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Are Synthetic Oil Changes Worth It?

Low oil pressure lamp and liquid stream of motorcycle motor oil flows from the neck of the bottle close-up

Should I Use Conventional or Synthetic Oil?

Imagine this: you’re behind the wheel of your brand new car, driving it off the lot. You may have a vivid list of questions running through your mind, but it’s not likely that one of those will be: should I use synthetic oil or conventional oil?” While this question may not be the most pertinent, in terms of keeping your car running efficiently, it’s a relevant one. What kind of oil change you will need is worth pondering. Consult your owners manual to see what oil your car manufacturer recommends.

Let’s break down the differences between the two kinds of oil. Synthetic oil is engineered in a lab, and conventional oil is natural, or comes from the ground.Specifically, Synthetic oil is an engine lubricant made from various chemical compounds. Conventional oil is refined from crude oil from the ground. When it’s time to get your oil change, consult your local, trusted mechanic for this process.

Is Conventional Oil Bad?

Conventional oil is refined from crude oil found deep in the earth. Synthetic oil is made in a lab, which includes a refining process that eliminates many of the impurities found in crude oil. There are a dramatic number of advantages to synthetic oil versus conventional oil. Synthetic oil keeps your engine much cleaner, and can last almost three times longer than conventional oil. This man-made oil lasts longer because of the process, and is engineered for longevity; you could be using 15-24 quarts of oil less per year. In mileage, that equates to almost 20,000 miles of driving time without an oil change. Synthetic oil also offers much greater wear protection, and prolongs the life of the engine.

Can Anyone Make the Switch from Conventional to Synthetic Oil?

You may be asking yourself whether it would be advisable to switch to synthetic oil from conventional oil. There is a myth that once you switch to synthetic oil, you can never switch back. This is a persistent myth, and completely untrue. You can switch back and forth at any time. Synthetic blends, traditionally being a mixture of synthetic and conventional oils, incorporate the best qualities of conventional oil with the cleanliness of chemically engineered molecules.

Here is a simplified breakdown: base oil makes up nearly 80% of a motor oil formulation and additives make up the remaining nearly 20%. The chemically engineered molecules in synthetic base oil have more uniform properties while the molecules found in conventional base oil differ in shape and levels of impurity. This shift to a cleaner, higher quality product is becoming the norm in the automotive world. 70% of new cars use synthetic motor oil to help maintain performance.

Synthetic Oil Change

What is the Best Engine Oil for High Mileage?

Oil is crucial for the continued functioning of the engine in your car. There are a number of different brands of oil that offer high quality synthetic oils. Consult with your trusted mechanic in your area for varieties that he/she recommends for your particular vehicle.

Can you mix synthetic and conventional oil?

Yes, you can mix synthetic and conventional oil. Is it advisable? No. This is because a mixture of conventional and synthetic oil will detract from the superior performance found in your synthetic oil, and reduce its benefits.

Conventional Oil Versus Synthetic – What are the differences?

Synthetic and crude oil are both oils you can use in your car. The story behind the inception of crude oil is simple, synthetic oil is a different tale. Synthetic oil is purified and broken down into its basic particles, usually starting from a crude oil base. This crude oil base is usually composed of the highest quality base oil combination. Next, a proprietary blend of chemically modified petroleum components are added and mixed. You might want to consider investing in a fluid flush as part of your basic car maintenance. A fluid flush replaces the old liquids in your car with new liquids.

How Does Synthetic Oil Make Your Engine Perform Better?

Performance-wise, there are a number of ways that synthetic oil enables a more efficient outcome. Since engine parts are in constant contact with each other, and moving at high speeds, the lubrication for these various parts. As conventional and synthetic blend oils break down, their ability to prevent engine wear diminishes. With a synthetic oil blend, engine parts maintain their wear protection properties for longer.

Synthetic Oil Benefits

Man-made blends of oil offer many surprising benefits for your car engine:

  • Greater engine wear protection.
  • In low temperatures, synthetic oil flows more easily over engine parts.
  • Synthetic oil blends are more resistant to moisture loss at high temperatures.
  • Critical turbocharger parts are better protected.

Synthetic Oil Change Frequency

Commonly, car mechanics and dealerships offer the main stipulation that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles, or three months. With synthetic oil, those numbers increase dramatically. For example, a premier brand of synthetic oil currently on the market boasts a performance that ranges up to 15,000 miles, or one year.

Having trouble with figuring out exactly which synthetic oil blend you want to move forward with? Consult our professionals Spartan Auto Care in the Springfield and West Springfield, MA for your oil change. Call __PHONE__.

How Car Automatic Transmission Works

Transmission

Know The Signs That Your Transmission Is Going Bad.

Every single vehicle has to have a properly working transmission in order for it to work and move. If there is something wrong with the transmission, then the vehicle will not work. A car transmission can be very expensive to have fixed and that is because the whole process is pretty complex. You will need to find a mechanic that knows what they are doing and that you can trust so that there are no issues down the road and you are just out that money. When you do need some kind of auto repair, the transmission is one of the first things that will be looked at. A fluid flush may be necessary because it will allow your mechanic to make sure that the correct oil and fluids have all been put into your vehicle and not caused any harm to come to the car transmission itself. A car transmission system is a transmission that is self-shifting and does not need to be moved by you, the vehicle will do it on its own. You may start to see car transmission issues like your gears slipping or your check engine light will come on. We will cover the signs that your vehicle has a few problems and some car transmission basics, down below. When you have a car without transmission fluid, it will not work the way it is supposed to. It will actually not work at all. You always want to make sure that you are getting your oil changed and your vehicle maintenance when you are supposed to. If you do not take care of your car, it will begin to fall apart and you will start to see many different problems happening with your transmission. A car transmission is easily one of the most important things on your vehicle, so know the signs and ask the right questions when you don’t know what is going on.

FAQ About Car Transmission Repairs

What happens to a car when the transmission goes out?

If you car transmission goes out, the overall handling will change. It may be very difficult to drive and it will feel like your car is vibrating. The engine may accelerate but not go any faster or be moving at all. When the car transmission dies, the entire gear shift will no longer work.

What are the symptoms of low transmission fluid?

When you have low transmission fluid, you will have trouble with the gears shifting correctly or without force, your gear engagement will be delayed, the transmission will overheat, and your transmission will surge.

What are signs of a bad transmission?

The signs of a bad transmission are when your shifts will start to become very rough and you may start to see fluid leaks. You will also have a light that comes on that will tell you that it is time to have your engine checked. If you experience any of these signs, make sure you go see your mechanic right away.

How do I know if I need transmission fluid?

When you are driving and you start to hear a grinding or squealing type of noise, that may mean that your car transmission oil is low. When this happens you will need to pull over right away to check it out because if it runs out or gets too low, it can cause all kinds of damage that is very expensive to have fixed. The best type of thing that you can do in this situation is to go make sure that there is fluid in your transmission and if there isn’t that you go put some in it right away.

Signs You Have Transmission Damage

People always wonder when to repair transmission parts on your vehicle. What you should always be doing is taking your vehicle in for regular maintenance, that way there is never any question whether there is anything wrong with the transmission. Many of the following signs were mentioned above but they are worth mentioning again to make sure that you know what the signs are. If you choose to continue driving around with damage on your transmission, you will only do more damage to your car.

  • Leaking fluid
  • Check engine light comes on
  • Shifting is rough or becomes difficult
  • There is a delay in the engagement
  • The transmission begins to slip

If you start to experience any of these signs, it is crucial for the sake if your car that you take it in. You can also call our experienced mechanic at Spartan Auto Care to take care of you. Our number is (413) 781-2480 and we are here to help you whenever we can. Car transmission problems in Springfield and West Springfield, MA can be solved very quickly as long as you have a professional there to make sure that everything is running correctly and the right fluid are being entered into your engine.

The Importance of Vehicle Maintenance

You should view routine car maintenance as another part of your mandatory chores. Many people think that cars are so indestructible, which results in thousands of vehicular -related deaths and breakdowns every year. You can prevent dangerous and potentially deadly situations from happening by keeping up with your basic car maintenance requirements. This could be as simple as remembering to change the oil or checking the tire pressure. Having proper vehicle maintenance not only extends the life of your car, but helps to prevent unnecessary damages from occuring. For help with your vehicle maintenance in Springfield and West Springfield, MA, call Spartan Auto Care at (413) 781-2480 today.

How Often Should You Take Your Car in For Maintenance?

mechanic checks oil level

A Car Inspection Can Help Determine Where You Are Lacking In Vehicle Maintenance

Knowing when to go get car maintenance can be tricky for some car owners to determine. Since cars don’t go by periods of time, but by wear and tear calculated by numbers of miles driven, maintenance times for cars can vastly vary depending on use. Since so many different parts of your car require replacing and repairs at different mile indicators, you would be constantly taking your car into the shop for vehicle maintenance, which would get expensive very quickly. For example, not all cars have to get their oil changed at 3,000 miles, with some not needing diesel maintenance until 10,000 miles. Checking your car owner’s manual can help you clarify when to get vehicle maintenance.

During your annual inspection, getting into the habit of getting routine vehicle maintenance will help prevent any damages from happening to your car and can repair any issues that are found all in one trip. You can also get your tires rotated which helps to reduce tread on only one side of your car and evens alignment. Serpentine and timing belts don’t need to be changed until every 40-60,000 miles, so having them checked every year by a professional can tell you if they are still in good shape.

How To Check Car Maintenance History

If you have just bought a used car or are unsure when the last time you have gotten your car maintained, you can request a vehicle history check. The ways how to check car maintenance history are very easy. Locate the VIN number often found on a sticker on the driver’s side door, underneath the spare tire, or on the engine block. The VIN number acts like a social security number for a car and can track down all previous owners and every last repair and accident the car has ever had. Once you have located the VIN number, you can enter it into a free vehicle history report check site like CarFax to see when the last time your car has gotten service and when to go get car maintenance. For any questions on how a vehicle history report or vehicle maintenance in Springfield and West Springfield, MA works, call Spartan Auto Care at (413) 781-2480 today.

Benefits of Good Vehicle Maintenance

By performing routine vehicle maintenance, the life of your car is extended, and it is safer to drive. Vehicle maintenance is so important because it all results in helping your engine stay properly cooled and lubricated so it doesn’t break down. And since the engine is the heart of the car, proper car maintenance from changing your oil to putting the correct amount of pressure in your tires eases the strain on your engine, which is beneficial to your car. So what car maintenance needs to be done? Below is a quick checklist of car maintenance tips to the bare minimum that needs to be routinely checked by a car owner to ensure that their car is safe to drive.

Car Maintenance Checklist

oil change

Getting Your Oil Changed Is An Important Part of Vehicle Maintenance

  • Check engine fluids: Check the fluid levels of your transmission, oil, and engine coolant. If they are running low, refill them to prevent your engine from overheating.
  • Check tire pressure: Too much air and pressure in tires can result in them blowing out, while too little can result in having a flat or uneven tread.
  • Clean engine air filter: The air filter in your engine collects dust and debris, and if it becomes clogged, it can waste up to 10% of your gas mileage. Use an air hose to blow off the grime on your engine air filter.
  • Check battery: Make sure the batter is not leaking, there is no mineral buildup, and that it is performing as it should when using a battery tester.
  • Change spark plugs: Around 30,000 miles, your spark plugs need to be replaced. If they are looking worn out or are covered in grime, they need to be replaced. You can have a professional do it if you don’t feel comfortable doing auto repairs.

Consequences of Poor Vehicle Maintenance

While normal wear and tear is natural for a car, blatant neglect that causes unnecessary damages that could have been avoided with regular vehicle maintenance is not. Knowing what to look for when inspecting and maintaining your vehicle is important so you know how to properly clean, change, or repair any damages spotted. If you need help with vehicle maintenance in Springfield and West Springfield, MA, call the auto mechanics at Spartan Auto Care at (413) 781-2480 today.

hand performing transmission flush on a car

A lot of Vehicle Maintenance Tasks Can Be Performed By The Vehicle Owner Themselves

  • Engine repair: If your car gets in bad enough shape, complete engine failure can occur as multiple parts in your engine could have malfunctioned from neglect. Engine repair is an expensive process, sometimes even more expensive than just buying a new car!
  • Cylinder failure: When fuel, air, and sparks are missing in your cylinder, it causes it to overheat and fail. Replacing a cylinder can cost up to $5,000.
  • Transmission problems:The transmission helps your car turn and involves multiple parts of your car including the transmission, wheels, suspension, and gear shift. Repairs could be upwards of $2,000 to replace the entire transmission assembly.
  • Replace cylinder head and spark plugs: Not maintaining your cylinder head and spark plugs will result in engine failure. If you notice your engine misfiring, this is causing the cylinders to heat up and get damaged.
  • Replace camshaft: Changing the oil is so important because it leads to a buildup of grime in your camshaft which causes it to fail.

3 Reasons for Vehicle Power Loss

We all love the feel and handling of a brand new car. But over time, you may notice that the power your vehicle used to have has diminished. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to keep your vehicle in top performing condition without spending a lot of money or making a lot of aftermarket adjustments.

How Can I Restore my Vehicle’s Power?

Your vehicle uses many different systems to work properly. When one system suffers, they all do. Keeping your car serviced and maintained is vital to sustaining optimal power. There are also other minimal steps that can be taken to ensure your car has the most torque and horsepower available.

  • Filters: Your vehicle uses three main filters for operation- the oil filter, fuel filter, and air filter. If any of these filters become clogged or damaged, our vehicle loses noticeable amounts of power.
  • Hoses and Seals: Each hose in your vehicle delivers a crucial formula that is needed for proper operation. Whether it’s transporting fuel or coolant, the seals and hoses in your system should be checked and maintained regularly to prevent cracking and other damages.
  • PCM (Powertrain Control Module): This small piece is the control board to your vehicle. A PCM Reflash provides a way to adjust torque, horsepower, and other variables that can help increase power.

Your Vehicle Power Experts

When you want more power from your vehicle, call the Spartan Auto Care experts at __PHONE__. We provide the expertise and skill needed to ensure you’re always getting optimal torque and horsepower from your engine. Call us today to learn about your vehicle’s power loss and what you can do to prevent it.

Maintaining Control – What to Do in Case of Tire Failure

Tire Failure

NEVER Hit the Brakes During a Blowout. Instead, Gently Push the Accelerator to Maintain Control.

You’ve probably seen it before: cars spun out on the side of the highway, with shredded tires scattered everywhere. This situation can happen to anyone. Knowing what to do in this highway emergency can help save your life. Here are some essential guidelines to help you be prepared!

What Causes Tire Failure?

Insufficient air is the number one cause of tire failure, but impact damage (striking the curb) and cuts can also produce the same situation. Worn and expired tires are much more likely to suddenly fail, which is especially dangerous out on the highway. Knowing when your car is due for tire replacement (and acting accordingly) will protect you from most of these emergencies.

What Should I Do if My Tire Blows Out?

In situations like these, gut reactions can actually be fatal. If you have a tire blowout or a split tire, try to fight the typical responses, such as…

  • Slamming the Brakes
  • Suddenly Cranking the Wheel
  • Raising Your Hands to Your Face
  • Immediately Exiting the Road

While you might be tempted to pump the brakes, this can cause your vehicle to lose control. Swerving suddenly can result in flipping the car. Any one of these gut reactions can cause a fatal accident.

Instead, begin with lightly pressing the accelerator. Your broken tire will prevent you from speeding up, but this action will help you maintain control of the vehicle. Keep the car moving as straight as possible (adjusting for the pull of the damaged tire), while allowing it to gradually slow down. Once you’ve reduced your speed, slowly pull over onto the side of the road and (again, gently) apply your brakes.

Talk With an Expert About Flat Tire Repair

When you change your tire and put on the spare, make sure you find a replacement as soon as possible. Spare tires are only designed for distances of up to 70 miles (at 50mph max). If you’re dealing with a flat tire, our team at Spartan Auto Care would be happy to assist you with flat tire repair. You can reach our Springfield, MA office at (413) 781-2480, or you can contact our West Springfield, MA location at (413) 739-2175.

15 Facts About Cars

Ever since the car was invented in 1886, improvements keep happening to vehicles quickly. While some cars facts are general knowledge, others may surprise you!

Facts About Cars

Cars Have Been A Beneficial Invention and Necessity, But Did You Know These Other Facts?

  • That new car smell that so many people love can actually be toxic! The fumes that you are breathing in is a combination of over 50 chemicals and compounds.
  • Up to 85% of a car is recyclable. A typical car has around 30,000 parts in it.
  • An average of 5 months of a person’s lifetime is wasted waiting at red lights.
  • There are more cars than there are people in Los Angeles.
  • A person will spend an average of 38 hours a year stuck in traffic in the United States alone! In 1982, the average was only 16 hours as population increase has soared.
  • In America, women were allowed to drive before they were legally allowed to vote.
  • Subaru is Japanese for Taurus, and the six stars in its logo reference the cluster of stars in its constellation.
  • Car crashes are the 9th leading cause of death around the world.
  • Car insurance companies claim that the average driver gets into an accident every 18 years of their life.
  • Seat belts weren’t installed and mandatory in cars until 1959.
  • Airbags weren’t invented until 1968.
  • Unless it is an emergency, it is illegal to honk you car horn in New York City.
  • Seatbelts save a life every 6 minutes.
  • Cars were seen as a green alternative compared to dying horses and horse poop pollution in the 1900s.
  • It costs around $9,000 a year to own and maintain a car in the United States.

If you need cars maintenance or repair in SpringfieldSpringfield and West Springfield, MA, call Spartan Auto Care at (413) 781-2480 today.

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 Springfield and West Springfield, 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 Springfield and West Springfield, MA.