If you enjoy reading about cars and other related topics, we’d love to share our Auto Care Blog with you. At CARS of America, Inc., our highly trained auto mechanics deliver the very best in auto repair services through our two locations in Glenview. One way we accomplish that is in the time we take to help educate our customers so they feel confident making auto repair decisions. Our Auto Care Blog is just one way we meet that goal. Let us know if there’s a topic you’d like to hear more about!

 

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Can't live without the A/C? Find out how it works in 6 easy steps

Imagine you have someplace to be and it’s a hot, steamy summer day. You don’t want to arrive a sweaty, wind-blown mess, so you turn on one of the marvels of modern automotive design: the air conditioner. It’s estimated that more than 99 percent of all new cars in the United States have A/C. So how does your car or truck produce that wonderful cool air at the push of a button? First of all, air conditioning works on two principles: 1. Heat goes to cold (a cold substance attracts and absorbs heat); and 2. Vapors get hot when compressed and get cold when expanded. In the air conditioning world, pressure and temperature are virtually the same thing–30 PSI (pounds per square inch) is roughly equal to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Now you’re ready for a step-by-step explanation of how it all comes together! Step 1: The compressor is the power unit of the A/C system. It is powered by a drive belt connected to the engine’s crankshaft. When the A/C sys ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Ready for some summer road trips? Here’s a few to consider

Ready for some summer road trips? Here’s a few to consider

Now that the days are longer and there’s sunshine to spare, it’s time to think about heading out on the road for some fun. For the next several months we’ll be highlighting some road trip possibilities to jump start your trip planning! Here are a few to consider. Did you know there are more than 100 wineries and 450 vineyards located throughout Illinois? There are six official wine trails that wine lovers can traverse and discover a variety of wines in just one trip. The wineries offer a variety of experiences: classes, tours, tastings, restaurants, comedy shows, music festivals and more. Pick a trail close to home or venture to the other end of the state. If that’s not enough wine for you, you can continue the tasting into Michigan and tour the ... read more

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Road Trips

True or false? Find out if these auto ‘facts’ are myths or reality

There’s all kinds of automotive information out there that many of us accept as gospel. But it turns out that much of what we think we know isn’t true. Here are some of the most frequently heard automotive myths and their corresponding truths. Myth: It’s more dangerous to drive while talking on a cell phone than driving drunk.Fact: Actually, this one is true, according to MythBusters on the Discovery Channel. Two of the MythBusters drove through a driving test course that included a brake test, a parallel parking test, a timing trial and an accident-avoidance challenge. After they both passed the control tests sober and cell phone-free, they went through the course talking on the cellphone, and again after drinking enough to have a blood alcohol content almost to the legal limit. Both failed the course while on the cell phone and while drunk. But they failed the cell phone test by a much bi ... read more

Categories:

Auto Repair

Know when to stop! Overheated coolant triggers "check engine" light

Your car’s “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light can flash on for more than 1,400 different reasons, and in the coming months, we’re going to share with you what some of those reasons are. The light is part of your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) system and can indicate anything from a quick fix like a loose gas cap to a major repair like a catalytic converter. Trouble code: P0217 Engine Over Temperature If this code is discovered, it means the engine coolant temperature is excessively high under normal engine speed. The engine coolant is overheating if it’s around 240 to 250 degrees. This is a critical light! It means your engine is beginning to overheat. In addition to the check engine light, you might also see some other type of warning on the dashboard, such as a red temperature gauge or maybe the words “engine hot.” The warning lights should come on before any damage to your engine occurs ... read more

What's that light mean? Clogged air filter triggers this dashboard light

There are a number of dashboard warning lights in your vehicle that can pop on at any minute. Everyone knows what the oil light and battery light are for, but a lot of others are puzzling and require pulling out the owners’ manual. To help make things a little more clear, we take time each month to look at the different lights and what they stand for. This month, we’re highlighting the symbol that indicates a clogged air filter. It means your car’s engine air filter needs to be replaced. It’s not an emergency, but it should be replaced as soon as possible because your car needs a clean air filter to operate properly. The air filter removes dirt and debris from the outside air before the air flows into the engine cylinders. A little dirt on the filter is OK, but leave it unchanged for too long, and the filter will become clogged, restricting the airflow into the engine and reducing engine performance. A clean air filter, on the other hand, can improve gas ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

CARS of America wins Angie's List Super Service Award—for the second year in a row

CARS of America has won the 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor earned by only about 5 percent of all companies on Angie’s List. This is the second consecutive year CARS has won the service award. “I’d like to thank all of our great Angie’s List clients who took the time to write lengthy and glowing reviews–reviews that the team at Angie’s List felt were compelling enough to earn us this coveted Super Service Award,” says Bob Dupre, CARS Founder and Director of Business Development. “In addition, I’d like to acknowledge the efforts and results of the amazing team that Brian has assembled. They have collectively set the bar for automotive service in Glenview.” Angie’s List Super Service Award 2012 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, including earning a minimum number of reports/reviews, receiving excellent ratings from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines. “It’s a select group of companies r ... read more

‘Check engine’ light on? Could be the engine coolant temperature sensor

Your car’s “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light can flash on for more than 1,400 different reasons, and in the coming months, we’re going to share with you what some of those reasons are. The light is part of your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) system and can indicate anything from a quick fix like a loose gas cap to a major repair like a catalytic converter. Trouble code P0115 – Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) Circuit Malfunction The engine coolant temperature sensor measures the ever-changing engine coolant temperature. It provides important data that helps the powertrain control module (PCM) to control the air fuel ratio, ignition spark timing, the cooling fans and many components of the emissions control systems. The ECT sensor essentially is a thermistor that changes resistance with temperature. As the temperature of the coolant changes, the resistance changes on the ground signal to the powertrai ... read more

It's holiday shopping time–try these gifts for the car owners on your list

The holidays are getting closer, so there’s no time to waste. Try these gift ideas for the car owners on your list: Emergency Services. The OnStar system, which has been built into General Motors cars for years, now is available for non-GM cars at Best Buy. The system notifies emergency operators in case of an accident so they can call first responders. Drivers get 24/7 access to live OnStar advisors, roadside assistance and hands-free calling. The store installs the new rearview mirror in place of the current one. You can even check online if your car is compatible. Gift Certificates for Car Repairs or Maintenance. Anyone who owns a car will need service at some point during the year, such as for oil changes and tune-ups. Visit our website or ca ... read more

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Car-Themed Gifts

Check Engine light: What's that code?

It’s never a good feeling when you’re driving down the road and your “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light flashes on. The light is part of your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) system and can indicate anything from a quick fix like a loose gas cap to a major repair like a catalytic converter. The Check Engine light can turn on for more than 1,400 different reasons, and in the coming months, we’re going to share with you what some of those reasons might be. Trouble code: P0300 One code that can set the onboard computer off is P0300, random misfire, which means the car’s computer has detected that not all of the engine’s cylinders are firing the way they should be. If this is a problem, the engine might be harder to start or might stumble and/or hesitate. Of all the reasons your Check Engine light can come on, this is one of the more serious ones. Imagine the literal equivalent of, “not firing on all cylinders.” A code P0300 may ... read more

Low tire pressure warnings waking up your mornings? Here's the 411

After months of sweltering summer heat, these cooler fall days are a welcome relief to many of us. But when it comes to our cars, rapid changes in temperature can trigger a troubling dashboard warning light: A glowing orange or red low tire pressure indicator. The good news is: Your car is doing exactly what it’s supposed to, and the fix is about as easy and cost-free as it gets. Here’s what’s happening: All 2008 and newer vehicles, as well as many 2006 and 2007 model year cars and trucks, are equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which alerts you when the air in your tires drops about 25 percent beneath the recommended specification. (Some vehicles will trigger the light at less than a 25 percent drop in air pressure.) For every 10 degrees the ambient air temperature changes, your tire pressure will fluctuate about 1 psi. If you or your ... read more

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