Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

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The Thankful Alphabet Game

The Thankful Alphabet Game

Have each person share one thing they’re thankful for, but it has to start with the next letter of the alphabet, starting with A (the next person’s response will start with B, and so on.) Go around the table until the alphabet has been filled—including X and Z!

Click Here to Download Your Game Board!

Categories:

Fun

Welcome Home Chuck!

Welcome Home Chuck!

Douglas Automotive established its roots in Barrington, Illinois so it’s only fitting that we do our best to hire from our local talent pool. 

Chuck Olker has been a Service Advisor with Douglas Automotive since May of 2018…at our Crystal Lake Shop. As the son of a former business owner in Barrington, Chuck’s heart has always been with the Barrington Community. That said, we are pleased to announce that Chuck will now be coming “back home” to join the customer care team as Service Advisor for this busy location.

Douglas Automotive has invested in the growth and well-being of the Barrington Community and truly believes in contributing to the health of our local economy. As someone who is “home grown”, Chuck is no stranger to the Barrington and knows what it’s like to establis

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Off to College!

Off to College!

It’s back to school time. And some of us will be sending a child off to college with their car. Time to consider if the car can meet the travel challenges to college. Whether it's a new Chevy Blazer or the old, reliable family hand me down car, it's time to plan to make sure both student and car remain safe and avoid trouble. Will it be long distance drive? How many miles away is the school? What type of roads will it be driving on? Highway? Busy city streets? Will your student be using the car while on campus? Once there, will the car be kept in a garage, or be subject to the elements in a parking lot? It may have been reliable form of transportation during the summer, but a new environment and driving habits can create new challenges to consider.

Are all the vitals up to date? If the weather conditions at school require different equipment than that at home, you might have to upgrade the tires for example or replace the wiper blades in prepar

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Categories:

Maintenance

Nearly 300 Local Students “Head Out to the Farm” for the 2019 Art Contest!

Nearly 300 Local Students “Head Out to the Farm” for the 2019 Art Contest!

Each year we celebrate artistic expression by inviting kids from local elementary schools to submit their finest drawings and paintings for the Douglas Automotive Art Contest. For our 11th annual contest we asked children to create cars that would be at home on the farm—whether it was a trusty farm truck or a race car for the chickens. After sorting through nearly 300 entries, we are pleased to announce the following winners:

Barrington Best in Show: Vanessa Niam Grade 1: Tommy Cherett Grade 2: Natalie Gillespie Grade 3: Landon Whaley Grade 4: Weston Mui Grade 5: Troy Younis

Crystal Lake Best in Show: Violet Kacmarczyk Grade 1: Drew Nanos Grade 2: Hannah Munsen Grade 3: Eddie Martinez Fernandez Grade 4: Isabella Long Grade 5: Zach Schuster

Fox River Grove Best in Show: Nikila Makeakov Grade 1: Charlie Jablonski Grade 2: Isaac Gipson Grade 3: Mya Hancock Grade 4: Harlow Engel

Thank you to a

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Check Your Car Emergency Kit

Check Your Car Emergency Kit

It’s a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car year-round, but it’s even more crucial when winter weather hits.

Here are three essentials you should always have on hand in your vehicle in an emergency:

1. Food and Water. You need a gallon of water per person per day, so Popular Mechanics recommends keeping around 16 small drink boxes (they take up less space than bottles), which have an average shelf life of five years. You can also keep refillable water bottles, but also pack chlorine tablets in case you find yourself with a skeptical water source. Pack good quality high-calorie (2400 to 3600 calories) energy and protein bars, best bought at a camping, sports or health food store rather than a grocery store. Good ones will sustain you for three days.

2. Protection. Pack a wool blanket and chemical warm packs, adds Popular Mechanics. An emergency blanket (also known as a space blanket) is a metal-coated pl

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Categories:

Winter

When you should replace your alternator

When you should replace your alternator

You car's alternator charges the battery and makes its electrical system work while driving. 

So, how do you know if it's time to replace it? There are signs you will notice when an alternator is starting to go out. If you pay attention to them and head to a mechanic you're less likely to find yourself stranded one day when your car won't start at all.

One sign is if your vehicle suddenly becomes hard to start. You turn the key and the engine just won't turn over, until finally, it does.

Another sign is when your accessory lights become dim, according to online automotive resource AxleAddict.com. Accessory lights are the ones on your dashboard, dome light, headlights and clock/radio. If they dim when starting up your vehicle, it could be your alternator starting to go. Also notice if your accessory lights dim or appear to be blinking when you step on the accelerator.

If you battery keeps dying, it may not be your battery that

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Categories:

Alternator

Why you should keep your engine clean

Why you should keep your engine clean

Nobody sees your car's engine unless they're working on it, so why bother to keep it clean?

For one thing, a clean engine is easier to work on. Even better, though, a clean engine (and the surrounding compartment) will fetch you more money when you go to sell your car or truck because it looks newer as well as better maintained. Some auto experts even say a clean engine runs cooler, according to Cars.com.

One important advantage to keeping your engine compartment clean is that it makes it easier to determine where certain parts of your car may be leaking - like a valve-cover gasket, adds Cars.com. Additionally, oil and grease cause rubber and plastic parts to deteriorate, so keeping these parts clean can save you money in the long run when those people do, to check fluids, you're not going to get as dirty as you would otherwise.

To start, disconnect and remove your battery cables first, starting with the negative cable. Brush off any corrosion the

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Categories:

Engine

Tags:

Engine

How to adjust and aim your car's headlights

How to adjust and aim your car's headlights

If you find yourself needing to replace one or both of your vehicle's headlights (also called headlamps), you'll need to adjust them to aim correctly.

Your headlights may also need adjusting if you're planning on transporting a heavy load that can make the front of your car aim upward.

To do the job yourself, first, drive your car close to a wall, facing it straight on, then bounce it, front and back, to settle the suspension. Turn on your headlights, then make a T with tape in the center of each light beam on the wall, making sure the lines are level and at the same height, advises wikiHow. 

Back your car 25 feet from the wall, exactly, although different manufacturer's require different distances, so check your owner's manual first. Turn on the lights and remove the trim to reveal the screws that adjust the lights, one for vertical and one for horizontal, according to wikiHow.

Cover one headlight while you check the other. A

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Categories:

Headlights

How to get bugs, tar and tree sap off your car

How to get bugs, tar and tree sap off your car

Summer is winding down, and you may have noticed those months of warm weather have resulted in an accumulation of bugs, tar and/or tree sap on your favorite vehicle that just won't budge in your run-of-the-mill car wash.

You can remove the disgusting gunk - with all due respect to the unwilling bugs. Keep in mind, that bug stains are acidic and you can eat into your car's paint job., so it's important to do this as soon as possible.

The National Auto Parts Association (NAPA) suggests using a spray bottle full of water (tap water is okay, unless you have well water, then use spring water.) Spray a fresh dryer sheet to wipe off the bugs mess. That also works for tar and tree sap.

NAPA cautions that it's also important to follow-up with a car wash cleaner to remove the chemicals from the dryer sheet. Then wax your car.

There's another way to remove tar, sap and bugs, and that's using a product made for the job.

Road

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Categories:

Maintenance

How to replace your car's A/C compressor

How to replace your car's A/C compressor

If your car's air conditioner isn't blowing as cold as it used to, it could be a leaky compressor. If the oil has leaked out of it, it's time to replace the compressor with a new one. 

To do the job yourself, you'll need to flush and evacuate the system, add oil and refrigerant and install a new drier, O-rings, expansion device and compressor pressure switch.

First, flush the system, using an AC flush solvent. Then check for impurities by running what comes out the flush through a coffee filter. If you see debris, flush it again. If you still see impurities, replace the condenser. 

Add AC oil, recommended by your owner's manual. If your new compressor comes with oil in it, flush it out and add your own. Then add the refrigerant, following directions, also specifically for your vehicle. Next, install the new drier, which filters out debris in the system. Now, install the new O-rings, which are critical in preventing leaks in the A

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Categories:

Air Conditioner

Tags:

a/c
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