Bunge's Tire & Auto Elgin, IL


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Bunge's Automotive Blog

April 01, 2019 @ 12:00am

Do Fuel Additives Actually Work?

Fuel isn’t getting any cheaper, and everyone is looking for a way to save some cash when they gas up. One of the most popular ways to do this is to buy one of the specialized “fuel additives” sold in gas stations and auto parts stores. These additives promise everything from a scrubbed engine to vastly increased fuel economy. But do they really deliver? In short, not really.

First, you have to understand what a fuel additive CAN’T do: They’re not a magic solution to all of your car’s engine problems and, according to new research by the EPA, they can’t deliver on the promise of increasing your car’s fuel economy. In fact, the EPA found that some additives can actually hurt your car’s engine by damaging sensitive sensors and parts. However, the kind of fuel additives you pour into your tank can help keep your fuel injectors clean and that can, over time, slightly boost fuel economy. Just don’t expect to get the massive increases promised on many products.

In addition, if you choose to use a fuel additive, you need to be selective and very careful when choosing a product. Fuel additives exist to support classic car engines, diesel engines, engines built to run on leaded gasoline and any other number of highly-specialized purposes. Putting the wrong additive in your tank can cause serious trouble.

One product we can whole-heartedly recommend is an upper end intake cleaner. Most engines on the

March 01, 2019 @ 12:00am

3 Tire Replacement Questions AnsweredOf all the crucial car parts out there, tires are some of the most misunderstood. A quick search on the internet reveals about twenty opinions about when to replace tires, how to replace tires and how to save money on tire replacement. Here are three of the biggest tire questions answered, so you can keep your family safe.

  1. Is it okay to replace just one tire? Sometimes, but be careful. If the three other tires on your car have very little wear on the tread—we’re talking 3/32 of an inch or so—you should be okay to replace one tire. But shop carefully. You might be tempted to use a discount tire supplier, but many of them aren’t methodical about cleaning the wheels or hubs, which could lead to tire failure. You should also be very careful to match your other tires as exactly as possible.
  2. I’m replacing two tires. I should put them on the front, right? This is a common misconception rooted in the idea that a front wheel drive car should have its “grippiest” tires up front. Especially with two-wheel drive cars, your tires may wear in such a way that you only want to replace two. When that happens, put the new tires on the back. Your rear tires are crucial in providing stability, and new tires in back will make it far easier for you to maintain control of your car in a dangerous situation.
  3. I drive a four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle. I ca
February 01, 2019 @ 12:00am

Start your Car to Warm it up?Winter is hard enough on your car without misconceptions adding to the potential damage. We’ve already covered “the great idling myth” (In short: No, it’s not good to idle your car for long periods of time before driving in cold weather.) but there’s another misconception that’s almost as prevalent: In very cold temperatures, you should run your car every day to keep the battery from dying. The truth, as usual, is complicated.

First of all, when is this car misconception actually true? If you have to park your car outside at night and you have an older car or an older battery, several days of sub-zero temperatures can certainly kill a tired battery. In these cases, daily starting can help prolong your battery’s life and ensure your car has a charge when you need it.

However, if you park inside a garage and/or have a newer car or battery, here’s why starting your car every day can actually hurt your engine. 

  • It dilutes your oil. Starting your car without actually driving it can cause gasoline to get into your vehicle’s oil, and gasoline is most definitely not a lubricant. If you must start your car every day, take it for a drive as well, and not a short little jaunt, either. It takes a considerable amount of time for your vehicle to warm up and burn through all that gas.
  • It leaves an excess of moisture in your exhaust. Your exhaust system is usually alw
October 01, 2018 @ 12:00am

Build your winter Car survival kitWith fall’s splendors turning the air cooler and putting color into the trees, it’s easy to want to ignore the fact that winter is just around the corner. And, it’s even easier to forget how bad roads can get before the snow even flies.

That makes fall the ideal time to put together a winter survival kit for your car, making sure you keep yourself and your family safe this winter. Here are five essential items for your kit.

  1. A small shovel. Plenty of manufacturers produce shovels that are small enough to fit in your trunk, yet robust enough to dig your car out of a snow drift. Keep an eye out for models that offer extra features as well, like bottle openers, to make sure you’re ready to tailgate for the big game and stay safe in the snow.
  2. Flashlight with extra batteries. Not only will a flashlight allow you to see in the dark (without draining the battery on your cell phone) it can serve as a beacon to guide help to where you are. Keep in mind that cold batteries discharge faster than normal, so make sure you include extras.
  3. An emergency blanket. We’re not talking about Granny’s patchwork quilt here, though something is better than nothing. If you have to spend a night in the cold, you’ll want to get your hands on a survival blanket, sold through many online retailers. Not only do these blankets trap and hold an incredible amount of heat, the pack down in size, taking up a fraction of the space you mi
July 01, 2018 @ 12:00am

http://bungestire.com/sites/bungestire.com/assets/images/blog-folder/download2018-07-02-1456.jpgYou know that feeling, when you sit in your car after its been out in the sun all day? You can’t get the A/C cranked fast enough. If its uncomfortable for you, imagine what it could be doing to your car. Here are four tips to help keep your car safe in the sun.

First, shade is your friend. Even if it means a longer walk to where you’re going, park in the shade to reduce the amount of direct exposure your car gets to the sun. Think about it like this: If it’s 80 degrees outside, temperatures in an unshaded car can near 130 degrees. And if the mercury creeps up to 100? The internal temperature in your car can go north of 170 degrees. In addition, avoid washing your car in direct sunlight and wash your car frequently, as this will keep buildups of dirt and road matter from scratching your finish and paint.

Second, it’s great to wash your car frequently, but it might not be enough. When you add a thorough waxing to your car detailing routine, you’re going a long way toward protecting your car from the sun’s harmful rays. Not only are you getting rid of the dirt and debris that can scratch your car’s exterior, you’re creating a barrier between the sun and your finish. Those with darker color paint jobs and plastic components on the outside of their cars should be extra careful as the sun can fade dark paints and damage plastics quickly. Remember top wipe down and treat your dashboard, too, as it sits in direct sunlight

June 01, 2018 @ 12:00am

Avoid purchasing a car with water damage, Here is how.With graduation season in full swing, millions of parents are going to be looking to purchase a car for their grad, or to help them get a car on their own. Unfortunately, this time of year—storm season, with major floods and weather events across the country—can lead to something we call “wet titles,” or cars that have been damaged in floods. Sometimes, the damage caused by flooding isn’t even revealed by the seller. Here are a few things to look out for to keep your loved one from getting scammed.

First and foremost, always check if the vehicle has a vehicle history report. Here, you’ll see if the car was declared a “salvage title,” which is a complete loss according to the insurance company, or if it’s a “flood title,” which means it was submerged up to its engine compartment. In general, avoid these vehicles, even if they feel like a great value.

Flood damage shows up in a number of ways. Not only can high water destroy electrical systems and start the process of rusting your engine from the inside out, they can also damage your car’s interior and everything from the stereo to the air conditioning. And the worst part is this damage doesn’t always show up right away; it can take years before the vehicle starts to fail.

So how can you tell if a car is flood damaged? First, be especially weary in the aftermath of major storms as scammers will get flood-damaged cars to market as q

April 01, 2018 @ 12:00am

Beware of Cheap Tire RepairOn the internet and in the Yellow Pages, offers for cheap tires and cheap tire repair are everywhere these days, with companies battling it out to see who can claim to be the cheapest and fastest. But what you might not know is that those “cheap and fast” offers can lead to serious issues for you and your car. Here’s a few ways those “cheap and fast” offers can lead to big trouble down the road.

More goes into properly mounting a tire than you might think; there are many small steps that go together to give you a smooth, reliable ride. It’s these smaller steps that are often ignored by the “cheap and fast” places.

Here’s an example: When a reputable tire shop mounts a new tire, they’re careful to clean the hub and install grease where the wheel mates to the vehicle. Why is this important? Not only does it help prevent corrosion, it also prevents dissimilar metals—when a hub is steel and a rim is aluminum, for instance—from corroding together, locking them up and preventing you from taking the wheel off your car. Those little steps, the cleaning and installation of grease, take time, and that’s time those “cheap and fast” shops don’t have.

Another shortcut “cheap and fast” places take is to not clean corrosion and dirt from the wheel where it mates with the tire; they sometimes don’t even use a bead of sealant to prevent future corrosion. What d

March 01, 2018 @ 12:00am

http://bungestire.com/sites/bungestire.com/assets/images/blog-folder/Newport_Whitepit_Lane_pot_hole.JPGOf the four seasons, winter is easily the most brutal on your car. From the damage caused by road salt to the hurt those potholes can put on your suspension, it’s safe to say that every part of your car can take a beating when the snow flies. Worse, it’s often not immediately apparent that there’s any damage, so a small problem can easily become a big problem if you’re not careful. Here are three common problems caused by winter driving and how to recognize them this spring.

Not only does snow cover hazards on the road, snow plows can carve out big chunks of asphalt and concrete, leading to potholes that can rattle your teeth before you even see them. Hitting a pot hole with enough force can damage your tires, even causing flats. This is especially true because cold weather can cause your tires to lose pressure, making them more susceptible to damage. But, more often, the pothole will knock your car out of alignment.

The tricky part about alignment issues is they often don’t show up until there’s lasting damage. If you feel your steering wheel pulling to one side, even slightly, or if you notice abnormal wear patterns on your tires, bring your car in immediately. (An example of an abnormal wear pattern would be excessive wear to the tire’s inside or outside edge.) Not only can misaligned tires be permanently damaged, your car could be damaged too.

The next issue is something you can see easily: Rust and corrosion c

October 31, 2017 @ 12:00am

http://bungestire.com/sites/bungestire.com/assets/images/blog-folder/blackice.jpgWith temperatures dropping, there’s a whole lot of changes you can see on the roads, from falling leaves to the first few flakes of snow. But the real danger is a change you often can’t see: It’s black ice season, and that can mean serious trouble if you aren’t prepared. Here’s three tips to keep you and your family safe.

Before you get in your car, you can prepare yourself for safer driving by knowing the low temperature of the previous night, and by checking the outdoor temperature. Also, if there has been an extended period of below freezing temperatures, be on your guard on the road. Make sure your windshield is free from coatings and debris—that awful white buildup of road salt, for example—that could potentially screen your view. And, when driving during the day, wear sunglasses as they’ll allow you to spot hazards.

Black ice can form even when the air temperature is above freezing. When streets and sidewalks are freezing, moisture turns to ice almost instantly on contact, and it’s ice that has no air bubbles, making it extremely hard to see. But you can anticipate black ice. It’s most prevalent in the early morning and late evening, which can coincide with rush hours, so give yourself extra space. You can also assume that shaded roads and bridges will be likely spots for black ice as the road temperatures will be cooler.

If you do feel your car lose traction with the road,

October 01, 2017 @ 12:00am

Avoid A Flat TireFall is here, and as the temperatures cool, you can count on seeing one thing on the roads: And we’re not talking about leaves. It’s tire blowout season, and from great big trucks to little family cars, tires stressed in the summer start failing in the fall. Here’s five tips to make sure your family stays safe.

The first and most important thing you can do is take a close look at your tires. Summer driving—with long road trips and hot temperatures that can cause over-inflation—can damage your tires in ways you won’t see immediately. Checking in the fall means you’ll catch any large cracks, excessive wear and uneven wear patterns. Addressing these issues now leads to a safer ride in the winter.

One of the most common reasons tires fail is improper inflation, and as temperatures cool, you need to make sure your tires stay properly filled. While the hot temps of summer can cause your tires to overinflate, the first real chill this fall means your tires could become dangerously underinflated. Now is the time to check your pressure, and, like Santa, check it twice: Keep an eye out for tires that need regular filling, as that is a clear warning sign of a larger issue.

Another common reason for tire failure is overloading your vehicle. Fall means the start of family gatherings, from football games to Halloween to Thanksgiving, you’ll be packing a lot into your car. This can cause tires that are already stressed to g

September 01, 2017 @ 12:00am

http://bungestire.com/sites/bungestire.com/assets/images/blog-folder/UsedVehicle.jpgSome people just can’t help themselves: They’ve got to customize their ride. And while most of the aftermarket products out there won’t do anything beyond putting a smile on your face, there are a few customizations where you need to be careful.

We’ve all been there: In a parking lot, or at home, and someone’s car alarm won’t stop going off. They’re loud, and plenty of research shows that car alarms are not effective at deterring thieves. Still, demand for aftermarket car alarms is hot.

If you decide to have an alarm installed, make sure to have the work done by a professional. Besides just being a pain on your ears, poorly installed alarms can lead to everything from ignition trouble to engine fires. Sure, there are plenty of DIY videos online, but with something as important as your car’s electronics, we recommend you trust the experts.

One type of driver that loves their accessories are truck drivers, everything from chrome gas caps to custom hitch covers. But even bigger than that, truck drivers seem to love having their trucks jacked up tall. While lift kits and bigger tires can make your truck look a whole lot bigger, they can also wreak havoc if not installed properly, or if they use cheap and incomplete parts.

That’s because the truck wasn’t designed to be up that high or push those great big tires, and bad kits don’t do anything to make sure your transfer case and axles stay i

August 01, 2017 @ 12:00am

http://bungestire.com/sites/bungestire.com/assets/images/blog-folder/Display_and_Test_Drive.jpgWhether you’re looking to get a new family vehicle for back to school time or you’re taking advantage of model year sales at the local lot, August is a great time to buy a car. Here are five tips to help you make sure your new purchase is the right one.

Make sure you know what you’re looking for and you stick to your plan, don’t just wander onto the lot to see what cars are out there. If you’re looking for a family car, bring the kids on the test drive. Kids can tell you if the seats are comfortable, if there’s enough storage space and you can see whether the car is big enough to handle everyone.

Second, although it’s what’s on the inside that counts, walk around the vehicle and inspect it closely, even if it’s brand new and never been off the lot. If it’s a used car and you see damage, ask the owner about it, and be sure they tell you about any collisions. If it’s a new car, check for accents like custom paint jobs. If you don’t want those extras, ask to see a different car: Little things like paint striping can add hundreds of dollars to your purchase.

For your actual test drive, take the vehicle for a long spin, being sure to drive at different speeds. If it’s a used car, listen for any strange noises when going over bumps, and while turning. And, new or used, run all the accessories: The A/C, the stereo and even the DVD player, if the car comes with one.

Beyond function

June 29, 2017 @ 12:00am

http://bungestire.com/sites/bungestire.com/assets/images/blog-folder/Kid_Car_Wash.jpgSchool’s out, and that means your kids are spending more time than ever around the house. So rather than working on your car by yourself this weekend, why not take the opportunity to teach them about car care? It can be easy, fun and you can build skills and interest that last a lifetime.

A great way to start is to include your child in a car wash. Not only is it fun to get into the swimsuit and enjoy some sunshine—and the inevitable water fight—a comprehensive wash allows you to introduce your child to your car, bumper to bumper and fender to fender. As you clean, explain how an engine works, and how a car’s exhaust system completes what the engine starts. Pop the hood and take them on a brief tour. You don’t have to be a mechanic to help your kid learn the basics.

Also, focus on things your child understands, and tires are perfect for that. Yeah, we know: There’s decades of advanced science in tires. But the big idea is as simple as holding your breath. Show your child a pressure gauge, and allow them to test tire pressure. Together—based on the tire and car manufacturers suggestions—figure out if your tires need more air, and show your child how to top off a low tire. It’s a great way to show that not all car maintenance is difficult, and the most common calls road side services get are flat tires the driver can’t fix.

Your lights and turn signals are some of the most important parts of your ca

August 03, 2015 @ 12:00am

Diesel Truck ServicesDid you know that trucking is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, yet our area lacks the diesel mechanics and facilities to work on those trucks?

We think that where there’s a truck, there needs to be a mechanic behind (or under) it. Bunge’s newest diesel department is here to help. Coming this month, we are opening our diesel facilities. There you’ll be able to take your trucks, bulldozers, cranes and other heavy vehicles with diesel engines for maintenance and repairs.

Our newest addition includes an additional two bays, one lift, a compressor and more. We’re also employing experienced diesel mechanics to provide the best service to you and any of your vehicles.

Swing in for a visit to see our latest update!

August 03, 2015 @ 12:00am

Diesel Truck ServicesDid you know that trucking is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, yet our area lacks the diesel mechanics and facilities to work on those trucks?

We think that where there’s a truck, there needs to be a mechanic behind (or under) it. Bunge’s newest diesel department is here to help. Coming this month, we are opening our diesel facilities. There you’ll be able to take your trucks, bulldozers, cranes and other heavy vehicles with diesel engines for maintenance and repairs.

Our newest addition includes an additional two bays, one lift, a compressor and more. We’re also employing experienced diesel mechanics to provide the best service to you and any of your vehicles.

Swing in for a visit to see our latest update!