Teson Automotive

1200 Armstrong Street

Algonquin, Illinois 60102

Mon -Fri  7:30am to 5:30pm

Phone: (847) 658-7700

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Cooling System Flush – is it really necessary?



Overheating is the most common cause of vehicle breakdowns and internal engine damage. As the heat rises in the summer, our shop sees more and more people coming in after breakdowns due to cooling system failure. But there is an easy answer!

A cooling system flush can keep your engine running smooth and cool even on the hottest days. Regularly changing your coolant, aka antifreeze, can prevent larger problems for your cooling system and engine and keep your family safe on the road!

What is the Cooling System?

Cooling-System

The cooling system is responsible for keeping your vehicle’s engine from overheating. The engine runs best at a high temperature, so the cooling system helps it to heat up quickly then keep the engine at a regular, constant temperature without overheating as it runs. It accomplishes this by transferring heat into the air with the help of coolant, or antifreeze, and the other components of the cooling system.

In most cars, the cooling system works by circulating radiator fluid (the mixture of coolant and water) through parts and pipes in the engine to absorb the heat and cool the engine. A radiator at the end of the system captures and transfers the heat from the fluid into the air.

But my coolant still looks clear, why should I change it?

New coolant usually appears a bright green or a bright red color, as in the picture below.

coolant-fluid-green

As the coolant runs through the engine, rust and contaminants caused by oxidation and corrosion mix in with the fluid. Unfortunately, when you look under the hood to check your fluid, it may still appear clean and clear even though these contaminants rest under the surface, unseen and threatening the life of your engine.

This video from Monday Morning Mechanic shows the striking visual of these hidden contaminants, and the threats they pose: http://mondaymorningmechanic.com/helpful-money-saving-videos/?mmmvideo=38#video

How often should I flush my coolant?

Most manufacturers recommend that you change the radiator fluid (the mixture of antifreeze coolant and water) every 24,000 to 36,000 miles or 24 to 36 months. Depending on your driving habits, you may need to flush your coolant more often – we recommend every 1-2 years.

Be leery of “extended life” coolants that tout 100,000 mile lifespans – even these can accumulate rust and contaminants that threaten your engine life. These impurities could add up and cause bigger problems before you reach the 100,000 mile check.  Even with “extended life” fluids, you should have these coolants checked frequently.

What happens if I don’t?

Failing to change your coolant can take as much as 100,000 miles off the life of your engine, in addition to big problems and expensive repairs.

Coolant flows through your entire engine, leaving behind contaminants. They can collect on the radiator, inside the water pump or thermostat, getting stuck and preventing the components from working appropriately. Plastic components, like the water pump, can wear and break apart. If the water pump breaks, the system won’t be able to move the water and coolant through the engine. Hoses can also react to contaminants, becoming swollen and rusty on the inside even as they appear normal on the outside. With excess heat, belts that control the cooling system and steering will start cracking, eventually breaking and disabling the systems (imagine a steering belt break, not being able to control your vehicle!).

Bottom line – contaminated coolant can lead to cooling system failure, causing your engine to overheat and break down, leaving you stranded on the road!

We assume your family’s safety is at the top of your priority list, so having your coolant flushed or even just checked while it’s still scorching outside, and before it gets cold, should be as well. Avoid expensive engine breakdowns by having your coolant flushed before problems arise. Call us at 847-658-7700 or stop by our shop.

The Dangers of DIY Manual A/C Recharge Kits

Summer is here, and it brought the heat to Algonquin, Il! If your car’s air conditioning isn’t holding up to the temperatures, you may need to have your a/c inspected.

We’ve heard several people talking about DIY manual recharge kits that let you add refrigerant into your system. Many of these kits seem like an easy, “too good to be true” alternative to a full A/C service – that’s because it is too good to be true!


AC DIY rechargeManual Recharge Basics

Manual recharge systems do not evacuate the fluid in your system – instead they add refrigerant on top of your current levels. It’s like adding new oil on top of old oil – topping off fluids does not solve any problems, only temporarily covers up the symptoms. In fact, topping off can even lead to bigger problems and costly repairs!

Leaking refrigerant

Refrigerant does not evaporate, it leaks. If your air conditioning is low on refrigerant, it is leaking refrigerant into the atmosphere. The refrigerant in older vehicles is CFC-12 (also known as Freon), which depletes the ozone layer. This type of refrigerant is no longer manufactured in the United States due to its negative environmental effects. While the environmental impacts of leaking refrigerant are significant, DIY kits pose many more risks to your vehicle.

Contaminants in your system

Not only can refrigerant continue to leak into the atmosphere, but contaminants can leak into your system. Dirt, dust, and grime can build up inside your A/C, plugging up the hoses and pumps necessary to keep your car cool. Even water can wreak havoc in your system!

Manual recharge kits often leave water behind in the lines. When water and refrigerant mix, they will hydrolyze – forming hydrochloric or hydroflouric acids that can deteriorate parts, corrode metal, and fill the system with sludge. This can cause problems much more costly than the few dollars you save purchasing the DIY recharge kit.

Mixing Refrigerantsauto air conditioning

Because there are many types of refrigerant, you may not know if the refrigerant you are adding is the same as the refrigerant currently in your system. Mixing refrigerants can cause dangerous chemical interactions. In addition, mixing refrigerants can cause damage to the compressor or other parts of the air conditioner. If you cannot identify the type of refrigerant in your system, you should evacuate the system and replace with new refrigerant rather than risking “topping off” with the wrong type.

Bigger Problems

Many recharge kits also feature a stop-leak sealer, claiming to fix and prevent leaks. One of two things typically happen with these sealers – either it won’t work at all and you will continue to leak Refrigerant into the atmosphere, or it will stop the leak, as well as the hoses, the compressor, and the pumps in your A/C!  Kits that offer a “stop-leak sealer” may temporarily plug leaks, but can interfere with system components and lead to larger, costly repairs.

If there is a problem in the A/C system, DIY kits will only cover up the symptoms temporarily. Water and contaminants can get into the system, refrigerant can leak out into the environment, and leaks are not repaired. All of these factors can lead to even more problems, and more expensive repairs, for your vehicle.

Leave it to the experts

A/C systems in vehicles require precision – manufacturers determine a specific amount of refrigerant that is correct for your car. When you bring your car into our shop for a recharge, you can trust that your air conditioning will be working properly without the harmful risks associated with the manual DIY kits. To schedule an A/C inspection, recharge, or repair, call us at (847) 658-7700 and keep cool this summer!

Oil Change Basics – Different types of Motor Oil

Changing your vehicle’s oil is one of the most basic aspects of maintenance – every vehicle needs it regularly to continue to function properly. If you are setting up an appointment with your mechanic, chances are it’s to have your oil changed. But how much thought do you usually put into this process? Or, like many of our customers, do you simply follow the 3 months/3,000  mile rule and let our techs handle the rest?

Our technicians are here for just that – we keep track of the details, know the manufacturer recommendations, and identify the right type of motor oil for your vehicle so you don’t have to. But if you have ever wondered what makes different types of oil unique, or why you should use one type over another in your vehicle, read on!

This guide from How Stuff Works discusses 5 types of oils and how manufacturers specify oil type for your vehicle:

“Often times a manufacturer will suggest two or more motor oil viscosities for an engine, such as a 5W-20 or 5W-30, based on several different factors — including temperature. The reason for this is that engines often need a different viscosity based on operating conditions. Knowing how scientists see viscosity will help an owner determine the best oil for the engine.

Viscosity, at its most basic, is a fluid’s resistance to flow. Within the engine oil world, viscosity is notated with the common “XW-XX.” The number preceding the “W” rates the oil’s flow at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.8 degrees Celsius). The “W” stands for winter, not weight as many people think. The lower the number here, the less it thickens in the cold. So 5W-30 viscosity engine oil thickens less in the cold than a 10W-30, but more than a 0W-30. An engine in a colder climate, where motor oil tends to thicken because of lower temperatures, would benefit from 0W or 5W viscosity. A car in Death Valley would need a higher number to keep the oil from thinning out too much.

The second number after the “W” indicates the oil’s viscosity measured at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). This number represents the oil’s resistance to thinning at high temperatures. For example, 10W-30 oil will thin out at higher temperatures faster than 10W-40 will.

The owner’s manual will advise the best viscosity range and the owner can then work within those parameters.

With the right viscosity in mind, it’s time to start shopping for a type of oil. Most commuters follow the 3-month and 3,000-mile (4,828-kilometer) rule. Frequent oil changes means there’s less tendency to need other types of oil than conventional. However some car companies, like Mercedes-Benz and BMW, recommend only synthetic oil in their cars. The following list, as well as the car’s owner’s manual, will provide a good idea of what type of oil to use. It’s also a good rule of thumb not to switch between types. If your car started with conventional, stick with that. If it first used synthetic, be wary about switching to conventional.

  • Conventional Oil: This is the oil used in bulk at dealerships and is the cheapest at the auto store, too. Most adhere to API and SAE standards but offer little in the way of additive packages. This is good oil for owners that are religious about frequent oil changes and have low-mile (but well broken-in) engines.
  • Premium Conventional Oil: This is the standard new-car oil. Most leading brands have one for SL, or highest level, service. Most are available in the common viscosities. Car manufacturers usually specify 5W-20 or 5W-30 oil, though some require 10W-30. These three ratings cover just about every light-duty vehicle on the road, though this is changing as engines become more precise and fussy about specific types oil.
  • Full-synthetic Oil: These oils are made for high-tech engines. If these oils pass stringent special tests (indicated by their labeling), it means they have superior, longer-lasting performance in all the critical areas, from viscosity index to protection against engine deposits. They flow better at low temperatures and maintain peak lubrication at high temperatures. While excellent oil, synthetics are about three times as expensive as conventional oil and not always necessary for most engines. Use the owner’s manual as a guide. If it doesn’t call for synthetic oil, using it will only be an additional expense that may not add anything to the engine’s performance or life.
  • Synthetic-blend Oil: This is essentially premium conventional oil hit with a dose of synthetic. They’re formulated to offer better protection during heavier engine loads and the associated higher engine temperatures. These oils are popular with pick-up and SUV drivers because they do offer better protection, but usually cost only a fraction more than premium conventional oils.
  • High-mileage Oil: More than 60 percent of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles (120,701 kilometers) on the odometer. Playing to this growing market, oil refiners and labs developed high-mileage oils. Seal conditioners are added to the oil (the oil can be synthetic or conventional) to expand and increase the flexibility of internal engine seals. The conditioners are very precise and can benefit some engines while not affecting others.”

To read more about types of motor oil, read the full article from How Stuff Works. To discuss the motor oil options for your vehicle, call our experts at 847-658-7700! Stop by our shop anytime, or schedule your next oil change with us today!

New Technology in Cars – Car Swapping vs. Keeping Current Cars Longer

Do you keep up with the latest gadgets and technology in your vehicle? A new study shows that Americans would trade in their cars for a new one every 2 years – as often as we get new cell phones! A large motivation for this trend is the vast technological changes between new and old (or even less new) vehicles.

With increasing changes in technology, like Bluetooth, GPS, audio inputs, USB connections, and more, it takes time for car manufacturers to develop platforms for the latest technology in vehicles. There are also new technologies specific to driving, like self-parking, heated seats, rear cameras, and more. New cars often feature vastly superior technology to their older counterparts.

At the same time that technology is increasing, people are keeping their cars longer than ever before. Vehicles now have an impressive average age of nearly 12 years. With advances in preventative maintenance and repair, cars are able to keep running smoothly through the years.

This blog from Jim Motavalli at Car Talk explore this topic further:

“If wishes were horses, we’d all be equestrians. A new study shows that Americans would be happy trading in their cars as frequently as their mobile phones, and that’s pretty often.

According to Swapalease.com, the typical life of an American cellphone is just 21.7 months. By then, it’s hopelessly outdated, right? And there’s a big parallel with cars, which struggle to incorporate the latest technology into platforms that take years to develop.

The Swapalease.com survey finds 59.5 percent of men and 60.7 percent of women wanting to trade in cars as often as phones. More than 10 percent of either sex would actually want to do it more frequently. What I find telling is that 31.4 percent of men and a whopping 39.5 percent of women say their primary reason is to have “a vehicle with the latest features.” What they’re talking about, largely, is infotainment, which is moving at lightning speed.

Chances are, you’re swapping out a car that doesn’t even have an audio output, let alone a USB connection. Still rockin’ cassettes? The cars coming onto the lots now may not even have CD players. There’s lots of other cool tech, too, including self-driving and parking features, lane departure warnings, heated steering wheels and traction control. You can’t get any of that stuff in a 2003 Honda Civic.

Scott Hall, an executive vice president of Swapalease, concurs with my analysis:

Our cars are becoming feature-rich vehicle devices, with technology that evolves much faster than in years past. As such, people want to always stay current with this latest technology, similar to what’s happening in the mobile phones industry.

Ah, but there’s a big gap between our wish lists and our actual purchases. That 11-year-old Civic may not be “feature-rich,” but it’s durable, and trading in cars every two years is really expensive in this economy—the darned thing depreciates as soon as it’s out of the showroom door.

In actual fact, we’re keeping cars longer than ever, with the average age in 2013 an impressive 11.4 years (just like that Civic). Since 2007, the average age has gone up two years, says Polk research. The number of cars going to a scrapyard in any given year is down 50 percent. Hall thinks this trend is going to reverse itself as we come out of the recession, and people have money again to make their fantasies come true.

Since I always consider the green angle, I’d have to say that keeping cars longer is basically good for the planet, since according to the Environmental Defense Fund, 11 percent of a car’s lifecycle emissions is in its manufacture. That percentage is going down as automakers clean up their plants, with a special emphasis on the paint process.

The downside, as Janet Wright of SellMart points out, is that older cars can become gross polluters. You’ve seen the Bondo specials trailing a cloud of blue smoke—they’re doing a lot of damage. Owners of beaters, Wright said, “really need to consider whether it is worth shelling out on repairs time and time again or whether they should just bite the bullet, sell their old car, and invest in something newer.”

It’s funny that Swapalease asked people if they’d want a new car “assuming cost was not an issue.” When is cost not an issue when we’re talking about cars?

Incidentally, most cited as objects of desire in the poll were (in this order) BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Cadillac, Lexus and Acura.”

What do you think? Would you rather keep up with the latest technology, trading in for the latest and greatest cars? Or would you rather keep your current car running as long as possible with regular care? With so much to consider, come in to talk with our mechanics to discuss all of your options!

To keep your vehicle running smoothly, bring it to our shop for regular preventative maintenance. If you are considering buying a used car, bring it in for a pre-purchase inspection and evaluation. To talk to our professionals or schedule an appointment, call us at (847) 658-7700!

How Hybrids Work and What Makes Them Different From Regular Cars

Have you ever wondered how a hybrid vehicle actually works? Whether the increasing price of gasoline has you considering the economic benefits or global warming has you rethinking the environmental costs of driving, a hybrid car is an appealing alternative. But what makes a hybrid different from a regular car?

Hybrid vehicles work by combining two (or more) power sources. A moped is actually a hybrid, combining the gasoline engine with the rider’s pedal power. Most hybrid cars use gasoline and electric – combining a traditional combustion engine with an electric motor. This gives you the best of both worlds – you can still have the power and convenience of a gasoline-powered engine with the economic benefits of an electric engine.

Though all it takes to be a “hybrid” is two power sources, hybrid vehicles also have a few unique features that allow them to work more efficiently. The first feature is Idle off, which turns the gasoline engine off when the car is stopped – which means fuel savings! The electric engine continues to power the vehicle while stopped, and the gasoline engine turns back on when you are ready to drive again.

Regenerative braking is another feature of hybrid vehicles. A typical car relies on the mechanical brakes to slow and stop, creating friction that reduces the vehicle’s kinetic energy. A hybrid can use its electric motor for “regenerative braking.” The electric motor captures the kinetic energy from the moving car and converts it into electricity. Instead of losing the heat energy from the brakes, your car can save and store some of the energy in the battery to be used later!

Hybrids also utilize power assist and engine downsizing to operate the vehicle. To qualify as a hybrid, the electric motor must be large enough to actually supplement the engine to power the car and accelerate while driving. Some hybrids rely on engine downsizing, using physically smaller engines or those with more effective combustion cycles. Power assist then reduces the amount of engine work and gasoline needed to accelerate and run the vehicle. Through these methods, hybrid cars achieve the same power as traditional vehicles but use less gas!

The features above are true of all hybrid vehicles, but hybrid cars can vary from the basic, minimum features to fully hybrid – offering electric only drive capability and extended battery electric range. Other variations include how the components are arranged in the drivetrain, working either in series or parallel (or sometimes both).  The batteries, electric motor, gasoline engine, and other components work together in the drivetrain to operate the vehicle, allowing you to slow, accelerate, cruise, and brake.

Hybrid vehicles combine a traditional combustion engine with an electric motor and battery to operate your vehicle, take advantage of the benefits of both systems, and save you money on fuel! If you have more questions about hybrid vehicles, stop by the shop or call (847) 658-7700 for more information.

Organization tips to keep your car fresh and comfortable!

Does the inside of your car look like this?messy car interior

We know that life can be a little crazy, and it’s easy for your car to be clean one week and look like you’re living in it the next. Not only can a messy car be stressful and embarrassing, but the distractions of a messy car can be a safety hazard! These organization tips will help you keep your car clean and organized so your daily commute can be relaxing and safe:

Assign a home for all the necessary items that stay in your car such as sunglasses, umbrellas, shopping bags, cleaning supplies, etc. If all of the things that live in your car have a dedicated place, it is easier to find them when you need them and put them away when you are done! Consider following the “two-weeks rule” for all the items that end up staying in your car – if you haven’t used the item in 14 days and it isn’t part of your emergency kit, it probably doesn’t need to stay in your car.

Don’t stash your trash in the nooks and crannies of your car. Instead, collect trash in a plastic grocery bag or a small trashcan. When it is full, empty the trash right away. Every time you stop at a gas station to fill up, take a moment to throw out any lingering trash. You can even keep a supply of bags in the pocket behind your seat for easy clean up and collecting on the go. There is no good reason to keep trash in your car, so get rid of it. Plus, you’ll increase MPG by removing excess weight from your car!

Containers are a great way to collect and organize all of the items in your car. Consider using a cardboard box, collapsible tote, or plastic tub to contain items kept in your trunk. If you keep a lot of small items in your trunk, try using a multiple compartment, collapsible bin. (Picture below) You can even attach Velcro to the bottom to prevent it from sliding around. A coupon or recipe organizer is an easy way to keep track of important papers in your car’s glove box. Cup holder organizers come in a variety of styles to fit your needs, including compartments for your cell phone, sunglasses, or loose change.car organization

Keep it fresh and clean with a periodic thorough cleaning. This can be as simple as wiping down the dashboard and vacuuming the seats and floor mats, or you may consider a deep cleaning and detailing. Cleaning your car also gives you the opportunity to retrieve small items that may have fallen under the seats – that space between the seat and the center console can seem like a black hole for coins and stray French fries! Taking the time to clean your car’s interior can keep your car in good condition and protect your investment. A clean interior can also help you stay motivated to keep your car organized! One easy trick for keeping your car smelling clean: keep a fabric softener sheet under the seats for a fresh scent!

A messy car might seem like an unavoidable fact of life, but it is easy to tame the mess with a few organization tips! Try some of these suggestions, or find your own system that works best for your car. Without the distractions of a messy car, you can be a safer, more relaxed driver!

Show Your Car Some Love With Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is the single best way to keep your car running smoothly and save you money down the road in Algonquin.  By periodically checking the fundamental systems in your car, you can spot anything out of the ordinary before it becomes a bigger issue – and it is easy to do! Show your car some love this month with these preventative maintenance services:Preventative Maintenance

Read your owner’s manual – Every manufacturer includes a schedule of recommended maintenance for the vehicle, so check your manual for the proper maintenance intervals for your vehicle. Even if it doesn’t seem necessary, following this schedule can help to avoid bigger issues that stem from delaying these services. It is also a necessity for maintaining your manufacturer’s warranty.

Check your oil and fluids – Most fluid or oil tanks have gauges or dipsticks to let you easily check the levels inside. If you are running low frequently, this could mean that your vehicle has a leak.  Leaks mean that contaminants can get into your oil, which can cause bigger problems down the road if you keep topping off your fluids instead of getting the repair completed. It is best to leave changing your oil to the professionals, but you should make a habit to check the levels so you can stay ahead of any problems that stem from low levels. If your fluids are regularly low, bring it to your local auto repair shop immediately so they can check for and repair any leak!

Check your tires – Make sure your tires have enough tread. Visually check that the tread is wearing evenly and there are no bare patches. If there is too little tread, your tires are stripped and more prone to flats or leaks. Check the air pressure in your tires with an air pressure gauge (your user manual should indicate the ideal air pressure level for your tires). Have your tires rotated and balanced and get your alignment checked periodically.  These steps will help your tires wear evenly, extend the life of your tires, increase your MPG, and ensure your car drives smoothly.

Check your battery – A battery tester is an easy, inexpensive option for checking the voltage level of your car battery to make sure it is charging properly. Visually inspect the battery for anything out of the ordinary, like leaks or residue, and clean any buildup from the contacts. Car batteries typically don’t require a lot of maintenance, but having them checked periodically can help prevent small problems from turning into big ones.

Replace your wipers – If your view is getting streaky, this is an easy, inexpensive fix! Windshield wipers are simple to change and fresh ones make for a more pleasant driving experience. Plus, being able to see clearly will make you a safer driver! Make sure to buy the right wiper blade for your vehicle. Check your manual or bring your car to our shop to make sure you’re getting the correct wipers.

Replace your air filters – Both your cabin air filter and engine air filter need to be replaced periodically. If these filters are dirty, make sure you bring your vehicle to our ASE-Certified technicians to have them replaced. A clean engine filter will help your car run better, and a clean cabin air filter will ensure a comfortable atmosphere in your vehicle.

Visual Inspection – While you are checking the parts listed above, do a quick look over the rest of your vehicle. Have your spark plugs, belts, and other components inspected for unusual buildup, leaks, or worn down areas. If anything is out of the ordinary, don’t ignore it! Schedule an appointment with your auto repair shop to address the issue right away.

Preventative maintenance is an easy way to show your car a little love and save money by avoiding the big issues. Let our experts work with you to develop a maintenance plan for your vehicle today! Just click here to contact us, or give us a call at 847-658-7700.

Myths about European vehicles

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Myths about European vehicles

Whether you drive a state-of-the-art Mercedes or a vintage BMW in Algonquin , your European vehicle is a finely-crafted machine. But does that craftsmanship require a special level of care and support? Let’s take a look at three common myths about European vehicles, and how these myths could be affecting your wallet.

Myth 1: There’s no avoiding it — You Have to go to the Dealership for Some Repair and Maintenance

The first thing we should call attention to is the Magnuson-Moss warranty act: the law says you don’t need to take your vehicle to the dealer for routine maintenance to maintain your warranty.  As long as the maintenance is done according to the schedule in your vehicle’s manual, the dealer can’t void the warranty.

And if the dealership can’t hold your vehicle hostage, why not take your car where there’s a team that cares about you? The truth is, no matter how big or small the job, we’re here to protect your investment in your vehicle. We even provide friendlier service and usually a better price!

Myth 2: European Vehicles Need Premium Fuel to Run At Peak Efficiently

The thinking goes: premium fuel means better gas mileage, more power and a cleaner-running engine.  If you’re already driving a premium vehicle, shouldn’t you use the premium gas?

The truth, however, is that the fuel your car needs to run at peak performance and that will give you the most power and best efficiency is…the one your user manual recommends.  If your vehicle is designed to run on lower octane gas, filling up with premium won’t mean extra performance.

Of course, if your owner’s manual calls for premium gas, your vehicle needs a fuel that can be compressed more than regular unleaded. Using less than a premium gas can lead to “knocking,” caused by gas that spontaneously combusts before the spark plug has a chance to ignite it.  This can lead to engine damage over time.

In other words, your European-built car doesn’t necessarily need premium fuel just because it’s a premium machine. Check the owner’s manual to see what fuel it needs to run at top performance.

Euro vs. American cars

Myth 3: European Vehicles can go 10,000 or even 25,000 Miles Between Oil Changes

Oil manufacturers aren’t shy about making extraordinary claims about their products. With more efficient, cleaner engines and a little dash of science, they claim, your car will hardly ever need an oil change. Dealerships often make the same claim, though they never stop to explain that it’s fine if you have a buy a new vehicle from them every few years because your engine wore out earlier than expected.

Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle: it cleans, it cools, it protects and lubricates. And the longer it’s been since your last oil change, the more that oil will have cleaned and been repeatedly heated and cooled…all of which leads to engine sludge, a loss of viscosity, a lack of protection, and decreased ability to lubricate high friction components.

Despite the terrific engineering that went into your European vehicle, despite the tremendous scientific advances that went into creating synthetic engine oil, the truth remains the same: change your oil regularly.

Want to know more about how to protect your European-model car? Our team of ASE-Certified technicians is here to answer your questions and help with any of your repair needs. Just click here to contact us, or give us a call at 847-658-7700.

Winter Car Tips: Ice Scraper Life Hacks

Have you ever found yourself in an icy situation without an ice scraper handy?

This month, our team of ASE-Certified technicians is taking a break from auto repair tips to bring you some ice scraper life hacks.

The winter months in Algonquin can be a torture, and having an ice scraper is a must-have accessory for your vehicle. Snowfall and freezing temperatures bombard your windshield, diminishing your visibility with ice but, after a few scrapes, you’re ready for the road.

We have all had moments where we realize that we forgot something once it’s too late. Whether yours broke, you forgot to buy one, or you lent it to a friend, facing an ice covered windshield without a scraper is enough reason to get back in bed and call it a day.

If you find your car covered in snow or ice and you don’t have an ice scraper readily available, try these tricks to clear your windshield and mirrors:

Plastic card- Often times, a thin layer of ice can easily be removed with a plastic card from your wallet or purse.  Hold onto a used gift card, and you’ll have an ice scraper on you at all times. Don’t use valuable credit cards or IDs though since the ice may cause damage to the card. 

Card Ice Scraper Life Hacks

Spatula- If you have any extra spatulas in your kitchen, you already have have a backup ice scraper. A stiff plastic one should do the trick.

spatula Ice Scraper Life Hacks  CDs-Do you still listen to that summer mix you made 15 years ago? If so, put the music on your computer and use the CD to clear your windshield! This method works best for a thick layer of ice.

 CD Ice Scraper Life Hacks

 Get creative! – Desperate times call for desperate measures. From hard plastic cups to hangers, or pretty much anything with a thin plastic edge, it’s easy to find a makeshift ice scraper.

The moral of the story is to be prepared this winter. Having the needed winter accessories for your vehicle will help keep you on schedule, avoid unnecessary auto repairs, and keep you and your family safely on the road when the frost and ice try to slow you down. A quick stop to our shop for a winter inspection will also help you avoid any untimely breakdowns that the harsh winter weather may cause.

For any other automotive questions, be sure to call us at 847-658-7700 so our ASE-Certified technicians can help you stay prepared and safe on the road this winter!

The 5 Thanksgiving Travel Tips Every Driver Needs to Know

HOLIDAY TRAFFIC

According to a 2012 AAA report, the number of Thanksgiving travelers has been steadily increasing since 2008. In fact, there were 43.6 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving weekend, and 90% of those travelers (39.2 million) were making the trek by car.

You can count on the roads throughout Algonquin to be crowded this holiday season, so our team has some key tips to help you reach your destination safely!

1. Check your tire pressure: Tire pressure can easily be forgotten. If they aren’t properly inflated, you can decrease your gas mileage up to 0.6 MPG. Also, if you come across any inclement weather during your holiday travel, over or under inflated tires can cause a loss of traction and lead to an accident. Tires should be checked before your holiday journey to keep you safe.

2. Spark Plugs: When is the last time you checked or changed your spark plugs? A dirty, corroded or improperly installed spark plug can leave you stranded on the side of the road during your holiday travel. It will also decrease your MPG by a whole 2 MPG.

3. Don’t wait for an empty gas tank to fill up: Once your gas tank drops below half-full, it becomes easier for the remaining gas to evaporate. As you travel to your Thanksgiving destination, fill up when you’re down to half a tank. You’ll be able to take more breaks and rest to keep you energized during your trip and you’ll save some money at the gas pump.

4. Your headlights could just be dirty, not dim: You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for brighter headlights during your Thanksgiving commute. Chances are they just need to be cleaned, not replaced. Our shop will polish and clean your headlights for a fraction of what replacement lights would cost.

5. Buckle up: Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road. There is plenty of law enforcement patrolling the roads over the holidays. Don’t fall victim to a ticket you can easily avoid.

If you’re looking to hit the road for the holidays stop by our shop; we’ll provide you with the best customer service and auto repair in Algonquin. If you have any questions or concerns, call us at (847) 658-7700 and let us inspect your vehicle and prevent any untimely breakdowns. Our team at Teson Automotive will always be here to help your holiday travel plans.