Articles:

Getting New Tires in Ann Arbor?

There are so many tire choices in the Ann Arbor area that selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming for drivers. And even though it's kind of fun to have new tires on your vehicle, they're a significant investment for most Ann Arbor area folks so you want do it right.Tip: talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Convenience Auto Service tire professional. He'll help you sort through the choices.Here are some of the issues you'll talk about: One is size – you know, all those numbers on the side of the tire. The right size is . All new vehicles are required to have stability control which, along with other important safety systems, is calibrated to work with specific tire sizes. Your Ann Arbor tire professional can help stay within manufacturer's specifications or program a different tire size into your vehicle's computer.And you'll want to discuss how and where you drive to determine the type of tire you need: summer, winter,  all se ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Fuel Saving Tip: Alignment for Your Ann Arbor Vehicle

Fuel Saving Tip: Alignment for Your Ann Arbor Vehicle

Imagine you've left Ann Arbor and you're up in the arctic on a dog sled.Your dog team is pulling straight and true. You can cover a lot of ground quickly. Now imagine what would happen if one or two of the dogs wanted to go their own way and were pulling off to the side.That would slow you down. You would have to work harder to keep the sled going where you want it. The dogs are all working as hard as before, but you're covering less ground for the same effort.You're wasting kibble.The same is true of your vehicle when the wheels are out of alignment. That wheel that's pulling to the side is dragging down the rest of the vehicle; so you push a little harder on the gas pedal to keep up your speed. You're wasting gas.So have your wheel alignment checked at least once a year. It is important to get it checked right away if you feel the vehicle pulling to one side.Sometimes we Ann Arbor residents bump a curb or hit a pothole and knock our wheels out of alignment. An accident can take ... read more

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Alignment

Improve Your Night Vision When Driving in Ann Arbor

Night driving in Ann Arbor is not as safe as daylight driving as evidenced by the increased accident rate at night. Much of that is simply because it's dark outside.Visibility is important to safe driving. Ninety percent of our driving decisions are based on what we see. And at night, we just can't see as much as we can during the day. In fact, if you have 20/20 vision during the day, your night vision is only 20/50. To translate, that means that an object you can clearly see 50 feet away during daylight, only becomes visible to you at 20 feet at night.Reaction time is also related to visibility. Ann Arbor motorists don't react to a situation until they see it. So at night, we're reacting to situations later just because it takes longer to see them. But we don't have to stop driving at night to stay safe. We just need to practice some preventive maintenance and vehicle care that will maximize our night vision.The most crucial item that helps us se ... read more

Categories:

Headlamps

Don't Stack the Mat

In the sloppy cold weather months, you might be tempted to pick up an all-weather mat and throw it on top of the mats you already have in your vehicle. After all, double protection is better, right? In this case, wrong. Here's why. It's important to keep the accelerator and brake pedals clear so they can function the way they are supposed to. Stacking mats in the driver's side footwell can make them sit up too high on the floor. That can, in turn, jam your accelerator pedal forward, causing your vehicle to unintentionally speed up; it may get stuck in that position. Same thing applies to the brake pedal. The mats can get caught underneath it and prevent you from stopping. Here are some other good practices when it comes to mats. It's best to get those designed for your vehicle. They are shaped to fit your specific car, truck, van or SUV. Ill-fitting mats can have the same untended consequences as stacked mats. Good mats will have either a Velcro-type fastener on the back of them or a h ... read more

Engine Hydration for Ann Arbor Drivers: Role of Your Water Pump

The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine.The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers), but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers).Water pumps don't gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they're either working or they're not. A failed water pump has to be replaced.Water pumps can fail in two ways: they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket whe ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

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

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

Categories:

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

Categories:

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

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

Categories:

Fluids
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