Category Archives: Fluids

Sniffing Out a Problem

Your parents probably taught you to have common sense. When it comes to your vehicle, common scents can also come in handy. Different smells may tell you about some conditions in your vehicle that need attention. For example, you know what rotten eggs smell like.  If you smell them around your vehicle, it means sulfur can't be far away. Here's a surprising fact: Gasoline has a little sulfur in it.  There's a device in your exhaust system that's supposed to convert it to something that doesn't pollute the atmosphere. That device is a catalytic converter.  If you are smelling rotten eggs, maybe your catalytic converter is wearing out.  But it could also be a problem with your fuel injectors.  Either way, something's rotten that should be repaired. Ever smell something sweet around your vehicle, maybe a little like pancake syrup? If you sniff out a little sweetness just when your engine is warming up or after you shut off your engine, you might be smelling some co ... read more

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Fluids

The Lighthouse Automotive Basic Guide To Synthetic Oil

Synthetic motor oil has been around for a long time, and more and more new vehicles are leaving factories with synthetic in their engines. But a lot of drivers don't really know much about it.Let's start with conventional oil – the kind folks are used to. Conventional oil is made up of naturally occurring hydrocarbon chains, which means its molecules are long and have various lengths. Like a pile of pencils, some of them new and some of them used.Synthetic oil is man-made. Its molecules are more uniform and regular in shape – more similar to marbles than pencils. Some synthetic oil starts with a petroleum base that's modified and others are entirely synthesized from other materials.Synthetic motor oil works better in both hot and cold temperatures. It's more chemically stable so it doesn't readily evaporate or break down in the high heat produced inside your vehicle engine. This means it resists turning to sludge, which is a real engine killer.Remember that marbles and ... read more

Procrastination Prevention in Colorado Springs

Every one of us has a little procrastinator inside us. Some put off getting our teeth cleaned. Others put off answering our emails. Yet others put off calling friends and family (sorry, Uncle Joe). And there are those of us who put off getting our vehicle's service done, whether it's a repair or regular maintenance. You may make the excuse that you don't have time, it can wait until tomorrow, you have other things to do. Well, there are some things you should NEVER put off when it comes to your vehicle because that procrastination could have dire consequences down the road. The biggest one is changing your oil. Yes, it's one of those things you may hear somebody nag you about, but changing your vehicle's oil regularly is probably the one thing that will do the most to keep things running smoothly… and well. It's the lubricant that keeps metal engine parts from wearing out. Oil doesn't last forever and it gets dirty, so you have to swap it out for fresh every so often. How often ... read more

Lighthouse Automotive Service Tip: Why Synthetic Oil Is Good For Your Vehicles

Hello Colorado! Today's vehicle care topic is: Synthetic Oil vs. Petroleum Based Oil. Synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil. If you aren't currently using it, why not? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why, we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations. The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is slipperier, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there's less friction. This results in myriad benefits: better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn't sludge up like conventional oil so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up. (We see that too often at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs.)Some manufacturers are ex ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

Lighthouse Automotive Advice on What to Pour into Your Vehicle

Changes in vehicle design and manufacture have resulted in changed fluid requirements for our vehicles. With the sophistication of engines, transmissions, differentials, etc., it's best for Colorado Springs residents to always use the proper type of fluid for their vehicle. Using incorrect fluids can actually damage your engine.As engines have become more sophisticated, new weights (or grades) of engine oil have been introduced. Today, there is a much wider range of weights for engine oil as well as a variety of formulations for different types of engines.Transmission fluid, brake fluid and coolant/anti-freeze have changed because the materials that go into making the systems they protect have changed. The fluids in our vehicles generally have two jobs: to lubricate and to prevent corrosion. The fluids formulated for your vehicle are specifically designed to protect the materials that make up its engine parts. Using the wrong fluid may leave some parts vulnerable to corrosion. Further ... read more

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Fluids

Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?

Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all Colorado Springs residents know about them. But do we know enough?Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals.Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for Colorado Springs residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable.Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways ... read more

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Fluids

Colorado: What Is the Risk of High Oil Change Intervals?

Colorado residents may have heard that vehicles don't need their oil changed as often as they used to. That's true. But it's not the whole story.Owing to improved engine technology and higher oil quality, most newer vehicles can go longer between oil changes than their older counterparts.So what is a good time interval for oil changes? How do Colorado residents know when to change it? And why do we change it in the first place?Oil lubricates a vehicle's engine, which protects it from friction damage. Over time the oil can collect dirt and contaminants that inhibit its performance. But dirty oil isn't the only problem for Colorado residents. What you really want to avoid is called oil sludge.Oil sludge is caused by moisture in the oil and by hot spots in your engine that burn off oil. This sludge is a gooey gel that can clog engine passageways, which can block lubricants from reaching vital engine parts. The result can be engine wear or even engine failure.Sludge forms rapidly in an eng ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

The Lighthouse Automotive Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

The automotive professionals at Lighthouse Automotive would like to give Colorado Springs drivers an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, vehicles are becoming more sophisticated every day.  Fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.The Colorado Springs do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many Colorado ] owners rely on the advice of their friendly and knowledgeable Lighthouse Automotive service advisor to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their vehicle and their driving habits in the Colorado Springs area.Let's start with engine oil. Colorado Springs drivers who have been paying attention will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the Colorado sce ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

The Right Fluids for Your Vehicle

The current vehicles in the market have over a century of engineering behind them. They have evolved into complex and powerful machines. Developments in their engines, however, have coincided with advances in many other vehicle components, including the fluids.It's up to people in Colorado Springs to always use the right type of fluid for their vehicle. Your service advisor and your owner's manual are resources for auto advice on exactly what types of fluid your vehicle needs. Improper fluids can damage your vehicle and void your warranty.Some of the fluids that have changed significantly in recent years are cooling system fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil. Each of these comes in many varieties now, and it's hard to know exactly which one your vehicle needs.Cooling systems were once made of iron, steel and rubber. One coolant could be used to protect all of these materials. But new cooling systems have compon ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

Super Slick at Lighthouse Automotive in Colorado Springs: Synthetic Oil

When you get an oil change, it's always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the manufacturer recommends. But sometimes we're asked if we'd like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for Colorado Springs drivers. Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides advantages over conventional motor oil. First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for Colorado Springs drivers, cooler operating temperatures and more engine power. Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doe ... read more

Categories:

Fluids
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