Serving All Makes & Models Since 1947

651-228-1316
 

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

Warning Lights on the Dashboard

warning lights

The warning lights on the dashboard will illuminate when there is an issue with your vehicle. It is always best to pay attention to which ones these are, as they are clues for what the issue is. Make sure to schedule an appointment, and you can bring the vehicle in. We can inspect it and check the issue that is making the warning light come on. If you ignore it, it will cause further damage to your vehicle. Regular servicing and maintenance can help protect your vehicle from causing an issue. Keep a close eye on your vehicle and the warning lights to save you money in the long run.

The Oil Warning Light

You might see the oil warning light flash up if oil temperature gets too high. This can also happen if the level is low or the oil pressure is too low. The oil helps lubricate the engine. The oil pump will also have to be inspected to ensure it is working correctly. If temperatures get too high, or the level is low or drops, the effectiveness of the lubrication can be reduced. This can result in expensive engine damage. If you see this warning sign, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.

Battery Charge light illuminating

You should see your battery charge warning light when you first turn your car on. If it does not go out a few seconds after the engine starts, there could be a problem with your car’s electrical system. It could be a battery or an alternator, so make sure we inspected it for you. The vehicle needs to charge as it operates, otherwise it will breakdown.

If there is a light that comes on when driving, pay attention to it. If it starts blinking, make sure to pull over when it is safe to do so. This can help prevent further damage to your vehicle.

Check the Vehicle for Summer Driving

 

 

Proper maintenance is always the best way to keep your vehicle working the best it should be. If you notice an issue with the vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment with us because then we can inspect it for you. Regular parts and components should be checked based on the schedule. If you are not sure how often this should be, contact us and we can advise you on the right schedule for your vehicle.

Check Your Brakes

Brake pads often suffer extreme thermal cycling, and wear. The tires should be removed, because then we can see the brakes for you. When there is an issue, we can replace the brakes as soon as possible. Noticing an odd sound or noise will indicate an issue, since this means something is wrong. This could be a squealing or clunking noise that you notice. Anything out of the norm should require immediate attention for your vehicle.

Get A Car Wash

By washing the car, you will help keep it clean and looking in good condition. This also results in a decrease in chance the car will develop rust on it. This can lead to a decrease value for your vehicle as well. Having it washed and waxed will help keep the paint as new as possible too. Proper maintenance, and also keeping it clean, will help the longevity of it.

Check Your Oil

summer

The oil will need to be checked regularly as well, and ensure it is in good condition. It will also help lubricate the engine, so it will help to help the moving parts as well. The oil should be changed on a regular schedule as well. This will help to make sure it is fresh and clean. We can recommend an oil change schedule for you as well, and how it benefits your vehicle. Bring the vehicle in this summer, and we can check it for you.

Check the Other Fluids

Summer is a great time to inspect your coolant level and coolant mix, because of how much you will drive. The fluids will need to be topped off for your vehicle to work efficiently. If there is leak in the system, we can inspect and repair it for you. This will also help to prevent costly repair bills. If a fluid is dirty and full of pollutants, we can flush it. This will allow new, clean fluid to be replaced in the vehicle, and help it last longer.

 

Noticing a Transmission Issue

 

transmission

 

The transmission for your vehicle is important. When it goes out, you will not be able to drive your car. There are some signs to be aware of if the transmission is going out. Regular maintenance will help keep your vehicle in the best condition, because we can inspect the parts and components for you. If there is ever an issue, make sure to bring it in before the issue becomes worse. Whenever there is an issue, it is best to have it inspected before other parts fail as well.

Transmission slipping

The transmission can be starting to slip with age as well. If there is an issue with the transmission, make sure to have it inspected as soon as you can. Sometimes it can result in general repair being needed, because the issue could be minor. On other occasions a transmission replacement will need to be done in order to keep the vehicle running.

Rough shifts

Your car may feel like it’s refusing to change gears as it normally does. You may also notice the gear shifts aren’t very smooth. There may be clunk noises from the parts and gears. You may also notice the car has difficultly getting up to speed. There could also be a delay, because this would be caused by the transmission. If the gears fear like they are shifting rough, then there can be an issue that we will need to inspect.

Fluid leak

There can also be issues of a leak in the system. If you start to notice a spot under where you park, there is a leak from your vehicle. Make sure to bring the vehicle in, because this can result in a much larger issue if you ignore it. You will also have to spend more on replacing each fluid for the vehicle.

Transmission warning light

Make sure you are aware of any of the warning lights. A warning light typically means the computer is generating an error code that can be checked with diagnostic equipment. If a light comes on, and starts blinking, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible so we can check it for you.

 

Brake Issues to Notice

brake issues

 

The brakes are important for the overall safety of your vehicle. Brake issues are something that should not be ignored either. The brake pads, brake rotors, system, and fluid levels should all be inspected as well. Having a properly maintained vehicle should also include checking the brake system completely. Ignoring the brakes can lead to more issues in the long run for you and your vehicle.

Burning Smell While Driving

You may notice a hot or sharp odor when the brakes start to overheat. If this is a common smell, pull over immediately in a safe place. Also make sure that you check the parking brake. Sometimes these are accidentally applied. The brakes will then need time to cool. There can be a larger issue if you choose to ignore a brake issue. Also be aware for any smoke that comes from under your vehicle. Keeping the vehicle and brakes maintained will help the overall efficiency of it as well when you drive.

Bouncing when Stopping Short

The vehicle may also feel like it bounces or has vibrations. When stopping short, this issue can be very noticeable. Any issue with how the vehicle handles should be inspected immediately. This can help prevent further damage to the parts and components. The brake issues the vehicle may have are important because they allow you to stop. Without proper brakes, you will have an increased chance of having an accident when you drive. The brakes should be inspected on a regular basis for your vehicle. You can check with what the manufacturer recommends, or we can recommend a schedule for the brakes as well. By following these, you can help to save on wear and tear from your vehicle in the long run. You will also help to increase the safety and reliability of it as well.

Air conditioning Issues with your Car

air conditioning

 

The air conditioning system may be something you take for granted. This is until you encounter a hot or humid day. You will want to make sure you stay cool and comfortable during the summer. An issue you notice should be inspected as soon as we can get it in. Even if you think the issue might be minor, it is always best to have it inspected.

How air conditioning works

The air conditioning uses a belt so the compressor takes the refrigerant and pumps it throughout the system. Then it goes through a valve that reduces pressure and temperature. It moves through the evaporator to the interior of the vehicle where you sit. It delivers cool dry air to those in the vehicle.

Signs of an Issue

The air may not be cooling for many reasons if you notice it not working. One of the most frequent causes can be a low refrigerant level. This is because it can decrease by fifteen percent each year. You may also have a broken condenser. Compressor has cracked or damaged belt, defective clutch, inactive pressure switches or idle valves. Always make sure to have the issue inspected immediately to help save you time and money.

Noises

Noises will be another indication of an issue with your vehicle. There could be grinding, clunking, squealing, or scratching as well. A noise should never be heard, so make sure to bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for you. Sometimes the issue can be a quick and easy fix. Some times the issue can be much larger and require more time for repairing. Noises can come from under the hood, or from the brakes, or anywhere on the car. Make sure to note what you were doing when you hear the noise, so we can locate the issue quicker for you.

 

 

Noticing a Blown Head Gasket

head gasket

If there is an issue with a head gasket, you may notice the vehicle starting to overheat. When it is hot outside, you will want to keep an eye on the temperature of your vehicle. If you notice the vehicle overheating quickly, there could be an internal issue. Bring the vehicle in as soon as you notice this. Sometimes the vehicle overheating could be a one time thing. It is important to check this before it does further damage to your vehicle and engine.

Head gasket

The radiator could also be damaged because of the vehicle overheating. Check under the hood to make sure nothing is lose. The belts and hoses will need to be physically inspected so they are in workable condition for your vehicle. Another source of trouble is when a head gasket fails can be from the coolant. A sign of this is when the fluid from one seeps into the other. You may notice that the radiator cap is swelling. This will indicate the head gasket has an issue. The oil may also appear a milky white color. This means the viscosity of the oil is affected, and this will ultimately decrease the engine’s lubrication, and will need to be flushed as soon as possible.

Regular maintenance

Problems with the vehicle should be addressed immediately when you happen to notice them. Regular maintenance can help prevent severe issues from occurring. If you are not sure how often to have the vehicle inspected, make sure to contact us. There can be several schedules to help keep your vehicle in the best condition. Also always be aware of odd noises or smells from your vehicle. These can be signs of an issue. By having the issue fixed right away, you can save time, money, and stress in the long run.

 

How Power Steering Affects your Car

power steering

 

The power steering is important for your vehicle. It helps how your vehicle handles. As you turn, it uses hydraulic or electric power to turn the wheels. If this goes out, you will notice that it is more difficult to turn and handle the vehicle. While this can be a complex system, it is always recommended that you bring the vehicle in so we can inspect the power steering for you. By doing so, we can help ensure the vehicle is in the best condition possible. We can also recommend a maintenance schedule for you.

Power steering pump

The pump can move the fluid up to 100 times atmospheric pressure when it operates. With high pressure, it moves the fluid through hoses. It goes from one side to the other side of the steering system. This also helps the tires go from one side to the other when you are turning a corner, or even just turning the steering wheel of the vehicle. If the steering becomes difficult to turn, there could be an issue with the power steering pump.

Why it fails

The power steering can fail from numerous reason. The first is fluid loss. This can happen slowly or very suddenly. It results in the leak from the system, leading the pump failing over time. You may also lose power of the power steering because of engine failure. The steering system may also start to fail over time as well. You will notice the steering going out because you will not be able to turn or steer easily. If you notice this issue, make sure to schedule an appointment so we can inspect the vehicle for you. We will also be able to check the power steering and all the components to ensure they are working correctly. Having it repaired as quickly as possible will help prevent further damage in the long run to your vehicle.

Reasons for Tire Rotations

Tire rotations

Tire rotations are important for your vehicle. Having a tire rotation means moving them from one wheel to another. This can be from left to right or back to front, or even diagonally. Tire rotation is needed to help keep your vehicle lasting as long as possible. Tires tend to wear unevenly. The tires will wear unevenly based on how you drive and especially how you take corners or curves. Make sure to always check how the tires are wearing for your vehicle.

Uneven wear

Bad alignment can also caused uneven wear of the tires of your vehicle. If you notice that, bring the vehicle in so we can balance and align them for you. It also extends the life of your tires, saving you time and money in the long run. There are three things that happen during a rotation. First, each tire and wheel is removed from your vehicle and moved to a different position. The air pressure will then be checked. If it is too low or has too much air, it will be adjusted to the recommendation. The brakes can also be checked while the tires are off.

Rotating the tires

Tires tend to wear unevenly. Usually the front tires will wear faster. It is also important you follow the proper rotation and alignment schedule for your vehicle. Not knowing how the tires are wearing, can lead to them failing and needing to be replaced much sooner than it typically should. If you have front wheel drive for your vehicle, rotation is even more important. If you notice any issues with your vehicle, make sure to contact us. By scheduling an appointment we can inspect the vehicle for you. If there is a problem, it is always best to have it resolved as soon as possible.

Learn about Car Care this Month

car care

April is National Car Care month! During the winter, vehicles are neglected because of the cold and snow. They sure could use a little extra care by now. During the winter your vehicle takes a beating. With all the snow, ice, difficult driving, and salt, your vehicle will need to have proper maintenance in the spring. This will help keep it running efficiently as well as keeping the body in good shape. If the salt stays on your vehicle, it can lead to rust and damage the vehicle beyond repair of it.

Having a Clean Vehicle

It is good car maintenance to wash your car on a regular basis, especially in the spring. When you wash the car, you remove the road grime, dirt, salt, and other harmful pollutants that are on your vehicle. Having rust form from the salt build up is reduced when you wash your vehicle on a regular basis. Also take a few minutes and clean out the interior of your vehicle. Remove any garbage that might be in the vehicle. Also take out things you will not need or will not use.

Remember Maintenance

Every vehicle has a manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule. We can always recommend a maintenance schedule for you. It is important to follow it to make sure every part and component to ensure they are in the best working condition for the vehicle.

Notice Issues

When you see your car needs attention, do not ignore it. Signs of an issue are important to be aware of so your vehicle does not fail and breakdown suddenly. Also be aware of the dashboard warning lights that are on your vehicle. These will be illuminated when there is an issue with the vehicle Depending which lights illuminate, that will help locate the issue of the vehicle.

 

Tips when you Tow a Boat or Trailer

tow

When you tow a boat or trailer, you will have to adjust your driving. You will also want to make sure that your vehicle has been properly maintained. If you are not sure how often this should be, contact us. We can advise you on the correct schedule to ensure it is in the best condition. Notice how the vehicle handles, and if there is an issue with the steering and handling. This is especially true when taking corners or curves.

Take Wider Turns

It’s easy to forget when you’re cruising along that you have an extra length to your vehicle. You will want to take corners slowly and more carefully when you are towing something. This is because you have a longer vehicle, and you have to make sure not to hit anyone or a curb. Taking your time and slowing down will also help you to accomplish taking tight corners, because you will not run the risk of jack knifing it, or worse…flipping it.

Adjust your Distance

Since you will be towing more weight, consider how much longer it will take to come to a stop. You will not want to wait until the last second to slam on the brakes. If you slam the brake, there is an increase chance of jackknifing it. Gradually apply pump brakes to bring the heavy load under control. Also know how to hang onto the wheel. When you’re backing up, place your hands on the bottom of the steering wheel. Then, move your hand in the direction you want the trailer to go. Aim toward the passenger side of your tow vehicle and the trailer will go right. Face forward and let your mirrors be your guide. Proper maintenance and inspections are needed in order to keep your vehicle running efficiently, so remember to go to them.

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