A Dipstick a Day Keeps the Mechanic Away

Ok so maybe you don't need to check your oil EVERY day but these tips will keep you from having your car towed to us every other week. While we'd appreciate the business, we think it's better that you just have a dependable, well running vehicle.

Check your oil

It's tempting to think that just because you got your oil changed last month, there's no reason to pop the hood and check the level. Especially in Minnesota. In February. However, there's no faster way to a wrecked motor than running it without enough oil. There can be many reasons for oil loss, some are normal, but some can indicate a serious problem. It’s a good idea to check your oil weekly. It may seem tedious but if there's a drastic change in oil consumption, better to know about it sooner rather than later. Make it a part of your routine when filling up with gas to pop the hood and do a quick check. It’s a good idea to let the car sit for a minute before checking as this lets the oil all run down into the oil pan so you get a good, consistent reading. If your car is suddenly going through more oil than normal, time to give us a call.

Tires--drifting is fun, unless it's not 

It's cold. We know. But your tires still need attention now and then. Fluctuating winter temps can wreak havoc on your tires if you're not monitoring the pressure regularly. Again, make it part of your routine when getting gas at your local station. Most stores have air pumps and even a tire pressure gauge you can borrow..no excuses. Over and under inflation of tires can quickly cause damage to even brand new tires, but more importantly it can severely impact your control when driving, especially on icy roads. 

Wipers and washer fluid

Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of car maintenance until the roads get sloppy. Driving down the interstate isn't the best time to realize you need new wipers or more washer fluid. Stop in and we'll check them out and help you get them replaced if needed. If you're adding washer fluid this winter it's also a good idea to pick up a winter blend which has a lower freezing point and helps the system fight freezing temps. When you're under the hood checking your oil, it's a good time to peek over at your washer fluid reservoir and see if you could use a top off.

Are your lights working?

Even though we're having a mild winter here in the Northland, the next big snowstorm is always just around the corner. You don’t want to be driving home in a blizzard to find out that your headlights or tail lights aren't working properly. Often it's difficult to tell when just one headlight goes out but lucky for you, it's incredibly easy to check for! It's easy enough to just get out and look, but if it's REALLY that cold, just pay attention when you pull your car up in the garage for the night. Do both sides seem lit up the same? Then all is well. If not, “fix it” tickets from the local authorities can be a real pain, so don't wait around to take care of it. Stop in and see us and we'll get you fixed up in no time. Unfortunately, to check your tail lights you'll need to hop out and have a look yourself. Better yet, find a willing assistant to stand in the cold and you can tap the brake lights at the same time to make sure they're in working order as well!  

Small problems are like snowballs

Annoying rattle or squeal driving you crazy? Think you're having to add too much oil every week? You've been checking haven't you? Small things may be just that. Small and inconvenient but not really a serious issue. Or it could be something that is going to snowball into a large, expensive fix for you. It's better to fix it before you're stranded and needing a tow. If you're not sure, that's OK! That's why we're here! Give us a call and we'll get to the bottom of it, ensuring your vehicle stays in tip top shape.
Categories: Service
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