Buying a new car in Minneapolis 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 Minneapolis 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 ou... read more
Minneapolis area residents may remember when the U.S. government's “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.But a lot of Minneapolis drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They're dependable and they're paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles (320,000 km... read more
Most Minneapolis folks occasionally have days when they've got a bunch of errands to run. Yesterday was my day off and I needed to fill the gas tank, pick up some groceries at my Minneapolis market, swing by the ATM and get the kids from school. I could have made four trips . . . but that would have been totally inefficient. Instead I got unusually organized and planned my stops. I hit the ATM first and got gas next. Then I went to the supermarket and picked up the kids on the way home. I was pr... read more
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 Minneapolis residents and to fix the affected vehicles free of charge. The they try to contact all Minneapolis residents who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their Minneapolis service center.
To find... read more
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... read more
Every Minneapolis car owner who has taken their car in for an oil change has been told that their engine air filter's dirty. Here's what goes into the determination of when to change the filter: First, your vehicle owner's manual will have a recommendation of when the filter should be replaced.
Now, most air filters purchased in Minneapolis don't cost a lot to replace. It's just that MN people hate getting caught with an unexpected expense. On the plus side, though, changing a dirty air filter... read more
Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Minneapolis drivers, your vehicle manufacturer publishes two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Minneapolis drivers follow? Here are some questions to ask yourself:Are most of your trips less than four miles/six kilometers around Minneapolis?Are most of your trips less than 10 miles/16 kilometers in below-zero MN temps?Are most of your trips off-highway in... read more
There's a segment of the Minneapolis area population that's not committed to proper vehicle maintenance.
Now, the ignition system in your vehicle is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers). So tune-ups used to force you in to Uptown Imports for service, and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.Also, in recent years, a large... read more
High gas prices in Minneapolis 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 Minneapolis vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.According to MN news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more c... read more
You've likely heard how important oil is to your vehicle's engine. Did you know that there's one part that's responsible for holding that oil so you can use it every day? It's called the oil pan, and it sits at the bottom of the engine.
The oil pan is a vital, though simple, part of your engine's lubrication system. Oil circulates through parts of your engine to keep them lubricated. It reduces friction so everything works smoothly. Without oil, friction would quickly destroy your engine. The oi... read more
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