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How to change your oil in St. Charles IL

In an ideal world, you’ll never need an auto emergency kit, but in the event that something happens, your kit will be worth its weight in gold. Many new cars in St. Charles will come with a limited emergency kit, but it’s better to assemble your own to make sure you have everything you need. Here’s our recommendations for what to put inside to cover all bases:

Hazard Triangles – If you have to pull over to the side of the road, putting out a few reflective hazard triangles will alert other drivers to your presence and create a safer situation.

Money – It may sound strange to keep money in an emergency kit, but having a few dollars in coins and small bills could be useful in case your phone has died (see the next note) and you need to use a payphone.

Cell Phone Charger – Nothing is worse than having a breakdown and not being able to call for help. Keeping a cell phone charger or mobile power pack in your emergency kit will ensure your phone is operational.

Flashlight – If your car breaks down at night and you’re stranded without a flashlight, repairs can be impossible. Keep a working flashlight as well as a set of backup batteries to avoid that problem.

First-Aid Kit – A simple first-aid kit should include bandages, pain relief medication, and antibiotic ointment. For further protection, you can add anti-burn ointments, antiseptic wipes, gauze, and butterfly closures.

Spare Fuses – Many auto electronic problems can be fixed by just switching out a fuse. Check the wattage levels of your existing fuses and keep a backup for each.

Gloves – A pair of heavy-duty gloves are an essential part of any emergency kit and will not only help keep your hands warm, but will also provide extra grip in wet weather or when dealing with greasy parts.

Water And Food – You never know how long an emergency situation will last, so having a bottle or two of water and some dry snacks that will keep is a way to stave off hunger and thirst until help arrives.

Jumper Cables – Last, but certainly not least, a set of jumper cables will allow passing drivers to help you get your car started in the case of battery problems. Having jumper cables also means that you can help other drivers in their time of need.

In addition to assembling your own auto emergency kit, there are many auto shops and online stores that sell pre-packaged kits. These can be used as a starting point and you can add other items as needed to make sure you’re fully prepared in the case of an emergency. Hopefully, you’ll never need your emergency kit, but should problems arise, you’ll be thankful that you added one to your car.

Of course, the best way to prevent an emergency is to make sure that your vehicle is in a proper functional state. At Rx Automotive in St. Charles, we’re available to perform scheduled maintenance, general check-ups, and repair tasks for a wide variety of makes and models. Drop by our shop or give us a call.

Posted by: In: Auto Maintenance Tips 01 Mar 2016 0 comments

Spring Showers Bring Slippery Roads

Ah, spring in St. Charles – plants and flowers come back to life after the dormant winter, warmer weather means you can shed those outer layers, and everything is green. And there’s rain, lots of it. While spring herald the return to bearable temperatures, it can also present the dangerous situation of slippery roads. Knowing how to drive in the rain is especially important at this time of year to keep both yourself and your car safe from harm. Here’s a few of our tips for staying safe during the rainy season:

Slow And Steady

First and foremost, rainy weather means you need to slow down. With water on the roads, it will take longer to slow down or stop, so driving at a slower speed will help adjust for this problem. In addition, you should increase your following distance to a minimum of three seconds behind the car in front of you. It’s also a good idea to avoid following larger vehicles if at all possible. Semis and buses will generate a spray of water from the road that will reduce your visibility.

Turn On Your Lights And Wipers

It might seem like a no-brainer, but many drivers forget to turn on their headlights in rainy weather. Your own visibility may not be increased dramatically, but what this does is make it easier for other drivers on the road to see you, especially in heavy downpours. Most modern cars will have an automatic feature for this, but it never hurts to turn them on anyway. Windshield wipers should be turned on as well.

The Danger Of Skids

One of the scariest parts of driving is skidding on a wet road and losing control of your car. When this happens, the right way to respond is to turn the steering wheel towards where you want your car to go while slowly moving your foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal, assuming your car has anti-lock brakes. If not, then it’s better to not use your brakes at all.

Avoid Puddles and Oil

When you see a puddle, it’s a much better choice to avoid it rather than driving through it. If this isn’t possible, then slow down first and go as slowly as possible. Deep water is best to be avoided as it can cause serious damage to your electronic systems, necessitating expensive repairs. Also, be aware that intersections are a prime place for oil and rain to mix, creating a slippery situation. Most dangerous when it first starts raining, you should approach all intersections with more caution than normal.

Tires And Windshield Wipers

If you haven’t used your windshield wipers in a while, it may be time to have them replaced. Fortunately, this is a cheap and quick repair that makes a huge difference in being able to drive safely in the rain. In the same vein, tires with bad tread are poor performers in the rain, so if you’re thinking about changing them out, now would be a good time.

To make sure your car is ready for the spring showers in St. Charles, stop by Rx Automotive and we’ll take a look. In addition to replacing your windshield wipers and tires, we can also test your brakes and other mechanical systems. Call us today for your car’s spring check-up.

Why Rotating Your Tires Is Important

New tires and Tire Rotation St Charles and Geneva

Ask any St. Charles driver when was the last time they rotated their tires and you’re bound to receive a range of answers, from a few months ago to never. While rotating tires was once part and parcel to preventive auto maintenance, the times have changed and this seemingly simple service has largely fallen by the wayside. One reason is the advances in tire technology that have pushed durability to impressive levels. With these new tires, drivers feel that rotation is no longer necessary. However, tire rotation in St. Charles is still very relevant – here’s why.

What Tire Rotation Does

The first and most important question about tire rotation is what does the service do and how does it help. As the name implies, a tire rotation service moves your vehicle’s four tires to new positions. The reason why it’s done is to prevent uneven wear. There are a lot of factors that can influence wear, such as misalignment, parking next to curbs, and even personal driving style. The rotation of tires to new positions by a trained professional will translate to more even wear and a longer overall life before they need to be replaced.

The Other Benefits Of Tire Rotation

Tire life is obviously the biggest benefit of tire rotation, but there’s more going on than just extending how long your tires will last. After a rotation, one of the first things you’ll notice is the difference in how your car drives. If your car was shaky or had excess vibration before, a tire rotation could completely eliminate the problem. Add in an alignment service and your car should ride like new.

The other side of the coin is that tire rotation also helps you save money. Because uneven tires mean that your engine has to work harder to travel the same distance, a tire rotation should improve your fuel mileage, thus extending how far you can go on a full tank. It may seem like a difference of pennies, but these pennies add up and keeping your tires rotated regularly will save a considerable amount over the life of our vehicle.

How Often To Rotate Your Tires

The optimal frequency of rotating your tires depends on what type of vehicle you drive, whether it’s front or rear wheel drive, and the specific model of the tires. The generally accepted rule of thumb is once every 5,000-8,000 miles, but it’s a good idea to read the owner’s manual and tire paperwork to make sure. If in doubt, contact us at Rx Auto Service and we’ll help you decipher the right time to have your tires rotated.

Tire rotation may have fallen out of favor since the introduction of tire technology innovations that stretch the life of tires, but this service still provides plenty of benefits and proper tire rotation will ensure that you’re able to hit those impressive milestones. For professional tire rotation in St. Charles, give Rx Auto Service a call to schedule a convenient time to bring your vehicle in.

Posted by: In: Auto Maintenance Tips, Auto Repair 24 Jul 2015 0 comments

Top 3 Check Engine Light Causes

Check Engine Light Auto Repair

If you’ve ever been baffled by a check engine light coming on for seemingly no reason, you’re not the only one. Since they first started appearing in cars, the check engine light has been a common source of confusion and has best been compared to a crying baby – it’s impossible to ignore, gives you no information about what’s wrong, and can be extremely frustrating. So, what is your check engine light trying to tell you? Actually, it could be quite a few different things, but you most likely don’t have the right tools to find out for yourself. Read more…

Posted by: In: Auto Maintenance Tips, Auto Repair 28 Jun 2015 0 comments

4 Auto Maintenance Steps to Get Your Vehicle Ready for Summer

Auto maintenance tips to get your care summer ready in Batavia and Geneva

In the St. Charles area, the summer is synonymous with sweltering heat. While it’s also the time for going on vacations, hanging out at the beach, and spending more time with loved ones, the warmer weather can have make for some unpleasant car experiences if you’re car isn’t prepared. Before the unavoidable heat hits and you head out on your next road trip, make sure that you’ve checked off the following maintenance tasks – it will make a big difference in both your comfort and your car’s performance. Read more…