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March 22, 2017

Using Your Sense of Sound to Find Car Trouble

There are many ways to spot issues with your car. You can see it, smell it, feel it and hear it. The fifth sense, taste, we will exclude from spotting problems with your automobile. We’re going to focus on the sense of sound and how particular noises coming from the vehicle may be signs of vehicle trouble or the need for maintenance. If you notice any problems with your car and you’re near the Canton, MI area, bring it in and have it inspected by a certified mechanic. From squeaks and squeals to clicks and knocks, an automobile can make a variety of noises so when you hear some of these noises, this is what it could mean. A pinging sound like a high-pitched metallic tap is generally related to the engine and is most likely due to using a lower octane of gasoline than what is recommended by the manufacturer. Check your owner’s manual for the right octane and fill up with that. The few cents you save by filling up with the lower grade will affect the performance of the car and could cause expensive damage in the long run. If you are using the wrong octane, it could lead to an engine ignition timing issue which affects power, fuel economy and could cause potential damage to the engine. The next sound you could hear is a squealing noise. This could mean a few different things depending on when you hear it. If you’re applying the brakes and you hear a consistent squeal then this is an indicator that you should have your brakes inspected and possibly replaced. If the sound comes from under the hood it may be regarding a fan or air conditioning belt. It's probably a loose belt but this is more likely to be the case if you’ve had an A/C belt or alternator belt replaced and it wasn’t tightened properly. A rumbling or rattling sound which also coincides with a vibration generally means an exhaust issue such as a defective exhaust pipe or issues with the converter or muffler. Basically if your car sounds louder than what you’re used to then it could be anything from a simple-to-fix loose pipe that needs reattaching or replacing the muffler. Finally, a clunking sound is another common noise heard that may be warning you of an issue. But how and when the clunk presents itself will give you clues on the issue. If you hear the clunking noise when driving over bumps then you should check your struts and shocks. If the clunk happens regularly and not necessarily when you hit a bump then it is more likely ball joints, rack and tie rod or possibly the brakes. If you hear this clunking noise then you should have your vehicle inspected as soon as you can. Noting when you hear the clunking noise will help the technician in finding the issue. If you’re noticing any of the noises above then bring your vehicle into our Canton, MI auto repair shop. We will inspect your vehicle, offer the proper solution and have you back on the road in a safe and reliable vehicle as quickly as possible.

February 20, 2017

Looking for Car Trouble

There are many signs that your car may have some issues. A car can let out odors to clue you in on problems under the hood or you may hear a clanking sound when driving across town. There are also things you can look out for that may show signs that your car is experiencing some trouble. From an aging timing belt to puddles beneath the car, here are a few things you can keep an eye out for {hat may be indicating the vehicle has an issue. Remember, if you’re in the Canton, MI area and you need a certified mechanic to inspect or repair your car then bring it in to our auto repair shop. You’ll want to take a look under the hood every once in a while to make sure your fluid levels are good but you’ll also want to examine the timing belt. The timing belt is a ribbed belt that’s used to operate the crankshaft and is subject to snapping when it’s ran the course of its life. If the timing belt snaps it may lead to bent valves, cylinder head or camshaft damage and piston and cylinder wall damage which can be quite costly to repair. The signs of an aging timing belt are when there are any chips, cracks, missing ribbing or spots that may look like coolant or oil. The average lifespan of a timing belt can range from 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Outside the vehicle, stains on the driveway or garage floor will let you know if there are issues with the hoses, gaskets or exhaust system. Water will pool below the car if you’ve been driving with the air conditioner on so this is nothing to worry about. If you spot a yellowish green, light blue or bright orange stain under the car, this could be due to an antifreeze leak caused by a faulty hose, water pump or a radiator that’s leaking. Darker stains that are brown or black is an indicator that oil is leaking from a seal or gasket that has gone bad and a red, thin spot is a warning sign that there is a leak from the power-steering or transmission. Smoke pouring out of the exhaust can indicate a few different issues based on the color of the smoke. While most smoke coming out of the exhaust has to do with a failed gasket, the color of the smoke will indicate where the mechanic can probably begin to look for the problem. Blue smoke would indicate a failing gasket, O-ring or seal that has failed. White smoke means that water or possibly antifreeze is leaking into the engine cylinder caused by a head gasket that has gone bad. Finally black smoke has to do with the fuel injection system or fuel pump. If you’re noticing any issues with your vehicle, bring it into our repair shop to have it inspected. The longer these issues persist, the greater and more expensive the damage can be so if you find yourself near Canton, MI and you’re having some car trouble or need some maintenance to keep the vehicle running smoothly, place your trust in our shop.

January 21, 2017