Articles:

Steer Right in Ann Arbor

Virtually all vehicles come with power steering, so many Ann Arbor drivers have never driven a car or truck without it. Power steering assists you when you turn your vehicle steering wheel. Without it, it would be very hard to steer. Now this power assist comes in a couple of forms. In recent years, a lot of vehicles have an electric motor that reduces steering effort and helps improve performance and handling. The other kind of power steering is hydraulic. This is the kind most older Michigan vehicles — and a lot of newer ones — have. Power steering fluid is pressurized by a pump and is used to assist steering. Of course, vehicles need the right amount of fluid in the system. If it's too low, your steering is affected and you could damage your vehicle pump. Also, power steering fluid can become corrosive over time and damage the pump, hoses and connectors, leading to leaks and repairs. Power st ... read more

Categories:

Steering

New School: Automotive Convenience Auto Service Technician Training

Ann Arbor consumers are demanding. We want a safe, reliable vehicle that handles well and is comfortable to ride in. Oh, and we want good fuel economy, too. We also want vehicle repairs that are cheap, fast and easy. Unfortunately, one usually comes at the cost of the other.Today's vehicles have made significant improvements in reliability and performance over the last few decades. They also deliver more power to Ann Arbor drivers more efficiently than ever before. For example, some of today's 4-cylinder engines are equal to yesterday's V-8's. Our vehicles also offer an amazing range of features that make them more comfortable and convenient than ever before.But all of that improvement has come at a price for Ann Arbor vehicle owners. Our vehicles are more complicated and difficult to repair than ever before. They have numerous mechanical and electrical systems. Fuel systems are so complex they have to be run by a computer. Our vehicles are covered with sensors and high-tech elect ... read more

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Maintenance

Fuel Injection Keeps Getting Better for Ann Arbor Motorists

Ann Arbor residents know that engines burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine's cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with airand before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the engine.Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same . The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.Why the big difference in power? Direct ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Will Proper Auto Maintenance at Convenience Auto Service Really Save Gas?

Have you ever thought about all the little things we do to keep our lives running smoothly - like vacuuming? It makes a room feel fresher and more comfortable. We may not consider that we're also prolonging the life of the carpet by keeping it clean. But Ann Arbor drivers don't always extend those good habits into the garage. Our vehicles need regular maintenance just like our rugs need vacuuming. We may not notice a difference in the feel or appearance of the vehicle, but just as cleaning a carpet carries the hidden reward of prolonging its life, maintaining our vehicles incurs a hidden reward that becomes noticeable at Ann Arbor gas stations.When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything Ann Arbor drivers can do to decrease friction and increase the efficiency of their engines will translate to savings on fuel. Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something. So if we can r ... read more

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Fuel Economy

Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around Ann Arbor

Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around Ann Arbor

With high fuel prices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on   is great.  When you get one of those e-mails that's going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?Do some research on the internet or ask your Ann Arbor, Michigan, service advisor at Convenience Auto Service.There aren't any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank, and the government hasn't suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your vehicle run on air. Not even in Ann Arbor!So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You'll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.We're here for you at Convenience Auto Service, so give us a call at 734-769-0170 for good honest advice about your vehicle. Convenience Auto Service ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

On Board Diagnostics for Your Engine

Starting in 1996, Convenience Auto Service service technicians have been able to use a standardized diagnostic system to help determine what is wrong with a vehicle. This diagnostic system works in tandem with the Engine Control Modules for each vehicle's engine. The Engine Control Module is a computer that monitors and controls many engine functions.Sensors throughout a vehicle send readings to the Engine Control Module. These readings help the computer make adjustments in various vehicle systems to allow for constantly changing driving conditions and even to compensate for minor problems. However, if the computer encounters a situation it can't adjust for, it turns on the Check Engine light. (The Check Engine light is called the “service engine soon” light on some vehicles.)If the Check Engine light is burning steadily, it indicates a problem that needs to be taken care of soon. If it is flashing, however, the vehicle nee ... read more

Categories:

Diagnostics

Service to Improve Fuel Economy

Service to Improve Fuel Economy

The price of gas in Michigan has got people in Ann Arbor talking. It seems that Ann Arbor folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are hit especially hard. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel economy. First let's start with how we drive around Michigan. People in Ann Arbor may not realize that they can really save on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts - you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don't drive with one foot on the brake. That's also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster, too. Another thing Ann Arbor drivers can do is drive more slowly - but only when it's safe. Sometimes on the freeway we drive ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Straight and True in Ann Arbor: Wheel Alignment

Straight and True in Ann Arbor: Wheel Alignment

Most Ann Arbor folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by drivers in Ann Arbor is a periodic alignment inspection. Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more expensive than an alignment check in Ann Arbor. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Ann Arbor. Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents and can seriously damage your vehicle. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident since the vehicle may not steer properly. One or more wheels on your vehicle can be knocked out ... read more

Categories:

Alignment

"Current" Affairs (Blown Fuses)

You may be driving along and find that suddenly your radio stops working.  There are no numbers on the display.  Then when you get home, you notice the garage door opener doesn't do a thing when you press the button. Hmm, this was working just fine this morning.  Are the two problems somehow related?   No, your vehicle doesn't need an exorcism. This has all the signs of an electrical issue, and when you experience symptoms like those, you've probably blown a fuse.  Most vehicles have fuses just like most houses have circuit breakers (some houses still have fuses). They cut the power when it reaches a pre-determined threshold that could cause major damage if it was allowed to continue.  You might say fuses take one for the team. Most modern automotive fuses are plastic with a thin strip of metal in them designed to melt when a calibrated amount of power passes through.  The philosophy is it's better for an inexpensive fuse to be destroyed than your sou ... read more

Know Your Towing Limits in Ann Arbor

Some Ann Arbor drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle. Nope. If you're going to do any towing around Ann Arbor, you should be aware of safety issues, Michigan towing laws and potential liability.Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. They calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. Ann Arbor drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own.Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg), but if you have a 2,000-pound (900 kg) hitch limit, you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds (900 kg). If you tow a 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would be liable for any resultin ... read more

Categories:

Safety
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