Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Albuquerque motorists, sedan car makers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Albuquerque auto owners follow?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles around Albuquerque?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero New Mexico temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in New Mexico?
Do you drive often in dusty Bernalillo areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Albuquerque?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold New Mexico weather?

Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Albuquerque freeway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Bernalillo or Cedar Crest? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Albuquerque surface streets?

Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and Albuquerque weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.

Why should Albuquerque drivers care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Albuquerque or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to dangerous oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why New Mexico auto owners 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 nice New Mexico 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 dangerous 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, not to mention your gas mileage. If you want some expert advice, talk with your knowledgeable Jim’s Automotive advisor. We can help you restore your sedan to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.

Jim’s Automotive
4401 Lead Ave SE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108


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