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.

Is Fuel Efficiency Important?

Fuel Efficiency

Have you been wondering if you can improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency? Many people are skeptical if this is even possible or important for their cars in particular. Taking the time to learn about fuel efficiency can actually make a big difference for you in many ways. The best part is that improving the way your car consumes fuel is not nearly as difficult as you may think. There are some simple tricks and tips you can complete in order to get your vehicle functioning well:

  • Depress the pedal slowly and avoid stepping on it to reduce the use of excess fuel
  • Use the correct fuel and oil that your vehicle needs to keep it running optimally
  • Get gas in the morning and keep the gas cap tight
  • Plan your trip accordingly to reduce stops and backtracking
  • Keep your tires inflated at the best PSI and replace accordingly
  • Schedule services to replace fluids and filters regularly

These are just some of the possible tricks to help improve your vehicle. While these sound simple, many people do not realize how simple it really is. For example, keeping your tires in great condition and making sure they suit your vehicle can actually be a big help in efficiency, as stated by this Tenessee auto repair and tire shop.

What Are the Benefits of Fuel Economy?

Taking these small steps can not only make a difference in how your vehicle runs, but can also go a long way to help the environment and lower your emissions. This means that while driving your car and enjoying the ability to go further due to more gas, your car will also not emit as many greenhouse gases. On top of that, these tips can help your vehicle pass The Illinois Air Teams Vehicle Emissions Repair Shop Report Card. Want to learn more or need service to improve your fuel efficiency? Call (847) 895-9131 today for expert services from Express Auto Repair & Emissions in Schaumburg, IL.

Do You Need Car Air Conditioning Repair?

If You Need Car Air Conditioning Repair, Call Our Mechanics Today!

Ever since the invention of the air conditioner in 1902, people have been able to enjoy indoors without overheating and fainting. As the years progressed, further advances were made, like portable and car A/C units. In fact, us humans have been enjoying cool air in our cars since 1939! So when your car air conditioner starts acting up and blowing hot air or no air at all, your day can turn miserable pretty quickly. Don’t let that happen and come to us as soon as you notice signs of a musty smell in the car or hot air blowing. If you need car air conditioning repair in SchaumburgSchaumburg, IL, call the mechanics at Express Auto Repair & Emissions today at (847) 895-9131.

What is Auto Air Conditioning Service?

Car air conditioning services are repairs geared specifically towards your A/C unit. If you notice green or blue colored liquid dripping under your car, that is the refrigerant leaking. Refrigerant is the cooling liquid that works its way through all the HVAC pipes and gears to be transformed into cool air. Not only is refrigerant harmful to the environment, but if it is leaking, that is a telltale sign that something is seriously wrong with your car. Other damaged A/C parts might be the fitting, compressor, condenser, or evaporator. These can become clogged, malfunction, or wear out over time. Expansion valves can become defective or loose from the rumbling and constant movement of the car.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Air Conditioning in a Car?

Catching the air conditioning problem fast enough, locating the broken part, and how often these parts break and are reproduced will help determine the repair costs. Average car air conditioner repair for minor issues are $200 to $750 dollars. Serious problems or the model of the car could cost you over $1,000. When prices reach that high, you might want to consider getting a new car that is newer with no problems instead of having to shell out all that money to replace your air conditioner for the car.

Get Your Car A/C Repaired Today

You wouldn’t let your home swelter due to a broken air conditioning unit. Why would you do the same in your car? If you are noticing that your vents aren’t blowing cool air like they are supposed to, or if you are smelling odd fumes, take your car in for air conditioning repair. Express Auto Repair & Emissions provides car air conditioning repair in SchaumburgSchaumburg, IL. Call us today at (847) 895-9131 to schedule an appointment.

Get Your Car Ready For Summer


Your Car Can Take You Anywhere This Summer.

Summer is a great time for family and friends to get together and go on adventures in the car! When planning a trip, you always plan and pack ahead to prevent an emergency. Why not do the same for your car? Summer heat can be hard on your car, and if there is an issue with your engine or system, it can cut your trip short. Before you head out on the road, check the following to ensure your trip won’t be interrupted by car issues.

What To Check On Your Car

  • Tires: When the temperature changes, it can affect your tire pressure and how your tires handle the road. Check your pressure and consider tire rotation or replacement for especially worn tires.
  • Air Conditioner: A hot car is dangerous for you, your loved ones, and your pets. Before you hit the road, test your AC. If it makes any strange noises or isn’t blowing cool air, service is in order.
  • Coolant: Coolant plays an important role in keeping your engine running well. If it is too low, it can allow your engine to overheat which can damage multiple sections of your engine, leading to costly repairs. Assess how low your coolant is and get a refill if needed.
  • Brakes: Keeping your brakes at their best is very important to your traveling safety. Brake inspection can determine if your brake pads or fluid needs replacement.
  • Battery: Summer heat can be just as damaging to car batteries as winter. Test all of your accessories and consider a battery replacement if the posts and connectors are corroded.

Is your vehicle in need of service before your road trip? Express Auto Repair & Emissions is always available to provide you with quality service to keep your car road ready. Reach out to us at (847) 895-9131 for expert service in Schaumburg, IL


Signs You Need Brake Repair

Brakes are probably the most important gear system in your car. They save your life and those around you when you need to suddenly stop your 2 ton of metal from hurtling at speeds of 40 miles or over. If your brakes are beginning to fail, get them fixed immediately for your safety. Here are some ways to tell if you need brake repair:

Come In Today If You Need Brake Repair


The most obvious sign that your brakes are beginning to fail is a metallic squealing or grinding noise. This indicates that your brake pads have worn away from overuse and that metal is beginning to grind on metal. If refilling your car with brake fluid doesn’t eliminate the noise, take your car to shop quickly.


If you feel vibrations in your steering wheel, throughout the whole car, or when you brake, this is from your rotors becoming warped. Rotors are what the brake pads squeeze to generate friction to stop the car.

Soft Pedal

If you out your foot on the brake pedal and it goes all the way to the floor before finally coming to a stop, go to a repair shop immediately! Your brake pads are low or your brake fluid is at a dangerously low level. If you don’t get your car fixed, you won’t be able to brake at all very soon.


Have you felt your car swerving or pulling to the side when you brake? This could be an indication of worn brake pads or a malfunctioning wheel cylinder.

Call Express Auto Repair & Emissions at (847) 895-9131if you need brake repair in SchaumburgSchaumburg, IL.

Maintaining Your 4-Wheel Drive

Your 4-wheel drive is likely one of your most prized possessions. You wash it weekly and change the oil before it’s time. You regularly inspect your tires and wheel assembly, engine, and transmission to ensure tip-top shape. But are you taking proper care of the 4-wheel drive itself? Below, we list the vital 4-wheel drive maintenance tasks that should be done regularly to keep your 4×4 running as it should.

We Keep Your 4x4 Perfect.

Keep Your 4×4 Running Great With Our 4-Wheel Drive Maintenance Services.

Brakes and Lines

Inspect your brakes and their lines for areas of leaking or wear, and regrease them as necessary. Ungreased brake lines could mean rust or early degradation that can cause big problems.


Typically, your modern 4×4 vehicle will be self-leveling, which involves the use of linkages. Check yours to make sure they are properly lubricated to prevent grinding and wear.


You should have both your front and back differentials inspected regularly including fluid level, seals, and signs of corrosion. You will also need to change the fluid according to your vehicle’s specifications, which is usually between 20,000 and 35,000 miles.

Transfer Case

Maybe the most vital component of your 4-wheel drive system, your transfer case controls how your vehicle’s power is transferred to the front and back wheels. During the inspection, you should check each of your seals, paying special attention to the ones located near the transmission. Yous should also check the fluid and change it according to your vehicle manual.

Proper 4-wheel drive maintenance is the first step to optimal performance. Ensure proper inspection and maintenance all the time with the help from the Express Auto Repair & Emissions professionals. We provide accurate, comprehensive inspection, evaluation, and repair for all 4×4 makes and models. Call our technicians today at (847) 895-9131.

The Low-Down on Aftermarket Warranties

Most car buyers have heard the offer for an aftermarket warranty, especially if the car being bought is used. According to a report completed by Consumer Reports, not all car buyers will benefit from purchasing one of these warranties. While some aftermarket, or extended, warranties are cost-effective, consider the purchase carefully, and keep these tips in mind.

We Can Help You Identify the Best Coverage for Your New Vehicle.

Consider the Condition and Mileage

If your vehicle already has high mileage, it may not be beneficial to purchase an extended warranty. In fact, 55 percent of car buyers say they have never used their aftermarket warranty. Typically, owners of brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Dodge report using their warranties more often than Toyota, Honda, and Subaru owners. Have your vehicle inspected to get an accurate idea of upcoming damages or possible weaknesses.

Which Type of Warranty?

Warranty companies often have multiple packages, from bumper to bumper complete coverage to drivetrain only. If you decide to purchase an extended warranty, go for the fullest coverage available. Typically, the price difference isn’t steep and you receive much more coverage.

Avoid Costly Scams

We have all received the postcard in the mail or the annoying phone calls after buying a vehicle that promise great savings and unbeatable coverage. Unfortunately, many companies that offer aftermarket warranties are scammers. Don’t commit to any contract or payment until you have received a full contract that includes limitations and exclusions. If you do decide to purchase a warranty from an outside company, ask your dealer about the reputation of the company you’re considering. Chances are that if the dealership hasn’t heard of or dealt with them in the past, you should steer clear.

Aftermarket warranties can be good to have in some cases. However, be sure you know exactly what you’re purchasing and how likely you are to need it in the first place. Knowing your warranty options can help you save hundreds in the long run. To learn more about extended warranties, or to find out if your needed repairs are covered by yours, call our experts at (847) 895-9131.

Tips To Save Gas

Nobody like having to stop and fill up for gas. It’s not fun to watch your money literally away in a matter of minutes, but we all have to do it and with the steady increase in gas prices the world has seen, there are always people looking to save money on gas. There are a few ways to help save you gas, even if you are a commuter.

Slow Down – When you drive fast and take off in a hurry, you are using way more gas than you normally should be. Not only are you wasting gas, but you are putting unneeded stress on your vehicle that you don’t need to be doing. By speeding, you are causing your car to work harder, thus needing more fuel to add to the fire that is, your running car.

Roll The Window Down – This one isn’t always true actually. If you are on the freeway it is actually better for you to keep your window up and turn on that air conditioning. But if you are driving through town or down an old back road, roll the window down. Not only will it help you save gas, but it will probably make you feel really good too.

Maintenance – You need to make sure you are getting your car maintenanced when it tells you you need it. There are things like air filters that have to be changed in order for your vehicle to keep runni9ng its best.

When you do need an oil change or anything of that nature, give Express Auto Repair & Emissions a call at (847) 895-9131. We will be here for you and your vehicle.

Is It Time To Change The Oil In Your Vehicle?

Your car probably plays a very important role in your life, so it is essential that you take care of it. There are  many things that need to be taken care of on your vehicle, from brake changes, tire rotation, and more. Today we will talk about oil changes, and 4 signs that your car needs an oil change ASAP!

oil changes

Is It Time To Change Your Vehicle’s Oil?

 It’s Been A While

Your vehicle needs its oil changed according to how often you drive, and how many miles you drive it. If you only take short drives every day, you will need the oil changed more frequently than someone who drives long distances everyday. Regardless, if you can’t remember when the last time you had your oil changed was, your car is almost certainly due for one.

Your Check Engine Light Is On

If your check engine light is on and you aren’t sure why, one of the first things you should do is see if you’re due for an oil change. If you are, change the oil, and see if the check engine light goes off.

Your Car Has Dark Oil

Your engine oil should be a thin consistency and gold coloring. If you look at the oil on your car’s dipstick, and you see dark, sludgy oil, you definitely need an oil change as soon as you can get one!

Loud Engine Noise

Engines aren’t exactly quiet, but unless you have aftermarket additions to make it loud, it shouldn’t be making any sort of grinding or clunking noises. Your engine oil is meant to lubricate the engine, so loud noises could indicate a lubrication issue.


Give Express Auto Repair a call at (847) 895-9131 today if you need affordable oil or engine services!