Auto Care in Bloomington – Convenient,
Competent and Customer-Friendly!
9480 Lyndale Avenue South * Bloomington, MN 55420
Hours: Monday - Friday
7:00am - 6:00pm
Car engines today are very sophisticated, high-tech systems, designed to be more fuel-efficient and maintenance-free than in the past. The number of computer-components increases with every model-year resulting in better and better performance. But today’s auto engines,
9480 Lyndale Av S
Bloomington, MN 55420
transmissions, brakes and other mechanical and
electronic systems still require periodic maintenance.
Your car’s manual is the absolute best, most complete source of information about maintaining your car. Autopia will help you follow the
recommended service schedule by providing you with reminders and offer maintenance advice based on inspections and diagnostic results.
But despite the latest Engine On-Board Diagnostics (also known as OBD), it’s your eyes, ears and
awareness that are still the first line of defense in keeping your auto, truck or van in good running order. By following the recommended maintenance schedule, staying attentive to small, early warning indicators, and bringing your vehicle in at the first signs of trouble, you may help avoid later
Here are a few tips that may help you stay
on the road:
Establish a base line for performance. Make a mental note of how your engine sounds when it’s well-tuned. Every car engine has its own signature sound. For instance, Ford F-150 engine sound a lot different than a Chevy Silverado; and a Kia Sorento sounds different than a Honda Accord. If you know the tune your engine hums, you’ll know when it goes off key.
How does your engine sound when it’s idling? When it’s accelerating? How easily does it start in the summer verses starting on a below zero winter’s day? Does the re-start of a warm engine sound
different from an initial cold engine start? Does it
Once you know how it “should be,” you’ll be able to identify hard starts, rough idling, diminished power – all signs that it’s time to bring your vehicle in for an inspection.
First listen, then act. There are some obvious noises that leave no doubt that something’s not right. If you hear a squeal or grind when you apply the brakes, it may mean that your brake pads or shoe lining are worn. If the lining is worn too badly, the brake drums or rotors can be scored.
Unfortunately, if the sound is intermittent, or your life is just too busy, it’s easy to put off doing anything about it. We just adapt to the noise, stop paying attention and forget all about it until….you know. A simple adjustment or part replacement early could save the cost of a whole brake job later.
Try to note sounds while you’re driving too. Does the engine rattle when you speed up, (sometimes called “pinging”) knock, misfire or tick? Do you hear a “clunk” when going around corners? Your service technician can let you know if it’s the tie rods, sway bar links, bushings or something else. Grinding gears, metal-on-metal screeching and other sounds that make you say “uh-oh”, are all signs that it’s time to make an appointment.
Puddles and drips. Pay attention to puddles under your car. Fluid leaks can result in damage to the engine and put your safety at risk. You can get an idea of what’s leaking by its color, smell and viscosity:
Green – Radiator coolant is usually bright green and very slippery (also very poisonous to pets!) A coolant leak may just mean a loose hose
connection or it can mean a more serious problem with the cooling systems and/or radiator. It’s best to have it checked it out before overheating and possibly damaging the engine..
Blue – Blue fluid is very likely to be windshield washer fluid but washer fluid can be other colors as well. For Bloomington freeway drivers, having ample windshield washer fluid is matter of safety, as critical as headlights or windshield wiper blades that are in good shape.
Red – Automatic transmission fluid and power steering fluid are both red and you don’t want either of those levels to be low. Never ignore a puddle of transmission fluid – bring it in for a check right away. Losing too much transmission fluid can cause the transmission to slip and gears to be damaged.
Yellow – Brake fluid is light yellow when new but if you’re seeing leaked brake fluid, it’s probably not yellow anymore. Over time, it turns a dark brown. Loss of brake fluid can result in poor braking performance which could result in a crash. If you feel like the brakes are soft, you may have a leak in the hydraulic system or be low on brake fluid.
Brown – Engine oil is easy to identify both by sight and touch. Losing oil is a bad thing for a lot of reasons. Being low on oil can result in engine damage, and depending on where it’s leaking from, usually means a repair is in order. But oil loss on the roads, freeways, parking ramps and driveways also gets washed down the storm drain, polluting rivers and streams. So for both economic and ecologic reasons, get oil leaks looked at as soon as you notice them.
Under the hood. Visual inspections are the quickest, easiest diagnostic tool you have. Belts that are cracked, worn or loose and hoses that are cracked, bulging or showing signs of weakening, are sure to fail – it’s just a matter of where and when. Check battery cables for corrosion and make sure wire
connectors are snug and making good contact. Spark plug wires should be replaced at the same time the spark plugs are in order to get the best performance.
With every oil change at Autopia, our technicians provide a comprehensive maintenance inspection to catch and correct problems while they’re still minor, saving you money, time and the headaches of unexpected breakdowns.
No matter how old or new your vehicle is, it’s
important to perform timely preventive maintenance to keep it running smoothly.
• Vehicles hold their value longer when they’re
maintained on a regular schedule. When it comes time to sell or trade-in your vehicle, you’ll be glad you maintained it well.
• Cars that are well maintained cost less to
operate. Tires last longer, the engine burns less oil and they are far more fuel efficient. The cost of maintenance compared to the cost of engine repair or rebuilding is predictably lower.
• Total Cost of Ownership (daily costs + lifetime
repairs) is lower.
• A well-maintained vehicle is safer to drive and
• Autos that are serviced regularly are simply
more reliable. You can avoid the disruption,
lost time from work, the danger of freeway breakdown and general hassle of being without a vehicle with regularly scheduled maintenance and a little TLC.
We Service Most
Makes and Models
of Foreign and
Make your automotive-life as hassle-free as you can by staying ahead of trouble. With proper maintenance, your car will:
• Last longer
• Get better gas mileage
• Be safer to drive
• Hold its value at resale
• Cost less to operate
• Give you peace of mind.
Cars, Vans & Light Trucks
Diesel and Gasoline
Autopia Auto Service Provides . . .
• ASE-Certified Mechanics
• High-Quality Parts with full
• Guaranteed Workmanship
• Latest Diagnostic Equipment
• Preventive Maintenance
• Extended Warranty Work
• Diagnostics and Inspections
• Major or Minor Repairs and
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