Crystal Lake Auto Repair & Tire (815) 356-0440 SEND SMS 123 E Virginia Rd
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Barrington Auto Repair & Tire (847) 381-0454 SEND SMS 417 W. Main Street
Barrington, IL 60010
Fox River Grove Auto Repair & Tire (847) 639-4552 SEND SMS 416 Northwest Highway
Fox River Grove, IL 60021


  • Should you lease or finance your next car?

    Posted on 13, July, 2018

    If it's time for a new ride, you might be wondering whether to buy or lease? 

    There's no easy answer, since both have their advantages and disadvantages. It boils down to your lifestyle and needs/wants.

    Financially, buying a car is better in the long run because once it's paid for, it's yours. You can do anything with it or to it and drive it as much as you want. When you lease a car, once your lease is up, you have nothing.

    However, there are advantages to leasing. Your monthly payments are lower when you lease, you don't need a huge down payment and repairs cost less because your car is under warranty. Plus, you get to drive a newer car.

    Automotive resource Edmunds lists pros and cons of both financing and leasing:

    Leasing Pros:

    • Lower monthly payments; low or no down payment.
    • Drive a better car for less money.
    • Lower repair costs under factory warranty.
    • A new car every two or three years with less sales tax and no trade-in hassle.

    Leasing Cons:

    • You don't own the car.
    • Mileage is limited to 12,000 miles a year or extra charge.
    • You pay more in the long run.
    • Wear-and-tear charges are significant.
    • Terminating the lease is expensive.

    Buying Pros:

    • Modify your car as you please.
    • Save money long-term.
    • Drive as much as you like.
    • Sell the car whenever you want.
    • Trade-in value on your next car.

    Buying Cons:

    • Hefty down payment.
    • Higher monthly car payments.
    • When warranty expires you pay for repairs.
    • Must trade in or sell it when you get your next car.
    • The longer you keep in the more it depreciates.

    So, ultimately, the choice to buy or lease boils down to a combination of factors based on your personal needs, wants and driving habits.

    Tagged: Douglas Q&A , new car
  • Detailing your car

    Posted on 06, July, 2018

    If your car is looking a little "tired" lately, maybe it could use some TLC. Detailing is one way to make it shine again.

    As the name implies, detailing takes care of the details, cleaning the small things that ll add up to a great looking ride. If you do the job yourself, automotive experts advise allocating from four to eight hours to properly detail your car inside and out, advises

    Inside clean everything from dash to dirty cupholders, corners and crevices, clutter and debris. Get into vents, switches, and seat seams where crumbs and dirt gather, using a toothbrush, small paintbrush or cotton swab. Canned air works well in areas too small to reach with these. Then wash using soapy water and a cotton cloth. Dry with a clean cloth.

    Clean interior windows with glass cleaner. Vacuum tight spaces and carpeting using a crevice tool. Remove pet hair from seats and carpeting with duct tape. Clean seats and carpets with spray foam cleaner, adds Also, don't forget to clean door jams.

    For the exterior, use a cleaner made especially for vehicles. Avoid laundry or dish soap, which can damage paint, advises Consumer Reports. Wash in the shade if possible, starting at the top and working your way downward, using a soft cotton cloth, or if you can afford the $20, invest in a lambswool mitt, which is gentle and does a thorough cleaning job, says Consumer Reports. Use a chamois cloth to dry the exterior. After washing, use a clay bar to remove any particles left behind. Then apply liquid car wax. Use wheel cleaner to remove road grime from rims, applying with a sponge and toothbrush.

    Let your car dry thoroughly before putting the pedal to the metal, says Consumer Reports.

    Of course, if the job looks too labor intensive, take your car to a trusted mechanic to do the work for you.


    Tagged: Uncategorized , summer
  • What to expect when your car hits 100,000 miles

    Posted on 29, June, 2018

    So your car has made it to 100,000 miles. Congratulations are in order. And in order to keep it going for another 100,000, there are a number of maintenance procedures you need to follow. Today's cars are built to last way past that milestone, and proper maintenance is like money in the bank compared to buying a new vehicle.

    It's important to read your owner's manual to review the maintenance for your specific vehicle, and it's a good idea to visit a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection.

    So here's what we're looking at at the 100,000 mile mark:

    Your vehicle's fluids break down the age, so change your oil, coolant, and transmission, brake and power steering fluid.

    Check your timing belt. At some point in its long life it will begin to wear and crack will eventually break, which can ruin your engine. Replace it before it happens. Likewise, replace your water pump before it fails because if it does, you're looking at a warped cylinder head and an expensive repair bill.

    When was the last time you had your brakes checked? If you car is 100,000 miles along, you've had to replace your brake pads several times already, but do it again anyway. If you have disk brakes, the rotors may be worn. If so, have them turned.

    Have you maintained your tires through your car's long life, checking air pressure, tread and having them rotated regularly? If not, it's probably time for new ones. Always replace all four tires at once, or at least two, but make sure they are both in either the front or rear. You'll also likely need a wheel alignment if you car drifts to one side.

    Tagged: Maintenance
  • Protecting your car's interior from the sun

    Posted on 25, June, 2018

    Warm weather is finally here, with longer days full of sunshine. 

    While most all of us are happy about that, the sun can turn our car into an oven, wreaking havoc on the interior, making it unbearable hot, smelly, faded and even causing damage.

    How to protect your car from those rays?

    The easiest and most affordable way is to park in the shade. A closed car in the sun can reach 130 degrees inside. Shade keeps the temperature much lower. While it's now always possible to park, there are other ways to protect your ride.

    Many people keep their windows cracked, just a little, which can keep the temperature down somewhat, but it also carries the risk of break-ins or rain.

    Your dash bears the brunt of the sun's rays, which can cause it to fade and crack, especially if it's a dark color hat absorbs more light. Foldable and pop-up windshield sunscreens hide it from damaging UV rays. They're relatively inexpensive and come in everything from cardboard to reflective foil. You can even find fun ones with themes like Star Wars or the Avengers. They will also shade your front seats and come in various sizes. Some are also available for specific make and models. Another option is a UV blanket placed anywhere in the interior.

    If you have leather or leather-like seats a sunscreen is a necessity, as is leather cleaner and conditioner. Real leather and plastic can crack and fade from UV rays and excessive heat.

    Keeping your car clean also helps protect your interior from the sun, believe it or not. Clean up food or drink spills immediately or the sun will bake the stains right into your interior, making it smell like the kitchen in a greasy spoon diner.

    Tagged: summer
  • Tips to check your car's A/C unit

    Posted on 12, June, 2018

    Summer has hit the Chicago area. Well, not technically, but with temperatures already in the 90s, you might want to think about your car's air conditioning unit and how much you love it. 

    It's good practice to have your mechanic check it annually before anything goes wrong.

    You can also check it yourself periodically and take steps to make sure it doesn't take a nosedive while you're sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic or on that long summer road trip.

    With your fan on high and your AC set to the coldest temperature, run it weekly for 10 minutes to keep the compressor in working order. Then turn on your defrost for five or ten minutes to stave off mildew. Do this year-round. It's also a good idea to recharge your A/C every other year.

    If, even after you've faithfully carried out these maintenance procedures, you notice your A/C is blowing less cold air than it used to, there could be several reasons. It may just need to be recharged with more refrigerant. Your mechanic can recharge the system to levels specifically for your vehicle to have it blowing icy cold again.

    The weak cold air output could also be caused by a leak in the A/C line or from the compressor. A line leak is easy to fix. However, if the compressor is leaking to the point where all the oil is depleted, the compressor will have to be replaced.

    The experts at Douglas Automotive, in Barrington, Fox River Grove, and Crystal Lake, can diagnose your A/C problem and have your on the road in air-conditioned comfort in no time. They can also perform your annual A/C service to keep it that way.

    Tagged: a/c