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What Happens When a Gasket Head Blows?

replacing head gasket from vehicle

Gasket issues

To discuss what happens when a gasket head blows, let’s get a definition on What is a gasket head, first.  You already know that a car’s engine is several components that all work together in some form or fashion, each just as important at the others.  A gasket head is one of those components, internally.  

A gasket head is located sandwiched between the cylinder head and the engine block. It is small and it is a vital component.  Why is the gasket head important? Because it seals the internal combustion process that allows coolant and oil throughout the engine.  When the coolant and oil can’t circulate, the engine can become overheated and warped. 

A gasket head also seals the combustion chamber inside the engine, allowing the vehicle to create enough power to move forward. The gasket head also directs the harmful gases to exit through the exhaust system and not the combustion chamber.  So, when your mechanic tells you that your car has a blown gasket head, you’ll know you got a major, expensive problem. 

What are the first signs of a blown gasket head?

There are three fluids that are vital for a car’s engine: coolant, fuel, and motor oil. With a blown gasket head, all of these fluids can leak into and out of combustion chamber. You’ll notice the following when this happens:

  • Overheating : The engine will overheat because there isn’t any coolant in the engine compartments or there are hydrocarbons in the cooling system.
  • Smoke: A blue, grey, or white smoke is indication that the combustion chamber has coolant and/or oil inside. 
  • Power:  There is a loss of power with the engine, its sputtering, and the car is using a lot of fuel because there is no compression in the engine. 
  • Oil Discolored:  The oil looks like chocolate milk is indicative of coolant has leaked into the oil. 

How do you check for a blown gasket head?       

There is a few common ways on how to tell a gasket head is busted. The vehicle needs to be  parked on level ground, with the parking brake set and the engine cold. Now follow these six steps that will tell you if your have a gasket head blown: 

  • STEP ONE: Remove the oil cap if you see  a brown milky substance collected on the cap bottom, there is coolant and water in the oil.  This is usually from a  cracked cylinder head, block or a leaking manifold, or leaking intake gasket head. 
  • STEP TWO: Check combustion chamber for coolant in and around the cylinder head and engine block. Remove the spark plugs one at a time. If there is water inside the spark plugs, you have a gasket head leak. 
  • STEP three: Reinstall the spark plugs and while the engine is cool, take the radiator cap off then start the engine. Look for continuous bubbles inside the radiator while the car is running. 
  • STEP FOUR: To confirm gasket head problem, the block or engine head are cracked, drain some of the coolant out of the radiator and using a chemical tester (available at local auto parts stores), place the test tube in that fluid you drain. Yellow on the tester indicates gasket head is blown. Blue on the tester, gasket is good. This is not a 100% dependable test, which is why the other steps we’ve provided here are important to perform too. 
  • STEP FIVE: A gasket head can fail between cylinders causing them to misfire and have low compression. This can be confirmed by removing all the spark plugs and test every cylinder. If there is a low reading on two or more cylinders, your car needs a new gasket head. 
  • STEP 6:  With some engines, the gasket head is where the coolant and oil pass through in their own ports. When the gasket head is blown, the run into each other’s port. 

Can you fix a blown head gasket?

Yes, most of the time, an experienced mechanic will know how to repair a blown gasket head. However, there are times that severe damage has occurred when the gasket head blew that may require some other repairs be completed first. 

head gasket replacement

How hard is it to replace a head gasket?

For an experienced mechanic, no, replacing a gasket head can be done in half a day or so.  For you and a friend, or a shade tree mechanic, it could take an entire weekend.

Is it worth fixing a blown gasket head? 

Yes, it is most cases, and in all cases, you need to address the issue and not keep driving the car with a blown gasket head. When a blown gasket head is ignored, the cascading effect of damage will seem never ending, and will definitely be expensive. Call 630-932-4427 today.

Why Does an Engine Stall?

engine receiving service

Why does my car stall when I stop?

When we put off doing our taxes until April 15th, that is stalling the inevitable. When we’re talking about cars though, what is stalling? That type of stalling is an engine stall. So, why would an engine stall, is that rare? Unfortunately, an engine stall isn’t that rare and there are number of causes for engine stalls, which is what we’re going to discuss here. 

A car that stalls when stopped could be from any of the air flow, fuel flow, or the ignition. 

  • If the computer or the engine are getting incorrect air readings, it result in an engine stall. In most cases, it will start back up.  
  • If the fuel pump isn’t getting enough fuel pressure because of the fuel filter is blocked, it can cause an engine stall at a stop or while idling. In this case, it may not start right back  up and if it does, it will have a rough idle. 
  • If the fuel injectors aren’t sending the signals to the camshaft or crankshaft position sensors that sends fuel to the cylinder, it may cause engine stall. 
  • If the spark plugs aren’t getting the message to fire, it can cause an engine stall. 

What causes an engine to stall at idle?

For a car engine to sustain at an idle, there can’t be any issues with any part of the engine, everything must be in flawless working order. Even one sensor being off kilter can create a chain reaction that results in an engine stall at an idle. 

One common cause for engine stall at an idle is a vacuum line in a rubber or plastic hose under the hood. These carry air from the intake manifold to the engine and if they have a crack or hole, you’ll get an idle engine stall. 

Another cause can be with the induction system, like the idle air control actuator valve. The IAC valve directs and meters the right amount of air the engine need to run properly. If the IAC valve is clogged up, it can’t do its job of getting the right amount of air to the engine, stalling is the result. 

Other issues that can cause an idling engine stall includes:

  • Water in the fuel tank
  • Camshaft or Crankshaft position sensor
  • Bad ignition coil
  • A wiring problem
  • Dirty or bad spark plugs 

Another possible cause of an engine stall with an automatic transmission car is the torque converter. An automatic transmission is a complex component of a car and within it are more complex components. The torque converter manages the transmission fluid which is needed to keep an engine running while driving or at an idle. 

When the torque converter is malfunctioning, you’re going to experience an engine stall while idling. The problem could as simple as low on transmission fluid or an overheated transmission. Either way, it need professional mechanic attention. 

What should I do if my engine stalls?

The first thing at all times is the safety of you and your passengers. An engine stall is a scary thing but keeping your head level and in focus so that everyone is safe needs to be first and foremost. 

If the engine stalls while you’re going down the road, you’ll notice the power steering stops and the brakes are all but gone. You need to gradually steer the car to a safe place off the road while applying the brake, then engage the hazard lights. Once you’re in a safe place, try to restart the car.

If you are stopped and idling when the engine stalls, moving off the road to a safe place may not be possible. In this case, turn the hazard lights on and call either your roadside assistance service or the police for help. Do not get out of the car when there is traffic passing by. 

 Is stalling bad for the engine?

For you, it can be a scary, yet humbling experience to have an engine stall. For your car though, there isn’t much chance that it is something drastic in most cases. What can damage your car after an engine stall is trying to save the situation by overcompensating by pushing on the  accelerator or clutch. This usually results in violent bucking and that does put stress on the motor mounts and transmission mounts.

engine fully repaired

What causes rough idle and stalling?

There isn’t just one thing that can cause a rough idling or engine stall.  Some common reasons that cause this to happen are: 

  • Dirty Fuel Injectors
  • Wrong Idle Speed
  • Vacuum Leak
  • Spark Plugs Damaged or Installed Wrong
  • Clogged or Defective Fuel Pump
  • Fuel Filter Clogged
  • Failing Electrical Components
  • Defective Airflow Sensor
  • Oxygen Sensor Dirty

When you have any type of engine stall, while driving down the road or at an idle, you need to take it to a mechanic that knows how to fix a stalled engine. They will have the experience, knowledge, and tools to get your car back on the road again, and it will have a warranty on the work should the problem happen again. Call 630-932-4427 today!

Can you repair tires?

tire being replaced

Can you drive a car with a nail in the tire?

Next to the engine and transmission, one of the most critical components in your car is the tires. They may seem like nothing more than round rubber that your car rolls along on, but they have a lot do with how it drives and rides. So, when you ignore needed tire repair, you’re putting your car and passengers in danger. Read on as we answer common questions and provide answers that will inform you and the importance of tires and prompt tire repair.

Tires picking up a nail or a screw can happen any time to anyone. If you drive at all, it is just a matter of tie. When it does happen, if you do notice it, but the tire hasn’t gone flat, you keep going. Well, experienced mechanics will tell you that you need to drive it straight to a garage and get a tire repair for a nail or a new tire if needed. Why? There are several reasons why getting a tire repair done is better than driving your car with a nail in the tire. 

  • The tire could blow-out at any time while you are driving, causing your car to spin out of control, putting you, your passengers, and others on the road in danger. 
  • From spinning out of control, your vehicle could be severely damaged if you hit an object or another car. The wheel can become damaged, and then you’ll need to more than a tire repair to get back on the road. 
  • It’s a financial saving when you get to a service station that can get your tire repair completed and back on the road versus buying a new tire because you kept driving it with the nail in it. 

It is always recommended by mechanic experts to have a flat tire repaired or replaced after sustaining any damage. Your car, you, and your passengers are depending on safe travels and safe arrivals. 

How long do tire repairs take?

When you get a nail in your tire, repair shops will remove the wheel and tire from your car and inspect the damage.  If they don’t inspect the tire inside and out, they are doing a rush job, and you need to speak up. Additionally to having a nail in your tire, the tire wall could be damaged too, especially if you’ve been driving it for some time. 

Once the technician has located the hole, they will use a tire repair patch on the outer layer where the damage is by scraping out the hole then scoring the inside rubber. The tire repair process may look like they are doing more damage than good, but this gives the tar plug something to grasp on to, then a patch is placed inside the liner of the tire. 

With proper tire repair equipment, a tire repair job shouldn’t take more than thirty to forty-five minutes. Any faster, you need to question their methods and findings then take your car to another facility that does tire repair. 

Is it better to patch or plug a tire?

If done correctly, either option is good, but it depends on what caused the need for a tire repair. Plugging a tire is the least expensive and fastest way to get you back on the road. Tire plugs are good when you have picked up a nail, screw, or other blunt objects that have punctured the tire, possibly still in the tire. A tire repair patch is the better quality of the two tire repair methods. It takes longer. Therefore, it will cost more because of the extra labor involved. 

Is a tire plug permanent?

A tire plug doesn’t seal the inner liner. A tire patch doesn’t fill the hole where the tire is punctured. So, neither of these tire repair methods are going to give you a permanent solution. Using just one of these tire repair methods could allow water inside the tire’s body and corrode the steel belts of the tire. Once the steel belts are corroded and weakened, the tire could blow- out.  Depending on how fast you’re driving, a blow-out tire can be extremely dangerous.

How long can you drive on a patched tire?

Experienced mechanics do not recommend driving on a patched tire for an extended time. However, when patch tire repair is done correctly, it can last up to 10 years. That is under normal driving conditions.  

tire being set into wheel well

If You’re Needing Tire Repair

If you find yourself in need of tire repair and not sure where to go for professional tire plugging or tire patching, do an internet search for “tire repair and oil change near me.” We recommend using a known company with a solid reputation. 

Yes, if you take it a tire store, they will likely try to sell you a new tire, which may not be the worst idea. However, if you can’t afford it, stick to your decision. Remember, some tires cannot be repaired, and there are repair limits as determined by the tire manufacturer. So, while it may seem the technician is trying to sell you a new tire, there could be a legitimate reason why. Call 630-932-4427 today for tire repair in Lombard and Wheaton, IL.

Do Hybrid Cars Need Battery Replacement?

hybrid car battery replacement

Do Hybrid Cars Need Battery Replacement?

Are you in need of hybrid car battery replacement? Whether you are looking for answers or looking for a battery replacement, it is important for you to investigate more about what makes your hybrid car work, and why. Generally speaking, the batteries in modern hybrid are designed to last for about one-hundred thousand miles. In some cases, a hybrid car battery can last one-hundred and fifty thousand miles. If your car is out of warranty and you need to have your battery replaced, a qualified mechanic who specializes in hybrid car battery replacement can assist.

What Happens When a Hybrid Battery Goes Bad?

How can you tell if a hybrid battery has gone bad? If you are searching for the answer to this question, please review the following list to find out more about the signs and symptoms of hybrid car battery failure. 

  • Diminished fuel economy.
  • The charge of the battery fluctuates erratically.
  • The battery doesn’t hold a charge.
  • The internal combustion system runs more than it should.
  • Your engine is emitting strange engine noises.

If you have noticed any of these troubling signs with your hybrid vehicle, it is urgent that you get them checked out sooner rather than later at a verified hybrid car mechanic shop.

Can You Drive a Hybrid With a Dead Battery?

This is a very interesting question, and worthy of note. If your hybrid car’s battery happens to die, you may be rightly wondering if you can still drive it. Theoretically, the answer is yes. However, the car will be weaker and the journey will be much bumpier. In some cases, such as if you have a 12-volt battery, the car may not work. Even if the car does start, the car may still lose power or die while you are driving the vehicle.

Can Hybrid Cars Run on Fuel Only?

Are you wondering if hybrid cars can run on fuel only? As previously mentioned, it is possible for cars to run on just gas, but the ride will be very much diminished. Conversely, hybrid vehicles do require gas to function. While hybrid vehicles can operate in electric-only mode when gasoline is in the tank, hybrid cars are not designed to run without fuel. Doing so could cause severe damage to the hybrid car engine. If there are any further questions, it is advisable that car-owners consult their car manufacturer’s manual. The specifications for their vehicle will be found there.

How Do You Charge a Dead Hybrid Battery?

There are a number of different ways for individuals to charge their car batteries. The first thing that you can do is let the hybrid battery charge on its own. If your vehicle is a plug-in hybrid, it will be important for you to find that out sooner rather than later. As mentioned previously, the best way to find out how to take care of your vehicle is to review your car owner’s manual. You can also make plans to take care of your car by plugging in your car at night to an electrical source. For this purpose, you can use a regular household plug to recharge the hybrid’s batteries.

Hybrid Car Battery Replacement

It’s important for you to consult with a reputable hybrid car mechanic regarding your battery replacement. This is because you will want the most knowledgeable individual to handle a car that has so many advanced moving parts. The cost for a replacement battery will change based upon the make and model of the vehicle and other relevant factors. You will also have to factor in labor costs. 

Hybrid Car Battery Repair Near Me

If you are looking for a car dealership or an independent auto mechanic shop for hybrid car battery repair, there are a number of good ways for you to do so. You can ask a friend or neighbor for a recommendation if they also have a hybrid vehicle. You can also use relevant search terms on the internet. Based on the number and quality of the reviews, you can make a decision to call a company and schedule an appointment for your vehicle.

hybrid car battery replacement

Hybrid Car Battery Repair

Are you wondering if your hybrid car battery can be repaired? Unfortunately, it probably cannot. It is true that there are some circumstances that would merit your car battery being able to be repaired, in most cases your car battery will need to be replaced. 

Hybrid Car Battery Installation

If you need a new hybrid car battery installation, you may also want to tune up your vehicle at the same time. The best way for you to figure out the best course of action is to set up a consultation with a local, reliable auto mechanic who specializes in handling hybrid cars.

If you need a hybrid car battery replacement in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, we are available to help. Please reach out to us at 630-932-4427.

Is It Worth Fixing a Transmission?

auto transmission repair

Is it Worth Fixing a Transmission?

If you need auto transmission service, it will be important for you to find the real experts. Meanwhile, it will be important for you to consider whether or not you should rebuild your transmission or get your car replaced. Rebuilding a transmission can save an individual a lot of money over the short term. This is because it will keep monthly car payments out of the monthly budget. However, rebuilding a transmission can be costly, and if the car doesn’t have a lot of redeeming qualities it may be more cost-effective in the long run to invest in another vehicle. The best person to speak to in such circumstances is a qualified, licensed mechanic.

Is It Better to Rebuild Or Replace a Transmission?

A qualified mechanic will be able to survey the interior of your engine and let you know if your transmission should be rebuilt or replaced. The final decision become a matter of cost and the amount of time to complete the repair. A transmission expert will help rebuild your transmission. There may be substantial costs involved, so it can be a weighty decision.

What are the Signs of a Bad Transmission?

Every car owner should be aware of the signs of a bad transmission. Being observant of your vehicle will pay off in the long run. Please review the following signs and symptoms of a bad transmission in order to arm yourself with knowledge.

  • If your car is emitting unusual sounds such as whining and clunking. This can be quite obvious, but it is imperative to observe any unusual sounds coming from your engine.
  • Your transmission is not responding. You should be able to switch gears instantly. If this function is impaired, you could have a bad transmission.
  • Your transmission is noisy in neutral. If your transmission is noisy in neutral, you may have a serious transmission issue.
  • If your gears are grinding. Grinding gears is a serious issue. Please seek a licensed mechanic if you observe this ominous sign.

Will Check Engine Light Come On for Transmission Problems?

Check engine lights are not specific to the engine only. A check engine light can let the car owner know if there are problems with the transmission. These problems can include overheating, solenoid issues, speed sensors, a slipping transmission, and more.

Can a Transmission Go Wrong Without Warning?

As previously alluded to, it’s important for car owners to be observant of any issues that their vehicles are revealing. This includes if the car jumps gears without warning or slips in and out of gears while the vehicle is in motion. If you have noticed that your transmission is doing this, it is in the process of failing or has already failed. The sooner you go to a mechanic to fix your transmission, the more answers you will find.

Auto Transmission Repair

If you are wondering what is involved in auto transmission repair, there are many different aspects to be aware of. Auto transmission repair will involve removing the damaged or broken transmission completely from the vehicle and then either repairing or replacing any parts that have been damaged.

Auto Transmission Repair Shops

In order to find the best auto transmission repair shop in your area, you will need to do some research. An internet search will review all the shops that are available in your location. You can also ask a friend or neighbor for a referral, and survey your choices from there. A good mechanic will have excellent credentials and have an established reputation in your location.

Automotive Transmission Repair Service

Are you wondering whether or not your car’s transmission can be repaired? If your transmission is acting up, it will be important for you to secure an appointment with a mechanic as soon as possible. Your mechanic will be able to review your current transmission needs and give you a repair estimate. Rebuilt transmissions may not be as good as a new transmission, but they will keep your vehicle in working order.

auto transmission repair

Auto Transmission Repair Near Me

A great way for you to find an auto transmission repair shop is to use the search term: “auto transmission repair near me.” Doing so will reveal a number of automotive repair shops in your area. Good reviews are an excellent way to start when it comes to your final selection of an auto transmission repair shop. When speaking with the operator or team member at your local mechanic repair shop, make sure to specify identifying details about your car. At that point, you can start to understand whether or not your transmission needs to be repaired or replaced. 

If you need auto transmission repair in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, please give our competent crew a call at 630-932-4427.

Why won’t my AC turn on in my car?

air conditioning level

Can a blown fuse cause car AC not to work?

With so many moving parts in a car, it is small wonder that it is also built to keep you comfortable during times you drive. So when your air conditioner is not operating correctly, it could be any number of problems affecting it and keeping it from keeping the interior of the vehicle from a climate controlled state. Fortunately, the mechanics at J1 Auto Repair in Lombard, IL understand the possibilities and are here to help you when your car undergoes such an issue. 

One reason why the issue can occur is from a fuse blowing and needing a replacement. Relatively speaking, this is a minor detail that can be checked on and fixed if needed. If you do not know where the fuse box is in your car, the user manual has that specific information. With each manufacturer, the box is in a different location of the car with some being in the glove box, others on the driver’s side above the peddles, under the hood, and in other locations as well. The two absolute items that will tell you for sure is the user manual and a fuse tester, which can be found at your tool and auto parts store. Depending on which one you own or get, there would be an indication when you find the correct fuse. Replacing a fuse is also a simple matter, though you must pay special attention to the one you get if you choose to get your own to replace the blown one. Fuses come in all shapes and sizes, with each fitting into a specific slot and not in another. We recommend you choose us to fix the problem by calling 630-932-4427 today and getting your car to our shop to repair your air conditioning.

How can I test my car AC compressor?

Another reason your air conditioner may not be functioning at any capacity is a problem with the ac compressor that converts with the refrigerant that keeps your car cool. The process involves condensing refrigerate and then circulate it appropriately while helping in the process of removing heat. While you can find the compressor by following the drive belt under the hood to the compressor’s clutch pull, it is heavily recommended that you take it to a professional mechanic. The reason being is that even in a refrigerant refill, you will have to undergo the process while the vehicle is on. Furthermore, more equipment and care is required to undergo the process of fixing the ac compressor even with a refrigerant refill. 

What are the symptoms of a bad AC compressor?

You may be wondering at this point how to at least tell how to that the problem regarding your air conditioning is because of your ac compressor. There are some signs that can lead one to credibly suspect the air compressor may be having issues and require some adjustments or repairs. These signs would include: 

  • Grinding, squealing, or rattling noises when air conditioning is activated
  • Unreliable or lack of cold air blowing into the car interior
  • Ineffective controls to the compressor in the cab and under the hood
  • Repetitive clicking noise at the clutch before the other mentioned noises

Unfortunately, while these symptoms can point to the compressor being the problem, the distinct prognosis of the air compressor’s dilemma is another endeavor entirely. However, a general agreement among mechanics is that when the AC compressor does not turn on entirely then the issue can most likely point to the AC relay. The specific job of an AC relay is to send the electrical current from the directives of you pressing the AC controls and convert them into the air compressor or the clutch specifically. While it will be highly uncomfortable, having these problems does not make the car inoperable, just in some cases unreasonable to drive especially in a hot environment.

air conditioner

Can low oil cause AC to stop working?

Your car’s ability to use oil and it being low on the fuel does not have any particular effect on the air conditioning. In that line of thinking, if your car is insufficiently oiled, the entire system will suffer and not just a singular part like the AC unit. However, like other machines, the AC compressor and the air conditioner in general has many parts that need to be lubricated. Those without training will not necessarily recognize how to undergo this process even with the instructions due to the need of in-depth parts being cared for. The best way to handle that problem is therefor to take it to a mechanic so that they can perform the proper maintenance on your vehicle and it’s air conditioning. Those of us at J1 Auto Repair in Lombard, IL would be more than happy to take care of that with our multiple specialized products. Call 630-932-4427 today to see about getting an appointment and we’d be happy to help in the future.

How do you replace an airbag?

air bags deployed after an incident

Safety with air bags

Cars have evolved over the years from the first Model T rolled off the assembly line. They’re heavier, more detailed and involved, some are more comfortable than some homes. Most of all, they are safer today than they were back in the early 1900s. Back then they never would have imagined having air bags and seat belts, much less have to service air bags.  

Wonder if back in the Model T days, would drivers and passengers received as many airbag benefits as we do today? Maybe they would have gotten more than we do, considering the lack of car body around them. However, the top speed was a whopping 45 mph out of that 20hp engine! Actually, that probably was fast enough air bags being deployed may have helped.

What benefits did they miss out having with airbags in seats, dashes, and doors that we have today, other than having somebody service air bags? The design and intended purpose of airbags is to automatically inflate upon forceful impact and a sudden deceleration, things that could signify a collision has taken place. That sensory fills the bag with air and provide the following:

  • Cushions the driver and passenger’s head, neck, and spine.
  • Reduces the amount of force the driver and passenger’s head hitting the surrounding parts of the car by limiting how far it forces forward. 
  • Decreases a victim’s risk of being projecting into a window or being ejected from the vehicle.

Airbags prevent forceful impacts that could result in injuries like brain injuries, broken necks, severed spinal cords, lacerations, all of which can result in fatality. So, after airbags have been deployed, can airbags be put back in?

Being in an accident is not something we set out to do, they happen by, well, accident, hence the word “accident”. While we can attempt to avoid them, unfortunately, accidents aren’t something we can always control. Fortunately, today, air bags are standard on new cars today, and even more fortunate, not only can you have the damage to your car’s body repair, you can also get service air bags too.

When the airbag in your car has deployed and popped, it cannot be reset, but it may be replaceable.  This entails replacing the complete airbag module with a new one, and if it is the steering wheel airbag, the entire steering wheel and column may need replacing.  Once the service air bags are complete, the airbag sensor will need to be reset to ensure the full functioning of the airbag system.

How do I reset the airbag sensor? 

Air bags are a required safety feature in new cars today and they require an airbag sensor in order to function. Without that sensor, the airbags won’t know when it needs to be deployed.  Once it has been deployed, you can get service air bags to replace the bags and reset the sensor.

Replacing the bags requires special tools and skills, but the sensor is something you can reset yourself. Chances are, the sensor won’t need resetting if the bag didn’t deploy, but sometimes a car may have an electrical short that could cause the sensor needing resetting. The following three steps will reset the air bag sensor: 

  • Step One – Refer to Owner’s Manual:
  • Not all vehicle models are the same, so refer to the owner’s manual to your car in order to find the precise sensor location.
  • Step Two – Disconnect the Battery:
  • Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery. 
  • Step Three – Reconnect the Battery:
  • Wait five seconds to pass, then reconnect the negative battery terminal and turn the key on. If the airbag warning light is off, then reset was successful. If the airbag warning light is still on, repeat the process. 

What has to be replaced when airbags deploy?

Airbags in your car will not last forever, even if you never have an accident that deploys them. However, if you are in an accident and the airbags deploy, they do need to be replaced along with the airbag control module being reprogrammed.

If any of the impact sensor or the clock spring were damaged or melted from the accident, they will need replacing in order for your airbags to work correctly again. Always have a licensed technician service air bags to replace your airbags and resetting the sensors.

SRS Airbag

Are airbags hard to replace?

The first thing that any DIY kind of person needs to know, replacing airbags yourself is illegal. By law, licensed technicians only may service air bags legally, including resetting the sensor or replacing the airbags. Is it hard to replace airbags? No. So can I install airbag in my car? You can, but it is ill-advised to do that because, if they aren’t installed in the precise position correctly, they can do more harm than good, like not work at all when needed.

Safety First

Keep in mind that the design and implementation of air bags in the cars today are meant to be used with seatbelts.  Both are only as good as they can be when used together and correctly. Finding somebody to service air bags isn’t difficult, and it may be more expensive than you have budgeted, but the end results can determine minor injury or fatality. 

J1 Auto Repair is your source for quality auto repair. Dial 630-932-4427 today for your air bag replacement service in Lombard and Wheaton, IL.

How to Tell if Timing Belt is Bad

A timing belt along the side of an engine

Is it time for service?

Before we can answer the question “What is timing belt service?”, Let us get a definition of what a timing belt is first and what purpose does it serve. You could consider the parts of your engine as the symphony, and the timing belt is the conductor.

The timing belt of your car is a part of the engine that synchronizes the camshaft and crankshaft rotation so the valves open and close at the right time for every cylinder’s intake and the exhaust strokes. The timing belt gets everything inside and, on the engine, move when it supposed to, aka “timing” part.  Timing belt service is crucial because if the timing is off with the belt, it causes all the rest to be off too.

Timing belt symptoms

A timing belt that is going bad or starting to wear out, you may experience one or more of the following five symptoms: 

  • Engine Idling Rough: A timing belt has teeth that grip gears while they rotate different components and parts of the engine. If the teeth fall off or the timing belt becomes brittle, it will slip away or off the gears and jolt the engine. When this happens, the engine will stall because the timing of the camshaft is off. Seek the help of a professional timing belt service technician.
  • Engine Misfiring: A worn timing belt will jeopardize the engine’s firing rate. As the worn-out timing belt slips away or off the gears, it can fall on the camshaft, making the cylinder open and close off time. Sometimes, the timing belt can be tightened, but most times, it needs the attention timing belt service to keep from damaging the engine further.
  • Engine Smoking: During the winter, when you first start your car, you’ll see what looks like smoke. This is a vapor, but in most cases, it is harmless. When it doesn’t winter and you see this smoke coming from the tailpipe, your car may need the attention of a timing belt service. This smoke could tell you that the timing belt is unsynchronized, and you need a timing belt service.
  • Oil Pressure Drops: The camshaft gears are spun by the timing belt, and if the belt’s timing is off, it can jump out of time and pieces break off. Those pieces can get in the oil pan on the bottom of the engine, which can cause a drop in the oil pressure. Not only will you need a timing belt service, but you may need an engine overhaul.
  • Broken Pistons and/or Valves: This will be the worst thing that you could notice symptoms your car is experiencing: The timing belt breaks or is cut off. If this happens, the crankshaft will turn on its own, losing the identity and not be in sync with the motion of the camshaft. This can cause the pistons and valves to come in contact, bend the valves, and damage the piston. Turn your car off and seek help from a timing belt service.

How to Tell if Timing Belt is Bad

Your timing belt could be showing signs of wearing out if it has any of the following common symptoms. If you are experiencing one or more of these, seek professional timing belt service.

  1. Engine as ticking noise: The timing belt is connected with a series of pulleys that make the engine crank and camshaft. The crankshaft powers the connecting rods inside the engine that are attached to pistons found inside the combustion chamber. When the timing belt wears out, you may start hearing a ticking sound coming from the motor. If not the timing belt, then your car could be low on oil, which a timing belt service technician could check your oil level too.
  2. Engine not turning over: When a timing belt has broken, the engine can’t turn over or start. ignite. You may hear the starter engaging, but the timing belt is crucial in the camshaft and crank can’t turn over. A timing belt service can check the belt and check to see if there is more serious damage to the engine. 
  3. Misfiring engine: A worn timing belt can impact the firing rate of the engine, but if the timing belt slip on the camshaft drive keeping one cylinder to close or open to early. A timing belt service can fix this before the problem grows into a catastrophic level.
  4. Oil leaking: Oil leaking from your car is never a good thing. If the timing belt cover is loose, it could leak oil from there and a timing belt service is needed to get the covered secured.
  5. Serpentine belt: A serpentine belt is more than a timing belt. It is one belt that threads continuously around, and to multiple peripheral devices to make them function. Those devices include the alternator, air conditioning, air pump, power steering, water pump all found in the engine of your car. When a serpentine belt breaks or malfunctions, several of these things are affected at the same time. Timing belt service technicians can replace these.
Replacing a timing belt

Cheap timing belt replacement near me

The basic timing belt is not as complicated as the serpentine belt to replace.  So, if you have any basic level and understanding of a car engine, you can do the replacement yourself. Purchase the belt from your local automotive parts store and find tutorials on the internet. This would be the least expensive way to replace your belt. Otherwise, you must search for a mechanic that offers a timing belt service.  Ask about their price to do the job, and if that includes the belt.

After reading our piece here on timing belts and timing belt service, you may wonder how much does timing belt service cost and What does timing belt service include.  As with any car service, labor is the biggest part of the cost you’ll endure. This is because the mechanic or timing belt service must remove several parts to get to the defective timing belt. Then there is the cost of the timing belt, which can cost $20 or as much as $50 and up. The labor for replacing a timing belt can take several hours, thus, the actual service can be as low as $200 and as high as $900.

When you need timing belt service, do an internet search for “Timing belt service near me” and find several listings. There will be more in big cities than there are in small towns. Choose a quality service that has a warranty offer and will back up the work performed, just as you would when finding somebody to repair or replace your car’s gas line.

Need timing belt service in Lombard and Wheaton, IL? Call J1 Auto Repair today at 630-932-4427 for your auto repair needs.

Is Check Engine Light Serious?

A Check Engine Light.

Is check engine light serious?

If you’re driving along and your check engine light suddenly comes on, you will probably worry about the seriousness of the problem. What can create stress is not knowing what’s going on with your vehicle is that when the light comes on, it could mean different things. In general, it just signifies a malfunction. The malfunction could be something as minor as a faulty gas cap or as serious as misfiring engine.

To determine the seriousness of the problem, you’ll need to take the vehicle to a repair shop for a check engine light diagnosis. For the most accurate diagnostic in Lombard and Wheaton, IL, bring your car to J1 Auto Repair. We offer a full range of reliable repair and maintenance services. Call 630-932-4427 to schedule a service appointment.

What could cause the check engine light to come on?

When the check engine light comes on, it could mean various things for your vehicle. Below are  common reasons the check engine light may come on.

  • A missing or loose gas cap: The car’s computer is sensing a pressure change in the fuel delivery system, which will cause the light to come on. Tightening the gas cap or replacing it will normally cause the light to turn off.
  • A faulty oxygen or O2 sensor: This sensor measures the level of unburnt oxygen in the car’s exhaust system. If the oxygen sensor isn’t repaired it will cause your vehicle to burn more fuel and can damage components like spark plugs and the catalytic converter.
  • Catalytic converter has failed: The catalytic converter processes carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and is essential to the vehicle’s emissions. 
  • Spark plug or ignition coil issues: Ignition coils generate the electricity for the spark plugs to ignite the fuel. Worn or dirty spark plugs can cause the engine to misfire and bad spark plug wires can cause a drop in engine performance and lower gas mileage.
  • Problem with mass airflow sensor: This part monitors the amount of air that gets into the engine, and a malfunction can cause a rough idle or problems with starting, as well as lower gas mileage or even stalling. 
  • Aftermarket alarm problems: An alarm that’s installed aftermarket can create problems including turning on the engine light if improperly installed.

Where to get check engine light diagnosis

When the check engine light comes on, you’ll need to have a diagnostic run to find out what is wrong. There are several options you can take to get the diagnostic done. You can purchase a diagnostic tool yourself and scan the codes yourself. You can also go to an auto parts store like AutoZone, but these diagnostic tests aren’t always comprehensive, and further tests may need to be made. You can also go to your dealership or to a professional repair shop like J1 Auto Repair, where you can be assured the tests are comprehensive, and you can rely on any repairs that need to be made.

One area where there are no warning lights to show you have problems is your plumbing. Sometimes plumbing repairs come as a surprise, and you’ll want a reliable plumber for emergency plumbing repair.

Can you diagnose a car without check engine light?

If you’re having problems with your car like a rough idle or are experiencing engine misfires, but your check engine light doesn’t come on, it is possible to run a diagnostic to find out what the problem is. A skilled mechanic can download the error codes that are stored in your car’s computer system, and make tests and checks from there to diagnose the issue. From there, they can recommend repairs. Never hesitate to bring in a vehicle for a diagnostic, even if no warning lights have appeared on the dash. 

Can check engine light turn itself off?

Most of the time if a warning light comes on, the problem has to be remedied before the light will go off. Occasionally, the light will go off on its own. The car’s computer may adjust briefly, especially after extended highway driving, but after a short time, the light will probably come on again. Some issues like a malfunctioning catalytic converter may cause the light to flash or flicker, and it may shut off briefly. In other instances, the light may turn off and on as you drive, but will only stay off permanently once the repair is made.

How long does a check engine light diagnosis take

The time it takes to run a diagnostic can vary. Some of the free diagnostics provided by auto parts stores may just take a few minutes. Generally, these tests just find error codes, but may not be comprehensive enough to fully diagnose the problem. A test at a repair shop like will be more comprehensive J1 Auto Repair. These tests can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the situation. 

How much is check engine light diagnosis?

While you can get free diagnostics performed at auto parts stores or you can do it yourself by purchasing a scanner for about $60, you’ll get a comprehensive diagnostic from professionals at auto repair shops and dealerships. These diagnostics will cost on average anywhere between $88 and $111. Some repair shops may offer diagnostics for free or as part of other services. The cost may also vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle and your location. Check with your local mechanic to find out prices in your area.

Will check engine light fail emissions test

In Illinois, your vehicle will not pass an emissions test. In fact, if your engine light is on when you pull in to have the vehicle inspected, the vehicle will not be inspected. Repairs must be made before the vehicle will be inspected. Even if repairs are made, the trouble codes must not appear or the vehicle may fail the inspection.

A Mechanic Tests an Engine.

Check engine light diagnostic near me

If your check engine light in Lombard and Wheaton, IL comes on, don’t hesitate to get the vehicle checked to avoid further problems. The reliable professionals for diagnostics and repairs are those at J1 Auto Repair. Give us a call at 630-932-4427 to set up a service appointment.

What Happens to a Car When the Serpentine Belt Breaks?

A Serpentine Belt Winds Its Way Through the Car

What Happens to a Car When the Serpentine Belt Breaks?

Serpentine belts are a very important part of a vehicle. If a serpentine belt is broken, it can lead to a sudden loss of power assist for the steering system. In fact, if a serpentine belt breaks, the steering wheel becomes incredibly hard to turn. This happens because the serpentine belt keeps the water pump circulating coolant, also known as antifreeze, through the cooling system. This means that the engine can overheat anywhere, including the highway.

What is the Average Cost to Replace a Serpentine Belt?

Hiring a mechanic to replace a serpentine belt usually costs approximately sixty to two-hundred dollars. This cost includes the approximately twenty-five to seventy-five dollars that it takes for the purchase of the belt and the half-hour to full hour of labor. Labor costs can range from seventy-five to one-hundred-twenty-five dollars per hour. The wait on the job takes longer for some vehicles versus others due to the fact that the serpentine belt is harder to access on some cars.

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Serpentine Belt?

How do you know that you have a poor serpentine belt? That’s a great question! Please browse through the following bullet point to learn more about the troubling symptoms of serpentine belt disrepair.

  • Squealing noise. This noise should be coming from the front of the vehicle in order to be attributed to the serpentine belt. 
  • The power steering and air conditioning are not working in your car.
  • The engine is overheating.
  • Cracks and signs of wear on the belt.

If you have witnessed any signs or symptoms of the above-bulleted list with regard to your vehicle, please consult a located, trusted auto mechanic. Nothing could be worse than your serpentine belt failing while you are driving or on a highway.

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Serpentine Belt?

Serpentine belt replacement and repair in Lombard, IL can help your vehicle if you are experiencing serpentine belt issues. It usually takes approximately thirty minutes for a mechanic to replace a serpentine belt. With the right tools and equipment, an auto mechanic can complete the process within thirty minutes to an hour. As previously noted, the amount of time that serpentine belt replacement takes depends on the make, model, and year of the vehicle.

Can I Drive My Car Without a Serpentine Belt?

If you are wondering whether or not you can drive your car without a serpentine belt, the answer is firmly in the negative. Under no circumstances can you drive a vehicle without a serpentine belt because the serpentine belt serves the important function of delivering antifreeze to important parts of the engine. The serpentine belt drives the water pump, and without it, there is insufficient coolant flow to maintain the engine temperature. It is also important to consider that the serpentine belt drives the power steering pump. Without the serpentine belt, the power steering pump, which provides hydraulic pressure, no longer functions. As a result, it will be difficult if not impossible to turn the steering wheel. 

Which Serpentine Belt Do I Need?

Serpentine belts are essentially a large rubber band that is located within the hood of the vehicle. The serpentine belt loops around the air conditioning compressor, the idler pulley, the power steering pump, the crankshaft, and a few other components. Serpentine belts can have different sizes. In order to determine the size you require for your serpentine belt, you’ll need seven and a half feet of string, a ruler, and a marker. Would you like a pro-tip? If you have the old serpentine belt in your possession, measure it and purchase the same replacement size. If you do not, use the piece of string and wind it around the engine as described in the owner’s manual. Once you have the measurement, mark the area on the string where it completely wraps around. You will need a size slightly smaller than the measured area. You should subtract approximately ½ an inch.

Different types of fuel power our world. The gas lines in your home require attention from time to time. Gas line services in Oak Park, IL are an example of the services that you should review for your property’s gas lines.

Where is Tensioner on Serpentine Belt

For the fan belt replacement, the tensioner should be addressed first. A solid tensioner should exhibit a slight vibration with about 1/32 inch or less of arm movement. This means that the belt should run smoothly with no true visual vibration. 

Which Serpentine Belt is Best

There are many different variations of the serpentine belt. According to new trends in research, the Bando USA 6PK1305 is noted as the best version currently on the market. This is based on a reviewing and purchasing guide that is engineered to enable reviews from mechanics nationwide.

The innards of an engine reveal many of the different parts, including the serpentine belt

What is a Serpentine Belt Tool

A serpentine belt tool kit releases the tension on the serpentine belt with spring-loaded idler pulleys. A serpentine belt tool kit is not expensive, usually costing less than twenty dollars.

Have you experienced one of these auto issues? Our friendly operators at J1 Auto Repair are available now at 630-932-4427 to schedule the repair for your serpentine belt in Lombard and Wheaton, IL.