I recently spent the day in the Glenview store helping on the phones - I should say helping check tire pressure. With the advent of tire pressure monitoring systems and self service gas, about the only time that tire pressure gets checked is with an oil service. With the longer intervals and peoples' tendency to go even longer than the longer recommended interval, as soon as it gets real cold, we have one person checking air pressure just about all day long. Almost every vehicle I checked pressure on was 3 or 6 months overdue for the oil service date on the sticker, so that means it was 9 to 12 months since the last oil change... YIKES.
Having grown up in the Chicago area and having been a "car guy" for 56 of my 71 years, I know that two things happen around here in the winter;
First, they salt the heck out of the roads, more accurately, they "Mag Chloride
the heck out of the roads" resulting in that gray haze you see in traffic. This causes airborne Mag Chloride which is not good to be breathing in - we will get into that later. Secondly, little fuzzy rodent things crawl around at night looking for a warm place to sleep, eat, make merry, and make babies. So they crawl around on your warm engine eventually finding their way into the heater box. The first thing they encounter is the cabin air filter, so they rip that apart, build a kitchen, a dining room, a nursery, and, you guessed it, a bathroom right there, on top of it!
The next morning you hop in the car to go to work, your cabin air filter is plugged up and ripped open with dead baby mice, left over mouse droppings, etc. It can no longer filter air, so the Mag Chloride bypasses the filter along with the aroma of dead mice and permeates the air you and your kids are breathing. According to Dr. Google, there are health risks associated with breathing Mag Chloride
(I neglected to look up dead mice).
How does that new, clean cabin air filter sound to you now? Repair shops recommend and replace cabin air filters with oil changes, while you wait. Like I said earlier, many people go too long in between oil changes. So it makes you wonder how many other things haven't been inspected by a professional since the last oil change like belts, hoses, fluid levels, external lights, tire tread depth, battery condition? The average speed on I-94 is 75 to 90 MPH. Do you really want to do that in a vehicle that has not been inspected by a professional recently?
When you fly away on vacation, one of the flight officers walks around the inside and outside of the plane, with a checklist inspecting safety items, even though the plane was inspected two hours ago when it left the previous airport. You may have driven to the air port in a vehicle that has not had that same inspection in a year, seems illogical doesn't it?
Written By Bob Dupre, Owner and CEO of CARS Of America