Is Oil for High-Mileage Engines Worth the Extra Cost?

Is Oil for High-Mileage Engines Worth the Extra Cost?

Most significant oil brands market engine oil made explicitly for motors that have in excess of 75,000 miles of wear, asserting that added substances help diminish motor wear and give hostile to maturing benefits. They are frequently a mix of engineered and oil based oils, and they ordinarily cost at any several dollars more for each quart than traditional oils. However, would they say they merit the additional batter?

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A few oils might be more gainful than others since they contain conditioners suspected to restore seals to forestall or stop oil releases, a typical infirmity in motors with high mileage.

Inner seals and gaskets become weak and recoil as they age, permitting oil to leak by. Some of the time this gets obvious as dashes of oil on lower motor parts or oil stains on a carport floor or carport. At the point when valve-direct seals wear out, engine oil can spill into ignition chambers and the motor will in a real sense begin consuming oil. With little releases, blue smoke from consuming oil may not be noticeable from the exhaust, yet your oil level will most likely dip under the full blemish consistently.

The seal conditioners found in some high-mileage engine oils may decrease or wipe out little holes and leakage by reviving seals to their unique size and shape. On the off chance that a motor isn’t consuming or spilling oil, or in the event that it utilizes, say, not exactly a quart more than 6,000 miles or thereabouts, changing to high-mileage oil may not merit the additional expense for you.

It’s actually an informed decision in the event that you should pay more for superior oil when your vehicle has 100,000 miles on it however is utilizing practically zero engine oil. High-mileage engine oil doesn’t do any harm and it could keep spills from beginning. Most vehicle makers would say it’s typical for a motor to burn-through some oil between oil changes.

As well as having seal conditioners, high-mileage oils normally gloat more cleansers intended to clear out muck inside the motor, in addition to different added substances intended to diminish wear on moving parts. Each engine oil, however, makes comparative cases that it does incredible things inside a motor.

A few mechanics prescribe changing to a thicker (higher thickness) oil —, for example, 10W-30 full manufactured oil rather than 5W-20 full engineered — or utilizing oil added substances to stop spills. Thicker oil makes a motor harder to begin in chilly climate, decreases oil course around the motor and builds oil pressure, which implies there will be more compel attempting to push the engine oil past seals and gaskets.

Your Check-Engine Light Is On — How Much Are Repairs Gonna Cost Ya?

Your Check-Engine Light Is On — How Much Are Repairs Gonna Cost Ya?

Motorists in the nation’s capital and most populous state paid the most in 2019 to address problems indicated by vehicles’ check-engine light, according to a study by CarMD. Citing data gathered from nearly 16 million vehicles that needed repairs in 2019, the Irvine, Calif.-based automotive diagnostic info provider said today that California and the District of Columbia ranked highest and second-highest, respectively, for such repairs in 2019. Californians who needed repairs to address check-engine lights doled out $414.24 per repair, on average, to address such problems in 2019. The District of Columbia came in at $410.16. Georgia ranked third, at $409.92, while New Jersey ($403.43) and Virginia ($403.19) rounded out the top five.

Related: What Does the Check-Engine Light Mean?

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To some extent, those results reflect the local cost of living. An study published in April ranked California and the District of Columbia among the top three priciest states to live, with New Jersey and Virginia landing in the top 15. Georgia, meanwhile, is an outlier: The Peach state landed a peachy-keen ranking on’s list — it’s the 10th cheapest place to live — yet ranked third priciest for check-engine repairs from CarMD.

What about the least-expensive states for such repairs? Try Vermont ($342.14, per CarMD), Ohio ($348.79), Wisconsin ($349.08), Michigan ($350.77) and Iowa ($356.57).

How Costs Are Calculated
Repairs encompassed vehicles dating back to the 1996 model year, when the industry adopted its current OBD II standard for onboard diagnostic systems. Data from OBD II diagnostic tools sold by CarMD and Innova Electronics, an affiliated company, helped inform the study, as did data from CarMD’s private-label diagnostic tools, said Kristin Brocoff, a spokesperson for the company. Such tools chronicle regional problems that triggered check-engine lights in 2019, for which the company applied local repair rates.

Devices “report what the findings were to our database, and the database spits out the repair, and the master technician confirms that’s what the fix was,” Brocoff told “Basically this is the average in terms of parts and labor.”

2020 Repair-Cost Rankings
Rankings for all 50 states and the District of Columbia are as follows (keeping in mind that CarMD’s list excludes repairs that don’t trip the light, from suspension components to belts and hoses):

  1. California ($414.24 per repair, on average)
  2. District of Columbia ($410.16)
  3. Georgia ($409.92)
  4. New Jersey ($403.43)
  5. Virginia ($403.19)
  6. Hawaii ($402.91)
  7. North Carolina ($402.86)
  8. Colorado ($401.55)
  9. Connecticut ($401.55)
  10. Utah ($399.42)
  11. Maryland ($399.33)
  12. Tennessee ($399.08)
  13. Alabama ($398.01)
  14. Mississippi ($396.36)
  15. Nevada ($395.84)
  16. Oregon ($393.59)
  17. South Carolina ($393.40)
  18. Texas ($393.35)
  19. Washington ($392.79)
  20. Florida ($392.75)
  21. Louisiana ($392.15)
  22. Delaware ($389.99)
  23. Kentucky ($389.01)
  24. Montana ($388.66)
  25. Rhode Island ($387.61)
  26. Idaho ($387.11)
  27. Arizona ($385.56)
  28. Wyoming ($383.21)
  29. Arkansas ($382.76)
  30. Massachusetts ($380.67)
  31. New Mexico ($380.17)
  32. Pennsylvania ($379.54)
  33. Oklahoma ($378.89)
  34. West Virginia ($377.31)
  35. South Dakota ($376.53)
  36. New York ($376.08)
  37. Missouri ($375.20)
  38. Arkansas ($373.46)
  39. Illinois ($372.51)
  40. Kansas ($371.80)
  41. Minnesota ($371.31)
  42. New Hampshire ($365.71)
  43. Nebraska ($364.38)
  44. Indiana ($357.43)
  45. North Dakota ($357.05)
  46. Maine ($356.76)
  47. Iowa ($356.57)
  48. Michigan ($350.77)
  49. Wisconsin ($349.08)
  50. Ohio ($348.79)
  51. Vermont ($342.14)

The check-engine light typically flags problems related to your vehicle’s emissions system, which is why an illuminated light usually means you’ll fail an emissions test. It can stem from myriad circumstances: In its Vehicle Health Index published in April, CarMD found nearly 1,300 possible fixes for an illuminated light. Those range from a catalytic-converter replacement (an average $1,375 repair, per CarMD’s 2019 data) to a loose or damaged gas cap (an average $26 in 2018). Indeed, the repair most frequently recommended in California — the priciest state in this year’s study of 2019 data, and the third-priciest a year ago — was replacing a catalytic converter.

What Is a PCM?

What Is a PCM?

The powertrain control module, also known as PCM, is your vehicle’s mind. It deals with the motor, transmission and different frameworks dependent on data it gets from different sensors around the vehicle. It is only one of many microchips on the present vehicles that run everything from the environment control framework to the force windows.

Related: What Is a Dual-Clutch Transmission?

How Does the PCM Work?

The PCM gets signals from sensors that action wind current into the motor and out the exhaust, the coolant temperature, how far down the gas pedal pedals is, the speed at which each wheel is turning and different boundaries.

It at that point utilizes that data to settle on many choices each second, like how much fuel to infuse into every chamber, when to fire the sparkle plugs and when a programmed transmission should change to an alternate gear to convey the best presentation for the current conditions.

A few vehicles allude to the PCM as the “motor control module” or “electronic control unit.” Others, essentially more established ones, have separate control modules for the motor and programmed transmission that stay in steady contact with one another — like BFFs on their iPhones — in light of the fact that the transmission responds to what the motor is doing and the other way around.

At the point when this progression of data between the PCM and other installed PCs and sensors works appropriately, the outcome is smooth and proficient execution, with the PCM consistently rolling out fundamental improvements with no fight.

Yet, really quick and savvy when everything is great, they can be imbecilic as blocks when things turn out badly. For instance, if an oxygen sensor in the fumes framework conks out, the PCM will fix its advanced head and unfit to figure how to change the air-fuel blend going into the motor. The registration light will likely go on — a sob for help — and the motor may run generally, have drowsy speed increase or different issues. Similarly, if the PCM comes up short, the motor will not beginning.

Since PCMs depend so vigorously on contributions from different sources, they at times are dishonestly blamed for causing a registration light or motor issue. Regardless of whether the difficulty code for a registration light focuses to the PCM, mechanics test PCMs and regularly check contributions to ensure it is the guilty party prior to supplanting it.

When Is It Time to Replace Your Tires?

When Is It Time to Replace Your Tires?

Conventional exhortation says that when your tire track is worn out to where the section estimates only 2/32 of an inch (and that is the tire track profundity law in certain states) or when the track wear marker bars are appearing, at that point it’s an ideal opportunity to put new tires on your vehicle.

With numerous tires, however, drivers will encounter a huge loss of safe footing and slowing down capacity in downpour and snow before at that point. Since tires wear bit by bit and numerous vehicle proprietors don’t routinely check their tires for track profundity or lopsided wear, the deficiency of footing may not get evident until the vehicle slips as opposed to halting in a very small space, as it once did.

Related: How Do I Find the Correct Tire Pressure for My Car?

New tires regularly have from 10/32 to 11/32 of an inch of tire track profundity when they’re new. The profound track, in addition to sections and cuts cut into the sides of the track, permit water and snow to escape from under the tire so it can keep up satisfactory hold. As the track wears and the notches and cuts become shallower, more dampness stays caught under the tire. The tire at that point rides on a dangerous surface of water (“hydroplaning”) or snow as opposed to “gnawing” the asphalt.

The outcome is longer halting distances, more wheel turning in speed increase and less grasp reciprocally.

At the point when this slipping and sliding begins to happen — and how serious that absence of foothold is — will fluctuate by tire plan and could come a long time before it would seem that you have uncovered tires that should be supplanted. For certain tires, the wellbeing misfortune could come when there’s still, say, 5/32 of an inch of track profundity left, which would appear to be all that anyone could need to try not to purchase new tires. A few tires, however, basically have better wet-asphalt and snow foothold than others and will keep up it with less profundity for additional miles.

Mechanics can assess tires for strange or over the top wear, measure track profundity with a check and exhort how much tire life is left. Profundity measures to check worn tires are accessible at parts stores for do-it-yourselfers, in addition to there’s consistently the penny test: Insert a Lincoln-head penny (top of the head should go head first) into a track groove; on the off chance that you can see the highest point of Honest Abe’s head, you need new tires.

2020 Toyota 4Runner: 5 Pros and 4 Cons

2020 Toyota 4Runner: 5 Pros and 4 Cons

The Toyota 4Runner is an old-school, off-road SUV. Among its few direct competitors are the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Boasting serious built-in adventure prowess and room inside for the whole family, the 4Runner stands out. In some ways, however, old-school is starting to feel a little outdated, especially when it comes to the powertrain and fuel economy figures.

Looking for a top-to-bottom evaluation of the 4Runner? Read’s Jennifer Geiger’s full review through the related link above. For the short list of hits and misses, here are the pros and cons of the 2020 Toyota 4Runner:


  1. Off-Road Optimized
    It’s pretty evident just by looking at it: The Toyota 4Runner is made to go off-road. A part-time four-wheel-drive system, selectable locking rear differential and two-speed transfer case with Low range are all standard on the TRD Pro trim, which is especially optimized for adventure. The Crawl Control electronic traction control system and Active Traction Control system are also standard on the TRD Pro. So is Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select traction control system, which has settings that can be adjusted based on the terrain — dirt, sand, rock, snow and more.

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro photo by Christian Lantry

  1. Good in Bad Conditions
    An added perk of the 4Runner’s off-road chops is that it handles bad weather and poor road conditions well. The tall driving position helps visibility in snow or sleet. The SUV also deals well with slick road conditions. On sunny weather days, its soft suspension can carry you over speed bumps and potholes without too much jostling.
  2. More Standard Safety
    The Toyota Safety Sense-P suite of driver assistance and safety technology is standard on the 4Runner, which took a while to catch up to other Toyota vehicles in this area. The package features automatic emergency braking, lane departure and sway warnings, automatic high-beam headlights and adaptive cruise control.
  3. Modernized Tech
    Another area where the 4Runner needed to play catch up is tech, which is greatly improved for 2020. An 8-inch multimedia touchscreen replaces last year’s 6.1-inch screen. Also, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are newly standard, making this one of the last Toyota vehicles to adopt smartphone integration systems. The multimedia system as a whole seems intuitive and easy to use.

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro photo by Christian Lantry

  1. Roomy Interior
    The 4Runner is really big on the inside. It has room for five or seven passengers in either two- or three-row seating configurations. In the two-row version, three car seats can fit across the bench, which is unusual for SUVs. (Read the full 4Runner Car Seat Check here.) In the cargo area, a sliding cargo deck can support up to 440 pounds for easier access to heavy items. The rear window can also be lowered to access cargo without opening the liftgate. There’s 47.2 cubic feet of space behind the back row, but if you fold down the 60/40-split seats, you get an amazing 89.7 cubic feet in the non-TRD Pro versions.

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2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro photo by Brian Wong

  1. Feels Clunky on the Road
    As previously mentioned, the 4Runner is really made for off-roading, so putting it on the pavement can be awkward at best. Its standard 270-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6 engine is slow to come to life from a stop. And on the highway, you can really feel how heavy the SUV is in its reluctance to accelerate. The five-speed automatic transmission doesn’t help that cause, either. The 4Runner has a fairly large turning circle, which makes it quite difficult to park. It also handles oddly on the road; there’s a lot of pitch and lean, which makes corners feel sloppy.
  2. Poor MPG
    Another issue created by the 4Runner’s weight and outdated five-speed transmission is EPA-estimated fuel economy figures that seem equally dated: 16/19/17 mpg city/highway/combined for the rear-wheel-drive version.
  3. Loud Exhaust
    If you insist on having a 4Runner for mostly on-road use, the exhaust may seem quite loud. The TRD Pro’s cat-back exhaust is supposed to put out a powerful growl; in reality, it sounds more like a groan.

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro photo by Brian Wong

  1. Tall Ground Clearance
    With most vehicles, we often note whether it will accommodate taller passengers and drivers, but with the 4Runner, it’s shorter drivers who should beware. The 9.6 inches of ground clearance make for a step-in height that may feel too tall for comfort. Kids especially may have a hard time climbing up into the backseat.