Articles:

What to Do In Case of an Accident

If you've ever been in a vehicle accident around CHICAGO, Illinois, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do.Let's review what you should do in case of an accident in CHICAGO, Illinois:When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in Illinois, even if it's not your fault. And hit-and-run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver's license or even jail time in our local CHICAGO lockup.Most places, including Illinois, require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able.Warn other CHICAGO motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood.Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.Always file a police report. It's t ... read more

Drive Defensively in Illinois

Car care is part of auto safety in CHICAGO. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on Illinois roads is to drive safely.Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won't let anyone take your safety away from you. You'll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment.Don't leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers.Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident.Never drive impaired: Alcohol is a factor in half of all fatal crashes. Never drink and drive.Other impairments include being sleepy, angry, daydreaming or talking. If you suddenly wonder how you got where you are – you're not paying enough attention.Keep your windows clean and uncluttered. No fuzzy dice and stickers.Keep your ... read more

Categories:

Safety

In the Hot Seat (Repair and Maintenance of Seat Heaters)

It's chilly outside. You flip on that switch that looks like a picture of a seat with little heat waves rising from it.  You expect soon you'll feel that warmth but… wait! It's not getting warmer.  Oh no, what's wrong with my seat heater? There could be lots of reasons it's not working, and it could be as simple as a fuse or as major as the heating element itself.  But it's something to leave to a pro to diagnose and repair. Let's say it turns out to be a blown fuse.  Simply replacing the fuse may not fix it because there was a reason the fuse blew in the first place.  It's possible the on-off switch has worn out or corroded.  Perhaps the wiring connection isn't completing the circuit (could be corroded or full of dirt) or the voltage reaching the heating element isn't correct.  There's a little sensor that keeps track of the seat heater's temperature called the thermistor.  When the seat is hot enough, it will stop the juice from heating ... read more

Service Center Standard and Procedures

All Illinois pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget steps. It is also how they can assure a predictable outcome. That is why CHICAGO automotive service centers including Thom's Four Wheel Drive have procedural standards for each service they perform. Thom's Four Wheel Drive technicians are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, Illinois service centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and CHICAGO customers leave happy with how their vehicle performs. Each company trains its technicians to standards. The Illinois automotive industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual Illinois service center operators to apply them to every vehicle they serv ... read more

Thom's Four Wheel Drive Fuel Saving Tip for CHICAGO: Check Engine Light

Here's a question for CHICAGO, Illinois : How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your Check Engine light? Hey, it's not there to create ambiance; it's a warning that something's wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson's fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.) Many conditions that trigger the Check Engine light can hurt your vehicle. A lot.If your date's eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the Check Engine light, try to think of all the gas money you'll save by getting it fixed. Give Thom's Four Wheel Drive a call when you are ready. Thom's Four Wheel Drive4118 N PULASKI RDCHICAGO, Illinois 606417735775701http://thomsfourwheeldrive.com

Categories:

Fuel System

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 ... read more

Categories:

Drive Train

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 pre ... read more

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

Categories:

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

Categories:

Cooling System

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 im ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance
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