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Making Sure Your Car is Ready for Thanksgiving Travel in 2020

Thanksgiving

As the holidays just around the corner, you’re probably starting to think about travel plans. With COVID-19 concerns, car travel is much more popular this year. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of car care tips to make sure your holiday travel is as smooth as possible.

1. Check the battery

Look at the battery to ensure it’s securely connected and free of corrosion. Car batteries typically last 3 to 5 years, and it’s recommended to have them checked every year once they’re over 2 years old. You don’t want any issues with your car battery while you’re out on the road.

2. Listen to the brakes

If your brakes are making odd noises, you’ll want to get them inspected by a professional. Squealing brakes is often a sign that your brake pads need to be replaced. Brake pads provide the friction that’s needed to stop your vehicle. Eventually, they get too thin and wear out. Depending on their material, brake pads typically last anywhere from 25,000 to 70,000 miles. Replacing them will get rid of the squealing noise and ensure a safer road trip.

3. Inspect your tires before traveling this Thanksgiving

Everyone needs good gas mileage, especially on a road trip. That’s why air pressure is so important. If your tires are underinflated, you’ll waste gas. If they’re overinflated, it’ll affect your ride quality. The wrong air pressure can also shorten the lifespan of your tires. Check your tires before you leave, and again for every 1,000 miles you travel.

Since tires wear at different rates, they should be rotated periodically. Get them rotated at least every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Most tires last anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles. If your tires’ lifespan is close to this, replace them before any long-distance travel.

4. Refill fluids and replace filters before driving on Thanksgiving

Before leaving, you’ll want to top off any low fluids. This includes power steering fluid, antifreeze, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and windshield fluid. You also need to make sure you’re keeping up with your oil changes. If you’re not sure and you haven’t changed your oil in the last 3,000 miles, then you should definitely change it before your trip.

Your engine’s air filter and the cabin filter should be replaced annually, or every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. These filters affect fuel economy, engine performance, and air quality. Switch these out before hitting the road.

5. Check the electrical

Make sure all your vehicle’s lights are working. This includes headlights, taillights, and blinkers. If you’re driving a larger vehicle like a truck or motor home, confirm all electrical is in good shape.

6. Inspect the belts and hoses

Press down on the belts to check that they’re tight. If they hang slack, or if any teeth come loose when you press on the belt, then you have a problem. When you examine your hoses, look for any cracking or fraying. Additionally, keep your eyes open for any fluid leaks. If you see problems with any of these things, you’ll need to get your car serviced before your trip.

The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year. Ensuring your vehicle is prepared can make all the difference in preventing the unexpected. Do you have questions about prepping your car for holiday travel? Our experienced technicians at Blaine Auto Care & Transmission have answers. Give us a call today at (763) 755-7255, or schedule your appointment online​.

Master Cylinders: The Heart of Your Car’s Brake System

cylinder

The Evolution of Your Car’s Braking System

Have you ever stopped to appreciate your car’s brakes? As cars have become more complex, braking systems have evolved as well. To understand how far we’ve come, let’s go back in time and look at how these systems began.

Wooden block brakes

Automobiles have used many different braking systems. The earliest of these was wooden block brakes. As the name suggests, it consisted of wooden blocks and a lever. The lever pushed a block of wood against the steel-rimmed wheels to screech them to a halt. This system was first used in steam-driven automobiles and horse-drawn carriages. Wooden block brakes could stop vehicles traveling at a speed of around 10 to 20 miles per hour. Once rubber tires were introduced in the late 1890s, they replaced steel-rimmed wheels. As a result, wooden block brakes no longer worked.

Mechanical drum brakes

Automobiles needed a new brake system to stop rubber tires. In 1899, an engineer named Gottlieb DAimler theorized that if a cable-wrapped drum was anchored to the chassis, it could stop momentum. This idea was furthered by Louis Renault, who developed the mechanical drum brake in 1902. Renault’s system is widely regarded as the basis for the modern vehicle braking system.

Expanding internal shoe brakes

Renault’s brakes were external. This meant they were exposed to temperature fluctuations and were vulnerable to elements such as dust and water. Because of this, these systems needed repairs often. The expanding internal shoe brake was the first system inside the vehicle’s frame. It was housed in a metal drum attached to the wheel. To stop the vehicle, pistons expanded the brake shoes and caused them to rub the inside of the drum. This friction resulted in the wheels slowing down, bringing the car to a stop.

Hydraulic brakes

Braking systems required the application of a lot of force to stop a vehicle. The next innovation in brakes addressed this issue. In 1918, Malcolm Loughead invented a four-wheel hydraulic braking system. Loughead’s brakes used fluid to transport force from the pedal to the brake shoe. Compared to its predecessors, this system needed much less effort to apply the brakes. By the late 1920s, many vehicles had hydraulic braking systems.

Disc brakes

In the mid-20th century, vehicle weights and their speed capabilities were rapidly increasing. Hydraulic braking systems were becoming less effective at distributing heat. Because of this, cars started integrating disc brakes with hydraulic functions. William Lanchester patented the disc brake back in 1902, but they weren’t widely used until this point.

Anti-lock brakes

Anti-lock brakes are a safety feature that stop brakes from locking up while they’re being used. Speed sensors detect a lock, and hydraulic valves reduce the pressure of a brake on one wheel. This prevents the vehicle from spinning. Anti-lock brakes were first used in the 1920s and ‘30s in airplanes. Throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, they were developed for cars. By the 1970s, anti-lock braking systems became more common and affordable. Anti-lock brakes modernized braking systems by giving drivers more control. It now comes as a standard safety feature in all vehicles.

What does the master cylinder actually do? It’s one of the most unappreciated car parts,but it’s a key component to your brake system. Today we’re talking about where they came from and how they work.

What is a master cylinder and how does it work?

The master cylinder lets you move force from one part of your hydraulic brake system to another. ​This force comes from your foot pushing on the brake pedal.This helps move that force into your brake calipers, which clamp down on your rotors to stop your car.

Car enthusiasts will tell you that the master cylinder is the heart of your car. It pumps brake fluid through your brake lines. These brake lines carry the fluid to your car’s wheels. In our metaphor, think of your brake fluid as blood, and your brake lines as arteries. For instance, like your heart pumps blood out through your arteries, your master cylinder pumps brake fluid through your brake lines.

Applying the Brakes and how the cylinder works

When you press down on your brake, it pushes a rod into one end of a sealed master cylinder. Inside of it, there is fluid, two pistons, and springs. The pistons work like plungers. In addition, they push the brake fluid to move it through the cylinder and out through the brake lines. However, the springs push against the force of the brake pedal to return it to its starting position when it’s released. Above the master cylinder is a reservoir that stores enough brake fluid to keep air from entering the master cylinder.

The master cylinder has two brake lines. They carry the brake fluid out of the master cylinder. Each exit leads to two diagonal wheels. This is a safety feature to ensure your brakes operate if one brake line malfunctions. The brake lines carry the fluid into slave cylinders, which are located on the brake calipers. After that, the force in the slave cylinders causes the caliper to clamp down onto the rotor. For instance this is how pressure is carried from your foot, through it, and to your brakes to stop your vehicle.

A brief history of the Master Cylinder and Brakes

Hydraulic brakes were invented in 1918 by a man named Malcolm Lougheed. He was the first to use cylinders and tubes to send liquid pressure against brake shoes. This pushed them against the drums. Chrysler made improvements on these brakes, and re-named them Chrysler-Lockheed hydraulic brakes. However, these were used from 1924 all the way up to 1962. Some automakers continued using mechanical brakes, but they all eventually converted to hydraulic braking systems.

In 1960, Wagner Electric invented a dual-cylinder brake system. This system had a dual master cylinder and separate front and rear hydraulic lines. If one circuit leaked, the other line could still be able to operate. That way, your brakes wouldn’t malfunction if there was a leak. In 1967, the federal government mandated the use of dual-braking master cylinders. This system is reported to have prevented tens of thousands of accidents each year.

 

7 Warning Signs of Brake Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

Getting your brakes serviced is one of those chores you can’t put off. Luckily, your vehicle is very good at letting you know when there’s a problem. Today we’re discussing 7 warning signs that indicate your brakes need maintenance.

1. Wobbling or vibration

Do you feel a vibration in the steering wheel or wobbling when you apply the brakes? This is one of the most common indicators of a brake problem. It could be the result of an uneven rotor. It’s normal for rotors to develop variations over time. The smallest changes in disc thickness can result in a wobbly feeling when you apply the brakes.

Vibration or wobbling can also suggest that the brake caliper isn’t detaching properly. Over time, the piston in the caliper can get sticky from rust or debris build-up. As a result, it might not completely retract when you lift your foot off the pedal. This creates a wobbling sensation when you brake.

2. Squealing noise when braking

If you hear a horrible, metallic squealing noise when you hit the brakes, it’s probably the brake padwearindicators. They’redesignedtoletyouknowwhenthebrakeshoesorcaliperpadsare worn out and need to be replaced.

3. Grinding sound from the brake pedal

Do your brakes make a grinding sound that you can feel in the pedal? This could be something that’s easily resolved, like a loose rock caught in the caliper. It could also mean that your brake pads are worn down and the metal is damaging the rotor. Additionally, if there’s not enough lubrication, the brake shoe could develop rust build-up, which will make a scraping noise.

4. Burning smell while driving

A burning chemical odor could mean you have overheated brakes. If this is the case, pull over immediately and allow the brakes to cool down. If you don’t pull over, your brake fluid could reach a boiling point, which can cause brake failure.

5. Soft or spongy brake feel or leaking fluid

If your brake pedal feels soft or spongy, it means there’s moisture in the braking system. Your brakes depend on pressurized hydraulic fluid, and this can sometimes leak. If this is the case, your system may not have enough power to clamp the brake pads onto the rotors. If you’re experiencing this, schedule maintenance right away.

6. Pulling to one side while braking

Veering to one side is another common sign of brake problems. It usually means there’s an issue with one of the front two brakes. It could be a misaligned rotor, a worn out brake hose, or a caliper problem. This results in one side of the brakes working stronger than the other side.

7. Brake light illuminated on the dashboard

The most obvious indicator of a brake problem is the brake light appearing on your dashboard. This warning light can indicate it’s time for an inspection, but it can also alert you of more serious problems.

Your brakes are one of the most important safety components in your vehicle. If you notice any of these 7 warning signs, it’s time to schedule maintenance immediately. ​Blaine Auto Care & Transmission installs only the best brake components. ​Give us a call today at (763) 755-7255, or schedule your appointment online​.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Brake Replacement

What all is involved in replacing your vehicle’s brakes? As it turns out, it’s not exactly a straightforward process. It can easily become much more involved than anticipated. Today we’re covering everything you need to know about replacing the brake system in your car. Understanding this process will help you know what to expect when you bring your vehicle in for maintenance.

Steps to replacing the brake system

Replacing automotive brakes is a complicated job. This is because diagnostics often reveal in-depth problems that need fixing. Even so, there’s a general process that most auto mechanics follow when it comes to brake repair. Let’s go through those steps.

Loosen the lugs​: With your emergency brakes activated, put a lug wrench on one of the lug nuts and turn it counter-clockwise. Remember that you’re not removing it altogether. Use the wrench to loosen the lug enough for you to remove it with your fingers. Raise the vehicle​: Place the jack underneath the car’s frame rail. Place jack stands underneath the car to rest it on. As soon as you’re sure the weight can’t shift, you can remove the wheels. Slide out the caliper​: Remove the bolts from the caliper. Once you do this, you should be able to slide the caliper out. If it’s stuck, you can pry it out with a flat head screwdriver. Rest the caliper on the suspension so it doesn’t strain the brake line.

Removing the rest

Remove the caliper carrier​: Remove the bolts that secure the caliper carrier. Remove the rotor: When taking out the rotor, check for a locating screw. This will need to come out before the rotor can be removed. This step may be difficult if you have an older car with rust built up. Install new rotor​: Use a wire brush to remove any rust from the hub. This will help prevent corrosion. When installing, use a degreaser to wipe off any oily residue from the new rotor.

Assemble caliper carrier​: Replace the bolts and replace the caliper carrier. Compress the caliper​: Flatten the caliper’s piston until it’s aligned with the housing of the caliper. You can use a c-clamp and an old brake pad to help with this. Additionally, make sure the cap is off the brake reservoir so you don’t blow a line. Install caliper and brake pads​: After installing the pads in the caliper carrier, loosely fasten the caliper bolts. Make sure the caliper moves without binding. Then, tighten the bolts.

Re-attach the wheels​: Fasten the lugs manually, and then tighten with a torque wrench once the car is back on the ground. Repeat, pump, and break in: Repeat steps 1 through 10 on the rest of your wheels. Then, pump your brakes until you feel pressure. This should take about 3 pumps on the brake pedal. After that, break your system in. It’s normal to hear squealing for the first few miles. Accelerate and let your car gradually decelerate. Do this a few times and listen for any strange noises.

Should I replace my own brakes?

Taking on brake replacement by yourself is not easy. There are lots of variables that could make the job more complex. If you don’t have the background knowledge to properly diagnose and repair brake system issues, it’s best to trust a professional.

Do your brakes need to be replaced? Let our experienced technicians at Blaine Auto Care & Transmission help you out. Give us a call today at (763) 755-7255, or ​schedule your appointment online​. We look forward to seeing you soon.

A Complete History of the “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” Light

history

Nowadays, there’s so much history about cars that we take for granted. For instance, the check engine light. Maybe you’ve never given it much thought, but aren’t you a little curious about how it came to be? Today, we’re covering the complete history of this handy invention, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

History of how the check engine light work?

A check engine light is sometimes called a malfunction indicator lamp, or MIL for short. It’s a computerized warning light that indicates an engine malfunction. Typically found on the instrument panel, it’s the red or orange light that lets you know if there’s a problem. It either looks like a picture of an engine, or will sometimes read as a phrase such as “SERVICE ENGINE SOON”. If the light is blinking, it indicates an imminent problem, and you need to get help right away. When the MIL lights up, the engine control unit saves a fault code that’s read by a scan tool to diagnose the issue. An activated MIL indicates a variety of vehicle issues with a wide range of severity.

When was the check engine light standardized in History?

The check engine light as we know it didn’t appear in vehicles until 1996. It came with the second generation of on-board vehicle diagnostics, known as OBD2. Starting in 1996, OBD2 became a requirement for all cars sold in the United States as part of a federal mandate to lower vehicle emissions. O​BD2 technology resulted in the development of a standardized system of fault codes. Because of this system, our experienced technicians at Blaine Autocare can use scan tool technology on any vehicle built in 1996 or later. This allows us to easily see why your check engine light is activated.

The History and How has the check engine light evolved over time?

Back in the early 1980s, check engine lights were only in vehicles with computerized engine controls. This was before the regulations that came with OBD2 technology. These early diagnostic systems were quite basic in comparison to what we have today. Instead of being standardized, they were only capable of monitoring manufacturer-specific automobile issues. As a result, it was much harder for auto technicians to figure out what activated the check engine light. Back then, scan tool technology wouldn’t work with two different vehicle models, even if both vehicles had the same issue.

 

The most rudimentary form of the check engine light was called an idiot light (no joke), or warning light. Through history, these binary lights only activated when a major issue or breakdown was about to occur. They provided no advance warning or detection of a vehicle fault. The first manufacturer to use them was the Hudson Motor Car Company. They started putting these warning lights in their cars sometime during the mid-1930s. When check engine lights became popular through history in the 1980s, idiot lights were discontinued to avoid confusion.

 

Luckily, we’ve come a long way since then in history. These days, experienced technicians can diagnose any vehicle issue in no time. Since today’s check engine lights are activated for a variety of reasons both large and small, they often detect vehicle issues early on. This saves you time and money on repairs in the long run.

Well, there you have it. Everything you didn’t realize you wanted to know about your car’s check engine light and the history of it. The next time your car’s check engine light is triggered, just be thankful it’s not an idiot light. Think of it as your car’s way of letting you know it needs a little TLC, and give us a call.

 

8 Reasons Your Car’s Check Engine Light is On and What You Need to Do About It

As you’re driving, you look down at your dashboard and notice that the check engine light (CEL) appeared. You hate to see it. The truth is, the CEL can be triggered by any number of engine problems. Today we’ll discuss 8 reasons why your CEL is on and what to do about it.

1. Loose or missing fuel cap

One of the most common causes for the CEL is a loose or cracked fuel cap. The fuel cap keeps vapors from leaking out of your vehicle. If this seal is faulty, your CEL will turn on. Luckily, this is a relatively minor repair. Putting this off will result in poor fuel economy and increased emissions.

2. Oxygen sensor

Another reason you may be seeing the CEL is the oxygen sensor. This sensor determines the amount of oxygen present in the exhaust. It allows your engine to perform at maximum efficiency by adjusting the amount of fuel. A faulty oxygen sensor will cause your car to use up more gas than it needs. Delaying this repair could damage your catalytic converter, costing you thousands of dollars.

3. Spark plugs and spark plug wires

Old or faulty spark plugs and spark plug wires can also activate the CEL. Your spark plugs and wires are what ignite the air and fuel mixture in your car’s engine. This produces power and makes your engine turn. If these aren’t working correctly, it can weaken engine performance and lead to poor fuel economy. Luckily, spark plugs are inexpensive and easy to replace. Putting this off can clog the catalytic converter or damage the oxygen sensors.

4. CEL & Catalytic converter

Your CEL may turn on because of a clogged catalytic converter. Since this part doesn’t need routine maintenance, it usually indicates another underlying problem. Unfortunately, this isn’t a cheap fix. Routine maintenance and repairs can prevent a clogged catalytic converter, saving you time and money in the long run.

5. Battery

A faulty or undercharged car battery will lead to low voltage, which may cause your CEL to turn on. Modern batteries are maintenance-free and last around 5 to 7 years. While this isn’t a common reason for the CEL, it’s still possible.

6. MAF failure

The mass air flow (MAF) sensor can also trigger your car’s CEL. The MAF sensor measures the exact amount of air that enters the engine. This tells your car how much fuel it needs for it to run smoothly and efficiently. One of the most common reasons for an MAF problem is not changing your air filters. If it’s not resolved in a timely manner, MAF failure can damage lots of other engine parts.

7. EGR valve

The exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR) system lowers the combustion temperature. It does this by rerouting a small amount of exhaust gases back into the engine intake. It controls the flow of gases from the exhaust manifold to the intake manifold. If the EGR flow is more or less than expected, it’ll activate your car’s CEL. EGR valves don’t need regular maintenance but they can get clogged by carbon build-up.

8. Vacuum leak

Your car’s vacuum is connected to several different parts, including the cruise control, heating and A/C vents, exhaust, and brake booster. The vacuum is a set of rubber hose lines. A vacuum leak happens when the rubber stretches out or cracks. When this happens, it triggers the CEL.

As you can see, your car’s CEL could indicate any number of engine issues, some of which have other underlying causes. Although it’s probably not something you want to deal with, routine maintenance will save you from bigger headaches down the road. Our skilled technicians at Blaine Auto Care are always here to help. Give us a call at (763) 755-7255, or stop on by today.

 

 

What Should You Do If Your Check Engine Light Comes On?

So, your check engine light is on. Now what? The check engine light can indicate any number of problems, from simple to serious. Resist the temptation to ignore this warning. Doing so could end up costing you more down the road. Keep reading to find out what steps you need to take if your car’s check engine light is on.

Should I continue driving?

If the check engine light is triggered, it’ll appear in one of two ways. When you have a major problem that needs immediate attention, you’ll see a blinking check engine light. If this is the case, pull over immediately. A check engine light that’s not blinking but is illuminated indicates a problem that usually isn’t an emergency. However, you still need to address it as soon as you can.

Regardless of how your check engine light is displaying, you should always inspect your vehicle for signs of a serious problem. For example, abnormal noises, engine smoke, and loss of power are all signs that you may have a serious issue on your hands. If that’s the case, avoid driving your car if possible. This can cause further damage to your vehicle. Instead, get it towed to a service provider for a comprehensive inspection.

Troubleshooting the check engine light

If you don’t notice anything urgent and if your check engine light isn’t blinking, there’s a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. The first thing you want to check is your gas cap. Believe it or not, a loose gas cap can trigger your car’s check engine light. If you tighten the gas cap and your check engine light turns off, then you may be in the clear.

Another place to check is the oil dipstick. Make sure this is properly seated. Also make sure that the oil fill cap, which is on top of the engine valve cover, is secured tight. These can also activate the check engine light. Another option you have for troubleshooting your car’s check engine light is to use an OBD2 scanner. This tool can read the diagnostic trouble code (DTC) that set off your check engine light. To retrieve this code, you need to connect your OBD2 scanner to the data link connector. This is usually found underneath the dashboard on the driver’s side.

There are lots of good OBD2 scanners that cost under $100. While it won’t give you specific information on your engine malfunction, the DTC can give you an idea of where the problem might be coming from. This can help you decide whether to make the repair yourself, or to seek help from a professional. When you see your check engine light, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and assess the situation. Make an informed plan to resolve the problem systematically. If it’s an urgent matter, seek help right away. If the check engine light isn’t blinking, make a logical plan for troubleshooting.

Our experienced technicians at Blaine Auto Care & Transmission can diagnose and resolve any vehicle issue to get you back on the road in no time. Give us a call at (763) 755-7255, or schedule your appointment online​ today. We’re always here to help.

HEADLIGHT RESTORATION BETWEEN SEASONS

Headlight restoration can be done at any time of the year, but make sure to check them regularly. Do you notice a sudden fogginess on your headlamp? If yes, then it could be a case of changing weather malfunction. It could be a significant concern for your safety while driving during the night. Believe it or not, the headlamps are a blessing in disguise for an accident-free drive. Although headlights usually last up to five years, however, during extreme weather conditions, they fade earlier.

The Sun Makes Your Headlight Go Yellow

Most of the headlight lenses contain poly-carbonate plastic, which is vulnerable to UV rays. Fast forward to summer days; when your headlights absorb the brunt of the summer sun. These rays oxidize the lens, which makes it yellow. The yellow and foggy lenses then cause the light from the bulb to refract and diffuse, which harms your visibility on the road. So, before the light becomes dim or ends up causing a severe accident, you should restore your headlights as early as possible.

Don’t Let it Become Dark

Most people believe that changing lightbulbs fixes everything, but it doesn’t, and they do continue to cause problems for drivers during the night time. According to statistics, forty percent of fatal road accidents occur at night; due to reduced visibility. So, before you head out anywhere else, you should put this task on your priority list.

Headlight Restoration before winter

Winters arrive with numerous challenges for car owners. One of the most underestimated concerns is milky headlights. The milky nature of the headlights usually occurs with an excess of moisture in the environment. Well, you can get rid of the humidity and dampness quickly with some water, but it’s not always that simple, and could turn out fatal.

Your safety matters! So if you’re ready to start with the restoration process right here in Blaine, MN, then link up with Blaine Auto Care! Let us make you feel confident in your headlights again! Give us a call today!

Technology and Keeping up with It

Technology plays a massive role in our everyday life. Even our cars have upgraded each time with new and better technology.

HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY CHANGED?

Technology has completely changed the way that we live. What makes this interesting is how affordable and accessible technology has become. It has become a basic necessity of our lives and has embedded itself in our professional and personal lives.

TECHNOLOGY IN NEW CARS

Although cars are a part of the technology that has helped change our lives for the better, technology has developed new features over time. Self-driving cars are the new focus. While there have been many developed, they are still not allowed on the roads legally.

In-car displays and GPS are excellent for getting us from one point to another. Some high-end vehicles have displays on the windshield.

AUTO SHOP UP TO DATE WITH CHANGES

You don’t have to go way back to find out how much it has changed or evolved auto shops. Over a decade, cars and auto shops have experienced a considerable technology shift that serves everyone for the best. Always be aware with issues your vehicle has. No matter if you think they are big or small, make sure to contact us as soon as possible.

A few things that have changed in the world of auto repair shops are,

  • The stronger focus toward online and mobile scheduled maintenance
  • Better customer service
  • Animated repair videos – Virtual vehicle MD
  • Mobile phone apps
  • Better auto diagnostic tools
  • Order online or get your repaired service delivered

Tech giants such as Google and other search engines focus and include on Mobile searched for Repair shops in the area. You can instantly get precise information and related inquires. BLAINE AUTO CARE provides you with both experience and expertise to help you keep your vehicle ready for the upcoming fall and winter season. And you can acquire these services right here in Blaine, MN.

 

CABIN AIR FILTER AND ITS IMPORTANCE – EXPLAINED

Cabin Air Filters have been a part of the modern automobile’s heating and cooling system for the past 20 years. Vehicles manufactured in the year 2000 or later more than likely has a cabin air filter. The three most common places they can be found are under the hood, in the dash, or behind the glove compartment. These block pollen, dust, and other airborne impurities from entering your vehicle.

 

What is a Cabin Air Filter?

Filters are instrumental to keeping the air that comes through a vehicle’s vents fresh. Poor air inside the vehicle compared to the outside can be caused by a dirty filter. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, replace your cabin air filter more often and there will be a clear difference. Changing the filter depends on a variety of factors, so make sure to contact us.

Can you drive without a Filter?

Do not drive a vehicle without a filter installed. The filter prevents particles from getting into the fan and from being breathed in by the passengers. Even a dirty filter is better than no filter at all. The next time you get your vehicle serviced, mention that you would like your air filter checked and if needed, replaced. The efficiency of it will be improved and you will be breathing cleaner air. If you remove the cabin air filter you are inviting problems.

Most filters may look like a folded piece of paper that simply gathers dust and debris, but car cabin filters are part of the engineering of your vehicle. Your cabin filter prevents against:

  • Dust
  • Dirt
  • Pollen
  • Smells
  • Smoke
  • Larger debris

 

Change Schedule for the Air Filter

Make sure to change the vehicle’s cabin filter about once every year. Remember that how often it is changed depends on how regularly you use your vehicle. Your air filters must change once you reach about 20,000 miles. By changing the cabin filter your vehicle’s engine will run more smoothly, and the air in the vehicle will remain fresh and safe to breathe.

Hire a professional to check your cabin filter for you! Blaine Autocare provides you with both experience and expertise to help you keep your air clean. And, you can acquire these services right here in Blaine, MN. Don’t keep your vehicle waiting and keep the air inside your vehicle clean!

After Winter Care for your Tires

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After the winter months, you will want to make sure the tires are in the best condition possible. One of the most important things to inspect is the air pressure in each tire. When temperatures drop and become cold, then air can leak out of the tires. Eventually, the tires will not be safe to drive on if there is a significant loss of air. As you test the air pressure in the tires, you will want to make sure that the vehicle has not been driven for some time. If you check the air pressure right after driving, you can get a false reading. Be aware of how much air each tire has. If you notice a decrease, make sure to schedule an appointment.

After Winter Care

You will also want to make sure that you are having the tires rotated when recommended. As the tires are rotated, different areas of the tires will wear. Typically they are switched front to back and side to side. This way you can help prolong the life of the tires for your vehicle. We can recommend when a tire rotation may be needed for your vehicle. During that time we can also check the tread of the tires. This will help determine if the tires have worn down. As the tread wears, you will notice the vehicle is hard to handle on wet roads.

 

The alignment is another part of the tires that should be checked. If the alignment is off, it will cause the tread to wear unevenly as you drive. This will also put extra strain and stress on the parts of the vehicle. If the vehicle pulls strongly to one side, the tires may have poor alignment. Anything that is out of the norm with the vehicle should always be inspected. This way we can help you to have a comfortable and reliable drive.

Potholes and How they Affect your Car

potholes

 

Potholes can become an issue for your vehicle, even if you hit them at a lower speed. If you do hit a pothole, make sure that you contact us for an inspection for the vehicle. When you ignore maintenance after hitting a pothole, any damage done will only become worse with time. Always be aware of how the vehicle handles right after hitting a pothole. If there are odd noises or sounds, you will want to have it inspected as soon as possible. Also inspect the tires right after hitting a pothole. If you start to notice any damage, contact us as soon as possible.

Hitting Potholes when driving

When you notice a pothole on the road you are traveling on, make sure to slow down as you get near it. This will help prevent further damage as you go over it. If you hit a pothole at a fast speed, it can increase the chance of damage to the tires. Also remember to try and avoid a direct hit to the pothole. You will want to straddle it or go around it as much as possible. If the pothole is deep, you also run the risk of the vehicle getting stuck or having an immediate breakdown.

 

Hitting a pothole can also cause issues with the shocks and suspension of your vehicle. If you start to notice an uncomfortable ride, you will want to contact us. If the vehicle is rough or pulls to one side, there could be a severe issue with it. Having us inspect it immediately will help to ensure that the parts are in the best condition possible. It will also help to have the vehicle operate efficiently. Even with a minor issue, you will want to make sure that you have it repaired as soon as possible. By having it repaired, you can get back to a safe and reliable vehicle.

Clear the Windshield of your Vehicle

 

Make sure to clear all the snow and ice from the windshield before driving your vehicle. Doing so will help ensure the best visibility possible as you drive. During the winter, make sure that you fully clear off the windows of your vehicle. If there is any ice, snow, or frost, you will want to completely remove this. That way, you will have the best visibility of the road and those around you as you drive. Always remember to scrape away the entire windshield of ice and snow, and not just an area you can see out of.

 

You will always want to make sure you have good vision of everything around you. To accomplish this, make sure to properly scrape off all the side windows of your vehicle. You will want to look beside or in the next lane if you plan on changing lanes. Make sure the area is free of traffic so you can safely do so. Remember to scrape the rear windshield as well. As you scrape the windows, also remember to remove all the snow and ice from the hood, roof, and trunk of the vehicle. This will help prevent it from blowing off and impairing the visibility of the other drivers around you.

 

As you get ready to leave, you will want to have enough time to start your vehicle. This can also allow you enough time to help warm it up. Turn on the defrost so the windshield will start warming up. As it warms up on the inside, it will help to make it easier to scrape off the ice and snow from the outside. When you are done scraping, your vehicle will be warmer to be in. It will also help to warm up the oil and other fluids of the vehicle, so it can operate efficiently.

Why Repairs are Important to Check for

 

All repairs that are done for your vehicle are important to check for. If there are odd noises or sounds from your vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment. We can give the vehicle a bumper to bumper inspection to help ensure that the parts are working as they should be. Any sign of an issue, we can repair it or replace the part. This will help keep the vehicle operating efficiently as you drive. If there are any issues you notice, make sure to remember when it occurred. Doing so will help us to locate the problem quickly.

 

You will also want to remember to go to the regular maintenances that you should go to. As these are done, we will check the parts of the vehicle for you. You should also remember to have regular services done too. Tasks like oil changes, tire rotations, and tire alignments are all important. This will help to keep your vehicle operating at top efficiency. Doing so will help save on overall wear and tear to your vehicle as well. If you ignore maintenance, you will end up needing more severe repairs in the long run.

 

Check the tires to make sure that they free of any damage or issues. If a tire is low on air pressure, you will want to fill it to the proper amount. This will help you to improve the comfort and reliability of the vehicle. Also check the tires to make sure they are free of any bulges or cracks. If you notice an issue, bring the vehicle in. At the same time we can also check the tread and alignment of the tires. If they are not correct or ideal, we can properly align or rotate them for you. Doing so will help keep your driving safely on the road.

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