Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Right or Left? Interstate Auto Care Power Steering Service

Have you ever driven a vehicle without power steering? If you have, then you probably appreciate how much easier it is to drive today's modern vehicles. Before power steering, all of the force to turn a vehicle had to come from the driver's arms. That's why old cars had such large steering wheels: they needed plenty of leverage to steer. There were some MADISON HEIGHTS folks who had difficulty driving because they just weren't strong enough.Power steering is now standard on all vehicles, but there are several ways that power can be delivered. Most vehicles use a hydraulic power steering system system. In this system, a serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump that pressurizes the power steering fluid. The pressure activates hydraulics that provides steering power.Other vehicles use an electric pump to pressurize the power steering fluid rather than the belt-driven pump. Some newer vehicles actually have electric motors that provide steering power and don't use ste ... read more

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Steering

Pinch Petroleum Pennies! (Fuel Saving Tips)

If you saw a dollar bill on the ground, you'd pick it up, right? Well, whether you find that dollar on the ground or in savings at the gas pump, money is money, and here are some ways to hold on to more of it. Slowing down is the easiest way to save fuel, especially for every speed increase over 50 mph/80 k/hr.  Tone down the speed, turn up the cash savings.  Drive smoothly (not like a race car driver) and you'll also save money in fuel.  Aggressive, fast-start, jerky-stop habits are just pulling the bucks out of your wallet about a third more than if you drove just a little more gently.  Oh, and cruise control can help with that smooth, steady speed, so use it on the highway. Bonus! Are you hauling around a set of dumbbells or a box of books? That extra weight is costing you dough.  Store them somewhere else.  When's the last time you checked to see your tires were inflated properly? That's another money saver and makes your vehicle safer. An idle thought ... read more

Helping MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers Get the Right Tires

Every MADISON HEIGHTS vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it's a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy MI roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F (7°C), and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at temperatures below 45°F (7°C). At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of MADISON ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Interstate Auto Care

Today in the Interstate Auto Care auto care blog, we're going to talk to MADISON HEIGHTS drivers about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Interstate Auto Care customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).In real world MADISON HEIGHTS driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS.The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But ... read more

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Fluids

Serpentine Belt Service at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS

If you've ever heard a squealing sound under your vehicle hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that's used by your vehicle's electrical systems and also charges the battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead after a short distance.The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).And, on most vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some MADISON HEIGHTS vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.When they understand what it does, MADISON HEIGHTS drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why vehicle manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owner’s man ... read more

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Maintenance

Interstate Auto Care and the Maintenance Mindset

When it comes to their vehicles, some MADISON HEIGHTSresidents don't have amaintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. MADISON HEIGHTS drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance but just may not have applied it to their vehicles.Here's something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your friendly and knowledgeable Interstate Auto Care service advisor will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he'll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they've got you covered. And at Interstate Auto Care, we check to see if yo ... read more

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Maintenance

A New Battery in MADISON HEIGHTS

Hello MADISON HEIGHTS drivers, let's talk about batteries. Car batteries are just like any rechargeable battery. They will eventually wear out and die. If you are shopping for a new battery in MADISON HEIGHTS, here's some auto advice to help you.There are two measurements to consider when purchasing a new battery: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The power required to start a cold engine is measured in cold cranking amps. The number you need is determined by what kind of vehicle you drive and where you live. In general, higher-cylinder engines require more cold cranking amps than lower-cylinder engines. In other words, an eight-cylinder engine needs more cold cranking amps than a six-cylinder one. Also, diesel engines require more cold cranking amps than gasoline engines.The weather where you live in MI also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder&nbs ... read more

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Battery

MADISON HEIGHTS Alignment Service

Your car might have an alignment problem if: it drifts or pulls to one side, your steering wheel is off center, you have uneven tire wear or your car doesn't feel like it handles right. When all of a vehicle's wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Running into potholes around MADISON HEIGHTS and smacking a curb or other object are great ways to knock your car out of alignment. Then, one or more of your wheels starts pulling in a slightly different direction and the problems begin.There are several things involved in an alignment check at Interstate Auto Care. First, there's an inspection of the steering and suspension systems - their components should be checked to see if anything's bent or broken. Then the tire condition needs to be inspected. From there, the vehicle is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. If all four wheels are adjustable, they are lined up perfectly parallel with the vehicle's center line ... read more

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Alignment

Direct Fuel Injection Update from Interstate Auto Care

For those of you in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same fuel economy. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower.So what are the differences from a conventional engine?The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it's then drawn into the engine with the air.With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cyl ... read more

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Fuel System

What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most MADISON HEIGHTS drivers don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of MADISON HEIGHTS customers' minds. It's not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service. Call Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS at 248-307-1200 for information about differential service, or stop by our MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, auto center at 526 E 14 MILE RD, 48071. To better understand what a differential does, think about our local MADISON HEIGHTS high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting line ... read more

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Drive Train
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