HOURS MAP

Affordable Transmission & Performance - About Us

  • For Brakes' Sake (Brake Rotor Service in PRINCETON)

    Aug 7, 2022

    Think of how much abuse your brakes take. Day in and day out, they stop your vehicle when it's going fast and when it's going slow. Maybe your vehicle has been vibrating when you brake, or maybe it seems like your stopping distance is a little bit longer than it used to be.

    Then it's time to get your brakes checked out. After all, you have to be able to stop if you want to be safe. Nearly all newer vehicles have disc brakes on the front, and many have that type of brake on all four wheels. That makes it likely you'll be getting disc brakes fixed at some time in your vehicle's lifetime.

    Knowing how disc brakes work is as easy as riding a bicycle. If your bike had hand brakes, you'll probably remember a mechanism that squeezed a couple of pads on each side of your bicycle wheel when you applied the brakes. Disc brakes are similar; but instead of the bike wheel, there's a metal disc instead. If that disc is warped or has irregularities in it, it's going to vibrate.

    It used to be that rotors were thick, and when they warped, a technician could "turn" them to scrape off a layer of metal so their sides were straight again. The latest vehicles are using thinner, lighter rotors with a slightly different construction. Now, it's likely that rotors that are resurfaced this way will not have enough metal left to work safely. In fact, some manufacturers advise only replacing rotors that are worn out.

    Newer designs have reduced rotor prices, and in many cases, the labor cost of turning the rotors is higher than buying new. There are times, though, where your rotors can be resurfaced and still meet manufacturer specifications.

    If you have a rotor replaced on one side of your vehicle, it might be a good idea to replace rotors on the other side, too.

    Maybe you're looking for the new rotors to last longer than the ones that were on there. New technologies can offer a longer lifespan in a premium rotor. Armed with knowing the type of driving you do, you and your Affordable Transmissions service advisor can make the best decision on which direction you want to go with your new brakes.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Bad Vibes (Disc brake rotor problems)

    Aug 15, 2021

    If you were to name the most important safety feature on your vehicle right now, what would your answer be? A lot of driving experts would agree that it’s your brakes.  Most newer vehicles use a well-engineered and efficient style of brakes called disc brakes. 

    The name disc brakes comes from one of the components: a disc attached to the wheel hub that is squeezed by parts called calipers.  If you’ve ever ridden a bicycle with hand brakes, you probably have seen how they squeeze against the rim of the bike wheel to stop the bike. It’s similar to the way your vehicle’s calipers squeeze against the disc rotor, with added parts called brake pads attached to the calipers that are what create the friction and stop your vehicle.

    Here’s why disc brakes need regular maintenance.  Over time, that friction creates wear and tear on the brake pads and the rotors, and you’ll start to see the signs.  Your brakes may have one of the 3 “S” sounds: squeaking, squealing, or scraping. The sound is usually the first sign of brake pad wear which can lead to rotor damage.  Soon you may notice a pulsating or vibration when you brake. That’s because your once smooth and straight rotor disc is warping from the heat generated from friction. Or it may be due to wear.  Eventually, your brakes will take a longer distance to stop your vehicle, and the rotors can have grooves carved into them.

    When you start noticing any of these signs, it’s a good idea to have them inspected by a trained technician.  They will measure the rotor thickness, check wear patterns for grooves and heat discoloration, and see how much of the brake pads remain. They will also check to make sure all brake components are moving freely, check your brake fluid, and look for corrosion.

    Most vehicle manufacturers require worn or damaged rotors to be replaced, not resurfaced. It’s all part of a complete brake job, replacing pads and the brake hardware parts along with the rotors. It reduces the chance of premature failure.

    How often you will need your brakes serviced depends on the manufacturer’s recommendations, your driving habits, and the environment you live in.  Your service facility can recommend the best replacement parts based on those factors. 

    Regular maintenance and attention are vital for keeping your brakes performing like they are designed to. Remember, your brakes are your vehicle’s most important safety feature.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Time for a Brake (Brake Pad Replacement)

    May 3, 2020

    Stop! It's one of those things your vehicle has to do consistently and reliably.  That's why brake maintenance is vitally important, worthwhile for you to make sure stays up to date.

    A brake system has many components. If your vehicle has disc brakes, they have pads that make contact with the rotors (the metal discs).  Those pads usually have a metal back, and the part that presses against the discs is made of a material which provides friction to stop the vehicle. Because of that friction, the pads are expected to wear down and eventually the rotors will, too.  But the pads usually are the part that will need to be replaced more often. But how do you know when it's time?

    There are several signs, one of which is when your brakes squeak or make a high-pitched sound when you step on the brake pedal.  Many newer vehicles also have sensors on the brake pads.  When the pads get worn down to a certain point, the sensor will tell the vehicle's computer to turn on a light on the instrument panel.  When that light comes on, it's time to have your service facility check out what's going on.  If you don't know what that light looks like, ask your service advisor or look it up in the owner's manual.

    Some vehicles also give you a reminder based on the distance you've traveled. It may be a message that displays on the dash or a light that illuminates. 

    Your best bet is to have your vehicle regularly serviced at one shop you trust.  They will keep a record of your brake maintenance Then, when you take your vehicle in for oil changes or other routine things, they'll check your brakes for wear.  Sometimes you'll only need pads, but you may also need rotors or other parts replaced.  Oh, and you need pads replaced in pairs. That way stopping power will be equal on both sides and your vehicle won't pull in one direction. 

    Brakes make up a key part of your vehicle's safety systems.  Keep them in good shape and they'll be able to stop your vehicle when you press down that pedal.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Affordable Transmissions Brake Service for Safe Stopping in PRINCETON

    Dec 8, 2019

    Let's talk about something critical for all PRINCETON drivers: your brakes. Your vehicle is heavy, and it takes a lot of muscle to bring it and your passengers to a safe stop – so everything needs to be in good working order.

    Here's an explanation on how your disc brakes work:

    The wheel hub keeps your wheel attached to your vehicle. The brake disc – or rotor – is attached to the hub and rotates with the wheel as you drive around PRINCETON. Your brake pads clamp onto the rotor to slow the wheel.

    The brake caliper straddles the rotor and squeezes the rotor to slow it down. The calipers contain brake pads which press on the rotor when you put your foot on the brake. The brake piston causes the calipers to squeeze and release as you use your vehicle brakes.

    Your brake pads start to wear the first time you step on the brakes. Eventually the pads wear out and need to be replaced. If you don't replace the pads when they're worn out, the metal parts of the brake will grind against the rotor and carve grooves into the surface. We've all heard grinding brakes and it's not a pretty sound.

    If a rotor isn't scored significantly, your friendly and knowledgeable Affordable Transmissions technician can put it on a lathe and smooth it out. If the grooves are too deep or if the rotor is warped or cracked, you need to replace it.

    Sometimes brake pistons can stick and must be replaced. Typically it's cheaper to replace the entire caliper at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON than to rebuild the piston.

    So there you have it – an important lesson on how your disc brakes work. If you replace brake pads on time, it will not only keep your vehicle stopping safely but could save you cash on unnecessary repairs down the road.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Hitting the Brakes in PRINCETON

    Mar 26, 2018

    Safety should always be an element of your vehicle care. So even if you don't care about how your vehicle looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other PRINCETON drivers — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.

    Brakes need a regular inspection. There are  parts that wear out or wear down, and it's best to replace them before you have serious problems.

    Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that's a good sign that you need your brakes checked. You can also tell something is wrong with your brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate serious problems. If vibrations accompany braking, then it is to get your brakes checked.

    Brakes come in two basic types. With disc brakes, a rotor is attached to the axle of the vehicle. Padded calipers straddle the rotor and close when the brakes are applied. The resulting friction causes the rotor — and the axle — to stop turning. With drum brakes, brake pads (also called shoes) press against the inside of a drum to create friction and stop the drum, and hence the vehicle's wheels, from turning.

    When Affordable Transmissions services your brake system, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor checks all of the brake pads for wear. If they are too thin, they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive repair at Affordable Transmissions compared to what procrastination will cost you. If pads wear away completely, then the rotors and drums can be damaged. They will have to be either resurfaced or replaced, and that can be expensive. But if your vehicle brake pads are worn out, then your brakes are compromised and your stopping power is greatly reduced. You could easily wind up in an accident.

    Brake pads come in several different grades such as regular, metallic and ceramic. The higher grades are more expensive, but they also work better. MN drivers who want better and smoother braking should consider upgrading. However, PRINCETON drivers should NEVER use a brake pad that is lower than their vehicle manufacturer's recommendation.

    After your brake pads are checked at Affordable Transmissions, it's also wise to have your brake fluid checked. This is a critical element in your brake system. When you press your brake pedal, you are compressing the brake fluid, creating pressure that activates the brake pads. If your fluid pressure is low, it will decrease your braking power. The pads just won't be able to press hard enough against the rotor or drum to stop your vehicle. Just as with worn pads, insufficient brake fluid can lead to an accident in PRINCETON.

    Water can build up in your brake fluid, which can cause corrosion in your braking system. Eventually this can cause your brake fluid to leak. So PRINCETON drivers should also change their brake fluid periodically. Your vehicle owner's manual will have guidelines on how often it should be replaced, or you can ask a service advisor at Affordable Transmissions. 

    Remember, PRINCETON folks, safety first. It's auto advice for all PRINCETON drivers on the road. You're not just protecting others; you're protecting yourself.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Hitting The Brakes In PRINCETON

    Feb 21, 2017

     

    Hello PRINCETON, let's talk about brakes. drive But the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There's also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

    Let's step back. A new vehicle or truck rolls off a local PRINCETON showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

    Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles/kilometers start to add up on the vehicle. PRINCETON drivers tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads and shoes on drum brakes are called the friction material. That's because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it's not until they are worn so thin as to be out of 'specs'  that they lose their ability to stop.

    The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over long distances around MN, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail - a scary possibility. That's why a regular brake inspection at Affordable Transmissions is important for your vehicle and your family's safety. At Affordable Transmissions we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

    That leads us to brake fluid service at Affordable Transmissions. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the vehicle fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Affordable Transmissions cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

    The tires are what connect the vehicle to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the more quickly you'll stop.

    This is especially important on wet PRINCETON area roads and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. MN vehicle owners need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    affordabletransmissions.autotipsblog.com




    Automotive Tips from Affordable Transmissions: Rotor Problems

    Jan 23, 2017

    The brake rotor, or disc, is attached to your wheel. The brake pads rub on the rotor to slow your car when you are driving in PRINCETON.

    Rotors can warp, crack or become misaligned. They can also be damaged by worn out brake pads that scratch grooves into the surface. These conditions result in less contact surface for the brake pads, leaving you with reduced braking power.

    Over time and miles, rotors can also wear down below safe specifications. It is important for PRINCETON drivers to know that simply replacing brake pads on a wheel with a bad rotor will not solve the problem. Depending on their condition, rotors may be resurfaced or replaced.

    Brake noise or a pulsation in the brake pedal are signs of potential brake problems that should be addressed right away. If you have any brake concerns, please have your friendly and professional Affordable Transmissions tech perform a thorough inspection.

    Give us a call.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Braking News: Keep Your Stopping Power

    Nov 27, 2016

    Richard Petty once told AutoNetTV, “You've gotta have good brakes. If you've got good brakes you can keep yourself out of a lotta trouble.”

    That's why a regular brake inspection is on every PRINCETON driver's maintenance schedule. An inspection by your service advisor at Affordable Transmissions will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems.

    Of course, if you're having trouble with your brakes, get your car into Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON right away. Here are some symptoms for PRINCETON drivers to watch for:

    • Low or spongy brake pedal
    • Hard brake pedal
    • A brake warning light that stays on
    • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
    • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

    If you are experiencing any of these, it's time to get your brakes checked. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Affordable Transmissions .

    There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that's attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle.

    Drum brakes are most common on back wheels. Both types have pads or shoes that press against the brakes and slow the vehicle. Brake pads and shoes are made out of very tough material to withstand the heat and force generated when stopping your vehicle. Eventually, they wear out with use and become too thin and need to be replaced at Affordable Transmissions. 

    If the brake pads wear away completely, you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced. That's not only expensive but also dangerous because your vehicle won't stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

    A brake service at Affordable Transmissions will also include a check of your brake fluid. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid means not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. PRINCETON  drivers should change the brake fluid when their  vehicle manufacturer recommends to avoid these problems.

    Come in to Affordable Transmissions for an brake inspection before damage occurs. You can call ahead for an appointment by calling (763) 533-1169.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Stop It! You Need Good Brakes

    Nov 15, 2016

    Good brakes are obviously very important. If you've ever had your brakes go out while you're driving around the PRINCETON area, you'll know how terrifying it can be. Today we'll focus on how to tell when you have a brake problem and how to make good repair choices.

    Often, the first indication that something's wrong with the brakes is an unusual sound. It could be a squeal, chatter or grinding sound.

    Some brake pads have a little piece of metal embedded in them that will make a squeal or chirping sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced. It's an early warning indicator.

    When you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at Affordable Transmissions soon.

    Now a chattering sound is more urgent. That usually indicates that something is loose. It could be a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have some serious trouble stopping the vehicle. It would be a good idea to park it until you can get into the shop.

    A grinding noise usually means that the brake pad is completely worn away and the metal parts of the brake are rubbing directly on the metal brake rotor. That means the rotor is being damaged and will need some work. More on that later.

    Another warning sign is that your brake pedal may feel soft and spongy – or it may even feel very hard to push in. Both could mean trouble. And of course, you may get a dashboard brake warning light.

    Now when it comes time to replace your brake pads, you have a choice to make. You can get the same pads that came standard on your vehicle. You can expect the same performance and durability as with the pads that came on the car from the factory.

    Now you can also get a budget brake pad. Sometimes PRINCETON drivers insist on lower cost pads. That's OK if the budget demands it, but you need to be aware of the tradeoffs. Lower grade pads are usually noisier, so you'll have to live with more noise when you apply the brakes. They also tend to generate a lot more brake dust, you know, that black dust that accumulates on your wheels. And they probably won't last as long either. In our opinion, that's a lot of compromise for just a few dollars in savings.

    You can also choose to buy premium brakes pads at Affordable Transmissions. These perform at higher specifications than the factory pads. You can expect quieter operation, less brake dust and better stopping power.

    Now, getting back to the rotors. The rotors are the discs that the brake pads clamp down on to stop the vehicle. If you've been driving with completely worn brake pads, you've scratched grooves into the rotors. If the grooves aren't too deep, the rotor can be resurfaced. A thin layer of metal is cut off the surface of the rotor to make it smooth again.

    Now, if the grooves are too deep or if the rotor has already be resurfaced before, there may not be enough material to resurface and still have a rotor that's thick enough to safely stop the vehicle. In that case, the rotor will have to be replaced.

    Something that's often overlooked is the brake fluid. Your manufacturer has a recommended schedule for evacuating the old brake fluid, cleaning the system and refilling it with fresh brake fluid. This is really important to brake performance.

    So here's the bottom line: if you suspect, inspect. If you notice any of these warning signs, have your brakes inspected at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON. Your service advisor can help you make the repair decision that's right for you.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com