Tips for Affordable Car Maintenance

Save Money & Time With These Easy Tips

Maintaining your car so it is safe and reliable doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

image of car speeding around bend on country road with sun shining through trees.

But it can cost a lot of money if you don’t run a regular maintenance schedule.

Having a car can be fun, and it definitely makes life easier, but when it starts to malfunction or break down, it can be a costly hassle and a safety issue.  Making sure that maintenance is affordable and easy is important in our go-go-go world. Luckily, there are some things you can do to ensure your car is running smoothly and safely, without breaking the bank. Here are some handy tips and information on some simple, affordable things you can do to help your car run better and last longer.

RelatedGrab a coupon and save some money with these local Minnesota AAMCO specials.

Get to Know Your Car

Read the owner’s manual and keep it handy in the glove box.

Read and pay attention to the owner’s manual for your car. Don’t have one? Check with your local dealership or go online – there might be a PDF version you can grab, load to your phone and have with you at all times. No matter what car you drive, the regular maintenance schedule should be spelled out in the manual. Old myths like “Change your oil every 3,000 miles,” will go right out the driver’s side window. Of course, if the manual says you should change the oil every 3,000 miles, then do it – but we bet it doesn’t say that.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

You’ll discover how often your manufacturer recommends to change the oil for best performance and reliability, as well as even what kind of oil to use. Your owner’s manual will also enlighten you on many other aspects of your car and the things that should be regularly maintained – such as the all-important transmission fluid, filters, timing belts, hoses, battery, lights, and fuel types. All of this information is available in the car’s owner’s manual.

Knowing more about your car makes it less likely you’ll be taken advantage of by a mechanic.

If you’re part of the TLDR crowd, then just consider this: you’re throwing away good money by not taking care of your car, and to do things right you have to educate yourself. Most car owners know how important it is to know at least a little about their cars, but even if you’re not interested in how your car works you should know a little about it, otherwise you run the risk of being taken for a ride with some shady mechanic (more on that later).

Knowing the basics, like what kind of gas to put in and what kind of oil the engine takes will save you money.

Knowing some simple things, like the right kind of oil to use, for example, can save you trouble in the long run. Even knowing what kind of fuel is best for your car is really important and can save you a lot of headaches – and money – if you just know. Doing the wrong thing or treating your car poorly might run the risk of voiding your warranty or even worse – causing damage that requires expensive repairs.

Sure, these days we can just pick up our smart phones and holler questions at it and get quick answers. Good, solid answers that provide you useful information that helps you make good decisions can be hard to come by, though – even in this day of information access (and overload). If you want to know more about your car or are concerned about its performance, why it’s making weird noises, or is bumpy even on smooth roads, or if you know you need repairs, call your local Minnesota AAMCO auto maintenance and repair center.

Check and Change Your Oil

It’s a good habit that will save you money in the long run.

Old story, been handed down from campfire to Facebook – but oil is vital to the successful operation and long life of your car’s engine. Checking the oil is a good habit to get into. Even if you think everything is fine, it’s a good idea to check it when you stop to get gas. It’s easier than it sounds. Pop the hood (you do know where the hood release lever in your car is, right?), grab some paper towels (usually found with the windshield squeegee around the gas pump), pull the dipstick, wipe it, put it back in, pull it back out, and see where the oil meets the fill line. If it doesn’t meet the fill line, it’s low. Repeat the steps and check again, but if it’s still low you should take your car in for a checkup to find any potential leaks or areas that might be eating or burning oil.image-hand-of-mechanic-holding-white-rag-with-oil-dipstick

Also pay attention to the color of the oil. It should be golden and clear. If it’s dark brown, a change is in the near future. If it’s black and/or thick and gooey, it should be changed as soon possible – don’t wait! Modern cars will tell you with an electronic warning light when it’s time for that regularly scheduled oil change you read about in the owner’s manual. Keep in mind that checking the oil after the car has been running might not give you the most accurate read on level. You’ll want to double check once the car has had a chance to cool down and sit a while. This gives the oil a chance to recollect in the oil reservoir, which will give you a more accurate read on its level – and you can get a better read on the color, too.

Related: What happens if you skip an oil change?

Go beyond oil and learn how to check other important fluids in your car.

Even if you don’t know how to change your antifreeze, power steering, transmission, or even your wiper fluid, you should learn how to check them and which ones to top off, which ones to have changed by a mechanic. Wiper fluid – don’t let someone charge you for this, unless it’s part of a larger package deal. That is so simple, it’s painful to think of paying to have it done.

For many fluids you can see the tank level directly, but most have gauges or dipsticks that help you check the levels. Even if your owner’s manual doesn’t provide much information or guidance about checking things such as your transmission fluid or coolant, don’t be afraid to educate yourself. Go online and find answers, or just open the hood and look around. See if you can find the right tank, cap, or dipstick (they’re usually labeled to some extent). If you’re running low, add more fi you can, or schedule a maintenance appointment with your trusted mechanic. If you notice a leak of some sort, definitely take your car in for diagnosis and repair.

Check the Battery

The battery is a relatively inexpensive part that gives you so much peace of mind, but gives little warning before it fails.

Check the battery for signs of corrosion, and generally keep it clean and clear of debris. Make sure any terminal convers are secure and clean, and clean the terminals if necessary. Most batteries these days don’t require much manual maintenance, but you should know where the batter is and check it from time to time, usually along with the oil. This will help you ensure it’s not leaking and there is no corrosion or crud building up on the contacts. If there is, clean them with a battery cleaning brush. The brush doesn’t cost much and it’s a quick, easy thing to do. Also consider getting a simple battery tester or jump starter. Using these, you can monitor your battery and know when it needs to be replaced before it leaves you stranded. You’ll never have to call or wait for roadside assistance.

Check Timing Belts and Chains

Replace your timing and serpentine belts when necessary.

image of engine with serpentine belt

The engine timing belt is usually replaced every 60,000 miles or so, and the serpentine belt about every 40,000 miles. Again, your owner’s manual is the authority on this. If your car has a chain, instead of a rubber belt, the maintenance recommendations will be vastly different – but chains do require maintenance.

Timing belts and chains are really important parts that can make or break the engine. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, look online to get this important information, or call your local Minnesota AAMCO. If you’re just not sure, or know that it’s been a long time (or never) since you last even thought about that serpent timey belt or whatever it’s called, schedule an appointment and ask your mechanic to inspect all belts and hoses and replace them if necessary. You just don’t want to let them fail. It is not only a matter of having a safe and reliable car, but if you wait and those belts do fail, your car will break down, possibly leave you stranded or in an unsafe place – and leave you with costly towing (if your mechanic doesn’t do it for free within a certain mile radius). It can also damage other engine parts and systems, making repairs even more expensive.

Rotate and balance your tires, check the alignment.

Bad alignment destroys tires. Uneven and extreme tire wear can cause dangerous blowouts.

Tire rotation and balancing is often overlooked by drivers. It does take time, you always have to battle a long line, and it’s just never convenient (when is any car-related maintenance or repair convenient?). Once again, your trusty owner’s manual will tell you how often to rotate the tires. It’s important to make sure your tires wear evenly and your car drives smoothly, not only because your fuel efficiency is directly affected by these factors, but your safety is, too. The saying that you’ve got a lot riding on your tires is true! You can make your tires last a lot longer by having them rotated and balanced. Along with that, your alignment is just as important. If you’re fighting to keep your car driving straight or having trouble safely navigating curves and turns, it’s time for an alignment. Alignment also affects the wear of your tires. Bad alignment will cause serious wear and tear on your tires, risking flats and, even worse, blow outs which can be dangerous or deadly high speed.

Change the Spark Plugs

Make sure the engine timing is right and it’s firing on all cylinders.

Spark plugs that are dirty or worn out will not fire properly, and this means they’re not correctly igniting the fuel in each of the piston cylinders. This causes the engine to misfire, which is commonly known as “not firing on all cylinders” and basically means your engine is not running efficiently. This alone can cost you a lot of money in fuel, and it can lead to a breakdown. This might be a little more technical than you’re comfortable with, but in many cases checking and replacing the spark plugs is not that difficult. If it’s something you just don’t want to do – especially if it’s complicated for your vehicle, just follow the recommendation in the owner’s guide. Take your car to your trusted mechanic and get those spark plugs changed on time – usually around 30,000 miles for standard copper spark plugs, but it can vary.

A Good Tune-Up Will Cover Many of the Items in This Article

Find a reputable repair shop with certified mechanics.

Finding a mechanic you trust is important, and sometimes not easy. It can take time, and might involve some trial and error, as well as, unfortunately, some money in the process. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a mechanic who is honest, trustworthy, tells you like it is, and doesn’t do any repair work that is unnecessary – and definitely not until you give the OK.image of smiling AAMCO mechanic tipping his hat.

AAMCO Minnesota is your one-stop shop for affordable local auto maintenance and repair.

AAMCO represents a national family of trust and expertise with over 50 years of transmission repair and automotive repair and maintenance experience. At AAMCO Minnesota, our mission is to provide the best auto repair and maintenance in Minnesota. With several locations to serve you, including the Twin Cities, we are your go-to locally owned and operated automotive repair shops. Our certified mechanics have years of knowledge and experience to provide expert diagnosis, repairs and maintenance on nearly all makes and models of cars. With nearly 50 years in business, you can count on your local Minnesota AAMCO center to provide expert transmission repair, brake service, tune-ups, oil and filter changes, electrical system repair, battery service, fluid services and much more for your car, truck, or SUV.

Find Your Locally Owned & Operated AAMCO Minnesota Auto Repair Center

AAMCO Minneapolis

5231 West Broadway | Minneapolis, MN, 55429

Details Directions

Call Now Set Appointment

Transmission repair and rebuilds are our specialty. From transmissions to brakes, radiators, air conditioning repair, tune ups, check engine light diagnosis and car maintenance, people who know call AAMCO Minneapolis Transmission Repair and Auto Services. Our expert technicians use the latest tools and technology to diagnose and repair your vehicle. From automatic and manual transmission repairs, clutch service and replacement, and more, we know all vehicle makes and models. We back our work with the best nationwide warranty. AAMCO of Minneapolis, MN is your one-stop transmission rebuild and total car care center.

Write a Review

AAMCO West St. Paul

1571 S Robert St | St Paul, MN, 55118

Details Directions

Call Now Set Appointment

AAMCO Transmissions West St. Paul is your Twin Cities one-stop shop for transmission repairs, rebuilds, and car maintenance. Our certified technicians can handle any transmission repair or rebuild, as well as auto repair and maintenance service for your vehicle. You can rely on our mechanics for automatic and manual transmission problems and rebuilds, clutch service and replacement, and more. We use modern computer diagnostics to identify transmission and engine issues so we can repair your car quickly and get you back on the road. We work on all makes and models, including 4x4s.

Write a Review

AAMCO Fridley

940 Osborne Rd NE | Minneapolis, MN, 55432

Details Directions

Call Now Set Appointment

At AAMCO Fridley we believe in performing honest and affordable transmission and auto repair services. We do the job right and get you back on the road safely and reliably. From transmission repair and rebuild to brake service, air conditioning repair, tune ups, check engine light and car maintenance, AAMCO Fridley, MN is your one-stop auto mechanic. Trust AAMCO’s expert auto technicians to use the latest tools and technology to diagnose and repair your vehicle, and back it with the best nationwide warranty. At AAMCO of Fridley, Minnesota we know all vehicle makes and models and have the latest in diagnostic tools and technology. We are your total car care specialists.

Convenient payment plans available.

Write a Review

AAMCO Maplewood

1905 County Rd D E | Maplewood, MN, 55109

Details Directions

Call Now Set Appointment

People come to AAMCO of Maplewood, MN because we care about making sure you car is running safely and reliably. You can count on us for all your automotive repairs and maintenance. From transmission repairs and rebuilds to brakes, radiators, air conditioning, check engine light and tune ups. AAMCO Maplewood transmission and auto repair technicians use the latest technology to diagnose and repair your vehicle right the first time - and we back it with the best nationwide warranty. At your local Minnesota AAMCO of Maplewood we know all vehicle makes and models - we're your one-stop total car care specialists.

Convenient payment plans available.

Write a Review

AAMCO Hopkins

10921 Excelsior Blvd #117 | 10921 Excelsior Blvd #117, MN, 55343

Details Directions

Call Now Set Appointment

At AAMCO Hopkins, MN we believe in the value of good, honest work and giving you and your family the peace of mind a safe, reliable car provides on a daily basis. From transmission repair and rebuild to brake service, air conditioning repair, auto tune ups, check engine light and car maintenance, AAMCO of Hopkins is your one-stop shop for car repairs and maintenance. Trust the transmission experts at AAMCO of Hopkins transmission repair to diagnose and repair your vehicle right the first time and back it with the best nationwide warranty. At AAMCO Hopkins transmission and car repair we know all vehicle makes and models and have the latest in diagnostic tools and technology. We are your total car care and repair specialists.

Convenient payment plans available.

Write a Review

Previous Next
Page 1 of 1


Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you have any questions, feel free to call and talk with one of our courteous technicians. Or, fill out the form below to reserve your time, date, and location.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Some Causes of Smells Coming From Your Car

5 Things Your Nose Can Tell You About Your Car

Besides that new car smell, there are fairly few odors you experience in or around your car that are pleasant. Your nose knows when something is foul or amiss. Some smells are pretty telltale of a certain condition, while others might present a little more mystery in need of investigation. Here are five odors that are indicators of potential problems with your car.

Hot or Burned Oil

The smell of hot or burned motor oil could mean that a gasket or seal is failing. This lets engine oil leak onto hot engine parts. Additionally, a leaky transmission seal can cause oil to spray all over the engine, including the manifold. These hot engine parts burn off the oil, creating bluish white smoke that wafts from under the hood.

The first thing you should do is check the oil to make sure it is at the correct level and that it’s clean. Small leaks often become bigger leaks, so check under the car, on the pavement where you park, and around the engine for signs of leaks. If your car is running low on oil, the engine can overheat and burn whatever oil is remaining.

If the burned oil smell is coming from the tailpipe (bluish white smoke), it is a symptom of oil leaking into the combustion chamber, which means it is getting into your exhaust system. The oil is burned in the combustion process with the air and fuel mixture, and pushed out through the exhaust system. The exhaust system is one of the hottest systems in your car, dealing with the noxious byproducts and fumes of the internal combustion engine banging away under the hood. If oil leaks into the either the combustion or exhaust system, it is going to be burned. This is usually a sign of an old, worn out engine in need of some serious repair and regular maintenance.

GasolineAAMCO Minnesota Vehicle Bad Smells

If you smell gasoline, like when it’s pumped at the gas station, inside or outside the car, you should take special care to identify the source. It is likely a sign of a gas leak in the fuel line or fuel injection system (if your car has one). A leak in the fuel tank vent hose oftentimes is the culprit behind gasoline odors inside the car, especially after filling the gas tank. At worst, there could be a leak in the gas tank itself.

In older pre-1980’s cars, the smell of gasoline can occur after the car has been turned off due to fuel afterboil. This is often normal and results when a small amount of gasoline continues to burn in the carburetor after the engine is shut down.

Any persistent smell of gasoline, either in the car or outside of the car such as in the garage, should be taken seriously. Any smell of gas fumes can indicate a fire hazard, so it should be checked immediately.

SyrupAAMCO Minnesota Bad Smelling Car

If you detect the scent of maple syrup, it probably means there is a leak in the cooling system. Cooling fluid is leaking onto hot engine parts and being burned away. If there is a leak in the cooling system, you need to check the coolant fluid level, check for leaks in the engine compartment and on the pavement in the areas you park (such as driveway or garage). Left unchecked and repaired, you will risk overheating the engine and causing major damage.

A syrup smell could also mean the engine coolant is boiling after you have turned off the engine. This is due to the inability of the cooling system to dissipate engine heat, so the engine remains extremely hot for an extended time even after it has stopped. If you decide to investigate, wait until the engine has cooled off! Never remove the radiator cap while the engine is running or is still hot. It will cause a massive blow off of superheated fluid that could cause serious injury.

Rotten Eggs or Sulfur

This wonderful stench means your car is in need of a checkup and that the catalytic converter is having some serious issues. The catalytic converter is in the car’s exhaust system and is supposed to convert noxious hydrogen sulfide to sulfur dioxide in the exhaust fumes before they exit the tailpipe. If this is not happening, it means that your engine needs more than just a tune-up, and the catalytic converter could completely overheat and fail, leading to costly repairs.

Burned PaperBad Smelling Exhaust Fumes

If you smell something like burned paper, it could meant that your clutch is overheating. If you’re riding the clutch pedal, it creates excess friction between the clutch facing and slips. The material between these surfaces is made of a paper compound, which gives it its familiar smell.

The smell of burning paper could also mean your brakes are overheating. Riding your brakes, such as when coming down a hill or mountain, creates unnecessary friction and excess heat on your brake pads. You might also have a seized up brake piston, resulting in a “dragging brake.” Or it could be that you just left your parking brake on. In some cars it is easy to forget and actually drive with the handbrake still engaged.


AAMCO Minnesota Can Help Sniff Out and Fix Problems With Your Car

We realize that in order for one to understand some of this, you must know what the “smells like” really smells like. If you’ve never had maple syrup – get thee to a pancake house now – you’ll likely not know what to sniff for. Whatever the smell, if it’s not new car or the scent of that air freshener you just bought to battle the gym socks and mildew in your car’s air filtration and circulation system, then you should come to AAMCO Minnesota for a multi-point diagnostic inspection.

Visit an AAMCO Minnesota transmission repair and total car care center near you. When issues arise and you need affordable, honest auto repair, schedule an appointment with your locally owned and operated AAMCO Minnesota transmission and auto repair center.

If you have questions about your car’s road readiness, or about car repair and maintenance topics, AAMCO Minnesota is a great resource for expert automotive repair and maintenance information. Feel free to call or visit your local AAMCO Minnesota transmission and total car care center.

Other Articles About Car Maintenance & Repair

Sounds Your Car Makes When It Needs Repairs

My Car Rolls When I Put it in Park

Reasons Your Ride is Bumpy and Rough

Car Maintenance on a Budget

At AAMCO Minnesota, we provide exceptional, cost-sensitive service for your transmission and car maintenance and repair needs. We understand that saving money is often a requirement because you’re on a budget – and maintaining a safe and reliable vehicle can seem like an expensive proposition. AAMCO provides expert car maintenance and repairs without breaking the bank. See our complete lineup of transmission repair and automotive repair and maintenance services.image - ca gear shift with words maintenance budget

Sometimes those noises your car is making just have to wait until the next paycheck – or worse, just go unchecked and become larger, more expensive problems. Short of a becoming a complete do-it-yourself mechanic and opening up shop in your own garage, here are some tips and simple things you can do to maintain your car on a budget (and some AAMCO coupons you can use to save money).

Oil Change

Changing your car’s oil is probably the most important and cost effective preventive maintenance you can do. If you take it to a shop, the national average price for a basic oil change is about $46. If you do it yourself, you might be able to save a few dollars, but your actual savings might depend on some factors such as the age of your car, the kind of oil it requires, the brand you choose, tools needed, disposal of used oil, and your time. However you do it, the cost of an oil change should be in your car maintenance budget first and foremost.

Multi-Point Inspection

Some shops, such as your local AAMCO service centers, offer free multi-point checkups to make sure your vehicle is running smoothly and to check for any warning signs of larger problems beyond standard maintenance. These checkups usually are a thorough review of all major systems in your car and a check to make sure you are completely up to date on recommended factory maintenance. If done properly by a reputable mechanic you trust, it can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Independent Shops vs. Dealerships

When you do need to take your car in for maintenance or repairs, it helps to do some research if you don’t already have a reliable mechanic who you trust. Even if you do have a “go-to” mechanic, you can help yourself by doing a few simple things to make sure you’re not charged too much or unnecessary work is being done.

  • For each problem they find with your car have them explain anything you don’t understand.
  • Have them provide a separate written estimate with the total cost of parts and labor for each separate problem they find.
  • If there is an entry on your bill for “shop supplies” or similar, ask what it is and have them itemize the supplies. They might not take it off your bill, but they’ll know you’re savvy.
  • If they suggest replacing parts – even just air filters – ask them to see the worn or broken parts (they have to take them out to know if they need to be replaced, so this should be your first clue to whether they’re being honest).
  • If an estimate doesn’t seem right to you, call some other shops in the area and request a quick estimate for the same job. If something seems amiss, ask your mechanic about it.
  • If you are searching for a mechanic, do your homework. Social media and review websites are sometimes a good place to start. Additionally, word of mouth and recommendations from friends, family, and coworkers can help. Tell the shop so-and-so recommended them. A lot of shops are cognizant of their reputations, especially when it comes to work garnered by referrals.

Aftermarket Parts

You can save money with aftermarket parts and avoid paying unnecessary markup for manufacturer’s brands. Many independent shops will deal solely in aftermarket parts, or ask what your preference is before ordering. Also be sure to get clarification on whether the parts are new or rebuilt/refurbished. They need to be up front about this. Obviously, any cost is passed on to you, but with an independent shop you will at least most likely have an option.

Do It Yourself

At AAMCO Minnesota we’re always happy to help, but here are some easy things you can do yourself that usually don’t require special tools or training.

  • Change air filter
    A clean air filter is important to prevent dirt and other debris from getting into and circulating throughout the engine.
    Tools required: None
    Approximate time to complete: 10-15 minutes
    Estimated cost: $10-$20.
  • Change windshield wipers
    Windshield wipers serve a pretty obvious function and should be checked frequently. Both wipers should be replaced at the same time.
    Tools required: None
    Approximate time to complete: 10 minutes
    Estimated cost: $10-$25 per blade depending on brand, size, and features.
  • Check & adjust air pressure
    Tire pressure can affect gas mileage, handling, and ride. It is important to maintain the optimum pressure for the kinds of tires you have, and the seasons and conditions in which you drive.
    Tools required: tire gauge, air compressor (if you need to add air to tires).
    Approximate time to complete: 20 minutes.
    Estimated cost: Free if you need air and have your own air compressor; 25 to 75 cents at some gas stations.

Coupons and Specials

No matter where you take your car for repairs, there are savings to be had. Many dealership service departments and independent repair shops offer coupons or specials – sometimes as much as 30 percent off retail prices. Check your mail, email, and newspaper inserts for coupons. Making a service appointment online might also qualify you for a discount. Be sure to check the web before you go. Check out current AAMCO coupons for money-saving deals.

At your local AAMCO you get cost-conscious total car care, from transmission repairs and oil changes, to tune ups, mufflers, brakes, and air conditioning service – all at a price that is easy on your budget. Schedule an appointment with us today at one of your local AAMCO Minnesota locations.

Preparing Your Car for Spring

Spring is the time for cleaning and tidying up from winter. This is the time to start taking down the old holiday lights, plant those flowers you’ve been dreaming about all winter, and get your car ready for the long family road trips of summer. While you are making cleaning plans, don’t forget to get your car checked, too. We have compiled a short list of Spring cleaning tasks to add to your list.

image - family getting ready for spring summer outing loading up minivan


Clean the exterior of your car. Driving in the winter is dirty, particularly in places that see a lot of snow and ice. It is typical for cities to sand roads when the road conditions worsen, some cities add salt to the sand mixture to help prevent freezing. Sand (and salt) builds up on the undercarriage of your car and can eventually lead to rusting or other damage. Spring is the perfect time to clean and wax your car. This will help protect your car all season long.


Clean the interior of your car. The inside of your vehicle gets as filthy as the exterior. You are climbing in and out of your car all winter in the snow and ice, getting dirt all over the floorboards and possibly the upholstery as well. Just like cleaning your home, you should start with the top to bottom approach. Begin with the trash and/or personal belongings, vacuum the seats and floors, and then tackle the trunk. This is also the time you can remove your winter specific provisions (shovels, chains, etc.) from the trunk.


Rotate or change your tires. Tires should be rotated every 5,000 – 7,000 miles. For front-wheel drive vehicles, the front tires should be moved to the back and the rear tires should be moved to opposite sides of the front. The opposite is true for rear-wheel drive vehicles. All wheel drive tires will also need to be rotated. If you have been driving with snow tires, you should have all-season tires installed.


You should also check that your wiper blades are working properly, check all hoses and belts under the hood of the car, and check your battery connections. If you are unsure of the condition of any of these elements in your car, please give us a call today. We offer a FREE Multi-Point Inspection, so schedule your appointment with us today.

April is National Car Care Month!

With winter finally coming to an end, people are in a hurry to get back into the activities they enjoy in spring and summer. National Car Care Month reminds you to take care of the issues you’ve been ignoring or putting off all winter. Winter can do a lot of damage to your car without you even noticing. The continuous cold weather, snow, ice, slush, and even road grime, salt, and chemicals all add up to heavy wear on your car and its many wheel  suspension and brake system maintenance in auto service


Spring driving brings its own set of potential issues. The roads can become slick with early rains, due to oil and residue build-up, and can be damaged from the cold months of winter. Are your tires in peak condition? If you’re using snow tires, this would be the time to transition to your regular set. How are your wiper blades? Ice and snow can tear the plastic pieces, making them virtually worthless in rain.


So what can you do to prepare? Schedule an appointment at your preferred AAMCO location. We will start with our FREE Multi-Point Inspection to identify any potential issues going on. We will take a look under the hood to check that the belts are okay, fluid levels are normal, and determine if the computer is reporting any errors. Next we will move onto vehicle performance. We will inspect the transmission, brakes, engine performance and more! After our initial inspection is completed, we will report back with our findings and help you decide what to do next.


We take car care seriously – so much so that we included it in our tagline! Bring your car into your favorite AAMCO Location or Schedule your appointment today and start planning your next vacation.

Sounds Your Car Makes When It Needs Repairs

Cars just aren’t built the way they used to be, and we mean that in a good way! They are reliable, packed with safety features, and dependable. So what do you do when your car starts making a new noise? Do you take it to the mechanic immediately, or do you wait and see if the noise gets worse? Sometimes we recognize the sound right away and know the level of concern we need to have. Do you know what these sounds mean?Loading broken car on a tow truck on a roadside


Squealing or screeching when you brake

Solution: New brake pads, rotor resurfacing or replacement.


This is a tell-tale sign that you need your brakes worked on. These sounds could mean that your brake hardware is worn. This prevents the pads from releasing properly, resulting in excessive heat and noise. Some automobile manufacturers build in brake wear indication system which make a sound so you know it is time for your pads to be replaced.


Humming, roaring, or growling when driving

Solution: New tires or wheel bearings


Tires can really make all the difference when driving. When they become damaged due to use you’ll notice that your car may make some strange noises. However, these sounds can also indicate an issue with the wheel bearings. One way to determine which problem you are facing is to drive at a consistent speed and change lanes. If you notice a change in the pitch as you’re turning the wheel, but then it returns to the first pitch, you’re likely dealing with a bad bearing.


Clickity-Clack sounds in your front-wheel drive car

Solution: Replace CV Joints


If your front-wheel drive car sounds like a train driving down the tracks, there is a good chance that your CV (or constant velocity) joints are going bad. These joints are located at the ends of the drive axels and are extremely hardworking parts. The inner CV joints connect the drive shafts to the transmission, and the outer CV joints connect the drive shafts to the wheels. If you are hearing this sound from the back of your car, this indicates a different problem entirely and may point to your universal joint being bad.


Ultimately, if your vehicle is making any new, unusual sounds, you should get it to the shop as soon as you can. Handling these types of problems before they have a chance to progress is the best way to prevent costly expenses. Schedule your appointment at your favorite AAMCO Minnesota location today and get your car back to normal in no time!