Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

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Rear brakes and emergency brake are not always one in the same

Rear brakes and emergency brake are not always one in the same

Q. I have an S-10 Blazer that I took in for brakes the other day. When I got the call to tell me what was wrong I was shocked by how much it was going to cost. Not only did I need rear brake pads and rotors, which I expected, I needed some kind of a dust shield on both sides and rear emergency brake shoes, too. Does that sound right; I always thought the rear brakes and emergency brake were one in the same?

A. Yes, it does sound correct. Most of the GM trucks and sport utility vehicles have this type of rear brake design. Your vehicle has rear disc brakes and then a separate set of emergency brake shoes that contact a surface on the inside of the brake rotor.

The dust shield you referred to is designed to keep all the road gunk and debris out of the emergency brake mechanism. This dust shield is also the backing plate for the e-brake shoes. The shoes are mounted to the plate and they need t

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Brakes

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Brakes

Throttle body can causes vehicle to lose power

Throttle body can causes vehicle to lose power

Q. Last winter and the winter before when it was below freezing, my 2006 Chevrolet HHR displayed a "reduced engine power" message, and I couldn't go over about 5 miles per hour. This past winter when I was driving my Bichon to the vet, I had to pull over and stop the car. After a short time, I restarted the engine and had power back. Thank heavens. I didn't want my little dog and me to freeze to death.

I took the car to the Chevy dealer with the Check Engine light on. They said I needed a throttle body assembly. Condensation was found in throttle body assembly and PCV system, with a need to remove and clean the intake ports and valve cover. Estimate cost, $1,154.36.

They must have done something because the Check Engine warning light went out. I'm a senior woman with a really tight budget and no room for this expen

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Brake repairs should be done before winter

Brake repairs should be done before winter

Almost all of the leaves are gone and that means winter, unfortunately, is just around the corner.

We still have some time before we need to get serious about prepping the car for winter. So today I want to talk about brakes.

Several people have asked me lately about brake concerns. Several folks have asked what could be the reason for a squeal sound when they put a light touch on their brake pedal.

The other complaint was a pulsation in the pedal when stopping.

The brake squeal could mean they are getting close to the end of the life of their brake pads. Most brake pads have a thin metal tab that starts to touch the brake rotor when the pads wear down. When brake pads near the end of their life, the tab touches the rotor and it creates a high-pitched squeal when rolling at slow speeds or upon light pedal pressure.

This noise usually goes away when heavily braking. If you are experiencing this, it would be a good idea to have the brakes checke

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Brakes

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Brakes

Dual-clutch automatic transmission causes 4 to 5 second hesitation

Dual-clutch automatic transmission causes 4 to 5 second hesitation

Q. We have an ongoing problem with our 2015 VW Passat with a 1.8-liter, turbocharged TSI four-cylinder engine and 6,400 miles. The problem is a 4- to 5-second hesitation with the engine in drive after a stop light while making a left turn.

This hesitation is also encountered after we back out of the garage in the morning. After shifting into drive to move forward, the hesitation is more pronounced. After driving forward about one block, while making a left turn onto another street, this hesitation is no longer as predominant. However, it can happen even after the engine is warmed up or while moving forward after a stop light. It seems like the engine loses power for the few seconds, but if you press down further on the gas pedal, the car will lurch forward.

We have been to the dealer and they said this is normal. My wife feels very unsafe driving this car and has become very careful not to enter into traffic because of this problem.

The dealer suggested using

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Transmission

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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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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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
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