Category: Maintenance

Why A Trip Inspection Is A Good Idea

At Autotronics of ST Peter we get a lot of St. Peter drivers asking about car trip preparation. That’s a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas outside of St. Peter so it’s important to know that the car is up to the task and won’t leave you stranded.

Smart Cleveland motorists plan ahead for a major road trip – there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around St. Peter to see if you can feel any vibrations: are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? Come to Autotronics of ST Peter for a peace-of-mind trip inspection.

111 Jefferson Avenue
St. Peter, MN 56082

The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your important fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your car has over 75,000 miles, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to clean harmful sludge deposits in the engine. You may also need a new PCV valve and an engine air filter.

How about your transmission and brakes? Have you had your transmission and brakes inspected in the last six months?

How are your wiper blades? There’s nothing like not being able to get rid of the bug juice on a long road trip away from St. Peter.

Check your owners’ manual for any other critical recommended service and have Autotronics of ST Peter in St. Peter do the multi-point inspection before you head out in MN.

Consider also having the coolant system serviced at Autotronics of ST Peter – you want to stay within the auto manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re towing a trailer in St. Peter you’ll want to be keep in mind that you’ll be going a long way under severe conditions.

A lot of St. Peter folks overlook severe conditions like towing, or St. Peter summer heat, or driving on dirt roads in MN. Plan ahead for your next road trip – Autotronics of ST Peter wants you to get there and back.

Gas Savings In St. Peter: Sharpen Your Pencil

High gas prices in St. Peter 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 St. Peter vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to MN news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

Gas Savings In St. Peter: Sharpen Your PencilIn this area, we can take a lesson from professional St. Peter vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, St. Peter folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel economy may put their Cleveland business in the red.

So what does this mean to St. Peter drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your MPG. Here’s a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most St. Peter auto owners honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?

Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Autotronics of ST Peter. Figure that they combine to improve your MPG by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in St. Peter is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your minivan, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

20 MPG

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in St. Peter for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in fuel efficiency can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in St. Peter. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

GAS PRICE $3.50 $4.50 $5.50
10 MPG $480 $660 $840
20 MPG $165 $255 $345
30 MPG $60 $120 $180


So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Autotronics of ST Peter. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of cash at St. Peter gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.



St. Peter Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among St. Peter car owners, minivan manufacturers publish two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should St. Peter auto owners follow?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles around St. Peter?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles in below-zero MN temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in MN?
Do you drive often in dusty Cleveland areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around St. Peter?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold MN weather?

Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest St. Peter freeway on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute to Cleveland or Kasota? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on St. Peter surface streets?

Let’s suppose your owner’s manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Analyze your driving patterns and St. Peter weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you’re closer to.

Why should St. Peter auto owners care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around St. Peter or winter driving means that the engine doesn’t heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to harmful oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn’t let the oil protect it adequately. That’s why MN car owners need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in bright MN summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent dangerous corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs, not to mention your gas mileage. If you want some expert advice, talk with your knowledgeable Autotronics of ST Peter advisor. We can help you restore your minivan to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

To learn more, watch our informative AutoNetTV auto video tips at the top of this post.

Autotronics of ST Peter
111 Jefferson Avenue
St. Peter, MN 56082