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    Caring for Your Car's Fluid Levels

    Last updated 1 day 17 hours ago

    From engine oil to air conditioner coolant, fluids are vital to the optimal performance of your vehicle. Proper maintenance of these essential automotive fluids is an important component of any safe and comfortable driving experience. Below, we offer advice for proper vehicle fluid maintenance that can help you avoid preventable visits to the collision repair shop and spare you from other trouble on the road.

    Engine Oil
    Without oil in your engine, your car cannot run. Low oil levels and dirty engine oil can affect the performance of your car and damage its essential parts. Most vehicles no longer require an oil change every six months or 3,000 miles, but you should still check your oil levels frequently and change your oil as recommended by your owner’s manual.

    Transmission Fluid
    If you drive a manual vehicle, routinely check your transmission fluid. Cars that operate using hydraulic clutch systems also have a small reservoir where brake fluid that lubricates the clutch is stored, Locate the reservoir to ensure it is at least two-thirds full. Vehicles with automatic transmissions rarely require transmission fluid maintenance.

    Brake Fluid
    Your car’s brake fluid level should also be maintained at two-thirds full or higher. Consult your owner’s manual to locate your brake fluid reservoir, and check its level any time you are doing under-the-hood maintenance or are concerned that your brakes are acting up.

    Battery Cell Fluid
    Does your car run on a six-cell battery that needs occasional refilling? If so, check the fluid levels in the cells and add distilled water if the levels are low. Do this every six months or as recommended by your manufacturer. Drivers of cars with maintenance-free batteries do not need to do this.

    Radiator Fluid
    Radiator fluid is what keeps your engine from overheating. You can determine whether your car’s radiator needs more fluid by removing the radiator cap and peering in. To avoid burning yourself, only check your radiator fluid after your car’s engine has been switched off for several hours.

    Follow the recommended maintenance schedules for automotive fluids in your owner’s manual is necessary to make outings in your car as safe and comfortable as possible. If you are involved in a car wreck, visit an insurance approved collision repair shop to have your car’s vital components and fluid containers inspected and repaired if necessary. For cost-effective, thorough service from an experienced collision repair expert in Chicago, call B & L Automotive Repair, Inc. at (773) 877-3448.

    Diagnosing Battery Problems

    Last updated 9 days ago

    Are you having trouble starting your car? Startup failure is not always caused by a dead or ailing battery, but it often is. For information that can help you determine whether your battery or some other component of your vehicle is responsible for your car trouble, check out this video.

    The automotive expert featured in this clip offers advice for differentiating between battery, alternator, and starter problems after turning the ignition. A clicking sound usually indicates battery or starter failure, whereas a whiny sound is more likely a sign of alternator failure.

    If you have recently been involved in a car wreck and are having trouble starting your car, call B & L Automotive Repair, Inc. at (773) 877-3448. Proudly serving the Chicago area since 1978, we are a full-service collision repair service center that can restore your car’s body and mechanics to their pre-accident condition.

    Signs That You Need New Tires

    Last updated 17 days ago

    Driving with tires that have run their course decreases fuel economy and makes driving less safe. To keep your car’s performance high and minimize your risk of being involved in a car collision, familiarize yourself with signs that you need new tires and take action if you experience or detect any of them.

    Cracks, blisters, bulges, and other features that suggest your tires have sustained damage generally warrant a visit to a tire service center. Another sign that your tires are well past their prime is if you experience shaking or vibration that is more noticeable than usual.

    Properly inflated and maintained tires are generally effective until their tread wears too thin. You can check the tread depth of your tires by reading the tread wear indicator or performing a penny tread depth check. If you are involved in an accident and your car’s tires, bumpers, or body sustains damage, B & L Automotive Repair, Inc. can efficiently repair your car to its pre-collision state. For a free collision repair cost estimate, call our shop in Chicago at (773) 877-3448.

    An Essential Guide to Maintaining Your Brakes

    Last updated 23 days ago

    As a leading cause of car wrecks, brake failure is a terrifying experience that endangers drivers experiencing brake failure and everyone in their vicinity. Since brake failure is rarely a problem that occurs out of the blue, it is important for drivers to stay on top of their brake maintenance and be aware of signs that their brakes are losing efficacy. Steps you can take to properly maintain your brakes and keep the likelihood that you will be involved in a brake-related car collision to a minimum are discussed below.

    Go Easy on Your Brakes
    The rate at which brake pads wear down varies considerably based on a driver’s habits. Keep your brakes performing well for longer by making it a habit to coast rather than stop and go. When there is plenty of space between you and the vehicle or stop sign in front of you, apply pressure to your brakes gradually rather than waiting until the last minute and slamming on them.

    Familiarize Yourself with Warning Signs
    Early signs of brake failure include pulsating brake pedals and the presence of clicking, grinding, or squealing noises when pressure is applied to the brakes. Other warning signs of brake failure include  to be on the lookout for include poor brake performance, a car’s tendency to pull to one side when brakes are applied, and the illumination of ABS or other brake check lights on the dash.

    Schedule Regular Brake Inspections
    Even if your brakes seem to be holding up well, you should arrange to have them inspected by an automotive expert every 10,000 to 15,000 miles, or as recommended by your owner’s manual. It is also important to flush and replenish your brake fluid and carry out any other maintenance procedures recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

    Regardless of whether your brakes played a role in a car wreck in which you were recently involved, you should have your vehicle inspected by a collision repair professional. At B & L Automotive, Inc. in Chicago, we can repair exterior vehicle damage and identify and repair automotive problems that can help make your car safer to driver. For a free cost estimate or more information about our collision repair services, call (773) 877-3448. 

    Signs and Symptoms of an Alternator Problem

    Last updated 1 month ago

    As the component of a car that charges the battery and powers the car’s electrical system when the engine is on, an alternator is essential to the operation of any modern motor vehicle. Thankfully, alternators usually give off warning signs well before they croak. If you experience the following signs and symptoms when starting your engine or driving, you should have a collision repair expert inspect your alternator.

    Dash and Headlight Irregularities
    If there is an “ALT” or “GEN” light on your vehicle’s dashboard, its illumination is a strong indication that your alternator needs work. When an alternator starts to fail, it is also common for the lights on your dash to flicker, brighten, or dim suddenly. Dimmer-than-usual headlights are another warning sign.

    Battery Failure
    If you maintain your car as recommended by your owner’s manual and your battery is less than two or three years old, failure to start is not necessarily a sign that your battery has run its course and needs to be replaced. There is a good chance that your engine will not start because the alternator is not charging the battery, and that the alternator needs to be repaired or replaced.

    Unusual Sounds and Smells
    Growling, hissing, and whining noises coming from under the hood of your car could be a sign that your alternator is failing. Even if this is not the case, it is a good idea to have your vehicle inspected by an automotive repair specialist anytime that you hear strange noises or smell something that resembles burning rubber or electrical components.

    If you detect any of these signs while on the road or you have been involved in a vehicle collision and your car will not start, schedule an appointment with an insurance approved repair shop. Proudly serving residents of the Chicago area, B & L Automotive Repairs, Inc. offers a range of collision repairs and other automotive services. For a free estimate or access to 24/7 emergency towing, call (773) 877-3448. 



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