General Car Maintenance Maple Grove MN

December 2, 2013

Having the Serpentine Belt inspected

Most people know the importance and benefits of maintain their vehicle. While it is important to be aware and look at major components and parts yourself, it is also beneficial to bring your vehicle in to have it inspected by a professional. Having the vehicle inspected can help to ensure it runs as well as it is supposed to. One part that is commonly overlooked is the serpentine belt for the vehicle. By bringing your vehicle in, we can inspect the parts of the vehicle, including the serpentine belt, as well as other belts. What is a Serpentine Belt? A serpentine belt is a belt that runs through all major components of the vehicle. The serpentine belt runs differently depending on the vehicle’s make and model. The serpentine belt will transfer power through pulleys from the crankshaft of the engine. It also transfers power from any other component or pump that is mounted on the engine of the vehicle. For some vehicles, an idler pulley or a belt tensioner can also guide the serpentine belt for it to operate efficiently. How the Serpentine Belt works for the vehicle It is important to maintain and inspect the serpentine belt. This is because the belt connects through several of the major components of your vehicle. The serpentine belt also is a major factor for several important functions of the vehicle. One major component that relies completely on the serpentine belt is the alternator. When the alternator on the vehicle is not functioning, the battery cannot be charged. This can result in your vehicle not starting when you will need it. Also, the serpentine belt can affect other components such as the water pump, power steering, fans, and power brakes. Sometimes this can depend on the make and model of your vehicle because some power steering and fans run off of separate motors. If the water pump goes out, this can cause issues. This is because the water pump causes the coolant to stop flowing. The coolant is important because it is what helps to protect the engine from overheating and becoming damaged. The importance of the Serpentine Belt The serpentine belt is an important and crucial part to the function of your vehicle. It should always be kept up with proper regular maintenances. You can do a visual inspection of the serpentine belt to see how it is wearing. Noticing any wear can help make you aware for the possible need of the belt being replaced. Also make sure to have a professional inspect it, as they might notice something you have missed. The serpentine belt may show signs of wear by having more than three or four cracks per inch. If you notice the belt is frayed or missing pieces, the belt should be replaced as soon as possible. While the life of the serpentine belt varies from each make and model of vehicle, it is always important to make sure it is maintained and inspected. This can help ensure your vehicle can work the best it can.
November 25, 2013

The Importance of Tire Maintenance

Proper tire maintenance is crucial to the vehicle’s safety and durability when you travel. Inspecting and maintaining the tires on a regular basis can also help to extend the life of the tires as well. There are a few basic steps involved in maintaining the tires. There are also some important precautions that you can follow to help improve the life of the tires, as well as your own safety. Tires can last depending on how the vehicle is driven, where it is driven, and how much maintenance is performed for the vehicle and tires. If the tires have been worn down so they are no longer efficient, they should be replaced as soon as possible. Always make sure to bring your vehicle in for the recommended maintenances it needs. We can also inspect the tires to ensure they are in a good and efficient condition. Checking the air pressure, how they are wearing, and the alignment are important so the tires can be as effective as possible.   The right type of tire is important   The most important thing to do in tire maintenance is to select the correct type of tire for your vehicle. Always use the type of tire that is recommended for the vehicle. This information can usually be found and is listed in the vehicle owner’s manual, as well as inside the door of the vehicle. If you are unsure of what type of tire is the best for your vehicle, we can help advise and recommend the correct kind. Once the tires are installed on your vehicle, make sure to keep them lasting as long as possible by checking the inflation and condition of them on a regular basis. It is also recommended to rotate the tires so they can wear evenly with time and miles.   Inspect the air pressure regularly   The tire pressure is also very important in keeping the tires in good condition. It is recommended to check the inflation of the tires every time you fill up with fuel. This is also beneficial because most gas stations provide compressed air for inflation. All vehicles have a recommended inflation level listed inside the door, so you can be assured they are filled properly.   Have the tires aligned as well   While inspecting the tires, make sure they are properly aligned as well. The alignment should be checked on a regular basis, or after you hit an object. A vehicle that is out of alignment will cause uneven wear to the tires, and over time, it may lead to damage. The wheels may also need to be balanced, especially if you notice shuddering at high rates of speed. Also check the shock absorbers and struts, as they can affect the tire wear over time. Be cautious of the roads you travel on. Holes with frequent potholes can cause the vehicle’s alignment to slip and could cause damage to the tires. If you need to drive on these roads frequently, check the alignment often. This can help preserve the condition and life of your tires.
November 4, 2013

Tips for driving in rain

If you have to drive on a rainy day, make sure you take the necessary precautions needed. Check the traffic reports to make sure the route you are taking is not affecting by flooding, construction, or road closures. If it is raining hard, it may impair your visibility of the road and those around you. Also, an excessive amount of water on the road could cause you to hydroplane or increase the chance of losing control of your vehicle. Knowing some simple things to do can help prevent issues, and make driving the rain a more pleasant experience.   Be safe while driving in the rain   Drive safe and smart in the rain by turning on the vehicle’s lights. This can help improve your visibility if it is dark out. It is also beneficial because by having the lights on, other drivers are able to see you. Also, increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This can help incase they have to slam on the brakes. You will be able to have ample room to stop or get in another lane safely. Watching for brake lights ahead can also give you proper warning if you need to slow down or stop. It is also recommended that you slow down as the wet weather increases. This is because it typically takes longer to stop if the roads are covered in precipitation. Always check the windshield wiper blades for the condition they are in. Blades that are not cracked or ripped can help to clear away the window effectively. If you notice any issues, make sure to replace the wipers as soon as possible. This can improve the visibility as you drive.   Be careful of hydroplaning    If you start to hydroplane, the first thing to do is to keep calm. Also, try to avoid slamming on the brakes, as they will typically not be effective in the situation. If you are driving straight when the vehicle loses traction, keep steering the wheel straight. While holding the wheel straight, also let off of the gas. Do not stomp on the brakes, this may only cause more issues. Once the tires are able to grip the road again, you will be able to have control of the vehicle. If you are turning when the tires lose contact, then the vehicle will likely drift further into the turn. It is recommended to steer into the skid while also letting off the gas. Hydroplaning can sometimes be avoided by just slowing down the speed at which you are traveling.   Keep your vehicle well maintained   Having a well-maintained vehicle is beneficial no matter what time of the year it is. Going to regularly scheduled maintenances is important to keep all the parts in an efficient working condition. The tread should also be checked on the tires to ensure they can grip the road properly. The air inflation of the tires is also an important thing to check regularly. This can help provide proper traction as well as the best fuel efficiency for your vehicle.
October 21, 2013

Having scheduled maintenances done for your vehicle is important

It is important to bring your vehicle in for regular scheduled maintenances. By doing so, you can help to keep your vehicle in the most reliable condition possible. Regular maintenances can also help to maintain the resale value of your vehicle. Maintenance schedules are developed by the manufacturer to recommend requirements for each particular model of vehicle. Going to scheduled maintenances can reduce the chance of a larger repair bill down the road. Finding an issue while it is small can be fixed more cost efficiently than if it grows into a much larger issue. This can help to leave your vehicle running at the most efficient and effective level possible. It can also make for a more enjoyable driving experience.   Why you should go to scheduled maintenances    Having maintenance done on your vehicle means keeping all the systems and features functioning as closely as possible to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Routine maintenance should be an ongoing process for the vehicle. It can also help your vehicle to start, run, and stop effectively. It can also maximize the amount of performance and reliability. Between visits you can inspect the vehicle to look for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice anything, make sure to bring your vehicle in as soon as possible. This way, we can inspect it and advise you on what your options are to have it fixed.   Choosing to ignore scheduled maintenances can cost you money   If you neglect to go to regular scheduled maintenances, you may be doing more harm than you realize. One reason you might procrastinate going to scheduled maintenances is because of the cost. Unfortunately, if you do not bring your vehicle in for scheduled inspections, it may lead to a much higher repair bill. Sometimes signs like squeaking brakes may mean there is an issue with the brake system. If ignored, you might be running the risk for an accident. Small issues with your vehicle left unrepaired can lead to increased damage to your vehicle. Fixing one issue is much easier than fixing severe damage to other parts of your vehicle. By going to regular maintenances, you can help to have a more enjoyable drive with your vehicle.   Your vehicle can benefit from regular maintenances   Having regular maintenance done on your vehicle can benefit it in several ways. The tires are one of the most important parts to the vehicle. Always make sure to check for any signs of wear. If they look worn or damaged, make sure to get the tires replaced. The oil should be inspected and changed regularly. By having regular oil changes done, you can help to prevent making costly engine repairs later. The oil filter should also be changed regularly. The battery will be inspected to make sure it is firmly anchored in place. It should also be clear of any corrosion on the battery and terminal posts. The brakes will be inspected to make sure they are in the best operating condition possible.
September 23, 2013

6 signs the Battery may need attention

The battery is an important part for your vehicle. It is what provides power to your vehicle. Without a battery, the vehicle cannot even start. There can be several warning signs that the battery is starting to wear down. Sometimes a recharge will be needed, while other times a new battery will be required. If you notice any issues, it is best to bring your vehicle in and we can test the charge on the battery. To help preserve the life of the battery as long as possible, always check it regularly to make sure it is clean from any corrosion or debris that may have built up. The vehicle may start slowly This is one of the easiest signs to notice. When you attempt to start your vehicle, the cranking of the engine may be slow and sluggish. It may even take longer than normal to start the vehicle. While there are several reasons why a vehicle may start slowly, it is best to bring it in so it can be diagnosed correctly, and the issue can be resolved. The Check Engine Light comes on The check engine light will illuminate as the battery power becomes weaker. Some system indicator lights could mean there is an issue with the battery, engine, or even a loose gas cap. If the lights starts flashing, bring your vehicle in as soon as possible so the issue can be fixed. Low battery fluid The battery typically has a part of the casing that is translucent. This way, you can always keep an eye on the battery’s fluid level. You can also inspect it by removing the red and black caps on it if they are not sealed. There is however a majority of modern car batters that permanently seal these parts. If the fluid level is below the lead plates inside the battery, it is time to have the battery tested. If the fluid level drops, it is typically caused by an overcharge of the battery. The battery case swells Noticing a swelling or bloating battery case, it is an indication the battery has gone bad. This can be caused from excessive heat that causes the battery case to swell. It will start to decrease the life of your battery, and over time, the battery will go dead. An odd smell If the battery is starting to have issues, you may notice a sulfur odor from around the battery. This is caused from the battery leaking. If the battery leaks, it could also cause corrosion around the posts where the cable connections are. If you notice the posts have a build up of debris, make sure to clean it off so the battery can have the best connection possible. The age of the battery The life of the battery can range from three to five years, depending on the battery. Other factors that play a part in how long the battery lasts are driving habits, weather, and the amount of frequent short trips. These factors can drastically shorten the actual life of your vehicle’s battery.