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Auto Repair Ann Arbor

Seeing is Believing: Does Your Vehicle Need Ann Arbor Car Repair?

Does your vehicle need Ann Arbor car repair? Some issues aren’t that drastic, but some certainly can be. Do you know what to look for? Let’s review a few telltale signs that Ann Arbor car repair should be the next stop on your route.

Exhaust Smoke

You’ve seen it before: a car pulls in front of you, and poof; a cloud of smoke comes from the exhaust. It’s as annoying as a horn that’s stuck. 

Do they have a blown head gasket? A damaged cylinder? Maybe it’s a cracked engine block. Is the coolant burning? 

While some exhaust smoke is typical, if it’s thick and white, it’s one of the signs that a vehicle needs a trip to the auto repair shop. There are things you can smell and feel, but do you know what to look for? 

Gas Mileage on the Decline

We all know that gas doesn’t take us as far as it used to, but when is it an issue out of the ordinary? Maybe it’s the fuel system or a bad fuel injector. Perhaps it’s an old fuel filter. It’s one of those signs that a mechanic should check. 


Have you sprung a leak? All kidding aside, is your car depositing wet spots? Oil leaks can cause damage to your engine, the radiator, and the HVAC system. Fire and safety hazards can result when rubber hoses deteriorate or wear out.

Leaking under your car is not a sign of a happy vehicle. You have fluids to lubricate your vehicle, not the ground.


You know that nauseating feeling you get when you know everyone is looking at you? Scowling, drumming their fingers on the steering wheel, like “go already!” But you’re not going anywhere because your car is stalling, and you’re at the light of a big intersection. Not scary enough for you? Try stalling out on a two-lane bridge in the middle of rush hour traffic. People don’t appreciate it when you hold up traffic. If they’re not yelling at you, they’re honking their horns and making hand gestures while you shrink behind the steering wheel.

When your car is stalling, it’s time for the repair shop. The certified mechanics at Complete Auto Service can tell you if it’s a dead alternator or inadequate coolant. Maybe you’ve got a clogged fuel filter. It might also be a bad fuel pump or a vacuum leak. Whatever it is, it happens to all of us at some point.  

Check Engine Light

Repeat after us: if that neon sign on your dashboard is flashing, you must get off the road. You know the one. It says “check engine.” It’s the light that makes your heart sink. Maybe you’re driving down the road without a care, and suddenly, there it is. Blink, blink, blink. It’s telling you, “Do something about me.” And you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for this.”

If you are a certified mechanic with your own diagnostic computer, you can diagnose this problem yourself. But if you are like most of us, you rely on your certified mechanics at Complete Auto Service of Ann Arbor to check it and get you back on the road. 

If your “check engine” light is flashing, there could be a problem with the many systems in your car, and you should fix it before you get back out on the road. When your check engine light blinks, you may also feel like you are driving differently.

Smoking and There’s Not a Cigarette in Sight

If smoke comes from beneath the hood, it is a sign that something may be wrong with the engine or electronics. Often, smoke can be a sign of an overheated radiator, so make sure you keep a bottle of coolant handy and watch your temperature gauge. 

Excess oil can sometimes cause smoke, but the general rule is that you should never see smoke coming from the hood. If you do, you’ve got trouble.


Can you see any warning signs of impending brake failure? Well, yes. Your brake lights will show on the dashboard. There are other signs besides the warning light; you may hear loud screeching when you press the brakes. It’s time to get off the road. If you keep going, you’re playing with fire, and you sure don’t want that; too much is at risk. 

Photo by Tim Meyer on Unsplash

Let’s not take chances; call us at Complete Auto Service and let us put you and your loved ones back in a safe ride again. 

Listen, it takes time to take care of your car, but that’s why we’re here. Our priority is to keep all of you safe. Your priority is taking care of your loved ones who get in that car with you.

Give us a call, or bring in your car today.