Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

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Changing fluids on a used car is a starting point

Changing fluids on a used car is a starting point

Q. I am getting a 2005 Toyota Camry from grandma in Arizona. It has been garaged-kept (never driven in summer months) and has only 25,000 miles on it. What parts and fluids should be changed? I would like to keep it another 10 years.

A. What an opportunity for you to get a great car with such low mileage! Because of its age and how it was driven, I would recommend changing/flushing all the fluids. This would include the coolant, transmission fluid, power-steering fluid, brake fluid and the engine oil.

If it has a timing belt, I would change that, too, and I would scrutinize all the rubber parts of the car for any signs of dry rot or deterioration. These parts would include, but not limited to, the belts and hoses, axle boots, tires and brake hoses.

Finally, don't skip the normal inspection you would give any older car like the brakes and filters. Make sure all the lights work. If there are any leaks, you might want to get these taken care of now, too

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Pets in the car. Are you safe?

The McAllisters recently welcomed little Mazi, their new pup, to the family. With all the excitement surrounding this little furball, we thought it would be a good time to review pet travel safety. In a recent survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 80% of dog owners drive with their pets in the car. There are 43.3 million households with pets, so it’s an impressive number of people traveling on the road with animals. Of those who travel with animals in their car, only 16% of those people use proper safety restraints. So, as you can see, the potential for distraction is high … very high. 

Restrain your animal with a crash-tested pet safety product. According to the National Safety Council, more than 2.5 million rear-end collisions are reported every year, making them the most common type of automobile accident. An unrestrained 10-lb dog will exert 300 pounds of pressure in an accident, according to the AAA. Without a crash-tested safe

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Douglas Automotive Is Now Text-Friendly

We know you live a busy life. We also know bringing your vehicle in for maintenance is just one of many things on your to-do list. We’ve heard your feedback and incorporated the ability to text any of our main lines to set up an appointment, follow up on service or ask a question. It’s easy! As you would with any other number, send a text message to our shop line to communicate with a service advisor. This process now gives those who like to text a preferable option, but it also gives Douglas Automotive the ability to send you a message if other means of communication don’t work. Give it a shot and text your chosen shop at the corresponding number below. 

Crystal Lake: 815-356-0440 | Barrington: 847-381-0454 | Fox River Grove: 847

Employee Spotlight: Chris Bach - Service Advisor

Christopher is one of the seasoned service advisers at our Crystal Lake location. His core focus as a service adviser is to review maintenance and repair work needed to ensure customers’ vehicles operate at full capacity.

Chris has a 13-year-old daughter who keeps him busy, yet he still finds time to enjoy salt water aquariums and summer sun activities. He proudly served our country in the United States Marine Corp - easily his biggest accomplishment in life.

For entertainment, Chris enjoys the show Fear Factor. He knows he could do well in the stunt/dare game show because he has the determination to face his fears and outpace the competition.

Favorite Quote: “Live like men of action, Act like men of thought. Live life with intensity and a passion for excellence.” - Gen. James Mattis

After driver retires, car gets worse fuel mileage

After driver retires, car gets worse fuel mileage

Q. I have a 1994 Dodge Spirit and for years I got 20 to 22 miles per gallon. I retired in June last year, and since then the mileage keeps going down.

I know no longer driving 28 miles a day to work will drop the fuel mileage a little, but it is now down to 17 mpg.

I have taken my car to my place of service many times, for checkups, oil changes, etc. Each time they check everything they can think of.

Do you have any ideas? I know she is old, and maybe should be retired herself. But I have had no major problems with her in 18 years, and I'd like to keep her around for a while.

A. It seems you have done all you can maintenance-wise to get the best mileage, but some simple things can make a big difference, such as the condition of your tires and proper air pressure. You should also make sure the car is in proper alignment; all these items can work together to negatively impact your fuel economy.

You will also want to be sure that the proper o

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Categories:

fuel

Vibration problem shakes driver of Toyota van

Vibration problem shakes driver of Toyota van

Q. I read your column all the time and love it so when this problem came up with my van, I thought, who better to get a straight answer from than you.

Some history -- in July I purchased a 2007 Toyota Sienna certified vehicle from a Toyota dealership. The van had 70,000 miles and was in excellent condition. Shortly after taking possession (and a road trip), I noticed between 30-35 and 45-50 mph (especially 1,300 to 1,400 rpm) there was a louder "droning noise," as Toyota calls it. Along with this noise was a vibration that reverberated throughout the cabin and was felt in my seat.

I should mention that right after I purchased the van, I had a set of Hankook H737 Optimo tires put on with an alignment.

The first time I took the van back to the dealer, they indicated they could not find a problem and they would want to try driving another van (same year, mileage, model, etc.) to determine if this is just how the van operates. They did not have such van

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Categories:

Vibrations

Rust usually excluded from warranties

Rust usually excluded from warranties

Q. I read with interest your recent column regarding the Santa Fe and rust, which is a related issue with my 2003 Santa Fe. In December I spent almost $2,300 at the Hyundai dealership replacing the front exhaust pipe assembly, which had rusted out and fallen off the car.

When I took it to my regular mechanic in January for an oil change and checkup, he told me the rust on the bottom of the car -- brake backing plates, gas tank shield, etc. -- was so bad it looked like the car had 300,000 miles on it instead of the 90,000+ miles it does have.

I still have a few thousand miles left and about six months on my 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty. Do I have any recourse to get the car repaired or the rust problem addressed before the whole car falls apart? I believe there have been multiple lawsuits against Hyundai on the rust issue in "Salt Belt" states but not much came of it. Your recommendation?

A. Thanks for reading the column and sorry you are having all

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Categories:

Douglas Q&A

Mice can do significant damage to autos

Mice can do significant damage to autos

We have seen several cars brought into the shop this year with rodent damage.

I don't know if this is because of the extremely long and cold winter we experienced here in the Chicago area but, whatever the reason, we have seen more of this damage recently than in years past.

The damage has ranged from fairly minor, about $200 in repairs, all the way up to more than $1,500 worth of repairs.

On the minor side, typically you find a nest under the hood and then some wiring to one of the sensors on the engine has been chewed through. After we clean out all of the nest material and repair the wiring, the vehicle is usually good to go.

We always check the air filter box and the cabin air filter for more debris because they can get in there, too.

The car that suffered the worst damage, by far, was a Mustang. It was parked in a garage for several months while the owner was out of state over the winter. The damage under the hood was minor compared t

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Loose wire remains elusive for a decade

Loose wire remains elusive for a decade

Q. I purchased a new 2000 Lincoln Cartier Town Car. Within a few years, the whole system just stopped; no air, no heat, no blower. For about the last ten years, this has continued about every three to six months after service by the Lincoln dealer. New modules, new blower, new wire, etc.

This June when in Michigan, it again went out. The Lincoln dealer put in another module and it worked fine for one day. I took it back to the same dealer, and when they opened the hood and touched a wire in front of the firewall, the system started up. So he replaced the wire

The car worked fine until I sold it to a friend of mine three weeks ago. Guess what? It went out again. After about a week, it started to work again. This pattern of working and then not, driving a half-hour or sometimes a day or two before things are fine, has been going on for years and has the Lincoln mechanics stumped. Have you had any problems like this with the Town Cars?

By the way, the car had

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"What causes engine 'tick'”

"What causes engine 'tick'”

Q. When I first start my car in the morning, I hear a ticking noise coming from the engine. It's a 2003 Ford Escape Limited with a V-6 engine and 70,000 miles. It goes away after 30 seconds or less and doesn't do it upon subsequent warm startups, like after a visit to the grocery store. I've changed oil on a routine basis, but just to be sure I didn't get inferior oil or the wrong weight put in on the last oil change, I had it changed again at the Ford dealer using their super blend oil. That didn't help -- it still does the "ticking" noise on cold starts.

Is this something serious to worry about? I've heard differing opinions. What could be the problem and how can I get it properly diagnosed?

A. Good question, John! It really depends on how severe the noise is and how long it lasts. It sounds, from your description, like you have a lifter or two that is bleeding down when the car sits overnight. When you start it cold it takes a few

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Categories:

Oil Changes
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