, Gloucester, MA


August 6, 2013

Car had body work? Change the oil

Q: I was told many years ago that whenever your automobile spends any time being worked on in an auto body shop you should have the oil changed when it’s finished. My friends don’t believe it. What’s your opinion on this and, if so, what is the reason for that?

A: That is a valid tip. Here is the deal on this: In a body shop there is typically a lot of dust caused by sanding a car during the repairs. You will notice that the shop workers wear breathing masks. Your car isn’t as fortunate, and the dust that’s generated ends up in your engine, and possibly in your car if the car is not sealed. The body shop will typically clean the car inside and out before returning it to you, but very rarely will they change the oil or the oil filter, which will be contaminated with body repair dust.

Q: I have a 2007 Chrysler 300 and in the center of the dash there is a clock that looks like a pocket watch. Every day it loses a half hour or more. I have to reset it. Is this something that I have to take back to the dealership, or is there something that I can do?

A: There are two ways to handle this problem. First, you could take the vehicle to a shop and have the clock removed and sent to the dealer, who will in turn send it out for repair. But the least expensive way to handle the problem would be to have the clock removed and replaced with one from a local car recycling dealer, or even online. There are not any special tools involved in the removal of the clock, but there is a level of skill needed to remove and reinstall the clock. By the way, I personally like the analog clock — it’s a classy touch.

Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears most Tuesdays. Write to Larry at the Gloucester Daily Times, c/o Auto Scanner, 36 Whittemore St., Gloucester, MA 01930, or send an email to

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