Monthly Archives: April 2017

Road trip? Check your tires first

Road trip? Check your tires first

Good tires are important all the time, but if you’re planning a summer road trip, they become even more essential. How do you know if yours need to be replaced? The rules have changed, said McAllister. “We used to say a tire down to 2/32 of tread was considered bald, and wouldn’t pass a safety test,” McAllister said. An old rule of thumb was if you placed a penny upside down into the tread and saw the top of Lincoln’s head, it was time for new. “Now, If you use a quarter and see the top of Washington's head you’re at 4/32nds of tread,” McAllister said. “That’s kind of the new standard.” Road tests have proven that even that small difference can lead your car to need 180 feet more to stop. Worn tires also are more prone to injuries. “And who wants to be bothered on vacation getting a tire repaired or replaced?” McAllister said. McAllister recommends a good all-season tire for wet weather traction, but ... read more

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Tires

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Tires

Diagnosis code often only a starting point

Diagnosis code often only a starting point

Q. I have a 2007 Camry that has a "check engine" warning light on. I took it to one of the parts stores and they told me the code was for an oxygen sensor, which I bought. I installed the sensor and cleared the codes but the light came back on. I'm a little frustrated because now I have spent money and time and still have the problem. Any ideas?   A. First off, you have learned a valuable lesson with a fairly inexpensive part. You cannot make a diagnostic decision based on a code alone. This is why the so-called "free diagnostics" that some of the parts stores offer is a bit misleading. I like to make the analogy that a code will generally tell you what aisle of the supermarket where you can find an item, but it does not tell you what shelf it is on. It takes a skilled diagnostic technician armed with the code, the right tools and the proper information to get to the bottom of most DTC's (diagnostic trouble codes) With theses codes, there is researc ... read more

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Dashboard Lights

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. If you put a little money ... read more

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 safety re ... read more

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: 84

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 oil is being used and that all the comp ... read more

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fuel
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