Let’s Make One Thing Clear

When we drive, it’s important for us to be able to see well. That means, of course, keeping the glass in our vehicles as crystal clear as we can.

If you’ve ever driven your car directly into bright sunlight, you know dirty, scratched or fogged windows can render you almost completely blind. Not a good thing when you’re moving down the road.

And, it’s important to be able to see your mirrors and other vehicles behind you. So, a little clarity here can go a long way.

Let’s take a look at how you can maximize your visibility:

  • Clean windows with the right cleaner. Don’t use cleaners that have ammonia or alcohol in them. Ammonia can cause the surfaces of your vehicle’s interior to dry out and can damage some window tints. Special automotive glass cleaners are available, and Douglas Automotive Repair can make recommendations.
  • Don’t use abrasives on your windows. Some kitchen sponges have a pad on one side meant to clean pots and pans. Don’t use those! That abrasive can scratch glass and permanently damage it! Instead, a microfiber designed for cleaning glass is the one recommended by pros.
  • We may remember to clean the outside, but the inside is just as important. We’ve all seen that film that develops on the inside of our vehicle windows. It can be caused by cigarette smoke or by sunlight baking your vehicle’s plastic and leather interior surfaces, releasing oils into the cabin. Thoroughly clean that oily layer.

Once your windows are clean, it’s important to be able to keep them clean when you’re on the road, especially your windshield. Replace your wiper blades regularly since the material used in them deteriorates over time even if they’re not used all that much.

  • There are several different types of wiper blades, and among the newest is the “beam” blade.
  • Beam blades have several advantages over more traditional blades, including a more contoured fit to the windshield surface. Some even incorporate an aerodynamic design that presses them tighter to the glass at higher speeds.
  • Your Douglas Automotive Repair service advisor will be able to recommend the best blade for your vehicle and install them properly.

If you are having trouble seeing out your windshield, let us inspect your wiper blades at your next service.

Stop by or give us a call today!

#automotive #carrepair #mechanic #localshop #seeclearly

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Upsizing Wheels and Tires

Hello! Let’s pretend you have three doughnuts right in front of you for our discussion of upsizing wheels and tires. Hey, don’t eat them now – you’re going to need them later.

Many drivers want to accessorize their car and make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some custom wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs out there to get you the look you want. And for many, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that vehicles came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 22 inches or more.

So let’s talk about what drivers should consider when they want to upsize their wheels. It’s not exactly a do it yourself project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is simply the overall height of your tire. Unless you want to modify your suspension, you’ll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels.

Let’s think about those three golden doughnuts in front of you. They’re all about the same size. So if we pretend they’re tires, they would have the same rolling diameter. The doughnut hole is the size of the wheel. Now pretend we’ve made the hole bigger on some. That’s like having a bigger wheel – but the rolling diameter is the same.

It’s important to keep the rolling diameter the same for several reasons. First of all, if the tire is bigger, it might not fit in the wheel well. Next the speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brake system are all calibrated for the factory rolling diameter. In order for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, the rolling diameter must stay within 3% of the factory recommendation. If you ignore that, you run the risk that your anti-lock brakes won’t work properly. Some vehicles today have electronically controlled suspension that will be negatively affected by changing the rolling diameter.

Let’s think about the doughnuts again. You see, as the size of the wheel gets bigger, the sidewall gets shorter. The tire holds less air, so the sidewalls are made stiffer to compensate. Low profile tires from top manufacturers use special compounds that give the sidewall the strength it needs without compromising ride quality. As you increase your wheel size, you’ll typically get a slightly wider tire. This means that you have a larger contact patch. The contact patch is part of the tire that contacts the road. Because there’s more rubber on the road, the vehicle will handle better. And braking distances will be shorter. A lot of drivers with trucks or SUV’s love the extra control.

You do have to watch out that the contact patch isn’t so big that the tires rub in turns or over bumps. What we’re talking about here is fitment. Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Douglas Automotive Repair can help you get this right. We’ll install your new wheels, add spacers if needed to make sure your brakes fit inside your new wheels and get you rolling.

Give us a call today if you’re thinking of customizing your wheels!

#automotive #carrepair #mechanic #localshop #coolwheels

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What To Do After You Buy A Used Vehicle

So you’ve bought a “new” used vehicle. How do you know what you’re getting? It is hard to know what you’re getting because people sell cars for different reasons. Think about why you’ve sold cars. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you wanted to run away from? Maybe it was a little of both.

Local used cars with 25,000 to 35,000 miles on them are often lease returns, corporate program cars or vehicles that have done duty in Illinois rental fleets. Drivers feel pretty confident because they’re newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained?

If you plan on owning a car for a long time, you’ll keep up on the maintenance so that you can avoid expensive repairs down the road. But, if you know you’re only going to have the vehicle for two or three years, you may not be so committed to maintenance. It would be easy to think that skipping an oil change here and there wouldn’t ruin a brand new engine. Then it’ll be someone else’s problem when it comes time to pay for the damage.

It would be very tempting to skip the 30,000 mile service if you knew you’d be turning in your leased vehicle in a couple of months.

If the vehicle didn’t come with maintenance records, you need to assume the worst. Most likely the coolant system and transmission have never been serviced. The cabin air filter has probably not been changed and a fuel system cleaning may be in order.

You’ll want Douglas Automotive Repair to check the air conditioning, battery, engine air filter, serpentine belt and hoses. An inspection at Douglas Automotive Repair is well worth the cost.

And if your “new” used vehicle has more miles on it, an inspection is even more important. Check your owner’s manual or talk with us about what should have been done. Please don’t forget the timing belt – that can be very expensive if it fails.

Our team can help you with a plan to take care of critical services and get the rest caught up. If your budget won’t allow you to take care of everything right away, we can help you prioritize your needs and get them taken care of over the next several months. And remember to keep your maintenance records. They’ll help you get top dollar when it’s time for you to sell.

Give us a call today if you’ve purchased a “new” used vehicle!

#automotive #carrepair #localshop #mechanic #usedvehiclecheck

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Online Vehicle Service History

Douglas Automotive Repair is pleased to offer a new service designed to help you manage your vehicle information online!  It provides you with online access to your vehicle’s service history, detailed maintenance schedule information and more.

If we had your email in our system when we rolled this out in early July, you should have received a link to view your service history.  Just click on the link in the email to activate.

If you didn’t receive a link and would like to, click on the sign up below to take advantage of this free service.

We’re excited to offer another way to assist you in maintaining your vehicle.  Have questions?  Give us a call today!

#localshop #mechanic #automotive #carrepair

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Dog-Stracted Driving: How Your Dog Puts You At Risk

Great article about the dangers of distracted driving with your pets.

https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/travel/dog-stracted-driving-how-your-dog-puts-you-at-risk

Everyone at Douglas Automotive Repair wishes you safe travels!

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Happy 4th!

Local 4th of July Fireworks and celebrations around the area… 

Aurora, IL:  https://www.aurora-il.org/1237/Events

Naperville, IL:  http://www.ribfest.net/where-to-park/

Oswego, IL:  http://www.oswegoil.org/news-and-events/news-details.aspx?ID=5104

Plainfield, IL: https://fireworksinillinois.com/events/patriotic-picnic-fireworks/

Douglas Automotive Repair wishes everyone a safe 4th celebration with family and friends!

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10 Surprising Facts About American Muscle Cars

Douglas Automotive Repair came across some interesting information about American Muscle Cars we thought we’d share.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/g790/10-surprising-facts-about-american-muscle-cars/

Love those muscle cars! Vrooom!

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