Articles:

Ann Arbor Customer Detective Work

One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at Convenience Auto Service in Ann Arbor is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.Cars in Michigan are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So, it's challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it's not something obvious, it's easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.Let us at Convenience Auto Service introduce you to something we'll call 'Customer Detective Work' –  helping your technician find clues to what's wrong.We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me; You come in to Convenience Auto Service and your car is making a funny sound... Q: Where's the sound? A: Around the right front wheel. Q: What kind of ... read more

Automotive Tips from Convenience Auto Service: Wiper Blades ? Signs of Wear

90% of our driving decisions are based on vision. Anything that impedes your vision can affect your driving safety – including a dirty windshield. In that sense, your wiper blades are an important safety system. Most Ann Arbor drivers will wait until their wipers have failed before they replace them. Then they find themselves in a driving situation around Michigan when they really need forward visibility only to discover that their wipers are worn or maybe even torn and can’t clear snow or rain from the windshield. As an important safety system, wiper blades should be replaced BEFORE they fail. Test your wipers at least once a month. If they are not doing the job, your friendly and professional Convenience Auto Service service advisor can replace them for you.Give us a call.Convenience Auto Service2280 W. Liberty StreetAnn Arbor, Michigan 4810373

Budget for Maintenance in Ann Arbor

Sometimes busy Ann Arbor residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Michigan in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Ann Arbor residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's Ann Arbor drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's Ann Arbor drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

DOG FOOD IN YOUR ENGINE (Keeping Rodents out of your Engine)

A technician was telling us the other day that he was servicing an engine and spotted something he'd never seen before: A collection of dry dog food siting on a horizontal metal ledge near the base of the engine.  It was neatly stashed and was in a spot where the food pellets couldn't have simply fallen down in there. Even though it's the first time he'd seen dog food in an engine, he immediately knew what was going on.  Critters like mice or chipmunks had found the dog food somewhere nearby and had used the engine as a nice storage unit.  Mice, squirrels, chipmunks—you name it—like the heat of the engine.  And they'll use that to store up supplies of food for use in cold weather when outside food supplies are scarce.  The problem is they'll also chew on engine components while they're there. And they can do a lot of damage if they start gnawing on the wires.  Depending on how much of your electrical system needs to be replaced, repairs can mou ... read more

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

Categories:

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

Categories:

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
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