Kids are not heading back to school for the start of the new school year, so make sure to schedule an appointment to have your vehicle inspected properly. Safety should always be a priority, especially if you are driving with kids. The vehicle should be brought in for regular maintenance inspections and care. Without doing this, you will notice that your vehicle may start to have some issues and problems with it. By having inspections done, then we can notice an issue before it becomes worse. We can also help to advise you when the tasks will need to be done.
Inspect all the Parts
The vehicle should be checked to ensure all the parts are working correctly. Make sure that the windshield wipers are in the best condition possible. You will want to ensure they can clean the windshield properly as they operate. If they start to make noise or chatter against the windshield, then it is time to replace them. When they make an odd sound, which means they are not properly fitted against the windshield. This will then result in smears and road grime being on the windshield. As it starts to rain, you will wan the windshield wipers in the best conditioner to clear your visibility.
Tire care when back to school
Also now is a great time to have the tires inspected. Always make sure that you check the air pressure in them. This will help to ensure that they wear correctly as well. If the vehicle seems to be pulling in one direction or the other, a low tire may be to blame. Also remember to check the tread of the tires. If the tread is too low, make sure to get new tires. During the tread check, you can also look to make sure the tread is wearing evenly. If it is not, then an alignment may be needed for your vehicle and tires.
Charging the car’s air conditioner may need to be done at one point or another when you own a vehicle. If you are on a summer road trip, the last thing you will want is for your vehicle to fail. You will also want to prevent the air conditioner from failing as well. Make sure to bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance throughout the year. When you do so, we can inspect the vehicle and the air conditioner for your vehicle. Also be aware of anything out of the norm you notice between regular maintenance inspections.
The first sign you may notice of needing the air conditioner recharged is if the air is no longer cold. If it is not as cold as it used to be, then having it recharged is recommended. This is important, as it will keep your air conditioner blowing cold air into the cabin of your vehicle. You may also notice a strange odor coming from the air conditioner vents. If there is mold in the system, you may notice a foul mildew type odor.
Issues that you Notice
Another sign of issues are any unusual banging or rattling sounds coming from under the hood. If the fan belt or condenser is worn out, you may notice this odd noise. There could also be debris that may be clogging the fan of the vehicle. It is always best to have us professionally inspect for you. That way we can pinpoint the problem and have it repaired for you quickly. You can also look for any signs of a leak from the vehicle. Check for puddles or stains from under the vehicle. You may also notice the puddles on the floorboard or under the dash of the vehicle. Along with a leak, the vehicle may have a clogged drain hose that is causing the puddles.
During the hot summer months you will not only want to stay cool, but make sure your vehicle is as well. The last thing you will want is to have your vehicle overheat while you are driving this summer. Keeping the vehicle up to date on regular maintenance can help prevent various issues from occurring. When we inspect the vehicle, we can catch issues that may be just starting. This can reduce the chance of a complete failure when you least expect it. One thing that should always be inspected is the oil, as well as other fluid levels for your vehicle. By having these fluids at the proper levels, it can help decrease the chance of the vehicle overheating.
If it is hot, check the fluids
One of the main fluids to inspect is the coolant. This is the fluid that will help keep the radiator cool and prevent it from overheating. If you need to check the coolant, make sure the vehicle has been turned off for several minutes. Checking the coolant and radiator right after the vehicle has been running can cause severe burns. Before you drive, you can check to ensure there is the proper amount in the reservoir. If you notice that the coolant needs to be replaced frequently, schedule an appointment. That way we can inspect the vehicle for you and if there is a leak in the system.
Turn off the AC
If the vehicle does begin to overheat, make sure that you turn off the air conditioner and roll down the windows. Turning on the heater can actually reduce the amount of heat in and around the engine. You should also make sure to pull the vehicle over when it is safe to do so if it continues to overheat. Doing so will help prevent less damage to the engine of your vehicle. If the vehicle continues to overheat every time you drive, it is always best to bring it in for an appointment with us.
Keeping a safe distance when you drive is important for everyone on the road. You will want to allow at least three car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you. This way is they slam on the brakes, you have enough time to react and adjust your driving. If you are pulling a trailer or anything behind your vehicle, you will want to leave even more distance. Pulling something means that it can add to the extra weight you may need in order to stop quickly. Keeping enough space is also important incase someone pulls out and cuts in front of you as you drive.
Make sure to drive at the posted speed limit on the road. This way you will improve the safety for you and your passengers. Driving too fast can lead to an accident, especially if you take corners or sharp turns on the road. If you are driving through a town or where several roads join up, you may notice a decrease in speed. When you drive at a faster speed, it will take longer to slow down and come to a stop.
Keep the Car Safe by having regular maintenance done
You should also make sure that your vehicle has had a bumper to bumper inspection done on it. This will help to ensure that the parts and components are in the best condition that they should be in. The brakes should be inspected regularly, and before any long road trip. We can check the brake rotors and brake pads so that they are able to engage the brake system when you press on the pedal. Topping off the fluids should also be done before any road trip. You will want to make sure that the oil is in proper condition, and is clean. Oil that is dirty and looks like grime can cause damage to the engine of your vehicle. Also remember that if you notice any issues with the vehicle, make sure to have them looked at. This can help prevent a larger expense in the long run.
Hands free laws are now going into affect. Minnesota will soon have a law that is going to take affect that changes how you drive with your cell phone. Having a hands free law will help make sure that they put the cell phone down. You can then pay attention to the road as they drive. When you have make a call or answer the phone, it should be done by using Bluetooth technology. With this, you will be able to talk on the phone. You can also to keep both hands on the wheel as you drive. This will also help reduce you from being distracted by handling and operating your phone.
Have your phone be Hands Free when you drive
You will not be able to send messages or browse the internet. The new law will also make it illegal to make calls when driving. If you need to make a call, a hands free or voice activated technology will be required for the phone. You will be able to use your phone as you need to without holding it. To help be prepared for your drive, you should make sure that you also program the GPS to your destination before driving. If you cannot use your phone on the road, this will be necessary for the GPS to get you on the correct route.
Mount it on the dashboard
If you want to make sure that your phone stays secure when you drive, you will want to invest in a holder. This can be mounted to the dashboard or the windshield of your vehicle. By having is in a holder or mount, the phone will not slide or move. This is importantas you take corners or having to apply the brakes suddenly. You can also come into any service provider and help discuss what the options are for helping make your vehicle ready for this new law.
In the summer, there are several parts of your vehicle to inspect. Summer heat means you will want a cool and comfortable ride. The air conditioner has many parts, which include the compressor, freon, hoses, and belts that can wear out with age and use. You will need to replace these parts according to the maintenance guide, or at the first sign of wear, to keep your air conditioner running properly. To maintain your air conditioner’s coolant pressure this summer, you should run your air conditioner once a month for at least ten minutes to prevent your hoses from hardening and the seals from failing. Start by turning the air conditioner to its coolest setting and the highest fan speed for the best results. By running the defrost for five to ten minutes, you are able to clean out any moisture and help reduce mildew and odors in the system. If you are not sure when the air conditioner should be inspected, make sure to contact us.
Regular Inspections in Summer
Over time your vehicle’s air conditioning system may leak out enough freon to significantly decrease cold airflow. Freon also helps to cool your vehicle down. As freon leaks, it causes the air conditioning system to not cool as efficient as it otherwise would. This leads to a warm and uncomfortable vehicle. To determine if your cooling system needs to be recharged, you can first start by switching the knob to recirculation air and allow a few minutes for the compressor to cycle and the pressures to stabilize. The higher the temperature outside the longer and harder the system has to work to keep you cool.
Signs of a Poor Air Conditioner
There are signs you can look for before there is a failed air conditioner in your vehicle. If you notice a sudden loss of cooling temperature in the vents during normal driving, chances are the compressor or clutch has stopped working. This may also signify a hose leak. The air conditioning system can also become frozen or jammed. If you hear a loud noises that startle you, then there might be a leak. Not having a properly working air conditioner in your vehicle when it is hot is uncomfortable to anyone. This is why it is important to bring your vehicle in so we can inspect the air conditioning system for you.
You vehicle is one of the most important investments you will make. That is why you will want to make sure that the vehicle is always up to date on maintenance and other proper inspections. Several tasks should be done on a routine basis. This can include things like oil changes, fluid flushes, tire rotations, and even brake inspections. If there is an issue with the brake system, the safety and reliability of the vehicle will be compromised. You may start to notice an issue if there are any odd sounds or noises coming from the vehicle. When this happens, try to notice if it is when the brakes are applied, or if it is constant. Depending when it happens, it may depend what the issue might be.
A grinding noise that you might hear can be caused by a metal to metal contact of parts. Usually this is a worn brake pad wearing against the brake rotor. With age and use, the brake pad will wear. Having them replaced is common and necessary. If you ignore a grinding noise, then you will decrease the safety and reliability of the vehicle when you drive. If you drive on gravel roads, sometimes a small rock or stone can become stuck in the caliper. This can produce a screeching noise, or sometimes a grinding noise. If something is stuck, the news will be constant. A rattle noise can also be an indication of the brake pads wearing.
Brake Pedal issues
You can notice an issue if the brake pedal is too hard or too soft when you apply it, there are a few things to check. The first is to check the amount of brake fluid. If you have to replace the brake fluid often, then check the hoses. If the hose is cracked or damage, the brake fluid could be leaking from it. The overall brake system should also be inspected if the pedal is not working as it otherwise should be.
Regular oil changes will help prolong the life of the engine of your vehicle. When you have a vehicle, you will want it to run as efficiently as possible and at top performance levels. With nice clean oil, it will be able to go smoothly through the engine to keep it lubricated. This is why oil changes are important to the vehicle. If there is not any oil, then the parts of the engine will start to wear against one another and cause strain and stress. As parts operate without the oil, they can also breakdown faster than they otherwise should. This may result in a loud noise or grinding sound you hear. If there is ever a noise out of the norm with your vehicle, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible. That way we can inspect the vehicle for what the issue might be.
If you are not sure how often the oil should be changed on the vehicle, make sure to contact us. Oil changes are always important to help maintain the engine. We can advise you when the proper oil change interval should be. Depending on how often you drive, or even the type of roads you drive on, can affect the schedule. When the oil is changed, we can also check the oil filter for you at the same time. The filter can become clogged with dirt and debris as it captures it from the oil. If the oil is think and looks like sludge, then the engine will not be able to run efficiently.
Have Extra Oil
Remember to keep extra container of oil in the truck or back seat of your vehicle. If you need to add oil suddenly, you will be prepared. Also make sure if you notice the oil dashboard warning light. If it comes on, more oil may be needed. Notice if the light starts blinking. If it does, pull over when it is safe to do so and turn off your vehicle. Operating a vehicle with a blinking warning light can lead to costly repairs or engine failure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inver Grove Heights
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