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Make your Service Visit at Thom's Four Wheel Drive a Good One

Most people don't love going to get their vehicle serviced, but it's one of those things you just have to do. So you might as well get the most of out of it. There are some steps you can take that will likely help you get the best results possible. For one thing, it's important to describe your problem (or problems) to the service advisor accurately and clearly. If your vehicle is making a noise, for example, take time to really listen to it and think of the best way to describe it. Does it increase in speed when you go faster? If you feel a vibration somewhere, where in the vehicle does it seem to originate? Some service advisors recommend writing things down. That way the driver won't forget any important clues that could lead to a successful resolution of the problem. Another thing is to make sure your vehicle is cleaned out and free of junk. That way the technician can access those nooks and crannies where some vital components may be. If your vehicle is full of strollers, boxes or ... read more

Keeping Your CHICAGO Air Fresh When Driving With a Clean Cabin Air Filter

Keeping Your CHICAGO Air Fresh When Driving With a Clean Cabin Air Filter

Pop quiz: What is a cabin air filter? A. A filter for your CHICAGO house?B. A fresh, piney scent?C. A filter for the passenger compartment of your car? Clever you, it's C.A cabin air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger compartment of your vehicle. It filters out common Illinois air particles like dust, pollen, spores, bacteria, pollutants, exhaust gas, odors and even sparrows.These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.Not all CHICAGO vehicles have cabin air filters. They are fairly new on the scene in Illinois. Last check, about 40 percent of new vehicles sold in CHICAGO come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year. Cabin air filters make driving a lot more pleasant for people in CHICAGO. Your vehicle can be a haven during our Illinois allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. Of course, like all filters, the cabin air filte ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter

What Is That? Check Engine Light Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

What Is That? Check Engine Light Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Okay. You went to your local CHICAGO car wash, and while your vehicle was under the dryer, the Check Engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Something is seriously wrong with the vehicle! You head for the nearest CHICAGO service center, but on the way, the Check Engine light stops flashing and just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren't as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your vehicle in to get serviced. In the meantime, the Check Engine light goes off. What? You decide the light must be faulty; maybe when it comes on it doesn't mean anything, or maybe it's just in your vehicle as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary repairs. You're glad you didn't take your car to the CHICAGO repair shop and resolve to ignore that Check Engine light in the future.Whoa! Let's look at what really happened. Your vehicle was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report ... read more

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Diagnostics

How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Today in the Thom's Four Wheel Drive auto care blog, we're going to talk to CHICAGO drivers about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Thom's Four Wheel Drive customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).In real world CHICAGO driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO.The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catc ... read more

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Fluids

Distracted Driving

When asked, most people think they are good at multi-tasking. Scientific studies, however, reveal that only around 2% of the population can truly demonstrate the capacity to effectively multi-task. For the rest of us who are not so biologically wired, no amount of practice can increase our effectiveness at multi-tasking. Turns out, multi-tasking is almost a superpower. Think of fighter pilots: capable of maintaining their orientation in three dimensional space and performing specific and highly complicated functions while accessing life threatening situations and coming up with an appropriate response. Admit it – you can’t do that. Yet when it comes to driving, we seem to think we are very capable of safely operating a motor vehicle with myriad distractions. 77% of young adults feel somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive while 55% claim it’s easy to text and drive. Can they possibly be right? Let’s look at some statistics. Nearly 23% of all accid ... read more

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Auto Safety

Steering Clear in CHICAGO

Those who know vehicles believe the steering system may be the most vital component of them all. Perhaps you've found over the years your steering has gotten loose. Or maybe suddenly, your steering wheel has gotten very hard to turn. Let's steer you in the direction of understanding why this may be happening. First, loose steering. This can likely be the result of wear and tear on the components that connect the steering mechanism with the wheels. Those parts can be ball joints, Pitman arms or tie rods. These parts take a lot of abuse on the road, thanks to railroad tracks, potholes, uneven surfaces: you name it. It's important that they be checked regularly and maintained at Thom's Four Wheel Drive. Second, the hard-to-turn wheel. Virtually all vehicles on the road have power steering. There are a couple of different types, though, so let's deal with each. By the way, when they fail, your vehicle's steering can suddenly go from easy peasy to really hard to control. Some vehicles have ... read more

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Steering

Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?

Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?

Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all CHICAGO residents know about them. But do we know enough?Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals.Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for CHICAGO residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable.Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways and blocking passa ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

CHICAGO Drivers: Is It Time to Replace Your PCV Valve?

CHICAGO Drivers: Is It Time to Replace Your PCV Valve?

The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine. When you are diving around CHICAGO, fuel is burned in your vehicle engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine, leading to damage. Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in CHICAGO, Illinois.Enter the PCV valve. It's a small, one-way valve that lets out the gases from the crankcase and routes them back into ... read more

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Parts

Air Conditioning Service in CHICAGO

Air Conditioning Service in CHICAGO

Hey CHICAGO! Let's talk about one of our Illinois summertime must-haves: your car A/C. It's real easy for CHICAGO drivers to take their car's air conditioner for granted. Just push the right buttons and out comes cool, dry, clean air. But your air conditioning system needs attention from time to time to help it keep its cool. Do you hear loud noises under the hood when you turn on your air conditioner? Do you only get cool air sporadically? If so, it is time to get your air conditioner checked at Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO. When most CHICAGO folks hear the words "air conditioning problems." it sends a shiver up their spine. That is because the air conditioning system is fairly complex. It has a lot of parts and when it's broken, it's hard to repair.What things can CHICAGO drivers do to prevent air conditioning breakdowns?A common cause of air conditioning failure is leaks. Water ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Breathe Free in CHICAGO: Cabin Air Filter Replacement at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Breathe Free in CHICAGO: Cabin Air Filter Replacement at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

There are a lot of new features, both optional and standard, on CHICAGO drivers' vehicles these days. One you may not have heard of is called a cabin air filter. Simply put, its job is to keep the air in the passenger compartment of your car nice and clean.A cabin air filter is similar to the filter you use on your furnace at home in CHICAGO. Cabin air filters can catch particles down to three microns. By comparison, a grain of sand is 200 microns. So cabin air filters are effective against dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores and most pollutants in our CHICAGO area atmosphere. Good news if you suffer from any types of allergies, or if you live in an area in Illinois prone to air pollution.Cabin air filters are generally located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can be tricky to access and replace, so you'll probably want to go to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Thom's Four Wheel D ... read more

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Cabin Air Filter
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