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Automotive Tips from Convenience Auto Service: Serpentine Belt System Wear

The primary job of the serpentine belt for Ann Arbor drivers is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at optimal speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded around Ann Arbor with a dead battery. In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature wear and possible early replacement. When as little as 5% of belt material is lost, the serpentine belt cannot provide the proper traction for the accessories. Your friendly and professional Convenience Auto Service service advisor can inspect your belt for excessive wear and replace your serpentine belt system if it’s excessively worn.Give us a call.Convenience Auto Service2280 W. Liberty StreetAnn Arbor, Michigan 4810373

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Serpentine Belt

Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Convenience Auto Service

When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.Buying tires at Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor is a lot like buying shoes, except that Ann Arbor vehicles don't have changeable apparel and don't need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Positive Crankcase Ventilation ? PCV Valve Service at Convenience Auto Service

Hello Ann Arbor! Did you know that the first federally-mandated emissions control device was introduced in the 1960's? The Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve, or PCV valve, has been installed in Michigan vehicles since 1964 and represents the first legislation by the United States government to regulate harmful emissions as well as to improve performance in the country's vehicles.The PCV valve, as you can probably guess, is located on the crankcase. The crankcase is the lowest part of a vehicle's engine. It houses the crankshaft and the engine oil. The crankshaft connects to the pistons that power the engine.Pistons are pushed down when fuel is burned in an engine. This causes the crankshaft to rotate, which sends power to the transmission.  It ultimately turns the axles and causes the vehicle to move. Some of the gases released by the burning fuel squeeze around the pistons and down into the crankcase.If the escaped gases mix with the engine oi ... read more

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Exhaust

The Convenience Auto Service Basic Guide To Synthetic Oil

Synthetic motor oil has been around for a long time, and more and more new vehicles are leaving factories with synthetic in their engines. But a lot of drivers don't really know much about it.Let's start with conventional oil – the kind folks are used to. Conventional oil is made up of naturally occurring hydrocarbon chains, which means its molecules are long and have various lengths. Like a pile of pencils, some of them new and some of them used.Synthetic oil is man-made. Its molecules are more uniform and regular in shape – more similar to marbles than pencils. Some synthetic oil starts with a petroleum base that's modified and others are entirely synthesized from other materials.Synthetic motor oil works better in both hot and cold temperatures. It's more chemically stable so it doesn't readily evaporate or break down in the high heat produced inside your vehicle engine. This means it resists turning to sludge, which is a real engine killer.Remember that marbles and ... read more

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Fluids

The Convenience Auto Service Basic Guide To Synthetic Oil

Synthetic motor oil has been around for a long time, and more and more new vehicles are leaving factories with synthetic in their engines. But a lot of drivers don't really know much about it.Let's start with conventional oil – the kind folks are used to. Conventional oil is made up of naturally occurring hydrocarbon chains, which means its molecules are long and have various lengths. Like a pile of pencils, some of them new and some of them used.Synthetic oil is man-made. Its molecules are more uniform and regular in shape – more similar to marbles than pencils. Some synthetic oil starts with a petroleum base that's modified and others are entirely synthesized from other materials.Synthetic motor oil works better in both hot and cold temperatures. It's more chemically stable so it doesn't readily evaporate or break down in the high heat produced inside your vehicle engine. This means it resists turning to sludge, which is a real engine killer.Remember that marbles and ... read more

The Convenience Auto Service Basic Guide To Synthetic Oil

Synthetic motor oil has been around for a long time, and more and more new vehicles are leaving factories with synthetic in their engines. But a lot of drivers don't really know much about it.Let's start with conventional oil – the kind folks are used to. Conventional oil is made up of naturally occurring hydrocarbon chains, which means its molecules are long and have various lengths. Like a pile of pencils, some of them new and some of them used.Synthetic oil is man-made. Its molecules are more uniform and regular in shape – more similar to marbles than pencils. Some synthetic oil starts with a petroleum base that's modified and others are entirely synthesized from other materials.Synthetic motor oil works better in both hot and cold temperatures. It's more chemically stable so it doesn't readily evaporate or break down in the high heat produced inside your vehicle engine. This means it resists turning to sludge, which is a real engine killer.Remember that marbles and ... read more

The Convenience Auto Service Basic Guide To Synthetic Oil

Synthetic motor oil has been around for a long time, and more and more new vehicles are leaving factories with synthetic in their engines. But a lot of drivers don't really know much about it.Let's start with conventional oil – the kind folks are used to. Conventional oil is made up of naturally occurring hydrocarbon chains, which means its molecules are long and have various lengths. Like a pile of pencils, some of them new and some of them used.Synthetic oil is man-made. Its molecules are more uniform and regular in shape – more similar to marbles than pencils. Some synthetic oil starts with a petroleum base that's modified and others are entirely synthesized from other materials.Synthetic motor oil works better in both hot and cold temperatures. It's more chemically stable so it doesn't readily evaporate or break down in the high heat produced inside your vehicle engine. This means it resists turning to sludge, which is a real engine killer.Remember that marbles and ... read more

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Oil Change

Convenience Auto Service Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Convenience Auto Service Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Today's Convenience Auto Service post focuses on using coolant. If you pour in the wrong kind, it won't protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your vehicle owner's manual. Of course, your Convenience Auto Service service advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.Brake fluid is confusing for some Ann Arbor drivers. Back when we opened Convenience Auto Service, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Ann Arbor residents mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That's not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your vehicle.Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at Convenience Auto Service: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in vehicle automatic transmissions, there have been several ne ... read more

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Fluids

Ann Arbor Exhaust and Emissions Service

Many Ann Arbor residents don't realize that there is more to exhaust system maintenance than just tailpipes and mufflers, if you can see smoke or if it's too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like Convenience Auto Service is really a lot more comprehensive these days.For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Michigan and federal emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it's so sophisticated, we recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Convenience Auto Service, regularly to make sure everything's working right – which is u ... read more

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Exhaust

Used Cars: Convenience Auto Service Advice on What to Do After You Buy

Used vehicles are certainly an economical choice for budget-conscious Ann Arbor drivers. But how can we know we're getting a good used vehicle and not just inheriting someone else's problems?There are good used vehicles for sale in the Ann Arbor area. Vehicles are sold when families upsize, when families downsize or even when someone just wants a new ride. So the used vehicle may be just fine. But some Ann Arbor used vehicle owners sell them because they don't want to deal with developing or existing problems.When you're considering buying a used vehicle in Ann Arbor, ask for service records. Check to see if the recommended schedules for preventive maintenance have been followed. If so, you probably have a great used vehicle on your hands. If there aren't any service records, then assume the worst.Check the vehicle for obvious signs of problems. Kick the tires if you want to but definitely check them for uneven tread wear. This can indicate alignment pro ... read more

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Older Vehicles