Category Archives: Maintenance

How to get bugs, tar and tree sap off your car

How to get bugs, tar and tree sap off your car

Summer is winding down, and you may have noticed those months of warm weather have resulted in an accumulation of bugs, tar and/or tree sap on your favorite vehicle that just won't budge in your run-of-the-mill car wash. You can remove the disgusting gunk - with all due respect to the unwilling bugs. Keep in mind, that bug stains are acidic and you can eat into your car's paint job., so it's important to do this as soon as possible. The National Auto Parts Association (NAPA) suggests using a spray bottle full of water (tap water is okay, unless you have well water, then use spring water.) Spray a fresh dryer sheet to wipe off the bugs mess. That also works for tar and tree sap. NAPA cautions that it's also important to follow-up with a car wash cleaner to remove the chemicals from the dryer sheet. Then wax your car. There's another way to remove tar, sap and bugs, and that's using a product made for the job. Road tar is petroleum-based, soap-and-water are ine ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Three tips for cleaning your car's interior

Three tips for cleaning your car's interior

If your car is smelling a little on the funky side and looks like you've set up your own food truck inside, it's probably time for a little interior cleaning job. Here are three tips to get it spotless and smelling new-car fresh again, or almost. 1. First and foremost: Declutter, removing everything that isn't tied down so that you actually can clean - sports gear, school gear, mail, fast-food cups and wrappers, as well as floor mats. Then start by cleaning you vehicle's carpet and upholstery, vacuuming first. Then use a carpet and upholstery cleaner made just for cars. Most come with their own plastic brush to massage the foam cleaner into grungy carpet and fabric. Then vacuum again when dry to lift nap, if necessary. If you have leather seats, use a leather cleaner, following directions. 2. Clean your central console. Using household or glass cleaner, clean the dashboard and center console, cup holder, inside door pockets and gear shifter, making sure to clean the ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Should you change your car's power steering fluid?

Should you change your car's power steering fluid?

Your vehicle runs on fluids - oil, transmission, brake, antifreeze. But what about the vastly overlooked power steering fluid? Is it necessary to change it like the others? Simply put, power steering fluid makes it easier to steer your car. Those who ever drove a car with manual steering back in the day can attest to how difficult it was to turn the steering wheel as opposed to today's power steering. But there's more to power steering than ease of turning the wheel. Auto experts say a periodic change of steering fluid can prevent sludge and grit from accumulating, getting into your car's rack and pinion seals and destroying them, according to Angie's List. How do you know when to replace your power steering fluid? Dirty fluid or a moaning sound during steering which signals low fluid level. Both indicate a fluid change is needed. If the fluid level is low, it means there's a leak, which needs to be fixed, since power steering systems are sealed, adds Angie's ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

About car warranties

About car warranties

So you're looking to buy a new car and wondering if the warranty covers any problems you may encounter down the road. Even though the warranty may say "bumper to bumper" your coverage isn't necessarily. A new car warranty typically covers mechanical defects, says Autotrader. What it usually doesn't include are what's known as wear items; things that fall under maintenance because they wear out periodically. These include tires, brakes, engine belts and hoses, headlight bulbs, rust and a clutch, if you have a manual transmission. What it does cover are issues like a blown engine, a failed transmission or windows that won't open. Warranties won't cover your car's body panels, either, so an accident, crunch or a scrape is on your, and your insurance company. Likewise, if you damage a part of the interior, you also foot the bill, unless it's a manufacturer defect. Certain new car warranties are voided if you use your car in a way it wasn't ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

What to expect when your car hits 100,000 miles

What to expect when your car hits 100,000 miles

So your car has made it to 100,000 miles. Congratulations are in order. And in order to keep it going for another 100,000, there are a number of maintenance procedures you need to follow. Today's cars are built to last way past that milestone, and proper maintenance is like money in the bank compared to buying a new vehicle. It's important to read your owner's manual to review the maintenance for your specific vehicle, and it's a good idea to visit a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection. So here's what we're looking at at the 100,000 mile mark: Your vehicle's fluids break down the age, so change your oil, coolant, and transmission, brake and power steering fluid. Check your timing belt. At some point in its long life it will begin to wear and crack will eventually break, which can ruin your engine. Replace it before it happens. Likewise, replace your water pump before it fails because if it does, you're looking at a warped cylinder head and an ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Check your car before a road trip

Check your car before a road trip

Summer is not far away, and if you're planning on taking a road trip, don't wait to get your car in rop running condition to avoid any breakdowns that could ruin your fun. Check your battery to make sure it's connection is not only tight but clean. Does it have a good charge? If it's nearing its life expectancy, buy a new one. Check all your car's fluid levels and top off, if necessary. Do your tires have adequate tread? Check tread by inserting a quarter into the tread with George Washington's head upside down. If you can see the top of Washington's head, it's time to replace your tire. Check tire pressure. The correct pressure is listed on your car's door jam and your owner's manual. Do your brakes squeak? Sounds like it's time for new brake pads. Bring along emergency supplies, adds Consumer Reports. Include a flashlight, jumper cables, extra windshield washer fluid, first-aid kit, a small tool kit, a gallon of water and non-peris ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

My Window Won't Roll Down

My Window Won't Roll Down

Ever pulled up to a drive-through only to find that your car window won't go down when you push the button to order. It's frustrating. If you have electric (power) windows in your car - and most people do these days - the causes range from simple to complex. If the window won't budge if could be one of the simple causes, such as a loose connection or a blown fuse, which are easy fixes. The reason could also be a faulty switch. If the window has been acting up, sometimes working and sometimes not, but seems to be getting worse over time, the switch is often the culprit. If, when you play with the switch, it works intermittently, that's also a clue that the contacts might be coming apart. You can try pushing if several times to get it to open temporarily. Obviously, however, you'll have to have the switch replaced. Another reason your window may not be moving is the gaskets. Those are the rubber strips around the inside of your car's window opening that hold th ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

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 air filter could a ... read more

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, and turn signals - work. Also, check ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Polish up on windshield fine scratches

Polish up on windshield fine scratches

Q. I have a lot of little scratches on my windshield. When The sun shines on it, I can see the scratches, but when the sun is not shining, I don't see them. Is there anything that I can put on the windshield to make the scratches go away so I don't notice them when the sun shines on it? A. The rule of thumb is, if you can feel the scratch with your fingernail, it is too deep and the windshield will have to be replaced. A scratch like that is typically caused by a worn out or broken wiper blade. If the windshield has real fine scratches like you are describing, you may be able to polish the glass. If you Google "windshield polishing kits," several will pop up. It certainly wouldn't hurt to give this a try before replacing the windshield.   Good luck!  

Categories:

Maintenance
12
If You Are Using A Screen Reader And Are Having Problems Using This Website, please call Crystal Lake Auto Repair & Tire (815) 356-0440, Barrington Auto Repair & Tire (847) 381-0454, Fox River Grove Auto Repair & Tire (847) 639-4552 For Assistance.