Serving All Makes & Models Since 1947

651-228-1316
 

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

Noticing Issues with the Battery

 

One of the biggest factors in determining if the battery will work, is what temperate the battery is exposed to. If the terminals of the vehicle are loose, the proper connection may not be made. There might also be a build up of dirt or debris that causes poor connections between the battery and the vehicle. Sometimes incomplete charging can occur, which prevents the charge from building up in the battery. Another issue of the battery not charging could be that the charge is depleted when the electrical components are used extensively in the vehicle. Running these components while the vehicle is off can also create a problem.

 

 

 

If the terminals on the battery are loose, it could result in a poor connection to the rest of the vehicle. It could also cause them to get dirty. This will result in not enough charge being needed by the electrical system. You may notice an issue if you hear a click when trying to turn the key in your vehicle. The terminals may need to be cleaned or tightened up on the battery.

 

 

 

One of the fastest ways to drain a battery is to leave on the electrical components of your vehicle. Without the vehicle running, the battery cannot charge back up. This will then cause the battery to die completely. If the poor battery charge happens too often, then a new battery may be needed in order to replace the older one that would be damaged.

 

 

 

Incomplete charging is a common problem with batteries. It can also occur because a variety of reasons. If you make several short trips, then the battery will not be able to charge sufficiently. Instead try to combine all the errands into one stop to help save on the battery. It can also help to save on wear and tear for your vehicle, as well as improve the fuel efficiency.

What should be Inspected on the Tires

When you drive, you will want the vehicle to be as safe and reliable as possible. To make sure the vehicle is in the best condition, bring it in for regular maintenance inspections. We can inspect the parts and components of it so that the vehicle works in the best condition possible. Between inspections, there are some things you can check yourself. When you inspect the vehicle, make sure to check the tires. The tires are important because they are the only part of the vehicle that will make direct contact with the surface of the road. If a tire is in poor condition, then it can cause damage to the steering and handling of the vehicle.

When you check the tires, one of the first things you should look at is the air pressure. Tires that are over inflated can be prone to picking up sharp objects that are on the surface of the road. Tires that are under inflated have an increased chance of blowing out. The will also result in poor fuel mileage. This is because the tire will take up more of the road and will not rotate properly. If you are not sure how much air should be in the tires, make sure to contact us.

Besides checking the air pressure, you should also inspect the tread wear on the tires. The tread helps to grip the surface of the road when you travel. This will improve the handling and stability when you drive. If you notice that the vehicle pulls in one direction or the other, there could be an issue with the tread. You can take a penny and place it upside down in the tread groove. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, then there is not enough tread.

Besides inspecting the tires, also take the time to check the spare tire. The spare tire is important because you will have to rely on it until the regular tire is fixed. It is important to check the spare for the air pressure, tread wear, and overall condition of it. If there is any sign of damage to it, make sure to have the tire replaced. If you are not sure how to inspect the tires, you can always bring the vehicle in and we can inspect them for you. This can help you to have a safe and reliable vehicle when you drive.

Ensuring the Brakes are in the Best Condition Possible

 

There are many reasons why a vehicle might need to have the brakes tested or adjusted after you have been driving it. Road conditions affect the life of the brake almost as much as how you drive the vehicle. People who drive fast and hit a pothole can jar the brake pads or rotors so that they do not fit properly against the tire. It could cause scratching noises or even damage to the parts behind the tire that keep it stopping regularly.

 

If you travel down a gravel road, those gravel pieces that fly up because you are probably going a little too fast can jump up and get in to the brake pads too, causing a grinding sound until it is knocked out. Hopefully it falls out or else that gravel could do serious and permanent damage to any of the brake system pieces. If you suspect the brakes have gravel, stones or other debris in them, take them in to a shop and have us look at it. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the brakes. When you have them checked right away they might only need to be cleaned out instead of replaced, which would be a much more affordable option.

 

There could be a problem develop with the brake line or the brakes at any time for one of several reasons. The conditions on the road can be jarring on the components, causing them to come out of alignment with the tire. A large pothole or a gravel road with divots can wreak havoc on the braking system and suspension system of your vehicle. When you take a big hit with a pothole, slowly check the brakes after and make sure they function correctly. If they seem soft, it is recommended to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.

 

Most often, brake system parts cannot be fixed, they need to be replaced. The brake pads wear out because of the friction of being rubbed against the inside of the tire in order to get it to stop. Brand new brake pads are the only answer to keeping your vehicle stopping on a dime all of the time. Rotors and calipers can sometimes be fixed if they only get bent a little bit. But the strength and durability of their structure will probably be compromised and it is best to just go out and get all new parts. Once the tire is off anyway, it is easier to just have all of the parts that are bent or not functioning correctly replaced so the vehicle you are driving is always operating at the safest level. Anytime you notice an issue with your vehicle, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for you.

Why Steering and Suspension should not be Overlooked

 

You may have heard the term power steering, but you may not know what it exactly is. The power steering is what helps turn the wheels of the vehicle, when you turn the steering wheel. When you move the steering wheel of your vehicle, a micro processing chain of action takes place. This sends information from the steering wheel, to the wheels on the vehicle. This information is the speed, and the direction of the turn. Once this information is sent, a sensor determines how much power assist you will need to complete the turn. All of this happens in a tiny fraction of a second that seems completely instantaneous. If you notice that there is an issue when you try and turn the vehicle, make sure to contact us so we can look at the power steering. The power steering is important because if it is poor, it can increase the chance for an accident to occur.

 

Without suspension, your drive down the road would feel different. For instance if you were driving down a bumpy road, your car would jostle up and down. It would also not move well to the contours of the road, causing serious steering issues. The suspension helps your vehicle to turn properly and without incident, stay in contact with the road, and absorb or isolate the shocks of poor road conditions. All of these allow you to drive. Without a suspension system, or with a poor suspension system, driving is more difficult. When you notice an excessive amount of bumps that is an indication there is an issue with the suspension system.

 

Having good steering and suspension can help make driving more pleasant. You will be able to turn when you need to, as well as ride in a comfortable vehicle after hitting a bump. If the vehicle becomes too hard to steer or turn, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the steering and other parts for you. Having a safe and comfortable ride is important for you and your passengers.

Inspect the Struts for your vehicle

 

The struts on the vehicle are an important part, but they are most often overlooked until they are needed. The struts help to prevent you from bouncing over every bump in the road, while also helping you control the vehicle. The struts are also a vital component for the suspension system. They should be checked on a regular basis and replaced when necessary. The springs, shock absorbers, and other parts work together to help give you and your passengers a smooth ride. If you notice the vehicle does not absorb the bumps, even the small ones, make sure to bring your vehicle in so we can inspect it for any issue.

 

 

The springs on the vehicle help carry the weight of it. It typically adapts to the various road surfaces you drive on by compressing and rebounding. While it does this, it moves the vehicle’s frame and body with it. This is done so you do not feel the bumps in the road. The shock absorber will absorb the majority of the movements of the spring, so you feel less of the bumps you drive over. A small bump will be hardly noticeable, while hitting a large bump or pothole may be felt only slightly.

 

 

When the struts start to wear out, it will be noticeable. If the springs wear out, the normal cycles of compressing and rebounding over bumps will not occur as normal. You will feel more of the bumps and your ride will be less smooth than it used to. With some road conditions, the undercarriage of your vehicle may hit the road or dirt, which can also cause damage to your vehicle. If the springs are working properly but the shock absorbers are not, you will also be able to feel a difference. The vehicle will bounce up and down with every little change or bump that is in the road. The vehicle may also sway as the struts start to wear out. This is because the frame and body are no longer being properly supported.

 

 

Worn struts on your vehicle can also affect the tires and steering. The suspension system helps to keep the tires on the ground as you drive over bumps. Without proper springs, as you go over bumps you may notice more motion and bouncing. There is also a chance that the tires could come off the ground as you go over the bumps. This can cause irregular wear on your tires, which can lead to them needing to be replaced sooner than they should. The steering can also be affected as the suspension system parts start to wear out. As you go over bumps with worn struts, it may also make it hard to control your vehicle. By having your vehicle in regularly for inspections, you can help ensure a pleasant driving experience.

Notice the Check Engine Light for your Vehicle

 
The dashboard of your vehicle has several warning lights on it. When an issue occurs, make sure to pay attention to which light illuminates on the dashboard. One of the lights that could turn on is the Service Engine Soon light. If the light comes on, make sure to bring your vehicle in. We can connected it to the diagnostic computer to see what diagnostic codes that your engine is giving off. This helps to determine what repairs or services might be needed so the engine can work more efficiently. If you notice any other issue with your vehicle, it is always recommended to bring it in. This helps to prevent further issues from happening with the vehicle when you drive it.

If the check engine light illuminates on the dashboard, make sure to notice how the vehicle is handling. When the vehicle starts to pull in one direction or another, it could also be a sign of an issue. This could mean that the tires or suspension are wearing down to a point where they need to be replaced. If the vehicle handles in less than ideal conditions than it used to, make sure to have it inspected as soon as possible. Bring the vehicle in and we can check for the source of the problem. This can help to provide you with a safe and reliable vehicle that handles well.

There can be some reasons why the check engine light comes on along the dashboard. So of the reasons can be easy and quick to check. It may also allow the issue to be fixed. The first thing to do is check the vehicle. It can be as simple as not screwing the gas cap on tightly enough. If the cap allows itself to click a few times, make sure this is done so the gas cap is on tight. There could also be an issue with the spark plug wire. From a loose gas cap to a bad spark plug wire to the engine getting wet somewhere it should not, there are several unimportant reasons why your engine light may have come on as well. It is always recommended to bring the vehicle in so a professional can inspect it. This way we can locate the source of the issue and have it resolved quickly.

One way to help prevent an issue with your vehicle is to go to regular maintenances. This can help to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the vehicle. It can also help to lower the chance of an unexpected breakdown happening. Regular maintenances are important because they can help save time, money, and stress in the long run. By looking at all areas of the vehicle, we can notice if something needs to be replaced or repaired. No matter what issue you notice, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.

Regular Brake Inspections are Important

 

The brake system for your vehicle is one of the most important systems for your vehicle. The brakes help to slow down and stop the vehicle when you drive. If you notice an issue with the brakes, even a slight one, it should not be ignored. Each and every time you drive a vehicle with poor brakes, you are putting yourself and those around you at risk of an accident.

 

 

The brake pads are typically the part of the brake system that wears out the quickest. The brake system involves the use of calipers that grip the brake rotor in order to stop the vehicle. The brake pads provide a cushion during this process, which helps reduce the wear and tear on the rotors. If you notice any change in the amount of pressure that is needed to slow down or stop your vehicle, the brake pads are probably worn out. Also, you may notice a slight vibration in the brake pedal when you apply it. If there is a squealing or squeaking noise when you apply the brakes, it may be a sign that the brake pads need to be replaced.

 

 

If you do not maintain the brake pads, the brake rotors will wear out quicker than they should. Worn brake rotors can significantly affect the ability to slow down or stop when you need to. Sometimes you may need to pump the brakes while trying to slow down. This is because there is air in the brake system due to worn brake rotors. Poor brake rotors can also affect the ability to maintain control of your vehicle. If the brake rotors become warped, it may affect the suspension system with time. The warped brake rotors are generally caused by worn brake pads that are being used.

 

 

The brake fluid is part of a hydraulic system that causes compression of the fluid when the brakes are applied. This allows the calipers, with assistance from the brake pads, to grip the brake rotors and slow down the vehicle. Moisture can get into the brake lines and turn to steam when it is heated. The steam is not good for the brake fluid, and can affect the braking performance of your vehicle. If you notice your vehicle is not slowing down or stopping as well as it used to, make sure to bring your vehicle in as soon as possible.

The Importance of Oil Changes for Your Vehicle

Engine sludge is old and congealed oil resulting from excessive contamination, heat and oil additive breakdown. Sludge typically forms over a long period of time and generally builds up when a vehicle owner skips oil changes or travels many miles past the recommended oil change interval.

If you are unsure how often to change the oil, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on the recommended oil change interval your vehicle should have. If you delay changing the oil, this can cause the issue. Over time, motor oil becomes contaminated with engine metals, acids and air humidity, eventually transforming into sludge. Waiting too long to change your oil will increase the likelihood of sludge infecting all the parts where it is contact with the oil.

Excessive heat from the engine causes the oil to breakdown resulting in sludge and engine deposits. The high temperatures also cause oil to thin out. This typically results in metal on metal grinding or wears in your engine. This problem typically can become even more severe if you tow heavy loads or if you leave your vehicle running idle for extended periods of time. A higher-grade oil will greatly benefit your vehicle in this situation. Repeated short distance driving means your oil may not have time to reach optimal operating temperatures. This enables water and combustion bi-products, such as smoke, to dilute oil, accelerating the breakdown of your oil and shortening the lifespan of your engine components.

Very hot or very cold temperatures will cause faster oil breakdown, requiring oil changes sooner. The oil gets thicker as the temperature drops. Oil is harder to pump during startup, potentially leading to accelerated engine wear and difficulty starting your vehicle. Remember, thinner oils are ideal during winter. The lower the grade, the thinner the oil, and the easier your vehicle will start during those deep freezes. By keeping up on regular oil changes, you can help prevent further damage to your vehicle. If you inspect the oil and notice dirt and debris, it is recommended to have it changed so fresh clean oil can run through your vehicle. When the oil is changed, the oil filter can also be checked. The filter helps to collect dirt and other contaminants that are in the oil.

The Dangers of Potholes to Vehicles

 

Potholes can be a hazard to the vehicle. While the tires and wheels are easy to visually inspect, there could also be damage to other areas of your vehicle. The suspension, steering, and alignment systems can all become damaged as well. It is important to schedule an appointment to bring the vehicle in so it can be inspected after hitting a pothole.

 

 

Potholes occur during the spring months when the water permeates the pavement. This is typically from a crack in the road due to heavy wear and tear of the traffic. This will then cause it to soften the soil below it and it will then create a depression into the surface of the road. The freezing and thawing weather cycles can accelerate this process. After a few cycles, the road will have a pothole in it. If there is flooding or rain, this can disguise where the potholes are. That is why it is important to make sure to approach water puddles carefully. Water can hide how deep the puddle or pothole may actually be.

 

 

By hitting a pothole, it may cause damage to the tires on the vehicle. It could cause them to have low tire pressure, dent the rim of the tire, or produce bulges or blisters on the sidewalls. While these issues can be visible, it is always recommended to bring the vehicle in for an inspection. Depending how serious these issues are, it could cause a safety hazard when you drive. Bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the parts and components of the vehicle. If there is an issue, we can help to make you aware of it. This can get you back to driving a safe and reliable vehicle again. It can also help provide a pleasant ride for you and your passengers. It is also recommended to have the steering and suspension systems checked at least once a year.

 

 

Another sign of damage from hitting potholes is if the vehicle pulls in one direction or another. This can be especially noticeable when driving in a straight line. The tires may no longer be aligned properly and cause an issue when driving. Having the vehicle pull in a direction may also indicate an issue with how the tires are wearing. Make sure to bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for the issue that causes it to pull. It is also advised to go to inspections regularly, so we can ensure the vehicle is in top condition for you. If you are not sure how often to bring the vehicle in, contact us and we can recommend the schedule for you.

Inspect the Tires this Spring

As spring arrives, there are a few things you should check on your vehicle. This is a good time to get your vehicle back into shape after a tough season facing frigid temperatures, snow, ice, and now potholes. There are some spring car tire tips to get your vehicle ready for the upcoming road travel season. The tires are important because they are the only part of the vehicle that makes direct contact with the surface of the road.

 

Some people delay or do not bother removing their winter tires. While winter tires offer impressive traction on snow and ice, they often compromise stopping performance on dry and wet roads, do not handle as well as all-season tires, and wear out quickly. If you have your winter tires on dedicated wheels, be sure to wash the tires and wheels thoroughly to remove winter salt spray that can cause wheel corrosion and store them in a cool, dry place.

 

Roads filled with potholes can make winter driving tough on the suspension of your vehicle. Whether you had winter or all-season tires on your vehicle, check the evenness of the wear across the width of the tread. If you observe uneven tire wear, you might need a wheel alignment. Ignore it and your tires will wear out quickly and need to be replaced sooner than you thought.

 

With spring and summer around the corner, you will want a tire that can resist hydroplaning in heavy rain and slide on slick, wet roads. To check if your tires are well worn, try the penny test. This is a good tool to determine how much performance you have left. Place the penny upside down in the groove of the tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then the tread has worn down and the tire should be replaced.

 

Make sure to bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the tread of the tires for you. We suggest buying four new ones at a time for the best balance of handling and dry and wet grip. Then rotate your tires routinely to promote even wear. But if you are like many drivers who do not rotate tires regularly and need only two new ones, then be sure to have the new tires placed on the rear of the car for secure handling. Also remember to check the inflation of the tires regularly. Under inflated tires can cause heat build-up. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can check the air pressure for the tires for you. This will help ensure they rotate efficiently when you drive.

 

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