Madison Heights Auto Repair

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MI: What Is the Risk of High Oil Change Intervals?

MI residents may have heard that vehicles don't need their oil changed as often as they used to. That's true. But it's not the whole story.Owing to improved engine technology and higher oil quality, most newer vehicles can go longer between oil changes than their older counterparts.So what is a good time interval for oil changes? How do MI residents know when to change it? And why do we change it in the first place?Oil lubricates a vehicle's engine, which protects it from friction damage. Over time the oil can collect dirt and contaminants that inhibit its performance. But dirty oil isn't the only problem for MI residents. What you really want to avoid is called oil sludge.Oil sludge is caused by moisture in the oil and by hot spots in your engine that burn off oil. This sludge is a gooey gel that can clog engine passageways, which can block lubricants from reaching vital engine parts. The result can be engine wear or even engine failure.Sludge forms rapidly in an engine that is driven ... read more

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Fluids

Timing Belt

Timing Belt

Ever heard the sad tale of a staggeringly steep repair bill from a broken timing belt? Bad news. Let's take a lesson from their woes and remember to think about our timing belt.First, let's review what a timing belt does. The top part of the engine over the cylinders is called the cylinder head. The head contains the valves. There's at least one valve that lets the fresh air into the cylinder. This air, mixed with fuel, burns to create power. Then another valve or two will open to allow the exhaust out of the engine. Each cylinder has 2 to 4 valves - that's 12 to 24 valves for a V-6, up to 32 values on a V-8. The opening and closing of the valves is done by a camshaft. The timing belt uses the rotation of the engine to drive the camshaft which opens and close the valves. It's called a timing belt because it has to be adjusted to rotate the camshaft to keep proper time with the engine so that everything's in sync.The timing belt is a toothed rubber belt. But some vehicles use ... read more

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Parts

Interstate Auto Care Alternator Replacement Service in MADISON HEIGHTS

Interstate Auto Care Alternator Replacement Service in MADISON HEIGHTS

Your vehicle alternator doesn't get enough credit. Though your battery gets your engine started, after that – it's all about the alternator.  Driving around MADISON HEIGHTS is a lot of work for your alternator, and as upgrades such as heated steering wheels, cooled seats, stability control and lane departure warning become more common, it will have to work even harder. Eventually this workhorse just wears out. When it does you have no choice but to order an alternator replacement because your vehicle won't run without one. Come see your friendly and professional service advisor at Interstate Auto Care to learn more. Interstate Auto Care526 E 14 MILE RDMADISON HEIGHTS, MI 48071248-307-1200

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Battery

Automotive Tips from Interstate Auto Care: Serpentine Belt System Wear

The primary job of the serpentine belt for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at optimal speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded around MADISON HEIGHTS with a dead battery. In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature wear and possible early replacement. When as little as 5% of belt material is lost, the serpentine belt cannot provide the proper traction for the accessories. Your friendly and professional Interstate Auto Care service advisor can inspect your belt for excessive wear and replace your serpentine belt system if it’s excessively worn.Give us a call.Interstate Auto Care526 E 14 MILE RDMADISON HEIGHTS, MI 48071248-307-1200

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Serpentine Belt

Serpentine Belt Service at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS

Serpentine Belt Service at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS

Don't you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you're zipping down a busy MADISON HEIGHTS road? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator - which charges the battery; the water pump - which cools the engine; the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All are pretty important parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components. Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go long distances. Like all moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving around MADISON HEIGHTS, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the vehicle immediately or it will overheat, potentially causing engine damage. You can be sure that it won't happen at a convenient time or place. (As if there was a convenient time or place!) You might e ... read more

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Parts

Smart MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Smart MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers to prevent. The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fans on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again. The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage. Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The o ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

Looking Down the Road - Headlamps

Looking Down the Road - Headlamps

If you've ever been driving around MADISON HEIGHTS and had a headlamp go out, you've probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won't have the same brightness, which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Interstate Auto Care. We're at 526 E 14 MILE RD in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI 48071. Or give us a call at 248-307-1200.Experts at Interstate Auto Care recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It's easy to remember if you do it when Daylight Saving Time changes in the fall. That way you'll have bright headlamps for those long MI winter nights.There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can't believe the difference. If y ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Fuel Injector Cleaning at Interstate Auto Care

Fuel Injector Cleaning at Interstate Auto Care

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your vehicle engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute in every single fuel-injected vehicle driving down MADISON HEIGHTS roads.Most fuel injectors for gas engines are known in the MADISON HEIGHTS automotive community as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. The fuel pump provides pressure needed to squirt the right amount of fuel into the engine. A few have recently introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines. They are now available at some MI dealerships. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – many times the pressure of port injection systems. Although more complicated ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around MADISON HEIGHTS

Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around MADISON HEIGHTS

With high fuel prices in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on   is great.  When you get one of those e-mails that's going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?Do some research on the internet or ask your MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, service advisor at Interstate Auto Care.There aren't any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank, and the government hasn't suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your vehicle run on air. Not even in MADISON HEIGHTS!So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You'll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.We're here for you at Interstate Auto Care, so give us a call at 248-307-1200 for good honest advice about your vehicle. Interstate Auto Care ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Smooth Shifting in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI: Transmission Service

Smooth Shifting in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI: Transmission Service

So you have some exciting plans for the weekend. You're going to take some of your friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you've gotten the boat all ready. And you haven't forgotten about your tow vehicle. You've gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more important than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your vehicle maintenance is up to date. Think about it – heavy traffic on the way out of MADISON HEIGHTS. There's hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it's going to be pretty hot in MI this weekend. And all the time you'll be towing around a lot of extra weight. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Let's just consider the transmission. It's going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the loc ... read more

Categories:

Transmission
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