Author Archives: Spartan Auto Care

7 Things to Check in Your Car Before Going on Road Trips

Summer is just a month away for many college students whose spring semester ends in May. That means three months of fun and relaxation for those not working. One fun summer tradition for many college students is to have road trips.Don’t have a bad memory of this summer’s trip because your car broke down.

Make sure your car is in its best shape for the long drive by checking these seven things:

Don’t Let Car Problems Ruin Your Road Trip.

Antifreeze

Antifreeze prevents your car from overheating- a common occurrence on long road trips through the countryside. Make sure the coolant surge reservoir is filled up.

Fluids

Fill up on washer fluid to wipe away all those bugs on the windshield. Be sure to check the transmission and differential fluids too!

Oil change

Oil lubricates your car’s engine and keeps everything running smoothly. Come in for an oil change even if it’s before your recommended oil change date if you are expecting a long journey.

Tire pressure

Avoid a blowout or flat tire by making sure there is enough air in your tires. Rotate them if you notice some more tread on certain tires than others.

Brakes

Make sure your brake fluid is full. This helps the gears that makes your car stop and saves your life from rusting.

Belts

If you hear loud screeches whenever you pull away from a stop sign, you have a loose or stretched belt. If a belt breaks,

Battery

Test your battery and make sure its clean and charged.

 

Contact Spartan Auto Care at (413) 781-2480 to schedule an appointment for your car check-up in Springfield, MA.

Disc Brakes vs. Drum Brakes

If your brakes squeak or grind when you step on the pedal, it is time for you to schedule an appointment for brake repair. Repairing your braking system as soon as you notice a problem is very important because postponing it could lead to a serious accident. Spartan Auto Care is here to help with your brake repair needs.

Mechanic Changing the Pads on the Brakes

We Are Able to Repair Both Disc and Rum Braking Systems.

 

What Type of Brakes Do You Have?

There are two different kinds of braking systems manufactured for cars and trucks. Each one uses friction to stop the car, but they have different designs that require different repairs from a mechanic. Here are some of the differences between disc and drum brakes.

Disc Brakes
If your car has disc brakes, there is a spinning rotor inside the wheel. This rotor spins alongside the tire when the car is going down the road. When you apply the brake pedal, a device called the caliper presses the brake pad against the side of the rotor to slow the rotation, which in turn slows the rotation of the tire. This braking method is mostly used on modern cars and is considered by professionals to be the more efficient of the two brake systems.

Drum Brakes
Drum brakes are found mostly on older cars and trucks, but some newer vehicles will have drums on the rear tires. This brake system is comprised of a rotating drum that has shoes inside. When the brake pedal is pushed, the shoes press against the sides of the drum to slow the rotation and the speed of the car.

Regardless of the type of braking system you have on your car, our staff is here to help. Contact our office at (413) 781-2480 to schedule an appointment for your brake repair in , MA.

3 Easy Maintenance Activities That Can Improve Your Vehicle’s Safety

Vehicle Maintenance

Are You Keeping Up With Your Vehicle Maintenance?

Nobody wants their car or truck to be a hazard on the road. Vehicles of all kinds require a significant amount of maintenance, and one of the best things you can do is keep up with all of the maintenance. Today we will go over 3 easy and inexpensive things you can do to improve your car’s condition.

Update Your Windshield Wipers

Did you know that your windshield wipers don’t last forever? If you don’t drive in the rain very often, it can be easy to forget how frequently you need to service your wipers. Be sure to take a quick look at your wipers each month. If they begin to look warped, dry, or cracked, make sure to have them replaced ASAP.

Inflate Or Deflate Your Tires

Your tires have an optimal setting at which they work best, in terms of safety and wear. If your tires are over inflated, they are less safe to drive on, and they are at risk of bursting. If they are too low on air, they will develop wear much faster than they should, and they will decrease your fuel efficiency by creating additional drag.

Check Your Lights And Lenses

Your headlights need to be nice and bright to ensure your vehicle is visible in all conditions. In order to make sure they are bright, replace the bulbs if they become dim, or polish the lenses if they have grown foggy over time. If your headlights are dim and the bulbs are new, it may be an electrical problem you’ll need to get repaired.

If you need assistance with maintenance or service, give our team a call today at (413) 781-2480!

3 Things to Check When Buying a Used Car

Used Car

Buying a Used Car Can Be Stressful, but It Doesn’t Have to Be.

If you’ve ever bought a car before, you know how stressful it can be. Buying a used car on the other hand, can be even more stressful if you aren’t careful. When you buy a used car, you are buying something that someone else had before you and unfortunately there isn’t always a way to tell how well they took care of it before you. There are however a few things you can check before you sign your name on the dotted line to put your mind at ease.

The oil dipstick- This is very important since oil is the main component to making your engine run. Take the dipstick out, wipe it off, and put it back in again. When you pull it back out, take a look at where the oil level is. If it is to high, this could be a sign that there is gas in the oil. If it is too low, that is a bad sign as well. If the dipstick has white foam on it when you pull it out, this could be signs that there is water or coolant in the oil, this is bad, don’t buy this car.

Burnt holes- Take a look around the car, do you see any spots that could have been caused from cigarettes? The smell of cigarettes in a car can be covered by a lot of cleaning or perfume. Sometimes you buy the car before the smell comes back and then a week later you’re driving around in your new car that begins to smell like smoke, awesome right, not!

Dash lights- Pay attention to the lights on the dash. Some dealerships will try to clear check engine light codes and say the problem is fixed. Take the car for a long drive around the block. Drive it how you would if it was your car. Sometimes this will give it enough time for the check engine light to show back up, or for you to hear, smell, or see, that there is a problem within the car.

These are just a few things to pay attention to when you buy a used car. We want you to have the best experience possible, but if you suspect a problem or need advice, we are always here to help, just give us a call at (413) 781-2480!

Is Your Car Winter Ready?

Vehicle Ready For Winter

Is your car ready for colder weather?

With Winter already on its way, many Americans are bundling up, and preparing their homes for the winter months. However, it can be easy to forget that your vehicle may need some maintenance before the weather drops as well! Today we will go over a few ways that you can make sure your car or truck is performing its best throughout the holiday season. If you have any questions, of if you need help with vehicle repair, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (413) 781-2480!

Tires

Are you tires prepared for icy or slick roads? Make sure that they are properly inflated, and that they have plenty of tread left. This way you can be sure your tires will keep you safe in less than perfect weather situations.

Lights

Cold winter days can be snowy and gray, which leads to impaired visibility. It is always a good idea to make sure your headlights are clear and bright before that happens.

Heater

Nobody wants to deal with a broken heater in winter, especially in the mornings! If your heater seems to be weaker than it should be, take your car in to get checked out. Fixing your heater before it goes out is not only smarter, it’s also cheaper!

Battery

For many vehicle owners, Winter is the dreaded time of the year when car batteries die. Hot summer months cause a great deal of wear and tear on car batteries, and when the cold weather rolls around, the batteries struggle to make a cold start, and ultimately fail. Be sure to check the condition of your battery at the first sign of a weak start, so that you don’t end up stranded with a dead battery in the cold!

Essential Tips for Fall Car Maintenance

Fall Car Maintenance

Fall Has Its Own Travel Demands That Necessitate Maintenance.

After the stress of summer heat, traffic, and travel, fall can seem like a season of rest for your car. While this is true to some extent, you still need to pay attention to certain items of fall car maintenance. Before you spend too much time on the road this fall — or travel for Thanksgiving — make sure you’ve attended to the following.

Check Heater

As the weather becomes colder, your heater will once again see use. Instead of waiting for the first cold day to determine your heater has broken, check it beforehand. Comfort aside, a broken heater can also present a safety issue. The heater manages your defroster, which stands as an indispensable component as the weather changes.

Antifreeze Levels

Your antifreeze, surprisingly enough, also does work throughout the summer. This important fluid raises the boiling point of your engine’s coolant to prevent overheating. Antifreeze does even more when cold weather arrives. You’ll want to ensure proper levels, and take your vehicle in for a check-up if antifreeze appears low.

Inspect Your Tires

Summer travel puts a lot of wear on tires. Between the heat of the road and distances traveled, you should definitely check your tires at the season’s end. If your treads look low, make sure you get the tires changed before any fall trips. You could also have your tires rotated to ensure a longer lifespan.

For any fall car maintenance in Springfield, MA, choose one of two Spartan Auto Care Centers. We can guarantee reliable and thorough service to keep your car running at its best. Give us a call today at __PHONE__.

Three Benefits of Regular Oil Changes

Regular Oil Changes

Regular Oil Changes Will Extend the Overall Life of Your Engine.

Most vehicle owners remain vaguely aware of the benefits of regular oil changes. The activity relates to the continued health of the vehicle, though the particulars may remain unclear. Oil lubricates and protects the moving parts of an engine. Without it, a vehicle would quickly overheat and cease to function. Despite this awareness, many people skimp on oil changes. This can become a dangerous habit. To encourage more regularity with oil changes, consider the following advantages.

Better Gas Mileage

A well-lubricated engine has an easier job. Less friction and wear in the engine makes it a simpler task to operate your vehicle. Regular oil changes provide this benefit, which increases your gas mileage and the overall efficiency of your car.

Less Damage

Over time, oil will collect bits of dirt and debris. These can harm an engine as the oil goes about its job. A fresh oil change removes these particles, and ensures the healthy operation of your engine. An engine that takes less damage from old oil will have a much longer life.

Extended Life

Clean, fresh oil causes less friction in your engine, and causes less damage through accumulated debris. Together, these two benefits suggest the most important factor behind regular oil changes: a longer life for your engine. A car represents a significant investment. To get the premier return on this investment, you must take care of the engine.

Oil changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles are indispensable pieces of service. For regular oil changes in Springfield, MA, trust the experts at Spartan Auto Care Centers. To learn more or schedule service, call us today at __PHONE__.

How to Get Improved Gas Mileage

improved gas mileage

You can save money at the pump through a few simple strategies.

While the price of gas may vary from acceptable to terrifying, good gas mileage will always save you money. From gas guzzlers to hybrids, all cars can achieve better mileage through a few simple practices. If you’d like to save some money while on the road, follow these simple tips for improved gas mileage.

Reduce Speed

Most people tend to drive as if in a hurry. Speeding greatly reduces your gas mileage, however, in addition to associated safety concerns. If you make a conscious effort to reduce your speed, you will save money on gas. For best results, try to drive below 45 mph whenever possible. Though not always practical, this reasonable speed will keep you safe and conserve your tank.

Stop Engine at Red Lights

Contrary to popular belief, it does not require an excessive amount of fuel to start your vehicle. If your engine runs, then you are burning gas. You can minimize this while in cities if you cut your engine at red lights. Though it may take a few seconds to start the car after the light changes, you’ll have better mileage as your reward.

Reduce Weight

The heavier your vehicle, the more gas it burns. To reduce your car’s weight, look to the trunk. Remove all superfluous items and junk, and you’ll have a lighter car that will run longer on a tank of gas.

These serve as just a few of the ways to improve your vehicle’s gas mileage. Simple maintenance operations can also lead to improved gas mileage. To learn more or schedule any kind of service in Springfield, MA, call __PHONE__ today for Spartan Auto Care.

Vital Fluids For Your Vehicle

Fluids for vehicles

Checking Your Fluids Is An Important Part Of Vehicle Maintenance!

If you own a car,  you know that the way you take care of it has a big impact on how long it will last. At Spartan Auto Care, we want our clients to know how to keep their cars running smoothly. Today we will discuss 5 critical fluids, other than gasoline, that you should maintain frequently in your vehicle.

Brake Fluid

As the name implies, this fluid is essential for properly functioning brakes. You can find this fluid on the driver’s side of the vehicle, and it should be a golden color. If it is brown, it needs to be replaced.

Transmission Fluid

You should check these fluid levels monthly, and the fluid should be red. If the fluid is brown or smells burnt, be sure to change it ASAP!

Power Steering Fluid

Power steering is another important fluid that you should check monthly. It should not decrease significantly, but if it has, you may have a leak!

Coolant

This fluid should only be checked when you car is cooled and turned off. Within your radiator, you want the coolant to reach the fill line level provided.

Motor Oil

Luckily, most drivers know to change the motor oil frequently to keep the car running smoothly, but make sure you are changing it at appropriate intervals, by referencing your owner’s manual.

If you need assistance with your auto maintenance in Springfield, MA, give us a call today at 413-781-2480! Our expert mechanics are ready to help!

Essential Summer Car Maintenance

photo of summerSummer is here, which means it is time to get your car maintenance completed. Many people take road trips with friends or vacations with family during the summer season, driving for a good portion of it. Summer can be fun but it can also take a huge toll on your car. It may not be apparent, but changes in the season can affect many different systems within your car, from tire pressure to how your filters function. Before you head out of the road, there are a few specific areas of your car that you should check out or have serviced before you hit the road.

Top Systems to Check For Your Summer Maintenance

#1 Tires

It is no secret that tires are affected by the weather. More specifically, they are affected by temperature. It is important to check your tires and maintain the best pressure for them. Without maintenance, your tires can wear irregularly and even be damaged beyond repair. When filling up your tires, the recommended PSI can be found on the tire itself. You may also want to take your vehicle into the shop for wheel alignment and tire rotation. This will ensure that your tires wear evenly, preventing an excess of damage to only one.

#2 Filters and Fluids

Periodically, it is important to have your fluids and filters checked and changed. This includes your oil filter, oil, air filter, coolant, fuel filters, and more. Changing your filters will ensure no debris, dust, or metal affects your engine, keeping your systems running at optimal efficiency. Sometimes, debris that has passed through a filter can get caught up within the fluids, especially with oil. If untreated, these particles can damage your engine and even break down your car.  Getting service and fluid change will prevent the particles from affecting your engine.

#3 Brakes

Your brakes are very important to the safety of your vehicle on the road. Having brake service completed can be the difference in how your car handles an emergency situation. On your next drive to the store, make mental notes of any issues you are experiencing with your braking. Does it seem like it takes a while for your car to stop? Have you heard any grinding noises? These are signs that your brakes need service.

#4 Emergency Kit

When was the last time you checked your emergency kit? Before you head out on the road, check and ensure you are stocked up on all the essentials such as road flares, first aid kit, jumper cables, and other safety items. One piece of safety many forget to check on is their spare tire. This can be the difference between making it to your destination or being stuck on the side of the road. Always check to make sure your spare tire has the correct amount of PSI when you are testing your in-use tires.

Need service before you head out for your summer trip? Spartan Auto Care provides you with quality service and repair in Springfield, MA and West Springfield, MA. Call today at (413) 781-2480 for your maintenance service.