How Do You Know If Your Battery or Alternator is Bad?

alternator replacement

Alternator Failure

Car trouble stinks. There’s not much worse than a breakdown. They always seem to come at the worst possible moments. One of the most common car issues people encounter is problems with an alternator or battery. Both parts affect how a car starts and operates. Without them working properly, drivers are dead in the water. The good news is, though, that problems with an alternator and battery are easily identifiable. If it’s a battery problem, it can be solved by a quick trip to the car parts store to swap in a new one. If the problem lies with the alternator, though, car part retailers will say a mechanic’s help is required. When it comes to spotting and fixing an alternator, Lombard and Wheaton, IL has J1 Auto Repair on hand to deliver the following breakdown.

What causes alternator to fail?

An alternator provides electrical power to a vehicle’s ignition. It works in tandem with the car’s starter, battery and other parts to get a car going. Alternators generate power by spinning plates across a roll of copper wires. When an alternator breaks down, it’s because one or more components in it fail due to wear and tear. Sometimes, one of the plates fail or the alternator can’t spin well, it will still work, but voltage output is lower. When the voltage an alternator generates gets below 12 volts, it’s a good indication that the alternator is bad.

What would cause alternator to keep going bad?

Some people struggle with alternators that act up over and over. A dying battery can cause repeated alternator failure. When a car is running, the alternator recharges the battery. When a battery is on its last breath, the alternator has to work harder to push capacity back into the battery. The heavier load on the alternator can cause it to fail faster.

Poor repair work on alternator issues can also lead to ongoing troubles. Perhaps plates in the alternator continue to fail, or there’s some other fix that provides only temporary relief. Most people who try and fix a bad alternator end up wishing they’d just replaced it at the start of their worries.

Things to watch for in a bad alternator

What are the signs of a bad alternator? Thankfully, spotting problems with an alternator is simple enough. Obvious signs usually start with strange sounds. What does a bad alternator sound like? One of the most common signs of a broken alternator is loud grinding coming from under the hood. Alternators spin on a set of ball bearings and when the alternator is worn down enough, the ball bearings start to catch and clank around inside it causing a loud grinding noise.

When a car feels like its electronic systems are working right, it’s another sign of a bad alternator. Drivers may notice their headlights are dim or flickering, indicating low electrical output. Additionally, there may be some difficulty starting when the ignition is turned over. As mentioned, battery issues could be due to a faulty alternator’s inability to recharge it. If the car’s battery is relatively new, it could point to problems with the alternator.

Weird smells can also direct drivers to broken alternators. Alternators work together with engine belts to distribute power throughout the engine and keep things humming. If an alternator’s ball bearings aren’t letting it spin freely, or something else is affecting its ability to spin, then the belts have to work a lot harder. Under increased strain, the belts can heat up and the engine will start smelling like burning rubber. Usually, this problem happens because a belt is loose. A quick tightening generally solves the problem, but if it persists, then it’s likely an alternator issue.

Of course, one sure sign there’s a problem is when the ‘check engine’ indicator light comes on. A lot of car monitoring systems aren’t specific enough to pinpoint problems with a filter, alternator or some other part, but it’s a good idea to take a car in for service anytime the indicator flashes up on the dashboard.

What to do

Most of the time, alternators need to be repaired or replaced by a professional. Mechanics can usually swap out an alternator in around an hour. Even though it may be an inconvenience, it’s not a terribly expensive fix and it will be a relief the problem has been solved. The easiest way to know if it’s an alternator problem is to make sure the car battery is fully charged. If it drains quickly and dies, then it’s almost certainly a faulty alternator.

When people start noticing problems with their alternator, they wonder, “Can you jump start a car with a bad alternator?” They want to know how if they can get their car started and to the shop without having to call for a tow. Jump starting a car with a bad alternator is possible, but it takes following these steps to get the job done.

  1. Make sure the car jumping has a good battery.
  2. Connect the jumper cables.
  3. Start the car with the working battery and let the engine run for a few minutes.
  4. When enough time has passed, start the car with the bad alternator.
  5. Take the car directly to a mechanic shop. The battery won’t last long without a functioning alternator.

For help with an alternator, Lombard and Wheaton, IL drivers know they can turn to J1 Auto Repair. We help our clients get back on the road and back to normal life fast. For any questions about alternators in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, contact our team today at 630-932-4427.

How Often Do You Really Need to Change Your Oil?

Replacing Old Oil During Oil Change

What To Do When You Need an Oil Change

Owning and driving a car comes with a large amount of responsibility. We’re not just talking about your responsibility to other drivers, though. We’re talking about your responsibility to your vehicle. Cars are high-demand machines that need regular and consistent attention. Without it, you can easily find yourself stranded on the side of the road with a broken-down car. The best place to start with any car, of any age, is the oil. Scheduling an oil change in Lombard and Wheaton, IL every 3,000 miles, or when your owners manual says is appropriate, will guarantee you a lasting vehicle. For that, rely on J1 Auto Repair to get the job done. Contact us at 630-932-4427 to get started.

Checking the Dipstick is Part of Oil Change Service

Signs When Oil Change is Needed

Every vehicle, new or old, is a high-demand machine that requires your attention in order to operate efficiently. The number one reason most cars fail is that the owners fail to keep up with oil changes. While most homeowners can perform this task themselves with Pennzoil, many cannot, which is why it’s important to have someone you can rely on. For that, trust J1 Auto Repair. We can help identify signs of oil problems and fix them for you. 

  • Oil Smells: The obvious smell of oil in your car when it is both on and off could be an indication of an oil leak and the indication you need repairs.
  • Exhaust Smoke: When the vapor that comes from your tailpipe changes from translucent vapor to actual smoke, you need an oil change.
  • Excessive Mileage: If you have driven your car further than you typically would, you may need an oil change sooner than normal. 
  • Dark, Dirty Oil: Clean oil is actually amber in color. When in the engine, it collects particles from inside. Pull the dipstick out and clean it before putting it back. Then pull the dipstick out again, if you can’t see it underneath the oil, it’s time for a change.
  • Engine Knocking: Engine sounds are never a good sign. Oil helps to lubricate the moving parts so they don’t knock together and wear out. If you hear knocking noises, an oil change is needed as soon as possible.
  • Change Oil Light: And of course the most obvious sign you need an oil change is when the oil light comes on. The oil may not need to be changed, but your engine certainly needs to be checked. 

When it comes to oil changes, there can be a bit of a misconception. Many think they can get away with top-up rather than a complete oil change. An oil change vs top-up is comparing two different services. Just like comparing a repair service vs an auto tune-up. While there is some overlap in the service, they produce different results. With an oil change, you are removing old oil and particles so new oil can be poured in and used.

Benefits of Oil Changes

What most vehicle owners want to know is, will an oil change improve performance? The answer is, yes! There are several proven benefits to keeping with regularly scheduled oil changes including:

  • Smooth Operation: The better you maintain your vehicle, the better it will operate. Sticking with a regular schedule for oil changes will ensure your car will run smoother, longer.
  • Improved Gas Mileage: With fresh oil, your engine will be able to operate more efficiently. This means it will use gas more efficiently and effectively, so you aren’t wasting as much.
  • Extended Life: An engine with fresh oil, that is regularly replaced, will simply last longer. Older oil contains particles that can clog other areas and cause problems, resulting in an engine that fails sooner than it should. 

Caring for your vehicle will guarantee a lasting and dependable investment. It does help when you can have someone to rely on for things like oil changes, repairs, and more. For that, look no further than J1 Auto Repair.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long can you go without getting an oil change?
    • You could possibly go about 5-6,000 miles over the recommended mileage before needing an oil change. Depending on the age of your vehicle, you could even get up to 7K miles but this is highly discouraged. Driving without oil can seriously damage your engine.
  • What happens if you go too long without an oil change?
    • Eventually, your engine will get too hot. The oil won’t be there to keep parts moving efficiently and over time, they will warp. After a certain amount of time, your engine will just stop and you’ll have to have the complete thing replaced.
  • Can I just add oil instead of getting an oil change?
    • No, you can’t. Just adding oil will not remove any build-up or find any possible leaks. Additionally, just adding oil whenever you feel like it could pose more of a problem. Check the owners manual to see when your vehicle needs oil changes.
  • Is it safe to drive with the oil change light on?
    • How the oil change light works is like this. It will turn on for any reason involving the oil in your engine. The oil could be low, there could be something wrong with the delivery system, or any other reason. You can drive for a very short period of time, but it is highly recommended that you take your car in as soon as possible.
  • Is it bad to add new oil to old oil?
    • Only if you are using the same weight oil. The two will mix and neither you nor your engine will be able to tell the difference. When you change the type of oil you add, you’ll run into problems. 
Pouring Oil for Oil Change

Schedule an Appointment With Us Today! 

Turn to J1 Auto Repair when you need an oil change in Lombard and Wheaton, IL. Dial 630-932-4427 to get started. 

What Hybrid Car Means

J1 Mechanics Service All Types of Hybrid Cars.

Car repair for hybrid cars

With hybrid cars you get the benefit of two sources of energy for your car, gas and electric. The kind of repairs you might need will depend on the type of hybrid you have. A mild hybrid uses both gas and electric for power, the gas powering the engine when the car is being driven or accelerated, while the engine saves gas when you are braking, cruising or stopped. A full hybrid relies almost solely on the electric power, while giving the driver the option to use gas. Each type will require unique repair services.

When it comes to hybrid car repair in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, make sure to bring your car in to J1 Auto Repair. Our ASE certified mechanized are well trained to handle both types of hybrid cars. Call us at 630-932-4427 to find out about all of our services.

Hybrid car repair cost

Overall, basic repairs for hybrid cars are about the same as regular cars. In fact, regular maintenance costs tend to be a little lower for hybrid cars because the gas engine gets less wear and tear. Brakes also tend to get less wear on hybrid cars. Of course, some components like the battery may cost more to repair or replace, especially if the part is no longer under warranty.

Costs, of course, will vary, especially depending on where you take the car for service. J1 Auto Repair repair services are always an affordable option.

Both hybrid cars and standard cars have sophisticated auto-electric systems that will also require regular maintenance and repair.

Hybrid car repair tools

Because they operate on both electric- and gas-powered engines, hybrid cars will require special tools for repairs not normally used on regular cars. Electrical testing equipment like multimeters and circuit testers are necessary and it’s a good idea to use insulated tools to protect against shock. Electrical safety gloves should also be worn.

Do hybrid cars last as long as regular cars?

In general hybrid cars do last longer than regular cars and generally get longer warranties than regular cars. Much of this is due to the lower wear and tear on major components like brakes and engines. At the same time, as with regular cars, your driving habits will affect how long your hybrid will last. Upkeep is also important for hybrid cars and they need to be maintained regularly.

What are the disadvantages of a hybrid car?

While hybrid cars have advantages like being environmentally friendly and regenerative braking systems, they also have their disadvantages over regular vehicles. Because of the dual engines, the gas engine is usually smaller in hybrid cars and has less power and not suited for speed or acceleration. Your initial investment into the vehicle will also be substantially higher. Most hybrid cars cost $5,000 to $10,000 more than regular vehicles. Handling can also be a problem for hybrid cars. The presence of high voltage batteries can also be dangerous for drivers and passengers when there is an accident.

Are hybrids more reliable?

As with standard vehicles, reliability will differ from car to car with hybrid cars. Overall, most consumer advocates say hybrid cars are at least as reliable as standard cars, and some brands like Toyota and Lexus tend to get highly ranked for reliability. Other brands have problems with batteries, especially in older model cars. As manufacturers work out the kinks, hybrid cars are expected to become more and more reliable.

Is it worth buying a hybrid car?

Whether it’s worth buying a hybrid car will depend totally on the consumer. Hybrid cars on the initial investment cost more than standard gas vehicles, but in some cases you can get tax rebates for buying a hybrid. Smaller engines mean less power so hybrid cars are generally best for driving in the city. They also tend to last longer than standard cars and get longer warranties. And, of course, hybrid cars are environmentally friendly, so if this or any other aspect is important to you, you may find buying a hybrid worth it.

Does hybrid really save money?

Hybrid cars can save you money, especially on fossil fuel consumption since the gas engine is smaller. Maintenance and repair costs are about the same, though in some cases you’ll save because there is less engine wear and brake wear. Repair costs may be high in some cases, especially because it’s hard to find qualified mechanics to repair hybrid cars. You never have to worry about qualified mechanics when you choose J1 Auto Repair for repair services.  On the other hand, as mentioned, you may pay more for the hybrid than you would a standard vehicle.

J1 Mechanics Are Able to Service All Makes and Models of Hybrid Cars.

Hybrid car brands

There are several brands of hybrid cars that have come on the market in the past few years as their popularity spreads.

Here is a list of some popular brands and models:

  • Toyota Prius
  • Chevrolet Bolt
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Honda Accord Hybrid
  • Kia Optima Hybrid
  • Ford Fusion Energi

If you are looking for someone who services all makes and models of hybrid cars in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, J1 Auto Repair has highly qualified mechanics on duty. Give us a call at 630-932-4427 for service options.

Why Did My Car AC Suddenly Stop Working?

A Picture of a Hand Checking Air Coming From Vent.

What is Wrong with My AC?

We are fast approaching the summer months, which means we are going to be using our car’s AC every day. Being in a situation where you don’t have air conditioning in your car sounds awful, but it happens more often than people realize. If your car’s air conditioner suddenly stops working, it can be incredibly inconvenient. Some of the most common auto ac repair questions that are asked are why the car’s air conditioner stops blowing air, why it stops blowing cold air, or why the AC is blowing hot air. In order to understand more about why your car’s air conditioner stops working, its important to identify the most frequent issues and why they happen. Knowing about these problems will prompt more people to take their cars in for auto AC repair. Below are some of the issues that plague car air conditioners the most.

Why Did My Car AC Stop Blowing Air?

It can be incredibly frustrating when you turn on your car on a hot day only to find that air isn’t blowing through the vents. There are a couple of reasons why your air conditioner might not be blowing any air when you turn on your car.

  • Damaged Relay: In order for the AC’s ventilation system to work, it needs small and large electrical current. The relay is the small current powers the larger current, so when the relay is damaged, the ventilation system isn’t able to work.
  • Defective Resistor: Our air conditioner uses blower motors to move air through the vents. In order for the blower motor to work, it needs a resistor to control how fast or slow the air goes through the vents. When this is broken, air won’t be able to flow through.
  • Broken Blower Motor: Since the blower motor pushes air through the vents, it is an important component to the air conditioner. When it doesn’t work properly, the air won’t be able to go through the vents.
  • Air Intake Clog: There are two types of air intakes, fresh and recirculated. Each of these can become clogged, which causes the ventilation system not to work well.

If your car’s AC isn’t blowing any air, you will need to get auto AC repair, with repairs needed for certain parts. Get in touch with a mechanic for auto ac repair parts.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad AC Compressor?

The most common reason that your car’s air conditioner might not be working is that the AC compressor might be damaged or defective. The compressor is known as the heart of the air conditioner because it takes freon and pressurizes it, where it will then pass through the AC’s evaporator. Without freon pumping through your car, you won’t have cold air, but warm air flowing through your car. Fortunately, when a compressor starts to fail, it will exhibit certain signs that are specific to a damaged compressor, some of those issues include

  • The clutch for the compressor is not working.
  • The air conditioner is not blowing cool air.
  • There are loud noises coming from the air conditioner.
  • There is fluid leaking from your car.

When your car’s AC compressor isn’t working, your air conditioner isn’t going to function the way that it’s supposed to. To ensure your AC compressor is performing normally, it’s important to get auto AC repair to remedy the issue. An auto ac repair shop will be able to locate the problem and provide your car’s AC with the necessary repairs.

What Does It Mean When Your Car AC Blows Hot Air?

A Picture of a Manometer Used To Gauge Air Conditioning Pressure.

Why Is My Car Blowing Hot Air?

Why is my car air conditioner not blowing cold air? That is the most common question that people will ask in regards to their car’s air conditioner not working. When your air conditioning system isn’t blowing cool air, that is the first sign that you need auto AC repair. There are a couple of reasons why your AC isn’t blowing cool air and instead is blowing warm air. The first reason why your AC isn’t blowing cool air is because it needs a freon recharge. When there isn’t enough freon, the air conditioner’s clucth won’t come on, which will also affect the compressor from cycling. Another reason why your air conditioner is only blowing warm air is because the condenser is broken. The air conditioner condenser converts gas into a liquid, so if its broken or clogged, then your air conditioner won’t blow cool air. Your air conditioner might also have issues if the system has some sort of blockage. When there is a blockage in the air conditioning system, it won’t be able to blow cool air out. Whatever the reason for your car not blowing cool air, it’s important to get auto AC repair to correct the problem. If you are looking for auto AC repair in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, you can depend on J1 Auto Repair to help you. Auto repair is so important, so whenever your car’s air conditioner isn’t working, contact our auto mechanic shop for repairs. We can go over auto AC repair cost, as well as our process. Dial 630-932-4427 in order to make an appointment today.

What Are Symptoms of Bad Brakes

Having your brakes serviced can keep you from getting in an accident.

Call us for all of your brake system service needs.

Most people recognize some of the symptoms that they need to take their car to the auto shop for inspection or repairs. The check engine light is one of the best indicators that your vehicle could need some repairs. These days the car’s computer is connected to every small component and system in your vehicle. Even a loose gas cap can set off the check engine light. Keeping your eye on your dash can keep you from getting in a serious accident. You can figure out other issues with your car by driving it. If your vehicle is pulling to one side, your cars alignment could need readjusting. Your brakes stop you when you hit the brake pedal, meaning they do one of the most important jobs in your car. Working brakes keep your sudden stop in traffic from turning in to a multiple car pileup. So if suspect you are having problems, you should get them checked immediately. But how do you tell if your brakes are going bad?

Common Brakes Issues

Brakes are just like every other system in your vehicle. Your brakes are built to last. Eventually they’ll require maintenance and repairs to keep working properly. There are several signs to look for if you suspect that your brakes need maintenance.

  • Brake Light Warning Yes, this is a given. There is a problem with your brake system that requires your immediate attention. Many people tend to ignore the check engine light until it becomes a serious problem since it is connected to most of the small components in your car and could be a loose gas cap. We do not recommend ignoring the check engine light, and we don’t recommend ignoring the brake light warning. If something is wrong with your brakes, it can cause an incident on the road that injures people.
  • Grinding or Screeching It’s time to get a brakes check if you hear the sound of metal grinding on metal while braking. This means your brake pads are wearing thin, or have worn down completely. This will damage your brake rotors to where they need repairing or replacement.
  • Reduced Responsiveness You stop your car all the time. You’re constantly braking for red lights and stop signs. How your vehicle drives is one of the key indicators that something is wrong with it. If your car takes long and longer to pull to a complete stop, it’s time to take it to the shop for an inspection. Your brake system might be leaking air or brake fluid. This is almost always a clear sign that you require brake repair service.
  • Smell Friction can cause a burning smell from your brakes. If you’re using the brakes constantly while traveling down a large incline, this is not a problem. A burning smell during normal car operations is never normal and should be investigated by professionals immediately.
  • Uneven Braking Grinding or screeching noises mean your brake pads are wearing down. Uneven braking could be a side effect of a worn down brake pad causing a warped brake rotor. If you pull to one side while braking, your brake rotors could be damaged on one side of your vehicle.
  • Vibrations Brake pedals should not vibrate when you press them. Multiple things cause a brake pedal to vibrate. The resin in your brake pads might be unevenly spreading on your brake rotors. Your brake rotors could be warped. Either way it’s time to get your brakes checked by a professional.

How to Keep Your Brakes Working

If your brakes fail, it can cause an accident

Let us service your brakes to keep you out of accidents like this one

Your brake system is made up of several different working parts. Many modern vehicles have drum brakes because of their efficient design. These brake systems contain a caliper, a rotor, a piston, and brake pads. The brake pads are mounted on the caliper and the piston and press the rotor. These pads convert the kinetic energy in your vehicle to heat. This is the basic concept of how your brakes work. Your primary concern is the brake pads. Worn brake pads can cause your brakes to wear down faster by letting the metal in your caliper and piston grind into the rotor to make it stop. If you find yourself asking “Do I need new brakes?” the real question maybe be whether or not you need new brake pads.

Is it Hard to Replace Brake Pads?

This depends on what tools you have. You have to raise your car and remove the wheel to access the brakes. Next you have to remove the brake caliper. Now you can change the brake pads. Make sure the caliper doesn’t dangle from the brake lines as this can cause damage. But what causes brake pads to wear quickly? Time wears down all brake pads. Damaged components in your brake system will speed up this process. Your master cylinder can cause problems for your brakes and brake pads. Corrosion on your calipers or pistons can create problems as well. Damaged seals in the piston can keep it from returning to its rest position. Contact a mechanic or auto garage if you suspect your brake pads are wearing out too quickly.

How Long Should Front Brakes Last?

Regular maintenance on your brakes keeps your car working safely

We can perform all of the necessary brake system services.

Every vehicle is different. Most drivers drive their vehicles in completely different ways. As a result, it is difficult to know exactly how long your brakes will be good for. The general rule of thumb is that you should replace your brake pads when they get worn down to 25% of their original size. This can be anywhere between 25,000 miles to 50,000 miles. Some peoples brake systems last without new brake pads for almost 70,000 to 80,000 miles. This is a rarity, however, and you should at least check your brakes every so often for signs of damage to the brake rotor. Brake pads aren’t very expensive and you need to change them, on average, once every 50,000 miles. If you’d prefer to save the cost of these brake pad changes, you can always get brakes with lifetime warranty. Once your brake pads wear out, you can take them to where you got your warranty  and trade them out for new ones. This is a good option for people who drive a lot, or who want the knowledge that they won’t have to worry much about the brake pads themselves.

You should always hire a professional to service your brake system. By paying attention to the warning signs that you have a problem, you’ll know when you need to take your vehicle in for maintenance. You could also just take your vehicle in for a brake system inspection if you’re concerned but not positive that you have a problem. You can also always lump in your service with other services and inspections, as most mechanics are willing to inspect your brakes and more. Keeping your brakes working will keep you out of potential accidents. Just like if you broke down in Mission Viejo, CA, you would probably end up at this CA auto shop, you should find an auto shop that can service your brake needs. If you need brake system service in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, contact the mechanic experts of J1 Auto Repair at 630-932-4427 today!

What Is Transmission Maintenance

Transmission Maintenance

Schedule Your Next Transmission Maintenance Appointment.

The transmission in your vehicle is something that you need to pay attention to and take care of in order to make sure that your vehicle continues to run for as long as possible. The transmission in your vehicle is the part of the car that supplies the power to make it run. Making sure that your transmission fluid is always filled to where it should be and doing any kind of transmission repair that needs to be done will keep everything running smoothly for as long as possible. Something that we highly recommend is finding a mechanic that you like and making a transmission maintenance schedule that you can follow so that you always know when to bring your car in to get it looked at and never go past the time to bring it in. This will hold you accountable and will help you avoid any problems down the line. There is different maintenance that needs to be done for a manual vehicle and a standard. Manual transmission maintenance should be done every 30,000 – 60,000 miles unless you do very heavy and often driving, then you should consider it around 15,000 miles. Transmission filter maintenance should also be done at this time so that it can all be finished together. There are sometimes that your transmission is going to have a lot of issues and you may have to have it rebuilt. A rebuilt transmission installation can be very expensive, but sometimes it is necessary in order to be able to keep that vehicle. We always recommend to do your research beforehand to make sure that you need to have your vehicle maintenance and avoid doing anything too early. If you don’t go rock climbing with your car or are regularly driving in heavy traffic in areas with higher heat indexes, you are probably good to wait every 30,000 miles or so before you even have to worry about anything that has to do with your transmission. If you ever have questions, call your mechanic and ask them what they would recommend.

Transmission Fluid Change vs Flush

When you get a transmission fluid change, new oil is exchanged with the old oil that was inside of the transmission. When you get a flush done, all of the oil is cleaned out so there is nothing left. This leaves the area clean and free of any old oil before new oil is then added in again. A mechanic can do this process using a pump that is specially made for this service.

Questions About Transmission Maintenance

How do you maintain a transmission?

There are a few different ways that you can maintain your transmission. One, is to make sure that you are checking your transmission fluid or having it checked when you get your oil changed and also making sure that the right transmission fluid is being used. You can end up causing all kinds of problems if the wrong transmission fluid is used. You will also want to have your transmission fluid flushed on occasion so that it is remaining fresh and clean at all times. You also do not want to change your gears when your car is in motion. This can cause damage to the transmission that cannot be repaired. Last but not least, make sure that you let your car sit on and warm up before you start driving for the day, especially if it is cold outside.

Is it good to flush a transmission?

It is good to flush your transmission, but it isn’t necessary unless your vehicle is being heavily used. Also, most vehicles do not need a transmission flush until they reach 100,000 miles. This holds true for most transmission maintenance as well as long as you are typically driving under normal driving conditions, regularly.

When to replace transmission fluid?

The transmission fluid should be changed around 30,000 to 60,000 miles. This will help keep everything fresh and keep your vehicle on a strict timeline. Just like getting your oil changed, you want to make sure that you are servicing every part of your vehicle and not just what comes with an oil change.

Common Transmission Problems

Here are a few of the most common transmission problems that we see. By having transmission maintenance done when you are supposed to, you can avoid expensive repairs down the road. These kinds of problems are almost never as simple as they sound, so it is crucial to keep checking your levels and talk to a technician if you have any questions about what is going on underneath your hood. If you do end up needing transmission maintenance in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, call J1 Auto Repair at 630-932-4427 and we can help you with anything you need in order to keep your vehicle running for as long as possible.

  • Problems With The Clutch
  • Low Levels Of Fluid
  • Leaking
  • Problems With The Torque Converter
  • Clutch Is Not Working Correctly

Do You Have a Blown Head Gasket?

What Does a Head Gasket Do?

If your car is constantly overheating, you may not need overheating engine service, but engine head gasket service. The head gasket is what is a cap that helps control pressure levels in the engine and separates the oil and coolant, preventing them from mixing and causing engine failure. You may be wondering, does a blown head gasket ruin an engine? In some severe cases, yes, but most of the time it will cause a lot of engine malfunctions, breakdowns, and loss of power. That is why it is important to get your blown head gasket repaired or replaced as soon as possible. If you have a blown head gasket in Lombard and Wheaton, IL and need head gasket repair, call J1 Auto Repair at 630-932-4427 today. We are experts at blown head gasket replacement.

What is Head Gasket Failure?

mechanic repairs a head gasket

For Blown Head Gasket Replacement or Repair, Call Our Mechanics Today

Found between the engine block and cylinder head, the primary function of a head gasket is to control pressure levels in the combustion chamber. Basically, it keeps the compressed air, fuel, and oil inside the cylinder head ready to go and easy to be ignited so your car can start. If you have a blown head gasket, you will then experience engine failure as there is no compressed fuel being lighted to power your engine. What usually causes a blown head gasket is when the coolant liquids and oils end up getting into each other’s chambers, causing the car to lose fluids and not function properly. This happens because the combustion cap or the head gasket could have come completely off. If not fixed, a blown head gasket can lead to extreme car troubles.

  1. Overheating
  2. Engine failure and loss of power
  3. Contaminated oil that ruins the engine
  4. Smokey exhaust
  5. Coolant or oil leaks under your car

What Causes a Head Gasket to Blow?

If you are wondering, can you drive with a broken head gasket? The answer is no. the head gasket keeps liquids in their proper places, but when the engine head gasket broken, liquids are free to cross into unwelcome territories. Coolant gets into the oil line, and gases leak out of their combustion chambers, creating such high pressures inside the engine of your car, that it starts to crack and leak!

  • If your engine’s temperature gauge is constantly in the “hot” area instead of on the cooler side or right in the middle, your car is on the verge of overheating. Your car may already be overheating every day, but not enough to wear there are large plumes of smoke coming out from your hood.
  • If you notice white smoke coming out f your exhaust, this is a serious clue that your head gasket could have been blown off! Don’t avoid this problem just because the smoke smells sweet or it’s only water dripping from the exhaust. This is a sign you need major head gasket repair, and quickly, as you are breathing in dangerous gases and emissions.
  • Your engine gets extremely hot running at high speeds and having to control so many things in your car. Coolant is needed to help lubricate and cool the engine down to prevent it from overheating and dying. If you notice that your car is constantly running out of coolant, there could be a leak in your coolant system where the coolant is going into the oil pan where it shouldn’t be.
  • Just like coolant, oil helps keep your engine and other parts in the car lubricated and cool. Check the oil dipstick, and if there is a frothy residue, coolant is mixing with your oil due to a leak caused by a broken head gasket.

Why Repair a Head Gasket?

It is important to repair your blown head gasket in order to prevent complete engine failure. A small repair like a engine head gasket fix is much more affordable then an entire engine rebuilding or having to buy a whole new car! A cost effective solution to repairing a blown head gasket is by using head gasket sealant. This liquid is poured into the radiator cap and travels through your coolant system until it finds the leaky hole where the head gasket burst. There the head gasket sealant coagulates and seals the leak in under 30 minutes so your car is safe to drive again!

Will head gasket sealer work? This type of repair will only work if the blown head gasket requires minimal repairs without the use of heavy mechanical work. If your head gasket is completely missing or ruined, then replacement is the only other option. Can you prevent a blown head gasket? There are a couple of ways, including using head gasket sealer. The others include proper installation and being able to identify the causes of a blown head gasket and getting repairs quickly before the problem exacerbates. For repair or replacement of a blown head gasket in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, call J1 Auto Repair at 630-932-4427 today.

Synthetic Oil vs Regular Oil

Oil Poured in Car

Synthetic Oil Can Help Your Vehicle’s Performance In The Long Run.

Oil is very important to your engine. It keeps all of the different parts lubricated, allowing them to move easily during the processes of combustion. That is why oil changes are so important for your vehicle. When you go in for your oil change, your technician may ask you if you want synthetic oil or regular conventional oil for your engine. Many of us have seen regular conventional oil, but you may be unsure as to the origin or need for synthetic. Synthetic is actually a man-made oil alternative that lubricates your engine equally as well as conventional. Many are quick to dismiss synthetic and stick with regular oil, however, there are some advantages you should consider about synthetic oil before deciding its not for your car.

Is Synthetic Oil Better Than Conventional Motor Oil?

Synthetic oil surpasses the performance of the conventional oil. Because it is man-made, it can be adjusted more easily to fit a vehicle’s needs. Some of the advantages of synthetic are:

  • Performs well even in extreme temperature
  • Can give your car better lubrication and allow it to cold start easier
  • May increase your engine’s life
  • May increase your fuel economy
  • Lasts longer in your engine and combats sludging

While synthetic oil may not be for everyone, it provides quality benefits that can improve many vehicles performance. Want more information on synthetic oil? J1 Auto Repair is your source for total auto care in Lombard and Wheaton, IL. We are always available to get started on your auto repair. Call us today at (630) 932-4427 for an oil change!

When To Tune Up Your Car

Tune Up Service

Return Power To Your Engine With Tune Up Service.

While a car is very important for daily life, many people forgo services that could keep it at its best, simply handling required services such as oil changes or getting it serviced when there is an apparent issue. However, failing to service your car can leave it open to many future problems, as daily use will inevitably take its toll. One service can actually prevent these issues while restoring power to your vehicle and its engine. This service includes assessing and restoring many aspects of your vehicle all at once to get it back to its best. Depending on the age of your vehicle, it can be completed anywhere from every 30,000 miles to two years.

What Does a Tune Up Service Do to Your Car?

If you are considering a tune up service, you want to be sure what it will cover and what areas of your car will be improved and worked upon. With service from your Lombard, IL tune up experts at J1 Auto Repair, we inspect, restore, and replace several parts of your vehicle to keep everything in working order:

  • Filters: We replace your air, oil, and fuel filters to restore power to your engine and keep it running smoothly.
  • Electric Components: This service replaces and inspects spark plugs, battery, and other electric areas of your engine for optimal ignition.
  • Transmission: Prevent transmission repair needs with clutch adjustment and transmission inspection.
  • Engine Inspection: Your engine is inspected thoroughly, from belts, valves, timing and how it is running.
  • And More!

Your Local Auto Experts

If you are interested in getting a tune up for your vehicle in Lombard, IL, look no further than the expert team at J1 Auto Repair. Our technicians are licensed experts who provide thorough inspection and repair to keep your car road ready. We are always available to get started on your service needs. Give us a call today at (630) 932-4427!

How Do Hybrid Cars Work?

A lot of people have heard the terms “hybrid car” and “Prius,” but don’t know exactly what it means. What is the huge craze with hybrid cars? Why are they so beneficial, but so expensive? But most importantly, how do they work?

Benefits of Hybrid Cars

A Hybrid Car Saves the Planet and Saves You Gas Money!

Hybrid cars use a combination of 2 motors to power the car-an electric battery motor and the standard gas engine. When pulling away from a stop, the electric motor powers the car, using energy from the battery at speeds up to 15 mph. Any cruising speed over that is used by the gasoline engine that normal cars use. While it may not seem like much of a difference, when you consider traffic, stop signs and red lights, the battery power from a hybrid car can save you hundreds of dollars each year on gas money not being wasted in stop-and-go movements.

Types of Hybrid Cars

Depending on the type of hybrid car you get, you could save up to 30 miles per gallon. Some hybrid cars have rechargeable batteries and have a plug that has to be connected to specific outposts to recharge. These are not quite as popular since the invention of newer models that combine electricity and gas, or natural gas and propane. If you have ever been to an IKEA, they have plug-in stations for the rechargeable electric cars.

Whether you are looking to save money or save the planet by lowering greenhouse gases emitted from your gas-guzzling car, hybrid cars are advantageous. If you need hybrid car battery repair or replacement in LombardLombard and Wheaton, IL, call J1 Auto Repair at (630) 932-4427 today.