• AAA - Cautions in Extreme Heat

    2017-08-01 11:49:04
    {?video;480;360;http://www.youtube.com/embed/0t63k66IjSk;http://www.protech-automotive.com/Car-Care-Tips/content/images/AAA_ExtremeHeat.jpg;/video?} With temperatures soaring to record highs around the country, AAA cautions motorists not to underestimate the ways in which extreme heat can wreak havoc on vehicles. With an estimated eight million automobiles in need of AAA’s roadside assistance this summer, heat will take its toll on vehicles and their occupants. “Prolonged exposure to high temperatures is not only a threat to passengers, but a vehicle concern as well,” said John Nielsen, AAA Managing Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Knowing the dangers and preparing your vehicle for extreme heat can help keep your vehicle running smoothly during the hot summer months.” To keep your vehicle running smoothly this summer, AAA recommends motorists address the following common heat-related vehicle problems: Over-Heating Engine Automobile engines work extra hard in the summer, and it is the cooling system’s job to protect the engine from overheating. In addition, additives in the coolant protect the radiator and internal engine components against wear and corrosion. Without proper cooling system maintenance, the odds of long-term engine damage and a summertime boil over definitely increase. Over time, engine coolant becomes contaminated and its protective additives are depleted. That’s why the system should be flushed and the coolant replaced periodically as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Older coolants required changing every two years or 24,000 miles/40,000 km, but most modern formulations are good for at least five years and 50,000 miles/80,000 km, and many do not require replacement until approximately 100,000 miles/160,000 km. See the owner’s manual or maintenance booklet to determine the service interval appropriate for a vehicle. Between flushes, make sure the coolant is filled to the proper levels by checking the overflow reservoir. If necessary, top off the reservoir with a 50/50 mix of water and the coolant type specified by the vehicle manufacturer. CAUTION! Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot; boiling coolant under pressure could cause serious burns. Other fluids help keep vehicles running cool as well. Most vehicle fluids don’t just lubricate, they also serve as coolants by helping carry heat away from critical components. When fluid levels are low, this cooling effect is reduced, and the possibility of overheating increases. Drivers should check all vehicle fluids including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid to ensure they are filled to the appropriate levels. If any fluids need to be topped off, be sure to use the type of fluid specified in the owner’s manual. Battery Failure Due to Heat and Vibration Heat and vibration are a battery’s two worst enemies, leading to internal breakdown and eventual failure. While drivers cannot do much about the heat, they can make sure their battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration. If a car’s battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested by a trained technician to determine how much longer it will last. This test can be performed while you wait at {?coname?}. Should the battery need replacement, the technician can usually replace it immediately. Blown Tire Driving on underinflated tires not only affects the handling and braking of a vehicle, it also can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high. Tires should be checked when the vehicle has not been driven recently, and they should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer—not the number molded into the tire sidewall. Recommended tire pressures can be found in the owner’s manual or on a tire information sticker normally located on the driver’s door jamb. Drivers also should inspect the tire treads for adequate depth and any signs of uneven wear that might indicate a suspension or alignment problem. Air Conditioning Failure During extreme summer heat, a properly operating air conditioning system can be more than just a pleasant convenience. If a car’s air conditioning is not maintaining the interior temperature as well as it did in the past, it may mean the refrigerant level is low or there is another problem. Have the air conditioning system checked by a certified technician. Many automotive climate control systems today are equipped with a cabin filter that prevents outside debris from entering. If present, this filter should be inspected and replaced as needed to ensure maximum airflow and cooling during the summer months. If you think your vehicle is experiencing problems due to the extreme summer heat, have it checked out by a trained automotive technician. The AAA Approved Auto Repair program is a free public service that helps motorists identify high-quality auto repair facilities they can trust to work on their vehicle. AAA Approved Auto Repair shops must meet stringent professional standards and maintain an ongoing customer satisfaction rating of 90 percent or better. To locate a nearby AAA-approved repair shop, visit AAA.com/Repair. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
  • Fuel System Cleaning the Professional Way at Convenience Auto Service

    2017-07-25 07:58:03

    Your fuel system needs to be clean to do its job properly. When it gets dirty, the results are lower engine performance, reduced fuel economy and impaired safety. It can even lead to costly repair bills for Ann Arbor drivers. So keep your fuel system clean as part of your routine preventive maintenance.

    Fuel injectors have replaced carburetors in most of today's vehicles. These injectors deliver better fuel economy than a carburetor, but they can be compromised by rust, dirt and other contaminants. They need to be clean to maintain the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume of delivered fuel so that the vehicle engine can run at peak efficiency.

    There are products on the market that Ann Arbor vehicle owners can add to their gas tank that will help keep your fuel injectors clean. These products will keep a clean fuel system clean but have trouble cleaning a system that has already gotten gummed up.

    If your fuel system needs a major cleaning, Convenience Auto Service can help. We have the tools and chemicals necessary to clean up your fuel system. We can remove accumulated carbon, grit, gum and varnish and get your fuel system and those all-important fuel injectors back up to snuff. Once your fuel system is clean, you'll notice the difference in improved power and better fuel economy. You may not notice that your vehicle is now producing fewer emissions, but our Michigan environment will be better for it.

    Ann Arbor drivers should consider adding a cleaning product to their gas tank after a fuel system cleaning. Those cleaners will help prevent your fuel system getting gummed up again, plus they can prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system.

    Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Convenience Auto Service if your vehicle is in need of a fuel system cleaning. That kind of auto advice can save you big bucks in repair bills down the road.

    Your owner's manual and Convenience Auto Service service advisor can help you with other car care advice that can help improve the safety and performance of your vehicle. Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor can also help you set up a schedule to perform that maintenance and help you customize that schedule so it accounts for the climate and road conditions in your area.

    Ann Arbor drivers should remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to vehicle care, that old adage has proven itself true.

    Convenience Auto Service
    2280 W. Liberty Street
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
    734-769-0170

  • Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle in Ann Arbor?

    2017-07-18 09:51:03

    There is a clear and vocal demand in Ann Arbor and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the Michigan market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Ann Arbor area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Ann Arbor auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Ann Arbor dealership.

    Ann Arbor drivers should carefully research the vehicle care before buying an alternative fuel vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs as well; these vehicles may help save our environment here in Ann Arbor, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You'll need to decide what you can afford and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.

    Flex Fuel Vehicles
    Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in Michigan.

    Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.

    One piece of Convenience Auto Service auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your vehicle unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.

    Diesel
    Diesel engines are nothing new on Michigan freeways, and many get great fuel economy. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in the Ann Arbor area.

    Natural Gas
    Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Ann Arbor and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on Ann Arbor roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Ann Arbor, ask your Convenience Auto Service service advisor about it.

    On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some Michigan areas, or even unavailable in many parts of the country.


    Electric Vehicles
    Electric vehicles were all the rage in Michigan some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Ann Arbor auto owners. These vehicles won't come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, many of these cars have a short range before their power runs out and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.

    Hybrids
    Hybrids have been among the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Ann Arbor and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.

    There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard vehicle and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.

    In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the vehicle. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV's.

    A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
    One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.

    Convenience Auto Service
    2280 W. Liberty Street
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
    734-769-0170

  • Automotive Tips from Convenience Auto Service: Battery Testing

    2017-07-10 07:46:03

    The simple fact is that 70% of car batteries fail within 4 years. They just need to be replaced at Convenience Auto Service when they are no longer able to hold a full charge.

    Batteries are a big ticket item for most Ann Arbor drivers and it’s tempting to put off buying a new one as long as possible. But a battery that cannot hold a full charge requires the alternator to work extra hard, causing it to wear out prematurely.

    Your Convenience Auto Service service advisor can test your battery to see if it should be replaced. Testing is a good idea for Michigan drivers because a battery might still be good, but become dead because of a bad alternator or even a worn serpentine belt and tensioner.

    Convenience Auto Service
    2280 W. Liberty Street
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
    734-769-0170

     

  • Convenience Auto Service Advice on What to Pour into Your Vehicle

    2017-07-02 04:11:03

    Changes in vehicle design and manufacture have resulted in changed fluid requirements for our vehicles. With the sophistication of engines, transmissions, differentials, etc., it's best for Ann Arbor residents to always use the proper type of fluid for their vehicle. Using incorrect fluids can actually damage your engine.

    As engines have become more sophisticated, new weights (or grades) of engine oil have been introduced. Today, there is a much wider range of weights for engine oil as well as a variety of formulations for different types of engines.

    Transmission fluid, brake fluid and coolant/anti-freeze have changed because the materials that go into making the systems they protect have changed. The fluids in our vehicles generally have two jobs: to lubricate and to prevent corrosion. The fluids formulated for your vehicle are specifically designed to protect the materials that make up its engine parts. Using the wrong fluid may leave some parts vulnerable to corrosion. Further, using the wrong fluids can also void your vehicle's warranty. So Convenience Auto Service recommends Ann Arbor drivers follow the fluid recommendations in their owner's manuals.

    Vehicle fluids, including engine oil, are also designed in special formulas for higher mileage vehicles. These formulas contain additives that help clean older engines and transmissions as well as recondition older seals and gaskets. These fluids are perfectly okay for your vehicle as long as you match the original fluid recommendations in your owner's manual. In other words, a high-mileage oil is fine as long as it is the same weight as the oil recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer.

    Good vehicle care always includes proper attention to your vehicle's fluids. Understanding and using correct fluids will keep your vehicle running well and will help prevent early corrosion and wear of vital engine parts.

    Talk to your Convenience Auto Service service advisor for more information.

    Convenience Auto Service
    2280 W. Liberty Street
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
    734-769-0170

  • Cool Running in Ann Arbor

    2017-06-27 07:25:03

    Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don't hear much any more about cars overheating. That's because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn't mean you can't overheat your vehicle engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the road in Ann Arbor waiting for your vehicle engine to cool down.

    When you service your cooling system at Convenience Auto Service, your technician will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good vehicle care. Your vehicle owner's manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.

    If your engine overheated, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the vehicle radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He'll also check your water pump. They don't need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need checked regularly. They can and do wear out.

    The water pump is a critical component of your vehicle cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your vehicle cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.

    There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your service advisor will know which kind your vehicle's manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Convenience Auto Service is always a good source for auto advice. We've been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Ann Arbor for years.

    At Convenience Auto Service, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.

    Convenience Auto Service
    2280 W. Liberty Street
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
    734-769-0170

  • Automotive Tips from Convenience Auto Service: Making a Battery Last Longer

    2017-06-21 10:35:03

    One thing all Ann Arbor drivers can do to extend the life of their battery is to keep it clean. A greasy, dirty battery holds in damaging heat. Same goes for removing corrosion from the terminals. Convenience Auto Service can help maintain your battery.

    Allowing your battery to be deeply depleted – like from using your headlights when the engine is off – is very harmful to your battery. Most automotive batteries can only take that about 10 times before they are ruined.

    Also, making sure you have a full charge every month or so extends battery life. Either an extended drive at freeway speeds around the Ann Arbor are or using a battery charger will preserve your battery’s ability to hold a full charge.

    Give us a call.

    Convenience Auto Service
    2280 W. Liberty Street
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
    734-769-0170

  • Keeping Your Car Young in Ann Arbor

    2017-06-13 09:21:04



    As Ann Arbor consumers, we live in a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away.

    New stuff comes out so fast in Michigan, and much of it is fairly cheap, so we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff - especially parents who grew up in the Depression. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough; we had to do without. 

    We couldn't afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It's a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us Ann Arbor penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care. The engineering's there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's maintenance schedules.

    Is it really that bad for Ann Arbor motorists to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a little longer than the recommended interval  between oil changes, you've created an opportunity for  sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don't get oiled and they start to wear out faster. 

    Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted; the radiator starts being damaged, one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

    It's also even more important for older vehicles in the Ann Arbor area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they're working harder anyway. But it's never too late for Ann Arbor drivers to get back on track with maintenance and to hold off further damage.

    It's just another example of our parents knowing what's best. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That's like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let the pros at Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor help you keep track of the rest.

    Of course, it is inevitable for vehicles that some things are going to wear out along the way, like alternators, water pumps and such; they don't last forever. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It's like having high cholesterol; you don't want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

    Convenience Auto Service
    2280 W. Liberty Street
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
    734-769-0170


     

  • Following Recommended Intervals for Your vehicle

    2017-06-04 01:10:03

    If you're reading this article in Ann Arbor, Michigan, then you probably care about your vehicle and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your professional service advisor at Convenience Auto Service tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you had planned. And you worry that if you say "no," you might be harming your vehicle or risking your family's safety.

    At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. Service recommendations are in your owner's manual. But it is not like you want to keep your vehicle auto maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.

    Vehicles are complicated machines and it takes some effort for Ann Arbor residents to keep them running well. That is why they have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your vehicle performing efficiently and prevent breakdowns. In a typical owner's manual you'll find: oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks - yeah, it is a really long list!

    Fortunately, this isn't a test: Ann Arbor residents don't need to have it memorized. Your friendly advisor at Convenience Auto Service has access to your manufacturer's recommendations. Don't be surprised when your service advisor at Convenience Auto Service reminds you something is due. Your manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let Convenience Auto Service help you stay on top of maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. We'll also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.

    Convenience Auto Service
    2280 W. Liberty Street
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
    734-769-0170

  • What Ann Arbor Automotive Service Consumers Should Know

    2017-06-01 03:22:03

    There are some things drivers should know about Ann Arbor car service and repair. First and foremost, Convenience Auto Service cares about you and your family's safety. And we really appreciate your business. Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.

    Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix vehicles. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The pros who work for Convenience Auto Service need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other technicians to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.

    The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time in Michigan, and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. Average consumers in Ann Arbor may not realize the business and environmental regulations Convenience Auto Service must comply with. Of course that costs money, too. Like any Michigan business, overhead is a big factor.

    When you go into your favorite Ann Arbor area restaurant, you don't value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you'll come back and tell your friends.

    It's the same for Convenience Auto Service. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, customers are happy to see them succeed as a Michigan automotive business.

    Contact Convenience Auto Service to learn more about our extensive auto service training.
    You can find us at:
    Convenience Auto Service
    2280 W. Liberty Street
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
    734-769-0170
    http://convenienceautoservice.autotipsblog.com

    At Convenience Auto Service, we love to see our Ann Arbor customers whenever they come in, but we would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. We want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your friends and family to come in for their scheduled maintenance too. That lowers our marketing costs and helps keep labor rates down. That's good for everyone in Ann Arbor.

     

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