Madison Heights Auto Repair

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Category Archives: Maintenance

Severe Service Requirements

A lot of MADISON HEIGHTS drivers have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their vehicle's  owner's  manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She's been in the automotive business for over 30 years and is a speaker, a trainer and a writer. Cricket says there's so much confusion on this topic because, "Most owner's manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called 'regular service' and 'severe service.' Sometimes they're simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time." Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufa ... read more

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Maintenance

The Importance of MADISON HEIGHTS Drivers Following Service Intervals

Today in our Interstate Auto Care blog, we're going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn't the only aspect of your life in MADISON HEIGHTS with recommended intervals: Let's start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?Now, what would happen if you didn't follow these intervals? Well, you'd get more cavities. You may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you'd have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.Clearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don't, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in MADISON HEIGHTS takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our vehicles?Proba ... read more

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Maintenance

Maintaining Your Older Car in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI

The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in MADISON HEIGHTS, MI: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the MADISON HEIGHTS motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new vehicle.Because new vehicles are more expensive, people in the MADISON HEIGHTS area are driving their old vehicles longer. The average vehicle is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in MI have more than 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today's cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin'.Give Interstate Auto Care a call at 248-307-1200 to schedule your next maintenance.Some owner's manuals don't specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn't mean it doesn ... read more

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Maintenance

Which Item Is Most Stolen from Vehicles in MADISON HEIGHTS?

  Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in MADISON HEIGHTS?Is it: Stereo Wheels Air Bag DVD System Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in MI – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in MI.Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them. Contact us at Interstate Auto Care for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.Find us at 526 E 14 MILE RD, MADISON HEIGHTS, MI 48071You can reach us by phone at: 248-307-1200 There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are ... read more

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Maintenance

Regular Schedule or Severe Service Schedule at Interstate Auto Care?

Today's Interstate Auto Care article focuses on severe service maintenance. Many MADISON HEIGHTS drivers are not aware of them and yet there are also very vocal advocates in MI who think that severe service schedules apply to everyone. Somewhere between a complete lack of awareness and the dire blanket statements lies a reasonable approach to severe service maintenance at Interstate Auto Care.To back up a little, vehicle owner's manuals have schedules for preventive maintenance: things like oil changes, transmission service and so on. They say you should change your oil after a certain distanced traveled or after so many months. MADISON HEIGHTS drivers understand this very well. What they may not know is that there are actually two service schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. The mileage and time intervals are lower on the severe service schedule.Now when you hear 'severe service,' you may think it doesn't apply to you ... read more

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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
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