11011 Scaggsville Rd
Laurel, MD 20723
Phone: (301) 317-7886
Hours M-F 7:30am-5:30pm
Call us to schedule
Good morning, just got off the phone with an occasional client, let's call him Jim, so as not to embarrass him. Jim is a regular guy, wife, 2 kids, 2 vehicles, on the run all the time, aren’t we all?
Jim was on the road, short trip family van, full of girls going to a remote location for Saturday, Girl Scout cookie sale. They are driving along radio turned up, kids chattering away, not a worry in the world... Then as Jim is approaching the location, he sees the dreaded Service engine soon Light come on, same time he feels a loss of power. He is fortunate enough to be able to get to the parking lot and get the vehicle out of the way. Jim being careful not to alarm the girls he helps get the supplies to the designated spot for the event. He leaves the girls with the other parents & proceeds back to the van.
Jim raises the hood looking around & knows enough to check fluids, Anti-Freeze is fine, he checks engine oil next, there is nothing on the stick but a dab of crude, burnt looking? At this point Jim decides to start engine, but all he hears is a click, he assumes, just a battery, he gets someone with cables to give him a jumpstart, but no good. Needs to be towed!
After he gets it towed to us, first thing Monday we investigate. Push vehicle in & raise on lift. We find the Engine to be seized, we remove drain plug for engine and get about 12 ounces of slimy oil out. Jim’s van should hold about 5 quarts, there are no visible leaks. Jim wants to know "What happened?" We look at the windshield & see that although it has sticker from another shop for next due time & miles on it. Jim has gone 7 months longer & about 5,000 miles past the recommendation.
As I have said before 4-5 months & 5,000 miles are the best recommendation from Oil Filter companies & oil suppliers say the same for normal use with synthetic oil. So the oil gets diluted with moisture from short trips, then gets fuel residue, the combination then actually burns and slowly allows the engine oil to go away.
Further aggravating the problem is Jim's van has an Engine with timing chains & plastic guides. When the oil goes low the chain gets loose & chews everything up, this is what failed in Jim's van. When the Chain & guides failed this allowed the engine to jump time, which bent the valves & now the van needs about $9,500 worth of engine replacement.
Please do not neglect your vehicle, ask questions from your shop, or call Us: Jon, & Stephen are here to help you make the right choices. 301-317-7886 in Scaggsville, Laurel and serving Burtonsville, Maple Lawn Farms, Columbia, Clarksville. You can also send e-mail to me at: STEPHENTBRED6@AOL.COM