Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Articles:

Engine Air Filter from Interstate Auto Care

Many MADISON HEIGHTS drivers have found themselves in the following situation: They go to get their oil changed and their friendly service advisor at Interstate Auto Care recommends a new engine air filter. They say yes, but don't know what an air filter is or what it does.If this has happened to you, rest assured that you did the right thing by getting a new one. But you should never be too embarrassed to ask your Interstate Auto Care service advisor for more information. It's your vehicle and you have a right to understand what you're paying for.Let's review: "What does an air filter do?"Air is the focus of this discussion. What is the air like outside in MADISON HEIGHTS right now? Can you see any smog? Is it full of pollen? How about dust? Anyone in MI with hay fever can tell you that there's plenty in the air that you can't see. Well, the engine air filter's job is to clean that air before it goes into your vehicle engine, to mix with the fuel and ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

The Maintenance Free Myth

Sometimes we hear people in MADISON HEIGHTS say, "What's up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don't break down." While it is true that today's vehicles are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most MADISON HEIGHTS drivers don't realize how high tech automotive fluids have become,  fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today's automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle's components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and distances march on for all of our cars. Please don't think we're using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance - but here are some personal stories w ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

What Is an EGR Valve? (EGR Valve Service)

If you've ever felt your vehicle hesitate, go, then hesitate again, you might think there's something wrong with the transmission.  After all, it's not moving smoothly  down the road.  But there are plenty of malfunctions that can cause those symptoms, one of them being something you may have never heard of: the EGR valve. EGR stands for Exhaust Gas Recirculation. It's a system that channels small amounts of exhaust back into the engine to cool down the cylinders and reduce polluting gases.  Those include nitrogen oxides that can cause smog. The EGR valve regulates how much of the vehicle's exhaust gas is recirculated. After years and long distances traveled, that valve can get clogged or fail. Sometimes the EGR valve can stick open.  When the EGR valve isn't working properly, your vehicle can start releasing those nitrogen oxides and pollute the air. The symptoms of a malfunctioning EGR valve include: Engine losing power Engine idling roughly Pinging and knoc ... read more

To Fix or Not To Fix: That Is the Question.

No matter what vehicle you drive, when certain things break, you have to make a decision.  Should I get it fixed now, later or never?  Air conditioning is one of those things.  You can certainly live without air conditioning, but it sure is nice to have on a sweltering day. Let's say your air conditioning breaks in the fall and you live in a climate where it gets quite cold in the winter.  Should you get it fixed now, wait until spring since it won't get warm until then or maybe not get it fixed at all? That can be a tough decision.  There are several reasons air conditioning in vehicles break.  One is fairly simple: It could be an electrical problem, perhaps a relay or solenoid is not turning on the system.  It's also a fairly inexpensive repair and doesn't require hours of labor. Or, the problem is that the coolant has leaked out.  Your service facility can find the leak and replace the parts that are leaking.  With a refrigerant recharge ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning

On Board Diagnostics for Your Engine

Starting in 1996, Interstate Auto Care service technicians have been able to use a standardized diagnostic system to help determine what is wrong with a vehicle. This diagnostic system works in tandem with the Engine Control Modules for each vehicle's engine. The Engine Control Module is a computer that monitors and controls many engine functions.Sensors throughout a vehicle send readings to the Engine Control Module. These readings help the computer make adjustments in various vehicle systems to allow for constantly changing driving conditions and even to compensate for minor problems. However, if the computer encounters a situation it can't adjust for, it turns on the Check Engine light. (The Check Engine light is called the “service engine soon” light on some vehicles.)If the Check Engine light is burning steadily, it indicates a problem that needs to be taken care of soon. If it is flashing, however, the vehicle needs i ... read more

Categories:

Diagnostics

Stuck! (Vehicle Door Issues)

This may have happened to you.  You drive somewhere and get out of your vehicle only to try closing the door and it just won't stay closed!  What a helpless feeling.  You can't lock it; you can't leave it like it is. Or, let's say you head down to your vehicle to head out to work in the morning and you can't open the door.  What are you going to do now? Vehicle doors take a lot of abuse.  They are opened and closed hundreds of times and we expect them to just keep working perfectly all the time.  They do require a bit of tender loving care.  Let's take a look at two different scenarios of stuck doors. First: the door that won't close.  It's a security issue.  It's also a safety issue.  You can't really safely drive a vehicle with a door that won't close. What if you or a passenger is tossed out?  Sure, some people try to tie a stuck-open door closed or bungee it, but that's dangerous.  It's best to get that vehicle to the serv ... read more

Wiper Blades in MI

If you're gonna drive around the MADISON HEIGHTS area, you've got to be able to see! So having a good set of windshield wipers is extremely important. We've all experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm or when our windshield is just dirty.It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. But windshield wipers are like most other vehicle parts– they require regular attention in order to work their best.You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If it's going to be a particularly harsh winter in MI, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall. Winter blades are designed to resist freezing.Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That ... read more

Automotive Tips from Interstate Auto Care: Wiper Blades ? Signs of Wear

90% of our driving decisions are based on vision. Anything that impedes your vision can affect your driving safety – including a dirty windshield. In that sense, your wiper blades are an important safety system. Most MADISON HEIGHTS drivers will wait until their wipers have failed before they replace them. Then they find themselves in a driving situation around MI when they really need forward visibility only to discover that their wipers are worn or maybe even torn and can’t clear snow or rain from the windshield. As an important safety system, wiper blades should be replaced BEFORE they fail. Test your wipers at least once a month. If they are not doing the job, your friendly and professional Interstate Auto Care service advisor can replace them for you.Give us a call.Interstate Auto Care526 E 14 MILE RDMADISON HEIGHTS, MI 4807124

Drive Train - What You Need to Know in MADISON HEIGHTS

One MADISON HEIGHTS automotive service issue that doesn't get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don't get talked about very much around MADISON HEIGHTS, but they're very important. First let's define what the driveline is:Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.That's not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you're not moving. So MADISON HEIGHTS residents need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we're going to have to oversimplify a bit. If you are ready to have your drive train looked at, give us a call at 248-307-1200. Let's start with front wheel drive ... read more

Categories:

Drive Train

Hold the Oil! (Oil Pan Gasket Replacement)

You've likely heard how important oil is to your vehicle's engine. Did you know that there's one part that's responsible for holding that oil so you can use it every day? It's called the oil pan, and it sits at the bottom of the engine. The oil pan is a vital, though simple, part of your engine's lubrication system. Oil circulates through parts of your engine to keep them lubricated. It reduces friction so everything works smoothly. Without oil, friction would quickly destroy your engine. The oil pan keeps that oil contained in the lubrication system, so it's important that the oil doesn't leak out. Since it's a metal part attached to another metal part, there is a gasket between the oil pan and the part of the engine it attaches to. Various things can put stress on the oil pan and gasket, including weather extremes, the speed you're traveling and the condition of the oil. You may drive over a couple of bad roads and kick up debris onto your oil pan. All this wear and tear, heat and ti ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance
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