651-455-1604
1095 Highway 110 • Inver Grove Heights, MN

651-455-1604
1095 50th Street E • Inver Grove Heights, MN

Checking Tires before You Travel this Spring

checking

 

When you get ready for opening fishing weekend, you will want to make sure that your vehicle and trailer are in the best condition possible. If you are not sure, you can always bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for you. Also always be aware of anything that might be out of the norm for your vehicle. This will help you to be aware of any issues or problems that might be starting for your vehicle. If you ignore the warning signs, it can end up costing you more in the long run for your vehicle.

Checking Each Tire

The tires will need to be inspected on a regular basis. This should include the air of the tire, tread wear, and overall condition of each tire. Without checking the tires, you may not notice when an issue is starting to happen to them. The last thing you will want is to have your vehicle breakdown when you are on the side of the road. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it can also be dangerous in heavy traffic. Always check the air pressure in the tires, and bring the vehicle in if a tire is low, often. This way if there is a puncture or nail, the tire can be replaced.

Remember to check the Tread Wear

You will also want to check the tread wear on your tires. If you are unsure of how the tread condition is, all you need is a penny. Place the penny upside down in the groove of the tread. If you are able to see the top of Lincoln’s head, then the tread has worn down. Tread is needed to help your vehicle have the best traction and grip on the road as possible. When the tread is poor, you will notice the vehicle sliding and even poor handling.

Spring Driving and Avoiding Potholes

Spring

 

During the spring thawing and weather, you will notice an increase in potholes on the road. You will want to make sure to be cautious when driving so you avoid hitting them. Hitting a pothole can do damage, sometimes significant, to your vehicle. You will also want to be aware of traffic and others that are around you. Make sure not to cross lanes of traffic and hit other vehicles or oncoming traffic as you drive. You will always want to put safety first.

Slow Down

When you hit a pothole, always remember to slow down and approach it carefully. It will be hard to determine how deep a pothole might be. This is especially true if has just rained and the pothole formed a puddle. If the pothole is deep, then you might do even more damage to your vehicle. The tires will need to be inspected as well for any damage or issues that they might have. If you hit a deep pothole at high speed, you increase the chance of the tire blowing out. There can also be damage to the sidewalls and rubber of the tire as well. Even if you do not see any issues, it is always best to bring it in so we can inspect it.

Poor Alignment

One issue you might notice immediately is if the alignment is off. As the tires hit the pothole, it will throw off the alignment and how the tires rotate. You can notice if the alignment is off based on the position of your steering wheel when you drive. If the steering wheel is straight, but you notice your vehicle driving in one direction, there is an issue. The same is if the vehicle is going straight, but the steering wheel is off to one side. If you notice any issue, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can repair the issue.

Improve the Visibility from your Car

Visibility

As you drive, you will want to make sure you can see everything around you. This should include the road, ditches, other drivers, signs, and a variety of other things. You will want to make sure the windshield is free and clear of any cracks, divots, or chips that might be on it. If these issues are ignored, they can old get worse. Having it repaired at a small crack will help prevent it from spreading and taking over the whole windshield. If the crack gets too big, then the windshield will need to be replaced. Over the winter chunks of ice, rock, or road grime can get kicked up on the windshield from passing cars. Now is a good time to inspect the windshield for any damage.

Check all windows

Also remember to check all the other side windows. They should be free of damage as well. Also, check to make sure they are able to roll down and back up again without issues. If you notice an issue, make sure to bring the vehicle in. The last thing you will want is the window to be stuck down when it is raining or less than ideal weather. We can check the windows to make sure they operate efficiently, and there are not any issues with them.

Wipers help visibility

The windshield wipers should also be inspected. Spring is a great time to have them changed. Wipers can wear down easily, so make sure the rubber blade is still able to clear the windshield properly. If you see dry spots or road grime after operating the wipers, new ones will be needed. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can help determine what size wipers are needed for your vehicle. Also remember to check the rear windshield wiper if your vehicle has one, as these are often forgotten about.

Proper Care with Maintenance

Proper

 

Your vehicle should always be in the best condition possible. To help accomplish this, make sure that you bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections. Doing so will help us to inspect and check your vehicle for any issues that it might have. If you are not sure how often this should be, you can check in the vehicle owner’s manual. You can also contact us and we can recommend when certain tasks should be done. Things like oil changes, tire rotations, tire alignments, brake inspections, and a bumper to bumper inspection are all good tasks to do.

Check Tires

As spring arrives, make sure to check the tires. Now there can be an increase of potholes in the road when you drive. If you hit one of the potholes, it can do significant damage to the tires if you are not careful. Hitting the pothole too hard can cause damage to the sidewalls of the tire. It may also increase the chance of them blowing out as you hit it. Slow down if you see a pot hole and try to avoid it. If you must hit it, go slow enough to keep the damage to a minimum. Hitting the pothole can also dent the rims of your wheels. No matter what speed or how deep the pothole was, it is always best to have the tires checked.

Oil Changes

You will also want to make sure that you check the oil for your vehicle. Over the winter oil changes are easily forgotten about. This can end up doing damage to the engine. Check to see when the oil should be changed, and also make sure that the oil filter is changed. This will help keep the clean fresh oil moving smoothly.

Lights on in the Winter Weather is Important

winter

When driving, you will always want to make sure you use extreme caution when the weather is poor. The first thing you will want to remember is to slow down. Driving on roads that are less than ideal can lead to them being slick or full of ice and snow. By allowing extra space, you will have enough time to slow down safely. If you follow too close, you will need to slam on the brakes and it could result in going in the ditch. Always make sure that you look ahead on the road so you can see if there are any issues coming up. This could mean slow or stopped traffic, or even an object on the road. Knowing what the drive ahead looks like can increase your awareness.

Winter Weather

If it is raining or snowing, you will want to make sure that you turn on the headlights of your vehicle. With poor weather comes poor visibility. You will want all the help you can get by seeing as far as possible. If you have to use the windshield wipers, you will also want to make sure you have turned the lights on. Some vehicles are equipped where the lights turn on automatically when it starts to get dark. If your vehicle does not come with the feature, you will want to remember to turn them on manually.

Hazard Lights

Also remember to put on your hazard lights if you are driving at a much slower speed. This alerts others behind you that you have reduced speed. It gives them enough time to slow down and adjust their speed as well when they are driving. Driving safe and reliable is important no matter what time of the year, so make sure to be aware of the road and weather conditions.

Driving Responsibly this Winter

driving

 

In the winter you may notice that the weather can change at any moment. It is important to always be aware of the current weather conditions, and what the potential ones might be as well. Doing so will help you to be aware if you will need to slow down and leave distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. When the weather is less than ideal, you will want to make sure you slow down and drive safe. Always drive a speed that you are comfortable at. This will help you to be able to handle your vehicle with more confidence as well.

Build up on the road

The ice and snow can quickly build up and cause the roads to be slick or difficult to drive on. Proceed with caution when the temperatures are right around freezing. This is because if there is rain, it can quickly change to freezing rain and black ice. Checking the tires on a regular basis will help ensure the vehicle can grip the road properly. The tread can be inspected by placing a penny upside down in the grooves. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, then the tread is low and the tires should be replaced.

Check the lights

Also remember to check the lights on your vehicle. You will want them to be clear of any obstructions. This includes any build up of ice, snow, slush, or even road grime. If the lights are covered, it will be more difficult to see you driving on the road. Vehicles around you will want to know where you are on the road. They will also want to know what direction you might be turning. So make sure that the blinkers work as well. This will help to prevent an accident by someone rear ending you or having an accident.

Knowing what the warning Lights are For your Car

warning

 

The different dashboard warning lights mean different things for your vehicle. Sometimes they can alert you for what the issue might be. This can range from the brakes, engine, or even tires. These lights are designed to alert you to any issue that the car might be having. When the light illuminates, notice which one it is. If the light starts to blink, then there can be a more serious issue with it. This will need to be taken care of as soon as possible. Doing so will help prevent further damage and a more costly repair bill as well.

Tire Warning Light

The tire pressure light might come on at some point when driving. Make sure you are in a safe place to do so, but you will want to get out and inspect the air pressure of each tire. If a tire has low air, it can end up doing damage to it in the long run. This is because low air pressure tires can be more prone to blowing out. It can also do damage to the rims of the vehicle as well. When you notice the tires are going low more often, make sure to bring it in so they can be inspected. This will help them to be safe to drive on.

Check Engine Light

Noticing the check engine light can also be an issue. This will alert you to any issue that is happening with the engine. Sometimes this light coming on could mean that there is an issue with emissions or even the gas cap. The best thing to do is contact us for an appointment. We can inspect the vehicle and test the code for why there is an issue with it. This will help you to have a reliable vehicle this winter.

Tips for Keeping your Car Like New

Car

 

With the New Year, now is a good time to have the vehicle inspected bumper to bumper. This will help you to be aware of any issues that might be happening for your vehicle. When there is an issue with the vehicle, you will want to make sure that you have it inspected as soon as possible. You will also need it to be repaired as well. When it is repaired quickly, it can help you to save on further damage to other parts, as well as a costly repair bill.

How it Handles

Always be aware of how the vehicle handles when you drive it. Doing so will help you to notice when there is an issue that is starting to form. When you first notice something out of the norm, make sure to contact us for an appointment. We will be able to inspect for what might be causing the issue. Choosing to ignore a problem will result in further issues and repair bills as well. This is why it is important to have it fixed at the first sign of an issue.

Fluids for the Car

You should also be aware of how the fluids levels are doing. Check to make sure that each one is at the designated reservoir level. If a fluid gets low often, there could be a sign of a leak. You will want to have the oil changed on a regular basis. If you are not sure of the oil change schedule, we can advise you on it. The oil will help to allow the engine to be properly lubricate and keep the parts moving. Without oil, the engine will eventually seize up and fail completely. If you hear any grinding noises from under the hood of your vehicle, make sure to have it inspected as soon as possible.

Maintaining your Vehicle in Winter

Maintaining

 

The vehicle you drive should always be in the best condition. By bringing it in for the appropriate maintenance inspections, it can be as efficient as possible. We can also advise you on when the vehicle should be brought in for an inspection. If you have the vehicle owner’s manual, you can also reference that for a schedule. Also always be aware of any odd noises or things the vehicle does, even if it is between maintenance inspections. Sometimes accidents happen and things break, so you will want to notice it. Having it fixed at the first sign of an issue can help you prevent a costly repair bill.

Tires

Also remember that you will want to check the tires on a regular basis. The tires are the only part of the vehicle that will make direct contact to the surface of the road. You will want to check the tires for the proper air inflation for each one. Tires that are under inflated can be more inclined to blow out when you are driving. If they are over inflated, then the tires might pick up sharp items or objects that are on the road. When you check the air inflation, also look at how the tire is. Any bulges or cracks on the rubber should be inspected by us.

Fluid Changes

The oil in the vehicle will also need to be changed. Always make sure to do this based on the recommended maintenance schedule. Even in the winter, the oil will need to be maintained and inspected. We can also advise when this should be done. The oil should be changed to help ensure that the parts of the vehicle and engine are operating properly. If there is not any oil, then the engine will have strain and stress with the various parts. To help prevent damage to the vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment.

Driving Tips for Ice and Snow

ice

The most important thing in the winter is to make sure you have proper visibility. A small scraped hole from the snow and ice is not good enough to have proper visibility. You will want the entire windshield cleared off. Also scrape the windows and rear windshield of the vehicle. Make sure that you have a long handled scraper so you can reach as far as possible to have them cleared completely. To help the scraping, start the vehicle and turn the defrost on. This can help warm it from the interior. It will also warm up the interior of the vehicle when you are done scraping the windows. By having everything cleared off completely, you can see vehicles from all directions.

Poor Road Conditions

Also remember to be aware of any potential bad road conditions. Even fog or a light mist can result in the roads being slick. As it hits the road, it can start to freeze. This can result in black ice when you drive. If the temperature is right at freezing, or slightly below, there is a chance for black ice to occur. You will want to be careful when driving over bridges or overpasses on the roads. By slowing down and being careful, you can help to decrease the chance of an accident. You will not want to slam on the brakes or over correct if you start to slide. This can increase the chance you lose control and end up going in the ditch.

Remember the Tires

Make sure that you check the tires regularly as well. The proper air pressure is important to ensure that they can travel efficiently when you drive. When it is cold, the tires can have a bead leak. This has to deal with the temperature. You will want to check the tires after they have sat awhile. Checking the air pressure right after you drive can result in a false reading.

Driving in Winter Conditions

Driving

When you drive in the winter, the road conditions can sometimes can become a challenge. You will want to adjust your driving habits so you can drive as safely as possible. If you are not sure what the road conditions are, make sure you look up what the weather and road conditions might be. This will help you to prepare for the type of weather you might be driving into. It will also allow you to adjust the speed and driving habits you have, based on the weather.

Other Drivers

You should also be aware of other drivers and those around you. Doing so will help to prevent an accident. This is because being aware of your surroundings means being able to react correctly to a situation or emergency that might happen. You will also want to allow enough distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Typically it should be about three seconds. When the weather or roads are less than ideal, that amount should be doubled or tripled. This will allow you to have extra time incase you need to apply the brakes.

Driving Slower

You will also have to remember to slow down. Winter weather can mean snow, ice, sleet, and sometimes even rain. With snow, it can start to collect and pile up. This can result in the roads being slick and slippery. At times, smaller snowflakes can build up ice on the windshield, as well as roads. You will not want to risk slamming on the brakes if you are following too close to the vehicle in front of you. Instead, adjust your driving and speed based on the weather. Always drive at a speed that you are comfortable at. Going too fast can result in you losing control of your vehicle. It will also increase the dangers of you and those around you.

Winter Maintenance starts with the Battery

battery

 

During the winter, the colder temperatures can lead to issues with your vehicle if you do not have proper maintenance. If you notice any signs of an issue or problem, it is always best to have us inspect it. This way we can look for anything out of the norm. When there is a problem, you should always have it repaired or fixed as soon as possible. Choosing to ignore it can lead to a more severe problem, and at a quicker pace too.

Inspections

The battery should be inspected fully to ensure it is clean. Having a battery that is securely in place will also help with the efficiency of it. If the battery is loose, then it will move and wobble too much when you drive. This can cause terminals and connections to become loose or damaged. When the battery is not secure, driving and hitting bumps can cause it to jar loose and move around. You will want to check the terminals to ensure they are free of any debris or corrosion. Rust can also cause the terminals to be in poor condition.

Problems Starting

If there is an issue with the vehicle starting, it could be from the battery or starter and alternator. It is always best to bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it properly for you. Doing so will help to determine what the issue might be. If the battery has a low charge, make sure to bring it in and we can test the charge. If it is weak, purchasing a new one may be the best and most efficient option for you. If the battery is three to five years old, it may be recommended for a new one. This way it can be effective when you need to start your vehicle this winter.

Winter Weather and your Car

winter

 

The winter weather can cause damage and strain to your vehicle. The first thing to remember is that the cold affects the car as well. You will not be able to get in your vehicle, start it, and immediately drive off. It is always best to start your vehicle and let it warm up for a few minutes. Not only does it warm up the interior of your vehicle, but it warms up the engine. The oil and other fluids will also get warmed up. This in turn will help the oil lubricate the engine more efficiently, so there is not excessive strain on it when it is driven.

Noises

If you hear a high pitch squealing after starting to drive in the winter, it can be a sign that the vehicle needs time to warm up more. The belts and other moving parts need to get warm so they can work properly. Pushing the vehicle when it is too cold can cause parts to snap or break. This will then lead to a breakdown and also costly repairs. Even after warming the vehicle up, if you hear an odd noise make sure to contact us. Bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for what might be causing the issue with your vehicle. Doing so can help keep your vehicle running reliable, especially when you want it to in winter.

Brakes

Also check the brakes of the vehicle. These can start to wear out with time. Parts like the brake pad and brake rotors will need to be replaced on an occasional basis. You will want to bring it in so we can check it. If they are warn, it is best to have them replaced. This will then help the brakes to work correctly, and keep the vehicle safe for you and those around you as you drive.

Proper Fall Maintenance for your Car

fall

 

With a new season, now is a great time to have your vehicle inspected for any issues or problems. It is always important to follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle. This can depend on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as how often you drive, and the roads you drive on. Different tasks can be performed on your vehicle at different intervals. Oil changes are typically done more often than fluid flushes. There are also inspections that should be done to the brake system, belts, hoses, and other parts under the hood.

Oil Change

An oil change will be done based on how many miles you have driven. This is because when the vehicle operates, the oil will pass through the oil filter and into the engine of your vehicle. It lubricates all the moving parts, so they can continue to work efficiently with one another. We can recommend when oil changes should be done, or you can look in the owner’s manual of the vehicle. If you do not drive your vehicle that often, then the oil should be changed about every six months. You can bring the vehicle in, and we will check to see when a good oil change schedule should be done.

Windshield Wipers

Fall is also a great time to inspect the windshield wipers and lights on your vehicle. You will want to have the best visibility possible when you drive, so these inspections are important. Different vehicles will require different windshield wiper sizes. So it is important you look up the information, so you get the correct size. If you are unsure, make sure to bring the vehicle in and we can change the windshield wipers for you. Also remember to check the windshield washer fluid to ensure it is at the correct level indicated.

Fluid Checks for your Vehicle

fluid

 

The fluid levels in your vehicle should be changed on a regular basis. If you are not sure how often this should be, we can advise you on the schedule. Keeping the fluid levels at the right amount will help keep the vehicle operating efficiently. If you ignore checking the fluids in the vehicle, you can cause further damage to parts and other components. You should also be aware if your vehicle is leaking any fluid from your vehicle. When the fluids leak, you will need to refill the reservoir so the vehicle can continue to work properly. This can include the oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, or even the transmission fluid.

Oil Changes

Anytime the oil is changed, the other fluids should be checked as well. As long as the hood is up, the fluid levels should all be inspected and examined to ensure they are in proper condition. The oil change schedule can vary on a few things. This could include how often you drive, where you drive, and what type of roads you drive on. We can advise you on a schedule, or you can check the owner’s manual for your vehicle. Sometimes the oil warning light may come on for the vehicle. When this happens, contact us so you can schedule an appointment as soon as you can.

Fluid Flush

Remember that some fluids will get old and grimy with time. When this occurs, the fluids will need to be flushed out of the vehicle and replaced with clean new fluid. It will also help pass through the engine and other moving parts. When the fluid is clean, your vehicle will not have to work as hard to run or drive. If you notice anything unusual from your vehicle, make sure to contact us and we can set up an appointment to have a bumper to bumper inspection done for you.

Service Area

Minneapolis
St. Paul
Inver Grove Heights
Eagan
Cottage Grove
Woodbury
Mendota Heights
Maplewood

Contact Info

651.455.1604
1095 Highway 110
Inver Grove Heights,
MN 55077

Working Hours

Monday-Thursday: 7a.m. – 6p.m.
Friday: 7a.m. – 5p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED