Reliable Auto Care: Trustworthy, local, expert care

Here in the northland, winter conditions can – and do – take their toll on our vehicles. So, whenever snow, salt or subzero temperatures wreak havoc on our main source of transportation, it’s nice to know that trustworthy, expert care can be found close to home.
At 1018 Hwy. 55 East in Buffalo, Reliable Auto Care has been serving drivers’ automotive needs since 2005, covering an  A-to-Z spectrum of issues from basic maintenance to sophisticated diagnostics. For most makes and models, this one-stop shop is equipped to address just about any problem with brakes, tires, shocks, suspension, steering, and more. 
A family-owned business, Reliable Auto Care is run by Jeff and Kris Jackson, with the able assistance of mechanic Shane Harner, a longtime friend and colleague. Together, Jeff and Shane bring more than 40 years of combined experience to the job, with Shane addressing electrical issues and Jeff covering areas of steering and suspension. Both are skilled engine diagnosticians, with ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) credentials. 
They are also known for translating mechanical diagnostics into common terms that are understandable to the average motorist, and are honest about letting customers know whether a problem is immediate and severe or a small matter that might be put off for a bit.
Winter car care 
While today’s automobiles handle the cold better than the cars and trucks of decades past, proper maintenance is still important to a vehicle’s winter survival.
“Maintenance is key,” Jeff said. “If your battery is getting older, you might want to check it, and check your fluid levels, too. It might be better to come in and let us do it – that might be easier.”
Different coolants are used for different cars, he added, and changes are required at various intervals.
Tires also deserve special attention at this time of year.
“Air pressure in tires fluctuates with the cold,” Jeff said. “That can affect your tire wear and your traction on the road.”  
And when winter sends its worst, with long cold spells and deep snow, it can create a unique problem, especially for those who park outdoors. 
“When people drive in this weather, snow gets packed in the wheel wells and rims, which can cause the vehicle to have a vibration or shaking ,” Kris said. “They don’t realize why their car shakes. It’s one of the first things to look for, especially if it’s been cold for a long time and the snow doesn’t get a chance to melt.”
Jeff recommends one simple step to save yourself a world of winter problems with your car or truck, and it is one that many Minnesotans have learned to live by: letting the vehicle warm up a bit before taking to the roads.
“Let it idle for a while,” he suggested. “At 20 below zero, the fluids are a lot thicker than they are at 70 degrees. And rolling the windows down when they’re frozen, or running the wipers when they’re frozen, can really hurt the motors and the linkages.”
Hometown values 
Annandale natives who have made their home in Maple Lake for the past six years, the Jacksons are parents to a 21-year-old son and twin daughters who have just begun driving. Their business reflects their community roots by supporting several local sports and civic organizations, including the Buffalo High School swim team, the Buffalo Hockey Association and area food shelves. 
Reliable Auto Care carries an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and attracts loyal customers from Delano, Rockford, Montrose, Becker, Big Lake, Monticello, Annandale, Maple Lake, Cambridge and even Minneapolis who appreciate the personal service they and their cars receive there.
Reliable Auto Care is open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on Fridays. Shuttle service is available upon request. Call 763-682-3222 for an appointment.