Wheel Alignment Maple Grove MN

February 10, 2014

Reasons Why the Vehicle might be Vibrating

While driving, you may notice that your vehicle starts to vibrate. This could lead to a more severe issue if you choose to ignore it now. Vibrations are only typical if you are driving down a rough road. If the road you are driving on is smooth and straight when you feel jostles and vibrations make sure to bring your vehicle in as soon as possible. We can inspect the vehicle and try to locate the source of the problem. The fix could be something cheap and relatively simple, like a tire rotation or balance. The problem may indicate something more costly like steering or suspension issues with the vehicle. By looking into the issue at the first sign of it, it can often save you from further wear and tear to other parts of your vehicle. It can also help to prevent a costly repair bill down the road. The Axles might have an Issue If you notice the vehicle vibrating as you drive it, there may be an issue with the axles. It is common to have a bent axle with even the slightest collision or mishap that might have happen. This could be the case if you notice that the vibrating picks up in intensity the faster that you drive. Another issue could be that the driveshaft will also need to be inspected. The driveshaft helps to transfer engine power to the rear axles and wheels of rear-wheel drive vehicles. If this is bent, it can lead to the vehicle shaking when it is driven. There could also be dirt and dust inside the rubber coverings around the drive axles. This can get in and do damage to the joints of the vehicle. Make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can locate the source of the issue. Problems with the Brakes If you notice bad vibrations that get worse when you apply the brakes, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible. This could indicate an issue with a warped brake rotor. The brake rotor is a silver disc shaped component on vehicles for the brake system. The rotor can get bent or warped with heavy wear and tear. It could also become damaged from overheating. More stopping than the rotor can handle typically causes this. Vibrations on the brake pedal as it is applied can also indicate a brake rotor issue. Poor brake rotors can lead to poor quality brakes. It is important to have this fixed as soon as possible, so you can help provide a safer ride. Make Sure to check the Tires The tires should also be inspected if you notice any vibrations. It could mean that the tires are out of alignment or balance. If you notice that the tread is wearing unevenly, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can. While driving, make sure to watch out for potholes and poor road conditions these can be hazardous to your tires. It is always recommended to bring your vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.
December 23, 2013

Ways to help get better fuel efficiency with your vehicle

A benefit for making sure the vehicle is maintained on a regular basis is that it can help save you money at the pump. A vehicle that is checked regularly can increase the chance that it will run at peak performance. It can also help consume less fuel. Bring your vehicle in and we can inspect it over. If there are any parts that have worn or been damaged, we can repair or replace them accordingly. This not only helps your vehicle, but it can also help to reduce time, worries, and stress. It can also help to prevent a costly repair bill. Between visits, always make sure you bring your vehicle in if you notice any issues with it. The tire pressure should be at the recommended amount One of the most important factors to improve fuel efficiency is having good quality tires. Having one tire that is below the recommended pressure can add a large amount of friction. It can also cause the vehicle to drag and cause poor fuel efficiency with it. Make sure to check the vehicle owner’s manual for the correct amount of tire pressure that is recommended. Also, the amount can be found on a sticker that is inside the driver’s door. This can help to ensure you have the proper amount of air pressure for the tires to travel safely and efficiently. Make sure the wheels are aligned The alignment for the wheels can also help to contribute to better fuel efficiency. Aligning the vehicle is also often overlooked. Unless the tires are visibly worn at an uneven amount, it may be hard to notice if the tires are in correct alignment. Bumps in the road or hitting curbs can cause poor alignment. Also try to avoid hitting potholes. Running over a pothole is usually the most common reason why the vehicle has bad alignment. Make sure to bring your vehicle in and we can check the alignment. This can also help to improve the fuel economy for your vehicle when you drive. Going to scheduled maintenances is important Engine oil that is overdue for a change can cause an increase of friction for the vehicle. Also, it may lead to the increase of wear and tear. These things can result in reduced fuel efficiency for the vehicle. Spark plugs can also cause inefficient combustion that leads to wasting fuel. Over time these things can add up and cost you more at the pump. It is important to bring your vehicle in for regular scheduled maintenances. This can help to have it inspected for any worn or damaged parts. It is always better to have a small issue fixed before it turns into a larger and more costly repair bill. Reducing your driving speed can help save on fuel The easiest way to help get better fuel efficiency is to alter your driving habits. Try to avoid hard accelerations. Also drive at the posted speed limit. Driving faster can cause poor fuel efficiency with your vehicle. Driving at the speed limit can also help you be safer on the road.
November 18, 2013

5 things to notice if the Brakes need to be inspected

The brakes are one of the most crucial parts to the vehicle. Paying attention to the warning signs that may indicate a need for service could help prevent an issue or accident from occurring. There can be some obvious signs that the brakes need servicing. This could include the brake light illuminating on the dashboard of your vehicle. Another sign could be that the vehicle is taking longer to stop than it should. If you notice anything that is out of the ordinary with your brakes, make sure to bring it in for a brake inspection as soon as possible.   Worn Brake Pads   A hydraulic system filled with brake fluid will trigger a set of padded clamps that are the calipers. This will then cause them to squeeze together on a disc that is the brake rotor. The friction that occurs between the pads and the rotor will eventually stop the vehicle. With age and miles, the pads will begin to wear thin, and become less effective at slowing and stopping the vehicle.   Strange noises or sounds   As you apply the brake pedal, you may notice a noise such as a squealing, squeaking, or grinding noise. These noises can indicate that you may need to have the brake pads replaced. Hearing a grinding noise could indicate that the brake pads have worn through completely. The noise is a result of the metal of the calipers grinding against the metal of the rotors as you apply the brakes. With worn brake pads, you have the possibility to damage the brake rotors, and it results in a more costly repair bill.   If you notice the vehicle pulling   As you apply the brakes, you may notice that your vehicle pulls in one direction or the other. The may be caused from a caliper that is sticking. The caliper could stick because it causes friction with one wheel and not the others. Then your vehicle would pull to the side where the caliper is stuck. While pulling does not always indicate an issue with the brakes, it is a good idea to bring the vehicle in. It could be caused from uneven or worn tires, or even tires that are poorly aligned. By bringing your vehicle in, we can help to resolve the issue so you can be provided a comfortable ride again.   Feeling Vibrations when applying the brakes   If the brake pedal vibrates when you apply it, try to bring your vehicle in as soon as you can. Typically, a vibrating brake pedal indicates warped rotors. The uneven surface will brush against the brake pads, resulting in the vibration feeling through the brake pedal. Brake rotors will usually warp when they are under extreme stress for an extended period of time. If the brakes have not been stressed recently, but the pedal still vibrates, the wheels might be misaligned. It is always best to have the vehicle and brake system looked at so you are provided a safe and reliable ride once again.   Issues with the brake pedal   If the brake pedal is mushy and goes almost to the floor before the brakes take hold, there could be an issue. It could indicate worn brake pads or an issue with the hydraulic system. There may be air in the brake link or a brake fluid leak. If the brake pedal grabs immediately with the slightest touch, there could also be an issue with the brake system. The rotors may have worn unevenly or the brake fluid has become contaminated.
October 14, 2013

4 reasons why Wheel Alignment is important for your vehicle

Many do not realize it, but having a wheel alignment done on your vehicle is an important procedure. Proper alignment can benefit you and your vehicle. It is important to get the wheels aligned on a regular basis. If you are unsure how often this should be, bring it in and we can help advise you on how frequently this should be done for your vehicle. When the wheels are aligned, it ensures that they are perpendicular to the road for better traction. Also the wheels should be parallel to one another.   You can save on fuel   When the wheels are not aligned properly on your vehicle, there is uneven pressure on the tires. The tires pushing against each other cause the uneven pressure. When that happens, there is uneven friction for the vehicle. It also has more resistance from the surface of the road. The vehicle has to work even harder to move forward and it results in more fuel being burned. This can add up to more money spent at the pump. When the wheels are aligned properly, there is less resistance from the road’s surface. Aligned wheels result in not only a smoother drive, but also more savings at the fuel pump.   Tires can last longer with proper alignment   With proper wheel alignment, the tires on your vehicle can have the possibility to last longer. If the wheels are not aligned, there is more resistance to the road’s surface. This leads to more pressure on the rubber of the tires. More pressure can lead to wear and tear on the tires very quickly. This can result in the tires becoming bald on one side. Also, it means that the tires are uneven and it will take more power to rotate the uneven tires. Not only is it hazardous to drive on uneven tires, but it may also mean you need to purchase new tires sooner than expected.   Proper alignment provides you with more safety   It is important for your safety, as well as those around you to have properly aligned tires. If your vehicle is pulling to one side of the road or the other, you may need to have a wheel alignment done. If the roads become wet or icy, poorly aligned wheels may lead to an accident because they pull in a direction you least expect. If the wheels are aligned, the vehicle can handle properly as you drive. This can help with a pleasant driving experience as well as peace of mind.   It helps reduce strain on your vehicle   Having a vehicle with poorly aligned wheels can also lead to other issues with parts. It can cause the brake shaft to not work at optimal levels. Unaligned wheels can also lead to uneven braking. If the wheels are out of alignment, it can affect the suspension of your vehicle. This is because each part that makes up the suspension system will be affected with each bump or pothole you go over. It can also lead to premature wearing of the suspension system, which can result in a larger repair bill to repair or replace the parts.
September 4, 2013

3 Ways to extend the life of your vehicle

The best way to extend the life of your vehicle, as well as save money, is to have your vehicle in regularly for scheduled maintenances. You can follow the schedule set up by your mechanic, or follow the one recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. This way we can inspect your vehicle’s parts to make sure they are in a good operating condition. You can also extend the life of your vehicle by doing some inspections yourself. By checking the fluids, tires, and monitor how you drive, you can help maintain the vehicle’s condition. Check the fluids in your vehicle The fluids in your vehicle should be checked regularly to make sure they are at the proper amount recommended. This includes the coolant, oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. Even if your vehicle does not leak fluids, it may develop a leak quickly. This can result in one of the fluids becoming too low, and if ignored, other parts of your vehicle may become damaged. Checking the color or smell for some of these fluids is equally important as checking the level that the fluids are at. Some fluids are held in see through plastic reservoirs so you can visually see the level they are at. Some fluids also contain dipsticks so you are able to see the amount that is held in the tank if it is not see through. The oil color should also be looked at. It should be relatively clear and not black. Oil that is black in color has been in the engine too long, and you should get an oil change as soon as you can. Monitor how you drive Another important factor is how you drive your vehicle. You can help maintain the brakes by adjusting your starting and stopping while driving. Ease into a start or stop instead of having a jackrabbit start or slamming on the brakes. After starting the vehicle, drive off slowly and gently until the vehicle reaches an operating temperature. Cold starts are hard on your engine, gas mileage, and the environment. Starting a vehicle immediately can cause condensation in the exhaust and excessive amounts of water can accumulate in your muffler, which may lead to it to rust. Warming up a vehicle will help reduce the strain on the engine while the oil is still cold and thick. Have proper maintenance for the wheels The tires are the most important part of your vehicle, as they provide the contact to the road’s surface. One of the things to do to keep the tires maintained is to have them rotated. This can help to reduce uneven wear and tear for the tread. This can help to extend the life of the tires as well. It is also wise to check the air pressure of the tires. Under inflated tires can lead to decreased gas mileage. Over inflated tires have a greater chance of getting punctured by sharp objects on the road. If you notice any issues with your tires, bring in your vehicle so we can inspect it for you.