NEW YORK - The surprises for new car owners continue. First, automakers got rid of the spare tire creating a headache for drivers with a flat tire. Consumer Reports found a problem with the oil in new cars.
The consumer agency tests cars and rates them. While testing the Subaru Impreza, the low oil warning light came on. When the tester checked the owner's manual, he found out the small sedan uses SAE 0W-20 synthetic oil. Consumer Reports wasn't able to find the oil on store shelves. The agency later found some stores that have the thin only only sell it in gallon jugs rather than the quart like traditional oil.
If you have your car serviced when it's time for an oil change, you may pay twice as much. Consumer Reports said Jiffy Lube charges $30 to $40, but the prices vary depending on the location and car.
A check of owners manuals reveals this is also the case for the new Honda CR-V and Toyota Camry.
This oil is being used to get the car's fuel economy up, but Consumer Reports believes it's minimal compared to the price to the consumer.
At least you can drive your car longer before you need an oil change. I just wish service stations would update their sticker inventory to 5,000 or 7,5000 miles, depending on your car. So many still have the old 3,000 mile stickers. I watch my mileage go far beyond the sticker on my window before I take my car in for that fresh oil.
Before you buy a car, it might be worth reading the owner's manual to see what's changed. Oh wait. Those are disappearing too.