand signals severe engine malfunction and a likely leak of fuel into the exhaust system. Should it get to that point, it heats up faster and can lead to extensive damage to the catalytic converter along with other internal components. If your engine light is flashing, the best way to avoid overheating your vehicle is to lower your speeds and seek repair as soon as possible.
  • Replace the Spark Plugs and Wires – If a spark plug or spark plug wire should fail in your vehicle, your engine may begin to misfire and that could lead to lower fuel mileage and a decline in your vehicle’s overall performance. If left unattended, that can lead to permanent internal damage to your vehicle, specifically to the catalytic converter. If you’re looking to change your spark plugs yourself though, it’s a relatively easy repair that will cost you about $10 and an hour or less of time.

Fuel Load

The check engine light can be a scary thing; you never quite know what could be causing it and there’s no real way to tell until you make the trip to a mechanic to have the issue properly diagnosed. However, knowing the most likely causes of the check engine light is a great way to stay a little bit ahead of those costly visits and for a fraction of the cost, you can try your hand at turning that light off the right way.


All you need to do is look at the calendar to know that hot days of summer are not far ahead. This is perhaps the busiest time of the year for your automobile. You may be traveling on vacation or just having to deal with a lot of heavy traffic in hot weather are some things that you should check out before Memorial Day.

Lady Enjoying Vacation

You can start with the tires. These old reliable tires went through an awful lot of bad weather in January. The treads may have worn down to the point where they are possibly dangerous. Look for bald spots and also check for bubbles that may have formed on the sidewalls. Make certain that the tires are properly inflated to better handle the road.
 
Your car only needs to have the oil changed every 5000 miles. Last time you did this may have been in November. It is a good idea before the summer starts to have the oil checked and, if necessary, changed. The same can be done for any other fluids your automobile relies upon. Having the brake, power steering, and transmission fluids looked at is a good safety project. They may not need to be changed but checking makes certain. To be sure that everything is running efficiently on the you can also check the oil filter. If the filter is clogged it is going to have a negative impact on performance. It doesn’t cost that much to change the oil filter and it is worthwhile.
 
Nobody wants their car stall on the freeway in July. One way to keep this is to check the battery. This means more than just checking to be sure there is no corrosion on the top. The fluid level in the battery has to be where has to be to keep the battery in operation. Checking the electrical system of the car is a bit more than just the transmission and battery. Spark plugs are not much of a concern because these are now designed to last past a hundred thousand miles each. You should be looking at the cables to be certain they are properly insulated and there are no gaps or holes. Anyone who lives in hot weather areas knows how important the coolant is for the car. People living in snow country may ignore this, and it is dangerous to do that. Cars can very easily over heat in summer, even in Wisconsin.
 
Don’t forget the little things, either. Even though the days are longer there may still be times that you will be driving in the dark. The headlights have to function properly and it is not that difficult to check them. Summer brings showers and these often times can be rather heavy. The windshield wipers and the blades ought to be inspected. You may not have done anything as far as washing the exterior, but there still may be some salt residue on the body. It can encourage rust and putting the car through a car wash gets rid of all the salt and grime which built up during the wintertime. The air-conditioning has to be in good working order. If it isn’t, you and your passengers will find out early how overlooking the AC can be an uncomfortable mistake. Every car owner takes for granted the gas cap is going to be fine. You really should not make that assumption. It looks as if the gas cap is in less than good condition, it doesn’t cost that much to replace it. Any automotive supply store has this item on the shelf.

Sunny Day

Vacation travel is an opportunity to have a complete inspection of your car. Scheduling an appointment with an automotive service center makes a lot of sense. Any problem under the hood can quickly be solved by trained mechanics who have the proper equipment. They may in fact discover a problem you may not know existed. The attention can save major repair bills later.
 
The summer is meant to be a time of fun and great relaxation. You look forward to kicking back and enjoying the weather. There is no reason why you cannot do that. It is important that the car be ready for those extended trips you are looking forward to taking. Just a little bit of maintenance will see to it that you can enjoy those long summer nights and days.


Every car owner understands the importance of gasoline; you run out of it, your car stops and it is all that simple. There are other types of fluid that, believe it or not, are just important as gasoline for the proper operation of your automobile. These need to be maintained and checked periodically. These other fluids have various responsibilities within the operation of your automobile. Failure to maintain proper levels is going to cause some very serious problems in one area or another.

Car Fluid

Importance of automobile fluid

Underneath the hood of the car is a very sophisticated internal combustion machine. The engine and mechanical workings of a car are amazing to behold, but they generate incredible amounts of heat and energy. If left uncontrolled, the heat created can be sufficient to cause the engine break down as well as break down of other parts of the car. Various fluids serve to keep the temperatures down. Another important function of an automobile’s fluid is necessary lubrication. The pistons and other moving parts of a car will go at very high speeds, and sometimes will rub against each other. Without lubrication, friction is generated which in turn can cause an internal fire. In addition, lack of lubrication will cause wear and tear on automotive parts. It ought to be clear by now just how important those fluids are and the need to check the levels.
 

When to check fluid levels?

The good news is you do not need to check all the fuel at once and you do not need to check fluid levels as often as in the past. The old rule of thumb is to check the oil every 2,000 to 3,000 miles. Thanks to the synthetic products, it is now more feasible to check oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Transmission fluid does not have to be checked but once every 30,000 miles; some car models can go for 50,000 miles without the transmission fluid being changed. Coolant is something that should be checked on a seasonal basis. You should look at the coolant before summer and winter begin. That way, you have sufficient levels for extreme weather conditions. Brake fluid is something to be looked at because of the safety feature. The last thing you want is a situation where the brakes are not working properly and the fluid guarantees they will be. You can check the fluid on the brakes at the same time you are having the oil expected. Power steering fluid helps keep the car running smoothly. Checking the owner’s manual will determine the best time to inspect it.
 

Ways to check car’s fluids yourself

Inserting Fluid In CarYou do not have to bring your car into an auto service center to have the fluids checked. You can do this yourself. The oil dipstick will tell you what the oil level is on your car. Transmission fluid can be checked the same way, but you’re not looking as much at the amount of transmission fluid as the quality of it. If transmission fluid has a brownish color or has a burnt smell to it, it is time to get it changed. If the thermostat of the car is registering high in ordinary circumstances, it is time to take a look at the coolant and check its levels. You need to pay attention to the warning light on your dashboard. Should the warning light go on, something is going wrong underneath the hood of the car. The first thing to check will be the fluid levels.
 

Consider safety while changing fluid

Safety plays a factor in changing the fluid. While you can check the transmission fluid when the car is running that is not a good idea when it comes to the oil and especially the coolant. If you are going to be changing the oil or coolant make sure the car is turned off, and it’s been that way for several hours. Wearing safety glasses when you change the coolant is not a bad idea at all.
 

Decide, whether to go for D-I-Y or not

Routine maintenance is a good time to have all the fluids checked. The mechanic can take a look at the various levels and let you know if the changes needed. Some service centers will top off the fluid as part of the overall service. It is up to you whether or not you change the fluid yourself. Incidentally, it does not cost that much with your do-it-yourself than a private mechanic does.
 


The music group War made the song “Low Rider” one of the biggest hits of the seventies. Low riding cars are synonymous with the inner city urban culture, but that is not the only place where you will see them. Low riding is an adjustment of the car that can be found even in affluent suburbs.
 

Definition of low riding

Car

It is easy enough to explain. Low riding means lowering the suspension of the car until it is barely inches off the ground. This is an alteration that any aftermarket suspension system can provide. People may think that low riding is just for cosmetic and visual purposes. That is not the complete truth. There really are some advantages to the suspension adjustment.
 
Wind drag is something every car owner has to endure with performance. Lowering the suspension means there is not as much air going underneath the automobile. The problem is associated with wind drag which is consequently reduced. A suspension that is a few inches lower will tighten the grip of the tires on the roadway and makes handling a little bit easier. Both reduction of wind drag and better handling happen to be reasons why high-performance sports cars will sit a little bit lower on the road.
 

Safety enhanced with lower suspension

Safety is something that is enhanced with a lower suspension. The possibility of a rollover becomes almost nonexistent when the car is just a few inches off of the road. There’s also better comfort in the drive. There is less of a general and more stiffness thanks to the decreased suspension.
 
Impacts of car lowering
 

Consequences of having a low rider

Sadly, there are a few consequences to having a low rider. The tires do have a better grip on the road, but the tire wear is a bit more uneven. Lowering the suspension can bring that system into direct contact with other parts of the car. This can include the antilock brake apparatus and sway bars. Tires can once again pay the price for lower suspension. If the job is done improperly the suspension will chew on the rubber exterior and that can be a serious risk. Routine maintenance cannot be done easily with a manual jack. Towing can also be a little bit more of a challenge than before. All this points to the understanding that before the suspension is reduced, the car owner has to weigh the pros and cons.
 

Whether to take this as D-I-Y or not?

Because lowering the suspension is something that many car enthusiasts want to do there are lowering suspension kits available on the market. These do not come cheap and will cost several hundred dollars at the very least. There is a lot to lowering the suspension and the shocks and spring are just part of the equation. Anyone attempting this as a do-it-yourself project must take their time. As pointed out earlier a poor suspension job can raise havoc with the tires. It also caused some challenges with the braking system of the car. This is not something that can be done in an hour on a weekend afternoon.
 
Lower Riding Car
 

Contact an automotive service center

The purchase kits may not take into consideration the model of the car. That should be enough to make any car owner stop a second before trying to do this alone. The suspension systems of new cars are much more sophisticated in the past. A person can run a risk of doing some very serious damage to his or her vehicle. This is a job perhaps is better done by an automotive service center. The mechanics can make sure that this suspension system once lowered is not going to cause problems with other systems in the car. They can also make sure that the tires are protected from any damage.
 
You might be using your low rider to cruise through the barrio, or maybe just to head out to the grocery store. Whatever the case may be those who lower the suspension of their car seem to enjoy the appearance and the ride. Always keep in mind that altering any automobile will require patient work and then firm observation afterwards. The tires in particular will have to be checked for any evidence of an even wear. The car owner may have to accept the possibility that he or she will need more than a jack for any routine maintenance. If the pros and cons are weighed carefully the right decision can be made.


Seasons change and that is a natural fact. We are reaching the time when winter snows are about to start coming down. Just as there are winter tires in contrast to the type used in the summer, there is a difference between summer and winter gasoline. A car owner should have an understanding of this to get a better idea of what exactly that high-performance car is running on. Knowing what makes summer gasoline different from the winter variety will also help explain why there are noticeable changes in prices at the pump.
 

Car In Snowfall

There any number of blends to gasoline and achieving the right level of octane is important. Part of the mix is known as the Reid vapor pressure (RVP). The RVP is the pressure of vapor in the gasoline blend at 100°F. It would ordinarily be somewhere in the neighborhood of 14.7 pounds per square inch (psi).When it comes to seasonal gasoline, the octane grade will stay the same, but the RVP is going to change. An important note when it comes to the summer type of gasoline is the outdoor thermometer readings. The weather can go over 100°F, and it is important that the RVP stay below 14.7 psi. The inability to do that can result in pressure building up in the gas tank, with the liquid being boiled and emitted from the car. That increases air pollution and is why summer gasoline blends are not allowed to be more than 9.0 psi, depending on location.
 
Winter weather creates a direct opposite situation. Temperatures are lower and the fuel has to be able to evaporate. Higher RVP levels are more volatile and allow evaporation in spite of colder temperatures. Low levels of RVP on subzero days will cause the car more difficult to start.
 
Butane is a gasoline ingredient with the highest RVP in any blend (Approximately 52 psi). The presence of butane in the gasoline is the biggest difference between summer and winter offerings. The amount of butane in the summer gasoline must be extremely small to prevent a higher than acceptable psi. Butane is an inexpensive ingredient and begins to show up even more as the RVP requirement increases. This explains why gasoline prices tend to go down as the weather gets cooler. Cooler weather allows for a higher RVP, and butane is used more frequently. Its cheap cost helps bring the price down. Another reason why gasoline prices start rising in late spring to early summer is that the refineries are adjusting to the new formulas that are required by the EPA. There is a trade-off to all of this. The EPA has mandated that summer blend have more energy than the winter blend. It means summer blend is more expensive but at the same time, the gas mileage is going to be a little bit better.
 
At this point the gears in the mind of a consumer may start grinding. Why not work the differences a little bit to cash advantage? In other words, store less expensive winter variety in the garage and use it during the summer. It would allow for some cost savings or so it would seem. It is not a good idea to do that at all. Gasoline does not store very well in conventional containers. If you’re thinking of doing this you are running the risk of gasoline fumes in your storage area, and that is a definite fire hazard. Moreover, you are using a high butane content gasoline at the wrong time of the year. By using the winter variety in the summer time, when temperatures outside are considerably higher, you are contributing to air pollution in your area. That hurts the entire community.
 
Fuel Filling In A Car
 
A better understanding of the difference between summer and winter gasoline should put to rest a few suspicions. The oil and gas industry is not some major conspiracy constantly trying to manipulate fuel costs. The prices of gasoline do respond to the market, but they also are affected by EPA standards. There are times the year when gasoline is expensive because of the blend. Fluctuations in the market at given times will also play a part. The idea of gas suppliers sitting in the back room, trying to find a way to rob consumers is a paranoid fantasy. Factors other than market fluctuation are involved.


Road trips are fun. It is an opportunity for you and your loved ones to spend some quality time together see the great big world outside. The family car is ordinarily the vehicle of choice and will be driven thousands of miles. That kind of distance should make you consider checking a few important things before you start out on that family expedition.
 

Road Trip

 
1. Check the tires

Your tires are going to be getting off a lot of work on any road trip. It is important to be sure that the treads are in good order and that the tire pressure is where should be. Be careful about any rips or bulges on the sidewalls. A tire inspection is extremely important because flats and blown tire are problems that can spoil all of your fun.
 
2. Look at the cooling system of the car

This is going be very important if you happen to be traveling in areas where there is a lot of urban

Car On Road Trip

congestion or blazing heat. An overheated car can cause a major stop on the freeway, in addition to possibly needing repair work that puts a dead stop to the trip. If it is time to have a flush or have new coolant added, don’t hesitate to do it. It will save you an awful lot of grief on the road.
 
These could be considered the major things to look out for before you pull out the driveway. There are some other things that ought to be done to make sure that the car is ready for the open road. These may not appear to be that significant. But if you are going to be traveling major distances, the following should be inspected.
 
3. Take a look at the other fluids.

This would include the transmission fluid, the engine oil and the power steering wheel fluid as well. The reason why these should be checked is that insufficient fluids can result in major breakdowns on the road. It could mean having the car towed into a repair shop fourth we done on it. The brake fluid also ought to be checked along with brakes. A final fluid check would be the windshield washer fluid. With all of these fluids at the proper levels your car will be running much more efficiently over the miles.
 
4. Take a look at the electricity

Modern cars are wonders of wires and cords. If there is a problem with the electrical system of the car, the vehicle will break down far from home. The battery is the most important consideration. Be sure that it is in good condition before you go on the trip. You can also take a look at the equipment in the car. That would certainly include the lights and the power windows on the car. The cables in the car should also be inspected and repaired if the rubber insulation is faulty.
 
Major Parts To Check Before A Road Trip
 
There are a lot of other things that can be looked at. Air filters improve the efficiency of driving and the fuel injection system of the car might need a look-see. Frankly, you might want to consider scheduling a full maintenance inspection on the car. The professionals at an automotive service center have gotten cars ready for road trips on a routine basis. Not only can they check to be sure everything is good working order, but they can offer suggestions that will make the automobile even more road ready. It is certainly worth the time and the effort. Trying to do the inspections and maintenance by yourself could result in important areas not being properly noted. That oversight can have consequences on a mountain road.
 
All of the prior maintenance and inspection pays a very nice dividend for the family vacation. The car will not act up as you cover the miles from one place to the other. You can spend more time enjoying each other’s company on the road, knowing that the automobile is going to be the very least of your worries. These great expeditions create the kind of memories that are cherished for years to come. One of those memories should not be a vehicle breakdown in the middle of nowhere. The pre-maintenance work will reduce the chances of that happening.


Car owners must resign themselves to the fact that their automobile needs maintenance. Granted, some of the high-end models don’t have to be worked on all the time, but after some thousands of miles an appointment with an auto mechanic is needed. That same appointment may be necessary if parts of the car are starting to malfunction. The fuel injectors are no different than any other piece of equipment under the hood. They are manufactured items and can have problems develop. Dirty injectors are going to cause some very serious challenges and maintenance cannot be ignored or put off for too long. Older models of cars that have a multi-port pintle injector system are most prone to fuel injector clogs.
 

Reasons for the Injectors to get clogged

The fuel injector is what brings the

Fuel Injector In Engine

gasoline necessary to run the car into the engine. Consequently, it should be a surprise to no one that gasoline itself is the primary reason for the injectors to get clogged. However, it isn’t entirely correct that dirt from the gasoline creates the clogs. The ingredients of the gasoline sold at the pump are a witch’s brew of hydrocarbons that are not always light matter. The heavy hydrocarbons generate greater energy but leave behind deposits in the fuel injector. Heat from the engine itself encourages the development of deposits by evaporating fuel that may be lingering in the injector tips. The deposits will build up and harden within the injectors. Detergent is added to gasoline to prevent the buildup, but everyday traffic in the city can cause the deposits to form quicker than the detergent can remove them. Sometimes what is supposed to help serves to hinder. That is the case with ethanol. While it has been touted as being great for the environment, ethanol’s ability to get rid of sludge can create deposits that end up harming the fuel injectors.
 

Some other clogging issues

Other clogging problems have less to do with fuel and more with the car. Rust that comes from somewhere in the gas supply can form small barriers within the fuel injectors. Faulty winding can prevent the valves of the fuel injector from properly opening. Conversely, a damaged spring may keep the valve open and create serious gasoline leaks.
 
Clogged Fuel Injector
 

Impact of clogged fuel injector

The performance problems of the car caused by clogged fuel injectors are too great to be ignored. Clogs may break up but still be too large to pass through the injection system, remaining behind to cause even greater mischief. A clogged fuel injector can cause the engine to misfire or result in uneven idling. Inconsistency in RPM is a by-product of a clogged fuel injector. Should the obstruction cause leakage, there is a quite substantial safety risk generated.
 

Visit a professional automotive center

As with anything involving fuel, checking the status of a fuel injector is not a very safe Saturday project for the car owner. It is better to make use a professional automotive service center. These places have the right safety features to them. Diagnostic tests can be run on the fuel injector system to determine the Fuel Injector problem. Tools such as an engine stethoscope would be used to gauge whether a problem exists with the fuel injectors or not. Fuel injectors are well designed and long lasting so that they may not need replacement. A good cleaning might be all that is necessary. If on-car cleaning of the fuel injector is not possible, a car owner should ask if off-car fuel injector cleaning is possible. That is cheaper than having new injectors placed in the car.
 

Preventive steps for fuel injector clogging

One way to avoid fuel injector clogging is not to use the cheaper blends of gasoline. These have less detergent in them and consequently are more prone to create clogs. If a car owner wishes to use an additive, polyetheramine is the best to use. Also, residue from the throttle body and the intake valves should be removed at the time the fuel injectors are cleaned.
 
The maintenance on clogged fuel injectors may be an involved project, but in the long run a good cleaning will do the job without incurring the expense of a new fuel injector. Being careful about what fuel is used is the best prevention. Those few extra pennies and nickels spent at the pump are better than having to pay hundreds of dollars for replacement parts of a fuel injector system that is too damaged to function.


Safety should always be on the minds of a car owner but that doesn’t always happen. What is perhaps much more important is cost. Even economy cars will put a major dent in somebody’s wallet, and being able to squeeze as much return on investment as practicable is something every car owner should consider. There are some ways that can be used to see to it that tires and brakes don’t wear out that quickly. It is definitely a situation where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of major repair.
 

Importance of proper tire pressure and tire rotation:

Reducing wear on tires can be as simple as making sure that they are inflated to the proper air pressure. A label can be found on the interior of the driver’s door which gives the proper pressure figure, and the owner’s manual of the car may also provide the information. It is important that the pressure of a tire be not the too high nor too low. Tire rotation, periodically switching the rear tires to the front and vice versa, will slow down the rate of wear on the tire. Sharp cornering may appear to be very racy but it wreaks havoc on the outer edges of any tire and must be avoided. Drivers should also keep in mind that weather conditions do play a role in the life of a tire. Consequently, slower driving in the winter is the best idea and being careful over rough terrain can add a few extra years on the life of tire.
 

Preventive steps to minimize stress on brakes:

The brakes on the car should not be allowed to wear down

Brake Assembly Of A Car

because of the safety factor involved. This is where a car owner can make a difference simply by not keeping a lot of weight in the trunk of the car. The reason is that the more a car is weighed down by excess baggage, the greater the stress will be on the brakes. Driving style is also something that has an impact. It is understandable to drive at high rates of speed on an interstate highway; there are few if any stops. However, someone who continually goes over the speed limit in urban areas will stress the brakes when it comes time to make a stop. Obeying the speed limit within city limits is a great way to extend a few months of the life of the brakes. When it is safely possible to do it, coasting to a stop can keep the pressure off of the brakes. Incidentally, brakes do have an influence on a tire wearing down. Too much pressure on the brakes can cause trouble for the treads on the tire. As often as possible, the brakes should be applied very lightly until the stop actually occurs.
 

Behave smartly when you have warning signals:

A driver should be alert to any warning signals. One that immediately telegraphs the brakes are starting to wear down is a squealing sound occurring whenever the brakes are applied. Whining noises from the tires can also suggest that the treads are starting to wear a little thin. These signals can tell a car owner that it’s time to either rotate the tires or if necessary buy new ones (depending on the model of the tire, some of these can last for 50,000 miles. That is anywhere from 5 to 7 years depending on the number of miles per year the car is driven). If the pads on the brakes are thin, it is time to have them replaced. This is not something that can be delayed because of potential safety hazards.
 

Tire In Bad Condition

As mentioned earlier, it often happens that driving style of the car owner will be a very important determinant of wear on both tires and brakes. Sensible driving habits will extend the life of either of these important components of a car. Cost of major repairs can certainly be avoided just by being vigilant to the warning signs. The routine maintenance of car is not that difficult or expensive. In the case of the tires a driver can add more air at any gas station, and new tires do not have to be purchased if tire rotation will take care of the problem. Brake fluid that needs to be changed by a professional service center is not going to break the family budget. So much of the prevention is simple common sense. The primary idea is to get as much return on the initial investment as is possible.


Mercedes are a very special breed of car the owners drive. These are products of high craftsmanship and the latest technology possible. The advances in design and automotive parts have had the benefit of extending the time intervals for service. Oil changes used to be mandatory every 3000 miles; they are now needed anywhere from 5000 to 7500 miles. Mercedes makes a point of letting people know that the newer models have lifetime fluid in the differential. That implies that there will never be a need for the differential fluid to be changed and this can be a bit misleading.
 

2008 MY CL65 AMG

 
The differential in a Mercedes will transfer power from the engine to the wheels and at the same time allow the wheels rotate at different speeds. This helps in making turns. The gears of the differential will turn at the rate of 5000 times a minute or more and are straining against the car’s full weight all the time. With that type of activity it is possible that tiny metal shavings can come off the gears and flow through the system as part of the differential fluid. Unlike a transmission, the differential does not have a filter to keep the fluid clean and dirty differential fluid will eventually cause some internal damage. The great amount of heat generated by normal driving conditions can ultimately cause the lubrication elements of differential fluid to deteriorate. Consequently, many mechanics recommend that differential fluid be changed every 30,000 miles.
 
Confusion can surface when a car owner is told that the Mercedes has lifetime differential fluid in it. The assumption is made that this means differential fluid never has to be changed for as long as the person owns the car. That is a little bit misleading. Anyone who purchases a used Mercedes buys a car that has already spent several years or more of its “life”. The longevity of the car is also influenced by how it is driven. The occasional trip to the store type of use will extend the life of the vehicle, and also cause less stress on the differential. However, a steady diet of stop and go traffic or rough driving is going to age the car. It all means that lifetime fluid may have to be changed at one point or another.
 

Formula-Diff

 
The differential definitely needs to be serviced if warning signals start emerging from the car itself. Loud noises that occur whenever switching lanes or turning a corner may be a warning that the differential starting to fail. If the service engine light comes on in the car, it is possible the differential is having some difficulty as far as fluid is concerned. The differential can never be completely ignored. Neglecting to attend to it can result in a very bumpy ride, which should not happen with the Mercedes. The worst-case scenario would the gears breaking down and that will result in some fairly expensive repair work.
 
The best way to think about lifetime fluid is that more miles are to be added before a fluid change is made. Instead of every 30,000 miles, that required fluid change may occur every 60,000 miles. Taking a look at the manufacturer’s guide or the owner’s manual can give a better idea of the timing of any differential fluid change.
 
The owner of a Mercedes has to understand that while he or she may have an amazing car; it is still something that has been manufactured. A Mercedes has to be given proper attention and maintenance, even if it has qualities such as lifetime differential fluid. The older models might not have lifetime differential fluid. At the time of a fluid change the owner can decide whether or not to use the lifetime fluid instead of more standard brands. It has to be remembered, though, that this type of fluid may be a little bit more expensive than the ordinary kind. Nevertheless, the lifetime fluid will mean that the intervals between fluid changes can be stretched out thousands of miles.
 
Maintenance and servicing speak to the overall life expectancy of the Mercedes a person owns. Routine inspections of the fluid levels should be part of any routine maintenance or tune-up. Usually these tours of the internals will not uncover any major problems. Dirty differential fluid is a sign of difficulties to come, and if this is discovered the car owner may want to go ahead and have a differential fluid changed rather than wait.


German Formula Inc.