Bunge's Tire & Auto Elgin, IL


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Bunge's Automotive Blog

November 26, 2014 @ 12:00am

You may not realize it, but cooling system problems are most prevalent in winter.

Cooling System in WinterHave you ever noticed that your car runs better when it’s not extremely hot or cold? Cars run best between 30 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. When temps rise above (as in summer), or below…as we’re about to experience this winter, at Bunge’s we start to see an increase in vehicles with radiator leaks. 

Most radiators today are made of aluminum with plastic tanks. A heater core is much like a radiator whereby coolant (also known as anti-freeze) passes through narrow passageways and the heat from the coolant is transferred to air blowing past it. These narrow passageways can become plugged with sediment from the engine. Plugged passageways prevent the coolant from entering the heater core. Since you use your heater in the colder months you may not discover heater core problems until winter…just when you need it to run properly the most.

Here at Bunge’s as temps drop we often see vehicles that haven’t been flushed regularly. When we examine the radiator or the coolant reservoir, we find it full of sludge or sediment.

To Flush or not to Flush

To help avoid clogged passageways you can have your cooling system flushed regularly. A little preventive maintenance can save you from a much more costly repair.

Routine Flush

If your heater core becomes blocked, a routine flushing will probably not correct the problem. At that point your options are to replace the heater core, which in many ca

October 31, 2014 @ 12:00am

Yep. The wind is getting stronger and colder. That means one thing…and you know what it is. From windshield wipers to tires, Bunge’s can help you get ready.

Winter WindshieldWindshields

What’s important about windshields? Keeping them clean and unobstructed. Did you know that spraying a mixture of vinegar and room temperature water on your windshield can help clear it of ice? Ice-proof your windows...with vinegar.

Frost on its way? Just fill a spray bottle with three parts vinegar to one-part water and spritz it on all your windows at night. In the morning, they'll be clear of icy mess.

Beware of Freezing Fog

In the Chicagoland climate, fog near the freezing point can freeze on contact with cold surfaces--including your windshield…and roads! This can cause black ice. Adjust your defroster and windshield wipers to accommodate freezing fog conditions inside your car. Other tips:

Turn off the high beams on your vehicle when driving in foggy conditions. High beams reflect off the fog and can make hard for you to see. Use the fog lights, if you have them. Drive slowly and use an outside lane in order to avoid driving into oncoming traffic. Follow the car in front of you as a guide. You can also use the outside road markings as a way to see where you are going. Turn off your radio and crack the window to hear what’s going on around you. Avoid driving if you can.

Although it may not look like there is ice on the road, freezing fog creates a thin layer of ice on the surface of the road causing black ice. Drive extremely carefully and reduce your speeds.

Make sure that all par

September 25, 2014 @ 12:00am

Fall car ChecklistIt’s officially fall! As the changing winds usher in cooler temperatures they also bring a change in driving conditions. Do you have travel plans that include your vehicle this fall or for Thanksgiving? 

At Bunge’s we encourage you to take a look at a your oil and your battery before the really cold weather arrives.

Regular oil vs. Synthetic oil

Did you know that most oils used today are either synthetic or semi synthetic? It used to be that the common recommendation for oil changes was at every 3,000 miles. Today, most shops recommend checking with your vehicle’s manufacturer for suggested intervals. Due to advances in technology some autos can go as far as 15,000 miles before changing the oil, for instance when they use extended life oil. But there’s a catch—“You must check the oil and you must add oil,” says Steve Wright, owner of Bunge’s.

Steve adds that while it can make sense to change the oil with less frequency in this day and age, his mechanics have noticed that 30% of autos in for service are low on oil. Many times the check engine light will cause a customer to call and come in. Often times the cause is low oil, which causes low oil pressure that can throw the timing off. It’s very important to check your oil between changes.

You may not know that Bunge’s recycles the oil from oil changes to help heat the shop in winter. And they offer a discounted oil chang

August 04, 2014 @ 12:00am

Is it safe to use regular or mid-grade gasoline instead of premium?

Grades of Gas for your car.You arrive at the gasoline pump and notice that premium gas costs 20 cents more per gallon than mid-grade gas, and even more than regular gasoline. Naturally, it’s tempting to fill up with go ahead and fill up with regular and save $4 or even $5 right here, right now.

Premium, mid-grade or regular?

How does premium differ from mid-grade or regular gasoline? In most states premium gasoline is defined as gas having an octane rating of 91 or 92. In contrast, regular gasoline typically has an octane rating of 87. Mid-grade falls in between, usually around 89 octane.

Is it “safe” to use a lower octane gasoline? The answer is maybe.

According to Business Insider, engine knocking can result from too low a fuel grade.  “Whatever the test, the point is that knocking needs to be avoided at all cost. If allowed to continue, it can quickly cause an engine to disintegrate.” http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-premium-gas-2012-9#ixzz39RxiN4Am

Most would agree that a disintegrating engine will cost a lot more than saving $4-$5 at the pump today and each week for years to come. If you were to calculate $4.50 times 52 weeks per year times ten years the cost would come in around $2,340. Replacing an engine is likely to cost substantially more money.

Required vs. rec

May 27, 2014 @ 12:00am

Chicago Pothole DrivingYou endured the brutal winter of 2013/2014. Now it's time to survive the potholes winter left behind. It's worth mentioning that if you carry collision insurance you may want to contact your automotive insurance carrier to see if pothole damage is covered.

Here are expert tips related to those pesky potholes: 

Keep an eye out so that you can slow down before the pothole. Watch out for potholes hidden in puddles. Don't brake once your vehicle is in contact with the pothole. Hang on tightly to your steering column to safely maneuver out of the pothole. Check your vehicle for damage after encountering potholes, especially deep potholes.

What are signs my vehicle has damage?

Damage to wheel rims. Warn tires, sometimes with bulges and punctures. Alignment issues that can affect steering. Damage to the underside of your vehicle. Wear to shock absorbers and struts, possibly resulting in broken parts. Possible engine damage.

After all of that, here’s a little pothole humor.

Photo credit to Bozsoki András: