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5 Essential Tips for Summer Car Care

Unlike school, car care does not take a break between Memorial Day and Labor Day. In fact, because it is road trip and outdoor adventure season, you want your car in better condition than ever. However, the hotter months can wreak havoc during this season of break downs. High temps and dust can take a toll on your car and it’s important systems. Luckily, these essential services and auto repairs will help keep your car running safely and smoothly all summer long in Ortonville, MI. 1. Keep it Clean A long, wet winter and the leftover reside can cause corrosion, which is damaging to your vehicle. The first thing you want to do before kicking off summer is a full audit of your car, both inside and out. Look for rust spots and salt residue on the undercarriage. Check the rubber components like wiper blades and seals. Replace any items as necessary, and wash off all winter residue. Be sure to also clean your floor mats if you track road salt into the car. 2. Check the Ti ... read more

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Don’t Be Surprised at your Next Auto Repair

Most drivers don’t really prepare for auto services. They simply drop their car off and let the mechanics go to work. Then, when the bill comes back, they are surprised at the cost of all the work that “needed” to be done. Most auto repair shops in the area are trustworthy, and technicians should have your best interest in mind. But that isn’t always the case. To avoid overpaying and unnecessary up-sells, there are a few things you can do to prepare and avoid those surprises on your bill. 1. Check the Owner’s Manual This is a great resource for outlining routine service. It tells you when to go in for oil changes and alignments and also gives you a timeline for a lot of the parts on your vehicle. Sure, it isn’t going to factor in your driving habits or tell you exactly when a part will break down. But it will give you a general idea of when to expect certain services so you are never surprised when a mechanic comes to you and tells you that you need a new air filter or s ... read more

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Why is the Oil Filter Important?

While you are on the road your engine works very hard to keep your vehicle moving. There are so many moving parts working together for every second, and the engine gets hot. The oil helps keep the engine cool and the other components operating smoothly. That is why clean motor oil is so important. If you leave it unfiltered, even for a short period of time, the oil could become saturated in tiny particles that could wear down important parts of the engine. How Does an Oil Filter Work? The outside of the filter is a metal can with a sealing gasket the presses tightly against the engine’s mating surface. The base of the can is perforated with holes just inside the gasket, and a central hole is threaded to mate with the oil filter assembly connected to the engine block. Inside the can is a filter, usually made from synthetic fiber material. As the oil circulates through the can it passes through the filter and re-enters the engine through the central hole. You want good ... read more

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Teach Your Kids These 5 Good Driving Habits Early

As a parent it is both exciting and frightening when it is time for your son or daughter to get their learner’s permit or driver’s license. Are you ready for them to get behind the wheel? While most kids don’t really think about driving until a year before they can get a permit, your children are probably watching the way you handle yourself on the road. So every time you don’t stop at a stop sign, or yell at another driver, or check your phone—your children take notice. If you want your teens to become safer drivers you can’t just rely on the driver’s education teacher. You need to teach by example. So start living these good driving habits, and teaching them to your kids as soon as possible. 1. Keep Road Rage in Check While driving it is important to stay cool under pressure. Model patience and etiquette. Stay calm and relaxed. Do not let the other drivers get to you, especially while you are driving with your children. Using inappropriate gestures, cursing, or driving ... read more

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Emergency Essentials to Keep in Your Car for Summer Road Trips

With school almost out and summer rapidly approaching, one thing you are probably looking forward to is a family road trip. These summer vacations are a great way to explore, bond, and make memories with those closest to you. But before striking out on the open road, there are a few things you need in addition to your flip flops and swimsuit to ensure you have a fun, but also safe trip. Get your Car Inspected Before striking off from Ortonville, MI the first thing you want to do is get your car in for an inspection and any necessary Fenton, MI auto repair. This preliminary check will ensure your car can deliver you safely to your destination. Granted, this will not mean an emergency won’t happen. But it will improve safety and reduce your risk of breaking down on the side of the road. What to Take on Your Summer Road Trip These are the things to pack for emergency car care: Owner’s manual. Make sure you have your car’s manual stored in the glove compartmen ... read more

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5 Big Reasons to Check Your Wheel Alignment

Today’s cars are designed to give you a smooth, gentle ride. But if your vehicle isn’t offering the same amount of comfort on the road, and you notice rattling, shuddering, or pulling, then you might need to consider a wheel alignment. Because of rough roads and driving habits, your car can go out of alignment. And the wheel alignment can impact several important vehicle systems. The only way to correct the problem is with auto repair. And you want to get the problem repaired as soon as possible before it starts to impact the life of the tires or your safety on the road. What is a Wheel Alignment? This is an auto repair often overlooked by vehicle owners, but should be part of routine maintenance. During a wheel alignment the technician hoists the car in the air and adjusts the relative angle of the tires until they are set in the manufacturer specifications. You can get front wheel alignment for cars with front wheel drive, or four wheel alignment. How often should ... read more

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When Should I call for a Tow instead of Driving my Car?

If your car breaks down or is in a more serious accident, you don’t really have much choice. But have you ever experienced car trouble and wondered whether or not your car was safe to drive? You are not alone. This could happen to anyone, at any time. Oftentimes if your car is showing signs of an issue, you can still operate it while you get to your preferred auto repair shop. Still though, it is better to be safe, and know the situations where driving might cause even more damage. Know your Vehicle One of the most important things you can do as a driver is pay attention to your car. Get familiar with how your car sounds, smells, and runs when it is in top shape. Give your car a quick once-over every week looking for signs of malfunction or damage. That way you are more likely to spot something wrong early, and avoid problems before they become more serious. And if you do notice something, don’t put it off. Call your mechanic right away and get your car in for any necessa ... read more

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Top 5 Reasons Your Check Engine Light Came On

It is important to get to know your dashboard lights. These indicators come on when there is problem, and they are not something you can ignore. Your car is trying to tell you something, and it can be frustrating and confusing. But if you do ignore it, you risk further damage to the car and might even put yourself at risk. Here are just a few of the most common reasons why your check engine light comes on: 1. Oxygen Sensor Needs Replacing This is the most common car repair for six years in a row, and is one of the most common reasons for the check engine light. The O2 sensor monitors unburned oxygen from the exhaust. It can fail because of neglected repairs, engine problems, or even using gas with a higher ethanol concentration. And because the sensor works with the on-board computer, a malfunction can cause as much as a 40% decrease in fuel economy. 2. Catalytic Converter Needs Replacement These are the second most common issues drivers face across the United Sta ... read more

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Is My Car Battery Dying?

You are already five minutes behind and have a busy day ahead. You hurry out to your car, slid into the seat, and try to turn the engine over. Nothing happens. You give it a few more tires, and still, nothing. We have all been in this situation. Your car battery is something many drivers take for granted, until it stops working. It is like the heart of your car, and if it stops your car will not have the power to start or move. You don’t want to be caught off guard. It is easy to know when your battery is dead, but better to know the signs of your battery wearing out. Here is what to watch for, and how to know when it is time for a new battery. No Crank, No Lights, No Start Your battery powers all the accessories in your vehicle, and this is a sure sign it is completely dead—void of all signs of power. Not much you can do except find someone to jump your car or call a tow truck. Sometimes you might have just left the interior lights on all night. Other times you migh ... read more

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I Hit a Curb, Now What Should I Do?

Our mechanics hear this all the time, and it can happen to even the best of drivers. This is a common problem in the winter months, but really it can happen at any time. It might not seem like a major problem, but hitting a curb can do more damage than you think. If you hit a curb, don’t just ignore it. Instead pull over and check for damage. But first you need to know where to look, how to evaluate the situation, and determine the best action to take. How Serious was It? Not all curb hits are equal. The first thing you want to consider is how fast you were driving when you ran into the curb. Next you want to note is the height of the curb. If you are driving a car at 50 mph and hit a curb that was higher than six inches, you are most likely to some serious damage to the front end. But if you hit a small, three inch curb going only five miles per hour, then you might not have any damage at all. It also can vary depending on the vehicles construction. Issues that Resul ... read more

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