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Understanding Traffic Jams

open roads

Do Your Part To Enjoy More Open Roads!

One of the most puzzling and annoying things we experience as drivers is traffic jams. It’s hard to understand how one minute traffic is moving quickly and then then comes to a sudden halt seconds later. Today we will discuss the reasons why.

What causes traffic jams?

Admittedly, construction and accidents are obvious culprits that cause traffic jams, but what about the ones that seem to happen for no reason? It basically comes down to physics and impatient drivers. A physicist at a Michigan university states that “It’s the science of complexity. In large group dynamics, special things happen because each individual is trying to maximize their own benefit.”

In combination with heavily congested roads, delayed reactions mixed with tunnel vision will swiftly slow down traffic. When a driver is travelling too slowly for the individual behind them, that individual might get frustrated and quickly switch lanes in order to pass. This causes the driver they cut in front of to abruptly slow down to avoid collision. Next, the person behind that person has to slow down and the cycle continues down the line.

This domino effect causes one lane of traffic to slow down. Drivers who are stuck in this lane get frustrated and start darting into the fast moving lane. Soon, the faster moving lanes start slowing down due to people cutting in and out of lanes and eventually all lanes are slowed down. People who tailgate, and people who text while driving readily contribute to this problem.

So for a better driving experience, leave safe following distances, and pay attention to the road. If everyone works to drive at a consistent pace, we can avoid unnecessary traffic jams. To learn more about safe driving, or to schedule a fast and affordable repair for your vehicle, contact us today or visit our shop!

How To Change A Flat Tire

If your car was struck with a flat tire today, would you know how to fix it? While you can call AAA if you run into any trouble, a flat tire is actually pretty simple to replace, assuming you have a spare handy. Today, we will go over a few easy steps to changing your own flat tire. 

What you’ll need: To begin, you’ll want to make sure that you have these tools in your trunk at all times. A spare tire, a jack, a lug wrench, and a flashlight. There are additional helpful items, such as cones, flares, gloves, and wheel wedges, but you can work without those if needed.

If you’re driving and you’ve realized your tire has gone flat, turn on your hazards and make your way to the side of the road. If you can safely exit a busy road, do so, but if not, get as far onto the shoulder as you possibly can. This way you can keep yourself, and other drivers safe.

Flat Tire

Do You Know How To Change A Flat Tire?

Loosen The Lug Nuts: Locate the flat tire, and loosen the lug nuts holding it in place. For now, only loosen them, don’t remove them. (Remember that right is tight and left is loose!)

Raise The Vehicle: Now, use your owner’s manual to determine the proper placement for your jack. Then, use the jack to raise your vehicle about 6 inches off of the ground.

Remove The Tire: Now you can finish removing the lug nuts, and pull the tire off of the vehicle. Be careful not to lose any of your lug nuts! The simplest way to remove the tire is to pull it toward you.

Install The Spare Tire: Next, push the spare tire in place, and put the lug nuts back on just enough to keep the tire in place.

Lower The Vehicle: Now you may lower your vehicle back to the ground, and put your jack back in the trunk.

Secure The Lug Nuts: Now you may tighten the lug nuts as needed, return your tools to your trunk, and head over to the tire shop!

For all of your car repair needs, you can count on the experts at J1 Auto Repair. Give us a call today at (630) 932-4427 to get started!

 

 

 

 

4 Maintenance Tips That Can Save Your Vehicle

As time goes by, your vehicle may not work like it used to. It may lose power, not get as good of gas mileage, or begin to ride a little rougher than it once did. While some aging is normal in your vehicle, much of it can be avoided by these four simple maintenance steps.Check Your Fluids

Car MaintenanceCheck Your Fluids

We all know to regularly check our oil, but how often do you check the rest of your fluids? Your vehicle relies on multiple fluids for correct operation including coolant, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. Like your oil, these fluids need to be check and changed according to the schedule in your maintenance guide located in the owner’s manual.

Inspect Your Tires

Your tires affect almost every aspect of how your vehicle drives. They can influence your car’s balance, gas mileage, traction, and stopping power. To ensure your tires are safe, check for visible cables that show extreme wear on your tire. Also, check the tread of each tire by inserting a penny between the tread lines. If Lincoln’s head disappears, your tire tread is too worn and may not perform correctly. Inspect your tires for bulges on either side. Bulges in your tire are very worn and stretched areas that can easily cause a blowout while traveling down the road and should be taken care of immediately.

Evaluate Your Innerworkings

Your vehicle will experience some wear as it ages which is why it’s important to regularly check your hoses, seals, and belts to make sure they are not cracked or dry. A torn belt or disconnected hose can cause huge problems with the functionality of your vehicle but can be replaced easily and with no other work needed if caught in time.

Replace Your Filters

Most people tend to disregard their vehicle’s filters until there is a problem. However, regularly replacing your oil, fuel, and air filter can improve the gas mileage and general life of your car by improving its “breathing system”. When your car has a healthy flow of air and fluids, it can utilize its many systems to continue to run properly for years.

No matter how old your vehicle is, taking these four steps can drastically improve its lifespan, performance, and can even help to prevent some accidents. For maintenance and repair services you can trust, call the professionals at J1 Auto Repair (630) 932-4427 and improve your vehicle’s quality of life.

How To Improve Your Gas Mileage This Summer

drive safer

Improve Your Gas Mileage This Summer With Our Helpful Tips!

While gas prices have seemed to stabilize in most parts of the country, gas is not cheap by any means! The miles per gallon you can get can be very stressful for some drivers, and even influence the kinds of vehicles consumers are buying today. Today we will discuss a few pro tips that can help you save gas, and save money in these hot summer months.

Drive Better

Everyone likes to think that they are the perfect driver, but how well do you actually drive? It is fairly common knowledge at this point, but speeding actually decreases your fuel efficiency, and can lead to a significant amount of waste, in comparison to the time you think you’re saving by driving faster. Vehicles achieve maximum fuel efficiency between 45 and 60 miles per hour.

Clear Off Your Car

If you’re driving with a roof rack, but you aren’t carrying anything on your roof, you’re wasting gas. Attachments like roof racks can interfere with the aerodynamics of your car, which causes drag. Drag makes your car work harder to keep up to speed, which causes you to use more gas than you should.

Fill Up The Tank

If your tank is below half full, you should fill it up ASAP. In the hot summer months, gas can actually evaporate if your tank isn’t full.

Fill Up Your Tires

If you want your car to perform at its best, you need to give it the right tools. Among those are properly inflated tires. If your tires are under inflated, they can wear faster than they need to, as well as cause drag. If they are over-inflated, they can cause you to lose traction, which is very unsafe.

If you need help maintaining or repairing your vehicle, give us a call at (630) 932-4427 and schedule an appointment with our friendly professionals!

Do I Still Need an Oil Change Every 3,000 Miles?

For as long as most of us can remember, the rule for oil change has always been every 3,000 miles or 3 months. Many people are unaware that the rule has slightly changed. With the emergence of synthetic oil, the general rule for oil change is now 4 months or 5,000 miles.

New Cars

Sports Car

5,000 miles is now the standard for new car oil changes

Much like gas mileage, oil life has improved drastically over time. Changes in the composition of oil have made its lifespan longer. Engines in newer vehicles have also made significant strides. The combination of advancements make 5,000 miles the new barometer for an oil change. Many auto shops have not updated their policy at the risk of losing money. It is important to keep yourself up to date on these practices so that you can choose the best auto shop for you.

Used Cars

If your car is more than 15 years old, it may still need more frequent oil changes. Because used cars typically have higher mileage, more maintenance is required to keep it running at an optimal level. Older cars need consistent monitoring to prevent damage that could lead to monumental expenses, some of which wouldn’t even be worth pursuing. So in cases like this, changing your oil frequently is a good idea.

Keep Up With Inspections

The most important part of maintaining your car’s health is having regular inspections from a trusted auto body shop. At J1 Auto Repair, we pride ourselves in providing honest service so that you can get what you need at an affordable price. If you have questions about your vehicle call us at (630) 932-4427.

Keeping Your Tires Maintained

Traffic on Highway

Tire Maintenance Improves Gas Mileage and Keeps You Safe on the Road

When was the last time you checked the tires on your vehicle? Keeping up with tire maintenance is an easy way to keep your vehicle in good shape. It’ll even help you improve your gas mileage. Here are some ways to keep your tires in good condition:

Checking the Treadwear

Tire treads are built to keep your vehicle on the road and give you better control when driving in wet weather. The tread on your tires is important to keeping your car on the road, especially in wet driving conditions. Tires have built in indicators on the tire so you can quickly see whether the treads have worn down too low. Keeping an eye on the treadwear will keep you safe on the road!

Testing the Air Pressure

Tires will have a recommended psi level that you can find either in the owner’s manual or on a sticker inside the driver side door. It’s important to keep your tires at the recommended level. Low tire pressure can result in reduced gas mileage and can decrease the handling and control of the vehicle.

Getting the Tires Rotated

Rotating your tires will ensure that the treads wear evenly. Uneven treads can off-balance the vehicle and cause improper alignment. Check the treadwear of each tire when you are testing the air pressure. Manufacturers recommend having the tires rotated every 6,000 miles.

If you need a tune-up or automotive maintenance in the Lombard, IL area, contact J1 Auto Repair today at (630) 932-4427 or come by our location on South Main Street! We have skilled mechanics who can get your vehicle working at top speed again in no time.

Signs of Engine Trouble

Close Up of Check Engine Light Symbol

Look for the common signs of engine trouble

Having engine trouble? There are certain signs of a struggling engine and it’s important to keep an eye out to have it checked at the first sign of trouble. Dealing with engine repairs may be time consuming and costly, but a simple repair could turn into something much worse if ignored for too long.

Visible issues would include a check engine light warning. You should have these checked as soon as they come up to ensure there are no serious issues with the vehicle. Another noticeable issue is steam or smoke coming from the engine. You’ll know that an oil leak has occurred the smoke is dark. When oil leaks into the engine, it gets burned up with the gasoline creating the smoke.

If you’ve driven your vehicle for a while you are probably pretty familiar with the sounds that it makes while running. If it starts sounding out of the ordinary and you hear odd noises coming from the engine, you’ll want to take it in immediately. Engine can make a grinding or knocking noise if the internal parts are not functioning properly.

Engine troubles can result in some pretty terrible smells too. If you notice any odd smells, make sure it isn’t something coming in from the outside. Engine problems can come with the smell of burning rubber, rotten eggs, and gasoline to name a few. Have your vehicle inspected if you think any strong and unusual odors are emanating from the engine.

If you require engine repairs in the Lombard, IL area, contact J1 Auto Repair today. We can assist you with auto repairs, tune ups and more!

4 Signs Something Is Wrong With Your Car’s Heater

Because winter is still amongst us, it is important to have a car heater that works. If your heater isn’t working like it used to it might need to get fixed right away. However, there are less obvious signs that something is wrong with your heater. If you are unsure it is always a good idea to bring your car into an auto shop. Below are signs something is wrong with your car heater.

Car Heater Problems

Coolant Leaks

Sometimes when your heater control valve is worn down or cracked, it can cause coolant to leak. When this happens, you will need your heater control valve replaced or repaired.

Your Car Has Overheated

While the heater of your car is not always the reason your car has overheated, it is one place to start. Get your car serviced to make sure your heater and other parts of you car are in good condition.

The Inside of You Car Is Foggy

If when you turn on the defrost the condensation keeps building up on your windows. If this is the case, there is something wrong with the heater core and you will need to have it looked at.

Damaged Thermostat

If the thermostat is stuck, it can cause your heater not to work. There are several ways to check the thermostat, but ensure it is done correctly by bringing it into an auto shop.

If you need auto repair services in Lombard, IL, give the experts at J1 Auto Repair a call at (630) 932-4427 for services ranging from auto transmission service to oil change service.

 

 

Help! My Car Is Vibrating!

Photo of vibratingWhen you are driving, vibrating and shaking can take you by surprise. Your car should not normally do so, but when it does it is a sign of bigger car problems. There are many different problems that can cause vibrating of your car, so how do you know what the cause is? There are three major culprits that may play a role.

Reasons Your Car May Be Vibrating

Cause #1: Tire Trouble

Does your car only shake at certain speeds? Your car could be shaking due to unbalanced or worn tires. Check to see if your treads are separated more than they normally would be. If it has been a while since your last wheel balance, take your vehicle to the shop when possible.

Cause #2: Engine Issues

Engine trouble is a common cause for vibrating of a car. Take notice if your car starts rumbling when it hits certain speeds or when it reaches a specific range. Also, check how your car starts. Does it begin smoothly at first then begin to vibrate after a long time of use?

Cause #3: Brake Problems

Vibrations when you brake indicate that you may have a brake rotor problem. When you brake your calipers and pads press on this rotor to slow your car. It may be warped and require a professional technician to replace it.

When you experience vibrating in your car, it is important to have service completed sooner rather than later. This can save you from costly repairs down the line. Is your car vibrating when you drive? Call J1 Auto Repair today at (630) 932-4427 for repair service in Lombard, IL. 

4 Winter Myths About Your Car

Photo of winterWinter has officially started! With our temperatures in the freezing zone, you are probably wondering the best way to keep your car moving this winter. People try a lot of interesting ways to keep their car on the road and help it deal with snow, ice, and the cold. However, some of these ways are not true and may actually hinder your car. J1 Auto Repair has gathered our top four winter myths to share and how these can hurt your vehicle.

Top Four Car Winter Myths

Myth #1: Lowering Tire Pressure Will Help with Traction

While, yes, lowering the pressure in your tires gives you a greater surface area and road contact, it can actually hinder maneuverability and functionality of the car. The best thing to do is to get winter tires, which are specifically designed to work in snow.

Myth #2: Disconnecting Your Car Battery Conserves Power

This initially sounds reasonable; you’re not expending any of the battery power if it is disconnected. However, your battery can lose power in cold temperatures regardless. On top of that, disconnecting it may affect your car’s internal computer and the alarm system.

Myth #3: Pour Hot Water on Your Windshield Ice to Remove It.

This is one we have heard often. Not everyone has time in the morning to scare off the windshield. However, pouring hot water to remove the ice is actually extremely dangerous. The freezing temperature of the ice being met with the intense heat of boiling hot water can cause your vehicle’s glass to shatter!

Myth #4: You Don’t Need to Warm Up Your Car at All.

This is a relatively new myth. It contends that warming up your car is not necessary and that doing so causes more environmental harm with little to no benefits. To be exact, they are saying you are expending gas for no reason and damaging the environment. Well, warming up your car actually has to do with the oil in your car, not the gas. Your oil can be affected by the cold, being less easy to move around your engine. Warming up your car will get it where it needs to be and allow your engine to perform well.

We hope you stay safe out on the roads this winter season. Remember if you need a car inspection or repair service, call J1 Auto Repair in Lombard, IL at (630) 932-4427!