The Damage Your Car Keeps When the Snow Finally Thaws

Your vehicle can feel a bit different during the winter months, and that is because the cold weather and road conditions actually do make it harder on your vehicle. It’s a time of year that makes you jealous of anyone with a remote starter for their car and a heated steering wheel. Though those two vehicle accessories do not actually help your vehicle itself deal with the conditions outside.


Fluctuating Tire Pressure

When the weather fluctuates the amount that it does during the winter your tires are going to have higher and lower PSI throughout the days. This is not much to worry about, but it can make the sensors go off in your vehicle and in extreme circumstances will effect steering. Also some uneven wear can be put onto the tire with the off amount of air pressure. This can be costly in the long run as certain tires can go at different rates which can cause you to buy tires for all four wheels earlier than anticipated.


Water Leaking

This is an issue that many can notice in the summer months of their old vehicles. Many A/C units will overwork and drip beneath the vehicle in summer months, luckily we don’t need that in the winter. What does happen though is when your vehicle is warmed up with some snow on it the water can end up in parts of your vehicle, then freeze in place and cause damage. This can be quite scary since these issues can also happen to your braking and steering systems. This is another reason to make sure to run the vehicle for a couple minutes before starting your trip. This allows the vehicle some time to thaw the small amounts of ice build up that can happen in these small vehicle system components.


Damaging Salt

Salt is used in the winter by many municipalities to offset the likelihood of dangerous car crashes and possible deaths. Since that is the outcome that is being avoided it would seem obvious that almost any means possible is a reasonable price to pay to offset this. The price that we pay as Torontonians is that our vehicles incur large amounts of damage over the years due to erosion and rust caused from salt on the metal that your vehicle is made of. It is recommended that you clean your car often this winter and all other winters, and even more importantly to wash off the underbelly of your vehicle. The reason to wash the undercarriage is to remove some or most of that salt that can erode your engine, transmission, and many other vehicle components.


Synthetic oil is commonly acknowledged as being better for your vehicle. This holds even more true when talking about engines in the winter, so save some time, money, and treat your vehicle right. Get a synthetic oil change that comes to you by downloading The Oil Change App!


What Vehicles Last the Longest?

When you put the time into general maintenance you should expect your vehicle to last some time, but not all vehicles are made the same. Many manufacturers have different ideas about what engine size or type will create a vehicle that is most appreciated by the customer. Current buyers and leasers want a vehicle that is good on gas, but more and more it seams they also want a vehicle that is large.

People are clinging to mid-size SUVs and now almost every car brand makes one, even Lamborghini. While consumers are hoping to get good fuel economy and a vehicle not too hard on the environment. These SUVs also have to commit to the strict regulations of todays governments in each and every country. That is why when you go abroad you will see Ford or GM vehicles that you have never seen before. These regulations lead to Volkswagen committing fraud in their diesel emissions test and that is just one example of why vehicles are not always made to last any more.

You will notice a very strong reliance on a tried and true engine in each of these vehicles. This means the best vehicles have had the same engines in them for tens of years. Many great car manufacturers know that they will have to re-configure their entire factories and transportation method in order to change engine types in a vehicle. General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Honda have all went long periods of time with their engines and slowly made available engine options that once are perfected become the main engine for the specific model.


Toyota Sequoia

The Toyota Sequoia is the Toyota competitor to the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition, and it has the highest likelihood of getting above 200,000 miles. That percentage is 7.4% which seems low, but when you take into consideration the adjustments needed to meet fuel economy standards it is quite impressive.


Chevrolet Suburban

This vehicle as well as the General Motors sister brands of Cadillac and GMC also were among the highest likelihood of lasting over 200,000 miles. Obviously all vehicles have the same engine options and our assumption is that the vehicles have the ability to last that long because of the famous 5.3L V8 that has been used in General Motors trucks and SUVs for two decades. This engine is tried and true, no BS, simply a great engine that if kept well will last far past it’s 2000,000th mile.


Subaru Outback/Legacy

These vehicles do very well in making it long lifetimes as well as being a very low price to maintain and operate. Not only do you save some money, but they can be very fun vehicles as well as safe vehicles too. The servicing on a Subaru is very simple and therefore it can be done properly even if you mistakenly bring it to a shifty auto repair shop. We could not recommend these vehicles high enough.


Why You need Synthetic Oil

A synthetic oil change is something many car manufacturers are making compulsory for their vehicles. This is not completely compulsory at this point but more vehicles each year are made with specifications requiring synthetic oil. These vehicles are coming from vehicles made internationally and domestically. Synthetic oil first came about as the more expensive option for high performance vehicles and vehicles running in extreme temperatures, but then became popular for international brands and now even domestic brands are feeling the positives of the improved motor oil.


Synthetic Oil Outlasts the Competition

As a regular vehicle owner or leaser you know just how much of a pain it is to go to the shop for a scheduled oil change. This becomes even more pain-staking when you live in a metropolis like Toronto. One of the main reasons we recommend that you use synthetic oil in your vehicle is because it makes trips to the mechanic or lube shop far less frequent. Most Synthetic oil will last twice as long as its conventional counterpart.


Helps Your Wallet

Synthetic oil will cost more at the time of the oil change, but it will save you money in two key ways. The first reason is because the mileage of your vehicle is improved while running on synthetic oil. This comes from the better lubrication properties in synthetic oil and therefore there is less friction when your engine is running and therefore burning less fuel.

The secondary reason your wallet will keep more in it when using synthetic oil is because you will be visiting the shop less. A synthetic oil change should only cost another $20-$30 more than a regular oil change while the oil lasts twice as long as the cheaper conventional oil. This means less visits and more money for you.


Its Better for Your Engine

Even when running synthetic oil for twice as long as conventional oil before changing the oil, synthetic is the more protective engine oil. This is because of the stability that synthetic oil has from being molecularly balanced and given certain engine oil additives. The synthetic oil is at it’s most impressive when it is near its life, unlike the conventional oil which goes downhill quickly in it’s ability to protect your engine.


Should I Really Switch?

For short, yes, but if your vehicle doesn’t require it then you really don’t. Though, we do recommend that you switch to synthetic oil once your vehicle gets to 100,000KMs AND also during the winter months, because that is when your vehicle needs any advantages possible.


Motor Oil in the Winter Months

The winter can cause serious wear on your vehicle, and especially when you don’t have the proper motor oil running through your vehicle. There are many reasons that winter is very damaging to a vehicle and many of those outcomes can be related to engine oil.

When you start your engine every morning the oil in your vehicle is going to be the exact same temperature as it is outside. Lucky for you your oil does not freeze like water unless you are in very extreme weather. This is why people say to let the engine heat up before driving in the winter, what you are really doing is allowing the oil to heat up enough that it is flowing properly through the engine. When it is flowing properly your engine will have that protection it desires from the motor oil.


What is the best Motor Oil for Winter?

Without any doubt the best motor oil to be running in the winter is synthetic. This is for many reasons but mostly how it deals with temperature. There are two factors for assessing motor oil for temperature uses that matter.

The first factor is how well the motor oil flows when it is cold. Synthetic is always out performing conventional as it flows twice as fast in vertical speed test pouring. This means that even when it is very cold out and the engine oil has yet to warm up it is still giving your engine that level of protection that cannot be provided by conventional oil.

The other aspect of synthetic oil’s superiority is how it has less evaporation in the winter (also summer). Motor oil evaporates when it heats very high and this is often only achieved when the oil is damaged from being at extreme cold and extreme warm temperatures. This therefore happens lots in the winter and is what can lead to vehicle damage.


Should I get it Changed More in the Winter?

The short answer here is yes, but that is simply because the oil has a greater chance of being destabilized. What is most easy to help your engine oil this winter is to do two things.

The first is, like above, to use synthetic oil. That is because synthetic oil is better at high and low temps and does not destabilize from the temperature swings.

Secondly, we highly recommend that you check your dip stick for two things this winter. The first is so that you can check the oil level. There is a higher chance of evaporation in winter months due to the strain on the motor oil. The second is to check the colour of the motor oil. This is also because the winter will cause the oil to be strained and can loose its effectiveness quicker. The motor oil can be black but should have a slight tint of amber or dark gold. These colours signify the oil still has some life left.


Whichever choices you make about your motor oil this winter, make sure to have your winter supplies ready before the weather gets too bad.


Long Distance Winter Road Trip Safety Guide

Many of us will have an upcoming road trip that covers many hundreds of kilometers to see relatives or old friends this winter. Unless the you can easily move the trip dates around to fit the weather there will be a battle against the weather. Before and while you hit the road there are some simple steps to follow in order to keep you and your vehicle safe.


Before You Leave

You need to do three things prior to leaving on a long winter road trip. The first step is going to be a couple weeks before, which is going to a mechanic. We recommend you get the vehicle “safetied” which should run from $80-$200 and they will check every aspect of your vehicle for flaws and they will give a report for what would be needed in order to pass a safety. We recommend you ask them to give you a report on safety concerns instead of having a real safety check, because failing a real safety check could result in you needing to pay for these repairs that may not be needed such as a power window issue or cracked mirror.

Once you have the vehicle’s safety squared away you can start letting some of your family and friends know what day and time you plan on traveling. You should also include the route you plan on taking. This will allow people to know your whereabouts without having to disturb you when driving.

We recommend you stay up to date with the weather the week leading up to the trip. This way if possible you could leave a day early or late depending on if there will be good weather on one of the surrounding days. Another thing to think about is if there will be snow falling on your trip you should top up your windshield washing fluid. This will come in handy since you can easily go through a full bottle in bad weather.

Lastly, check some of our seasonal tips on some items for your vehicle during the winter, which includes some warm gear and jumper cables for example.


If You Get Stuck

It can happen when you do spin off the road and can no longer simply drive back onto the road. This is a dangerous spot to be in for a number of reasons, we recommend five steps in order to keep you as safe as possible while help is on the way.

Firstly, keep warm while trying to conserve fuel. It will be tempting to turn the car on to keep warm, but we recommend using those packed blankets instead.

When you do eventually turn the vehicle on again you need to check the exhaust pipe in order to make sure it is not clogged with dirt, snow or ice. A clogged tailpipe while running can allow carbon monoxide to leak into the passenger area of the vehicle.

Staying with your vehicle is important as some emergency help could see an empty can and assume the people had left and that will mean that there is less of an emergency than that of a car full of people who are cold and need help. We also recommend this so that you can help the tow truck or CAA with the vehicle if needed when they arrive.

You should try to dig yourself out at first if possible, but doing this can actually create great risk. When you work yourself hard in a winter jacket you can still sweat a lot and that can be dangerous as it will make you even colder when you eventually stop working. We recommend you work slowly and try to avoid working up a sweat.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, you need to be visible to the road and surrounding areas. This is so that other motorists see you and so that you responders can see you. If you don’t have the equipment for this, we recommend tying a bright shirt to the top of your radio antenna and putting another bright shirt somewhere opposite to the antenna on the top of the vehicle.


Best Advice for Winter Driving

That time of year is right around the corner, or even on your doorstep depending where you live. It can be sad to say goodbye to the warm weather and even worse when you think how difficult it is going to be to get around in your vehicle. Adding an extra 7-10 minutes every morning for your vehicle to warm up can make any people’s heart run cold, but other than the seasonal depression that winter brings there are some safety issues that come with driving also.


Your Speed

When driving in the winter your speed is very important, but maybe not in the way you think. Yes, what you’re thinking is my speed has to be slow, but almost as important as that is how consistent your speed is. When you pick up speed and brake consistently you are very likely to spin your wheels or slide over the snow when braking. Many people think that going fast up a hill or slow down one can give them more control, but this is actually wrong. When speeding up a hill your tires will spin and make your steering sub-par. When braking on a downslope there is a high probability that you will slide if you have any speed at all when you brake. We recommend starting a downslope with slow speed and taking your foot off the gas as you coast down the hill. When going up a hill you should keep your speed, and if possible it is better to speed up before the slope and take some perpetual motion up the hill as you keep the tires going a moderate speed.


Following Distance

We recommend heavily that you increase your following distance in order to keep safe this winter. When you follow closely in traffic it gives you far less time to react no matter the weather. This is more important on slick surfaces that are seen in the winter. The reason for this is because when you have less time to react to a slowing or braking vehicle in front it increases the likelihood that you will brake hard and cause an accident. We recommend at least 6 seconds behind in order to guarantee your safety.



If you know how your brakes reacted during times last winter that is great, and before assuming they will be as effective make sure that they are before going to stops at similar speeds as last winter. This is because your brakes will have worn some over the past 8 months and they will be less effective or more prone to locking up. When your brakes lock up in the winter this can be cause for accidents. We can guarantee that your trip to the mechanic to check your brakes will cost less than the trip to the auto-body shop after a crash.


Overall Safety

We recommend a couple easy and affordable options this winter to guarantee you stay safe. The first is to get a CAA membership, because sometimes your battery will die late at night and there is no friend or family available to help. This leads to our second recommendation, that is to have some warm coats or blankets in a bag somewhere in your vehicle. This will ensure you can last the couple hours it may take for a tow or jump to get to you. You should also never use cruise control when on roads with any snow or ice this winter. This is because the vehicle cannot sense it has lost some traction as opposed to you when you try to accelerate or slow down. Lastly, let your vehicle warm up for about 5 minutes’ minimum in order to allow the motor oil to be warm before driving thus making sure all elements of the engine have lubrication before driving.


The Most Common Oil Change Scams

Going to get your car serviced can be a stressful experience because you often do not know if there are any small issues or if that ticking noise can be solved with a certain add-on service. Add on services contribute to over half of the revenue made by quick lube shops and far more in conventional local garages. These services seem like something you could need, but most are simply a cash grab for the oil change location. Here are some of the most common add-on services that we strongly recommend steering clear of unless it aligns with your vehicles maintenance schedule.


Scam 1: Change the Oil for Cheap!

The scam here is that some of the cheapest places to get an oil change are the worst. It was revealed by CBS46 that Halvoline Xpress oil change shops had not even changed the oil in their vehicles. They exposed this by having hidden cameras underneath the vehicle, which captured video of not only no filter change, but no oil change either. This is extremely dangerous to say the least.

This crew from CBS46 also went to another of the chains locations and caught the location doing a similar scam, except even more dangerous for your vehicle. The technician removed motor oil from the vehicle then did not change the filter. After this the technician then either forgot, or on purpose did not replace the old oil that was drained with new oil. This would lead to the car being broken down within minutes of use. This is not that uncommon at quick lube shops, since they have to hire technicians right out of high school and if the shop is busy enough they have little supervision. This can lead to the above issue or another common mistake made by young technicians is putting on a oil filter that is not to manufacturer specifications.


Scam 2: Fluid Flushes

The most common of oil change scams is the fluid flush. Many times fluid flushes are needed, but not as often as they are recommended, and even when they are recommended they aren’t always needed. These can cost anywhere from $50 to hundreds depending on whether it is transmission fluid or steering fluid.

It was exposed by CBC’s marketplace that economy lube in Guelph, Ontario was charging for fluid flushes and not actually performing them. This is common practice, and you should never be getting these extra services done when they aren’t part of the maintenance schedule for the vehicle. Technicians often get commission on these mark ups and therefore are willing to lie for the extra pay.


Scam 3: Oil, not Filter

A very common scam that is used for extra cheap oil changes is an oil change that is so cheap you can’t believe the price. These often don’t include a filter change. This is very dangerous for the vehicle, and because of that we highly recommend spending more that $50 on your oil change. Many oil changes that are priced lower will have this as a way for the shop to save a bit of money on their bottom line.

There is also a tactic where the garage does not drain the oil, but just changes the filter for the sake of speed. This can be a common occurrence in quick lube shops. This is another reason to avoid a “10-minute oil change”.


There are lots of great garages and chains that can keep your car in great shape, but these are some of the things that could happen at any shop. We always recommend knowing your maintenance schedule’s recommended services before going to the shop to avoid pointless add-on services.



What Oil Additive is Best for My Vehicle?

Motor oil additives can be very helpful for certain times of the year or certain times in your engines lifecycle. There are many different purposes of an oil additive, but the main purposes are to reduce friction, remove debris, or increase fuel economy. Most oil additives focus on just one of these tasks and can therefore have a great chance to fix at least one when you choose the right product. Here are some of our favourites…


Liqui Moly Anti-Friction Engine Treatment

For reducing friction, we recommend this product made by the German lubricant company Liqui Moly. This product is most recommended for older engines that are looking to extend the last years of its life. This happens because this treatment uses molybdenum which coats parts of the engine and therefore less metal parts of the engine in contact because the molybdenum mineral is in between parts (coating them usually).

This product not only has a long shelf life, but also lasts very long inside the engine. On top of these the price point is as good or better than any competitors in the anti-friction oil additive market. This product also is better than the rival anti-friction products made from ZDDP compounds that are unable to create a film around engine parts like the moly product. This is without a doubt the only product for your aging engine, as it also reduces noise and extends the engines life. We cannot recommend it enough.


RevX Stiction Fix Oil Treatment

This is one of the most all inclusive engine oil additives and therefore it does cost more than almost any other. It is also not a chemically based additive and therefore you do not have to exchange some other form of performance or damage in exchange for its benefits. The list of benefits includes increased performance (horsepower), increased fuel economy, and decreased engine temperature while running.

It was originally a stiction reducer and it worked in a way that helped multiple aspects, even cold starts. The way in which the additive works is essentially just improve what motor oil is already doing in your engine. Though it is probably the most expensive product on the market, it’s because it is amazing.


Marvel Mystery Oil Ultimate Fuel and Motor Treatment

This may be the most recommended product we have on the list, as this can truly turn the course of your engine. This additive removes debris and deposits in the fuel system and therefore can increase fuel economy and add to the life of the engine while saving you money. One other aspect is that this formula works specifically great with vehicles that have higher ethanol fuel systems. This is because ethanol can create rust and corrosion faster than other fuels.


We recommend finding an oil additive that works for where your vehicle is currently lacking. Like we always say, the best protection for your vehicle is consistent maintenance and keeping at pace with your maintenance schedule. Synthetic oil is also always recommended and can also help in some of the ways that these oil additives help.


How Synthetic Oil Came to Be

The use of synthetic oil is now on par with that of mineral based oil, and if you discount blends of the two synthetic oil is now more popular than conventional (mineral) oil. Synthetic oil has truly come to popularity over the last ten years and it has some reasons as to why it took so long. After all, it was invented in 1937.

The first time that synthetic oil was available was when in 1937, in an Imperial Oil research facility in Indiana a bi-product was made and they saw its lubrication qualities. This product was then sought out by the German air force and American Navy. This product was then primarily used in aircrafts for both countries. The reason they saw its upside is the same reasons it is great for your vehicle now, its better than conventional oil in hot and cold temperatures. The first use in cars was my military pilots in the United States who saw its benefits in the cold high altitudes of Alaska. These pilots also felt the synthetic oil could help their vehicles in the cold tundra of Alaska.

A man named Jack Arotta who was also a military man in Minnesota started creating fully synthetic motor oil and even used it in his brand new vehicle. He thought of himself as the first person to use 100% synthetic oil in his vehicle. He then set out to start the sale of this oil and the company then became AMZOil today.

Soon after (1975) Mobil Oil saw the benefits of synthetic oil and knew it would one day become huge in consumer light cars and trucks. That is how they came up with their now famous Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil. By the 1990’s it was easy to see that every motor oil manufacturer knew this would be the way of the future. This caused them to all stock a synthetic oil by that time.

Many vehicles still don’t use synthetic oil, whether it is the manufacturer or owner’s choice, and it is confusing seeing as synthetic is a much better product. Not even today do all engines require this, but many owners also opt for this without knowing the value they get from synthetic oil.

Still, not all car owners are using synthetic oil in their vehicles. Synthetic oil is much better, and while being more expensive it has the ability to protect your engine in hotter and colder temperatures. Also, synthetic oil does not loose as much due to evaporation between oil changes. This factor can be the difference in your engines health.

There were some reasons synthetic oil hasn’t become popular, namely there was a rumour that changing to synthetic oil after using conventional during the cars whole existence would be bad for the vehicle. This was disproved recently and the opposite was actually proved, switching to synthetic is an improvement for an old vehicle.


Is an Oil Change Near Me Better than Traveling to a Chain?

The short answer to this is not really, but it can be. When you live in a city like Toronto an oil change near me is really the best way to keep your vehicle well maintained as this increases the likelihood of you being willing to regularly get oil changes. It is similar to a person that lives near a bakery or a coffee shop, it increases your likelihood of using the store. This can be quite important when it comes to consistent maintenance for your vehicle.


How Often is an Oil Change Near Me Needed?

Since you do have access to an oil change nearest to you through The Oil Change App getting an oil change will be easier to receive often. And we all know that an oil change is needed every 4 months or 10,000KM when using synthetic. The reason that there is a time limit on time between oil changes is because the oil looses its ability to protect the engine over time whether it is being used or not. This is similar to food going bad, except it takes much longer luckily.


Can Changing My Oil Often Affect the Value of the Vehicle?

The short answer is yes, but you will need a few things to prove this. You will need documentation to prove each and every service and that is easy to do with The Oil Change App, because we automatically send you an email with your receipt of service and that will prove your oil change occurred. Not only will this affect the resale value but if there is ever an issue with the vehicle and your warranty is still active you will need proof that you had serviced your vehicle on time each interval. This will sometimes allow you to resell the vehicle while the warranty is still active and that will definitely help your vehicles value.


Should I Get an Oil Change Near Me Before a Road Trip?

The is some good thought to this, but essentially no, you don’t. This is unless you are going to be driving on gravel or dirt roads and your oil change will be needed soon after your return. This is because when you drive on dirt roads that will end up in the motor oil and take away some of the lubricating properties of the oil. If you had changed your oil a month or two before the road trip and there is still a couple months until the oil change we recommend you wait until the oil change is needed, especially if you are highway driving. This is because highway miles are far less hard on your engine.  We always recommend getting your oil changed on time since it will cost only tens of dollars annually and leave you with peace of mind.


If I start to Use Synthetic Oil Do I have to Keep Using Synthetic Oil?

This is urban myth or something of the sort. We often come into contact with people asking if changing to synthetic oil is alright when you have been using conventional your cars whole existence. That also is a myth, and synthetic oil is definitely better for your engine, but you can always have an oil change interval on conventional. Our only issue is that conventional does not last as long as synthetic and therefore your next oil change can come and go quicker than you think and then you are damaging the vehicle.


Best Place for an Oil Change Near Me?

Rather than sitting in traffic on your way to the garage or oil change shop, download The Oil Change App on the App Store or Google Play and send out a live request for service anytime, anywhere. All oil changes are synthetic and include a OEM spec filter to keep your engine running smooth.