Serving All Makes & Models Since 1947

651-228-1316
 

982 Grand Ave • St. Paul, MN 55105
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Odd Noises with the Brakes

Technician is positioning a new disc brake. Brake noise from your vehicle may mean it is time to invest in a new set of brakes

What to do about Brake Noise

When you drive, nothing gets your attention like hearing grinding or squealing brake noise. It is important to keep the brakes in the best working condition possible. This means going in for regular maintenance inspections. If you do notice an issue, make sure to contact us as soon as possible, and we can schedule an appointment to get your vehicle in. If the noise happens occasionally, make sure to take note of what you were doing when the noise occurred.

A Few Possible Causes for Brake Noise

While driving your vehicle, snow and water can get into your brake pads and rotors. If the temperature is below freezing, it can cause your brakes to make grinding and squealing noises the next time you start up your car. As your brakes heat up, the ice should melt off the brake pads and rotors, resolving the issue.

A buildup of rust on your brake rotors can cause your brakes to make a squealing or squeaking noise. If your vehicle sits outside overnight, moisture from rain, snow or dew can collect on the surface of the brake rotors. This moisture causes a layer of rust to develop on the rotor. As you drive and use your brakes, the surface rust will get scrubbed off. The best way to avoid this is to park your car overnight in a garage or other dry environment when possible.

If you make a sudden stop on snow or ice, your vehicle’s anti-lock brake system (ABS) will most likely engage. In many vehicles, the ABS system makes grinding or buzzing noises when you step on the brake pedal. While you may not be used to how anti-lock brakes work, these noises are normal and are an indication that the ABS brakes are working as they should.

Schedule a Brake Inspection

If the brake pedal becomes spongy or is out of the norm, make sure to schedule an appointment to have it inspected.  Give us a call today!  651-228-1316

 

Want to learn more about vehicle noises read this article.

The Importance of Clearing of the Windshield

clearing the windshield

 

Clearing the windshield is important before you drive. In the winter you will need to start your vehicle and let it run to warm up on cold mornings. Part of this helps to lubricate the oil and have it run efficiently and effectively through the engine. Another reason to let your vehicle warm up is help defrost and clear off the windshield and other windows in your vehicle. This is needed so your visibility can improve.

Scrape the Windows

When scraping the vehicle, start with clearing the windshield. You will want to make sure to scrape the windshield while the vehicle is also warming up. This can ensure that you can improve the visibility. You will not need to wait as long for your visibility to improve. You will want to scrape off all the ice, snow, and frost. Also take time to clear off all the windows. This should include all the side windows. Also it includes the rear windshield for your vehicle. Do not scrape only a small hole you can see out of. Make sure to scrape the entire window.

Remove Snow

You should also take time to remove snow and loose chunks of ice from the hood and roof of your vehicle. When driving at faster speeds, the snow can blow onto the windshield and impair vision. If the windshield is warm, the snow can stick the windshield, and become more difficult to remove.

Check the Windshield Wipers

The windshield wipers and washer fluid should also be inspected on a regular basis. Over time, the wipers will start to wear down and need to be replaced. If you notice them not being efficient when cleaning the windshield, make sure to look into getting a new set. The washer fluid should also be topped off. Just in case you need to clean dirt or road grime off of the windshield. If you notice anything out of the norm, schedule an appointment. We can inspect the vehicle for you.

Be Aware of Dashboard Warning Lights

Not all dashboard lights mean the same as they tend to vary depending on make and model. Referring to your owner’s manual will make it easier to understand and identify warning symbols. Basically warning lights either tell you something in on, or indicate that a problem has occurred inside your car’s system. If a light comes on, and will not turn off, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. This will help you to have a safe and reliable drive. It can also help to notice the sign of an issue before it becomes worse and more dangerous to drive your vehicle.

Dashboard Light

What Dashboard Lights Mean

Warning dashboard lights can come in different colors to alert you to what is wrong. A red warning light indicates either a potentially serious problem or safety issue, which should be attended to immediately by a professional. However, a red light might also serve as a reminder to the driver about service maintenance.

When a yellow or orange light illuminates, it’s usually a signal that a component needs servicing or repair. If the light flashes, it’s important to contact us so we can inspect it for you. This will also help to improve the safety of the vehicle.

When you see Green or blue dashboard lights they only serve to let the driver know that a system is active and operating.

Different Types of Dashboard Lights

Brake warning lights are usually in red text, which indicates a serious problem with the your brakes (main or emergency brakes). Make sure to schedule an appointment if you notice this issue.

If the temperature warning light symbol is red, it indicates your engine has overheated. A blue light means the coolant temperature is too low. Red and blue blinking means there is an electrical wiring malfunction.

Battery charging system warning light can mean either a bad battery or a failing alternator. Either way, you may start to notice an issue with how your vehicle starts, so make sure to bring it in as soon as possible.

8 Tips to Keep Your Vehicle Operating Efficiently

Winter and How it Affects your Vehicle

winter affects

 

How the winter affects your vehicle may be surprising. 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.

Fluids of your Vehicle

The winter affects the fluids of the vehicle. 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 in Winter

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.

Check the windshield wipers

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. Winter affects the blades on the vehicle as well. 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

noises

Noises with your vehicle can startle you If you start to hear high pitch squealing noises, 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.

Noises from the Steering Wheel

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.

Loud Noises from the brakes

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

winter driving

It’s a good idea to pack a bag of supplies to keep in the car. These should include food and water, warm clothing or a blanket, and a torch. Also a first aid kit, a fully charged phone, 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. Also 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. This will stand the best chance of getting to your destination.

Having a full take of fuel

Make sure your car has a full tank of fuel. If you get stuck, you can run the engine to keep warm. Being stuck means 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. 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. This helps to give the battery time to charge up. Shorter journeys deplete the battery, and 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.

Clearing off Snow

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 as well before you drive. When you clear the windshield, clear the whole windshield. You will want to improve the overall visibility when you will need to drive. Helping to see the road and area around you will improve your safety. Always keep not of vehicles that are around or behind you when you are driving. This way if you need to make a lane change quickly, you will know who is nearby.

The Purpose of the Radiator

radiator

Radiator car is important for your vehicle. With your vehicle, it is important to keep it properly maintained. This should also include being aware of any issue you notice between visits. Under the hood contains several parts and components that allow your vehicle to run efficiently. If one of these goes out, your vehicle will not be able to move. 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.

How the Water Pump affects it

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 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 through the upper hose. If you notice an issue with the water pump, make sure to contact us for an appointment to inspect the vehicle for you.

The Process of the Coolant

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. Then 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. This is on the other side of the radiator. It stores the coolant until it is taken into the outlet hose. The radiator’s outlet hose connects the radiator. It then goes 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, bring it in. Make sure to schedule an appointment with us so we can inspect the vehicle for you.

 

Winter Battery for your Vehicle

winter battery

The winter battery for your vehicle can be damaged quicker than you think. 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 winter 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. If there is an issue with the vehicle starting or operating correctly, you may need to check the winter battery. During the cold temperatures of winter battery care is needed to maintain the ability for the vehicle to start.

Check the 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. If there is dirt and debris on the terminals, they should be cleaned and clear of it. In the winter battery care is important to ensure your vehicle will be reliable when you need to drive it.

Improving the Winter Battery Efficiency

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.

 

You can also notice battery issues and signs of a weak one.

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.

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