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Over the years I have gotten my oil changed at many different places. The benefit of keeping my oil changed regularly is that my car keeps running in good condition. Proper maintenance means that busy single moms like me can be sure that our cars are going to continue taking us to work, to school, to run errands and even for emergencies. We don’t have husbands or partners to rely on for oil changes and I think it’s important whether you are married or not to have some kind of clue about car maintenance. Cars are basically our living rooms on wheels. You wouldn’t disregard picking up the living room regularly now would you?
After the rent or mortgage payment, making sure the car is drivable is one of the most important household expenses since most single moms only have one car. If that car goes out, we’re basically screwed. Being on a tight budget means that we can’t just rent another car or go buy a new one and in TX, public transportation doesn’t reach out to many suburban areas. Being a single mom for a very long time I would get frustrated changing my oil only to have to take it back in because the lube shop guy forgot to tighten the screw on the oil pan. A lot of wasted time for me to have to “go back” to the shop to get it fixed. I took it upon myself to ask my brother in law about what I should be looking out for on my own. How to check the level of the oil and all the fluids and what to “inspect” after I take it in to get the oil changed.
Car Maintenance Tips for Single Moms
Over the years just knowing these simple tips has helped me avoid wasting my money and time. I also believe using quality oil such as Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic can help keep your engine parts clean and free of build-up since you want to be able to use your car for as long as you can. I have a few of these reminders for my single moms on marinating their cars:
- Always read your owner’s manual – this will let you know what kind of oil to use and how often you should get an oil change.
- To determine the type of oil that should be used check your manual. It will depend on the service and the viscosity of your engine. Failure to use the oil as stated in your manual can void your warranty. Also if you are in a high traffic commute area like Dallas-Fort Worth your oil levels can go down quicker.
- Keep all receipts of oil changes and any replacement oil filters in case of any lube related failures later on.
- Recheck the dipstick – always check your fluid levels after an oil change. Recheck it every two weeks and top off as necessary. The oil level should be between the marker lines on the dipstick and if it is black or dirty looking it needs to be changed.
- Check the transmission fluid levels. Transmission fluid should have a slight pink color.
- Check your coolant when the engine is cold.
- Inspect your tires and make sure they are inflated to the specified PSI (pounds per square inch) as stated in your manual.
- Check the car battery to see if the terminals have any corrosion
While many of these services and more can be done at the Walmart Automotive Care Center and the oil changed with Pennzoil these are still great tips in between oil changes. I have found it has helped me stay more in tuned with the second biggest expense after the mortgage payment.
The Pennzoil Difference
As I mentioned earlier sludge is not our friend. Sludge and engine buildup creates friction on the internal parts of the car which increases wear and tear on your vehicle and Pennzoil helps clean this out by providing complete protection to drive an extra 550 miles per year vs. a dirty engine. It’s 900 miles from Orange, TX at the Louisiana border all the way to El Paso, TX near the New Mexico border. So with an extra 550 miles you could make it halfway across Texas.
Pennzoil has three types of motor oil:
- Conventional Motor Oil – A traditional oil base, fortified with Active Cleaning Agents™ to continuously prevent dirt and contaminants from creating performance-robbing deposits.
- High Mileage Vehicle – Helps to reduce leaks and oil consumption in worn or higher mileage engines. It’s a motor oil that is specifically designed for new or late model vehicles with over 75,000 miles, to help keep the engines running clean and going strong for a long time.
- Platinum (synthetic motor oil) – Best cleanliness and protection in the Pennzoil line-up. With PurePlus™ Technology, the Platinum® motor oil is proven to keep pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standard. PurePlus™ Technology is a revolutionary process that converts natural gas into a 99.5% pure base oil.
I personally used the Platinum since I have a luxury model and since this oil works to keep the engine clean. Pennzoil also offers a free warranty that covers 15 engine parts that may fail due to engine wear or which experience abnormal wear due to friction.
Convenience of shopping while getting the oil changed
I found that being able to shop for groceries and eat dinner at work at the in-store restaurant made it easier to get the oil changed after work and after picking up my daughter.
The convenience of the automotive care center being close to my work, being open until 8 PM on weekdays as well as being open on Sundays makes this much more convenient than my dealer. We could also scan the code on the ticket they gave us to see when the service was complete.
If you are a single mom, what tips do you have for making sure your car is running great?
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