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Top Five Mechanical Problems Cars Experience During Minnesota Winters

Top Five Mechanical Problems Cars Experience During Minnesota Winters

Minnesotans are no stranger to harsh winters and deep snows. Even still, there is something that is amazing and mesmerizing about the first flakes of snow falling in the winter. As we have already seen snow this season, this serves as a last-minute reminder to ensure your car’s maintenance is up to date. We, at Clark Automotive in Blaine, have put together the top five issues that we see year after year.

1. Dead batteries. Batteries are more likely to die during the cold winter months. It is a good idea to have the battery levels checked ahead of the season. Also, though the battery may show signs of life, each battery is rated with “cold cranking amps.” This amperage demonstrates how strong the battery is at starting up for the first time during the day and how powerful it is, even facing sub-zero temperatures.
2. Fluids will thicken. In order that you are properly prepared, ahead of time, ensure that you have your fluids checked and topped off prior to the coldest winter months. Fluids, such as engine oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake, and transmission fluid should all be checked consistently throughout the year, but especially before the winter season. Also, because fluids thicken, it is advisable to run your engine for a few minutes prior to being driven. This will warm the engine up and help to thin out the fluids, reducing the risk of leaks.
3. Corrosion is more problematic. Road salt and brine solutions can adhere to the car’s metal components. Failure to wash off will result in layers of corrosion. Particular attention should be given to the car’s undercarriage, the brakes and wheel wells
4. Tire pressure decreases. It is estimated that tires lose approximately 1psi (pound per square inch) for every 10oF that the thermometer drops. When traveling on icy roads, tires that are not properly inflated pose a significant safety risk.
5. Spark plugs fail. Clogged ignition components or a clogged filter can cause an engine not to start. It is wise to have your spark plugs checked at the very least, if not changed prior to the winter months.

Winter Maintenance Available By ASE-Certified Mechanics

If you are in the Blaine area and experience any mechanical issues with your vehicle this winter, bring it to the ASE-certified mechanical team at Clark Automotive. To schedule an appointment in advance, contact (763) 784-7944 or email info@clarkautomotiveblaine.com. Available M-F all day, and Sat by appointment.

Is Your Car Prepared For Winter?

Is Your Car Prepared For Winter?When some Minnesotans hear the forecasts for Buffalo that mention measurements of snow in feet, they respond with a hearty, “Hold my beer.” Others may say, “Better Buffalo than here,” but no matter your response, we all know that wintry weather is never too far off in the distance for us. We may get a break from it during the warmer weather months, but the cycle always returns us to the cold and snow that makes Minnesota what it is. Being from Minnesota means you have, at least to some degree, adapted to living in a cold weather climate, and in many ways, you may be more adaptable than your automobile. Your car is subject to the harsh Minnesota weather every day between November and March and the team at Clark Automotive can help make sure that your car is ready!

Importance Of Winter Fluid Check For Your Vehicle

Your vehicle operates best when its systems are in order and are well lubricated. The fluids that keep your vehicle well lubricated become less effective as the weather becomes colder. And if your vehicle’s fluids are lower in volume than they should be, they become less efficient, which takes a toll on your vehicle. So good preparation for winter weather can be as simple as ensuring that your vehicle’s fluid levels are where they should be, and that they are properly rated for the climatic conditions in which they are expected to work.

If you have a relatively new vehicle, cold weather preparation may be as simple as topping off your vehicle’s fluids. If you drive a slightly older vehicle, you may find that its fluids need to be replaced more frequently. To some degree, and with some specific makes and models, this is not uncommon. The mechanisms that pump and circulate the fluids from the engine to its component parts are like any machine in that they will break down over time. To ensure that those mechanisms last as long as possible in your vehicle, scheduled maintenance and extreme weather preparation is essential.

Blaine Minnesota Auto Repair Shop

If you notice a problem developing with your vehicle, it is all the more important to bring your car in for us to look at. Our knowledge and experience with virtually every type of vehicle allows us to accurately diagnose and fix any mechanical issue you may bring to us. Most issues are simple fixes, but if your vehicle’s issue is more complicated, we will quote you a fair price to complete the repairs and help you feel confident about driving during another Minnesota winter.

Call Clark Automotive of Blaine, MN at (763) 784-7944 to schedule an appointment.

Tips For Winterizing Your Vehicle In 2022

Tips For Winterizing Your VehicleAs the temperatures starts to dip, it is a good reminder to prepare for the upcoming winter. We all know what winter holds in Minnesota – cold temperatures and freezing precipitation. And the winter of 2022 is predicted to be cold and snowy. This weather can really take a toll on your vehicle, even if you are lucky enough to have a garage to store it in when you are home. The vehicle technicians at Clark Automotive have developed a list of tips for winterizing your vehicle in the coming months:

Check tires: Your tire pressure can drop considerably when the temperatures drop. It is important to check your tire pressure regularly especially during the winter months so that you are not driving on unsafe tires. If you have snow tires, you will also want to change to those as winter approaches.
Check fluid levels: It is a good time to check the fluid levels in your vehicle so that they do not freeze over the cold winter months. Consider adding antifreeze (if recommended) and check your washer fluid, oil and coolant.
Wiper blades: The months before winter is a great time to change your wiper blades. This is an easy (and inexpensive investment) that will give you peace of mind when the snow, rain and freezing rain begins to fall.
Emergency kit: Pack an emergency kit and make sure that it is in your vehicle at all times. This should include a blanket, jumper cables, water/snacks, a flashlight, first aid kit, cell phone charger, ice scraper, and tire pressure gauge/inflator. This way, if you get stuck in traffic for an extended period of time or your car will not start, you will have some of the necessities that you need to stay warm and safe.
Get gas frequently: We recommend that you keep your gas tank at ½ a tank or more during those winter months, just in case you are caught in a situation where you are stuck, you have enough gas to get you to your destination.
Winter inspection: It is always recommended to get a quick car inspection before the winter months to check your vehicle’s battery, hoses, belts, thermostat and cabin air filter to be sure that there are no problems heading into the winter months.

Blaine, Minnesota Auto Repair Shop

Clark Automotive is a trusted auto shop in Blaine, MN that can help you winterize your vehicle this season. We can take a quick look at your car to be sure that we do not see anything that may put you at risk as you drive around these next few months. For more information about an affordable winter inspection, call us at 763-784-7944.

Top Minnesota Auto Repair Shop

Minnesota Auto Repair ShopWell, there is no denying it now–we are right in the midst of the cold weather months that make Minnesota the envy of all those southern states that have to deal with heat and humidity for most months of the year. Our cold weather makes us who we are, and we express that in ways that are unique to Minnesotans–we play hockey, we ice fish, we shovel, plow, and drive through snow and ice. More than anything, though, we brave the frigid cold and wind-whipped snowstorms, and we persevere. If we are lucky, our cars and trucks are equipped to get through the winter too. When they don’t, Clark Automotive is one of the most reliable and trusted auto repair shops you can find in the metro area. We complete repairs all year long and have specific experience helping cars and trucks navigate the coldest and most extreme winter months.

Impact Of Winter Weather On Your Vehicle In Minnesota

We are a full-service auto repair shop, so there is no vehicle with which we are not familiar or an issue that we cannot repair. But given that it is that time of year when cold, snow, ice, sleet, and wind can wreak havoc on our vehicles, let us focus on some of those auto related issues that can result from extreme winter weather. Your vehicle’s suspension is taxed far greater during the colder months because the roads are dotted with cracks, buckles, and holes that create something less than a smooth driving surface. Your shock absorbers or struts can be damaged by hitting too many road impediments. So can other mechanisms in the suspension system. If you notice that your vehicle is not absorbing the more normal types of bumps in the road, or if it is tilting lower on one side, the cause may be a damaged suspension system. If you notice anything like that, it is important to get it repaired as soon as possible. A damaged suspension system prevents your vehicle from being in optimal contact with the road, which can create hazardous driving conditions each time you take your vehicle out on the road.

Year-Round Auto Maintenance In Minnesota

Driving during the cold weather months can also have an impact on the comfort level you experience while driving. If your climate control system develops a problem–meaning, if you do not have adequate heat in your vehicle–driving will be unpleasant. Clark Automotive can repair every issue your vehicle may have, from the more complex issues related to suspensions to the more comfort-oriented issues of interior climate. Call us at (763) 784-7944 and we will be happy to help you.

Vehicle Inspections Around Me

Vehicle Inspections Around MeIf you are considering the purchase of a pre-owned vehicle, you may want to consider a vehicle inspection before you make your final decision. Clark Automotive offers comprehensive vehicle inspections in the Minneapolis area. Any time you are considering purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, it is important to have a pre-inspection done on that vehicle before signing any paperwork and taking over ownership.

Minneapolis Vehicle Pre-Inspection Specialists

A pre-inspection is exactly what it sounds like – it is a thorough inspection of your potential vehicle completed by an independent, third-party auto mechanic. This mechanic provides an evaluation of the condition of the car or truck before a buyer completes the vehicle purchase. When a pre-inspection is done according to professional standards, the mechanic will not make any recommendations about whether or not you should purchase the vehicle unless the vehicle is simply not safe to drive. If the vehicle is determined to be safe, however, the mechanic should provide a neutral assessment of the vehicle’s condition so you can make your own decision about the purchase.

What is Involved in a Vehicle Inspection?

This is exactly what you can expect from the pre-inspections provided by Clark Automotive. Our staff are highly trained in automotive service and repair. We will do more than kick the tires. At a minimum, we will thoroughly check the following:

● Drivability: To get a better sense of the vehicle’s condition, we will take it for a drive and assess the vehicle’s handling, steering, suspension, and brakes. A test drive can also be helpful in assessing potential issues with the transmission.
● The vehicle’s underside: We will put the vehicle on the lift and search out leaks, corrosion, and exhaust system.
● Belts and fluid levels: Damaged belts and low fluid levels can limit the vehicle’s longevity.
● Computer codes: If the vehicle has presented diagnostics problems, we will be able to identify them by checking for codes.
● Interior condition: You can perform an interior inspection too, but we will be able to determine whether or not the heat and A/C are in good working order.
● Exterior condition: Not all exterior issues are deal-breakers, but if there are cracks in the windshield, damage to tires, or corrosion, you should know about them, and we will find them.

We want to help you make an informed decision about your next vehicle purchase, so we hope you will come see us. Call Clark Automotive at (763) 784-7944 to schedule a pre-purchase vehicle inspection.

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