Serving All Makes & Models Since 1947


982 Grand Ave • St. Paul, MN 55105
Mon-Fri: 7am - 6pm • Saturday 8am - Noon

The Purpose of the Radiator

With your vehicle, it is important to keep it properly maintained. This should also include being aware of any issue you notice between visits. The radiator is a part that is vital to the operation of your vehicle. The main function of the radiator is to dissipate the excess heat generated by the engine as it burns fuel. It functions as a component of the larger cooling system. As engine coolant moves through the radiator, it goes through the intake, cooling, and outlet.

The engine’s water pump produces a flow of coolant that runs in a specific direction into and out of the radiator. The amount of coolant that moves through the radiator is controlled by the thermostat, which opens and closes according to the temperature of the engine. Once the flow of engine coolant moves past the thermostat, it enters the radiator through the upper hose.

Once the coolant enters the first tank, it flows into tiny passages that connect the two tanks. These small passages are connected to rows of fine metal fins, which are what give the radiator its distinct ribbed appearance. The metal fins are usually made of either copper or aluminum. Air is forced through the spaces in between these fins and the heat is dispersed away from the engine in the form of hot air. This process keeps heat from building up in your engine, preventing overheating.

Once the engine coolant has moved through the cooling passages, it is collected in another tank on the other side of the radiator which stores the coolant until it is taken into the outlet hose. The radiator’s outlet hose connects the radiator to the water pump and it supplies the low-temperature coolant to the engine as needed.

If you start to notice an issue with your vehicle overheating or the radiator, make sure to schedule an appointment with us so we can inspect the vehicle for you.


Battery Care in Winter

In the winter you will want your vehicle to be reliable, and able to start when you need it to. One way to help ensure this is to make sure to have the battery inspected. Keeping the battery clean and efficient will help improve the reliability when you start your car. The electric current generated by a battery is produced when a connection is made between its positive and negative terminals.

When the terminals are connected, a chemical reaction is initiated that generates electrons to supply the current of the battery. Lowering the temperature causes chemical reactions to proceed more slowly, so if a battery is used at a low temperature then less current is produced than at a higher temperature. As the batteries run down they quickly reach the point where they cannot deliver enough current to keep up with the demand. If the battery is warmed up again it will operate normally.

Also make sure that you remember to turn off the extra things in your vehicle, to help improve the power of the battery. This can include the heater, radio, and anything that is plugged into the cigarette lighter. That way when you start your vehicle, all the power from the battery is sent so your vehicle will start. Then you can turn on the heater and radio when it has started. If you start to notice an issue with how the vehicle starts, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the battery, starter, and alternator for you. This will help you to have a safe and reliable drive this winter.

Winter Driving Tips


Winter weather can be difficult and hazardous to drive in. Snow, slush or icy roads are involved in nearly one in four weather-related vehicle crashes. These conditions can make it harder for drivers to see, slow down and stop. If you travel during winter weather, preparing your car in advance, knowing the forecast and driving based on road conditions are three key ways to help you drive more safely. Make it a priority to keep your gas tank at least half full so you can run your engine and stay warm if you get stuck or stranded. Keep your windshield wipers in good condition and your windshield fluid reservoir filled so you can clear snow and ice from your windshield.

If you plan on driving when the weather is less than ideal, make sure to check the weather conditions before you leave. This should also include the road conditions so you know what your speed should be when you drive. Do not check your phone while driving, and avoid all unnecessary distractions when you are behind the wheel.

Before you leave the driveway or parking lot, take time to clear snow and ice off your car, including your windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk. Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility. Use caution when snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic. This can also help others to see where you are at. The headlights being cleared means a safe drive for you and those around you. If you notice a light out on your vehicle, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. It is also important to be aware of any issues or problems you notice with your vehicle. By bringing the vehicle in at the first sign, you can help prevent further issues from forming in the long run.


Knowing What the Check Engine Light means

If the warning light comes on, make sure to bring the vehicle in. There could be several reasons why the check engine light illuminates on your vehicle. Major problems might need attention before you continue with your drive. Minor ones might be able to wait until there is a more convenient time to bring it in. Either way, it is important to not ignore the warning light when it comes on in your vehicle. If more than one light illuminates, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for the source of the issue.

There are makes of cars that are programmed to have lights go on after being driven for so many miles. For example, some vehicles will flash a yellow service engine light if they have not been in for a routine maintenance in 10,000 miles. When the vehicle still has not been in for service, then the light will stay on until it is serviced. Make sure to contact us, and we can schedule an appointment to ensure your vehicle is in the best condition possible.

When the engine or dash lights come on and then the engine starts to sound or drive differently, then there is a problem starting. It would be best to pull over and call a tow truck or else if you are close to home, turn around and go back. By following the suggestions of the dashboard warning lights, you can help prevent further issues and wear and tear from forming on your vehicle. If you notice any issue, make sure to bring it in so we can inspect the vehciel for you.

Making Sure the Cabin Filter is Efficient


When you own a vehicle you will want to make sure it is in the best condition possible. This should include bringing it in for regular maintenance inspections. You should also be aware of any issues that the vehicle or parts might have. If you notice an issue at the first sign, you can help prevent it from having a further issue, causing a costly repair bill in the long run. One part that is often overlooked are the cabin filters. If you are not sure if the filter should be changed, make sure to bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for you.

The primary purpose of cabin air filters, located on most vehicles, is keeping the air inside your vehicle’s cabin clean. The cabin filter is typically located behind the glove compartment or under the hood or dashboard on most modern vehicles. Its job is to filter all of the air that comes through the car’s air and furnace system to prevent pollutants, such as dust, pollen, smog and mold spores from entering. The filters can also catch rodent droppings, leaves and other unwanted debris.

Cabin filters are important for the overall comfort in your vehicle for you and your passengers. The cabin filter helps with allergy problems. They also prevent pollen from getting in the car if you live in an area with a lot of trees. If the air produced is not as strong coming out of the vent, then the cabin filter may need to be replaced.

Besides improving air quality, replacing the cabin air filter may prevent an expensive repair. When the air is dirty, the system will work harder and the motor can burn up. Make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspected it regularly for you, and also check the cabin filter. By having the vehicle in the most efficient working condition, you can have an enjoyable ride.

Windshield Wiper Blades will need to be inspected


Owning and driving a vehicle requires maintenance. Bring the vehicle in regularly so we can inspect it for you. You can also check it between visits to ensure that the parts are in the most efficient condition possible for when you need to drive it. Check the blades for any rips or tears that they might have. If the blades are in a less than ideal condition, it could lead to smear or smudge marks on the windshield. This can also lead to poor visibility. Also make sure that the wipers are operating effectively, they should clear the windshield in a line that clears away dirt and debris from your line of vision. If you notice the arm of one of the blades is bent, make sure to bring the vehicle in.



Also make sure that the windshield wiper fluid is topped off in the reservoir. By having enough wiper fluid, you can help to ensure the windshield will be cleaned off when you need it to be. It is also advised to keep extra washer fluid in your vehicle incase the reservoir becomes low.


The wipers are important for your visibility and safety when you drive. They will clear away any sleet, snow, or rain that might develop on your windshield. If the rain starts to turn to ice, turn the defroster on to help melt it and clear it away. If it becomes too difficult to see properly, always make sure you pull over to avoid an accident or hitting something. If you notice that the wipers no longer clear the windshield, it is recommended to get a new set as soon as possible. By having efficient wipers, you will be able to see better when you drive, helping to avoid accidents, other cars, or objects in the road. If you are not sure what type of wipers you will need, make sure to bring the vehicle in, and we can advise you on what ones are best for you.

Inspecting Turn Signals Regularly


Owning a vehicle means that you will have to have it in the most efficient condition possible. Inspecting turn signals and headlights should always be done to improve the safety when you drive. You will also want it to run without issues so you can trust the car when you drive. It is important to bring your vehicle in for regularly scheduled maintenance inspections. By doing so, you can help keep the vehicle running at top condition. If you are not sure how often to bring the vehicle in, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on the correct schedule. Also be aware of any issues you might notice between inspections. Bring the vehicle in as soon as possible so we can inspect the vehicle for you.


One area to check on the vehicle are the lights. Inspecting turn signals and the headlights are important for the safety when you drive. The headlights and taillights are important because they allow other drivers to see where you are at. The headlights also help you to see the road ahead of you, and be aware of any people, animals, cars, or objects. Always remember to keep a safe distance between you and those in front of you. Typically you should leave at least three car-lengths or three seconds. If the weather is less than ideal, than you should increase the distance. Make sure you are aware of the weather and the road conditions, and adjust your speed and distance accordingly.


Also remember to check the turn signals on the vehicle. These are important because they alert other drivers in which direction you are turning. Without blinkers that work properly, others on the road will not know which way you are intending to go. You can inspect the lights on your vehicle by parking where it is safe, and having the lights on. You can then walk around your vehicle and check the lights. You can also turn on the signal, and check that they are working correctly. If you do notice an issue, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible so we can fix it for you. This will help you to stay safe on the road.

Inspecting Tires Regularly


When you own a vehicle, you want to keep it lasting as long as possible. One task to remember to do is inspecting tires on a regular basis. By inspecting the tires regularly you can help ensure they are in the best condition possible to drive on. If you are not sure how often to bring the vehicle in to have the tires inspected, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on the correct schedule.


The first thing to look at while inspecting the tires is the tread wear. The tread is important because it helps to grip the surface of the road when you drive. If the tread is poor, your vehicle may not handle properly. You should bring the vehicle in if you notice this, so we can inspect the tires for you. Checking the tread can be quick and easy, and all you need is a penny. Place the penny upside down in one of the tread grooves. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, then the tread is too low and the tire should be replaced.


Also check the air pressure in your tires. When it gets colder out, the air pressure tends to decrease in the tire. If there is a leak in a tire, the air will decrease quicker. Tires that are over inflated may have a tendency to pick up sharp objects in the road. Under inflated tires have an increased chance of blowing out. The fuel mileage may also be affected by poorly inflated tires. This is because the tires will not be able to rotate as efficiently as they should, causing the vehicle to work harder when you drive.


When you check the tires, also check the overall condition of them. This includes how they are wearing, signs of bulges, and inspecting the sidewalls. If there is anything out of the norm, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for you.

Coolant Flushes Can Extend the Life of Your Vehicle


Fresh Coolant Being Replaced after a Coolant Change

Fresh Coolant Being Poured after a Coolant Change

Keeping your vehicle properly maintained is important for the overall performance of it. One task that you should remember is having the coolant flushed. It is important to replace your car’s coolant every few years. All that is necessary is to drain out all the old coolant and replace it with new. If you are not sure how often this should be, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on a schedule as well as what else should be inspected on your vehicle.

Checking under the hood of your vehicle helps you to ensure that the engine, fluids, and coolant are all able to perform at their best levels possible. As the seasons change, now is a great time to ensure your vehicle is in good shape. You can follow the manufacturer’s recommendations of when to bring your car in, your you can contact us and we can advise you on the maintenance also. By having the coolant flushed, this helps keep the radiator working efficiently, and also allowing it to stay cool. Without coolant, the radiator and engine will start to overheat. This will then do costly damage to parts of your vehicle.

Now is also a great time to check the windshield washer fluid on your vehicle. With winter around the corner, you will need the washer fluid to wash away road grime, dirt, and salt residue that may splash up on your windshield. Keep the visibility clear is important for the overall safety for you and your passengers as you drive. It is also recommended that you keep extra washer fluid in your vehicle, incase you need more suddenly. If the windshield wipers are vibrating against the windshield as the operate, make sure to have them replaced as soon as possible. This will help improve your vision as well when you drive. But no matter what issue you may notice with your vehicle, make sure to have it inspected by us, to ensure it is in optimal operating condition.

Brake issues won’t be a problem with these tips

The brakes are an important part of the vehicle when you drive. Without them, you will not be able to slow down or stop. If you start to notice an issue with your vehicle, you will want to bring it in so we can inspect it for you. This way we can ensure it is in the best condition possible for you. There are also some signs you can watch out for in case your brakes start to fail.

If you hear your brakes squeal or make a grinding noise when you use them, it’s a sign that they may need adjustment or replacement. Grinding noises are particularly serious, as they indicate that your brake pads are worn may need to be replaced.

If the brake or Anti-Lock Braking System warning light on your dashboard lights up, it means you are low on brake fluid. If there is low fluid, it usually means that there is a leak somewhere in your brake lines.  If your car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes, it could mean your brakes are maladjusted, there is brake fluid leakage, or your brakes are worn out and need to be replaced.

If your brake pedal feels spongy or hard to apply, it usually means that air has gotten into the brake lines. You may also be having an issue with low brake fluid. Be sure to check your master cylinder and your brake lines.

If your steering wheel, brake pedal or entire car shakes or vibrates when you apply the brakes, your brake rotors may be warped and need replacement. No matter what issue you notice, it is always best to have it inspected by us.

Lloyd’s Automotive has served the greater St Paul area
for over 30 years