Yearly Archives: 2017

Tips for Safer Driving This Winter

With winter, you can expect all types of weather including rain, freezing temperatures, fog, wind, and snow. All these weather hazards can impact your safety on the roads in Goodrich, MI and the surrounding areas. Are you prepared to drive in these conditions? Here are a few tips to keep you safe driving around this winter. Clear Away Snow and Ice Before driving, you need to clear off the dirt, ice, and snow. You also want to make sure your wipers are ready and keep the reservoir full of “winter” washer fluid that contains de-icer. And don’t just focus on the windshield! Clean headlights, tail lights, sensors, and the backup camera. You should also brush off any snow on the hood and top of your car. Otherwise, it can form an ice sheet that can fly off of your car and endanger others. Keep your Headlights Clean and Functioning Shorter days and longer nights means more time to use your headlights. If your lights are dim, burned out ... read more

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In Winter, Should I Let My Car Idle to Warm Up Before Driving?

This is a topic that often pops up, especially in a cold Holly, MI winter. It is a longstanding tradition to fire up the car in the morning and let it idle for 10 to 20 minutes before driving it in to work on a cold morning. Auto owners have been told that allowing their car to gently warm up this way will help reduce wear and tear. But is any of this true? Not anymore! Here is what you really need to know about idling your car in the winter. How Does the Engine Work? Basically, a combustion engine works by using pistons in a cylinder to compress a mixture of vaporized fuel and air. A spark then ignites the fuel and the controlled explosion is what powers your engine. When temperatures are cold, the gasoline is less likely to evaporate to create the right ratio of vaporized fuel and air. Why Did People Idle Their Cars in the Past? The conventional practice of idling your car before driving goes back to the days of carburetors. These needed a few minutes of idling until ... read more

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Improve your Gas Mileage this Winter

You probably see a lot of information about saving on gas in the spring and summer, but the winter season also has a huge impact on your car’s fuel efficiency. In fact, the extreme cold in Ortonville, MI can be a big problem for your vehicle. Slick roads, snow plows, salt, bad weather—your car can take a big hit this winter if you aren’t careful. Factor in running the heater, cold starting the engine, less tire pressure, colder oil, decreased battery performance, all-wheel drive, and you can quickly see how your miles per gallon might take a hit as well. So here is some great advice to improve fuel efficiency this winter. Do Not Idle Warming up your car in the morning is a common practice for many drivers. While this was a necessity for old carburetors, nowadays most cars don’t require idling to warm up the engine to optimal operating temperatures. Sensors control the fuel injectors to compensate for the cold. Usually 30 seconds is all your car needs. Also, driv ... read more

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Auto Repair

Auto Repairs You Should Always Leave to the Professionals

It isn’t uncommon for car owners to work on their own vehicles. In fact, for some, it is a point of pride. Sure, it can be a good way to save money. But newer cars are becoming more complex. Even the best gearheads shouldn’t tackle certain repairs. Here are a few maintenance tasks best left to professional technicians. Sound System This used to be a simple task, but now, a mistake could fry the entire electrical system. When it comes to working on electrical wiring, you really need to know what you are doing. That is why you should take advantage of free fittings when they are included in the purchase of your stereo or DVD player. And if not, get your car in to professionals for installation. Bodywork Basic dents and chips are one thing, but serious body work is a difficult task. And because it involves paint, something could easily go wrong. You could get poor coverage or a bad finish. Not to mention the fumes you may expose yourself to ... read more

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Auto Repair

Why Should I Keep Kitty Litter in My Car This Winter?

With autumn cooling down and winter storms on the horizon, many drivers are prepping their cars for winter. This includes taking them for routine auto repair in Grand Blanc, MI and preparing their winter car kit. In addition to jumper cables and extra coats and gloves, did you know that non-clumping cat litter should also be in your kit? It might sound crazy, but kitty litter can be a timesaver, and maybe even a lifesaver. Here are a few ways to use it: Traction Anything with grit can help you gain traction in a pinch. That is why many drivers thrown down salt, sand, and yes, kitty litter when they get stuck on the side of the road. You simply pour it around your tires to give your car something to grip while you navigate back onto the road. You may have to dig your car out a little before putting the kitty litter down. Weight If you are a cat owner then you know kitty litter is heavy. That is why you can also use it to put weight on the tires ... read more

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What Level of Octane Should I Use in my Car?

When you pull up to the gas station with an empty fuel tank, it is tempting to simply choose the lowest price tag. Unfortunately, reaching for regular grade fuel may not always be the best choice. You need to consult your owner’s manual or the sticker on your gas cap to determine the right octane for your vehicle. Or, call a professional auto repair shop in White Lake, MI. Here is what you need to know about octane at the pumps. What is an Octane Rating? It shows the fuels ability to be compressed without prematurely igniting in the engine. Gas and air get compressed inside the cylinders. Then, once they are under pressure, a spark ignites the fuel. This controlled explosion creates the combustion to power your vehicle. But different makes and models compress the fuel and air at varying ratios. High performance vehicles with bigger horsepower usually have higher compression ratios. So for higher horsepower you want a high-octane fuel. It does not ignite as easily ... read more

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How to Respond to these 5 Scary Things that Can Happen on the Road

The road can be a frightening place, no matter where you live or how well you drive. Dangerous situations can come out of nowhere, like faulty brakes, hydroplaning, or a blown tire. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for the unthinkable so if something does happen, you can do all you can to stay safe on the road and get the auto repairs you need. 1. Hood is Smoking When smoke comes from your hood, it doesn’t usually mean your engine is on fire. Most likely, it is smoking because one of your fluids sprung a leak and is dripping on the hot engine parts. Black smoke typically means it is oil. White or grey smoke could mean antifreeze, water, or brake fluid. Do not keep driving. Pull over, but don’t start unscrewing caps or loosening hoses. Your engine is still hot and the fluids are pressurized. Boiling hot liquid could come spraying out. Just wait until the car cools down before starting a self-inspection. And, if you are uneducated in these things, call a t ... read more

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Get Your Car Heater Ready for Winter

Your morning commute is already difficult and the last thing you need is for the heater to break down in the middle of winter. Not only would this make your car feel like a freezer and driving miserable, but it could keep your defroster from eliminating ice and fog buildup on your windshield. Talk about a winter driving hazard! Don’t let the lack of a working heater become a dire situation. Instead, figure out why your car heater isn’t working and get it in for auto repair in Clarkston, MI before the real winter chill sets in. Causes of Heating Breakdowns in your Car Here are a few reasons why you heater may stop working and what you should do to resolve the issue: 1. Low Coolant Level Have you noticed that your car overheats when you drive it? Or that the air conditioner isn’t blowing as cold as it should? This can mean you have a coolant leak. The antifreeze is what circulates through your engine to keep everything running at a proper temper ... read more

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Auto Repair

How Do I Protect My Car from the Cold in Brandon, MI?

Fall is upon us and winter is around the corner. Along with freezing temperatures, you can also expect some snowfall, salted roads, and frost. This kind of environment is tough on your vehicle. The last thing you want to do is strike out in the dead of winter inside a poorly maintained vehicle. Get the Right Washer Fluid You will probably use your washer fluid a lot more in the winter. To keep things running smoothly, you want to be sure you have the right type in the tank. Otherwise, the fluid can freeze in the lines. So find a winter washer fluid that does not freeze until minus 20 or 30 degrees. Replace your Wiper Blades Just as you use more washer fluid in the winter, you also use your wiper blades more often. They take a beating in the harsh climate and the rubber breaks down faster. So don’t forget your ice scraper and get replacement wiper blades regularly. Test the Defroster and Heater This isn’t just f ... read more

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What is That Noise? 8 Car Sounds You Can’t Ignore

Noises are part of vehicle operation. Treads rubbing against the asphalt, wind rushing by, vents and fans blowing, belts turning—these all have particular noises. Over time, you will get used to the little squeaks and whistles of your car and you won’t even notice most of them anymore. But then something new arises—a sound you haven’t heard before. It might intensify when you step on the brakes or amplify as you accelerate. Or it might only come when you turn the steering wheel a specific way. If these new sounds become regular, there could be something wrong with your car. You will want to get in for auto repair in Goodrich, MI as soon as possible if you hear any of the following. 1. Grinding While Shifting Manual Transmission Usually this sound means you have an issue with the clutch. Either it needs an adjustment or is worn out. It might also mean a more serious problem deeper in the transmission. 2. Popping Sound in the Engine ... read more

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