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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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Get Ready for Winter Driving with a Comprehensive Winter Survival Kit

With winter just around the corner, you need to make sure your car is ready to go in cold weather. This includes proper winterization of your car and making certain you have a proper winter survival kit. Your life and those of your loved ones depends on it.

In your automobile winter survival kit, you need to include extra pieces of warm clothing and blankets. Clothing includes boots, gloves, and caps. Your kit also needs a reliable, powerful flashlight, jumper cables, and extra water.  

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Does Your Vehicle Need All-Season Tires or Winter Tires?

There are ways to prepare for driving safely in winter weather, and we can help at MINI of Portland. If you want to know which type of tires that you need, read further to understand the difference between winter tires and all-season tires.

If you're driving in areas with little snow, then all-season tires are probably suitable. If you reside in an area that has frequent, heavy snow with black ice, then you should have a set of winter tires mounted before winter sets in because winter tires have more biting edges and deeper tread patterns. 

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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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Strap Your Child in Safe

Failing to place your child in their car seat properly can leave them vulnerable in an event of an accident. If you have questions or concerns you can always contact the NHTSA, who has check stations for your child's car seat around the country. Would you like some helpful tips when putting your child in their safety seat? At MINI of Portland, we want you to be as informed as possible, so here are a few tips to help you keep your kid safe and comfortable.

Use Instructions On Car Seat

Remember to read the guidelines before installing the…

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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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