Q: We recently purchased a new VW Jetta Sport. The dealership says they will provide free oil changes for five years (one every 10,000 miles). The salesman and the owner's manual say the first oil change should be done at 10,000 miles. I am familiar with changing the oil after the break-in period of 1,000 to 3,000 miles. I am sure there will be metal debris from the break-in period, and I don't feel it's a good idea to wait that long for the oil change. I probably will pay the dealer to do it at 5,000 miles, although I know you tend to lean on what the manufacturer says.

A: Both motor oil and oil filters have come a long way since the days of 1,000-mile break-ins. Debris will be minimal, if at all, and the oil filter will handle it. I have no problem with a 5,000-mile oil change.

Brake dust-up

Q: What is your advice on reducing brake dust? The front wheels on my 2016 Mercedes SL 400 get dirty very fast. Within a few days of washing, they begin to show a gray tint that turns dark within a week. I am considering getting ceramic brake pads. Any suggestions?

A: This is a common complaint from Mercedes owners. Ceramic pads might help, but consider installing dust shields. Check with your Mercedes dealer's parts department.

Dented doors

Q: Years ago, all car doors had plastic or rubber strips on them to prevent dents. Cars no longer have these strips, and most cars have dings on their doors from other car doors. Why did the car manufacturers stop putting on these strips?

A: Originally, those body strips were a styling statement. Although styles change, many trucks and SUVs still have side molding. You can find auto body side molding in the aftermarket. It's often peel-and-stick.

Misleading advice

Q: Rats ruined my car's wiring. I heard that WD-40 is poisonous when they get it on them, so it will work if you can get them to walk through it. Rat poison is something you have to be very careful with.

A: WD-40 will kill rodents if inhaled, but not by walking through it. However, it will deter rodents because of its odor. Poisons, as you noted, should be avoided.

Bob Weber is a writer, mechanic and ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician. His writing has appeared in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest. Send automotive questions along with name and town to motormouth.tribune@gmail.com.