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2457 Covington Pike Memphis, TN 38128

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Archive for January 2021

Memphis Tire Repair

Posted January 31, 2021 8:21 AM

Most Memphis residents have experienced a flat tire. You know it's inconvenient and a pain. Our tires are important. Keeping them in good working order isn't just a big safety issue for Memphis drivers – it also has a financial impact. With high TN gas prices, we've all heard about the importance of keeping proper tire pressure to save on gas. In addition, proper inflation promotes even tread wear so your tires last longer. 

There's another danger with under-inflated tires for Memphis residents. Low tire pressure puts added stress on the structure of the tire itself, causing it to break down prematurely. Also, under-inflated tires generate more heat which also reduces tire life. So get those slow leaks fixed quickly – don't just keep adding air every few days. You want to avoid tire damage.

Memphis residents should only hire qualified tire professionals to perform repairs - we have a whole team of them at Madison Automotive. Memphis folks can buy self-repair kits, but we advise you to save those for emergencies, like when you're off-roading and need a quick fix so you can hobble back to civilization and get professional help. If you need to use a repair-in-a-can product, remember it's a temporary measure only and your tire needs to be properly repaired as soon as possible.

Madison Automotive
2457 Covington Pike
Memphis, TN 38128
(901)386-9600
http://www.madisonautomotive.net



Wheel Balancing at Madison Automotive

Posted January 24, 2021 7:46 AM

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? Memphis drivers can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on TN roads. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat.

Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Madison Automotive, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kph, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration.

Most people in Memphis are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.

Most high-quality tires sold in Memphis hold their balance pretty well. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at Madison Automotive in Memphis if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better fuel economy.

Some Memphis area drivers have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owner's manual for your requirements, or ask your friendly service advisor at Madison Automotive. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.

Madison Automotive
2457 Covington Pike
Memphis, TN 38128
(901)386-9600
http://www.madisonautomotive.net

 



Don't Start with That (Bad Starter Motor)

Posted January 17, 2021 12:06 PM

We've all heard that expression, "That's a non starter." When it comes to your vehicle, that's not music to a driver's ears. That sickening sound when you start the ignition and instead of hearing the engine crank, you hear it slowly turn over and your dash lights go dim. 

There can be many reasons a vehicle won't start, so here's a little history of how the starter came to be an important component of modern vehicles.

You have to move the engine's components to start it. The first cars had a crank that the driver would insert into the front, then start turning things over by hand.  When the engine started, you had to release that crank immediately or risk a broken arm.  Yes, it happened many times.  So, they came up with a better idea: an electric starter, which was a big advance in automotive technology.

With this system, an electric motor rotated a series of gears that turned the gasoline engine's crankshaft so its pistons and parts moved and the engine drew in air.  While this happened, electricity went to the spark plugs and fuel headed to the cylinders.  When the gasoline engine caught, the starter quickly disengaged. Hey, no more broken arms!

Modern systems use the same principle, so when your vehicle won't start, here are a few things to look out for that might point to the starter. 

If the engine turns over s-l-o-w-l-y, it may mean the electric starter motor may just be wearing out and doesn't have enough cranking power.  Bushings, brushes, wire windings and a special switch called a commutator may be going bad.

If when you engage the ignition you hear a faint click, that could be a symptom one or more of the starter's components have failed. If you hear a loud click, it could mean that an electrical switch called a solenoid may not be switching the motor on.

If you hear your engine start to turn over but then it stops and is followed by a grinding sound, some gears may not be meshing the way they should.

There may be many more causes (bad alternator, relay, battery, engine, key fob), so this is when it's time to turn it over to your service facility.  Sometimes they can send out their own tow truck or recommend a reputable towing company.

But it's best not to let it get to this point.  Starter problems often give you advance warning that there is a problem with "almost" not starting or "almost" not turning over.  So when you see that very first sign, "start" on over to talk this one over with your service advisor.  The opposite of a "non-starter" is a starter, and that is music to anyone's ears.

Madison Automotive
2457 Covington Pike
Memphis, TN 38128
(901)386-9600
http://www.madisonautomotive.net



Gas Savings in Memphis: Sharpen Your Pencil

Posted January 10, 2021 9:08 AM

High gas prices in Memphis increase the cost of living for TN 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 Memphis vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to TN 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 Memphis vehicle owners. I'm talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Memphis folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their Memphis business in the red.

So what does this mean to Memphis drivers? Well, there's a 90 percent chance that you're missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here's a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most Memphis vehicle owners honestly say that there isn't at least one thing on the list that hasn't been done?

Let's suppose you chose to spend $150 and get caught up on some of these services at Madison Automotive. Figure that they combine to improve your fuel efficiency by 15 percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in Memphis is driven about 12,000 a year. If you get 20 miles per gallon in your vehicle, over the course of one year you would pay for the $150 worth of service and save an additional $165 dollars if gas is at t$3.50. If gas is $4.50, you would save $255. And you'd rack up savings of $345 dollars with gas at $5.50.

GAS PRICE
$3.50
$4.50
$5.50

20 MPG
$165
$255
$345

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Memphis for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A 15 percent improvement in fuel economy can generate huge savings – $650 a year if gas is $4.50 a gallon in Memphis. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

 

GAS PRICE

A) $3.50, B) $4.50, C) $5.50

10 MPG: A) $480, B) $660, C) $840

20 MPG: A) $165, B) $255, C) $345

30 MPG: A) $60, B) $120, C) $180

 

So catch up on those services you've been neglecting at Madison Automotive. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you'll save a lot of money at Memphis gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

Madison Automotive
2457 Covington Pike
Memphis, TN 38128
(901)386-9600
http://www.madisonautomotive.net

 



The Power Behind your Engine (Alternator Diagnosis and Repair)

Posted January 3, 2021 7:18 AM

There's nothing like that sinking feeling when you turn the key and nothing happens in your vehicle.  A lot of us are quick to blame the battery.  But it may instead be your alternator that's failing.

Your battery supplies power to start your vehicle, but the alternator is what sends power when your engine is running.  The good news is alternators last a fairly long time, and it's not unusual to get seven years out of one. But they can give up the ghost thanks to the harsh conditions in the engine compartment.

Alternators have bearings inside them that keep things turning smoothly.  Debris, liquid, dirt and more can team up with the high temperatures your engine generates to cause those bearings to seize up.  That's not good, and if that happens, you may even be able to hear the bearings grind.

Other symptoms of a dying alternator are a squealing noise in the engine compartment or your headlights may go dim and bright, dim and bright.  You might even notice an electrical smell.  Any of these signs warrants a trip to your service facility.

Here's something else to think about.  If your alternator's bearings have seized up and the unit's shaft is not turning freely, that can destroy the belt that's attached to it.  So don't be surprised if your service advisor says both parts have to be replaced. 

There are different grades of alternators you can buy, but consider just how important this part is to keep your vehicle running.  Your service advisor will give you options based on your driving style and vehicle.  Remember, if you notice any of those symptoms that may signal a failing alternator, have it taken care of before you wind up stuck somewhere at the side of the road.

Madison Automotive
2457 Covington Pike
Memphis, TN 38128
(901)386-9600
http://www.madisonautomotive.net



Steer Me Right! (Failing Power Steering Hose)

Posted January 1, 2021 8:07 AM

Most drivers love how easy it is to turn their vehicles, and they have power steering to thank.  Engineers have figured out a way to take some of your engine's power to help you turn. Without it, steering can be quite a chore.  New power systems are electric, but there are still plenty of the older hydraulic power steering systems out there, and it's wise to keep them working the way they should so you don't find yourself stranded without power steering.

Those hydraulic power systems use a fluid under pressure that is pumped to a device that helps you turn your wheels more easily.  It's that pressure that presents the challenge.  After your vehicle's seen a few years on the road, you may find your steering isn't quite as easy as it was.  You may hear a groaning or humming sound when you turn. 

One component that can fail is the pressure hose that carries that fluid from the power steering pump to that turning assist mechanism.  The hose is made of rubber and can leak, crack, get damaged by heat and debris or just get too old.  If yours is ten years old or older, it's likely getting close to the end of its life.

If you think you can just wait until it fails completely, think of these possible consequences.  If the hose or a coupling fails, power steering fluid can blow all over the hot engine.  That fluid is flammable and can start a fire.  Or if you've been driving for a few weeks with low power steering fluid, that could ruin your power steering pump. Replacing the pump is an extra expense you can probably  live without.

A technician will replace the necessary parts and make sure air and contaminants are bled or flushed from the system.  Then, he or she will check for leaks.  Just think how important a properly working power steering system is for safe operation of your vehicle.  Make sure you keep yours in top shape for your safety's sake and the safety of others on the road around you.

Madison Automotive
2457 Covington Pike
Memphis, TN 38128
(901)386-9600
http://www.madisonautomotive.net



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, 05/26/2022
Madison Automotive is the place to go if you want your work done right the first time. No hassle, no markup, no trying to sell you what you don't need. Good guys.
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