Bunge's Automotive Blog
As fall starts to give way to winter, new hazards come with the colder temperatures. As anybody who’s had their car fail on a freezing day can tell you, it’s the worst time for small maintenance issues to become big problems.
One of the first casualties can be your tires. Colder temperatures cause the air pressure in your tires to drop. That means that potholes and other sudden bumps are more likely to damage your tire’s internal structure. Keep an eye on your tire pressure, and make sure to check for signs of damaged tires such as bulges and blisters.
There’s an old saying: “Batteries die in summer, but fall over in winter.” Extreme temperatures on both ends of the thermometer drain and even damage your battery but a good amount of the “stuff” inside your battery is actually distilled water, meaning it's susceptible to freezing. If you’re noticing signs of a weakening battery, or if it's been a while since you had your battery checked or replaced, don’t wait till it snows to make sure you’re ready for the winter.
A final cold temperature culprit is road salt. While many people think they only have to worry about their car’s body, the real damage can happen underneath. Brake and fuel lines are susceptible to corrosion, and if you have chrome wheels, the damage caused by salt can be almost impossible to fix cost-effectively. Do go over your car before the snow comes and fix any mi
If you’re looking to upgrade to an SUV this winter, or if you’re ready to move on to a new car, there’s a few things you can do to help get your car ready to sell for a fair price.
At home, clean your car inside and out. To clean dirt out of the nooks and crannies, use compressed air and then vacuum thoroughly. When a prospective buyer looks in your car, you don’t want their first impression to be that French fry that slipped between the seats.
When washing your car, use brushes with plastic handles and no metal components. It might seem like a no-brainer, but too many people scuff and scratch their car’s exterior using brushes not meant for the task.
Always use two buckets when washing your car. In one, simple rinse water. In the other, your soap and water. Always dip your rag or mitt in the rinse bucket first. Any grit will come off in the rinse bucket and won’t get ground into your car’s finish as you wash.
Bring your car into Bunge’s and we’ll perform a general inspection, making sure all your systems are running smoothly. While you might not need to spend hundreds to get your car ready to sell, knowing if there’s anything wrong will eliminate surprises for buyer and seller.
A final step is to make sure your vehicle’s tags are updated. In Illinois, we’ve always received a reminder in the mail. This year will be the first we won’t get that reminder, so yo
Days are getting shorter and leaves are turning and that means one thing: It’s back to school time. To help you celebrate, we wanted to take you back to school for a little “Fall Driving 101.”
The first lesson is to make sure you’re ready for fall hazards. When leaves pile up in the street and get wet, they can be as slippery as ice. They also block gutters and drains, making it likely you’ll encounter standing water. And, with kids going back to school and deer starting to get active in more rural areas, being able to stop quickly is more important than ever. Get your brakes checked, and have any noises or performance issues addressed.
Your next lesson is to consider upgrading to an all-season tire. While you might lose some of the speed and agility of your regular tires, all-season tires provide a more flexible tread pattern, allowing you to maintain control in dry, wet and slick conditions. If you don’t want to upgrade, make sure to check your tread depth and tire pressure and make sure they’re within the manufacturer’s suggested limits.
For extra credit, check in on your spare tire. Did you know that even if you’ve never used it, your spare could need replacement? Over time, rubber breaks down, especially if a spare is mounted outside your vehicle, like beneath a truck or on the rear of an SUV. Check with your tire’s manufacturer to see how often they recommend replacing spares
You don’t have to be a CSI to read the evidence of engine wear your car leaves on the road. With a few easy tips, the spots your car leaks in the garage or on the parking lot can help you notice potential issues before they become big problems.
One of the easiest spots to identify is engine oil, which is light brown to nearly black. With a high volume of oil in your car, a little seepage is generally not a big deal. However, if it happens consistently, it’s time to get your engine evaluated for leaks.
Clear, to light brown in color, brake fluid can look similar to oil but it feels much more “slippery.” This is one of the most dangerous fluids to see leaking from your car and, if there is a large leak, don’t drive. Instead, have your car towed and repaired.
A bright orange or green spot, and a “slimy” consistency is engine coolant, and in the summer heat, it could mean trouble. Carry a jug of water and an extra bottle of coolant in your car. If you spot a coolant leak, you can top off your tank and make it safely to a mechanic.
A reddish color in the spot, located close to the center of your car, is likely transmission or power steering fluid. While the consistency can vary, red is a telltale sign you need to get your car in for a checkup.
If you suspect a leak, try spreading newspaper beneath your car overnight. If you n
Nothing can make a summer car ride swelter like a faulty A/C system. Here are some common A/C issues.
A strong odor coming through your vents usually means one thing: Fungus or bacteria in your climate control system. This smell is “musty,” or “moldy” and it happens because microorganisms like the safe, often damp area behind your dash, near the A/C’s evaporator. If the odor is more like a “locker room” smell, there’s a chance your cabin air filter is old and needs replacing.
But the most common problem is warm air from your vents and it means it’s probably time to schedule an appointment before the weather gets too hot. There can be many causes for warm or hot air coming from your vents, both mechanical and electrical, and it’s often difficult to pinpoint the issue. Leaks are one of the most common causes of A/C issues and they can occur in almost every part of the system. A blown fuse or faulty faulty fan could also be the culprit.
The bad news is that while some A/C problems can be a quick fix, the system as a whole is complex and potentially dangerous if you aren’t experienced and properly equipped. The good news is that we have years of experience diagnosing and addressing A/C issues. And, if you haven’t had you’re A/C worked on for a few years, we offer an A/C Evacuation and Recharge service to make sure you’re running cool when the dog days’ hit.