ARDEN HILLS:

651-633-4100

1310 W County Rd E

ROSEVILLE:
651-488-8800

2170 Dale St N

ARDEN HILLS:

651-633-4100

1310 W County Rd E

ROSEVILLE:
651-488-8800

2170 Dale St N

Winter Essentials you Must have in your Car

winter

Many parts of the nation are experiencing a cold blast that can account for threatening situations when you are on the road. Many people are not used to adhering to these type of cold temperatures. Thus, if you are someone that has never faced unfavorable driving experiences in the cold weather, then you need to make sure that you are carrying winter essentials that will help you cope with unique roadside emergencies.

Portable Charger for Winter

The cold weather is not friendly to car batteries, and it is very often that people have to face battery-related issues in the winters. It is therefore, important for you to hire technicians to check your car’s battery so that they can inform whether the battery is in optimum condition or not. If the battery is unable to power your car, this can lead to instances where you are stranded in the middle of a cold snowy freeway.

Fortunately, the advent of portable jump-starters and chargers rid car owners from relying on other drivers to help them during the times when they are stranded. You can now find affordable jumper systems that are portable and easy to carry.

With them, you will not have to wait for another car to jump start your vehicle, and they will do the job of that vehicle for you. Despite their existence, it is still important to have a pair of jumper cables in your car because you can use them to help other stranded vehicles on the road.

Snow Shovel

Shovels are usually just basic essentials to have when driving in the snow, however, they are also the most critical. You absolutely need a shovel because it is the most used tool when you get stuck in the snow. It not only helps you dig excessive snow from under the tires when stuck, but it can also be used to break down ice from the tires. A shovel is a multipurpose tool that makes for an easier driving experience. It is very simple, yet incredibly helpful when dealing with the snow.

Traction Tools

Traction devices and tools refer to any items that help provide your tires with significant road grip so that you can drive safely on the snowy and icy surface. For instance, people like to use tire chains on the wheels that help tires pierce into the icy surface, while others may use max tracks that do that same job but are applied differently.

Traction is crucial when it comes to avoiding unwanted roadside emergencies in the winter. Your tire traction decreases significantly when you are driving on wet and slippery roads. This can single handedly cause your car to slide into another car or a tree even if you jam on the brakes.

The items mentioned above are just some of the many other essentials that make for a safe driving experience. Other essentials include emergency snacks, extra layers, first aid kit, flashlights and more.

Winter Safety Kit and the Importance of It

Winter and traveling in your car brings about many possibilities for roadside emergencies. This is why you must focus on winterizing your car before the temperature drops to drastic levels. One of the best ways to winterize your car is by equipping it with a winter safety kit.

This refers to a set of equipment that can be critical for times when you are stuck in drastic snowy conditions. The equipments inside your winter kit can vary according to your geographical location, average temperature, and also driving activities.

Nonetheless, there are some essentials that you must have regardless of the severity of the weather and the vulnerabilities of your commute. Below, the article will discuss some of these.

Winter First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a year round product that you want to have in your car. Injuries are bound to happen, especially if you are an outdoorsy person that does not like to sit down in the winters and would rather indulge in adventures. You can find many portable first aid kits that have antiseptic solutions, bandages, medicines and other items that help with wounds and other common injuries.

Flares for Winter Safety Kits

A complete flare kit involves a flashlight, safety vests, and flares. Keep in mind that the night time is longer than the day time during the winters. If abandoned in the dark, you need to make sure that you are seen by people in the distance. At these instances, flares, flashlights and other types of sparklers can be crucial in making you visible to others.

Tow Strap

In the wintertime, the chances of your car tires getting stuck inside the deep inches of snow are not short. This is why you should not be commuting by car without the important tow strap, you will not be able to pull your car out of the snow if necessary. These strong straps help you attach your car to other so that they can help pull it.

Flashlight

A flashlight is another item that you need to have all year round. It is an essential item of the winter safety kit. Whether you need to jumpstart the vehicle or dig the car out of the snow bank, a flashlight will provide you with the visibility to perform those tasks.

Jumper cables

The extreme cold condition is very burdening for car batteries. This is why many car owners face battery issues during the winters. Under prolonged winter exposure, starting your car can be a troublesome task due to the battery’s inability to provide enough power to the engine. In these circumstances, jumper cables can be lifesaving. They help connect your battery to an external power source, (which in many cases is another vehicle) so that it can provide some power to the generator.

As you can see, simple year-round safety kits and equipment can prove to be pivotal for your car in the winters. The severity of the winter weather is unpredictable and thus, winter preparedness should be top priority before the weather turns towards life-threatening solutions.

Car Battery Drain – Causes and Prevention for the winters

car batteryThe cold winter temperatures can be hard on the battery. This is why the car will become difficult to start. Even though the hot temperature is more detrimental for batteries than the cold temperature, your battery can still undergo stress in cold temperatures.

When the temperature gets below the 0 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving the car outside for too long will decrease the battery’s CCA rating. A car’s CCA or Cold Cranking Amps is a battery rating that defines how well a car will start in colder temperatures. There are a few tips to do to help ensure the battery is as efficient as possible this winter.

Below, the article will go through some of the more common causes of battery drain that you have to be careful of during winter.

Extreme Temperature Impact on the Car Battery

During the winter, the temperature can sometimes turn to extreme cold levels. Cold temperature under 10 degrees can cause lead sulphate crystals to build up. If you leave the car in this condition for too long, then the suphate build up will lead to long-term damage of the battery. This damage will decrease the overall life of the car battery. This may also lead to an extended charging time for it as well.

This will be especially evident if you only drive shorter distances. Make sure that you keep your car running for a while after you park cold temperatures. Furthermore, minimize the amount of short drives that you take during this time.

Excessive Short commutes

Your battery will drain faster if you make too many short route commutes. The battery expels out the most amount of power when you start it. Before you shut off the battery, you need to give the alternator enough time to recharge. If you do not give the alternator the chance to recharge, you can expect the battery to continually die.

Corroded or Loose Cables on the Car Battery

The charging systems of your battery will not function well if the connections of your battery have corroded. Make sure that you check the battery cables for any signs of dirt accumulation and corrosion. If you spot any corrosion or dirt, make sure that you clean it with the help of a cleaning brush or even a cloth.

You can also use a tooth brush. Loose cables, or ones that are corroded will not transfer the electricity efficiently enough. The best thing to do when trying to overcome the problems of worn out cables is to replace old cables with new ones.

Old Battery

If the battery is past its life, it will be unable to charge completely. If you notice the vehicle is having difficulties starting, the battery may be the cause. This indicates the battery is worn out and you need to replace it immediately.

Generally, it is best that you replace your car battery every 3 to 4 years. In case you do not maintain your car’s battery, then it can wear out quicker. Having a battery that will not hold a charge is frustrating, and figuring out the problem can be tricky. If the cause of the weak battery is not human error, then you need to have your car checked out by us. Make sure to contact us and we can set up an appointment.

Car’s Heater and Solutions to any Issues

heaterMany car owners visit professional technicians to fix small issues such as malfunctioned car’s heater. This article will share some effective ways to identify a faulty heater and the best possible solution to solve the problem. You can fix the heating system quickly, to help get the car producing warm air again.

Common Heater Issues and Solutions

Here are three common methods to repair your malfunctioning the HVAC system and save yourself from miserable rides in the cold weather:

1.    Chocked Air Filters

The air filters are available in the air system of your car. These filters clean the air that flows to the cabin. Furthermore, it blocks the AC and heater exchanger because of polluted air. Therefore, the blockage in the air filter system causes car’s HVAC to stop working properly.

After determining the problem, you can solve the issue within 10 minutes. The first thing would be choosing the position of the air filter. For that, you can check the owner’s manual and detect the location. Mostly, these are available behind the glove box. Remove the filters and properly clean them. If you cannot clean the filters because they are too dirty, you need to replace them with new ones.

2.    Glued Buttons or Blown Fuse

You can check the heater switch for fault if air filters aren’t the problem. The simple solution for this problem is the replacement of the switch. Also, check the fuse box for a blown a fuse. If that’s the problem, replacing the fuse will fix the heater. The clicking sound from the dashboard indicates that the switch is causing a malfunction. In this case, you need to replace the switch. Many car owners turn on AC and heater simultaneously. This creates a balance between hot and cold air, circulating normal air to the cabin. So, check if you turn off the AC before switching to the furnace.

3.    Blocked Heater Core

Many drivers complain that their heater core isn’t working properly. This happens when dust and rust deposit in the fine tube. The blocked tubes block the hot water from passing through. Fortunately, you can clean the tubes at home without a professional’s help.

For that you need to remove the dashboard and locate the heater core. Once you find the core, you need to take it out and check whether it’s the blockage that is causing the heater to malfunction. You can check the tubes by passing water or blowing air from one side. If the blockage is the problem, you should replace the core and place it back.

These are some simple solutions to complicated heater’s problems. Following the above procedure, you can fix your car’s heater in no time. If you want further assistance, you can visit a professional for an instant check-up.

Cabin Air Filter’ Role In the Car’s HVAC System

cabin airThe cabin air filters inside a vehicle’s HVAC system plays an integral part in the car’s HVAC system. It is the sole component that keeps you from inhaling the contaminants and particles suspended in the air outside.

There is plenty that can go wrong when the air filter is in bad shape. For instance, overtime, the air filter will need replacement due to an overload of dirt and debris. Make sure to bring it in so we can advise a maintenance schedule for you.

This will have an impact on the cabin’s cooling capacity and the performance of the HVAC system will become noticeably poor. For a better understanding of the filter’s role, you have to get thorough information on how the HVAC system functions.

Cabin Air Filter for your Vehicle

Your vehicle’s climate control system drags fresh air into the vent that you can find under the hood. This vent locates near the engine bay. The vents in your car are designed separately and compartmentalized away from the combustion engine so that they can stay safe from the heat.

Keep in mind that their position is in the base of the windshield. This is where the car experiences the most air pressure when driving. This is important because the system needs a high supply of air to work. Once this air enters through the vents, it enters into the heater box.

The heater box contains all the integral components of the climate system. These include all the heating and cooling elements such as the blower motor and more importantly, the cabin air filter. As the air enters through the vent and into the heater box, the first point of contact for the air is the cabin air filter.

The cabin air filter is a layered component that has plenty of tiny insertions and materials that help trap contaminating particles of the air. For instance, it traps dirt, spores, mold and other large particles first. It is also equipped with an activated charcoal section, absorbs the odor causing contaminants that help keep your cabin odor free. This part of the filter helps eradicate any bad outside smell from entering the car.

Blower Motor

From the cabin air filter, the air passes into the blower motor, which regulates the pressure of air by dictating the amount of air that is being pulled from the air vents. If you moderate the fan speed inside the cabin, then the resisters of the blower motor are at play. From there, the air channels through the heat exchanger. This is also known as the evaporator, and this component is where most of the heating and cooling takes place.

As you can see, your vehicle’s heating and cooling system is very complex and the cabin air filter initiates the ventilation process. Having an air filter that is worn out will therefore lead to many issues concerning air quality.

Car Lights in the Winter and How to Use them

Some lights on your car serve a critical purpose. This is why knowing when to use them, and more importantly, how to use them is critical, especially in inclement and dangerous winter conditions.

Each light of a car is essential for different purposes. Some lights help people view the road ahead of you, while others help make the vehicle more visible to others.

Other times lights will help drivers indicate signals and communicate with other drivers on the road to avoid any confusion. Thus, using the lights effectively makes for a safe driving experience by minimizing confusion and visibility problems.

Headlights

Headlights are powerful lights in the front of the car that lighten up the path ahead of you when you are driving on a dark route. When you switch on these lamps, the red taillights automatically illuminate, making your car visible to oncoming vehicles behind you.

These lights should only be used when you are driving during the nighttime. Furthermore, make sure that you do not use the brights when there is incoming traffic moving in the opposite direction. Since these lights are so powerful, they can blind other drivers and potentially cause accidents on the road.

When driving in poor or rough weather conditions in winters, you can use the headlights as they can help increase visibility. Ultimately, in harsh conditions, these lights are much better than smaller lights, such as daylight running lamps and parking lights.

Car Lights

The main beam setting on the headlamps includes a floodlight that helps light the road half a mile ahead. Turning on these lights is common knowledge, and all you have to do is push the headlamp stick slightly forward.

Once you do that, the front dashboard screen will display a warning light indication so that you can turn it off when not necessary. Another reason why your car will indicate the main beam because it consumes plenty of power, so it is better only to turn it on when there is an absolute need.

The main beam can also blind other drivers. This light allows you to spot curves and exits far ahead of you because it aims directly forward. You can also flash these lights for several seconds by pulling the headlight stick back.As you can see, knowing how to use your car lights properly can make driving safe for you and others on the road. Since days will be getting shorter as time progresses, you must use your car lights effectively and efficiently.

 

 

 

 

Changing Your Car’s Coolant

coolant

The questions pertaining to your car’s coolant system are countless. Many ask the question regarding its importance, and maintenance. Below, the article dives into an overview of the car’s cooling system, and sheds light on the importance of coolant flushing and maintenance.

Your Car’s Cooling System

The modern cooling system of your car has not changed much from the cooling systems in older vehicles. The basic cooling system consists of the same components that include a liquid coolant circulating through the engine and into the radiator.

About 70 percent of the energy that generates from fuel combustion converts to heat. Most people believe that the cooling systems job is to prevent the engine from overheating. Despite that claim being true, the cooling system is responsible for much more than that. It also works to maintain sufficient heat so that your engine can function in optimum capacity.

Therefore, the coolant’s job is more of a balancing act since it does not completely dissipate the heat, but maintains heat levels to the ideal temperature. Excessively cooling an engine is also detrimental to the engine as it can impact the efficiency. Causing it to wear out much faster than normal.

Cooling system also allows the engine to heat up quickly and then maintains a constant operating temperature of the engine. There are two types of cooling systems that you can find inside an engine. The first is the liquid cooled engine, while the other is the air cooled engine. However, most cars with internal combustions use the liquid cooled systems.

Liquid Cooled System

In this cooling system, a fluid circulates through pipes and passageways inside the engine. As the liquid passes outside the conductive walls of the hot engine, it absorbs some of the heat that emits from the engine, thereby cooling it. After the liquid flows away from the engine, it enters into a heat exchanger or radiator that further transfers the heat from coolant to the fans that blow hot air out the engine.

Check Your Coolant

For your car’s cooling system to function optimally, you have to make sure that the car’s coolant level is at the appropriate level. In addition to checking the coolant level, it is also important that you check the color, smell and consistency of the fluid.

If it turns dirty, becomes dark in color, and gives off a burnt smell, this means that the coolant is become old and corrosive. In this instance, you have to flush and replace the coolant so that it is translucent and has a bright yellow or green color.

Another warning sign that indicates to a coolant replacement is excessive overheating of your car. If your car tends to overheat more than it should, this means that the coolant is not doing its job.

The coolant, along with all other fluids is subject to degradation over a certain time. You have to therefore, make sure that your car has high quality coolant before winters, as heat maintenance will be key at extremely low temperatures.

Inspecting and Measuring Tire Life

inspectingInspecting all the tires is a necessity for your car. With the onset of the winter season ahead of you, it is essential that you care for your car’s tire health. This is because the cooler seasons often bring with them plenty of rain and snow. This can be critical when you are on the road, and the tires can ultimately be the determining factor when it comes to your safety.

Bad tire conditions are therefore, something that you need to inspect very closely. This is why it is critical that you know you to inspect your tire’s condition, and tell whether it is able to adhere to harsh winter conditions.

Below, the article will provide you methods that allow you to rightfully measure the remaining life span of your tire, and whether you need to replace it before the harsh seasonal shift arrives.

Heat and it’ impact on Tread Depth

The treads of a tire refer to the grooves and designs on the tire that give the car grip and contribute to its handling. Since tires are mainly just rubber, they are vulnerable to the overtime wear and annual heat stress that they face during the summer seasons.

In other words, high temperatures, over a certain period of time tend to damage the rubber tires, especially in the summer time. It is also important to note that heat is not just impacting the tires externally, but it is also generating from the tires rubbing against the surface of the road.

This result in the shortening of tread depth, which affects the overall performance of the car and can also have an impact on the car’s braking distance. With compromised grip, driving is nothing short of a death wish.

Inspecting Tread Depth?

For every inspection that you make on your car, you will find a tool for it. Therefore, to measure the depth of the tread on your car, you can resort to a tread measuring tool. This is a small tool that you can insert into the groove of the tire and push down the other parts of the tool against the tread of the tires.

Once you do this, you can then move on to inspecting the numbers on the tool, and these numbers are measurements that tell you more about the tread depth. After pressing down the tool, you have to slightly rotate the tool and check whether the measurement aligns with the edge of the tool. After that, read the measurement, and decide whether the tire needs replacement.

If you do not have the tread measuring tool, you can still measure the tread depth with the help of a penny. The general rule of thumb is to insert the penny upside down, making sure that Lincoln dives head first into the grooves of the tire. To check whether your tire treads are still in running conditions, ensure that the top of Lincoln’s head is not visible. If you easily see the top of his head, this means that the tread is in bad condition.

 

 

 

Car Inspection Basics

Even though you can never be sure about the true condition of a car when you look at it at first glance, many signs and red flags are still very evident and will tell you plenty about the vehicle. Below, this article will reveal a few areas of the car that you can observe for inspection, and why they are essential during a used car check up.

Check the Trunk

You can learn a great deal about the car simply by looking at its trunk. This may come out as a surprise for many but it is nothing far from the truth. Use your hands and spread them across the trunk and check for any water spots and leakages.

Another place water is likely to collect is beneath the floor of the trunk. Therefore, if you can pop open the compartment beneath the trunk, considering that the car you are inspecting comes with that option, then you should definitely do so. The spare tire portion under the trunk floor is deep and sloped, and therefore, very vulnerable to water.

Furthermore, if you see a spare tire lying around in the trunk then it is important that you take a look at the condition of the tire and make sure that it is not flat. Apart from that, you should check all the inner edges of the trunk and observe whether they are perfectly straight without unnecessary bend on them.

Any slight changes in the symmetry of the trunk can be an indication that the car experienced a collision. Therefore, you have to be aware of any indentation, marks and damages on the inner walls of the trunk.

Inspection of the Panel Gaps

The panel gaps refer to the gaps between each section of the exterior body. The best way to check the panel gaps is by running your finger down the panel gaps and feel for any uneven gap distance. In other words, the gap should be consistently running across the vehicle without widening or shortening in width.

You want to check the panel gaps on every part of the car, such as doors, trunk, bonnet, bumpers and more. A widening panel gap above the door is an indication of a sagging door; hence you want to make sure that you check it thoroughly.

Check for Body Fillers

Anytime a car goes under some body work, the technician is likely to apply body fillers to the car. To test whether any part of the car consist of body fillers, you have to get a magnet and test it by sticking it on the car’s body. Cars go through plenty of wear, maintenance, damage, repair, and replacements over their lifespan. Any alterations in the car’s body will leave behind signs that you can identify. Nonetheless, you need to know where to look to rightfully pinpoint on the issue.

Catalytic Converter Theft Increasing

catalytic converter

Thefts involving a catalytic converter inside cars are through the roof this year. Reduce the chance of the catalytic converter being stole, by following some tips. Statistics show a sudden spike in catalytic converter theft this year when you compare them to last year’s record. The sudden rise in thefts has brought people’s attention towards catalytic converters.

What is a Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic converters act as catalysts inside your exhaust pipe, converting bad fumes inside the exhaust into better combustion gas. In other words, it helps to filter out some of the pollutants inside your car’s exhaust so that it can throw out less nasty gas. What contributes to this filtration process are the precious metals that reside inside these converters.

How are they so Valuable?

Many car owners are unaware of the precious metals that are hanging under their cars and thieves make the most out of this lack of awareness. Even though there isn’t a ton of metals inside one catalytic converter, having a bunch of catalytic converters at once can mean that you are sitting on a Goldmine.

To put this into perspective, one catalytic converter can have about two to three grams of precious metals, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. The current market value of Rhodium can range up to 20,000 dollars an ounce.

Therefore, the end game for thieves ripping out catalytic converters is not to resell them for other cars. The thieves are more likely collecting these converters and extracting the precious metals from them so they have collective accumulation that is worth a ton of money.

Your vehicle contains many auto parts and components that have a market somewhere. This makes auto parts one of the key targets for thieves around the world. Before there was the Catalytic Converter theft epidemic, car owners experienced a rise in the car battery and fuel thefts.

As many of them in the past, this wave of thefts shall also pass, however, you cannot tell when that happens. This is why, until crime decreases, you should resort to measures that help you protect the catalytic converter from theft.

Protection Measures for a catalytic converter

Ever since there has been a rise in catalytic converters, the manufacture of protective shield plates is simultaneously increasing. Your best bet against theft is the installation of protective shields. These steel plates attach on top of the converter from one end to the end, shutting down their visible exposure to the thief. If you equip your car with metallic plates, the thief will have to pierce through hard steel to get to your catalytic converter. This is will not only be time-consuming but also noisy.

Before the state takes this sudden increase into notice and passes on legislation against this epidemic, your car’s converter will remain vulnerable to theft. Therefore, it is best that you take things into your own hands and actively make preventative installments in your car.

 

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We look forward to earning your vehicle service and repair business.