Yearly Archives: 2018

Automobile Fluids For Your vehicle

If you've walked through the automotive fluids section of an auto parts store in Ann Arbor, you'll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How do you know what's right for your vehicle?As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run as you drive around the Ann Arbor area. Your vehicle manufacturer has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.First let's talk about why there are so many varieties. Starting with motor oil, we see that manufacturers match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the design needs of the engine. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.Some vehicles around Ann Arbor come from the factory filled with synthetic oil a ... read more

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Fluids

Dashboard's a Funny Name (Instrumental Panel Warning Lights)

Every day you drive, you're sitting behind the dashboard. But how in the world did it get that name? Back in the days of the horse-drawn carriage, horses would kick up dirt and mud on the driver and passengers, "dashing" debris against the carriage. So those who built carriages began installing a board to protect them. So, dash-board. Dashboard. The dashboard is still there, though changed quite a bit from the early days. Now its main purpose is to house the controls and instruments for your vehicle's systems. Of course, you have the speedometer, tachometer and gas gauge. But there are four warning lights you need to pay attention to on your dashboard and instrument panel. Some of these may even be gauges, depending on your model of vehicle. Regardless, paying attention to them is a good idea if you want your vehicle to keep going as long as possible. Oil pressure—The oil pressure light will come on if your engine doesn't have enough pressure in its system. Low oil pressure means ... read more

Trickle Down Technology

Recently, Nissan introduced the latest version of its Leaf, the company's electric car. It has many new features, including something called e-Pedal. It allows the driver to let up on the accelerator and, unlike a gasoline engine car, the Leaf doesn't just slowly lose speed; letting off the throttle pedal brakes the car in a very controlled way, using regenerative and sometimes friction brakes. With practice, a driver can go for a fairly long time without touching the brake pedal. Another system, similar to those found in self-driving vehicles, can steer the car to keep it in the center of the lane using a camera and radar. It literally watches the lane markers and, of course, doesn't work well in snow that obliterates those markers. But the technology is impressive and can greatly reduce fatigue on long trips. In fact, much of this technology has "trickled down" from research on autonomous vehicles, such as adaptive cruise control that slows down your vehicle (even to a stop) if the v ... read more

Clean Fuel Equals Clean Performance for Ann Arbor Drivers

Hello, Ann Arbor residents. Let's talk fuel filters. Fuel filters clean the dirt, dust and debris out of your fuel. Both gasoline and diesel-powered engines have them. The fuel filter is located in the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine.Ann Arbor auto owners don't need to filter their fuel because it has lots of grit in it; they need to filter it because it has some grit it in. Any dirt is bad for your engine. The cleaner the fuel, the better your vehicle engine will run.Over time, the small amounts of rust, dirt and contaminants in your fuel settle out inside the fuel tank. After about five years, this can amount to a quite a bit of sediment. This means that as your vehicle ages, your fuel filter has to work harder to screen your fuel: more sediment in your tank means more potential for grit in your fuel.The harder your fuel filter works, the more often it needs to be replaced. Check with your owner's manual to find out how often it should b ... read more

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Fuel System

Convenience Auto Service Automotive Tips: Alternator

Your alternator makes electricity to start and run your engine and all of the vital electrical systems in your vehicle. That’s everything from the on-board computers to the turn signals. And of course there is the entertainment system, seat heaters, power windows and everything you plug into the power outlets. After your alternator makes enough electricity to do all that, it recharges your battery with what’s left over.When Ann Arbor drivers constantly have a low or dead battery, the alternator is usually a prime suspect. However, the alternator is just one vital component of the starting/charging system, and a problem with any of the other components could be the actual cause.In addition to the alternator, the charging/starting system includes the battery, starter, serpentine belt system and all of the electrical cables that connect them. Your Convenience Auto Service service advisor has a systematic process of testing components and connections to get to the source o ... read more

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Alternator

Drive Defensively in Michigan

Car care is part of auto safety in Ann Arbor. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on Michigan roads is to drive safely.Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won't let anyone take your safety away from you. You'll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment.Don't leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers.Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident.Never drive impaired: Alcohol is a factor in half of all fatal crashes. Never drink and drive.Other impairments include being sleepy, angry, daydreaming or talking. If you suddenly wonder how you got where you are – you're not paying enough attention.Keep your windows clean and uncluttered. No fuzzy dice and stickers.Keep you ... read more

Categories:

Safety

Automotive Tips from Convenience Auto Service: Serpentine Belt Tensioner

The serpentine belt tensioner applies pressure to the serpentine belt, maintaining optimal tension to drive the accessories like the alternator and A/C compressor. At Convenience Auto Service we know that the service life of the belt tensioner is the same as the belt itself, so they should always be replaced together. A worn tensioner prevents the accessories from spinning properly, leading to premature wear and noise for Ann Arbor drivers.Your vehicle manufacturer has a recommended mileage interval for serpentine belt replacement. A complete accessory drive system service replaces the serpentine belt, the belt tensioner and any idler pulleys your car might have. Your friendly and professional Convenience Auto Service service advisor can inspect your system and let you know if it’s time for a replacement.Give us a call.Convenience Auto Service2280 W. Liberty StreetAnn Arbor, Michigan 48103734-769-0170  

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Serpentine Belt

Upgrade Shocks for Better Handling in Ann Arbor

Many Ann Arbor drivers probably don't think of their shock absorbers as an important safety system; but that's just what shocks and struts are. They're all about ride control – keeping your vehicle tires in contact with the road and managing body motion.Every time you hit a bump or pothole on a Ann Arbor road, your tire wants to bounce up. The bigger the bump, the higher the bounce. Your shocks or struts push down on the tire to maintain the traction you need to start, stop and turn.If you've ever ridden in a vehicle with bad shocks, you know how it wallows on corners. The front end dives when you hit the brakes and the rear end squats when you accelerate. It's not only uncomfortable, it is difficult to handle.You may have heard vehicles described as having “flat cornering." That means that when you take a corner, the body doesn't roll very much. When shocks start to get worn, your vehicle will roll more on corners. The weight of your vehicle ... read more

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Shocks & Struts

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

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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
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