Teson Automotive

1200 Armstrong Street

Algonquin, Illinois 60102

Mon -Fri  7:30am to 5:30pm

Phone: (847) 658-7700

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Spring Car Care Tips

Spring has officially arrived in Algonquin! But that doesn’t mean your vehicle is in the clear – changing seasons means it’s time for maintenance to make sure your vehicle will keep you safely and comfortable on the road through the spring and summer.

April National Car Care Month - visit Teson Automotive for auto maintenance and an inspectionAs we kick off National Car Care Month, here are 8 things you should check on your vehicle to prepare for spring:

1. Antifreeze
Many people think of antifreeze only in cold months. But antifreeze (also known as coolant) also cools the engine in the heat of the spring and summer. This fluid is responsible for keeping your vehicle running at a consistent temperature. Don’t ignore it just because it has “freeze” in its name – antifreeze will become even more important as the weather warms up to prevent overheating engines and vehicle breakdowns.

Stay cool all spring and summer in Algonquin with an auto air conditioning inspection and service2. A/C temperature and check
As the days get warmer in Illinois, we’ve already noticed the need for air conditioning to stay cool and comfortable driving on the roads. But not using this system in the winter months means you’ll likely notice latent problems as the weather gets warm. Stop by our shop and our ASE Certified technicians will perform an inspection, checking the temperature and components in your vehicle’s A/C system. (Be leary of DIY Refrigerant flushes – leave this to the professionals to avoid damaging your vehicle).

3. Tire pressure
Warming temperatures affect tire pressure – a 10 degree increase can drop pressure by 1-2 psi. Low tire pressure means you’ll get fewer miles to each gallon and means your tires will wear faster than if they were properly inflated. Every time you stop at a gas station, check your tire pressure. Many stations even have air available for a top off on-the-go, or stop by our shop and we’ll fill your tires to the right pressure to get you back on the road!

4. Potholes
Road damage, from cracks to potholes to bumps in the road, can wreak havoc on your vehicle in the spring. Even a small pothole can damage your alignment and suspension. If your daily commute involves risks like these, stop by for an inspection early to prevent worsening the damage and premature tire wear.

5. Fluids
Spring is the perfect time to take care of routine maintenance before warm weather puts a toll on your vehicle. From your oil to coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid, winter can be harder on your vehicle. Small problems may become more noticeable as we head into the spring season. Have your fluids checked and replace as needed. When you bring your vehicle in for an inspection, our ASE certified technicians will check all of your fluids and recommend maintenance as needed – we’ll even top off your windshield washer fluid to keep you safe through spring showers!

6. Wash exterior
Winter roads can leave your vehicle covered in dirt and salt. Not only is this unsightly, it can actually harm your exterior. A thorough wash can remove chloride, salt, and chemicals from the exterior of your car. Be sure you clean the underside too! This is where the most dirt and chemicals can collect and post the biggest threat. As an extra bonus, take pride in your vehicle again when it is clean and looks like new!

penny7. Tire tread
Take a look at the tread on your tires using the penny test, looking carefully for any uneven patches or bald spots. While it might not seem as important in the spring, this time of year is the rainiest and wettest season. Good traction is important for driving on wet roads, especially unexpected or panic stops. If you’re not sure how to check your tires, stop by our shop and our technicians will help!

8. Spring Inspection
The best thing you can do for your vehicle this spring is stop by for a full inspection. When you bring your vehicle into our shop, our auto technicians can check all of the issues above, and can fix any problems we find right away. Most issues, including alignment, coolant, and fluid flushes, can be performed right away to get your vehicle back on the road quickly and safely.

Don’t be fooled thinking that just because it’s spring your car is now in the clear – changing seasons mean changing conditions for your vehicle. Check the elements above in your vehicle, or stop by our shop for a full inspection. Wishing you a fun and safe National Car Care Month!

If you have any questions about the care of your vehicle, preparing for spring in Algonquin, or scheduling an appointment, call our advisors at (847) 658-7700.

Don’t Ignore that you just Hit a Curb!

Hitting a CurbWinter roads are slick in Algonquin, and across Illinois. As you drive along snowy, icy roads this winter, use extra caution to remain in control of your vehicle to avoid slides and skids.

At Teson Automotive, we’ve seen many of our customers’ vehicles suffer damage from sliding into a curb on slick winter roads. Even though this seems like a small mistake, hitting a curb can have major impacts on your car. Don’t ignore it! Stop by our auto shop to have an inspection before small damage causes big problems. Call us at (847) 658-7700 to schedule an appointment.

Potential issues from hitting a curb:

  • Hitting a curb even going as slow as 5-10 mph can have a major impact on the performance of your tires. Tire wear damage is possible in as little as 200 miles after a curb impact.
  • Tie Rods are the connection between your steering system and the wheels. Any damage to the tie rods can severely inhibit your ability to steer, especially important when roads are slick.
  • The control arms allow up and down movement of the suspension while holding the knuckles, spindles, and axles firmly onto the car. Jarring from hitting a curb can cause extreme damage to the control arms and suspension of your vehicle.
  • steering knuckle contains the wheel hub or spindle and attaches to the suspension components. It is variously called a steering knuckle, spindle, upright or hub, as well. Damage to steering knuckles also impacts suspension and steering your vehicle.
  • Tires and Wheels can be damaged as well. If you suspect tire damage, have it inspected immediately to avoid costly problems.

What should you do?

If you hit a curb, call us at (847) 658-7700 to schedule an inspection as soon as possible. Our certified technicians will make sure your vehicle can keep you safely on the road, without risking extensive damage and costly future repairs.

Damage from Curb SlideAn alignment check is a small expense, but can save your vehicle many miles and dollars from costly issues. If an adjustment is needed, this inspection can save many miles on your tires, and help you get more miles out of every dollar if other issues are found (by catching and fixing small problems before they lead to extensive damage and costly repairs). But more importantly, a check will provide peace of mind that you and your family will stay safe while driving, especially as it gets really cold in Algonquin.

Don’t ignore the fact that you just hit a curb! Call today to have your vehicle inspected.

Stay safe and warm this week (and all winter) in Illinois. To prepare your vehicle for cold weather, stop by Teson Automotive for an inspection: (847) 658-7700.

 

Preparing for Fall and Winter Road Conditions

fall-car-care-winter-road-prepIs your car ready for the changing weather? As summer comes to an end, we know that means cooling temperatures, rain, and falling leaves in Algonquin, IL. It also means winter will be here before we know it!

As National Fall Car Care Month, this month is the perfect time to ask, “Is my car ready for autumn and winter?” Here are eight things you should check to make sure your car can handle the coming weather and road conditions:

  1. Tire pressure – Cooling temperatures can affect the pressure in your tires, as external pressure changes with the weather. Take a few moments to check your tires with a pressure gauge and make sure it’s filled to the recommended level. Proper tire pressure not only reduces the chance of a flat, but also improves fuel efficiency.
  2. Tire treadCheck your tire tread too! While 2/32” is the minimum acceptable tread on your tire, rain and snow conditions require more tread for safe driving. Your tires should have at least 4/32” of tread, without bulges, wear, or bald spots, so you don’t risk losing control of your car on slick roads.
  3. Windshield wipers – If you wait for the next rain storm to check your windshield wipers, you’re risking your safety. Get in the habit of running your washer fluid periodically – you’ll be able to monitor if your wipers need replaced, and you’ll have a cleaner windshield!
  4. Defroster/Heater – Also test your defroster before the cold weather hits. On the next cold morning, turn on your heater to make sure it’s working. Make sure air flow reaches your windshield and isn’t blocked in any spots. If it takes too long to warm the interior, bring your car in for a heating system inspection.
  5. Battery condition – As temperatures drop, your battery may begin to show signs of failure. Test your battery’s condition using a multimeter (or have it tested) to ensure it is operating in the acceptable range. If your battery is getting old or can’t hold the proper charge, your vehicle may not be able to start on cold mornings.
  6. Brakes – When roads are slick with rain and snow, your brakes are put to the test! Brakes are subject to wear and tear with normal use of a vehicle, which means you’ll need to have them serviced and replaced periodically. Have them inspected before the first storm so you know that they are up to the task.
  7. Cooling system – If you’ve been putting off your coolant flush, have it done before winter arrives. Coolant (aka antifreeze) is critical to keep your engine running at the proper temperature even when the weather gets cold.
  8. Winter tools – Chances are you took that pesky ice scraper out of your car to make room for summer gear. Now is the time to put it back in your trunk or glove box so you are prepared for early frosts of the year. It’s also a great time to start prepping your auto survival kit.

Pay attention to your vehicle as the weather changes – some systems that work fine during the summer may start to reveal warning signs this season. Make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on manufacturer recommended maintenance, and address any concerns before they lead to bigger problems and costly repairs.

Stop by our shop for an inspection to make sure your car is ready for this fall!

Need new tires? Find out with this trick that only costs a penny!


Did you know that you officially need to replace your tires when the tread is below 2/32” thick? And did you know that the distance between the edge of a penny and the top of Lincoln’s head is exactly 2/32”?

Convenient, right?

Whether you’ve put extra miles on your tires with summer road trips or they are simply nearing the end of their life, this quick test will let you know if it is time to consider new tires.

Most tires have “wear bars” that run across the tread pattern. When these become visible, connecting patterns across your tire’s tread, they serve as a warning that your tread is getting bare. But not all tires are designed the same, and sometimes you just need an extra test to know with confidence that it is time to replace your tires.

So for a quick tread check, grab a penny! Place the penny, with Lincoln’s head down and facing you, into the tread of the tire.penny

If all or part of Lincoln’s head is obscured by the tread, your tires still have some life left – but if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tire.

Note: Measure each tire in multiple places – both the inside and outside edge across the tire, and on multiple points around the tire. If your alignment is off, or if you have neglected tire rotation, they may have uneven wear. This also can cause bald spots that mean you need to replace your tires prematurely.

If you don’t have a penny handy, a quarter can also do the trick! The distance between Washington’s head and the edge of a quarter is exactly 4/32” (which also happens to be the recommended thickness for tire tread if you are driving in rain, snow, or icy conditions).

Use the same method, placing the quarter with Washington’s head upside down and facing you in the tread across multiple places on your tire. When you can see all of Washington’s head, you know you will need to replace your tires soon.

You may consider replacing your tires before they reach the 2/32” point. As your tread thins between 4/32” and 2/32” you may start to experience performance issues, especially in wet and slick conditions.

tire

The good news? There are easy steps you can take to extend the life of your tires! Keep your tires properly inflated to reduce extra friction and wear. Rotate your tires regularly to ensure they wear uniformly without creating bald spots.  Have an alignment performed periodically. Treat your tires with care – following these recommended maintenance tips can help them wear evenly so you get more miles out of every dollar! Stop by or schedule an appointment for a tire rotation, alignment, or inspection.