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Are Roadside Emergency Kits Valuable?

Drivers hope that their travels don't result in unfortunate mishaps, but vehicles could become disabled without warning. Flat tires, undiagnosed mechanical problems, and even bad weather may leave a vehicle stranded. Keeping a roadside emergency kit in the trunk might help when things prove concerning.

A roadside emergency kit could contain valuable items, such as road markers, flashlights, tires, and other tools, along with weather-protections belongings. A raincoat and a blanket may have value when temperatures prove uncomfortable.

 

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Your Basic Guide to Gaskets

Gaskets are an unsung but vitally necessary automotive part. What are they and what do they do? We asked our MINI of Portland service techs to give us and you an quick rundown.

Automotive Gaskets 101

Gaskets are a type of seal, and the two words often appear interchangeably. Automotive gaskets serve as a flat seal that fills a gap between two components. The seal stops leakage. Gasket design results in structure that withstands low and high compressive loads over long periods. Gaskets conform to a range of shapes, specs and modifications. The most common are:

  • Spiral wound
  • Double jacketed…
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How Brake Fluid Functions

Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that moves through hoses to apply pressure to the brakes when you press your foot on the brake pedal.

There cannot be any amount of air in the brake systems or else the brakes won’t properly function.

How To Properly Inspect Bake Fluid And Reservoir

The brake fluid reservoir is easily located under the hood of the car, and you can properly inspect it by using a flashlight.

If the brake fluid is a clear amber color, that means your brakes have been serviced recently.
 

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How To Know If You Have An Exhaust Leak

Check Engine Light

The check engine light is likely to come on if you have a leak in the exhaust headers, catalytic converter, or even in the exhaust downpipe. There are sensors throughout the exhaust system and engine that measure air, and if there is a leak, the computer will notice a change in values, and subsequently illuminate the check engine light.

Smell Of Gas Inside The Car

If your car starts to fill up with an unburned gas or exhaust smell with the windows up, you should crack the windows, and have the problem inspected immediately.

 

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Taking care of your tires: Tread and pressure

Taking care of your tires is an important part of automobile maintenance. Tires that are kept in their best shape give drivers a lot of benefit. Two things to focus on with your tires are their tread wear and air pressure. We here at MINI of Portland want you to know why these two aspects of tires are important.

If your tire tread is bad, it can be a safety hazard, as bald tires are more prone to blowouts. Tires with bad tread also can lower your fuel economy. To keep your tire tread in good shape, have your tires…

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What Your Car's Alternator Does

Many drivers believe that if their vehicle won’t start, it automatically means the battery is bad. While this may often be the case, it can also be the alternator. The alternator plays a really important part in not just starting your car but also keeping it running.

At one time, the alternator was referred to as a generator because it plays the same role as a generator. If you have a generator in your home, it will provide electricity if the power fails. It does much the same thing in your vehicle. The alternator will work even if the…

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Why Winter Wiper Blades Are a Good Idea

Windshield wiper blades are a small part of what makes up a vehicle, but they're also an important part because they help make it possible to see the road during bad weather conditions. Drivers who live in winter conditions often find that winter wiper blades are a great choice. We have a great selection of winter wiper blades at MINI of Portland and would love to demonstrate how effective they work and what a good choice they are.

Winter wiper blades are ideal because they keep the snow and ice off your windshield in the cold winter months. No…

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Winter Tires vs. All-Season: Cold Weather Concerns

Wise drivers replace their tires when they suffer from age and use. Sometimes, however, it might also prove advisable to switch to a different type of tire to address seasonal changes. All-season tires might be fine for most of the year, but winter tires could be more appropriate during the cold season.

All-season tires seem to be the standard tires people drive. Intended for normal driving conditions, they can handle wet roads and light snow. People dealing with harsh winters known for heavy snowfall and slushy, icy roads might find snow tires worth buying.

 

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Reasons Why Car Wax is a Great Idea

Car wax application is a central component of overall car care that dates back decades. Waxing on and waxing off with car wax gives your ride a showroom-new look. According to our MINI of Portland service team, the benefits of car wax are more than merely superficial.

Protection from Pollutants


Environmental pollutants are one of the main superficial culprits that age your car prematurely. Unfortunately, road spray and rainwater are two major sources that your car encounters frequently throughout the year. Car wax resists water, so road spray...

 

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What is An Alignment and When Should You Get One?

Sometimes your alignment can be thrown off and this can cause major problems with your vehicle later on if it isn't taken care of. 

What Does Getting an Alignment Mean?

An alignment means that your tires are being shifted to point straight so that they hit the road at the correct angle and your tires are perfectly centered in the wheel wells. Your vehicle will now have better contact with the road, get better gas mileage, and prolonged tire life.

When Should You Get an Alignment?

You should make an appointment to have your vehicle aligned right away if…

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