Author Archives: Saline Automotive

Signs That You Need Suspension Repair

Have you noticed your car pulling when you turn? Does the road seem bumpier or rougher than usual? These signs may indicate that you need suspension repair. Watch out for these common warning signs!

Rough Ride

suspension repairOne of the most common signs that you need suspension repair is worn shocks or struts. You’ll likely begin to notice a rougher ride, feeling every bump and pothole more. Not only is this annoying and unpleasant, but it can lead to other suspension and tire problems.

Uneven Tire Wear

Your tires can tell you a lot about your vehicle, such as if the pressure is right or if your wheels are out of alignment. They can also reveal problems with you suspension. Watch out for signs of “cupping” or “scalloping” which looks like a series of hills and valleys. This kind of damage occurs when your car bounces from worn suspension components as it drives and can lead to expensive tire damage.

Nosedives When Stopping

When you brake firmly, does your car lurch forward or “nosedive?” This is a dangerous problem due to worn out shocks or struts, which can severely reduce your stopping ability. You should see a mechanic as soon as possible to fix this problem!

Clanking Or Knocking Noises

Odd noises are never a good sign and should be checked out immediately. If you start to notice a clanking or knocking noises from beneath your vehicle, especially when turning, you may need ball joint or control arm repair. You may also hear this noise when you go over a bump or pothole, which might indicate that your springs are worn out.

Don’t put off suspension repair or you could end up with a serious problem! Call Saline Automotive at (734) 429-2886 for suspension repair in Saline, MI and Ann Arbor, MI!

Signs That You Need New Brake Pads

 

new brake pads

Your brake pads are among one of the most important and overlooked components on one’s vehicle. Its sole responsibility is to make sure that your vehicle comes to a smooth stop. So if they’re malfunctioning in any way, it could mean major trouble. Here are some warning signs to be on the look out for.

  • Deep grooves in the rotor: The rotor is that smooth metal disc that lies beneath the brake pad. If you notice there are circular grooves, resembling that of a record, this is an indicator that the brake pads have worn down and they are now scratching the rotor. If the grooves become too deep, the rotors, along with the brake pads will need replacing.
  • Pulsating brake pedal: When you press on the brake pedal and it begins to shake or feel like it’s pulling, this is what is referred to as pulsating. This happens when your brake pads have become worn out or warped due to excessive heat. They can either be re-machined or need to be completely replaced, depending on the severity.
  • Thin brake pads: If you look through spokes on the front wheels of the vehicle, you will be able to see your brake pads. they should be at least 1/4 of an inch thick. If you noticed that they are any thinner than that, may be a good idea to schedule an appointment to have your pads replaced.

These are just a few of many tell-tale signs that you need new brake pads. But if you’ve noticed any of these or want to question some other sounds or motions going on with your vehicle, call Saline Automotive at (734) 429-2886.

Top 3 Car Models for Highway Commuting

How Do They Stack Up?

For folks who spend the majority of their mornings and evenings commuting into work via Top 3 Models for Highway Commutinghighways, the biggest factor when it comes to how well a vehicle performs is generally gas mileage. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in back-to-back traffic and seeing the gas indicator light illuminate on the dash.

Various car models perform better or worse depending on whether stop-and-go stretches are on highways or within the city, so it’s very possible that the list of the best commuter vehicles would vary slightly depending on your actual drive. Regardless, MPGs are key, and it’s no surprise that the electric models are ahead of the pack.

However, it seems that there is generally a trade-off with the vehicles, be it in comfort or safety. Electric cars have gained popularity in the last few years, and more drivers are making the switch as power stations become more available and hybrid models facilitate a smooth transition from all-gas powered. But the technology on a wide scale is still relatively new (from a consumer perspective, at least), so it’ll be exciting to see what advances are on the horizon as innovation continues in the auto industry.

Top 3 Car Models with the Best Highway Mileage

  1.  BMW i3 – The most expensive of the bunch, BMW’s RWD hatchback reportedly drives sturdy and has decent pick-me-up. After a 4-hour charge (at 240 volts, mind you), the i3 can traverse an average distance of 75 miles between charges, which seems to be about the norm for electric vehicles. There’s an optional engine which can double the range, as well. // MPG: 141 Highway.
  2. Nissan Leaf – The Leaf has been extremely popular when it comes to electric vehicles, likely due to its more affordable price tag compared to the i3, as well as the trust behind the Nissan name. Also a hatchback style, the Leaf has a 75-mile range, which can be extended by an optional onboard battery to over 100 miles. Handling is OK according to reports, and crash safety results aren’t great. But for an entry-level electric, this seems to be a solid contender. // MPG: 118 Highway
  3. Mitsubishi i-MiEV – This model comes in even lower than the Leaf, price-wise, but feedback from Consumer Reports makes it clear that you get what you pay for. It’s barebones and described as a slight upgrade from a gold cart. Ouch. With a shorter range and extensive charge time, this model isn’t likely to win over any coverts. Gas mileage isn’t everything, especially if you’re looking at an hour-plus behind the wheel. // MPG: 116 Highway

Not sure you’re getting optimal gas mileage from your current commuter vehicle? Bring it in to us and let our certified mechanics take a look. Saline Automotive proudly serves the Saline and Ann Arbor, MI area, and we’re here to help you stay on the road!

What to Do if Your Car Dies Unexpectedly

What to Do if Your Car Breaks DownIf you’re driving along and your vehicle suddenly dies on you, it can be extremely scary. Especially if you’re on a busy road or in a hazardous area, knowing how to respond quickly can prevent further damage and ensure you can safely get out of the way.

As soon as you feel like your car, truck, or SUV is struggling, try to make it to the shoulder or pull off the road as soon as you’re able. Even if the engine will still run once you’ve pulled over to call for help, getting out of the way can protect you from getting hit and avoid the stress of traffic piling up behind you.

Let’s say your vehicle just suddenly dies on you and there’s not even time to get out of the way. In this case, turn on your hazards as soon as possible so that other drivers know that you’re having an issue. Call for roadside assistance from your cell phone if possible so that you can get help sooner than later, especially if the engine has died and you’re stuck in extreme weather. Remember that your health is important and very hot or very cold temperatures can catch up with you quickly.

If you do have to exit the car — which is typically not advised if you’re stuck on the road — do so from whatever door is furthest from moving traffic. If you were able to get over to the right shoulder, climb out of your passenger door to avoid being side-swiped by a wayward driver. Once you’re out, move a safe distance away from the vehicle as you await help. 

When major components are impacted, it may feel very strange or even difficult to safely navigate your vehicle out of harms way. The key is to remain calm, and make your best attempt to still use proper signals and indicators so that fellow drivers can respond and know you’re under duress. Don’t push it, either. If dash lights are illuminated and you know something is wrong, don’t attempt to make it all the way home. Get off the road, and get to safety.

If your car breaks down near Ann Arbor and you need a quality auto shop that you can trust, don’t hesitate to call our team at Saline Automotive in Saline, MI at (734) 429-2886.

Common Exhaust Problems

Tailpipes deliver the exhaust away from your vehicle. Saline Auto RepairThe exhaust system is an unassuming, but vital component of your vehicle. Having a healthy exhaust system is important both in terms of fuel efficiency and overall performance, but environmental and personal safety. If your exhaust system is allowed to suffer from wear and tear, harmful fumes could potentially flow into your vehicle’s cabin and pose serious health hazards to your and your passengers. Below we will explore some of the more common problems with exhaust systems so you can make an accurate assessment of your vehicle’s health and determine when you may need to take your car into a professional for service.

Catalytic Converter – If your catalytic converter becomes clogged or worn, this may cause problems with your vehicle’s ability to regulate harmful exhaust gases. The catalytic converter is responsible for converting harmful gases into less harmful elements before they are expelled into the environment. The catalytic converter will ultimately wear down, and you may notice a rattling noise while driving that indicates the need for a replacement. Problems accelerating can also indicate a clogged catalytic converter.

Rust – Components such as your muffler, or various pipes that make up your exhaust system can all become corroded and this can reduce their functionality or render the exhaust system completely inoperable.

If you are experiencing problems accelerating, excessive smoke coming from your tailpipe, or are noticing rattling noises as you drive, these are all indications that you may have a problem with your vehicle’s exhaust system. If you cannot determine the problem with a visual inspection, we invite you to bring your vehicle in to Saline Automotive Repair and let us take a look! We can diagnose any problems with your exhaust and repair or replace components as necessary. Give us a call at (734) 429-2886

How to Have a Safe Summer Road Trip

Road trips can be hard on your vehicle, so before you hit the road, take yours to a professional to get all the systems checked. A trained pro will know what to look for, what to tweak, and what to replace. Here are some tips for having a safe road trip this summer.

a photo of a man driving a red carGet Your Tires Checked

Your tires will be carrying you to your road trip destination, then back home again. To be on the safe side, have them checked over by a pro. They will look for signs of extreme wear, make sure the tires are aired up, and check for anything stuck in the tires themselves,

Get Your Fluids Filled

Some things are easy to overlook before an exciting getaway, such as wiper fluid, brake fluid, and coolant levels. Have your oil checked as well, and don’t forget to fill up on the most affordable gas in your areas.

Get Your Connections Inspected

A professional mechanic will look at your car’s hoses and belts for signs of damage or corrosion. They will also make sure the hoses are tightened, and that all systems are ready to go.

We’d be glad to be your choice for car repairs and inspection. Get in touch today so that we can get your road trip off to a great start!

Tire Rotation in Your Regular Maintenance Plan

car rims and wheelsAs you turn, brake, and coast, the rubber on your tires sloughs off and your tires sustain wear. By regularly servicing your tires, you are able to reduce the rate at which they wear and thus allow them to last longer. So you can remember to include tire rotation as part of your regular maintenance regimen, we walk through some of the safety and mechanical advantages here.

Your tires perform different jobs based on their position on your vehicle. The front tires in a front wheel drive car are responsible for acceleration and steering, so these tires unsurprisingly wear down at a quicker rate than the rear tires. How quickly your tires wear out will depend on the configuration of your car (front, rear, or all wheel drive) and your driving style, but rotating your tires to different locations will help your tires wear at a more even rate and thus allow them to last longer. 

Tires are typically rotated by swapping the front tires to the back, but some manufacturers recommend specific patterns in which to rotate tires. A quick conversation with our expert mechanics can help clear up any of your questions on tire rotation: call us today at 734-429-2886 to schedule your tire rotation and routine maintenance!

Saving Your Transmission

Nobody likes taking their car in for repairs. We all need it to function normally in the world nowadays, so the thought of it not working scares us. Well, with a little basic knowledge, you can keep on the look out for problems that might end up taking your vehicle off the road. Here, we’ll go over a little bit about your transmission, and the important of saving it from damage.

picture of transmission

 

 

 

Importance of your transmission:

Internal combustion engines can put out a lot of power, but you don’t need it to run full force all the time. Your transmission controls the amount of power your ICE puts into your wheels. Most cars now have automatic transmissions, which control your engine’s output based on the speed of your car.

Repairs for this part generally cost a lot of money. Because of this, if you notice something like gear slipping, you should take your car to get checked out immediately. If it has sustained damage, you want to repair it as fast as possible.

 

We offer unparalleled service here at Saline Automotive. Come by our shop to take advantage of it. Want to find out more about us? Give us a call at (734) 429-2886.

Car Fluid Upkeep and Maintenance

motor oil top offYour car, truck or SUV requires regular maintenance to stay running smoothly and to protect its mechanical parts from unnecessary strain and wear. Part of every car owner’s maintenance routine should be to periodically check and change the various fluids in your vehicle. Each fluid has a specific job to perform that helps your car run efficiently, and each fluid will need to be changed at differing intervals. This makes knowing what to look for when checking and flushing your vehicle’s fluids a crucial part of car maintenance.

Motor Oil

One of the most common steps car owners take towards protecting their vehicles and keeping them on the road is to check and change their engine oil. Traditional wisdom has recommended that you change your motor oil every three months or 3,000 miles. However, newer model vehicles are becoming increasingly efficient and may require an oil change every, 5,000, 7,000 or 10,000 miles. Refer to your owner’s manual to learn more about your manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals.

Windshield Wiper Fluid

Often, we may overlook our windshield wipers and windshield wiper fluid. However, maintaining proper levels of windshield wiper fluid can help drivers stay safe by keeping their windshield clean. If your windshield wiper fluid is below the halfway mark in its tank, refill your fluid.

Coolant

Just like the name sounds, coolant helps your engine stay cool while your car is running. Without coolant, your engine would overheat, resulting in severe damage that could total your vehicle. Coolant is stored in the radiator and should only be checked once the car has been off for a brief period and has cooled.

Brake Fluid

Your brakes are one of the primary safety systems installed in your vehicle, and without them, it would be dangerous if not impossible to drive. Brake fluid helps the hydraulic braking system in your car apply braking force, allowing the driver to control the speed of their vehicle and bring it to a complete stop. Your brake fluid should be a golden color and brake fluid that is brown needs to be replaced.

Power Steering Fluid

Much like brake fluid, power steering fluid enhances the ability of drivers to control their vehicles. Specifically, power steering fluid helps drivers make turns by offering hydraulic assistance that reduces the amount of energy it takes to steer a vehicle. Simply, the average vehicle weighs roughly two tons, and it would be challenging for the average person to maintain total control of a moving object of that size without mechanical assistance.

Transmission Fluid

Your transmission performs a valuable function – it allows you to select the gear in which you want to drive. Whether your vehicle has a manual or automatic transmission, you will need to maintain the proper levels of transmission fluid. Without transmission fluid, your transmission would be unable to operate and your car, truck or SUV would be rendered undrivable. You will want to check the quality of transmission fluid rather than the quantity because it operates in a closed system. Transmission fluid should be a red color and fluid that is brown, black or smells burnt should be flushed and replaced.

Making Your Mileage Last

cars on highwayWith the price of gas in a constant, unpredictable flux, drivers are taking extra steps to help their cars take them farther. Here we offer a few quick, simple tips that all drivers can put to use. Simple, common maintenance and safe driving keep your car running smoothly and take you farther on the same amount of gasoline.

Maintenance

Use your car manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil – a brief search can help you discover what grade that is. This step can improve fuel efficiency by 1-2%. While it may seem small, these savings quickly add up over time.

Check your tire pressure once a month. Properly inflated tires are critical for safety as well as gas mileage. Over or under-inflated tires put you at higher risk for a flat, unnecessarily wears out your tires, and adds an extra workload to your car which decreases mileage.

Driving Tips

Follow the speed limit. It is in place for your safety and the safety of others on the road – not merely a suggestion to hamper your fun. While following the speed limit promotes safety, it also helps preserve your gas mileage – most cars achieve optimal mileage between 45 and 60 mph, so staying in this sweet spot on roads with this speed limit will help your car perform at the pump.

To further improve mileage and practice safe driving, drive calmly and avoid rapid acceleration and frequent braking. This will help you respond to traffic conditions and improve both highway and city miles per gallon.

For additional tune ups and professional car service, call Saline Automotive at (734) 429-2886. With 613 deaths so far on Michigan roads this year, we implore you – drive safely and keep your car properly maintained!