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Your new (or new-to-you) late-model car seems to make life much easier: it may have advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features that take a little workload off of your daily slog in rush-hour traffic, as we’ve discussed in another blog. Those features have their own considerations to return your vehicle to the road after collision damage, as we discussed in another blog this month, which increase cost and complexity.
But even mechanical details have grown more complex over the years, and this may increase the cost of your next service visit.
Even Oil Changes May Not Be So Simple Anymore
Thirty years ago, one could find an oil change at a discount department store’s automotive department for under $20, including the oil, filter, and labor. But inflation notwithstanding, there are a number of reasons even an oil change is not so simple, or inexpensive, as it used to be.
Today’s vehicles often hold as much as twice as much oil as those vehicles from yesteryear. They may require an expensive oil filter. And the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) may specify that only certain types of motor oil are used, including costly full synthetics. This adds to the bottom line cost of your repair ticket, but it’s often what is required to be able to meet the OEM’s extended oil change intervals, some of which are as long as 7,500 to 10,000 miles.
And other parts, such as plastic or metal “belly pans” or skid plates, must be removed and reinstalled to access the oil drain plugs, adding a modest amount of time and labor.
So you may be able to go longer between your visit to Shepard’s, but it may cost you a little more each time.
Tire Rotation and Replacement is More Complex, Too
Tires last longer than they used to, but as modern vehicles use tire profiles that have gotten lower, their cost has gotten higher.
And your newer vehicle’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) can save you from ruining a tire that is underinflated, including from being punctured by a nail or other foreign object. But it relies on sensors inside the wheel at the valve stem that require a little care. These can corrode, the battery may wear out, or they may otherwise become defective and require replacement.
When Shepard’s replaces your tires, we will renew the TPMS sensor with the serviceable parts, such as a new valve core, rubber seal, and nut, or TPMS valve stem. These are a little more expensive than the old-style snap-in valve stem.
When rotating your tires, Shepard’s technicians use handheld electronic equipment to reset the vehicle’s computer so it knows, for example, your left front tire is now positioned at the right rear. If you are alerted to a tire with low pressure, you’ll now know which one has a puncture or slow leak. And we’ll make sure your system functions as designed.
Today’s Vehicles are More Complex, But Shepard’s Will Keep You Rolling
Whether you’re driving a classic or the latest off the showroom floor, the pros at Shepard’s Automotive Center will keep you rolling reliably. We value customer relationships and we seek to be your one-stop-shop for mechanical and collision repair. We invite you to contact us online or call 978-465-5973, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Regardless of your repair, we will be happy to work with you to map out a plan that fits your budget and solves your problems.