SERVICE GARAGE: 
763-792-4949

BLAINE TIRE & AUTO:
763-780-5300

SERVICE GARAGE:  763-792-4949
BLAINE TIRE & AUTO  763-780-5300

 

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Inspecting the Vehicle Regularly

inspecting

Inspecting and having regular maintenance done for your vehicle is always important. This not only helps you to stay safe on the road, but it will help prolong the life of the vehicle. Following the recommended maintenance schedule will help determine when parts start to wear down. The owner’s manual will recommend when certain tasks should be performed. Also make sure to contact us, and we will be happy to advise you on a schedule for maintenance. This will help to have a safe and reliable vehicle as you drive this summer.

 Inspecting the Wipers

Those in the Blaine and Lino Lakes area know how quickly weather can change. When driving, this will affect the windshield wipers the most. As they operate, make sure they clear the rain quickly and efficiently away from the windshield. If they do not, the visibility will decrease. Notice if the blades make any vibration or chatter noise as they go over the windshield. This can indicate that they are wearing down and a new set will be needed. Since wipers are inexpensive, it is always recommended to change them when they are no longer in ideal condition. If the vehicle has a rear wiper, that should be inspected and changed as well.

 

An overlooked part of the vehicle are the tires. They are important since they are the only part that makes direct contact with the road. Driving will start to cause extra wear and strain on the tires. If the vehicle is hard to maintain control of, especially on wet or slick roads, the tread wear should be inspected. As the tread wears down, the tires will lose grip and traction on the road. Checking the tread can be quick and easy, using just a penny. Place it upside down in the tread groove and if you see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread has worn down. We can also check the tread of the tires and determine if a new set of tires would be needed.

Be Aware of Deer Crossing the Road

deer

Driving during the summer can bring it’s own challenges. This can include road construction, heavy traffic, or deer that will run onto the road. Minnesota ranks in the top ten for number of deer collisions in a state. Not only can hitting a deer dangerous, but it can be expensive as well. Each year, these collisions cost over 4 billion dollars in damage. This results in a lethal combination of cars and deer. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there is a rise in collisions. This is mostly from more roads being built through wildlife habitats, which force them to move.

Deer Crossing

Always be aware of deer crossing signs. If these are on the side of the road, then that area is heavily populated with several that cross the road. As you pass by trees that are close to the road, there is an increased chance of deer or wildlife running out of there. This is mostly because the trees will hide the deer and they will not be seen until the last second. When driving past a field, there are more open areas so they can be seen easier. Plus there is larger distance between the field and the road.

 

Also remember to never swerve when a deer runs out onto the road. This can cause an accident with the vehicle beside you because you side-swipe them. If there is a semi beside you, the accident will be worse. It can also increase the chance that you lose control of the vehicle and risk going in the ditch, flipping, or rolling it as well. Overall, there will be less damage by just hitting it. If there is an area and they are on the side of the road, remember to slow down. More often than not, there are always more than one, so you will want to pay attention carefully.

 

Driving in Severe Weather

driving

Driving in severe weather during the summer can be difficult. While winter presents blizzards, summer has thunderstorms, down pour rain, and even a tornado. By staying alert and aware of the weather, you can be prepared for the type of weather you might be driving into when traveling. When it starts raining, turn on the windshield wipers. Doing so will remove the rain and precipitation from the windshield. When the wipers do not clear it away or are damaged, make sure they are replaced. Schedule an appointment and we will be happy to replace the wipers with a new set.

When driving when it rains, turn the wipers on

When the wipers are operating, remember to turn on the headlights. If it rains, visibility will get worse and it will be harder to see. This also makes it more difficult for other drivers to see you. By turning on the headlights, the safety is improved. When driving I fog, remember to set the lights on low beams or fog lights. When the fog is so heavy that the visibility is poor, pull over when it is safe to do so. Waiting a few extra minutes until the fog has cleared is better than driving blindly through it.

 

As severe weather hits and it starts to down pour, reduce the speed that you are driving. With heavy rain, the pavement will have an abundance of water. This will result in an increased chance of hydroplaning when driving. It can also cause safety issues if you are driving too fast. Also be aware if there is flooding or running water on the road. Since you cannot tell how deep the water is, it is always best to turn around and find a different route. Within a few seconds, you can lose control of the vehicle. So always be aware of the road conditions, even if it is raining out.

Why is there Warm Air Blowing from my Air Conditioner?

warm

In the summer you will want nice cold air to blow from the air conditioner of your car. You may notice that once you turn on the car, the air is not cold, since it takes a few minutes for that to happen. If several minutes go by and the air is still warm, there is a problem with the air conditioner. Contact us and we can schedule an appointment. Staying cool and comfortable will be a priority when you drive, so make sure that the air conditioner is always working efficiently and blowing cold air.

 

Always check under the vehicle if you start to notice any issues with the air conditioner. If the hose has a hole in it, then refrigerant will leak out. This will then reduce how efficient the air conditioner is working. It will also show signs of having only cool air instead of cold. Without it, the air will only be warm, even if the air conditioner is on max. If you see a puddle under the vehicle after it has been parked for several minutes, make sure to contact us. This will help the air conditioner get back to blowing out nice cold air.

Warm air may mean a build up

Also be aware of any leaves or build up that might be around the condenser of the air conditioner. Check under the hood, and any leaves or twigs that might be blocking it should be removed. This will cause issues with the airflow of the air conditioner as is operates. It will not be able to cool it as needed, and result in warm air. Also make sure the vehicle is brought in so we can check the fins for any damage or if they are bent. Anytime there is an issue, it is always best to have it fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Noticing the Dashboard Warning Lights

Having a dashboard light illuminate can startle you if you are not sure what it means. If a light comes on, schedule an appointment so we can inspect the vehicle for you. A light that is blinking is an immediate cause for concern. Make sure to pull over when it is safe to do so, and turn off your vehicle. If the light turns on, you will not want to ignore it, as this can cause more damage and issues in the long run.

If you see the temperature warning light com on, it can indicate that the vehicle is overheating. If this happens, it is best to pull over and let your vehicle cool down. When a vehicle overheats and nothing is done, damage can occur to the engine. If you see the light blink it is an immediate warning that the car should be turned off until it has a chance to cool down. A vehicle that overheats often may mean that a sensor or another component is bad. Make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. If the sensor is bad, it will give a false reading for if the vehicle is overheating or not. Also look for any steam or smoke you might see coming out of the hood of the car.

The brake warning light is another one that could illuminate. This can indicate that the handbrake is on. It may also mean that the brake fluid is low. You will want to check the brake fluid to ensure it is at the proper amount and ideal condition. If the fluid is at the correct level, and the light is still on, make sure to call for an appointment. We will look at the brake system and the vehicle to determine what the light is on for. Never ignore the warning lights, because they do illuminate for a reason.

Maintaining the Brakes

Closeup detail of the wheel assembly on a modern automobile. The rim is removed showing the front rotor and caliper.

The vehicle will need to be inspected on a regular basis. This helps to ensure everything is working correctly. Your car is an important part to ensure you get to and from your destination, school, or work, so you will want to make sure you keep it maintained properly. If you do not know when the vehicle should be looked at, make sure to contact us. We will tell you what the schedule should be for your vehicle based on the make, model, and how often you drive.

Always be aware of any odd noises that you might hear from the vehicle. This should include grinding, squealing, or anything else out of the norm. The noises can indicate that the parts are starting to wear out. When these are ignored, then further damage can happen to your vehicle. The brake pads and brake rotors will need to be inspected regularly. This will help to determine when new pads or rotors will be needed. The brake fluid will also need to be inspected, to ensure it helps the brakes to work. If you notice a leak, bring the vehicle in as soon as possible so we can fix it.

You may also notice issues by the brake pedal. The pedal that is too soft or hard to apply can be an issue. This is because the brakes have worn and no long work as they should be. Another sign you might notice is if the brake pedal vibrates when you apply it. This can cause the brakes not to grab and stop the vehicle as they should. If you notice any issue with how your vehicle handles, schedule an appointment. When you apply the brakes, the vehicle may swerve to one side or the other. You will want to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect the full brake system for you.

Fall Maintenance for your Vehicle

A modern hybrid vehicle driving down the road on a nice autumn day.

The change of weather and temperatures means that you should bring your vehicle in for an inspection. We will inspect the parts and components of your vehicle to help ensure they are efficient. If there is an issue that you might notice when you drive, make sure to contact us. Any odd noises or sounds that are present can indicate an issue that will need to be resolved as soon as possible. If the problem is not fixed, then the issue can become worse and lead to a costly repair bill. You can contact us and we can recommend when the vehicle should be brought in for regular maintenance inspections.

Having regular oil changes will help to increase the efficiency and performance of the engine of your vehicle. The oil also lubricates more than just the engine of your vehicle. Any moving part will need the proper lubrication so it moves without causing wear and tear to other parts it connects to. There might be a sign of an issue if you start to hear odd noises or grinding sounds with the vehicle as well when it operates. These sounds can come from under the hood. It will always be recommended that the issue be inspected as soon as possible.

Fall is also a good time to have the tires checked as well. They should be in the best condition, so having us inspect them can help to ensure this as well. We can check the air pressure and the tread wear for each of the tires. If a tire gets low on air often, we can do a further inspection of why this could be the case. Having the tire patched or replaced will save you a lot of trouble and headaches in the upcoming months. We can also look to make sure the tires are wearing evenly. They should be properly aligned with one another.

Driving with Care this Winter

SUV driving on a snowy road

Winter weather will mean that you need to adjust your driving techniques and habits. This will depend a lot on the weather condition, and the road condition. Roads in the winter may become slick. They can be covered in snow, ice, rain, sleet, and any other form of precipitation. Making sure your vehicle is reliable and safe to drive should be a top priority heading into the winter snowy months. Make sure to bring the vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections, so we can check it for you. This will help to ensure the parts and components are working correctly for your vehicle.

The tires are a vital part of driving on winter roads this winter. The air pressure should be at the amount indicated by your vehicle. This can be found in the owner’s manual, or on the inside door jamb of your driver’s door. Make sure the tires are always filled to this correct amount. Tires that are under or over inflated can lead to issues. They can pick up sharp objects on the road, or blow out. You will also notice poor fuel mileage, because the tires will pull the vehicle in one direction or the other. Also remember to check the tread wear. The better the tread, the better control you have of your vehicle on the road. If there is low tread, you may notice your vehicle sliding or loss of control.

Also make sure the windshield wipers are in the best condition. If you have any doubt, it is always best to stay safe, and replace them. They will need to work hard at removing ice and snow this winter. You will need them to rely on the best visibility possible when you drive. They will clear away any precipitation, as well as road grime and slush.

Benefits of Regular Maintenance

Close-up detail of a mechanic tightening or loosening the lugs of an aluminum rim.

Your vehicle is an important part of everyday life. You will want to keep it working as efficiently as possible, and as long as you can. This should include brining the vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections and checks. By doing so, we can inspect the vehicle to ensure the parts and components are wearing as they should be. If they are not, we can fix and repair it quickly for you. Anytime there is an issue you notice, make sure to contact us and we can look at it. By noticing the issue at the first sign, you can help to save time, money, and stress in the long run. If you ignore the issue, it will get worse over time.

Always make sure to check each tire on a regular basis. By doing so, you can ensure they are in the best condition and properly inflated for the vehicle. If you are not sure how full the tires should be, check the inside doorjamb of the driver’s door. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can advise you on what the proper air pressure should be for it. By having the tires properly inflated, they will save on the fuel efficiency as well. Also check the condition of the tires to ensure there are not any cracks or bulges. Tires that start to show signs of damage are more likely to go out unexpectedly.

Also you will want to remember to check the spare tire. Check that the air pressure is at the correct amount on the spare tire for your vehicle. Since you need to use the spare incase a regular tire goes out, you will want it to be in the best condition possible. Also check the overall structure of the spare tire. It should be free of cracks, damage, and anything that might be out of the norm with it. If you notice an issue, you can bring it in so we can check it. Sometimes, it may be best in the long run to invest in a new spare tire that would be reliable to drive on.

Why you Should be Aware of Noises from your Vehicle

The vehicle you own should always be properly maintained. By following the vehicle owner’s manual, you will know when to bring your vehicle in, so it can be inspected. A full bumper to bumper inspection will help ensure the parts and components are working efficiently. If there is an issue, we can fix and resolve it, before the issue becomes a larger problem. Ignoring an issue can also lead to a more expensive repair bill that could have been prevented. We would also be glad to recommend a proper maintenance schedule for your vehicle. Things like tire rotations, oil changes, and fluid flushes are all important. You should also be aware of any issues between visits as well. This can include any odd noises that you might hear.

A grinding noise can happen for numerous reasons. This can mean that parts are wearing against one another, and wearing incorrectly. When everything is operating effectively, the parts and gears fit just right. If they are wearing out, grinding or odd noises may occur from it. If the noise happens on a regular basis, make sure to contact us and bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. Doing so will help improve the efficiency and longevity of the vehicle you own.

You may also notice a high pitch noise from time to time. Sometimes this could be the engine or transmission. As the transmission shifts gears, it may make a high pitch noise when it starts to go out. You will want to make sure the fluid levels are at the proper amount and are in good condition. We can also do this for you as well. If the fluid is old, a fluid flush may benefit the situation and your vehicle. Any noise that gets worse should always be taken seriously. Contact us to schedule an appointment. This way the issue can be resolved as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for choosing the Service Garage of Blaine and Blaine Tire & Auto for your vehicle service and repair needs.

We appreciate every customer!