Author Archives: Express Auto

Why Oil Change is Important

Closeup engine oil cap in engine room at modern car. Interior of car.

Learn More About an Oil Change

Each car will have specific maintenance checks that need to be provided every now and then. According to your owner’s manual and condition of your car, there will be guidelines on when to impart certain services such as an oil change for your vehicle. It’s especially important that an oil change is handled in a timely manner as essentially this is what makes your car operate smoothly, without enough oil you can see parts age prematurely and performance issues emerge. As with any car service, make sure to confer with a professional mechanic to see what can be done to help your car. Until then, here is some basic background information concerning an oil change that can prove useful to you.

What happens if you go too long without an oil change?

If you go long enough without an oil change eventually you can experience complete engine failure. When it’s been so long that oil turns into sludge that means it will no longer draw heat away from the engine. This can mean that the engine can eventually overheat enough to seize up or blow a gasket.

What color oil is bad?

Although oil can be very dark or blackened it can still work well. However, with new and clean oil you’ll have an amber color. With engine oil becoming darker this can point towards contaminants being present, high heat, or additives that caused the oil to darken after normal use.

Does low oil affect acceleration?

Low oil won’t provide as much lubrication for mechanical parts to move and operate smoothly. Therefore you may have more sluggish acceleration with your car as well as the feeling that the engine is down on power.

Will your car shake if you need an oil change?

If you require an oil change, the high level of friction of your car’s engine without lubrication can affect the quality of the ride. More specifically, you’ll feel abnormal shaking and vibrations when your car is idling. If you find our car is close to really needing an oil change try to not have your car idle too much until you can get it fixed.

Low oil pressure lamp and liquid stream of motorcycle motor oil flows from the neck of the bottle close-up

How do you know when your car needs an oil change?

  • The check engine and/or oil change light is glowing
  • There’s a knocking noise or other noise coming from the engine.
  • You smell oil inside the car.
  • You notice dirty and dark oil.
  • There’s exhaust smoke emitting from your hood or inside your car.
  • Mileage is an excessive amount.

What oil change do I need?

With cars that require conventional oil, it’s recommended to have an oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles to maintain mechanics. Although some synthetic oils can last from 10,000-15,000 miles it’s usually a good idea to change it every 7,500 miles.

How often do you really need to change your oil?

An oil change is typically recommended to occur every three months or 3,000 miles whichever comes first. Yet other car models may implement it at even 7,500-10,000 miles later. Ultimately it will depend on the age and make of your vehicle, your driving habits and the type of oil that you use.

How much should an oil change cost?

An oil change can cost anywhere on a minimum of $20-$25 and at most $50-$55. 

Change Oil or Filter

If you’re wondering whether you need an oil change or filter change it’s best to consider the age of your filter. Many car manufactures will usually suggest that you change your oil filter every other time that you have your oil changed while parts and oil manufacturers say to replace it every time you get new oil. 

Will my car run better after an oil change?

An oil change will provide a lot of noticeable benefits such as improving the gas mileage of your car when oil changes are done regularly. Better lubrication of your car between metal parts will increase the engine’s performance and will have it not use as much gas since it will work more efficiently.

Contact Your Local Auto Service Company to Schedule An Appointment

When you require an oil change service it’s best to rely on your local auto repair service company to do the task. Only a professional will be able to provide an inspection as well as other services that may need to be implemented in order to comply with what’s needed for smoother vehicle operations. An oil change is something that is recommended differently with differing car makes and models so it’s best to refer to your owners’ manual or the word of your mechanic when you’re looking to schedule any for the future. Have your car in smoother operations with healthier conditions and get an oil change today!

If you need help with a oil change in Schaumburg, IL call 847-895-9131 with Express Auto Repair & Emissions!

How often do you need to rotate your tires?

car with tires properly rotated on the road

Rotation for longer-lasting tires

Car tires are an important part of a vehicle, obviously, because, without them, it couldn’t go anywhere. You have to more than just put tires on your vehicle though, you must take care of the tires for safety and so you get a longer life span from them.

A common maintenance step that many vehicle owners do is get a tire rotation and alignment for their car tires from time to time, or tire rotation with an oil change. We need both combinations to keep a vehicle in good condition and safe.

Are tire rotations important?

Your vehicle is an important and substantial investment, so taking care of it is important to keep it is in running condition and protect the value of it. This includes scheduled maintenance like oil change, fluid check, properly working brakes, making sure the car tires are properly inflated, getting new tires when needed, and tire rotation in between new tire purchases.  

What good does it to have car tires properly inflated or what good does a tire rotation to do for the car? Car tires that are regularly serviced, including make sure they have the right amount of air pressure and having them rotated will give you the maximum tread life and keep your car driving and riding better. Properly inflated and rotated car tires will give you the best performance of your vehicle and maintain its value for future trade-in or for selling.

Your owner’s manual that comes with your vehicle will have a recommended maintenance schedule for car tires, including the rotation service. If you purchased a used car and the owner’s manual isn’t available, the tire manufacturer will have their recommendation or ask your mechanic.

The patter that car tires are rotated is important too. The front axle of the car has a different job than the rear axle, and those jobs create wear on car tires. That tire wear effects a car’s performance, which will wear them out faster, the car uses more gas, and can also affect the safety of a car.

 Do you really have to rotate your tires?

Yes, it is not an upsell of the car dealership or your mechanic. If you think about it for a moment, the car manufacturers and the tire manufacturers will have their guide and recommendation of how often rotating car tires should be done. They both have already sold you their product, right? So, why would they recommend car tires be rotated if they’re not making money from the service?

The usual recommendation to rotate car tires is every 5,000 miles to 10,000 miles. Some cars and some car tires will have a different recommendation, and you may have a personal preference. The number one reason for rotating car tires is for wear and tear to equalize because the front tires typically wear out faster than the rear tires. This is because the outer side of the front car tires takes more pressure when you make turns, especially for parallel parking, three-point turns, and U-turns.

What happens if you don’t rotate your tires?

Good car tires are important for a comfortable ride and as a guarantee for safe traveling. Between you and the road are your car tires and if they are inferior quality or condition, your car’s performance is diminished, as is your safety.

There are several benefits to be had from rotating your car tires, with the main ones being:

  • It preserves your car’s balance, making turns is safe
  • It helps with maneuverability and traction, keeps your car on the road
  • It preserves the tire tread giving you longer tire life expectancy

Tire manufacturers offer a guarantee on their tires and the mileage you can expect from them under normal driving conditions. Having your car tires rotated on a regular basis will give you a better chance of keeping that guarantee held. The main functions of your car tires are:

  • To support your car’s bulk weight
  • To absorb the irregularities of the roadways
  • To provide traction and braking so that you drive safely and come to a safe stop
  • To make your turns safe and smooth

Which way do you rotate your tires?

It depends on whether your car tires are directional or non-directional. With directional car tires, the tread pattern is one-way and optimized for the direction the tires rotate – they are specifically made for either the left side or right side and most tires will have either an arrow or a triangle on each tire’s sidewall indicating the direction it should turn. To rotate directional car tires, exchange the right front tire with the right-back tire and the left front tire with the left-back tire:

With non-directional car tires, the tread pattern is designed so we can mount them on any car wheel. To rotate non-directional car tires, use the crisscross pattern. For rear-wheel-drive cars, move the front tires to the rear on opposite sides, such as front left-to-right rear and front right to left rear.

technician rotating tire

Can you rotate tires too often?

The basic recommendation for car tires to be rotated is every 6 months or every 10,000 miles, unless you drive less than 7,500 miles annually, which usually coincides with oil changes and can be done at the same time. Some cars the manufacturers recommend the oil change every 15,000 miles, and in that case, you’ll want to get your car tires rotated in between oil changes. The owner’s manual that comes with your car may have different recommendations, and if so, that is the schedule you should follow. Just as your home needs regular scheduled maintenance and check-ups on the HVAC system and roofing, your car needs regularly scheduled maintenance. Your home protects you and your family. Your car does, and is for many people, the main mode of transportation to and from school, work, and more. With that in mind, the importance of things like the oil change and rotation of car tires is obvious. Call 847-895-9131 today for your tire rotation in Schaumburg, IL.

What Is Heater Core In Car?

Inside of Car Air Vent

Learn More About A Heater Core

There are many parts to a car yet for comfortability purposes perhaps the most important area of operations will be with the heating and cooling system. With winter approaching fast it may be time to check up on the heating functions of your car. Essentially, the part of your heater that is most important will be the heater core. Here is where heat will be allowed to disperse throughout your car keeping occupants and drivers warm and crisp. However, like all parts of your vehicle, it may require maintenance or repairs from time to time. When you’re in need of a professional to check out your heater core be sure to get in touch with your local car shop. Here is some background information about heater cores that may prove useful to you in the meantime.

What does heater core look like?

A heater core is a part of a car’s cooling system and looks like a miniature version of a radiator with a grid of little tubes and a waffle-like appearance from the fins that send heat to the rest of the car through vents.

What does a heater core do?

A heater core will disperse the heat throughout the car with the cooling system and will allow your heater and defroster to work. The primary purpose of the heater core is to heat the cabin of the car.

How does my car’s heater core work?

The heater core of a car will work much like the radiator does yet instead of cooling the motor the heat form the coolant will warm the car’s interior. Basically, it will divert the coolant from the rest of the car’s cooling system to heat the interior of your car.

What happens when a heater core goes bad?

Your heater core can exhibit many signs when it starts to go bad, one such sign can be when the inside your car fogs up with condensation. What this usually points to is a leak from the coolant vapor that goes into the cabin of a car when the car heats up as you start driving.

Can I drive my car with a bad heater core?

Usually, a bad heater core will go bad after leaking. This can occur when the heater core uses the engine’s coolant to make heat. With a leak, the amount of coolant to cool the system will be lowered which results in a higher temperature of parts which can ultimately damage the engine of the car.

Car Heater Button

How do you test a heater core? 

  • Turn on the engine to see that heater works.
  • Check the radiator for coolant.
  • Make sure the thermostat is correct.
  • After the engine has been running for a minute or so see if your smell antifreeze in the air coming from the vents. (Faulty heater core)
  • See if small puffs of smoke come out of vents. (Faulty heater core.)
  • Feel the hose of the heater core. (If one is warm while the other is cold, there’s a faulty heater core.)

Can heater core cause leak?

A heating core can leak even in older vehicle models where the heater core is outside of the cabin. It can find it’s way into the cabin and into ventilation ducts which can cause problems down the line.

Can a heater core be flushed?

A heater core can be flushed from the vehicle’s firewall by loosening the clamps and disconnecting the heater hose. Essentially, somewhere along the process of the mamy steps of the flushing method, your system will then be filled with water 1-2 times to flush out the remaining coolant.

How much does it cost to flush a heater core?

A heater core flush service will cost around & $79-$89. Flushing the tubes of the heater core can allow for the coolant to flow more smoothly especially if the heater wasn’t working as well as it usually would.

What does it cost to replace a heater core?

A heater core will cost around $564-$927 for labor and parts. Since the location of the heater core is variable you can see costs being higher for labor. The part itself will actually cost around $80-$234.

Contact A Professional For Assistance With Your Heater Core

When you’re having trouble with the heating of your car be sure to get in touch with professional heater core services in Schaumburg. IL. A qualified mechanic will be able to run diagnostics to determine the best course of action that should be taken with your vehicle. Alternately, if you require services with heating for your home or business contact a professional HVAC company. Contact a heater core specialist today in order to ensure that proper measures and implementations are being met with your vehicle’s operations. Have the heating functions of your car in ready order so you won’t run into any surprises in the cold weather. 

If you require assistance with your heater core in Schaumburg, IL call 847-895-9131 with Express Auto Repair & Emissions! 

Why Engine Service is Required

Every Engine Requires Engine Service from Time to Time

How Much Does it Cost to Service a Car Engine?

Engine service can be crucial when the time comes. Every fifty thousand to one-hundred thousand miles is an excellent opportunity to contact your local, respectable mechanic to administer engine service. According to recent studies, the average cost to fix a check engine light-related issue decreased by 10% over the last year. Overall, the cost to service an engine has decreased by approximately fifteen percent since 2006. As it stands, it currently costs approximately $357.00, including parts, which come out to $216.00 and labor, which comes to approximately $141.00. 

What Does it Mean to Service a Car?

In order to service a car, there are a number of different practical matters to address. A car service can include up to fifty or more components. These components involve systems checks and adjustments that address lights, tires, exhaust, and other operations. The brakes and the steering must be tuned to run in peak condition. There may be an engine oil change or a filter replacement. The suspension must be checked during this time, and so should the car’s battery condition.

How Much Does it Cost to Get Check Engine Light Fixed?

According to national averages, the cost for a check engine light to be tested and diagnosed ranges from eighty-eight dollars and one-hundred and eleven dollars. These estimates do not include taxes and fees. While the price does vary from location to location, this range stands as a good approximate amount. There may be other costs included in your overall engine estimate, including related repairs as they are needed.

What Does a Mechanic Do In A Service?

In a service, a mechanic will perform the basic parameters of care and maintenance. Basic maintenance includes changing the oil, checking the fluid levels of your vehicle, and repairing or replacing worn parts of your vehicle. Parts that could be repaired or replaced include brake pads, wheel bearings, and sensors. Repairs should always follow the protocol of the manufacturer’s specifications. During this process, a mechanic should be expected to explain any automotive problems and repairs as necessary.

Is it Bad to Drive a Car With the Check Engine Light On?

The check engine light is inevitably tied to your car’s emissions system. It is designed to recognize when anything goes wrong with the complex collection of components and sensors located inside your car. If the engine light comes on while you are driving your car, it’s time to take stock of how your vehicle is performing. Is your car surging, or making any strange noises? If the car is not behaving poorly, it is safe to continue driving the car. However, it is important to turn your car over to a trusted auto repair shop or mechanic.

Where to Service Engine

The best location to get your engine serviced is by a respectable and reputable mechanic shop where they preferably specialize in your type of vehicle. The more high-quality the mechanic, the better for the overall health of your vehicle and your engine’s life. When leaks occur in your engine, it’s imperative that you have them addressed as soon as possible. This is also true when leaks occur in your pipelines. Leak detection can greatly help when your water bills are inexplicably rising in your household.

Why Engine Service is Required

Maintenance is key for perpetuating the life of your vehicle. Please take a look at the owner’s manual for your vehicle. The owner’s manual is usually located in your car’s glove compartment. With regard to the manufacturer’s directions, it is imperative that your vehicle be serviced according to the indicated mileage. As a general rule, your car should receive service once a year, or once every ten to twelve-thousand miles. This will ensure that your car lasts a long time and doesn’t display any unusual warning signs of engine disrepair. 

Engine Service vs Full Service

Please read through the following list to determine more about the difference between engine service and full service. A full service will include:

  • Change in engine oil.
  • New oil filter.
  • Comprehensive vehicle check.
  • All filters replaced.
  • Brake and coolant fluid replaced.
  • A sparkplug replacement.
  • Up to 71 point check.
You Require Engine Service if Your Exhaust is Emitting More Smoke than Usual

Engine Service Now

There are a number of signs that you should be aware of, as a car-owner, that symbolize engine failure. The first sign that your engine needs help is a check engine light. The next sign that you should be aware of is if your exhaust is emitting an excessive amount of smoke. Any leaks should also be managed as soon as possible. If your engine is chugging, racing, or shaking, that is also a sign that your engine should be serviced as soon as possible.

You need an auto repair company that knows how to perform your engine service in Schaumburg, IL. Call Express Auto Repair & Emissions at 847-895-9131 to speak with our staff about making an appointment today!

How Do I Take Care of My Car in Hot Weather?

A Car Driving Down a Sunny Lane.

How do I prepare my car for summer?

Each season has its challenges when it comes to car care, winter and summer especially, and you’ll want to prepare your vehicle for both. Here, we’ll concentrate on summer maintenance for your car. On your summer car maintenance checklist, you’ll be primarily concerned with your tires, your engine, and keeping your car cool inside and out. Below, are the Top 10 things to put on your “My summer car maintenance” checklist.

Top 10 car summer maintenance tips:

  • Check your coolant: As temperatures soar, so can the heat generated by your engine. Ensure there’s plenty of coolant to prevent the engine from overheating.
  • Check engine belts and hoses: Make sure all of your engine’s belts and hoses are in good shape and secure. Any cracked or worn belts or hoses should be replaced.
  • Check your wipers: While it may rain less in the summer, you need to be prepared for it by making sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. Wipers that are in poor condition can leave streaks over your windshield that may affect your vision. 
  • Check fluid levels: Keep up with your regular oil changes and check other essential fluids like brake fluid, washer fluid, and power-steering fluid. 
  • Check the air conditioning system: Have your air conditioner checked out, and make sure there is enough refrigerant in the system.
  • Check the air filter: Make sure your air filter isn’t clogged with debris. The air filter needs to be changed regularly.
  • Check the tires: You want to make sure your tires are inflated properly and the treads are not worn or cracked. Check for nails or items that could create punctures in the tires.
  • Check the battery: Make sure your battery is securely mounted, and that the terminals and cables are clean and clear of corrosive build-up. Have the battery tested. Extremes of heat and cold can affect the charge.
  • Keep the car clean: Washing the car regularly not only makes it shine, it protects the paint from the sun’s rays. Waxing the car will protect it further.
  • Keep an emergency kit on hand: In case you do have a breakdown, keep an emergency kit on hand that has items like jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares, basic hand tools, a first aid kit, as well as water and non-perishable food.

Along with summer maintenance for your car, make sure to keep up with any preventative maintenance including your factory scheduled maintenance. For the best in car care in Schaumburg, IL, schedule your maintenance services with Express Auto Repair & Emissions by calling 847-895-9131.

How can I protect my car in the summer?

Along with basic summer maintenance for your car, you’ll want to make sure your car is protected from the summer’s heat. One of the best ways to protect your car from heat and harsh sunlight when you are at home is to park it inside your garage or under a covered space. When you are out, try to park it in the shade if at all possible. If can’t park your car in the shade or under a covered space, use sunscreens to cover the interior of the car. Not only will the screen be useful to prevent heat damage to the dash, the steering wheel and other parts of the interior, you’ll be protected from the heat when touching them. Tinted windows are also useful to help keep the heat out.

How do I take care of my car?

While we’ve been concerned with summer maintenance for your car, no matter what season it is, regular maintenance will keep your car in good condition for as long as you drive it. You may ask, What is preventative maintenance on a car? or How do you do preventive maintenance on a car? Keeping your car regularly maintained is generally pretty easy. For the best preventative maintenance, you should follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. While maintenance schedules will vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, in general, if you follow these car care maintenance tips, you’ll be on your way to good car care:

  • Get an oil change every 5,000 miles, and check oil levels regularly: While many dealerships or service shops will recommend an oil change every 3,000 miles, most modern engines are generally good for 5,000 miles. You also want to check the oil levels regularly to ensure you have enough oil.  
  • Change the air filter every 10,000 miles: A clean air filter will improve fuel efficiency, prolong engine life, and lower emissions.
  • Rotate the tires every 5,000 to 10,000: Rotating the tires regularly prevents them from wearing out too soon.
  • Wash your car regularly and keep the windshield clean: Washing your car helps protect it from the sun, as well as damage from dirt, grime, as well as the acidity of bird droppings.
  • Check the tire pressure regularly: Driving on underinflated tires can be dangerous, and causes your tires to wear out faster.

When it comes to summer maintenance for your car or regular preventative maintenance, it’s essential to protect your engine from wear and tear. Serious damage or prolonged negligence and wear could require engine rebuilding

A Mechanic Changes Oil in a Car.

Schedule Maintenance

Whether you need general car care or want summer maintenance for your car in Schaumburg, IL, you can always count on the reliable team at Express Auto Repair & Emissions. Call 847-895-9131 to schedule a service with us.

What is Coolant System Service?

Hands Pouring Blue Antifreeze Liquid In Car

Avoid Cooling System Repair

How cooling system works in a car involves the use of coolant or antifreeze which prevents boiling points and freezing temperatures in your car which can affect the parts of your system from performance and overheating. It also works with your heating and cooling and can regulate cabin temperatures for comfort as well. It’s important to realize that the cooling system in automobile differs than that with your home or business and have more limited capabilities in comparison. Yet to be fair in that regard it does do the basic job of proving comfort. In order to maintain the performance and integrity of your car’s engine and system, it’s important to stay on top of your coolant levels and vehicle’s standard maintenance requirements so you can avoid the headache of cooling system repair. Here is some information regarding your cooling system that may be of help for your vehicle’s longevity.

Cooling System vs Air Conditioning

A cooling system involves the cooling of air while making it more humid which in turn only cools the air by a few degrees from the ambient temperature. This type of system would better be used in places where the moisture content is less with dry heat as places with high humidity won’t allow this system to be as effective. With an air conditioner, there is more control in variability as it can produce both heating and cooling functions higher or below ambient temperature. An AC has the added benefit of controlling humidity for comfort as well as conditioning the air which makes it good for any climate be it if it’s naturally dry or humid.

How often should I put coolant in my car?

Typically it’s recommended to change your coolant in your car every 30,000 miles, yet your car’s owner’s manual will give you more relevant specifications based on the make and model of your car.  Due to upgrades in car technology and parts, some have improved systems that won’t need a coolant change until after the first 60,000 miles while others can even wait as high as 120,000 miles! As of such, many service shops may recommend that you should do it more often than the maintenance schedule recommends such as every 30,000 or 50,000.

What happens if you dont change coolant?

It’s important to note that your coolant will actually deteriorate over time and no longer help in preventing rust buildup as it’ll by then become acidic. You can simply test to see if it’s still good with test strips that measure acidity. As of such, corrosion with rust can be damaging to the radiator, thermostat, water pump and other parts of the cooling system so it’s important to have your coolant tested at about 50,000 miles. A car inspection will allow you to catch onto the signs of rust, acidity and cooling and boiling points (with a hydrometer) before potential issues develop and impact your system to where you’d need cooling system repair.

How much does it cost to fix a cooling system?

Cooling system repair prices will range depending on the heating and cooling system that you have, the make and model of your car and the extent of damages from neglect. As of such, cooling system repair cost typically cost around $100 if no other parts of your car were affected by neglect and overheating.

What are the signs of low coolant?

Be sure to keep up with the signs that your coolant is low in order to avoid cooling system repair. With higher than normal car temperatures you may start to see the needle indication or digital display start to reach a red zone which indicates low coolant levels. Your coolant is what will keep your radiator from overheating and causing problems with your car so it’s important to keep watch of the temperature gauze meter whenever you’re driving. You may even see a light pop up on your dashboard of wavy lines which point to the coolant levels and temperature of your vehicle.  In hotter weather, your car has more immediate potential to overheating as the surrounding air is hotter than normal so be aware during that season as well. When white smoke comes out of the hood of your car this means that your antifreeze has mixed into the fuel supply or that your engine is now overheating from an issue with the coolant system.  Any trouble with the coolant can affect the heater as well since coolant passes through its core through valves. So if there’s a block with the coolant say with leaves or a leak then this can lead to the heater not responding as well.  A coolant leak can occur inside or outside of the engine and can be seen by leaving a trace on the road that is either pink, orange or green. Since the leaked fluid is toxic be sure to clean it from your floors if near your home so kids and pets are safe. As of such, when you’re in your car or around it you may be able to smell something sweet when a leak occurs. Finally, your engine light is a good indication as any that there are abnormalities with your engine and other parts of your car’s system that makes it operable.

Coolant Temperature Gauge on a Car's Dashboard

Signs You Need Cooling System Repair

  • Low Coolant Levels
  • Visible Coolant Leak
  • Sweet Smell Indicating Leak
  • White Exhaust Smoke
  • Overheating
  • Rising Temperature Gauge
  • Engine Light

Can you drive a car without coolant?

Your car can still be operable without coolant for a while up to the point where the radiator and engine overheat and fail. Damages won’t be immediate in some cases yet your engine will be working in overtime which will lead to premature wear. Therefore in order to not risk damaging other parts and risking high replacement costs try to stay on top of low coolant level indications and signs. Coolant car service is relatively low and can even be grouped with an oil change if desired. Avoid the headache of auto repair and keep up with your vehicle’s maintenance periodically!

If you need help with a cooling system repair in Schaumburg, IL call 847-895-9131 with Express Auto Repair & Emissions!

Why is the AC in My Car Not Working?

Tuning the AC Temperature in a Car

Keeping Your Cool in the Heat

Air conditioning plays a vital role in our day to day comfort. With cool, refreshing air available at the turn of a knob, it’s no wonder we so often take this comfort for granted. That’s especially true in our vehicles, where functioning AC plays an even more essential role in our safety.

What happens when that air conditioning breaks down, and how can we (as drivers) figure out what the problem likely is? We’ll be diving into the topic of car air conditioning service and repair today. By the end, you should have a basic idea of how to match symptom to related part failure, and you’ll definitely know when to schedule car AC repair! Let’s get started.

What to Do if AC is Not Cooling

“Why did my car AC stop blowing cold air?!” That’s a question our mechanics here all the time at Express Auto Repair & Emissions. Like certain engine power problems, AC malfunctions can be traced to a variety of potential part failures. That means that answering our question actually requires a little bit of digging.

Below, are a few familiar situations that will help us outline possible explanations. Of course, you could just bring your car straight to the auto maintenance shop, but where’s the fun in that?

Hot Air

What Does it Mean When Your Car AC Blows Hot Air?

Did you know that the air conditioning system operating in your vehicle is actually fairly similar to the one cooling your home? This system relies on a variety of moving parts, but it can only function with sufficient refrigerant. Modern vehicles rely on R-134a, a more environmentally friendly replacement for Freon. Think of it as the blood that allows your AC to thrive, only this cold fluid frequently alternates between liquid and gas states.

One of the common reasons why vehicles lose cooling capabilities is a shortage of refrigerant (many still call it “Freon”). Because the fluid won’t simply run out by itself, there’s usually a leaky part behind the problem. Most mechanics will point towards the compressor as the likely suspect, especially if the hot air is accompanied by loud clanging or squealing sounds.

Another potential cause could be the evaporator, where the refrigerant should cool the air blown by your fan. Just before the evaporator is the expansion valve, which moderates the intake of refrigerant. A faulty valve may check the fluid supply so that too little reaches the evaporator.

No Air

Why Did My Car AC Stop Blowing Air?

An even more serious problem is a complete lack of air coming out of the vents. This could indicate a multiple part failures or a single malfunction that triggered a shutdown. Again, with so many possible explanations, it often takes a professional to discern the true cause of the air conditioner failure.

Below, we’ll highlight our most common reasons for the AC to stop working.

  • Warm Air #1: Faulty Compressor
  • Warm Air #2: Choking Expansion Valve
  • Warm Air #3: Leak Refrigerant Hose or Seal
  • No Air #1: Burnt Out or Broken Blower Motor
  • No Air #2: Faulty Control Module
  • No Air #3: Degraded Relays or Resistors
  • No Air #4: A Failing Accumulator or Receiver-Dryer

Car AC Repair and Service

As you can imagine, different parts come with varying prices and labor requirements. While you could attempt to replace a few minor parts yourself, many parts of the air conditioning system should only be handled by a professional (especially refrigerant and electrical parts). After all, you wouldn’t want to add a hospital visit to your car AC repair cost!

Car AC Repair Cost Estimate

Let’s get to the big question: How much does it cost to get air conditioning fixed in a car? If you are having a noticeable drop in cooling capabilities, you’ll likely need to arrange a checkup and refrigerant recharge. That typically begins in the $100 to $300 range, though a related part replacement (likely in the event of leak) could push your costs into the upper hundreds.

Say your mechanic diagnoses a complete compressor failure under the hood. A part replacement of this size will launch your total into the thousands. At this point, only the most devoted car owners consider car AC repair. Most tend to start shopping for a replacement vehicle.

Equipment Used to Measure Coolant in Car

Call Our Car AC Repair Shop!

It can be very challenging to keep your cool when the air conditioning has gone out. After all, AC plays an essential role in our daily lives. When that day comes, it pays to have your Schaumburg, IL car service ready to go in your phone’s contact list! Contact our trusted mechanic as soon as possible to prevent additional damage to other system parts.

Ready to get the ball rolling on your relief? Our team at Express Auto Repair & Emissions would be thrilled to help! Contact our Schaumburg, IL car AC repair shop and tell us about your problem. We’ll be happy to arrange an appointment that fits with your busy schedule. To begin, simply our friendly staff at 847-895-9131.

Why Change Fluids in Your Car?

Car fluids get topped off

We’ve got you covered whether your car fluids need a top off or a complete flush.

There are many features in a vehicle that some car owners take for granted. Your ability to turn smoothly without much force on the wheel. The way your brakes react so quickly when you slam your foot down on the pedal in an emergency. The smooth way your car shifts gears and allows you to continue to accelerate without abrupt stops or interference. All of these features are brought to homeowners through specialty pieces of equipment in your car. But just like your engine needs oil to stay lubricated and function properly, these pieces of equipment require their individual car fluids to ensure they operate at peak performance. But what does that mean for you as a vehicle owner? Which engine parts need car fluids, and which operate on something else entirely? You may not even know if you need to change these different car fluids, or just top them off.

What are My Different Car Fluids?

This can be a confusing thought for people not mechanically inclined. Most vehicle owners know to have their oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles of use. Obviously this varies depending on the make and model of your car. You may have found yourself wondering “What fluids are in my car?” or “What color are the fluids in my car?” If you ever get a fluid leak in Schaumburg, IL, you’ll want to be able to figure out what you’re looking at. Knowing what color every liquid that can leak from your vehicle can help you diagnose the source of a leak quickly, potentially helping you minimize the damage to engine. Knowing the differences of car oil vs transmission fluid can save you money on diagnostics at the mechanic.

  • Light to Dark Brown This is engine oil. In terms of car fluids, this is the life-blood of your engine. It lubricates all of the moving pieces of your engine, and keeps it from degrading quickly. If your vehicle runs out of oil, or leaks too much of it, your engine can break down faster, and you can cause irreparable damage to one of the most expensive components in your car. The color of your oil changes based on time. The closer it is to your last oil change, the lighter the color of brown. The darker it gets, the closer you are to needing an oil change. If it contains sludge, it is supposed to. Most modern oils are made to keep contaminants in the oil itself, not dispersed through the engine. However, it can only do this for so long. That’s why you should pay attention to your driving patterns and owners manual to know when to get an oil change.
  • Pink, Red, or Brown If you have a leak, and the fluid is one of these colors with a thick and oily consistency, then you most likely have a transmission fluid leak. The output shaft seal and axle seal are the common culprits in a transmission fluid leak. Transmission fluid is to your transmission what engine oil is to your engine. It lubricates the moving parts in your transmission to prevent damage and degradation of a very expensive part of your vehicle. It also serves as to cool the transmission during extensive periods of use. If you have an automatic transmission, it also helps transfer power from the engine to the transmission.
  • Dark Red or Reddish Brown This is most likely power steering fluid. It has a thinner consistency than engine oil or transmission fluid. Essentially a pump pressurizes this fluid to help create hydraulic power to assist you in turning your vehicle. Without this, making hard turns would take much more force on the wheel. If you see this fluid, chances are you have a leak in the rack end seals for the rack and pinion power steering mechanism.
  • Pale Amber If it’s in your car and looks like cooking oil, chances are it’s brake fluid. The type of brake fluid in your car varies depending on the braking system. Anti-lock brake systems use glycol-based fluids, while non-ABS systems use silicone based fluids. Brake fluid essentially creates hydraulic pressure in your brake system. It assists your brake rotors to clamp down harder, helping you to brake faster and more effectively. If this leaks it could be a few things, including the brake caliper seals or your flex lines.
  • Bright Yellow or Green If you need to determine what that neon fluid is in your vehicle, it’s probably coolant or antifreeze. These could come from a number of places, including your car’s head gasket, freeze plugs, radiator, and others. These keep your car engine from overheating or freezing up. Moving components always run the risk of succumbing to the elements, and the addition of the proper amount of coolant and antifreeze to your car fluids can be the difference between a safe commute to work or a trip to the mechanic.

Maintenance for Car Fluids

Car fluids keep your vehicle in peak working condition

Give us a call if you’re curious about the condition of your car or car fluids.

Now that you can better determine which car fluids do what, you have to know proper maintenance. Just like oil, your vehicle will eventually need each individual system topped off, flushed, or completely drained and refilled with new fluid.

How do you know if your car is leaking fluid? If you ever look down and notice a pool of fluids underneath your vehicle, there is a good chance you have a leak. This is the most obvious way to determine a leak. Since the engine and other parts aren’t sealed, fluids leaking out of your engine will inevitably end up on the ground where you park. Pay attention to the color and consistency of the car fluids to determine the type of fluid leak, which will help determine the potential point of origin. If you find your car leaking fluid and overheating, there is a good chance you have a fluid leak and should seek repairs immediately to avoid permanent engine damage.

When should you change car fluids? Letting your car fluids go without inspection for too long could require you to need a Sugar Hill, GA auto repair center. This varies depending on the vehicle, the usage, and the system. Transmission fluid requires a complete flush and replacement somewhere between 30,000 miles and 100,000 miles. Some vehicles state you will never need to service this fluid. At the same time, your power steering fluid should be topped off when it seems to be running low. A good indicator is the ease of your turns while driving. If turning becomes more difficult, you could need more power steering fluid.

Mechanic changes car fluids

Our mechanics can get your car back on the road in a quick and efficient manner

What fluids should be flushed in a car? You can feasibly do this to all of your car fluids. Whether or not they require this is a completely different story. While old engine oil is drained away and replaced, a flush of the system can help remove gunk in the system itself. There is no method for car fluid cleaning, but a flush is a way to remove building up in car fluid systems of your vehicle. But how much does it cost to get all your fluids changed? Each of your car fluids will cost a different amount. A system flush will run from 80 dollars to 250 dollars. Throw in the cost of the replacement fluid and it can be more expensive. That’s why you should always do your research before committing to a complete system flush.

Car fluid bubbles could be indicative of an air leak in one of your car fluid systems, which can cause problems further down the road, and be potentially hazardous on the road. Any car fluid leaks could become serious problems further down the line. If one of your systems is leaking fluid on to other parts of your engine, you run the risk of a malfunction, and further problems. Now that you can better determine what your car fluids look like and what they do for your vehicle you’re better prepared in the event of a leak. If you’re in Schaumburg, IL and have a question about car fluids or need a car fluid leak repaired, contact Express Auto Repair & Emissions at 847-895-9131, and we’ll help get your vehicle back in peak operating condition.

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

A Car on an Icy Road to Illustrate the Need to Winterize a Car for Bad Weather.

Seasonal Hazards Create the Need to Winterize Your Vehicle for Safety and Comfort.

Winter car breakdown is a common occurrence that can become a true hazard. An unprepared driver, driving a car that has received no weatherization, could become stranded. A complete breakdown will neutralize a car’s heater, and without proper preparation, you could find yourself cold and helpless, totally reliant on your cell phone to summon help. At Express Auto Repair & Emissions, we don’t want anyone to find themselves in these circumstances. To winterize a car requires a little effort, but generates a lot of peace of mind.

Cars can develop several major issues if not prepped for cold weather. Some of these, including the sudden death of the car’s battery, or the freezing of its fuel lines, can leave you without transportation. Of course, there’s more to winterization than prepping your vehicle’s mechanical components. You must also think about your personal comfort and safety, should an unforeseen problem occur. After all, it’s one thing to run out of fuel or blow a tire in nice weather, when you can simply relax and wait for help. In winter, preparation dictates that you provide also for your personal needs. To schedule professional help and winterize a car in Schaumburg, IL, call Express Auto Repair & Emissions today at 847-895-9131.

How Do I Prepare My Car for Winter?

Obviously, the level of preparation you must undergo varies widely based on your location. If you live in a place that consistently freezes, with snow and iced roads, then you need to take your prep seriously. To winterize a car, you must not only work to ensure its functionality, but also its status as a haven should an unforeseen problem occur. Cover the following areas, and you can drive freely in the knowledge that you’re protected from wintry hazards.

Check Your Fluids: If you only accomplish one component of car winterization, make sure that you check your fluids. The relevant ones to winterize a car are:

  • Oil
  • Coolant
  • Wiper Fluid

In places where it freezes on a regular basis, some mechanics recommend that car owners switch their oil to a thinner blend. This depends on your vehicle, however, and requires a professional opinion or review of your car’s manual. Your antifreeze coolant is the best defense that your vehicle has against the effects of cold weather. You will absolutely want to make sure that your vehicle has the maximum amount possible. To determine this, you may need to purchase a tester from an auto parts store. Lastly, make sure to attend to the oft-overlooked wiper fluid. If your fluid freezes, it will create a dangerous situation as you struggle to see the road. For a solution, simply replace this fluid with a freeze-resistant variety.

What Is the Best Winter Battery?

Dead batteries are another major consequence of bad weather. Cold weather can lessen your battery’s ability to function, a problem that can leave you stranded in a parking lot, along a deserted road, or simply in your driveway as you need to leave for work. To prevent this, you’ll first want to check your battery’s cables for wear, cracks, or breakage. Also, make sure that they remain firmly connected. You must then check your battery fluid. You can typically inspect its levels through the refill hole, and can shore it up with the addition of distilled water. Finally, look for a manufacture date on your battery. If it has served for three years or more, you should have it replaced. As for the best winter battery, a professional review site recommends Optima Batteries Yellow Top.

What Are Winter Car Tires?

To Winterize a Car, You May Want to Include Hazard Signs.

A Winter Car Kit Can Also Include Hazard Signs and Road Flares.

The last car components that deserve attention are the tires. First, check your tire pressure and treads. Improperly inflated or worn tires represent a true hazard on frozen roads. If you live in an area where the roads frequently ice over, consider the purchase of winter car tires. These are specialized tires made to grip icy roads and power your vehicle through wintry conditions. If you live in a rural area, you might want to consider the purchase of winter tires equipped with studs.

Winter Car Emergency Kit

After you’ve seen to the needs of your vehicle, you should provide for your own personal comfort and safety. A winter car emergency kit is an indispensable addition to any vehicle. As a matter of fact, your car should have an emergency kit all year round. When winter arrives, you can simply add a few seasonal items. A winter car emergency kit should include:

  • Water in a Freeze-Resistant Container
  • Blankets, Winter Hats, and Gloves
  • Sand or Kitty Litter
  • An Ice Scraper
  • A Short Shovel
  • Additional Antifreeze
  • Snacks and Books

Food and water are essential, as you never know what might happen on the open road. For winter, make sure you include warm clothing items in case your car’s heater fails. Sand or kitty litter, along with a shovel, can prove themselves lifesavers if you get stuck in the snow.

After you prepare your car as much as possible, schedule a check-up with the talented mechanics at Express Auto Repair & Emissions. You’ll want to make sure you haven’t missed anything, including issues such as electrical repair, that only a professional can handle. For scheduled maintenance to help winterize a car in Schaumburg, IL, call 847-895-9131 today.

Which Car Parts Most Frequently Need Replacement?

Woman with Stranded Vehicle

If Your Fail to Replace Important Parts, You Can Find Yourself in Need of Major Car Repair.

Regardless of the regularity of maintenance, every car will eventually need replacement parts to keep running. Once you’ve reached six digits on your odometer, you will likely have already had many rounds of filter replacement, along with new brake pads and any other number of issues. The performance of regular maintenance and attention to your car part needs can greatly extend your vehicle’s life and value. You are also much less likely to wind up stranded with a broken-down vehicle, or stuck in your driveway on a workday.

The Most Common Auto Replacement Parts

Every car will need replacement parts as the years go by and wear accumulates. The most frequently replaced parts are listed below. As a responsible driver, you should not only familiarize yourself with these parts, but the time frames that indicate a need for replacement.

  • Oil Filter: Of course, no car part gets replaced more often than an oil filter. A clogged filter can cause major damage, so make sure to have yours switched out every time you go in for an oil change.
  • Air Filter: An old air filter will eventually make your air conditioning stink. Have yours changed every 40,000 miles or so.
  • Brake Pads: Normally speaking, a driver will need to replace their brake pads every four to six years.
  • Batteries: Regardless of how much you drive, you will need to replace your battery every four to six years.
  • Head Lights: Five to seven years represents the lifespan for headlights. Get yours changed before they burn out, and save yourself the hassle of a ticket.

Of course, once you’ve owned your car for several years, the likelihood for more significant replacement needs will appear. These will vary with the model and make of vehicle, the driver’s habits, and the whims of fate. Regardless, you should also try to educate yourself on the symptoms of more extensive repair needs. For example, if you have frequent electrical issues, dim lights, or engine stalls, you may need alternator replacement.

At Express Auto Repair & Emissions, one of our specialties with car repair in Schaumburg, IL is brake services and replacement. If you hear the telltale grinding noise of worn-out brakes, give us a call at 847-895-9131.