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Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Articles:

Have You Checked Your Headlights?

Like everything in the MI automotive market, there have been great strides in headlight technology in recent years. MI drivers can be safer at night because of it. Good headlights improve visibility on MADISON HEIGHTS roads, enabling you to see farther. They also improve your peripheral vision, helping you to see the sides more clearly. The more you can see, the more quickly you can react to road conditions. This is because nearly half of traffic fatalities take place at night. And as MADISON HEIGHTS resident population ages, everything that helps older eyes is welcome.Most new vehicles sold in MI come with halogen headlamps. A decade ago, halogens were exotic and expensive. Now that they are standard equipment, the price has come way down. Many luxury cars are equipped with high intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps. You have probably seen them on some MADISON HEIGHTS roads; they're very bright and have a bluish tint.From behind the wheel, there is no doubt ... read more

Categories:

Parts

Fuel Filter Replacement

Hello MADISON HEIGHTS resident! You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your vehicle feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good fuel economy. The fuel filter's job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won't start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your vehicle will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can clog your fuel injectors and allow particles into your engine.A vehicle with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around MADISON HEIGHTS, but sputter and strain on the because it's starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive in MI and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rura ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Drivers that "T" Us Off (Bad Driving Practices)

We've all seen drivers who do things that—let's be frank—really irritate us.  They're inconsiderate, can put people in danger and make the road a much less friendly place.  They really "T" us off.  These are the bad drivers who fit their description to a "T."  The Tailgater.  You've seen this terrible driver who follows a few inches off the bumper of the vehicle ahead.  We all know what's going to happen if the driver ahead of the tailgater has to slam on the brakes.  And we've all been that driver followed by the tailgater, whose vehicle fills up your entire rearview mirror.  The tailgater is likely not in a great frame of mind and, thanks to his or her stupid driving practices, the "tailgatee" is getting pretty ticked off as well.  That's a formula for a big problem. Know anybody who respects or likes a tailgater? Didn't think so The Texter. All sorts of people think they are perfectly capable of texting while driving.  I ... read more

Odometer Rollback on Your MADISON HEIGHTS, MI Vehicle

  How do MADISON HEIGHTS drivers know if an odometer is telling the truth?Well, back in '86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect MI consumers against mileage fraud. It says a MI seller must certify the mileage reported is the actual mileage.To have your odometer checked in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, stop by Interstate Auto Care: Interstate Auto Care526 E 14 MILE RDMADISON HEIGHTS, MI 48071   If it isn't, the seller must say why; for example, maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.If the seller tells you the mileage isn't accurate, there's not much chance of putting a good number to it. And there's the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it isn't. What can MADISON HEIGHTS vehicle owners do?You can go to www.CarFax.com, where, for a small fee, t ... read more

Categories:

Older Vehicles

The Interstate Auto Care Guide to Caring for Your Transmission

Most vehicles have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of MADISON HEIGHTS drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in MADISON HEIGHTS. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there's an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you're doing.Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That's what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on MI roads. And it automatically shifts back down to climb MADISON HEIGHTS hills, pass or start up again.Vehicle automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common. A ... read more

Categories:

Transmission

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
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