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Tag Archives: Preventitive Vehicle Maintenance

Vehicle Maintenance Before Winter | Blaine Auto Shop

Vehicle Maintenance Before Winter | Blaine Auto ShopAt Clark Automotive, we want all of our customers to be safe this winter. While we are here for any repairs your vehicle may need in Blaine, MN, we like to provide all of our residents an opportunity to do vehicle maintenance before winter. At our Blaine auto shop, we believe that taking good care of your vehicle will both increase your vehicle’s lifespan as well as keep you safe throughout our cold, frigid winters. If you are looking to do vehicle maintenance before the winter, let Clark Automotive help get you ready!

Changing Your Oil

Did you know that motor oil tends to thicken when it gets cold? Thicker oil makes it harder for the engine to turn over and many times, it can be a reason that your vehicle is slow to start when you turn it on during cooler temperatures. At Clark Automotive, we will change your oil and take these cold temperatures into consideration as we do it. We will typically use a multi-viscosity oil that is specifically formulated for winter use but also all year round. Not only do we change the oil, we will top it off, replace the oil filter and ensure that everything is flowing smoothly.

Checking your Battery

While we are servicing your vehicle, we go above and beyond to check your battery. Much like the oil, your vehicle’s battery can be affected by colder weather too. Cold temperatures reduce the cranking power, and should you already be low, it’s much less likely that your vehicle will start. We will professionally test your battery and let you know if it’s time to be replaced. Replacing your worn-out battery before the winter allows for the safest ride possible and a much less risk of being stuck out in the cold.

Replacing Wiper Blades

Replacing wiper blades is an afterthought for almost every vehicle owner. However, the impact it makes on your driving is tenfold. Streaks missed expanses of glass, and general wear and tear on the blade itself are all signs that it’s time for a replacement. Manufacturers say that your wiper blades should be replaced every six months. Even if you only choose to do it once a year, doing this before the winter is absolutely the best time.

If you are looking for a Blaine auto shop that performs quality vehicle maintenance before winter, give Clark Automotive a call today. For more information, contact us today at (763) 784-7944.

Best Place For Muffler Repair

Blaine, MN Muffler Repair and ReplacementA muffler is one item on a vehicle that works hard every mile of the way. If the vehicle exhaust system is experiencing performance issues, the whole neighborhood may be aware of the problem. The role of the muffler is to keep the car running quietly as it travels down the road, reduce harmful vehicle emissions and direct gas fumes away from the automobile. Failure to handle any of these important functions should be a sign that its time to schedule an appointment with ASE Certified Mechanics at Clark Automotive conveniently located in Blaine, MN. Ask about our full range of exhaust system repairs and high performance muffler installation.

Noticing Problems With Vehicle Exhaust System?

You may have noticed that something isn’t quite right with your vehicle’s exhaust system. If the muffler is going bad there are several warning signs to watch out for and act on accordingly.

1. Loud Exhaust System Noises
a. When your muffler is operating effectively, it should be working quietly behind the scenes.
b. Any noticeable difference in muffler volume can be taken as a sign that there could be an exhaust system issue that needs further attention.
c. ASE Certified mechanics at Clark Automotive are trained to evaluate and identify which exhaust system component is the source of the noise problem.
d. Loud exhaust sounds could be coming from a hole or crack in a gasket, manifold, exhaust pipe or muffler.

2. Reduced Fuel Economy
a. Your muffler and exhaust system can affect the miles per gallon that you get with your vehicle.
b. A finely tuned exhaust system can contribute to better vehicle MPG and improved engine performance.
c. Keeping track of your fuel economy can be a good way to spot muffler problems before the car rattles down the road.

3. Exhaust Fume Smells
a. One of the most important jobs of the muffler is to funnel dangerous exhaust fumes out away from the vehicle.
b. Cracks or holes in the exhaust system can allow fumes to come up inside of the vehicle.
c. Bad odors coming from your car, truck or SUV can be a sign that the exhaust system is leaking and should be checked out by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
d. High performance mufflers can protect the environment by reducing vehicle emissions that are released into the atmosphere.

Complete Muffler Repair and Replacement Service

If you have experienced loud muffler noises, smelly exhaust fumes or lower gas mileage, now is the time to call Clark Automotive for an exhaust system check. We are equipped to repair or replace any of the faulty muffler and exhaust system parts that are causing problems. Our qualified mechanics provide affordable exhaust system options including installation of high performance mufflers designed to keep your engine in peak condition.

Located in Blaine and only a phone call away. To schedule a vehicle exhaust system or muffler repair service contact Clark Automotive at: (763) 784-7944 or Email: info@clarkautomotiveblaine.com

Fleet Maintenance & Repair Services Blaine, MN

Fleet Maintenance & Repair Services Blaine, MNIf you are responsible for a fleet of cars, you’ve got a pricey load on your hands. Managing and handling a large amount of company vehicles is an important job. We understand that you also have a choice in where you choose to do your fleet maintenance and repairs. We hope that with our affordable prices, years of experience, and outstanding customer service, you will choose Clark Automotive every time. With over 17 years of automotive repair services experience, we are more than capable of handling your fleet of vehicles!

Importance of Fleet Maintenance

Fleet maintenance is something that our experts and certified technicians thoroughly enjoy doing. We enjoy it because we like to see your commercial vehicles running at their optimal efficiency for a long amount of time. Fleet maintenance is extremely important and vital to the survival of any business that is on the road. This is why our experts come prepared. We have been performing fleet maintenance for several companies in the Blaine, Circle Pines, Spring Lake Park, and Coon Rapids areas. We understand just how important each vehicle is to your company and the need to get it back on the road in excellent condition.

Maintenance & Repair Service Types

So what does fleet maintenance and repair include? The following is a common list, but definitely not the limit!

  • Tune Ups
  • Oil and Lubrication Services
  • Suspension Replacement and Repair
  • Shock Repair and Replacement
  • Exhaust System Repairs and Replacement
  • Complete Brake Services
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Electrical Repair and Replacement
  • Belt and Hose Replacement
  • Fuel Injection Service
  • Filter Replacements
  • Cooling System and Air Conditioning Services
  • Fluid Flush Services

Choosing Clark Automotive

In order to accommodate our fleets, we offer flexible times and hours for repairs. We will also see to it that your needed repairs will be completed in the time frame that your company has to have the fleet back. We can service up to five vehicles from your company at a time, for both routine maintenance and unexpected repairs. We also offer loaner cars and courtesy pickup for your employees that are in a pinch. No dollar is wasted during fleet maintenance and repairs at Clark Automotive.

Ready to schedule your fleet maintenance and repair service today? For more information and to hear about our affordable pricing options, contact Clark Automotive today at (763) 784-7944.

Blaine Auto Tune Ups

Auto Repair Blaine MNWhile it may not be on the top of your list of favorite things to do, keeping your car running well is important to ensuring that you can get where you need to go including to work, school and any trips that you have planned.  Preventative auto maintenance can save a significant amount of time and money in the long run. Auto tune ups are an excellent way to repair and replace issues that not yet be causing a problem, but that require periodic attention to keep your vehicle running well.  Clark Automotive of Blaine, MN can complete an auto tune up for your vehicle so that you can feel confident that as it ages, it will continue to run well.

Trusted Auto Repair Shop, Blaine MN

For most vehicles, automotive tune-ups are good for approximately 100,000 miles.  You can check your owner’s manual for a list of recommended maintenance and repairs at specified mileage.  If you have noticed that your vehicle’s overall performance has declined recently, you are hearing some unusual sounds or even detecting a strange smell, it may be time for a tune-up.  Clark Automotive understands that you do not want to pay for unnecessary repairs, so we communicate clearly about anything specific that your car needs and give you options for making sure to stay within your budget.

Vehicle Tune Ups, Blaine

The following services are often included in a general auto tune up:

  • Spark plug and wire replacement
  • Changing the transmission fluid
  • Installing new air, oil and fuel filters
  • Flushing all fluids
  • Changing oil
  • Oil and lubrication services
  • Leak check

The auto mechanics at Clark Automotive will not complete unnecessary repairs or maintenance that is not needed.  For example, there is very little advantage to replacing spark plugs earlier than what is recommended.  Most current engines require intake manifold removal to replace the spark plugs, making it an especially costly repair.  If you are shopping around for a an auto tune up, you should always ask for a cost estimate before giving your approval for the repair.

As colder weather approaches, it is a great time to take care of routine auto maintenance to ensure that your car is prepared for the harsh winter months.  Call Clark Automotive at  (763) 784-7794 for more information or to schedule a service appointment with our team.  Clark Automotive services all types of vehicles including domestic and fleet vehicles, pickup trucks, hybrids and more.

Auto Tune Up Blaine MN-Part 1

Vehicle Tune Up Blaine MNAre you a local Blaine, MN commuter? One of the main highways in the area is Highway 65, also known as Central; Clark Automotive is located behind the Menard’s. We stand for quality services, affordable pricing and direct answers the your exact vehicle repair questions. Our shop preforms multiple vehicle repairs, such as brake, electrical, suspension and alignment repairs and tune-ups. Because tune-up services are a variety of different things we would like to go into more detail:

PART One: What is a Tune-Up?

The ignition systems works together with the fuel management system to provide that the vehicle is operating properly. What is generally considered the “tune-up” today is just the replacement of the spark plugs. A tune-up is a Recommended Maintenance that is preventive and cost effective at a specified mileage.

Types of Ignition Systems:

  • Some vehicles have what is called, “coil over plug” ignition systems. That means there is an ignition coil over each spark plug and no spark plug wires. This tune-up amounts to replacing the plugs and inspecting each coil and coil insulation boot. I can’t recall ever recommending that all the coils be replaced at once, that would be very costly.
  • The next type of ignition system (mostly on older vehicles) has a distributor, coil, spark plug wires and plugs. This type of ignition system tune up normally replaces the distributor cap and rotor, wires, and plugs. As the engine installations became more complicated, this type of ignition system was expensive and difficult to maintain.

There are combinations of these two systems, but the bottom line is to know what mileage a tune-up is due at, and to get an estimate of its cost. A tune-up estimate can vary in price – from quite reasonable to extremely expensive. The cost varies depending on the type of ignition system, engine and how it fits into the vehicle. The point being you need to get a cost estimate, when the mileage that the manufacture is recommending approaches. Many repair facilities recommend a tune-up be done early, because the ignitions system needs some other type of repair. At Clark Automotive Clinic, it is very rarely recommended that an early tune-up is required with an ignition system repair that has turned on the check engine light.

PART Two: What is The Ignition System?

The ignition system is comprised of many individual sensors and other parts. The ignition system provides the spark for each cylinder spark plug, at the correct time, causing the cylinder to fire the mixture of compressed air and fuel. The major components are the computer, coils, spark plugs, plug wires, numerous sensors, and a battery. You can expect to do repairs to the ignition system that is not a tune-up. There is no set maintenance schedule for ignition system repairs other than a tune-up. Ignition system failures generally will set the check engine light. So in and of itself the tune-up is not rocket science, but other ignition system repairs can be difficult to diagnose. At Clark Automotive we customize our ignition system repair recommendations.

Our recommendation is the result of; diagnostic findings, miles, type of vehicle use, type ignition system, and vehicle age. Another compounding factor is what other repairs that might be required in the near term that may share labor time. Ignition systems have many moving and electronic parts; are complicated, and many failures exhibit the same symptoms.

The fact that there are repairs to the ignition, that many call a tune-up, can make it even more confusing. These ignition system repairs generally require a diagnostics test following a protocol shown in our diagnostics library. The recommended tune-up does not require other things to be done with it, and is again considered preventive maintenance, requiring no diagnostics.

PART Three: What is the Fuel System?

The fuel system is also comprised of many individual sensors and other parts. The fuel system provides the fuel mixed with air to each cylinder at the correct time to be ignited by the ignition system. The ignition system and fuel system work together and their repair and maintenance can get very intermingled and/or confusing. As with the ignition system failures – this system will generally set the check engine light. The major components are the fuel pump, fuel filter, air cleaner, throttle body, intake manifold, injectors, fuel regulator, and computer.

The only preventive maintenance procedure in the fuel system is the fuel and air filters. The replacement times are listed in the recommended maintenance schedule. Yes, the ignition and fuel systems share the same computer. The troubleshooting of these two systems requires experience, special equipment, and diagnostic data support. The poor old fuel filter perhaps is the most neglected part on the average car. When they go bad the result can cause premature fuel pump failure, the car may not run and can be a diagnostic nightmare.

If your in need of a tune-up, suspect your car has been misdiagnosed or that it is experiencing one or many of these issues contact Clark Automotive, we know how to keep your car and you happy. We are in the business of making Life Long Customers and we do that by treating you right!

Call us today at 763-784-7944!

And look for our next ‘Auto Tune-Up- Part 2’ Blog soon!


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