Albert Lea Auto Repair

Albert Lea Auto Repair

(507) 377-3320
Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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The four-wheel drives and when to use them.

The four-wheel drives and when to use them.

The four-wheel drives and when to use them.  Maybe you have always owned four-wheel drive trucks?  Maybe this is your first four-wheel drive vehicle?  Four-wheel drive gives the driver options.  Knowing how to best use those options is the key to success. Does four-wheel drive allow you to get through anything?  Not even remotely close!  Sometimes it just allows you to get more stuck and broken.  To understand how to best use your four-wheel drive options we need to go over a few basic principles.   First, the drive axle differential.  All vehicles use a differential on the drive axle to allow for smooth turns.  When a vehicle goes around a corner the outside tire needs to cover more ground than the inside tire.  Power from the engine/transmission comes into the center differential and is distributed to the drive tires via the drive axles. The differential allows for the difference in wheel speeds while provid ... read more

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General

Which tire is best for me?

Which tire is best for me?

We get this question a lot here at Sanderson Auto Repair.  It is commonly thought that a good “all season” tire is all that is needed in most passenger vehicle applications all the time.  That is not quite the case.  Tire manufacturers design tires for specific vehicle platforms along with weather conditions.  “All season” tires are primarily designed for mostly dry weather.  With some minor exposure to changing weather conditions.  “ All season” tires are best swapped out for “winter tires” when the weather gets cold and the snow comes in. For example, the Firestone WinterForce, is a great “winter tire”.  They are specifically designed for extreme cold and winter conditions.  They improve vehicle stability, control, and braking in adverse, winter conditions.  They are designed with a very soft tread compound and are limited to use at temperatures below 60°.    A ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Time To Take Another Look at Diesel Vehicles

Let's debunk some of the myths about diesel powered vehicles. 1. Diesel Burns Dirty This was true years ago. Since 2006, however, U.S. diesel vehicles have been required by law to use ultra-low-sulfur diesel or USLD. Modern diesels are soot-free and have a smaller carbon footprint. 2. Diesels Are Sluggish Not any more. They are as fast off the line as similar gasoline-powered cars. If your idea of fun is to spend an afternoon test-driving new cars, go take a spin in a diesel BMW or Porsche. 3. Diesels Are Loud Back in the day, you could hear a diesel motor from a mile away. Today's diesels run quiet. 4. Diesels Have a Bad Resale Value Actually, diesel vehicles have a lower depreciation rate. Another often-overlooked benefit is lower risk of fire. Diesel fuel is less flammable and won't explode like gasoline. Diesel engines require parts that are heavier and stronger. At Sanderson Auto, we occasionally service diesel cars and trucks with over 300,000 miles/500,000 kilo ... read more

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Maintenance

Fuel Saving Tip: Alignment

Imagine you're up in the arctic on a dog sled. Your dog team is pulling straight and true. You can cover a lot of ground fast. Now imagine what would happen if one or two of the dogs wanted to go their own way and were pulling off to the side. That would slow you down. You would have to work harder to keep the sled going where you want it. The dogs are all working as hard as before, but you're covering less ground for the same effort. You're wasting kibble. The same is true of your vehicle when the wheels are out of alignment. That wheel that's pulling to the side is dragging down the rest of the car; so you push a little harder on the gas pedal to keep up your speed on ALBERT LEA roads. You're wasting gas. Have your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. We can help you with that at Sanderson Auto in ALBERT LEA. Get it checked right away if you feel the car pulling to one side. Sometimes we bump a curb or hit a pothole and knock our wh ... read more

Simple Answers from Sanderson Auto for ALBERT LEA: Tire Rotation and Balancing

The interval for tire rotation could depend on a recommendation from either the tire manufacturer or the vehicle manufacturer. The background question for ALBERT LEA drivers is why do tires need to be rotated? Front tires wear differently than the rear tires because steering wears the shoulders faster up front. Rotating the position of the tires allows for more even wear among all the tires. Now the suspension set-up on certain vehicles may also affect the relative wear between the front and rear. There are several rotation patterns – your friendly and knowledgeable Sanderson Auto tire professional will see that you get the correct pattern for your particular vehicle. Wheels and tires are not perfectly balanced due to slight variations in the manufacturing process and the placement of tire pressure monitoring sensors. So weights are strategically placed on the wheel to ensure that the tire spins true. When a wheel is out of balance it is essentially bouncing thousands of extra times ... read more

Drive Defensively In Minnesota

Drive Defensively In Minnesota

Car care is an important part of auto safety in Albert Lea. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on Minnesota roads is to drive safely. Defensive driving is safe driving. And defensive driving is all about attitude. You have to decide that you will be a safe driver in Minnesota, no matter what anyone else is doing. Albert Lea drivers can start with awareness. Always maintain awareness of your surroundings, the road conditions, other vehicles on the Albert Lea road or interstate and road hazards. Have you ever suddenly realized that you have arrived somewhere, but you don’t really remember driving there? That is unsafe driving. Never assume that other Albert Lea auto owners are paying attention. You be the one on alert. You be the one to take initiative to stay out of the way of other Minnesota drivers. And don’t let familiarity dull your alertness. Remind yourself to pay as close attention while driving on the roads near your Albert Lea home as you wo ... read more

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General

Maintenance Recommendations

Maintenance Recommendations

Basic Oil Change: 3,000 miles/Synthetic Oil Change: 5,000 miles or per manufacturer recommendation. Engine Air Filter: Dirty, contaminated air filters can restrict proper air flow and result in reduced engine performance, fuel economy, and damage air flow sensors. Have them replaced every 15, 000 miles! Cabin Air Filter: A restricted airflow affects the amount of air flowing through the ventilation system resulting in poor heating or cooling in the passenger compartment. In some cases the filter can start to mold, causing odors. Have it replaced every 15,000 miles! Brake Fluid Flush: Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, lowering the boiling point of the brake fluid, resulting in a soft brake pedal. Longer stopping distances, and can also cause internal corrosion on the master cylinder, anti-lock brake module, and calipers. This should be checked at about 30,000 miles. Fuel Injection/Induction C ... read more

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Maintenance

Back to School Savings!

Back to School Savings!

Make sure your vehicle is ready for the school year! Like us on Facebook for additional offers and a special offer of $10 OFF Any Service or Repair! Click here to go to our Facebook Page!  

Categories:

General

The Maintenance Free Myth

Sometimes we hear Albert Lea auto owners say, "What's up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don't break down." While it is true that today's cars and trucks are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most Albert Lea motorists don't realize how high tech automotive fluids have become. Fluids like, engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid. Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today's automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle's components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and miles march on for all of our cars. Please don't think we're using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance - but here are some personal stories from AutoNetTV staf ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Air Conditioning Service In Albert Lea

Hey Albert Lea! Let's talk about one of our MN summertime must-haves: your car A/C. It's real easy for Albert Lea auto owners to take their car's air conditioner for granted. Just push the right buttons and out comes cool, dry, clean air. But your air conditioning system needs attention from time to time to help it keep its cool. Do you hear loud noises under the hood when you turn on your air conditioner? Do you only get cool air sporadically? If so, it is time to get your air conditioner checked at Sanderson Auto in Albert Lea.  When most Albert Lea folks hear the words "air conditioning problems", it sends a shiver up their spine. That is because the air conditioning system is fairly complex. It has a lot of parts and when it's broken, it's costly to repair. What things can Albert Lea and Clarks Grove auto owners do to prevent air conditioning breakdowns? A common cause of a ... read more

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General