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The History of Automotive Braking Systems

automotive

There’s no question that one of the most essential systems in your car is the brakes. Over time, automakers have experimented with many different types of brake systems. Today we’re discussing the evolution of brakes. By the time we’re done, I think you’ll have a stronger appreciation for how well our brakes work these days. Let’s dig in.

Wooden block brakes

The first automobiles used a wooden block brake system. This was made up of wooden blocks and a lever. When the lever pushed the wooden blocks, they got wedged against the steel-rimmed wheel. This created friction, which made the wheels slow down to a stop. Wooden block brakes had some limitations. For one thing, they only stopped vehicles that were going slower than 20 miles per hour. If the vehicle went any faster, the wooden block brakes wouldn’t work. In addition, they only worked on steel-rimmed vehicles. When manufacturers switched from steel-rimmed wheels to rubber tires in the 1890s, wooden block brakes fell out of use.

Automotive Mechanical drum brakes

Since wooden block brakes became obsolete with rubber tires, automakers needed to find another system to use. In 1899, an engineer named Gottlieb Daimler came up with an idea. He hypothesized that a cable-wrapped drum could stop a moving vehicle if it was attached to the base frame. In 1902, Louis Renault used this concept to build the first mechanical drum brake. This is considered the basis for the braking systems we use today.

Expanding internal shoe brakes

Mechanical drum brakes had a major design flaw. Since they were on the exterior of the car, they got exposed to dirt, water, and fluctuating temperatures. As a result, these brakes needed tons of maintenance. Eventually, an internal system was developed. Since this new system was shielded from the natural elements, it didn’t malfunction and lasted much longer than exterior brakes.

These expanding internal shoe brakes were housed inside a metal drum, which was connected to the wheel. When pistons expanded the brake shoes, they brushed up against the inside of the drum. This created friction, which slowed the moving car to a stop.

Hydraulic brakes

In 1918, Malcolm Loughead invented hydraulic brakes. Until this point, braking a car took a lot of physical effort from the driver. Hydraulic brakes made this process a lot easier. This four-wheel system used brake fluid to move hydraulic force from the pedal to the brake shoes. Since these brakes were much easier to use, they became extremely popular by the late 1920s.

Disc brakes

Hydraulic brakes needed lots of maintenance because they often developed leaks. Since all four brakes were connected, a single leak could cause all of the brakes to go out. In the 1950s, automakers switched over to disc brakes that had hydraulic functions. Even though disc brakes had been around since the early 1900s, they didn’t really gain traction until this point.

Anti-lock brakes

Anti-lock brakes were first used in airplanes back in the 1920s and ‘30s. In the 1950s and ‘60s, automakers began using them as well. Anti-lock brakes prevent wheels from locking up when in use. When a lock is detected by the speed sensors, hydraulic valves reduce the pressure of the brake on one of the wheels. This stops the car from spinning out, and gives drivers more control. By the 1970s, anti-lock brakes became a popular and affordable safety feature.

Does your car need brake repair? Our experienced technicians at Lloyd’s Automotive are here to help. Give us a call at (651) 228-1316 to schedule your appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

 

 

Master Cylinder and the History and Mechanics of it for the Automotive industry

The master cylinder is one of those car parts that always gets ignored. People don’t give it the respect it deserves. If you know a little bit about it, you’ll understand why some car lovers refer to it as the heart of your car. Today we’re talking all things master cylinder, so stick around and enjoy the ride.

What is an Automotive master cylinder?

First things first, what is it? The master cylinder is a tube that moves hydraulic force from the brake pedal to your rotors. Your foot hitting the brake produces a force. That force travels through the cylinder to the brake lines. The brake lines transport the force to your calipers, which clamp down on your rotors. This is what stops your wheels from spinning, bringing your car to a stop.

Let’s talk about why we like to think of the automotive master cylinder as the heart of your car. When you think about it, they both serve the same purpose. Their jobs are to pump fluid out and transport it elsewhere. If your master cylinder is the heart, think of the brake fluid as blood. The brake fluid gets pumped out through brake lines. Think of the brake lines as arteries. The similarities in these two systems illustrate just how vital your master cylinder is. Without it, the brake fluid couldn’t get to where it needs to go.

Mechanics to Know

Let’s get into some of the mechanics. When your foot presses down on the brake, it forces the pushrod into the sealed, dual-chamber master cylinder. Inside of the master cylinder, there is a spring and two pistons. Think of the pistons as plungers. They move brake fluid through the cylinder in each chamber. As the pistons move forward, hydraulic pressure builds. This pressure gets transported to the calipers, and causes them to clamp down onto the rotors. When this happens, your wheels stop spinning and your car comes to a stop.

The automotive hydraulic brake system needs to be totally sealed so no air can get in. A reservoir of brake fluid sits on top of the master cylinder to keep the master cylinder airtight. When you take your foot off the brake pedal, two things happen. One is that the spring in the master cylinder pushes the pedal back into place. The other is that brake fluid moves back through the brake lines and into the reservoir.

How did the Automotive master cylinder come to be?

Let’s talk about some auto history. Brake systems weren’t always this advanced. In fact, there were some big problems with them. The first hydraulic system was invented in 1918 by Malcolm Lougheed. Since he only used one cylinder, the brakes on all four wheels were connected. This meant that a single leak could cause all of your brakes to go out. Talk about dangerous. Even so, Lougheed’s invention got popular, and Chrysler eventually picked it up. They made some improvements and re-branded them as Chrysler-Lockheed hydraulic brakes. These were in use from 1924 until 1962.

In 1960, Wagner Electric came up with a solution to make hydraulic braking systems much safer. Instead of having one cylinder, they created the dual-cylinder system that we use today. With two cylinders, there are two brake lines. Each of these brake lines is connected to two of your car’s four wheels. That way, even if there’s a fault or a leak in one of the brake lines, your brakes won’t completely go out. In fact, the government issued a federal mandate in 1967 stating that all vehicles have dual-braking cylinders. It’s estimated that this safety innovation prevents around 40,000 car accidents each year.

Now you know a little bit more about the cylinder and how it came to be. Thinking about how far the cylinder has come probably makes you appreciate it a little more. Have questions about your master cylinder? Lloyd’s Automotive has answers. Give us a call at (651) 228-1316 to schedule your appointment today. Our experienced technicians are here to help.

 

 

Never Ignore These 7 Signs of Automotive Brake Problems

You never want to neglect maintenance on your car, especially when it comes to the brakes. If you pay attention, you’ll see that your car is actually pretty good at telling you when something’s wrong. Today we’re discussing 7 of the most common signs your car has brake problems.

1. Brake light illuminated on the dashboard

The most obvious sign of a brake problem is an illuminated brake light on the dashboard. When your car’s diagnostics system detects a problem with your brakes, it’ll trigger the brake light. There are several reasons why this happens. To get a clear picture of what’s going on, it’s best to get your brake system checked out by a professional.

2. Pulling to one side while braking

Veering to one side is another sign of a malfunction with your brakes. This usually affects your vehicle’s front two brakes. It could point to a worn out brake hose, a misaligned rotor, or a caliper issue. As a result, one side of your brake system tries to compensate for the other side. This causes your car to brake unevenly, and you’ll feel a pull in one direction.

3. Soft or spongy brake feel or leaking fluid

When there’s moisture in your brake system, you know you have a problem. This will cause your brakes to have a soft or spongy feeling when you push down on the pedal. Oftentimes, excess moisture in your system is due to a hydraulic fluid leak. Since your brakes rely on hydraulic force, a leak could cause your entire system to malfunction.

4. Burning smell while driving

If you think you smell something burning in your engine, you should always pull over. A burning, chemical odor could indicate overheating of your brakes. If this happens, then your brake fluid has hit a boiling point. This could lead to a complete system malfunction. If you think your brakes are overheating, stop driving and give your car enough time to cool down.

5. Grinding sound from the brake pedal

If you hear a grinding noise while braking, it could point to several different issues. It’s possible that your rotor is brushing against the brake pad wear indicator, which could lead to serious damage. It’s also possible that you have a pebble stuck inside the caliper. This is a relatively minor issue. Rusty brake parts could also cause a grinding noise. No matter the problem, professional diagnostics can easily get to the bottom of things.

6. Squealing noise when braking

Brake pad wear indicators alert you when the brake shoes or calipers wear out. These metallic indicators brush up against the rotor and make a horrendously high-pitched sound. Hearing your brake pad indicators is a clear sign of brake issues.

7. Wobbling or vibration

An uneven rotor could cause you to feel a wobbling or vibrating sensation while driving. Over time, rotors develop variations on their surfaces. Because of these differences in thickness, you’ll experience wobbling when you step on the brakes. A problem with your calipers could also cause a vibrating motion in your car. If the caliper’s piston is encased with rust or other debris, it won’t be able to retract.

Being aware of these common warning signs can help you be proactive when it comes to repairs and maintenance. Regardless of the issue, our experienced technicians at Lloyd’s Automotive are always here to help. Give us a call at (651) 228-1316 to schedule your appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

What Every Car Owner Needs to Know About Replacing the Brakes

Brake replacement isn’t an easy job. In fact, it’s almost always more complicated than it seems. That’s because your brakes are an interconnected system. Discovering one problem can impact the functioning of other parts. Even so, there’s a general process for replacing the brake system that we’ll talk about today. Knowing this can help you decide whether it’s a job you can take on, or if you’d prefer to seek professional care.

Steps to replacing the brake system

Experts follow these general steps when replacing the brakes:

  1. Loosen the lugs:​ Once the emergency brake is engaged, loosen the lugs by turning a lug wrench counter-clockwise. Don’t remove the lugs; just loosen them up.
  2. Raise the vehicle:​ Put the jack beneath the frame rail of your car. Make sure your car can rest on the jack stands, and ensure that the car’s weight can’t shift. Once you know it’s stable, remove the wheels.
  3. Slide out the caliper:​ Disconnect the bolts and remove the caliper. If it’s stuck, use a flat head screwdriver to help dislodge it. Once it’s out, set the caliper on the suspension so there’s no strain on your brake lines.
  4. Remove the caliper carrier:​ Take off the bolts and remove the caliper carrier.
  5. Remove the rotor: Look for a rotating screw on your rotor. If you see one, it needs to be removed before taking out the rotor. Removing the rotor itself can sometimes prove to be a challenge. This is especially true if it’s rusty or old.
  6. Install new rotor:​ Before installing, remove surface rust from the hub with a wire brush. Then, use a degreaser to wipe down your new rotor. This will remove excess oily residue. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to install your new rotor.
  7. Assemble caliper carrier:​ Fasten the caliper carrier with new bolts.
  8. Compress the caliper:​ Check that the cap is removed from the reservoir so you don’t blow a line, and then compress the caliper. Use an old brake pad and a c-clamp to push the caliper’s piston down so it’s lined up with the housing of the caliper.
  9. Install caliper and brake pads:​ Place the brake pads in the caliper carrier and attach the bolts. After ensuring the caliper can move without binding, tighten the bolts.
  10. Reattach the wheels:​ Fasten the lugs. Once your car is back on the ground, tighten them with a torque wrench.
  11. Repeat, pump, and break in: Complete these steps for all your wheels. Then, pump your brake pedal to get pressure back into your system. This should take around 3 pumps of the pedal. Once you have pressure, take your car for a ride to break in your new brakes. Go through a few rounds of speeding up and gradually slowing back down. Your automotive will probably make some odd noises at first, but this is normal. These noises will eventually subside as your system breaks in.

Should I replace my own brakes?

Unless you have lots of experience in troubleshooting brake issues, replacing your own brakes isn’t recommended. Since it’s usually more involved than anticipated, it’s a job that’s best left to the professionals. Vehicle safety isn’t something you want to be unsure about. Trusting an expert gives you peace of mind that your system is installed properly and with care.

Do you have questions about brake replacement? Lloyd’s Automotive has answers. Give us a call at (651) 228-1316 to schedule your appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Check Engine Light: Everything You Will Ever Need to Know

History of the "Check Engine" or "Service Engine Soon" Light

How often have you stopped to think about your car’s check engine light? Probably not a ton. You might be surprised to hear that its history dates all the way back to the 1930s. Interested? Stick around to learn all about the evolution of this handy invention.

How do check engine lights work these days?

Let’s go over a few basics before we get into the details. A check engine light is sometimes called a malfunction indicator lamp, or MIL. It’s the red or orange light on your dashboard that appears when there’s an engine malfunction. It’s operated by your car’s computer, or diagnostic system. When the diagnostic system detects an engine fault, the check engine light is triggered. A fault code is simultaneously saved. This code, called a DTC (diagnostic trouble code), is what our technicians at Lloyd’s Automotive use when performing vehicle diagnostics.

Where did the idea of the light come from?

The earliest form of the check engine light came from the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan. In the 1930s, they began installing idiot lights (real name) into their vehicles. Idiot lights were warning lights that served as tell-tales for serious engine malfunction. These lights were binary, so they only switched on when there was a big problem with the car. That means they didn’t give much advance warning before your car broke down. Idiot lights weren’t very helpful, but they remained a popular feature until the 1980s. At that point, they were phased out to avoid confusion with a new technology.

Manufacturer-specific check engine lights

In the early 1980s, automakers began selling vehicles with computerized engine controls. These cars had internal computers with entire diagnostics systems. This system was much more comprehensive than an idiot light because it could alert you of a wide range of issues. However, these manufacturer-specific systems weren’t flawless. The main issue was the lack of regulation. Each automaker used their own system, making the auto technician’s job quite difficult.

History of the Check Engine Light

In 1996, the U.S. government mandated the use of an on-board vehicle diagnostics system, called OBD2. OBD2 triggers a vehicle’s check engine light anytime fuel emissions exceed the federal limit by 1.5 times. Since all new cars had the same technology, it resulted in the standardization of DTCs. This allows auto technicians to read DTCs with a scan tool, which saves time when pinpointing an issue.

 

Thankfully, technology has come quite a long way since the 1930s. Scan tools let auto technicians assess any vehicle, regardless of the make or model. Since check engine lights get triggered for a number of reasons, they often alert you to non-urgent issues. This leads to preventative maintenance, which saves you both time and money in the long run.

 

 

There you have it. A brief history of the check engine light and how it’s changed over time. The next time you notice the check engine light in your vehicle, think about how far it’s come. Consider it 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

Nothing ruins a great drive by looking down at your dashboard and seeing your check engine light. While it may be tempting to ignore, doing so will only cause you a bigger headache. The check engine light can indicate a problem with any number of things, and at Lloyd’s Automotive, we’re experts at figuring out exactly what’s going on. Let’s discuss 8 of the most common reasons you’re seeing the check engine light in your car.

 

1. Catalytic converter

Your engine’s catalytic converter transforms carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Although it doesn’t need routine maintenance, it can get clogged. This prevents it from functioning properly, which will activate the check engine light. If that’s the case, chances are there’s another problem in your engine that’s causing it to clog.

 

2. Battery

If your light is triggered by your vehicle’s battery, it means that it’s not charging correctly. These days, batteries are maintenance-free and they last around 5 to 7 years. If it’s malfunctioning, your car’s computer will pick up the low voltage and alert you that it may be time for a replacement.

 

3. Loose or missing fuel cap

The fuel cap keeps debris from entering the gas tank, and also seals it off so no fumes can leak out. Your check engine light will turn on if the fuel cap is cracked, missing, or loose. This is a really simple and inexpensive fix, as long as you don’t put it off. Without it, your vehicle’s emissions will increase and you’ll have poor fuel economy.

 

4. MAF failure

The MAF (mass air flow) sensor tells how much air is in the engine. This tells your car computer how much fuel is needed for it to run properly. If there’s a problem with it, your check engine light will turn on. If left unrepaired, a faulty MAF sensor could damage your spark plugs, catalytic converter, or oxygen sensor.

 

5. Spark plugs and spark plug wires

Spark plugs and wires light up the fuel and air in your engine’s combustion chamber. If these are faulty, it can cause your engine to stop running. As long as they’re replaced right away,

you’ll have a minor repair on your hands. If you put it off, you may wind up with a damaged catalytic converter or oxygen sensor.

 

6. Vacuum leak

There are lots of vacuum lines in car engines. These are made of rubber, so they develop cracks and stretch out over time. When this happens, your check engine light will activate. Vacuum lines are cheap and easy to replace, but finding the source of the leak can be time-consuming.

 

7. Oxygen sensor

The oxygen sensor detects the amounts of gases in the engine to ensure there’s enough oxygen. Your check engine light may be on because of a faulty sensor. Delaying this pair could ruin your catalytic converter or spark plugs, costing you thousands of dollars in damages.

 

8. EGR valve

Your check engine light can sometimes be triggered by the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve. Although this part doesn’t need regular maintenance, it can get clogged by carbon build-up. The EGR valve is controlled by your car’s computer. It gets opened or closed to control vehicle emissions by sending a portion of the exhaust gases back to the intake manifold. A clogged valve won’t do its job and will need maintenance.

 

As you can see, the CEL can be turned on by any number of issues. One problem could be connected to another faulty engine component. The only way to get to the bottom of it is to get your vehicle inspected. That’s where we come in.

Give us a call at (651) 228-1316 to schedule your appointment today.

 

 

 

Steps to Take When Your Check Engine Light Turns On

No one wants to deal with a check engine light problem. The truth is, that warning light can alert you to a number of engine problems, from simple to complex. No matter what, don’t just ignore it. Read on to find out what you should do when you see the check engine light in your car.

Should I pull over?

This is the first thing most people think about when they see their check engine light. Here are the facts. Your check engine light will either show up as a blinking or solid light. If it’s solid, it’s indicating a non-emergency problem. You should be safe to continue driving, but you need to get your vehicle serviced as soon as possible. If the check engine light is blinking, it’s telling you there’s a major problem, possibly an engine misfire. If this is the case, pull over as soon as you can.

No matter how your check engine light looks, you should always pay attention to your vehicle’s performance. Do you notice anything strange? Some obvious signs of engine trouble are smoke, odd noises, or loss of power. If any of these things are happening, stop driving right away. If you continue driving with a major vehicle malfunction, you could cause irreversible damage to expensive parts. Get your car towed to the nearest service provider.

Can I fix the check engine light problem myself?

If you don’t have a major vehicle issue, there are a few easy fixes that may turn your check engine light off and send you on your way. The first spot to look at is your gas tank. Something as minor as a loose fuel cap can activate your check engine light. Make sure it’s tightly screwed on. You’ll also want to check for any cracks or damage, since this can trigger the check engine light as well.

Another place to examine is your oil dipstick. If it’s not seated properly, your check engine light can turn on. In addition, a loose oil filler cap can also trigger your check engine light. Make sure the filler cap, located above the engine valve cover, is fastened correctly.

Another troubleshooting option is an OBD2 scanner. This handy tool detects the DTC (diagnostic trouble code) associated with the check engine light. To get the DTC, connect the OBD2 scan tool to the data link connector in your car. It’s typically located underneath the driver’s side dashboard.

OBD2 scanners can cost up to $100. They give you a pretty good idea of how serious your engine problems are, but they don’t tell the full story. Knowing the severity of your issues can help you decide how you want to move forward with repairs.

The check engine light is no reason to panic. When you see it, try to stay calm. Pay attention to what’s going on with your car, and make a plan. Remember, if you think you have a major vehicle malfunction, the safest thing to do is pull over as soon as you can.

When your car needs care, Lloyd’s Automotive is here to help. We diagnose and repair engine issues fast, getting you back on the road in no time. Give us a call at (651) 228-1316 to schedule your appointment today. We look forward to serving you.

COOLANT FLUSHES AND ITS BENEFITS

coolant flushes

A coolant flush is essential for regular maintenance of your car that can help you keep your engine smooth and running for longer years. A coolant flush or a cooling system service eliminates debris or sediments.

The temperature plays a huge role in the engine’s performance. Drivers face a hard time turning their vehicles on during extreme summers and winters. Make sure to get the radiator checked by a mechanic to avoid any issues related to debris or rust or chocking.

Coolant Flushes and how they are done

Sometimes you go to the mechanic for some other reason, and he ends up recommending a coolant flush repair. Most people end up saying no since they are not very well informed on this solution. They then decide to ignore the issue. The coolant flush is a quick fix to turn your radiator to operate smoothly.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO FIX IT?

The best time to get your engine cleaned is after five to six years. The change after such services is effortless to spot. Once you get coolant running in the radiator, the engine and overall performance are almost as good as new.

Depending on your car and the coolant, the average time between flushes is three years. Get your coolant fixed as soon as you face trouble in your car’s engine while driving. A simple act here can prevent you from so many damages.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Not only does the coolant flush clean all the dust, but it also makes your vehicle smooth and saves from other costly issues. This small and affordable service can save you from spending a fortune and keep your vehicle’s engine protected for a more extended period.

Now that you know the importance of getting the coolant flushes to hire a professional to check your engine for you! Lloyd’s Automotive provides you with both experience and expertise to help you keep your item clean. And you can acquire these services right here in Inver St Paul, MN. Don’t hold your vehicle waiting and keep the air inside your car clean!

Everything You Need to know about the Magnuson Moss act

Everything You Need to know about the Magnuson Moss act

The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act is often cited as one of the main reasons why dealers must cover a particular part. This can be a failure in a modded or modified car. The question that most car enthusiasts often seem to ask is what happens to the warranty of the product which they bought and then modified that product. Fortunately, the law can help consumers like these. But it is due to lack of awareness and the confusion in this area that invoke the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act.

What is the Magnuson Moss Act?

According to the Act, an automobile manufacturer cannot void your vehicle warranty due to the installation of aftermarket parts. Unless the aftermarket part that caused the vehicle failure or contributed to it (15 U.S.C. 2302 (C)). This implies that the warranty cannot be “voided” if the dealer has no claim. Also, that the stock part failed to perform for unreasonable reasons. A general understanding of the Act is that the law was actually intended for people modifying cars. Also, ones that were getting their cars serviced outside of dealerships. Dealerships were attempting to void the warranty to put all the liabilities on the customer’s head. The reality is that a manufacturer cannot its warranty contingent on you using their parts.

If you purchase a vehicle from one dealership, you are not bound to get the oil changed from the same dealership. You can get the car serviced from any other dealership as long as they are using the appropriate parts.

 

History of It

For people who don’t know, the Act was originally passed by two guys named Magnuson and Moss, who were the two primary sponsors of the bill. The bill was an attempt by Congress in Washington DC to put some emphasis into warranty laws. The law is comprehensive and covers a variety of things. The Federal Trade Commission oversees the Act. The Act basically addresses the myth that “modding your ride with aftermarket accessories automatically cancels your warranty.”

Benefits You Should Know

Some of the key benefits of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act are:

  • The Act provides for Attorney Fees for any Breach in the implied warranty. (Even if there is no written warranty)
  • Magnuson Moss written warranties may exist even if the court finds no express warranty in existence
  • The Act also applies to leases
  • The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act gives the consumer more control over whether an action is heard in the Federal Court or the States Court
  • Magnuson Moss Warranty Act does not require notice of a breach
  • Magnuson Moss Warranty Act has no explicit statute of limitations

 

Lloyd’s Automotive in St Paul, MN has been serving the community for more than five decades. We can handle all your mechanical, repair and maintenance related needs with expertise and professionalism. To learn more about our services, be sure to check our website and contact us for further details.

Cabin Air Filters 101: Everything You Need To Know

Cabin Air Filters 101: Everything You Need To Know

Cabin air filters are one of the most useful elements in a vehicle. Since it acts as a filter by cleaning the air that comes through ventilation, heating, and AC systems. The filters also clean out all the pollen and harmful airborne materials which can be a problem, especially for people with respiratory problems.

The invention itself is a remarkable one, but what’s the history behind it? More importantly, how is a cabin air filter an essential element to have in your vehicle? And how can a car owner maintain it for a long time? Let’s find out!

History of Cabin Air Filters – The Idea of a Decade

The initial idea of a cabin air filter came from a chauffeur belonging to a former CEO, Hans Freudenberg. He noticed that his freshly cleaned clothes were becoming soiled; by the air entering the vehicle. Then, it clicked him that the idea of placing a piece of nonwoven fabric in front of air intake vents can filter out polluted air.

Afterward, this inspiration led to the creation of the first Freudenberg filter solution back in 1957. Since then, almost every vehicle around the world comes with a cabin air filter by default. These air filters not only keep your clothes dirt-free but minimize containments from the airflow you breathe from as well.

The Purpose of a Cabin Air Filter

We discussed that a cabin air filter helps in removing harmful pollutants from the car. The filter is often placed behind the glovebox and cleans off the air as it moves the vehicle’s HVAC track. In fact, you might notice a difference in the air when the cabin filter needs replacement. For instance, you will feel an unpleasant odor inside your car or a decrease in airflow; thus, indicating that you must replace your filter.

When should you replace your filter?

If you’re consistently driving in urbanized traffic, then chances are you need to replace your filters annually or even more frequently. Moreover, if you’re driving under a desert climate, then you might need to replace it swiftly as well, because of the dust.

Even then, if you wish to keep your car’s airflow intact, then get your vehicle checked regularly. But, if your repairman suggests a replacement of your current air filter, then make sure you as to see it. You’ll be shocked by what you will witness; thus, a filter clogged with insects, pollen, soot or even twigs. These indicators will show that you need an air filter change.

To sum up our discussion, since the inception of cabin air filters, they’re being upgraded rapidly by several manufacturers. However, you must keep on monitoring the airflow inside your vehicle, so that you can replace the filters immediately when needed.

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.

 

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

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