To all our valued customers:

Many businesses in our city are presently closed due to the mandatory shelter in place ordinance and it has recently been extended. Auto repair services like Thom's are classified as an Essential Business thus allowing us to to be open and available to perform the needed services on our clients vehicles . We are taking the necessary precautions to ensure proper sanitation practices in our work area and the office, as well as disinfecting the interior of your vehicles upon arrival and completion of work. We have created a No Contact drop area outside of the waiting room; payment can be accomplished via credit card over the phone. We understand that finances are being stretched at this time, but reliable vehicles are a necessity, if funding is an issue we have various option available upon request.For those sheltering in place and would prefer vehicle pick up and delivery, we are able to accommodate you within a five mile range of the shop. These are trying and uncertain times for everyone and we want all of our clients to remain healthy and safe and know you can call on us for support during you times of need.

Articles:

Wasteful Thinking

With the weather getting colder, you might be tempted to start your vehicle up, let it idle for 15 or 20 minutes and then get in the nice, cozy cabin.  Some vehicles offer remote starting that let you do that from the comfort of your home or apartment.  But is letting your vehicle idle like that good for it? Manufacturers say it doesn't harm the vehicle.  They say it's because modern vehicles are made differently from those in the past.  Just about all newer vehicles employ fuel injection which uses computers to adjust the amount of gasoline that goes into the cylinders.  The engine gets only the fuel it needs, taking conditions into account. Older vehicles, on the other hand, used to use carburetors.  When you started a cold engine, the carburetor wasn't able to adjust the gasoline amount depending on conditions.  Some of the gasoline would mix with oil and the pistons wouldn't get the same lubrication as they would with undiluted oil. So yes, you ca ... read more

Professional Fuel System Cleaning

Getting adequate fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean.Today's production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume.CHICAGO drivers can buy fuel system cleaners that you pour into your gas tank to help maintain an already clean fuel system; however, they can't do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO. We have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Our friendly and knowledgeable team at Thom's Four Wheel Drive can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently. You'll find Thom's Four Wheel Drive at 4118 N PULASKI RD in CHICAGO, Illinois 60641. Or just give us a call at 7735775701 to schedule an appointment. You'll enjoy more power ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Busting Automotive Myths in CHICAGO, Illinois

Myths passed around our CHICAGO, Illinois community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the vehicles of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off. To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the CHICAGO area, come over to Thom's Four Wheel Drive. Let's examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.The truth on which this myth is based is that many new vehicles come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease poi ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Trip Inspection at Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO

CHICAGO area drivers love their vehicles. And one of the most enjoyable things about them is taking a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like vehicle trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.Now CHICAGO drivers can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle's perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding Illinois byways? Purple mountain majesties or fruited plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How far will you travel each day? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage? Pulling a trailer, roof top carrier or ATVs? Will it be dusty? Prepared with answers to these questions, you can schedule a trip inspection at Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO to help you p ... read more

Categories:

Alignment

Breathe Deep With Your Cabin Air Filter

Bad air quality while you're driving around CHICAGO is nothing to sneeze at. But seriously, more and more vehicles these days come equipped with a cabin air filter. Since they're fairly new on the scene, a lot of folks don't know about them yet.These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment, or cabin, of your car or truck. They do the same job as the furnace filter you have at home. They can filter out particles as small as three microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.So your cabin air filter can clean out dust, pollution, pollen and spores to keep the air in your car nice and clean. And just like your furnace filter, they need to be replaced when they get dirty. Check your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Thom's Four Wheel Drive, but they typically need to be replaced at around 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000-24,000 kilometers).The filter is usually either under the hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so ... read more

Categories:

Cabin Air Filter

For 4x4s (Maintenance of 4x4 Vehicles)

Some people love 4x4 vehicles, the true 4-wheel drive works of engineering like Jeeps and 4x4 pickups that allow you to seemingly go anywhere on the planet. You can climb up a 40-degree rock trail with some planning and skill (always careful to protect the environment, of course), or you can get through the deepest snow. But with that added capability comes additional complexity, drive-train components and other systems that less capable vehicles don't have.  And that is why when it comes to 4x4s, you have to maintain them a little differently from those vehicles that spend their lives on pavement.  Here are some of the key things to keep an eye on: Transfer case—This transfers power from the engine to the wheels.  A transfer case has fluid in it that needs to be changed at intervals recommended by the manufacturer.  Your service advisor will let you know how often that is and will keep track of your service dates.  You will need to make sure the transfe ... read more

Recommended Service Intervals at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Most people in the CHICAGO area are aware that automotive manufacturers have recommended service intervals. Following recommended service intervals is very important. The engineers that design our vehicles have tested the various systems and components to meet durability and safety standards. Some of these standards are self-imposed and others, like those for emissions components, are government mandated for areas in Illinois.The maintenance schedules are designed to achieve the standards. Think of the benefits of following recommended intervals as falling into three general categories: Protection, Efficiency and Safety.Protection. Let's start with motor oil. First of all, the engineers recommend a particular weight and type of motor oil for your vehicle. All of their oil change recommendations assume using the proper motor oil. Motor oil contains detergents and other additives that clean the engine and provide corrosion resistance. Ov ... read more

A Door No One Can Step Through (Fuel Door Repair and Maintenance)

Your vehicle has lots of doors including that one usually near the back on the vehicle's side.  That's the fuel door, something you use every time you gas up.  These endure hundreds of open-and-close cycles, usually without any problems.  But when they act up, it can be a major inconvenience for you. When they stick in the "open" position, it can present real dilemma.  You can still pump your gas, but do you just drive around with that flap sticking out the side? What happens if someone steals the gas cap or it gets damaged? What happens if it rains? Yep, it's decision time. A fuel door that sticks open can be due to a number of factors.  The hinge on the door may have broken, possibly from corrosion or it may have been hit sometime.  Some vehicles have a cable that operates the door and it could be loose.  The latch that holds the door shut could have broken or it, too, could be bent from something hitting it.  You probably want to take care of ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

A Cold Day in CHICAGO ? Air Conditioning Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Most CHICAGO drivers worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy Illinois highway, but don't worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown on the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during CHICAGO rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot vehicle.A lot of CHICAGO drivers judge their vehicles' air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keep the vehicle running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very expensive.CHICAGO drivers should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refri ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning

Smart CHICAGO Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for CHICAGO drivers to prevent. The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fans on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again. The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage. Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner's ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System
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