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  • Make Your Vehicle Last

    Jun 7, 2020



    We live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days, MN folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough - they had to do without. Most Brooklyn Park drivers couldn't afford new vehicles very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

    It's a good thing that vehicles are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us MN penny pinchers is that a modern vehicle can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Brooklyn Park vehicle owners making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules.

    Every time you go a little farther between recommended oil changes, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and for clogged passages. Then some vehicle parts don't get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted; the radiator starts being damaged - one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning - really everything on your schedule.

    It is probably even more important for older vehicles. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

    And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Brooklyn Park at Affordable Transmissions, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It's like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your service advisor at Affordable Transmissions help you keep track of the rest.

    Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Affordable Transmissions is cheaper than a new car  payment for Brooklyn Park drivers. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol - you don't want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Brooklyn Park Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

    Apr 12, 2020

    Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Brooklyn Park drivers, your vehicle manufacturer publishes two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Brooklyn Park drivers follow? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

    Are most of your trips less than four miles/six kilometers around Brooklyn Park?
    Are most of your trips less than 10 miles/16 kilometers in below-zero MN temps?
    Are most of your trips off-highway in MN?
    Do you drive often in dusty Brooklyn Park areas?
    Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Brooklyn Park?
    Do you drive in very hot or very cold MN weather?


    Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Brooklyn Park on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Brooklyn Park surface streets?

    Let's suppose your owner's manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles/5,000 and 8,000 kilometers. Analyze your driving patterns and Brooklyn Park weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you're closer to.

    Why should Brooklyn Park residents care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Brooklyn Park or winter driving means that the engine doesn't heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn't let the oil protect it adequately. That's why MN residents need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

    Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in MN summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs. If you want some expert advice, talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Affordable Transmissions service advisor. We can help you restore your vehicle to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

    Affordable Transmissions
    (763) 533-1169
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Does Your Car Have A Recall Item?

    Mar 29, 2020

    No matter how well they're made, vehicles are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. Think of all the moving parts. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the vehicle manufacturer to issue recall notices to Brooklyn Park residents and to fix the affected vehicles free of charge. The they try to contact all Brooklyn Park residents who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their Brooklyn Park service center.

    To find out if your car has any recall issues, give us a call:

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com

    These recalls always affect safety, so Brooklyn Park residents would be wise to take them seriously. It's really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.


    Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

    Recalls are pretty serious for Brooklyn Park residents and don't happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that Brooklyn Park residents still might want to know about. For these less serious cases, the vehicle manufacturer issues what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell Brooklyn Park service centers (including Affordable Transmissions) how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

    Your Brooklyn Park service center receives updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too.

    Whatever your source, pay attention to Brooklyn Park vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.




    Affordable Transmissions Helps You Decipher the Menu Board: Part 2

    Dec 29, 2019

    MN service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Brooklyn Park drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

    Affordable Transmissions fuel system cleaning: Over time, the vehicle fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

    Affordable Transmissions headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It's usually good to change them every year or so.

    Affordable Transmissions inspections: Brooklyn Park drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they're going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle's ready for a MN summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used vehicle and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

    Affordable Transmissions oil change: There are several options: Some Brooklyn Park centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

    Affordable Transmissions PCV valve replacement in Brooklyn Park: PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It's a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. It just needs to be changed now and then.

    Affordable Transmissions power steering service: Often overlooked. Your friendly and knowledgeable Affordable Transmissions technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the vehicle system running well for a long time.

    Affordable Transmissions serpentine belt service: That's the belt that powers the vehicle engine's accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You'll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that'll shut you down.

    Affordable Transmissions shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Brooklyn Park drivers don't notice when it's time to change them. If they're worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

    Affordable Transmissions transmission service: This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It's like an oil change for your transmission.

    Affordable Transmissions tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Training Received by Technicians in Brooklyn Park, MN

    Jul 21, 2019

    When your vehicle breaks down in the Brooklyn Park, MN, area, or just needs some routine service, it can make you a little nervous. Because your vehicle's so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible — with the problem fixed right the first time.

    We've been checking into some of the training our Brooklyn Park, MN, technicians receive, and we're very impressed. It's amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern vehicle. So it's not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over the weekend.

    Today there are four-cylinder engines around Brooklyn Park that make more power than the V-8's in luxury cars did 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/97 kph.

    Our engines are more and more powerful. And they're so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Brooklyn Park drivers at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

    Then there are the electronics. Some vehicles on MN roads have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Brooklyn Park drivers take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

    It's a real challenge for the pros at Affordable Transmissions and other Brooklyn Park auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center. In addition to the training, there's the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

    So where do Brooklyn Park technicians go for training? There are many sources. It's usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, online courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

    Service centers in Brooklyn Park, MN, have a lot of other resources available.  No one can know everything, so service centers like Affordable Transmissions subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even online communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

    It's like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms. What's the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Brooklyn Park drivers want everything to be simple, straightforward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn't.

    So, be more relaxed next time you take your vehicle in. You can trust the professionals at Affordable Transmissions. You're in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Affordable Transmissions. 

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Economics of Maintenance for Brooklyn Park Auto Owners

    Jun 16, 2019

    Buying a new car in Brooklyn Park is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

    People in Brooklyn Park who've been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

    For purposes of our discussion, let's assume you live right here in Brooklyn Park and have a five year old vehicle. It's now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there'll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don't know what to expect. For help we turned to maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They're able to use manufacturer's maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

    Of course, these projections can't predict what will happen to your vehicle in Brooklyn Park, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

    Let's look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

    So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it's actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

    Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Brooklyn Park:

    • Ford Escape - $116 a month
    • Chevy Silverado - $131 a month
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee - $138 a month
    • Hyundai Accent - $85 a month.

    Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Brooklyn Park service advisor at Affordable Transmissions. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there's any particular problem in common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

    And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

    There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

    We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

    Give us a call if you have any questions.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Trickle Down Technology

    Apr 14, 2019

    Recently, Nissan introduced the latest version of its Leaf, the company's electric car. It has many new features, including something called e-Pedal. It allows the driver to let up on the accelerator and, unlike a gasoline engine car, the Leaf doesn't just slowly lose speed; letting off the throttle pedal brakes the car in a very controlled way, using regenerative and sometimes friction brakes. With practice, a driver can go for a fairly long time without touching the brake pedal.

    Another system, similar to those found in self-driving vehicles, can steer the car to keep it in the center of the lane using a camera and radar. It literally watches the lane markers and, of course, doesn't work well in snow that obliterates those markers. But the technology is impressive and can greatly reduce fatigue on long trips.

    In fact, much of this technology has "trickled down" from research on autonomous vehicles, such as adaptive cruise control that slows down your vehicle (even to a stop) if the vehicle in front of you decelerates or stops. And we can expect these features will eventually find their way into all price levels of vehicles if the past is any indication.

    There was a time anti-lock brakes were only found on premium vehicles; now they are on nearly all new vehicles. Traction and stability control are also prevalent, helping drivers reduce slippage and maintain control, thanks to computers.

    With SUVs and trucks so popular, rear backup cameras help drivers see behind their tall back ends, reducing injuries, deaths and property damage. Bumper sensors and cameras allow drivers to be visually and aurally aware of their surroundings with 360° protection.

    Many of these features improve our vehicle's safety and efficiency, and we can expect new technologies to crop up in the future. But just like the mechanical systems in your vehicle, it's important to maintain the electronic and computerized systems. Technicians at Affordable Transmissions constantly train to keep up on these latest developments. Make sure all your vehicle's components are maintained in top condition.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    The Maintenance Free Myth

    Mar 31, 2019

    Sometimes we hear people in Brooklyn Park say, "What's up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don't break down." While it is true that today's vehicles are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most Brooklyn Park drivers don't realize how high tech automotive fluids have become,  fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.

    Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today's automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle's components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and distances march on for all of our cars. Please don't think we're using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance - but here are some personal stories we've heard to emphasize and show how important it is to get things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and money. But they are tales of a stitch in time saves nine.

    The first comes from someone who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated on a highway in MN and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator pan was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been completely replaced - just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundreds of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.

    Another story involves the true cost of skipping an annual inspection. This guy took his SUV in for the MN safety inspection to renew his registration. At the Brooklyn Park inspection station, he learned that the law had changed and that his newer rig only required an inspection every two years. He was very happy to save the money. The problem was, his rear brake pads were very worn. Two months later, it was bad enough that he could hear the grind - over the radio, DVD player and the kids. He took it in to get the bad news. Both of the rear brake rotors were damaged. The left one could be resurfaced. The right had to be replaced. So saving a little on his safety inspection turned into an extra $500 over what brake pad replacement would have been. Moral of the story for Brooklyn Park drivers: don't skip your annual inspections. The irony is that many Brooklyn Park service centers would have done a brake inspection for free.

    Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy's little princess smacked a curb when she turned into a shopping center and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn't get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire - so it was enough wreck the alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later - and then an alignment.

    Situation: son and wife with cars from the same vehicle manufacturer with essentially the same engine. Our staffer checked the son's maintenance schedule and saw that it needed a timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles/145,000 km. He had it done - it cost several hundred dollars. His wife's car had about 60,000 miles/97,000 km, so it should be ok for a while. Right? Wrong. The problem was that the wife had the turbo charged version. Its belt was scheduled for replacement at 60,000 mi/97,000 km. At 63,000 mi./101,000 km, the belt snapped on the interstate. The valves all crashed down into the cylinders at high speed, the entire head was shredded and it had to be replaced. The cost: several thousand dollars. Does he wish he had checked the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule? You bet he does - every time he passes a big-screen TV.

    The team at Affordable Transmissions in Brooklyn Park recommends taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, you can make your car run better.  Plus, it is more economical to operate in MN. Remember to save those maintenance records. It'll show potential buyers that you've taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren't any, assume that the maintenance hasn't been done and take it to Affordable Transmissions in Brooklyn Park for an inspection. Take care of unperformed routine maintenance sooner rather than later.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement in Brooklyn Park

    Feb 17, 2019



    About 90% of our driving decisions in the Brooklyn Park area are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.

    Most Brooklyn Park drivers have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our vehicle windshield is just dirty. In fact, it's estimated that 46,000,000 drivers across the nation are driving with wipers that can't adequately clear their windshield in a storm.

    It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we need them the most. If that sounds like you, you've got plenty of company in the Brooklyn Park area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.

    Brooklyn Park drivers need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as vehicle safety component. Then we'll stay ahead of the storm.

    Brooklyn Park vehicle owners really ought to replace wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of MN, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.

    Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Brooklyn Park conditions, if your vehicle has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.

    Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don't clear the vehicle windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren't just a safety hazard for Brooklyn Park drivers; they can also scratch their windshield. That may require replacing the entire vehicle windshield – that's the consequence for neglecting such a small part.

    Affordable Transmissions recommends Brooklyn Park drivers replace worn blades right away. We can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At Affordable Transmissions, they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.

    Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though Affordable Transmissions will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Take it with you if you're heading out on a road trip.

    Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn't cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won't clean your windows as well.

    So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eyes on the road.

    Find us at:

    Affordable Transmissions
    6301 WELCOME AVE N STE 28
    Brooklyn Park, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com