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On Board Diagnostics For Mundelein Motorists
Some Mundelein car owners wonder why Mundelein Tire & Service and other Mundelein auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.
Think about it: When you hire a local Mundelein HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Mundelein doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.
So receiving a diagnostic charge at Mundelein Tire & Service for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Mundelein area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your sedan brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy IL interstate, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your sedan engine, however, Mundelein Tire & Service diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the Mundelein motorists’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There’s a common misconception among Mundelein, Libertyville, and Vernon Hills drivers that the trouble code tells the Mundelein Tire & Service technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge – because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.
In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.
The sedan computer’s trouble code just tells the Mundelein Tire & Service technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Mundelein Tire & Service customers. The Mundelein Tire & Service service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.
Mundelein service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These essential databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course Mundelein Tire & Service wants to figure out what’s wrong with your sedan and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Automotive Tips from Mundelein Tire & Service: Brake Noise
Your brake pads are the vital parts that rub against the rotor (or disc) to slow and stop your vehicle. They eventually wear down.
When your pads are worn too much, they won’t stop your vehicle as well. When the friction material is worn away, metal parts of the pad are exposed and you’ll hear a squeal or grinding sound.
That’s when Mundelein car owners should replace their brake pads. Not only will new pads restore your stopping power, but replacing them on time will prevent damage to the rotor.
If your brakes are making noise, ask your Mundelein Tire & Service technician to review your brakes. Addressing troubles early will restore your safety and prevent pricey brake damage.
Give us a call Mundelein Tire & Service 847.949.5110 900 North Lake Street Mundelein, IL 60060
Automotive Tips from Mundelein Tire & Service: Timing Belt Overview
In your engine, valves over each combustion chamber open to allow fresh air in, close during the combustion event, and then other valves open to let out the exhaust. All of this happens over and over thousands of times a minute. The timing belt’s essential job is to make sure that all of this happens as it should – at precisely the right time. If the timing is off, your engine won’t run efficiently or maybe not at all – so a good timing belt is essential. If it should break, you could have pricey engine damage.
Ask your honest Mundelein Tire & Service service professional when your timing belt is scheduled for replacement.
Give us a call
Mundelein Tire & Service 847.949.5110 900 North Lake Street Mundelein, IL 60060
Mundelein Exhaust And Emissions Service
Many Mundelein motorists don’t realize that there is more to exhaust system maintenance than just tailpipes and mufflers. And if you can see smoke, or if it’s too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like Mundelein Tire & Service is really a lot more comprehensive these days.
For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in Mundelein in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. IL and federal emissions requirements have forced auto manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.
So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it’s so sophisticated, auto manufacturers recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Mundelein Tire & Service, regularly to make sure everything’s working right – which is usually every six months or 6,000 miles.
If your ‘check engine light’ comes on while you are driving around the Mundelein area, especially if it’s flashing, then you need to bring your car into Mundelein Tire & Service ASAP. Chances are it’s an emission related problem. Signs of exhaust or emissions trouble include difficulty starting, engine noise or smoke.
So let’s do a quick rundown of the exhaust system for Mundelein drivers. First up, the exhaust manifold. That’s the part that attaches to the engine and collects the exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe.
The exhaust gaskets help seal the connection with the manifold and other joints along the way. Now, if the manifold is cracked or loose, or a gasket is leaking, then detrimental gases could escape into the cabin, where you ride. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, so it’s important that your exhaust system doesn’t leak.
The exhaust pipes connect the various important components. They can rust or be damaged by a rock, so they need to be inspected periodically.
Next comes the catalytic converter. This part actually looks like a muffler. It changes toxic chemicals into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any maintenance itself for Mundelein auto owners, but eventually it wears out. If yours has stopped working, you probably won’t discover it until your car fails its IL emissions inspection.
Next, the muffler. The essential job of this aptly-named part is to muffle engine noises. Mufflers work by either absorbing or baffling sound. Many Mundelein auto owners don’t know that you can actually customize your car’s sound with different mufflers – which is pretty cool because in addition to changing the look of your ride, you can also customize its sound!
Rusted or road-damaged mufflers can actually leak and they need to be replaced right away. The exhaust system is attached to the car by a series of hangers and clamps that hold the system in place. And when these hangers come loose or break then hot exhaust components can touch and melt wires, hoses and lines. Just think of how dangerous a hot curling iron can be – but worse. It’s not good to have that waving around. Talk to your honest Mundelein Tire & Service technician.
And finally, we end at the tailpipe. Appropriate name. This is the final outlet for the exhaust. And one other component is the oxygen sensor. It monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust so the engine-control computer can adjust the essential fuel-to-air mix to keep the car running right.
We hope this hasn’t been too ‘exhausting’ of a discussion. Remember that a properly functioning exhaust system is critical for Mundelein auto owners’ health and safety. Talk with your honest tech at Mundelein Tire & Service in Mundelein if you think you might need an automotive analysis of your exhaust system. A quick look can sure save a lot of pain down the road.
Auto Tips Videos provided for Mundelein Tire & Service by AutoNetTV.
Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Mundelein Car Owners
A generation ago, Mundelein auto owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your sedan in to your Mundelein shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.
For example, almost everyone in Mundelein used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the sedan was in for a tune-up at Mundelein Tire & Service, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.
Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our sedans don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.
Modern Mundelein motorists need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Mundelein service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Mundelein Tire & Service in Mundelein, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and MPG. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”
Modern sedan engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of critical parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the sedan isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.
As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your sedan engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the sedan engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this expensive damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.
Timely oil changes are more critical for Mundelein drivers than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to critical engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.
One word of warning to anyone in Mundelein who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Mundelein folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.
Mundelein auto owners can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel efficiency, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.