DRIVE Automotive Repair : Auto Repair in DeKalb, Illinois

Auto Repair and Truck Repair in DeKalb Illinois : Car Repair, Brakes, Engine, Mechanic

Auto Repair Shop in DeKalb IL

 Local Auto Repair Shop in DeKalb IL. Providing tune ups, oil changes, tires, brakes, exhaust, belts, suspension, diagnostic services, engine & transmission repair.  Automotive Repair & Truck Repair.

What does D.R.I.V.E. Automotive stand for?

Discover Reputable Independent Vehicle Experts, and we mean it!!  The quality ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified technicians at Drive Automotive utilize today’s latest automotive technology and are equipped to handle all major and minor repairs on all vehicles.  It is a valuable yardstick by which to measure the knowledge and skills of individual technicians as well as the commitment to quality of the auto repair shop employing ASE-Certified professionals.

Here at D.R.I.V.E. Automotive we are dedicated to the best, continual training and education available to us. We hold a Master status with ASE Automotive Service Excellence, for all makes and models. As well as original equipment manufacture certifications for Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, and even O.E.M. Hybrid certifications. Vern Kuhlman, owner of D.R.I.V.E. Automotive, holds Master Diagnostic Technician Certifications with the Toyota company. This is the highest level of achievement given by Toyota, and as far as we know he is the only Technician of this caliber in the surrounding area.

We continue to take our commitment to education and customer service a step further than the rest. Our dedication and efforts speak for themselves.

We are not new to the business of providing quality automotive repair service, and have been responsible for providing outstanding customer service for over thirty years. Our specialty is providing our customers with the most complete, technologically advanced automotive repair and keeping auto repair costs down. From maintenance, accessories, to major auto repairs, our goal is to provide you with one place to meet all your automotive needs and services. Our regular customers appreciate the honesty, dedication, and value system we have implemented as the building blocks of our auto repair business. We look forward to building a trusting and respectful relationship with each and every one of our customers.

 

* Accessory Installation * AC Service & Repair
Alignments * Batteries and Battery Service
 * Cooling Systems, Radiators, Hoses, Water Pumps, Heater Cores, etc. *  Brake Service
* Diagnostic Services * Diesel Service & Repair
 * Electrical, Charging and Starting Systems
Engine Repair
Fuel Injection Service
 * Mufflers
Oil Change
 * Power Steering
Preventative Maintenance
Radiators
Shocks & Struts Suspension
Tires, Tire Repair & Rotation
 * Towing
Transmission  * Tune ups
Comfortable customer waiting room with FREE WiFi access

Spring Maintenance

While Spring cleaning this year don’t forget your Car Maintenance!

Winter can be tough on lots of things, including cars and trucks. Cold temperatures, snow and ice, road salt and pothole-causing freeze-thaw cycles put car batteries, tires, brakes and suspensions to the test. Regular vehicle maintenance and inspections can help improve a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, achieve peak performance and even help avoid major repairs down the
road.

Batteries: They work harder when it’s cold, and winter can compromise their cranking performance up to 60 percent. Test and replace old or weak batteries, especially those more than three years old. It can be cheaper than a tow and replacement on the road.

Tires, wheels: Cold weather can reduce tire pressure, so make sure tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can reduce fuel economy, cause premature tire failure and are a safety hazard. Worn-down tires make it hard to stop, even if your brakes are in good order. Part  of our inspection at DRIVE Automotive includes checking the tire pressure on all tires. In addition to tire pressure,  the technicians check for tread wear and any obvious damage caused by potholes or sharp objects.

Belts and hoses: Inspect and replace worn or cracked belts, as well as hoses that are blistered, brittle or too soft. Belts and hoses older than five years, even if they look intact, might need to be replaced.

Brakes: A spring checkup can uncover any winter damage. Inspect the brake system, including lines, hoses, and parking brake. Inspect brake fluid for proper level. Low brake fluid can be an indication of excessive brake wear or fluid leak. Have the brake linings/pads inspected and measured.

Suspension: Deep potholes aren’t friendly to shocks and struts. An inspection to determine wear or leaks can alleviate bigger issues down the road.

Other items to have inspected in the spring:

Inspect the antifreeze/coolant level, making sure the coolant used meets the specifications listed in the vehicle owner’s manual. Check the transmission fluid for correct level.. Check for leaks that can cause your transmission to fail. Inspect power steering fluid for proper levels. Low power steering fluid can cause damage to the power steering system and lead to premature power steering failure. Inspect and replace the engine air filter and the cabin air filter as necessary. Inspect steering components and steering linkage.

 

Is your Check Engine Light On?

When your check engine light comes on a trouble code is stored in the computer. Some codes are universal and can be read by most scanners. Other codes are stored more deeply in memory or are specific to the vehicle make and model. For these kinds of codes,the technicians at DRIVE Automotive can talk to your onboard computer with state of the art equipment that allows them to read and retrieve trouble codes and vital engine data.  The check engine light code can come on for anything from serious engine or transmission problems or something as simple as a loose gas cap.

For any given trouble code, there could be a number of causes. So your trained technician takes the trouble code as a starting point and begins a diagnostic process to determine the cause of the problem. And some problems take longer to solve than others.

When your engine management system logs a problem and illuminates the check engine light, your DeKalb IL service technician at DRIVE Automotive will plug in a scanner, download the trouble codes and go to work tracing the cause of the problem.

That’s just the first step. That’s when your technician’s training, equipment, databases and skill get put to work diagnosing the problem and fixing it.

If your check engine light is flashing it means that the problem could lead to serious damage. To prevent a breakdown or damage to other vital systems in your vehicle you should get your vehicle in to DRIVE Autmotive as soon as possible to get the problem solved. If it’s on but not flashing, you have some time to get in at your convenience.

ABS Brake Sensors

What does an ABS Sensor Do?

The anti-lock braking system uses an ABS or wheel sensor to monitor the wheel speed and send this information to the ABS computer.  The ABS computer uses this information to prevent the brakes from locking during an emergency stop.  If wheel speeds are not equal the computer modulates the anti-lock feature until the speeds are equalized.

Where are these sensor located?

The ABS sensor is typically located in each wheel hub/rotor on a four sensor ABS system.  Some rear wheel drive applications have the sensor mounted in the rear differential.

Will a malfunctioning ABS Sensor illuminate the check engine light or affect vehicle operation?

Yes, a failing sensor can illuminate the MIL or ABS warning lamp, and may cause failure of the anti-lock braking system to operate safely and properly.

What are the common causes of failure?

Typically these sensors will fail as a result of clogging from metallic debris, brake dust or dirt due to exposure to the harsh elements.

How to determine if these sensor are malfunctioning?

An ABS sensor can be visually inspected and the wire winding and sensor harness can be tested for opens, shorts and proper factory specified resistance with an ohmmeter.

Warning Signs of Exhaust Repair

Your car not only has to help keep your family safe, it has to do its part to keep the planet safe. Most people think their car’s exhaust system is designed only to reduce noise, but it is also responsible for reducing harmful emissions from entering the atmosphere. Properly functioning mufflers and exhaust systems not only sound better, they are better – for you, your car, and the environment.

Your exhaust emission system does all of its important work while hanging from the bottom of your vehicle. So to help keep your car running smoothly, quietly, and efficiently, we recommend having your exhaust system checked out at least once a year.

SIGNS OF EXHAUST REPLACEMENT/REPAIR

  • Exhaust manifolds and gaskets: cracks or small holes could cause exhaust leaks, affecting both safety and performance
  • Oxygen sensors: cracks, damaged wires, or blocked intakes could cause incorrect fuel/air mixture adjustments and poor fuel economy
  • Catalytic converters: overheating, dents, clogs, or corrosion could cause air pollution, excessive noise and rough idle
  • Resonators and mufflers: excessive rust or holes could cause air pollution, excessive noise and a rough idle
  • Pipes, hangers, clamps, and brackets: excessive rust or broken bolts could cause parts to hang dangerously low, resulting in a hazard for the people driving behind you

 We offer a full range of exhaust service options, from high performance mufflers and exhaust systems, as well as value-oriented replacement mufflers and systems. Stop by D.R.I.V.E.  Automotive today for an exhaust inspection and experience the satisfaction our expertise provides.

When do you need a Brake Replacement?

Properly maintaining your brakes is one of the most important aspects of vehicle care. After all, without brakes, your car won’t be able to stop, resulting in a dangerous crash. Surprisingly, the cost of brake repair and maintenance is lower that what you might expect. By paying attention to the behavior of your vehicle, you can solve brake problems before they get costly, and more importantly, deadly. 
 
While driving your vehicle, occasionally turn off your radio and listen to your car. If you detect a grinding sound or squealing noise coming from any corner of your vehicle while braking, it’s likely that you may need a brake pad replacement, at the very least. Check your brake pedal also to see if it is spongy or hard to push.  If you notice any brake warning lights on that is usually a good indication that something is wrong and needs attention.  It’s important to take care of these problems early. Putting off a repair will lead to additional problems, such as broken rotors or loss of pressure in your brake fluid lines, compromising your safety and adding to the cost of repairs.
 

WARNING SIGNS

  • DRAG – Sticking brakes, hot wheels or engine which seems to have lost power.  Auto brakes may be failing to release; the condition can reverse itself, leaving you with no brakes at all.  This would indicate brakes service is needed.
  • PULL – Vehicle pulls to one side when brakes are applied.  May be underinflated tire, misadjusted brakes or brakes are in need of car brakes repair.
  • HARD PEDAL – Requires extreme pressure to make brakes function.  Can indicate power brake trouble, restricted hydraulic lines, frozen calipers or wheel cylinders, or damaged brake linings
  • BRAKE LIGHTS – Red indicates a problem as simple as the parking brake on, or low fluid, to something as serious as a hydraulic system failure.  Yellow indicates deactivation of your ABS system.  While your brakes should work, it does require inspection at the first opportunity.
  • VIBRATION – Brake pedal, steering wheel or entire vehicle shakes, vibrates or pulsates when brake is applied.  May indicate need to resurface disc brake rotors – or signal a serious problem of a loose component or faulty steering mechanism.
  • SQUEAL – Brakes should operate with a minimal amount of noise.  Some noise is normal but excessive squeal, screech, grinding, groaning, chatter, clatter or bang means your brakes need of car brakes repair.
  • LOW PEDAL – Pedal nearly touches floorboard before brakes function.  May activate your brake warning light.  Problem may require a simple adjustment – or indicate something much more serious.
  • GRAB – “Touchy” brakes that grab with the least pressure.  May indicate a problem as simple as grease or oil contaminated linings – or as serious as loose or broken component ready to fail in an emergency.
Functional brakes are extremely important to your safety.  It is suggested that you have your brake systems checked at least once a year.  If you are noticing any symtoms or problems with your brakes stop by D.R.I.V.E. Automotive and have one of our experienced technicians perform a brake inspection.  If our inspection reveals they do require repair, we will explain exactly what’s required, what’s optional and provide you with a written estimate before any work is done.
 

Replacing your Dirty Air Filter Makes for a Better Running Engine!

Increased Performance:  a clean air filter improves air flow to the engine and increases engine performance.

Lower Emissions:  a clogged, dirty air filter can reduce air flow and choke your engine’s emmision control system.

Longer Engine Life:  the air filter is designed to trap dust, dirt, and debris that can damage an engine’s cylinders and pistons.

For every gallon of fuel burned, an engine can use up to 10,000 gallons of air.  Changing out that old dirty air filter for a clean new filter makes for an easy way to save money and engine wear-mile after mile.

With a clean air filter, your engine breathes better and performs better.

Do you know when the last time your Cabin Air filter was changed?

Breathe Better and Live Healthier with a Clean Cabin Air Filter. 

What is a Cabin Air Filter?  A Cabin Air Filter cleans the air entering your vehicle’s passenger cabin via its HVAC system.  Cabin Air Filters filter out pollutants, mold, mildew, road dust, fumes and allergens.

Is a Cabin Air Filter different that an Air Filter?  Yes.  An air filter filters air going into your vehicle’s engine.  A cabin air filter filters air coming into the passenger cabin.  A vehicle’s passenger compartment’s unfiltered inside air can be up to 6 times dirtier than outside air.

How do I know if my vehicle has a cabin air filter?  First check your vehicle’s owner manual.  If you’re still not sure ask our qualified technician at DRIVE Automotive.

What about unpleasant odors in my vehicle?  Eventually a cabin air filter starts to lose its effectiveness as it gets dirty with use.  This may result in unpleasant odors and decreased heating and air conditioning performance caused by restricted air flow.

So when should I change my cabin air filter?  Most car experts and filter manufacturers recommend changing  a cabin air filter every 12,000 miles or every 12 months.  However, depending on your driving conditions, twice a year may prove necessary for maximum benefit.

Preventative Maintenance

Improve your fuel economy, keep your vehicle running longer and safer and prevent big repairs by paying a little attention to proper maintenance. 

Preventive maintenance is a schedule of planned maintenance actions aimed at the prevention of breakdowns and failures. The primary goal of preventive maintenance is to prevent the failure of equipment before it actually occurs. It is designed to preserve and enhance equipment reliability by replacing worn components before they actually fail. Preventive maintenance activities include equipment checks, partial or complete overhauls at specified periods, oil changes, lubrication and so on. In addition, technicians can record equipment deterioration so they know to replace or repair worn parts before they cause system failure. Recent technological advances in tools for inspection and diagnosis have enabled even more accurate and effective equipment maintenance. The ideal preventive maintenance program would prevent all equipment failure before it occurs.

Value of Preventive Maintenance

There are multiple misconceptions about preventive maintenance. One such misconception is that Preventative Maintenance is unduly costly. This logic dictates that it would cost more for regularly scheduled downtime and maintenance than it would normally cost to operate equipment until repair is absolutely necessary. This may be true for some components; however, one should compare not only the costs but the long-term benefits and savings associated with preventive maintenance. Without preventive maintenance, for example, costs for lost production time from unscheduled equipment breakdown will be incurred. Also, preventive maintenance will result in savings due to an increase of effective system service life.

Long-term benefits of preventive maintenance include:

  • Improved system reliability.
  • Decreased cost of replacement.
  • Decreased system downtime.
  • Better spares inventory management.

Long-term effects and cost comparisons usually favor preventive maintenance over performing maintenance actions only when the system fails.

 

DRIVE Automotive Repair : Auto Repair in DeKalb, Illinois © 2014 Frontier Theme