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How Often Should You Change Your Oil?, Barbara Terry

I have always been an adamant believer in checking and changing your oil on a regular basis. The rule of thumb is every 1500 miles, but if all cars were the same, it would be a boring world now wouldn’t it? What has proven best for me is to do what is best for my specific car. First, I check my oil every 500 miles, or spend an extra 5 minutes while filling up and have the attendant check it for me. You can not tell what oil leaks you may be experiencing sporting around town from the inside of your car. If your car is like mine, well after 300 thousand miles, I am always springing a leak. Do you suppose it is time that I take a trip to the nearest car lot and treat myself to a spanking brand new SUV. When checking your oil, you should always turn the motor off, and use your emergency brake; I am all about safety when spending time under the hood! Pull the oil dipstick out, if you seem to be having a hard time locating this you might want to refer to the owner’s manual. Secondly wipe it clean with a cloth, stick it back in and when you pull it out you will be able to read the oil level on the dip stick. Some automobiles require 30 weight while others require 40 weight. If you are not sure which is best for your car, refer to your owners manual or check with your local mechanic. Also, pay attention when checking your oil level to the color and consistency of your oil. The oil should always be pretty thin with a rich medium brown color. If it too dark (more black than brown), it needs changed. Preventive maintenance will assure a prolonged life for your car.

Question: Sent in by Ms Hill. My 1996 Nissan Maxima has started missing, what is wrong with it?
Answer: Well Ms Hill, it could be a number of things. First, since your car is fuel injected, I would recommend checking your fuel injectors, one may be clogged and definitely check your spark plugs, your spark plug wires and your vacuum hoses. If you are uncertain as to how to do this, please ask a qualified mechanic.

Question: Sent in by Dee Sneed. Hi, Barbara, I was wondering why my car shakes when I apply my brakes?
Answer: Hi Dee Sneed! It could be one of several problems. Your rotors may need to be turned, your calipers might be grabbing or your brake pads might be ancient and need to be replaced. I would strongly suggest having a mechanic look for these problems. A malfunction like this can only get worse and the repair will usually cost more if it is not addressed early.

Barbara Terry

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