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Strange Oil Spills or Smoke Could Relate to Your Starter

Cars can be smoky and oily, and as such, it can be easy for many drivers to ignore oil spills or noxious fumes. That said, oil and smoke can be strong predictors of certain serious car issues. One car issue that smoke or oil may predict is vehicle starter failure.

Car starters are electrical and mechanical devices that are responsible for turning vehicle flywheels and starting motors. Starters are made up of many different pieces, and as they begin to age or sustain damage, these various parts can fail. Luckily, they usually send clear signals on their way to complete…

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Your Guide to Oversteer and Understeer Conditions

MINI of Portland is committed to answering your common questions about vehicle dynamics and performance. The terms oversteer and understeer may seem self-explanatory at first, but when and why do they occur?

Oversteer causes the car to steer over what you intended, while understeer causes it to steer less. Oversteer usually happens with rear-wheel drive vehicles and understeer typically happens with front-wheel drive. However, both types can experience this issue. 

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Reasons a Car Battery May Fail

Generally speaking, a car battery will last for about five years. However, it is possible for a battery to wear out in less time depending on how often you drive. If the battery isn't working properly, it will be difficult or impossible to start the car.

Signs of a poor battery include reduced power while the car is in motion. For instance, you may notice that the lights flicker or the headlights are not as bright as they should be. It may be a good idea to bring your car to MINI of Portland for service to determine if…

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A Couple of Signs That a Mechanic Should Service Your Ignition

Ignitions can break, which can be frustrating if it happens when you're out in the middle of a storm or when you're far away from a mechanic. There are, however, warning signs, and at MINI of Portland, we're here to give you a couple of the most recognizable tip-offs that your vehicle has a faulty ignition.

There are two noises that you should be listening for when you start your engine. The first one is a grinding noise, which is a sign that the starter drive gear is worn and not engaging correctly.  

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Your Vehicle's Timing Belt Explained by Your Car Experts

Having your vehicle serviced takes time, but it one of the most important things that you can do to keep it running smoothly. Most vehicles today are manufactured with a timing belt. While you may or may not have heard of this component, it is a vital part of your vehicle that keeps the camshaft and crankshaft synchronized.

Although timing belts are made to be durable, they will eventually need to be replaced. If the belt becomes worn and snaps, then it could cause damage to your vehicle's engine that may be thousands of dollars to repair. 

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Keep Up to Date with Servicing Your Cooling System and Radiator

Taking care of your radiator and cooling system will save you tons of problems down the road. It will also save you money in repairs, ranging from a blown engine to warped aluminum heads.

It doesn't take a lot of time or money to maintain your radiator and cooling system. The two things you should do regularly only take a few minutes. The first and most important thing to do is make sure you are using the coolant recommended for your vehicle. Your owner's manual will tell you what type you should use. 

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Washing Your Car Isn't Just for Cosmetic Purposes

When you see a vehicle driving down the street and it's shiny and freshly washed, there's nothing that looks better than this. However, washing your car isn't just for cosmetic reasons. A frequent washing will help protect the integrity of your new car. Strive to clean your vehicle every two weeks or so, using appropriate soaps, sponges, and towels. You'll want to make sure you target spots that have a lot of dirt, dust, or road salt built up.

Washing the body of your vehicle is important, but be sure to pay attention to your tires…

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The Types of Technicians to Look for When Maintaining Your Vehicle

In vehicles, there are some aspects of the maintenance othat you can do by yourself. However, there are other aspects of maintenance that are recommended to be done by a qualified technician so that you can rest assured that your vehicle is going to be properly maintained.

For jobs that require the work of a technician, the type of technicians to look for are ASE-certified automotive technicians. These are the types of technicians that can be trusted to solve the root issue to your vehicle as opposed to fixing a mere symptom.  

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Applying Touch Up Paint

There is a lot of work that goes into applying touch-up paint. While you may think it’s simple to cover up a paint chip or scratch with a touch-up kit, there are actually a few things that you have to do to pre-treat a spot on your vehicle so that it blends in all the way. The best way to use it for areas that are small, and when you have larger issues, such as a key scratch, you should buff and prime the spot first.

Most automotive touch-up paint doesn’t blend well. This is because it isn…

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Can You Drive on Winter Tires Year-Round?

The expense and inconvenience of having to switch summer tires for winter and back again once the season is over makes the option of simply driving on them year-round very tempting. Winter tires are constructed differently, however, and driving on them throughout the year can be more expensive than the cost of replacing them with summer tires.

Winter tires can be studded or unstudded, but both varieties have deeper tread patterns and rubber that remains soft in cold temperatures. When temperatures rise, this rubber blend can become a liability, wearing out quickly on hot roads. 

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