Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

Tag Archives: Douglas Q&A

Keep that Light Shining Bright - Headlight Restoration

Keep that Light Shining Bright - Headlight Restoration

The headlight lenses on my 2001 Honda Odyssey have clouded over the years, and I have had them professionally restored/polished to make them clear. I have also done the restoration polishing twice myself. While I have been successful in restoring the lenses to almost new condition each time, my questions are: 1) What causes the lenses to cloud over time—is it UV exposure, chemical exposure or something else? 2) Is there something I can do to prevent, reduce or mitigate the cause of the plastic getting cloudy? 3) Since the headlight restoration product I use (Rain-X Headlight Restorer) acts like a mild abrasive, is there a limit to how many times I can use this product until I wear out or damage the headlight lens to the point where polishing will not work anymore? I have two newer cars in the family that have not shown any headlight lens clouding yet, and I would like to do what I can to avoid having to keep on polishing the lenses. What do you suggest?

Doug:  Gr

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Headlights

Car Owner Frustrated with String of Alternators

Car Owner Frustrated with String of Alternators

Q. I have a 1992 Toyota Corolla with 105,000 miles on it. I am the second owner. I bought it used at around 40,000 miles. The concern I have is that I have replaced the alternator three times with an aftermarket alternator in the last five years, and when I looked at the history of the vehicle, I noticed the alternator was also replaced twice while the vehicle was under warranty with the original alternator.

Any idea if there is something that could cause the alternators to go bad? Or was there a problem with the alternators on these vehicles?

The only thing that seems odd to me on the vehicle is that when the turn signal is blinking (when other accessories are turned on -- headlights, wipers, etc.), the vehicle's RPMs seems to surge.

A. I could not find any pattern failures for your car on the charging system. The only thing I can suggest is to make sure you are getting a good quality alternator and that you have the shop check that every positive co

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Alternator

Worry-free Road Trips - Be Prepared for the Unexpected!

Worry-free Road Trips - Be Prepared for the Unexpected!

I love this time of the year! I love boating and sitting on the back porch enjoying the outdoors, and I love going on a road-trip vacation.

I also love to help my clients get ready for their road trip, unless of course it goes something like this …

Client: "Hi Doug, I would like to get my car checked over for a trip we are going to take."

Doug: "That's great. We would be happy to check it out. Where are you going?"

Client: "We're towing our camper out to Yellowstone and to see the sights out West. I thought it would be a good idea to have the Tahoe checked before we leave."

Doug: "Sounds like a lot of fun, and I definitely think it's a great idea to get your vehicle checked out before you go. When are you leaving?"

Long pause …

Client: "Tomorrow. Do you have time?"

Doug: (Gulp) "Yea, we can fit it in." (In my mind I am trying to figure

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Douglas Q&A

Rust usually excluded from warranties

Rust usually excluded from warranties

Q. I read with interest your recent column regarding the Santa Fe and rust, which is a related issue with my 2003 Santa Fe. In December I spent almost $2,300 at the Hyundai dealership replacing the front exhaust pipe assembly, which had rusted out and fallen off the car.

When I took it to my regular mechanic in January for an oil change and checkup, he told me the rust on the bottom of the car -- brake backing plates, gas tank shield, etc. -- was so bad it looked like the car had 300,000 miles on it instead of the 90,000+ miles it does have.

I still have a few thousand miles left and about six months on my 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty. Do I have any recourse to get the car repaired or the rust problem addressed before the whole car falls apart? I believe there have been multiple lawsuits against Hyundai on the rust issue in "Salt Belt" states but not much came of it. Your recommendation?

A. Thanks for reading the column and sorry you are having all

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Douglas Q&A

Your A/C system doesn't take the winter off

Your A/C system doesn't take the winter off

Q. Why would I want to get my A/C repaired before heading into winter?

A. This question comes up quite often as we get toward the end of the summer cooling season and it came up again last week when we had a couple of those warm days. The client realized they were no longer getting cool air out of the vents so they brought the car in to see why.

After finding the vehicle was low on refrigerant, we isolated the leak at one of the hoses going to the A/C compressor. The client was of the mind to put the repair off till next year so as to not have to part with the money right now. We explained to them why that might not be such a good idea.

Anytime you have a leak in an A/C system, refrigerant is replaced by air, and air contains moisture. One of the biggest threats to an A/C system is moisture. By not repairing the hose you will expose the system to moisture for several months, rendering the Drier that is in the system fouled and in need of replacement at a mini

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Douglas Q&A
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