Serving All Makes & Models Since 1947


982 Grand Ave • St. Paul, MN 55105
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The Importance of a Transmission

Your car’s transmission uses the power of your vehicle to move the engine at various speeds. There are two designs of transmissions; automatic and manual. Automatic vehicles perform all the work for you such as shifting from precise operating systems. Manual transmissions are run entirely by the driver. Drivers must know when the maximum gear range is reached in order to shift without ruining the vehicle’s transmission, which is a costly part to replace.


Transmission fluid is used to lubricate all the components of your car’s transmission. This allows for the parts to move among one another more smoothly and produce less friction and heat. It also helps your engine operate at its peak performance, so having it under your hood is important. Transmission fluid is typically red or green and every car requires a specific type of transmission fluid in order to operate correctly. Automatic and manual transmission fluid is different in how it is made. Automatic transmission fluid is made up of synthetic liquids and oils that are combined with chemical compounds. Manual transmission fluids are made up of motor oil, gear oil and occasionally of automatic transmission fluid. Because of the harmful chemicals that are associated with transmission fluid, it is important to keep it up and out of reach of individuals.


It is important to understand when your transmission might be failing in order to save you from a potentially dangerous situation and costly repair. You should watch your RPMs while you drive and shift. If your vehicle is revving much higher than it normally does at lower speeds, this is a sign of internal problems with your transmission. By listening to your engine, you are able to notice a loud sound while accelerating. This may signify that your manual transmission could be having difficulties shifting gears and your parts are grinding together. Be aware of odd smells coming from your engine. Anything smoky or burning is not a good sign. If odors or smoke are detected, you should pull your vehicle over immediately. If your vehicle is not responding as it should, this is an indicator you might have a failing transmission. By making yourself aware of signs that something might be wrong with your transmission, you can detect and diagnose problems much faster.


Without your transmission your vehicle will not be able to operate, which is why you should take steps to prolong the life of the transmission. By down shifting your automatic transmission while exiting off a highway off-ramp, you are making your engine slow down too quickly. This can cause gears to wear against each other, which can potentially cause a leak or crack in your transmissions components. Make sure to only shift your automatic transmission for instance, from reverse to drive, when you are completely stopped. Shifting when your vehicle is still in motion overworks the u-joints and causes additional stress on the transmission. Always check your engine for leaks because a leaky transmission can become damaged and put a lot of pressure on your gears. By taking care of your transmission, you are able to get more mileage out of your transmission and you can enjoy a safe trip down the road.

Why Tire Alignments are Beneficial


Alignments can allow for the tread to wear evenly on the tires. If you notice that the tread is becoming uneven, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. Having an alignment done can also help improve the handling and stability of the vehicle. This will improve the fuel mileage of your vehicle, because it will not have to use as much stress and power to operate the vehicle effectively.


All vehicles are different when it comes to their alignment setting. While positive camber is used to improve ride quality and vehicle stability, high performance vehicles may require better cornering performance. Either way, the vehicle manufacturer will have the exact angles for this setting. We will use those angles to properly align the wheel camber. Part of your suspension has these things called rubber bushings. Bushings can break down over time, allowing excessive movement to occur in the suspension. This additional flexibility leads to poor turning performance and accelerated and uneven tire wear.


The caster is the reason your vehicle steers in a straight line. When the vehicle travels straight down the road with little handling on your part that is due to your caster setting. If you are driving down a straight path but start pulling to one side, that is a sign the caster is off. The caster angle is determined by your vehicle’s suspension design and the intended vehicle use. If you have a high speed, high performance ride, your vehicle will need more caster to handle better on the straightaway and when coming out of turns. The most obvious and easiest sign to detect is if you feel your vehicle pulling to one side.


Total toe is meant to be at zero or close to zero while you are cruising. If the total toe is off, severe tire wear can result. Proper toe settings make it possible for the least amount of resistance to occur when your tires spin. If the total toe is out of whack, you will experience uneven wear on the outside or inside part of your tires depending on whether your vehicle toe-in or toe-out setting is compromised. Toe problems are the leading cause of most tire problems and tire wear. It is easy to miss the signs of a toe alignment problem. If you notice anything out of the norm, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible.

When Oil Changes are Recommended






Part of helping keep the vehicle in the best condition possible is to make sure the oil is changed when scheduled. The oil is an essential lubricant that is needed for the engine of your vehicle. The oil helps to allow metal to press against metal without any damage to parts or the vehicle. Also, the oil lubricates the pistons as they move up and down in the cylinders of the vehicle. Without the oil, the metal against metal friction will create an excessive amount of heat. This could then cause the surfaces to end up welding themselves together. This can also result in the engine seizing up and making your vehicle quit. By keeping up with regular oil changes that are needed, you can help ensure that the vehicle will be as reliable as possible. It can also help to improve the efficiency of the parts and components of the engine.





Oil changes are beneficial because they help to keep the engine running as long as possible. The motor oil lubricates and cools the moving parts for the engine of the vehicle. Without new clean oil, the engine will begin to wear down. This is because the metal on metal components can grind against one another. This will lead to extensive wear and tear to these parts. Not having clean oil, or having a level that is too low, can cause serious issues for your vehicle. By going to oil changes, you can help to alleviate the build up of sludge or varnish. Motor oil will degrade over time because of temperatures, pressure, and contamination it will have. If you are uncertain how often to change the oil, contact us. We can help to set up a schedule that works for you. With time, dirt will start to accumulate in the oil. This can lead to the oil filter becoming clogged. The filter is designed to remove dirt from the oil.





The oil will need to be checked and changed based on the schedule. An oil change consists of removing the old oil from the vehicle and replacing it with new clean oil. When it is needed, we can also change the oil filter. As the engine parts begin to move and move against one another, friction will occur. This will then create heat. Oil lubricates the engine and will absorb the heat. This will then allow the internal parts of the vehicle to work together and effectively without any issue of overheating. With time, the oil will start to break down and wear out. After this, it will become less effective at lubricating the engine, as well as absorbing the heat. So it is important to have the oil changed, before issues start to form. Anytime there is an issue with the vehicle, it should be inspected to help reduce the chance of further issues.




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.

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