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  • Power Steering Service in MINNEAPOLIS

    Oct 24, 2017



    Most MINNEAPOLIS drivers are too young to remember life before power steering - cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let's look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine; a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.

    These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea for MINNEAPOLIS drivers to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why power steering fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owner's manual for the right type - or just ask your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS.

    The fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. It breaks down as the years go by and collects unwanted moisture, so MINNEAPOLIS drivers need to replace it from time to time. Many vehicle manufacturers specify power steering service intervals. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the car maintenance schedule for many of us. So, when in doubt, every 25,000 miles/40,000 km or two years is a good fallback. Your technician at Affordable Transmissions will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with the good stuff.

    Here are some  warning signs of trouble with your power steering: It's harder to turn the wheel, there's erratic power assist, you hear loud whining coming from the pump (which may be difficult to hear over the loud whining coming from the backseat), you have to top-off the fluid frequently, or you hear squealing belts. Remember to never hold the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time. That will wear out your power steering pump quickly.

    Other steering components can be bent or damaged from wear or hard knocks: ball-joint, idler-arm, steering-gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod to name a few. Warning signs here are steering play, wandering, uneven tire wear and an off-center steering wheel. An annual alignment check at Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS will reveal bent or damaged steering components.

    Most SUV's, pick-ups and rear-wheel-drive cars need regular front-wheel-bearing service.

    The bearings should be cleaned and inspected. If they are excessively worn, they need to be replaced. The bearings are then repacked in clean grease. The team at Affordable Transmissions also recommends the wheel-seal be replaced when the bearings are serviced. Like everything else, check your owners' manual maintenance schedule. It's usually required around every two years or 40,000 miles/64,000 km. If you drive through water in the MINNEAPOLIS area, the bearings will need service more often.

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

     




    Steer Right in MINNEAPOLIS

    Mar 7, 2017

    Virtually all vehicles come with power steering, so many MINNEAPOLIS drivers have never driven a car or truck without it. Power steering assists you when you turn your vehicle steering wheel. Without it, it would be very hard to steer.

    Now this power assist comes in a couple of forms. In recent years, a lot of vehicles have an electric motor that reduces steering effort and helps improve performance and handling.

    The other kind of power steering is hydraulic. This is the kind most older MN vehicles — and a lot of newer ones — have. Power steering fluid is pressurized by a pump and is used to assist steering. Of course, vehicles need the right amount of fluid in the system. If it's too low, your steering is affected and you could damage your vehicle pump.

    Also, power steering fluid can become corrosive over time and damage the pump, hoses and connectors, leading to leaks and repairs. Power steering service at Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS includes removing the contaminated fluid and replacing it with fresh fluid.

    A word for MINNEAPOLIS drivers about power steering pumps: Some are powered by an electric motor. Others are driven by the serpentine belt. A worn serpentine belt stresses all of the vehicle components it drives, including the power steering pump, so replace the belt at Affordable Transmissions as advised to avoid undue repairs.

    Losing your power steering while driving in MINNEAPOLIS can be unsettling – just remember that you can still steer, it'll just be harder. Check with your service advisor at Affordable Transmissions to see if it's time to service your vehicle's power steering system.

    In addition to power steering service, at Affordable Transmissions we offer comprehensive automotive services.

    Give us a call.

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




    Defensive Driving in MINNEAPOLIS, MN

    Feb 14, 2017


     

    There was a man in the MINNEAPOLIS area who learned that most car accidents occur within a mile of home – so he moved. (Just kidding!)

    When we think of defensive driving, we often focus on our local MN highway situations. The fact of the matter is we need to be just as careful close to home in MINNEAPOLIS, because that's where we do most of our driving. We can't let our familiar surroundings keep us from driving defensively.

    Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won't let anyone take your safety away from you. You'll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment.

    Don't leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers.

    Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident.

    Never drive impaired: Alcohol is a factor in half of all fatal crashes. Never drink and drive.

    Other impairments include being sleepy, angry, daydreaming or talking. If you suddenly wonder how you got where you are – you're not paying enough attention.

    Keep your windows clean and uncluttered. No fuzzy dice and stickers.

    Keep your car in good shape so that it handles properly: Maintain tires, lights, brakes, suspension, wheel alignment and steering.

    Always use your turn signals while driving around MINNEAPOLIS, MN. Avoid other vehicles' blind spots.

    Don't drive faster than your headlights – if you can't stop within the distance you can see, you're going too fast.

    Avoid driving over debris in the road. Even harmless looking items can cause damage or an accident.

    Keep your wheels straight when waiting to turn at an intersection in MINNEAPOLIS . That way if you're hit from behind, your car won't be pushed into on-coming traffic.

    My daddy always said that when you drive, you're actually driving five cars: yours, the one in front, the one behind and the ones on either side. You can't trust that other drivers will do the right thing, so you've got to be aware of what they're doing at all times.

    If you see another car driving erratically, weaving, crossing lanes, etc., stay back. Take the next right turn if you're downtown MINNEAPOLIS, or take the next exit on the MN highway. Notify the police if you see someone driving dangerously in our MINNEAPOLIS community.

    Never follow too close. The minimum distance is the two second rule. Pick a landmark ahead, like a tree or road marker. When the car in front of you passes it, start counting: 'one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand.' If you pass the landmark before reaching two-one-thousand, you're following too close.

    Remember that the two second rule is the minimum – it assumes you're alert and aware. Three seconds is safer. Move out to five seconds or more if it's foggy or rainy.

    Someone will inevitably move into your forward safety zone – just drop back and keep a safe distance.

    If someone follows you too closely, just move over.

    Don't play chicken by contesting your right of way or race to beat someone to a merge. Whoever loses that contest has the potential to lose big and you don't want any part of that. So stay alert, constantly scan around your car and arrive safely.

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