ASA is asking Louisiana repairers and vehicle owners to urge their state representatives to oppose legislation aimed at eliminating that state’s main vehicle safety inspection program.
HB 546 would repeal the requirement that all Louisiana motor vehicles obtain an inspection before a vehicle may be licensed. According to ASA, regular safety inspections by a qualified technician can identify and repair most safety issues arising from normal wear and tear on a vehicle.
ASA opposes the elimination of state vehicle safety inspections and believes these programs prove to benefit the motoring public and small businesses.
Numerous states are considering the elimination of their vehicle safety inspection programs. In January, legislation was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives that would repeal the requirement that all motor vehicles obtain an inspection before the vehicle may be licensed.
The average age of vehicles on the road today is nearly 12 years, and the largest growing segment of vehicles is 16 years and older.
New Innovations in Secondary Containment Systems
California is tough on waste management, and secondary containment systems are often an essential part of a compliant spill prevention protocol. Title 22, referring to waste generation, is an official code of regulations within the state of California that outlines specific parameters for properly labeling and storing oil. As Title 22 states – specifically part 66265.193 – the size, condition and layout of a secondary containment vessel must be in relation to the primary tank. It must be large enough to adequately hold the tank contents in the case of an extended rain event that may cause overflow of hazardous materials into waterways or soil. Secondary containment vessels must remain 100% dry under adverse conditions, and units must be reviewed every five years by a registered professional engineer. Even if a secondary containment vessel does not contain actively used tanks, they are still subject to review every five years. Specific secondary containment regulations change depending on the governing municipality, from the state level to the county, and on down to city-specific requirements.
Polystar Containment and Spill Prevention
There are numerous companies on the market working to develop more effective secondary containment technology, and SCL remains connected to the evolution of new containment system innovations. We were recently introduced to a company that specializes in the development of secondary containment systems – Polystar Containment, who manufactures and installs spill prevention and secondary containment systems. Serving a wide spectrum of industries that include oil and gas development, military, petroleum distribution, municipalities, etc, Polystar specializes in secondary containment systems for the storage of materials classified as “hazardous.” Whether they are providing secondary containment for rail tankers, truck tankers or above ground tanks, all of their products meet the EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) requirements that aim to prevent the discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines, as well as meeting the Facility Response Plan (FRP) rules.
Fully Customizable Spill Prevention Solutions
The Polystar website offers an interactive “Hazmat Storage Builder” feature that allows you to create a custom secondary containment solution by answering questions about your specific needs and application. Their temporary or permanent spill prevention solutions are EPA compliant, competitive in price, quality made and built for durability. They require limited site preparation, no excavation, a rapid installation process, non-porous materials and design, chemical resistance and easy portability. They are an excellent alternative to more permanent, concrete containment solutions.
Some of Polystar’s line of secondary containment, Hazmat and spill prevention solutions include:
- Poly Dike MPE®
- Poly Dike
- Poly Tub
- Camel Tr-Star® Max
- Star Tracks®
- Poly Curb
- Camel Tri-Star® OPS
- Containment Pad
- HazMat Pad
- Chemical and Hazmat Storage Buildings
- Grease Pad
- Drillers Containment Pad
- Bladder Dike MPE®
The Bottom Line
Depending on the requirements of your specific municipality, if you are storing materials deemed by the state of California as being “hazardous,” you will need to develop a secondary containment, spill prevention solution. Developing such a system can prove to be costly, but it is a necessary part of operating your business within the state. Consider Polystar containment as a possible solution for your containment needs, and if you have further questions about whether or not their line of spill prevention options are a fit for your company, feel free to reach out to an SCL consultant today.
Contact an SCL Consultant Today
Automotive service is one of the few times people leave their vehicles in the care of strangers. There is an inherent trust that comes with handing over the keys, but sometimes that trust is abused. One California resident learned this the hard way.
According to KCRA, Michael Burke took his 8-year-old red Mustang to Big O Tires in Elk Grove for a brake inspection. When he entered the vehicle afterwards, Burke noticed his belongings inside had noticeably shifted, prompting a review of his dash cam.
The video seemed normal at first.
“I saw my car pull into a parking lot from the dash and it came to a stop and I saw on the asphalt all these tire marks,” Burke explained to KCRA. “I (thought), ‘Uh oh, what’s going to happen?’”
The footage then shows the mechanic doing donuts in the empty lot.
Burke informed the manager of what had happened. The store fired the employee and offered Burke a refund and free services to make amends.
This isn’t the first time employees have taken joy rides in customers’ vehicles, nor is the first time they’ve been busted by dash cams, like the time a mechanic took a 200 mile test drive and the time a dealership employee sped down roads, blasting through yellow lights.
The Big O Tire store manager is now looking to turn to dash cams as a solution to rebuild trust and hold their employees accountable. In the mean time, he is reiterating their rules and policies to the staff.
What happens if you wait too long to change your oil? How bad can it be? We’ve all been in this position. Life gets in the way. You’re overwhelmed by work demands, family obligations, and a blizzard of small errands. One day, idling in rush hour traffic, you notice that reminder sticker in the corner of your windshield.
You’re overdue for an oil change.
It’s another task on your already long to-do list. You convince yourself to push it. Wait until next week, maybe next month, whenever life is more manageable. Plus, does oil really need to be changed every 3,000 miles? Putting it off couldn’t cause too much harm. Right?
Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. It lubricates and protects all those meticulously engineered moving parts in your car’s engine. Having it changed at regular intervals is one of the most economical ways to get reliability and peak performance out of the vehicle you rely on to carry you through life.
Bad things can happen if your oil isn’t changed. The following are just a few of the ways delaying or skipping oil changes could cost you time and money.
A Voided Vehicle Warranty
One of the best perks of buying a new car is the peace-of-mind that comes with a warranty. However, failing to have your car serviced according to factory specifications could render the warranty null and void.
Our oil technicians at Firestone Complete Auto Care will make sure that your car is serviced with manufacturer-approved oil, keeping your car purring and its warranty intact. We keep detailed records of your maintenance history should you ever need to provide documentation at the dealership.
Plus, for a limited time, you can get $10 OFF any manufacturer scheduled maintenance service.
Poor Engine Performance
Along with lubrication, oil also keeps your car’s engine clean. Detergents, dispersants, and other additives transport dirt and debris into the fuel filter—which is replaced during an oil change. Once your filter becomes clogged, all this grime is forced to circulate back through the engine.
Smooth, clean oil gradually becomes dirty sludge. Your engine’s moving parts have to fight through this muck, forcing it to work harder. Your car might have less punch and torque. And the harder your engine has to work, the more gas it will guzzle. That means you could be stopping at the pump more often to fork over your hard-earned money.
Complete Engine Failure
Go long enough without an oil change, and it could eventually cost you your car. Once motor oil becomes sludge, it no longer draws heat from the engine. The engine might overheat and either blow a gasket or seize up.
The milky white exhaust of a blown head gasket will force you directly to the side of the road. Fixing a blown head gasket can be a costly repair, one that may not make sense for your car depending on its age and value. You may find yourself at the dealership, contending with the headache of sales and finance people.
If the heat doesn’t cause a gasket to blow, it will warp the parts in your engine. With the oil’s lubricating qualities neutralized, metal will be grinding against metal. The engine will seize. There is no fix for this. A seized engine usually has to be replaced, and it’s not hard to imagine how much that costs. Again, such a repair cost could put you precariously close to having to buy a new car.
All these problems—voided warranties, poor performance, decreased fuel economy, and seized engines—are much harder on your time and money than scheduling an oil change at Firestone Complete Auto Care. Our technicians use the Pennzoil Platinum line of motor oils, providing your vehicle with cleaner pistons, better fuel economy and horsepower, unsurpassed wear protection, and excellent extreme temperature performance.
An ounce of prevention—or five to six quarts of motor oil—is worth a pound of cure. Check out our latest oil change coupons and stop by for a quick oil change today. We’ll make sure the coffee is fresh.
From $5 per quart
When looking for a motor oil, why not choose one from the company that invented the product? Valvoline founder Dr. John Ellis is credited as the inventor of motor oil, creating products for steam engines and later worked with Ford to make a formulation for the Model T.
The company’s in-house development team continues to be at the leading edge of lubrication technology, working together with motorsport teams to meet the demands of their engines while also spearheading the development of formulations that improve the performance of high mileage engines.
Valvoline NextGen meets all the standards for a conventional oil, but it costs less than many major brands and is made with 50 percent recycled oil.
When Scientific American reported on the oil when it first came to market, they found that the refining techniques used to create this formulation allowed it to meet all the API requirements as a standard motor oil. Since then, other options using recycled base oils have hit the market, allowing buyers to maintain their vehicles while having a lower impact on the environment.
Valvoline is one of the few oil manufacturers who backup their high mileage oil with a guarantee. If your engine has under 125,000 miles on it, you can register it in a program that will give you some warranty protection from the company provided that you keep up on maintenance records and only use their oil.
Valvoline MaxLife SAE 5W30 – Using the latest breakthroughs in distillation, this engine formulation is engineered for the issues facing high mileage engines. This oil helps by reducing friction, removing corrosive deposits and helps prevent oil leaks.
From $5 per quart
The best synthetic motor oil (just beating out the Amsoil mentioned below), is Mobil 1 10W-30 Full Synthetic Motor Oil.
Many of the cars in top level motorsports use Mobil 1. The company prides itself on its motorsports partnerships. They make the official engine oil of NASCAR and they’re the oil sponsor of McLaren-Honda’s F1 team. Their testing and development of oils designed for demanding racing conditions has worked its way into their consumer products.
Their synthetics are great at maintaining a low viscosity in very cold temperatures, and they’ve led the way in developing oils formulated for turbocharged engines. Turbocharged motors are notorious for high oil consumption due to the extreme heat generated by the turbo bearings, and with their adoption across the industry as a way to increase fuel efficiency, this is becoming an issue for not just sports cars, but regular consumer cars and trucks as well.
The best engine oils are synthetics like Mobil 1, Valvoline SynPower and Castrol Edge. Despite being highly refined and processed, they can be fairly affordable if you keep an eye out for sales and rebates.
There are also higher-end synthetic oils like Royal Purple, Motul and Amsoil. While they’re often touted by armchair enthusiasts on online forums for their supposed superior protection, there is little concrete evidence to back up these claims. However, they offer at least the same level of protection as more affordable, widely available synthetics.
All that said, if your car and driving habits don’t demand the added protection of a synthetic, there’s no harm saving money by using a conventional oil.
From $6 per quart
No matter how well lubricated the inside of your engine is, the metal components will wear down and internal seals will dry and shrink over time, allowing oil to get into places where it will burn away or leak out.
It used to be common practice to use thicker oils as engines got older, but these formulations cause extra strain on the oil pump and don’t reach all the pathways to fully lubricate the engine. That means rather than fixing the problem, they can actually accelerate engine wear.
Contrary to popular belief, a synthetic won’t slip through these spaces more easily and burn faster than a conventional oil. Synthetic and conventional oils with the same viscosity will flow exactly the same way. For high mileage engines, there’s a better alternative to either of these: semi-synthetic oil.
Castrol GTX HM doesn’t just work better in older engines, it adheres to parts longer, offering better protection when starting an engine after a long period of sitting. This makes it a great choice for older vehicles that are only used occasionally such as antique cars and winter beaters.
4) Royal Purple Synthetic Motor Oil – Best Oil for Diesel Engines
From $8 per quart
Royal Purple is almost unheard-of outside of racing circles, but independent tests show their oils are able to keep up with oils offered by the industry’s leaders. Hot Rod magazine has experimented with their lubricants and managed to get more power out of a classic car and improving the fuel economy on a late model Ford pickup by switching to their oil and transmission fluid. While not a thorough test of their products’ capabilities, these tests are much better than the speculation surrounding most oil claims.
From $5 per quart
Valvoline and Castrol may offer semi-synthetic high mileage formulations, but Quaker State has gone the extra mile, creating conventional, synthetic blend and full synthetic oils all designed for older vehicles, allowing buyers choose the trade off between price and performance that works for them. There are many supporters of their Defy High Mileage blends who have run the oil in vehicles that have anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 miles on their engines.
6) Total Motor Oil
From $8 per quart
Total may not be a big name in the U.S, but they’re a major player in Europe thanks to their extensive petroleum operations. If you follow any motorsports outside of America, you’re probably familiar with the brand as they’ve sponsored Red Bull’s F1 team since 2009. That’s the same team that won the constructor’s championship title, and whose driver, Sebastian Vettel, took the driver’s championship title that same year.
They’re also involved in rally racing, supporting Citroën’s efforts for over 20 years. Here in the states, they recently became the top sponsor for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) racing series, a top level North American-based motorsport that was formerly known as Grand-Am racing. Like Mobil, they’re able to apply their experience developing oils for severe racing conditions to create formulas that meet the demands of regular consumer vehicles.
7) Pennzoil Motor Oil
From $4 per quart
While other manufacturers concentrate on lubrication performance, Pennzoil’s development aims at reducing the formation of sludge to keep the inside of the engine as clean as possible. That translates to lower friction, maintaining power and fuel economy.
There’s more to this strategy than just marketing. The brand works hand-in-hand with automotive manufacturers to develop oils for their engines and recently became the official oil supplier for Ferrari. There could be few better endorsements than the approval of one of the world’s top supercar manufacturers, and even if you aren’t going to run out and buy one of these vehicles, the resulting marketing campaigns with IMSA driver Rhys Millen tearing around Barcelona in a 488 GTB are great fun to watch. Using Pennzoil may not turn your commuter into a V12 sports car, but there’s no doubt it will protect your engine.
8) Amsoil Synthetic Motor Oil
From $7 per quart
When did you first hear about synthetic oil? The 2000s? The 90s? Amsoil led the way, bringing lubrication technology developed for fighter jets to the automotive market in the 1970s, beating their competitors by almost two decades. Their synthetic formulations were the first to be recognized by the American Petroleum Institute, the same API that formulates all the standard performance tests for oil that automakers design their engines and lubrication systems around. Despite this leading position, the company has remained a small, family-owned enterprise with a focus on quality over sales.
Since it was founded, the company has stayed at the leading edge of oil development, concentrating on motorsports applications. Instead of working with a single high high profile series, they sponsor a wide range of racing events in the U.S. and Canada including motocross, Sprint Cup, Canadian Snowcross Racing and numerous off-roading events.
According to promotional materials and advertisements, each brand and formulation of engine oil is the best oil, offering unparalleled engine protection, fuel economy and performance. The truth is that almost every motor oil on the market these days meets the same API standards and can provide the protection our vehicles need, so long as they meet the specifications of the automobile’s manufacturer.
Since oil manufacturers do their testing internally and secretly and there’s no standardization other than the API’s requirements, any advantage a particular formulation may have is hard to determine as the information available is speculative at best.
No matter what oil you choose, always compare the manufacturer’s recommendations with the API “donut” seal on the back of the oil container. This seal will include the service category, oil viscosity, and whether or not the oil formulation is “energy conserving,” which means it reduces friction for improved fuel economy. As long as the requirements of your engine are met, the oil is safe to use in your vehicle.