Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

Tag Archives: Safety

Off to College!

Off to College!

It’s back to school time. And some of us will be sending a child off to college with their car. Time to consider if the car can meet the travel challenges to college. Whether it's a new Chevy Blazer or the old, reliable family hand me down car, it's time to plan to make sure both student and car remain safe and avoid trouble. Will it be long distance drive? How many miles away is the school? What type of roads will it be driving on? Highway? Busy city streets? Will your student be using the car while on campus? Once there, will the car be kept in a garage, or be subject to the elements in a parking lot? It may have been reliable form of transportation during the summer, but a new environment and driving habits can create new challenges to consider.

Are all the vitals up to date? If the weather conditions at school require different equipment than that at home, you might have to upgrade the tires for example or replace the wiper blades in prepar

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Categories:

Maintenance

When to use your car's fog lights

When to use your car's fog lights

If you've ever driven in thick fog, you no doubt know not to use your car's high beam headlights. That's because regular headlights shine directly into the fog, bouncing the light right back at you, making it more difficult to see. 

That's where fog lights come in. As the name implies, your car's fog lights are intended to be used so that you can see better while driving in heavy fog, mist, snow and even sand and dust, according to Lifewire. Fog lights are different from regular headlights, which have high-beam and low-beam functions.

The difference lies in their shape. They are bar-shaped and aimed sharply toward the ground, providing short-range visibility only just in front of your vehicle, according to Lifewire. By contrast, regular high- and low-beam lights aim straight ahead, lighting up the road to a further distance. When it's foggy, that light reflects back into your eyes, making it difficult to see. By aiming downward, fog light

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Categories:

Headlights

Check out these winter safety driving tips

Check out these winter safety driving tips

It’s been a cold, snowy winter so far in the Midwest, and unfortunately, there’s plenty of time left for more. With that in mind, the following tips can help you stay safe when you have to venture out in your vehicle in not-so-friendly weather.

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Categories:

Winter

Don't Cut Corners on Brake Lines

Don't Cut Corners on Brake Lines

Q: I have a 2001 Ford Pickup Truck that I am getting ready to sell, and I noticed that the brake line going to the rear is wet with fluid. Is there a way to splice in a line or is there a cheaper way to repair than to replace the line?

A: Unfortunately, you will need to replace the line. Anytime you are dealing with the hydraulic side of the brake system, you don’t want to cut any corners. If you have a brake line blow out on braking, it could be catastrophic. The proper repair would be to replace all rusted brake lines as well as flushing out the system with new brake fluid. This type of repair can run between $500 - $1000 depending on how much of the systems will need to be replaced. On some vehicles, the brake lines and the fuel lines are bundled together; the minute you touch one of those lines, the others can be compromised and begin to leak, so be prepared. We have a big problem with this on older cars as they have been exposed to so many winter seasons with all

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Categories:

Brakes

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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Categories:

Headlights

Don't Forget: Inspecting Your Trailer is Important Too

Don't Forget: Inspecting Your Trailer is Important Too

As you start thinking about summertime, now that it’s finally arriving, you might want to get your trailer inspected before the summer trailering season begins.

Whether it be a boat, Jet Ski, camper or just a utility trailer, they can get neglected. It is easy to forget that the lights, tires, brakes and wheel bearings should be serviced at least once per year. Boat and Jet Ski trailers especially get abused because of being backed into the water to launch the watercraft. This can be very hard on the wheel bearings and the lighting. The wheel bearings should be cleaned thoroughly and inspected for pitting. If they are good, they should be repacked and reinstalled with new grease seals. If there is any pitting on the bearing, it should be replaced with a new bearing and race.

If the trailer has brakes, make sure they are cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. You will want to check all the lighting and wiring, and make any repairs that are needed; every light should

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Categories:

Trailer

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
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