Author Archives: Saline Automotive

When to Get Brake Service

Every day, a special reminder sits in the periphery of your car’s windshield. It tells you when you’ll next need to schedule oil change service. When it comes to your vehicle’s brakes however, there is no such reminder. The first warning you’ll ever get is an obnoxious squealing sound as your brake pads start to wear down. However, there are many important signs you can look for that will inform you when to schedule that crucial brake service. 

Signs You Need to Schedule Service

Worn Brake Pads on White Background

Brake Pads are One of the First Parts of Your System to Wear Out. Check Change Them Every 50,000 Miles.

There are quite a few ways your brakes can tell you when something is wrong. There are certain smells, sounds, and physical signs, each representing a different set of potential problems. Be aware of the following indications your brakes need service:

  • Your brakes squeak and squeal when you push the pedal.
  • Your brake light comes on.
  • Your braking speed drops dramatically.
  • You smell something burning when you brake.
  • Your car pulls to the left or right when braking.
  • Your brake pedal sinks further towards the floor than usual.
  • You spot fluid leaking out of the car.

That’s a lot of warning! We’ll break down a few of these symptoms and explain what they mean. Keep in mind that the amount of driving you do will affect how often brake service needs to be performed.

Squealing/Squeaky Brakes

This usually is a sign your brake pads are too worn down and need to be replaced. These pads are attached to a pair of calipers that apply pressure to either side of your brake rotors, slowing down the vehicle. If the pads are too degraded, your metal brake calipers will come in direct contact with the rotors (also metal) and damage them.

The Car Pulls to the Side or Wobbles When Breaking

Brake Pad on Rotor Disc

Wobbling and Pulling to the Side Could Indicate a Problem With a Brake Caliper or Rotor.

This problem also involves your brake calipers and rotors. Sometimes your calipers become unbalanced, with one applying more braking pressure than the other. You also may feel some unpleasant vibration in the steering wheel as you brake. This is the result of uneven disc rotors. Wear and tear over time can degrade your rotors until one is thicker than the other. It only takes the slightest difference in thickness between the two rotors to cause uneven braking.

You Spot Fluid Leaking Out of Your Brakes

Without sufficient brake fluid, your car’s ability to stop will quickly disappear. If you spot brake fluid leaking out of your vehicle (it’s brown like oil), you need to have your mechanic repair the damage quickly. This may be the result of waiting too long to have the fluid changed. You can prevent this by checking your fluid every so often. As brake fluid ages and collects random chunks, it gradually becomes darker. Eventually, it will start to degrade the master cylinder and seep out.

Common Car Owner Questions

How Long Does Brake Service Take?

That depends entirely on which parts of the brakes need replacement. A standard checkup with few part replacements may take less than an hour, while a more involved servicing can take over two. The standard brake service process involves:

  • Checking (and/or replacing) brake pads
  • Examining (and/or rebalancing) brake rotor discs
  • Inspecting the brake line for leaks

Again, any additional work involving the calipers, rotors, and brake line will add to your total service time. Make sure to block out a 3-hour window for your brake service, just in case. 

Bleeding Brakes

While it’s not part of the standard brake service, you may want to ask your service about bleeding your brakes as well. This is the process of eliminating air bubbles from your brake lines, though it’s only necessary for vehicles with hydraulic break systems.

What are the Types of Brakes?

  • A Lit ABS Warning Light on the Dashboard

    Your Anti-Lock Braking System is One Kind of Electrical Brake.

    Mechanical Brakes: The most commonly used type would be disc brakes that use calipers and brake pads to push on rotor discs. Drum brakes are another type of mechanical brake system.

  • Power Brake Systems: rely on air and vacuum power with a drum or disk brake system.
  • Electric Brakes: includes your ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and Automated Braking Systems. Calculates electrical resistance when the pedal is depressed and determines how much force to use when activating the brakes.
  • Hydraulic Brake Systems: utilize hydraulic systems to apply pressure on the disc rotors.
  • Parking Brakes: halts movement while the vehicle is turned off.

For further details about each type of break, check out this Quora brake system discussion.

When Should You Replace Your Brake Pads?

How many miles should brakes last? On average, brake pads should be switched out every 50,000 miles. High-end pads may last longer, and low-end brake pads may only last half that distance. If you start to hear that tell-tale brake squeal, you’ll know it’s time.

Schedule Service for Your Brakes Today!

Is it time to arrange your brake service in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI? Our team at Saline Automotive Service would love to check your system and provide cost-effective maintenance. Give our team a call today at 734-429-2886!

Maintenance Services to Extend the Life of Your Car

Woman Bent Before an Overheated Engine.

Regular Car Maintenance Can Prevent Unfortunate Occurrences on the Road.

A car represents one of the largest investments that most people will ever make. In order to get the most value, you should perform all elements of scheduled service, along with a few maintenance particulars. Taking care of these projects in a timely manner will not only extend the life of your car, but save you money across future repair needs. At Saline Automotive Service, we heartily recommend the following car maintenance to extend the life of your vehicle.

Car Maintenance for Extended Service

Most modern vehicles are so dependable, that it becomes easy to forget maintenance needs. We simply hop in and drive, and take for granted that the car will continue to perform. Of course, years of neglect can wear down even the most dependable vehicle. To prevent this and conserve your car, or reverse the effects of wear, consider the following services.

  • Change Your Oil: While everyone knows that they should regularly change their oil, many people ignore or forget this requirement. Keep in mind, however, that neglect of your oil changes can shorten your engine’s life and contribute to its failure.
  • Change Your Filters: Another piece of necessary maintenance, changing your vehicle’s various filters will maintain the life of your engine.
  • Test Your Drive-Belt: A belt that is too tight will inflict unnecessary wear on other engine components, while a loose one will itself wear out at a much higher rate.
  • Clean Your Engine: A clean engine is a happy engine. As dirt and grime accumulate, your engine will run hotter, which increases the likelihood of sudden overheating and failure.
  • Balance Your Tires: Balanced tires wear evenly, which increases their lifespan and provides for a smoother ride.
  • Transmission Rebuild: If you have experienced problems with your transmission, a rebuild can reverse the decline and extend your vehicle’s life.

Of all these services, a complete transmission rebuild is the most involved job. However, it can also make the difference between more years of service, or the permanent retirement of your vehicle. Operational maintenance aside, other services, such as road force balancing, can help restore a vehicle’s overall comfort. For help with these or any of the aforementioned services, trust Saline Automotive Service for car maintenance in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI. To schedule an appointment or ask questions, don’t hesitate to call 734-429-2886 today.

Crisis Mode – How to Handle a Highway Tire Blowout

Tire Blowout

Your Normal Gut Reaction Could Make a Bad Situation Worse! Know What Not to Do During a Tire Blowout!

A tire blowout is one of the most dangerous, unnerving emergencies you can face out on the road. It’s not just the shocking feeling of your tire exploding, it’s also where the crisis occurs. Considering tire blowouts tend to occur out on the highway, a split second reaction can be the difference between safety and serious injury. Today, we’ll ensure that you’re prepared in case this ever happens with your vehicle.

Are Tire Blowouts Dangerous?

This may sound like an obvious question. Of course tire blowouts are dangerous, but not everyone treats them that way when it comes to maintaining their tires. Regularly scheduled maintenance and simple D.I.Y. tire inspections can help you avoid the majority of tire-related emergencies. As we’ve discussed in a previous blog post, the following signs will let you know if your tires need replacement.  

  • Overly Worn Tread
  • Cracked Sidewalls
  • Ridges or Bulges in the Sidewalls
  • Tires are Past Expiration Date

Pay close attention to these symptoms. FYI: your tire’s expiration date is located on the sidewall next to the rims.

What is the Leading Causes of Tire Failure?

While most tires fail because of under-inflation, there are several potential causes. The impact trauma of slamming against a curb can cause an immediate or delayed blowout, as can a serious cut or puncture.

Here’s how you should respond:

  1. Gently Push the Accelerator (Do NOT Slam on the Brakes)
  2. Keep Going Straight as You Slow Down (Even if Your Steering is Pulling to the Side)
  3. Once You’ve Come to a Safe Speed, Slowly Pull to the Side of the Road
  4. Apply Your Spare Tire

It may be difficult, but going straight will prevent your car from rolling over at high speed. Your car will not speed up with a broken tire, but the accelerator will help you maintain your direction.

Need Replacement Tires? Give Us a Call!

Once you’ve put on the spare tire, make sure you find a replacement quickly. Spare tires are only meant to be used for up to 70 miles of driving at 50mph speeds (maximum). If you find yourself in need of replacement tires in Saline, MI or another city close by, feel free to contact our Saline Automotive Service team at 734-429-2886.

 

A Low Power Trip: Problems With Radiator Fluid

Radiator Fluid

Make Sure Your Radiator is Properly Filled With Water and Coolant Before You Drive!

Radiator fluid plays an important role in the operation of your car. Without this critical yellow liquid, you may face reduced functionality as your drive. Look for any of the following signs to let you know if you could be too low on radiator fluid.

Symptom #1: Fluid Leak

As we mentioned in one of our previous posts, an simple sign of radiator fluid issues is a visible leak emanating from your car. Radiator fluid is general yellow in color. You might not notice the effects of a leak immediately, but make sure you talk with a mechanic as soon as you detect a leak. Otherwise, you could be facing additional, more severe problems with your vehicle.

Symptom #2: Smell

When your radiator starts running low on coolant, your engine will slowly start to overheat. You may detect a burning smell coming from your car, a sign that you definitely need to speak with your trusted mechanic. Again, the sooner you have your vehicle serviced, the more serious problems you’ll avoid in the future.

Symptom #3: Loss of Power

This symptom is usually the result of delaying your service visit for too long. If your vehicle goes too long without radiator coolant, your engine may start to suffer from reduced functionality and (ultimately) power loss. If your engine starts to cut out, turn on your hazard lights and try to make your way to the nearest car service. If that’s not possible, you’ll have to get a tow.

Hopefully you’ll never find yourself in this situation, but if you encounter these symptoms of low radiator fluid, make sure you talk with your mechanic as soon as possible. For more information, or to schedule a checkup, feel free to phone our experts at 734-429-2886.

Leaking Car Fluid: Colors You Don’t Want to See

Oil Leak

Oil May Turn Strange Colors on the Ground, But it Usually Appears Brown as It Drips.

The simple truth is…car’s leak fluid every day! Most of the time it’s not a problem; cars often leak transparent break fluid that’s the result of condensation. However, if you spot one of these three colors of leaking car fluid, watch out! You need to speak with your mechanic.

Leak Color #1: Pink

When you spot pink fluid dripping from your car, you’ll need to get your car serviced quickly. This is typically a sign that either your transmission or steering fluid has a leak. This can greatly affect your ability to maneuver on the road, so take it very seriously.

Leak Color #2: Green

You might be alarmed if you spot green fluid leaking from your car, but this fluid isn’t anything too fantastic. It’s simply antifreeze slipping out of your vehicle, typically the result of improperly attached hosing, clamps or other fittings. It can however, be the result of a hole in your radiator. Whatever the issue, your mechanic should be able to diagnose the problem and provide you with a fix.

Leak Color #3: Yellow

Radiator fluid helps your vehicle cool itself as your drive throughout the day. Without this yellow fluid, your engine will quickly overheat, wear itself out, and even shut down. That’s why you should take it seriously if you spot yellow fluid leaking out of your vehicle. Tell your mechanic about it.

The only fluid you want to see leaking out of your vehicle is transparent condensation. If you have questions about a fluid leak or another issue with your car, you are welcome to talk to our experts at 734-429-2886.

Signs You Are Low On Brake Fluid

Signs You Are Low On Brake Fluid

Find Out If Your Car Is Low On Brake Fluid.

In order to have your car come to a complete stop, it’s important to have brakes that work. There are many components that make the brakes work properly, with the brake fluid being one of them. Without the brake fluid, your car wouldn’t be able to stop. To avoid this from happening, find out when you are low on brake fluid.

The Brake Light Is On

This is the most simple way to determine if the brake fluid needs to be replaced. Although the brake light coming on can be for a number of reasons, it’s important to take your car in just to make sure.

Brake Pedal Isn’t Efficient

Usually, when we press on the brake pedal, the brake will make the care come to a complete stop. When you are low on brake fluid, it is harder to stop the car, making you press harder and harder onto the brake pedal to stop.

Longer Time to Brake

When people use the brake to stop their car from moving, it doesn’t take much pressure to halt your car on the spot. However, when cars are low on brake fluid, it can cause someone to pump the brakes one or two times, which takes longer for the car to completely stop.

 Brake Fluid Leak Under the Car

This is a simple way to determine if the brake fluid is in need to change or you are low. Brake fluid can appear underneath your car when you are parked and can either be clear or brown.

If you need brake fluid flush service in Saline, MI, call Saline Automotive at (743) 429-2886 today.

Let Old Tires Die: When to Replace Tires

It’s tough to let go of your old, faithful tires. Driving on worn-down tires can be dangerous, but not everyone knows when to replace them. Use the following tips to help you know when to replace tires on your vehicle.

Ways to Tell Your Tires are Too Worn

Penny Trick

The Penny Test is an Easy Way to Check the Tread of Your Tires.

Abraham Lincoln. The penny method is probably the most popular tread test around. Take a penny and place inside the tread of your tires. For tires where Abe Lincoln’s head is obscured, your tread is just fine! If Lincoln’s head is still completely visible, that tire is too worn! It’s time to replace it.

The Bar Test. Some newer tire models will actually tell you when it’s time to replace them. Take another look at your tire tread. New models have a bar that appears perpendicular to the tread when it has become too worn. If you spot multiple bars on your tire, talk to a mechanic about getting them replaced.

Sidewall Symptoms. Take a moment to examine the side of your tire. Do you any ridges or bulges forming on the sidewall? These are telltale signs of breakdown, and you need to replace this tire immediately. Don’t wait for a blowout to tell you otherwise.

Follow these steps and you’ll have a good idea whether or not it’s time to buy some replacement tires. Do you think it may be time to replace tires on your car? Play it safe. Talk to one of our experts in Saline, MI at (743) 429-2886

Let Old Tires Die: When to Replace Tires

It’s tough to let go of your old, faithful tires. Driving on worn-down tires can be dangerous, but not everyone knows when to replace them. Use the following tips to help you know when to replace tires on your vehicle.

Ways to Tell Your Tires are Too Worn

Woman with Penny and Tire

The Penny Test is an Easy Way to Check the Tread of Your Tires.

Abraham Lincoln. The penny method is probably the most popular tread test around. Take a penny and place inside the tread of your tires. For tires where Abe Lincoln’s head is completely visible, your tread is just fine! If Lincoln starts to disappear into your tire (if any part of his head is obscured), that tire is too worn. It’s time to replace it.

The Bar Test. Some newer tire models will actually tell you when it’s time to replace them. Take another look at your tire tread. New models have a bar that appears perpendicular to the tread when it has become too worn. If you spot multiple bars on your tire, talk to a mechanic about getting them replaced.

Sidewall Symptoms. Take a moment to examine the side of your tire. Do you any ridges or bulges forming in the sidewall? These are telltale signs of breakdown, and you need to replace this tire immediately. Don’t wait for a blowout to tell you otherwise.

Follow these steps and you’ll have a good idea whether or not it’s time to buy some replacement tires. Do you think it may be time to replace tires on your car? Play it safe. Talk to one of our experts at (734) 429-2886. 

3 Benefits of a Fuel Injection Cleaning

Mechanic Completing a Fuel Injector Cleaning

Contact Our Office to Schedule Your Fuel Injector Cleaning Today.

Your car’s fuel system is made up of the fuel filter, the fuel pump, and the fuel injectors. These important parts allow the proper mixture of fuel and air to reach the engine to keep the car running. If any part of your fuel system is clogged with dirt or debris it can result in a wide range of problems for your vehicle. Fortunately, you can bring your car into the shop at Saline Automotive and get a fuel injector cleaning to keep your car running as smoothly as possible.

Why Schedule a Fuel Injector Cleaning?

Your car needs fuel to run and when the fuel is unable to flow freely because of dirt or debris in the fuel system it isn’t going to run properly. Getting a fuel injector cleaning can provide several benefits for your car.

Improve Emissions
Many states have testing for emissions to protect the air quality, and if your car can’t pass one of those tests, it could be because of debris in your fuel system. A fuel injection cleaning can help you pass your emissions test.

Improved Gas Mileage
Your car doesn’t burn dirty fuel as well as it does clean fuel. If you’ve noticed a drop in your gas mileage, perhaps you should consider getting your fuel injectors cleaned.

Improved Performance
There are many different parts of your car that can be negatively impacted by dirt in your fuel system. Keeping this fuel system clean can lower the overall number of car repairs you need.

If you’re interested in scheduling a fuel injection cleaning in Saline, MI, call our office at (743) 429-2886. We are here to help you keep your car running smoothly.

3 Easy Things You Can Do To Make Your Vehicle Safer

Everyone knows that vehicles are dangerous, and there are many accidents, injuries, and deaths on the roads every year. Today we will go over 3 easy things you can do to improve how your vehicle protects you on the road!

Replace Your Wipers

vehicle safety

How Safe Is Your Vehicle?

If you live in an area where it doesn’t rain very often, chances are that you don’t think about your windshield wipers until it actually rains. When it rains, you may notice that your windshield wipers don’t work as well as they should. Replacing your wipers every year is a good way to make sure that when it rains, you will still be able to see the road in front of you. Many accidents are caused by visibility problems, so it is essential to be sure your windshield is clear from water at all times!

Assess Your Tires

Another regular thing you should do is check your tires. Make sure your tires are inflated to the optimal amount. If they are too low, they will create to much friction with the road which leads to increased wear, as well as decreased fuel efficiency. IF they are over-inflated, you won’t have enough grip on the road, and your tires will be at increased risk of a blowout!

Clean Or Replace Your Lights

Another way to improve your vehicle’s visibility is to take care of the lights. Keep the light covers clean and clear, and make sure your lights are as bright as they need to be. If they appear dim or foggy, have them repaired or replaced ASAP.

If you need help with vehicle repairs or replacements, give our team a call today at 734-429-2886 today!