Author Archives: Saline Automotive

How to repair front end car damage

two cars in an accident

Accidents can happen

You’re driving to work, going to the road, humming to tunes on the radio, and the sun is shining. Then, out of nowhere, BOOM! Somebody runs a red light and hits your car in the front end. Steam, water, choice words are all over the place. As you look at your car, you see severe front end damage.  Now what? 

Hopefully, first things first, there are no injuries or worse. Next, call your insurance agent and report the accident. Next, you must have your car towed to an authorized repair center that can do front end repair for your car. This isn’t damage that you want to trust to your shade-tree mechanic cousin or next-door neighbor. You need to have an authorized, experienced mechanic that will have the front end repair tools needed to do the job right. 

Can I drive my car with body damage? 

Depending on the front end damage, technically, yes you can. Legally, no, you’re not supposed to. Confusing? Some forms of damage can make your car dangerous to drive, making it a risk and unsafe for other drivers. If your car has sustained any of the following damages, you could be ticketed for driving an unsafe vehicle and you’ll be putting yourself and others on the road in immediate danger. 

  • Broken or Cracked Windshield: A broken or cracked windshield will reflect sunlight and the light of oncoming cars. If the angle and position is just right, it can impair the driver’s vision and the vision of the drivers in oncoming cars. If a crack can also distort your vision, making it dangerous to drive. 
  • Damaged Body:
  • Any front end damage to the body of your car that has left jagged edges should not be on the road. Those jagged edges can injure somebody. If the frame or front end damage has happened, the integrity of the car is weakened, holding the engine and gas tank in is weakened. If the doors, hood, or trunk don’t shut properly, are dangerous. 

Is structural damage frame damage? 

A car’s frame is the structure of the car which everything is attached to, installed on, or connected by other components. Front end damage to a car can be caused by bumping a garage wall or a serious car accident. The damage may look minimal, even non-existent, but can be serious and wide ranging. 

If the accident bent the frame and front end repair isn’t done immediately and promptly, the car’s frame/structure loses the ability to protect the driver and passengers in case of an accident.  

Is my car totaled If the frame is bent? 

No, if the frame of your car is bent from an accident resulting in front end damage, it is not necessarily totaled. “Total” is a term by auto insurance companies when they have determined that the repair will cost more than the car’s value. A professional and skilled car collision repair technician that has a frame specialization can fix the car and get you back on the road safely. 

If your insurance company has deemed the car a loss, you can choose to take the settlement offered by the insurance company and they will dispose of the car in a salvage yard. Or you can choose to keep the car and make the repairs yourself. Again, taking the car to a collision specialist is recommended. With the frame/structure of your car, its integrity is important to have any front end damage fixed right. 

Another consideration of choosing to keep the car and having it repaired its future resale value. The insurance company will have a salvage title issued for you. Repaired salvaged cars are difficult to sell and they are only worth a fraction of the value. 

How long does it take to repair front end damage? 

It involves several factors with repairing front end damage to a car, such as how severe is the damage, is the frame damaged, the make, model, and year of the car. Repairs to the windshield and bumper repair/replacement are typically done in one day and minor auto body work can take 1 to 2 days. If the damage is internal and elements need replacement, this can take 1 to 2 weeks. Multiple parts that have extensive damage can take more than a month.

Does insurance cover bumper damage?

This will depend on the coverage you have on your auto insurance policy and certain notations within the policy. If the bumper damage is part of the front end damage and they cover it within your insurance policy. 

severe damage to a car

Severe damage to the front end

When a person has been advised that the front end damage to their car does not require the car to be “totaled”, a commonly asked question that insurance adjusters, care repair technicians are all asked is “what damage can make a car totaled?” 

There isn’t any bullet point list or steadfast rules. The criteria used to decide if a car has basic front end damage that can be repaired, or if the damage renders the car to be a total loss can vary.  Each insurance company, within the regulation and the statue set forth by the state, will make their own judgment. Because all insurance companies don’t use the same sources, it further complicates determining a car’s value.

Need front end damage repair in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI? Call 734-429-2886 today for quality auto repair from Saline Automotive Service.

How do I Know What Maintenance My Car Needs?

oil change for engine maintenance

Taking Care of Your Investments

Owning a vehicle is a major investment. You are purchasing something that you will more than likely use multiple times, on a daily basis. More than that, you are purchasing something that needs to last you quite a while without breaking down. The only way to guarantee that your car or SUV last as long as it should is by investing in maintenance. We’re not talking about taking care of the appearance but repairing and maintaining the engine of your car. To learn more about engine maintenance in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI, look no further than Saline Automotive Service. We can help with just about every car need for just about every car brand out there. Give us a call at 734-429-2886 for more.

diagnostic run as part of engine maintenance

What is Engine Maintenance?

Engine maintenance is the process of inspecting every aspect of your engine and repairing or replacing anything that might be necessary to ensure a successful and efficient operation. This includes a variety of checks and services that need to be done on a fairly regular basis. You may be wondering, “How do I know what maintenance my car needs?” and that’s a great question. There are two resources you’ll need to utilize to understand what all is needed for your vehicle. The first is your owner’s manual. Most vehicle owners feel the need to toss this booklet, but that is highly discouraged. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often the oil needs to be changed or how you can check the transmission fluid in your car. Your other resource is the trusted mechanics at Saline Automotive Service. We can help you with inspections, repairs, replacements and more. More than that, we can help determine when you may need something like an intake manifold replacement. Let us start helping you today.

Engine Maintenance Checklist

Taking care of your vehicle isn’t a one time deal. It’s a continual process that you need to be doing for the entire time that you own the car. Often, when something needs to be addressed, an engine maintenance light is on or lit up on your dash. While you technically can wait until something like this appears, it’s not always advisable. To prevent that, there are several things you can do to maintain your car. 

  • Oil Check: The best rule of thumb to stick by is to change your oil between every 3 and 5,000 miles. This will ensure your engine is able to operate efficiently and properly. 
  • Battery: Check the battery and the connections. Nothing should be loose or disconnected. If there are any signs of corrosion, there may be a few tips about how to clean it away in the owner’s manual. 
  • Coolant (antifreeze): Again, check the owners manual for the correct amount of coolant that needs to be in your engine. Too little can cause the engine to overheat and the heater to blow cool air. If you notice this while driving, you may need air conditioning repair.
  • Filters: Filters help to ensure only clean air is entering the engine, however, over time they can get very dirty. These need to be replaced every 15,000-20,000 miles to ensure an efficient operation. 
  • Transmission Fluid: Many modern cars don’t have a transmission dipstick anymore, so you’ll need to go see a mechanic to get this information. Still, it doesn’t hurt to check the owner’s manual for confirmation or to get tips for how to check this on your own car. 
  • Wipers: Windshield wipers need to be replaced as often as you need them. If you are noticing they aren’t cleaning or moving water away efficiently anymore, they need to be replaced. And this is something you can easily do yourself. 
  • Tires: It is highly recommended to invest in a tire pressure gauge for yourself. It is also highly recommended to check your tire pressure regularly to ensure quality tires that won’t blow out or become damaged while you are driving. 

If you are ever curious about what all is needed for your car, we highly recommend the owner’s manual. There is a wealth of information in there that can help you better understand your vehicle’s engine maintenance and repair needs. You can also contact Saline Automotive Service for information, suggestions, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you maintain a car engine?
    • The number one thing you can do to maintain your car engine is to keep up with regular oil changes. Doing so will ensure your engine will operate efficiently, but it will ensure it will also last a long, long time. Outside of that, just keeping up with yearly overall maintenance will guarantee a quality vehicle. 
  • How long should a car engine last? 
    • Most car engines can and do last well over 100,000 miles. Newer engines will likely last even longer thanks to newer technology and manufacturing, but older model engines can last just as long. If it doesn’t, then it is likely due to poor maintenance or poor manufacturing. 
  • Is it better to rebuild or replace engine? 
    • It depends on what is wrong and what needs to be done with your engine. Certain problems may be easily replaced with specific parts and the whole engine will run smoothly again. However, it may be more economically ideal to simply rebuild the whole thing. 
  • How much is a new engine? 
    • The price of a new engine will vary from car to car. In general, car owners should expect to spend anywhere between $3,000 and $4,000 on a new engine. If you have a foreign, European, or luxury car, the engine could cost 50% to double that cost and will be even more expensive for rare or vintage vehicles.
engine maintenance and battery check

Connect With Our Team Today for More Information

When you need help with engine maintenance in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI, rely on none other than Saline Automotive Service. We are a reliable team you need for all your car and engine needs. Call us today at 734-429-2886 to schedule an appointment.

Can You Drive a Car with Bad Suspension?

A Car's Suspension System.

Can you drive a car with bad suspension?

If your car is rattling when you drive it, or you’re experiencing unusual bumpiness making the car difficult to handle, you probably have a problem with your suspension. You may have bad or worn shocks, tie rods or ball joints. Your suspension manages the full weight of your vehicle. Anytime you have problems with your suspension, not only are you risking costly damage to your car, you’re also driving an unsafe vehicle. When you drive the car with a bad suspension, your ability to control the car becomes limited, in particular when you are stopping or turning.

To ensure safe handling when driving your car, making sure your suspension is serviced and in good repair is essential. If you are looking for a team of experienced professionals for suspension service in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI, call 734-429-2886 to reach the reliable team at Saline Automotive Service.  

If you’ve had an accident, the suspension is just one of many possible components that could be damaged. Car wreck/collision repair will be in order to repair any damages from a crash.

How do you know if your suspension is damaged?

While a smooth ride can be affected by everything from poor road conditions to bad tires, a bumpy ride is often the result of a damaged or failing suspension. If your ride is consistently not smooth, you can test for bad shocks and struts by putting all your weight on the front end of the car and then releasing it. If it bounces up and down, the shocks and struts are worn out. Bad shocks and struts may also cause the vehicle to dip down or nose dive when braking, or lean back when accelerating. Your car may also lean to one side when turning if the shocks are bad. 

You may also find your car has become harder to steer, especially at low speeds. Your steering system is connected to the suspension. Steering problems may signify either a problem in the steering system or in the suspension. Suspension service will be required.

If your car begins to drift or pull to one side, this likely indicates either a suspension problem or possibly a problem with alignment, brakes or underinflated tires. If it’s the suspension, either a tie rod, spring or control arm may be damaged and causing the drift. 

A car that sits low on one side when parked or that makes a clunking sound when it goes over bumps indicates a damaged spring. Damaged springs will put excessive stress on your shocks, so will need to be replaced.

Is it dangerous to drive with bad struts?

Yes, it can be dangerous to drive with bad struts or shocks. The main reason for this is that it affects your braking. When you drive with bad struts or shocks, it increases your stopping distance, in particular when the roads are slippery or wet. Damaged struts can also affect the performance of your tires and brakes, as well as joints. All of these components can wear out quicker when your struts are damaged, and require you to get more repairs other than suspension service.

How much does it cost to fix a suspension?

Costs will vary based on the make, model, and year of the car, as well as the component that’s damaged. An average suspension repair will run anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000. Replacing the shocks and struts will run anywhere from $200 to $1,500 for average vehicles, while luxury vehicles may cost more. Replacing the ball joints can run anywhere between $350 to $2,200. Cost will also be affected by the amount of wear and rust under the vehicle.

How much does a suspension inspection cost?

When you have a suspension service performed on your vehicle, you may want to include a suspension inspection. These inspections are generally affordable and run between $122 and $146. The suspension inspection will alert you to any potential problems with your suspension and helps keep the system stable.

What is suspension service

A suspension service is a test of your shocks, struts, tie rods, ball joints and other components of your suspension. Below are some troubleshooting tips for suspension service.

How to service suspension system:

  • Check your shocks and struts by bouncing the front or rear of the vehicle. It should stop about 1 ½ rebounds. If it bounces longer, it’s probably time to replace them.
  • If you’re hearing noise like grinding or growling from wheels, test wheel bearings by driving on a low-traffic road and weave from side to side a few times. If the noise is consistent, you may have worn tires, but if it fades, that indicates problems with the wheel bearings.
  • Check to see if your car is sagging or drooping on one side. This indicates a spring is damaged.
  • If you hear a popping sound when the steering wheel is moved while parked, this could indicate worn tie rods.

What does service suspension light mean

When your service suspension light comes on, it means your car’s computer is detecting a problem with your suspension. You should take the vehicle in for a suspension service in which technicians can run diagnostic tests and check your suspension for problems.

How to reset service suspension system

If your service suspension system light still comes on after you’ve had a suspension service and made repairs, you may want to check with technician. Depending on the make, model and year of the vehicle, it could just mean there’s an error and the system needs to be reset. Different vehicles will have different reset options. You may want to check your owner’s manual to see if there are instructions on the reset.

A Car's Shocks.

Schedule a service

Anytime you’re having problems with your car’s handling, check with the professionals at Saline Automotive Service. We will provide an expert suspension service in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI. Give us a call at 734-429-2886 to schedule a service time.

How Do You Keep Your Tires in Good Condition?

A Row of New Tires of Varying Sizes.

Why is regular tire maintenance important?

Maintaining your car’s tires is extremely important. Maintaining your tires benefits the vehicle and helps with vehicle safety. Your tires affect the vehicle’s overall ride, its handling, and braking. Regular tire service and maintenance should be concerned with more than just the tread depth, but also correct air pressure, as well as balance and alignment.

Tires that haven’t been rotated regularly or aligned or balanced regularly will wear out faster, and affect your car’s handling. You’ll also spend more replacing them more often. 

Underinflated tires pose a serious problem. Besides affecting handling, when your tires are underinflated, you are more likely going to have a blowout on the road. A blowout can damage your rims and undercarriage, but also puts you and other drivers in danger of crashing. Underinflated tires will also affect your mileage and will wear out faster than those with adequate tire pressure.

If one or more tires need to be replaced, you can trust the professionals at Saline Automotive Service for tire replacement services in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI. Give us a call at 734-429-2886 to find out about our affordable tire service.

What is proper tire maintenance?

Proper tire maintenance recommendations consist of several tire services, including checking the tire pressure, inspecting the tires for damage, rotating the tires about every 6,000 miles, and keeping them balanced and aligned.

Tire tips for maintenance

Tire maintenance car: Here are some tips for tire maintenance.

  • Check tire pressure monthly and before making long trips: The psi, or pounds per square inch, should match the recommended pressure in the owner’s manual.
  • Check tread depth regularly: Use a tread depth gauge or test with a penny. With a penny test, you have enough tread if any part of Abe Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread. Below that, or 2/32 of an inch and the tread needs to be replaced.
  • Rotate the tires every 6,0000 to 8,000 miles: Rotation prevents the tires from wearing out too quickly. It can be done when you get an oil change and is often provided free as a courtesy service.
  • Check alignment: If you’ve hit a sizable object, see a wear pattern or notice a difference in handling, the alignment should be checked, and adjusted if necessary. When checking alignment you may want to check your wheel bearings, because the bearings can affect handling as well. 
  • Get the tires balanced: If you are experiencing problems with handling or feel vibration, the tires may need to be balanced.

These tire service tips will work for cars and trucks equally.

How many miles should a good set of tires last?

With good care, a new set of tires should last about 50,000 miles. How long the tires last will also depend on how the car is driven, as well as regular maintenance. Driving regularly on underinflated tires will shorten the tire’s lifespan, and possibly lead to a blowout or other problems. This will also lower your gas mileage. Tires bear the brunt of the weight of the vehicle and the load. Overloading the vehicle regularly and driving it will wear out the tires sooner. Regular maintenance, especially tire rotation and maintaining tire pressure, will preserve the tires much longer.

How many years will tires last?

How long your tires last depends primarily on the mileage and care. Most tires should last about 50,000 miles and on average most drivers put about 12,000 to14,000 miles a year on their vehicles. Regular tire service and maintenance should be performed to preserve your tires. This averages to about three or four years before the tires need to be replaced. But, putting less mileage on the vehicle will not necessarily make the tires last longer and aging tires, no matter the level of tread on them, are not always safe to drive on. That’s because as the rubber in the tire ages it becomes prone to damage like cracking. Cracks in the tires over time can eventually lead to separation of the steel belts in the tread. Poor maintenance and heat speed up this process.

How often car tires should be changed?

While the average life expectancy for a set of tires is somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 miles, replacement will depend on how you drive and how much maintenance you provide to your tires. With regular tire service, your tires should last a long time. Your owner’s manual is probably the best resource to help you determine when your tires need to be replaced.  

A Technician Removes Lug Nuts on a Wheel.

Tire maintenance near me

When you are looking for the best tire service in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI, you have to look no further than Saline Automotive Service. From rotation to balance, and alignment, our goal is to always provide the highest quality tire service in the area. Our mechanics are licensed, insured, and experienced maintenance experts. Call us today at 734-429-2886 to find out what kind of tire service we can provide for you.

What Does Brake Service Include?

We Offer Brake Services to Keep You Safe During Your Daily Driving Patterns.

Do Brakes Get Checked in a Service?

Most people have to drive at some point in the day, and many have commutes to and from work. Your vehicle has a number of safety systems that have been designed and improved over the years, and one of the most important is the brake system. Your brakes are designed specifically to slow and then stop a vehicle in motion by turning your wheels’ kinetic energy into heat energy. They’re able to do that because when you press the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid runs through lines to the calipers on your wheels, causing the caliper to push the pad into the disc. So if it starts malfunctioning, it can affect your ability to stop or even cause an automobile collision. This raises the questions “Do Brakes Need to Be Serviced?” and “What is brake service?”

When Should I Service My Brakes?

  • Burning Smell If you notice a burning smell occasionally from your brakes system, it’s not that big of a deal. It can happen from time to time when you brake for an extended period of time or have to stop abruptly. However, if you start to notice a burning smell often from your brakes, it’s indicative of a problem.
  • Grinding Noises Your brake pads wear down during use, so it’s normal for them to eventually need replacing. If you start to notice a grinding or screeching noises, it could be a few different problems. There could be a piece of metal in one of your pads that will wear down and go away on its own, but it could also be that your pads are completely worn and the metal from the shoes are pressing into the metal of the rotors. The faster you seek brake service for this issue, the less likely you are to need more expensive repairs than just new pads.
  • Inspect Pads If you notice that your brake pads are worn down, it could be time for a replacement. It might be too late already if you see the rotors are scratched and worn down. Proper brake service can save you money in the long run.
  • Pulling to One Side Typically if your car pulls to one side while stopping, it shows that one of your rotors is being worn down more than the other. It could also be a fluid issue, but having a professional conduct brake service ensures you get the answers want and the repairs that you need.
  • Unresponsive Pedal If you go to depress your brake pedal and it feels spongy or unresponsive, you could have a serious problem on your hands. You need to be able to stop abruptly in case of emergency, and your vehicle can’t do this if the pedal won’t allow you to. It’s time to seek brake service to ensure your safety on the road.
  • Vibrations When you apply the brakes, especially for an abrupt stop, sometimes you’ll feel the anti-lock system kick in and feel it pulsating. If you feel vibrating more often, however, there’s the potential that it’s another problem. A brake caliper could be stuck, your rotors and pads could be worn, or your rotors could be uneven.
  • The Brake Light is On If you haven’t noticed any of the previous issues, but notice that the system light is on, you should seek brake service immediately. It could be that the master cylinder is notifying you that you’re low on fluid, but it could be another problem that a professional mechanic can diagnose and repair.
Brake Failure Can Cause Collisions and Other Mishaps on the Road, So Call for Brake Service Today!

How Do You Clean Your Brakes?

You may be wondering “What does service brake system do?” or “How can I conduct brake service myself?” It’s not an easy process, but you can potentially do it yourself if you really want to. The first step is putting your car up on a lift, or jacking the car to an elevated position and removing the wheel. Once you remove the caliper, you can check it and the rotor for damage or signs that there is a problem. At this point it’s safe to put on your new pads if that’s the reason you’re looking at your ACDelco brakes system. You can also check the wheel bearings for signs of damage before putting the assembly back together and your wheel back on your vehicle. It’s important to ensure that you adhere to the vehicle manuals’ guide when you torque the bolts back into place as overdoing it can damage your car.

Full Brakes Service Can Keep You From Experiencing Failure Related Accidents on the Road.

Brake Service and Repair

Before you start searching for “How do you service a brake system?” and “what does service brake system do?” consider the benefits of hiring a professional. Auto maintenance is a complicated process, and if you don’t have experience it could lead to even more damage instead of fixing the problem. While this may raise questions about brake service cost, those should be weighed against the potential repair costs if you damage things even more. Why risk complications like that when there are services available to do it for you? Professional service guarantees high-quality repairs performed correctly the first time. When you need expert brake service in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI, contact the expert auto mechanics with Saline Automotive Service at 734-429-2886 for more information today!

How Often are You Supposed to Get Your Car Serviced?

Car and speed. Sunset scenery and fast car outdoor

What is Routine Maintenance on a Car?

Routine maintenance is mandatory in order to keep a car running properly. No driver wants to be cruising on a highway, and spy a warning light on their dashboard. Usually when your car alerts you to a problem, you’re on a limited timeline to correct said problem. In order to make sure that this unwelcome sight does not occur, routine auto maintenance service is necessary. There are some basic time intervals to keep track of for the car owner. Many car manufacturers suggest auto maintenance services be administered per a set amount of mileage. Consult your owners manual to acquire the specifics related to your vehicle.

What Kind of Maintenance Does My Car Need?

Preventative maintenance is one of the very best forms of maintenance you can initiate for your automobile. The basics, like changing your oil, checking your tire pressure, and getting scheduled inspections and work done are like getting regular checkups at the doctor. These routine check-ins give you and the experts a chance to catch anything serious before it becomes a major problem. As previously mentioned, reading through your owner’s manual is the first place you should begin your maintenance journey. The experts recommend this step because it is likened to owning a new gas range – why would you fire up a huge, expensive piece of technology without first reading the owner’s manual?

What are the Most Important Forms of Car Maintenance?

To begin with, a periodic oil change is a must-do for auto maintenance. An oil change is one of the most important and frequent auto maintenance tasks. Oil changes remove the old, dirty oil and filter, and replace it. Most vehicles need an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, or about every three months, whichever comes sooner. Tire rotation and balance is another crucial form of car maintenance to do, as is replacing the power steering fluid. Tires have a big impact on your car’s performance and on your fuel economy. When the tread on your tires wears down, your engine has to work harder, using more fuel. Additionally, when the tread on your tires wears down unevenly, it can cause the alignment of your car to go out of balance, putting pressure on the axles, joints, and other critical parts.

The reason why power steering fluid is an important part of auto maintenance is because power steering fluid makes your car handle smoothly. Without the right levels of power steering fluid, your car will have trouble turning. Alternatively, if you experience grinding in your gears when you shift from drive to reverse, you probably need transmission repair. The air filter and fuel filter should also be inspected on a semi-regular basis, due to the fact that the air filter keeps the engine free of contaminants, and the fuel filter allows proper functioning of your fuel-injection system.

Do I have to go to the Dealer for Maintenance?

Upon purchasing a new car, there is usually a warranty offered for an approximate number of miles. The warranty is a promise, often made by a manufacturer, to stand behind its product or to fix certain defects or malfunctions over a period of time. The warranty pays for any covered repairs or part replacements during the warranty period. This said, once that warranty period is over, you might have acquired a trusted car technician who is happy to repair your car for a much lower price tag than offered at your dealership.  

How Much Should I Budget for Car Maintenance?

Planning a maintenance budget for your car is not something many car owners do. Here’s your reality check – if you don’t move forward with at least calculating the various amount of oil changes necessary per year – three or four, depending on how often you use your vehicle – you’re going to put off the necessary maintenance for one of your biggest investments. Depending on the age and condition of your car, a decent average to assume is $75.00 per month for your car. While months will pass where you don’t spend anywhere near seventy-five dollars per month for your vehicle, these costs reveal themselves whenever the vehicle needs a major tune-up, or, for example, when the rear view mirror gets knocked off. It adds up.

Car Maintenance – What Needs to Be Done?

Many car manufacturers use a 30-60-90 day schedule. This means certain items need to be inspected, changed, or replaced at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles.

30,000 miles:

  • Oil and oil filter.
  • Air Filter.
  • Fuel Filter.

60,000 miles:

  • Battery.
  • Brake Fluid.
  • Brake Pads/Shoes.
  • Brake Rotors.
  • Coolant.
  • Transmission Fluid.

90,000 miles:

  • Hoses.
  • Power Steering Fluid.
  • Spark Plugs/Ignition System.
  • Timing Belt.

Keep in mind that these milestones are just guidelines, and that your car’s owner’s manual should be consulted for a precise maintenance schedule.

red fast sports car in spotlight, black background. shiny, new, luxurious. 3d rendering

Auto Maintenance and Repair

What is the difference between auto maintenance and repair? That’s a great question. Both of these things are important to the overall performance of your vehicle, but they have different functions. Auto repairs are performed when your vehicle is not functioning properly. Auto maintenance helps keep your ride running smoothly and can prevent costly repairs down the road.

Car Maintenance vs. Repair

If you utilize proper car maintenance and investigate your owner’s manual thoroughly, car maintenance can eliminate many of the possible car repairs necessary. Incidental problems occur, however, and car repair is necessary to get you back on the road.

Auto-Maintenance Checklist

There are some short-term check-ups that you can perform routinely to give you peace of mind while you are traveling in your vehicle. Check under the hood of your car and inspect both the oil and coolant levels. Low levels of either can lead to engine problems if left unchecked. Your engine’s air filter is what regulates the air that flows into your engine and helps keep out debris and particular. Check this filter routinely to make sure your engine doesn’t get overheated. Headlights, turn signals, brake, and parking lights should also be checked so that you’re ready for the dark when it comes.

Be sure to stop by Saline Automotive Service in the Saline and Ann Arbor, MI area for all your auto maintenance needs. Call 734-429-2886 today!

Getting the Most Engine Power From Your Vehicle

An Isolated View of a Car Engine

An Engine’s Crankshaft Generates Torque, Which Partly Determines the Vehicle’s Horsepower.

What does reduced engine power mean? When your fast and furious friends start throwing around terms like horsepower and torque, do you start to get nervous? You probably know that it’s great to optimize these factors in your vehicle, but nobody has told you what any of it means! Don’t worry, we’re here to help you out.

Today, we’re going to break down some of this common terminology. Then, we’ll show you some tools you can use to upgrade your own ride. By the end, you should have the insight you’ll need to hop into your greasemonkey friends’ conversation and start holding your own.

What is Engine Power and Torque?

Let’s start with the basics: torque and horsepower. Many people mistake one for the other, which isn’t surprising, seeing how the two are linked. Torque is the kind of force your engine generates in the crankshaft as it turns. Think of torque as the ability to get “stuff” done inside your car. It’s not a very science-y way of explaining it, but it helps.

Horsepower (also known as engine power) describes how quickly “stuff” gets done after applying torque. When you multiply torque by RPM (the crankshaft’s revolutions per minute) and divide by 5252 (trust us), you get an engine’s horsepower. In other words: the more torque, the higher the engine power output.

With these definitions in mind, we’ll go over a couple frequently asked questions our professionals here regarding engine power and performance.

What Causes Loss of Engine Power? (partial)

Your engine has a built in control system that monitors functional performance. It knows very quickly whether certain fluid is low or if part of the system is out of alignment. Some of problems can cause your engine to heat up to dangerous temperatures. Your ECU (engine control unit) will stop this by reducing engine performance until the issue is corrected. Some modern vehicles have a “Reduced Power” light which turns on when this automatic check system kicks in.

Potential causes include:

  • Battery trouble
  • Partial engine failure
  • Transmission malfunction

You can safely operate your vehicle in this state, but you likely won’t be able to access higher gears. Stay off the highway and slowly make your way to a mechanic or home. There’s a chance that your vehicle may experience complete power loss, so don’t try to go too far with the warning light on.

What Can Cause a Vehicle to Lose Power? (complete)

An Engine is Spewing Out White Smoke

Complete Power Loss Often Occurs When an Engine Overheats for Too Long.

An engine losing power is serious business, especially if you’re on the highway when the vehicle suddenly dies. For an engine to shut off completely however, the problem is usually pretty serious. There are a variety of reasons for this to happen. Your car could be long overdue for an oil change, cause your engine to rapidly overheat. A sustained fluid leak in your radiator can produce the same effect.

It’s possible that a cylinder head gasket has been damaged by extreme heat. If you’ve started to notice white smoke spewing out of the engine, this is very likely the case. No matter what the cause of the shut down is, you’ll need to take the vehicle to a mechanic.

3 Ways to Get More Power

There are many ways to give your engine a little more juice, but some of them are considerably more accessible than others. If you are searching for starter upgrades, these three are great options.

  • Install a Cold Air Intake
  • Install a Performance Chip
  • Upgrade to a Cat-Back Exhaust System

Air Intake

Switching to a Cold Air Intake

This is one of the most commonly recommended updates car enthusiasts suggest to those just starting out on the vehicle upgrades. That’s because a cold air intake provides a significant boost to horsepower without breaking the bank. It’s also a relatively easy installation. Your engine takes in air, mixes it with fuel, and burns the combination to produce power. A cold air intake draws in much denser air, greatly improving engine power output.

Performance Chip

Installing a Performance Chip

The ECU organizes the functions of various parts in your vehicle. Factory settings will limit your vehicle’s performance capabilities, but a performance chip can greatly expand your ride’s torque and horsepower. You’ll need to be careful if you’ve made any prior modifications to your vehicle, but this one’s an easy boost. You may even find your vehicle starts getting better miles to the gallon.

Exhaust System

Upgrade Your Vehicle Exhaust System

The name is pretty on-the-nose; your vehicle exhaust system controls the outflow of exhaust from your engine. A cat-back exhaust system accelerates this outflow, providing more space for air and fuel to enter. You should start seeing a notable change in engine power efficiency.

Schedule Your Engine Service Today!

What causes poor engine performance? Accumulated wear and tear, plus low vehicle fluids. Our team at Saline Automotive Service would love to help tune up your car and restore it to optimum performance. If you’d like to schedule general maintenance or engine service for your vehicle, give our team a call today at 734-429-2886!

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.