Car Fluid List

What’s that stain under my car? Your car runs on many more fluids than just gas. There is a wide variety of liquids that keep your car on the move, and all of them can leak. To help you make sense of any stains under your car, here is a complete, color coded list of what various liquids do and what it could mean when they’re leaking. If you see any of these under your car, it’s time to visit your trusted car repair professional. Red or pink fluid If you see red fluid under your car, it’s most likely the transmission or power steering system. Both are extremely important to your safety, so if you see red liquid, it’s best to take your car in for an inspection. The problem could be as simple as a pinhole in a hose or a faulty transmission seal.   Orange fluid An orange stain might also be transmission fluid, but it could be rust in your radiator that is tainting and staining other liquids, such as ... read more

Prepare Your Car for Winter

9 Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter at the End of the Summer The end of summer means more than packing away swimsuits and gardening tools. It also means preparing your car for winter. To help you, here are nine tips for end of summer car maintenance. Refill your tires Not only does winter bring hazardous driving conditions, but cold weather also reduces tire pressure. Tire pressure is essential for maintaining safe traction and handling on the road. Stay safe this winter by making sure your tires are properly inflated. This provides more than peace of mind and car safety; it improves fuel efficiency, saving you gas money.   Check your tire tread Along the same lines, inspect your tire tread. An inspection can be done easily with a penny: if you insert a penny into the tire tread head first, and you can still see Lincoln’s forehead, it’s time to replace your tires.   Replace your windshield wipers Windshie ... read more

Four Signs You Need New Car Headlights

Four Signs You Need New Car Headlights Car headlights are essential to safe driving. That’s why it’s important to know the signs that your car headlights need to be replaced. To help you, here are four signs your headlights are on their way out. Car headlights are dim Headlights lose their luster after a while, so if you notice yours are dimmer than before, that’s a good sign they’re reaching the end of their lifespan and will burn out soon. If this happens, take your car in for a quick fix to one of HEART Certified Auto Care’s three Chicago area locations: HEART Wilmette, HEART Northbrook, and HEART Evanston. Car headlights are flickering Flickering headlights may not be burning out. They may be flickering because of a bad electrical connection or other internal issue. Either way, flickering headlights should definitely be inspected by a car repair professional. Contact a HEART Certified Auto Care loc ... read more

Ten Fuel Efficiency Tips

Ten Fuel Efficiency Tips Everyone looks for ways to save money on gas. And you can, easily, by following these ten ways to use less gas, decrease emissions, and increase fuel efficiency. Don’t Accelerate Too Fast Accelerating quickly is a terrible waste of gas. To save gas, accelerate slowly and steadily. One method of saving gas for automatic cars is to go from 0-15 mph in 5 seconds, rather than flooring it to go as fast as possible as fast as possible. If you have a manual transmission, shift into second gear at 5 mph to 15 mph, into third gear at 15 mph to 30 mph, into fourth gear at 30 mph to 40 mph, and into fifth gear at over 40 mph. Steady Speed Wins the Fuel Efficiency Race You can save 20% of your fuel if you accelerate and decelerate consistently. Resist braking unnecessarily or abruptly, and use cruise control while cruising down the highway. Drive Slower Driving slower reduces fuel consumption. Fo ... read more

Oil Change Tips

The Best Way to Change Oil: Eight Tips and Insights Two of the most common automotive questions are “How often should I change my oil?” and “When should I change my oil?” To take the guess work out of your oil maintenance, and to avoid potential damage to your engine, here are eight best practices for oil changing and maintenance.   Mind the Service Reminder — Many new model vehicles have internal monitors that let you know when it’s time for an oil change. If the light is on, it’s time for an oil change. Even if you have a light, there may be more to worry about, so read on for more helpful oil change tips.   How often should oil be changed? — The old adage is that oil should be changed every three months or every 3,000-5,000 miles. Some newer model vehicles may have longer spans, though, even up to 12,000 miles and/or 12 months. Always check your owner&rsquo ... read more

Eight Best Practices for Spring Car Maintenance

Eight Best Practices for Spring Car MaintenanceWinter is rough on cars with all the snow, sleet, and salt. Help your vehicle recover from the long winter with these eight tips for springtime car maintenance.Check Spark Plugs and Wires We’ve addressed the importance of spark plugs before. They are essential, and hardworking, engine parts. Make sure your engine starts the first time every time by checking your spark plugs, spark plug wires, and spark plug sockets each spring. Check All Your Caps Your car has more than just a gas cap. There’s a radiator cap, a cap on your brake fluid, and antifreeze, too. Basically, there’s a cap everywhere fluid goes into your automobile. Check them all to make sure they’re water tight. If they’re not, stop by HEART Certified Auto Care for auto parts to prevent leaks and other mishaps. Check Your Fluids While you’re inspecti ... read more

Eight Warning Signs Your Car Engine Is Failing

Eight Warning Signs Your Car Engine Is Failing Drivers can’t always see what’s happening in their car engine while they’re on the road, but there are ways to know whether your engine’s operating at peak performance or not. Here are eight warning signs that your car engine probably needs maintenance. Your Check Engine Light’s Flashing Let’s start simple: if your check engine light is flashing, you most likely need to — well, check your engine. The check engine light is programmed to turn on when it finds a problem in the electronic control system that it can’t correct, so if it goes on, it’s best to stop by one of HEART’s three convenient locations in Wilmette, Evanston, or Northbrook for a complete engine diagnostic. Your Car Loses Power Another sign something’s wrong with your engine is if your car suddenly stops accelerating or otherwise loses engine power. This reaction is almost always a r ... read more

Eight Signs Your Car’s Starter Is Failing

Eight Signs Your Car’s Starter Is Failing The car’s starter is the mechanism that cranks the engine to get it going. It’s imperative to fix a failing or malfunctioning starter ASAP. To determine whether your car’s starter could be failing, here are eight signs that the starter may need repair. My Car Won’t Start The biggest tip your car’s starter isn’t working is your car doesn’t turn on when you turn the key or push the start button. Maybe you hear a clicking or clanking, or maybe nothing at all. Either way, there’s clearly an issue. You should bring your automobile in for car repair as soon as possible. My Car Is Making a Grinding Noise A grinding noise when you try to start your car is a surefire signal your starter is failing. If you hear such a noise when starting your car, stop by HEART Certified Auto Care for an inspection. My Car Engine is Whining ... read more

Signs Your Spark Plugs Are Failing

Signs Your Spark Plugs Are Failing Spark plugs start your car and keep it running. They are tiny but mighty parts of your engine. Faulty spark plugs, spark plug sockets, or spark plug wires can lead to costly engine failure. Save yourself the time, hassle, and cost by learning these six spark plug warning signs. My Car’s Idling Loudly Idling vehicles should purr continuously and smoothly. If your idling car sounds like it’s stumbling, coughing, or generally rough, or if it is physically vibrating excessively, it’s most likely a faulty spark plug. This may not sound serious, but it can lead to costly car repairs down the road. If you’re experiencing a rough idle, then bring your car to HEART Certified Auto Care where we restore not just your car, but your faith in auto care. My Car Won’t Start Most often, drivers chalk up the inability to start their car to low gas or battery. But it’s actually ver ... read more

Winter Car Care Tips

Winter Car Care TipsWhat’s the best way to protect your car this winter? Here we are our tips on selecting winter tires, stocking emergency car kits, and how to power your battery. Winter can wreak havoc on your vehicle and make driving dangerous. Between icy conditions, freezing cold, road salt, and falling sludge, it can seem like a lot to deal with. To keep your car running well in winter, to avoid car repairs, and to prevent winter road accidents, here are nine best practices for preparing your car and yourself for winter conditions. 1. Proper Winter Tire Pressure — Cold temperatures condense the air in your tires, diminishing tire pressure and increasing the likelihood of skidding on slick roads. Keep yourself safe this winter by regularly checking your tire pressure and adding air as needed throughout the season. If you have any questions, be sure to call or stop by one of our locations in Evanston, Northbrook, or Wilmette ... read more

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