Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

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Detailing your car

If your car is looking a little "tired" lately, maybe it could use some TLC. Detailing is one way to make it shine again.

As the name implies, detailing takes care of the details, cleaning the small things that ll add up to a great looking ride. If you do the job yourself, automotive experts advise allocating from four to eight hours to properly detail your car inside and out, advises DMV.org.

Inside clean everything from dash to dirty cupholders, corners and crevices, clutter and debris. Get into vents, switches, and seat seams where crumbs and dirt gather, using a toothbrush, small paintbrush or cotton swab. Canned air works well in areas too small to reach with these. Then wash using soapy water and a cotton cloth. Dry with a clean cloth.

Clean interior windows with glass cleaner. Vacuum tight spaces and carpeting using a crevice tool. Remove pet hair from seats and carpeting with duct tape. Clean seats and carpets with spray foam cleaner, adds D

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Protecting your car's interior from the sun

Warm weather is finally here, with longer days full of sunshine. 

While most all of us are happy about that, the sun can turn our car into an oven, wreaking havoc on the interior, making it unbearable hot, smelly, faded and even causing damage.

How to protect your car from those rays?

The easiest and most affordable way is to park in the shade. A closed car in the sun can reach 130 degrees inside. Shade keeps the temperature much lower. While it's now always possible to park, there are other ways to protect your ride.

Many people keep their windows cracked, just a little, which can keep the temperature down somewhat, but it also carries the risk of break-ins or rain.

Your dash bears the brunt of the sun's rays, which can cause it to fade and crack, especially if it's a dark color hat absorbs more light. Foldable and pop-up windshield sunscreens hide it from damaging UV rays. They're relatively inexpensive and come in every

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What makes the most sense: Buying new, used or just make the repair?

What makes the most sense: Buying new, used or just make the repair?

When considering the age-old dilemma of whether to buy—new or used—or simply repair your vehicle, the first question you should ask is if your current vehicle meets your needs and isn’t a junker? If it meets your needs and isn’t trash, it may be worth making some repairs. But the bigger questions is, does making a repair make more sense than buying new or used?

Let's say $5,000 takes care of everything wrong with your car and puts it in perfect running condition. Let's also assume the car is worth about $5,000. Most people might be willing to pay $5,000 for a perfect $5,000 car. It wouldn’t make sense, however, to buy another used car for two reasons: You already have one and you can’t be certain how well a previous owner took care of any vehicle you might consider purchasing. Rather, if you spend your available money on repairs, you know exactly what you are getting.

The other option is to buy new. According to st

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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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Excited about the car show? Think again.

Excited about the car show? Think again.

My guess is, if you're like me, you will be looking for areas to keep costs down. One place you can do this is by taking good care of the car you own.

It used to be when our clients had a major repair come up, the quick response was, "I will just go get a new car." Now the more common response is "Make the repair" and keep the current car going.

There are many reasons for this. The most common is the client does not want to go further into debt for a new car and good used cars have gotten very expensive. If you don't have cash the interest on a used car loan cranks the payments up.

Unlike the government, most Americans have worked very hard over the last few years to get debt cleaned up and get some savings going. One way to reverse that very quickly is to buy a $30,000 vehicle.

As I have said before, buying a new car is very emotional. It really touches that "feel-good button" we all have, while spending money to

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New parts can cause unforeseen headaches

New parts can cause unforeseen headaches

Q. My 1996 Sonoma four-cylinder does not start sometimes. It can start flawlessly for weeks, then not start. It can happen when the truck has been sitting, or if it was just running. There's no rhyme or reason for the pattern. When it doesn't start it may take only one more turn of the key, or five minutes’ worth of attempts.

I replaced the starter, since it had a few years on it. The battery is relatively new. The connections are all good and clean. One quirk I discovered was, when I tried starting it without engaging the clutch, it should not have turned over, but it did. So I replaced the neutral safety switch. No luck. My next move may be the ignition switch. Is there anything else to consider here?

A. This is a little tough to answer without doing some of my own testing but it seems as though you are on the right track. If there is any adjustment on the clutch lockout switch make sure it is correct. There should be a starter relay in or near the po

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