Biodiesel is an alternative diesel fuel made from vegetable oil (or animal fat, better known as cooking oil) that can be used in diesel engines. While biodiesel is a renewable resource and a cleaner alternative to traditional diesel fuel, we would like to caution our customers about some of the detrimental effects that biodiesel may cause to your vehicle. Biodiesel may contain small but problematic quantities of water. One of the reasons biodiesel can absorb water is the persistence of mono and diglycerides left over from an incomplete reaction. These molecules can act as an emulsifier, allowing water to mix with the biodiesel. In addition, there may be water that is residual to processing or resulting from storage tank condensation. The presence of water is a problem because:

  • Water reduces the heat of combustion of the bulk fuel. This means more smoke, harder starting, less power.
  • Water causes corrosion of vital fuel system components: fuel pumps, injector pumps, fuel lines, etc.
  • Water and microbes cause the paper element filters in the system to fail (rot), which in turn results in premature failure of the fuel pump due to ingestion of large particles.
  • Water freezes to form ice crystals near 0 °C (32 °F). These crystals provide sites for nucleation and accelerate the gelling of the residual fuel.
  • Water accelerates the growth of microbe colonies, which can plug up a fuel system. Biodiesel users who have heated fuel tanks therefore face a year-round microbe problem.
  • Additionally, water strips the lubricating qualities from the fuel, which in turn accelerates the wear of the internal parts of the fuel system and potentially cause catastrophic failure of the components.

So, while biodiesel fuel may be great for the environment, it may not be so great on your vehicle. This is an important environmental topic and we are committed to staying on top of the latest technologies in regards to the health and safety of your vehicle. If you have any questions or are considering migrating to biodiesel, contact us today for additional information.

Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations, but keep in mind that today’s driving habits, road conditions, driving distance and weather conditions can vary.

We recommend the following service intervals to keep your repair expenses to a minimum and your diesel car, truck or motorhome in top performance condition.

All of our diesel service intervals will include a Multi-Point Inspection from one of our ASE and BOSCH Certified Technicians!

Every 3,000 miles or 90 days

  • Change oil and filter
  • Lubricate chassis
  • Check fluids
  • Check tire pressure
  • Check all belts and hoses

Every 10,000 miles or annually

  • Diagnostic check
  • DIESEL: Change fuel filter every 10,000 miles or every 3rd oil change
  • Change oil and filter
  • Lubricate chassis
  • Check air filter
  • Check brakes and wheel bearings
  • Check all belts and hoses
  • Inspect cooling system hoses, check fluids for cleanliness and proper pH ie: steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid.
  • Look over vehicle for leaks and other problems
  • Rotate tires

Every 20,000 miles or 2 years

  • Same as 10,000 mile and multi-point inspection plus:
  • Flush brake fluid to remove contamination from normal wear and tear
  • Flush cooling system
  • Replace automatic transmission fluid; change filters
  • Service differentia
  • DODGE – Adjust transmission bands

Every 30,000 miles or 3 years

  • Same as 10,000 mile and multi-point inspection plus:
  • DODGE CUMMINS (‘89-’98) 12-valve (every 30,000 miles)
  • Adjust valves
  • Flush power steering fluid

Every 50,000 miles or 5 years

  • Same as 10,000 mile and multi-point inspection plus:
  • Replace oil in manual transmission
  • Replace oil in differentials and transfer case

Every 60,000 miles or 6 years

  • Same as 10,000 mile or annual tune-up and inspection

Every 100,000 miles

  • DODGE CUMMINS 24-VALVE (‘98.5-2003)
  • Adjust valves

Alignment, Steering, and Suspension Inspection every 6 months, or 6,000 miles. See Alignment Page for more details.

For gas-powered cars and trucks, please go to www.carecare.org and click on Service Intervals to see your specific recommendations. Please also refer to your Manufacturer Recommendations.

Normal wear and road conditions can take their toll on your vehicle’s steering and suspension system. Hitting a pothole, curb, or going over railroad tracks can throw alignment settings out of specifications, which can affect wheel alignment angles and can damage steering and suspension parts.

We recommend a Four Wheel Alignment in 6 month intervals or every 6,000 miles; new cars, trucks, motorhomes after first 2,000 miles. Our RPA Certified Drivers will do a Road Performance Assessment, check under the chassis, and do a written Diagnostic Evaluation with their professional recommendations and solutions for repair. They will give this information to our Service Advisor who will review the recommendations, allowing you to make an educated decision. Four Wheel Alignment Benefits: Reduce Tire Wear Improper alignment is a major cause of premature tire wear.

Better Fuel Mileage Four wheel alignment sets all four wheels parallel which, along with proper tire inflation, minimizes rolling resistance, hence better fuel mileage. Improve Handling Many handling issues can be corrected by a four wheel alignment to ensure that all the system components are aligned properly. Safer Driving We include a total suspension system check as a part of our Four Wheel Alignment, allowing us to spot worn parts before they cause a problem. THIS IS IMPORTANT: Most competitors advertise that they will “set all adjustable angles to manufacturer’s specs.” Most likely this is just the Toe-In. This process will create tire wear beginning at 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Check first sign of abnormal tire wear:

  • When buying new tires
  • After an accident or collision
  • After hitting a large pothole
  • After a hard steer
  • Excess play
  • Loose erratic steer when applying brakes
  • Pulls to one side
  • Front wheel shimmys/wandering

Our Factory Trained and Certified Specialists will do a Road Performance Test (RPA) before and after repairs. They will check and possibly adjust your tire pressure and rotate your tires if needed. Our Technicians will take computer measurements, and make necessary adjustments to the camber, caster, toe and thrust angle to restore your vehicle to as close to factory specification as mechanically possible. If you would like more information on Wheel Alignments go to www.carcare.org.

Every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever occurs first. This is the recommended interval for diesel engines and turbocharged gasoline engines. Most of us do what we consider to be “severe driving,” and should follow the Severe Maintenance Schedule. Severe driving is defined as:

  • Frequent short stops less than 10 miles
  • Stop and go traffic in city
  • Dusty conditions
  • Gravel roads
  • Sustained highway speeds in hot weather
  • Towing with your vehicle

We recommend once every 10,000 miles or third oil change. Your fuel filter protects the diesel fuel system from bad fuel, contaminants, water in fuel, etc. Consider it your strainer of bad elements that could potentially create problems to your fuel system. You can avoid expensive repairs and extend the life of the components in your fuel system by changing your fuel filter on schedule.

It should be checked for pH and concentration every six months. This will protect your Diesel from “Cavitation Erosion.” Most heavy-duty diesel engines have wet sleeve cylinder liners, which allow coolant to circulate on the outside of the cylinders to effectively dissipate heat. These wet sleeve liners are susceptible to a failure mechanism known as Cavitation Erosion if the coolant system is not properly maintained.

Ultra low sulphur fuel is good for us humans, but the process that removes the sulpher also strips the lubrication qualities from the fuel. We recommend adding Stanadyne fuel additive to the fuel to put the lubrication back into the fuel as well as improving the cetane level and other helpful additives to increase performance and economy. See Standayne Performance Formula on our Diesel Performance Solutions page.