There is more to a lube job than changing oil and shooting a little grease into the suspension joint and some filter changes. Your vehicle is a mechanical beast with parts rolling or rubbing other parts and literally eating itself to oblivion. The powertrain takes a beating. From engine, to transmission, transfer case on 4 wheelers to the drive shaft joints and differentials and wheel bearings. The engine area also has power steering, air conditioning, alternator and water pumps to power via belts. The engine area is a bewildering array of hoses, pipes and tubing. Braking systems, charging systems and A/C systems are all vulnerable to leaks, wear, vibration and heat. There is a lot to check, not just a few filters, oil and grease. The body has its areas of concern as well, door latches and hinges, hood hinges and latch as well as the trunk area in passenger cars. There are lights – head, turn signal, brake and running lights. How about those wiper blades? Following is a representative list of what a tune up includes.
What Does a Lube Job Include?
• Check the engine oil, looking for any metallic or just the quality of the oil. It is used but can carry hints of possible problems. Speaking of motor oil: oils can be conventional or synthetic. They are full of additives to prevent wear, detergents to keep the engine clean, viscosity index improvers (multi-grade oils) and dispersants.
o Base oils are those that are refined from petroleum and are the conventional oils used in the past and the major oil used today.
o Synthetic or manmade oils use some base oils but include esters GTL (methane to liquid) and polyalpha-olefins. Synthetics offer higher purity and more mechanical properties at high temperatures. Because of the molecular chains they don’t congeal at low temperatures and though they thin they still offer higher viscosity at high temperatures over conventional oils. Some synthetics though resistant to temperature and mechanical degradation can go over 10,000 miles before a change, though about 5-6,000 is the suggested norms. Synthetics cost more, but more often they are recommended. Some are blended with base oils.
o Bio-based oils use vegetable oils are under development with bio-synthetics base on Estolide oils a blend of vegetable and animal oils. These oils can be recycled and mixed with petroleum-based oils to extend their usefulness.
• Drain that oil and replace it with new.
• Replace the oil filter.
• Check the air filter, replace if necessary. Check the PVC valve and air breathers. Clean or replace if dirty or gummed up.
• Check tire inflation and for wear, blemishes or punctures and inflate to cold specifications.
• Inspect the lighting system, head lights, brake lights, taillights, marker and turn signals.
• Wiper blades should be inspected and replaced if necessary.
• Many newer vehicles have cab filters to control dirt dust from entering the passenger compartments, these need to be checked.
• Fuel tanks are notorious for junk in the tank. Some endemic to the tank like rust and tar and others are introduced when fueling. A check of the fuel filter should be included.
• Serpentine belts have reduced the need for multiple pulley and belts. But all those belts offered some redundancy in most cases. When the serpentine goes, so does everything else, water pump, steering pump, alternator and A/C compressor. Check those belts and replace if necessary.
• A/C compressor clutches should be checked as well.
• Coolant is a critical contributor to the operation of the engine. In the southwest heat is the engine’s enemy. Coolant levels need to be checked, leak checks around the water pump and with a check of hose for the radiator and heater. Antifreeze does more than prevent icing of the coolant, it actually improves cooling and contains rust inhibitors.
• Fluid checks and fills: Brake fluid, washer fluid, battery levels (if not sealed), power steering fluid and transmission fluid.
• Leak checks around brake lines, differential, engine and transmission seals and include the transfer case if relevant. Occasionally about 80,000 miles you may want to inspect and or change transfer case fluids and differential oil.
• Lube suspension and grease in not sealed joints.
• Lube U-Joints and slip joints on the driveline unless sealed.
Car Tune Ups, Oil, Lube & Filter Changes & More in Texas (Just Minutes Away from Addison, Balch Springs, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Coppell, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Ferris, Garland, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Irving, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mesquite, Ovilla, Richardson, Rowlett, Sachse, Seagoville, Sunnyvale & Wylie, TX)
A comprehensive lube job is far more than it appears and constitutes a critical area of vehicle maintenance. In high heat operational environment, a good lube regimen will spot potential areas of failure before they become expensive while ensuring optimum operational levels of your vehicle. Top Notch Auto Body and Mechanic can handle your vehicle maintenance, repairs and auto body needs. Contact us today!