Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Wheel Balancing at Interstate Auto Care

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? MADISON HEIGHTS drivers can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on MI roads. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat.Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Interstate Auto Care, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kph, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration.Most people in MADISON HEIGH ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Don't Be Fuelish

If you smell gasoline in your vehicle, pay attention to your nose. That's because it has an important message for you. Newer vehicles should never have a gasoline smell inside. One of the most dangerous conditions can come when your fuel line system has a leak or multiple leaks. Vehicles with fuel injectors are under pressure, meaning a crack or small hole in a fuel line can allow vaporized fuel to escape, sometimes around hot engine parts. Gasoline vapor and hot metal? You see the problem. One of the most common causes of a gasoline smell inside a vehicle is a fuel tank leak. The gas tank can rot or be punctured by road debris. A Interstate Auto Care technician can evaluate the condition of your fuel tank and suggest either repair or replacement. Fuel injectors can develop small leaks around their seals or O-rings. Those can deteriorate over time as the material they are made of gets old and less flexible. A technician can replace those parts. Modern vehicles contain something called ... read more

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Auto Safety

Fuel Filter Service in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI

There are a surprising number of small, inexpensive parts that can lead to expensive engine damage when they fail. It doesn't seem right.Fortunately a lot of those things can be taken care of in routine maintenance. They may not be easy to remember because it is a long list, but your service center at Interstate Auto Care can help you know what's scheduled to be taken care of.Some of us in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, really don't look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things the manufacturer recommends.But automotive maintenance is all about prevention and addressing small problems before they get big. Let's take the fuel filter for example.You may not know this but the median age for private vehicles on our MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, roads is over nine years. When vehicles get older, five years or so, they've accumulated a lot of dirt and rust in their gas tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thou ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Automotive Tips from Interstate Auto Care: A Broken or Damaged Timing Belt

The timing belt rotates the cam shafts which open and close the valves that allow air, fuel, and exhaust to flow through the engine as it powers your car when you drive around MADISON HEIGHTS.An old timing belt can lose a “tooth” in the belt allowing it to slip. The engine could stop or misfire. Timing belt slips – or a broken timing belt – can be disastrous on some engines. In “interference” engines, open valves can get in the way of the piston when the timing belt breaks or slips. When that happens one or more valves can be bent requiring expensive engine repairs.It is important for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers to replace their timing belts as recommended in their owner’s manual to avoid unnecessary breakdowns. Ask the team of professionals at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS if it’s time for your timing belt to be replaced. Interstate Auto Care526 E 14 MILE RDMADISON HEIGHTS, MI 48071248-307-1200 ... read more

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Timing Belt

Bouncy Bouncy – Are My Shocks Bad?

When MADISON HEIGHTS drivers think about preventive maintenance, what usually comes to mind is oil, fluids and brakes. We don't generally think about our shocks or struts, but these auto parts keep our tires on the road.MADISON HEIGHTS drivers don't think about shocks as often as oil changes because shocks and struts last a long time and wear out slowly. They don't need to be checked as often as our brake pads or air filters. By the time your shocks have 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) on them, their performance will have noticeable degraded. If you want to restore the handling and ride designed for your vehicle, try replacing your shocks and struts.Of course, if you drive off-road around MADISON HEIGHTS, carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or put in a lot of mileage on poor driving surfaces, your shocks or struts will wear out more quickly. You'll need to replace them more often or upgrade to better shocks.Your suspension system uses springs and shocks to absorb the &ldq ... read more

Categories:

Shocks & Struts

THE IMPORTANCE OF VISIBILITY (Cleaning Vehicle Glass)

We've all been through it. The vehicle ahead of us kicks up mud, slush, snow or salt on our windshield and we can't see a thing.  And not being able to see a thing when we're driving?  Not a good thing. Debris on a vehicle's glass can be blinding when driving directly into the sun.  And other things can ruin visibility: scratches on the glass, fogged windows, mineral deposits.  So lets make one thing clear:  Your windows.  Here are some tips. Number one rule, don't use abrasives on glass. That means no gritty cleaners that are made for metal.  Avoid at all costs those dark green abrasive pads on some kitchen sponges that are made to clean metal pots and pans UNLESS the manufacturer specifically says they can be used on glass. Use the appropriate cleaner for the substance that's being cleaned off. Special automotive glass cleaners are available, and your Interstate Auto Care service advisor can make recommendations. Vinegar can work wonders. Sometimes ... read more

Saving Lives in MADISON HEIGHTS with Tire Pressure

All new passenger vehicles on our MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, roads now have tire pressure monitoring systems – TPMS for short. They are designed to alert you if your tires are underinflated. Since they are fairly new, a lot of people have questions about them.First off, the most important thing is that you still need to check your tire pressure every week – or at least every time you gas up. The TPMS system alert comes in when your tire is 20 percent below the factory recommendation. So if the recommended pressure is 34 pounds per square inch, the TPMS warning won't come on until the pressure is at 28 pounds. That's significantly underinflated, enough to raise safety concerns.The worst is tire failure. A severely underinflated tire can overheat and fail. Also, handling degrades to the point that you may not be able to steer out of trouble. Also underinflated tires wear out faster and they waste fue ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Budget for Maintenance in MADISON HEIGHTS

Sometimes busy MADISON HEIGHTS residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around MI in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time MADISON HEIGHTS residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's MADISON HEIGHTS drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's MADISON HEIGHTS drivers didn't care much for it, either. So o ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

The Interstate Auto Care Guide to Servicing Your Differential

Differential? What's that? And what's it for? I've been told by my service advisor that I need to get it serviced, but is that on the level?Do these questions sound familiar? They're not uncommon for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers. A lot of us in MADISON HEIGHTS don't know what a differential is or what it's for. Every vehicle has a differential, and, yes, it does need to be serviced. In fact, it's more important to the operation of your vehicle than the air conditioner or windshield wipers.A differential allows your vehicle tires to move at different speeds. This happens more than you think. The best example is when a vehicle is turning. The inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel during a turn. This means the outside wheel has to move faster than the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would hop and skip while turning. They would also lose traction in sand or snow.The location of your differential depends ... read more

Interstate Auto Care Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Interstate Auto Care Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Today's Interstate Auto Care post focuses on using coolant. If you pour in the wrong kind, it won't protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your vehicle owner's manual. Of course, your Interstate Auto Care service advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.Brake fluid is confusing for some MADISON HEIGHTS drivers. Back when we opened Interstate Auto Care, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some MADISON HEIGHTS residents mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That's not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your vehicle.Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at Interstate Auto Care: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in vehicle automatic transmissions, there have been several new t ... read more

Categories:

Fluids
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