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A Brief History of Car AC and Refrigerant

AC

When you think about it, the auto industry has made significant advances in the last century. From the way we drive to advancements in fuel efficiency, drivers today have many luxuries that the very first car owners couldn’t have dreamed of. One area that is very evident is in vehicle air conditioning. From the first cars on the market to our modern-day choices, car makers have made great strides in keeping us comfortable while driving in the dog days of summer. If you’re curious about this history of AC, then we’re here to provide a brief history.

The Earliest Cars

The earliest Model T’s had no doors and collapsible roofs. Most drivers, at this time, were more concerned about how to keep warm when driving in the winter as opposed to cooling off in the summer. If drivers and passengers wanted to keep cool, they would simply collapse the roof and rely on the open air to cool off.

The auto industry improved their earliest models by adding doors and windows. In this next level model, vents were installed underneath the dashboard that circulated the outside air to keep drivers cool. The main complaint about this new improvement was that it didn’t keep dirt & dust out of the inside of the vehicle which made maintaining a clean car a bit of a challenge.

New Cooling Innovations

Car makers knew that new products were necessary to solve the problem of the heat of summer. The Knapp Limo-Sedan fan was introduced to level up in-car cooling. This fan was an electric fan mounted to the interior of the car to circulate outside air and keep passengers cool. If drivers didn’t like the fan option, they could also look at the car cooler. This was attached to the roof of the car and used water evaporation to deliver cool air through the open windows. These options could reduce the inside car temperature by 15 degrees.

The Advent of Factory Installed AC

In the 1940s, Packard was the first automaker to offer factory installed air conditioning. The unit was located in the trunk and required the driver to get out and manually install or remove the drive belt from the compressor to turn on and off. This AC system could only circulate air inside the cabin, and did not use outside air. The condensed water ran overhead, and was known to drip on passengers.

Post World War II Advancements

Before WWII, there were about 3,000 cars that had air conditioning installed. After the war – over 1 million cars boasted to have this feature. Things really took off after the war, and in 1953 General Motors, Chrysler, and Packard all introduced new AC systems in their cars. To be more specific, GM developed a revolutionary system that fit in the car’s engine – no more hopping out of the car to turn on the AC for drivers. In 1963, Cadillac made a breakthrough with the invention of comfort control. Drivers could finally set the temperature of the inside of their car in the warm summer months.

Environmental Concerns

In the 1970s, scientists discovered that compounds called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were depleting the earth’s ozone layer. R12 (also known as Freon) was the common refrigerant used in vehicle air conditioning and was a known CFC. Scientists knew that a new option needed to be developed. After years of testing, a safer replacement was found in the refrigerant R-134a. In 1987, the U.S. government signed the Montreal Compact, which in part required manufacturers to switch to R-134a by 1996.

Modern Air Conditioning

Drivers today have highly advanced air conditioning systems with dual and rear climate control. While we are no longer worried about dangerous-to-the-environment refrigerants, current air conditioning can decrease fuel efficiency by 25%. Some simple tips to help with fuel efficiency when running your AC include the following. Only driving at highway speeds, no idling with the AC on, and opening the windows before turning the AC on to let out the hot air.

As we look back over the last 100 years, we’ve made many advancements to make driving safe and more comfortable. But modern advancements don’t eliminate the need to have your auto AC maintained. Especially in our summer months. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your AC and coolant checked, our team is ready to help. Make an appointment and we’ll ensure you’re comfortable all summer no matter where the road takes you.

Your guide for maintaining your boat trailer this summer

When summer hits, Minnesotans like you, want to be ready to get outside and enjoy the sun. From a day at the lake to taking in a baseball game, it’s good to get outside and have fun. If your summer plans include a trip to the cabin or going for a boat ride on the lake down the road, then maintaining your boat trailer is always a good idea. After sitting idle all winter long, your trailer may need a little TLC to keep your boat towing safe all summer long.

Check the Boat Trailer Tires

Improperly inflated tires can be a safety hazard or leave you stranded by the side of the road. Save yourself the headache of an issue later this summer by making sure your tires are properly inflated before you head out with your boat. Your tires can lose 1-2 pounds of air pressure every month, and since your trailer has been sitting all winter it’s a good idea to check them out.

Inflate your tires to the maximum rating on the tire or on your trailer capacity sticker – this will typically be at least 60 psi.  While you’re down there checking your tire pressure, you’ll want to check for wear & tear on your tire treads. Trailer tires should be replaced every 6 years so if it’s been a while since you’ve replaced your tires or you notice tread wear, then it’s a good idea to take your trailer into your mechanic to make sure your tires are good to go. One last thing to check? Check the air pressure on your spare, and if you don’t have one – it’s a good idea to get one mounted this year.

Check your lights

Driving your trailer with faulty lights can get you a hefty fine, which is why you’ll want to check your lights before heading out. Your trailer lights are a safety measure that lets other drivers know you are carrying a boat and to keep a safe distance. Check for dimming, flickering, or lights that are not working at all. Older trailers have bulbs that can burn out so if you notice any of these symptoms, you’ll want to get those bulbs replaced. You’ll also want to inspect your towing vehicle’s connection. Our winter weather can corrode the metal pins causing your connection to malfunction. If you don’t already have one, you can pick up a connection protector at any auto parts store to keep your connection protected in any season.

Check the Boat Trailer brakes

Most states require brakes on at least one axle of your trailer. If you don’t have brakes installed and your trailer weighs over 3,000 lbs, your trailer can start to swerve when using only your vehicle brakes which can be a safety concern. Before you hit the road with your boat, it’s a good idea to check your brakes for dirt and debris. While you’re making sure those brakes are clean, you should check your brake pads for wear and tear. If you notice any wear, you’ll want to have your mechanic take a look. One last thing before heading to the lake? Check your brake fluid to make sure it’s filled to the proper level.

Check your wheel bearings

Your wheel bearings can become corroded or rusted due to moisture over the winter. Corroded or rusted bearings prevent your wheels from turning properly, and can cause friction which can result in accidents. To ensure your safety, it’s a good idea to check your wheel bearings and grease them each year. If you don’t already have wheel bearing covers installed, it’s a good idea to install them to protect your bearings from moisture all year long.

These four steps can help prepare your boat trailer for the boating season ahead. If you discover any issues during your maintenance, our team is ready to help get you back on the road and enjoying the lake in no time.

The top 7 maintenance checks your car needs each spring

maintenance

Spring is in the air, and if you’re like most Minnesotans, you want to get out there and enjoy nicer weather and sunshine.  But spring also brings a list of things that need to get done each spring before you can enjoy the great outdoors. From spring cleaning to planting your garden, there’s just work to be done. One maintenance item many drivers neglect is taking your car in for your spring maintenance check. Winter is harsh on your vehicle so getting these top 7 maintenance checks performed on your car is a good idea each spring.

Tires

Winter is brutal on your tires. From snow & ice to those early spring potholes, your tires can take a beating. You’ll want to make sure your tires are inflated properly, and inspected for tread life. While you’re down there checking tire pressure and inspecting your tread, you’ll want to check your rims for any dents or other damage – all of which can impact the life of your tires. One last check for your tires each spring is to have your mechanic balance and rotate them. Getting your tires checked each spring will ensure a safe drive all year long.

Suspension Maintenance

Winter can also be hard on your car’s suspension. From snow covered roads to bumps in the road, your suspension can take a hit.  Signs your suspension needs some attention include drifting to one side when turning corners, continued bouncing after hitting bumps, and difficulty steering. If you notice any of these signs or it’s been a while since your last maintenance appointment, ask your mechanic to inspect your struts and shocks to make sure everything is in working order.

Alignment

Much like your suspension system, your alignment needs some attention after a long winter. Snow can hide many obstacles on the road that can quickly impact your car’s alignment. Signs that your alignment is off include pulling to one side while driving, uneven or rapid tire wear, a crooked steering wheel when you’re driving straight, and squealing tires. Whether you notice these signs or not, it’s always a good idea to have your mechanic check your alignment each spring.

Maintenance for Belts & Hoses

Our bitterly cold temperatures over the winter can be hard on your car’s belts & hoses. These items can crack and tear over the long winter months. Left unchecked, your belts or hoses could break or tear leaving you stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow. Skip the headache of a breakdown and ask your mechanic to inspect your belts & hoses each spring.

Headlights, taillights, & turn signals

Faulty or cloudy lights on your car’s exterior can lead to safety hazards no matter where you drive. Snow, ice, and salt can cause your lights to yellow and haze over the winter – which at a minimum will impact your night time visibility. Ask your mechanic to refurbish any yellowing headlights or taillights. And while you’re at it, replace any burnt out bulbs to keep you safe all spring and summer long.

Interior comfort Maintenance

No matter what season it is – you’ll want to be comfortable inside your car no matter where you drive. Spring is a good time to replace your cabin air filter (if your car was manufactured after 1999 you have one). Your cabin air filter will keep pollen, mold, and other pollutants out of your car’s interior. While your mechanic is replacing the air filter, you’ll want to ask for an AC output test to make sure your AC is ready to go when those dog days of summer hit.

Maintenance and Fluid Levels

One last thing to ask your mechanic to check and inspect is your fluid levels. After a long winter, your car’s fluid levels could be depleted so make sure you check your coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and in some cases, hydraulic fluid.

While this may feel like a long list of things to do to prepare your car for spring, your mechanic knows what to do if you simply ask for a spring maintenance check. If you’ve been looking for a mechanic, our team is ready to perform your spring maintenance check and get you back to going for that spring drive in no time.

Electric Vehicles and 5 Things Every Car Owner Should Know About Them

With the increase in gas prices across the country, drivers everywhere are looking for creative ways to start saving at the pump. From getting more efficient in the way you drive to considering an upgrade to your vehicles, Minnesota drivers, like you, have been curious about electric cars. Whether you’ve checked into a new car at the dealer or seen ads on TV, electric cars are gaining in popularity so consumers can drive further for less money. If you’ve been considering whether an electric car can really save you money, then feel free to keep reading for some facts about electric cars.

How Electric Vehicles work

Before you get too far into purchasing that new electric car, you may want to know a little more about them. Electric vehicles, also referred to as Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), use large battery packs to power the electric motor. If you purchase one, you won’t need to fill up on gas – instead, you’ll need to plug your car into a wall outlet (120V) or a charging station, also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). When fully charged, most electric cars have a driving range of 200 miles.

Electric cars are not the same as hybrid vehicles. Hybrids use an electric motor, like an electric car, but combine that with a gas engine. Unlike electric cars, hybrids are powered by gas so your wallet will still feel that pinch at the pump. Due to the combination of an electric motor and a gas engine, these vehicles can go further on one tank of gas saving you some money (with less frequent fill ups), but not as much money as driving an electric car.

Lower running costs and Electric Vehicles

Most drivers want to know one thing when it comes to making the jump to an electric car. Will this really save me money? We’ve done the math and here’s what we found out. Electric cars cost $0.05 per mile to run vs. gas-powered cars that cost $ 0.15 per mile to run. That difference can be huge for any family when it adds up as the average electric car driver can save up to $4,000 per year in running costs. One last way electric cars put more money in your pocket? Rebates and tax credits. There is a federal tax credit for electric battery cars depending on the battery capacity, and the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) provides rebate savings for eligible vehicles.

Lower maintenance costs

With far fewer moving parts, electric cars don’t require the same kind of maintenance as gas-powered cars. They don’t require oil changes, new spark plugs, or fuel filters. Their batteries are typically lithium batteries which should be good for 300-500 cycles, or to put it in terms we know – they last about 10 years. Electric cars also feature regenerative braking where the car uses the electric motor to decelerate the vehicle, which extends the lifespan of your brake pads.

Cleaner environment

While an electric car can save you money, it can also save the environment. Studies have shown that electric cars are 85-90% energy efficient vs. gas-powered cars which are only 17-21% energy efficient. They also don’t have a tailpipe which means they don’t emit exhaust gasses cutting down on local air pollution when you drive.

Better driving experience

Most drivers of electric vehicles report a better driving experience. These cars feature quick acceleration, and produce peak torque from a standstill. Since the battery pack is positioned in the center of the car, electric cars have superior weight distribution and stability. They have great handling and are fun to drive.

If you’re ready to jump into buying your first electric vehicle, these 5 facts can help you make an informed decision. If you’re still unsure and have some questions, our team is ready to help. Simply call and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.

 

7 Steps to making your car more fuel efficient

efficient

A fuel efficient is important. As gas prices start to rise, Minnesotan drivers like you are feeling the pinch at the pump. You may have noticed that the current gas prices are enough to break your budget. While we can’t control the price of gas, the one thing we can control is how efficiently our cars are running. There are definitely some simple steps you can take to make each fill up last longer and get you driving father.

Check your tire pressure

Your tires not only ensure safe driving, they also contribute to fuel efficiency. When your tires are not properly inflated, they can decrease fuel efficiency by 3%. While this might seem like much, this can add up over time. To improve your fuel efficiency, plan on checking your tire pressure on a monthly basis to ensure your tires are properly inflated.

Check your front end alignment so it’s efficient

Spring is basically pothole season. If you’ve had any recent run-ins with a pothole or hit a huge bump, your front end could be out of alignment. When your car is out of alignment, your gas mileage can decrease by up to 10%. Signs your car is out of alignment are pulling to one side when driving, shaking when driving at high speeds, or a little extra bounce when hitting a bump. If you notice any of these symptoms, having your alignment checked out can get you saving money at the pump in no time.

Check your trunk

If you’re one of those people that throws everything in the trunk, you might want to rethink your strategy. The heavier your car is, the harder it will need to work which can affect your fuel efficiency.  Did you know that for every 100 lbs of items you store in your trunk, your fuel consumption goes up by 1-2%? If you’re ready to save on gas and go longer in between fill ups, storing those heavy items in your garage instead is a good idea.

A Fuel Efficient Car

You may have heard or even assumed that a higher octane gas will lead to greater fuel efficiency. Filling up with a higher octane when your car doesn’t need it will simply cost more without any added benefit. It’s a good idea to check what octane level your car really needs. If your car requires 87 octane fuel, filling up with 89 or 91 octane won’t increase your fuel efficiency. While we’re talking about filling up, it’s always better to keep your tank above ¼ tank full. When your tank gets below that, your fuel pump has to work harder which leads to a decrease in fuel efficiency.

Check your idling time

You may be tempted to let your car idle while you’re waiting for your friend, checking your messages, or even waiting for your next appointment. But did you know that your car consumes ½ a gallon of gas for every hour of idling? Consider rolling down your windows and enjoying the beautiful spring weather instead.

Check your AC usage

When it comes to those dog days of summer, using your AC prematurely and when it’s fairly nice out can decrease your fuel efficiency. For city driving where you are doing a lot of stopping and starting, keeping your windows open and turning off your AC can increase your fuel efficiency. As far as highway driving goes, keeping your windows rolled down can reduce your fuel efficiency by 10%.

Check your car maintenance schedule & have an efficient car

Your car can burn up to 30% more fuel if proper maintenance is not regularly performed on your vehicle. Scheduling regular maintenance can keep your car running efficiently all year long and can include checking your tire pressure, your front end alignment, replacing your air filter (which can help increase fuel efficiency), and other routine checks to ensure fuel efficiency.

If you’re ready to start saving money at the pump, and stretching that full tank of gas, then these 7 steps will help. Our team is ready to help you get your car in shape for fuel efficiency this spring. Simply make an appointment and we’ll check to make sure your car is running more efficiently no matter where you drive it.

How a Pothole Can Damage Your Car This Spring

pothole

You may have already noticed while you’re driving around town this spring – it’s pothole season. As winter snow and ice starts to melt and refreeze underneath the pavement, potholes begin to form on the surface. Potholes are a nuisance on the road and a hazard for Minnesota drivers. We can avoid potholes by slowing down and paying attention to the road while driving, but every once in a while, potholes are unavoidable. Potholes can definitely cause damage to your car each spring. If you’ve been wondering what kind of damage to look for, we’re unpacking some areas to inspect after running into that pesky pothole.

Pothole damage to the Tires & Wheels

Tires take the brunt of the impact when you inadvertently run into that pothole. The first and most obvious damage we tend to see is a flat tire. While flat tires are a sign of damage to your car, it’s also best to check all four tires for internal tire damage. Running into a pothole can break the interior structure or sidewall of your tire which can lead to blowouts while driving if left undetected. Look for bulges or bubbles on all four tires to ensure there is no interior damage.

Your wheels can also sustain damage especially if your tires are not inflated properly. Wheels can bend, crack, or even break upon impact, making them an important part of your vehicle to check after hitting a pothole. Repair options tend to be limited for wheels, so you may need to ask your mechanic about replacing any that are damaged.

Suspension & Alignment after hitting a Pothole

Your suspension system can take a hit when you drive over that pothole as well. Parts like your suspension arm or tie rod are susceptible to breaking. In addition, running into that pothole can knock these systems out of alignment. If you notice that your car is pulling to one side or the other while driving, shaking when you drive at high speeds, bring it in. You may also notice it keeps bouncing for a while after you’ve hit that bump, then it may be time to have your suspension and alignment looked at. Neglecting poor alignment can cause tires to wear unevenly or wear out prematurely, which can lead to safety issues while driving around town. If you’ve hit a pothole recently, it’s always a good idea to have your mechanic inspect your suspension system for damage.

Shock Absorbers

Driving into a pothole can also cause damage to your shock absorbers. These can break on impact. Your shock absorbers were designed to ensure a smoother ride, and better vehicle handling. When damaged, you may notice nose diving when braking, wheel vibrations, and leaking fluid. You can also test your shock absorbers by pushing down hard on the front corner of your vehicle 2-3 times. If your car continues to bounce several times after you stop pushing, schedule an appointment with us.

Exhaust System

Last but not least, your exhaust system can be damaged when you drive into a pothole. The impact with a pothole can cause your exhaust system to break loose or bend. Some signs of a broken or damaged exhaust include strange noises coming from your backend. It may also have decreased power and acceleration, and decreased fuel efficiency. If you notice any of these symptoms after driving through a pothole, it’s best to make an appointment so your mechanic can take a look.

While no one wants to hit a pothole, some potholes are unavoidable as you drive around this spring. If you happen to unexpectedly hit one, our team is ready to inspect your vehicle for any damage. This will ensure that your family is safe wherever the road may take you.

5 Ways to tell if your car needs a Spring maintenance check

spring maintenanceSpring maintenance is needed for your car. The signs that spring is coming are here. From melting snow, potholes on the roads, small buds on the trees, and warmer temperatures, we can read the signs and know that we’ve made it through a long Minnesota winter. Just like the coming of spring, your car also will give you signs that it’s in need of some care, and if you haven’t guessed already, we highly recommend a spring tune up for your car every year.

So, how do you know if your car needs a spring tune up?  We’ve got you covered with 5 ways your car is telling you it needs a tune up.

1. Your drive feels rougher than it used to

Our winter weather can be rough on our cars, especially our tires.  If your ride doesn’t feel as smooth as it did last fall – it may be time for your spring maintenance check. Your mechanic should be rotating and balancing your tires regularly. Spring is also a great time for your mechanic to inspect the tread life left on your tires and your rims for any damage from your winter driving.

2. Steering seems more challenging

One sign that your car needs a tune up is that steering seems more challenging.  Winter can mess with our alignment and suspension. One way your car tells you it needs an alignment check is pulling to one side or the other while driving. If you feel like you’re fighting with your steering wheel to drive in a straight line, it’s time to fix your alignment.  When it comes to your suspension (shocks and struts), you may notice shaking at high speeds, trouble turning corners, and continued bouncing long after you hit a bump. If you notice any of these steering challenges, then a spring maintenance check is a good idea.

3. Night time visibility is difficult

Did you know that winter weather can cause yellow and hazy headlights, taillights, and turn signals? Yellowed lights will decrease visibility and increase your safety risk while driving at night. If the roads seem less clear at night, it may be a sign that your car needs a spring tune up. Ask your mechanic to replace yellowed lights and replace any burnt out bulbs. While we’re talking safety and visibility, we highly recommend replacing your windshield wiper blades. Winter can dull your blades and replacing them in spring will ensure you are ready for those spring rains. If your view is unclear, take your car in for your spring maintenance check to ensure safe visibility at all times of the day.

4. Your engine runs louder

After a long and bitterly cold winter, your engine could start making some noise. If you notice that your car seems to run a little louder than it did in pre-winter weather, your vehicle may be due for a little TLC. Our bitterly cold temperatures can cause cracking, and tearing to our belts and hoses which can lead to breakdowns on the side of the road if not addressed. Your mechanic should check the condition of your belts and hoses each spring which will give you peace of mind while driving around town or on that next road trip.

5. Your indicator lights are shining

This may seem like a no-brainer, but your indicator lights are a sign that your car needs some attention. When you schedule your spring maintenance check, you’ll want to make sure your mechanic checks your fluid levels like, coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. In addition, spring is a great time to replace your cabin air filter which protects the inside of your car from allergens and pollutants. Ensuring these small things are checked can go a long way for enjoyable spring driving.

While your vehicle may not physically talk to you, your car will let you know when it’s time for a spring maintenance check. Spring is always a great time for a reset when it comes to your car maintenance to ensure safe and smooth driving all year long.

 

Are Surging or Pulsating Brakes a Safety Issue?

surging

 

Surging brakes mean there is an issue. If you step on the brake and the pulsation is minor in your steering wheel and seat, then you may not have to worry about it. Sometimes the brake pulsation can be out of control, and once you step on the brake, the car vigorously shakes.

This can lead to a much more difficult situation. Excessive pulsation of the brakes can be a safety concern especially during slippery road conditions. The reason why your brake is pulsating is that that brake calipers are unable to grab hold of the rotor. This can cause a slipping or sliding predicament.

Fixing the Problem

The first step towards fixing the pulsating brake issue is determining the cause of the pulsation. It is worth noting that a surging or pulsating brake can stem from plenty of different causes. One of the most common causes of pulsation is warped rotors. Rotors are components that undergo plenty of friction and heat since the brake pads press upon their surface whenever you step down on the brakes.

For this reason, you can experience minor tremors in either the steering wheel or from under your car seat if you have been practicing particular driving habits. These driving habits pertain to jamming the brakes too hard. However, a person can be forced to do this if they are driving during inner city rush hours, or even at a steep slope.

Excessive and forced braking will ultimately cause wear on the rotors, which will lead to damaged rotor surface. However, this is not the only way a car’s rotor will undergo stress due to braking friction. Once you have determined the particular issue that is causing the friction, then you must correct that issue.

Solutions for Surging Brakes

If you find that the pulsating tires is only because of warped rotors, you need to make sure that you are replacing the rotors with the pads. This is regardless of what conditions the pads were in, even if they are brand new. The reason for that is that the surface of the pad needs to come in contact with the surface of the rotor.

If you decide to cut costs and only replace the rotors, you will end up experiencing brake noises and a pulsating effect as well. The rotors that you find today consist of much thinner material and people try to keep them at a very minimum specification, which helps keep the vehicle lighter and is also more fuel efficient overall.

Cutting the rotor’s thickness will present issues. By the time you dig into where the metal is good, the rotor will become very thin. This would not be good if you have very thin brake rotors. They are not going to be able to dissipate the heat overall and the brakes will not function as they should.

You should not confuse a brake pulsation with any other problems. Some people confuse with ABS unit activation. You have to therefore know how to identify brake pulsations.

Reasons to Keep an Eye on Your TPMS Light

TPMS

Tire pressure not only impacts your control over the vehicle during the journey but also keeps the drivers safe when they apply brakes. We understand that the classical way of testing tire pressure is getting out, seeing if any of your tires seem low on air pressure, and getting them fixed accordingly.

However, there are a few modern methods of checking the TPMS for tire pressure. The TPMS includes a light indicator that shows up when one of the tires in your vehicle has low air pressure and needs a routine check.

We are going to talk about the reasons why a TPMS light is important and how it can help you during your journey. So, ensure reading till the end of this article.

Reasons to Check Your TPMS Light

There are various reasons why checking your TPMS light before and during the journey can help benefit you. These reasons include the following

Preventive Measure

The TPMS light indication is more of a preventive measure that focuses on providing an indication when the tire air pressure is at a risky state. While the indications show that the tire pressure is below average, it is not immediate. Drivers can easily take the vehicle to a tire or repair shop and get it fixed on time. This simple TPMS can help reduce the chances of inconvenience due to tire trouble later on.

Might Indicate Other Issues

A TPMS is not only useful for indicating possible flat tires only. It can warn drivers about other possible problems as well. For instance, your tire may be running out of air merely because of leakage, or a simple issue, that you can fix on time, and stay on track with your trip. This feature helps because the TPMS light indicates potential problems even when the tires look fine on the outside.

Reads External Temperature Changes and the TPMS

The TPMS system can help you keep your vehicle well-maintained even at severe climatic changes. For example, drivers in cold regions face a lot of tire pressure issues. Most of them end up with a flat tire because they didn’t know about air pressure on time. We suggest these drivers keep an air gauge with them in their car and check it when needed.

Chances are that you do not need to fix your tire, or get it changed, as refilling the tire air pressure does the trip, and saves you from punctures.

Saves Time

While a flat tire is not always a life-threatening situation, getting it fixed wastes a lot of time. This includes dragging the car to a safe spot, waiting for the mechanic to show up, or keeping yourself safe until the necessary help arrives. However, checking the TPMS light on time can help reduce this problem, and keep your car running on the road smoothly. You can save hours of hard work if you check the TPMS indication as soon as you suspect something. A TPMS light is a great way to keep an eye on the tire pressure in your vehicle, take it for maintenance on time, save time, and reduce inconvenience. We suggest you keep basic repair tools in the vehicle with you and see a tutorial or two on how to refill the tire air pressure yourself.

 

Snowplows and Tips for Driving this Winter

snowplows

Snowplows need space while operating. When driving around during winter, you’ll need some practice in how to safely and effectively drive in slippery and snowy conditions. Also remember to leave enough space between you and them. If you are driving a front-wheel drive, keep in mind that you will have a different experience than an all-wheel-drive car.

This is because the driving wheels will also be the wheels that are turning the vehicle and doing most of the braking. Ideally, you should drive at a speed that offers you the best stability and control so that you can avoid common hazards such as rocks, ditches, and bumps.

Be Smooth on Your Controls

The most important thing about driving in the snow is to be incredibly smooth on your controls. This means that you should not hit the throttle too hard because you will start to spin your tires. You also have to avoid braking too hard because you will either lock up or kick the ABS on. Of course, try not to make instant steers to the left or right.

The next thing that is extremely important when driving in the snow is preparation and planning. Before you even start your car for a winter commute, make sure that you check the weather forecast and take all the road clearance updates beforehand.

By doing this, you can better plan and schedule your commutes for the safest experience possible. However, the winter season is unpredictable, and you must always prepare for danger and hurdles. You should also be planning ahead while you are driving so that you are not caught in instantly applying the brakes and losing traction on an icy surface.

Driving around Snowplows or Trucks

When you see a plow truck ahead and notice different types of fluids coming out of it, make sure that you are at a distance. Getting too close to the plow truck will compromise your visibility since there is often a cloud of snow that builds alongside the truck.

Plow trucks will typically travel at a speed of 25 to 45 miles an hour. If you are in a hurry and must pass, it is best to wait until the visibility around the plow truck is better. If you cannot see, then do not try to pass through the snowplow.

However, if there is significant visibility, you can pass through it. When passing, allow plenty of room and be prepared for the conditions that you will come across in front of the plow. You can also wait for a few miles since the plow is likely to turn around and head in the other direction shortly.

Follow a plow too closely, and you will risk damage from the spread of ice-melting sand. Plows can also cause the road debris to shoot up and also drop huge chunks of ice on the road.

Overall, there is plenty of ice that can build up on the plow trucks, and it can fall behind on cars. The best advice would be to slow down and stay back. Do not crowd the plow, and always be safe.

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