Transfer Case Service

What is a transfer case? image of a car being serviced - auto repair service in Bedford PA

Most drivers don’t know much about transfer cases; however, if you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, you’ve got one. This component is what ensures that you have power available for both the front and rear axles while you are driving around in the Bedford area.

For example, if you have a rear-wheel drive SUV, power will only go to the rear wheels until you need 4-wheel drive. That’s when the transfer case steps in and transfers some of the power to the front wheels as well. You might use a shift lever to go into 4-wheel drive, or it could be a button on the dash or it might even go into 4-wheel drive automatically, depending on your vehicle.

Why does my transfer case need serviced when it seems to be working great?

Transfer case fluid cools and lubricates the gears, chains, bearings, shafts and other parts for your vehicle. Over time, the additives in the fluid wear out, add to that the bits of metal and clutch material wear off and contaminate the fluid and you find that it doesn’t protect very well. There isn’t a filter in the transfer case, so if you allow the contamination to remain for too long, it’ll further accelerate wear. The transfer case is serviced at Town Hill Auto Service by periodically draining the fluid and replacing it with fresh fluid. Our technicians also check for leaks and damage.

How often should I get my fluid replaced?

Your owner’s manual may not have a recommended interval for when you should change your transfer case fluid – so ask your service advisor at Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford. There are several things that affect how often you should change the fluid, so let them know how often you use 4-wheel drive, if you drive in wet environments such as places where you cross streams or drive through mud and snow. That kind of stuff really shortens the drain interval.

Did you know that all of the service professionals at Townhill Auto service in Bedford are ASE Master certified mechanics? These dealer trained technicians really know their cars. Certified in all makes and models these professionals can easily diagnose and repair anything; from the smallest leak to a major repair. Back that with being a Napa Certified Service Center you can have peace in mind that every repair uses the highest quality parts with industry-leading warranties.Transfer case parts will eventually wear out and you’ll have to make repairs. But properly servicing your transfer case at Town Hill Auto Service will keep that day as far in the future as possible.

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When should I change my oil?

This seemingly simple question has become a very complicated, contentious topic as there are so many different opinions as to when you should change the oil in your car. Yet is also perhaps the most important topic because lack of maintenance is the leading cause for the need of auto repair service due to mechanical failure in Bedford PA. For years the automotive service community has agreed that changing your oil every three months or 3,000 miles was common practice however auto manufacturers and oil producers have insisted that the interval for changing your oil is much greater.

In order to properly answer this question we need to look at some of the reasons why these service intervals have been established and the advantages for each.

A new way of thinking

In 2003 auto manufacturers began to release documentation showing that their vehicles could extend the oil change  service interval beyond 3,000 miles between oil changes. They attributed this increase to better engineering and use of newer materials that decreased friction within their engines. While this sounded good on paper, very few actual tests performed by independent agencies could actually duplicate their claims. While it is true that modern engines use lighter weight materials and employee high-end lubricants such as synthetics; many independent studies still found that the engine operating temperature as well as friction ratios still remain constant in spite of their claims of improvement.

A perspective reason

Auto manufacturers constantly compete with one another in a variety of areas from performance, comfort, styling, features and cost of ownership. Cost of ownership has become a hot button topic for many auto manufacturers as they attempt to show consumers that their vehicle is cheaper to maintain than their competitors. For example: a BMW’s cost of ownership would be higher than a Toyota, at a dealership level, because the parts and labor traditionally are higher for high-end vehicles. However, the purchase price of a Lexus and BMW are very similar, so in order to attract customers to purchase their vehicle Lexus, for example, would show the cost of ownership over a five-year period of time as being less expensive than owning a BMW. By increasing the oil change intervals from 3,000 miles to 5,000 miles that allows Lexus to show the cost of ownership to be less, at least on paper. BMW quickly followed suit by raising their intervals to 7,500 miles between oil changes. Manufacturers today commonly set their oil change intervals at 15,000 miles; yet cannot show any dramatic engineering changes in the oil delivery system or reduction of friction to compensate for the additional mileage.

How long do you expect to keep your car?

One area that contributes to maintenance costs is lease vs. ownership. If you’re leasing a car and the manufacturer says the change the oil every 15,000 miles; who cares right? You’re going to turn the car in at 25,000 miles anyway so it doesn’t matter to you whether the engine is damaged because of lack of lubrication. Ownership however means that you will more than likely keep that car, in some cases, until the wheels fall off. In that case the wise choice would be to maintain the vehicle in such a way that would extend the life of the engine and lubricated components reducing the auto repairs in Bedford PA needed from engine wear and fatigue. It is for this reason that Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford recommends to maintain a 3,000 to 5,000 mile oil change interval depending on the filter and oil used.

Valvoline Oil and Napa Filters – The perfect match

Friction and heat are the leading causes of engine wear and break down for cars causing premature auto repair needs; regardless of the engine, year or model. One area where the aftermarket industry has excelled is the creation of synthetic lubricants that significantly reduce friction within the motor. Valvoline is leading the industry with lubricants designed to work with traditional, conventional and modern engines to not only reduce wear but increase the useful life of an engine. Napa’s oil filters utilizing premium filter components significantly remove more contaminants from the engine than traditional oil filters and in many cases original manufacture oil filters. This combination of better oil and better filters can certainly help protect your engine and increase the time needed between oil changes; However; despite the advantages of synthetic fluid and premium oil filters; a conventional engine still produces, by design, operating temperatures that continue to contribute to wear and metallic component break down. This must be considered especially on older, higher mileage engines.

At the end of the day

At the end of the day Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford recommends maintaining your car in a way that will extend the life of your engine and driveline components for many years to come. By using quality Valvoline oil and Premium Napa oil filters we can help increase the oil change interval. However; we do not endorse the mindset of 15,000 miles between oil changes. Much of our recommendations also stem from the vehicle themselves and the reputation of engineering that a particular engine or engine design has. Click here to learn more about us

Examples would be:

  • Japanese vehicles such as Honda, Toyota and Lexus produced after 2008 can easily go 5,000 miles between oil changes using quality Valvoline oil and Premium Napa filters. Prior to 2008 though we would recommend remaining at a 3,000 mile oil change interval.
  • American produced vehicles such as Ford and Chevy we recommend oil change intervals of 3,000 miles for vehicles produced through 2012; even with quality Valvoline oil and Premium Napa filters. This is because of how the engine is designed in the oil delivery system. American vehicles produced after 2012 generally can handle up to 5,000 miles for oil change intervals using quality Valvoline oil and Premium Napa filters.
  • European-style vehicles, such as BMW, Mercedes and Volvo,Town Hill Auto Service recommends a 3,000 mile oil change interval regardless of year. This is because European vehicle’s cylinder head design, in most cases, does not allow for oil to flow as freely as it does on other style engines. For this reason our Town Hill Auto sales experts also recommend synthetic oil be used on all European vehicles produced after 2003.

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Article written by Rick Brewer – Inventive Support Services

What do those oil numbers mean?

Have you ever opened the hood and looked at the oil cap to see it says to use 5w30 and wonder what that meant? Or walked into the auto parts store to see dozens of oils and wondered.. which one should I choose? Believe it or not that is a very common question. The type of oil used in your vehicle is the lifeblood that circulates and protects your motor; so making sure that the right viscosity and type of oil used for your car in Bedford, PA. is a very important decision to make.

Let’s look at some information to help you better understand what those numbers represent.

What does viscosity mean?

Oil viscosity is simply how thick the oil is. Different engines, performance levels and outside temperatures helps identify what type of oil would be best suited for use in your vehicle. As the vehicle ages, engine specifications change; meaning that the oil viscosity will change with it. It is important to make sure that the correct oil viscosity (weight or grade) is used based on these variable conditions so that damage does not occur to your engine. The experts at Town Hill Auto Service understand the variables that are unique to the Bedford, PA. area and can advise you on the proper weight of oil needed to properly protect your engine.

Can I change the viscosity of oil in my car?

Town Hill Auto Service does not recommend changing the oil viscosity in your vehicle without first analyzing the specific criteria discussed in the previous paragraph. If you have a newer car driven under normal operating conditions, we do not recommend adjusting the grade or weight of the oil that is recommended by the manufacturer. However, in extreme circumstances such as an extreme change in weather (cold or hot), severe driving conditions (stop and go driving) and the age/ mileage of the engine; changing the weight of the oil is necessary to make sure that internal engine components are properly lubricated. Again, make sure that you check with the experts at Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford, PA. for sound advice on changing these oil grades to keep your engine at its best performance level.

What does the “w” in 5w30 represent?

The “w” represents: winter. Engine oil has two different viscosities or weight measurements based upon temperature. The first number is more representative of the weight of the oil when the engine is cold (or colder temperatures) and the second number represents the weight of the oil at operating temperature. Because oil thins when it is heated, both of these numbers are important. When the engine is cold it is more difficult for it to circulate thick oil so the starting weight should always be lower than the operating weight. As the outside temperature changes to extreme cold or extreme hot those temperatures may be enough to recommend the change of your oil weight specification; however, modern engines and oils are designed to work in temperatures ranging from -5°F all the way up through 95°F so changing the oil viscosity based on external temperatures should be carefully considered before changing.


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Is thicker oil better?

This is not really an easy answer being that, again, many variables go into making a decision to change the weight or grade of an oil. Thicker or higher grades of oil are recommended when engine wear has increased bearing clearances (gaps between bearing and rotating shaft) from years of driving.

In some cases only one of the two measurements would be adjusted being that the vehicle still needs to be able to have the two different viscosities to operate properly. Simply assuming that you need thicker oil because the car is five or six years old with 100,000 miles is not necessarily true.

Vehicles driven under normal operating conditions with proper oil change intervals may find that their engine’s performance has changed very little from when it was new.

In this case changing to Valvoline Max life oils with engine seal conditioners would be better than changing the viscosity or weight of the oil.

Should I ever use straight weight oil (SAE 30)?

No. This type of oil was developed for very specific types of engines. These engines are not utilized in passenger cars and light trucks.

Can I use synthetic oil in my car?

Over the years Valvoline has developed a line of oil products that can significantly increase the performance of your vehicle. These include conventional oils that have better temperature tolerances and breakdown slower, synthetic oils which lubricate more efficiently and disperse heat better, synthetic blends that are recommended for higher mileage engines and others depending on your driving conditions and use of vehicle. Any of these types of oils can be used in any type of vehicle providing the weight is applicable for your use.

Even older cars can see a tremendous advantage in gas mileage and performance by upgrading their oil to one of Valvoline’s performance lubricants. Be sure to consult with your automotive expert at Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford, PA. to determine which Valvoline oil would be the best for your vehicle.

When Experience Counts

Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford, PA. is your first choice for Valvoline oil changes and top-quality service and repairs. From simple oil changes to engine rebuild we can handle it all! Our ASE Master certified, dealer trained technicians are here to make sure that your car is always performing at its best. As a Napa certified facility all of our work is backed with a nationwide warranty.

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