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Differential Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Differential Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Here at AutoNetTV, we have national viewers, like your neighbors in CHICAGO, who write to us with questions or feedback. One common question we're asked is: "What is a differential and what does it do?" You may have been told by your Thom's Four Wheel Drive service advisor that your differential needs serviced, or it's seen it as an option up on the service menu. Differential service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive covers a lot of things, so let's first talk about what a differential does.As you drive through a turn, your outside wheels and inside wheels turn at different speeds. Kind of like the cars going around a race track - the ones driving in the outside lanes have a greater distance to travel than the cars in the inside lanes. The differential is what allows the outside and inside drive wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds so that the tires don't hop or skip while taking corners, or lose traction in dirt or snow on C ... read more

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Drive Train

Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades for CHICAGO Drivers

Wipe Out! New Wiper Blades for CHICAGO Drivers

When people in CHICAGO talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn't the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around Illinois? Yet we often don't even notice our windshields until we can't see through them or our wiper blades fail.It's estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won't keep their windshields clear during a storm — that's 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety's sake, CHICAGO drivers need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don't get new ones until the old ones become a safety hazard. Instead, we need to make wiper blades part of our preventive maintenance routine.Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In Illinois areas that experience harsh winter weather, special blades are available that prev ... read more

When Are Your Tires Worn Out?

When Are Your Tires Worn Out?

  Hey CHICAGO area drivers, are your tires worn out? What is the standard for our Illinois streets? How can you tell on your vehicle?While there may be legal requirements for the CHICAGO area, there are safety concerns that go beyond meeting minimum replacement mandates.Two-thirty-seconds of an inch is the depth of the tire tread wear indicator bars that US law has required to be molded across all tires since August 1, 1968. When tires are worn so that this bar is visible, there's just 2/32 of an inch – 1.6 millimeters – of tread left. It's that level of wear that's been called into question recently.We're referring to the tread depth on a tire, it can't move surface water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.In a safety study, a section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to cover it.A car and a full-sized pick-up accelerated to ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Engine Hydration for CHICAGO Drivers: Role of Your Water Pump

The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine.The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers), but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers).Water pumps don't gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they're either working or they're not. A failed water pump has to be replaced.Water pumps can fail in two ways: they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket whe ... read more

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Cooling System

Serpentine Belt Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO

Serpentine Belt Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO

If you've ever heard a squealing sound under your vehicle hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that's used by your vehicle's electrical systems and also charges the battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead after a short distance.The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).And, on most vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some CHICAGO vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.When they understand what it does, CHICAGO drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why vehicle manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owner’s manuals. If this imp ... read more

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Maintenance

What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in CHICAGO, Illinois, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most CHICAGO drivers don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of CHICAGO customers' minds. It's not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service. Call Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO at 7735775701 for information about differential service, or stop by our CHICAGO, Illinois, auto center at 4118 N PULASKI RD, 60641. To better understand what a differential does, think about our local CHICAGO high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to c ... read more

Categories:

Drive Train

Line Them Up: Wheel Alignment Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Line Them Up: Wheel Alignment Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Hello CHICAGO! Let's talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly for drivers in CHICAGO.It can even damage your suspension system, which is costly to repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for CHICAGO drivers and their passengers.It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday Illinois driving. CHICAGO road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, and even the bumps and bounces of normal CHICAGO roads and surface streets can gradually put your vehicle tires out of alignment.So it's good auto advice t ... read more

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Alignment

NOT JUST ANOTHER CUSTOMER (Finding the Right Service Facility)

You might remember a hit TV sitcom that was set in a bar, a place where "everybody knows your name."  The idea, of course, is people feel more comfortable where they aren't just another customer among many; they're special because their relationship goes back a few years.   That comfortable relationship can extend to professionals you deal with, too.  Think of your accountant, your dentist, your doctor.  Most people try to stick with the same person or firm in those businesses.  They have grown to know their work over the years and they've learned to trust their professionalism, the quality of their work and their track record.    Ideally, you should have that same relationship with your automotive service facility, like your friends here at Thom's Four Wheel Drive. You may have tried several facilities over the years until you found one that did good work at a reasonable price.  The longer your relationship with your service facility, the better ... read more

Fuel Injector Cleaning at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Fuel Injector Cleaning at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your vehicle engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute in every single fuel-injected vehicle driving down CHICAGO roads.Most fuel injectors for gas engines are known in the CHICAGO automotive community as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. The fuel pump provides pressure needed to squirt the right amount of fuel into the engine. A few have recently introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines. They are now available at some Illinois dealerships. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – many times the pressure of port injection systems. Although more complicated, direct i ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

E-85 Fuel Safety Advice from Thom's Four Wheel Drive

E-85 Fuel Safety Advice from Thom's Four Wheel Drive

  Today at Thom's Four Wheel Drive we want to talk with you about a very important safety issue. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: fire fighting experts. You've probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in the CHICAGO area. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not. Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to Thom's Four Wheel Drive at 4118 N PULASKI RD in CHICAGO, Illinois 60641, to find out, or give us a call to make an appointment by calling 7735775701. E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower exhaust emissions to our local CHICAGO community.All gas engines can run wit ... read more

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Warranty
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