• Getting Your Car Ready for Winter Driving

    Depending on where you live, weather conditions in the winter can range from mild to extreme. Preparing your vehicle for these conditions in advance can make it easier on your car, and help to prevent any unnecessary damage.

    Traffic in winter evening

    Battery and Fluids
    Getting your battery tested is important, and will help you from getting stranded on those fiercely cold winter days. You can take your car to your local mechanic to run a battery test, and see if it needs replacement. Additionally, making sure that all of your fluids are topped off is crucial. In particular, you will want to make sure you have enough coolant to prevent the  water in your radiator from freezing. This will help ensure your engine does not overheat. It is also a good idea to replace your current windshield wiper fluid with a formula made for colder weather, so it won’t freeze when you need it most.

    Brakes and Tires
    It is critical to make sure your brakes are in adequate shape. If you think you need new brakes or pads, consider getting them done before the roads get too slippery. Furthermore, checking to see if your tires have sufficient tread is essential to safe winter driving. Even if you don’t have to replace them, it can help to rotate and align them to ensure even wear. You may also want to consider replacing your current tires with ones made for driving in the snow, depending on the winter weather where you live.

    Packing Your Car with the Right Materials
    Emergency situations can happen, and it is best to be prepared. If you do not already have them, you may want to look into purchasing tire chains and jumper cables to help you in difficult situations. Consider packing extra clothes such as boots, a blanket, and an extra jacket.  If you live in a remote area, and think there is a chance you may get stuck for hours at a time, it could be helpful to pack portions of food and water.

    B & L Automotive Repairs, Inc.  has been helping people in Chicago prepare for winter driving for more than 30 years. To find out how we can help you, call us at (773) 463-1622, or visit our website. 

  • Diagnosing Battery Problems

    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) 463-1622. 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.

  • The Steps of Choosing a Car Mechanic

    No matter what kind of car you drive, every vehicle will need maintenance and repair at some point. Choosing the right mechanic to work on your car can prevent a lot of unwanted headaches. Since a good amount of consumers do not know standard industry jargon or procedures, it is very important to pick a mechanic and automotive shop that can be trusted to do the right job for the right price. Follow these steps to pick the best mechanic for you.

    Mechanic At Work

    Become Informed Before You Need One
    Getting familiar with your car and local mechanics  before you need any work done can be extremely helpful. This will help to ensure that you do not make a rushed decision that you might later regret. Consider reviewing the owner’s manual to become familiar with the manufacturer’s schedule for maintenance.

    Look for Signs of Credibility
    You will want to choose a repair shop that specializes in your brand of vehicle. They are more likely to be knowledgeable on the intricacies of your car, and have all of the up-to-date parts for it. Secondly, scoping out the business online can be very beneficial. You can read customer reviews on sites like Yelp, and it is always recommended to check the shop’s review on the Better Business Bureau website.

    Getting Some Work Done
    When you find a shop that you want to try out, think about starting with a small repair to see if you like the job they do. Before getting anything done, it is advised to get a written estimate for parts and labor, so you know what price to expect. In addition, make sure to ask what warranties are offered. Once the work is done, it is recommended to get everything in writing in an itemized list. That way you can refer back to it in the future.

    At B & L Automotive Repairs, Inc., we have been faithfully serving the Chicago community since 1978. To find out more information on how we can repair your vehicle, call us at (773) 463-1622, or  visit our website  to see what our customers say about us. 

  • A Motorist’s Guide to Wheel Alignment

    Car wheels can fall out of alignment when a driver hops a curb or runs over a pothole. Following involvement in a collision, a car’s wheels are especially likely to be misaligned. To better understand wheel alignment and the importance of visiting an insurance-approved collision repair shop following a car wreck to have your vehicle alignment inspected and corrected, check out the answers to the questions addressed below.

    computerized wheel alignment machine clamp

    Why is Proper Wheel Alignment Important?
    Properly aligned wheels are a key to safe, smooth driving. Keep an eye on your wheels and have them aligned when necessary, and you can get the most from your car’s suspension and tires. This improves handling and makes for a comfortable, more natural ride.

    What Could Happen to My Alignment in a Car Wreck?
    Wheel alignment issues are common following involvement in a vehicle collision. Most frequently, impact and structural damage alter the angle of a car’s wheels, causing the car to veer to the left or the right when the steering wheel is centered. The angle of the steering pivot, referred to as caster, may also be altered in a car collision.

    When Should I Have My Wheels Aligned?
    Two tell-tale signs that a vehicle’s  wheels are out of alignment  are pulling and steering wheel vibrations. If you have to turn your steering wheeling in order to drive straight or your steeling wheel vibrates much more than it normally does when you are driving on roads with which you are familiar, your wheels probably need to be aligned.

    What Happens During a Wheel Alignment?
    During a typical wheel alignment, a mechanic adjusts the angles of a vehicle’s suspension. Your car’s wheels and axles may be adjusted so that they are aligned with one another to the standard angles designated by your vehicle manufacturer. If your steering wheel is out of kilter, it will also be centered.

    At B & L Automotive Repairs, Inc. we realign wheels, straighten frames, replace bumpers, professionally paint exteriors, and provide other car collision repair and vehicle restoration services. For a free cost estimate from a reputable  insurance-approved collision repair shop in Chicago, call us today at (773) 463-1622.