Serving All Makes & Models Since 1947

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982 Grand Ave • St. Paul, MN 55105
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Winter and How it Affects your Vehicle

 

The winter is hard on everyone, even vehicles. You will want to make sure you inspect your car on a regular basis to ensure everything is working efficiently. The first think you will want to do is check the battery, because it can die in the cold weather. You should also test it, because this will prevent going out to your car and finding a dead battery. Keeping vehicles in a garage is one definite way to ensure they will start in subzero conditions. However, if you don’t have access to a garage, it’s important to check the battery on a regular basis. A typical battery can last an average of about three years and usually can handle the cold. Extreme cold pulls voltage from a battery, making it harder for your car to start.

 

The fluids will also become thicker when the temperatures drop. Check all your fluids. This includes oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake and transmission fluids. When it gets cold, fluids thicken and that will make it harder for your car to get the fluids it need to run properly. Transmission fluid in particular needs to flow quickly, and your car won’t function if it flows at a slow pace.

Cold temperatures also affect the tires. Most tires lose 1 pound per square inch (psi) for every 10 F of temperature drop. So, checking inflation as the air gets colder is critical. For example, a fully inflated tire at 70 F is five psi under-inflated at 20 F. Under-inflated tires do not perform well and are subject to damage or failure especially in snow and icy conditions.

Remember to check the windshield wipers and wiper fluid in your vehicle. Make sure to clean the windshield of your car before turning on your wipers. A lot of wiper problems come from windshields not being cleared first and then being turned on. The blades get torn and wiper transmissions break because extreme weather can overpower the freezing point of the washer fluid. They are just rubber and pressure from snow, ice and slush will break them. If you start to notice that the windshield wipers are wearing, they should be replaced as soon as possible. This can help improve your visibility when you drive as well.

 

Noises From Your Vehicle

If you start to hear a high pitch squealing noise, it could be the brake pads have worn down and need to be replaced. This is important because the brakes allow your vehicle to slow down and stop properly. If you notice that there is a delay in your braking, make sure to contact us to have the vehicle inspected. The squealing noise might also mean the serpentine belt is failing. This belt powers all of your car’s major systems. A squealing serpentine belt is one that could be about to break. When an old serpentine belt snaps, drive torque to all of the engine’s accessories is lost.

Another noise is that of a roaring sound. If you hear this, you probably have a leak or crack in the exhaust system’s manifold. The roaring you hear is excess engine noise that would normally get silenced by the muffler. When your exhaust system fails, all of your engine’s sound waves and vibrations get channeled into the vehicle.

When you turn the steering wheel, the car groans and whines. There might also be the sign that the steering wheel may also feel stiff and unresponsive. If this happens, make sure to bring the vehicle in, so we can inspect it for you. Another issue could be if something in your power steering system is causing friction. This can cause you to slowly lose control over the car’s steering. You could also cause further damage to the rest of the power-steering system. This is a significant safety issue.

If you hear a loud, metal on metal grinding sound coming from your brakes, make sure to have them inspected and repaired as soon as you can. This can be caused by the brake pads wearing through, and the calipers are grinding against the rotor. When it comes to your car, metal on metal grinding is almost always a cause for concern. In this case, your brakes won’t work properly until the pads are replaced. No matter noise you start to notice, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it properly for you.

Proper Winter Driving Tips

It’s a good idea to pack a bag of supplies to keep in the car when the snow starts to fall. These should include food and water, warm clothing or a blanket, a torch, a first aid kit, a fully charged mobile phone, jump leads, a shovel, an ice scraper or deicing fluid, and some grit, sand or cat litter. Plan your route, so that you don’t get lost, and make sure you stick to major roads for as much of it as possible. These are the roads that are likely to have been cleared or gritted, so you stand the best chance of getting to your destination.

Make sure your car has a full tank of fuel, so that if you get stuck, you can run the engine to keep warm (though if this happens, you must get out of the car periodically to clear snow from the exhaust pipe; if it gets blocked by falling snow, carbon monoxide can build up within the car with potentially fatal consequences). Check your tire tread depths, and make sure you have enough in order to cope with the slippery conditions.

Make sure you undertake a longer drive in your car now and again, to give the battery time to charge up. Shorter journeys deplete the battery, and in cold conditions, a low battery might not be able to start the car. Learn how your car’s heater works, and make sure you can use it not just to keep you warm, but also to effectively clear the mist from the inside of the car’s windows. Read your car’s manual if you need to, and learn how to point warm air at the windows to retain visibility.

If your car has snow on top of it, it’s imperative that you clear this from it before you drive away. When you drive off, the snow can fall off in one big clump, which can badly impair visibility for the driver behind you. It is also important that clear off the windshield and other windows aas well before you drive.

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.

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