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Archive for May 2021

Keep Your Cool in Memphis: Air Conditioning Services

Posted May 30, 2021 7:53 AM

 

Most Memphis drivers don't even think about their air conditioner.

Now here's a tip for Memphis vehicle owners: Run your air conditioner every so often during TN winters. This circulates the lubricant to help keep the seals from drying out.

The air conditioner actually removes some of the moisture in the air. So if you have trouble with fogging on your vehicle windshield during TN winters or during a rain storm, running the A/C on the defrost setting should help. Now on some Memphis cars you can't run the A/C at the same time as the defroster. Don't ask me why, but I suspect lawyers were involved.

Also, air and water can get into the A/C system. That can reduce the efficiency of the system and also lead to corrosion that causes damage. Memphis drivers should periodically purge the system and replace the refrigerant to remove the air and water.

TN drivers would be wise to learn the early warning signs of A/C trouble: 1) The air's not as cold as it used to be. 2) It makes unusual noises when the A/C cycles on. Those are signs to get your vehicle into Madison Automotive in Memphis before the damage gets worse.

By following the recommended service intervals in your vehicle owner's manual, you can help prevent mechanical failure of your air conditioning system. Your A/C system contains some components like the compressor, condenser, dryer, etc. Anything Memphis car owners can do to lengthen the life of their A/C is well worth it. 

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



Brake Service at Madison Automotive in Memphis

Posted May 23, 2021 11:22 AM

Brakes really aren't optional equipment for Memphis drivers' vehicles. And taking care of them isn't optional either.

A regular brake inspection is on every TN driver's vehicle maintenance schedule. At Madison Automotive, our team will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems. Of course, if you're having trouble with your brakes, get your car into your Memphis service center right away. And watch out for these problems:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that's attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle. Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Pads, called shoes, push against the inside of the drum to slow the vehicle.

There are several things that need to be serviced on the brake system. First, the brake pads and shoes wear out with use and become too thin to really help. If the brake pads wear away completely you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced, and that can be expensive. But putting it off is dangerous because your vehicle won't stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

Brake fluid is also important. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid, not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. Memphis  drivers should change the brake fluid when their vehicle manufacturer recommends it.

Be sure to properly maintain your brakes because it's a lot cheaper than paying your nearest Memphis area body shop after an accident.

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



Madison Automotive Advice: Don't Overlook These 10 Automotive Services

Posted May 16, 2021 11:17 AM

Organization is the key to managing a busy life in TN. So setting up an annual calendar for vehicle care can keep Memphis residents on top of preventive maintenance. But you can't just write “oil change” every few months on the calendar. Modern vehicles have many systems that are vital to the safe operation of a vehicle, and they all need to be inspected. Memphis residents can't afford to overlook any of them.

The following is a list of preventive maintenance services that are often overlooked by vehicle owners in the Memphis area. They are not presented in any particular order.

1. Madison Automotive Power Steering Service. Moisture gradually builds up in your power steering fluid, which can lead to corrosion in your steering system. The fluid also gets dirty, which can gum up your steering system. The fluid needs to be replaced periodically.

2. Madison Automotive Wheel Alignment. Wheels that are out of alignment will cause a vehicle to pull to one side. This is dangerous for Memphis residents and can lead to accidents. Also, it causes uneven and rapid tire wear, which means tires must be replaced more often.

3. Madison Automotive Differential Service. They are part of the drive train system that transfers power from the engine to the wheels. Damage or wear in this system can make a vehicle undriveable.

4. Madison Automotive Cabin Air Filter. Your vehicle may or may not be equipped with a cabin air filter. Its job is to remove dust and pollen from the air that enters the passenger compartment of the vehicle. If this filter clogs, it can stink. So check your owner's manual to find out if your vehicle has a cabin air filter. If so, come visit us at Madison Automotive and get it changed according to the recommended schedule.

5. Madison Automotive Timing Belt Replacement. Most passenger cars and some vans and trucks have timing belts. Memphis residents can check their owner's manual to find out if their vehicle has one. If so, you can't drive without it. And if it breaks while on the road, you may be looking at thousands of dollars of repairs. So it is important to inspect it occasionally. If your vehicle has close to 60,000 miles/100,000 kilometers or more on it and you haven't had your timing belt replaced, then you need to find out the recommended replacement interval NOW.

6. Madison Automotive Transmission Service. Transmission fluid gets dirty and has to be replaced. If not, you risk repairs.

7. Madison Automotive Air Conditioning Service. The refrigerant in your air conditioner needs to be replaced periodically. This fluid doesn't just refrigerate air; it provides lubrication to the air conditioning system and conditions seals. Lack of fluid can damage components.

8. Madison Automotive Brake Service. Even if your brakes are quiet and working well, the brake fluid still might need to be changed. Over time, moisture builds up in brake fluid. Water has a different viscosity than brake fluid, so the brakes can't compress properly when there's too much moisture in the fluid — and you shouldn't need to be told how it is to drive with brakes that are compromised. Moisture in your brake fluid can also corrode parts in your brake system, causing it to fail altogether.

9. Madison Automotive Coolant System Service. Antifreeze is another fluid that needs to be changed regularly. If not, it actually becomes corrosive and begins to damage your cooling system. Eventually it can eat holes in your radiator.

10. Madison Automotive Fuel System Cleaning. Over time, your fuel system just gets gummed up, which can interfere with the flow of fuel in a number of ways.

Of course, your next question should be: How often do I need to get all of this done? Well, the answer varies depending on which service we're talking about, the make and model of your vehicle, the climate where you live in TN, your usual driving conditions and your driving habits.

But don't lose heart. Your owner's manual will give you a recommended service schedule for most of the service items listed. And you can get quality auto advice from your friendly and knowledgeable Madison Automotive service advisors to help you meet the service intervals that suit your vehicle.

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




How Do You Save Gas in Memphis, TN?

Posted May 9, 2021 8:39 AM



No one in Memphis, TN, likes to spend a chunk of change at the gas pump. Rising TN fuel prices, however, have spurred Memphis drivers to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles/kilometers less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we love our vehicles, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let's look at a real life example. This man has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his costs.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here's a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Memphis, TN. First get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost fuel efficiency. If it's time for a tune-up, git'er done at Madison Automotive. That's a big item.

If your Check Engine light is on, have your service advisor at Madison Automotive figure out why and fix it. Check Engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Memphis drivers as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra 100 pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Memphis folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on TN roads and Memphis streets: don't speed, and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven't mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That's because there aren't any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of "miracle fuel saver" scams in TN. Don't shell out any to swindlers; you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your service advisor at Madison Automotive in Memphis before spending your hard earned cash.

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



Hold the Oil! (Oil Pan Gasket Replacement)

Posted May 2, 2021 11:46 AM

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 time can take their toll. So after a while, the gasket can just wear out and start leaking. It usually starts pretty slowly. If you see oil visible under your vehicle where you park it, that might be a sign of a leaky oil pan gasket. Another sign? You smell burning oil coming from your engine. If the leak is bad and your engine has lost a lot of oil, you may eventually see the oil light go on.

Let your service advisor know if you are experiencing any of these things. Driving with insufficient oil can badly damage your engine. And it can do it quickly. A Madison Automotive trained technician will check to find the source of the leak. It may just be a gasket, but it also could be the oil pan is damaged and needs replacing as well.

This is a repair you should get taken care of. Your engine needs its lubrication system intact to provide you many years of service.

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



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