Signs Your Alternator’s Failing

How Do I Tell If My Alternator’s Broken? An alternator is your car’s generator: once the car is started, the alternator generates energy to power your vehicle and its accessories, like the interior and exterior lights. It also simultaneously recharges your battery for the next time you need to start the car. Sometimes, alternators wear out or just break. How do you know if your alternator needs maintenance? Here are signs that your automobile’s alternator needs service. My battery light is on Most people assume the battery light means there’s something wrong with your car battery. In fact, it most likely means there’s a charging issue. If your battery light is on, this could mean your car’s alternator is failing. Either way, a lit battery light is something that should be investigated. Bring your car to HEART Certified Auto Care for our exclusive 33 point inspection and we’ll have your problem solved ASAP. In fact, 98% of o ... read more

Everything You Need to Know about Transmissions

Signs Your Car’s Transmission is Failing Transmissions distribute power to your vehicle’s wheels. Like the chains on a bicycle, transmissions are what switch your car into high gear when you need it and take you back down when you’re done. It’s an extremely important part of your car, and you should monitor your transmission as closely as you do the oil in your car. To help you understand your car’s transmission, here are tips on troubleshooting transmission problems, as well as information on transmission fluid. Transmissions can fail for a lot of reasons: overheating, slipping gears, or too little transmission fluid.Here are symptoms of a failing transmission:   How do I tell if my transmission is slipping? When your transmission slips into a different gear on its own, it’s time to have it checked out. It’s often accompanied by a change in engine pitch or an engine whine.   Another sign your transmission is ... read more

Nine Best Practices for Tire Maintenance

Nine Best Practices for Tire Maintenance Your car’s tires don’t always get as much attention as engines, oil, or even its exterior, but proper tire maintenance is one of the easiest ways to keep your car running safely, efficiently, and for longer. To guarantee you get the most out of your tires, and to answer questions, such as “What’s good tire pressure,” “How do I inspect tires” and “What on earth is tire rotation, anyway?”, here are nine best practices for proper tire maintenance. What’s the best tire pressure? The most effective and easiest way to maintain your tires is by keeping them properly inflated. This simple practice not only keeps your tires from wearing too fast, but prevents skids on slick surfaces and improves overall fuel economy.   But note: Not all tires require equal pressure. Car manufacturers list their PSI recommendations on a sticker inside the driver’s ... read more

Why is Your Check Engine Light On?

Check Engine Light Best Practices:Why is Your Check Engine Light On? The check engine light. Is there a more mysterious auto part? What does it even mean when the check engine light is flashing? The short answer is that the check engine light goes on for anything from a minor issue to a catastrophic meltdown. For a deeper understanding of why your check engine light is on, and to help you respond and prevent the need for a major auto repair, here are best practices for addressing check engine lights, as well as potential reasons why your check engine light may be on in the first place. Is it Blinking or Solid? Some check engine symbols blink to indicate an urgent situation, like fuel leaking into the exhaust system. If your check engine light is blinking, check the owner’s manual to see if your model offers specific tips. Either way, you’ll likely want to visit a car repair professional ASAP. If you need one you can trust, try HEART. W ... read more

The Eight Things You Need to Know about Auto Maintenance

The Eight Things You Need to Know about Auto Maintenance Whether you’re an experienced driver or relatively new, anyone who gets behind the wheel should know what’s happening under the hood and elsewhere on their vehicle. To help answer some of the most common questions about cars, here are some facts that everyone on the road should know to avoid car trouble and make sure you understand what problems you can avoid with a little knowledge. Why is it important to change the oil? Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. Oil provides lubrication to keep pistons pumping, to prevent the engine from overheating, and to make sure everything stays clean. That’s why it’s important to always maintain proper fuel levels and to schedule regular oil changes. If you don’t adhere to these auto basics, you could experience a variety of car troubles, including engine overheating, reduced fuel efficiency (plus the cost that goes with it), failing aut ... read more

Six Car Gauges You Need to Know

Six Car Gauges You Need to KnowHow to make sense of the dials and sensors Cars come with a lot of gauges, especially on older models. Even newer model cars offer so many diagnostic numbers that they can confuse the most experienced drivers. To help you make sense of your dashboard gauges, here is a rundown of the six most important car gauges you’ll encounter. What is the speedometer? The most basic car gauge is the speedometer, the indicator that tells you how fast you’re going. But this gauge isn’t just impacted by your speed; your tires also play a role. Larger tires rotate at a slower rate, which means that if your tires are overinflated or you’ve added bigger tires to your vehicle, your speedometer will register a slower speed. That means that you should be aware you may be speeding even if your speedometer is at the speed limit. Alternatively, smaller or underinflated tires rotate at a faster speed ... read more

5 Signs Your Car Needs Service

 5 Signs Your Car Needs Service 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. 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.   My car is using more ... read more

Car Electronics Trouble Shooting

Car Electronics Trouble ShootingHow to tell if your car’s electrical system is on the fritz. Your car runs on more than gasoline. A tremendous amount of electricity goes into moving you from point A to point B. That means an electrical issue or failure can be catastrophic. To help you prevent potential breakdowns, costly repairs, and general inconvenience, here are five symptoms of electrical failure in your car. The engine won’t turn over Most often an engine that won’t turn over is due to a dead battery or starter issue. But it’s also possible your car engine won’t turn over because of a fault in the electrical system that’s draining your battery, overloading circuity, or otherwise malfunctioning. If you hear a grinding noise or clicking, it’s likely a starter or bad flywheel ring. If there’s eerie silence, well, it’s likely the electrical system and you should find a car re ... read more

6 Signs You Need Brake Service

6 Signs You Need Brake Service Brakes are one of the most important parts of your car. They’re literal lifesavers. That’s why it’s of utmost importance you know the warning signs that your brakes or brake pads need service. To help keep you safe on the road, here are six indications that your car brakes need service and four ways to make them last longer.   “My brake warning light is on” The first sign your brakes need service is the warning light. Standard on most newer models, it illuminates when your brakes or brake pads aren’t quite right. Check your owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with the symbols and their meaning, because even warning lights aren’t always straight forward.   For brake service help, stop by one of HEART Certified Auto Care’s three convenient Chicago area locations. We’ll have you riding safely in no time; 98% of our service is done same day. That&rs ... read more

Cooling System Maintenance Best Practices

Cooling System Maintenance Best Practices How to Prevent Your Car Engine from Overheating Plus, cooling system basics Your car’s cooling system is essential to safe driving. It prevents overheating by distributing your engine’s heat evenly throughout the system. A failing cooling system can lead to costly auto repairs. To keep your car running smoothly and safely and to prevent unnecessary downtime, just follow these four simple steps to maintaining your car’s cooling system. Regularly changing your coolant, also called antifreeze, is the first step in keeping the cooling system healthy, but here are four more tips to make sure you can identify warning signs, too. Tighten the radiator cap  The radiator cap does more than keep coolant in the system. It helps maintain proper pressure throughout your entire cooling system. Check your radiator cap regularly to make sure it hasn’t slipped. But be careful—the cap heats ... read more

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