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Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Yearly Archives: 2023

The Daily Grind (Grinding Noise)

If your vehicle makes a grinding sound when you turn the steering wheel, it's speaking to you.  No, really, it is.  So listen to what it's saying and you could avoid a much more costly repair down the road. A grinding sound coming from the front of your vehicle when you are turning can offer some very informative clues as to what's going on.  One cause could be that there's a problem with the mechanical linkage that enables you to turn the wheels.  Another is that the hydraulic system that makes turning the steering wheel easier may have its own problems.  Think of it.  Hydraulic power steering has many components that need to work in tandem.  The power steering fluid may be too old and contaminated.  Or its level may be low. That may be caused by a leak somewhere in the system. A technician can check things over to find out exactly what's happening. Other causes of grinding while turning can be problems with the suspension in the front.  Yo ... read more

How to Get Better Gas Mileage in CHICAGO

There is no escaping it: things work better when you take care of them. Something most of us in CHICAGO can relate to is our computers. You've probably noticed how they get slower and slower over time. It takes longer to start up and programs take forever to load. Eventually, many of us just get a new computer at our nearest CHICAGO computer store. But computer experts know that there are things you can do to delay the need for a new computer purchase. You can run utilities that clean off temporary files and clean your memory registry. You can optimize your hard drive and a number of other things.What you're doing is maintaining your computer to make it efficient. It's the same thing with your vehicle. You maintain it to make it more efficient. It works the way it was designed to and that means it uses less fuel while you drive around CHICAGO. And you save money.To help organize our discussion, let's think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways ... read more

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Fuel System

The Thom's Four Wheel Drive Guide to Caring for Your Transmission

Most vehicles have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of CHICAGO drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in CHICAGO. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there's an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you're doing.Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That's what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on Illinois roads. And it automatically shifts back down to climb CHICAGO hills, pass or start up again.Vehicle automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common. At Thom's Four Whee ... read more

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Transmission

The Thom's Four Wheel Drive Guide to Vehicle Diagnosis

Modern CHICAGO vehicles have several computers on board that control all kinds of things like engine functions, transmission shifts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, emissions – and on some vehicles, even steering, braking and the throttle.Think about that for a minute – things that used to be controlled by simple mechanical connections now have electronic controls that rely on computers, software and sensors. It's no wonder that when something goes wrong with their vehicle it can be pretty complicated for CHICAGO drivers to track down the source of the problem.To help your service advisor at Thom's Four Wheel Drive figure out what's wrong, your vehicle is equipped with on-board diagnostics. The Check Engine light comes on to tell you there's a problem and the engine management computer stores a trouble code. Your friendly and knowledgeable Thom's Fou ... read more

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Diagnostics

Buying the Right Tires and Wheels in CHICAGO, Illinois

Everyone in CHICAGO, Illinois eventually replaces their tires, whether it's because they're worn out or they're just looking for something different. There are so many great tire choices in CHICAGO, it can be difficult to sort them out. Let's group the broad spectrum into several categories that will help in the selection process.One category is often referred to as "summer tires". Summer tires are designed to be driven on the road when temperatures are generally above 45 degrees F (7 degrees C). Their tread design is optimized for traction on dry roads around Illinois and they're also able to effectively displace water on rainy roads.So if you live where its summer all year round, these tires will work well for you. If you like maximum performance in warm weather, but still live where it gets cold and snowy, you'll want to change your summer tires for winter tires as the weather starts to change.There's a range of tires within the winter tire category. If you live where there's a lot ... read more

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Tires and Wheels

Your Well Trained Technician at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

When your vehicle has a problem or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your vehicle's so important to your life in CHICAGO, you need to get back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.If you've ever checked into some of the technician training Thom's Four Wheel Drive professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8's. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/100 kph. Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep CHICAGO gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern v ... read more

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Safety

Deep Clean Your Fuel System at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your vehicle into Thom's Four Wheel Drive for a check up.In today's Thom's Four Wheel Drive auto post,we're talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. CHICAGO residents need fuel to go, and the cleaner the fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better mileage .A clean fuel system saves money for CHICAGO drivers at Illinois gas stations. We guess you could say it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things CHICAGO residents can do to keep their vehicle fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.So buying cheaper gas in Illinois can actually be more expensive for CHICAGO drivers in the long run. Now, most cars on Illinois roads are more than five or six years old. That means they've had time f ... read more

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Fuel System

Tracking True in CHICAGO: Wheel Alignment

At Thom's Four Wheel Drive, we occasionally see severe tire damage that could have been prevented with proper wheel alignment. During a Thom's Four Wheel Drive alignment service, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires,steering and suspensionparts are inspected for problems. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the vehicle factory settings. Adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels moving in precisely the same direction.If you don't remember hitting a pothole, how do you know if your wheels are out? The most obvious sign is that your vehicle pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you're in the habit of checking your tire wear regularly, you may notice the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down. You should have your CHICAGO auto service center look it over. Of course, if you've been in an ac ... read more

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Alignment

Conventional or Synthetic? (Switching to Synthetic Oil)

If you keep up on technology trends, then you may be intrigued about synthetic motor oil.  It was introduced in the 1960s when Mobil came up with it.  Mobil's oil was different from conventional motor oil because it was first broken down to its basic molecules.  Then, Mobil removed additional impurities from crude oil and "tailored them to the demands of modern engines." Synthetic oil is becoming more popular now because of its advantages over conventional oil. It's more resistant to sludge forming in an engine.  It is more efficient and protects engines better under temperature extremes.  Because it allows drivers to go longer between oil changes, many feel it's more convenient.  The downside is that synthetic oil is more expensive, but because it doesn't need changing as often, the cost can be pretty comparable in the long run. Those who drive high performance vehicles (think Audi, BMW, Mercedes) are already using synthetic oil if they're following their ... read more

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Oil Change

Thom's Four Wheel Drive Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

Thom's Four Wheel Drive Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

All CHICAGO service advisors know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles. The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures. (On some vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.) So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why your vehicle manufacturer and your service advisor at Thom's Four Wheel Drive have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn't fail.Your friendly and knowledgeable Thom's Four Wheel Drive service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will m ... read more

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Maintenance
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