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:

Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for CHICAGO Drivers

CHICAGO residents know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your vehicle engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine's cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with airbefore it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the vehicle engine.Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional vehicle engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.Wh ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Regular Schedule or Severe Service Schedule at Thom's Four Wheel Drive?

Today's Thom's Four Wheel Drive article focuses on severe service maintenance. Many CHICAGO drivers are not aware of them and yet there are also very vocal advocates in Illinois who think that severe service schedules apply to everyone. Somewhere between a complete lack of awareness and the dire blanket statements lies a reasonable approach to severe service maintenance at Thom's Four Wheel Drive.To back up a little, vehicle owner's manuals have schedules for preventive maintenance: things like oil changes, transmission service and so on. They say you should change your oil after a certain distanced traveled or after so many months. CHICAGO drivers understand this very well. What they may not know is that there are actually two service schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. The mileage and time intervals are lower on the severe service schedule.Now when you hear 'severe service,' you may think it doesn't apply to you bec ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Transmission Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO

Let's talk about transmission service. It can be easy for CHICAGO drivers to forget about getting their transmission serviced because it doesn't need it very often. It's easier for people in Illinois to remember to change the engine oil - you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid repairs down the road.The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you can see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually, it's much higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn't lubricate and cool the vehicle transmission as well - leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of flu ... read more

Categories:

Transmission

I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement in CHICAGO

About 90% of our driving decisions in the CHICAGO area are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.Most CHICAGO drivers have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our vehicle windshield is just dirty. In fact, it's estimated that 46,000,000 drivers across the nation are driving with wipers that can't adequately clear their windshield in a storm.It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we need them the most. If that sounds like you, you've got plenty of company in the CHICAGO area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.CHICAGO drivers need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as vehicle safety component. Then we'll stay ahead of the storm.CHICA ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Automotive Tips from Thom's Four Wheel Drive: Serpentine Belt Overview

The technicians at Thom's Four Wheel Drive know your serpentine belt drives important engine accessories like your alternator, air conditioning compressor, and power steering. In some cars it may also power the power brakes or water pump. The serpentine belt is powered by the engine and winds around pulleys and the accessories. Some cars in CHICAGO have two serpentine belts. The serpentine belt, the belt tensioner (which maintains the appropriate tension on the belt) and the idler pulleys are together known as the accessory drive system.Now your serpentine belt and the belt tensioner will just wear out over time – that’s why your vehicle manufacturer has a scheduled belt replacement interval. The team at Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO can inspect your serpentine belt for wear and get it replaced if it’s time.Give us a call.Thom's Four Wheel Drive4118 N PULASKI RDCHICAGO, Illinois 606417735775701htt ... read more

Categories:

Serpentine Belt

Service to Improve Fuel Economy

The price of gas in Illinois has got people in CHICAGO talking. It seems that CHICAGO folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are hit especially hard. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel economy. First let's start with how we drive around Illinois. People in CHICAGO may not realize that they can really save on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts - you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don't drive with one foot on the brake. That's also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster, too. Another thing CHICAGO drivers can do is drive more slowly - but only when it's safe. Sometimes on the freeway we drive an ext ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Thom's Four Wheel Drive Advice on What to Pour into Your Vehicle

Changes in vehicle design and manufacture have resulted in changed fluid requirements for our vehicles. With the sophistication of engines, transmissions, differentials, etc., it's best for CHICAGO residents to always use the proper type of fluid for their vehicle. Using incorrect fluids can actually damage your engine.As engines have become more sophisticated, new weights (or grades) of engine oil have been introduced. Today, there is a much wider range of weights for engine oil as well as a variety of formulations for different types of engines.Transmission fluid, brake fluid and coolant/anti-freeze have changed because the materials that go into making the systems they protect have changed. The fluids in our vehicles generally have two jobs: to lubricate and to prevent corrosion. The fluids formulated for your vehicle are specifically designed to protect the materials that make up its engine parts. Using the wrong fluid may leave some parts vulnerable to corrosion. Further, using t ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

The Easy Way to Save Cash in CHICAGO

The hottest Illinois news story may be different every day, but there's one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in CHICAGO. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things people in CHICAGO can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here's a review of things you can do for your vehicle that'll save gas no matter how you drive.The first one for CHICAGO drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most CHICAGO service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask Thom's Four Wheel Drive. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many CHICAGO gas stations have an air hos ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Power Steering Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO

Many CHICAGO drivers have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering. Power steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects vehicle components from rust and corrosion.CHICAGO car owners should be aware that vehicle manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule. At Thom's Four Wheel Drive, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.Unfortunately, many CHICAGO drivers don't realize how important it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it's necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.CHICAGO drivers should be aw ... read more

Categories:

Alignment

Keep Your Tires Well Rounded in CHICAGO: Tire Rotation and Wheel Balancing at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Taking care of our tires is part of vehicle care for CHICAGO drivers. We know they have to be replaced when they wear out, but tires also require some preventive maintenance. This maintenance will improve and extend the life of the tires, so it's well worth the effort and expense for CHICAGO drivers to get it done. Tire maintenance includes keeping tires properly inflated, rotating tires and balancing wheels.The recommended tire pressure for a vehicle's tires is printed on a sticker on the inside of the driver's side doorjamb. A lot of engineering goes into calculating the correct pressure, so it's an important number for CHICAGO vehicle owners to know. Not following this recommendation can throw off the suspension system and can lead to tire damage. Underinflated tires wear out more quickly than properly inflated tires. Vehicles also get better traction and handling on properly inflated tires. Check your tire pressure at least once a week and add air if necessary.Don't be t ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels
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