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Winter Maintenance Tips to Avoid Engine Repairs

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

With Old Man Winter soon on his way, it’s a good idea to ready your car for his arrival with some winter maintenance. Here at Mr. Clean Car Wash, we offer a variety of winter maintenance services that can make your cold weather driving experience a more pleasant one. Here are some good reasons to come visit us today to prepare your engine for winter’s fluctuating temperatures:

  1. High-Quality Oil Change: Even if you had an oil change recently, it’s important to ensure that your car is running on the proper oil. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the oil in your car’s engine changes in response to the temperature at which the engine is running, which is tied to outside temperatures. During winter, thinner, less viscous oil is required. Mr. Clean Car Wash will figure out the details and determine the best oil for your car. Even better, oil changes come with a free interior and exterior wash. Our service also never includes any shop or oil disposal fees.
  2. Engine Coolant/Anti-Freeze Service: Despite its deceptive name, your car’s engine coolant doesn’t just keep your engine from overheating in the summertime. This important additive helps prevent your engine from freezing or corroding. The DMV recommends that during winter, vehicles run on a combination of 60 percent coolant and 40 percent water. Making this adjustment to your coolant is something we do for you, as well as recommend the best coolant for your auto.
  3. Car Battery Check: Avoid getting stuck in inclement weather because your car won’t start thanks to a failing battery. We check the fluid level in your car battery, which may evaporate over time, and fill when necessary.
  4. Brake Fluid Level Inspection: Brake problems with your vehicle can be extremely dangerous—especially in slippery, freezing conditions common during winter. Our winter maintenance services include checking your auto’s brake fluid levels.
  5. Check Inflation of Tires: Navigating the potentially hazardous conditions that winter can cause is easier and safer when your tire pressure is correct. Not to mention that proper tire pressure is the key to good gas mileage.
  6. Inspect and Fill Transmission and Differential Fluids: A properly working transmission is critical to your safety and the integrity of your car’s engine when you’re out and about this winter. We check transmission fluid levels, as well as differential fluids, the latter of which are responsible for transferring power from the transmission to the wheels.
  7. Steering Fluid Check and Fill: As you navigate rough weather, it makes it easier and safer when your steering wheel has the proper amount of fluid and is working well.
  8. Check Windshield Fluid and Wiper Blades: Keeping your windshield as clear as possible during wet and snowy weather is imperative to a safe winter driving experience. We check windshield wiper fluids and top them off when necessary. We also inspect your wiper blades to see that they are working efficiently and safely.

Visit Mr. Clean Car Wash today for your winter maintenance checkup. Every one of our oil and lube services includes an important 15 Point Inspection Oil Change and a FREE Full Service Carwash!

Mr. Clean Car Wash: Common Terms Glossary

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

We at Mr. Clean Car Wash, wanted to make sure that when you hear us say one of these common car terms, you understand what we are talking about.

  1. Detailing– A detail is a specific procedure that deep cleans a specific area. There are usually two main types of detailing, internal and external. External detailing generally includes washing, waxing, and polishing the vehicle. It also includes headlight restoration, clay bar to remove paint contaminants or External Vinyl Conditioning that dresses the black vinyl trim many vehicles have today. Internal detailing includes when a technician shampoos carpets or cloth seats, cleans and conditions leather seats or interior plastic and vinyl surfaces. Both of these types of detailing are important because deep cleaning helps to keep a vehicle in top shape and reduces the effects of weather and other elements that keeps up its appearance and helps to maintain value for resale.
  2. Oil Change The replacement of dirty oil and oil filter to clean oil and a new oil filter in a vehicle’s engine. It is recommended for a vehicle to get its oil changed every 3 months or 3,000-5,000 miles depending on the make and model as specified by the manufacturer’s recommendation. Oil changes are important for the longevity of a vehicle. The key to a great car is a great engine, and an oil change helps maintain a great engine.
  3. Clay Bar– A compound used to smooth the painted surfaces on a vehicle and remove any contaminants. Can be used on multiple surfaces, such as glass, metal and paint. This detailing process is important to clean microscopic contamination from painted surfaces to give a smooth cleaning to paint before waxing.
  4. Express Wash An express car wash is great for a quick run through when a customer is short on time and wants a quick exterior cleaning. It is an exterior only tunnel only wash that does not include a technician drying the vehicle or doing any other finishing process. In many cases, customers that get an express wash will dry and vacuum their car themselves in the self service vacuum area of the carwash.
  5. Full Service Wash Best described as wash that includes interior and exterior cleaning. A full service wash includes interior cleaning such as vacuuming, windows, wiping dash and console by a carwash associate after being washed by the carwash tunnel. Mr. Clean Carwash has several levels of full service washes that add additional tunnel applied features to the wash without adding any time.
  6. Throttle plate A valve that controls the amount of air flow allowed in the engine of a vehicle. It is important to keep a throttle plate clean in order to keep a vehicle from breaking down and running the way that it should.
  7. Emissions Test A test that is required by most states that checks the amount of exhaust waste that a vehicle transmits into the air. The test is usually required once a year and can include a check of other safety features including brakes. Without an emissions test a car owner will not be able to get their vehicle registration renewed as well as get insurance in some cases.

Read more in depth definitions of any unfamiliar terms on Mr. Clean Car Wash’s blog.

Pennzoil Motor Oil: The Right Oil Matters

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

Engine oil has a lot of influence on the performance and lifespan of a vehicle’s engine. Aiming for higher performance? Increased fuel mileage? Improved reliability? Pennzoil offers motor oil that best fits all these needs. Today, oil is doing more than simply lubricating moving parts. That said—it’s important to select the right type of oil. Here’s a quick guide:

Conventional or Synthetic Oil?

Today’s oils are divided into two main categories: 1. Conventional oil which is made from crude oil that’s refined and 2. Synthetic oil which is made using expensive chemical processes. What’s the difference? Conventional oil is filtered and refined to separate the lubricating properties from those that are not useful. Conventional oil offers basic lubrication. Synthetic oils on the other hand, cost more but have more uniform molecules and better properties. Many new engines require syntehtic oil that allows them to run cleaner with improved gas mileage. Synthetic oil is designed for low or high operating temperatures, high mileage, chemical protection from oxidization and even transferring heat from the engine.

What Weight?

When it comes to oil’s viscosity, oil is described by two main values. The first is a number followed by a “W”. The “W” stands for winter and represents the low temperature viscosity of the oil. When this first number is lower than the second, the oil will stay thinner at lower temperatures. The second number is the high temperature viscosity. The higher the second number, the thicker the oil will remain under high temperatures. When choosing the correct viscosity for the vehicle, refer to its owner’s manual.

Extra Additives

These days, performance additives are often added to motor oil to help it do a lot more work. Detergents are added to keep the engine clean and eliminate corrosive acids that can build up when fuel is combusted. There are also features that carry away sludge and debris so that the oil lines in the engine flow freely. Finally, there are oils with additives that improve lubrication and form a film over moving parts to help reduce drag and friction. These oils help condition worn seals to prevent leaks. Selecting the right oil is all about understanding what goes into the oil. While some oils are simple and less expensive, others have ingredients that can help keep older engines running smoothly or protect new ones.

For more information on Pennzoil oil and oil changes, see Mr. Clean Car Wash & Oil Change Plus and check the Promotions page for oil change savings. Image courtesy of bigstock.com

Oil Change No No’s – The Dangers of Waiting Too Long Between Changes

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Without a doubt, the quality of your vehicle’s motor oil is one of the most important elements in keeping your car running reliably. While this may be, it is often times one of the most overlooked factors in car maintenance and something that people let go longer than they should. Letting your oil change stretch out or skipping over them entirely can damage the engines internal components and shorten its lifespan. Thinking of going past that sticker in the top corner of your windshield? Here’s a quick look at what can happen if you do.

Slip And Slide
At its most basic purpose, motor oil lubricates the moving parts of your engine. Without it, metal-on-metal parts would generate so much heat and friction that they would weld themselves together and seize the engine. According to Pennzoil, today’s motor oil is designed with special additives that coat moving parts and helps reduce drag, which helps your engine operate efficiently and quietly.

Keep It Clean
Along with providing lubrication for your engine’s components, motor oils today are designed to prevent sludge build up and keep dirt and debris from collecting on the inside of your engine and causing blockages and damage. Your engine’s oil system has a filter that collects the dirt from the oil and extends its lifespan but in time, the filter will fill up and clog causing the oil to bypass it. The dirty oil and the debris within can be abrasive and damage parts more than it protects them.

Get Dirty
When it comes to corrosion, think of your engine like the Tin Man in the Wizard Of Oz. Motor oil lubricates and cleans your engine but it also protects it from corrosion and oxidization which can eventually cause damage to its moving parts. A regularly scheduled oil change ensures that the oil in your engine keeps your engine from building up corrosion, which could damage it.

Hot Stuff
Your engine’s oil also acts as part of its cooling system in a sense. By drawing heat away from extra hot areas such as pistons and cylinder heads, the oil spread the heat more evenly throughout the entire engine and allows the coolant to draw it away more efficiently. Changing your oil regularly ensures that the oil is stable enough to consistently move heat away from specific areas and keep them from warping or breaking down entirely.

Changing your vehicle’s oil regularly may not be the first thing on your mind but it’s crucial to keeping the engine running in top form. The oil within helps lubricate moving parts, cleans dirt and debris, prevents corrosion and helps transfer heat away from vital areas of the engine. For more information on oil changes, see your local Mr. Clean Car Wash & Oil Change Plus and check the Promotions page for savings on your next oil change.

Image courtesy of Flickr