Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

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Performance cars often times need winter tires

Performance cars often times need winter tires

Q. My granddaughter's 2011 Ford Focus SES has traction control and good tire tread. When trying to get out of her driveway, the car's tires just spin on the ice we have had lately.

Her only option is to push the car free of the ice. She has turned the traction control on and off and still has the result. Two other family cars have no traction problems at all under the same conditions.

Any ideas as to what she can do to overcome the problem?

A. When you say the tires have good tread, what does that mean? They should have at least 4/32nds of an inch tread and even at that they might not be the best for traction in the snow.

Typically we recommend replacing the tires at 4/32nds to get the best snow and wet traction. If the tread is low, replace the tires with a good quality all-season tire.

The other thought I have is what type of a tire is it? If it is more of a performance tire you will not get adequate traction in the snow.

Man

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Categories:

Tires

Tags:

Tires , Winter

New parts can cause unforeseen headaches

New parts can cause unforeseen headaches

Q. My 1996 Sonoma four-cylinder does not start sometimes. It can start flawlessly for weeks, then not start. It can happen when the truck has been sitting, or if it was just running. There's no rhyme or reason for the pattern. When it doesn't start it may take only one more turn of the key, or five minutes’ worth of attempts.

I replaced the starter, since it had a few years on it. The battery is relatively new. The connections are all good and clean. One quirk I discovered was, when I tried starting it without engaging the clutch, it should not have turned over, but it did. So I replaced the neutral safety switch. No luck. My next move may be the ignition switch. Is there anything else to consider here?

A. This is a little tough to answer without doing some of my own testing but it seems as though you are on the right track. If there is any adjustment on the clutch lockout switch make sure it is correct. There should be a starter relay in or near the po

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Categories:

Uncategorized

Tags:

new car

Don't over fill oil with new cars

Don't over fill oil with new cars

Q. I have a 2001 Buick Regal which, I understand, should take 4.5 quarts of oil on an oil change, not five quarts. Is the higher amount harmful to the engine? It does read considerably over the full mark on the dip stick when this happens.

A. You are correct on the oil capacity for your car; it is 4.5 quarts. If it is over filled by half a quart, it should not hurt anything, but I would take it back to the oil change shop and have the level adjusted to the proper level.

It is always hard to know exactly how much oil is too much, so it's best to get it right on the nose. While the oil level being exactly on the line is not as critical on your car, it is extremely critical on some of the newer vehicles. The oil level has to be right or it can set computer codes in newer models, and in fact some of the hybrids won't even start.

As long as we are talking about oil, let me use this opportunity to remind our readers not only of the importance of keeping the

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Categories:

Oil Changes

Helpful Tips for Vehicle Winterization

Helpful Tips for Vehicle Winterization

With winter coming, I think, "What should I be taking care of on my vehicle to get ready?"

This is a question we get asked almost daily these days and the answer is fairly simple; take care of all the needed maintenance and you should pull through the winter weather just fine.

The things you want to pay attention to would be the following:

•Be sure the oil is changed and that you have the correct oil in the car

•Be sure all the fluids are clean and topped off to the proper level. If they are dirty or have not been changed per the maintenance schedule, you should have that done.

•Have a brake inspection performed, including making sure the anti-lock brakes are working.

•Inspect the tires for good tread life and to be sure there is no cracking on the sidewalls.

•Inspect all lighting and replace any burned out light bulbs. If the plastic headlights have become dull and degraded, have them replace

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Categories:

Winter
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