Serving All Makes & Models Since 1947

651-228-1316

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

When Noises Occur for the Vehicle

When Noises Occur for the Vehicle

When noises start to occur from the vehicle, make sure to contact us. No matter if the problem is big or small, it is always important to have it inspected immediately. This will help save money on a costly repair bill, as well as helping make sure other parts and components are not damaged. If a clunking noise happens when you apply the brakes, the brake pads may have worn completely. When a clunk occurs when you are driving over bumps, there could be a suspension issue. Another issue could be the exhaust is loose. If there is a clunk noise when taking a corner, make sure that the wheels and tires are inspected. This could be an indication of a wheel bearing going out.

Grinding Noise can Occur when the Transmission has issues

Also be aware of a grinding noise from the vehicle. This can indicate an issue with the shafts and gears in the transmission. If this sound is from under the vehicle, it could be low on oil. A CV joint or wheel bearing can also cause the grinding noise you hear. If it is noticeable when applying the brakes, it could be a worn brake pad. If the metal is grinding on the pads and rotors, you will hear it as it gets louder. Another indication is that the brakes will not work as well as they otherwise should be. 

A hissing type noise can indicate a fluid leak from the vehicle, especially if it is coming from the engine. This could be the coolant leaking onto the engine block or exhaust manifold of the vehicle. When accelerating, listen for any hissing noises as well. This could indicate a vacuum leak from one of the small hoses around the engine’s air intake. No matter what the vehicle does when the noise is noticed, make sure to contact us.

 

Get Your Vehicle’s Best Gas Mileage

Get Your Vehicle's Best Gas Mileage

Being aware of the fuel efficiency of your vehicle will help you save money. Not only will it help save money at the fuel pump, but it also helps increase the longevity of the vehicle. If your mileage starts to decrease, this could be caused by an issue or damage. The best thing is to schedule an appointment and bring the vehicle in. That way we can do a bumper to bumper inspection for you. No matter if you are driving around St Paul or if you are taking a vacation out of state, the vehicle should always have the best mileage possible.

Fuel Economy and Tires

Check each tire for the vehicle on a regular basis. The tread wear can be checked by just using a penny. Place it upside down in the groove of the tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then the tread has worn down. If this is the same for all four tires, then a new set is needed. A sign of poor tread can be if the vehicle is hard to control or easily swerves on the road. Without proper tread, it cannot grip the surface of the road correctly. At the same time as checking the tread, make sure to check the air pressure as well. Even if it is slightly low, it can cause the fuel mileage to decrease on the vehicle.

 Another way to help improve the mileage and efficiency is to use cruise control. This will reduce speed variations of driving faster or slower. As speeds fluctuate, it will negatively affect the fuel mileage. Remember when using cruise control to be aware of road conditions. If it is raining, construction, or heavy traffic, it is best not to use cruise control. Also remember to never slam on the brakes fast or do jack rabbit accelerating, since this will also cause poor mileage for the vehicle.

 

Deer on the Road and Avoiding them

deer

As you drive this summer, always be on the lookout for deer. Be on high alert during the evenings and mornings, as this is when animals are most active. They will run across the road and are more likely to get hit. Minnesota is in the top 10 for states that deer collisions are most likely to occur.  Not only will hitting them be dangerous, but also costly in repair bills for your car. These collisions cost over 4 billion dollars each year. There are also more than 1.2 million accidents involving deer reported as well. Not only should you look out for live ones, but also dead ones on the road. Running over these can do damage to the undercarriage of the vehicle.

Deer running across the road

If a deer runs across the road, be aware and on the lookout for others. Typically where there is one, there are a few more. Even if they cross the road several feet ahead, make sure to slow down incase more run behind it. Another indication of a higher chance of deer is if there is a crossing sign. If these are present, then check from ditch to ditch for any deer when driving. When trees or wooded areas are near the road, it can block your view of seeing them as they run out. Make sure to be aware of any that are out in a pasture grazing. They will be easier to see, especially when approaching the road.

 

When they do cross the road, make sure to never swerve into another lane. This can cause an accident with that vehicle, or a chain reaction with others. Studies have shown you are more likely to survive an accident with a deer than you are another vehicle. Stay alert on the road and aware of your surroundings. Yearly, hitting a deer causes over 4 billion dollars in damage, so stay safe on the roads when driving!

Severe Summer Weather as you Drive

severe

Severe weather can happen anytime of the year, but it can change instantly in the summer. You may be driving in light sprinkles or rain, and it will turn to a downpour only a couple miles ahead. Being prepared will help you to remain calm when the weather starts to become severe. Make sure to slow down and maintain a safe speed. Equally as important is to keep enough distance between you and the vehicle in front. That way if they slam on the brakes, or visibility becomes poor, you have enough time to adjust your driving. Never drive at a faster speed than you are comfortable at, as it increases the chance of an accident.

Severe weather and the lights

When it starts raining, turn on the headlights immediately. It will become darker when it rains, which will result in poor visibility for not only you, but other drivers as well. The harder it rains, the worse the visibility gets as well. Remember to turn on the windshield wipers as it starts to rain. This clears away the rain so visibility is improved. The harder it rains, the faster the wipers should be set at. In some cases, it may rain so hard visibility is impossible. Pull over where it is safe to do so and wait out the storm. It is also a good idea to turn the hazard lights on, so others will see where the vehicle is.

 

Another thing to remember is if it rains so hard, the pavement will become wet. This will result in the vehicle having an increased chance of hydroplaning when you drive. There may be a feeling of it swerving or poor handling. Ease up on the speed and make sure to not slam on the brakes. Driving at a slower speed will help to maintain control of the vehicle, even as the roads are wet.

The Air Conditioner Isn’t Cooling, now what?

air conditioner

Cooling down the car on a hot summer day is important. As the vehicle starts and the air conditioner is switched on, you may notice a lack of cold air after a few minutes. If this happens, it could ruin your day of driving. The most common reasons for an air conditioner not working properly is if there are compressor issues or leaks. The AC could be blowing cool air, but not cold. If this happens, it could be caused by a clogged filter, radiator issue, or cooling fan problem. The air conditioner may also need to be recharged. Do not suffer in stuffy warm air, and make sure to contact us as the first sign of an air conditioner issue.

Issues with the Air Conditioner

When the air conditioner is set to max air conditioner, notice if the air is cold or only moderately cool. If it is not producing the cold air, check to ensure the cooling fans are running when the AC is turned on. Also clear away any debris such as leaves, dirt, bugs, or anything that could prevent air movement. The cabin filter should also be inspected to ensure it is not clogged and free of debris. The pressure in the system should be checked as well. The recommended pressure can be found in the owner’s manual for the vehicle.

 

The vehicle should be checked for any leaks that might have occurred. A leak is especially true if the pressure is low. If there is a leak in one of the seals, then there will be an issue with how the system works. Some shops will inject a dye into the system, so then the area that leaks can be spotted. Always check under the vehicle after it has been parked for awhile. If there is a noticeable puddle of liquid, then it will indicate a leak. Make sure to contact us so we can inspect and repair the issue for you.

 

Summer Emergency Kit for your Car

summer

During the summer months, it is important to have an emergency kit, just incase there is an unexpected breakdown. While going to regular maintenance can help prevent issues from happening, you will always want to be prepared. If you are not sure when regular maintenance should be done, check the owner’s manual. We can also help advise when the maintenance should be done for it. These can include things like checking the tires, fluids, as well as a bumper to bumper inspection. If you are driving on vacation, make sure to be prepared for anything that could possibly happen with the vehicle.

Summer Emergency kit

In the emergency kit, make sure to have a flashlight. This will come in handy if you have to look for something in the vehicle, or outside as well. If you have a breakdown when driving when it is dark, a flashlight will be one of the most important items. Also make sure that there are items for changing and putting on a spare tire. Having a jack, wrench, and spare tire are all critical for making sure that the spare tire can be changed quickly.

 

Also remember that having hazard signs or flares can be beneficial in the emergency kit. Set these out if the vehicle is pulled over on the side of the road. That way other vehicles that are driving by will see them, and pull over to the other lane. If they cannot switch lanes, at least they are aware and will be able to slow down as they approach your car. This is especially important if it is along the side of an interstate or highway. Remember too to put an extra phone charger in the vehicle. This will allow any cell phone to be charged up so you can call for assistance if there is a breakdown.

Kids and Pets should not be in Hot Cars

Leaving kids and pets in hot cars can be dangerous. Even if you think that a quick trip to run in and get something from a store could be dangerous. If get distracted or start talking to someone, you may forget that you have kids or pets in the vehicle. If the temperatures outside is 85 degrees, then the interior of the vehicle can quickly become 100 degrees. Depending on how sunny it is, this could happen as quickly as ten minutes. It will become too hot for the body to regulate heat, especially for a young child. Make sure to always look in the backseat for any kids or pets when getting out of the car.

 

A vehicle can act more like a greenhouse. When the car is turned off, the sunlight comes through all the windows. This will then heat the vehicle up, as well as the dashboard and seats. When the dashboard and seats are warmed up, they radiate heat off as well. Since the windows are up, there will be no air circulations inside your vehicle. This will only lead to the vehicle warming up even more. Even with the windows cracked or down, the interior will become too hot to stay in. If you park in the shade, the vehicle may not get as hot as quickly, but it will still be dangerous.

Kids Summer Schedule

If you typically do not take a child to daycare, it may be beneficial to set a reminder in your phone. You could even put your work stuff in the backseat beside them, as this will help to ensure the child is not forgotten. Some newer vehicles have a feature that will alert you to any extra weight in the backseat once you open the door. This way you will not forget children, pets, or even items like groceries.

Regular Intervals of Oil Changes and the Filter

Follow regular intervals for having the oil changed. This will help to ensure that the engine is able to operate efficiently and at top performance levels. By following these recommendations, the life of the engine can also be extended. It will decrease the amount of repairs needed because fresh clean oil will be provided during each oil change. Along with having the oil changed regularly, the oil filter will need to be changed as well. Doing so will allow the fresh oil to go through and lubricate the engine.

Regular Intervals for changing the filter

The filter capacity refers to the ability that it captures and holds debris from entering the engine. The higher the capacity, the more contaminants it can hold before it needs to be changed. The filter is clogged, and then the bypass valves open. As this happens, the unfiltered oil will reach the engine parts, increasing the chance of damage to it. Some of the parts that these contaminants can reach include the engine bearings and crankshaft. If this happens, then pieces of the gasket material can get dislodges over time. Over time, this will add up to a large amount of debris and dirt, even between oil changes.

 

If your vehicle requires synthetic oils, make sure the filter can as well. A filter that is designed specifically to work with synthetic oils can avoid being ruined quickly. It will also prevent failure of several internal parts of the engine. These filters will allow car owners to take advantage of the extended life that synthetic oils provide their vehicle. They will also have more capacity, so they do not have to be replaced as often either. The filter can capture more contaminants, and do so over a longer time span when using synthetic oils. If you are not sure if your vehicle requires synthetic oil or not, make sure to contact us.

When the Heat Affects your Vehicle this Summer

With the summer heat now upon us, vehicles can become affected and start to show signs of issues and problems. Make sure to have the vehicle inspected by us at any issues you start to notice. Also remember it is best to bring the vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections. That way we can give it a bumper to bumper inspection and check for any parts that are wearing. Any issues that we notice can quickly be resolved and repaired. This will help get you back on the road for a safe drive for you and your passengers.

The Heat Affects the Tires

The tires should be checked to ensure they are still in the best condition. As they heat up, they may start to expand and show signs of bulges. This can increase the chance of them blowing out when you are driving. If you are not sure what the correct air pressure should be for them, check in the owner’s manual. This will help to determine the correct amount. If the tires lose air fast, schedule an appointment so we can inspect the tires for you.

The oil will also need to be checked regularly during the hot summer months. It will circulate around the engine and thin out slightly as it heats up. This can mean the engine may not fully get the protection from the oil that it will need. It also increases friction and the potential for damage to happen to the engine. Remember that following the oil change schedule will help keep the vehicle working efficiently, as well as the engine. If you are not sure when this should be, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on a schedule based on your vehicle and how often you drive.

Another part that should be checked is the air conditioner. Keeping the interior of the vehicle cool and comfortable is important as you drive. If you start to notice that it is no longer cold, or if it blows out warm air, contact us. The air conditioner can benefit from regular maintenance so they keep working efficiently. Over time, they can become clogged from being used. This will affect the performance of it, as well as leaving an odd odor in the vehicle.

Any odd noises from the Windshield Wipers

odd

Any odd noises that you hear from the windshield wipers should be taken seriously. If they are not, it can only result in more damage and costly repairs for your vehicle. Also remember to bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance. As we check the vehicle, we can also give it a bumper to bumper inspection. If the windshield wipers are wearing out, we can notice an issue and advise you when they should be replaced. This will not only help your visibility when driving, but it can help keep the windshield in ideal condition.

Odd Screech Noise

If there is a screech noise, this could mean the rubber part of the windshield wipers has worn down. This will mean the metal part is making direct contact with the windshield. Over time, the windshield can become scratched and damaged, which will be a costly fix. Check the wipers, and if the metal part is visible, make sure to replace them as soon as possible. You can look in the vehicle owner’s manual for what size wipers are needed. We can also advise you and help replace them as well.

 

If the arm of the wiper is bent, there may be a chattering noise from the wipers. This can mean that the wipers are not fitting correctly with the windshield when they operate. You may also notice a smear mark that does not remove all the road grime and debris from the windshield. If the wipers are less than ideal when operating, they should be replaced as soon as possible. During the winter, the blades can become damaged from snow and ice. Before using them in the summer, it is best to have them replaced. When you do so, also remember to check the rear wiper for the vehicle. Although it may not be used as often, you will still want it in the best condition possible when needed.

Lloyd’s Automotive has served the greater St Paul area
for over 50 years