Providing the Best Auto Repair in St. Charles, IL
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Posted by: In: Maintenance 25 Oct 2012 0 comments

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Saint Charles?

Is it:

  1. A Hamburger;
  2. Coffee;
  3. A Soft Drink, or
  4. Gummy Bears?

Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving, but if you chose ‘coffee’, then give yourself an extra two points; coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Saint Charles and around the country.

Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!

You’ll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You’ll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won’t have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss.

Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on the Saint Charles road without worrying about where that spill is headed.

So; taking a food break… Or filling out accident reports. We don’t have to ask you which you prefer: It’s a no brainer.

Rx Automotive, along with AutoNetTV, wants you to keep both eyes on the road. Please eat safely and keep your eyes on the road.

Rx Automotive
602 Sidwell Ct Unit H
Saint Charles, IL 60174
Give us a call at: 630-443-8500

Posted by: In: Tires and Wheels 18 Oct 2012 0 comments

So, when are your tires actually worn out? This is a question a lot of us in Saint Charles IL ask ourselves. For many, the answer is ‘when they no longer pass a safety inspection’. But waiting that long can have a serious impact on your safety.

The U.S. Federal government doesn’t have any laws for tread depth, but 42 of the states, and all of Canada, do have regulations. They consider two-thirty-seconds of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider one-thirty-second to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Call us at Rx Automotive (just call 630-443-8500) to find out what your requirements are in the Saint Charles IL area.

Since 1968, U.S. law has required that a raised bar be molded across all tires. When tires are worn enough that this bar becomes visible, there’s just 2/32” of tread left. But does that older standard give you enough safety?

Well, Consumer Reports issued a call to consider replacing tires when tread reaches 4/32”. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies. Now before we go into the studies, you need to know that the big issue is braking on wet surfaces.

We tend to think of the brakes doing all the stopping, but you also need to have effective tires to actually stop the car. When it’s wet or snowy in Saint Charles IL, the tread of the tire is critical to stopping power.

Picture this: you’re driving over a water-covered stretch of road. Your tires actually need to be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means the tire has to channel the water away so the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water – a condition known as hydroplaning. When there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

This is where the studies come in. We think you’ll be surprised. A section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime flat on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to cover it.

A car and a full-sized pick-up truck were brought up to 70 mph and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths. First, they tested new tires. Then tires worn to legal limits. And finally, tires with 4/32” of tread were tested – this is the depth suggested by Consumer Reports

When the car with the legally worn tires had braked for the distance required to stop the car with new tires, it was still going 55 mph. The stopping distance was nearly doubled. That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, then you would hit the car in front of you at 55 mph with the worn tires.

Now with the partially worn tires – at the depth recommended by Consumer Reports – the car was still going at 45 mph at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. That’s a big improvement – you can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

Now without going into all the details, let us tell you that stopping the truck with worn tires needed almost 1/10 of a mile of clear road ahead to come to a safe stop. Obviously this is really a big safety issue.

The tests were conducted with the same vehicles, but with different sets of tires. The brakes were the same, so the only variable, was the tires.

So, how do you know when your tires are at 4/32”? Well, it’s pretty easy. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Now you may remember doing that with pennies. But a penny gives you 2/32” of an inch to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new standard – 4/32”.

Tires are a big ticket item and most people in Saint Charles IL want to get the most wear out of them that they can. But do you want that much more risk just to run your tires until they are legally worn out? For us, and we would guess for many, the answer is “no”.

Well, Mr. Washington, let’s go out and look at my tires.

Rx Automotive
602 Sidwell Ct Unit H
Saint Charles, IL 60174
630-443-8500

Posted by: In: Shocks & Struts 11 Oct 2012 0 comments

Today we’re talking about shocks and struts. They’re so easy to forget about because they last so long and wear out so slowly. But your shocks are really responsible for keeping your tires on the road – so they’re very important.

Without shocks, your wheels would be bouncing over bumps and lifting in corners. The shocks push the tire down to the road to maximize traction. Good shocks equal good ride quality and safe handling.

Visit Rx Automotive to have your shocks and struts inspected by a professional. You can find us at 602 Sidwell Ct Unit H , Saint Charles, IL 60174
Or give us a call at 630-443-8500 to make an appointment.

There’s a difference between shocks and springs. Springs support the weight of the vehicle, keeping it suspended up off the axles. The shocks moderate the rebound motion as wheels hit bumps. Now a strut combines a shock and a coil spring in one compact unit.

When your shocks are worn out you may notice degraded handling as you drive around our Saint Charles streets. Your vehicle feels squirmy around corners and floaty over bumps.

You may notice the rear end squatting when you accelerate or the front end diving when you brake. Your car might even be sagging at one corner.

Uneven tire wear can also be a sign of worn shocks. Of course, if your shocks are leaking or have a big dent, they need to be replaced.

Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when to replace the shocks and struts on your vehicle. It’s usually between thirty and fifty thousand miles. Of course, if you tow a lot, regularly carry heavy loads or do a lot of driving on poor roads, your shocks might wear out faster.

If those driving conditions apply to you, you can get special shocks that are better suited to your driving.

The shocks that come from the factory are designed for the way most consumers are expected to drive that particular vehicle. If you have different needs for your driving around Saint Charles IL, you can get premium shocks that improve performance handling, off-road abilities or towing comfort. Your Saint Charles IL service consultant at Rx Automotive can help you determine your needs and then give you some options.

It’s best to replace all four shocks at the same time. That way you’ll have even, predictable handling at all four corners. Anything less could be dangerous.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 03 Oct 2012 0 comments

We live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days people were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most people couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us IL penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Saint Charles car owners making sure we follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between an oil change, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older vehicles. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It’s like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your service advisor help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Rx Automotive is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.