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Your Superior Guide to Albuquerque Oil Changes

Oil changes are a fact of life when you own a vehicle in Albuquerque. Our sweltering summertime temperatures can thin out motor oil, especially if you’re driving for long distances.

Knowing when to check – and change – your oil is an important part of owning a vehicle. Regular oil changes extend the life of your engine and keep it running smoothly.

However, many people have questions about oil changes, including what type of oil to use and how often to change it. In this blog, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about oil changes, including:

How often should you change your oil?

Albuquerque oil changes are a necessary part of maintaining the health of your vehicle. Whether you drive it occasionally or for long distances daily, changing your oil regularly extends the life of your vehicle and prevents issues that lead to roadside breakdowns.

One of the questions most vehicle owners have is how often to change their oil. The frequency of oil changes for your automobile depends on the make and model, as well as your driving habits and environmental factors like climate.

As a rule, most vehicles need an oil change every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. However, some newer vehicles can go longer between oil changes.

If you rarely drive your vehicle, replace the mileage guideline with a timeframe of 6 months instead. Oil only lasts for a certain period before it starts to break down. It can go bad sitting in an idle engine.

It’s always a good rule of thumb to consult your owner’s manual for specific guidelines on what’s best for your make and model. When in doubt, you can ask a mechanic in Albuquerque what they recommend.

A person in a lab holds a beaker full of synthetic motor oil used during Albuquerque oil changes instead of conventional oil.
Synthetic oil is manmade and extends the life of your engine better than conventional motor oil.

What type of oil should you use?

One of the biggest debates today is over which type of motor oil to use. The synthetic versus conventional oil argument happens a lot with Albuquerque oil changes because of our climate. Let’s review your options so you can make the best decision for the life of your vehicle’s engine.

  • Conventional motor oil is a petroleum-based lubricant used in engines for decades. It’s made from crude oil and refined to remove impurities before blending it with additives to improve performance. Conventional motor oil has limitations. Its performance in extreme climates is inconsistent. It also has a shorter lifespan than synthetic oil. The only benefit is it’s less expensive than synthetic oils.
  • Synthetic motor oil is a manmade lubricant designed to improve your automobile’s performance while providing superior protection to your engine. It has a longer lifespan than conventional oil and performs better in extreme temperatures. Synthetic oil resists breakdown and chemical reactions and improves fuel efficiency. The only downside is it’s more expensive than conventional oil.

Your owner’s manual makes recommendations on what kind of motor oil works best for your vehicle. Consulting a mechanic in Albuquerque that offers oil changes to customers is another way to determine whether you should use conventional or synthetic oil.

A man pours fresh motor oil into his engine after changing the oil himself.
You can change your oil yourself if you have the know-how and tools needed. Always dispose of your used oil properly.

Can you change your oil yourself?

Can you change your oil yourself? Yes. Should you? Maybe not. Here’s why.

Changing your oil requires more than the desire to save some money by doing it yourself instead of paying a mechanic that specializes in Albuquerque oil changes to do it for you.

You need the right tools and knowledge to change your oil. If you’ve never tried it before, you risk making a mistake – like draining your transmission fluid instead of your motor oil.

Or you may fail to change the filter with the oil, which can eventually damage your engine. These kinds of mistakes are costlier than paying a mechanic to change your oil.

Proper disposal methods for used motor oil

If you decide to change your oil, it’s important to familiarize yourself with proper disposal methods for used motor oil and filters. Used motor oil isn’t classified as hazardous waste in Albuquerque. However, it’s banned from landfills and other solid waste disposal systems.

Dumping it can pollute the water supply. Instead, use a special container for collecting the used motor oil and recycle it at one of the automotive fluid recycling program collection sites across Albuquerque.

An engine oil sensor on a vehicle's dash advises the driver it's time for an Albuquerque oil change.
Most newer vehicles have engine oil sensors that alert you when it’s time to visit your mechanic in Albuquerque.

What are the signs you need an oil change?

Some vehicle owners strictly follow protocol for changing their oil. They visit their mechanic in Albuquerque every 5,000 to 7,000 miles (or 6 months) like clockwork to get fresh oil and a new filter.

Most newer vehicles include oil life indicators that signal when it’s time to change the oil, so you don’t have to track your miles between changes.

Even if your automobile has a fancy oil change tracking system, sensors can fail. It’s important to check your oil regularly for signs it’s breaking down.

Some of the most common warning signs include:

  • The oil is dark and dirty on the dipstick when you check it.
  • The engine sounds louder than usual.
  • The oil warning light comes on.
  • The engine overheats.

If you experience any of these issues, it’s best to visit a trusted mechanic in Albuquerque who can change your oil and check your vehicle for any other damage.

The inside of an engine where the engine oil has turned to sludge because the owner failed to get Albuquerque oil changes regularly.
If you ignore oil changes long enough, the oil in your engine turns into sludge, which can ruin vital engine components and lead to costly repairs.

What happens if you don’t change your oil?

Failing to change your oil regularly can reduce the lifespan of your engine. Oil becomes dirty and loses its ability to lubricate the engine properly over time. Even synthetic oil has a shelf life.

Old oil begins to gel or solidify in the engine. If left unchanged long enough, it turns to sludge, which keeps the oil from reaching all the parts of the engine that require lubrication.

Starving the crankshafts, bearings, camshafts, and other valve train components of the lubrication they need to function properly can lead to serious damage.

Eventually, your engine can seize up. Your only choice then is to replace it or to buy another vehicle. Neither option is inexpensive. It’s best to change your oil per your owner’s manual recommendations or your mechanic in Albuquerque to avoid this costly mistake.

Oil changes in Albuquerque

Albuquerque oil changes are an important part of maintaining your vehicle. Knowing when to change your oil, what type of oil to use, and how to recognize the signs it’s time to change your oil can extend the lifespan of your engine and keep it running smoothly.

If you’re not comfortable with or knowledgeable enough to change your oil, take your vehicle to a mechanic in Albuquerque.

5 Signs Your Vehicle Needs Electrical Help

Your automobile’s electrical system plays a critical role in helping all its components function smoothly. It provides power to your engine and all the creature comforts you’ve come to enjoy while cruising down the highway.

Warning signs of electrical issues that require car electrical repairs can be obvious and subtle. As a vehicle owner, it’s important you pay attention to cries for help from your automobile’s electrical system before it’s too late and you find yourself stranded alongside the road.

In this blog, we explore 5 signs of electrical issues and when it’s time to reach out to your electrical auto mechanic in Albuquerque for help. You’ll discover:

Jumper cables on an engine to charge it can be a sign you need an electrical auto mechanic.
If you find your battery dead more often than not, it’s a sign that you need to visit a trusted electrical auto mechanic.

What are the 5 signs of electrical issues you should never ignore?

Your vehicle talks to you if you’re willing to listen. Sputtering sounds, flapping noises, and even flashing dashboard lights are all part of how your automobile tells you it needs some TLC from a trusted auto mechanic.

Electrical issues are among the most serious problems you can have with your car or truck. They almost always require the help of an electrical auto mechanic who can pinpoint the problem by observing the warning signs.

Here are 5 of the most common signals:

  1. Dead battery
    Sometimes a dead battery happens because the battery is old and needs replacing. Other times, it may signal a more serious problem. If your battery is relatively new but fails to hold a charge, it might be time to seek the assistance of a mechanic.

    Dead batteries can indicate a failing alternator or a bad starter. Both are necessary for helping the battery turn over and start your engine. Don’t keep jumping a dead battery. Get the help of a trusted mechanic to rule out electrical problems before you ruin other expensive parts in your vehicle.

  2. Dimming or flickering lights
    If you’re having a bit of trouble seeing while driving at night, the culprit might be electrical issues with your car or truck. Dimming or flickering lights are a classic warning sign that you might have a loose battery connection or a failing alternator.

    It’s not just the exterior lights that can act up with electrical issues. Your interior lights can dim or flicker also. Don’t assume it’s an issue with the bulbs. Talk to your auto mechanic to rule out other causes.

  3. Electrical surges
    Electrical surges or fluctuations in power while driving aren’t normal behavior for a vehicle that’s working properly. Maybe your stereo keeps shutting off, or your car fails to speed up when you hit the gas. These can be signs of a failing alternator or bad starter. Don’t wait until your car stalls out on the highway before you act. Call an electrical auto mechanic right away to get your car diagnosed with electrical issues.

  4. Strange noises
    Clicking and grinding noises can mean a lot of things in a vehicle. You might have worn brake pads or rotors. Your transmission might be slipping. But when those sounds come from your engine, it can signal an electrical problem that requires immediate attention. Alternators and starters that are going bad can make unusual sounds, as can other electrical system components. You’re better safe than sorry to get it checked out right away.

  5. Warning lights
    It’s never a good sign when your vehicle’s dashboard lights come on—especially if they all come on at the same time. All modern cars and trucks come with warning lights on their dashboards to alert drivers to potential problems.

    A check engine light can indicate several issues, including a malfunctioning electrical system. Don’t ignore your warning lights and hope they’ll magically disappear. Get to an auto mechanic immediately for an inspection.
an electrical auto mechanic checks under the hood for electrical problems.
Call a trusted electrical auto mechanic if you suspect your vehicle’s electrical system is malfunctioning.

What kind of expert fixes vehicle electrical issues?

A mechanic at Rio Grande Automotive is an expert you need when your vehicle starts showing signs of an electrical problem.

Electrical auto mechanics have the expertise and skills necessary to diagnose and repair electrical problems with your vehicle. They can tell you whether those dimming lights and clicking noises are an electrical system malfunction or something else that requires attention.

They can use computer diagnostic tools to pinpoint the issue with accuracy so you’re not wasting money on unnecessary repairs. Choose an experienced and reputable mechanic who can get your vehicle repaired quickly so it’s safe and reliable again.  

A tow truck driver loads up a car that broke down alomg the side of the road to take it to an electrical auto mechanic.
Don’t wait until your car breaks down along the side of the road. Call an electrical auto mechanic at the first sign of trouble.

What happens if you ignore electrical system warning signs?

Ignoring warning signs from your vehicle is never a good idea. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rubbing sound from worn tire tread or a battery that can’t seem to hold a charge. Pretending it’s not happening can lead to more expensive repairs down the road.

Some of the things that can happen if you ignore your automobile’s cries for help include:

  • Decreased resale value, making it more difficult to sell or trade.
  • Further damage to the electrical system, adding expense to any repairs needed.
  • Increased risk of an electrical fire, putting you and your passengers in danger.
  • Reduced fuel efficiency (and increased fuel costs).
  • Roadside breakdowns when your vehicle refuses to start or quits running.

Find an electrical auto mechanic near you

When your vehicle shows any of these warning signs, it’s best to have it inspected by an electrical auto mechanic sooner rather than later. Doing so prevents further damage and ensures your safety.

Reach out to the mechanics at Rio Grande Automotive today to schedule a diagnostic checkup of your automobile’s electrical system. We’ll get you safely back on the road in no time.

How to Choose an Electrical Auto Mechanic

Electrical auto mechanics are experts at spotting electrical problems in your vehicle. Minor issues like dimming headlights and major issues like a complete loss of power might stump you and leave you frustrated. However, they are no match for an experienced electrical auto mechanic in Albuquerque.

A vehicle’s electrical system consists of the alternator, battery, and starter. Each has a specific function. Batteries trigger starters to wake your car up. Once the battery and starter do their jobs, the alternator takes over, feeding the battery the energy it needs to keep your vehicle running.

All it takes is for one of these crucial electrical components to malfunction to keep your car from starting or running properly.

These aren’t the only parts of your vehicle that require electricity to work. Cooling fans, fuel pump switches, and the entire lighting system depend on electrical components to do their jobs.

When any of these critical systems fail, it’s time to seek out an electrical auto mechanic who can get you back on the road quickly.

What is an electrical auto mechanic?

An electrical auto mechanic specializes in diagnosing and repairing electrical systems in domestic and foreign vehicles. They install, inspect, maintain, and repair all electrical components of vehicles.

Programming and reprogramming electronic control modules are part of their jobs. The charging systems, engine control unit—even the electronic components of the transmission—need the knowledge of a skilled auto mechanic to run smoothly.

Electrical auto mechanics need comprehensive knowledge of your car’s electrical system. Complex problem-solving skills also are a must because sometimes electrical problems present in subtle ways or require out-of-the-box thinking to solve.

an electrical auto mechanic is testing a dead battery in a car
A dead battery or one that won’t hold a charge for long is a tell-tale sign of an electrical system issue in your vehicle that requires the help of an electrical auto mechanic.

When do you need an electrical auto mechanic?

Sometimes electrical problems are obvious. Maybe your car won’t start, or even if it does, it doesn’t seem to have much get-up-and-go while running. Have you noticed your headlights or interior lights seem dimmer than usual? Maybe your stereo glitches in the middle of your favorite tune, shutting itself off.

These can be indications that it’s time to seek the help of an experienced electrical auto mechanic in Albuquerque. Here are some other signs it’s time to schedule an appointment.

  • Your battery is dead. A dead battery is one of the most common electrical issues in vehicles. It can happen if the battery is old and no longer holds a charge. Perhaps you left the headlights or other electrical components like interior lighting on all night. That can lead to a dead battery also. Sometimes it occurs when there’s a problem with your vehicle’s charging system (like a faulty alternator).
  • Your alternator malfunctions. Alternators charge your car’s battery and provide power to the entire electrical system while the vehicle is running. When an alternator stops working properly, the battery can’t hold a charge. You may find your car stalling if it starts at all. If your headlights keep dimming, your battery struggles to stay charged, or warning lights start appearing on your dashboard, your alternator likely needs replacing.  
  • Your starter motor acts up. The starter motor is responsible for turning over the engine when you use your key in the ignition to start your vehicle. A clicking sound is a tell-tale sign that your starter is bad.
  • Your warning lights are on. If you start your car one morning and find all the warning lights coming on and staying on, it’s time to get to a mechanic. This can be a sign your electronic control unit (ECU) has failed. The ECU controls the engine, transmission, and ABS systems of your car. If it malfunctions, you’ll see warning lights and your car will perform poorly (if it starts at all).
  • Your wiring is bad. Wiring issues are serious because if ignored, they can start an electrical system fire. Wiring issues cause short circuits that can damage your entire electrical system. If you suspect faulty wiring, get to an experienced electrical auto mechanic right away.

Electrical auto mechanic near me

Electrical component repairs can range between a few hundred dollars for a new battery to thousands of dollars for a complete rewiring of the electrical system. If you suspect electrical problems with your vehicle, choose a mechanic in Albuquerque that has the skills and the reputation to fix the problem right the first time.

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