Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Stay Safe in MADISON HEIGHTS by Putting Your Cell Phone on ICE

We don't want to think about it, but each MADISON HEIGHTS resident who drives or rides in a vehicle is potentially an accident victim. In the worst-case scenario, those people are unconscious and unable to communicate with MI rescue workers. Rescue workers and MADISON HEIGHTS police are well aware of this difficulty, even if the rest of us don't stop to think about it. They can all recount stories of searching through glove compartments, pockets, wallets, purses and cell phone directories for a person's name and for contact information for someone who can help them get the person the medical care they need. This contact information is critical in an accident because MADISON HEIGHTS medical workers need to know about allergies and potential drug interactions. Also, in MI, some medical treatments can't be provided without authorization or consent, and there can be insurance and billing issues if the person's medical care is not properly arranged. ICE provides a solu ... read more

Categories:

Emergency Items

Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades for MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers

When people in MADISON HEIGHTS talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn't the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around MI? Yet we often don't even notice our windshields until we can't see through them or our wiper blades fail.It's estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won't keep their windshields clear during a storm — that's 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety's sake, MADISON HEIGHTS drivers need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don't get new ones until the old ones become a safety hazard. Instead, we need to make wiper blades part of our preventive maintenance routine.Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In MI areas that experience harsh winter weather, special blades are available that ... read more

Not a Good Vibe (Driveshaft Failure)

When you feel your vehicle vibrating as you're driving down the road, one cause could be something you may not have ever seen: your driveshaft.  It is underneath the vehicle and most drivers don't climb under there to take a look very often.  The driveshaft is a cylindrical part that helps conduct the rotational power from your engine to your drive wheels.  If you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, you may have two driveshafts.  The drive shaft has bushings, and when they wear out, that's a likely source of the vibrations.  When the bushings are in good condition, they prevent the driveshaft from vibrating.  And if you don't get your vehicle repaired fairly soon after discovering vibrations, they'll continue to get worse and cause other components of the drivetrain to wear out. The driveshaft is, of course, only one part of the drivetrain.  It includes other parts such as axles, transmission, differentials and joints.  They all work together and ne ... read more

Categories:

Drive Train

That Squeal is Telling You Something (What Causes Squealing While Steering)

If you hear a squealing noise when you turn your vehicle, it's trying to tell you something is wrong.  After all, it never made that noise before, right?  The sound  you hear may becoming from a few sources.  Let's take a look (or a listen) to some of the possibilities. First, you almost certainly have power steering in your vehicle. Without power steering, you practically have to have arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger to turn, so automakers have technology to assist your steering, either mechanically or electrically.  For a long time, the most common power steering has been hydraulic, using a belt to supply power from the engine that turns a power steering pump full of a fluid that helps you steer.  Sometimes that fluid gets low because of a leak or some other problem.  The belt could wear out and start squeaking, and you might feel the steering start to become harder.  Your service repair facility can figure out the problem and offer some solutio ... read more

Categories:

Steering

Alternative Fuel Vehicles in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI

Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our MI environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers very soon.For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the MADISON HEIGHTS area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn. The benefits to MADISON HEIGHTS drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and when gas prices are low, E85 can be more than straight gasoline.MADISON HEIGHTS drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.Diesel engines hav ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

What's in a Number? (What Tire Numbers Mean)

You've probably never paid much attention to the writing on the sides of your tires, but they contain a wealth of information.  There's a long combination of letters and numbers that can tell you a whole lot about what tires your vehicle was designed to be riding on.  Let's check out this example found on an SUV: P245/70R17 108T. The first letter, P, means it's intended for passenger vehicles.  If there's no letter, it means it's a metric tire.  If there's an LT at the beginning or end that means a tire designed for light trucks. Moving on to our example, the 245 shows how wide the tire is in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall.  The number that follows in our example, 70, means the height of the tire is 70% of its width.  The letter after that in our example, R, describes the type of tire (on this vehicle, radial).  Following that is the diameter in inches, in our SUV example, 17 inches.  How much load the tires' sidewalls are designed to take ... read more

Categories:

Tires

Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight and Your MI Driving

Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from MADISON HEIGHTS knows this makes sense.Some of us in the MADISON HEIGHTS area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I'm not talkin' what you see in the mirror.Guys: sports equipment and tools. Ladies: well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about 45 pounds of french fries on the floor.All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and there, and everywhere else.Lose the junk and save some money....And you really only need one of those spare tires. Interstate Auto Care 526 E 14 MILE RD MADISON HEIGHTS, MI 48071 248-307-1200

Categories:

Fuel System

Hitting The Brakes In Lehi

Hitting The Brakes In Lehi

  Hello MADISON HEIGHTS, let's talk about brakes. But the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There's also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.Let's step back. A new vehicle or truck rolls off a local MADISON HEIGHTS showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles/kilometers start to add up on the vehicle. MADISON HEIGHTS drivers tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads and shoes on drum brakes are called the friction material. That's because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it's not until they are worn so thin as t ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

Hey MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers, How Many Miles Are on Your Car?

Nowadays, MADISON HEIGHTS drivers are paying more at MI gas pumps. For some families it adds up to several hundred dollars every month. That's got to come out of the budget somewhere. This is one of the reasons many MI drivers are putting off buying a new car. They plan on keeping their old vehicle for a year or two longer than before.Even now, 2/3 of the personal vehicles on our local MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, roads have over 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) on them. The average age of vehicles is over nine years. And most people in the MADISON HEIGHTS area can't afford to be stranded or inconvenienced by a breakdown. So following a regular maintenance schedule, like personal diet and exercise plans, is actually critical to preserving your investment.Determining what to do for a higher-mileage vehicle can be challenging because many owner's manuals don't publish service intervals after 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers). Thus, MADISON HEIGHTS drivers need to be better at keeping recor ... read more

Some New Boots (Suspension Maintenance)

There are some boots that don't come in a shoe box and aren't worn on your feet.  They are called axle or CV boots, and they can be important parts for many vehicles. That CV stands for constant velocity.  CV axles are mainly used in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. They're also used in some rear-wheel drive vehicles with independent suspensions.  They have two CV joints, one inner and one outer, placed between the axle and the drive wheels.  That way the vehicle's engine power can drive the wheels, no matter what angle they are.  They also adjust for the different speeds wheels turn as they go around corners.  Because roads are full of all sorts of hazards (dirt, oil, water, grime), these CV joints need to be protected.  They also have grease in them to keep the bearings moving smoothly.  That's the job of the rubber boots that are supposed to keep that debris out.  These CV or axle boots are made of rubber or plastic and usu ... read more

Categories:

Suspension
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