Undercar Services: Maintenance & Repair
Rely on Northstar Automotive in Bear Lake, MI 49614 to provide quality care for your vehicle's undercarriage. Stop by our shop to see how we can help you or call 231-864-3139 for more information.
To keep your vehicle running at peak performance, we provide undercar services that include:
Anti-lock brakes prevent wheel lock-up when rapidly decelerating by automatically modulating the brake pressure during an emergency stop. With this system, the wheels are able to maintain traction with the road while braking. Failure of the anti-lock brakes could lead to an increase in the risks of multiple vehicle crashes and run-off road crashes. To avoid this, have your anti-lock brake system checked and repaired by experts. At Northstar Automotive, we have anti-lock brake experts who will examine and repair your faulty ABS - keeping you safe.
Brake System Flush
Brake fluid is hygroscopic (it absorbs moisture). The absorbed moisture lowers the fluid's boiling point. It also corrodes the lines and cylinders. With the lowered boiling point, the brake fluid could boil during braking which makes you lose braking ability. Although this is an extreme scenario, it does happen in heavy braking. To reduce the effects of the absorbed moisture, auto manufacturers recommend that you have a brake flush done periodically. A brake system flush involves the replacement of used and contaminated fluid with fresh fluid. With Northstar Automotive's quick lube services, you will have a brake system flush performed by brake experts. Call 231-864-3139 or visit Northstar Automotive today.
A brake is a mechanical device for slowing or stopping a vehicle (usually by means of friction). In short, a brake inhibits your car's motion. It lets you stop the car whenever and wherever you choose. Brakes are one of the most important parts of a motor vehicle. Without them, you would not be able to stop the car. If your vehicle's brakes are having issues, consider having them worked on. Brake experts at Northstar Automotive can work on your car's brakes to ensure you have a safe drive.
A chassis is the car's internal framework that supports the body and other parts like the wheels, engine, transmission, driveshaft, differential, and suspension. A weak or damaged chassis will translate to a weak car. To have a strong and properly working vehicle, have your car's chassis checked for defects. At Northstar Automotive, there are experienced undercar service providers who can work on your chassis.
The differential is a car part that compensates for the difference in travel distance between the inner wheels and outer wheels when the vehicle is turning. Due to the differential's position in most non-four-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicles (located at the rear and under the car), it does not get any of the star treatment the engine gets. The one thing that every car owner needs to know is that failure of the differential will mean failure of the car. To save the differential from failure, you need to have differential fluid changed every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Changing the oil on the differential is as important as changing the car's engine oil. Although checking and changing differential oil is pretty easy, you need to visit an auto shop to get a comprehensive differential flush. For differential flush services, visit or call Northstar Automotive in Bear Lake, MI 49614 today.
The differential transfers the engine power to the wheels. One important function of the differential is to pass on power to the wheels while allowing them to rotate at different speeds - thus the name differential. When turning, the outer wheels travel a larger distance than the inner wheels do (also the front wheels travel a longer distance than the rear wheels). This means that all four wheels travel at different speeds during a turn and this is where the differential comes in to help. To make sure your vehicle's differentials are working properly, have them checked regularly. Contact Northstar Automotive today for differentials examination and servicing.
A driveline is a part of your motor vehicle that connects the engine and the transmission to the wheel axles. The driveline consists of the parts of the powertrain less the engine and transmission. Failure of the driveline means that the car would not move since energy cannot be transmitted from the engine to the wheel axles. Therefore, make sure that your car's driveline is regularly inspected and serviced. And, at Northstar Automotive, you can have the driveline serviced by experts.
In a motor vehicle, an exhaust system is a piping used to guide exhaust fumes away from the engine - usually to the rear of the vehicle. A properly functioning exhaust system not only sounds better, it is better - for you, your car, and the environment. Northstar Automotive has expert technicians to service your car's exhaust system.
Shocks (or shock absorbers) are mechanical devices designed to smooth out rough roads. The devices do this by converting kinetic energy to another form of energy. Properly working shocks reduce the effect of traveling over rough ground, leading to improved ride quality and vehicle handling. When shocks develop problems, driving on poorly leveled roads becomes unpleasant, and your vehicle may sway when turning. To have your vehicle's shocks diagnosed and repaired, visit Northstar Automotive today.
Much like a shock absorber (shocks), your car's struts provide a dampening effect as you travel over a road's surface. By absorbing the shock of the road, struts allow passengers to ride in a car without constant and uncomfortable motion. Struts work a bit differently than shocks in that they provide structural support for your car's suspension. This means that struts support your car's weight, unlike shocks which only regulate the speed at which the weight is transferred. Struts usually last around 50,000 or 60,000 miles. This is simply because the damping characteristics of the parts gradually deteriorate over time. Call Northstar Automotive at 231-864-3139 if you have questions about the struts on your car. Our expert technicians will diagnose any problems and help you make an informed decision about repairs.
Suspension Questions and Answers
Q: What is included in a front-end alignment?A: Front-end alignment is a service performed on the front wheels. The process includes adjustments to the camber, toe and casters. Your 'thrust angle adjustment' may also need adjustments, to ensure that all four wheels are in alignment.
Q: How often should shocks be replaced?A: Experts recommend that shocks be replaced at 50,000-100,000 miles. If you are a more aggressive driver or frequently drive on rough roads, they will wear out faster. Shocks don't go out all at once, they deteriorate slowly over time. If you are noticing problems with handling, making smooth turns or ride smoothness have one of the professionals at Northstar Automotive inspect your shocks.
Q: Are shocks difficult to replace?A: Shock absorber replacement is usually a straightforward job, taking less than an hour of labor, but they should be replaced by a professional. Some models require other components to be removed or replaced before working on the front shocks. Bring your car to Northstar Automotive in Bear Lake and we will help you determine what needs to be done and get you back on the road quickly.
Q: Are struts difficult to replace?A: Replacing struts is simple and fast for a professional. Replacing your front struts yourself is not recommended, especially if you need a new complete strut assembly kit. When you get your truck's struts replaced you also need to have the front-end alignment checked. Ask the professionals at Northstar Automotive to replace your struts and we will complete the work quickly and easily.
Q: What is the difference between shocks and struts?A: Shocks and struts are both parts of a vehicle's suspension system. However, each has a very specific job. Your vehicle has either shocks or struts. You cannot replace your shocks with struts and vice versa. Shock absorbers are hydraulic components that help minimize movement generated by the vehicle's springs. These springs absorb some of the jolts you might feel from uneven or damaged roads. Struts are structural components of certain vehicles' steering and suspension systems. They usually consist of a spring and a shock absorber. Struts are designed to be much stronger than shocks since they are designed for vehicles that carry heavy loads.
Q: Is it necessary to get an alignment after strut replacement?A: Northstar Automotive recommends performing an alignment anytime shocks, struts or other steering and suspension components are replaced. Getting your vehicle's alignment within factory specifications ensures optimal tire wear and helps prolong the life of your tires.
Q: What happens if I only replace one strut or shock?A: If you replace only one shock or strut, it will create poor handling when changing lanes or driving over bumps. If your car is new, replacing only one strut or shock absorber may be ok since the opposite side shock is not worn out yet. Generally, Northstar Automotive recommends replacing both shocks or struts.
Differential Questions and Answers
Q: Is it necessary to change front and rear differential fluid?A: Over time, the differential fluid breaks down and becomes dirty and impacts performance. It is necessary to have your car or truck's differential serviced regularly. It is generally recommended to have the differential fluid changed every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. However, if you are a more aggressive driver you may need to get your front and rear differential fluid changed sooner. If you are in Bear Lake, Manistee, Frankfort, Beulah or the surrounding area, give us a call and we can help you figure out what makes the most sense for your vehicle.
Q: What is front and rear differential service?A: Differential services performed by one of the professional technicians at Northstar Automotive usually includes draining the old fluid from the differentials and replacing it with new fluid according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations and specifications. Sometimes other components surrounding the differential may need to be serviced as well.
Great overall experience. Clean, organized shop. Friendly. A wonderful, full service, small town business. Thanks so much for the fine and knowledgeable service on the 64 GTO. Nice to know real mechanics are still out there.
Dian & Craig, 06/13/2023
Northstar Auto has never let me down. They identify your problems and don't sell you services that are not needed. They treat you more like family than just another customer. This trip my car windshield washer was not working. They quickly discovered that mice had made my car there home while I was in Florida. They chewed through the washer tube and had filled my filters full of seeds and nuts. They also noticed I needed my brake fluid changed. They repaired my windshield washer tube, replaced my filters, and replaced my old brake fluid. They provided me with transportation home while they did the brake fluid so I would not have to sit there all day. How many auto places do that for there customers? Northstar Auto is family owned and go above and beyond to get you back on the road.
Bill Packer, 04/11/2023
Awesome thanks for the service Mike
Terry Longton, 02/19/2023