Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

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Power Stroke diesel engines have specific maintenance needs

Power Stroke diesel engines have specific maintenance needs

Q. I recently purchased a 2010 Ford F250 with a diesel engine in it. Having never owned a diesel before, what am I looking at for maintenance and how often should it be performed?

A. Congrats on your new truck, I hope it serves you well for a long time and with the proper maintenance it will. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you do these basic things it will go a long way to maintain your diesel engine.

• Change the oil every 3,500 to 5,000 miles depending on your driving habits. There are a lot of components in a diesel engine that the oil controls, so you definitely don't want the oil thinned out by fuel from the regeneration system present in your truck.

• Check the coolant every 15,000 miles for acid content and general quality. You can do this with a dip-strip.

• Change the coolant every 30,000 miles. This is very important on a diesel engine because the coolant tends to get acidic and will damage internal engine c

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Categories:

Engine

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Engine

Your fuel tank should not rust prematurely

Your fuel tank should not rust prematurely

Q. I have a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe with 78,000 miles on it. I just had to replace the fuel tank on it, due to it rusting out! I was quite surprised considering it is garage kept. I didn't have an extended warranty.

I contacted Hyundai directly to see if they would at least pay for the parts, to no avail. Is this a common occurrence and do I have any ground to stand on with Hyundai. Thanks for your help.

A. I have not seen a rusted fuel tank issue on the Santa Fe in either of our shops, but I did see two complaints online about it for two different 2003 models. Are there lots more of these issues where people are not complaining? I don't know.

Fuel tanks will rust out from time to time but I agree, it should not happen with a garage kept car that is less than 10 years old. Did you contact a dealer or did you contact the zone office? If there is a common problem and enough owners inform them of this problem, eventually they will have to address it

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Douglas Q&A

Make sure to do the online research

Make sure to do the online research

We had a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt towed in the other day because it would not start and, in fact, had to be jump started several times leading up to that point. We charged the battery but quickly determined the battery was bad and needed to be replaced.

After replacing the battery the car started and ran fine but on a test drive we noted the check engine light was on and the car was stuck in second gear, basically a "limp in mode." A conversation with the customer indicated no previous problems like this had occurred.

A computer diagnostic pointed to a communication problem with the transmission control module, and possibly a bad module. Since there had been no previous problems with this car, it seemed something just wasn't adding up. We started an online investigation into possible known problems with this system and discovered a fair amount of hits where the transmission control module needed to be replaced after charging the battery or multiple jump st

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Uncategorized

Proper technique is key to change transmission fluid

Proper technique is key to change transmission fluid

Q. I have a question regarding transmission fluid changes. I own two Honda Civics and do not know whether to follow the dash reminder notices or do more regular maintenance. So, for this example, would it be advisable to change the transmission fluid every 45,000 miles or wait for the auto to give me the reminder message, which might pop up at perhaps 60,000 miles?

My second question is more direct. Is there a specific test to determine to what degree one's transmission fluid is fouled?

I ask this because although I had my transmission changed on Oct. 12, 2012, with 40,000 miles on the car, I was recommended to change it now with 60,000 miles on it -- only 19 months later.

The fluid no doubt looks discolored, but without knowing my prior history, maybe that makes it a guessing game for a new mechanic. This has me leaning toward relying on the car's sensor system as to when to make the change. I sure do not think 20,000 miles driven would be enough to

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Categories:

Transmission

Did you know most vehicles have two air filters?

Did you know most vehicles have two air filters?

Q. The dealer I always take my car to send me an email saying On Star had emailed them about a problem I'm having with my car. The problem is with the engine air filter. The check engine light never came on. What is the engine air filter? Is that the regular air filter that you change every six months?

A. On Star monitors will vary a little from vehicle to vehicle. It can alert you to what system failed when a SES (service engine soon) light goes on. However, since your light did not go on, I am not sure what the onboard computer is seeing. If an air filter is bad enough to impede the air flow, you might have some drivability issues and perhaps a SES light on.

The engine air filter keeps dust and debris from being ingested into the engine, keeping wear to a minimum. There is also a very sensitive sensor known as the Mass Air Flow Sensor that is protected by the air filter. Regardless, it would be a great idea to have the air filter physically inspected. A dirty a

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Categories:

Maintenance

Don’t Fall Short Preparing For the Cold

Don’t Fall Short Preparing For the Cold

Is your vehicle ready for fall?

“Every season warrants its own vehicle checkup to make sure your vehicle is ready for the season ahead,” said Doug McAllister, owner of Douglas Automotive, in Barrington, Fox River Grove, and Crystal Lake.

Fall runs from September through December, so getting an early start on your vehicle’s routine maintenance before a hard winter sets in will keep you in the driver’s seat, rather than trudging away from your broken-down car through a foot of snow.

Don’t forget to change your windshield wiper blades, since you’ll likely be using them more as winter approaches. You should also replace regular windshield washer fluid with one that contains antifreeze.

Replace your engine’s air filter with a new one to keep your engine running smoothly. Another good reason to change it:  A dirty air filter will cost you more in gas. 

Make sure all lights - headlights, taillights

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Categories:

Maintenance

Squealing noises- What could they mean

Squealing noises- What could they mean

Of all the components that make up your car, brakes should be one of those at the top of your list for maintenance.

You certainly don’t want to be on a busy expressway, in rush-hour traffic or anywhere else for that matter, and not be able to stop your vehicle.

Ideally you should have your brakes checked on a periodic basis to make sure your brake pads (and possibly the rotors) aren’t worn.

Brake pads should last tens of thousands of miles, but our busy lives don’t always let us pay attention to things like mileage, so one way to tell you might need new pads is if you start hearing a squeal whenever you lightly touch the brake pedal.

“Most brake pads have a thin metal tab (called a wear indicator) that starts to touch the brake rotor when the pads wear down,” said Doug McAllister, owner of Douglas Automotive in Barrington and Crystal Lake. “When brake pads near the end of their life, it creates a high-pitched squeal

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Categories:

Brakes

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Brakes

Back-to-school checklist for your car with Douglas Automotive

Back-to-school checklist for your car with Douglas Automotive

You’re sending your kids back to school or off to college soon.

You’ve shopped for all their essentials, but have you checked out the one thing that’s more important than all those clothes and books? The car they’ll be driving. Or for that matter, the car you’ll be driving to take the younger ones to soccer practice and ballet lessons.

To keep Susie safe on the road, check off the following (Better yet, take Susie with you to check the following):

●       Battery. Check for corrosion on the terminals. Also, if it’s more than four years old, consider buying a new one. Have your mechanic check to see how much life it has left.

●       Fluid levels. Check oil, transmission, brake fluid and coolant, and make sure they’re topped off.

●       Warning li

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Check-engine light on? Check with a professional.

Check-engine light on? Check with a professional.

If your vehicle’s check-engine light goes on, don’t ignore it.

Having it checked by a professional can make a big difference in long-term cost savings because it can signal anything from an expensive engine repair to something as simple as a loose gas cap.

The check engine light is part of your car’s onboard diagnostics OBD system and an indicator of the condition of your car’s emissions system. If it does go on, the light will do one of two things: blink, or remain constant.

In either case, you’ll need the problem fixed and the light turned off in order for your vehicle to pass state inspection. According to CarMD.com ten percent of all cars on the road have a check engine light on, and more than half of them have been on for more than three months.

If it’s blinking, get to a mechanic immediately, if not sooner. That blinking usually means a severe engine misfire, which lets unburned fuel into the exhaust system, o

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Don’t Start with an Old Battery

Don’t Start with an Old Battery

Your car’s battery provides the power that starts your car, so it’s important to make sure it’s in top condition.

If you ever accidentally leave your lights on after you shut off the engine, you know firsthand how you can inadvertently drain the battery.

You can tell your battery is getting old when it takes longer for your car to “turn over”. Prevention is in order to avoid being stranded with a dead battery. It is not uncommon for a battery to seem to work fine one day and not the next. They don’t always give warning. A battery can also fail just as easily on a hot summer day as on a cold winter one.

Not all batteries are created equal. Different vehicles require different types of batteries. You will want to purchase the correct battery for your car, stay away from the lowest price because in the long run that may end up costing you the most.

Do you live in extreme weather conditions, hot or cold, drive long haul

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Categories:

Battery
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