Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Maintaining Your Older Car in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI

The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the MADISON HEIGHTS motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new vehicle.Because new vehicles are more expensive, people in the MADISON HEIGHTS area are driving their old vehicles longer. The average vehicle is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in MI have more than 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today's cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin'.Give Interstate Auto Care a call at 248-307-1200 to schedule your next maintenance.Some owner's manuals don't specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn't mean it doesn ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Not-So-Common Sense (Sensor Failures)

So your vehicle won't start.  What's the first thing that comes to mind?  Battery dead? Starter motor worn out? Out of gas?  Well, those are all reasons that make sense.  But your vehicle may be refusing to start because one of its computers is being warned that to do so might damage it.  Here's how that works. You have lots of computers in your vehicle.  They need to know the status of things so there are several sensors monitoring various things going on.  These sensors send information to the computers that adjust the fuel and air mixture so you don't waste fuel.  They know when things aren't quite right and prevent you from starting your engine if that's going to damage it.  Other sensors make sure the coolant is the right temperature, check to see you are not polluting the air and make sure other electronic components are performing their tasks correctly. Here's an example of a sensor doing its job.  Your engine needs oil to lubric ... read more

By the Numbers: Tire Replacement at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS

Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, MADISON HEIGHTS drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local MADISON HEIGHTS tire store.Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When MADISON HEIGHTS drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the MADISON HEIGHTS area, it should have a ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Battery Replacement at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS

Battery Replacement at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS

Hello, welcome to Interstate Auto Care. Today's focus is batteries. It seems like everything in MADISON HEIGHTS runs on batteries. Of course, the batteries we're most concerned with here at Interstate Auto Care are those in our customer's vehicles. Just like the batteries in our smoke detectors or TV remote, they wear out and need to be replaced . This can be thought of as the power output used to start a cold vehicle engine. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and where you live in MI, specifically how cold it is. (Many MADISON HEIGHTS drivers have first-hand experience trying to start their car on a cold winter morning.) The two factors are that the colder your vehicle's engine is, the more power it takes to turn the engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with.The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient when the temperatur ... read more

Categories:

Battery

Time for a Brake (Brake Pad Replacement)

Stop! It's one of those things your vehicle has to do consistently and reliably.  That's why brake maintenance is vitally important, worthwhile for you to make sure stays up to date. A brake system has many components. If your vehicle has disc brakes, they have pads that make contact with the rotors (the metal discs).  Those pads usually have a metal back, and the part that presses against the discs is made of a material which provides friction to stop the vehicle. Because of that friction, the pads are expected to wear down and eventually the rotors will, too.  But the pads usually are the part that will need to be replaced more often. But how do you know when it's time? There are several signs, one of which is when your brakes squeak or make a high-pitched sound when you step on the brake pedal.  Many newer vehicles also have sensors on the brake pads.  When the pads get worn down to a certain point, the sensor will tell the vehicle's computer to turn on a li ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

Fuel System Cleaning the Professional Way at Interstate Auto Care

Your fuel system needs to be clean to do its job properly. When it gets dirty, the results are lower engine performance, reduced fuel economy and impaired safety. It can even lead to costly repair bills for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers. So keep your fuel system clean as part of your routine preventive maintenance.Fuel injectors have replaced carburetors in most of today's vehicles. These injectors deliver better fuel economy than a carburetor, but they can be compromised by rust, dirt and other contaminants. They need to be clean to maintain the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume of delivered fuel so that the vehicle engine can run at peak efficiency.There are products on the market that MADISON HEIGHTS vehicle owners can add to their gas tank that will help keep your fuel injectors clean. These products will keep a clean fuel system clean but have trouble cleaning a system that has already gotten gummed up.If your fuel system needs a major cleaning, Interstate Auto ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

The Interstate Auto Care Basic Guide To Synthetic Oil

Synthetic motor oil has been around for a long time, and more and more new vehicles are leaving factories with synthetic in their engines. But a lot of drivers don't really know much about it.Let's start with conventional oil – the kind folks are used to. Conventional oil is made up of naturally occurring hydrocarbon chains, which means its molecules are long and have various lengths. Like a pile of pencils, some of them new and some of them used.Synthetic oil is man-made. Its molecules are more uniform and regular in shape – more similar to marbles than pencils. Some synthetic oil starts with a petroleum base that's modified and others are entirely synthesized from other materials.Synthetic motor oil works better in both hot and cold temperatures. It's more chemically stable so it doesn't readily evaporate or break down in the high heat produced inside your vehicle engine. This means it resists turning to sludge, which is a real engine killer.Remember that marbles and ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

Keeping Your Cool (Coolant leak repair)

If there’s one thing you should pay attention to with your vehicle, it’s the temperature gauge. It’s the one that may say C---H (that means “cold---hot”).  Or maybe yours has a picture of a thermometer on it and a blue and red zone.  If you see the needle heading farther to the “H” or red area, that means your vehicle’s engine is running hotter than it normally does. One of the most common causes of an engine running hot is a leak in your cooling system.  Maybe you’ve seen puddles of coolant under your vehicle, or you’ve smelled the coolant, either inside or outside your vehicle (it has a sort of “sweet” or fruity smell). That’s your engine giving you a warning signal that it’s time to head over to your repair facility to find out what’s going on. Your vehicle’s coolant can leak for several reasons.  You may have hoses that are deteriorating (heat and age take their toll) ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

Finding Vehicle Recall Information in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI

No matter how well they're made, vehicles in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, will have design or manufacturing problems. And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the vehicle  free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone in MI who owns that type of vehicle to get the recall work done. Perhaps you have received a postcard notifying you of a recall. The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links. There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There's CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.Recalls are serious but not all that common. Sometimes there are fewer issues, and for these, manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Interstate Auto Care how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.The pros get updated in ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Keep It Flowing with a Fuel Filter Replacement at Interstate Auto Care

The function of the fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory. It filters your fuel. The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine. Both gas and diesel vehicles around MADISON HEIGHTS use fuel filters. For more information about your fuel filter, visit Interstate Auto Care at 526 E 14 MILE RD in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI 48071.Please call 248-307-1200 to make an appointment. Generally speaking there's not a lot of dirt in our MADISON HEIGHTS area auto fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out. The problem actually gets worse the older your vehicle becomes. That's because dirt, rust and other contaminants will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank. After your vehicle is five years or older, it can actually have a fair amount of sediment built up.That just means that the fuel filter has to work harder as your vehicle ages. It'll get clogged sooner and need to ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System
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