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608-244-9040 | 3712 Milwaukee St Madison, WI 53714

Auto Repair Tips & Guidance

Convenient Auto Repair Solutions Anytime

Call 608-244-9040, drop by at 3712 Milwaukee St in Madison or use our online form to contact us. At Midwest Engine Service in Madison we don't just promise 5-star service, we deliver it! That's why we created this simple resource, updated monthly, with quick auto maintenance tips, fast answers to fuel economy questions and time saving auto repair options you can access anytime. Need more help? Ask one of our pros! Call 608-244-9040 or stop by our service center at 3712 Milwaukee St, Madison, WI, 53714.

Should I Replace My Car's Spark Plugs?

2022-10-01

The Two Instances When You Should Always Replace Your Spark Plugs

Let's talk spark plugs. A common question we hear at Midwest Engine Service is, "Should I replace my spark plugs?"

A spark plug performs a critical task for your vehicle's engine. Without a spark plug your car or truck's engine cannot work. Properly working spark plugs also deliver added fuel efficiency. Most owners manuals say to replace the spark plugs every 80,000 to 100,000 miles. In many cases spark plugs last longer than the driver's ownership of the car.

So, when should you replace your spark plugs?

  1. If you just purchased a used vehicle
  2. At least every 80,000 miles

Spark plugs are one of the hardest working parts of a vehicle. If you just purchased a used car, it is best to go ahead and replace the spark plugs. You have no idea if the previous owners were "severe" drivers. A spark plug can fire 400 times per minute per cylinder or 1,600 times a minute on a four-cylinder engine. Severe driving can place even higher demands on the spark plugs and engine.

Many used car dealers boast an extensive multi-point inspection plan prior to the sale of any car but many of these plans don't cover spark plug integrity. Because a failed spark plug can mean disaster for your new purchase it is best to get them replaced by the qualified technicians at Midwest Engine Service in Madison.

At Midwest Engine Service we recommend replacing spark plugs before they reach the 80,000-mile mark. Many car owners delay spark plug replacement until the engine starts "missing." An engine that is "missing" will typically result in a jerking feeling when accelerating. Spark plugs that are severely worn out will create a pinging or knocking sound. These fouled, worn-out spark plugs can lead to extensive engine damage that is expensive to fix. Therefore, replacing spark plugs before they reach the 80,000-mile mark is very important.
Three Indicators Your Spark Plugs Need To Be Replaced

  1. Rattling, pinging or knocking noises when accelerating
  2. Missing, hesitating or jerky feeling when driving
  3. Slow acceleration or chugging

Sluggish and reduced performance also causes poor fuel economy. Save money at the pump by taking care of your vehicle's spark plugs.

Come by Midwest Engine Service in Madison if you just bought a used car or your vehicle is approaching the 80,000-mile mark to have your spark plugs replaced by one of our qualified pro mechanics. Call today at 608-244-9040 or stop by our service center at 3712 Milwaukee St, Madison, WI, 53714.



Don't Forget to Replace Your Car or Truck's Belts

2022-10-01

Remember to Change Your Belts

Drivers in Madison are busy and it is easy to forget that belts are tirelessly working to keep your engine running. A worn-out belt is a break down waiting to happen. Avoid being stranded on the side of the road and get your belts inspected each time you get an oil change at Midwest Engine Service in Madison.

Your car or truck's belts are essential for many of the vehicle's critical components such as water cooling, air conditioning and the alternator. Serpentine belts are used to turn the alternator, power steering and air-conditioning compressor. Often when serpentine belts brake your vehicle will stop working completely.

Come to Midwest Engine Service to get worn or frayed serpentine belts replaced. Replacing belts when cracked, frayed or showing signs of excessive wear is very inexpensive when compared to having your car or truck towed to our repair shop.

Listen for signs of belt problems. Noise like rattling or slipping in the belt system is a sign of wear. Use your nose to tell you if a belt problem is imminent. The smell of burnt rubber can indicate a slipping belt.

At Midwest Engine Service when we replace a worn serpentine belt, we check all the components in the serpentine system such as tensioners and pulleys. A typical serpentine belt replacement is 60,000 to 90,000 miles.

Why risk being stranded when a bad belt can be diagnosed with simple routine maintenance? Get Midwest Engine Service to replace your car or truck's serpentine belts as directed by your owner's manual and avoid the hassle and expense of a sudden breakdown.

Call Midwest Engine Service in Madison today at 608-244-9040 to schedule regular maintenance such as belt inspection.



Owning A Car Is A Hidden Cost For College Students

2022-10-01

Car Ownership - A Hidden Cost for College Students in Madison

Public transportation, Uber or Lyft may be an option for students attending college in large cities but for students attending colleges in small towns the only option may be owning a car. This is particularly true for students attending community colleges where commuting to campus is the only option.

College is expensive and owning a car while attending school is an added expense. Here are the top six expense categories college students should plan for:

  1. Fuel
  2. Financing
  3. Parking permit, annual taxes and registration
  4. Insurance
  5. Maintenance
  6. Tires

Parking permits, licensing, registration and taxes are unavoidable. However here are some recommendations for managing other costs.

  • Consider using a gas app that helps you track down the best price in town for gas. Many local gas and convenience stores offer a reward card just for gas.
  • Revisit your auto loan. College may be a good time to consider a less expensive car. Call your local credit union and ask them about financing. Some financial institutions offer lower interest rates for car owners who sign up to have their monthly payments deducted directly from their bank account each month.
  • Shopping for car insurance may also create a significant savings. If you switch to a less expensive car you may need less coverage. If you are driving less on average this may also lower your insurance costs. Keeping a clean driving record while you are in college can help keep your insurance rates low.
  • Come by Midwest Engine Service in Madison and let us help you create a solid auto maintenance plan. No one wants to miss class because their car wouldn't start. Regular maintenance on your car will help prevent high-cost car repairs in the future. Maintenance items such as oil changes can also increase fuel efficiency saving you additional money at the gas pump.
  • The cost of tires can be a jolt to a college student's budget. Plan to buy tires by setting aside a little money each month. Save on tires by taking advantage of manufacturer rebates.

Call Midwest Engine Service in Madison today at 608-244-9040 or stop by our service center for preventive auto maintenance services at 3712 Milwaukee St, Madison, WI, 53714.



Midwest Engine Service Knows What Older Cars and Trucks Need

2022-10-01

Take Your Older Car or Truck To Midwest Engine Service in Madison For Preventative Maintenance

The consumer price index for used cars and trucks jumped up by 40.5% from January 2021 to January 2022. As a result, the average age of vehicles on the road is rising as many owners of older cars decide it is cheaper to hang on to them than to buy one today.

As cars get older, they need more maintenance and repair. Drivers in Madison must be more diligent about preventative maintenance. Replacing a bad O2 Sensor costs $250.00 on average. This may increase or decrease based on the make and model of your car or truck. However, performing recommended auto maintenance such as air filter replacement and spark plug replacement can extend the life of your O2 sensor.

Kelly Blue Book reports the average vehicle age in the US is 13.5 years. After five years of ownership the chances of a breakdown or service issue increases dramatically unless drivers are vigilant about preventative maintenance. Come by Midwest Engine Service in Madison and let us help you set up a preventative maintenance plan for your car or truck. Sticking to a maintenance plan will minimize the chances of breakdowns, increase fuel efficiency and decrease any future repair costs.

The Top 6 Auto Preventative Maintenance Items to Plan for Today

  1. oil change
  2. oil and fuel filters
  3. belts and hoses
  4. brake system components
  5. brake and transmission fluid flushes
  6. tires and alignment

Midwest Engine Service in Madison is dedicated to helping busy car owners prioritize preventative maintenance. We make it easy with convenient, affordable and friendly service. Call today at 608-244-9040 or stop by our service center at 3712 Milwaukee St, Madison, WI, 53714 and speak to one of our technicians.




Our guarantee to you

What Our Customers Are Saying

Midwest always does great work and I never feel like I'm being "taken for a ride". I appreciate the honest assessments of what needs to be done and in what time-frame. Always more reasonable than the dealership on both counts! Super handy to have a loaner car, and I love that my car is always shiny and feels like new when I pick it up, even after an oil change! Thank you!!

, 09/03/2021

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I am from IL and was going to our home in Northern Wisconsin when I experienced car trouble. Lucky for me, I got off at the first Madison exit. I called Midwest Engine Service. They were AWESOME! They had me towed to their shop. Clean building and great staff. They got me back on the road within 3 hours. The repair bill was very reasonable. I would highly recommend this auto repair facility!



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I cannot begin to tell you how very much I appreciate the INCREDIBLE service I received from your staff ! I have been in the customer service business for over 30 years, I certainly have no problems recognizing EXCELLENT SERVICE and let me tell you your team GETS IT. From the helpful phone call to your shop when I was stranded at Home Depot to the tow truck driver calling to confirm to me that my truck was picked up...I will not ever take my truck anywhere else and you have a customer for life. I will tell everyone I know to do the same. Keep up the good work!

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To all of you -a BIG- thank you for all the time and effort you put into my car! I don't really know all the things you do but its much better now. The steering is better, the breaks feel better, and in general it just feels better to drive!

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Dear Wayne, Thank you for your note regarding my Audi TT alignment mishap and for being so noble as to stand behind the work done at Midwest Engine. I'm sure it is difficult at times, when trying to run a business well, to negotiate mishaps, both with customers and your staff, and I appreciate that your rose to the occasion and did the right thing by me, even as a cost to you.

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Thanks for the fast service and getting me in right away.

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