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!

 

Articles:

How we clean hybrid battery terminals

How we clean hybrid battery terminals

The hybrid battery terminal on the top has been cleaned and is as good as new compared to the corroded terminal on the bottom. We’ve written quite a bit about our ability to test, recondition and rebuild hybrid car batteries. Today, we’re going to show you how we clean hybrid battery terminals, which get corroded just like the terminals in a regular car battery. Hybrid car batteries, such as those on the Toyota Prius, consist of multiple, individual battery modules. The Prius has 28; the Camry and the Avalon have 34 modules. There are copper “bus bars” that connect these modules to one another, allowing electricity to flow between them. Over time, they become corroded, and as part of our battery reconditioning service, we clean and shine them. We place the bus bars in a container of stainless steel media, place it into a sl ... read more

Categories:

Hybrids

Transmission repair and maintenance FAQs

Transmission repair and maintenance FAQs

We answer your frequently asked questions about transmission fluid service and more. Transmission fluid is one of those aspects of vehicle care that comes with a lot of question marks. We get it: Given that the average transmission contains 30,000 individual parts, it can be tricky to keep track. That’s why we’ve assembled a few of our most frequently asked questions below. What is transmission fluid? Transmission fluid is the lubricant that helps all of the parts in your transmission move smoothly. Both manual and automatic vehicles need transmission fluid to keep you moving. An automatic transmission also relies on the fluid to cool the internal parts, and they use the fluid to build up hydraulic pressure in order to shift gears. Why is it important? Dollar signs run through our head when we think about transmission fluid. It&rsq ... read more

Hybrid maintenance tip #4: Why a transmission fluid service is so important

Hybrid maintenance tip #4: Why a transmission fluid service is so important

You want your hybrid transmission fluid to be red and transparent like the image on the left, not black and sludgy like the coffee on the right. Flushing the fluid every 50,000 miles in your hybrid is even more important than in a gas-powered car. Here’s why. In any vehicle with an automatic transmission, it’s important to service the transmission fluid periodically in order to prolong the life of the transmission itself. In a hybrid vehicle, this service is even more critical because the hybrid transmission serves three purposes: It helps slow down the car when the driver applies the brakes. It helps to recharge the battery. It delivers power to the wheels to move the car forward–just like in a car with a gasoline engine. The hybrid transmission fluid becomes contaminated over time. The cast iron planetary ge ... read more

Categories:

Hybrids

What is TPMS?

What is TPMS?

All the basics on Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems What is your Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)? And what should you do if you see this light on your dash? Acronyms abound in the auto world. Our job? To explain the logic behind the letters. Today we’re going to focus on TPMS, the abbreviated version of “tire pressure monitoring system.” What is the TPMS? Your vehicle’s TPMS exists to warn you about tire under-inflation. Proper tire inflation is one of the biggest ways that you can prevent unsafe driving conditions — and optimize fuel economy — so it’s a monitoring system that you want to take seriously. Why does the light come on? When the TPMS senses that one of your tires isn’t adequately filled, you’ll see a bright light come on your dash featuring an exclamation point enclosed in ... read more

Not sure if you need a transmission or brake fluid flush? At CARS, we can test so you know for sure

Not sure if you need a transmission or brake fluid flush? At CARS, we can test so you know for sure

At CARS of America, we can test your brake, transmission, power steering and differential fluids so we know for certain when they need to be changed. One of the challenges of modern day auto service is striking a balance between recommending preventive maintenance that saves you money in the long run and advising you to spend money on maintenance before it’s truly needed. After all, most preventive maintenance schedules are based on mileage or time and don’t factor in driving habits, road conditions or even your local climate. This challenge is particularly true when it comes to fluid flushes for transmissions, brakes, coolant, power steering and differentials. Unless the fluid is in dire need of being flushed–such as trans fluid that’s black and full of metal flakes–it’s difficult to tell just by looking at the fluid if it needs ... read more

Save money, eliminate waste with hybrid car repair at CARS of America

Save money, eliminate waste with hybrid car repair at CARS of America

Why should you have your hybrid vehicle serviced at CARS of America? We can save you thousands of dollars compared to the car dealer, and we’re greener because we repair, not replace, failed hybrid components. At CARS of America in Glenview and Evanston, we can save you thousands over the dealer when servicing your hybrid cars. We can also help you be greener by repairing, not replacing, failed hybrid parts. When hybrid cars first hit the market, many consumers believed their new car dealer was the only game in town when it came to service and repairs. As hybrids became more popular, independent auto repair shops like CARS of America became more outspoken about our ability to service hybrids for everyday needs like oil changes, tires, brakes, steering and suspension work. And now, CARS of America is one of a few independent shops that can service your hybrid even better than the dea ... read more

Categories:

Hybrids

How we saved one client $2,000 on a Toyota Prius battery

How we saved one client $2,000 on a Toyota Prius battery

Reconditioning the hybrid battery paid off for this CARS’ client This is an individual battery module from a Toyota Prius. Since we launched CARS Hybrid Care earlier this year, we’ve been proudly touting the fact that we can save you thousands of dollars on a hybrid battery repair compared to the dealer. And here’s one case where we did just that. The client came to us with their Toyota Prius, and upon testing the battery, we determined there were 10 bad battery modules out of 28. We were able to replace just those 10 modules. We didn’t have to replace the entire battery pack. The dealer had quoted the client $4,400 to install a new Prius battery pack. We replaced only the failed modules, and the estimated cost to the client? $2,300. That’s a savings of more than $2,000. ... read more

Categories:

Hybrids

Why a clean cabin air filter is important for your car’s air conditioning

Why a clean cabin air filter is important for your car’s air conditioning

Replacing your vehicle’s cabin air filter regularly ensures you and your passengers are breathing clean air inside the car AND ensures your air conditioning works properly all summer long. Want to ensure your vehicle’s air conditioning blasts cold air all summer long? Here’s a simple and affordable maintenance tip: Replace the cabin air filter regularly. Under the hood, the engine air filter keeps dirt and debris from getting into your engine. It ensures the engine is “breathing” clean air. Similarly, the cabin air filter cleans the air being circulated in the passenger compartment. This is the air you’re breathing. It also plays an important role in your vehicle’s air conditioning (A/C) system. The air passing through the filter must also flow over the A/C evaporator, which operates at freezing temperatures, to prevent ice build u ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning

Hybrid maintenance tip #3: Why it’s important to change your cabin air filter

Hybrid maintenance tip #3: Why it’s important to change your cabin air filter

Replacing your car’s cabin air filter can prolong the life and performance of your hybrid battery. Here’s another tip for prolonging the health and performance of your hybrid car battery: Replace the cabin air filter regularly. It’s simple and affordable. Why is this important? The cabin air filter cleans the air being circulated in the passenger compartment. This is the air you’re breathing. Checking the filter regularly and replacing it when it’s dirty is important on any vehicle. But it’s even more important on hybrid cars because it affects the ambient air temperature around the hybrid battery. The Toyota Prius, for example, uses the air inside the passenger compartment to cool the hybrid battery that’s in the trunk. If the cabin air filter is dirty, it restricts air flow into the passenger compartment and into the trunk. It simply cannot c ... read more

Categories:

Hybrids

Do you know what to do when your "Check Engine Light" comes on?

Do you know what to do when your "Check Engine Light" comes on?

Know how to respond if and when a dashboard warning light comes on. When I started to drive, there were only three warning signs I needed to be worried about on the dashboard: the battery light, the oil light and the engine temperature gauge. On today’s vehicles, the dashboard lights up like a holiday tree even when you’re starting the car—let alone when there’s a problem. The oil, battery and engine temperature lights are still there. But you also have warning lights for traction control, light bulbs, tire pressure, air bags, catalytic converters, air suspension and even trailer tow hitches. It’s nearly impossible to memorize the meaning of every last light. Dashboard Light Basics But when a dashboard light does come on, you need to know what to do. We recommend: Keeping your owner’s manual in the glove compartment so you can first iden ... read more

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