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.

Category Archives: Maintenance

Relax When the Wind Blows in Illinois: Winter Car Prep for CHICAGO Drivers

When autumn comes around in CHICAGO, leaves fall, nights get longer and there's a definite nip in the air. Time to unpack the boots and gloves and fold some extra blankets onto the beds. It's also time for CHICAGO drivers to winterize their vehicles.Here is some expert auto advice for CHICAGO drivers on what vehicles need to keep everyone safe and rolling throughout the Illinois winter months.1. Check your antifreeze. Top it off or change it if necessary. You don't want your radiator, engine or hoses freezing up. If your vehicle isn't generating enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze might be low, or you might have a thermostat problem. Either way, you should get it checked out before the full force of Illinois winter sets in. If you are due for a cooling system service at Thom's Four Wheel Drive in CHICAGO, get that done as well.2. Check your brakes. The slushy wet conditions of winter increase stopping distances. Ice exacerbates the problem. Y ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Hey CHICAGO Drivers; What Is the Most Distracting Food?

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around CHICAGO?Is it: A Hamburger; Coffee; A Soft Drink, or Gummy Bears? Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving. But if you chose 'coffee,' then give yourself an extra two points.  Coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in CHICAGO and around the country.Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the types of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons: one, that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and two, you won't have to worry about getting ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

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

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

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

Your Vehicle Is NOT Maintenance Free, CHICAGO Car Owners

A generation ago, CHICAGO drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle's preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Taking your vehicle in to your CHICAGO shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.For example, almost everyone in CHICAGO used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the vehicle was in for a tune-up at Thom's Four Wheel Drive, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.Today's engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

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

Budget for Maintenance in CHICAGO

Sometimes busy CHICAGO residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Illinois in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time CHICAGO residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's CHICAGO drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's CHICAGO drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fu ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Procrastination Prevention in CHICAGO

Every one of us has a little procrastinator inside us. Some put off getting our teeth cleaned. Others put off answering our emails. Yet others put off calling friends and family (sorry, Uncle Joe). And there are those of us who put off getting our vehicle's service done, whether it's a repair or regular maintenance. You may make the excuse that you don't have time, it can wait until tomorrow, you have other things to do. Well, there are some things you should NEVER put off when it comes to your vehicle because that procrastination could have dire consequences down the road. The biggest one is changing your oil. Yes, it's one of those things you may hear somebody nag you about, but changing your vehicle's oil regularly is probably the one thing that will do the most to keep things running smoothly… and well. It's the lubricant that keeps metal engine parts from wearing out. Oil doesn't last forever and it gets dirty, so you have to swap it out for fresh every so often. How often ... read more

10 Services CHICAGO Drivers Often Overlook

We live such busy lives nowadays: work, social events, running the kids all over CHICAGO. Some days it's all we can do to keep track of everywhere we need to be. That's why you've gotta be organized. Smartphones, calendar apps - we have to keep track of it all.So let's talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.Here is a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked by CHICAGO residents. They're all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.1. Power Steering ServiceBe honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your power steering parts are protected from corrosion. Next time you're in for an oil change, ask your Thom's Four Wheel Drive service advisor if it's time ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance
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