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It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Of course, your travel plans may look a little different this year with COVID-19. With an expected rise in car travel, we’ve put together a list to help prepare your vehicle for a road trip. Getting your car ready will help make sure your Thanksgiving travel is as smooth as possible.
1. Check the electrical
Before hitting the road, you’ll want to be sure all your lights are functioning. This includes the headlights, taillights, and blinkers. If you’re traveling in a truck or motorhome, make sure everything’s working here as well.
2. Inspect your tires
Never leave on a long road trip without checking your tires. Specifically, check your air pressure. Under inflated tires will lead to poor gas mileage, and over inflated tires will negatively impact the quality of your ride. Over time, the wrong air pressure can shorten the lifespan of your tires. Our advice is to check the air pressure before you leave, and again for every 1,000 miles of travel. Tire rotation helps increase the lifespan of your tires by helping them wear evenly. Your tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, so you may need to get this done before your trip. Tires will last anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles. If your tires are old, then you may want to have a professional inspect them before taking a long car trip.
3. Check the battery
Check out your battery before you leave. It should be securely connected and corrosion-free. Car batteries typically last 3 to 5 years. It’s best practice to get yours inspected once a year if it’s over 2 years old.
4. Inspect the belts and hoses
When pushing down on the belts, they should have little slack. If they have lots of give to them, they need to be repaired before your trip. Look for cracks or fraying in your hoses, and be on the lookout for fluid leaks. These issues need to be addressed before you leave.
5. Fluids and filters
If you’re due for an oil change, get this done before your road trip. Also, make sure to top off your other auto fluids, including: power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze, and windshield fluid. Replace your air filters if you haven’t done so in a while. Air filters in the engine and cabin impact engine performance, fuel economy, and air quality. These should be switched out annually.
6. Listen to the brakes
If your brakes are making a strange squealing sound, it could mean your brake pads need to be replaced. Your brake pads provide the necessary friction to bring your vehicle to a stop. Over time, they wear thin and need replacing. To be safe, make sure your brakes are in great condition before your road trip. We all know how hectic holiday travel can be. By taking care of your car now, you can help prevent any unexpected complications on the road.
Does your car need an inspection before Thanksgiving? It’s not too late. Our experienced technicians at D&D Autoworks are here for you. You can make an appointment online, or reach us by phone. Give us a call today at (952) 931-9696 for our Minnetonka Boulevard location, or (952) 922-9696 for our West Lake Street location.
A Brief History of Your Car’s Braking System
The brakes are one of the most essential parts of your car. Over the years, automakers have implemented lots of different braking systems. Today, we’re diving into a brief history of automotive brakes. Keep reading to find out how we got to where we are today.
Wooden block brakes
The very first automotive braking system was wooden block brakes. As the name suggests, these brakes consisted of a lever and some wooden blocks. When the lever moved, it forced the wooden block directly against the steel rim of the wheel. This created friction, which caused the car to stop. Wooden block brakes were first used in horse-drawn carriages. They were also used in steam-powered cars. As long as they went no faster than 10 to 20 miles per hour, wooden block brakes could bring moving vehicles to a halt.
When wheel technology improved from steel rims, wooden block brakes became obsolete. In the 1890s, many automakers began using rubber tires. Since wooden block brakes didn’t work anymore, automakers needed a new system of brakes.
Mechanical drum brakes
In 1899, Gottlieb Daimler thought of a new braking system. He theorized that if a cable-wrapped drum was connected to the chassis of the vehicle, it could bring it to a stop. Based on this idea, Louis Renault built the first mechanical drum brake in 1902. Renault’s brakes are thought of as the basis for modern automotive brakes.
Expanding internal shoe brakes
Although mechanical drum brakes were an improvement, they often malfunctioned. Since they were external brakes, they got exposed to precipitation and extreme temperatures. Eventually, expanding internal shoe brakes were developed. This brake system was stored inside a metal drum, preventing damage caused by natural elements. This metal drum was attached to the wheel. Inside the drum, pistons expanded brake shoes when the brakes were activated. The expanded brake shoe brushed up against the inside of the drum, creating friction. This caused the wheels to slow down and eventually come to a complete stop.
Expanding internal shoe brakes were an important innovation, but they had one big problem. They required a significant amount of force to operate. This problem was addressed by the invention of hydraulic brakes. In 1918, Malcolm Loughead invented the first four-wheel
hydraulic braking system. These brakes used brake fluid to move hydraulic force from the brake pedal to the brake shoe. Unlike its predecessors, hydraulic brakes required much less force from the driver to operate. Many automakers integrated hydraulics into their braking systems by the late 1920s.
Hydraulic brakes weren’t a flawless design. For one thing, they often needed maintenance for leaking. Additionally, they became less effective over time as the speed capacities and sizes of cars increased. Instead, automakers began using disc brakes that had hydraulic functions. Disc brakes weren’t new. In fact, they were invented back in 1902 by William Lanchester. In the mid-20th century, they became a popular option for auto manufacturers.
Anti-lock brakes date back to the 1920s and were first used on airplanes. Automakers began incorporating them in the 1950s and ‘60s as a safety feature. Anti-lock brakes give drivers more control because they stop brake systems from locking up. When a lock is detected, the hydraulic valves reduce the pressure on a wheel. This prevents the vehicle from spinning. By the 1970s, anti-lock brakes were a popular safety feature. These days, they’re a standard feature in most cars.
Does your vehicle need a brake inspection? Our experienced technicians at D&D Autoworks can help. You can make an appointment online, or give us a call. You can reach us at (952) 931-9696 for our Minnetonka Boulevard location, or (952) 922-9696 for our West Lake Street location. We look forward to seeing you soon.
What is a master cylinder?
For being such an essential part of your brake system, the master cylinder doesn’t get enough love. Today we’re talking all about what the master cylinder is and why it’s so important. We’ll also go back in history to find out its origin story. Let’s dig in.
The master cylinder is a tube in your brake system that transports hydraulic force from the brake pedal to your wheels. When your foot presses down on the brake, it creates a force that passes through the cylinder. The force is pushed through the master cylinder and into the brake lines to reach the calipers. The calipers clamp onto your rotors,and this stops your wheels from rotating.
Car aficionados think of the master cylinder as the heart of your car. In a lot of ways, they serve the same function. Like your heart, the master cylinder pumps fluid out of it. Instead of blood, it pumps brake fluid. Instead of going through arteries, the master cylinder pumps the brake fluid out through brake lines. Both the heart and the master cylinder are vital components. This analogy illustrates just how important the master cylinder is.
How does it work?
Let’s get into the details. When you press down on the brake pedal, it pushes the pushrod further into the master cylinder. Inside this dual-chamber cylinder, there are two pistons and a spring. The pistons work like plungers, pushing brake fluid along through each of the chambers. While they move forward, hydraulic pressure builds up. This is the force that makes the calipers clamp onto the rotors. This prevents your wheels from spinning, bringing your car to a stop.
The hydraulic brake system has to be airtight to function properly. To ensure this, a reservoir sits above the cylinder. When you remove your foot from the brake pedal, brake fluid floods back through the brake lines and into the reservoir.
How did the master cylinder come to be?
Brake systems weren’t always this sophisticated. The first hydraulic braking system was invented in 1918 by Malcolm Lougheed. He figured out how to apply liquid pressure to brake shoes, causing them to push against the drums. This invention caught on, and Chrysler eventually picked it up. They improved Lougheed’s model and named their version Chrysler-Lockheed hydraulic brakes. These were used from 1924 to 1962. Lougheed’s system had problems. Since it was a single-cylinder model, a minor fault or leak could cause the entire system to fall apart. One small issue could affect the entire system, and your brakes could completely die.
A company called Wagner Electric found a solution to this problem. In 1960, they invented a dual-cylinder brake system. Around the same time, American motors developed their own dual-cylinder system. Their design separated hydraulic lines by pairing diagonally-opposed wheels. With this model, you would always have one front and one rear wheel with functioning brakes, even if one of the two circuits was faulty. In 1962, Cadillac also created their own dual-cylinder system. Instead of pairing diagonal wheels, they separated front and rear hydraulic lines.
This dual system created a safety net, ensuring that one leak wouldn’t ruin the entire brake system. In fact, in 1967, the federal government mandated dual-braking master cylinders. Having separate circuits is reported to prevent tens of thousands of car accidents annually.
The next time you’re driving, take a moment to appreciate your cylinder and how far it’s come. Does your master cylinder need maintenance? Our technicians at D&D Autoworks are here for you. You can make an appointment online, or give us a call. You can reach us at (952) 931-9696 for our Minnetonka Boulevard location, or (952) 922-9696 for our West Lake Street location.
7 Signs Your Brakes Need Maintenance
The brakes are arguably the most important safety feature of your car, so you need to take good care of them. Luckily, your car will usually let you know if there’s a problem. Today we’re talking about 7 signs to look for if your brakes need maintenance.
1. Burning smell while driving
A chemical burning smell could be a sign that your brakes are overheating. If this is the case, pull over immediately and allow your brakes to cool down. If your brakes are overheated, it means the brake fluid has reached a boiling point. This could cause your entire system to malfunction.
2. Soft or spongy brake feel or leaking fluid
An oddly spongy or soft brake pedal is an unmistakable sign of moisture in your brake system. This is often because of a leak in your hydraulic system. If this happens, it could cause your entire brake system to malfunction. Without your hydraulics functioning properly, the brake pads won’t be able to clamp down onto the rotors.
3. Wobbling or vibration
If you experience vibrating or wobbling, you could have an uneven rotor. All rotors eventually develop surface variations. These differences in thickness can create a wobbling motion when you hit the brakes. Wobbling or vibrating could also indicate an issue with the calipers. If the caliper’s piston is surrounded by debris or rust, then the caliper won’t be able to retract. This causes a vibrating motion.
4. Squealing noise when braking
When your calipers or brake shoes wear out, they’ll make an unmistakable squealing sound. This comes from the brake pad wear indicators. These indicators are metallic, so when they scrape against the rotor, they make a horrendous noise. This is one of the most obvious signs that your brakes need maintenance.
5. Pulling to one side while braking
If your car veers to one side when you’re braking, you probably have an issue with your front two brakes. This could indicate a caliper problem, a worn out brake hose, or a misaligned rotor. All these problems can cause your vehicle to brake unevenly. Since the functioning side tries to compensate for the malfunctioning side, your car will pull in one direction.
6. Grinding sound from the brake pedal
A grinding noise could indicate a number of problems with your braking system. It might mean you have a loose rock trapped in the caliper, which is a relatively simple fix. However, it could also be the rotor being scraped by the brake pad wear indicator. If this is ignored, it could lead to serious damage to your brakes. A grinding sound could also point to rust in your system. Regardless of the cause, it’s best to have a professional check out your brakes if you hear grinding.
7. Brake light illuminated on the dashboard
An illuminated brake light on your dashboard is a warning sign you can’t ignore. The brake light is triggered by your car’s diagnostics system to let you know your brakes need maintenance. The underlying cause for the brake light could be any number of reasons. To get to the bottom of it, you’ll need to get your system inspected.
No matter the issue, our experienced technicians at D&D Autoworks are always here to help. You can make an appointment online or give us a call. You can reach us at (952) 931-9696 for our Minnetonka Boulevard location, or (952) 922-9696 for our West Lake Street location. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Everything You Need to Know About Replacing Your Brakes
Brake replacement is no simple task. This is because your brake system is complex, and replacing any part of it can expose a problem with your system. If this happens, you’ll need to troubleshoot and repair the issue. Keep reading to find out more about the process for brake replacement. Understanding this job can help you decide how you want to go about replacing your vehicle’s brakes.
Steps to replacing the brake system
Most professionals will follow these steps when replacing the brakes:
- Loosen the lugs: Engage the emergency brake and unfasten the lugs with a lug wrench. Don’t detach the lugs all the way.
- Raise the vehicle: Place the car jack beneath the frame rail of your car. Make sure that the jack stands are positioned beneath your car, and rest your car on the stands. Once you’re positive your vehicle is stable and that its weight can’t shift, remove the wheels.
- Slide out the caliper: After you remove the bolts, slide the caliper out. Once removed, make sure there’s no strain put on the brake lines and rest the caliper on the suspension. If the caliper doesn’t slide right out, use a flat head screwdriver to help extract it.
- Remove the caliper carrier: Unfasten the bolts that hold the caliper carrier in place and remove the caliper carrier.
- Remove the rotor: Before disconnecting the rotor, look for a rotating screw. Some rotors will have this and others won’t. If you have one, take out the screw first. Pulling out the rotor might be difficult if there’s a build-up of rust or debris in the system.
- Install new rotor: Using a wire brush, wipe rust off the hub’s surface. Remove all oily residue from the new rotor with a degreaser. Then, install your new rotor.
- Assemble caliper carrier: Reconnect the caliper carrier and secure it with new bolts.
- Compress the caliper: Check to make sure that the brake reservoir’s cap is removed. Then, line up the piston of the caliper with its housing. You can use an old brake pad and a c-clamp to help you with this.
- Install caliper and brake pads: Install the brake pads in the caliper carrier, and loosely fasten the caliper bolts. Once you’ve checked to make sure the caliper can move without seizing up, fasten the bolts all the way.
- Re-attach the wheels: Attach the lugs by hand. Once your car is back on the ground, torque the lugs.
- Repeat, pump, and break in: Repeat this process on all 4 of your car’s wheels. Then, pump your brake pedal until you feel pressure. The last step is to break in your new system. Take your car through a few cycles of speeding up and gradually slowing back down. You’ll probably hear some noises at first, but these should recede if everything is installed correctly.
Should I replace my own brakes?
Brakes can be difficult to replace. The job can easily become more involved than anticipated. Unless you’re used to troubleshooting and repairing brake issues, brake replacement is best left to an expert. Trusting a pro will give you peace of mind that your brakes are getting treated with care.
Does your car need brake replacement? Let our experienced technicians at D&D Autoworks help you out. Give us a call at (952) 931-9696 for our Minnetonka Boulevard location, or (952) 922-9696 for our West Lake Street location. You can also make an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Nowadays, it’s easy to take our car’s features for granted. Take, for instance, the check engine light. Have you ever really thought about it? How did it come to exist? Today, we’re covering the complete history of this handy invention, from the 1930s all the way up to present day.
How exactly does the check engine light work?
Before we get down to the nitty gritty, let’s go over a few things. A check engine light is sometimes called a malfunction indicator lamp (or MIL for short). It’s operated by your car’s computer system and serves as a warning that there’s something wrong with the engine. When activated, it’s a red or orange light that shows up on your vehicle’s dashboard. It will either look like a phrase, like “SERVICE ENGINE SOON”, or it will appear as an image of an engine. If the light is not blinking, it means there’s a minor issue that needs to be addressed sometime soon. If the light is blinking, it means there’s an urgent matter that needs immediate resolution. As soon as the light gets triggered, a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) gets sent to your car’s computer system. A scan tool reads the DTC and identifies the problem.
History of when the check engine light was standardized?
The check engine light as we know it dates back to the mid-1990s. In 1996, the United States government was trying to reduce vehicle emissions. They mandated that all cars sold in the U.S. be equipped with an on-board vehicle diagnostic system, called OBD2. Since all new cars had the same technology, it standardized everything, including DTCs. This standardization allows our skilled technicians at D&D Autoworks to read DTCs using scan tool technology. This means we can diagnose any issue on any vehicle we see, regardless of the make or model.
How has the check engine light evolved through History?
Before OBD2 technology, there wasn’t a systematic approach to identifying and resolving engine issues. In the 1980s, automakers started manufacturing vehicles with computerized engine controls. However, each system was unique to the vehicle’s manufacturer. Because nothing was standardized across the board, the diagnostics process was extremely time-consuming.
The earliest form of the check engine light was called an idiot light (no joke), or warning light. They were first used by the Hudson Motor Car Company in Detroit, who started installing them sometime in the mid-1930s. These tell-tales were only triggered by a major engine fault. Unfortunately, they didn’t give much of a warning before a vehicle broke down. Because of their limitations, idiot lights were eventually phased out in the 1980s.
Luckily, we’ve made significant progress since the 1930s. These days, skilled technicians can conduct diagnostics tests in no time. Modern check engine lights are often activated for minor vehicle issues. Being aware of the smaller issues often prevents you from having crippling car troubles down the line. This saves you time and money.
This concludes our brief history lesson on the check engine light. The next time your check engine light is activated, think about how far we’ve come since the “idiot light” days. Consider the check engine light as your car’s way of talking to you, and give us a call.
8 Reasons Your Car’s Check Engine Light is On and What You Need to Do About It
The dreaded check engine light. When you see it, you know you have a problem. Although ignoring it is tempting, this will only cause you a bigger headache. Below, we’ll discuss 8 of the most common causes for an activated check engine light.
1. Vacuum leak
One reason your check engine light may be on is a vacuum leak. Cars have lots of vacuum lines, which are rubber hoses that carry a lack of air pressure. They’re used for lots of different things in your engine. Since they’re made out of rubber, they’ll develop cracks or stretch out over time. Finding the leak can take some time, but the vacuum lines themselves are a relatively cheap part.
2. MAF failure
If your MAF (mass air flow) sensor malfunctions, it’ll trigger the check engine light. This sensor tells exactly how much air enters the engine. This lets your car know the amount of fuel needed for it to run efficiently. If an MAF repair is put off, it can damage your oxygen sensor, spark plugs, and catalytic converter. It can also cause reduced fuel economy and performance.
3. Catalytic converter
If your check engine light turns on because of the catalytic converter, it’s usually because there’s another engine part that needs maintenance. The catalytic converter changes poisonous carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If this part is clogged up, it can’t do its job.
4. Oxygen sensor
Your car’s oxygen sensor tracks the gases present in the engine to make sure enough oxygen is present. A faulty sensor is another reason you may be seeing your check engine light. A problem here can lead to bad gas mileage. Putting off maintenance on your oxygen sensor could lead to issues with your spark plugs or catalytic converter, costing you thousands of dollars in damages.
5. EGR valve
The EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve doesn’t need regular maintenance. However, if your check engine light is on because of this, it’s probably because it’s clogged by carbon build-up. This valve is opened or closed by your vehicle’s computer to control vehicle emissions. It does so by redirecting some exhaust gases back to the intake manifold. If the valve is clogged, it can’t do its job and will need to be replaced.
If your car battery is faulty or isn’t charging, your car’s computer won’t detect the right amount of energy. This will trigger the check engine light in your car, and you may need to replace the battery. A car battery lasts about 5 to 7 years, so this isn’t something that you’ll see too often.
7. Spark plugs and spark plug wires
Faulty spark plugs and spark plug wires can also activate your car’s check engine light. These parts ignite the fuel and air in your engine to produce power. When they don’t work properly, it affects the performance of your engine, and can even cause it to stop running. As long as it’s addressed right away, spark plug replacements are a relatively minor issue.
8. Loose or missing fuel cap
Your gas cap is there to keep fumes from coming out of your gas tank. If the cap is missing, loose, or cracked, your check engine light will turn on. Replacing your fuel cap is an easy, inexpensive fix. Don’t put this off, though. Driving without one will cause bad fuel efficiency and increase your car’s emissions.
These are 8 of the most common reasons your check engine light is on. The only way to know why your check engine light is on is to take your vehicle in for an inspection. Thankfully, our technicians at D&D Autoworks are here to help. Give us a call today or book online to schedule your inspection.
What Should You Do If Your Check Engine Light Is On?
One of the last things you want to see while driving is the check engine light. But, when you see it, you need to know what to do. Check engine lights can indicate a wide range of issues, from simple to serious. The last thing you want to do is ignore it and pretend like it’s not there. Read on to learn about what you can do to troubleshoot the issue.
Should I pull over?
The first decision you need to make is whether or not you need to pull over. Here’s what you need to know. The check engine light on your dashboard will appear in one of two ways. So if you have a serious issue, the light will be flashing. If it’s a less urgent matter, the light will be illuminated but not flashing. This indicates that your engine needs attention at your earliest convenience, but you probably don’t need to stop what you’re doing. If your check engine light is flashing, the safest option is to pull over immediately.
Flashing or not flashing, take a moment to observe your surroundings. Do you notice anything odd with your vehicle? Some telltale signs of major engine problems include engine smoke, loss of power, and strange noises. If any of these things are happening, you should stop driving and seek help. If possible, get your car towed to a service provider for diagnostics.
How to troubleshoot a check engine light
If your check engine light is illuminated but not flashing, you may be able to resolve the problem yourself. However, the first thing to look at is your gas tank. Oddly enough, a loose fuel cap can activate the check engine light. Examine your fuel cap to make sure it’s fastened properly. However, this is a quick and easy fix that could turn off your check engine light, solving your problem. Another spot to check is your oil dipstick. The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that it’s sealed. You should also check the oil fuel cap to make sure it’s attached correctly. This might be all you need to do to deactivate your car’s check engine light.
If you want to go a little more in-depth, you can purchase an OBD2 scan tool. This device reads diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) saved by your car’s computer. These DTCs get saved when the check engine light turns on. All you need to do is connect the OBD2 scanner to the data link connector, which is typically found underneath the driver’s side dashboard.
OBD2 scanners can cost up to $50 to $100. Even though DTCs can point you in the direction, they don’t give you the full story. But the good news is that they can give you a solid idea of how serious your engine problems are. Having this information can help you decide how to address vehicle repairs. If you see the check engine light, try not to panic. Stay relaxed and come up with a plan. Remember to always pull over if you think you have a major issue on your hands.
D&D Autoworks is always here for your vehicle service, maintenance, and repair. You can make an appointment online, or give us a call. You can reach us at (952) 931-9696 for our Minnetonka Boulevard location, or (952) 922-9696 for our West Lake Street location. Our experienced technicians look forward to serving you.
Headlight restoration is always important. As a car owner, you must keep your vehicle under good maintenance to keep it running smoothly. One of the most important services that you can get done is headlight restoration. Headlight restoration enhances the look of your car and keeps your safety in check. Whether the car’s headlights have become cloudy and oxidized, have them checked. It may also be from regular wear and tear or just in need of light replacement. It is in your best interest to contact a repair shop immediately.
Most people believe that once their headlights give them a hard time seeing through, they must be replaced entirely, which can be quite expensive and unnecessary. Let us help you know the importance of headlight restoration and figure out if you need one.
SIGNS THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE
If you’ve had your car for more than five years, think about the first few months when you took it out for a ride. I hope you understand what we’re trying to say. A few signs that indicate a headlight restoration would be;
- Your headlights are hazy and cloudy
- It becomes hard to see at night
- Your headlights are scuffed, cracked, or scratched.
All these signs are dangerous and must be looked into immediately. Cracks and scratches, if left alone, can get worse with time. They can hurt your car’s headlight but, most importantly, your safety on the road.
THE IMPORTANCE IT PROVIDES
As stated earlier, getting headlights restored is essential for your safety. It also adds an overall appeal to the car’s look but most importantly;
- Restores cloudy and dull lenses
- Gets rid of scratches
- Helps maintain the overall value of your car
- Provides safety
- Increases visibility
- Maintains performance and functionality
- Allows you to pass your state inspection
- Saves you money by avoiding headlight installation and lets you keep your original headlight.
40% of fatal accidents occur during the night, and reduced visibility contributes a major chunk in many cases. Hazy headlights cut visibility in half, which is a light reduction at 75% for most 50-year-old. Clear headlight lenses can make a huge difference.
WHEN SHOULD THE LIGHTS BE INSPECTED?
As soon as you notice dents and scratches, it will be pretty obvious for you to get your car’s headlights inspected. Faded headlights can severely reduce your night vision while driving. If you feel like your headlights seem cloudy, add ‘headlight restoration’ to your to-do list instantly.
If you haven’t restored your car’s headlight in five years, it’s about time you take it to a professional, but always inspect first yourself.
Now that you know the importance of getting the headlight restoration done, hire a professional to check your car! D & D AUTOWORKS provides you with both experience and expertise. And you can acquire these services right here in St Louis Park, MN.
There is no set time to see when exactly you will need a new pair of tires. The mileage and lifespan of a tire depend on a combination of multiple factors such as the driver’s habits and the road conditions. It is also determined by its design, and how much care has been put into the tires.
Tires need to be replaced before the tread gets below 1/16 inch – if you do it sooner, it will maintain proper handling and braking. Anytime that the tires start to show signs of wear and age, make sure to have them inspected by us. We can advise you on what we recommend, and if new tires are needed.
Timelines to Know
For tires that have been in use for more than five years, they should be checked thoroughly. This should be done at least once a year to help ensure they are in proper condition.
If they haven’t been replaced in over ten years after their manufacturing date, consider replacing them. Even if they seem in great condition, you will want to have them inspected. This applies to spare tires as well.
Increase the lifespan of the tires by maintaining the ideal air pressure in them. Other maintenance includes regular vehicle maintenance and regular tire rotations.
What Damages Your Car Tire?
There are a few ways the tires can get damaged. Fortunately, the most common causes of tire damage are entirely under your control. One problem can be tires that are over inflated or under inflated. Either of these can lead to irregular tread wear for the tires. Also remember to slow down. Driving at high speeds can also damage the tires. Applying the brakes at high speeds can cause the tire to build up heat, abrasion, and even air loss.
Getting your tires replaced at the right time is very important. It protects you and your loved ones from facing roadside emergencies, giving them a smooth driving experience. Located at St. Louis Park, MN, D & D Autoworks, we are known for our industry-standard, high-end tire inspection and repair services. Come over to our shop for the best deals and discounts.
The brake system is actually an arrangement of different components and linkages like brake drum, brake lines, brake disc, master cylinder, mechanical linkages, fulcrums, and more. These are arranged in a way that it converts the automobile’s kinetic energy into heat energy. If you ever notice an issue when applying the brakes or stopping, make sure to contact us. That way we can inspect it to help prevent a costly repair bill or more damage to parts.
Brake System and How long it goes for
Typically brake pads last around 40,000 miles on an average, but the range can also be quite expansive. Sometimes it can be varying from 20,000 miles to 60,000 miles. Many factors can affect your brake pad’s life span; your driving habits can also affect the lifespan of your brake. At the same time, the harmful materials are a big reason for decreasing the durability of your brake pads.
We have a couple of things noted down for you to increase the life of your brake pads and so that they work smoothly and you have a safe drive: try to drive according to the flow of the traffic to avoid unnecessary heavy braking and try to always give yourself enough following distance from the vehicles ahead of you so you can coast to a comfortable and pleasant stop
Maintaining the Brake System
Your car comes with a suggested brake maintenance manual that schedules everything. Getting your brake checked every 12000 miles and having your fluid changed every 25000 miles is the best rule of thumb. It would help if you tried to get your maintenance checked by your local mechanic regularly. Leaving your brake maintenance unattended is very dangerous because you have no control over your velocity if you have no control over the brakes.
The part that makes the brake system
A complete brake system almost consists of five parts
Pedals of a brake are used to exert pressure by the driver to stop the vehicle—the piston moves when the pedal is pressed.
· Master Cylinder
A master cylinder is directly placed in the front of the seat of the driver on the firewall inside the engine.
· Break booster
The brake booster is mounted directly behind the master cylinder on the firewall.
· Drum Breaks
The drum brake can be found on the rear wheels. When the breaks are pressed, the fluid forces down its way into the cylinder of the drum brake.
In any unfortunate event, if the wheels lock up due to some sort of panic breaking or your steering control is gone. It gets detected by the anti-lock brake system, and they immediately pump the brakes.
Now that you know what the brakes are made of, time for you to hire a professional to check your brake pads for you! D&D Auto works provide you with both experience and expertise to help you keep your vehicle’s brake functional. And you can acquire these services right here in St. Louis Park, MN. Don’t keep your vehicle waiting!
Cabin air filters should always be inspected. When is the last time you thought about replacing your cabin air filter? Probably, a long time ago! It’s one of those components of your car, which is at the bottom of your maintenance list. But that doesn’t make it any less important
You may know that the cabin air filters protect you from harmful pollutants that are present in the air. Did you also know that it helps your vehicle’s AC system to work properly even in the hottest of Summer days in Minnesota?
But what will happen if you don’t change your cabin air filters regularly? Let us explore how cabin air filters can cause a major load on your wallet if not replaced.
Defend Your AC System
A cabin air filter keeps your car clean and breathable. It filters out all the pollutants and debris which pass through the HVAC track. The filter also assists the AC or heater to work properly.
On the other hand, a clogged cabin air filter can cause damage to the ventilation and AC system. The consequence causes the engine to bear the burden of the AC system, which makes it work harder to keep the vehicle cool.
Cabin Air Filters help Mileage
Even though most car owners know that the running the Air Conditioner reduces their gas mileage of their vehicle. But, not many drivers know that they can boost the efficiency of their AC and increase fuel efficiency by replacing the cabin air filter.
A fully functional cabin air filter both enhances the quality of air which passes through the cabin of the vehicle as well as reducing the strain on your car’s engine, which leads to improved engine performance.
As a vehicle owner, you know how much automobile maintenance can cost. Replacing your vehicle’s cabin air filter is a low-cost investment in your vehicle performance and your family’s safety.
All things considered; your cabin filter may not be the component that can stop your car during a long trip. However, it can surely cause you problems in the long run. So, why not consult a professional to look at it? D&D Auto works have the experience and expertise to keep your car running clean and efficient. The best part is that you can acquire these services right here in St Louis Park, MN.
So, keep your car clean and functional with D&D Autoworks!
Listen to this Article
Any noises coming from your vehicle when you drive are a cause for concern. If there are any sounds that are unusual, make sure to contact us for an appointment as soon as possible. Ignoring the noises will only make it worse in the long run. It can also increase the chance that damage happens to other nearby parts and components. The end result is a costly repair bill that could have been prevented. Even if you think the issue is minor, it is always best to have it looked at as soon as possible.
There are several noises coming from your car that you should be aware of. This can include squealing, grinding, popping, squeaking, howling, clunking, or a loud bang. Any rattling that is noticed from inside the wheels could mean a loose lug nut. It could mean that the wheel was not tightened properly when it was removed, replaced, or rotated. Hearing this noise should always be a reason to contact us as soon as possible.
A squealing or grinding noise will indicate an issue with the brake pads and rotors. If the grind noise becomes worse, make sure to have the vehicle checked for the brake system. This can be a sign the brake pads have worn down and now have contact with the brake rotors. It also means there is metal on metal fiction, which can result in an extreme braking issue. Also be aware if the brake pedal becomes soft or too hard when pressing on. If the brake system starts to fail, the safety of your vehicle declines significantly.
Noises from under the hood can indicate a problem with the engine, or even a loose belt. The belt will operate things like the power steering pump, air conditioner compressor, and even the alternator. If the belt is worn, it will start to get thin and wear down. This can be a quick and easy fix, as long as it is noticed before it does further damage to other parts of the vehicle. Make sure to schedule an appointment so we can inspect the belt. This will improve the reliability of the vehicle when you drive.
Keeping the fuel efficiency at top performance is important. Even if you think the vehicle is getting great fuel mileage, it is always best to keep track of it at each fill-up. That way you will notice the first signs of efficiency decreasing. As always, the best way to keep the vehicle well maintained and at the best performance is to have it inspected bumper to bumper. This will help catch any issue before they become worse and costly when repairing. Check the vehicle owner’s manual for what the schedule should be, or contact us and we can advise a schedule.
Besides maintenance, make sure to follow some other tips to improve the fuel efficiency. Be aware of the speed limit on the roads you are driving on. No matter if it is the interstate or in the St Louis Park area, following the speed limit will help improve mileage. Even driving slightly below the speed limit on the interstate will help the fuel consumption. It also helps reduce the chance of getting a speeding ticket. Besides improving the mileage, driving a little below the speed limit also helps to have proper control of the vehicle when the roads are wet or slick.
By noticing the traffic ahead, your driving can be adjusted. Make sure to coast when approaching a stop sign or stop lights instead of slamming on the brakes last second. Taking your foot off the gas pedal will help save money and gas in the long run. It saves more in fuel than accelerating to try and beat the red light. The same thing should be applied when taking an exit ramp or when there is a bend in the road. Also be aware of any slow traffic or stop and go. Fast accelerating and slamming the brakes will waste fuel and cost you more in mileage
During the summer the deer are more active in the evening and morning hours. Deer also will run across the road during the day or in the middle of the night, so always be on alert for them. If this does not seem bad enough, deer are even more active and more likely to cross the road in the fall. The combination of cars and deer can be lethal. As more roads are built, the more likely deer are displaced from their natural habitat. This is one of the reasons that collisions happen.
Remember if you are driving around a wooded area or place heavy with trees, there will be a chance that deer can jump out. If the trees are close to the road, there will be even less time to notice them approach the road. Also be aware of any open fields, where they likely graze. Reducing your speed slightly will also help incase the brakes need to be applied and slammed on quickly. There may also be deer crossing signs that alert drivers to areas heavily populated in deer. Each year, deer collisions cost over 4 billion dollars nationwide in damage. Also, and estimated 1.2 million vehicle-deer collisions happen yearly.
Also make sure to keep an eye on the road ahead. If vehicles start putting on their brake lights or flash them, it could be an animal or accident that has happened. If one deer runs across the road, chances are that others will likely follow. Otherwise, look in the ditch as some may be just standing there. Also remember to never swerve or go into the other lane if an animal comes across the road. You will do less damage hitting a deer than you do another vehicle. By staying alert when driving, you can reduce the chance of hitting a deer on the road.