Change your oil every three months or 3000 miles!

Sound familiar? More than likely your parents ground it into your memory, so every time the little sticker in the corner of our windshield matches our odometer we immediately head for the nearest Jiffy Lube.

When was the last time you went 10,000 miles without changing your oil? If your like most of us, probably never, however, some cars are made to run that long or longer on a single oil change thanks to tighter engine tolerances, better materials, and synthetic oils.

According to a recent government survey only 33% of people had ever driven their cars 4000 miles or more on a single oil change.

The truth is, changing your oil every 3000 miles is just too often, todays engines are made to run 5, 8, 10, and even 20,000 miles between oil changes. The average oil change costs around $30, and lets say we drive the standard 12,000 miles a year, that’s $120 a year in oil changes when really you should only be spending half that, it’s not a big savings, but over time really can help line your pocketbook.

Every year we throw away millions of gallons of half used oil, one analyst from said “you wouldent change your bath water halfway through, why would you change your oil” and he’s right. If you want to find out how often you should change your oil you can either check your service manual, or go to put in your year make and model, and it will tell you how often you really need to stop in to the service station.


Winter Driving Safety: Fact from Myth 7 of 7

It’s good to use your cruise control in all conditions because it keeps your speed consistent – MYTH

It is very dangerous to drive on wet roads with your cruise on. If your vehicle hits a patch of water and starts to hyroplane, your tires will accelerate to a high rate of speed causing you to lose control of the vehicle once it picks up traction again.

Winter Driving Safety: Fact from Myth 6 of 7

Keep extra weight in your vehicle during the winter months, the weight gives you more traction – MYTH

Because most cars these days are either front or rear wheel drive, this advice wont help you at all. The extra weight on the non-driving wheels could work against you because you are more inclined to lose control of the vehicle.

Winter Driving Safety: Fact from Myth 5 of 7

When your stuck in ice and snow, salt works best to get you traction – MYTH

What is recommended is an abrasive or clumping material like sand or kitty litter. It’s also good to have a small shovel with you to help dig out around the tires.

Winter Driving Safety: Fact from Myth 4 of 7

When your car brakes down during the winter, go look for help – Myth

You have a better chance of being found with your vehicle than hiking off somewhere. You also are protected from some of the elements and are easier to spot in aerial searches. If you are broken down in the middle of traffic you do want to get out of your vehicle and find a safe place to stand because chances are, someone will run into your vehicle if it is stopped in traffic.

Winter Driving Safety: Fact from Myth 3 of 7

When you are sliding, turn in the direction of the skid: Myth

This is true if you drive a rear wheel drive vehicle but the majority of the vehicles on the road are now front wheel drive. So what you want to do is turn your steering wheel in the direction that you want to go and keep your foot on the gas. Anti-lock brakes will enable your wheel to keep turning and enable you to maintain control of steering. Most skids happen when the vehicle is going around a corner too fast for conditions so keep that speed down!


Winter Driving Safety: Fact from Myth 2 of 7

The lower your tire pressure the better traction you will have – True, but…..

The negative effects of driving with low tire pressure far out weigh the positive. One, you aren’t guaranteed better traction, two, the lower pressure can cause you to blow your tire. The better alternative is to put snow tires on your vehicle in the winter, they are designed to be more flexible in the cold than a standard all-year tire.

Winter Driving Safety: Fact from Myth 1 of 7

It’s safer to keep up with the flow of traffic – MYTH, kind of

It’s okay to keep with the flow of traffic if the speed is safe for conditions BUT you always have those “cowboys” that are driving a 4-wheel drive and think that they are invincible on the road. Don’t keep up with these guys. The power and traction to get going doesn’t mean anything when it comes to stopping at high speeds.



Vehicle Information Request

3 Ways to improve your credit score

Posted Jan 11, 2011 03:59pm EST by Daniel Gross

Many people have questions about the credit scores generated by Fair, Isaac & Co. Today on Tech Ticker, Aaron Task and I figured we’d take our questions straight to the source: Mark Greene, chief executive of Fair, Isaac & Co., creator and proprietor of the FICO score.

“The FICO score is a measure of a consumer’s financial health and creditworthiness,” Greene says. It’s simply a number, ranging from 300 to 850 — the higher the better. The average FICO score in the U.S. is about 700, and pretty much every bank in the country uses a FICO score when making lending decisions. But while the scores are important, they’re not the be all and end all.

“Scores are meant to be one of several things bankers use in doing what we call sound underwriting,” Greene says. Lenders should also be taking into account borrowers’ background references, their capacity to repay loans, and collateral.

FICO creates the score simply by feeding numbers into its formula: “It’s based on pure, statistical evidence, with no judgment or evaluation or emotion.” The main factors Fair, Isaac takes into consideration are:

• How much total indebtedness a consumer has

• How long they’ve had the debt. “Newer relationships are riskier than things you’ve been paying over a long period of time,” Greene says.

• How much available credit is being used: “If you’re close to the edge on your credit cards, that’s a danger signal.”

• The mix of an applicant’s credit portfolio — is it all credit cards (bad) or a mixture of credit cards, a mortgage, and a car loan (better)?

Greene outlines three key ways through which people can improve their scores. First, pay your bills on time. Second, don’t get close to the edge: “Don’t use more credit than you really need.” And third, don’t apply for new credit unless you absolutely have to.

It may sound obvious, but the easiest way to avoid a sharp downgrade in your FICO score is to stay current on your mortgage and stay solvent. “One thing people should know is that a foreclosed home or personal bankruptcy is the most severe harm that you can do to your credit score,” Greene says. FICO scores can fall by as much as 150 points when borrowers walk away from mortgages or declare bankruptcy; it can take up to seven years to rehabilitate the rating.

Greene helps clear up what may be some misconceptions about the way credit scores are calculated. For example, is it true that every time you apply for a loan it hurts your score?

“It depends on the kind of product you’re shopping for,” says Greene. With car loans, for example, Fair, Isaac understands that people shop for rates. “If you apply for five different car loans within a couple of days, we understand that you’re looking to buy one car at the best rate. And there’s no adverse impact on your credit score.”

On the other hand, when people apply for five different credit cards in the space of a week, they’re usually seeking to open multiple accounts simultaneously. “In those situations we will take a few points off someone’s FICO score because we’re worried they’re sending a signal that they need too much credit.”

Is it also true that people who have little or no debt may find themselves with lower credit scores? That can be the case. “Warren Buffett used to say that he didn’t have a particularly high credit score,” says Greene.

Consumers can obtain their FICO score from the company at (Editor’s note: Greene says the report is free in the accompanying video but you must register to receive your FICO score and a payment is required.)

Greene also points to a just-launched website,, that helps people understand how credit scores factor in this new era of financial regulation. As of January 2011, you have the right to receive your score any time a lender makes certain kinds of decisions — e.g., if you’re denied credit or given credit on less than the most favorable terms a lender offers.

In the U.S. economy today, people may frequently find that a credit score is being used by companies to make decisions that have nothing to do with credit. Credit scores have become part of the application process for jobs, car insurance, and health insurance. Greene notes that the credit score can be useful in non-lending contexts: “People who are good with their finances frequently turn out to be good drivers.” But he reiterates that they were designed for a purely financial use.

Daniel Gross is economics editor and columnist at Yahoo! Finance.