Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Yearly Archives: 2020

Bouncy Bouncy – Are My Shocks Bad?

When MADISON HEIGHTS drivers think about preventive maintenance, what usually comes to mind is oil, fluids and brakes. We don't generally think about our shocks or struts, but these auto parts keep our tires on the road.MADISON HEIGHTS drivers don't think about shocks as often as oil changes because shocks and struts last a long time and wear out slowly. They don't need to be checked as often as our brake pads or air filters. By the time your shocks have 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) on them, their performance will have noticeable degraded. If you want to restore the handling and ride designed for your vehicle, try replacing your shocks and struts.Of course, if you drive off-road around MADISON HEIGHTS, carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or put in a lot of mileage on poor driving surfaces, your shocks or struts will wear out more quickly. You'll need to replace them more often or upgrade to better shocks.Your suspension system uses springs and shocks to absorb the &ldq ... read more

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Shocks & Struts

THE IMPORTANCE OF VISIBILITY (Cleaning Vehicle Glass)

We've all been through it. The vehicle ahead of us kicks up mud, slush, snow or salt on our windshield and we can't see a thing.  And not being able to see a thing when we're driving?  Not a good thing. Debris on a vehicle's glass can be blinding when driving directly into the sun.  And other things can ruin visibility: scratches on the glass, fogged windows, mineral deposits.  So lets make one thing clear:  Your windows.  Here are some tips. Number one rule, don't use abrasives on glass. That means no gritty cleaners that are made for metal.  Avoid at all costs those dark green abrasive pads on some kitchen sponges that are made to clean metal pots and pans UNLESS the manufacturer specifically says they can be used on glass. Use the appropriate cleaner for the substance that's being cleaned off. Special automotive glass cleaners are available, and your Interstate Auto Care service advisor can make recommendations. Vinegar can work wonders. Sometimes ... read more

Saving Lives in MADISON HEIGHTS with Tire Pressure

All new passenger vehicles on our MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, roads now have tire pressure monitoring systems – TPMS for short. They are designed to alert you if your tires are underinflated. Since they are fairly new, a lot of people have questions about them.First off, the most important thing is that you still need to check your tire pressure every week – or at least every time you gas up. The TPMS system alert comes in when your tire is 20 percent below the factory recommendation. So if the recommended pressure is 34 pounds per square inch, the TPMS warning won't come on until the pressure is at 28 pounds. That's significantly underinflated, enough to raise safety concerns.The worst is tire failure. A severely underinflated tire can overheat and fail. Also, handling degrades to the point that you may not be able to steer out of trouble. Also underinflated tires wear out faster and they waste fue ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Budget for Maintenance in MADISON HEIGHTS

Sometimes busy MADISON HEIGHTS residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around MI in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time MADISON HEIGHTS residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's MADISON HEIGHTS drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's MADISON HEIGHTS drivers didn't care much for it, either. So o ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

The Interstate Auto Care Guide to Servicing Your Differential

Differential? What's that? And what's it for? I've been told by my service advisor that I need to get it serviced, but is that on the level?Do these questions sound familiar? They're not uncommon for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers. A lot of us in MADISON HEIGHTS don't know what a differential is or what it's for. Every vehicle has a differential, and, yes, it does need to be serviced. In fact, it's more important to the operation of your vehicle than the air conditioner or windshield wipers.A differential allows your vehicle tires to move at different speeds. This happens more than you think. The best example is when a vehicle is turning. The inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel during a turn. This means the outside wheel has to move faster than the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would hop and skip while turning. They would also lose traction in sand or snow.The location of your differential depends ... read more

Interstate Auto Care Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Interstate Auto Care Guide to Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Today's Interstate Auto Care post focuses on using coolant. If you pour in the wrong kind, it won't protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your vehicle owner's manual. Of course, your Interstate Auto Care service advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.Brake fluid is confusing for some MADISON HEIGHTS drivers. Back when we opened Interstate Auto Care, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some MADISON HEIGHTS residents mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That's not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your vehicle.Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at Interstate Auto Care: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in vehicle automatic transmissions, there have been several new t ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

Automotive Tips from Interstate Auto Care: Knowing When Your Timing Belt Should Be Replaced

The timing belt in your engine controls the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. MADISON HEIGHTS drivers need to replace it on a schedule to avoid failure.Timing belts are very difficult to get to, requiring quite a bit of labor to access. Timing belt replacement is one of the more expensive maintenance services, but the cost at Interstate Auto Care to correct an engine damaged by a broken timing belt is much, much more.The timing belt has a tensioner to help maintain proper belt tension. The tensioner should be replaced along with the timing belt and any idler pulleys at the vehicle manufacturer’s specified service interval. Your Interstate Auto Care service advisor can help you with the timing belt.Give us a call.Interstate Auto Care526 E 14 MILE RDMADISON HEIGHTS, MI 48071248-307-1200

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Timing Belt

Gear Up: Transmission Service at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS

The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.How does it know when to change gears? Today's automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing and changes the gears as needed.Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds,” are being added. Almost all vehicles have at least four speeds. Five or six is common. Some are even increasing to sev ... read more

Categories:

Transmission

Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers

MADISON HEIGHTS residents know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your vehicle engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine's cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with airbefore it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the vehicle engine.Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional vehicle engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horse ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Drive Defensively in MI

Car care is part of auto safety in MADISON HEIGHTS. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on MI roads is to drive safely.Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won't let anyone take your safety away from you. You'll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment.Don't leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers.Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident.Never drive impaired: Alcohol is a factor in half of all fatal crashes. Never drink and drive.Other impairments include being sleepy, angry, daydreaming or talking. If you suddenly wonder how you got where you are – you're not paying enough attention.Keep your windows clean and uncluttered. No fuzzy dice and stickers.Keep you ... read more

Categories:

Safety
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