Whether new or experienced, a large number of RV owners get confused whenever the topic of springtime maintenance comes up. Sure, there is no denying that there are hundreds, if not thousands of checklists available online. You may even come across tips from self-professed RV “experts”, but the ones we are about to discuss in this piece are arguably the best. Why? Because we will be talking about three of the most fundamental things you should check in your RV to make sure it is spring and summer ready.
Begin with the Tires on the RV
Keeping your RV parked in a storage for weeks or even months can deteriorate your tire in more ways than one. Inactivity can reduce the PSI levels of your tires and even lead to punctures. Recreational vehicles parked inside storage often lose around three percent of the PSI each month. This essentially means your tires have incredibly low air pressure, a disaster waiting to happen.
It would be best if you double checked each tire’s pressure with the help of an inflation gauge. If your tire has any glaring issues, consider getting an auto repair professional to look into the matter.
Thoroughly Examine the Batteries on an RV
Batteries are quite similar to tires in the sense that they lose their charge due to inactivity. In a large number of cases, RV owners tend to remove the battery and store it somewhere else to prevent deterioration. However, this does not guarantee that your battery will be in optimal condition once you store it back and start your car.
More often than not, RV owners still experience battery related issues after bringing it out of storage. One of the biggest reasons why this happens is internal leakage. Believe it or not, completely charged batteries can easily lose around fifteen percent of their current, which is why charging your battery completely before getting your RV out for a ride would be a wise choice.
It would also help if you get a professional repairman to examine your battery to steer clear from surprises while on the road.
Inspect the Oil Level
Inspect the oil level of your RVs generator by following the owner’s manual. You should also inspect the generator’s exhaust system prior to running it. You can cause significant damage to your generator by running it without checking for wear and tear. It could result in costly repairs and lower your RVs quality by tenfold.
If your generator was not active for months, running it for a couple of hours will help you spot any issues. Checking the load rating of your generator would also be a good idea. You can do this by checking the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer.
Believe it or not, cars can take a tremendous amount of damage during winters. This is especially true for areas that have too much snowfall and cold winds. It is a major reason why most car owners keep their car inside storage sheds during winter time. Do you also park your car inside storage during this season? If yes, continue reading this piece to learn some important things to consider before bringing your car out during spring and summer time.
Before we proceed, however, it is worth keeping in mind that bringing your car out is not as easy as one would think. People often believe that all they need to do is rev up the engine and they will be good to go. However, that simply is not the case. Why? Because there are plenty of things you must consider to make your vehicle is in driving condition, and that is exactly what we will be discussing in this piece.
The last thing any car owner would want to do is drive their vehicle with flat tires. It is a one way ticket to trouble and costly damages. Ideally, it would be best to replace your tires especially after a long time in storage. However, if you think that your tires are in decent shape, consider inspecting them thoroughly before driving. This is because a tire may look in good condition at a glance, but upon closer inspection, you may spot several problems like wear and tear, low PSI etc.
Checking the Fluids after storage
You must have fresh engine oil to ensure your vehicle drives smoothly and doesn’t undergo damage. Engine oil is arguably the most essential fluid inside a vehicle and you must ensure that it contains the right amount. An experienced auto repair professional can help you determine if your car requires engine oil replacement. In addition, they can also check for other critical fluids like brake fluid, power steering, AC fluids (coolant) and much more.
Fuel Inspection after winter storage
Driving a car with low fuel is downright dangerous. Not only does it increase the chances of accidents in high traffic roads, you could also end up getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. Check your fuel tank before heading out, as not doing so could cause serious trouble. It goes without saying that if your car doesn’t contain a sufficient amount of fuel, filling it right away would be in your best interest. And even if your car does contain fuel, you might want to replace it as using months old fuel can be quite risky.
Don’t Forget the Battery
Inspect your battery for things like oxidation and corrosion. Inactivity can damage batteries in more ways than one. A professional auto repair service can repair and replace your batter after thoroughly inspecting it, making sure your vehicle is ready for spring and summertime.
Most of us are well aware of the damage potholes can cause your vehicle, even if you are fortunate enough to avoid them partially. Sure, some of the damage will be clearly visible but more often than not drivers are not able to spot the wear and tear caused by potholes. Some people even need to take a while to realize that their car is not running as well as it used to before.
Generally, there are two main factors that affect the severity of wear and tear potholes cause to your vehicle:
– The Depth of the pothole
– Your speed when you hit the pothole
If you aren’t familiar with potholes, you may be wondering how much damage they can cause. Well, that is precisely what we will be discussing in this piece.
Pothole Damage – What You Need to Know
Tires Damage from Potholes
Your tires are arguably the most vulnerable component of your vehicle. Punctures, tread separation and sidewall bulge are common problems that occur because of excessive pothole strikes. Some drivers also encounter an excessive amount of wear and tear as paved roads tend to knock their alignment out of position.
What to Do If your Tires are Damaged by Potholes?
If your tires have too much wear and tear, make sure you keep an eye out for the situation. In case there is too much damage, waste no time in getting in touch with a reputable auto repair service to fix the problem right away. In most cases, the experts will replace your tires and advise you to be extra cautious when driving around pothole-riddled areas.
You should also check your rims to see whether they are dented. If yes, consider replacing them as not doing so could make matters worse down the line. For those who don’t know, dented rims lead to a poor seal in the middle of the tire and rim.
Can Potholes Damage Suspension and Steering
Contrary to popular belief, potholes affect more than just your car’s tires. Once you drive over one, the shock enters your tires and travels through the suspension and steering system (control arms, tie rod ends, springs, shock absorbers etc).
Excessive jolts caused by potholes can significantly accelerate your suspension system and steering’s wear and tear.
Driving slowly, hitting your brakes gently and maintaining a safe distance are some of the things you can do to avoid potholes. However, avoiding these hindrances altogether is next to impossible, which is why it would be best to get your car inspected as soon as you can.
Most of us have been stuck at home due to the lockdown restrictions imposed by most governments. People have spent weeks or even months staying at the same place, but as the restrictions ease and things start opening up, they have started making plans already. In most cases, people are getting ready for lengthy road trips to take their mind away from the unpleasantness and enjoy the fresh outdoor air.
Whether you plan to catch up with friends and family or go to far off places, one thing is for certain – you will need your vehicle in tip top shape. Unfortunately, however, a lot of people didn’t care to maintain their cars and there’s a chance that you are one of those individuals as well. If that really is the case, you must check your car’s condition before taking it out for a drive no matter how short or long it is.
If you are new to car maintenance and don’t know how it works, don’t worry, as this piece discusses some important things to make sure your car is ready for road trips. The following is a list of things you should check to bring your car to excellent running condition.
Check Tires before Road Trips
Tires are critical for several components of your vehicle such as fuel efficiency, comfort, safety etc. Therefore, it is important to ensure your tires are in excellent condition and ready for long trips. Road trippers require excellent mileage when traveling long distances. This is particularly true when they see the signs showing how far off the next gas station is.
Tires that do not contain a sufficient amount of air can waste fuel in more ways than one. This is also true for tires that have too much air, as they worsen the quality of your ride and reduce your tire’s lifespan. Consider checking the required PSI levels of your tires and fill them accordingly.
As you would expect, fluids are every car’s lifeblood. Make sure to check whether your vehicle has essential fluids before you go out driving, as not doing so could result in a lot of trouble. Here is a list of fluids you should check up on to make sure your car is well maintained:
– Brake fluid
– Radiator fluid
– Power steering fluid
– Transmission fluid
– Windshield fluid
Choose a Professional Car Repair Service
You must maintain numerous components of your car to ensure it is in excellent working order. Things like air filters and brake pads often go unnoticed during car maintenance sessions, which make things quite difficult later. While maintaining your car all by yourself is a great idea, you should always choose a seasoned professional for detailed maintenance, especially when going on road trips.
Frozen road conditions are one of the most unstable driving conditions you’ll find. The icy surface makes getting traction very challenging, but knowing how to drive on ice can be a life-saving experience. Today, we are going to look at 5 things you need to consider when driving in slippery conditions.
Leave Earlier & Take Your Time
The biggest tip you can take when driving in snowy weather is to take your time and drive slowly than you normally can. You should consider taking some more time before you leave so that you can take your time while still arriving at your destination on time. Moving steadily would greatly minimize the likelihood of running into an accident. Not to mention, this will also reduce the amount of damage your car would get if you were to lose control and impact something.
How To Brake On Ice
Even when brakes are widely used to help steady the vehicle and bring you to a stop in and out of emergency conditions, they can do more harm than good if used incorrectly on ice. In slippery situations, jumping on the brakes will bring the vehicle into an uncontrollable skid. What you want to do is drive carefully enough to allow the weight of your car to stop your vehicle if needed. If you need to use your brakes on ice, gently pump your brakes to stop your tires freezing.
Skidding on Ice
Skidding corresponds to a car losing balance on ice and slipping without traction across the ice. Sometimes, drivers freeze up or over-correct during a skid, which causes them to fly out of control. In order to get out of the skid safely, you’ll want to softly turn into the skid and pump the brakes slowly to try to deter traction. Before you see the car regaining control and finish straightening out, turn the steering wheel back into place slowly and accelerate out of the skid. If you over corrected or froze up, this doesn’t necessarily mean finishing in the same direction, it will also reduce the amount of skidding you could have done.
Keeping An Eye On Changing Temperatures
Icy roads develop when, due to a decrease in temperature, water on the road freezes. A smart way to keep on top of changing road conditions is to track outside temperatures. A perfect way to discern where you would need to check for ice patches on the lane is to have an in-car monitor that displays exterior temperatures. If your car does not have this option, you can simply check the change in temperature before leaving the house to see what you can expect.
Will My Snow Tires Help In Icy Roads?
In slippery road conditions, many people assume that snow tires and snow chains can help, close to how they help on snow-packed highways. The remedy here is not that the ice does not have any extra traction applied. Icy highways are too slippery to make a difference to snow tires and tire chains, but they won’t hurt for sure if you have them in your winter car.
Deflated tires are every driver’s worst nightmare. The last thing any driver wants is to open their garage only to find out that their tires are about to burst. It is a big reason why most experts will tell you to keep checking your tires on a regular basis to steer clear from bigger issues later on. As you would expect, too much pressure loss can add excessive friction between your vehicle’s tires and the surface you are driving on. This often leads to overheating, causing some tires to blow out.
Driving your car with under inflated tires is a terrible idea and can lead to serious issues. You will see a notable increase in fuel consumption, and, your safety will also be severely compromised. Therefore, whenever you plant to go for a driving trip, make sure the condition of your tires is excellent.
Punctured Tread on Tire
You’d be surprised to learn that running your car over any type of sharp object, no matter how small it is can damage the inner lining if your tire tread, resulting in a lot of air loss. What’s more, some nails or other types of sharp objects can remain stuck on your tires, causing them to lose air slowly.
Whatever the case, consider removing any sharp object from your tires right away, as leaving them on for too long could flatten your tires or cause tread separation. If your car has punctured treads, try using a tire plug or patch with a high quality repair kit and sealant to resolve the problem.
Extreme Weather and the Tire
Sometimes, something as simple as extreme weather could be the reason behind why your tires are losing air. However, spotting weather related PSI drops can be quite difficult compared to other reasons. Winter seasons, in particular, can be quite bad for your tires. It would be best if you kept a close eye on your tire’s condition during this season, making sure they are in excellent condition.
Potholes and curbs are present almost everywhere and spotting them sometimes can be quite difficult. Sure, not every curb will cause damage to your tires but it would be ideal to avoid them as often as you can. Hitting potholes and damaged curbs can destroy the sidewalls of your tires. Of course, you can fill your tires back to their required PSI but avoiding anything that could cause tire damage would be in your best interest.
Another thing that you should consider doing is to check your tire for any damage once it hits a pothole. Check for things like poor sealing, slashes, protruding sidewall etc.
While it is important to be aware of the common causes that cause tire deflation, you must also check their PSI levels regularly. Consider using an automatic tire pressure monitoring system to check you PSI to ensure your tires are properly inflated.
Extreme weather, especially winter, can be really detrimental for your car. It is a big reason why experts will recommend you to schedule a repair and maintenance check up just before the winter season comes. As you may know, the driving conditions during winter such as ice, snow, and rain can have a massive impact on your vehicle’s braking distance. Your ability to complete a safe and smooth stop can become massively restricted because of the reduction in tire traction.
So, if you want to stop safely, make sure that your car’s wheels keep their traction by staying in contact with the surface of the road. When driving on slippery roads during the winter, the main keys to remain safe are gentler turns and stops, slower speeds, and most importantly, increased distances.
Tips to be an Efficient Driver on Snow and Ice
The first thing worth keeping in mind that you must reduce your driving speed to just half of the speed limit (or even less) when it’s snowing. You’d be surprised to learn that low tread depth can get you into serious trouble, especially if on dry pavement.
Consider the Tire Pressure
Tire pressure often gets lower during the winter and increases during the summer. Tires without a sufficient amount of inflation can cause cars to become slower, especially when trying to steer them. Whenever the outside pressure drops by ten to twelve degrees, your tire’s air pressure goes down by a couple of PSIs.
It is also worth keeping in mind that tires tend to lose air because of permeation. So, make sure that you check your tire pressure regularly during the winters and add enough air for maintaining regular inflation levels.
As simple as it may seem, slowing down your vehicle really helps when driving on snow. You can even take an extra step and make the words “slow down” a mantra. Doing so will help you stay extra cautious when driving on the snow during winters. Cold temperatures, cold, ice, snow, slush, and rain reduce traction from your tire and make stopping twice as difficult. Driving slowly will ensure that you don’t make hasty errors keeping you safe from dangerous accidents.
Maintain a Safe Distance
The last thing you want to do is drive your car too close to the other, it is a surefire way to crash into someone else. Fortunately, there is an easy way out of this, and that is to maintain a safe distance. Sure, you may reach your desired destination 15 or 20 minutes late, but it’s far better than getting involved in an accident.
It would also help if you didn’t make any sudden movements when driving on snow. Pump your brakes as gently as you can, and you will remain safe during your travels.
Car batteries are capable of lasting for four to five years. However, several things can drain your car’s battery. Excessively cold or hot weather, in particular, are a major reason why most batteries fail or lose their performance. Before we discuss the main elements that drain batteries, let us understand the fundamentals of how car batteries work.
Car batteries consist of energy cells along with a lead acid solution that blend to offer a rush of energy, getting things moving once you turn your key. Needless to say, your car will not start unless its battery is in good condition.
Now that you know the inner workings of a car battery, these are some common factors that cause your battery to die in winters.
Loose Cable Connections or Corrosion
A battery has two main points of contact – one of them is negative while the other is positive. They are known as terminals and you can see them at the top the car’s battery. Every vehicle has cables that you have to attach to these terminals.
Corrosion near the terminals or loose cables can cause problems to the battery, making it harder to charge and start the engine. In most cases, checking the cable and some cleaning can get the battery up and running.
Everything slows down because of cold weather. This is especially true for the chemical reaction taking place in the battery. Batteries can lose more than 30 percent of their strength at temperatures around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. They lose around 60 percent strength at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, making it almost impossible to start your engine in one go. Fortunately, there are effective solutions to ensure your car’s battery does not die during winter.
Using a block heater to warm your engine and parking your vehicle in a garage or any warm area is an excellent way to keep the battery safe. It would also help if you drove your car every day for ten to twenty minutes, ensuring the engine remains warm and ready.
Sometimes the biggest culprit behind your car’s battery low performance could be you. Yes, you read that right. Everyone loves to turn on their radio, heater, and lights as soon as they enter their cars, but it may not be the best thing to do. Why? Because it puts extra load on your battery, causing difficulty to start the engine.
Instead, it would be better if you switched these accessories on a minute or two after starting the engine, ensuring your battery does not have to carry any extra load.
How to Know Your Car Battery is Becoming Weak
Here are common telltale signs that indicate your car battery needs repair or replacement:
– The engine takes too much time to start
– You notice clicking and cranking but the car doesn’t start
– Too many jump starts
– The engine has a sulfur-ish smell
Show Your Car Battery to an Auto Repair Service
There could be tons of other issues with your car’s battery besides the one we discussed above and resolving them could require professional assistance. If you are a resident of Arden Hills and Roseville MN, schedule appointment with Brausen Auto to get your battery ready for winter season.
Brake fluid is the most important fluid in your vehicle. Sadly, it’s often neglected. Without it,
your brakes wouldn’t be able to operate. Today, we’re taking a closer look at what role it plays in the engine and why it’s so important. Let’s dive in.
What is the brake fluid, and why is it important?
Brake fluid is an incompressible, hydraulic fluid that circulates throughout the braking system.
Its job is to transport force from the brake pedal to the calipers. This force is what allows the
calipers to clamp down on the rotors, stopping a moving vehicle. Without the correct amount of
fluid, your brakes will fail.
Because it is close to the engine, it needs to be capable of withstanding extreme heat. It
has to have a high boiling point so it doesn’t vaporize when exposed to heat from the engine.
Brake fluid also needs to maintain a constant viscosity, regardless of the temperature. This is
especially important in ABS systems. Since they have intricate passages and valving, the brake
fluid needs to be able to flow easily. These days, fluid contains added chemicals with
anti-corrosive properties. These help increase the lifespan of the engine’s metal components and
Most fluids are glycol-ether-based. This type of fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it’s
moisture-absorbing. Over time, this excess moisture reduces the boiling point of the fluid.
A lower boiling point can ultimately lead to decreased stopping ability. Additionally, too much
moisture can lead to internal corrosion of metal engine parts. For these reasons, it’s crucial to
get your fluid tested regularly and replaced as required.
How often does fluid need to be changed?
It’s always a good idea to consult your owner’s manual since the manufacturer might have
specific recommendations. Furthermore, not all brake fluids are the same. Different types have
different change intervals. Generally speaking, we suggest a brake fluid flush or replacement at
least every year or two.
A visual inspection of your brake fluid can provide a lot of important information. As your
brake fluid ages, its appearance changes. This is a good indicator of when it needs to be
replaced. Most fluid is amber-colored or clear. Over time, it gets polluted with rust and
other engine debris, turning it into a murky shade of brown. If your brake fluid looks like this,
then it needs to be flushed out. While examining your brake fluid, pay attention to the fluid
level. A small decrease in fluid is nothing to worry about. But, if you’re seeing this often,
then it probably means you have a problem with your brakes that needs addressing.
Getting the moisture content of your brake fluid tested is great preventative maintenance. This is
especially true if you experience a lot of humid weather. This will give you helpful information
on your brake fluid’s quality and composition.
Does your fluid need testing or replacement? Our licensed technicians at Brausen Auto
are here to help. Give us a call today at ( 651) 633-4100 for our Arden Hills location, or ( 651)
488-8800 for our Roseville location. You can also request your appointment online .
When it comes to convenience and comfort, cars have come a long way. These days, we can manage almost everything through the click of a button. In this article, we’ll talk about the transformation of automotive comfort, from the early 1900s to present day.
The early 1900s
In terms of comfort, the earliest automobiles weren’t much different from wagons. These vehicles were open-air, so passengers were exposed to all temperatures and precipitation. In 1910, Cadillac created the first closed body car, which was a game changer. Once this happened, manufacturers began looking for ways to make car interiors as comfortable as possible.
This quest for comfort and convenience led to several key developments. In 1912, the Cadillac Model Thirty came equipped with an electronic self-starter, lighting, and ignition. In 1914, Scripps-Booth vehicles had power door locks. Ford invented the first interior heating system in 1929. All these improvements opened the door for the technology we see in today’s vehicles.
This focus on auto interiors brought about the development of sound systems. The first radios were installed in the late 1920s, with AM radios offered as a standard feature by the 1930s. The first AM/FM radio came about in 1950. In 1966, Ford began installing 8-track players in their Mustangs. Eventually, these were discontinued and replaced with cassette players, which were more reliable. CD players were the newest technology in the 1980s, and they remained popular forabout15to20years. The2000ssawthedevelopmentofcompactdigitalstoragemedia,like USB ports in cars. These days, everyone is streaming music from their personal devices to their car’s sound system. Our music systems have certainly come a long way!
Climate control comfort
One of the biggest innovations in car comfort was the ability to manage the interior temperature. In 1940, Packard Motor Car Company had two huge breakthroughs: power windows and in-car air conditioners. Both inventions provided a way to adjust a car’s interior temperature. Cadillac built on this in 1960, with their invention of an automatic climate control system. This allowed people to choose a preferred temperature inside their vehicles. This system was further developed, and by 1980 it was all electronic. These are the same modern systems we have today.
If you ask me, heated seats are the best invention since sliced bread. We can thank Cadillac for inventing this luxury feature back in 1966. Since then, automakers have developed lots of heated features, from side panels to steering wheels. In 1998, Saab went in the opposite direction and developed ventilated seats. Nothing tops the ultimate luxury of massaging car seats. These were brought to us by Mercedes in the 2000s. I don’t know if it can get much better than spa-like comfort in your car.
Modern technology and human machine interfaces
Today’s vehicles are equipped with smart interfaces that let you integrate your personal device or smartphone. Human machine interface (HMI) technology lets you access luxury features through the tap of a screen. This includes the following:
- Touch interfaces
- Interior temperature and seat comfort
- Internet and cloud connectivity
- Advanced lighting and sound systems
- Wireless communication
HMI technology gives you control to customize just about anything in your vehicle’s interior with the click of a button.
It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come since open-air automobiles. Do you have questions about the interior features in your vehicle? Our experienced technicians at Brausen Auto have answers. Give us a call today at (651) 633-4100 for our Arden Hills location, or (651) 488-8800 for our Roseville location. You can also request your appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for considering Brausen Repair Centers!
We look forward to earning your vehicle service and repair business.