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Tag Archives: Dependable Auto Repair Mechanics


Father and Son Under Hood of a Truck Giving Automotive Advice

Clark Automotive Blaine Car and Truck Repairs


Today’s vehicles are light-years better than the cars of old. There is much less maintenance needed now to drive our cars than before, and they almost seem maintenance free. But therein lies the problem. No matter how well made our cars are now compared to even just 20 years ago, the fact remains that cars require regular maintenance to avert expensive repairs down the road.

Today we will explore the concept of automobile maintenance. We will present some facts versus the fables that impact on the costs of operating a vehicle.  The goal of this presentation is to generate some thoughts about what has worked well and not so well regarding your experiences with car ownership.


Let’s relive a little of the “good ol’ days” shall we? Remember the nostalgia of automobile guidance handed down by your grandfather to your dad!

“Son, here is how to check the oil and coolant, I will check your sister’s”.

“When you stop down at the gas station for gas, ask them to check your battery electrolyte, freeze protection and brake fluid. Also, have them check the tire air pressure.”  Where did these full service gas station go anyway?


Back in the “good ol’ days”:

Tires lasted 20,000 miles maybe

Gas was .29 cents a gallon

Batteries lasted a couple years at most  

A tune-up was due every 10,000 miles and was prone to frequent failure

Brakes didn’t last 25,000 miles

Oil changes were due every 2,500 miles

What is a grease job?

Where did the transmission dipstick go?


Are we left with the impression that our cars are truly maintenance free?

Then what the heck are the warning lights on my dash?



Responding to The Check Engine Light coming on:


# Purchase parts predicated solely on a scan of the codes.  This is very common with free scanning at the local parts store, as they are in the business of selling parts!

# Clear the codes because some causation data will be lost.  A technician may need the data to properly troubleshoot your car.

# Drive your car far until you fully understand why the light is on.  You, then may elect to defer the repair to a future date.



# Have the check engine light diagnosed ASAP if the car now runs poorly, differently, misfiring, or no power Pull.     

# Get a firm price for diagnostic charges.  Also get a written estimate for the proposed repairs.

# Look on the internet for cars similar to yours and see if they are having the same problem and what may have caused it.  

# If you’re not comfortable with the estimate, get a second opinion.    

# Ask to see the old defective parts.  

# Pay by credit card, if this a new shop to you.


What are today’s RECOMMENDATIONS for an operator’s checklist?

  • Check the oil level weekly or with gas fill up.  
  • Glance at the brake, coolant, and power steering fluid levels.
  • Know what each warning light on the dash means.  Information is in the owner’s manual, or ask your mechanic.


Here’s our version of what “Grandpa Chuck” would tell your grand-kid getting his first car.

Establish your monthly under the hood and walk around the car checklist:

  • Check Headlights
  • Check Brake Lights
  • Check Turn Signals and Side Lights
  • Check Tire Air Pressure
  • Check Tire Condition
  • Listen for Exhaust Leaks  
  • Look at Accessory Belts
  • Look for Coolant Leaks
  • Look for Oil Leaks
  • Listen for Strange Noises
  • Check Air Filter
  • Check Battery Cables and Battery
  • Check Coolant  (Cold)
  • Look at Hoses
  • Check Brake Fluid Level
  • Check Oil Level
  • Fill Washer Fluid
  • Check Wiper Blades    


CLARK AUTOMOTIVE CLINIC – Is a full service automotive maintenance and service provider located in Blaine, MN.  We specialize in diagnostics, vehicle performance, brake repair, general suspension, and electrical repairs.


What can Clark Automotive Provide to you, which you may not currently have?

“We keep your work car working!” We are a one stop shop for your reasonably priced automotive maintenance needs, auto repairs, with car talk and advice.  If you’re like most people, you probably tend to drive around until something goes wrong and then incur the expense of replacing worn-out parts or replace the whole vehicle.  Our goal is to offer a more balanced approach to keeping your work and family cars running properly at a lower expenditure of funds.  


What value added can Clark Automotive provide for your automotive ownership expenditures?

With Clark taking care of your car, you get a peace of mind that your car has been repaired in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner, using high quality original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts where required.

Noisy Brake Repair Service Blaine MN

Auto Repair Blaine MNYou step on the brakes and a high pitched squeal noise occurs. This will alarm any vehicle operator but with good observation and a quality car, truck and SUV mechanic – together the problem you just experienced with your vehicle will be a thing of the past. Whether it is your front vehicle brakes or rear vehicle breaks the experts at Clark Automotive Clinic in Blaine, MN are your best resource. We offer affordable vehicle brake repairs and have a high level of experience and treat every customer like family. Lets go over some helpful tips on what you just experienced, so that you might know a little more before you proceed to a local vehicle repair shop.

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Vehicle Repair Shop Blaine MN

Auto RepairIf you’re in search of an automobile repair shop in the Blaine, MN area – Clark Automotive Clinic is Minnesota’s most trustworthy and affordable choice. We’ve been in the vehicle repair industry for over 17 years, our shop is family owned, as well as committed to providing the highest quality repairs at the lowest available prices.

Auto Repairs for your busy Schedule

No one plans on needing automobile repairs but with over half of America owning vehicles, there’s bound to be a break down, crash or died vehicle on the roads. Even a flat tire isn’t a hassle we ‘pencil in’ to our fast-pace life, it just happens; whether it’s at home, in a parking lot or on the highway. Because of this, it’s good to know dependable auto repair mechanics and Clark Automotive is a shop that consists of only that!

If your daily plans have seemed to come to a halt because of your vehicle, before you cancel that appointment or calling-in to work or school call Clark Automotive. Our auto repair specialists are located just off highway 65 in Blaine, MN. We can generally provide same day repair services and if needed, we’re willing to drive you to where you need to go while we look at your vehicle or you can take a loaner car.

Vehicle Safety Matters

Quality repairs equal safety and high performance. Our mechanics are dedicated to your safety. Vehicles run at speeds of 60 miles per hour – daily, a little problem can turn into a huge incident and fast. We are here to ensure your safety by making the necessary repairs and helping you maintain your vehicle.

Simple Ways to Increase Vehicles Safety:

  • Continue to get your tires rotated every 3,000-7,000 miles.
  • Never drive on low tire pressure and see a professional if the tire pressure continues to decrease even after a fill.
  • If your vehicle ‘feels off’ take it to a trusted mechanic, it more than likely is ‘off’-Clark Automotive will look at your vehicle at no charge- just drive on in!
  • After 100,000 miles get a tune up- it will save you in the long run.

No Salesman- Just Auto Repair Technicians

When you choose Clark Automotive, you’re choosing a professional automobile repair technician – Owned and Operated by Chuck Clark himself. There are no bonuses for up sales, no ‘products of the week’, just true mechanics, doing what they enjoy and what there good at. There’s a no-pressure atmosphere and focus. When you bring in your vehicle for a specific reason, we will give you the answer you want – not twenty other answers to questions you never even asked.

Quality Vehicle Repairs Blaine MN

Call Clark Automotive today at 763-784-7944 or stop by:

9985 Davenport St NE Blaine MN 55449 –Located behind Menard’s off Central

We’re open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday, if you need repairs not in that time-frame call us, we’ll work something out!

5 Steps in Finding a Great Car Mechanic

PART One:  Think about what kind of a mechanic you want

5 Steps in Finding a Great Car MechanicGood auto repair mechanics expend large amounts of effort, time, and money so they are able to repair your car.  They spend thousands for tool and their tool box which can be an indicator of their commitment to the industry of automotive repair.  What is real important is the professionalism and respect for you as their customer.  The first step is for you to develop a short list of what it is that you are looking for in an automotive repair mechanic and to be proactive.  Do not wait until your car is broken down to find a car mechanic you can trust.  Identify those shops closest to your home or where you work.  Pull up their web sites and ask others about them.  Eventually someone may actually offer you a recommendation of whom they trust.

Automotive mechanics generally started their career by attending a vocational type of school to get their career started.  Upon graduation from the vocational school their first job often is at the large national chain stores, where you generally get charged the highest rates.  How does that work; the newest mechanics and the highest charge?  The family and independently owned neighborhood type repair shop will generally hire car mechanics after they have gained experience on the job.  Why you might ask?  Generally their clients are long term customers and friends, whom the shops want to treat fairly and professionally.

PART Two:  The Good Car Mechanic Referral

The car mechanic for you is the technician referred to you by a satisfied automotive repair customer that you happen to know at home, work, school, or church.  This technician will explain why and what they are recommending be repaired on your car, without scare tactics.  This referral issue is called, “word of mouth” by many.  In today’s hectic world, word of mouth has become less attractive and viewed as too slow.  The internet searches have become more the norm done at the last minute.  I believe that we do not need to invent something new; “Word of Mouth”, does work; but requires effort on you part before your car fails.    Others have experimented and found a good car mechanic already for you.  You just need to ask and listen.  But what can you do, if you don’t have a mechanic referral available to you?

PART Three: Get an honest second opinion

If you have another repair shop recommending repairs, find a second opinion regarding your first repair recommendations regarding price, procedure and timing of that recommendation.  Most people wouldn’t remodel their kitchen without getting competitive bids from multiple contractors, so it should be the same with major automotive repairs. Most shops and technicians are honest, but sometimes company policies get in the way of presenting or communicating to you about the most reasonable repair possible.

PART Four:  You are having car trouble and looking for a car mechanic or repair shop to call.

Be ready to articulate what trouble you are having.  Example; “the car turns over, but will not fire at all; it ran when I parked it last night”.  I have received calls from stranded potential customers asking how much to replace their battery or starter when having the above problem.  I explain that the chances of the car needing a battery or starter are slim.  That the car needs to be towed in and that the diagnostic charge will be between zero and $60.00 dollars.  I then give them a price for starter replacement anyway, so they have a comparison to the other shops they are calling.  I also explain what some of the possible causes might be that are causing their car trouble.  I further offer that if they don’t have towing insurance, I will make arrangements with a towing company, offer a significant discount, and will put the tow bill on the their repair order here at Clark automotive Clinic.

Find a shop that does not charge a diagnostic charge for opinions offered on the drive way and provide free estimates for recommended repairs.  Once the car is in the shop the recommended repair is confirmed, before the repair is affected.  If the parking lot diagnostics proves to be incorrect and further diagnostics or it is obvious that a different repair is required you are called to confirm what is happening, why, and the review of any cost changes.  You need to resist the temptation to ask for a specific repair procedure, unless you’re absolutely sure that is what is required.  The reason is that an incompetent or dishonest shop will affect the requested repair and then call you with what really needs to be fixed.

PART Five:  Why not to get free safety inspections or cheap oil changes:

These are tools used by repair shops to get your car in the shop and sell you repairs you may or may not need.  You need to be prepared to say no, and review what your actions should be.  You are still in your car and in charge.  It is a more honest and efficient way to address your observations about what you see, hear, and feel may be wrong with your car.  The questions you may have about your car will be answered honestly and with a high level of professionalism.  We have observed times when the shop doing the free inspection cannot be trusted to reassemble your car, if you don’t do the recommended repairs.

Why choose Clark Automotive Clinic?

We at Clark Automotive Clinic strive to take care of our loyal repeat customers.  The mechanic at the large national chain won’t ever see you or your car again, but the local small repair shop will see you as a repeat customer often, and wants you pleased.

If you don’t have that car mechanic referral from an acquaintance, then the google bar on your phone or computer can be your friend.  That is why I, Chuck Clark, am taking the time to write this blog today.  I’m that honest car mechanic you need in the Blaine, Minnesota area.  My shop has been around for over 17 years, with an established return customer clientele.  I have never upsold a customer and will always offer you a well-considered opinion about your car’s state of repair.   I do have a short term problem though.  Recently many customers have purchased new cars, thus I will not see them for some time.  So; I have time available and have identified a need to use google myself.  My name is Chuck Clark and I have time to meet you and take care of your car!

As stated earlier I have owned this shop for 17 years, purchasing it from a friend, Mr. Al Watts.  He operated it as high performance Chrysler repair shop for many years.  I was at that time a U.S. Army Officer working with the Minnesota Army National Guard.  I retired with 34 years of service in 2002.  I’ve  had many other careers; College student, Union Iron worker, Semi-professional drag car owner, Collector of 1960’s high performance Dodge muscle cars, A High School and Vocational Automotive instructor, Industrial Sales Management for diesel engine companies, and finally an automotive wholesaler and dealer.  You may note I never said I was a car mechanic.  That is because I have always been one.  In all of my careers I have worked with mechanics, trained mechanics, and or supervised mechanics.  If you call Clark Automotive clinic, you will be talking to me about what is ailing your car.

I am a retired military veteran.  I offer military discounts as well as new customer discounts.  Once you know me you won’t need to be concerned about what is really going on with your car, I will have explained it.  I will be your honest and fair mechanic.  Again, this is my first endeavor into advertising, as I’m now in a position to add some new customers.  The temporary loss of old customers and friends due to new car purchases has been dramatic, causing me to build this new Web Site and start blogging.

Well as I sit here working on this blog my office looks like heck.  I have not had time to clean it for months, but what the heck the shop is clean and ready for the next job.  This is no show place, just a good old fashioned local car repair shop.  My goal is to offer great service, quality repairs, at a reasonable cost.  Our shop has been at the same location for over 24 years.  It is not a great location and is hard to find, but has never been a problem, because of our regular customers.  This has kept our overhead low and allowed us to be a very competitively priced yet a quality car repair shop.   Clark Automotive Clinic does not have a fancy waiting room.  I don’t have a waiting room, because frankly I do most things by appointment, so that I can personally serve you best.  We do have a stool for you by the front door, but frankly would rather borrow you a free loaner car or give you a ride home, or to work.  We do offer free loaner cars if it helps organize our day, yours and mine.

Our listed labor rate is very competitive.  Clark Automotive Clinic does not advertise lost leaders, $20.00 oil changes, to get you into the shop, and upsell you on car repairs.  We do not offer free inspection to get your car in the shop and sell you repairs.  We are not on a high traffic corner with a tow truck, looking for cars that need to be towed in.  We have only had one letter of complaint sent to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office in 17 years, which was satisfactorily resolved.  We have never been called into small claims court; we have resolved any issue together with our customers.   We take good care of your car; we have only had to paint one fender in 17 years.  We are generally too busy for customers just to drive in, but will make arrangements for a later arrival that day and stay late to get all the diagnostics, estimates and loaner cars arranged.  We do not push maintenance items, but rather review the car manufacturer’s recommendations, highlighting upcoming procedures that you might need to consider.  We research specific factory service bulletins relative to the issues the customer is asking us to resolve.  We have the factory specifications, maintenance and repair procedures, and troubleshooting graphs and electrical schematics available.  We appreciate when customers ask questions, if our explanation is not getting enough information clearly communicated to you the customer.  We will always prioritize repairs, and categorize them regarding safety, causing further damage or as deferrable so that the customer can decide which repairs to authorize.

Once you are my customer and I’m your mechanic, I will work very hard to maintain your trust.  I will have test driven your car weeks ago and went over needed repairs and prioritized them by safety and or costs.  Because we have been honest with each other, your car most likely will not break down, leaving you stranded somewhere.  So what I offer is fair and professional information regarding repairs that you are considering for your car.  My goal is to fix your car correctly the first visit.  I aim to have great customer service at Clark Automotive; that is reasonably priced and extended to you in such a manner that you will become a repeat customer.  I understand that many car repairs end up being unplanned events, so I will work closely with you, getting pending car repairs into your budget, the goal being, “No Surprises”.

I have equipped the shop to service your Domestic and Asian vehicles effectively and as reasonable as possible.  I have also decided not to make the same claim about the repair of European cars due to lack of reference material, low levels of experience, and parts availability.  When it makes fiscal or procedural sense to use other companies to affect the repair of your vehicle, I will coordinate that for and with you.  I coordinate with numerous outside diagnostic companies to assist in the effectively repair of your car.  These companies allow me to increase the efficiency of how my shop repairs your car, and keeps the bill reasonable.  To the degree possible I strive to offer you one stop shopping, whether it’s a new windshield, a new front bumper, or new tires.

I did type into the google search block, “An honest car mechanic”.  Found an article written by an attorney about how to coordinate your car repairs with an honest car mechanic.  The strongest point of his article was to get everything in writing.  I don’t disagree, when you are dealing with a new mechanic, or car repair shop you know nothing about.  It will be my goal at Clark Automotive Clinic to work with you as a new customer so effectively, so fair, communicating at every decision point that as you become a regular customer we can accomplish most negotiations over the phone.  Frankly I have not had a customer sign a repair order before repairs were started in over 10,000 repair orders.  I trust my customers as well as they trust me.  This trust allows for simple convenience and efficiency of time.

Mechanic Blaine, MN

When you’re searching for a reliable, full service mechanic in Blaine, MN, look no further. For a one-stop shop that performs all types of auto repairs and regularly scheduled factory maintenance for any type of vehicle, visit Clark Automotive in Blaine.  While cars have certainly come a long way over the years, a reliable, honest mechanic that you can rely on for years to come does still exist!  As an AAA approved facility with ASE Master Technicians, Clark Automotive is proud to offer auto repair services in Blaine MN for all years, models, and types of vehicles from cars and trucks to hybrids, and even fleet vehicles.

Blaine MN Reliable New Car Diagnostic And Repair Services

Are you the owner of a late model vehicle looking to break away from your dealer’s overpriced service department? Car dealers aren’t the only service option for today’s high tech, computerized cars.  Our certified technicians at Clark Automotive have the proper training and all the necessary diagnostic equipment to diagnose problems with any of today’s cars. Whether your car or truck needs regular maintenance or major repairs with certified parts, Clark Automotive is the one-stop auto repair shop in Blaine.

Car Repair Services We Offer

No car repair issue is too big or small for the trained techs at Clark Automotive. Just a few of the services we offer for car repairs in Blaine, MN are:

The Extras You’ll Find in Blaine MN Auto Repair

No matter how old or new your vehicle is, quality, reliable service is the standard at Clark Automotive. We pride ourselves not only on our professional auto service, but also on the additional services that are so hard to find at most other Blaine auto repair shops.  You see, full professional auto repair is just one part of the service we provide, the other important feature at Clark Automotive is our customer service. Some of the convenience options we offer our customers include:

  • Loaner vehicle
  • Courtesy rides
  • Face-to-face communication with your professional mechanic
  • Flexible hours for convenient drop-off and pick-up times
  • Written estimate for diagnosed problems
  • Quality parts
  • AAA approved repair facility
  • Pre-purchase inspections
  • We repair only what you approve
  • Owner-operated

Visit Blaine’s Trusted Auto Repair Mechanics

Find out why so many car owners have relied on the professional Blaine MN car repair services at Clark Automotive for so long. We are conveniently located at 9985 Davenport St NE in Blaine.  We look forward to serving your auto repair needs very soon.

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