Frequently asked questions

Q. How often should I really change my oil?

 This used to be a simple question and the standard response was every 3,000 miles or 3 months which ever came first. However today, the answer is not as cut and dry. If you are using regular oil the answer has not changed, you should change your oil about every 3,000 miles or 3 months. If on the other hand you are using a synthetic oil, the change interval may be considerable longer. Synthetic oils often have change intervals of 5,000 miles or even more in some cases. You really need to check your owners manual and go by what your car's manufacturer recommends. It is important that you not exceed the recommended change interval for your vehicle as some manufactures have voided warrantees in certain instances where customers have not properly followed their guidelines. Edmonds.com provide the following list of links to online manuals. It was updated by them as of 10-01-2013 so some of these links may not be active. If not check your vehicle manufacture's website.

  

Manufacturer  Notes
Acura 1990-current models. (No login needed.)
Audi Paper owner's manuals are available for purchase.
BMW 2004-current models. (No login needed.)
Buick 1993-current models. (No login needed.)
Cadillac 1993-current models. (No login needed.)
Chevrolet 1993-current models. (No login needed.)
Chrysler 2004-current models can be downloaded. (No login needed.) Paper versions of model year 1981-current are available for purchase.
Daewoo 1999-2002 models. Purchase owner's manuals from "Order Accessories" link.
Dodge 2004-current models can be downloaded. (No login needed.) Paper versions of model year 1981-current are available for purchase.
Fiat 2012-current models can be downloaded. Applies to North American built models only. (No login needed.)
Ford 1996-current models. (No login needed.)
Geo 1993-2000 models. (No login needed.) Geo models are listed under Chevrolet make.
GMC 1993-current models. (No login needed.)
Honda 1990-current models. (No login needed.)
Hummer 2003-2011 (No login needed.)
Hyundai 2003-current models. (Login and VIN required.)
Infiniti 2009-current models. (No login needed.)
Isuzu Isuzu Web site directs you to Helms Inc. for manual.
Jaguar 1995-current models. More technical information than an actual owner's manual. Registration required.
Jeep 2004-current models can be downloaded. (No login needed.) Paper versions of model year1981-current are available for purchase.
Kia 2005-current models. Registration required.
Land Rover 1992-current models. More technical information than an actual owner's manual. Registration required.
Lexus 1990-current models. Each chapter of the owner's manual is a separate downloadable document. (No login needed.)
Lincoln 1996-current models. (No login needed.)
Mazda 2000-current models. (No login needed.)
Mercedes-Benz 2000-current models. (No login needed.)
Mercury 1996-2011 models. (No login needed.)
Mini 2002-current models. Must register with the owner's lounge to obtain owner's manual. VIN is required.
Mitsubishi 2002-current models. Warranty and maintenance manuals only. Registration required
Nissan 2009-current models.
Oldsmobile 1993-2004 models. (No login needed.)
Pontiac 1993-2010 models. (No login needed.)
Porsche 2011-current models
Ram 2004-current models can be downloaded. (No login needed.) Paper versions of model year 1981-current are available for purchase.
Saab 1989-2009. Paper manuals available through Helm.
Saturn 1993-2010 models. (No login needed.)
Scion  Quick reference guides, not complete owner's manuals, for 2004-current models. Owner's manuals for audio and navigation components are also available as downloads.
smart  2008-current models. (No login needed.)
Subaru 2000-current models. (No login needed.)
Suzuki Paper and downloadable owner's manuals are available for purchase.
Toyota 1996-current models. (No login needed.) Each chapter of the owner's manual is a separate downloadable document. How-to videos are also available.
Volkswagen Paper owner's manuals are available for purchase.
Volvo 1970-current models. (No login needed.) Also includes other materials, such as maintenance schedule and warranty manual
Q. How often should my car's air filter be replaced?

Dirty Air filterIf your vehicles air filter looks anything like this one, it is time to change your air filter. As with most routine maintenance items your vehicles manufacturer will suggest a change interval. There are a number of factors that can significantly effect the life of a vehicle's air filter. Most of us can understand why driving on dusty unpaved roads would shorten an air filters life but manufactures will call for shorter change intervals in other instances. One of these is very common in the DFW area, driving in heavy traffic on hot days.can result in significantly short functional life of your vehicles air filter. So engine air filters in some instances may need to be changed as often as every 15,000 and in extreme case even short periods. Under good conditional an air filter can last between 30,000 to 45,000 miles. Theair filter clean vs dirty point is there is now way to know if your air filter needs changing without looking. We routinely check customers air filters and one of our technician may suggest changing yours. Normally out technician if he is suggesting a new air filter will show you your current filter. If that is not the cas. please feel free to ask our tech to see your cars air filter before making a decision as to whether or not you want to change it.

Air filters are an important part of your vehicles fuel system but putting off changing one until the your next oil change will usually not case any damage, but do not ignore your engines air filter. In a Department of Energy 2009 study, they found that a dirty/clogged air filter can result in a 6% to 11% drop in fuel economy. That kind of drop can really added to some real money, in a relatively short period of time. Even with todays lower fuels price an 11% drop in fuel econemy does not take long to more then offset the cost of replacing your air filter.

 

Q. My check engine light is on, what should I do?

maintenance lightsIf you notice one of these lights don't panic. These lights are used to indicate your vehicle is due for routine maintenance.One of the most common reasons such a light may be displayed is to indicate that your vehicle needs or will soon need an oil change. Many newer automobiles have a system to track the "oil life" and notify the owner when it is time for an oil change. Your vehicle may also have reach a point where other routine maintenance intervals have been reached.  An actual check engine light on the other indicated that a sensor on your vehicle has recorded a system error. There are many systems being monitor by todays vehicles and an error code in anyone of them can trigger a check engine light. One of the most common reason is a loose gas cap or a gas cap with a bad seal. So first thing Check engine lightsyou can do is check to see if your gas cap is on correctly. If that is not the problem you should bring your vehicle in as soon as possible to have the problem properly diagnosed.The five most common resaon a check engine light may be activated are:

  1. A fualty O2 Sensor: a faulty o2 sensor can reduce your gas mileage by a whopping 40 percent. That's equal to easily $100s of dollars in additional fuel cost a year.
  2. A loose or damaged gas cap: Loose or missing gas caps can be blamed for 147 million gallons in evaporated gas each year and can reduce your gas mileage by 1/2 percent, according to CarMD. This is an esay one to fix yourself.
  3. A Problem with your Catalytic converter: Failure of this part is often the result of problems with your ignition system. A bad spark plug for example. You really don't want that to happen. A new catalytic converted is going to cost at least $1,000  to repair and can seriously reduce your vehicles performance and gas mileage.
  4. Problems with ignition coils or spark plugs. This type of problem can also damage that expensive catalytic convert if it is not promptly addresses. It can also reduce fuel economy by as much as 20 percent.
  5. Mass air flow sensor: A problem with this part can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 25 percent. The best way to keep this part in good working order is regularly change your air filter. Replacing this part can cos 20 times what a new air filter cost. 

There are many other possible causes for a check engine light to come on these are just the five most common. Below you can see a few more possible cause. Keep this in mind if you have a check engine light on you are probably experiencing substaincial lose in milage and your vehicle WILL NOT pass a state inspection.

 CheckEngine light reasons

 

 

 

Q. Can Kwik Kar do My Services Without Voiding the Warranty?

Mag mossFederal law — specifically, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, title 15, chapter 50, section 2301-2312 — prohibits a new car dealer from denying warranty service or implying that warranty service will be voided if servicing or repairs are not performed at the dealership.
This has not stopped a number of auto makers from trying to scare customers into only using there repair and maintenance facilities. Kia for instance issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) issued by Kia that states: “Customer concerns as a result of incorrect oil viscosity or use of aftermarket oil filter should not be treated as a warranty repair and any related damage is not warrantable, nor is changing engine oil and filter to isolate this condition.”
Kia went on to say:

  1. If your Kia is still under the powertrain warranty, considering taking it to the dealer for oil changes. Yes, it probably costs more than the quick-lube store, but you’ll avoid any potential problems with oil- and filter-related warranty claims.
  2. Consider buying Kia-approved oil filters and either using them when you do your own oil changes, or have your mechanic or quick-lube store use the Kia filter and not their own.


In 2013 BMW the owner of Cooper Mini stated in the owners manual for the 3 Series and Coup that “Oil changes should only be performed by a BMW Center.

These statement are clearly not in following with Federal guidlines set forth in , the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The Federal Trade Commission is the governmental organization tasked with enforcing the law. The state the following on their website, "An independent mechanic, a retail chain shop, or even you yourself can do routine maintenance and repairs on your vehicle. In fact, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is enforced by the FTC, makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer did the work. The manufacturer or dealer can, however, require consumers to use select repair facilities if the repair services are provided to consumers free of charge under the warranty."

You can learn more about Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 by visiting the Federal Trade Commissions website and there page on warranties at consumer.ftc.gov

Q. Do I need a new tire(s)

 Tire Wear indicators barsLike your brakes tires are vital to being able to operate a vehicle safely. Damaged or worn out tires present a real and serious safety hazard to the vehicles operator and passengers as well as those around the vehicle. Tire manufactures now include a wear bar to indicate when I tire as reached a point where it needs to be replaced. When the tire has worn down to the level of the indicator bars, it is time to purchase new tire. Most people will begin notice issues with their tires performance, especially in wet conditional well before the tread wears down to the indicator bars. Tires that areworn out tire worn to such a an extent cannot pass a Texas Vehicle inspection. Kwik Kar Willow Bend has all the equipment needed to mount and balance your next set of tires. We use top of the line Hunter mounting and balancing equipment to ensure gets back on the road quickly and safely. We have several distributors and can get just about any brand or make of tire you may need for your car or truck.

If you think about it few things take as much abuse as your vehicles tires. It is not uncommon for road hazards or problems with a persons vehicle to drastically shorten the life of a tire. If your tire is puctured by something on the road. Kwik Kar Willow Bend can hopefully patch the damage but in some case a tire may not be repairable. Puctures to be safely repaired must occur within the center Tire Repairableportion of the tires tread. If the puncture in to close to the sidewall the tire cannot be safely repaired and needs to be replaced. Damage from a nail or small srew can be quickly and inexpensively be repaird by the staff a Kwik Kar Willow Bend. There are limits of course to our ability to repair tires even those wear the damage has occured in the repairable portion of the tire. Large holes and tears in the tire cannot be safely repair without compromising the tire's safety. Major damage regardless of its location will result in the tire needing to be replaced.

Also do not forget about your spair tire. You need to check to make sure it is inflated and in good working order. Hopefully, you will never need to use it but if you do it will not do you much good if it too is flate or damaged.

Q. I am hearing a noise when I apply my breaks, do I need break work?

First off, if you are worried about a noise coming from your breaks, especially a noise you just started hearing it might be a good idea to stop in for a free break inspection. We will be glad to take a look at your brake system and tell you is causing the noise you are hearing. Your brakes are just about the most important safety feature on your vehicle. It is never a good idea to ignore a problem with something as important to the safe operation of a vehicle

There are a number of reasons why your breaks my be making a noise. Very often if you are hearing a noise, especially a noise you are not accustom to hearing you may need break work. If your last break repair was at a place offering free lifetime replacement and a price like $99. These type of deal usually comes with the least expensive brake pads or shoes available, which makes sense considering the cost of the service. The type break pads or shoes used in these offers a typically very hard metallic  pads and shoes. It is not uncommon for these pads and shoes to cause a squeaking noise. They work just fine in stopping your car but they can be noisy and will wear out your disks and drums much faster than the pads and shoes originally found on your car from the manufacturer. This is great for the shop selling the $99 lifetime pads because when you come back the next time you very well may need new rotors (disks) and/or drums.

Often times brake will begin to make noise as the pads get close to being worn out. Some brakes have wear indicators that will cause noise when your brake get close to being worn out. The indicator cause a noise as a warning to the vehicles owner that services is going to be needed soon. If you are hearing a loud squealing or grinding noise it is time to have your breaks checked. Your brakes should really never make a grinding noise. If your brakes are grinding you need to have them inspected immediately.

 

 

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