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HEART Certified Auto Care - Best Practices

5 Ways to Tell Your Car Needs Service

These are often symptoms of larger issues.

You change your oil regularly. You always switch out our car’s air filters. You do everything to keep your car running as well as possible. These are all essential to maintaining your car’s health, but even with all this preparation, things sometimes still go wrong. To help you make sense of it, and to keep you and your car safe, here are five signs your car needs auto service.

  1. My engine is stalling

    A stalling engine could be due to a number of issues: no gas in your car, dirty air filters, bad spark plugs or an electrical issue, among others. If your engine stalls, find a trusted auto repair professional nearby or, if you’re in the Chicago area, stop by one of HEART Certified Auto Care’s three convenient locations: HEART Wilmette, HEART Northbrook, or HEART Evanston. Not addressing the issue can lead to costly car repairs, being stranded, and depleted fuel efficiency.

  2. My car is using more gas

    Most of us know how often we have to fill up our car’s gas tank. Suddenly having to fill up more often means your car’s lost gas mileage — that is, it’s not using the gas as efficiently as possible. The fix here could be as simple as an oil change. It could also be something more complicated, such as a faulty spark plug.

    If your car’s losing gas mileage, stop by HEART Certified Auto Care and we’ll have you squared away ASAP. In fact, 98% of our service is done same-day.

    Also, it’s worth noting that it’s normal for fuel efficiency to drop in winter, when it takes longer for your car to warm to optimal temperature. If you live in cold places, consider warming your car up before hitting the roads this winter. Your car will run better and you’ll save money. It’s a win-win!

  3. My engine is making a knocking noise

    Your car engine should run smoothly, without congestion or stalling. If your car engine suddenly starts making a knocking noise, almost like it’s trying to cough, chances are there are built up deposits clogging the system. This blockage greatly reduces your fuel efficiency and puts unnecessary strain on your vehicle’s engine. If your engine is knocking, come by HEART and we’ll have it cleared up quickly.

  4. My car exhaust smells weird

    We all know what car exhaust should smell like, so if you notice one day yours suddenly smells odd, especially while idling, that could mean a few things: you may just need an oil change, or it could be that an interior belt has burned out or corroded. If it’s the latter, power steering and other essential functions can be impeded, putting you — and your car — in danger. If your car exhaust smells different than normal, call a local car repair professional or stop by HEART Certified Auto Care. And don’t worry if you need a new part. At Heart, we have an extensive stock of replacement parts to have you up and running like new.

  5. My check engine light is on

    Is there anything more mysterious than your car’s “check engine” light? What does “check engine” even mean? Well, it could be a broken sensor, a misfiring cylinder, a faulty exhaust system, or even just a loose gas cap. We suggest tightening the cap first to see if that helps; if not, bring your car to one of HEART’s three convenient Chicago area locations: HEART Wilmette, HEART Northbrook, or HEART Evanston. We take pictures throughout our entire inspection, so you know what we know and can make informed decisions every step of the way.

Overview:

Keeping your engine tuned as recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer can lower the risk of having to perform major maintenance. From changing your oil regularly to replacing your air filters at the proper interval, there are a number of maintenance items you can perform regularly to keep your vehicle running smoothly. However, even if you treat your engine right, something could still go unexpectedly wrong. If you notice any of the following warning signs, you shouldn't put off getting your engine checked out.

Engine Stalling

Your vehicle's engine performance can be affected by a number of factors, including lack of gasoline, a dirty air filter, or bad spark plugs, to name a few. This can cause your car to jerk or hesitate, making it difficult to climb hills and push to its fullest speed performance potential.

Drop in Gas Mileage

A drop in gas mileage is equivalent to flushing money down the drain. To keep the moving parts of your engine lubricated, change your oil as recommended to optimize your vehicle's mileage. Waiting too long for an oil change allows your engine to build up with harmful sludge that can damage its components and affect your engine’s performance.

The worst time to have poor engine performance is during the winter season when it takes longer for your engine to reach the temperature required for your fuel to be efficient. Leaving your car idle during the cold seasons to warm-up will force your car to burn more fuel.

Engine Knocking

Carbon deposits in your engine can also weigh down your vehicle’s performance. These deposits are often the cause of that pesky knocking or pinging noise you hear. The fuel you put into your vehicle is required to have a certain level of carbon cleaning detergent to stop deposits from forming, but sometimes that’s not enough. This becomes a problem because it reduces the amount of space you have in your gas cylinder, which increases compression and causes your car to knock.

Exhaust Odor

We all know what car exhaust should smell like, so if you notice one day yours suddenly smells odd, especially while idling, that could mean a few things: you may just need an oil change, or it could be that an interior belt has burned out or corroded. If the latter, this can impede power steering and other essential functions, putting you — and your car — in danger. If your car exhaust smells weird, call a local car repair professional or stop by HEART. Our knowledgeable technicians will solve your mystery and get you back on the road ASAP.

Check Engine Light

Your check engine light engages for a number of reasons, including faulty oxygen sensors, cylinder misfires, an insufficient EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) flows, or a lose gas cap.

  • Evanston, IL
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  • Wilmette, IL
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  • Northbrook, IL
  • 280 Skokie Blvd, Northbrook, IL, 60062
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