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

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

Pothole Damage – Which Car Parts are affected the Most

pothole

Ignoring potholes is one of the biggest mistakes you can make for your vehicle. Sure, you may not notice a lot of damage initially, but drive over these paved roads enough and your car will wear and tear significantly. So much so, that its value could go down by thousands of dollars.

That being said, inspecting your vehicle for damage caused by potholes can be quite challenging – it is not as obvious as damage caused by hits and accidents. However, there is no need to worry as this piece lists down the important car parts you should check for pothole damage. Before we proceed, however, let us discuss what potholes are and how most of them are formed.

Pothole Formation

Potholes are essentially the imperfections you will find on road surfaces and they generally occur whenever the soil underneath the pavement is displaced or becomes weak. This often happens because of the water present inside the soil structure and vehicles driving over the impacted area.

Spring and winter months are quite notorious for pothole formations as running water and ice cause disruption in the base layers beneath the pavement. Once cars start driving over these spots, they damage the pavement, leading to cracks and deformation. If you’ve driven your car over pothole one too many times, consider checking the following parts for damage.

The Tires when hitting a Pothole

Since tires are the only part of your car that comes in contact with the road, it shouldn’t come off as a surprise that they are most susceptible to damage caused by potholes. Generally, potholes have hard, sharp edges, which can cause your tires to compress on impact. This can slice the rubber, or tear the belts holding your tire together.

Wheels

You should always inspect your wheels for pothole damage. If you drove into a big and deep pothole, there is a good chance that your wheels endured a lot of wear and tear. As you would expect, bent wheels have a hard time rolling properly, and not fixing them right away could lead to further damage down the line.

Suspension

Your vehicle’s suspension includes, springs, tire air, linkages, shock absorbers and everything that links your vehicle to the wheels, resulting in relative motion. Companies design the suspension for absorbing impact and making sure your ride is smooth. However, there is a limit to the amount of damage a suspension can handle. Too many jarring hits, especially against potholes can damage your suspension, including things like damaged struts or shocks, worn out ball joints, misalignment and much more.

 

If you think your vehicle has taken too much pothole damage, make sure you book an appointment with an experienced auto repair service to fix the issues as soon as possible. Doing so will increase your vehicle’s life and make your ride smoother.

 

Vehicle Inspection – Why Every Driver Should Consider It

Many questions tend to arise when it comes to the importance of inspections and service of vehicles. Even though today’s vehicles are more modern in terms of advancements, they still require inspection and maintenance.

The Importance of Vehicle Inspection

In the past, manufacturers used to recommend vehicle owners to replace their car’s oil after covering every 3000 miles. This had motorists visiting service facilities three to four times a year. This meant that your technicians inspected all the necessary parts three to four times a year. The visit to the technicians allowed drivers to have their brakes, batteries, and engine inspected frequently. Technicians were also aware of any leakages and malfunction of the combustion engine. Due to this, vehicle owners managed to maintain the condition of their car better.

However, in today’s world, manufacturers make cars that can go well beyond the 3000 limits without needing an oil change. This means that the average technician visits are less frequent than they normally were. Fewer service checkups mean that the technicians have fewer opportunities to maintain and inspect any problems with your vehicle.

This is not a good indication, and it makes every driver vulnerable to facing mechanical issues. If you are not regularly spotting, identifying, and fixing the damages to your car engine, you are at risk of running into a mishap. Hence, you must hire services that perform a complete vehicle inspection frequently.

Basic Inspections

The most basic inspections of a vehicle involve the tires, belts, hoses, air filter, battery, vital fluids, and lubricants, wipers, and lights. The benefits of vehicle inspection are immense. Primarily, it helps you save money and a great amount of time.

These inspections are vital if you want to ensure the longevity of your car and avoid costly damages. When checking the tire, make sure that it has an optimum air pressure. Most cars come with factory-recommended air pressure – anything above or below that range is not ideal. You must ensure that your car does not lack the essential fluids that help the engine to run smoothly. Thus, keep a check on the engine oil, brake, and coolant fluids. Without a sufficient quantity of these, your engine can overheat, seize and stop working.

Wiper fluid and wipers are important inspections if you live in a rainy country. Any obstruction to visibility while driving will put you at risk of accidents. Therefore, make sure that your wipers are in good condition.

Lastly, make sure that your car has the necessary tools and types of equipment before you drive. Other inspections such as alignments, headlights, belts, and air filter replacements should be a job for professionals. The importance of this helps the car to be safe and reliable. After completing all of the standard maintenance checks, make sure that you drive your vehicle safely. Monitoring both the exterior and interior condition of your car also helps maintain its value when you want to sell it.

Icy Road Conditions and 5 Tips for Driving on them this Winter

One of the most dangerous road conditions you can experience when driving is icy roads. Icy road conditions make driving very difficult as it is hard for vehicles to gain traction on the slick surface. While it is best to avoid driving on ice if at all possible, we know that sometimes it is unavoidable. For those situations, we have put together 5 tips for driving in icy road conditions.

Allow More Time For Driving Slower

In order to plan ahead and keep yourself as safe as possible when you have to drive in icy conditions, plan ahead and drive slow. If you know that you have to go to work in the morning and it is supposed to be icy, get up a little earlier to allow more time to drive slower on the roads. Driving slower will greatly reduce the changes of accidents or skidding, and in the event of a skid, you will have more control over the vehicle at slower speeds.

Know How & When To Use Your Brakes

Using your brakes on ice may seem like a great way to control a skid, but it can actually be more dangerous if you do not know how to use them properly. The brakes on your vehicle are made to slow your vehicle down by slowing the rotational speed of your wheels. Doing this too abruptly can cause your vehicle to skid out of control due to the wheels locking up and losing traction. Travel at a slow enough speed to allow your vehicle to slow down with friction and the weight of the car before having to use your brakes. When using your brakes, slowly pump them so that you do not lock up your brakes.

How To Get Out Of A Skid

Skidding is one of the biggest dangers when driving in icy conditions. Skidding is when your vehicle loses traction and you lose control of your vehicle as it skids across the ice. While your first reaction may be to jerk the steering wheel back into position, this can cause more damage. What you will want to do is slowly steer into the skid while slowly applying brake pressure in increments to regain traction. Once you begin to regain traction, you can slowly steer yourself back into the direction you need to go.

Watching For Freezing Temperatures

Keeping an eye on changing outdoor temperatures will allow you to determine when and where you may encounter icy road conditions. You can check your local weather channel or an online weather site to see how the temperatures will be changing throughout the day before you leave. If you are on a road trip, utilize an outdoor temperature display (if equipped) to see when temperatures may drop without you knowing.

Do Snow Tires Help On Ice?

Snow tires are designed to provide traction when driving in thick, compacted snow. They provide little to no benefit when driving on ice. The slick surface of an icy road is resilient to most snow-centric tire accessories including studs and chains.

Tire’s PSI Drops, and Why this Happens

PSI

The PSI should always be monitored. Believe it or not, tire pressure is a vital component behind every car’s overall performance, handling, fuel economy and plenty of other things. Other than improving your car’s performance levels, PSI is capable of improving the life of your tires significantly. That said, every tire, no matter how great its material is, leaks. In some cases, the PSI leaks are slow, while others tend to deflate within a few seconds.

Identifying PSI loss, especially when its subtle, can be quite challenging. Fortunately, there are some telltale signs that can help you determine whether your tires have enough PSI. They will help you prevent tire deflation while making sure your tire remains in good shape for years to come. So without further ado, let us discuss the main reason behind the PSI drops in your tire.

Punctures

Virtually everybody knows that punctures are arguably the biggest reason behind deflated tires. What a lot of people do not know, however, is that there are different puncture types. In some of them, the PSI drops are barely noticeable, while others result in a full-fledged blowout. Sharp objects like nails, pins, glass, etc are generally the main culprits behind slower PSI drops. Sure, they seem harmless at first, but you must address them right away as not doing so could lead to massive PSI drops in your tires.

Faulty Valves and PSI

Tire valves are an essential component for air retention in tires. Refilling tires that do not have air valves is next to impossible. So, if you notice significant air loss in your tires, checking the valves would be a good idea. You’d be surprised to learn that damaged or faulty air valves are often the reason behind slow and gradual loss of PSI. Something as simple as shutting the valve too tight can damage it and result in loss of air. If you think that your valve stem core is broken, consider replacing it to prevent air loss while on the road.

Extreme Temperatures

Extreme weather can have a massive impact on your tires. Whether it’s the scorching heat of the summer or simply the winter season, changes in the temperature affect PSI levels in more ways than one. The tires tend to contract when the weather is cold and expand when it is hot.

Tire Maintenance Tips You Should Follow

 

– Avoid driving over potholes, glass shards and other roadside hazards. Even the tiniest of pieces can cause irreparable damage to your tires.

– Fill your tires regularly as they can lose PSI naturally as well. Osmosis and changes in the temperature are often the reason why this happens.

– Use an automatic tire pressure monitoring system to determine whether your tires need to be inflated.

 

Driving in winter – What You Should Know

drivingExtreme weather can be really dangerous and frightening to be driving in. Sloppy roads, bad weather, winter storms, and several other problems result in terrible car crashes every year. A reputable piece of research suggests that around one million people are involved in accidents every year, out of which almost two thousand individual lose their lives.

Sure, most of us have places to be and things to do, which is why we are always in a rush. However, when you speed up your vehicle on snowy, icy roads, the chances of accidents increase significantly. That said, sometimes maintaining a grip on your car on snowy roads can be difficult even if you aren’t rushing. Mentioned below are some effective tips that will help you drive your car safely on long and short distances.

Driving Tips for Cold Weather

 

Be Prepared

This one goes without saying. You should be extra cautious when driving on slippery surfaces. Be aware of your surroundings and the car right in front of you. There is very little room for error when it comes to winter time driving, so ensure that you show your car to a renowned auto repair service and steer clear from any trouble down the line.

Mind the Driving Distance

Being mindful of your driving distance can save you from a lot of potential accidents. The usual rule that most people follow when it comes to stopping distance is that of four to five seconds. While that is a sufficient amount of times to stop your car before it crashes, it is not enough for the winters. Instead, it would be best to consider increasing the stopping distance to eight or ten seconds for slippery roads.

Only Power Up When Necessary

Applying too much gas on roads covered with snow is a terrible idea and could make the wheels spin in every direction. Make sure you only power up your car when necessary. You should especially avoid powering up the engine on slopes and hills. Instead, it would be better to reduce your speed and allow the inertia to take your vehicle to the top.

Here are some other tips that will help you stay safe when driving in winters:

  1. Avoid putting your car on cruise control, especially when the surface you’re driving on is slippery because of snow or ice
  2. Do not warm your car up inside a garage or any other enclosed area
  3. Ensure your tires have adequate tread and are inflated
  4. Always keep essential winter gear in your vehicle. This could include things like medications, blankets, scrapers, flashlight etc.

Are you anxious about taking your car out for a drive during winters? If yes, consider booking an appointment with a reputable auto repair service to ensure your vehicle is primed for icy roads to enjoy stress free driving.

 

How to Avoid Battery Failure due to Winter Season?

Avoid battery problems in the winter months. While low temperatures and chilly winds do affect your quality of life, they have a negative impact on your car’s battery as well. After some time, your battery will drain out. The average life of a battery is almost four to five years. The role of a car’s battery is to kick start the engine. Furthermore, it enables you to use your car’s accessories such as a heating and cooling system when you turn off the engine. When a battery fails, all accessories gradually stop working, and you won’t be able to start the engine.

Working Mechanism of your Car’s Battery

Lead batteries are dependable and inexpensive, which explains why many manufacturers use them. The battery is a plastic case with various plates soaked in a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. Each cell contains pair of plates and produces 2.1 volts on its own. A charged battery produces 12 volts with the help of six cells. However, it generates 12.6 volts to start up the engine.

This type of battery does not produce a charge. Instead, it receives and stores the initial charge with the help of a chemical reaction. The chemical reaction between negative and positive plates form lead sulfate on these plates. This lowers the battery’s ability to maintain a full charge. That is why your need to change your car’s battery after three years.

Signs of Battery Failure in Chilly Weather

Below, you will find some common signs of battery failure. Your car doesn’t need to encounter any issues. To ensure that your battery is okay, you need to visit Kremer Services in Inver Grove Heights, MN.

  • An electronic accessory failure such as lights, horn, etc.
  • Weird sounding horn
  • Unable to turn on the engine
  • Engine taking time to start
  • Corrosion on a positive post or battery’s case
  • It has been three years before you change your battery
  • White light turns yellow
  • Rotten eggs or sulfur odor
  • Swelling or cracking of battery case

Identify the Reason for the Failure

When the temperature drops in the winter season, the electrolyte solution starts to crystalize. This slows down the battery’s ability to transfer energy to the engine. This is where you start to encounter problems with the battery.

The battery also fails to depend on how you use your car during winter. For instance, with shorter days and longer nights, you require more lights. Lead batteries dispose of a lot of energy. Therefore, excessive use of lights and heater can drain the power out. When this happens, your battery fails to power the engine when you start the ignition. Also, during the holiday season, vehicles are mostly at home for a long time. This freezes the engine and battery’s electrolyte.

Avoid Battery Issues

To avoid battery failure problems during winters, visit Kremer Services in Inver Grove Heights, MN. They have a professional team who will inspect the issues and find a solution to not encounter battery failure. You also need to park your car in the garage as cold weather will affect the battery. If you do not have a warm space to park your car, you should use block heaters.

What Is Brake Fluid and Why Is it So Important?

brake fluid

Brake fluid is one of those things that always gets overlooked, even though it’s a fundamental
component of the braking system. In this article, we’ll examine the behind-the-scenes part that
brake fluid plays and why it’s so important. We’ll also talk about how you can maintain
high-quality fluid. Let’s get started.

What is Brake Fluid?

Brake fluid is an incompressible liquid that runs throughout the braking system. It transports
hydraulic force from the brake pedal out to the calipers. The hydraulic force secures the calipers
onto the rotors, and this slows your vehicle to a stop. In short, the entire braking system would
malfunction without fluid.

To do its job, fluid has to be able to withstand a wide range of temperatures. The engine
produces massive amounts of heat. For this reason, brake fluid is formulated to have a high
boiling point to prevent vaporization. If your fluid all boiled away, there would be no
hydraulic force to apply the brakes. Another noteworthy feature of fluid is its viscosity.
Braking fluid keeps a constant viscosity, no matter how hot or cold its surrounding atmosphere is.
This guarantees easy transport of hydraulic force.

There are several distinct types of fluid, but most of them are glycol-ether-based. This
formula is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water. That means your braking fluid will almost
always contain a small amount of water. Too much water can cause problems in your engine and
brakes. For one thing, it can reduce the fluid’s boiling point. If this happens, too much
fluid could vaporize, which would result in reduced stopping power. Additionally, too
much water can corrode metallic engine parts. Although braking fluids have anti-corrosive
additives, too much water will have a negative effect. To address these issues, it’s crucial to get
your fluid routinely tested and replaced.

How often does the fluid need to be changed?

Since braking fluid flows throughout the engine, it gets contaminated with rust particles and other
debris. As a result, it requires periodic replacement. Generally speaking, we suggest getting this
done every year or so. The change interval may vary, depending on your make and model.
Additionally, not all fluids are the same. Different fluids offer different recommendations.
To help you figure out what’s best for your vehicle, consult your owner’s manual or one of our
friendly technicians at Kremer Services.

What are some signs my fluid needs to be changed?

As fluid ages and gets more polluted, its appearance changes. Most fluid starts with
a clear or amber hue, but over time it darkens and becomes more cloudy. This is an obvious sign
that your fluid needs replacing.

While checking out your fluids, pay special attention to your fluid level. A slight decrease
in brake fluid is perfectly normal, but it shouldn’t happen regularly. If it is, you probably have
an underlying issue with your engine or braking system, such as a leak. Addressing these
problems right away can help ensure they don’t escalate, saving you time and money.

Do you need to get your fluid tested or replaced? Our experienced professionals at Kremer
Services are happy to help. Give us a call today at (651) 455-1604, or ​ request your appointment
online​ .

The Transformation of Automotive Comfort

comfort

The automotive industry has seen enormous changes since its beginnings. One of the most significant of these changes is the improvements made to automotive interiors. In this article, we’ll examine the evolution of automotive comfort. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for your car’s features.

The early 1900s

The earliest automobiles were open-air vehicles. This exposed drivers and passengers to all rain, snow, and sleet. Seeing the discomfort in this, Cadillac developed a closed body car in 1910. With drivers protected from the elements, automakers set out to make their interiors as luxurious as possible. Several key inventions paved the way for future comfort and convenience features. In 1912, Cadillac led the charge with their electronic self-starters, ignitions, and lighting. By 1914, Scripps-Booth was installing power door locks on their cars, and by 1929 Ford came out with the first heating systems. In conclusion, these inventions all made the driving experience easier and more agreeable.

Climate control

With no temperature controls, car interiors were often too hot or too cold. To address this, the Packard Motor Car Company developed in-car air conditioners and power windows in 1940. However, in 1960, Cadillac took this a step further and released an automatic climate control system. This let cars hold an interior temperature, regardless of how hot or cold it was outside. In 1980, Cadillac created a fully electronic climate control system. In other words, this is the basis for what’s used today.

Seat improvements

In addition to temperature control, automakers have aimed to make vehicle seats as comfortable as possible. First, in 1966, with the release of heated seats by Cadillac happened. This feature was eventually incorporated in other car parts, like the armrest and steering wheel. In 1998, Saab came out with ventilated seats to cool down the driver. Of all the various features and improvements, the best has to be the Mercedes luxury seat massagers.

Music innovations

Sound systems in cars have undergone a fascinating transformation over the years. The late 1920s saw the first AM radios in cars. In 1950, the first AM/FM radios with scanners were introduced. However, after an unsuccessful experiment with an in-car record player, 8-track players gained popularity in the 1960s. Over time, these were succeeded by cassette players. The 1980s saw the birth of the car CD player, which remained popular for the next 15 to 20 years. For instance, by the early 2000s, audio technology shifted toward compact digital storage media. Nowadays, modern technology allows us to stream music from our phones to our cars.

Modern technology and human-machine interfaces

Now, vehicles come equipped with smart interfaces that let you integrate your smartphone. This technology is known as HMI, which stands for human-machine interface. HMI technology gives easy access to a variety of customizable interior functions. This includes:

  1. GPS
  2. Touch interfaces
  3. Wireless communication
  4. Internet and cloud connectivity
  5. Interior temperature and seat comfort
  6. Advanced lighting and sound systems

Thanks to HMI technology, drivers can have full control over these features with the tap of a screen. In today’s modern world, it’s easy to take your car’s comfort features for granted. Our experienced technicians at Kremer Services are here for you, so call today at (651) 455-1604, or ​request your appointment online​.

The Evolution of Automotive Braking Systems

braking systems

Braking systems have evolved over time. This has made them able to have better performance. Without a doubt, one of the most important systems in your car is the brakes. Over the years, manufacturers have experimented with many different styles of brakes. Today we’re talking about the development of brakes from their earliest form, all the way up to the modern systems we have today. Let’s dive in.

Wooden block brakes

The earliest automotive brakes were wooden block brakes. This rudimentary system consisted of a lever and wooden blocks. The lever moved the wooden blocks against the steel rim of the wheels. When this happened, it created friction. This caused the wheels to stop spinning and the car came to a stop. Wooden block brakes were first used in horse-drawn carriages, and later in steam-powered cars. This braking system had limitations. The main issue was that they only worked on steel-rimmed vehicles. Additionally, they were only effective on vehicles moving slower than 20 miles per hour. As soon as manufacturers switched over to rubber tires in the 1890s, wooden block brakes became obsolete.

Mechanical drum brakes

Since automakers were using rubber tires, they needed to find a new braking systems. This came about in 1899 with an idea from Gottlieb Daimler. He supposed that if a cable-wrapped drum was attached to the vehicle’s base frame, it would be able to bring the car to a stop. Louis Renault built on this idea in 1902 when he created the first mechanical drum brake. This became the foundation for today’s modern braking systems.

Expanding internal shoe brakes

Even though mechanical drum brakes were a step in the right direction, they had one major problem. They were external, which meant they were exposed to extreme temperatures, dirt, and precipitation. Because of this, they needed frequent maintenance. Eventually, a system of internal brakes were developed, called expanding internal shoe brakes. They were stored in a metal drum, which was attached to the wheel. Inside the drum, brake shoes were expanded by pistons. This caused the brake shoe to brush against the metal drum, creating friction. This friction slowed the vehicle down and eventually stopped it.

Hydraulic braking systems

In 1918, Malcolm Loughead invented a new braking system. This four-wheel system used brake fluid to transport hydraulic force from the pedal to the brake shoes. Hydraulic brakes were a significant breakthrough. Before, a lot of force was needed to apply the brakes. Hydraulic brakes made it a lot less strenuous. By the late 1920s, many major automakers installed hydraulic braking systems in their vehicles.

Disc brakes

Unfortunately, hydraulic brakes often needed repairs. Because of all the brake fluid, they often leaked. One small leak could cause all the brakes to malfunction. To address this issue, automakers installed disc brakes that had hydraulic functions. Disc brakes had been around since the early 1900s, but they really took off in the 1950s.

Anti-lock braking systems

These days, anti-lock brakes come as a standard safety feature in most vehicles. They were invented back in the 1920s and were originally intended for use on airplanes. By the 1950s and ‘60s, some automakers started using them as well. By the 1970s, they were a popular and affordable safety feature.

Does your car need brake repair? Our experienced technicians at Kremer Services are here to help. Give us a call at (651) 455-1604, or ​request your appointment online today. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

What Every Car Owner Needs to Know About Brake Replacement

Lots of auto maintenance is straightforward enough, as long as you have the right tools. Brake replacement, however, is not. Your brakes are complex. Replacing the brakes can point to any number of underlying brake issues that need troubleshooting. Unless you have a lot of experience with brake repair, this can get quite overwhelming. Today we’re discussing what you need to know about brake replacement. Understanding the process can help you figure out how to move forward with replacing your brake system.

Steps to replacing the brake system

Experienced auto technicians typically follow these general steps when replacing the brakes:

  1. Loosen the lugs​: After activating the emergency brake, use a lug wrench to loosen the lugs without disconnecting them.
  2. Raise the vehicle​: Position the car jack underneath your car’s frame rail. Place the jack stands under your car so it can rest here. After ensuring your car is stable, take off the wheels.
  3. Slide out the caliper​: Remove the bolts and take out the caliper. If your caliper is stuck, pry it out with a flat head screwdriver. Place the caliper on the suspension so your brake lines don’t get strained.
  4. Remove the caliper carrier​: Remove the bolts and take off the caliper carrier.
  5. Remove the rotor: Check your rotor for a rotating screw. If you have one, take this out first and then remove the rotor. If your rotor is old or rusty, this step might be difficult.
  6. Install new rotor​: Brush rust off the surface of the hub with a wire brush. Wipe off your new rotor with a degreaser to remove any oily residue. Then, install the new rotor.
  7. Assemble caliper carrier​: Use new bolts to attach the caliper carrier.
  8. Compress the caliper​: Before compressing, check your brake reservoir and make sure its cap is removed. This is to make sure you don’t blow a line. Then, using a c-clamp and an old brake pad, line up the piston inside the caliper with the caliper’s housing.
  9. Install caliper and brake pads​: Install the brake pads in the caliper carrier and fasten the bolts. Make sure the caliper can move without seizing up, and then secure the caliper bolts.
  10. Reattach the wheels​: Reattach the lugs. When your car is back on the ground, use a torque wrench to tighten them all the way.
  11. Repeat, pump, and break in: Repeat the above steps for all your wheels. Next, pump the brake pedal to get pressure in your system. Once you feel the pressure with your brake pedal, you can break in your brakes. Go for a ride and complete a few cycles of acceleration and gradual deceleration. It’s normal for your car to be noisy at first, but this should gradually die down.

Should I replace my own brakes?

Replacing your brakes is one of those jobs that’s often more involved than anticipated. Unless you know your way around brake issues and repairs, it’s best to trust a professional with replacing your system. That way, you can rest easy knowing that your system is installed properly.

Do you need your brakes replaced? Let our experienced technicians at Kremer Services lend you a hand. Give us a call at (651) 455-1604, or ​request your appointment online today. We look forward to serving you.

Knowing the History of the “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” Light

history

Have you ever taken time to stop and think about the history of check engine light in your car? Probably not. These days, it’s something we take for granted, but it wasn’t always that way. Today, we’re covering exactly how this handy invention came to be. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

History of how it became to be in Current Vehicles

Before we dive right in, let’s go over a few things. A check engine light, sometimes called a malfunction indicator lamp (MIL), is operated by your car’s on-board diagnostics system. It’s a light that alerts you of a problem with your vehicle’s engine. It’s usually found on the dashboard and has a red or orange color. Some check engine lights show up as an expression, like “SERVICE ENGINE SOON”, whereas others will look like a small engine icon. As soon as the light is triggered, it saves a fault code, or diagnostic trouble code (DTC). This code helps our skilled technicians at Kremer Services identify the root cause of the malfunction.

Idea for the Check Engine light in History

What a useful function, right? But where did it come from? The answer dates back to the 1930s. The predecessor to the check engine light was called an idiot light (real name). This was a warning light that alerted drivers of an urgent vehicle malfunction. The Hudson Motor Car Company in Detroit, Michigan was the first automaker to use idiot lights. They started including them as a feature sometime in the 1930s. Since idiot lights were binary, they only switched on when there was imminent danger. They gave no advance warning of an engine malfunction. As cars became more sophisticated, these lights were eventually discontinued in the 1980s.

Manufacturer-specific Designs through History

Around the same time, automakers started manufacturing vehicles with computerized engine controls. However, all automakers used their own computer systems, and nothing was standardized. Every manufacturer used its own system of DTCs as well. With all these unique systems, it took technicians forever to diagnose vehicle issues.

History when it was standardized

This problem existed until the mid-1990s, when vehicle regulations came into play. In 1996, a new, on-board vehicle diagnostics system was created. The government mandated the use of this emissions-driven system, called OBD2, in all new cars bought and sold in the United States.

Since all new vehicles had OBD2 systems, it resulted in the standardization of DTCs. Now, all cars have the same computer operating system and the same fault codes. This made vehicle diagnostics a lot faster for auto technicians. Nowadays, scan tools can read the DTC that activated your car’s check engine light.

Luckily, technology has come a long way with the check engine light. These days, auto technicians can quickly detect a fault with your engine by using a scan tool. In fact, check engine lights often detect minor vehicle issues before they become problematic. This saves money and time on repairs in the long run.

So, the next time you see the check engine light in your car, consider how far it’s come in history. Think of it as your car’s way of letting you know it needs some extra attention, and give us a call. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Your Check Engine Light is On – What Now?

What should you do when your check engine light turns on? This warning can indicate a wide range of engine troubles, from minor fixes to major repairs. The worst thing you can do is ignore it. Keep reading to learn what steps to take when the check engine light illuminates.

Do I need to pull over?

The first decision you need to make when you see the check engine light is whether or not you should pull over. To figure out what to do, let’s discuss some basics. When you see the check engine light, it’ll either illuminate as a flashing or a not flashing light. If the light is flashing, you have a major emergency or an engine misfire. If the check engine light isn’t flashing, it’s usually safe to keep driving as long as your car’s performance seems normal. Although you can’t delay repairs forever, you don’t need to pull over.

Regardless of how the check engine light looks, turn your attention to your car’s performance. Do you notice anything out of the ordinary? Things like loss of power, engine smoke, or strange noises are signs of a major vehicle malfunction. If you’re experiencing any of these, pull over right away. If you keep driving with a major engine problem, you risk irreversible damage to expensive engine parts. When possible, get your vehicle towed to a service provider for diagnostics.

Can I troubleshoot the check engine light myself?

Let’s assume your check engine light isn’t flashing. Is there anything you can do before you bring your car in to get serviced? You bet. There are a few minor reasons your check engine light may have been triggered, so you’ll want to check these places first. One place to look at is the oil dipstick. If this isn’t seated properly, it can activate the check engine light. The same thing goes with an unfastened oil filler cap, which is located on top of the engine valve cover. Checking these two spots can deactivate your check engine light and send you on your way.

Another place to check is your gas tank. Believe it or not, something as small as a loose fuel cap can also trigger the check engine light. Make sure the fuel cap is tightened all the way. Also, be sure to check for signs of damage. A cracked fuel cap can turn on the check engine light as well.

OBD2 Scan Tool

If you’re looking for a way to learn more about what’s going on inside your engine, you may want to consider purchasing an OBD2 scan tool. This handy gadget reads the diagnostic trouble code, or DTC, associated with the engine fault. The DTC gets saved by your car’s diagnostics system when the check engine light is turned on. To use the OBD2 scanner, connect it to your car’s data link connector. This is usually found beneath the dashboard on the driver’s side.

OBD2 scan tools can cost up to $100. Although they can give you an idea of how serious your car problems are, they don’t paint the whole picture. But, they can provide important information that can help you move forward with addressing repairs.

When you see the check engine light, don’t stress. Take a deep breath, stay calm, and assess the situation. If you think you might have an emergency, or if the check engine light is flashing, pull over right away.

When you need auto maintenance and repairs, Kremer Services is here for you. We can diagnose and resolve your check engine light issues in no time. Give us a call at (651) 455-1604, or ​request your appointment online​ today. We’ll get you back on the road in a jif.

COOLANT FLUSH – ALL THERE IS TO KNOW

coolant flush

Have a coolant flush done when recommended. To keep your engine cool is a tricky task, especially if it’s an old car. Sometimes the engine faces a hard time functioning; in that case, you should consult a professional and resolve your system issue. Consider getting the coolant flush fixed as your top priority.

WHAT IS A COOLANT FLUSH?

An engine replacement or repair can cost you thousands of dollars. However, a coolant flush preserves a car’s health and restores the functions to the engine’s tempering agents. This involves getting rid of rust, sludge, and dirt from the cooling system.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

A vehicle’s function, performance, and temperature status are usually a good indicator of a need for a coolant flush. You know your car better than anyone, and sometimes you can get a hunch for a coolant flush.

·      Overheating

When a car overheats, it shows signs of excess heat in the engine. Which means your engine doesn’t have access to heat balance that a coolant provides.

·      Age of the Vehicle

If you have been driving a vehicle for more than four years, it is essential to note that the time for a coolant flush is here. In this amount of time, the dust and debris build up in your system can be noticed while driving.

·      Internal Car Cues

Keep yourself updated with the car’s internal thermometer and heat indicator. If you feel like your engine is heating, check the engine light or if the vehicle shows any signs of alarm. The coolant flush helps relieve extra strain on the vehicle’s motor.

HOW SOON SHOULD YOU GO FOR IT

It would be best if you got this done and checked in at least five years. It takes four to five years for your car’s system to build all the debris and dirt and cause problems to your engine.

 

Now that you know the importance of getting a flush for your car. Hire a professional to check your car’s engine for you! Kremer Services provides you with both experience and expertise to help you keep your vehicle clean. And you can acquire these services right here in Inver Grove Heights, MN. Don’t hold your vehicle waiting and keep the air inside your car clean!

REPAIR SHOP AND NEW TECHNOLOGY

Cars these days, even the lowest priced ones, offer amazing technology. We can’t really predict the future, but if there is anything that we are sure of is the rise of technology. Cars are getting more sophisticated and complicated with more interactive systems. Since the vehicles have become complex, so has the repairing process for them.

NEW TECHNOLOGY IN CARS

Cars are the new technology, but over the years, they have become faster and much easier. Cars are also expected in the future to identify external objects in front of the driver as well as displaying information on the windshield. We are busy creating a world where technology takes over for the better. Even though it hasn’t been allowed by the government to bring the self-driving cars on the road legally, it is, however, one step forward.

HOW AUTO SHOPS NEED TO KEEP UP

Since cars have developed, it is obvious to expect the auto shops to keep up with the latest technology. You won’t find any auto shops that still fix steam engines. Cars, as well as auto shops, have experienced a considerable technology shift. Auto shops have improved focus on online and mobile scheduled maintenance. With better customer service, they offer mobile apps and online repairing services or parts delivered. Technology giants such as google moving of search engine to focus and include on Mobile searched for Repair shops in the area you can quickly get precise information and related inquires.

WHY REPAIR SHOPS NEED TO BE AWARE OF IT

Autonomy is the biggest change that the automotive industry has seen. Many modern cars have autonomous systems like the AEB system. The Autonomous Emergency Braking system uses cameras, lidar, and radar technology that helps assess the road ahead to work on potential collisions.

The way cars function and their designs have become complex and are not as easy as they used to be back in the day. It is important for repair shops to be aware of the latest technology and to keep themselves updated with the new car parts. Without proper and updated information, an auto shop can face huge issues that can lead them to bigger problems.

Now that you know all about repair shop, time for you to hire a professional to check your furnace for you! KREMER SERVICE provides you with both experience and expertise to help you keep your furnace tidy and functional. And you can acquire these services right here in Inver Grove Heights, MN. Let us help you!

Brakes Issues and Seeing if your Car has them

Brake issues should also be inspected and resolved before a larger issue happens. There are two types of brakes in a car, the front, and the rear brakes. The two brakes are designed to serve different tasks, which makes understanding the difference between the two all the more significant for the driver. The design differences between the two brakes are because of their function. The front brakes provide the most stopping power and build the majority of the heat. In contrast, the rear brakes provide stability, aid in an emergency maneuver, preventing any rollovers and spinouts.

How To Notice Brake Issues?

No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, there is no denying that having sturdy and well-performing brakes is an essential part of the driving process. With regards to your vehicle, these are the parts that need the most amount of service well, as they one of the most frequently used parts of the car. Mentioned below are some of the signs that can help you identify if your car has any brake issues.

Vehicle Noises or Brake Issues

Unexpected noises from your vehicle can mean anything in general, but when you are talking about brake issues, there are certainly identifiable noises such as:

  • Hearing a metallic squeal – high pitched noise when the car is moving.
  • Grinding noises when brakes are applied. This is more likely a result of overly worn brake pads

Fluid Leakage

Sometimes you might feel or experience a soft brake pedal. This could possibly be because of fluid leaks in the master cylinder or anywhere else within the brake system.

Brake Warning Lights

In some cars, there are either yellow (ABS) or red brake indicators that light up the dashboard. This is an indication that your braking system needs to be inspected. The red light mainly indicates that there is a serious hydraulic defect in the system.

Wobbly or Vibrational Feel

When the driver applies brakes on the car, the brake pads come in contact with the rotor to slow down the car. These rotors need to be completely even and smooth to work perfectly. If there is even the slightest difference in the thickness of the disk, it could lead to a wobbly effect.

Burning Smell During the Drive

If you come across a chemical odor when applying brakes, this might be an indication that your brakes or clutch have overheated. If that happens, you need to stop the car almost immediately and allow the brakes to cool down, or it could lead to complete brake failure.

Conclusion

We hope you now have a clear understanding of how to identify brake issues in your car. Remember, no compromise is bigger than the health and safety of your loved ones. If you are looking to change, install or fix a reliable braking system, drop by at Kremer Services at Inver Grove Heights, MN, for the best deals on the braking system today. Happy journey, and stay healthy.

The Cabin Air Filter and Knowing when to Change it

cabin air filter

Just like it’s important to get your engine checked every couple of months, other components need attention as well. One of those components is your car’s cabin air filter. This filter has numerous benefits, and keeping the air you breathe in, is the most essential one. The filter extracts the contaminants and dust from the air flowing into the vehicle before it reaches you. Just like the air filter inside your engine which keeps out debris and other pollutants, the cabin air filter works similarly. However, your car’s cabin air filter works nonstop to keep dirt away from you and the passengers in your vehicle. Thus, making it a component that needs to be replaced promptly. However, when is the right time to replace it?

Cabin Air Filter and Air Circulation

Since the car’s cabin air filter cleanses the air that flows through it, a clogged one won’t do the same job. Thus, making you experience congestion in breathing or reduced air circulation. This indication shows that your car needs a new cabin air filter, asap.

Musty Odor from the Filter

Your car’s cabin air filter is an important component to keep polluted air out of the cabin. But, with mixed dirt on the filter causes it to release stench inside the vehicle. This stench is another sign that your cabin air filter’s life is over and it needs to be replaced.

Deteriorating HVAC Performance

Your heating and AC work in tandem with the car’s filter. This small pleated filter traps the pollutants before they enter the cabin via the HVAC system while damaging them along the way. Thus, to avoid a major repair job in your AC and heating system, make sure you keep your cabin air filter nice and workable.

Poor Window Fog Clearing can be an Issue

We discussed how airflow gets compromised due to a clogged filters. But, the problem can be disastrous; since the windows won’t clear as quickly as they should due to reduced airflow. Moreover, the diminished air quality due to a poor filter creates condensation to form on your car’s windshield. Although a filter doesn’t affect your car’s engine directly. However, a bad HVAC track could end up putting a hefty load on the engine. Moreover, it can also neutralize the performance of your HVAC system; thus, putting a dent on the vehicle’s value. In short, it not only protects you from harmful gases but it can keep the performance of your vehicle in check. All you have to do is keep on checking the filter inside your car and order a replacement if needed.

Or you can ask a professional to help you! We, at Kremer Services, provide you with the best-quality cabin air filters right here in Inver Grove Heights, MN! We also offer solutions to help you improve the performance of your car entirely!

Maximizing Fuel Mileage for your Vehicle

fuel mileage

One of the easiest ways to improve the fuel mileage of a vehicle is to change some driving habits. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to avoid any fast starts or stops the vehicle has. With jack rabbit starts, this can lower the fuel efficiency by up to thirty percent at highway speeds. Even with stop and go traffic it can have a negative impact on fuel mileage. This is the same for slamming on the brakes each time you stop. Be aware of the traffic, and adjust your speed accordingly. If the vehicle has a manual transmission, shift the gears efficiently. When coming to a stop, make sure to brake instead of downshifting to slow down. By keeping an eye on the traffic ahead, you can anticipate the road conditions as well.

Fuel Mileage for your Vehicle

The fuel efficiency is best around fifty miles per hour on most cars. As the speed increases, then it will start to decline. Driving and reducing speeds by up to ten miles per hour can actually increase the fuel efficiency by as much as fourteen percent. By using cruise control, the speed fluctuations will decrease as well. Make sure to notice the traffic and road conditions. Never use cruise control when roads are slick or there is heavy traffic. Also make sure to never let the vehicle run longer than it has to. Instead of letting it idle, turn it off if it will be longer than a couple minutes. This also includes make sure to combine errands into one large trip. This will prevent extra stops and backtracking when trying to get to all the places you planned on.

 

A well maintained car will also help to keep the fuel efficiency the best it can be. If it is not properly inspected, issues will start to cause extra strain on the vehicle. This will then result in poor mileage as you drive on the road.

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