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  • 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




    Gas Savings in Brooklyn Park: Sharpen Your Pencil

    Oct 21, 2018

    High gas prices in Brooklyn Park increase the cost of living for MN drivers. You've probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Brooklyn Park vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

    According to MN news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn't been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

    In this area, we can take a lesson from professional Brooklyn Park vehicle owners. I'm talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Brooklyn Park folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

    Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their Brooklyn Park business in the red.

    So what does this mean to Brooklyn Park drivers? Well, there's a 90 percent chance that you're missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here's a quick reminder list:

    Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
    Ring any bells? Can most Brooklyn Park vehicle owners honestly say that there isn't at least one thing on the list that hasn't been done?

    Let's suppose you chose to spend $150 and get caught up on some of these services at Affordable Transmissions. Figure that they combine to improve your fuel efficiency by 15 percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

    Well, the average personal vehicle in Brooklyn Park is driven about 12,000 a year. If you get 20 miles per gallon in your vehicle, over the course of one year you would pay for the $150 worth of service and save an additional $165 dollars if gas is at t$3.50. If gas is $4.50, you would save $255. And you'd rack up savings of $345 dollars with gas at $5.50.

    GAS PRICE
    $3.50
    $4.50
    $5.50

    20 MPG
    $165
    $255
    $345

    From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Brooklyn Park for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A 15 percent improvement in fuel economy can generate huge savings – $650 a year if gas is $4.50 a gallon in Brooklyn Park. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

     

    GAS PRICE

    A) $3.50, B) $4.50, C) $5.50

    10 MPG: A) $480, B) $660, C) $840

    20 MPG: A) $165, B) $255, C) $345

    30 MPG: A) $60, B) $120, C) $180

     

    So catch up on those services you've been neglecting at Affordable Transmissions. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you'll save a lot of money at Brooklyn Park gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

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

     




    Technician Training at Affordable Transmissions

    Oct 14, 2018

    Your vehicle is important to you, and keeping it running properly is important to your lifestyle. That's why you're smart enough to have it serviced regularly at Affordable Transmissions in Brooklyn Park. And even though it may just be routine maintenance, you want it done right by automotive professionals.

    It's also very important to your Brooklyn Park service center to keep you happy and on the road. You might be surprised at the amount of money our Brooklyn Park auto service center spends annually to make sure our friendly and knowledgeable technicians are properly trained.

    Affordable Transmissions offers a variety of automotive services for many kinds of vehicles. We need to be current on the latest techniques and parts so that we can give you quality service. Our Brooklyn Park service centers subscribe to data services that list the high quality parts and fluids recommended by your manufacturer.

    And each service has a checklist of standard procedures. Affordable Transmissions technicians follow these procedures so they can safely deliver a consistent level of high-quality service.

    Some services at Affordable Transmissions require the use of specialized equipment. Affordable Transmissions technicians are trained extensively on this equipment so that they can service your car quickly and efficiently.

    Classroom, video and hands-on training is provided by the company and outside trainers. It's not only important that friendly and knowledgeable technicians be able to perform a given task, they also need to be thoroughly trained in inspection and diagnostic techniques. One of the great services they perform is to detect potential problems before they become serious.

    The automotive service industry has standards for classifying and communicating problems. For example, it's one thing to learn that your manufacturer recommends that you change your serpentine belt every 30,000 miles/48,000 km and another to learn that the belt is on the verge of failure. These standards help you understand the urgency of recommendations, letting you make better automotive service decisions.

    MN folks may be interested to know that service technicians (including those at Affordable Transmissions) are trained in compliance with federal and local Brooklyn Park laws and regulations, including environmental regulations regarding the disposal of used parts and fluids.

    It's the goal of Affordable Transmissions to provide fast, courteous service. You should feel free to ask your friendly and knowledgeable technician or one of the managers about your service or for more information about their recommendations.

    At Affordable Transmissions, well-trained service providers, established procedures, industry standards and, of course, great people, combine to give you the best auto service in Brooklyn Park.

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




    Hey Brooklyn Park Drivers; What Is the Most Distracting Food?

    Sep 30, 2018



    So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Brooklyn Park?

    Is it:

    1. A Hamburger;
    2. Coffee;
    3. A Soft Drink, or
    4. Gummy Bears?

    Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving. But if you chose 'coffee,' then give yourself an extra two points.  Coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Brooklyn Park and around the country.

    Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!

    You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the types of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons: one, that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and two, you won't have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss.

    Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on the Brooklyn Park road without worrying about where that spill is headed.

    So, taking a food break… or filling out accident reports. We don't have to ask you which you prefer; it's a no brainer.

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




    Change Your Wiper Blades Twice Yearly at Affordable Transmissions

    Sep 23, 2018

    Because 90% of our driving decisions are based on visual information, unobscured vision is paramount. Which brings us to the topic of today's Affordable Transmissions article: wiper blades. While this isn't the most exciting automotive subject, it's important. You wouldn't drive at night in Brooklyn Park with your headlights off, but a dirty or streaked vehicle windshield can catch the glare of the sun or on-coming headlights and make it just as difficult to see.

    Most of us in Brooklyn Park replace our wiper blades when they no longer do the job. They are so worn, hard or brittle that they can't clean the windshield. They may even be falling apart. In other words, we deal with our wiper blades from a failure perspective. We address them when they no longer function. The theory, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," doesn't apply here. Instead, we should think about wipers blades as an important safety system that we should maintain rather than repair.

    MN automotive experts recommend that we change our wiper blades twice a year, in the spring and fall. That way you have functional blades for those Brooklyn Park spring showers and winter storms.

    When we use our wipers a lot, they get worn from the Brooklyn Park road grime and bug juice. Even if we don't use them very often, they're exposed to the sun, heat and cold, and air which cause them to dry out, become brittle and break.

    And of course, you need a good windshield washer fluid in your vehicle to help the wipers do their job. Always use washer fluid because plain water doesn't work as well and it can freeze in the reservoir. If you're driving where there are a lot of bugs in MN, you can pay a little more and get fluid that does a better job of clearing them. If you live where you have extremely cold winters, you can get fluid that resists freezing.

    Like everything else in the automotive world, there've been some big advancements in wiper blades, both in terms of the design and the materials from which the blade is made. If you are a local Brooklyn Park driver that has a need for better than average windshield wipers, you can pay some more for an upgraded wiper. And if you live where there's a lot of snow and ice in MN, they make special winter blades that don't clog up and freeze like standard blades.

    At one of your fall and spring oil changes, ask your Affordable Transmissions service advisor which is best wiper blade for your driving conditions. Replace your blades on schedule so you never have to struggle with your vision when you switch on your wipers.

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