1314 W Oxford Ave, Englewood, CO 80110
185 Wadsworth Ave, Lakewood, Colorado 80226
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Sam's Automotive


Getting to the Root of Excessive Oil Consumption

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While gasoline is key in powering your car, oil plays an equally key role, ensuring that your engine and other internal components are capable of moving at all. Be safe and always keep an adequate supply of oil in your car. Otherwise, you may find yourself faced with sky-high repair bills when something goes wrong.

But ensuring optimal oil levels can be difficult if your vehicle happens to be burning through oil at an elevated rate. If you have noticed that you seem to be adding oil to your car more often than you should, read on. This article will outline three potential causes of this elevated consumption.


Leaks are probably the first thing that occurs to people when faced with a mysterious drop in their oil level. Yet few people recognize the large number of places where such a leak can occur. Any or all of the following components may be involved: Oil lines

  • Valve cover gaskets
  • Oil pan gaskets
  • Crankcase drain plugs
  • Camshaft seals

Don't let such a list intimidate you too much, however. An overwhelming number of oil leaks occur where one component connects to another. Looking for signs of fresh oil at such joints is, therefore, the best way to track down a leak.

Keep in mind that the leak may be quite slow, with only a drop or two escaping at a time. If you suspect that you know where an oil leak is occurring yet can't find any evidence, try tying a strip of white or light colored cloth to the area. Start up your car and take it for a short drive, then check the cloth. If you find that it now bears an oil stain, you have likely located the source of the leak.

Bad Main Bearings

The main bearings play a vital role in an automobile as the component that allows the crankshaft to rotate. The main bearings act to keep the crankshaft in its proper location, while also spreading out the massive force which the pistons generate. The main bearings take a pretty heavy beating. Eventually, as they continue to wear down, they will begin to let oil leak past into your cylinders.

In the early stages of this problem, your piston rings may be able to prevent too much unwanted oil migration. Soon, however, the oil flow will be too much for them to stop. As this oil makes its way past the pistons into the combustion chamber, it will ignite and be burned off, causing your oil levels to steadily dwindle.

The solution to this problem often requires that your main bearings be replaced. You may also need replacement head cylinders as well. The sooner you catch the problem, the better. Be sure to have your engine checked out as soon as possible if you have been experiencing mysterious oil loss.

Low-Quality Oil

Never be tempted to fill your car with the least expensive oil you can find. This tactic will backfire on you in ways that ultimately cost you more money. Using inferior grade oil may result in an elevated oil consumption. Low quality also means that the oil will not be able to withstand the high temperatures of your engine.

Instead, such oil will burn off, leading to a dropping oil level. Not only that, but the unwanted combustion of cheap oil leads to unwanted buildup inside of your cylinders. The buildup reduces the cylinder's effectiveness as time goes on, increasing the rate at which other problems develop.

For this reason, it is important to stock your car with high-quality oil. You must also be sure that the oil is designed to work in harmony with your specific car. For more information about getting the best oil for your vehicle, please don't hesitate to contact the pros at Sam's Automotive Reconditioning Center.

Protect Your Car's Paint When Washing

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Man cleaning car — Auto Body Repair in Englewood, CO

Washing your car yourself is an inexpensive way to make it look good, but it's very easy to accidentally damage your car instead of protecting it. While waxing doesn't have to be involved - you can always just wash and dry without doing anything fancy - even those simple procedures are risky in the wrong hands.

That's not to say there is something wrong with washing your car yourself. But be aware of the pitfalls, because the wrong move (in some cases, literally the wrong movement) can damage your car's paint job.

Always Start With a Wash

No matter whether you're going to just wash the car or do the full wash-dry-detail-wax procedure, always start with a wash. You have to get rid of as much dust and dirt as you can. A lot of the material that's on your car is merely stuck to the surface of the clear coat, but some of it is actually embedded in the clear coat. And even the stuck stuff can etch lines if moved just the right way.

Washing the car with a proper car soap and then patting dry the leftover water will remove those stuck and embedded materials. If you try to do anything to the car without washing first, you risk adding long, obvious scratches to the clear coat. You might not see a distinct gouge, but you'll see those wispy lines that never seem to go away.

Always Move in Straight Lines

Whether you're sudsing up the car, drying it after you've rinsed it, rubbing it with a clay bar for detailing, or adding new wax or sealant, always move in a straight line. Don't use a circular rubbing motion, because that can create swirl marks that are really small scratches. Move back and forth in straight lines.

The problem is that the sponges, cloths, and bars can pick up small pieces of grit blown onto the car. No matter how good your wash job is, the wind and general atmospheric dust are always present and can always drop onto the car. Moving back and forth in straight lines is best because that minimizes the risk of creating those swirls.

Never Use Products Not Made for Cars

Always use car soap rather than something like dish soap; car soap will preserve your car's wax or sealant job. Other soaps and detergents can remove that protective coating, leaving the paint open to potential peeling and other degeneration.

Chamois is best for drying; it's very soft and absorbent. Also, that clay bar should be an actual auto detailing clay bar, not regular clay. They look similar, but regular clay is not gentle enough to really smooth out and remove those last little bits of dirt without messing up your car's paint job.

Never Attempt to Rub Out a Scratch

Washing and using a clay bar will not remove scratches. They will not fill in the gaps in the clear coat. Do not rub your car with anything, thinking that more pressure will erase the scratch. You only risk making things look worse.Never Split the Job Between Days.

Never Split the Job Between Days

Once you start your washing job, complete it on the same day. In other words, if you plan to wash, use clay, and wax, do it all on the same day. If you wait, then more dust and dirt, not to mention bird droppings, can settle on the car, increasing the risk of more scratches.

If you've accidentally created swirl marks or scratches and want to fix those up, give us a call here at Sam's Automotive Reconditioning Center. We can perfect paint jobs, fix dents, and make your car look like it's got a fresh coat. Take care of your car with our help.

3 Tips for Preparing Your Vehicle for Safe Winter Driving

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Car on a snowy road — Auto Body Repair in Englewood, CO

If this will be your first winter driving in cold, snowy Colorado, you need to know how to prepare your vehicle for safe winter driving. However, even if you have lived in the state for years, you may not realize that you are neglecting important steps you can take to keep you and your passengers safe on the road all winter long.

Check Your Battery

The last thing you want to happen in the middle of the freezing Colorado winter is for your vehicle to refuse to start on a cold winter morning or to die due to a dead battery while you are driving. Winter temperatures in Colorado can reach 18 degrees F or even much lower.

This makes it important to have your existing battery load tested before the cold winter arrives, even if you have not had previous problems with because cold temperatures affect battery performance.

When exposed to freezing temperatures, a chemical reaction occurs in your battery that makes it less powerful. At 32 degrees F, your battery is 35 percent less powerful than usual, and at 0 degrees F, your battery loses 60 percent of its power. In addition, in extremely cold temperatures, your engine needs more power to start. This makes it important to have a powerful battery during the winter.

In addition, you may want to check out your battery's CCA, or Cold Cranking Amps, rating. This rating designates the battery's ability to start a vehicle in cold temperatures. The higher the CCA rating of your battery, the more likely it is to function well in cold temperatures.

Have Your Braking System Inspected

Your vehicle's braking system needs to be in good working order all year long, so you can stop quickly on the road when necessary to avoid auto accidents. However, when driving on salty winter roads, the salt can cause your brake lines to rust. This can lead to brake fluid leaking from corroded areas of your brake lines and ultimately total brake failure when you need your brakes most.

You can avoid a winter braking disaster by having your entire braking system inspected now, including your brake pads, rotors, and brake lines. Catching any brake line corrosion now can limit the chance that your brake lines will leak if they do corrode slightly in winter weather.

Wash the undercarriage of your vehicle on a regular basis this winter to rinse off the salt to keep brake line rust to a minimum, and have your braking system inspected any time you notice your vehicle stopping more slowly or experiencing other braking issues.

Equip Your Vehicle With Winter Tires

If you have all-season tires on your vehicle with deep tread, you may think that you are ready for the road this winter. While tires need to have deep tread in the winter, the tread design and the rubber the tires are made of also affect traction when temperatures are freezing and roads are covered in snow and ice.

When freezing temperatures hit, the rubber that traditional tires are made of becomes stiff, which can reduce your traction on the road. The rubber that winter tires are made from stays soft and malleable during freezing temperatures to provide a good grip on snowy and icy roads.

The traction on winter tires is designed with projections that grip ice much more effectively than the tread on all-season tires.

Whether you will be facing your first winter driving in cold, snowy Colorado or you have driven in the state for years, obtain a pre-winter vehicle inspection at Sam's Automotive Reconditioning Center to ensure your vehicle is safe for winter driving and will keep you and your family safe on the road this season.