Under the Hood – Auto Repair Terms

Air Conditioning
Our certified mechanics will ensure your air conditioning is in top shape – looking for loose belts and improper operation. We’ll check for leaks and recharge your air conditioning system as needed.

Alternators & Starters
Alternators and starters are critical to providing mechanical and electrical energy to your vehicle. Our expert technicians will check your alternator, starter, ignition and battery to ensure your vehicle’s performance and safety. It’s not always apparent when an alternator fails so have it checked regularly.

Belts & Hoses
The timing belt is made of rubber and allows the crankshaft to turn the camshaft. The camshaft opens and closes the valves in synchronicity with the movement of the pistons. Thus the name, “timing belt.” If your timing belt breaks, your engine will stop working and could cause major engine damage.

Serpentine belts (drive belts) provide power to the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, cooling fan and air injection pump. If it breaks, engine parts stop working and the engine could overheat and get damaged. We’ll check for wear, cracks, and stripping. Have the serpentine belt inspected at every oil change. Studies have shown serpentine belts fail most often between 36,000-50,000 miles.

Hoses provide a connection for coolant to flow between the engine and radiator as well as engine and heating block. Coolant hoses include the upper radiator hose, the lower radiator hose, heater hoses and in some cars the bypass hose. Have your hoses and clamps inspected twice a year.

Car Batteries
The battery in your vehicle should be checked at least every two years by a trained mechanic.

Complete Engine Repair & Tuning
At Superior, we use the latest diagnostic equipment to pinpoint issues with your vehicle. We’ll explain exactly what needs to be done and tell you how much it will cost. We inspect and repair:

  • Air Conditioning Systems
  • Alternators & Starters
  • Batteries
  • Filters
  • Fuel Injectors
  • Fuel Pumps
  • Spark Plugs
  • Tune Ups
  • And More…

 Computerized Engine Diagnostics
With most cars controlled by computers, the best thing to do when your check engine light comes on is bring your vehicle in for an inspection. Using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, our trained experts can identify which part of the engine is malfunctioning. We’ll always review our findings with you and explain the suggested course of action.

Cooling System
The cooling system works to prevent your engine from getting very hot, overheating and possibly melting. It is critical to your vehicle’s performance. Antifreeze has anti-freeze, anti-boil and anti-corrosive properties but will eventually break down and need to be replaced, usually every two years or 24,000 miles.

Also, your engine can overheat rapidly if the cooling fan is malfunctioning. We’ll check to be sure the belts are not cracked or loose then repair or replace any damaged parts.

A pressure cap or radiator cap should be inspected at least once a year. It should never be taken off while the engine is hot as it could result in severe burns from spraying coolant. Also, the coolant reservoir should be checked during each oil change to be sure it is at a proper level.

The thermostat regulates the flow of coolant depending on the temperature and if not performing properly it can result in engine overheating or knocking, and compromised fuel economy.

Electrical System
Your vehicle’s electrical system has three significant components – the alternator, battery, and starter. The alternator recharges your vehicle’s battery and helps power other electrical loads of your car. Be sure to also have the alternator’s drive belt checked at every oil change. A loose belt can reduce output and run down your battery.

The battery supplies power to the starter and ignition system and can be considered the backbone of the electrical system. It’s a good idea to have it checked every time you change your oil. And, if your battery is more than three years old, it may need to be replaced.

The starter turns the engine when the ignition is turned on. Once a year, it should be tested to ensure it draws the right amount of current. And don’t forget your power steering, exterior lights, defroster, and wipers.

At Superior, we use state-of-the-art emissions testing equipment to ensure the safety of your family and the environment. If increased emissions are detected, we have the know-how to correct the issue. And as always, we stand behind our work.

Factory Maintenance
Following the manufacturer’s scheduled maintenance recommendations, your vehicle will stay on the road longer and more reliably. Whether its brakes, belts, batteries, exhaust, filters, or suspension, our certified technicians help keep your vehicle in compliance with its warranty so you are confident of its safety and reliability. Don’t wait for a rattle or bang. We’re right in the neighborhood, so stop by anytime. Walk-ins and appointments welcome.

Fuel Injectors
Dirty fuel injectors can jeopardize your vehicle’s performance and result in poor acceleration, loss of power, and decreased fuel economy. Fuel injectors are half the size of a pin hole and it only takes 8-10% blockage to cause an engine misfire. A fuel injector cleaning is suggested every 25,000 miles or as your owner’s manual identifies.

Fuel Pumps
The fuel pump moves the fuel from the gas tank to the engine, creating pressure in the fuel lines to push the gasoline through. When the flow becomes less constant, your vehicle acts sluggish or ceases to operate. The gears in the fuel pump can wear due to contamination or overheating, for example, so be sure to have your fuel pump and lines inspected regularly.

Your engine can overheat and cause the vehicle to break down if your radiator doesn’t keep the coolant constantly flowing through the engine. Coolant can leak due to cracked hoses or corrosion in the radiator itself. Have your coolant system professionally inspected at least once per year. We can repair leaks or replace any damaged part.

Timing Belts
Your timing belt is a notched rubber belt that allows the crankshaft to turn the camshaft. The camshaft opens and closes the valves in synchronicity with the movement of the pistons – thus the name, timing belt. If your timing belt breaks, your engine will stop working, stranding you wherever you are. Worse yet, it could cause major engine damage.

As a local family-owned business for over 25 years, we’ve worked with many towing companies and understand the stress it can create for the vehicle owner. The best way to avoid towing your vehicle is to keep up on its regular maintenance but if something happens, it’s good to know that we’re here to get you back on the road. For your convenience, we can suggest towing services or you can arrange your own service – either way, we’ll get you back on the road as soon as possible.

Transmission Repair
Transmissions can be expensive to repair or replace, so it’s important to keep it maintained. Look to our certified technicians to examine the fluid levels and contamination as well as wear and tear. It’s always best to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, so make an appointment today and avoid costly repairs.

Tune Ups
Hundreds of complex parts must work together if your vehicle is going to start and run optimally. Performance and fuel economy can be compromised if the components start to show signs of wear or fail. A tune up at the times prescribed by the manufacturer will help the engine start easier, improve fuel economy, lower emissions, and restore lost power. Also ask us about cleaning the fuel injectors and fuel intake system to minimize deterioration in performance and responsiveness.

Water Pumps
The water pump is core to the performance of your vehicle’s cooling system as it circulates coolant between the radiator and engine. If a water pump malfunctions, your car will overheat and cease to operate. We can check your water pump for leaks, noise, or unusual performance, then suggest the proper steps to help prevent failure.

Under Car Care – Auto Repair Terms

ABS Brakes
Most cars manufactured since the mid-1990’s have ABS or anti-lock brakes which help you stop faster, prevent skidding, and save lives. Not only do we inspect, maintain, and replace brake shoes and pads, but we inspect the hydraulics as well, saving you time, money, and aggravation down the road. It is suggested this be done every 24,000 miles or 2 years.

Axle Repair
Your vehicle’s axle bears the weight of the entire vehicle and is an integral, complex part of the steering. The axle is connected to the C joint via the wheel and is covered by a CV joint boot for protection. To prevent serious damage to the CV joints, have the axle checked for damage, fluid leaks, and other signs of wear. Superior’s expert technicians will diagnose any issues and suggest the next steps for your vehicle.

Brake Maintenance & Repair
You may not even think about your vehicle’s brakes because you just expect them to work properly all the time. When you think about how often you use the brake, you realize how much wear and tear is put on them. To keep your brakes in peak condition, be sure to have your Superior technician check them regularly. Our team can service all aspects of the braking system including: drums, rotors, calipers, wheel bearings, master cylinders, anti-lock systems for all types of cars, vans, and trucks.

Catalytic Converters
Mandatory on all vehicles since 1975, catalytic converters help reduce pollution so it is critical to the environment that it works properly. It is located in your exhaust system processing harmful gases like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and oxides of nitrogen. Typically if you have an issue the Check Engine or Service Engine Soon indicator will light up on your dashboard. At Superior, our technicians are certified experts and will inspect your exhaust system as well as check diagnostic codes to repair your vehicle right the first time.

CV Joints & Drive Shafts
CV joints are attached to each end of the drive shaft, connecting the axles to the wheels and transmission, handling the motions of the suspension system. Most CV joint issues start with the drive axle or CV joint boot. If the boot cracks or is broken, grease can leak out while dirt and moisture get into the system causing corrosion, dry out and ultimately failure. Have your Superior technician inspect the CV joint boot regularly – with each oil change – and avoid a costly repair. Back >

Drive Line
The drive line connects to your transmission and differential through universal joints, turning your axles which turn the wheels. It’s important to have the universal and CV joints inspected to ensure there are no cracks or leaks that can damage your vehicle. Shuddering upon acceleration, a clunk while shifting or roughness, clicking or squeaking at low speeds may indicate driveline issues. Regular inspections can pre-empt untimely breakdowns so be sure to ask your Superior technician to inspect the drive line.

Exhaust & Mufflers
Bad mufflers are noisy, embarrassing and pollute the environment. With quality parts and experienced technicians, Superior can repair or replace your exhaust system helping improve fuel economy, horsepower, and safety, not to mention a smooth quiet ride.

Four-wheel Drive Repair
Four-wheel drive, sometimes called 4×4, is important on and off-road, helping to keep your car under control in all weather conditions. All four wheels turn and are getting power from the engine simultaneously verses other vehicles where only front or rear wheels turn. Our expert technicians will inspect your car to ensure optimum performance and safety at all times.

Rack & Pinion Steering
For safety and comfort, your steering system is critical. At Superior we’ll maintain your rack and pinion steering system by checking it regularly, including the power steering pump belt, fluid levels, and hoses. Keeping your steering and suspension running well is not only important for safety reasons, it also enhances the comfort of your car. Rely on Superior’s trained technicians to keep your car’s steering at peak performance.

Shock Absorbers & Struts
A smooth ride is not just about comfort. Shock absorbers and struts offer sensing technology to adjust suspension as driving conditions change as well as ensure proper braking distances. At Superior we stock the most popular and trusted brands so you can trust the reliability and results you’ll receive.

As part of the suspension system, springs help give you a smooth ride. If your ride doesn’t feel quite as smooth or there’s more bounce in your ride, there may be an issue with the springs. Springs corrode, rust, or get damaged particularly where severe weather occurs. Overloading your vehicle and excessive up and down movements can cause metal fatigue. Be sure to have your Superior mechanical team inspect your springs every 12 months or 12,000 miles.

Steering & Chassis
The body of the car sits on top of the chassis. The chassis is the bottom frame of your car along with the parts that make it move like the engine, transmission, suspension, differential, and driveshaft. Repairs can be costly so routine maintenance and fluid flushes can help keep you on the road longer.

Tire Maintenance & Repair
Your tires are your only contact with the road when you’re driving your car. Out of balance, worn out or cracked tires can seriously impede your ability to control your vehicle properly. Our technicians can determine whether your vehicle needs its tires rotated, aligned, and/or balanced to ensure the highest level of safety possible. And if you need new tires, we carry many of the most popular brands.

Universal Joint
Ensuring your suspension system operates properly is critical to avoiding an unexpected breakdown. Universal joints are just one part. At Superior we’ll inspect all aspects of your suspension system including swaybars, ball joints, CV joints, control arms and tie rod ends to pre-empt vibrations and shimmies that cause extra wear on your car and tires.

Wheel Alignment
Extend the life of your tires, improve gas mileage, and get a safer, more comfortable ride. If your vehicle tends to pull or veer to the left or right, improper alignment might be the reason. Superior offers a complete computerized wheel alignment service that delivers precision alignment to all vehicles.

Wheel Balancing
If your vehicle vibrates or bounces when driving between 45-65mph, you may need to get your wheels balanced. Superior uses state-of-the-art computerized wheel balancing equipment to improve steering, handling, and a smooth ride.

Wheel Bearings
Wheel bearings hold your wheels in place and allow them to spin properly. To ensure their operating optimally, remember to keep them lubricated because over time the grease in the bearings can break down and become less efficient. If you have a wobbly wheel, or a growl or hum coming from your wheels, let your Superior mechanical team check it out. They will remove the bearings from the hub assembly and grease them manually or with a wheel bearing packer before reinstalling them.

Ready to Schedule Vehicle Maintenance?

Schedule your appointment today at either of our Eagan or Apple Valley locations!