Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Articles:

The Edible Engine

You may have had a friend whose vehicle was the victim of hungry rodents.  After all, mice, rats and squirrels—even rabbits—have been known to gnaw on wires in engine compartments, causing vehicle electrical systems to go haywire.  They can disable a vehicle completely and be very expensive to fix. In 2017, some drivers noticed their vehicle's wiring was being chewed and found out the automaker was using a relatively new material for covering their wires: soy.  Many of the repairs to their new vehicles weren't covered under warranty by the manufacturer when it was discovered rodents were eating the wiring.  So the owners filed a class action suit, saying the soy covering was essentially baiting the critters.  The automakers tell a different story, saying mice, rats and squirrels have been chewing through wire insulation long before it was made out of soy.  Regardless of what the insulation is made of, vehicle owners should make sure rodents are ... read more

Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth in MADISON HEIGHTS

Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth in MADISON HEIGHTS

There's a segment of the MADISON HEIGHTS area population that's not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Now, the ignition system in your vehicle is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers). So tune-ups used to force you in to Interstate Auto Care for service, and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new vehicles in MADISON HEIGHTS have been leased. These folks plan on turning the vehicle in after two or three years, so they haven't focused on the maintenance that helps a vehicle last longer.Given all that, what's the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your vehicle will perform better and return better fuel economy.Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major re ... read more

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Maintenance

All About Your TPMS in MADISON HEIGHTS

All About Your TPMS in MADISON HEIGHTS

MADISON HEIGHTS drivers know that underinflated tires wear out more quickly. Underinflation is also a major cause of tire failure for MI auto owners. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of underinflated tires.It's hard for many MADISON HEIGHTS drivers to tell when a radial tire is underinflated. If your owner’s manual recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under-inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.Uncle Sam to the rescue! A recent U.S. federal law required vehicle manufacturer’s to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles. Many Canadian vehicles have them as well.  The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below its pressure recommendations.Obviously, all of this doesn't come free for MADISON ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Lease or Buy?

Lease or Buy?

Lease? Or buy? These are the options for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers. It's always a tough question for auto owners, but here is some info that'll help you make an informed decision.If you buy, you'll pay the full cost of the vehicle, maybe an initial down payment, monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.MADISON HEIGHTS drivers who lease finance the portion of the cost of the vehicle that's used up during the term of the lease. You'll pay some money up front: fees, security deposit, first month's payment and maybe a capital reduction. The monthly payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge. When the lease is up, you return the vehicle to your local MADISON HEIGHTS area dealership. So how do MADISON HEIGHTS drivers decide?First, how much do you have for a down payment? A lease usually requires a smaller down payment.How much monthly payment can you afford ... read more

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Automotive News

Timing Belt Replacement in MADISON HEIGHTS

Timing Belt Replacement in MADISON HEIGHTS

Today we want to talk to MADISON HEIGHTS drivers about timing belts. They're something that many drivers don't know much about and yet your vehicle won't run if it's broken – and it could cause many thousands of dollars damage if it does break. A broken timing belt is usually a tale of woe. Even though timing belt replacement is scheduled in the owner's manual, it's not the kind of thing that most MADISON HEIGHTS area auto owners remember because it's not well understood.Let's review what a timing belt does. As most know, the engine's power is generated in the cylinders. A piston rides up and down in the cylinder. During the first down stroke, an intake valve at the top of the cylinder opens and air and fuel is drawn into the cylinder. Then the piston returns to the top, compressing the fuel and air mix. At the top, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel, pushing the piston down in the power stroke. As the piston once again returns up in the final stroke of the cycle, an exhaust ... read more

Categories:

Parts

The Interstate Auto Care Guide to Custom Wheels

The Interstate Auto Care Guide to Custom Wheels

If you're interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your vehicle, there are a few things you should know first.Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many MADISON HEIGHTS drivers have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don't fit right and the tires rub against the vehicle when they turn or go over a bump.To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Interstate Auto Care tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your vehicle. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you'll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you're willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you s ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Give me a Brake (Light)!

If that little brake warning light pops up on your dash, do you know what it means? Well, if you said no, you wouldn't be alone. You know it has something to do with your brakes, but exactly what? You're not sure. One of the reasons is that it could mean a lot of different things. It could be something simple, like you put your parking brake on and forgot to take it off. Easy fix, you're on the road in seconds. Or, it could mean there's something wrong with your anti-lock brake system. That is a pretty complex symphony of speed sensors, computers and wiring, and sometimes things get a little out of whack. You could have a defective sensor or some wiring may have gotten damaged or come loose. A trained technician at Interstate Auto Care with special equipment can sort it all out. It's also possible you have low brake fluid. That could be caused by a number of things. One simple reason is that your brake pads have worn down. Replacing them could solve the problem. Another possibility is ... read more

Categories:

Brake Service

Interstate Auto Care On Your Serpentine Belt

Interstate Auto Care On Your Serpentine Belt

  Today we're going to be talking about serpentine belts for our MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, customers. Let's start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That's the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there's the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you're driving around MI in the summer.The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most MADISON HEIGHTS residents' vehicles. Those pumps provide pressure that assists your steering and braking.In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That's really a ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

It Is Time to Check Your Intervals

It Is Time to Check Your Intervals

Part of the engineering that goes into designing a vehicle is testing the components to ensure that they meet durability and safety standards. Because of this, manufacturers have a good idea as to how long the parts in your vehicle will last under normal driving conditions. For this reason, they give us guidelines to follow regarding how often to inspect the various parts and systems on our vehicles.Vehicular components are required to meet certain standards. The government mandates some of these standards. Others are set by the auto industry. Recommended car maintenance schedules are designed to help MADISON HEIGHTS vehicle owners maintain these standards. Disregarding routine maintenance or procrastinating preventive maintenance will result in lowered performance and reduced safety for a vehicle.Maintenance schedules are designed to ensure three areas of automotive performance for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers: protection of the vehicle itself, efficiency and safety. ... read more

Categories:

Inspection

For 4x4s (Maintenance of 4x4 Vehicles)

Some people love 4x4 vehicles, the true 4-wheel drive works of engineering like Jeeps and 4x4 pickups that allow you to seemingly go anywhere on the planet. You can climb up a 40-degree rock trail with some planning and skill (always careful to protect the environment, of course), or you can get through the deepest snow. But with that added capability comes additional complexity, drive-train components and other systems that less capable vehicles don't have.  And that is why when it comes to 4x4s, you have to maintain them a little differently from those vehicles that spend their lives on pavement.  Here are some of the key things to keep an eye on: Transfer case—This transfers power from the engine to the wheels.  A transfer case has fluid in it that needs to be changed at intervals recommended by the manufacturer.  Your service advisor will let you know how often that is and will keep track of your service dates.  You will need to make sure the transfe ... read more

Categories:

Drive Train
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