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Basic Car Care FAQs

Whether you have a new car or have been driving yours for years, basic car care is essential to keeping it running smoothly, efficiently and for as long as possible. Walmart has over 2,500 Auto Care Centers nationwide with certified technicians that are ready to help you with your auto maintenance needs. These answers to common questions help you understand your car's needs and how Walmart can help.

What Auto Services Does Walmart Provide?

Walmart's certified auto care technicians perform basic auto maintenance services to keep your car rolling. Some services include tire installation, battery testing and installation, oil and lube services and more. Simply drop your car off at the Auto Care Center and technicians get to work while you shop.

What Is the Difference Between Basic Tire Installation and Value Tire Installation?

The basic tire installation package includes tire mounting, valve stems, lifetime balance, rotation every 7,500 miles and 50-mile lug re-torque. The value tire installation package includes all of the basic services but throws in a road hazard protection warranty.

What Is Road Hazard Protection?

The road hazard warranty protects your tires after you drive them out of the Auto Care Center. The warranty offers coverage for unforeseen road hazards and flat tire repairs. With road hazard protection, your tires purchased from the Walmart Tire Center are eligible for repairs or replacement depending on the extent of the damage. Repairable punctures are fixed free of charge and meet the Rubber Manufacturers Association guidelines.

What Are the Different Types of Oil?

Not all motor oils are the same. Putting the wrong type of motor oil in a vehicle could have major consequences. There are five main types of oil used in lightweight vehicles. The type of oil you choose depends on your vehicle manufacture's recommendations, your driving habits, the age of the engine and the climate you drive in. If you're still confused about which type your car needs, the technicians at Walmart Auto Care Center can help you choose the right one for your vehicle.

  • Conventional Oil: The least expensive type of motor oil available. Meets API and SAE standards, but does not contain additives that could boost performance. API refers to the gravity (heaviness or lightness) of oil as determined by the American petroleum Institute's standards while the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) sets viscosity grading criteria. Conventional oil is ideal for frequent oil changes or cars with low mileage engines.
  • Premium Conventional Oil: The most common type of motor oil. 5W-20, 5W-30 and 10W-30 are common viscosity ratings and cover most types of light duty vehicles. The higher the number, the thicker the oil. In general, thicker oils provide more engine protection while thinner oils yield higher fuel economy.
  • Synthetic Oil: This type of oil is designed for longer lasting performance and to protect against deposits. It performs well at both low and high temperatures. While synthetic oil can sometimes help boost the performance of a car, it is also more expensive than conventional oils. Owners should consult the owner's manual for their vehicle to determine if this type of oil is necessary.
  • Synthetic Blend Oil: Synthetic blends offer the best of both conventional and full synthetic oils. They protect your vehicle at high temperatures without the higher price tag of full synthetic oils. These are popular for light pickup trucks and SUVs because of their performance with higher engine loads.
  • High-mileage Oil: This type of oil is specially formulated for engines that have over 75,000 miles. High-mileage oil includes seal conditioners to protect seals inside the engine by improving flexibility.

What Is the Purpose of Cleaning a Car's Fuel System?

Cleaning a car's fuel system is important to keeping it running smoothly and efficiently. This is especially important for older vehicles or vehicles with high mileage because of buildup and deposits on the injector system. If the fuel injectors become clogged, a car may experience poor acceleration, reduced engine power and other problems.

How Do You Know When it Is Time to Replace a Battery?

Your car begins to experience symptoms long before a battery dies completely. Being aware of these symptoms could save you the trouble of being stranded with a dead battery. Walmart Auto Care Center can assist you with battery testing, installation and other services. Consider replacing your car battery when your vehicle experiences these symptoms:

  • Takes longer than normal to crank
  • Battery light on dashboard comes on
  • Low battery fluid levels
  • Swollen battery
  • Leaking battery

Additionally, if the battery is over three years old but not experiencing these symptoms, have it tested annually to ensure it is in good condition.

How Often Should You Change an Air Filter?

A clogged or dirty air filter can affect your fuel efficiency, acceleration and engine performance. In order to keep your car in top condition, replace the air filter every 30,000 to 45,000 miles. If you drive in severe conditions, such as on dirt roads or in heavy traffic, check and replace the air filter as often as every 15,000 miles. If you purchase your air filter from Walmart, installation is free.

When Should You Replace Wiper Blades?

Replace wiper blades twice a year in order to stay safe on the road. Walmart auto technicians check the condition of your wiper blades with Standard, High Mileage and Power & Performance oil changes to make sure they are in good condition.

Shop Walmart for all of your auto and tire maintenance needs.

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