Topping of the Fluids

Fluids, Automotive ProCare, Rochester MN

Why Topping of the Fluids is Important

In order for the vehicle to operate at top performance levels the fluids should be topped off. Along with checking the fluids, also remember to inspect the oil and windshield washer fluid. The oil is often forgotten about until there is an issue with it. By having the oil changed on a regular basis, you can help keep the engine properly lubricated. A bit of windshield washer fluid can go a long way towards making a clear sight when you drive. This can improve your visibility as you drive. If you notice that you have to fill up a reservoir with fluid often, it could be a sign of a leak somewhere in the system.

 

The fluid checks need to be done for safety reasons as well as ones for maintenance. Having the brake fluid checked on a regular basis can help ensure the proper amount is in there. It can also mean that the brakes are operating effectively and will not lead to an accident over time. Having the fluids checked can help improve the reliability and safety of your vehicle. You can schedule routine fluid checks when you have your vehicle taken in for maintenance. Normally a safety inspection will include checking the major fluids, like the windshield washer fluid, the coolant, and the oil. The other fluids that need to be checked include power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and even the brake fluids in your vehicle. They need to be checked to make sure they are not only at the right level, but that they are clean when they are looked at.

 

Dirty fluids could also mean there is a problem within the vehicle. If a fluid has excessive dirt in it, then it might mean there is a part that is leaking something else. For example, oil could be getting in to the fluid where it is not supposed to be. This could mean you have something failing in the engine. This fluid check might have saved you from being broken down on the side of the road somewhere. The fluid checks can also show when more needs to be added. You do not want your brake fluid to dip, which would make it hard to stop. The power steering fluid can leak out, making your turns harder than they need to be. The coolant could leak out, giving you issues with the engine when you are driving for long periods of time or live in an extremely hot area.

 

All of the fluids are in your vehicle for a reason. Therefore, the fluids need to be at the correct level in order for them to properly run the device they work with. Having fluid checks done as a preventive maintenance procedure is the best way to ensure they are at the levels they need to be at. If you notice any issue, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect your fluids for you.

Increase the Safety of your Vehicle

safety of your vehicle, automotive ProCare, Rochester MN

How to Increase the Safety of your Vehicle

One of the most important things you can do is to make sure to go to regular scheduled maintenances to increase the safety of your vehicle. This is important because the vehicle can be inspected to ensure it is in the best operating condition possible. If a part has started to wear out, it should be replaced as soon as possible. This can help to prevent a larger issue from forming. It can also help reduce the chance of other parts of the vehicle becoming damaged with time. By fixing an issue at the first sign of problems, you can also help to reduce the chance of a costly repair bill in the future.

When you drive, make sure to travel with caution. Also make sure to stop and accelerate accordingly. Slamming on the brakes could cause issues with the brake system. If you slam on the brakes, it could cause the brake line to wear down quicker than it should. It could also cause your vehicle to slide or slip if you have to slam on the brakes suddenly when the roads are wet or slick. Try to anticipate stops that you might have to make. Any stop signs or stoplights that are coming up make sure to slow down in plenty of time to assure your safety. Besides stopping slowly, also make sure to accelerate slowly. Jackrabbit starts can lead to poor fuel efficiency for the vehicle. Fuel can be wasted if you have to accelerate fast. Make sure to ease out of a stop when you go.

The tires of the vehicle should be checked on a regular basis as well. Check the sidewalls for any cracks or damage they might have. Also check to make sure they are wearing evenly. If the tires are wearing unevenly, it could cause more damage to the tires. It can also reduce the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Make sure to bring the vehicle in, and we can inspect the tires for you. If you notice any issues with the vehicle, it is always recommended to have them inspected as soon as possible. This will increase the safety of your vehicle.

The Windshield Should be Inspected Regularly

windshield, Automotive ProCare, Rochester MN

Why Windshields Should be Inspected Regularly

The windshield should be inspected on a regular basis. This can help to improve the visibility when you drive. It will also increase the safety when you drive. This is because you will be able to see the road in front of you, without any obstructions or damage marks. If there is a crack or divot in the windshield, it could interfere with your driving. This is because it could mask a hazard that might be further ahead on the road. Being aware of your surroundings is important to decrease the chance of an accident.

No matter what time of the day, you should always drive the best that you can. At night, your driving habits will probably change. The most important thing will be the speed at which you are traveling. You should slow down when driving at night because you will not be able to see further distances than you typically would. This can make any object or hazard in the road harder to see. It will also make for less time for you to come to a stop or to swerve in order to avoid it. Your speed should also be reduced because animals are more likely to appear on the roads at night. In order to have the best visibility possible make sure you check the windshield on a regular basis. This can alert you to any damage that it might have. In some cases, a replacement may be needed. This will decrease the chance of a crack from become larger and spreading. Inspecting and replacing the windshield can also help to improve the safety when you drive.

Along with inspecting the windshield, also make sure to check the windshield wipers. The wipers should be free from any cracks or rips. If you notice any damage to them, make sure to have them replaced as soon as possible. This can help you to clear the windshield clearly and efficiently when you drive. If you notice any smear or smudge marks, make sure that the windshield wipers are replaced. This can be a sign that they are worn out. Having good windshield wipers can improve the visibility significantly. If you are not sure what type of windshield wipers to get, bring the vehicle in and we can recommend the correct ones.

When checking the windshield wipers, also make sure to inspect the washer fluid level. This should be topped off on a regular basis, and before any long road trip you might take. The wiper fluid works together with the windshield wipers to clean the window effectively. Without the washer fluid, the grime and other dirt will smear and make it harder to see out of your windshield.

Why Battery Inspections are Needed

battery, Automotive ProCare, Rochester MN

Battery Inspections

In order for your vehicle to run, it needs a good working battery. The most important thing you can do for the battery is to use it. An idle battery can lose its charge and sulfate from the sulfuric acid inside the battery build up inside it. This weakens its ability to keep and maintain a charge. Even taking your vehicle out once a week will help keep the battery healthy, and will prevent it from dying unexpectedly. The battery is dependent on the alternator, starter, and terminals in order to work properly. A bad battery can affect your vehicle in negative ways that will add up to a costly repair bill if the battery is not inspected and maintained properly.

You will be able to notice issues of a bad battery. The most obvious one is a dead battery. You should always have it looked at because sometimes a weak alternator will cause the battery to appear like it is no longer able to hold its charge. You should always have the battery examined when you go in for scheduled tune-ups and oil changes. By testing the battery, you will have a better idea of when you might need to purchase a new one. You can also look at the battery itself. Corrosion or stains on the battery means you have a leak somewhere on it. You can also look for buildup around the terminals as well. Another way you can tell the battery is bad is the smell. If you notice a rotten egg or sulfuric smell, it is the smell of overheating.

Maintaining your vehicle’s battery is something you should think about year round. While it is necessary to change and replace one if it is a few years old, you should do all that you can to maintain the battery’s life to help save you money. You should try and get the most long lasting battery that you can buy for your vehicle. While they may cost more initially, they save you money in the long run by not replacing them as often. It is also important to prolong the life as long as you can. There are a few easy tips you can do to help this. You can make sure everything in your vehicle is turned off. Leaving your lights, stereo, and other equipment on while your car is not running can drain the life of your battery. Turning all of these off when you are not driving is a good way to extend the life, and should be done at all times. By doing this, you can keep the battery charged and it will save you stress, time, and money.

Check the Tires before Driving

Tires, Rochester MN, Automotive ProCare

Check Your Tires

When driving, you will want the parts and components to be in the best condition possible. The only part of your vehicle that makes direct contact with the surface of the road are the tires. It is important to inspect them on a regular basis. By doing so, you can ensure they are reliable and as safe as possible. Make sure to schedule a maintenance inspection with us so we can inspect the tires. If there is an issue, we can alert you to it. We can even inspect the spare tire so it will be ready to use incase you need it. There are some tasks that should be done regularly to ensure the condition of the tires.

Rotating

It is important to rotate the tires at regular intervals. By having the tires rotated on a schedule, you can help prevent uneven tire wear. The tread is important because it is what helps to grip the surface of the road when you drive. Having proper tread will allow you better control of the vehicle on icy or wet roads because of the traction. As they age, the tread will eventually begin to wear. If the tires are never rotated, then they will start to develop uneven tread wear. As you drive, the front tires may experience more stress than the back. This is because they are mostly responsible for steering and turning the vehicle. When you rotate the tires, the wear is then spread out evenly around them. This will help to extend the life of all the tires. Regular rotation will also increase the fuel economy. This helps the engine to run more efficiently when the tires have even tread wear. If you ignore the recommended tire rotation schedule, you can increase the chance that an issue may occur. Without the proper tread on the tires, they can hydroplane because of the poor traction.

Tread Depth

The tread should be inspected regularly as well. Measure the tread by placing a penny upside down in the groove of the tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread is too low. It is recommended to bring your vehicle in and we can inspect the tires.

 

 

 

 

Being Aware of a Transmission Issue

 

To help keep your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently, make sure to have it brought in for regular maintenances. If you notice anything between regular visits, make sure to schedule an appointment. Catching an issue at the first sign of a problem can help prevent further damage in the future. It can also reduce the chance of a costly repair bill when it needs to be fixed. One area we can inspect is the transmission. Without a transmission, the vehicle will not be able to run and transport you to where you need to go. In order to make sure the transmission is operating at the best level possible, make sure to notice any unusual noises or issues that come from under the hood.

 

 

 

With any moving part, it always runs better when there is lubrication. An engine needs oil, the brakes need fluid, the steering column needs fluid and the transmission needs fluid to run. If the fluids become low, the engine could quit working. It could also cause the tires to not steer properly and the pistons might lock up and quit working. Keeping an eye on the fluids and having them checked regularly can prevent any problems from happening unexpectedly.

 

Belts power parts of engines and they all work together to make the vehicle move forward. When a belt starts to show wear or develops a crack, it will stop working. Once it stops working or if it snaps, then you might be stranded on the side of the road. In order to keep the transmission working, check the belts in and around all of the engine components to make sure they look to be in great shape with no wear marks, cracks, or missing pieces.

 

Oil within the engine will pick up pieces of the engine, dirt, dust, and anything else that gets pushed around the inside of your engine. Oil goes in a light brown color, but it comes out jet black. It is black because it is dirty. This is why it is important to bring the vehicle in for regular oil changes. Clean oil will pull out dirt and debris, but when it is changed regularly and often, the dirt will not build up in the engine, but get flushed out with the dirty oil. A clean filter will capture dust and dirt when it is installed. We will also be able to check the oil filter when the oil is changed. This can help to keep it working effectively when the engine runs. Also be aware of issues that the vehicle may have between visits, and contact us as soon as you notice them.

Noises that Alert you to An Issue

To help keep your vehicle in the best condition possible, make sure it is brought in for regular maintenances. By having the vehicle inspected based on the recommended schedule, you can help prevent further issues from forming. If you ignore an issue, it can lead to time, money, and stress in the long run. Also, it can cause other parts of the vehicle to wear out sooner than they typically should. This will result in frequent replacements of parts of the vehicle.

 

 

One of the noises to pay attention to is from the brake system. If there are noises when you apply the brakes, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can. This can help prevent a safety issue when you are driving. Noises from the brake system could mean that the brake pads or brake rotors should be replaced. As the brake pads start to wear out, this will cause damage to the brake rotors. If you hear a squealing or screeching noise, it could mean that the brake pads have worn out. This will then result in the contact of the brake pad to the brake rotor.

 

 

Another way to determine if there is an issue with the vehicle is any sounds that come from under hood. Any strange noise is an indication that the vehicle should be inspected for the source of the problem. If there is a grinding or high pitched noise from under the hood, there could be an issue with the engine or transmission. It is always recommended to have a profession look at it so the problem can be resolved quickly.

 

 

If you hear noises coming from the tires, be sure to have them inspected as soon as you can. These noises could mean that the tire might need to be repaired or replaced. It could also be a sign that the tires should be aligned, rotated, or balanced. Some noises that come from the tires could also indicate an issue with the brake system. Anything that is out of the normal should be looked at immediately.

Having the Car Fluids Flushed

When it is suggested that you flush car fluids, such as transmission fluid, motor oil, or brake fluid, it basically means to replace the old fluid with new. In some cases, however, to fully flush fluids requires the middle step of rinsing, or cleansing the entire system by running water or a specialized cleaner through the system to remove any grit or grime that may have accumulated over time. That way, there are no contaminants in the system when fresh fluid is put in.

 

 

Since vehicles have several mechanical systems that require fluids for lubrication or cooling purposes, there are several types of fluid flushes. Here are the ways you can flush car fluids and how often they should be done for maintenance purposes:

 

 

  • Brake Fluid Flush: Although rarely necessary, you may need a brake fluid flush if moisture has made its way into your brake system and has become rust-colored or if it has been overheated. In many cases, however, a vehicle will never require a brake flush.

 

  • Engine Oil Flush: With motor oil, regular changes at intervals recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual are part of proper maintenance. Running a cleanser through the engine system, however, may cause more problems than it can fix because the sludgy contaminants such a flush dislodges can obstruct the oil pump pickup screen.

 

  • Power Steering Fluid Flush: This is another type of car fluid flush you may never need. Instead, have a mechanic inspect the fluid once or twice a year. Only flush fluids in your power steering system if black grit or metal flakes are present or the substance smells burnt. If the smell continues for a length of time, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the vehicle for you. This can help you to have a reliable vehicle again as well.

 

  • Radiator Flush: Vehicles produced from about 2011 and on use a newer, orange-colored coolant, which does not require frequent radiator, flushes and can withstand greater temperatures and has better corrosion protection. In these newer vehicles, consult with your owner’s manual or a mechanic for an appropriate flushing schedule. For other cars and trucks, however, draining the coolant and flushing the radiator should be done approximately every two years.

 

  • Transmission Fluid Flush: A transmission flush should be performed approximately every 35,000 miles or at the intervals indicated in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. More frequent flushes, however, can actually harm the transmission, so be leery of quick-lube businesses trying to make an up-sale. Also, any time you get a transmission flush, be sure that the filter is changed as well.

 

If you notice that there is something out of the norm with your vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible with us.

Being Aware of the Check Engine Light

When the check engine light illuminates on the dashboard, make sure to bring it in as soon as you can. The warning light will come on and could mean one of several things. It could mean that the gas cap is not tight enough on the tank. It could also mean that the engine is starting to fail. By bringing the vehicle in, we can inspect it for what the issue is. If the light starts blinking, make sure to pull over and turn your vehicle off as soon as possible. This can help reduce the chance for further damage being done to the engine or parts of the vehicle when you are driving.

 

If the warning light comes on, make sure to bring the vehicle in. We can attach the vehicle to the machine that will read a diagnostic code. The computer in the vehicle is programmed with codes. By hooking up the machine, it can read what computer code is the issue. It will read out on a display and we can immediately tell if the problem is a major one or a minor one. Major ones might need attention before you continue with your drive. Minor ones might be able to wait until there is a more convenient time to bring it in. Either way, it is important to not ignore the warning light when it comes on in your vehicle. If more than one light illuminates, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible so we can inspect it for the source of the issue.

 

There are makes of cars that are programmed to have lights go on after being driven for so many miles. For example, Honda vehicles will flash a yellow service engine light if they have not been in for a routine maintenance in 10,000 miles. When the vehicle still has not been in for service, then the light will stay on until it is serviced. This light is nothing to worry about and simply means a routine maintenance appointment should be scheduled as soon as you get back from vacation. We can also advise you on a maintenance schedule that is beneficial for you and your vehicle.

 

When the engine or dash lights come on and then the engine starts to sound or drive differently, then there is a problem starting. It would be best to pull over and call a tow truck or else if you are close to home, turn around and go back. Schedule an appointment and bring your vehicle in as soon as you can. We will be able to check the engine and other areas to locate why the light is illuminating. This can help provide you with a safe and reliable ride again.

Alternator Issues to be Aware of

 

 

One way to notice an issue with the vehicle is by any warning lights that might illuminate on the dashboard. If the light that is shaped like a battery or one that says “ALT” illuminates, it could mean there is an issue with the alternator of the vehicle. This light will not always mean there is an issue with the battery. Make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect what the cause of the light turning on might be. This can help improve the safety and reliability of your vehicle when you drive.

 

 

Another way to be aware of a poor alternator is if you notice the lights on the vehicle have become dimmer. This is because the alternator supplies the electrical needs for the vehicle. When it starts to fail, some of the electrical components will decrease in effectiveness as well. This can include the lights, windshield wipers, power windows, and other electrical parts. If you notice any of these signs, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can. This can help reduce further issues from forming, as well as a costly repair bill.

 

 

When inspecting the vehicle, notice any issues that might be out of the norm for it. Check for any signs under the hood of an issue. This could include a belt that is loose or hanging. A visual inspection can help ensure all the parts are working, as they should be. Also be aware of any sounds you might hear. This can include a growling or whining noise coming from the alternator. The accessory belt or serpentine belt will help to drive the alternator. If it is not in correct alignment, the bearings could start to cause an issue and make odd noises that will indicate an issue. By bringing the vehicle in, we can inspect it to ensure it is in the best condition possible.