How do I know when to change tires?

If you look closely at the grooves between the treads on a tire, you will notice an occasional bridge between two adjacent treads. These bridges determine the depth to which tires can be safely used. When the tread wears out exposing these bridges it is time to get new tires. Of course, tires may need replacing for other reasons such as uneven wear due to wheel misalignment, damage from hitting a pothole or the curb, a puncture that cannot be fixed, ply separation, etc.

What other maintenance does my car need and how often?

Your car’s maintenance schedule is specified in the owner’s manual. It is best to stick to that schedule as closely as possible. OilCOW will keep track of your car’s maintenance needs and we’ll inform you via email and text about upcoming, mileage specific events. Please make sure your information is current when you fill-in a service request form.

Does service pricing include taxes?
No. Per state law, taxes will be assessed on parts (e,g, oil filter) and material (motor oil, airfreshner-if requested). We do not charge
oil disposal fees or for shop supplies.
How often should I change my car’s oil?
Your car’s manual specifies the frequency and type of oil to be used for different driving conditions. For modern cars
(typically, manufactured after year 2000), oil change frequency is, typically, either 5,000 miles or 7,500 miles. Some imports stipulate oil changes after as many as 12,500 miles (e.g. Mini Cooper), or more. While changing oil more frequently may help your car some, it certainly will affect your pocket book. OilCOW follows your car manufacturer’s recommendation. We use 5W-30 grade oil (standard or synthetic).
How often do I need to service my car’s brakes?

There are at least three components in the braking system that require periodic maintenance.

First, check the brake fluid. Check it about once a month (certainly before a long road trip) and top-off if necessary to bring the fluid level to the Max mark. If considerable amount of brake fluid is added that could be an indication that your car’s brake pads have worn out significantly, or that  here is a leak in the braking system. If a leak exists the driver should notice a softer brake pedal that  eeps sinking to the floor board when pressure is applied and maintained for a while (about 30-60 seconds) on the brake pedal. Do this test with the engine idling and the car stationary.

Second, check the brake pads. Modern brake pads have a tab that produces a metallic screeching noise when the car is moving and the tab rubs against the brake rotor. This noise is an indication that the pads have exceeded their usable life. Change the pads immediately. Occasionally, the metal tab may brake and you may hear a GRINDING or a DRAGGING noise, indicating that the pads have completely worn out and the metal on which the pads were built is now rubbing against the rotor metal. Under this condition brakes on at least one wheel are no longer working and it is UNSAFE to drive the car. At this point you will need to change both the brake pads and the rotors.

Change pads and/or rotors, on both wheels of an axel at the same time.

Third, check the rotors for wear and warpage. If you feel a pulsing sensation on the steering wheel when you apply the brakes, the pulsing vibrations are a good indication that the rotors are warped. At one time, rotors could be resurfaced to remove the warp. Newer rotors cannot be resurfaced, and the price for new rotors are almost the same as the labor involved in resurfacing warped rotors. To check for rotor wear the rotors will have to be removed and gauged using a micrometer or calipers. A shop mechanic will do it best.

Change pads and/or rotors, on both wheels of an axel at the same time.