Monthly Archives: January 2019

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

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

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