What is a ball joint and what does it do?
We are often asked what happens if I don’t replace my loose ball joint. Your ball joints are a very important piece of your suspension. It is a ball and socket type of joint that allows circular movement but no vertical or side to side movement. Unlike a sway bar link, if your ball joints breaks your car will be dead in its tracks, and it will usually ruin the brake hose, axle shaft, tire and wheel and may even damage the fender. Ron’s Garage inspects your ball joints and suspension every time your car is in for service. Signs of a loose ball joint are abnormal and premature tire wear, a pull in one direction or the other and an unstable feeling while driving at higher speeds. Other signs of a loose or worn ball joint are a clunking noise while hitting bumps or a tire that is sitting at a funny angle compared to the other tires. Also, bear in mind there may be no signs or symptoms at all. That’s why having them inspected with your routine maintenance is very important. Quick stop oil change joints can not check your ball joints because the tires have to be off the ground. Ron’s Garage in Ann Arbor does a digital inspection virtually every time your car is here so you can rest assured that your car is in tip top shape.
There are a few “must do’s” if you want your car to be prepared for the cold and snowy winter in Ann Arbor MI
First and foremost is the battery. The average life of a battery in Ann Arbor is only 5 years, and just because your car still starts today does not mean your battery is in tip top shape. Have your Battery tested in Ann Arbor to make sure your car will start when the temperature drops. Next, Engine coolant/Anti freeze is also very important, It not only keeps your engine cool in the hot summer months but it protects the inside of you engine,radiator, heater core ect. from corrosion.
Anti freeze should be mixed at 60% anti freeze to 40% water to assure it doesn’t freeze. Tires in Ann Arbor during the winter are your lifeline, driving on ice and snow can be dangerous. One trip into the ditch or a day off work can also be very expensive. Most cars on the road today have an all season tread meaning they work in the summer as well as the winter so you can run them all year long. A specialized winter tire works much better. It has a softer rubber compound so it works in lower temps and actually grips on ice. it’s almost like driving on “Velcro”. The only disadvantage to a winter tires is you have remove them in the spring, and the disadvantage to all season tires is you don’t get the great features and benefits of a seasonal/winter tire.
Also during the winter month we will be driving a lot more in the dark, so check all your bulbs, and if your head light lenses are cloudy have them polished, it makes a huge difference at night. Ron’s Garage in Ann Arbor can recondition your head lights and make them like new again with a lifetime guarantee. Now is a good time to replace your wiper blades with a “winter wiper blade” they resist freezing and work much better than conventional blades, make sure your washer solvent is good for at least 20 degrees below zero, the summer washer solvent is good to only about 20 degrees and then it will freeze. We all know driving without washers on a wet salty road is miserable. It’s also a good idea to have a warm pair of boots, a warm blanket, flashlight, flares and a extra bottle of washer solvent in case an emergency arises. Ron’s Garage in Ann Arbor has a courtesy inspection that will reveal any issues you may need to resolve to have safe and happy winter travels.
What do winter tires and your insurance deductible have in common?. Actually nothing, except they are very similar in cost. With the cost of auto insurance premiums today most people have a $1000.00 dollar deductible. A new set of 4 winter tires on wheels cost about $1000.00 dollars. (It’s not safe to run only 2 winter tires because the significant difference it traction). Winter tires should last between 4-5 years if installed and removed at the proper times of the year, so it’s really only about $250.00 to $300.00 a year and your summer tires will also last considerably longer. I have had customers call me personally to thank me after their first drive in the snow with their new winter tires. One customer said it was like driving on “Velcro”. Another said she looked forward to it snowing now so she can go out and “Play in the snow” with her car. They really do work that well! One trip into a ditch or sliding into a curb will you cost way more than a set of winter tires, and how much does a day off work cost? Winter tires sell out quick and once they are gone they are gone. Google: “winter tire test” to see just how amazing they really are. Ron’s Garage in Ann Arbor sells and installs Goodyear, Kelly and Dunlop winter tires and even stores your off season tires hear at the garage, so you don’t have to trip over them all year long. Call and make an appointment today!