Another round of Drivers’ Education classes start in the next few weeks in communities across Minnesota, and St Michael / Albertville (Go Knights!) is no exception. Getting a driver’s license is a pretty big deal for most kids, and it is a means to more independence for many teens. With the privilege of driving, also comes new responsibilities, including driving safely, understanding the laws and rules of driving and transportation, and accountability. Below are some outstanding education and maintenance tips we think will help any new driver (regardless of age or experience) stay safely on the road.
1. Read the Owner’s Manual – Most of us have never read an owner’s manual from front to back, so I wouldn’t suggest that to your new driver, either. HOWEVER… they should browse through it enough to become familiar with the different sections and topics, so that if and when they have car trouble or something seems not quite right, they know where to start looking for answers. It will also help them navigate conversations about their car and how it works with others, including their parents and / or a mechanic.
2. Gauge the Gauges – Teaching your new driver to understand what the various gauges are for the car(s) they are driving, what they tell the driver AND what can go wrong if they are ignored is one of the most important things a new driver can know.
3. Change the Oil – This is the most important maintenance item for any vehicle out there. Newer cars have different mileage thresholds for changing the oil, so be sure that you and your new driver both know the manufacturer requirements for your cars and that they help keep track of when the oil needs to be changed and that it gets done.
4. Pay Attention to the Other Fluids – Cars have several different kinds of fluids that need to be properly maintained, and every driver needs to be aware of this. Teach them to monitor them and also how to physically check said fluid levels. Show them how to check the oil, the coolant reservoir, power steering and brake fluid reservoirs. Create a regular schedule with your driver about checking these fluids, even if the car is running smoothly.
5. Road Safety Kits for Car and Driver – We often tell our kids the importance of a winter driving kit for their own safety, but we should also teach them to keep some essentials in their car for it’s sake, as well. Things to include: containers of car specific fluids (oil, windshield wiper fluid, coolant, etc,), paper towels, gloves, a funnel, flashlight and jumper cables to name a few. Tuck it in a crate in their trunk and they will be prepared for more situations than they other wise would be, including helping out a stranded friend.
6. Check Tires and Lights – Teach your new driver how to check the air pressure in their tires when they do their scheduled fluid checks. Another good lesson is to show them how to evaluate the tread on their tires using a penny. Simply insert a penny into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch and it’s time to replace your tires.
7. Take Care of the Battery – Batteries are one of the main reasons most drivers end up stranded, and this can be especially scary for new drivers. Have the battery charge checked whenever the oil is changed, and teach them the importance of not running their battery down while listening to music, etc., when the car is on but not running.
These seven items are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding car maintenance and repair prevention, but it will get them off to a good start.
When you bring in your car to Precision Auto for most types of service, we issue a digital inspection report that evaluates the health of your car, and lets you know what items need to be taken care of now, in the near future, or that are working well. The categories and items on this report can also be a great way to help educate your new driver about the care and maintenance of their car.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call!
Rob Rich, Owner, Precision Auto Repair
It’s time for the spring tire sale at Precision Auto Repair right here in Albertville, Minnesota.
During the month of April, GET UP TO A $100 PREPAID VISA CARD when you buy a new set of four qualifying Cooper Tires.*
*$100 Reward when purchasing 4 Cooper Zeon RS3-61TM Tires
*$70 Reward when purchasing 4 CS5 Grand TouringTM, CS5 Ultra TouringTM, Discoverer A/T3
TM, or Discoverer SRXTM, Discoverer A/TWTM Tires
*$50 Reward when purchasing 4 CS3 TouringTM, Discoverer HT3TM,
Cooper Zeon RS3-STM, Evolution H/TTM, Cooper Zeon RS3-ATM, or Evolution TourTM Tires
If you’d like to do a little more research before buying, check out Rob’s tire buying guide!
Prices are good during the month of April. Call 763-497-1677 and chat with Rob or Chad, or simply Schedule Appointment Now
ATTENTION BASKETBALL FANS!
Join us for the 2018 Basketball Madness Bracket Contest. Simply print this bracket (or any bracket, really), take a photo of it and post it to our Facebook page before 5 pm CT tomorrow (before the first game starts) to enter!
Here’s a list of prizes!
$20 Dehmer’s Meats Gift Cards for winners of each round (regardless of number of entries).
0-10 Entries in contest – Winner gets a $100 gift card to Dehmer’s Meats in St Michael, Minnesota
11-20 Entries in contest – Winner gets a $200 gift card to Dehmer’s Meats in St Michael, Minnesota
21 – 30 Entries in contest – Winner gets a $300 gift card to Dehmer’s Meats in St Michael, Minnesota
31+ Entries in contest – Winner gets a $400 gift card to Dehmer’s Meats in St Michael, Minnesota
If there isn’t an overall winner, we will draw 1 random winners who will receive a $40 gift card to Dehmer’s. Good luck! Check out our tips for playing below.
Our existing customers know how much we love pets. In fact, Rudy and Halo (our two shop mascots) are a big part of the experience when you bring your car or truck in for scheduled maintenance or repairs to Precision Auto. They typically great you at the door, sit for a pet or two, and then maybe even lay their heads at your feet or give you a little snuggle while your oil gets changed. We love how much our customers enjoy the dogs at the shop, and that’s why we chose Crossroads Animal Shelter as the charitable organization that we give to all year long.
On the St Michael Albertville Bulletin Board on Facebook, we see that quite a few dogs and cats get lost during the long winter months, more than any other time of year. It’s really crazy! We realize that when there is snow and ice on the ground and a dog darts off, it’s easy for them to get lost because they can’t track the scents they know back home. So many people are kind enough to help track them down and many pets get reunited with their families, but sadly… there isn’t always a happy ending. And we’d like to help keep one more pet safe at home.
Pet microchips work great (we highly recommend them), but they only work IF the pet gets taken to a vet to be scanned after it is found. If a pet isn’t found in time, can’t be located or if the person who finds the pet doesn’t take them in for scanning, the chip doesn’t work.
We recently discovered a gps tracker for pets that we thought was pretty cool, so we decided a paw tracker gps device and one year of service (retail value: $200) will be our February 2018 give away.
The PawTracker is one of the smallest and lightest GPS tracking devices with a mobile app, putting your pet’s location right at your fingertips – allowing you to locate your fur-child and track their activity history on your phone or tablet. The PawTracker relays location information to your mobile device no matter how far your pet has traveled. There is no distance restriction!
Real Time Tracking – Allows you the ability to locate your pet’s current location
Historical Route – Shows all the locations your pet has traveled for a 24 hour period
Geo-Fence – Alerts you if your pet leaves a preset designated area
Flashing LED Lights – Help find your pet in the dark
We’re excited for you to enter, and we thought we’d do something fun to capture entries for this contest. There are three ways to enter:
- Visit our page on Instagram (@precisionautorp) and follow our page.
- Post a picture of your pet on Instagram and tag us (@precisionautorp) and tell us about your pet and why the gps tracker would be a good fit for you. You can do this once per day (one entry per post) until the contest ends on 2/28/18.
- Post a picture of your pet on our Facebook page (@precisionautorp) and tell us about your pet and why the gps tracker would be a good fit for you. You can do this once per day (one entry per post) until the contest ends on 2/28/18.
- Share our page
- Share this post
Good luck, and we hope you win!
Enter to win Precision Auto’s Pet Tracker GPS Monitoring System with one year subscription service. Drawing on 2/28/18. No purchase necessary to enter. Random drawing to win. This contest is not connected to Facebook or Instagram in any way.
Shock & Strut Warning Signs:
1. Excessive Bouncing
If your vehicle is bouncing excessively or when you go over a bump or uneven roads the car continues to bounce, this is a warning that you may need to replace your shocks or struts.
Shocks and struts are completely different things, but they perform similar functions. Shocks are coil springs that reside between the wheels and the frame of your vehicle. Struts are a coil spring and shock absorber in one. Your certified auto repair technician will know which product is appropriate for the make and model of your car.
2. Nose Dives/Rear End Squats Dipping
When you are driving and press the brakes, if the front or back end of your car seems to go up or down, that is another sign that you at least need to get your car evaluated to replace the shocks or struts. If your car “squats” or dips when you accelerate, same thing. Have a certified auto repair technician take a look.
3. Tire “Cupping”
If the struts or shocks on your vehicle are bad, the tires will literally bounce up and down as you drive. Each time the tires hit the ground, bits of rubber can get scraped off. This is commonly referred to as “cupping” or “scalloping.” So instead of having a consistent treadwear pattern across the tire, you might have some tread, a smooth patch, some tread, a smooth patch, and so on. This is because the holes left by the missing rubber tend to get smoothed over as you drive.
4. Leaking Fluid
Inside every shock and strut is a piston and hydraulic fluid. When you drive over a bump or a rough stretch of road, the shocks or struts compress, causing the piston to push against the hydraulic fluid, which absorbs the force of the piston. Sometimes that fluid that can leak out of the shock or strut. Believe it or not, a little leakage is perfectly normal and will look like a small wet spot on an otherwise dry shock or strut. Leakage that you need to worry about will make most of the shock or strut look wet and oily.