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  • Your Vehicle Is NOT Maintenance Free, MINNEAPOLIS Car Owners

    Aug 20, 2017

    A generation ago, MINNEAPOLIS drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle's preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Taking your vehicle in to your MINNEAPOLIS shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

    For example, almost everyone in MINNEAPOLIS used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the vehicle was in for a tune-up at Affordable Transmissions, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

    Today's engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our vehicles don't experience a huge performance drop when they're ready for some care. But it doesn't mean that they don't need it.

    Modern MINNEAPOLIS drivers need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner's manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you'll get better engine performance and fuel economy. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

    Modern vehicle engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they're more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the vehicle isn't driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your vehicle on the road.

    As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your vehicle engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and damage the vehicle's engine parts it was designed to protect. It can eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this damage, and it's a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

    Timely oil changes are more critical for MINNEAPOLIS drivers than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

    One word of warning to anyone in MINNEAPOLIS who purchases used vehicles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. MINNEAPOLIS folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don't want to be bothered with maintenance or vehicle care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

    We can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel economy and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

    Give us a call or send us an email for more helpful tips.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169

     

     




    Fall and Spring Inspection at Affordable Transmissions

    Aug 6, 2017

    Good vehicle care for us MINNEAPOLIS residents has always meant taking our vehicles in every spring and fall for a check-up. Vehicles needed routine maintenance to prepare them for the changes in weather. Today's vehicles aren't quite as sensitive to seasonal changes. Older vehicles required different weights of oil for summer and winter. But today's engines can run on the same oil all year. Both the engines and the oils have been improved.

    Antifreeze—or coolant as it's also called—protects the engine from both freezing and hot temperatures and thus is required by the engine year-round. Modern coolants don't have to be changed as often as they did in the past, but your owner's manual has a recommendation for when it should be replaced to extend cooling system life.

    Getting a spring and fall checkup at Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS for your vehicle is still good auto advice.

    First of all, there is a lot of preventive auto maintenance involved in properly caring for a vehicle. Dropping your vehicle off twice a year at Affordable Transmissions for a quick inspection and routine maintenance is still part of good vehicle care. The changes in the MN seasons can provide a good reminder that it's time to get the vehicle serviced, just as they remind us that it's time to take care of the furnace or air conditioner, purchase school clothes or bathing suits, drag out or put away the coats and boots.

    There are other advantages to spring and fall maintenance for MINNEAPOLIS residents. Springtime signals the advent of warmer weather. Although modern coolant is designed to last longer than one season, it's a good idea to check it regularly to ensure you have enough. While you're at it, your vehicle should also be checked for leaks and worn hoses in the cooling system.

    Summer is the time when most of us MINNEAPOLIS residents take vacations or go on road trips. So a spring check-up for our vehicles can lead to a stress-free summer and better memories on the road.

    Fall, of course, signals the advent of colder weather in the MINNEAPOLIS area. This is a good time for a routine battery check. The hot weather of summer takes a toll on battery life – then comes winter. Cranking up a cold engine takes a lot more battery power than starting a warm one. So before that cold weather hits, it's a good idea to check your battery and replace it if necessary. But your tires aren't completely adapted to changing weather conditions. If you live where temperatures drop below 45°F (7°C) in the winter, or if your commute frequently takes you through snow or ice, you may want to consider changing to winter tires in the fall.

    A fall check-up at Affordable Transmissions, just like a spring check-up, can keep you on the road no matter what MN weather brings. Consider how much a worry-free summer vacation and a less stressful MINNEAPOLIS winter commute are worth to you. Then, spring and fall, reset your clocks, change the batteries in your smoke detectors and take your vehicle in for a check-up.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Following Recommended Intervals for Your vehicle

    Jun 20, 2017

    If you're reading this article in MINNEAPOLIS, MN, then you probably care about your vehicle and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your professional service advisor at Affordable Transmissions tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you had planned. And you worry that if you say "no," you might be harming your vehicle or risking your family's safety.

    At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. Service recommendations are in your owner's manual. But it is not like you want to keep your vehicle auto maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.

    Vehicles are complicated machines and it takes some effort for MINNEAPOLIS residents to keep them running well. That is why they have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your vehicle performing efficiently and prevent breakdowns. In a typical owner's manual you'll find: oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks - yeah, it is a really long list!

    Fortunately, this isn't a test: MINNEAPOLIS residents don't need to have it memorized. Your friendly advisor at Affordable Transmissions has access to your manufacturer's recommendations. Don't be surprised when your service advisor at Affordable Transmissions reminds you something is due. Your manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let Affordable Transmissions help you stay on top of maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. We'll also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Busting Automotive Myths in MINNEAPOLIS, MN

    Dec 13, 2016

    Myths passed around our MINNEAPOLIS, MN community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the vehicles of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.

    To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the MINNEAPOLIS area, come over to Affordable Transmissions.


    Let's examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.

    The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.

    The truth on which this myth is based is that many new vehicles come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around MINNEAPOLIS. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in MINNEAPOLIS still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.

    Another common rant you'll hear around MINNEAPOLIS is that modern vehicles don't need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a 'tune-up', which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. Service technicians at Affordable Transmissions would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.

    This definition just doesn't apply to modern vehicles. Service centers like Affordable Transmissions generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your manufacturer, every 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) or so.

    Of course you can't lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can't adjust a carburetor if your car doesn't have one. You probably don't need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers). What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?

    The danger with these modern-day myths is they prevent people in our local MINNEAPOLIS community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

    Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .

    You get the picture. Your vehicle is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at Affordable Transmissions have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your MINNEAPOLIS service advisor at Affordable Transmissions, or do some research of your own.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Commitment to Make Your vehicle Last at Affordable Transmissions

    Dec 6, 2016

    These days many people in the MINNEAPOLIS area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you've got to start with what you've got. It'd be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you've had the vehicle for a while or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that's where you start.

    Go through the maintenance schedule for your vehicle and see what's been done and when. Have your MINNEAPOLIS service advisor at Affordable Transmissions do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.

    Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You might be pretty overwhelmed.

    To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there's a failure. In a consultation with your Affordable Transmissions service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you'll be prepared for it in a few months.

    Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.

    For advice on how to make your vehicle last longer, visit us at Affordable Transmissions.


    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169