Madison Heights Auto Repair

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The Best Test

Would you buy a jacket without even trying it on? Probably not, but it might surprise you that one study shows about half the people buy a vehicle after a short test drive around the block or none at all.  If you're in the market for another vehicle, make sure you check out the most important things so you'll know if that's the right vehicle for you. Check out the gadgets.  Love a good sound system? Then turn it up loud.  Does it have enough bass for you? See how you like its navigation system if it has one.  Try pairing your Bluetooth smartphone with the vehicle.  Test out how to set the cruise control and how steady it keeps the speed. Back up and check out the rearview camera. If you buy this vehicle, you'll have to live with all of these things every time you drive. Test the vehicle on roads you know.  See how it handles bumps and potholes, how it takes that tight curve that you drive every day to and from work.  Driving on familiar roads gives yo ... read more

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Automotive News

I Had No Idea! (Four Things You Didn't Know About Vehicles)

Bet you didn't know: Some of the earliest rearview mirrors were marketed as "Cop Spotters" so drivers would know when police were following them. Who wants a ticket, anyway? According to eBay Motors, Elmer Berger first patented a rearview mirror that was mounted on the front fenders, on the spare tire secured to the side of the car of at the top of the driver's door frame.  About 80 percent of your vehicle is recyclable. So says The Balance. That means four-fifths of most vehicles can be recycled.  Much of that recycling is done by automotive aftermarket recyclers.  Between the U.S and Canada, they reclaim enough steel to produce 13 million new vehicles. The man who invented the first modern cruise control couldn't even drive a car because he was blind! His name, says Smithsonian.com, was Ralph Teetor.  Blinded at a young age by a knife accident, Teetor was inspired to create a speed control by a couple of things.  One, the U.S. imposed a mandatory 35 mph/55 kp ... read more

Let Interstate Auto Care Help You Keep Your Vehicle Another Couple of Years

MADISON HEIGHTS area residents may remember when the U.S. government's “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.But a lot of MADISON HEIGHTS drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They're dependable and they're paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles (320,000 km), as long as the repair bills don't get too expensive.There are a lot of vehicles on MI roads that have run past the 200,000 mile (320,000 km) odometer reading. Is there something that their owners are doing that keeps these vehicles on the road? Or did they just win the “lemon lottery,” and luck out by getting a particularly good vehicle? Not surprisingly, most of these owners have something in common. They never skip an oil change. Can keeping a vehicle on the road fo ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

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

Categories:

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

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

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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