Madison Heights Auto Repair

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TPMS: Tire Pressure Monitoring for Your MADISON HEIGHTS Vehicle

TPMS: Tire Pressure Monitoring for Your MADISON HEIGHTS Vehicle

MADISON HEIGHTS drivers may know that all 2008 model year and newer cars, mini-vans and light trucks in MI come with a tire pressure monitoring system. Many slightly older vehicles around the MADISON HEIGHTS area have these systems as well. A tire pressure monitoring system – called TPMS – consists of sensors on each wheel that measure tire pressure.If tire pressure drops 25 percent below the vehicle manufacture’s recommended pressure, the sensor sends a signal to a monitoring unit that causes a warning to light up on the dashboard. When drivers see the warning light, they know it's time to put some air in the tires.There are many benefits to people in MADISON HEIGHTS who drive with properly inflated tires. First is cost savings. Running at the correct air pressure improves fuel economy. Driving on underinflated tires is like driving through sand – it drags down your fuel economy. Drivers in MADISON HEIGHTS will also see longer, more e ... read more

The Easy Way to Save Cash in MADISON HEIGHTS

The Easy Way to Save Cash in MADISON HEIGHTS

The hottest MI news story may be different every day, but there's one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in MADISON HEIGHTS. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things people in MADISON HEIGHTS can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here's a review of things you can do for your vehicle that'll save gas no matter how you drive.The first one for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most MADISON HEIGHTS service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask Interstate Auto Care. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many MADISON HEIGHT ... read more

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Maintenance

Keeping Your 'Old Faithful' Auto Running

At Interstate Auto Care we've had a lot of MADISON HEIGHTS customers asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that's been building for several years in MI. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. It looks like it's going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of MI folks are putting off buying a new car. So let's say you're one of the average in the MADISON HEIGHTS area; you've got a nine-year-old car with 80,000 miles (130,000 km) on the odometer. What can you do to make it last another year or two?Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care in MADISON HEIGHTS. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but ther ... read more

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Maintenance

Upsizing Wheels and Tires With Interstate Auto Care

Upsizing Wheels and Tires With Interstate Auto Care

Many MADISON HEIGHTS drivers want to accessorize their vehicle - you know, make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some new wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs at MADISON HEIGHTS area tire shops to get you the look you want. And for many MADISON HEIGHTS drivers, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that cars came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more. So let's talk about what to consider when you want to upsize your wheels. It's not exactly a DIY project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is simply the overall height of your tire. Unless you want to modify your vehicle suspension, you'll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels.Let's think about those three golden doughnuts i ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Right or Left? Interstate Auto Care Power Steering Service

Have you ever driven a vehicle without power steering? If you have, then you probably appreciate how much easier it is to drive today's modern vehicles. Before power steering, all of the force to turn a vehicle had to come from the driver's arms. That's why old cars had such large steering wheels: they needed plenty of leverage to steer. There were some MADISON HEIGHTS folks who had difficulty driving because they just weren't strong enough.Power steering is now standard on all vehicles, but there are several ways that power can be delivered. Most vehicles use a hydraulic power steering system system. In this system, a serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump that pressurizes the power steering fluid. The pressure activates hydraulics that provides steering power.Other vehicles use an electric pump to pressurize the power steering fluid rather than the belt-driven pump. Some newer vehicles actually have electric motors that provide steering power and don't use ste ... read more

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Steering

Pinch Petroleum Pennies! (Fuel Saving Tips)

If you saw a dollar bill on the ground, you'd pick it up, right? Well, whether you find that dollar on the ground or in savings at the gas pump, money is money, and here are some ways to hold on to more of it. Slowing down is the easiest way to save fuel, especially for every speed increase over 50 mph/80 k/hr.  Tone down the speed, turn up the cash savings.  Drive smoothly (not like a race car driver) and you'll also save money in fuel.  Aggressive, fast-start, jerky-stop habits are just pulling the bucks out of your wallet about a third more than if you drove just a little more gently.  Oh, and cruise control can help with that smooth, steady speed, so use it on the highway. Bonus! Are you hauling around a set of dumbbells or a box of books? That extra weight is costing you dough.  Store them somewhere else.  When's the last time you checked to see your tires were inflated properly? That's another money saver and makes your vehicle safer. An idle thought ... read more

Helping MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers Get the Right Tires

Helping MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers Get the Right Tires

Every MADISON HEIGHTS vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it's a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy MI roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F (7°C), and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at temperatures below 45°F (7°C). At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of MADISON ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Interstate Auto Care

How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Interstate Auto Care

Today in the Interstate Auto Care auto care blog, we're going to talk to MADISON HEIGHTS drivers about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Interstate Auto Care customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).In real world MADISON HEIGHTS driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS.The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But t ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

Serpentine Belt Service at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS

Serpentine Belt Service at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS

If you've ever heard a squealing sound under your vehicle hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that's used by your vehicle's electrical systems and also charges the battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead after a short distance.The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).And, on most vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some MADISON HEIGHTS vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.When they understand what it does, MADISON HEIGHTS drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why vehicle manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owner’s manu ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Interstate Auto Care and the Maintenance Mindset

Interstate Auto Care and the Maintenance Mindset

When it comes to their vehicles, some MADISON HEIGHTSresidents don't have amaintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. MADISON HEIGHTS drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance but just may not have applied it to their vehicles.Here's something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your friendly and knowledgeable Interstate Auto Care service advisor will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he'll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they've got you covered. And at Interstate Auto Care, we check to see if you ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance
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