Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

Tag Archives: Winter

Deep snow and bitter cold temperatures take a toll on your vehicle

Deep snow and bitter cold temperatures take a toll on your vehicle

If you've been thinking about getting your car checked over, this may be a perfect time for a thorough inspection of your vehicle. I say this because of the harsh weather we just came through here in Chicago.

The double whammy of the deep snow and bitterly cold temperatures tend to really take a toll on our automobiles. Here are some things we have noticed in the shop that relate to both of these severe weather conditions.

Snow-related issues

Transmission problems can result from being stuck and having to rock your car back and forth for long periods of time to get out. Sometimes it's as simple as changing out the burned transmission fluid, but it can be more serious to the point of having to replace the transmission assembly.

Sliding around a corner and into a curb not only can blow out a tire and bend a wheel, but it can also bend some of the steering linkage or suspension, causing your car to be out of alignment.

We

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Categories:

Maintenance

Your battery needs a jump start on winter

Your battery needs a jump start on winter

The two coldest months of winter - January and February - are closing in on us.

Is your car’s battery ready?

Even a new battery loses a third of its power when it’s below freezing outside, and half its power when the temperature drops below zero.

That’s why it’s important to make sure your battery - the most important part of your vehicle’s electrical system - has all the power it needs to get your car started.

If it’s more than 2 or 3 years old, you should have your battery, cables, connectors and fasteners checked by a trusted mechanic to determine if it needs to be replaced. The cables could be corroded, which isn’t always visible, or they could be loose. If you check them yourself, always do this with the engine off.

Your cables should have a tight fit. If they slide off the battery posts when slightly pulled, they’re not properly attached, and your car could end up inconveniently dying on yo

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Categories:

Battery

Ice buildup can cause blockage from A/C

Ice buildup can cause blockage from A/C

Q. I own a 2009 Mazda 3 with a 2.0 liter engine and mileage of 26,000. The air conditioning works fine under normal driving conditions. I recently took two long 600-mile trips in 90-degree weather. After about four hours of driving at highway speeds the cabin of the car started to get warm. The temperature gauge read in the usual range but I noticed the air was not blowing at full force from the vents.

The air was cold and the fan sounded as if it were at full speed but only a minimal amount of cold air was coming through. I tried adjusting the fan speed and I could hear the fan motor change speed but not the air flow. After stopping for lunch the A/C worked fine for another hour before the same thing happened. I repeatedly needed to turn off the air for a period of time to get the full fan speed blowing.

After the first trip all fluids checked out fine. I let the car run for extended periods of time and the A/C operated normally until the same thing happened on the

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Categories:

Winter

Performance cars often times need winter tires

Performance cars often times need winter tires

Q. My granddaughter's 2011 Ford Focus SES has traction control and good tire tread. When trying to get out of her driveway, the car's tires just spin on the ice we have had lately.

Her only option is to push the car free of the ice. She has turned the traction control on and off and still has the result. Two other family cars have no traction problems at all under the same conditions.

Any ideas as to what she can do to overcome the problem?

A. When you say the tires have good tread, what does that mean? They should have at least 4/32nds of an inch tread and even at that they might not be the best for traction in the snow.

Typically we recommend replacing the tires at 4/32nds to get the best snow and wet traction. If the tread is low, replace the tires with a good quality all-season tire.

The other thought I have is what type of a tire is it? If it is more of a performance tire you will not get adequate traction in the snow.

Man

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Categories:

Tires

Tags:

Tires , Winter
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