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Remember to Change Your Oil

Unlike your gas gauge, which screams at your when it’s approaching empty (and altogether too frequently at that), your oil tank is another story. Most cars don’t tap you on the shoulder to remind you it’s probably time to change your oil (maybe Vovlo is coming out with this feature, but not in the foreseeable future.) Bob Meyers and Jay Gazerro, owners of and mechanics at Compo 66 garage in Westport, won't be there to tap you on the shoulder, but they do have some some suggestions for gauging your oil status.

In general, changing your oil is critical to the health and well being of your car, and is an inexpensive way to avoid giving wads of cash to your mechanic later down the proverbial road.

So, changing your oil is a good thing. There is, however, no consensus on how often to do it. Many factors contribute to the life of your oil -- the age and condition of your car, the environment in which you drive it (stop-and-go versus highway), not to mention the way you drive your car. And owner’s manuals vary in their recommendations, from 3,000 to 10,000 miles.

Bob and Jay say consider changing your oil more frequently if you:

* Tend toward “jackrabbit” starts

* Are pedal-heavy with your acceleration

* Tend to enjoy higher speed driving

* Drive on dirt roads (dust can contaminate oil)

* Carry heavy loads/tow cargo.

Having trouble remembering when to check your oil? How about every full moon? It’ll serve as your looming reminder.

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