Serving All Makes & Models Since 1947


982 Grand Ave • St. Paul, MN 55105
Mon-Fri: 7am - 6pm • Saturday 8am - Noon

Back to School Inspections for your Vehicle

back to school


Before you go back to school, make sure to have and inspection done for your vehicle. When an inspection is done, we can check all components for the vehicle for how they are working. Checking the vehicle on a regular basis will also help to notice when and if any problems will start to occur. You will want the vehicle to be in the best condition possible for the upcoming school year. Having it inspected can also help ensure that it is efficient and safe when you drive. If you are not sure when regular maintenance should be done for your vehicle, you can check the owner’s manual. We can also advise you when maintenance tasks should be done. Regular maintenance and inspections are important for the longevity of your vehicle as well.

Back to School car tips

One of the most important things to do is to make sure that the engine is working properly as you head back to school. When you check the engine, you can help prevent issues like hard starts, stalling out, and rough idling of the vehicle. As it starts to get colder this year, these small problems will only become worse. So it is important that you notice anything out of the norm with the engine, so that it is inspected and repaired now. The last thing you will want to have happen is if the vehicle has an unexpected breakdown when you are on the road.

Oil Changes

Getting ready for back to school should include things for your car as well. Make sure that you check the oil and oil filter regularly. The owner’s manual can advise you on a schedule that the oil should be changed. Doing so will help to make sure that everything is properly lubricated. This will help keep the engine running smoothly. If you notice any issues or odd noise, make sure to contact us. That way the issue can be corrected before it gets worse.

Never Forget your Kids in the Car


You should never forget your kids or pets in the car, no matter what time of the year it is. If you drive and have your kids in the backseat, always remember to take them out so they are not left in the hot car. Even after a few minutes, the car can become unsafe and dangerously hot for anyone to be in it. The best protection against this accident is to make sure to scan the backset of the vehicle, to ensure kids or pets are not left behind. By always checking in the backset, you can rest assured that they are not forgotten about.

Dangerous Temperatures

When it is hot and humid, the internal temperature of the vehicle can increase substantially if the car is turned off. Even if you think you might be away for just a few minutes, it can become extremely hot and dangerous. If you are worried you might forget, write a note or set a reminder on your phone. Having a smart phone means that you can download apps to the phone. One app called kars4kids where it will alert you when kids are in the car. This is beneficial so that you will be less likely to have it slip from your mind.

Look in the Back

Also remember if you have to run errands, do so before you pick up the kids, or after you drop them off. It is always best to be safe than sorry. Keeping things in the backseat that you need to take to work is also a good way to double check. If you carry a briefcase, bag, or lunch to work, place it in the back. Once the vehicle is turned off and starts to heat up, every second counts. So make sure to do everything possible to prevent this accident from happening.





Tips for Spare Tire Driving on the Road



A spare tire is designed for your vehicle when you can no longer drive on one of the regular tires. On a regular basis, make sure to bring your vehicle in for general maintenance inspections. This way we can check the various parts and components of the vehicle to ensure that they are in the best condition. If something is starting to wear down, you want to have it replaced or repaired as soon as you can. You can check to see when regular maintenance is needed by checking the owner’s manual of the vehicle. Another option is to contact us, and we can advise a schedule for you.


One part to check is each tire of the vehicle. Along with this, you should include the spare tire. The spare tire will be needed if one of the other tires blows out. Make sure that the spare tire has enough air in it. The last thing you will want is to pull out the tire, and it is flat. When there is enough air in the tire, you will be able to reach a place to have the tire fixed or your home. If you are checking the air in the regular tires, take a few extra moments and check the spare as well.

Spare Tire Driving

You will want to follow tips on how to drive on the spare tire as well. Make sure to not drive over 50 miles on it. Driving too long on it can increase the chance of damage in the long run to it. You will also notice that your vehicle is handling poorly on the road after awhile as well. Driving on it too many miles can also result in damage to the spare. Also remember to drive less than 50 miles per hour. If you drive at a faster speed, the spare tire will not rotate the same as the others. Make sure to contact us with any issues you might have as well.

Engine staying Cool is Important when you drive this Summer



Keeping the vehicle cool is important when you drive in the hotter summer months. This should include the interior of the vehicle, as well as preventing the engine overheating. Be sure to keep an eye on the temperature gauge of the vehicle when you drive. If you notice it becoming higher, try to do some things to prevent it getting any hotter. You can turn off the air conditioner of the vehicle. By turning on the heater, you can help reduce the amount of heat from the engine. Be sure to roll down the windows though. If the vehicle continues to get in the red of the temperature gauge, then you will need to turn the vehicle off. By continuing to drive when it is that hot, extreme damage can be done to the engine.

Checking the Coolant

You will want to always check the amount of coolant for your vehicle. This will help keep the engine and radiator cool. Without coolant, the engine will overheat for your vehicle. This can also lead to further issues and costly repairs for your vehicle. When you do check the coolant, do it after the vehicle has been off for several minutes. If you check the coolant instantly, you run the risk of hot steam and being burned.

Keep it Cool

Another tip is to check for any steam that comes out from under the hood of the vehicle. This can indicate that the vehicle is overheating as well. If you notice this, make sure to pull the vehicle over when it is safe to do so. Then turn the vehicle off. You will also want to go to the front of the vehicle and pop the hood of the car so the amount of heat can be reduced. If it has sat awhile, try restarting the vehicle to ensure that it does not overheat.

What Various Dashboard Warning Lights could Mean



The dashboard warning lights are important for a reason. If one of these illuminates, then you will be able to determine what or where the issue is. You will want to make sure to bring the vehicle in anytime you notice that a dashboard warning light coming on. If the light starts to blink when you are driving, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. You will want to turn your vehicle off as well. This will help prevent further damage from being done to it. Make sure that you also schedule an appointment with us as soon as you can. Having the vehicle properly inspected can reduce issues as well. If the battery light comes on, there could be an issue with how your vehicle is charging.

Engine Dashboard Light

When the check engine light illuminates, you will want to make sure that you notice if it is blinking or not. If the light blinks, then you will want to pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. You should also turn off your vehicle so further damage is not done to it. Also be aware if there is any smoke or noises coming from under the hood of the vehicle. If this is the case, you will want to make sure the vehicle is safe enough to continue driving it.


Also make sure you are aware of the brake light on the dashboard. This will alert you to any issues that might be with the brakes. If you notice that the brakes are softer or harder to apply, it can mean that the brake fluid may be low. Make sure that you schedule an appointment with us so we can inspect the brakes fully for you. If the brake fluid is at the proper amount, we can check the brake rotors and brake pads. Over time these will start to wear, and will need to be replaced. You will always want your brakes to be in the best condition, so make sure to schedule an appointment.

Safe Driving when you Travel



Keeping you and your passengers safe when you drive is important. There are several driving tips you should follow. One of the most important things is to make sure that they lights are on for your vehicle, especially if it is getting dark. When it starts to rain, you will also want to make sure that you turn the lights on for your vehicle. This way you can help to see the road and ditch ahead, while also having others see where you are. When you have the lights on, then you can improve the safety as you drive as well.

Stay Safe by Driving the Speed limit

Also remember that you should drive the speed limit as well. This will help you to remain safe on the road because you can react as needed when you drive. If you drive too fast, then you may not be able to adjust your driving if something happens. This could be an emergency or if something runs across the road and you need to slam on the brakes. You will also want to drive at a speed that you feel comfortable at and that you can handle the vehicle. By speeding and changing lanes fast, you run the chance of having a crash. Another vehicle could switch lanes, causing a collision with you because you are driving too fast.

Proper Maintenance

You will also want to make sure that your vehicle is properly maintained. Bringing it in for regular maintenance is important. Having a bumper to bumper inspection will be able to determine if there is anything wrong with the vehicle or not. If there is any sort of wear and tear to it, we can inspect and repair it. Always be aware how your vehicle handles on the road as well. If there is any issues, it is best to have it looked at as soon as possible.

Hands Free Technology Should be Followed

hands free


Know the rules of the hands free law coming soon. A new law that going to be in place soon will require you to be hands free when having to talk or use your cell phone in any way. It is important that you are aware of the law that will soon be in affect. Make sure that you read the full description of it so you understand it. With the new law, you cannot have your phone in your hand as you drive. If you need to use your phone for one-touch functions, you will still be able to do so. This is if you can access this option without holding the cell phone, typing, or scrolling on it. If you have a newer vehicle, you may already have Bluetooth technology that allows you to operate the phone without holding it.

Hands Free options

There are also other options you can invest in with a hands free device. You can come in to talk about the options to make your car into one that is compatible with a cell phone. There are options that can range in any price range you are looking at. Some of them can mount on the windshield or dash of your vehicle. This helps the phone to remain secure when you drive. Some of these can plug into the vent of your vehicle. There are also options that you can have adjustable brackets that hold the phone. With anything that sticks to the dashboard, it may eventually become a distraction for the driver.

Holders for the Phone

Another option is to have suction mounts that are on the dashboard. This allows you to place the phone where you can see it, but you will not have to hold it to talk on it or use the GPS. No matter what you decide, it is always beneficial to read and review that new law that is going into place. Understanding what it means will help you to follow the law better as well.

Keeping your Car Cool in the Summer


Coolant Inspection

Keeping your vehicle cool is important for your comfort as you drive. In the summer during the heat and warm temperatures, you will want to make sure you keep your vehicle cool and comfortable. You will want to make sure to bring the vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections so that we can check it for any sign of issues or problems. This way we can look for anything that might be starting to wear out, and have it replaced before it fails completely.

Keeping the car cool

It is important to make sure that you do not overwork your vehicle on extremely hot days. Driving in heavy traffic while also having the air conditioner cranked to the highest fan can put extra strain and stress on your vehicle. Keeping the fan running at a comfortable speed or slightly lower will reduce the chance your vehicle will start to overheat. If steam comes from under the hood of the vehicle, make sure that you turn it off as soon as you can. Also remember to make an appointment to have it checked.

Temperature Gauge

It is important to pay attention to the temperature gauge on the dashboard of your vehicle. Keeping an eye on it alerts you to issues. If it starts to rise, then the engine could be getting too hot. When it gets into the red warning area, make sure to pull your vehicle over when you can, and turn the engine off so that the vehicle can cool down. During the summer, remember to check the coolant level in your vehicle. The indicator line that is on the reservoir can show the level. If it is too low, make sure to add more too it. Adding coolant often could indicate that there is a leak in the system. If you notice this, remember to contact us to schedule an appointment for your vehicle.


Regular Tire Maintenance for your Car


Regular tire inspections are needed. Having the tires properly inspected and maintained will have several benefits for you and your vehicle. Not only will it benefit your vehicle, but it also helps you to have a smooth and comfortable ride. Since the tires are the only part to have contact between the surface of the road and your car, you will want to make sure that they are in the best condition. Always make sure to check the air inflation of them. Before taking a long trip or driving a long distance, check the air pressure. Also remember to check the air when the vehicle has been sitting for several minutes. If you check the air pressure right after driving, you could get a false reading from the heat that is built up.

Also remember to have the tires aligned regularly. That helps the vehicle to travel straight when you drive. If you notice the vehicle pulling off in one direction when you keep the steering wheel straight, it could be caused by the tires. One reason could be if the tire is low on air pressure. Another reason it pulls could be poor alignment of the vehicle. If the tires are not aligned, then the tread will wear unevenly as well when you drive. This can result in the tires to be replaced sooner than they otherwise should. If the tread wears down, then the grip on the road will decrease as well.

Regular rotations

Check the tires to see when they need a rotation. This will help the tires to wear evenly on both sides, while also keeping the rubber in the best condition. If you are not sure when a tire rotation would be needed, make sure to contact us and we can advise a schedule for you.

Noises When you Apply the Brakes



Noticing brake noises should always be taken seriously. If you ignore it, then the vehicle will be less reliable and safe when you drive. Make sure to have the brakes inspected on a regular basis so that we can check how all the parts are working, and also wearing. We can also advise when regular maintenance should be done for the brakes. If you notice any issues with the brakes, such as an odd noise, make sure to contact us to schedule an appointment.

Noises from the brakes

You may notice noises that include the brakes making a squealing noise when you apply them. This could mean that the brake pads have worn and are in need of being replaced. They will start to wear against the brake rotors, thus making the squealing or screeching noise. You may also notice a rattle noise as the brake pads start to wear down and wear against the brake rotor. Any other noise that you hear when driving should always be brought to our attention. Contact us to schedule an appointment for your brakes.


There might also be a knocking noise from the brakes. This happens when the brake pads rattle in the brackets. You can determine this if you apply the brakes lightly going over a pothole or bump in the road. If the noise does not occur, the brake pads will be moving. It is always best however, to get a professional opinion.


Notice how the vehicle handles as well when you apply the brakes. Sometimes you may notice the vehicle swerves or jerks suddenly in one direction or the other. This could mean there is an issue with the brake system. It could also mean there is a steering issue. We can test drive the vehicle and inspect it for what the cause may be. Having the vehicle maintained can help keep you safe on the road.

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