This page provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about vehicle repair and service. We’ve thrown in some of our favorite tips and recommendations, too. Please call us or consult our Contact Us page for answers to your specific questions. We are happy to assist you! 313 937-2000
How much air should I put in my tires?
Is it safe to repair a flat tire?
What is Road Hazard Protection?
Do I have to replace my present tires with the same size tires?
How important is wheel alignment?
How often should I have my car aligned?
Should I rotate my tires?
What should I do if I notice a vibration?
Can I drive normally on my spare tire?
What are the benefits to Nitrogen filled tires?
An illuminated light on my dash shows that I have a low tire. Can I just put air in it?
With so many brand options and price differences why not just pick the cheapest tire. Is there really a difference?
How often should I rotate my tires?
I see a fluid leak under my car, what is it?
I have a leak under my car. How can I tell what is leaking?
Vehicle Smells & Sounds
I smell something in /around my car, what could it be?
The smell of burned toast – a light, sharp odor – often signals an electrical short and burning insulation. To be safe, try not to drive the vehicle until the problem is diagnosed. • The smell of rotten eggs – a continuous burning-sulfur smell – usually indicates a problem in the catalytic converter or other emission control devices. Don’t delay diagnosis and repair. • A thick acrid odor usually means burning oil. Look for sign of a leak. • The smell of gasoline vapors after a failed start may mean you have flooded the engine. Wait a few minutes before trying again. If the odor persists, chances are there’s a leak in the fuel system – a potentially dangerous problem that needs immediate attention. • Burring resin or an acrid chemical odor may signal overheated brakes or clutch. Check the parking brake. Stop and allow the brakes to cool after repeated hard braking on mountain roads. Light smoke coming from a wheel indicates a stuck brake. The vehicle should be towed for repair. A sweet, steamy odor indicates a coolant leak. If the temperature gauge or warning light does not indicate overheating, drive carefully to the nearest service station, keeping an eye on your gauges. If the odor is accompanied by a hot, metallic scent and steam-from under the hood, your engine has overheated. Pull over immediately. Continued driving could cause severe engine damage. The vehicle should be towed for repair.
My car is making a terrible sound, what information will help?
Squeaks, squeals, rattles, rumbles, and other sounds provide valuable clues about problems and maintenance needs. Here are some common noises and their definitions. Squeal – A shrill, sharp noise, usually related to engine speed. Click – A slight sharp noise, related to either engine speed or vehicle speed. Screech – A high-pitched, piercing metallic sound; usually occurs while the vehicle is in motion. Rumble – a low-pitched rhythmic sound. Ping – A high-pitched metallic tapping sound, related to engine speed. Heavy Knock – A rhythmic pounding sound.. Clunk – A random thumping sound. The more details you can provide us, the better chance of locating the problem quickly. Does the noise occur when the engine is cold or warm? Hot or cold outside, rainy or dry? Does the noise occur while driving or only when parked? These clues help the technician diagnose your problems faster, saving you time and money!
I hear an intermittent noise from the front of my car. Do I need to worry about it?
Every noise should be checked by a qualified technician. Use you best judgment, if it sounds bad, get it checked right away. Quick action on a problem can many times save big dollars.
How often should I change my oil?
Most car manufacturers say to change your oil every 7,500 miles unless you drive in severe conditions. Severe conditions are defined as dirty or dusty roads, extremely hot or cold climates, a lot of stop and go driving, taking long trips or if you tow a trailer. If you answer yes to any of the severe driving conditions, your vehicle falls into the severe conditions category, or the 3,000 mile oil change interval.
When should I get my oil changed?
You should get your oil changed every 3000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
What is that milky brown engine oil?
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician quickly.
What is synthetic motor oil?
Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines, vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), or vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates. Synthetic motor oils, though several times more expensive than mineral-based motor oils, can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. They also provide instant lubrication on start-up.
What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
This is a very serious problem – if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator as it can burn you. The best thing to do is have your car towed to a repair shop.
What dashboard lights should I worry about and which are just precautions?
Every dashboard light is responsible for notifying the owner of issues that need to be addressed. If any of the following lights are lit you need to have your vehicle looked at: Engine light, Oil light, ABS light, Traction light, Tire Pressure light.
What are the consequences of postponing maintenance?
If I don’t take my car to my car dealer for maintenance or repair will I void my warranty?
My check engine or service engine soon light comes on. What should I do?
Why does my vehicle’s maintenance schedule recommend so many fuel system services?
I have 100,000 mile spark plugs in my car. When will I need a tune-up?
What are all of the chemicals and fluid flushes for? Are they really necessary?
Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the recommended interval?
What does it mean if my "check engine" or "service engine soon" light comes on?
When should I change my spark plugs?
What is the difference between maintenance and safety?
With the change of the season and the temperatures, do I need to have my car checked?
How to make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?
Battery cables and terminals should also be cleaned and inspected to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.
I need to replace a burned out fuse, what should I do?
Always replace burned-out fuses with ones of the same amperage (printed on the fuse) and note that if a fuse continues to “blow,” you should have the circuit checked professionally by one of our technicians for defects.
When should I replace my car’s fuel filter?
To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car’s fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Improving Gas Mileage
How can you increase fuel mileage?
Check Tire Pressure – If one tire is 5 psi low on pressure, you will lose 10% in fuel mileage. Make sure all tires are inflated to the vehicle manufacture’s specified pressure. Wheel Alignment – Your car’s wheels and tires were designed to roll. If the alignment is not correct they drag, causing a decrease in fuel mileage as well as premature tire wear. Fuel mileage loss can be as much as 15%. Check and Replace Filters Regularly – Replacing a plugged air filter can improve your car’s gas mileage by as much as 10%. Your car’s air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Not only will replacing the air filter improve your gas mileage, it will protect your engine too. Change Your Oil Regularly – The proper grade of clean oil will reduce friction. Using too heavy of oil can cause a loss of 1 to 2% in fuel mileage. Regular oil changes will not only protect your engine, but also save you money at the pump. Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned – Worn spark plugs, dirty fuel injectors, and carbon on the throttle place can all cause a fuel mileage loss of up to 4%. With today’s cars, computers can mask worn or dirty parts that rob your car of fuel mileage. By having these items inspected and serviced regularly, you will keep your car running smooth and improve your vehicle’s fuel economy. Take a Load Off – Heavier vehicles require more energy to move, so carrying around excess weight will decrease your mileage. Empty out your trunk of unnecessary items. An extra 100 pounds in your trunk will reduce fuel mileage by 1 to 2% in a typical vehicle. Service Engine Soon / Check Engine Light If you have been ignoring this important light, have it repaired. This light monitors important functions of the fuel and engine system. Depending on the cause, fuel economy could suffer by 40%. Often time when the light is on, the computer operates in a back up mode which does not optimize fuel mileage. Observe the Speed Limit
Cabin Air Filters
What is a Cabin Air Filter?
Cabin air filters filter the air that comes from the outside of a vehicle into the passenger compartment. They were originally designed to remove solid contaminants like dust and soot from circulating inside the vehicle. These filters can now also absorb gases and odors. Cabin air filters may also be known as passenger compartment filters, pollen filters, or dust filters.
When did Cabin Air Filters come into being?
Cabin air filters first appeared in European vehicles in the mid-1980’s. They began appearing in North American vehicles in 1994.
Is a Cabin Air Filter the same as an engine intake filter?
While most cabin air filters look like simple panel filters that are used to filter air to the engine, they are much more technologically advanced and contain an entirely different filtering media. Basically, engine intake filters protect engine components, whereas cabin air filters protect your lungs.
Why are Cabin Air Filters important?
Air quality is becoming a major concern for many people – outdoors, in our homes, and now even in our automobiles. An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from hay fever and other allergy-related problems.
Where are Cabin Air Filters located?
Cabin air filters are typically located behind a vehicle’s dashboard, or behind the glove box. Others may be located in the engine compartment, typically in the cowl area.
How often should they be replaced?
Vehicle manufacturer recommendations may vary, but the general guideline for replacing cabin air filters is every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or at least once a year.
What happens if they are not replaced at the recommended interval?
In addition to the possibility of unpleasant odors, filters that have been left in service for over 20,000 miles can result in decreased heating and air conditioning performance caused by restricted air flow through the cabin air filter.