Remember to Turn on your Lights

lights

When driving in the winter, make sure to have the lights on when the weather is less than ideal. This is important no matter what the weather is. If it is raining, sleeting, snowing, or even windy, you will want to have the headlights on. You will improve the visibility as you drive, as well as helping others to see where you are at on the road. Without the lights on, you will increase the chance of an accident occurring. If other drivers cannot see you, then they might rear end or crash into you. read more

What do the Dashboard Lights Mean?

Dashboard

Your vehicle is important to get you to and from your destination. Keeping it maintained regularly will help reduce issues that could have been prevented. Sometimes, you may notice that the dashboard warning lights for the vehicle might turn on. It might be one, or it might be a couple different ones. Knowing what to do will help decrease further damage to your vehicle, and reduce stress as well. The owner’s manual for your vehicle will mention what each of the lights mean. You can also contact us and we can inspect the vehicle for you if one of the warning lights illuminates. read more

Remember Car Maintenance in the Winter

Maintenance

In the winter you will want to remember to have your vehicle inspected on a regular basis. Doing so will help increase the safety and reliability of it. We can also advise you when certain maintenance tasks should be done for your vehicle as well. The oil will need to be changed on a regular basis. Also make sure that the tires are rotated regularly as well. Besides a rotation, the tires will need to be aligned. This will help them to be as efficient as possible. When there is an issue with one or more tire, you will notice an issue when driving. The vehicle may pull in one direction or the other. read more

Transmission Issues to Look for

transmission

The transmission is one of the most important parts of your vehicle. If the car will not shift after engaging the clutch and trying to move the stick, take a look at the fluid to make sure that it is at the right level. Other causes include using the incorrect thickness of fluid and the clutch linkage or shift cables needing adjustment. The source of the problem could also be the vehicle’s computer system.

Check Engine Light

The check engine light located on your car’s dashboard is a great early indicator that something is wrong with your vehicle. While the light turns on for a number of reasons other than transmission issues, it very important not to ignore this helpful warning sign. There are sensors placed in many areas of a car’s engine that alert the computer if it senses unusual activity coming from a particular process. The sensors on a transmission can pick up on the slightest jerks and vibrations than you are not able to see or feel. read more

Deicing your Vehicle in the Winter

windshield

In the winter it is inevitable that you will have to remove ice, snow, and frost from your winndshield. You will want to make sure that you clear the windshield, side windows, rear windshield, and side mirrors. In order to start your vehicle so you can start to warm it up, and warm up the windshield, you will want to make sure you can get in your vehicle. You may need to have a lock de-icer to get in. Lock de-icer is simply a specific concentration of isopropyl alcohol. It’s the same chemical compound found in rubbing alcohol, for example, but at a much stronger concentration. Lock de-icer, is at least 98 percent isopropyl alcohol, while rubbing alcohol is typically between 50 and 70 percent strength. That potent alcoholic liquid works by lowering the freezing point of water. Lock de-icer is designed to act as a fail-safe to open your doors when the small key hole cover flap meant to keep moisture out of locks and prevent them from freezing up doesn’t do the trick. read more

Winter Driving tips to Be Safe

winter driving

Winter driving is different than the rest of the year. When you drive in the winter, you will have to be more aware of the roads and surroundings than you do other times of the year. Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks. Also remember to never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage. Before you drive, make sure that the tires are properly inflated, and not over or under inflated. You will also want the gas tank to be at least half full. This helps to ensure your vehicle is ready to drive when you need it, and you have plenty of gas to reach your destination when driving in the winter. Another important thing when driving in the winter is not to use your cruise control if the roads or weather are anything less than ideal. If you drive on slick roads that are wet, ice, slush, or snow covered, you will want to slow down to a speed your are comfortable with, while also being able to control the vehicle. read more

Inspecting Windshield Wipers Regularly

windshield wipers, Dale Feste Automotive

When you inspect your vehicles windshield wipers on a regular basis, you can determine if there are any issues. Most drivers know to get regular oil changes and rotate their tires. You should also check and top off any other fluids on a regular basis, and make sure that the windshield wipers are in the best condition possible.

Windshield wipers are vital to car safety but are an often overlooked feature on cars.  When it rains or snows, you turn them on to help with visibility and then forget about them.  One of the worst things that can happen in poor driving conditions is to turn on wipers and have them do nothing.  Regular maintenance can seriously limit the probability of that happening. If you notice an issue with the windshield wipers, make sure to have them changed and replaced as soon as possible. read more

Understanding the Brake System

Brake System, Dale Feste Automotive

Unusual brake noise or braking behaviors should be treated as a warning that one of the most essential systems on your car is malfunctioning. The brakes are exposed to tremendous forces and generate a lot of heat every time you stop your car. When you press on the brake, all the energy that your vehicle creates by moving down the road has to be converted to heat through friction.

A rattle noise from the brakes is a common issue for drivers. Most often brake rattle happens when you let up off the pedal. Suddenly you may hear a rattle. Usually it sounds like the rattle made when shaking a can of spray paint. Brake pads can rattle sometimes due to heat expansion, especially if they were installed without anti-rattle shims. Keep in mind that this rattle should not be consistent and it should never happen while you have your foot on the brake pedal. read more

Regular Vehicle Inspection

Vehicle Inspection, Dale Feste Automotive, Hopkins MN

Vehicle Inspection

The battery should be inspected visually for corrosion or any other buildup of debris regularly. The surface of the battery should be clean and free from any dirt buildup. The connection points and posts should also be free of corrosion or rust. This can decrease the power it is able to supply your vehicle. It is also recommended to have the battery professionally tested to see if it is able to hold the charge effectively.

As the hours of daylight start to shorten, make sure that the lights on your vehicle are working properly. You can clean off the lights by using a sponge or car cleaning cloth with a car cleaner. This way you can scrub and wipe away the buildup of road grime that has collected on the headlights and taillights from the previous months. By cleaning the lights, you can help to ensure you have the brightest and clearest beams possible when driving. Having good quality lights can help your visibility when you drive. The lights on the vehicle are also important to help other drivers see you. This can help to reduce the chance of an accident if you need to stop in an emergency situation. read more

Signs that the Brakes should be Inspected

Brake inspection, Dale Feste Automotive, Hopkins MN

Brake Inspection

Why do you need a brake inspection? The braking system is the most important safety feature for your vehicle. The ability to stop quickly and safely is crucial. Part of the brake system also include the brake pads and brake rotors. The friction and heat that occur every time the brakes are applied can gradually start to shorten the lifespan of these parts. It is required to have periodic replacement of these parts in order to keep the braking system in your vehicle functioning properly. You can help maintain the braking system by going to regular scheduled maintenances. read more