Articles:

Below 45 Degrees in Ann Arbor: Consider Winter Tires

Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Ann Arbor drivers couldn't wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. Michigan drivers ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Ann Arbor area are much better designed for the wide range of conditions that come with Michigan winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Ann Arbor temperatures below 45°F (7° C) which reduces their traction. That's a concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet conditions. But it also means that Ann Arbor drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it's dry.The tread design on winter tires has been improved to move ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Diagnosing Your Vehicle at Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor

When we Ann Arbor residents get a car repair bill, we really shouldn't be surprised to find “diagnostic fees” as one of the line items. When we get a computer fixed, there is usually a charge for the time it takes to diagnose the problem. When we go to a medical doctor, most of his fee is for his ability to diagnose what's wrong. It's no different with our vehicles.Some diagnoses are fairly simple. Brake repairs at Convenience Auto Service usually require only a visual inspection, for instance. But other problems are much more difficult to diagnose. An intermittent engine problem, for example, takes time and expertise to pinpoint.Modern vehicles have multiple computers that monitor a variety of sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of those sensors has a reading that is higher or lower than the standard parameters, the computer turns on the Check Engine light. Technicians at a service center such as Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor can scan the engine's computer for ... read more

Categories:

Diagnostics

The Economy of Maintenance for Ann Arbor Drivers

Do I keep my old vehicle or buy a new one? It's a question most Ann Arbor drivers ask themselves at some time or another.Generally, what it comes down to is the choice between a car payment and the possibility of repair bills. Most of the time, we want to choose the car payment because we don't like the inconvenience and uncertainty of vehicle repairs. But that payment has a detrimental effect on our budget and bank account.Edmunds.com is a great website to help you with your decision. This site uses repair histories to calculate the average repair bills for specific makes and models of cars. You can plug in the information for your vehicle and get an estimate on what it will probably cost you to continue owning that vehicle.Now, Edmunds.com isn't a crystal ball. It can't know what will happen to your specific vehicle. But it can guide you in knowing how much money to budget for the repair and maintenance of your vehicle ... read more

When You Hear the Crash in Ann Arbor: What to Do After an Accident

Motorists in North America drive about 3 trillion miles/4.8 trillion kilometers every year. There are over 250+ million licensed drivers, and approximately 6.2 million accidents happen every year. Unfortunately, if we're going to drive vehicles, there are going to be accidents. Knowing what to do in case of an accident can help reduce the stress and cost of the situation. It can also protect you from false claims, incorrect judgments and unjust liabilities. Never leave the scene of an accident. This is a crime, even if the accident is not your fault. If you leave the scene, it is referred to as a “hit-and-run,” and the fines are steep in Michigan. You can even lose your driver's license or spend some time in jail. If someone has been injured in the accident, most laws require you to help them. You must call for help. If you can, you must also render first aid. Call 9-1-1 or get someone else to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. Tell the operat ... read more

Categories:

Auto Safety

Don't Be Fuelish

If you smell gasoline in your vehicle, pay attention to your nose. That's because it has an important message for you. Newer vehicles should never have a gasoline smell inside. One of the most dangerous conditions can come when your fuel line system has a leak or multiple leaks. Vehicles with fuel injectors are under pressure, meaning a crack or small hole in a fuel line can allow vaporized fuel to escape, sometimes around hot engine parts. Gasoline vapor and hot metal? You see the problem. One of the most common causes of a gasoline smell inside a vehicle is a fuel tank leak. The gas tank can rot or be punctured by road debris. A Convenience Auto Service technician can evaluate the condition of your fuel tank and suggest either repair or replacement. Fuel injectors can develop small leaks around their seals or O-rings. Those can deteriorate over time as the material they are made of gets old and less flexible. A technician can replace those parts. Modern vehicles contain something cal ... read more

Change Your Engine Air Filter at Convenience Auto Service

Many Ann Arbor car owners have probably wondered: "What's the harm in putting off replacing an engine air filter? The answer is that not replacing it could cause your Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor to fail. This expensive sensor is situated between your engine air filter and your engine. Dirty air filters are a leading cause of mass air flow sensor failure – and these babies can cost several hundred dollars to replace in Ann Arbor.Change your vehicle air filter at Convenience Auto Service when it's dirty. Your vehicle engine will thank you.Give us a call. Convenience Auto Service2280 W. Liberty StreetAnn Arbor, Michigan 48103734-769-0170    

Categories:

Maintenance

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

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

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

Categories:

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

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