Cottage Grove




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Grinding From the Vehicle


The vehicle is full of moving parts and components. While it always will make a noise when traveling, sometimes it will make a strange noise. This will indicate problems that the vehicle may be starting to have. Odd noises should never be ignored, as they will only become worse. If the vehicle makes any noise like grinding, squealing, or anything odd, contact us for an appointment. We can inspect the vehicle for what the issue is, and have it repaired quickly.

Hearing Grinding Noises

Hearing a grinding noise means that rotating parts and systems have issues. When any part that rotates has an issue, it will cause the grinding noise you hear. The louder and more frequent this becomes, the worse it gets. Two of the most common reasons for grinding noise are worn brake linings or failing wheel bearings. As they start to wear down and fail, these parts will cause the system to be affected and need repairing.

If the brake pads start to wear, they will cause grinding noises when there is friction against the brake rotor. The metal to metal contact happens as the brakes are applied. The grinding will become loud when the brakes are applied, otherwise it may be a dull subtle noise. This can be from either the front brakes or the rear brakes. Contact us and we can schedule an appointment to inspect and replace the brake pads.


Wheel bearings are the buffer between the axle and wheel. They also eliminate friction between these parts. When the wheel bearings have worn out, the grinding noise occurs when the vehicle turns. A sign of a failed wheel bearing will show signs of poor steering and handling. There may also be signs of uneven tire wear when the wheel bearing start to fail. If you notice any of these signs, make sure to contact us.

Fuel Efficiency and how to Improve It


Having the best fuel efficiency will help the longevity of the vehicle, as well as saving money at the pumps. If the fuel efficiency is becoming worse, make sure to contact us for an appointment. We can inspect the vehicle and check bumper to bumper for any issues. There are several reasons why the fuel mileage may no longer be efficient. One reason can be caused by the wrong kind of motor oil for the vehicle. The engine of the vehicle is designed to work with a certain type of oil, so using the wrong one can cause issues. It can cause too much friction and cause the engine to burn more fuel as it works harder. Checking the owner’s manual will advise you on the recommended oil for the vehicle.

Check the Fuel Cap

Another thing to check is the gas cap of the fuel tank. If the vehicle is starting to get poor mileage suddenly, but it could be as simple as tightening the gas cap. With age, the gas cap seal will start to break down. This will allow oxygen to get into the fuel tank. With the overabundance of air entering the engine, it will start to burn more gas as it pulls in the fuel. Make sure the gas cap is tight, or otherwise replacing it is another option. This is a simple and expensive task, and it will result in a tight seal for your tank.


While driving, you may notice roads with potholes and construction. Cottage Grove and Maplewood are no different. With road conditions always changing, the tires take a beating. Make sure that they are checked regularly for tread wear. If the tread is low, new tires will be needed. Also make sure to check the air pressure of each tire and spare. Even a few pounds low will cause poor fuel mileage for the vehicle.

Deer and How to Prevent Hitting them


During summer, make sure to be aware of deer that may be in the ditch or dart across the road. During the evening and early morning hours, there will be an increased amount of deer that are active. On average, over 4 billion dollars a year is spent on deer-vehicle collisions. With an estimated 1.2 million crashes reported, make sure to drive with attention to the road. Hitting them is not only dangerous, but it can be expensive as well.

Deer crossing the Road

Driving slower around areas that are wooded will help reduce the chance of hitting a deer as well. Woods and trees close to the road can mean they jump out from them in a split second. When deer are in the field, you have more time and space to react incase they run toward the road. A reduced driving speed will help if you have to slam on the brakes quickly. There also might be crossing signs to alert drivers that it is common for them to cross the road in that area. Make sure to scan the ditch from time to time when driving so you can see anything that might jump on the road.


Remember if a deer does run onto the road, not to swerve or change lanes suddenly. This is extremely dangerous as it increases the chance of hitting a vehicle in that lane. If you hit the deer head on, it is less damage than hitting a vehicle. If you start to see vehicles putting on their brake lights ahead of you, be alert and slow down. This could be for slower traffic, something in the road, or it could be an indication that they are running across the road. This alerts you and gives you time to slow down and be on the lookout for deer. Also remember if you see one, chances are that there are more.

Severe Weather and Careful Driving


With severe weather in the summer, make sure to drive with caution. Sometimes the weather can turn sever in an instant. If you are driving several miles, it is best to check the weather conditions to see what the weather is you are driving into. This way you will have an idea of how severe it could get. If it starts raining, make sure to turn on the windshield wipers. This will clear away any rain or precipitation from the windshield. When the wipers start to make noise when operating, it will be time for a new set.

Severe weather

Along with the wipers operating, turn on the headlights. When it rains, the visibility will be poor for you as well as other drivers. Even if it is during the day, the lights should be on as it rains. This is especially true if it downpours. If you have to drive in fog, slow down and drive safe. Make sure that the lights are on the low beam. Having fog lights on will help visibility, without making it impossible to see through the fog. Drive between the lines so you do not cross lanes. If the fog is too thick, pull over until it is safe to drive again.


It is recommended to turn on the radio to a local station when driving as well. This will help keep you up to the minute on what the forecast is. When thunderstorms turn to tornados, make sure to pull over and go to a safe area. Never try to outrun a tornado. Since they can switch directions or come down quickly, the best thing is to stay away from them and go to a safe area. The same should be done if you see flooding on roads ahead of you. Never try to drive through it, as it can sweep the car away. Even a little bit of water can cause issues with driving.

Trouble with the Air Conditioner?


If the air conditioner gives you trouble, make sure to contact us! Being stuck in a vehicle with a properly working air conditioner can be miserable, especially on a hot day this summer. As the air conditioner starts to wear out, you may notice that it is only blowing out warm air. If this is the case, always make sure to stop as soon as possible so the problem is able to be fixed. There can be several reasons why the air conditioner is having issues for the vehicle. This might include things like a leak in the system, a blocked or broken condense. It may also have electrical issues, or a problem with a cooling fan. No matter the reason, always make sure to contact us.

Notice trouble with leaks

The most common reason for the air conditioner not working is a refrigerant leak happening. Since it can be difficult to locate the exact location of the leak, it is always recommended to bring it in so we can check it. Usually these will happen where the hose connections are for the air conditioner. Sometimes an oily substance will start to accumulate around these connections as well. As these are inspected, a sealant can be applied to stop the leak from happening.


Having an air conditioning issue can also be caused by the condenser of the vehicle. If the condenser is blocked in the vehicle, then it will have issues blowing cooler air. When the airflow comes in through the front of your vehicle when you drive, it then will reach the condenser. If there is debris like leaves, twigs, or other dirt, it will not be able to properly cool the vehicle’s system. This will then result in the air conditioner to produce warm air in the vehicle for you and your passengers. Anytime there is an issue with the air conditioner, always make sure to bring it in so we can inspect it. Doing so will help you to have a comfortable ride.

Emergency Kit for the Car this Summer

An emergency kit for the summer is important to have for your vehicle. This will help be prepared for any situation or accident that might happen. One way to help prevent an accident is to make sure the vehicle is always properly maintained. Having a bumper to bumper inspection will help us to notice any issues if they start to form. Although accidents do happen, so that is why it is important for an emergency kit to be in your vehicle.

Emergency Kit

One of the first things to put in the emergency kit should be jumper cables. This way incase the battery of the vehicle dies, it will be handy to jump it. Sometimes this can happen from the battery getting too old, leaving the lights on, or if the door is not shut properly. Make sure to also know how to use the jumper cables. If you do not, damage can occur to the battery. There is also the risk of injury to you as well. Always make sure to consult the owner’s manual to ensure things are done properly when jump starting.


Also make sure to have the proper equipment to change a flat tire. Having a jack, a wrench, and a spare tire are needed as well. If a tire goes out or is damaged, it will need to be repaired. Along with that, make sure to have a flashlight in the emergency kit as well. This will be needed especially if there is a breakdown when it is dark out. It will also help to locate anything in the vehicle itself. Make sure to have an extra set of batteries as well for it. Another good item is to have a phone charger in your vehicle. This way the phone can be charged incase you need to call for assistance.

Do not Forget Children or Pets in Cars

Remember kids and pets that might be in the back seat of your vehicle. As the summer kicks off, the daily routine or schedule may change. Kids might need to be dropped off at daycare while you are on the way to work. Summer also means that outdoor activities pick up, which also means more cars on the road and traffic. If you have to stop and run into a store quick, make sure to not leave your children or pets in the vehicle. On an average 85 degree day, the interior can heat up to over 100 degrees. This will also happen within ten minutes. Sometimes the temperatures can reach well over 170 degrees, especially if it is over 100 degrees outside.


As the sunrays come through the windows of your vehicle, they not only will warm up the car, but the heat becomes trapped. The windows act as an insulator so that the temperature rises, without cooling down. The dashboard and steering wheel will also become hot to the touch. If you have leather seats, you have probably notice how hot they get as you get in to sit down. With the vehicle closed up, there is no air circulation in it. Even cracking the windows some will not allow enough air circulation to cool the vehicle properly. If the vehicle is parked in the shade, it will still become hot, but it might take a few minutes longer.

Remember Children can’t handle heat as well

If kids are left in a car that is heated up, they are at higher risk for heatstroke. This can be deadly if they are left in the vehicle too long. Some vehicles are equipped with a feature that will alert the driver for anything in the backseat. It can sense a difference in weight, and will send a notification so you can look in the back of the vehicle. It is also a good habit to get into to check the backseat before going into a store or work.

Regular Oil Changes and the Benefits they Provide

With regular oil changes, the vehicle can be safe, reliable, and even improve the longevity. The oil is designed to properly lubricate the engine. This ensures that the parts and components of the engine are working efficiently and at top performance. Without the oil changes, dirt, grime, and other pollutants will get into the engine. This will cause issues because the engine will not be able to operate smoothly. Eventually little to no oil will be able to get through to the engine, causing it to seize up completely. If you notice any odd noises from the vehicle, make sure to contact us for an appointment. This will help ensure the engine and vehicle is operating properly.

Regular Oil Changes and Mileage

One of the benefits of proper oil changes is that you can get better gas mileage as well. When proper maintenance is done, the dirt and contaminates will not build up inside the engine. Otherwise friction and strain will happen to all the parts. Always make sure the engine has clean oil so while the engine runs efficiently, then the gas mileage will improve also. If you notice poor mileage, we can inspect the vehicle and engine for you.

With oil changes, the engine performance will be better as well. Old oil will break down when exposed to heat over time. It will lose any viscosity and ability to lubricate the engine cylinders. This will then result in sludge building up and blocking the flow of the oil to where it needs to go. The oil also is designed to draw heat away from parts of the engine. If these parts are covered in sludge, then it will stay hotter, longer, and also damage the engine. Anytime the vehicle starts to overheat or has issues running, contact us so we can inspect it for what the source of the problem is. This can help you to have a safe and enjoyable drive this summer.

The Heat Affects your Vehicle


When it heats up outside, not only can it affect you, but the vehicle can be affected as well. You can help to take proper precautions during the hot summer months in order to keep the vehicle in the best condition. With extreme hot temperatures, this can damage the rubber for the tires. This is especially true if the tires are improperly inflated. They can dry out because of the heat, increasing the chance of a blowout happening. Also make sure that the tires are not over inflated. This can cause the tire to wear out faster than it otherwise should. Always check the air pressure to make sure that the tires are properly inflated.

Heat and the Oil

Another part to worry about in the summer is the oil for the vehicle. If the engine is hot, it will need proper lubrication to keep the engine operating efficiently. Remember that following the recommended oil change schedule will decrease the chance of the engine seizing up. If you are not sure the oil change schedule, make sure to contact us. Depending how often you drive and mileage, will determine when the oil should be changed for the vehicle.


Another thing to check to ensure the engine can work properly is the coolant. Without the proper coolant levels, the summer heat can cause issues to the engine. Having the radiator and hoses inspected should also be done. If they are damaged, a coolant leak could happen. This will cause the engine temperature to rise even further. When driving in the summer, always be aware of the temperature gage for the vehicle. If is starts to increase, make sure to turn off the vehicle to allow it to cool down. Notice if the vehicle constantly overheats. If this is the case, you will want to schedule an appointment so we can inspect it for you.

Issues with the Windshield Wipers

Any issues that you notice with the windshield wipers should always be looked at as soon as possible. Even if it may seem like a minor issue, it will become worse in the long run and need to be checked. Remember that the windshield wipers should be changed twice a year. This is typically after winter and after summer. During the winter, ice and snow can cause them to wear down. In the summer, the sun and the heat can lead to the rubber to deteriorate over time. If you are not sure the condition of the wipers, make sure to contact us for an appointment, and we can inspect them.

Issues to Notice

There will be several signs to be aware of when the wipers are in need of being replaced. The first thing to notice is if they are properly clearing the windshield of the car. If there are any smear marks or streaks left behind, then the wipers will need to be replaced. Make sure that they fit against the windshield properly. The wiper arms or the blades themselves may be damaged if they are not operating correctly.


Notice if there is any vibration or chattering noise that happens when they operate. This will mean the wiper blade has worn and is no longer in ideal condition. Check the rubber part of the blade to make sure there are no tears or divots on it. If there are, it is always best to replace the wipers. Also be aware of any screeching noise. This could mean the rubber has worn down and the metal part is scraping against the windshield. If this happens, then the windshield could become scratched or damaged from the wipers operating. To find the right size wipers, check the owners manual for your vehicle. We can also advise you on the type of wipers that are needed and best for your vehicle.

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Carlson auto?

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Cottage Grove

8799 E Point Douglas Rd S
Monday-Thursday: 8AM-6PM
Friday: 8AM-5PM


275 Century Ave N
Monday-Friday: 8AM-6PM

“Great service and friendly staff. They fixed my car at a very reasonable cost. It was ready when they said it would be. I highly recommend this shop. -Susan B.”

“Honest guys and good price. Good prices for professional services. A rare find. -Diana T”

“They have always treated us well. Glad to have them in the neighborhood. Honest and do their best to fix it right the first time. Thanks. -Rachel P.”