Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Crystal Car Owners

A generation ago, Crystal drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your minivan in to your Crystal shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Crystal used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the minivan was in for a tune-up at Crystal Collision Center, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our minivans don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.

Modern Crystal car owners need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Crystal service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Crystal Collision Center in Crystal, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and gas mileage. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern minivan engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of important parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the minivan isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your minivan engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the minivan engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this expensive damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Crystal auto owners than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to vital engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Saint Paul who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Crystal folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

Crystal motorists can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better MPG, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

Please follow and like us:

Training Received by Technicians In Crystal, MN

When your car breaks down in the Crystal, MN area, or just needs some routine service, it can make Crystal drivers a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And with the problem fixed right the first time.

We’ve been checking into some of the critical training our Crystal MN technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.

Today there are four cylinder engines around Crystal that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Crystal motorists at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

Then there’s the electronics. Some cars on MN highways area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Crystal motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

It’s a real challenge for the technicians at  Crystal Collision Center and other Crystal auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

So where do Crystal service professionals go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for Crystal automotive service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.

Service centers in Crystal, MN have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like Crystal Collision Center subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Crystal motorists want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.

So, be more relaxed next time you take your minivan in. Crystal auto owners can trust their helpful Crystal Collision Center service advisors. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Crystal Collision Center. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.

At Crystal Collision Center, we provide quality automotive service including brake service, windshield wipers and engine air filter.<br><br>

Please follow and like us:

Crystal Collision Center: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your minivan engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let’s go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on MN expressways, twenty pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce twenty pounds of carbon dioxide?

The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your minivan needs a lot of air to keep going in Hopkins. A lot of clean air is best.

Crystal Collision Center: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?You’ve seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your minivan also works better when its internals are clean. When your minivan air filter’s dirty, it simply can’t trap any more dirt, so the pollutants just pass through into your air intake system. From there it can clog your fuel injectors and even get into the motor itself. Not surprisingly, burning dust and pollen in your minivan engine does you no good.

So, we’re talking potential damage for Saint Paul drivers. But another big thing is wasted fuel. Your minivan engine management computer tries to mix the correct amount of air in with the fuel. If the filter’s clogged, there isn’t enough air for the optimal fuel to air mix and that really messes with gas mileage.

In fact, replacing a dirty air filter at Crystal Collision Center in Crystal can improve your fuel economy by up to ten percent. At today’s Hopkins fuel prices, you should be able to pay for a new air filter before your next oil change.

The verdict: When your minivan engine air filter needs to be replaced; it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on the level of air pollution where you drive in MN. A simple visual inspection at Crystal Collision Center will tell you when you need a new engine air filter.

When you look at the air filter on your furnace at home and see it’s all clogged up with dust and dirt, you don’t hesitate to replace it. When your Crystal Collision Center service advisor shows you your nasty engine air filter, you now know why you should go ahead and replace it.

Please follow and like us:

Keep Your Crystal Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter


Hey Crystal motorists – this is something really amazing: For every gallon of gas your minivan burns, it uses 12,000 gallons of air. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That’s like a hundred gallons of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very critical but inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn’t, well, it can lead to pricey problems. Of course, your vehicle manufacturer recommends how often to change your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your car in MN affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions around Saint Paul or polluted city driving means you’ll need to change your filter more often. Your helpful Crystal Collision Center tech can check your filter for you. In fact, it’s often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won’t allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your minivan needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better MPG and performance.

Dirtier filters don’t work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much, after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most cars. These high performance filters are a little more expensive in Crystal, but they increase horsepower and may improve gas mileage to boot.

So it’s important for Crystal auto owners to have their air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn’t cost very much at Crystal Collision Center in Crystal and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel efficiency before your next oil change.

Stop by Crystal Collision Center at 5108 West Broadway Ave, Crystal, MN 55429, and we’ll take a look at your air filter for you. Feel free to give us a call at 763-533-0412 to make an appointment.

Crystal Collision Center
5108 West Broadway Ave
Crystal, MN 55429
763.533.0412

Please follow and like us:

Keeping Your ‘Old Faithful’ Auto Running

At Crystal Collision Center we’ve had a lot of Crystal, Hopkins, and Champlin clients asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that’s been building for several years in MN. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles on them. It looks like it’s going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of Saint Paul folks are putting off buying a new car. Thanks to AutoNetTV, we can provide you with a video answer to this critical question.

So let’s say you’re one of the average motorists in the Saint Paul area; you’ve got a nine year old car with 80,000 miles on the odometer. What can you to do make it last another year or two?

Let’s start with the premise that there’s no reason that a modern car can’t run for 200,000 miles with proper care in Crystal. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.

Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there’s no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if smart Crystal car owners stay on top of their recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some vehicle manufacturer’s owner’s manuals runs out at 60,000 miles or so: how do Crystal auto owners know what to do when they’re way past that?

It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles for the first 60,000 miles you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles after you hit 60,000 miles. But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it’s very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at Crystal Collision Center in Crystal, for example, leaves an opportunity for detrimental sludge to build up. Talk to your helpful Crystal Collision Center tech.

So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around Crystal are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:

  1. it keeps gas mileage from decreasing;
  2. it prevents expensive repairs, and;
  3. they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.

Having the oil changed may be the most essential thing motorists can do. A full-service oil change at Crystal Collision Center means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your helpful Crystal Collision Center service specialist a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get costly. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren’t scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.

If you live in the Crystal area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner’s manual and talk with your service advisor at Crystal Collision Center. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.

And, the team at Crystal Collision Center strongly encourages Crystal motorists to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They’re fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some Crystal auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles as a preventive measure.

Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around Saint Paul. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.

Give us a call for more information:

Crystal Collision Center
5108 West Broadway Ave
Crystal, MN 55429
763.533.0412

Please follow and like us:

Make Your Vehicle Last

We live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days MN folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most Crystal auto owners couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days for Crystal auto owners. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us MN penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Crystal car owners making sure we follow the car maker’s recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some minivan parts don’t get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older minivans. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Crystal at Crystal Collision Center, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It’s like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your helpful Crystal Collision Center technician help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Crystal Collision Center is cheaper than a a costly new car payment for Crystal motorists. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

Please follow and like us:

Looking Down the Road – Headlamps

If you’ve ever been driving around Crystal and had a headlamp go out, you’ve probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won’t have the same brightness which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Crystal Collision Center. We’re at 5108 West Broadway Ave in Crystal, MN 55429. Or give us a call at 763.533.0412

Experts in Crystal recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when daylight savings time changes in the fall. That way you’ll have bright headlamps for those long Crystal winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can’t believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and give a very white light that’s a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they’ll last for the life of your car. If you want your Crystal friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint – no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can’t react to what you can’t see. You need headlamps that’ll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. And your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and also, to keep your lights from shining off into on-coming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That’s because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Crystal service centers offer a service to restore the lens that’s a lot cheaper.

You can’t drive if you can’t see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don’t forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

Please follow and like us:

Which Item is Most Stolen from Vehicles in Crystal?

Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Crystal?

Is it:

  1. Stereo
  2. Wheels
  3. Air Bag
  4. DVD System

Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in Crystal – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in Crystal.

Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.

Contact Crystal Collision Center for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 5108 West Broadway Ave, Crystal, MN 55429
You can reach us by phone at: 763.533.0412

There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.

That is definitely one car part you don’t want to take a chance with, so Crystal Collision Center recommends following these guidelines:

  • Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Crystal Collision Center).
  • Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer, or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.
  • You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.

For more information, contact John at Crystal Collision Center by calling 763.533.0412.

Please follow and like us:

Can Your Car Last Another Year?

Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Crystal car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and – well a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Crystal, MN folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more for smart Crystal auto owners.

The old adage: ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is really true for Crystal auto owners when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.

Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Crystal auto owners have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule.

Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.

Don’t let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventative auto maintenance at Crystal Collision Center is a great way to keep your operating costs down in Crystal.

Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the costly damage that can be caused by failure.

We know that this is a lot for busy Saint Paul area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at Crystal Collision Center keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your automobile manufacturer recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.

Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent expensive repairs and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Crystal Collision Center today for an appointment; you can reach us at 763.533.0412.

Let us take good care of your car at Crystal Collision Center in Crystal, and it’ll take good care of you.

Crystal Collision Center
Give us a call today at 763.533.0412.
Or stop by at 5108 West Broadway Ave, Crystal, MN 55429

Please follow and like us:

Does Your Car Have A Recall Item?

No matter how well they’re made, cars 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 automobile manufacturer to issue recall notices to Crystal residents and to fix the affected cars free of charge. The auto maker then tries to contact all Crystal motorists who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their Crystal service center.

To find out if your car has any recall issues, give us a call:
Crystal Collision Center
5108 West Broadway Ave Crystal, MN 55429
763.533.0412

These recalls always affect safety, so Crystal drivers would be wise to take them seriously. It’s really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.

Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

Recalls are pretty serious for Crystal car owners and don’t happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that Crystal drivers still might want to know about. For these less serious cases, car makers issue what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell Crystal service centers (including Crystal Collision Center)  how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

Your Crystal service advisor receives updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too. Crystal auto owners can buy access to these for an annual fee.

Whatever your source, pay attention to Crystal vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.

Please follow and like us:

Love us? Please spread the word. We really appreciate you!

Facebook
Facebook
Instagram
LinkedIn
Follow by Email