Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Category Archives: Maintenance

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

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Maintenance

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

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Maintenance

Serpentine Belt Service at Interstate Auto Care

Most MADISON HEIGHTS folks occasionally have days when they've got a bunch of errands to run. Yesterday was my day off and I needed to fill the gas tank, pick up some groceries at my MADISON HEIGHTS market, swing by the ATM and get the kids from school. I could have made four trips . . . but that would have been totally inefficient. Instead I got unusually organized and planned my stops. I hit the ATM first and got gas next. Then I went to the supermarket and picked up the kids on the way home. I was proud of my wise use of time and money.What does this have to do with your car? Well, back in the day, each of your engine's accessories, like the alternator and air conditioner, were powered by separate belts. A vehicle might have five or six belts. These days, vehicles have a single belt to run all the accessories. It's called the serpentine belt. A pulley attached to the vehicle engine's crank provides the power to turn the serpentine belt. On the engine in the video, the first accesso ... read more

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Maintenance

10 Services MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers Often Overlook

We live such busy lives nowadays: work, social events, running the kids all over MADISON HEIGHTS. Some days it's all we can do to keep track of everywhere we need to be. That's why you've gotta be organized. Smartphones, calendar apps - we have to keep track of it all.So let's talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.Here is a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked by MADISON HEIGHTS residents. They're all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.1. Power Steering ServiceBe honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your power steering parts are protected from corrosion. Next time you're in for an oil change, ask your Interstate Auto Care service advisor ... read more

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Maintenance

Clean Air for Your Engine: Engine Air Filters In MADISON HEIGHTS

Every MADISON HEIGHTS car owner who has taken their car in for an oil change has been told that their engine air filter's dirty. Here's what goes into the determination of when to change the filter: First, your vehicle owner's manual will have a recommendation of when the filter should be replaced. Now, most air filters purchased in MADISON HEIGHTS don't cost a lot to replace. It's just that MI people hate getting caught with an unexpected expense. On the plus side, though, changing a dirty air filter at Interstate Auto Care can often save enough on gas to pay for itself before your next oil change in MADISON HEIGHTS. Think about a dirty furnace filter in your MADISON HEIGHTS home. When it's all clogged up, enough clean air can't get through. In your vehicle, that means that your engine can't get as much air as it needs to burn the fuel efficiently. So it makes do with less air and has to use more gas to move your vehicle around MADISON HEIGHTS roads. Your vehicle ac ... read more

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Maintenance

Hey MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers; What Is the Most Distracting Food?

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around MADISON HEIGHTS?Is it: A Hamburger; Coffee; A Soft Drink, or Gummy Bears? Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving. But if you chose 'coffee,' then give yourself an extra two points.  Coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in MADISON HEIGHTS and around the country.Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the types of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons: one, that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and two, you won't have to worr ... read more

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Maintenance

Interstate Auto Care: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

Interstate Auto Care: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your vehicle engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let's go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on MADISON HEIGHTS streets, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce 20 pounds of carbon dioxide?The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about 12,000 gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your vehicle needs a lot of air to keep going in MADISON HEIGHTS. A lot of clean air is best. You've seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your vehicle also works better when its internals are clean. When your vehicle ai ... read more

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Maintenance

Don't Miss a Beat (Importance of Regular Maintenance)

In many places, license plates have to be renewed every year or else you can't drive your vehicle legally.  Usually, you'll get a reminder from the agency that issues the plates. That kind of regular attention needs to be paid to your vehicle as well.  Its manufacturer has determined a schedule of service items that need to be done regularly, just like renewing your plates. Some depend on time, others depend on distance.  A perfect example is oil changes.  It's the most important scheduled maintenance you can have done to give your engine its longest life possible.  The manufacturer recommends the oil filter be changed at the same time. Here are some more items.  Your engine air filter gets dirty and needs adequate air to run most efficiently.  The manufacturer recommends an interval for replacing that.  Also tires, brake pads, timing belt, oxygen sensor and other items require regular replacement.  This is one of the reasons to find a servi ... read more

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Maintenance

The Harm in Skipping an Oil Change for MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers

People in MADISON HEIGHTS have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you're wondering: What are the key issues?Some new vehicle manufacturers are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles (8,000 km to 13,000 km) or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new vehicle manufacturers announced that owners like those in MADISON HEIGHTS were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.The manufacturers' standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles/12,000 km. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.What causes oil sludge? It's a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that lead ... read more

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Maintenance

Interstate Auto Care Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

Interstate Auto Care Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

All MADISON HEIGHTS service advisors know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles. The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures. (On some vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.) So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why your vehicle manufacturer and your service advisor at Interstate Auto Care have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn't fail.Your friendly and knowledgeable Interstate Auto Care service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will ... read more

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Maintenance
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