Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Articles:

Dashboard's a Funny Name (Instrumental Panel Warning Lights)

Every day you drive, you're sitting behind the dashboard. But how in the world did it get that name? Back in the days of the horse-drawn carriage, horses would kick up dirt and mud on the driver and passengers, "dashing" debris against the carriage. So those who built carriages began installing a board to protect them. So, dash-board. Dashboard. The dashboard is still there, though changed quite a bit from the early days. Now its main purpose is to house the controls and instruments for your vehicle's systems. Of course, you have the speedometer, tachometer and gas gauge. But there are four warning lights you need to pay attention to on your dashboard and instrument panel. Some of these may even be gauges, depending on your model of vehicle. Regardless, paying attention to them is a good idea if you want your vehicle to keep going as long as possible. Oil pressure—The oil pressure light will come on if your engine doesn't have enough pressure in its system. Low oil pressure means ... read more

Good Service at Interstate Auto Care Equals Good Fuel Economy in MADISON HEIGHTS

Whether we're trying to save money, save gas or save the environment, most of us MADISON HEIGHTS drivers have an interest in decreasing fuel consumption. We've all heard about ways to save money on gas in MI, but does it really add up to much? How much can we boost our fuel economy through preventive maintenance and more courteous driving?The US government has a website that actually answers that question. Let's look at some of the data and find out if any of these fuel-saving ideas are really worth the effort. We've all heard that a tune-up can improve gas mileage. It turns out that it can save us 4% at the pump. At $3.50 a gallon, that's 14¢ per gallon in savings, and at $4.00 a gallon, that's a 16¢ per gallon savings.Other common repair items can also save you at the pump. For example, if your oxygen sensor is faulty, it's not delivering the information to your engine's computer that allows it to calculate the right fuel-to-air ratio. The result ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Cool Breeze: Air Conditioning Service at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS

Most MI auto owners know that their vehicles need regular preventive maintenance like changing the oil and filters, rotating the tires and refilling the washer fluid. But did you know that your air conditioning system needs routine maintenance as well? Taking care of your air conditioning system can extend its life and prevent costly repair bills.Why is it important for MADISON HEIGHTS area drivers to get routine maintenance on their air conditioning system? First, the refrigerant contains an added lubricant. As the refrigerant circulates through the air conditioning system, its parts are lubricated. This constant lubrication keeps the parts functioning well. But over time, this lubricant is used up, and without it, the parts will eventually seize up and fail.MADISON HEIGHTS folks should understand, however, that the air conditioner will continue to pump out cool air even without the lubricant, so you won't kn ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning

Speak Up: Talking with Your Interstate Auto Care Service Advisor

About 80% of the vehicles on MADISON HEIGHTS roads today are behind on their preventive maintenance schedules. That translates to about 160 million vehicles in the United States that aren't performing as well as they could be - thousands right here in MI. Some of the maintenance issues are minor. Others represent serious safety concerns. There are many reasons MADISON HEIGHTS drivers neglect their routine car care. Some of the more common ones are complacency, lack of confidence, lack of trust and budget issues. Modern vehicles are amazingly reliable compared to their older counterparts. They can run for years without any repairs, and we sometimes translate that to mean they don't need any maintenance. The trouble is that without maintenance, parts in the vehicle are gradually wearing out, fluids are getting dirty, oil is developing sludge — a lot of stuff is happening that we can't see, and it is destroying the vehicle. The first time we learn t ... read more

MADISON HEIGHTS Car Owners Ask: Why Do I Need to Change My Serpentine Belt?

Any MADISON HEIGHTS driver who understands preventive maintenance knows that “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” is bad auto advice. Replacing a part before it breaks is much less costly for MADISON HEIGHTS residents than repairing the engine damage that comes after a part breaks or fails. A good example of this is the serpentine belt.The serpentine belt gets its name because of its circuitous path around the engine. The serpentine belt is driven by the engine and powers a number of systems, as follows:1. The serpentine belt spins the compressor that generates the cool air for the air conditioning system.2. The serpentine belt powers the alternator. The alternator generates electricity for use in the vehicle's electrical systems and to charge the battery. Without the alternator, the battery wouldn't last more than a few miles.3. In many MADISON HEIGHTS residents' vehicles, the serpentine belt runs the pumps for both the power steering and the power brakes. In other vehicles ... read more

Categories:

Timing Belt

Automotive Tips from Interstate Auto Care: Rotor Problems

The brake rotor, or disc, is attached to your wheel. The brake pads rub on the rotor to slow your car when you are driving in MADISON HEIGHTS.Rotors can warp, crack or become misaligned. They can also be damaged by worn out brake pads that scratch grooves into the surface. These conditions result in less contact surface for the brake pads, leaving you with reduced braking power.Over time and miles, rotors can also wear down below safe specifications. It is important for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers to know that simply replacing brake pads on a wheel with a bad rotor will not solve the problem. Depending on their condition, rotors may be resurfaced or replaced.Brake noise or a pulsation in the brake pedal are signs of potential brake problems that should be addressed right away. If you have any brake concerns, please have your friendly and professional Interstate Auto Care tech perform a thorough inspection.Give us a call.Interstate Auto Care526 E 14 MILE RDMADISON HEIGHTS, MI ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

Upgrade Shocks for Better Handling in MADISON HEIGHTS

Many MADISON HEIGHTS drivers probably don't think of their shock absorbers as an important safety system; but that's just what shocks and struts are. They're all about ride control – keeping your vehicle tires in contact with the road and managing body motion.Every time you hit a bump or pothole on a MADISON HEIGHTS road, your tire wants to bounce up. The bigger the bump, the higher the bounce. Your shocks or struts push down on the tire to maintain the traction you need to start, stop and turn.If you've ever ridden in a vehicle with bad shocks, you know how it wallows on corners. The front end dives when you hit the brakes and the rear end squats when you accelerate. It's not only uncomfortable, it is difficult to handle.You may have heard vehicles described as having “flat cornering." That means that when you take a corner, the body doesn't roll very much. When shocks start to get worn, your vehicle will roll more on corners. The weight of y ... read more

Categories:

Shocks & Struts

No Fueling! (Fuel Filler Location)

If you've ever gotten in an unfamiliar vehicle, maybe a rental car, you may have pulled up to the gas pump and wondered, "Which side is the fuel filler on?" Here's a tip for you.  There is usually a little arrow on the instrument panel near the fuel gauge that points to the side where the fuel filler is.  But why are the fuel fillers not all on the same side, anyway? There are lots of reasons.  At one time, many manufacturers tried putting them in an easy-to-reach spot: in the center of the vehicle's rear end.  Some even hid them behind a hinged license plate door.  Cool place, but it turned out not to be a good idea.  When a vehicle with a fuel filler in the rear was hit by another vehicle from behind, it was much more prone to catch fire and explode. Safety regulations now dictate that the fuel filler doors be placed within crumple zones and away from where they can drip fuel on hot exhaust pipes or near electrical connections.  But why do manufactu ... read more

Defensive Driving in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI

  There was a man in the MADISON HEIGHTS area who learned that most car accidents occur within a mile of home – so he moved. (Just kidding!)When we think of defensive driving, we often focus on our local MI highway situations. The fact of the matter is we need to be just as careful close to home in MADISON HEIGHTS, because that's where we do most of our driving. We can't let our familiar surroundings keep us from driving defensively.Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won't let anyone take your safety away from you. You'll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment.Don't leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers.Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident.Never drive impaired: Alcohol i ... read more

Categories:

Steering

Getting New Tires in MADISON HEIGHTS?

There are so many tire choices in the MADISON HEIGHTS area that selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming for drivers. And even though it's kind of fun to have new tires on your vehicle, they're a significant investment for most MADISON HEIGHTS area folks so you want do it right.Tip: talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Interstate Auto Care tire professional. He'll help you sort through the choices.Here are some of the issues you'll talk about: One is size – you know, all those numbers on the side of the tire. The right size is . All new vehicles are required to have stability control which, along with other important safety systems, is calibrated to work with specific tire sizes. Your MADISON HEIGHTS tire professional can help stay within manufacturer's specifications or program a different tire size into your vehicle's computer.And you'll want to discuss how and where you drive to determine the type of tire you need: summer, winter ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels
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