Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Reno drivers, your vehicle manufacturer publishes two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Reno drivers follow? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are most of your trips less than four miles/six kilometers around Reno?
- Are most of your trips less than 10 miles/16 kilometers in below-zero Nevada temps?
- Are most of your trips off-highway in Nevada?
- Do you drive often in dusty Reno areas?
- Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Reno?
- Do you drive in very hot or very cold Nevada weather?
Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Reno on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Reno surface streets?
Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles/5,000 and 8,000 kilometers. Analyze your driving patterns and Reno weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.
Why should Reno residents care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around town or winter driving mean the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why Nevada residents need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.
Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in Nevada summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs.
If you want some expert advice, talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Wayne’s Automotive Center service advisor. We can help you restore your vehicle to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.