Put On The Brakes: Brake Service At Hughes Automotive Inc

When it comes to preventive maintenance and car care, most Eagle Lake car owners know how critical it is to check their brakes. But brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order.

The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction, which stops the vehicle. It’s no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and that brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.

Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, but that doesn’t mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced.

But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A brake inspection in Eagle Lake at Hughes Automotive Inc includes a check of these parts as well as the pads and shoes. Your honest Hughes Automotive Inc service advisor can then advise you of any parts that need cleaning or replacement.

The fluid component to the brake system needs a regular check-up at Hughes Automotive Inc as well. The brake fluid cools and protects your brake system. Protective additives are gradually depleted by the operation of the brake system, and moisture build-up inside the fluid can diminish its effectiveness. When you have your brakes serviced at Hughes Automotive Inc in Eagle Lake, the fluid should be checked and, if needed, replaced, which will clean out water, debris and dirt.

It is important to remember that your brake system also includes your tires. No matter how well your brake system is performing, if your sedan tires are worn, you won’t get good stopping power. Traction is the gripping power of your tires to the roadway. Traction is always better on tires with a good tread. Good traction translates to good braking.

This is particularly essential on wet Eagle Lake roads. A good tire will give you good braking on either wet MN roads or dry. But stopping distance increases dramatically when worn tires meet wet roads. Tread on a tire acts to channel away water as the sedan passes over the wet road, thus maintaining contact between the tire’s surface and the road, which maintains traction. But the thinner the tread, the less effective the water channels become, and water can get between the tire and the roadway, reducing friction. A loss of friction means a longer stopping distance and possibly the loss of control.

Braking depends on two things: the weight of your sedan and the speed of the vehicle. The heavier the vehicle or the faster the vehicle, the more braking power it requires. Thus, brake systems vary from vehicle to vehicle. For example, a pickup that is designed for heavy loads has a more powerful braking system than a compact car. Sports cars also have higher-grade braking systems than minivans.

Regardless of what kind of car you drive in Eagle Lake, it is always good auto advice to keep your brake system in good repair, and that means ALL of your brake system. Just one more way to keep your travels accident and worry-free.

Direct Fuel Injection Update From Hughes Automotive Inc

For those of you in Eagle Lake MN who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower.

So what are the differences from a conventional engine?

The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it’s then drawn into the engine with the air.

With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cylinder during the combustion cycle is burned much more efficiently.

First, the fuel is squirted in at hundreds of times more pressure, so it’s atomized much better and burns cleaner and stronger. The other big advance is in electronics. Faster engine management computers can control the additional precision required to manage direct fuel injection.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver a precise amount of fuel at exactly the right time. The design of the engine also dictates a particular spray pattern for the fuel. If a fuel injector is dirty or gummed up, it can’t do its job as well. That means less power and worse fuel economy for your sedan and can lead to damaged fuel injectors.

Replacing fuel injectors isn’t cheap. Direct injection injectors are even more expensive because of the extremely high-pressure they use. Same thing for diesel fuel injectors; we’re talking mortgage payment-range to replace a set of diesel injectors.

A professional fuel system cleaning from Hughes Automotive Inc gets out the gum and varnish in the whole system, including the fuel injectors. Keep those injectors clean and they’ll last a long, long time.

Hughes Automotive Inc: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

Most Eagle Lake and Mankato drivers want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving gas mileage. At Hughes Automotive Inc, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Eagle Lake car owners actually save?

The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way Eagle Lake auto owners can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your sedan engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you’re paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas in Eagle Lake, you could save fourteen cents a gallon.

Hughes Automotive Inc: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy

In today’s Hughes Automotive Inc article, we’re focusing on the things you can do to improve your sedan fuel economy driving around MN. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a chart that also shows the savings at three and four dollars.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TUNE UP 4% .12 .14 .16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best fuel efficiency. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air’s clean protects your engine. That can save you up to ten percent or thirty-five cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.OO $3.50 $4.00
AIR FILTER 10% .30 .35 .40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to forty percent. That’s a whopping dollar forty in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Hughes Automotive Inc in Eagle Lake and we’ll check your oxygen sensor.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40% 1.20 1.40 1.60

Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your check engine light will come on. Now, there’s any number of things that could cause your check engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it’s on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Hughes Automotive Inc.

Here’s an easy one for astute Eagle Lake car owners. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or eleven cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your fuel efficiency, so check your tires every week.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
TIRE INFLATION 3% .09 .11 .12

Your sedan car maker has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced fuel economy, or up to seven cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
RIGHT GRADE MOTOR OIL 2% .06 .07 .08

Here’s one that’s free for Eagle Lake motorists that  want to save cash: Take it easy when you drive. Aggressive driving (we’ve all seen this on Eagle Lake roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes – really takes a toll on your fuel economy.

Cutting out aggressive driving around Eagle Lake can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the freeway it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that – and leave a little earlier.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
DRIVE AGRESSIVELY – MIN. 5% .15 .18 .20
DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY – MAX. 33$ .99 1.16 1.32

A related item is exceeding the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is sixty miles per hour on your Eagle Lake interstate,  an additional five miles will cost seven percent or twenty-five cents a gallon. Fifteen miles per hour will cost you upwards of eighty cents a gallon.

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 $3.50 $4.00
SPEED LIMIT – MIN. 7% .21 .25 .28
SPEED LIMIT – MAX. 23% .69 .81 .92

The last thing we’ll talk about is excess weight. Our sedans tend to accumulate a lot of things and the weight adds up. Clear out the trunk and only haul stuff when you really need it. For every one hundred pounds you can save two percent or seven cents a gallon.

Sorry honey, your brother can’t come with. It’d cost an extra thirty cents a gallon.

Diesel Maintenance For MN

At Hughes Automotive Inc we hear from a lot of people who are excited about the new diesel engines that will soon be available in passenger cars and SUV’s. But our MN friends are often curious about the preventive maintenance requirements. People may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there’re nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline.

Here’s who’s announced or is expected to announce new diesels for North America: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Of course, the US auto makers will be expanding their diesel offerings as well. Diesels will become a very big deal here in MN.

You may ask, why has it taken so long getting to MN and North America? There are a bunch of reasons like fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurtle was that MN diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Recent government mandates to remove sulfur now opens up MN to the engines the rest of the world’s been enjoying for a long time.

Why are diesels so popular worldwide? Well, for starters, diesels get up to 30% better fuel economy than gas engines. And they last a lot longer. And modern diesel engines are refined, quiet and powerful – and there’s none of that black smoke we used to see.

Some people may think that diesels create more pollution. But, you need to rethink diesels. Environmental pollution standards for diesel cars and light trucks are scheduled to be as strict as they are for gasoline vehicles. A modern diesel engine is as clean as a gas engine.

You may also have heard a lot in the news about bio-diesel. The exciting thing about diesels is that they’re not limited to fossil fuels. They can run on fuel made from vegetable oil. There are refineries that make diesel fuel from cellulosic waste like woodchips from lumber mills. There’s even this cool new process where a special strain of algae is used to convert carbon dioxide, water and sunshine into bio-diesel. That’s still a ways off, but you can see that diesel can become a sustainable source of fuel.

And, there are not a lot of trade off’s with diesel in terms of performance. A modern passenger car diesel is very smooth, quiet and quick. Most folks wouldn’t notice any difference. For those who tow trailers and haul heavy loads, diesels will be an improvement.

Now diesel engines are heavy duty, so they cost more than gas engines. But they get better fuel economy – so the break-even point is largely dependent on the difference between MN gas and diesel prices at the pump and how many miles you drive. And diesels have a higher resale value.

Now, let’s get back to diesel maintenance. You have to keep in mind that most of the new diesels are just coming in, or will be over the next couple of years, so we don’t have the maintenance schedules to make direct comparisons yet.

But going off what we already have in MN, we can expect fluid drain intervals to be similar to gasoline engines. Diesels do require very clean fuel, air and oil, so their filters are much higher capacity than gasoline filters and cost more. The engine air filter needs to be changed more frequently as well.

Repair costs are similar. As with gasoline engines, proper maintenance is the key to long engine life and to avoiding repairs. So pretty much what we have come to expect with gas vehicles; coolant system service, transmission service, power brakes, power steering, differential, filters, fuel system, and so on. And the payoff for you, if you’re the kind that likes to keep your vehicles for a long time, is that a properly maintained diesel engine can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

Gas Savings In Eagle Lake: Sharpen Your Pencil

High gas prices in Eagle Lake increase the cost of living for MN drivers. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Eagle Lake vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to MN news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

Gas Savings In Eagle Lake: Sharpen Your PencilIn this area, we can take a lesson from professional Eagle Lake vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Eagle Lake folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their Mankato business in the red.

So what does this mean to Eagle Lake drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your MPG. Here’s a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most Eagle Lake car owners honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?

Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Hughes Automotive Inc. Figure that they combine to improve your MPG by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in Eagle Lake is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your sedan, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

20 MPG

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Eagle Lake for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in gas mileage can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Eagle Lake. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

GAS PRICE $3.50 $4.50 $5.50
10 MPG $480 $660 $840
20 MPG $165 $255 $345
30 MPG $60 $120 $180


So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Hughes Automotive Inc. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of cash at Eagle Lake gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.



Is Your Eagle Lake Driving Severe?

People near Eagle Lake MN often ask Hughes Automotive Inc how often they should have a particular service done. It’s a great thing to ask. You can look at your owner’s manual, or have your Eagle Lake MN service advisor at Hughes Automotive Inc look up your vehicle in a service database. What you find is often a surprise to people – there are actually two service schedules.

One is the regular schedule and the other is the severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe service schedule. When asked, most folks in Eagle Lake MN will say that their driving is normal and that the ‘regular’ schedule probably applies to them. ‘Severe service’ sounds pretty extreme – ‘I don’t drive like that’.

Well, here is what the manufacturers say constitutes severe driving conditions; you can draw your own conclusions.

  • Most of your trips are less than four miles.
  • Most of your trips are less than ten miles and outside temperatures are below freezing.
  • The engine is at low speed most of the time – not on the highway. You operate your vehicle in dusty areas.
  • You regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads.
  • Drive with a car-top carrier.
  • Stop and go driving.
  • Driving in very hot or very cold weather.

If that’s severe driving, what constitutes regular driving? Well, it would look something like this: I live somewhere with moderate temperatures all year round – I’m thinking San Diego here. And I live close to a freeway on-ramp. Everywhere I need to go is right off the freeway, at least four miles from my home. I can drive at a steady 60 miles per hour when I’m on the freeway.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like my normal driving. It sounds more like ideal conditions. I live where it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I run short errands around Eagle Lake. Occasionally we load up for family trips.

For me, normal driving includes elements of severe service driving. So here’s what I tell people: think about how you drive, where you live, where you go and what you are expecting to with your vehicle in the near future.

Picture a line with ‘regular’ on one end and ‘severe’ on the other, and make a judgment on where you fall. If your regular oil change recommendation is 5,000 miles and the severe service recommendation is 3,000 – when should you change your oil? For me, it’s closer to 3,000 miles. For my wife, it’s closer to 5,000 miles. Your Eagle Lake MN auto service advisor at Hughes Automotive Inc will be happy to have this discussion with you and help you sort it out.

Just a quick word on why severe service intervals are shorter. One has to do with heat. That can either be external heat from the weather or engine and transmission heat from stop and go driving or working extra hard moving heavy loads or towing. The heat causes the fluids like oil and transmission fluid to break down more quickly and then they aren’t as effective.

Another factor is water. Moisture naturally collects in fluids as they cool. In your motor oil, for example, if you don’t drive long enough for the oil to fully heat up, the water won’t evaporate. Water in the oil can lead to the buildup of damaging sludge.

If you live where the air is dusty or polluted, fluids will become contaminated and filters will get dirtier more quickly.

So make an honest evaluation of your driving conditions. You’ve made the commitment to take care of your vehicles, so it only makes sense to follow the right schedule.

Wheel Balancing at Hughes Automotive Inc

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? Eagle Lake car owners can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on MN interstates. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it’s a back tire, you’ll feel the vibration in your seat.

Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Hughes Automotive Inc, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the service specialist will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it’s too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 MPH, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s where you get your vibration.

Most Eagle Lake drivers are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.

Most high-quality tires sold in Eagle Lake hold their balance pretty well for car owners. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at Hughes Automotive Inc in Eagle Lake if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and dangerous tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some expensive repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better fuel economy.

Some Mankato car owners have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owners’ manual for your requirements, or ask your honest Hughes Automotive Inc service specialist. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.

What To Do In Case Of An Accident in Mankato

Screeching tires, crunching metal – it’s an accident! If you’ve ever been in a car accident in Eagle Lake, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It’s hard to think straight and know what to do.

Let’s review what Eagle Lake motorists should do in case of an accident:

When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in Eagle Lake is considered a crime – even if it’s not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your MN driver’s license or even jail time.

Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other Mankato and Janesville motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call Mankato emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.

Eagle Lake drivers should always file a police report. It’s tempting for Eagle Lake motorists to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you’ll not have an objective report to help defend yourself. Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don’t. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the Eagle Lake police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of the law, the other guy is responsible.

Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as “I was going thirty miles an hour” not “I wasn’t speeding”. Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you. Also get the officer’s name and ID number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.

Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license number and expiration
  • Insurance information

Also take down a description of the other Eagle Lake vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most MN auto insurance companies don’t record license plate numbers, so the VIN number is the best way to track a vehicle in MN.

Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can’t wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary. Always call your insurance agent or your insurance company. Call or see a physician if you think you may have been injured. For vehicle repairs, call Hughes Automotive Inc at 507.257.3730

Contact Hughes Automotive Inc to learn more about what do do in case of an auto accident.
You can find us at:
109 E LeRay Ave
Eagle Lake, MN 56024
Or call us at 507.257.3730

Hughes Automotive Inc and AutoNetTV hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy Eagle Lake travels.

Eagle Lake Customer Detective Work

One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at Hughes Automotive Inc in Eagle Lake MN is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.

Cars are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So it’s challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it’s not something obvious, it’s easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.

Let us introduce you to something we’ll call Customer Detective Work – that is helping your Eagle Lake MN technician find clues to what’s wrong.

We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me. You come in to Hughes Automotive Inc and your car is making a funny sound.

  • Q: Where’s the sound?
  • A: Around the right front wheel.
  • Q: What kind of sound?
  • A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.
  • Q: When do you hear the sound?
  • A: When I turn and accelerate.
  • Q: Right and left? Forwards and back?…

Do you see where we’re going? You’re gathering additional information to help your Eagle Lake MN technician know where to start. Based on your car and the tech’s experience, he’ll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.

You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says “making a funny noise”.

When you think you need to bring a vehicle in, make some notes about the problem. Rather than just saying “it’s leaking”, tell the tech the color of the fluid, and approximately where under the car you see the puddle.

Things like ‘the car is stalling or sputtering’ are often very hard to diagnose because they’re intermittent. They may not happen every time you drive and usually aren’t happening when you actually bring the car in. So, it is a big help for you to describe what’s happening in as much detail as possible.

Your Eagle Lake MN technician at Hughes Automotive Inc will need to be able to duplicate the problem if possible so he needs to know details, like ‘it stalls after it’s been driven for about 20 minutes and I go over 50 miles an hour’.

If the tech can experience the problem personally, he’s better able to make a diagnosis and repair. And, then test to see if the repair solved the problem.

Clean Fuel Makes a Happy Engine In Eagle Lake, MN


If the fuel system in your sedan is dirty, you will be hurting your gas mileage and losing performance as you drive around Eagle Lake, MN.

Unless they drive a vintage car, Eagle Lake car owners have fuel injectors which need to be properly maintained. That is why your sedan owner’s manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Your honest service advisor at Hughes Automotive Inc in Eagle Lake has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Hughes Automotive Inc uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.

After a professional fuel system cleaning at Hughes Automotive Inc, you’ll notice more power, improved MPG and reduced exhaust emissions. AutoNetTV strongly recommends you follow your auto manufacturers fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your sedan running strong.

Eagle Lake auto owners don’t need the added expense of replacing a fuel injector that’s been damaged by neglect. Check with your honest Hughes Automotive Inc tech and see when your car is scheduled for an important fuel system cleaning.