Monthly Archives: December 2019

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

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 imp ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in CHICAGO, Illinois, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most CHICAGO drivers don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of CHICAGO customers' minds. It's not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service. Call Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO at 7735775701 for information about differential service, or stop by our CHICAGO, Illinois, auto center at 4118 N PULASKI RD, 60641. To better understand what a differential does, think about our local CHICAGO high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to c ... read more

Categories:

Drive Train

Line Them Up: Wheel Alignment Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Line Them Up: Wheel Alignment Service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive

Hello CHICAGO! Let's talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly for drivers in CHICAGO.It can even damage your suspension system, which is costly to repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for CHICAGO drivers and their passengers.It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday Illinois driving. CHICAGO road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, and even the bumps and bounces of normal CHICAGO roads and surface streets can gradually put your vehicle tires out of alignment.So it's good auto advice t ... read more

Categories:

Alignment

NOT JUST ANOTHER CUSTOMER (Finding the Right Service Facility)

You might remember a hit TV sitcom that was set in a bar, a place where "everybody knows your name."  The idea, of course, is people feel more comfortable where they aren't just another customer among many; they're special because their relationship goes back a few years.   That comfortable relationship can extend to professionals you deal with, too.  Think of your accountant, your dentist, your doctor.  Most people try to stick with the same person or firm in those businesses.  They have grown to know their work over the years and they've learned to trust their professionalism, the quality of their work and their track record.    Ideally, you should have that same relationship with your automotive service facility, like your friends here at Thom's Four Wheel Drive. You may have tried several facilities over the years until you found one that did good work at a reasonable price.  The longer your relationship with your service facility, the better ... read more

If You Are Using A Screen Reader And Are Having Problems Using This Website, please call Thom's Four Wheel Drive and Auto Service, Inc. (773) 577-5701 For Assistance.