What Fluid is Leaking from My Car, and is it Serious?

Sometimes your car will leak and leave ominous spots, puddles, or rivulets on the driveway. Fluids are essential to keep your car running in top shape. What fluid is it? How bad is it? Is the life blood slowly draining out of your vehicle? If you can decipher those mysteries spots, you will be able to tell if the leak is harmless or if you have a serious problem on your hands that requires auto repair in Holly, MI.

What is Leaking Out of My Car?
There are several things to think about when your car leaves a spot on the driveway: color, consistency, and location. If you notice a few spots, lay down newspaper, cardboard, or aluminum foil under your car in the evening. Allow your car to sit overnight. Then, in the morning, you can read the new spots and see where the leak is coming from, how much is leaking, and what kind of fluid it is–valuable information to you and your technician.

You can also check your reservoirs. Start by reading you owner’s manual to find out which fluids you can check and where you can find the tanks and reservoirs. Park your car on a level surface (if it is pointing up or down you will not get an accurate reading). Then, proceed to check your fluids once the engine is cold. Here is a list of possible fluids you might be leaking, what they look like, and how/if you can check them:

Gasoline
This is pretty easy to identify because you see it at the pumps every week. Does the puddle under your car smell like gas? There you have it! Your car isn’t likely to combust if you have a small gas leak. The biggest risk is paying more at the pumps. That said, it is still important to get an auto repair as soon as possible because there is an issue. If the puddle is near the front of your car, you might have something wrong with the fuel pump. If it is near the rear of your car, it could be the gas tank.

Antifreeze
Coolant is one of the most common car leaks. This is a brightly colored fluid (usually neon green) that comes in a variety of colors. Antifreeze is often neon yellow, but might also be orange, green, pink or red. It has a thicker consistency and feels sticky. If you find antifreeze under your car it isn’t a huge problem as long as you still have plenty of coolant in your reservoir.

Engine Oil
Light brown or black stain with a medium consistency. A couple of drops is fairly normal, especially in older vehicles. However, anything larger and you should consider going in for an inspection and auto repair. To check engine oil, the dipstick, wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel, and reinsert it. Pull it out once more and look at it horizontally. You will see two indicator marks: one for high level and one for low level. Your oil mark should be between the two.

Transmission Fluid
This is a usually a reddish, light brown fluid leaking near the center of the vehicle. It might also appear brown and thick if it is old. These leaks might appear near the front or middle of your car. This fluid allows your car to smoothly shift gears, and if the lubricant runs out you, run the risk of grinding out the transmission. Like oil, you can also check your transmission fluid with a dipstick while the engine is warm.

Power Steering
This looks a lot like transmission fluid, but will leak near the front end of the vehicle. Unlike transmission fluid, which is a lubricant, this is a hydraulic pressure system. Without enough power steering fluid, you will need to put some muscle behind your turns. While you can still drive, it will get more and more laborious to turn as you lose more fluid.

Brake Fluid
If you see a yellowish, light brown stain that has a thicker consistency and is slippery, you likely are leaking brake fluid. This is a dangerous leak, and certainly something to worry about. If you see a puddle near the wheels or under the brake pedal, have your car towed to the lexus auto repair shop Ortonville, MI shop immediately. Do not try to drive there. The brakes work on a hydraulic pressure system. Without enough brake fluid you will experience a drop in pressure which can result in brake failure—dangerous not only for your, but others on the road. Luckily brake fluid leaks are rare in most modern cars.

Do you have a mystery stain on your driveway? Call Holly Tire today at (248) 634-9011 or visit us at 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442. We can help you identify the fluid leak and get you in for auto repair quickly.

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Pre-Trip Inspection: What to Know Before You Hit the Road

Spring is on the way, and with it comes warmer weather and hopes of travel. Road trips are a great way to break out of the norm—to go, and do, and see things you haven’t before. But before you strike out on the open road you want to make sure your car is in top shape. You don’t want a breakdown to spoil your adventure. And what starts out as a small problem can turn into a crisis on a long drive. Which is why at Holly Tire, we offer a pre-trip inspection that will help keep your car in top shape while you travel. Here are a few things to watch for:

Battery
Do not get stranded out on the road with a car that will not start. You want to check the terminals and make sure there are not any crocks or corrosion on the battery. If there is damage, you might need to replace your battery.

Engine Oil
As the life-blood of your vehicle, you need oil to keep all the moving parts lubricated and functioning in top condition. So don’t just check the oil level, but also check to make sure the oil isn’t too old. If it is, you should call for an oil change before you leave. This keeps the engine running efficiently, and cuts down on fuel costs.

Transmission Fluid
Another thing you want to be on top of is transmission fluid. Park your car on a level surface and while the engine is warm, check the dipstick. Pull it out, wipe it clean, and reinsert it. Pull it out once more to check the fluid level. You also want to see if it is red or pink (fresh), or brown (old). If it is old, change the transmission fluid—especially if you plan to haul a camper or trailer.

Tires and Brakes
You want to make sure your tire pressure, tread, and wheel alignment are optimal. You also want to check the condition of your spare tire, just in case. If your tires are worn, you might consider having them replaced. If they are out of alignment, a technician can perform a simple Goodrich, MI auto repair to get everything back in line. You also want to make sure your car will be able to stop safely and that your brakes are in full operating condition.

The GPS
If you have an onboard Global Positioning System (GPS), you want to make sure that navigation system is updated and working properly. You can use them not only to get you to your destination, but also give you a destination if you don’t have one, or pinpoint your location on the map. All those come in handy while on a road trip to an unfamiliar area.

These are just five of the things we check during a pre-trip inspection. We will also inspect all safety features like seat belts, horn, lights, wipers, and other fluids. You also want to be sure the heater and air conditioner are in working order.

If you are getting ready for a trip call Holly Tire at (248) 634-9011 for a pre-trip inspection. Or you can bring your car by 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442 and we will try to slot you in. Just remember, don’t set off from Ortonville, MI without making a stop to have your car checked first.

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Do I Need New Brakes?

Brakes are one of the most important safety features in your vehicle, but are also one of the most overlooked systems. Your car is a massive heap of metal and glass flying down the road. What would happen if your brakes failed and you couldn’t stop? You and others could be badly injured, even killed due to a collision. Don’t take your brakes for granted! Instead, pay close attention to your brake repair Fenton, MI system and get your car in for auto repair in Goodrich, MI at the first sign of trouble. How do you know if your brakes are going bad? Watch for these signs:

Screeching Sound
This is usually your first indicator that something might be wrong with the brake system. Granted, your brake pads and rotors do accumulate dirt and dust—and sometimes this can cause the noise. However, it also happens when the brake pads wear down. There is a backing plate that screeches when it rubs against the rotors, indicating it is time for new brake pads.

Clicking or Grinding Sound
Both of these sounds mean bad news, and often more than just the brake pads will need to be replaced. Grinding or growling usually means the caliper is rubbing on the disc brake because the brake pads have worn down. This scratches the rotors and the technician might have to turn the rotors, or replace them as well as the brake pads.

Pulsating Pedal
If you have pressed down on the brakes and felt a vibration or pulsating sensation, this is often a sign your breaks need attention. When the brake pads press on the rotors, they cause friction. Wear on the pads or warping caused by excessive heat can result in vibrations. When you take your car in for auto repair, the technician can resurface the pads or rotors. But if the brakes are too far gone, they might need replacement.

Fading
Another clear indicator that often gets ignored is a spongey brake pedal. Your brakes should work instantaneously the moment you put your foot down on the pedal. If you experience reduced responsiveness while braking, it could mean a fluid leak. You might also see an oil-like spot on the driveway, but not as slimy. If this happens, get your car in for auto repair right away.

Pulling to One Side
This usually has to do with the alignment on your vehicle, but if pulling only occurs when you press down on the brakes, it might be a different issue. The brake linings or pads might be wearing unevenly. An adjustment might correct the problem or you might need to flush and replenish the brake fluid.

Brake Pads Look Thin
While it often takes a trained eye to see the thickness on the brake pads, it is something you can check if you know where to look. Check through the spokes of your wheel. The outside of the brake pad should be visible. If material is less than ¼ inch thick, the brake pads are too thin.

Still not sure about the condition of your brakes? Just bring your car in to Holly Tire for a check and we can perform any auto repair you might need in Goodrich, MI at a fair price. Call us today at (248) 634-9011 or visit us at 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442.

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Do I Need a Wheel Alignment?

Poorly maintained roads, pot holes, and even a bump on the curb can affect your tire alignment. Even the smallest alignment issue can impact acceleration, steering, and tire wear. This is why you should have your alignment checked every 6,000 miles or so. Otherwise, you might encounter more serious issues down the road.

Signs You Need a Tire Alignment
Here is what you should look for:

Steering is Not Centered
If you drive down a flat, straight, level road, the steering wheel should be close to straight. There will be a little discrepancy, because of the crown of the road. However, overall your wheel should be centered and the emblem should look level. If the wheels are off center by a few degrees in either direction, you need to go in to an auto repair shop for a tire alignment. This will help return your wheel to center and improve drivability.

Car Pulls to One Side
Again, you will most likely notice this while driving down a flat, level, and straight road. You might expect your car to drive perfectly straight with your hands off the wheel, and in a perfect world it would. But all roads have a slight crown. So instead, you want to see if your car drives straight ahead with little effort. Because of the crown, your car will likely pull a little to one side when you completely remove your hands from the wheel, but it shouldn’t take much to keep it on course. If your car constantly pulls to one side or the other, get the alignment checked.

Loose Handling
While steering does your car feel unstable or loose? One of the possibilities is poor wheel alignment. Your car might also wander across the road while you drive, or feel sloppy when you turn the corners. If you notice these symptoms, get your car in for an auto repair and have the issues corrected.

Abnormal Tire Wear
The wear pattern on your tire will tell technicians a lot of useful information about your vehicle’s condition. Upon inspecting the wear, they might be able to make a better diagnosis about tire pressure, suspension, and alignment. Wear on the inside edges of the tire indicates a problem with camber adjustment. Scalloping or feathering indicates a problem with the toe adjustment. Uneven tire wear will decrease the life of your tires, breaking them down faster than normal.

Benefits of Getting a Tire Alignment
When it comes to best auto repair shop in Holly, MI, alignment might not be at the top of your list, but the advantages might change your mind. A tire alignment:
• Keeps wheels pointed in the right direction
• Ensures optimal drivability
• Helps your tires last longer
• Makes your car drive smoother
• Saves you fuel

Tires are expensive, but keeping your wheels aligned is not. If you think you need an alignment, or other auto repair, call Holly Tire today. Our experts are ATI and ASE certified, and you will get an honest and reliable auto repair at a fair price in Ortonville, MI. You can reach us at (248) 634-9011 or bring your car to 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442.

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Find Quality Auto Service in Holly, MI BEFORE You Need To

Due to daily wear and tear on the road, your car’s mechanical systems will start to break down. This is why routine auto maintenance is critical to prolonging the life of your vehicle. Unfortunately, many car owners put off car needs maintenance until it is too late. Why do so many people wait? Because talk of repair fraud, scams, and rip-offs are rampant. No one wants to get taken advantage of. So how do you get your car the service it needs, while still protecting your own interest? It starts with finding an auto repair shop you can trust before you need to.

Don’t let a breakdown dictate where you end up for car service. This leaves you at the mercy of the nearest technician, and you won’t always land at an auto shop that feels a sense of personal obligation to each customer. Instead, find a place where customer service and quality repair is a priority. Here is what to do:

  1. Talk to Friends and Neighbors

By asking around you get an honest opinion from people you already trust. From them, you can get a list or repair shops where people have had a good experience. Ask specifically about the types of work they had done and the treatment they received.

  1. Check Online

Once you have talked to friends, check out their recommendations online. The internet has a fount of information. As an open forum, you can see customer reviews, check resources like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and get a clear idea about the auto repair shop’s reputation. Consider the number and nature of complaints, as well as if and how the repair shop resolved issues. Most of all, you want to make sure they can service your car’s make.

  1. Pay them a Visit

Before you call to schedule a repair, stop by the auto service shop and take a look around. You want to see a neat and tidy waiting area. You also want to look for a well-organized facility. Keep in mind it is a place for car maintenance. You can’t expect it to be pristine. Things will probably get dirty and smelly out in the service bay, and that is fine. What you do want to see is the latest technologies and state of the art equipment. You also want to see business licenses and technician certifications.

  1. Set Up a Simple Repair

Once you have found a repair shop you like, take it for a test drive. Set up an oil change. This will give you a good idea of what future service will be like. Do not be afraid of asking questions. In fact, ask away! Any auto service shop worth their salt should be able to address your questions and concerns in a clear, professional manner. If they subject you to scare tactics, or immediately try to upsell you on unnecessary service without explanation, then you are not in the right place.

Choose Holly Tire and Auto Service

If you want honest, reliable auto service in Holly, MI then you are in the right place. All or our technicians are ASE certified, and our other service employees are ATI certified with over 200 hours of customer service training. It is our priority to provide quality, integrity, and value to each customer. Want to schedule your first repair? Call us today at (248) 634-9011 or stop by 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442.

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Auto Maintenance and Services You can find at Holly Tire

At Holly Tire and Auto Service, we provide full auto maintenance and service in Holly, MI. What does that mean? It means we can diagnose and repair almost any problem with your car, SUV, or truck. We have the staff, training, skills, and tools necessary to provide services for all imported and domestic cars and trucks. Here is a quick breakdown of our complete services:

  1. General Repairs and Maintenance

With time and use, certain components in your car will start to break down. These services are all fairly basic and will keep your car running in top shape if you commit to a regular maintenance schedule. Some general maintenance and repairs include replacing engine oil, replacing the oil filter, topping off fluids, and checking hoses, filters, and tires.

  1. Computer and Electronic Repairs

In modern vehicles, more and more components rely on the electronic systems. Think of the onboard computer, diagnostics, and engine controls. If any one of these malfunctions your car could break down completely.

  1. Electrical Repairs

The ignition system in your car needs maintenance as well. The battery, starter, and alternator work together to get your car started and keep it running. The electrical system also helps run your car lights, indicator lights, power windows, radio, and more. The parts can be cosmetic features or crucial components. Electrical problems can occur for any number of reasons, and repairs can be very difficult.

  1. Under Car Repairs

Next up is the undercarriage. These are the parts of your car that are exposed to the road and often suffer the most damage. These types of repairs include alignments, brakes, chassis, driveline, exhaust, shocks, struts, and tires. And because it is so closely linked, under car repairs might also involve some steering.

  1. Heating and Cooling Repairs

If your engine is too hot, or too cold, it isn’t going to run efficiently—and might even seize and leave you stranded. That is why heating and cooling repairs involve more than just the air conditioner and heater. It also involves the radiators, water pumps, and other components of the cooling system.

  1. Transmission Repairs

From manual to automatic, the technicians at Holly Tire and Auto Service know how to fix the problem. We will help diagnose the problem and help you make an informed decision about repairs. Typically transmissions have four or five gear ratios, a reverse, neutral, and park gear. Because there are so many components, transmission repair can get complicated. Not to mention the different configurations for front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive.

  1. Other Major Repairs

Sometimes a car needs a complete overhaul if you want to keep driving it. Some of the major repairs we provide at Holly Tire and Auto Services include complete drivetrain repair and engine replacement.

  1. Collision Repair

Had an accident in Holly, MI? We still have you covered. In addition to maintenance and service, we also provide bodywork from minor to major damages.

At Holly Tire and Auto Service, we want to ensure your car is both operating properly and looks great. Want to schedule a service? Call us today at (248) 634-9011 or visit us at 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442.

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