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Oil Types: Which One Should You Use In Cooler Weather?

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Seasons change and, depending on where you live, so might the oil types your car should use. When the weather turns cold, thicker oil has a harder time flowing through your vehicle’s engine and protecting all the critical parts with lubrication.

How can you tell which oil types are thicker, and which are better for your car in colder weather? That’s where those numbers on the oil bottles like 10W-40 come in. The “W” in that number stands for “Winter”, and the number before it (the “10”, in this case) is the viscosity or thickness. When the cold weather comes, you want a lower number, meaning thinner oil, which will smoothly coat the insides of your engine even in the most frigid weather. The second number is the high-temperature viscosity rating, measuring how well the oil protects you engine in those conditions. So, a 5W-30 or 0-W30 will give better protection in winter weather than, say, a 10W-40 or a 20W-50, while still providing solid high-temperature protection.

You should also consider asking for a synthetic or synthetic blend motor oil. Both offer better protection in extreme temperatures (both high and low) than conventional motor oil. Pennzoil has a helpful web page about the differences between oil types. And Mr. Clean Car Wash offers the full line of Pennzoil motor oil types—Conventional, High Mileage, Synthetic Blend, Synthetic and Ultra Synthetic. As always, an oil change is more than just an oil change at Mr. Clean Car Wash. You also get a new oil filter, a 15-point inspection and a free full-service pro car wash. And that’s all included in the price of your oil change. Here’s a link to the details. And you can make your visit to Mr. Clean Car Wash even more economical with these special offers.

What Is a 15 Point Inspection Oil Change?

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Much like a human body, cars need to be kept in healthy, tip-top shape in order to run like they should. Oftentimes, a break down can be prevented if the car is properly maintained. This maintenance includes checking fluid levels or adding air to tires. How do you know what to check and when? What should a car owner look for when inspecting? Easy. Follow the 15 point inspection (that comes complimentary with every oil change at Mr. Clean Car Wash):

  1. Change the Oil: Changing the oil in a vehicle is crucial to the health and longevity of the engine. Regularly changing the oil can keep a car running smoothly for much longer—not to mention it can give a car greater resale value.
  2. Change the Oil Filter: The oil filter in a vehicle should be changed every time the oil is changed. Failure to change the oil filter can have lasting negative effects on a car. That’s why a new one should be installed every time.
  3. Lubricate Chassis: No one likes a squeaky car. Lubricating chassis helps keep a car’s joints working exactly the way they should be.
  4. Check the Air Filter: Having a clean air filter can not only help the vehicle, but can also be safer for the passengers as well. Clean air filters can keep those in the car from getting sick. Air filters can help keep air cool or hot when needed.
  5. Check Breathers: Pipes on a vehicle need to breath. Sometimes the valves need to be cleaned to get rid of oil and other buildup. Mr. Clean Car Wash checks the breathers to make sure everything is functioning properly.
  6. Check PCV Valve: The PCV valve is crucial. Checking to make sure the PCV valve works properly can help you catch major problems before they occur.
  7. Check Wiper Blades: Streaks and poorly functioning wiper blades can make all the difference when it comes to getting home safely on a rainy day. Checking the blades helps to ensure the safety and security of those in the car.
  8. Check and Fill Coolant: Coolant helps to keep the engine from overheating. It also helps to protect the engine overall. Making sure the fluid is at the proper level helps keep the engine running smoothly.
  9. Check and Fill Transmission Fluid: Transmission fluid acts as the lubricant for all of the moving parts in the transmission. Low fluid can cause unnecessary friction. Unnecessary friction can cause costly problems.

10. Check & Fill Differential Fluid: The differential in a car helps to transfer the power of the transmission to the wheels. The fluid helps to cool the car and keep it running properly.

11. Check the Brake Fluid Level: Brake problems are dangerous and costly. Keeping the fluid filled to the right level helps keep the brakes working. This also helps keep everyone in the vehicle safe.

12. Check & Fill Steering Fluid: This fluid helps to keep steering smooth and easy.

13. Check & Fill Windshield Fluid: No one likes getting stuck with pesky streaks on their window. Let Mr. Clean Car Wash top off the windshield washer fluid so those streaks are never a problem.

14. Check Inflation of Tires: Tire pressure is key to great gas mileage, so checking on tire inflation is always a good thing.

15. Check & Fill Battery: The fluid in a car battery can evaporate overtime, so checking the fluid level can help save a car owner from a breakdown.

While the term “Car Wash” may be in their title, Mr. Clean Car Wash does more than just wash cars. Mr. Clean Car Wash is a one stop shop. Check out all of Mr. Clean Car Wash’s oil change services, including their 15 point inspection.

10 Benefits of Parking a Car in a Garage

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Parking a car in the garage seems to be a thing of the past. Garages are used for a lot of other things like storing junk or home workshops, but parking in the garage is one of the best things for a vehicle. Here are 10 reasons an owner should clear out space and park in the garage:

1. Safe from the elements- rain, snow, wind

This is probably one of the most obvious, but rain, snow, wind and other weather elements are enemies of a car’s exterior. They can leave dirt and acid on a vehicle that can cause significant damages to the exterior, like rust and a weakened top clear coat.

2. Protects from dings and scratches from elements or other vehicles

Hail and falling tree branches are just a couple examples of ways a car can get damaged from simply being outside. Dents, scratches, and broken windows are all possible exterior problems that can occur when a vehicle is left outdoors.

3. Keeps vehicle from the sun and temperature extremes

UV rays from the sun can damage a vehicle in ways most car owners don’t consider. Extreme hot and extreme cold can both lead to deterioration of the inside and outside. Read more about UV damage here.

4. Keeps those riding in the vehicle safe from elements

When a vehicle is parked in a garage those riding in the car do not have to be exposed to any elements. It keeps everyone safe from hail, temperature extremes, and other outdoor conditions when getting in or out of the vehicle.

5. Less likely to have theft or vandalism

Cars are a huge investment, and for most they are one of the most valuable things they own. Parking outside leaves a vehicle exposed to vandalism and theft. A garage helps eliminate the temptation for those that want to harm a vehicle in any way.

6. Lower insurance costs

That’s right, some insurance companies offer lower policies for people who store their vehicle in a garage. Saving money is always an advantage.

7. Keeps vehicles exterior looking great

Believe it or not, mechanics can tell if a car is stored in a garage or outside. Vehicle exteriors are kept in much better condition when stored in a garage which can lead to greater resale values.

8. Engine stays lubricated

Because a garage keeps a vehicle warm, the fluid and oil are kept in a stable condition which leads to an engine that runs better than one that is kept outside.

9. Coolant stays warmer, heat/AC comes on faster

Also, with a warmer car comes faster AC and heat. On cold days, the heat will warm up faster than being out in the elements. Same is true for extremely hot days.

10. Visibility is ready to go

Forget the ice scraper or dewy windshield. Parking in a garage helps keep windows clear of weather and condensation so there is no need to ride with one head out the window.

If for some reason parking in a garage is not an option, detailing is extremely important to protect a vehicle from the elements. Make sure the car is getting washed and waxed regularly by certified professionals. One way to ensure a regular clean is with unlimited monthly washes from Mr. Clean Car Wash to wash as often as once a day for a low monthly fee.

To get any vehicle, parked in a garage or not, ready for any weather conditions visit the nearest Mr. Clean Car Wash for a Signature Shine wash or one of their express detail services.

Top Winterization Services Your Car

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Everyone has heard the old cliché that, if March comes in like a lamb, it leaves like a lion. This year, that cliché could apply to winter in general. The season may have started out mild, but Old Man Winter has finally settled in, wreaking havoc all across the map. For those who put off winterizing their cars because it didn’t seem necessary, it’s not too late to do it now. Here are the most important winterization steps in making sure a car is ready for the elements.

Get a checkup.

During frigid weather, it’s more important than ever for a car to be in good condition. For one thing, winter weather can exacerbate existing problems. And, even if winter weather isn’t the cause of a breakdown, no one wants to be stuck by the side of the road in dangerously cold temperatures. At a minimum, a winter checkup should include the following:

  • Coolant: Make sure the car’s coolant is the proper mixture for cold weather and is at the optimum level.
  • Battery: Extreme temperatures can kill a battery. Check the battery for cracks, leaks, loose terminals, and corrosion. If the car has been slow to start, take it somewhere that can check the battery’s charge.
  • Oil: Cold weather affects oil’s viscosity, which is a measure of how thick it is and how easily it flows. When the weather is cold, many cars need thinner oil (like 5W-30 instead of 10W-30). Check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Fuel Delivery: Clean fuel injectors, throttle plate and a new fuel filter will help prevent drivability issues in the winter weather.
  • Safety: Check all exterior light bulbs to be sure they are working; replace your wiper blades and ensure you have plenty of washer fluid that is for freezing conditions.
  • Tires: Inspect the car’s tires. Most people don’t think about tires until they have a flat. That’s a dangerous habit, especially during the winter. The tread is all that’s protecting the car from sliding on slick surfaces. If the tread is worn down too low, the tires should be replaced. If the tires are worn unevenly, alignment and rotation can even things out. Even if the tread is fine, it’s important to check the pressure in tires. Tires lose one to two pounds of pressure for every 10-degree temperature drop. If the tires are below the manufacturer’s recommendations, it’s time to top them off.

 

Treat the car to a spa day.

It may seem counterintuitive to worry about things like exterior details when winter is still causing mischief, but that’s exactly what cars need. Important treatments include:

  • Wash and wax: A good, fresh coat of wax will protect the car’s finish from things like salt, corrosion and the contaminants found in snow and rain. And a dirty car is a very poor surface for wax, so a professional wash is an important first step.
  • Headlights: Consider headlight restoration. It’s a quick process that can remove all of the nicks and scratches that build up in headlight covers. Those imperfections can make headlights seem dim, and restoration can bring back full visibility. In addition, make sure that all bulbs are working, including brake lights and turn signals.
  • Winterize the Engine: Be sure to get all services that will keep your car running in the cold such as a coolant exchange, transmission fluid exchange, fuel filters, fuel injector cleaning etc.

Be prepared.

Being stranded is never fun, but, in the winter, it can be dangerous. Severe winter storms, for example, can make it impossible for searchers to look for stranded motorists. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared to spend a couple of days in the car if disaster strikes. An emergency kit should include the following items at a minimum:

  • Flares
  • Blankets
  • Snow boots
  • A radio
  • Heavy outerwear
  • Gloves and a hat for all passengers
  • A flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Drinkable water
  • High-energy snacks like protein bars
  • A flag or some other bright item to alert searchers to your presence
  • A shovel
  • A window scraper
  • A cell phone charger or external battery
  • Booster cables
  • A basic tool kit
  • Emergency repair items like water, antifreeze, oil, and tire repair
  • Waterproof matches
  • First aid kit

This winter, protect both your investment in your car and your own health and safety by being ready for whatever winter throws your way. Mr. Clean Car Wash is ready to take care of everything except that emergency kit (that one is on you). Visit today to get 50% off a full-service wash with a V.I.P. Club membership, or look online for other great promotions.