We look at common car problems, Overheating engine, Belts, Hoses, Fluid leaks, Water pump, etc
- Oil Changes
- Brake Services
- Tune Ups
- Major Engine Repair
Dim headlights, High resistance in the electrical system, loose wires or severely discharged battery?
- Electrical Repairs
- Computer Diagnostic and Repair
- Starting and Charging System Service
- Heating and Air Conditioning
- Cooling System Diagnose and Repair
- Other Electrical Problems
- 24 Hour Scheduling
Any problem with your Engine we are always ready to solve them
- Shocks and Struts
- Steering and Suspension Service
- Belts and Hoses
- Clutches and Transmission Repair
- Schedule Factory Maintenance
- Shuttle Service
Rj’s Auto Repair is a full-service preventive maintenance and auto repair center!
Rj’s Auto Repair has been performing high quality, guaranteed auto, SUV, and light truck repairs in the Bloomington area since 2009. We service and repair all imported and domestic cars and light trucks. Bring in your imported and domestic auto, SUV, or pickup today with complete confidence that your auto will be serviced or repaired correctly the first time. Don’t be worried about the factory warranty on your new car! We have the staff, skills, training, and equipment necessary to perform all required maintenance on your new car or truck while maintaining your warranty. We are the preferred alternative to the dealership for all scheduled maintenance of your personal car or truck, as well as your fleet vehicle.
Cooling system problems are the number-one mechanical failure on a engine. So the water pump plays a pretty important role. You can’t get very far without a water pump.
There are clutches in both automatic and manual transmission cars, and different types of clutches. When shifting gears, the clutch engages and disengages from the flywheel and transfers the torque through the transmission. Clutches should help your vehicle start and shift gears smoothly. The clutch in your car receives a lot of wear and can eventually wear out. If your clutch begins slipping irregularly or is making noises that are raising suspicion.
Howdy, Bloomington drivers. Let’s talk about your brakes. Basically, the power brake system helps you provide braking power so that you don’t have to do all the work with your brake pedal. The brakes themselves are applied at the wheel using hydraulic pressure. When we step on the brake pedal, we create pressure in the power booster that’s multiplied by vacuum from the engine. The resulting pressure pushes brake fluid through the master cylinder into tubes and hoses that run to the brake at each wheel.
When there’s a problem, it’s usually a fluid leak somewhere along the line. It could be at a fitting or a hose, or even an internal leak in the master cylinder. A leak gives the pressurized fluid somewhere to go other than to the brakes, so stopping power is hurt. Lose enough fluid and you can’t stop at all. Of course that’s extremely dangerous for us Bloomington drivers and the others on the road.
If you notice any decrease in stopping power or if your pedal seems mushy, you could have a problem. There are some preventive maintenance items for the power brake system that will help them last longer. At RJ’s Auto Repair in Bloomington, we provide comprehensive brake maintenance and repair service.
Obviously Bloomington drivers want to make sure their brake fluid is filled to the recommended level. Low fluid in the master cylinder could indicate a leak or worn brake material. Master cylinder leaks are usually due to it wearing out, but leaks in the brake lines and connectors can be minimized by replacing the brake fluid from time to time. Additives in the brake fluid protect against corrosion that can damage brake components.
Bloomington drivers should take note that brake fluid also attracts moisture which can lead to rust — not a good thing for expensive anti-lock brake components. Also, significant amounts of water in the brake fluid can affect stopping power because the water has a much lower boiling point than brake fluid. In the high temperature environment of the brake system, the water can vaporize — and steam doesn’t do a very good job of providing hydraulic pressure.
A final word — make sure you use the recommended type of brake fluid. There are several kinds, and using the wrong one can lead to total brake failure. Your friendly and knowledgeable RJ’s Auto Repair can help you.
A/C Recharge Service
It’s the first hot day of the summer. Uncomfortably shifting in your seat, you turn on that long-neglected AC knob, only to discover an unwelcome blast of warm air streaming out from the vents. A bad situation made worse: that’s when you turn to us—your air conditioning service and repair headquarters. Did you know that without regular maintenance an air conditioner loses about 5% of its original efficiency per year? This means that without proper maintenance, your air conditioning unit may be performing as poorly as other models that are years older! But there is good news: you can still recover most of that lost efficiency. Schedule an appointment with one of our factory-trained professionals—we understand all aspects of AC repair, from modern computerized components to environmental disposal concerns. Today’s AC systems are fairly complex and new improvements are always being initiated. That’s why you need to turn to us, the qualified source for everything related to your air conditioning system. The following is a brief schematic of some of the basic components that comprise this system:
- The compressor is a belt-driven device that derives its name from compressing refrigerant gas and transferring it into the condenser. While basically acting as a simple pump, the compressor is the core of your vehicle’s air conditioning system.
- The condenser’s primary function is to cool the refrigerant. It is a heat dissipating apparatus that radiates heat released by compressed gases and condenses them into high pressure liquids. The location of your condenser depends on how new your car is, but typically it’s found at the front of the vehicle, directly in front of the engine cooling radiator.
- The receiver is a metal container that serves as a storage receptacle for the refrigerant. It’s also referred to as a drier because it absorbs moisture from the refrigerant and filters out particles of debris and harmful acids that would otherwise harm your AC system. Commonly located on the liquid line of the AC system, you should change your drier every 3-4 years to ensure quality filtration and prevent any damage caused by these detrimental chemicals.
Orifice Tube/Expansion Valve:
- The orifice tube (also known as the expansion valve) is a controlling mechanism that regulates the flow of refrigerant throughout the system. In addition to this, it also converts high pressure liquid refrigerant (from the condenser) into a low pressure liquid, so that it can enter the evaporator. Generally located at the evaporator inlet, the orifice tube could also be found between the condenser and the evaporator, or in the outlet of the condenser.
- The evaporator is designed to remove heat from the inside of your vehicle; therefore it’s a heat exchanger that’s vital to your vehicle’s AC system (not to mention your comfort). The evaporator allows the refrigerant to absorb heat, causing it to boil and change into a vapor. When this occurs, the vapor is removed from the evaporator by the compressor, cooling your car and reducing humidity. Because the evaporator houses the most refrigerant in this heat transfer process, it is the most susceptible to corrosion by harmful acids. Usually this damages the evaporator beyond repair, which is why it’s imperative you see us to prevent this from happening.
Driving without proper alignment puts you at risk. An out-of-alignment car pulls and drifts away from a straight road and may cause an accident. Excessive tire wear—another result of bad car alignment—leads to tire blow-outs and poor traction, which also causes accidents. Bring in your vehicle and our alignment experts will make sure your vehicle drives smoothly and safely.
How does poor alignment happen?
- Many factors impact your vehicle’s alignment. You typically need alignment service after a major or minor collision that results in physical damage to your vehicle’s frame.
- Your vehicle needs immediate attention when you notice steering problems or uneven tire wear patterns on your tires.
- Sometimes problems arise from something as small as driving over a pothole, or grazing over a curb.
With properly aligned wheels, you’ll get:
- Tires that last longer
- Easier steering
- Improved gas mileage
- Smoother ride
- Safer, more secure driving
Batteries and Electrical System
The following is a brief overview of the electrical system that makes transportation possible:
- Battery The battery supplies electricity to all of the electrical system components, including the essential power required to start your vehicle. In periods of high demand, the battery also supplements power from the charging system.
- Charging System The charging system is the life force of your vehicle’s electrical system, consisting of three main mechanisms: the alternator, various circuits, and the voltage regulator.
- Starting System The starter motor cranks the engine, forcing the piston to create enough suction that draws a fuel and air mixture into the cylinder. The ignition system creates a spark that ignites the mixture and your engine starts.
Belts & Hoses
Among all the equipment in your vehicle, belts and hoses have the shortest lifespan. These components often crack, leak, or fray due to their constant exposure to heat, vibration, and other harmful chemicals. If not promptly replaced and maintained, it could spell disaster for your vehicle’s performance. Belt and hose evaluations based solely on their appearance are not enough.
Check Engine Light
Your Check Engine Light (CEL) warns you that your vehicle’s computer found a malfunctioning component in your emission control system. You may see “check engine” or “service engine soon or the light may show an engine picture. To determine the actual problem, we use an electronic scan tool or a diagnostic computer to retrieve Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC). Some common issues that turn on the check engine light include:
- Your gas cap isn’t on tight enough; we suggest checking before calling us
- Water got into your engine somewhere
- The spark plugs don’t function correctly
- Your vehicle is emitting high levels of pollutants
In any case, you should bring your vehicle to us, and we can inspect your vehicle, diagnose the problem, and take care of it. Leaving your engine light on can cause serious problems with your car in the long run.
Cooling System Maintenance
Cooling system problems are the most common reason for mechanical failure in Bloomington. And, they’re largely avoidable. Here’s what Bloomington drivers need to know about their cooling system. First, the terms coolant and antifreeze are pretty much used interchangeably in MN. The fluid cools your engine while it’s running and it keeps it from freezing when it’s cold.
Your cooling system is filled with a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze/coolant. So if you’re topping off antifreeze/coolant, it is recommended to add the proper amount of each. Distilled water is much better than tap water. Now you can buy pre-mixed coolant so make sure you know what you’re putting in.
Two more cautions for Minneapolis drivers: first, never add coolant when the engine is hot. This can lead to serious burns. Second, there are many antifreeze formulas. Your manufacturer recommends a specific type that won’t harm your cooling system components. Use the wrong fluid and you could void your cooling system warranty. Your friendly and knowledgeable RJ’s Auto Repair can help you with all this.
All have schedules for when you should change your coolant. It’s wise to follow the schedule, because neglecting your cooling system allows the fluid to become corrosive. You’ll get leaks which can lead to damage. Check with your service advisor at RJ’s Auto Repair in Bloomington to see if it’s time for a cooling system inspection and service.
CV and Drive Axles
Your axles are the last link in transferring power from the engine to your wheels. They’re strong parts that last a long time – but they can run into trouble.
Axles just wear out over time and need to be replaced. And sometimes axle seals leak, causing the axle to wear out prematurely. Lubricant leaks out, and water and dirt can get in and contaminate the gears. When this happens you might hear strange noises coming from your axle.
If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the sound would be at the rear end. If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the sound would be up front. Of course, with an all-wheel drive, the sound could come from either front or back. It might be a groaning sound or clunking when turning.
There are different kinds of axles, each with their own potential problems. Your Bloomington MN service technician knows this and checks for things like leaking seals, torn CV boots, worn axle joints. An inspection will reveal if there are any problems or if a part is nearing failure.
When there is a concern with the axle shaft, it will be removed and inspected. If it’s damaged, the shaft will have to be replaced. If the shaft is in good shape, it’ll be cleaned, lubed and reinstalled. Damaged CV boots are replaced as well.
It’s important to have RJ’s Auto Repair take care of this work as soon as you become aware of a problem. Waiting only makes the damage worse and more expensive to repair later. If the axle fails completely, it could lock up. This could severely damage other things like your transmission – very costly. It could also contribute to an accident, which nobody wants.
Taking care of your axles when they need attention saves money in the long run and helps keep you safely on the road.
– See more at: http://rjsautorepair.mynapasa.com/2016/07/22/axles#sthash.AI1HKYi4.dpuf
Your vehicle depends on a properly working electrical system. Four main parts make up this system, and they must work together effectively. These include:
Batteries: Your vehicle’s battery provides the electricity needed to start the engine. We recommend checking your battery with every oil change and replace it every three or four years.
Alternator: After starting your engine, your alternator takes over and generates power for the electrical system and recharges the battery. The electric system powers headlamps, light bulbs, and other electrical accessories.
Starter Motor: Your starter motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy used to start your engine. Basically, once you turn your ignition, the starter cranks the engine to start your vehicle. As a general rule, test your starter every spring to make sure it draws the right amount of current.
Wiring: The wires in your electrical system connect the battery to the starter motor, the alternator to the battery, and the alternator to the starter. These large wires transmit several hundred amperes during cranking.
What can you do at home to help extend electrical system’s life?
- Clean off your battery and the connections once a month.
- When purchasing a new battery, buy the same kind of battery and amps as the old one.
- Turn off your vehicle’s radio when the engine is not running to preserve your battery.
- If your vehicle needs a jump-start, use a car that is shut (not running). And remember to jump your vehicle with a battery with the same or lower voltage.
If you are having trouble with your vehicles electrical system and need a professional opinion, we are here to help. Our technicians provide quality service in for your electrical system repairs.
Your exhaust system is more than a muffler. It is a series of pipes that run under your car connecting to your muffler and catalytic converter. The exhaust system controls noise and funnels exhaust fumes away from passengers.
In some ways, your car’s exhaust system works like a chimney on a house, directing the byproducts from burning fuel away from the people inside. A car’s exhaust system routes waste gases from the engine to the rear of the car, where they are released into the atmosphere. Exhaust gases contain dangerous substances (such as carbon monoxide) and can be hazardous if allowed to flow into your vehicle’s cab.
The exhaust system also converts pollutants into less harmful byproducts, reduces engine noise, and directs exhaust gases to heat air and fuel before the fuel goes into the engine’s cylinders. Finally, the exhaust system provides the correct amount of back pressure into the engine to improve its fuel-burning efficiency and increase performance.
Key components of your exhaust system include:
Designed specifically for each model, this pipe is used to properly route exhaust to the back of the vehicle.
Acting like a funnel, the exhaust manifold collects the gases from all cylinders and releases them through a single opening. Some engines have two exhaust manifolds.
The catalytic converter reduces harmful emissions and transforms pollutants into water vapor and other less harmful gases.
The muffler is a metal container with holes, baffles, and chambers that reduces exhaust noise.
The resonator works with the muffler to reduce noise.
Found at the back of the car, the tail pipe carries exhaust gases away from the vehicle.
People often overlook windshield wipers. Extreme temperatures, oil, dirt, and other factors cause your windshield wiper rubber to wear down. A worn out and ineffective wiper creates streaks on your windshield and obstructs your vision. Cracked or torn wipers or jagged edges mean it’s time to replace your wipers. We suggest that you change the rubber and the wiper arm every six months. Our staff will fix any of your wiper issues and will let you know which kinds of wipers work for your vehicle.
Fuel System Service
Are you seeing problems with your vehicle like:
- Reduced fuel economy
- Rough idling
- Hesitation when accelerating
- Engine knocking
- A sticking throttle pedal
- Cold-start problems
- Failed emission testing
If so, your fuel system may be worn out or dirty. Your vehicle’s fuel system must be maintained to perform efficiently and keep emissions low. In many cases, your fuel system clogs as it wears out. Fuel filter clogs often occur because they trap dirt, water, and other contaminants which cause stress to the fuel pump. That is why we suggest you replace your worn out filters every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. Bring in your vehicle and we’ll remove your old fuel filter and replace it with a new one. As for dirty fuel systems, our professionals will clean them.
Our Fuel Service cleaning includes:
- Cleaning deposits from fuel injectors
- Clear intake valves of deposit buildup
- Remove hard-to-remove deposits from the combustion chamber
- Clear deposits from the air intake (including throttle body and intake manifold)
As engine technology advances, recommended oil change intervals have gotten longer. High quality oil in a well-engineered engine has led to extended intervals.
Here’s the problem: With longer oil change intervals, Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles (4,500 kilometers), if you went an extra month or an extra 1,000 mies (1,500 kilometers), your oil was still fresh enough that it didn’t have time to build up much sludge.
But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles (10,500 kilometers) and you go over another thousand, you’re getting into heavy sludge territory.
Minneapolis area motorists absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And, Bloomington drivers, don’t forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop and go driving, short trips around the Bloomington area, drive in dusty or polluted MN conditions, hot or cold weather or haul heavy loads, you’re driving in severe service conditions. Is your driving closer to the regular schedule or the severe service schedule? It’s your call as to when to change your oil to protect your engine.
If your car came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you shouldn’t use the synthetic interval; you need to shorten it.
RJ’s Auto Repair service advisors often report that when they talk to someone with 200,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) or more on their vehicle, the owner will say their secret is changing the oil on time. Please don’t skip an oil change. Once sludge has started to build up, it’s tough to get out.
– See more at: http://rjsautorepair.mynapasa.com/2016/02/27/change-your-oil-mn-drivers#sthash.cf47M7G0.dpuf
Ensure maximum miles without major break-downs with routine car maintenance at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles. Scheduled maintenance allows us to do a point-by-point vehicle inspection, tune-up (spark plugs, filters, etc.), oil change, and transmission maintenance. Depending on your miles and the vehicle, we may change belts, re-time your vehicle, and test the battery.
It can be challenging to find time in your day to get your car fixed, serviced, or checked out. That’s why we feel it’s important to have a shuttle service that brings you to and from work or home, so you can continue with life as usual.
Suspension, Shocks, and Struts
Worn or loose components affect the suspension system’s ability to control motion and alignment angles, resulting in vehicle handling and stability deterioration, as well as accelerated tire wear. The suspension system includes:
- Control arms
- Ball joints
- Springs (coil or leaf)
- Shock absorbers
Your vehicle’s tires make constant contact with the road. Over time and with normal wear-and-tear, your become worn down. This can be dangerous when braking on wet or snow-covered roads. Hydroplaning occurs when the tire’s grooves are so worn down that they don’t channel water out from beneath the tread. When this happens, your treads only skim the water’s surface and the steering wheel won’t respond. Keep your tires in working condition.
How do I know if I need new tires?
- Your tread depth is below 1/16 of an inch (1.6 millimeters). To get a rough idea of your tread depth, use a penny and insert it “head down” into the tread. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, you need new tires.
- Your tread wear indicator bar is visible. Flat rubber bars run perpendicular to the tread. If you see them, it’s time for new tires.
- Your tire’s sidewall is showing visible cracks or cuts. Take this seriously; your tires may soon start to leak.
- Your tires have developed bulges or blisters. Weak spots on tires show up around blisters or bulges and can blow out your tires.
If you see any of these signs, you need to have them checked and replaced.
The front tires on a front-wheel drive vehicle accelerate, steer, and help brake your vehicle. Front tires tend to wear down faster than rear tires. Typically rear wheel tires last twice as long as front wheel tires. Ideally, we recommend you replace all four tires at the same time. Rotating your tires helps ensure even wearing for all your tires. Contact our staff to get your tires rotated.
How do I know when to rotate my tires?
Follow your vehicle’s owner’s manual suggestions, rotate them with every other oil change, or rotate them every 3,000 to 7,000 miles.
A TPMS or “Tire Pressure Monitoring System” electronically monitors the air pressure inside your tires. Depending on your vehicle, the TPMS reports the tire-pressure information, through a gauge, a pictogram display, or a low-pressure warning light. This system can be divided into two different types—direct (dTPMS) and indirect (iTPMS). As of September 1, 2007, the TREAD (Transportation Recall Enhanced Accountability and Documentation) Act requires that all vehicles sold in the U.S. be equipped with one of these types.
Direct TPMS reports tire pressure in real-time through pressure sensors installed directly in the valve of each tire.
Indirect TPMS uses the car’s anti-lock braking systems (ABS) to approximate tire pressure. Since tire inflation levels affect tire rotation, indirect TPMS also relies on the differences in wheel rotation to detect under-inflation.
Benefits of TPMS:
- Avoid traffic accidents: Recognize under-inflated tires before they malfunction and create an accident.
- Extend tire life: Under inflation contributes to heat buildup, tire disintegration, ply separation and sidewall/casing breakdowns.
- Improve safety: Properly inflated tires add stability, greater handling, and braking efficiencies while providing better safety for the driver, the vehicle, and others on the road.
The modern automatic transmission is the most complicated mechanical component in today’s vehicle. The automatic transmission contains mechanical systems, hydraulic systems, electrical systems, and computer controls that work together to power the engine to drive the wheels. With so many parts working together, this can lead to your transmission needing special attention.
Transmission maintenance leads to a longer vehicle life. Typically trouble with the transmission starts from overheating. Stop-and-go traffic, heavy pulling, struggling in the snow, hot weather, and racing can cause your transmission to overheat. At higher temperatures the transmission fluid burns. Your vehicle loses lubrication and deposits inside the transmission increase. We recommend that you take your vehicle to a service technician as soon as you believe your vehicle is having transmission problems.
To prevent your transmission from damage:
- Check your parking space for leaks regularly. If you notice fluid deposits under your car, have one of our technicians inspect it right away.
- Check the transmission fluid levels and condition. Change it when necessary.
- Make sure you use the correct transmission fluid as specified in your owner’s manual.
- Make sure to stop your vehicle before shifting into reverse or park.
- Always hold the brakes down when shifting from park.
Paying attention to your transmission will help increase the lifespan of your vehicle, save money on costly repairs, ensure smooth shifting, extend your transmission fluid’s life, and help prevent leaks.
When getting your vehicle serviced, explain any problems in as much detail as possible to our technicians. This will help us diagnose and prevent transmission issues efficiently and accurately.
Maximize gas mileage and power, and increase the overall life of your vehicle, with regular tune ups. Tune ups should happen at least every 30,000 miles or every two years, depending on the age and mileage of the car. A tune up makes sure that often overlooked “little things” work correctly and get replaced if needed.
Here is a typical tune-up:
- Replace the fuel filter. Filters get clogged with particles and it can decrease the car’s efficiency and power.
- Change the spark plugs and check the plug wires. Bad plugs or wires lead to mileage inefficiency, loss of power, and rough starts. We’ll want to make sure you get new plugs and replace old wires.
- Replace distributor cap and rotor. Some cars do not come these items, but if you have them, we can replace them.
- Check ignition system and timing. Older vehicles rely on ignition timing.
- Make needed adjustments to valves and check/replace gaskets if oil is leaking.
- Belts are an important part of the tune up. We check all your belts and replace them if we see signs of wear and tear.
- Check all fluids and top off any levels.
- Change oil and filter if needed.
- Check and replace air filter.
- Check and adjust clutch in cars with manual transmission.
- Service battery. Clean cables, add distilled water, and clean terminals.
The tune up process and service may vary from car to car or based off time since your last tune up service. Prices may also vary based on your vehicle and selected services.
It’s always exciting to get a new car – even when it’s used. But it can feel like you’re going out on a limb a bit when you buy a used vehicle. I mean, people sell vehicles for a lot of reasons. Maybe they just wanted a new car, maybe there was something wrong with it, and maybe there was something really wrong with it.
It’s a great idea to order a report from a vehicle history service. This can uncover title problems and may reveal serious accidents or flood damage as well as any recall notices for the vehicle. Maintenance and repair records are a plus, but most sellers don’t have them.
Of course the best thing is to get a professional to perform a used vehicle inspection. The inspection will go much deeper than just how good the vehicle looks and drives. You’ll get a feel for the vehicle’s overall condition, the status of major safety systems and an indication of how well it has been maintained. You’ll get a good idea of any work that needs to be done – and that will help you determine an appropriate value for the vehicle.
It’s pretty easy to see how a used vehicle inspection is worth the cost. If problems are uncovered, you can either steer clear of the vehicle or bargain for a better price. If everything is OK, you’ll have a plan for addressing any routine services that should be done, not to mention a whole lot of peace of mind.
It’s easy to fall in love with a vehicle – just don’t let your feelings cloud your judgment. Have us perform a used vehicle inspection so that you’ll know if you’re getting a peach, or a lemon.
– See more at: http://rjsautorepair.mynapasa.com/2016/02/10/used-vehicle-inspection#sthash.7HrPdVlz.dpuf
Often confused with wheel alignment, a properly balanced wheel is a beautiful, perfectly tuned wheel-tire combination. This is accomplished by placing measured lead weights on the opposite side of the “heavy spot”—the noticeable tread wear on your unbalanced tire.
How do I know if I need my wheels balanced?
Is your vehicle vibrating at certain speeds, say, between 50 and 70 mph? If so, chances are your wheel is out of balance. One section of your tire is heavier than the other because it’s endured more exposure to the friction and heat of the road. Most people are very satisfied with the difference such a simple and inexpensive procedure makes.
Look for these signs, and if you find either one, come see us:
- Scalloped, erratic wear pattern on tires.
- Vibration in steering wheel, seat, or floorboard at certain speeds.
Or if you do not know what your car needs, simply fill out the form below!