At Great Canadian Oil Change we differentiate ourselves from other quick lube establishments in many ways.
This video, compliments of Valvoline, might help you understand just what we are trying to say…
From the moment you pull up to our bright, friendly and clean glass door, you begin to experience those differences.
Whether it be the way you are greeted…
or the beverage you are offered…
or the way we address any questions or concerns you have…
or the friendly smiles of our staff…
or those small but useful extras…
we hope you Experience the Difference at Great Canadian Oil Change Regina on Albert Street or Quance Street!
I have a fluid stain or puddle under my car. What is it and where is it coming from?
There are a number of fluids that can leak from your vehicle, with many of them leading to a possible breakdown and expensive repair if neglected. Some leaks are obvious, where others may play “hide and seek” with you. If you can’t find the location of the leak, place fresh newspapers under where you think your leak is overnight and then check them in the morning. Following are some helpful hints as to the type of fluids used in today’s vehicles, as well as various colors and other characteristics to help you identify them.
Engine oil is typically dark-brown or black in colour. At times, you might see a few drops here and there and this might be all right if you recently have had your oil and oil filter changed or performed this service yourself. This can largely be attributed to the location of the oil filter on the engine and some oil may have dripped upon some of the vehicle chassis or a small amount was spilled onto the engine when dispensing the new oil into the filler area. While a few drops shortly after an oil change might be ok, you want to make sure that “puddles” of oil do not occur.
Engine antifreeze or coolant
Engine antifreeze / coolant can be either green, yellow or red depending on the type used by the vehicle manufacturer. Most vehicles have a radiator located just behind the grill. This fluid has a sweet smell to it (like maple syrup). Not enough antifreeze / coolant will cause the engine to overheat. There is usually an “overflow” or “fill” tank where you can add antifreeze / coolant to your cooling system. If the fluid looks like clear water, than it probably is. Since most vehicles today are equipped with air conditioning, you’ll likely notice drips or puddles coming from underneath the engine compartment. This is normal, since this water is condensation from the A/C system. This is the best fluid to see under your vehicle.
Brake fluid is generally clear and oily to the touch. When you depress the brake pedal, brake lines allow the brake fluid to be pushed through to each of the 4 wheels containing a “stopping device”, either a brake calliper or a wheel cylinder. So any number of leaks could appear almost anywhere a weakness may exist in the system. While leakage of the brake system is rare, you’ll likely feel a “soft or spongy” brake pedal feel when depressing the brakes, which can lead to brake failure if not corrected immediately.
Transmission fluid is typically red, although the colour can be a “milky pink” colour if it becomes contaminated. Some TF for certain vehicles may be clear or amber in colour. If you have a front-wheel-drive vehicle, then your transmission is next to the side of your engine underneath the hood. If you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, then your transmission is located in the centre of your vehicle just under the dash under that “hump” in the centre. If the colour of your TF appears to be brown then this would indicate that the fluid has overheated and should be changed as soon as possible.
Power steering fluid
Power steering fluid is generally red, although some vehicle manufacturers may use a fluid that is almost clear or amber. The power steering reservoir is typically mounted with the power steering pump driven by a belt on the engine. Leaks generally occur within the power steering lines.
Windshield washer fluid
Windshield washer fluid (pink or blue) would indicate that your windshield washer reservoir is leaking. For the front windshield, this reservoir is under the hood in the engine compartment. For vehicles with rear wipers, it is usually mounted behind a panel in the rear left or right side of SUV’s and vans.
Gasoline is a clear fluid with a strong smell and is obviously highly flammable. Gasoline is stored in the gas tank which is usually located at the rear of your vehicle. Leaks can occur if you bottom out your vehicle, causing damage to the gas tank. There are also fuel lines that run underneath the vehicle up to the engine. Leaks can also occur within the fuel line (rare), but are most likely to occur at a connection point. Gasoline leaks should be repaired immediately due to a fire hazard.
Diesel fuel looks like light oil. While not as flammable as gasoline, it can ignite in the right conditions. Leaks should be taken care of as soon as possible.
Gear oil is a light tan or black colour and is considered a “heavy” or “thick” oil. Leaks can occur in your manual transmission, differential (rear-end on rear-wheel-drive vehicles) or axle. Since gear oil is used widely among certain components, a gear oil leak may be present at a number of locations underneath a vehicle. Any leaks should be repaired as soon as possible.
Battery acid is a clear fluid that contains sulphuric acid and will smell like rotten eggs. A leak would typically indicate that your battery casing is cracked and the battery should be replaced immediately. Since battery acid is corrosive, any contact with skin should be washed and flushed with water as soon as possible.
Shock and strut fluid
Shock and strut fluid is typically dark brown. Shocks and struts can “ooze” their fluid and this will be evident by a stain on the outside of the shock or strut housing. There is no refilling of this fluid so they must be replaced (usually in pairs or all four at the same time).
Stop by Great Canadian Oil Change or give us a call if you have any questions about fluids and the maintenance of your vehicle. A list of all our services can be found on our website at www.gcocregina.ca/services.
The Great Canadian Oil Change Team.
If you ask three shops how often you should change your oil you may get six different answers. But we feel confident with our recommendation.
Follow the service intervals recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle
We recommend to our customers that they follow their manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals. This means that the manufacturer will recommend that you have your oil changed after every so many kilometres. Depending on your specific vehicle, this may mean having your oil changed every 5000 km, 7500 km, 12000 km or some variation thereof.
What are some exceptions to following the service interval recommendations of the manufacturer?
There is one exception to using the service interval recommended by the manufacturer and that is: driving conditions. Here are some examples of driving conditions that justify changing the oil earlier than recommended:
- Short trips in the winter, where the engine fails to meet operating temperature for ten minutes or more, are tough on oil. All of that condensation has no place to go but into the crankcase.
- Unusually dusty conditions. (Did you ever follow a combine at harvest?)
These two scenarios justify changing oil before the recommended service interval.
Should I always follow the oil change needed indicator on my dash?
Yes, you should follow the oil change indicator in your vehicle. Unless you’ve received a recall from your manufacturer, we recommend following the oil life indicator on your dash, if your vehicle has one.
How critical is it to change my oil at exactly the time that is recommended by the manufacturer?
Several years ago we sent engine oil samples to a lab. These were samples of engine oil that were changed before, near and after the recommended interval. Each report indicated that the oil had life left. Therefore, although it may not be absolutely critical at the exact odometer reading, we recommend following the manufacturer’s guidelines as closely as possible for the best maintenance of your vehicle.
What are the benefits to changing my oil according to the recommendations of the vehicle manufacturer?
There are many benefits to changing your oil according to the service interval recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Clean engine oil lubricates the engine, keeps it cool, and minimizes the metal-to-metal contact of the parts inside the engine. Over time the oil starts losing its ability to flow well (becoming less “viscous”), thus losing its ability to protect your engine as it is meant to. By regularly changing your oil, you prevent problems that can occur over time. Some of these problems include overheating and undue wear on the engine due to the friction of parts when lubrication is not optimal. Regular oil changes will also extend the life of your vehicle and help keep it in optimum running condition.
At Great Canadian Oil change in Regina, we follow the recommendations of the manufacturer of your vehicle. We will verify that your vehicle is due for an oil change before performing it. We look forward to seeing you for an oil change or for one of the many other services we offer! See here for the services we offer.
Enjoy the benefits of synthetic oil in older vehicles
Using synthetic oil in an older vehicle is not a problem. If the vehicle is in good running condition with minimal leaks, running a synthetic oil will not harm anything at all. You will enjoy all the benefits that a full synthetic oil has to offer. Read on to find out more about why people are hesitant to change to full synthetic and how to go about it.
You may also be interested in the information provided in our article on “What type of Oil Should I Use?”
Why do people think synthetic oil should not be used in older vehicles?
There are some misconceptions out there that lead people to believe that problems may develop when changing from a conventional oil to a full synthetic oil in an older vehicle.
The confusion starts with the idea that synthetic oil is more slippery (lower in viscosity) than conventional oil. This further leads to the concern that synthetic oil is not as compatible with seals and will therefore leak (or leak more) in places conventional oil might not. These ideas are unfounded. The truth is that synthetic oils will enhance the engine protection in older vehicles just as they do for new engines. In addition, most synthetic motor oils are fully compatible with modern seal materials. Most synthetic oils are formulated to condition seals, keeping them pliable to prevent leakage.
Another common misconception is that changing to a full synthetic oil will clean and loosen sludge from the engine and cause it to plug the filter and passageways. This too, is false. Switching from conventional oil to full synthetic oil in routinely maintained vehicles will not cause clogged oil filters or passageways, regardless of how many kilometres are on the vehicle. Sludge, which is caused by poor quality oil and neglected maintenance practices, would have to be present in significant amounts to plug oil filters and passageways. If this excessive amount of sludge is present in an engine, it is just a matter of time before oil filters and passageways clog, regardless of the installation of synthetics. Regardless of the type of oil you put in your vehicle, it is important to take care of your vehicle by ensuring it gets routine maintenance.
How do I switch from conventional oil to synthetic oil?
There are no special procedures for changing from conventional oil to full synthetic oil. As a precaution in older vehicles or those with high mileage, it may be advisable to perform an engine flush first. This will ensure that the engine is clean and free of any accumulated contaminants which might have an effect on the service life of synthetic motor oils. You may also choose to use a high mileage oil which will have added seal conditioners to combat against engine leaks and friction issues with the motor. However, both of these suggestions are optional and completely at your discretion. Many vehicles have no problem simply switching to a synthetic oil.
How can Great Canadian Oil Change help?
At Great Canadian Oil Change we follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on types of oils and recommended service intervals for your vehicle, regardless of whether you choose to use conventional, a synthetic blend, or a full synthetic. The choice is always yours! The technicians will answer any questions you have, backed by up-to-date information about your type of vehicle.
We offer high milage oil and engine flushes if this is what you choose when you are making the switch from conventional to synthetic oil in a vehicle with a significant number of kilometres on it.
For more information you may be interested in reading “What type of Oil Should I Use?”
Happy and safe driving from the Great Canadian Oil Change Team!
If I am using conventional oil in my vehicle, can I switch to synthetic at any time?
According to Valvoline, the answer to this is yes, you can. It is absolutely safe to change to a synthetic oil at any time. As a bonus, you likely will gain some enhanced performance.
How about the reverse? Are there any problems with switching TO conventional oil FROM synthetic oil?
Surprisingly, Valvoline says that the reverse in not necessarily as straight forward. What they mean by that, as shown on this video on their website, is that if you switch back to conventional oil after using synthetic, it is possible that you may lose some of that enhanced performance that you gained by switching.
At Great Canadian Oil Change Regina we can answer questions such as these to help you become better informed about your vehicle.
Visit us at our Albert Street or Quance Street locations with no appointment ever needed. We provide oil changes and many other services.
The Great Canadian Oil Change Team
First of all, what is a differential?
The differential is a component in all automobiles designed to compensate for the difference in distance that the inner wheels and outer wheels travel as the car goes around a corner. Basically the differential allows your car to make corners without drama. If both drive wheels rotated together, going around corners would be jerky because the outside tire travels farther than the inside
In a rear-wheel-drive car, the differential has its own housing and lubrication. Front-wheel-drive vehicles typically integrate the differential in the transmission housing and share the same fluid.
The differential can be seen by looking under the bumper from the rear. The driveshaft connects to the front of it, and the axles and rear tires come off either side of it.
If you want to know more detail, search the internet. There are some cool pictures and videos of how the gears in a differential work.
What is differential oil?
Differential oil, sometimes referred to as gear oil, is found in the axle housing. It’s thicker than engine oil and is designed to perform under high pressure (gears mashing together, hydraulic nature of clutch packs) rather than high temperatures like engine oil.
How does differential oil work in my vehicle?
As you cruise down the road, the gear oil splashes about lubricating gears, bearings and clutch packs. The differential oil lubricates the ring and pinion gears that transfer power from the driveshaft to the wheel axles. If your car is fitted with a limited-slip differential, it also keeps all the moving parts in that assembly healthy. The purpose of the differential fluid is to cool and lubricate your differential. Without the oil your differential would overheat due to the metal-to-metal contact and burn itself out.
How often do I need to change the differential oil?
Unless the gear oil has been contaminated with water, you should change the differential oil at the time recommended by the owner’s manual of your vehicle. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, we have access at Great Canadian Oil Change to all manufacturers’ recommended service intervals.
Why is it important that I have it changed when recommended?
Changing this oil is just as important as changing your engine’s oil, and for the same reason. Metal-to-metal contact wears down surfaces and creates heat from friction, which inevitably weakens the gears and leads to failure. To keep your differential in optimum condition and to avoid costly repairs, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on when to change the differential oil.
The technicians at Great Canadian Oil Change refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations of the make and model of your vehicle in order to properly service your differential. We will let you know when the recommended service interval has been reached for a change in differential oil. We offer front and rear differential services to help you maintain your vehicle.
The Services menu item on our webpage details all of the services we provide, and provides information that may be helpful to you in making the right choices for your vehicle.
Oil A Thon – Great Canadian Oil Change on East Quance Street in Regina is making it easier than ever to get your oil changed AND help save babies lives!
Great Canadian Oil Change Quance Street is having an Oil-a-thon to raise funds for the 30th annual Z99 Radiothon for NICU!
What is an Oil A Thon????
If you find it tricky to get your oil changed during regular business hours, no problem! We will be offering oil changes for 36 hours straight starting Feb. 2 at 6 a.m. through to Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. You will receive $20 off the cost of any oil change package during the Oil A Thon. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from each Oil Change will be donated to the Z99 Radiothon! You’ll also have a chance to win Pats Hockey Tickets, a 50 inch flat screen TV and FREE Oil Changes for a Year! Every 30th Oil Change during the Oil A Thon will be FREE. Wow!
Bonus! MORE Oil change specials and prizes between midnight (12:01 a.m.) and 6 a.m. Friday, February 3.
During the Oil A Thon between midnight and 6 a.m. Friday, February 3, conventional Valvoline oil change packages will be ½ price! Complimentary Pizza from Tj’s Pizza will also be available while supplies last. All other oil change packages (synthetic and semi-synthetic) will continue to be discounted by $20. And you will still have a chance to win all of the prizes – Pats Hockey tickets, a 50 inch flat screen TV and FREE Oil Changes for a Year!
If you cannot make the Oil A Thon, you can still help between January 1 through March 17, 2017…
From January 1 to March 17 we are collecting donations toward the Z99 Radiothon at Great Canadian Oil Change 907 Albert Street and 3112 East Quance Street locations in Regina.
The Z99 Radiothon will be held on March 16 & 17 at the Cornwall Centre.
Thank you for helping to save babies lives by donating toward equipment for the Rawlco Centre for Mother Baby Care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Regina General Hospital.
See you at the Oil a Thon!
There are differences between the types of motor oil available to consumers. Here we try to provide information that will help you make a choice for your vehicle.
What is the difference between regular and synthetic oil?
Regular motor oil, also called “conventional” oil, is a mineral grade oil derived from crude liquid oil from the ground. It is created by a refining process.
Synthetic motor oil is also refined from crude oil from the ground. However it is processed further than conventional oil is. Synthetic oil is distilled, purified and broken down into its basic molecules. This process not only removes more impurities from the crude oil but also enables individual molecules in the oil to be tailored to the demands of modern engines.
What are the advantages or benefits of using synthetic oil?
A synthetic lubricant contains more highly refined base oils than those used in conventional mineral oils, offering you superior protection and performance. Synthetic engine oils provide a variety of benefits that keep your engine running at optimal performance for years.
Here are some of the benefits of using synthetic oil:
- Synthetic lubricants protect better at any temperature. In the summer, your engine will stay cooler and therefore use less fuel. In the winter, the engine receives lubrication sooner than with mineral grade oil. At any temperature, when an engine is first started, a mineral oil takes some time to circulate, allowing friction between non-lubricated parts to cause wear. In contrast, a synthetic lubricant starts circulating straight away, protecting every moving part within the engine. This results in less metal-to-metal contact and thus extends the life of the engine.
- Synthetic oil keeps your engine cleaner. As oil circulates through your engine it can pick up deposits. Over time, conventional oils can sometimes form sludge, which can reduce your engine’s efficiency and, ultimately, reduce the life of your engine. Sludge deposits can turn into varnish (sludge deposits that have hardened and coat internal surfaces) over time, thus synthetic oil helps protect against varnish as well.
- Use of synthetic oil helps to cut engine emissions when compared to conventional mineral oils. This makes them more environmentally friendly compared to regular oil. Conventional mineral oils contain greater amounts of impurities, such as sulphur, reactive and unstable hydrocarbons, and other undesirable contaminants that cannot be completely removed by conventional refining of crude oil.
- Synthetic oils can also significantly improve fuel economy and efficiency. During the warm-up period of a typical truck journey, mineral oils are thicker and move more slowly, making the engine thirstier and less efficient. Synthetics, however, get to work much more quickly, so the engine reaches peak operating efficiency that much sooner.
What about synthetic blend oil?
Synthetic blend oil is part synthetic oil and part conventional oil. It was created to counter the high price of pure synthetic oil, and imparts some of the benefits of synthetics into conventional oil, but at a lower price. The downside is that your vehicle won’t reap the benefits of a fully synthetic product.
What are the benefits of synthetic blend oil?
An analysis of the differences between synthetic, synthetic blends and conventional oil by Valvoline, suggest that SOME of their blends (not all) offer benefits that approach that of a full synthetic in the areas of protection, cleanliness & horsepower, and other areas. Some provide anti-wear protection and better cold start protection that conventional oil. Some help minimize sludge and prevent deposit formation. Some are better designed for today’s most advanced engines, and some contain special seal conditioners that rejuvenate engine seals to help prevent leaks. These advantages do not apply to all blends equally. This all means that if you choose to use a synthetic blend oil, you should choose which one to use carefully according to what benefits you are looking for.
According to Valvoline’s information, if you are looking for an oil to provide help maintain fuel efficiency for the life of the oil, or provide excellent protection in extreme hot and cold temperatures, you should look at a FULL synthetic.
For more detailed information, refer to the easy-to-read motor oil comparison chart found on the Valvoline website.
If I just want to use conventional oil, what do you suggest?
If you choose to use a regular or conventional oil, you will be happy to know that there have been improvements to conventional mineral oil over the years. Brands such as Valvoline produce premium conventional oils. Their premium conventional oil is an all-climate motor oil with stated benefits of:
- Helping to keep the engine clean by minimizing deposit formation
- Resisting oil thickening by providing solid oxidation control
- Improving gas mileage with the most commonly recommended grades by reducing friction.
- Providing anti-wear protection exceeding current U.S., Japanese and European wear tests for gasoline engines where each grade is specified
Visit Great Canadian Oil Change for all your oil change needs
At Great Canadian Oil Change we offer a wide variety of oil products to meet your needs. We will recommend the conventional and synthetic oil products which meet your vehicle manufacturer warranty requirements and leave the choice to you. Visit the services page on Great Canadian Oil Change Regina’s website for a description of the quality Valvoline products we offer.
Antifreeze in your Coolant is critical in the Winter
Whether we like it or not, cold winters are part of life in Saskatchewan. When preparing for the brutality of winter, think about the coolant in your vehicle. Yes coolant. It may sound odd that coolant would be important in the coolest part of the year, but it is critical to your vehicle’s winter performance.
What does antifreeze or coolant do?
Coolant, often called antifreeze, is the fluid found in your radiator. Your coolant contains a chemical (ethylene glycol) that stops water from freezing or boiling in regular and extreme temperatures. Coolant also contains rust, corrosion and foaming inhibitors. Not only is coolant important in the winter to prevent the water in your radiator from freezing, coolant also provides lubrication for the moving parts it comes into contact with inside your vehicle. It keeps the seals and gaskets supple so they are less likely to harden and leak. There are also anti-corrosive properties in the coolant that protect metal pieces in the engine from corroding.
When should I top up or change my antifreeze?
If the coolant level is lower than the full line, it might just need a top up. If you decide to add antifreeze be sure the mix is the right one for your vehicle and the climate you are in. Check your vehicle’s owners manual or the details on the antifreeze container.
However if the existing fluid looks colourless or rusty or has debris floating in it, it is time to flush the old coolant out and add new. Although it is possible to simply drain the old coolant and replace it, this only refreshes the fluid in the radiator, not in the other parts of the vehicle that the coolant comes into contact with (like the engine block and hoses). In contrast, a complete coolant flush (also known as a radiator flush) will clean the entire coolant system and help protect the system for the long haul.
Regardless of the level or the colour of the fluid, there is also a point in time that the protective properties of the existing coolant break down and do not provide the benefits needed. Over time the rust, corrosion and foaming inhibitors become less effective, leaving you with breakdowns and costly damages. The recommended service point is reached at a different time for each make and model of vehicle. At that time a coolant flush is an important part of maintenance so that your engine continues to be protected properly.
What happens during a “Coolant Flush” or “Radiator Flush”?
In a coolant (or radiator) flush, the fluid in your radiator and coolant system is completely changed. All of the old coolant in the radiator, the engine, the hoses and the heater core is removed and replaced with warranty approved fluid. The entire system is checked for leaks and the radiator cap is tested. Replacing the fluid helps protect against rust and corrosion, engine freeze up and helps your vehicle operate at its most efficient temperature.
Where in Regina can I get a coolant service or flush if needed?
Great Canadian Oil Change in Regina offers full coolant services. As part of our everyday service, our technicians check your radiator fluid and top it up if needed. If your vehicle has reached the recommended service interval at which the manufacturer recommends a coolant flush, we will inform you of this. For your convenience, we offer a complete coolant system flush service which you may choose to do at that time or anytime!
Qualified technicians like those at the Great Canadian Oil Change can help you to check your fluid levels, fluid quality, caps, belts and hoses. We aim for high customer satisfaction, so let us show you how hard we will work to earn your trust and keep your business.
For a list of all our services including standard and synthetic oil changes and transmission, differential, coolant and other maintenance, click here.
Helping you to “maintain your cool” this winter!
Great Canadian Oil Change is donating 10% of all Electronic Gift Card sales this December to The Salvation Army
It’s like giving twice!
Consider giving the convenience of Regina’s best oil change service to someone on your gift list this season.
Electronic gift cards make great gifts for the “hard to buy for” and those who want the best service for their vehicle. Our service is a timesaver for busy people. All of our work is warranty-approved and is completed while the customer enjoys a complimentary beverage in the comfort of their vehicle. No appointment is ever needed.
Customize the LOOK, the MESSAGE, the AMOUNT and the TIME & DATE the card is sent by TEXT or EMAIL.
If you want to support a great cause, you might even purchase one for yourself this month!
Thank you for helping to support our community!
The Great Canadian Oil Change Regina Team