• 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.

     

  • Let Convenience Auto Service Help You Extend the Life of Your Car

    2017-05-22 09:06:03

    If you haven't shopped in the Ann Arbor area for a new vehicle recently, you're likely to experience some sticker shock. It seems everything is costing more these days. And when you consider the price of auto financing in Ann Arbor, and insurance, the idea of hanging on to your old vehicle for a few more years gets even more attractive.

    On the plus side, vehicles these days are engineered to last for 150,000 miles (250,000 km) or more. So why don't they? Usually it's because Ann Arbor drivers don't stay on top of preventive maintenance. Good vehicle care at professional automotive service centers like Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor is the key to getting the most mileage out of your vehicle.

    Too often, Ann Arbor vehicle owners are inclined to wait until their vehicles develop an obvious problem and take them in for repairs instead of maintenance. Repairs can be expensive, but allowing routine vehicle maintenance to slide also has the invisible cost in shorter life expectancy for a vehicle.

    For example, the fluid in your coolant system becomes corrosive over time and should be replaced periodically. If not, it can damage the radiator and other engine parts. Talk to our pros at Convenience Auto Service. Over time, this damage can build up until these parts have to be replaced.

    The same goes for the power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning refrigerant, differential fluid and transmission fluid. All of these fluids need to be replaced on schedule or you risk causing serious damage to your vehicle and shortening its life span.

    If oil is not replaced on schedule, your engine can build up oil sludge, which can also lead to serious engine damage. Insufficient oil can also eventually cause your engine to seize. Brake pads should be replaced before they are completely worn down. This prevents expensive damage to rotors and/or drums. Again, your Convenience Auto Service pros can advise you.

    Belts and hoses should all be inspected regularly. If they are showing signs of wear, they need to be replaced. If belts break or hoses begin to leak, the results can be repair bills. Again, this can significantly reduce the life expectancy of your vehicle.

    Most Ann Arbor drivers recognize the wisdom of keeping up with preventive maintenance. But we also have a lot of other responsibilities on our plate. Vehicle care just doesn't get to the top of our list until it becomes an emergency. Unfortunately, that emergency usually means repair bills, which always seem to add up to more than the preventive maintenance at Convenience Auto Service would have cost us.

    So take some good auto advice and develop a relationship with a certified service center located near your Ann Arbor area neighborhood. At Convenience Auto Service, we value the relationships we have established with our clients. We keep track of our customers' vehicle needs and help them keep its maintenance on schedule. We know you have a lot of other things to keep track of.

    As far as car care goes, the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” holds true. At Convenience Auto Service, we rephrase it as “a dollar now saves $10 later.” Or $20. Or $100. Or more.

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

  • Keeping Your Engine Cool in Ann Arbor, Michigan

    2017-05-14 09:54:03



    The cooling system keeps Michigan vehicle's engines from overheating while they are driving around Ann Arbor. Its job is to move heat away from the engine. Let's talk about the various components of the system and how they make this happen.

    The radiator is the part most Ann Arbor drivers associate with the cooling system. Coolant flows through the radiator which has fine cooling fins that draw the heat out of the coolant and dissipate it into the air. To make sure there's enough airflow over the radiator, a fan pulls air over the cooling fins even when the vehicle is idling.

    In some vehicles, the fan is powered by the serpentine belt. On others, an electric motor runs the fan. Electric fans turn on and off as needed. You may have heard the fan kick on shortly after you turn your vehicle off. The sensor has determined that the engine needs a little help cooling down to a safe temperature.

    A hose connects the radiator to the water pump. The water pump pushes the water into the vehicle engine block. Now the engine block and cylinder heads have passages for the coolant to pass through without getting into the oil or the combustion chamber. In the automotive community, these passages are referred to as the "water jacket."

    While the coolant is passing through the water jacket, it absorbs heat from the vehicle engine on its way to the radiator for cooling. Between the engine and the radiator is a gatekeeper called the thermostat. The thermostat's job is to regulate the temperature of the engine just like your home thermostat regulates the temperature in your house. It gets your engine up to the correct operating temperature and then keeps it from overheating.

    When you first start the engine, it's very cold and needs to warm up. So the thermostat blocks the flow of coolant to the radiator. As the engine warms up, the thermostat starts to let coolant flow through the system.

    The final component the team at Convenience Auto Service wants to point out is the overflow reservoir. This bottle is designed to hold some of the coolant. It'll have a mark that indicates whether or not you have enough coolant. This is where you should add coolant if you just need to top it off.

    Caution: never open the reservoir or the radiator cap when the car's hot. The cooling system is pressurized, and opening those caps while it's hot can cause hot coolant and steam to escape resulting in serious burns.

    Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles around Ann Arbor, Michigan. At Convenience Auto Service, we can do a periodic inspection of the components for  leaks, loose connections and weakening hoses.

    Your vehicle manufacturer has also specified a cooling system service interval. With a cooling system service at Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor, the old coolant is replaced with correct clean fluid that contains the additives required to prevent corrosion. The additives are depleted over time and you need fresh fluid for adequate protection. Your radiator pressure cap should be replaced at this service as well.

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

  • Maintenance on My Mind

    2017-05-07 03:36:03

    Ask any Ann Arbor man or woman if they've taken their vehicle in for preventive maintenance lately, and the answer may well be “no.” Surveys indicate that over 80% of vehicles on the road today are in need of some kind of repair or maintenance. Now, ask that same person why he hasn't taken his car in for care. The answer will probably be that he forgot or that he just didn't think about it. Most Ann Arbor residents seem to have a hard time remembering about scheduled maintenance for their vehicles.

    Funny, because most of us in Ann Arbor have no trouble remembering to wash our clothes, mow our lawns or brush our teeth. It isn't that we can't remember to take our vehicles for service; it's a matter of making it a priority.

    When it comes to our vehicles, Ann Arbor drivers like myself, need to be a little more maintenance-minded. The fact is, we can choose to do it, or we might find ourselves being compelled to do it.

    For example, when we consistently forget to brush our teeth, a major consequence usually follows. The pain of that experience usually compels us to be more mindful of our teeth and take better care of them.

    The same goes for our vehicles. If we ignore them long enough, a painful experience is sure to follow—painful for our pocketbooks, that is. People in Ann Arbor who have gone through that experience are usually more conscientious about proper car care.

    So, if you're not a fan of the school of hard knocks, at least when it comes to vehicle maintenance, remind yourself to look after your car. Pay attention to the little oil change tag on your windshield. When it's time take your car in, do it. But don't just change the oil. Get a full-service oil change at Convenience Auto Service. Your technician will then check all of your fluids. He can advise you if any of them need to be changed or if any of them are low.

    Low fluid levels can indicate leaks or a worn hose or seal, so they can check those for you as well. Other signs of wear are also immediately evident when you get a full-service oil change, such as a cracked serpentine belt or corroded battery cable. Your Convenience Auto Service technician will also check the vehicle manufacturer's service recommendations for your vehicle and advise you of any other routine service that is coming due.

    It's like a one-stop shop for auto advice that will keep you on top of your vehicle's maintenance.

    If there is more to be done than the budget allows, you can get a picture of what needs to be done.  Then, create a plan with your Convenience Auto Service service advisor and budget for it during the coming months. It's a whole lot less painful than unexpected car repairs.

    Vehicles are more reliable than they ever have been. They can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But they're also expensive and complicated machines. Ann Arbor drivers can't expect them to run forever without proper fluids and filters. Preventive maintenance at Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor will improve the reliability and life expectancy of your vehicle, as well as ensuring your safety on the road in Michigan.

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

  • Improve Fuel Economy with Proper Maintenance at Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor

    2017-05-01 07:03:03

    With Ann Arbor gas prices being what they are, many of us in Michigan are driving less and looking into purchasing smaller or more efficient vehicles. Ann Arbor area residents who have to drive a lot, have large families or need four-wheel drive are particularly hard hit by the cost of fuel in Michigan. But there are things all Ann Arbor drivers can do to save fuel: We can improve our driving habits and stay on top of preventive maintenance at Convenience Auto Service. These things make small savings possible, but they can really add up.

    Let's start with driving habits. One major gas-eater is jackrabbit starts. A smooth, gradual acceleration uses a lot less fuel. It's also easier on your engine and drivetrain, so you'll prolong their lives as well.

    If you drive with one foot on the brake, stop. That creates drag, increasing fuel usage and reducing the useful life of your brakes.

    Slowing down can really add up on gas savings over time for Ann Arbor drivers. Driving five to ten miles over the speed limit can use up 10 to 15% more gas. The time savings is only a few minutes per hour, so the cost per minute can be rather steep.

    A little extra planning can save fuel for vehicle owners  in Ann Arbor as well. Leave a little early so you have time to slow down and still arrive on time. Also, plan errands ahead of time and group them as much as possible. Driving shorter distances is a great way to save fuel.

    Using your cruise control where safe can save on fuel. Check your owner's manual for guidelines on when cruise control is recommended and when it isn't.

    Clean out your trunk. Every ounce in your vehicle translates to a bit more fuel required to drive around Ann Arbor.

    Many Ann Arbor residents let their car warm up during the winter - a major fuel drain. Your engine doesn't benefit; modern engines don't require a warm up to get up and running, although it's best to take it easy on them for the first few miles.

    Now that we've gone over a few tips for improving driving habits, let's talk about the maintenance of our vehicle. Good car care at Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor actually pays for itself in fuel savings.

    First, if your gas cap is leaking or worn, get a new one.

    Second, keep your engine clean. Clogged fuel filters, dirty fuel injectors and plugged PCV valves all cost you in loss of fuel. Replacing them or cleaning them will both improve fuel economy and increase the power you're getting from your engine.

    Third, don't ignore your Check Engine light. Problems that cause that light to come on usually affect your fuel efficiency.

    Fourth, check your 's owner's manual for service that should be regularly performed on your vehicle, and follow the schedule. Or talk to your friendly service advisor at Convenience Auto Service . Oil changes, transmission checks and cooling system service all improve fuel economy if they're done when needed. Low fluids and dirty fluids also create conditions in your vehicle that require more fuel. So routine maintenance is a must to maintain fuel economy and save cash.

    Last, keep your tires inflated. Underinflated tires increase your vehicle's friction with the roadway, which increases the energy it takes to move. Keeping your tires properly inflated is great for saving gas as you drive around Ann Arbor.

    So if the cost of gas in Ann Arbor has got you searching the sofa for extra pennies, you might want to start making a few changes in your driving habits and getting your vehicle the service it needs at Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor.

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

  • Convenience Auto Service Engine Air Filter Replacement

    2017-04-25 02:57:03

    When your experienced Convenience Auto Service technician changes your oil, he will also inspect your air filter. You shouldn't need a new air filter at every oil change, but you will need to change it regularly. Heed your technician's auto advice if they tell you to change your air filter.

    An air filter does what its name implies: it filters stuff out of the air. Air is drawn into your engine through the filter because your engine needs air to burn fuel. If the filter weren't there, a lot of dust and debris would come into the vehicle engine with the air when you are driving around Ann Arbor. That dust and debris would get hot, burn and produce all kinds of ash and gumminess that would eventually clog up your engine.

    Drop in an air filter and voilá! Problem solved.

    But air filters themselves get clogged up with all the junk they clean out of the Ann Arbor air. This doesn't allow the junk into the vehicle engine, but it does block up the airflow. A blocked airflow will reduce engine efficiency.

    Ann Arbor residents who get a charge out of the feeling of power in their engine might consider upgrading their air filter. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Convenience Auto Service service advisor. Premium air filters have been proven to increase horsepower and torque. So with the cost of a premium air filter, you can increase the horsepower in your engine — there's no cheaper way to do that!

    It's also one of the simplest elements of routine preventive maintenance – and it protects against damage to expensive vehicle electronic systems. No Ann Arbor resident should have an excuse to drive around Michigan roads and highways with a dirty air filter.

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

     

  • The Convenience Auto Service Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

    2017-04-16 11:06:05

    The automotive professionals at Convenience Auto Service would like to give Ann Arbor drivers an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, vehicles are becoming more sophisticated every day.  Fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.

    The Ann Arbor do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many Michigan ] owners rely on the advice of their friendly and knowledgeable Convenience Auto Service service advisor to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their vehicle and their driving habits in the Ann Arbor area.

    Let's start with engine oil. Ann Arbor drivers who have been paying attention will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the Michigan scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. The vehicle manufacturers recommend the weight of oil for each vehicle they make. The recommendation is based on engine design. Your Ann Arbor service center will know what weight your vehicle manufacturer recommends - and it's important to follow those recommendations. Your service advisor at Convenience Auto Service can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can tell you all about conventional and synthetic oils.

    Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, vehicle manufacturers only recommended a couple of different types of coolant. Now, several different formulations are needed because of the high-tech materials that vehicle manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant in your vehicle can actually void your warranty, so it's important to get that right.

    Transmission fluid is becoming specialized for Ann Arbor vehicles as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that require specific formulations. Recently, new, somewhat confusing, standards for brake fluid have also been released.

    Not too long ago, there was a good chance that all of the vehicles at your house would use many of the same fluids. However, as automotive technology advances, the array of basic automotive fluids Michigan drivers need will grow. And, some of the formulations will cost a little more for Ann Arbor drivers. Fortunately, Convenience Auto Service will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you'll get the right fluids your vehicle needs. It's all part of the commitment we make to your driving peace of mind.

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

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