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How Wear Affects Your Vehicle's Oil Change Frequency

"Can a vehicle’s timing chain wear or stretch affect the recommended oil change interval?"
The timing chain is made up of a series of links inside the motor which work in conjunction with a group of gears and pulleys to deliver power to components, such as the camshaft and crankshaft. It is imperative for the timing chain to function properly, as wear of this component can result in unusual noise, poor performance, misfires, oil leaks and even damage to adjacent mechanisms.
Over time, after mileage increases on the vehicle’s engine, the timing chain eventually will start to wear. This may cause some looseness to develop in the pivots, rollers and pins of the chain linkage, affecting the chain’s pitch. This looseness often is viewed as chain “stretch” but should be defined as elongation or wear of the timing chain system.
Several factors can lead to an abbreviated life of the timing chain, with the majority related to lubrication. These would include extending the vehicle’s oil change frequency beyond the acceptable service life of the lubricant.
Engine oils with depleted additive levels are another issue to consider. As additives begin to diminish and oxidation starts to strip the integrity of the base oil, the lubricant may soon lack essential properties. Oils with poor-quality characteristics can break down easily and become ineffective, resulting in reduced lubrication, tar-like sludge and gummed surfaces.
An incorrect viscosity generally is the most common issue when it comes to selecting the right oil. Viscosity errors can play a significant role in wear development and energy losses.
Of course, it is one thing to select the right oil and another to ensure that it stays clean and dry. Using a quality oil filter with a high-capture efficiency is just as important as choosing the correct oil. Utilizing cheap filters and not changing them out over time can lead to an increase in particle ingression and a greater risk of wear.
In addition, failure to maintain the correct oil level in your engine can eventually cause excessive wear due to the components not being adequately lubricated.
If your vehicle has been subjected to one or more of these factors and chain wear symptoms have begun to occur, you should investigate the root cause and replace components as necessary to minimize the potential for larger problems down the road.
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‘Cone Zone’ Season Can Be Tough On Vehicles

Bethesda, MD – July 7, 2020 – Summer is the main season for “cone zones,” road construction where you will likely hit a bump or two, or come across loose stones and other hazards. These rough road conditions can be tough on a vehicle’s steering and suspension system and can throw out the alignment, while loose stones have the potential to damage the vehicle’s exterior or windshield, according to the non-profit Car Care Council.
“Even the most careful motorist, who is driving slowly and carefully through road construction, is bound to hit an unexpected bump or other road hazards,” said Nathan Perrine, executive director, Car Care Council. “Be sure to pay attention to your car and if you think there’s a problem, have it taken care of as soon as possible.”
The main symptoms of steering and suspension or wheel alignment problems are uneven tire wear, pulling to one side, noise and vibration while cornering or loss of control. The council recommends that motorists have their vehicles checked out immediately if any of these symptoms exist, as steering and suspension systems are key safety-related components and largely determine the car’s ride and handling. Regardless of road conditions, these systems should be checked annually and a wheel alignment should be performed at the same time.
Motorists also should do frequent visual checks of their vehicle’s exterior and windshield to identify any chips, dings or cracks. These are small problems that can become costly repairs and safety hazards if they aren’t taken care of immediately.
For information to help you keep your vehicle running dependably and protect its long-term value, visit the Car Care Council's website at www.carcare.org and sign up for the free custom service schedule.
About the Car Care Council
The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at http://media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org
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Keeping Car Clean Protects Vehicle Investment

BETHESDA, Md., June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Keeping your vehicle clean inside and out can pay big dividends when it comes to maintaining its long-term value. The non-profit Car Care Council suggests some simple steps to keep your vehicle clean and protect it from the elements so it retains its resale and trade-in value.

Declutter – Start the cleaning process by removing excess clutter from inside the car as it can be distracting and hazardous, especially when debris finds its way near the gas and brake pedals. Don't forget to clear out items that have accumulated in the trunk as they can add extra weight and reduce fuel efficiency.
Clean the Interior – The next step is to thoroughly clean the interior, wash the windows, and clean and install floor mats. Be sure to vacuum on a regular basis. A clean and orderly interior allows you to spot issues in the cabin so you can get them repaired before they get worse.
Wash the Exterior – Give the car a good wash from top to bottom using products specifically made for automobiles (not dish detergent). Always clean the tires and wheels before washing the body, and don't use the same washing mitt or cloth for both.
Wax Twice a Year – Waxing not only protects a vehicle's finish, but it also makes subsequent washing easier. Before proceeding, make sure there are no foreign particles on the paint. It is important to note that waxing should be done in the shade, not direct sunlight.
Fix Chips – If there is minor paint damage, cover the paint chips as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. For a quick fix until you can get paint touchup supplies, dab a little clear nail polish on the scratch.
"A clean car is money in the bank," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "Since many vehicles are sitting idle for long periods these days, it is important to remove the grime and sediment that can build up on the outside of the car to help prevent rust. It's also a good idea to wipe the dashboard, steering wheel, cup holders, door handles, vents and console with a quality, all-purpose automotive cleaner to disinfect the interior areas of the vehicle."
About the Car Care Council
The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council's online media room at http://media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council's consumer education website at www.carcare.org.

SOURCE Car Care Council
For further information: Rich White, (301) 654-6664, rich.white@autocare.org; Lynn Konsbruck, (312) 768-7362, lkonsbruck@maxmarketing.com

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