Author Archives: Spartan Auto Care

Tire Replacement: Pulling the Trigger on New Tires

Changing Tire

Learn the Signs of an Aging Tire Before It Dies on the Road.

Is it almost time for tire replacement? Not every driver knows how to tell when a tire is nearing the end of its lifetime. There are a few symptoms you can use to determine when to pull the trigger on new tires.

Symptom #1: Worn Threads

When you’re on the road with bald tires, commuting can feel less like driving and more like skiing. The limited control can even be dangerous, especially in wet conditions. You can test the state of your treads by using the Penny Test. The next time you pull into your drive way at home, take a penny and insert Abraham Lincoln headfirst into the tread. If the president’s head disappears at all, your tire still has healthy treads. If Lincoln is still completely visible after inserting the penny, it’s time for tire replacement.

Symptom #2: Damaged Sidewalls

The siding of your tires are just as important as your treads. Healthy sidewalls should appear relatively smooth, but a damaged tire can have ridges, gashes or bulges. If you spot any of these symptoms, you need to replace your tire as soon as possible.

Symptom #3: Expired Tires

Contrary to what many used tire companies would tell you, a “barely used” tire can still be too dangerous for your vehicle, but not for the reason you think. The expiration clock starts ticking as soon as a tire is manufactured; it has nothing to do with tire use. Even barely used tires can fail once their 10 year lifespan has expired. Check your tires and make sure they’re still safe.

Follow these tests, and you’ll protect yourself from an unfortunate crisis on the road. For more tips about tire replacement or any other aspect of your car, give our experts a call at __PHONE__. We’d be happy to answer any questions and relieve any concerns you might have about your vehicle.

What to Do with an Overheated Car

Overheated Car

An Overheated Engine Can Present a Serious Repair Issue.

As the temperatures begin to rise, so does the likelihood that you may have to deal with an overheated car. When you car overheats, you can find yourself in a tricky situation. Until you can see a mechanic, you car will remain quite vulnerable to additional damage. You may also find yourself stranded. To prevent a problem from turning into a crisis, make sure you do the following.

Turn Off the Engine

The first thing you must do with an overheated car is to stop driving. Pull over to a safe location, and immediately kill your engine. This can prevent extensive damage to your vehicle, as running it while overheated can cause lasting harm. If you’re close to home, you can go ahead and try to make it, though you should never drive more than a quarter mile in an overheated vehicle.

Take Care with Your Hood

Before you try and attend to the engine, keep in mind that it has overheated. This means that it has become extremely hot, so you should approach with caution and care. Wait until your car’s temperature gauge has fallen back from red, then open the hood. If you need to open the radiator cap, make sure you protect your hand with a towel or rag.

Add Extra Coolant

Every driver should make a habit to carry an extra jug of coolant or water in their vehicle. Most of the time, a car overheats due to low coolant. Simply topping off your engine can sometimes do the trick and get you back on the road. For a temporary solution, you can even use water.

You can sometimes avert overheating altogether if you turn off your AC and blast your heater. This can serve as a temporary solution to channel heat away from the engine. When your car overheats, you must visit a trusted mechanic as a soon as possible. If you have an overheated car in , MA, call the experts at Spartan Auto Care at __PHONE__ today.

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.