Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Category Archives: Maintenance

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

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Maintenance

Fall and Spring Inspection at Interstate Auto Care

Good vehicle care for us MADISON HEIGHTS residents has always meant taking our vehicles in every spring and fall for a check-up. Vehicles needed routine maintenance to prepare them for the changes in weather. Today's vehicles aren't quite as sensitive to seasonal changes. Older vehicles required different weights of oil for summer and winter. But today's engines can run on the same oil all year. Both the engines and the oils have been improved.Antifreeze—or coolant as it's also called—protects the engine from both freezing and hot temperatures and thus is required by the engine year-round. Modern coolants don't have to be changed as often as they did in the past, but your owner's manual has a recommendation for when it should be replaced to extend cooling system life.Getting a spring and fall checkup at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS for your vehicle is still good auto advice.First of all, there is a lot of preventive auto maintenanc ... read more

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Maintenance

Gas Savings in MADISON HEIGHTS: Sharpen Your Pencil

High gas prices in MADISON HEIGHTS increase the cost of living for MI drivers. You've probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some MADISON HEIGHTS vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.According to MI news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn't been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive. In this area, we can take a lesson from professional MADISON HEIGHTS vehicle owners. I'm talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, MADISON HEIGHTS folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on ... read more

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Maintenance

The Easy Way to Save Cash in MADISON HEIGHTS

The hottest MI news story may be different every day, but there's one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in MADISON HEIGHTS. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things people in MADISON HEIGHTS can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here's a review of things you can do for your vehicle that'll save gas no matter how you drive.The first one for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most MADISON HEIGHTS service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask Interstate Auto Care. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many MADISON HEIGH ... read more

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Maintenance

Keeping Your 'Old Faithful' Auto Running

At Interstate Auto Care we've had a lot of MADISON HEIGHTS customers asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that's been building for several years in MI. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. It looks like it's going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of MI folks are putting off buying a new car. So let's say you're one of the average in the MADISON HEIGHTS area; you've got a nine-year-old car with 80,000 miles (130,000 km) on the odometer. What can you do to make it last another year or two?Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care in MADISON HEIGHTS. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but ther ... read more

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Maintenance

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

Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth in MADISON HEIGHTS

Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth in MADISON HEIGHTS

There's a segment of the MADISON HEIGHTS area population that's not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Now, the ignition system in your vehicle is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers). So tune-ups used to force you in to Interstate Auto Care for service, and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new vehicles in MADISON HEIGHTS have been leased. These folks plan on turning the vehicle in after two or three years, so they haven't focused on the maintenance that helps a vehicle last longer.Given all that, what's the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your vehicle will perform better and return better fuel economy.Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major r ... read more

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Maintenance

Interstate Auto Care On Your Serpentine Belt

  Today we're going to be talking about serpentine belts for our MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, customers. Let's start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That's the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there's the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you're driving around MI in the summer.The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most MADISON HEIGHTS residents' vehicles. Those pumps provide pressure that assists your steering and braking.In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That's really a lot of ... read more

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Maintenance

Relax When the Wind Blows in MI: Winter Car Prep for MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers

When autumn comes around in MADISON HEIGHTS, leaves fall, nights get longer and there's a definite nip in the air. Time to unpack the boots and gloves and fold some extra blankets onto the beds. It's also time for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers to winterize their vehicles.Here is some expert auto advice for MADISON HEIGHTS drivers on what vehicles need to keep everyone safe and rolling throughout the MI winter months.1. Check your antifreeze. Top it off or change it if necessary. You don't want your radiator, engine or hoses freezing up. If your vehicle isn't generating enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze might be low, or you might have a thermostat problem. Either way, you should get it checked out before the full force of MI winter sets in. If you are due for a cooling system service at Interstate Auto Care in MADISON HEIGHTS, get that done as well.2. Check your brakes. The slushy wet conditions of winter increase stopping distances. Ice exacerbat ... read more

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Maintenance
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