Today, The Auto Shop is writing about the proper fluids for your vehicle. It's become more complicated with changes in automotive design and manufacturing. It's not that people in Carbondale are confused as much as they don't realize how much things have changed in recent years.
If you have questions about the fluids in your vehicle, please don't hesitate to stop by The Auto Shop. You can find us on 317 E Main in Carbondale, IL 62901. Just give us a call at (618) 457-8411.
Let's take engine oil. Twenty or 30 years ago, there were just a handful of different weights of oil. The weight of an oil is a scientific measure of its properties, particularly its viscosity or thickness.
It was common in those days to use a lighter weight oil in the winter when it's cold outside. That way the oil would be able to splash around inside the engine and protect the parts before it was fully warmed up. And a heavier weight oil would be used in the summer. The thicker oil wouldn't thin out too much in the summer heat and vaporize in the engine.
Modern valve trains have become very complicated with more moving parts and small passages than ever before. The valve train is in the top of the engine, so when the vehicle has been turned off for a while, the oil tends to run down to lower areas. That means the valve train parts are vulnerable at start-up, before the oil starts circulating.
So new weights of oil have been introduced to meet the engineering specifications of these newer engines.
Manufacturers are recommending specific weights of oil. The recommendation is often printed on the oil fill cap. It's certainly in the owner's manual. Of course, The Auto Shop in Carbondale can look it up for you.
It's more important than ever to have the correct weight of oil. The wrong weight could actually harm the engine.
Other fluids are also becoming more sophisticated. In the last few years new types of transmission, power brake fluid and coolant have all been introduced for some of the same reasons as for engine oil.
In addition, vehicle manufacturers are now using a wider variety of materials in these systems. Looking at the cooling system as an example, it used to be that the parts were all made out of steel or iron and the hoses were rubber. Now, some parts are plastic, aluminum or other materials.
So the anti-corrosion additives contained in the coolant, or anti-freeze, need to be different in order to protect the different materials used to make the cooling system. If you use the wrong coolant that wasn't formulated to protect your plastic cooling system parts, they could become corroded and fail. And if you're using the wrong coolant, your cooling system won't be covered under warranty. So it's important to use the right coolant and to not mix different types.
Your owner's manual or service advisor at The Auto Shop can make sure you're using the right type. You may have heard of universal coolant. Universal, or global, coolant can be added to other types without harmful reactions. That's OK for an emergency top off, but following your manufacturer's recommendation for your vehicle or other auto type is always a safe bet.
In the area of brake fluid, there are a couple of new formulations. It's important to remember that the new ones aren't better than the old ones. They're just different formulations for different vehicles. So if your vehicle calls for DOT 3, using DOT 4 or DOT 5 is not an upgrade. Use the recommended formula.
There are fluid formulations for vehicles with higher mileage. These are special engine oil, transmission fluid and so on that contain additives to condition and restore seals and gaskets in older engines.
They're fine to use as long as they're a variant of the proper fluid. In other words you can use a high mileage engine oil as long as it's also the correct weight recommended by the manufacturer. Same goes for transmission fluid; as long as it's the right type for your transmission.
I hadn't been able to get anyone to diagnose my truck but they quickly did. I feel real confident with their techs, they def know what they are doing. Always get great service
-Andrew Vaughn - Colp, Illinois
Great. Everyone I met there was super friendly and accommodating with me and my young son. They were happy to answer all my questions, gave us a ride, gave my son toys to play with, and they hooked me up with a same-day repair because I was from out of town. I'm very grateful for their services.
Marie and the team at The Auto Shop are a fully-engaged, customer-driven
Power Team! After many years of neglect, we brought our 1999 Mazda pickup
in for triage and WOW! What a difference a few days make! Jeremy took the
lead to thoroughly analyze our vehicle from hood to frame. Because the body
is in excellent condition, (yes, we did keep it washed and waxed ;D), when
our Mazda came home, she is like a brand new truck!! The Auto Shop crew
even gave her a bath and detailing before we took her on the road. Thank
you, Auto Shop, for a brilliant overhaul! We're good for another 70k miles!
Okay, we may need tires before then, but now we are safe to travel and
carry a few more heavy loads.
People in the auto repair business have a lot of trouble establishing their
credibility because news of the industry is almost always negative,
focusing on scam operations that bilk their customers. Marie's company
couldn't be further from this preconceived notion. From the moment one
meets their staff to the finish of each repair job customers are treated
with fairness, respect and professionalism. Indeed, The Auto Shop includes
background inspection services to forecast potential problems one might
have with their car or truck. Brakes, belts, hoses, batteries and fluids
are automatically checked and potential problems noted on the repair
ticket. One repair visit even included a research of all factory service
bulletins on my car which revealed the correct way to perform the repair,
ending what in most cases would be a recurring problem. I cannot say enough
good things about Marie and her company. If your vehicle needs service be
sure to give them a call.
I made it home safely. Thank you for everything. Being broke down in a
place I had never been was very scary. You took very good care of me.
The Auto Shop did an AMAZING job on my PT Cruiser! I won't take my vehicles anywhere else!
-Kasey - Oraville, IL
Loved the service at The Auto Shop! The car runs so much better after the repairs!
-J & K - Ava, IL
I had my eye on a used vehicle at a local dealership, but really wanted a thorough, independent analysis before buying. The Auto Shop charged a very reasonable price and spent an entire morning going through all systems. They even test drove the vehicle! Their work gave me peace of mind, and I purchased the vehicle with confidence. I would highly recommend anyone considering the purchase of a used vehicle to let the Auto Shop take a look first!
-Kevin - Coppell, TX
Excellent Customer Service!
-Haley Bigham - Grand Tower il
These guys are quick, do the job right and at exactly the price I was quoted. What more can you ask for?
-DJ Alleman - Mt. Zion IL.
Great shop! I don't trust anyone else with my car when I'm in Illinois
The people were very friendly and helpful. They let me keep my car on their lot for 2 weeks without charge while I am trying to figure out how to pay to get my car fixed. They are willing to work with you on things and I will for sure recommend them!
I was in a really tight spot Thanksgiving weekend, I was certainly thankful for this place. I am military and I was moving to San Diego when my engine blew. Unfortunately, my car was not worth the money to get the engine replaced nor did I have the time to get it done. The Auto Shop loaned me a car to get around for the weekend and told me where everything was in town. They not only helped me in a stressful situation but bought the title of a basically totalled vehicle. If I wasn't just passing through I would make this my go to mechanic any day. Thank you again for your amazing hospitality. TRULY A CLASS ACT.
Went to the auto shop a couple of weeks ago to fix a broken turn signal. Not only was I in and out within an hour, they charged me half of what I expected to spend. Needless to say I will absolutely be taking my car there in the future and I would recommend other people do the same.
The most helpful place I have ever gone for car service! Always fast and for a good price! I had my oil changed, a mirror put on, and a fuel line leak fixed for me.
I love The Auto Shop! They do great timely work. I like that I can wait in their home-like waiting area, and they do their best to make you feel comfortable. Jeremy and Natalie are very nice, and they do not make me feel like I am an idiot when they talk to me about what's wrong with my car. The technicians are well trained and do great work.
We have a Volkswagen Jetta that is old and expensive to repair. It had a diesel fuel leak. We were quoted about $400-$500 at other shops for the repair but The Auto Shop repaired it for under $200. They got us in quick and their customer service was amazing. We will definitely be returning in the future.
My truck with over 200,000 miles was having major suspension problems. The mechanics gave me a very reasonable quote for the work to be done. It turns out that the suspension was so badly rusted after nearly a quarter million miles that it took them 2 1/2 days of hard work to finally get all the work done. Despite the job being far more work than they expected, they not only stayed with the original quote, they actually charged me $100 less than they originally quoted. The number of car mechanics I have met that I can truly trust I can count on the fingers of one hand and have several fingers left over. The folks at The Auto Shop will never rip you off, their prices are very reasonable, communication is good and they are truly honest folks which is a rare quality nowadays.
They are so inviting when you walk in, Reasonably priced, and communicate with you about everything wrong with your car. I wouldnt take my car anywhere else!
-Justine - Carbondale, Il
As always, I had a great experience with The Auto Shop! I have a 23-year-old vehicle, so I especially appreciate their willingness to lay out all of my options, time lines, and prices and then talk me through the pros and cons if each.
I'll continue to recommend The Auto Shop to anyone who is looking for auto repairs or maintenance.
-Anna - Carbondale, IL
As always professional service at reasonable rates. A trusted family business earning a five star rating for service above and beyond the call. Highest recommendation.
-Jim Wells - Carbondale, Illinois
Great service. Fast and extremely affordable. I will be taking my cars to The Auto Shop
-Chris W - Carbondale
I've been using The Auto Shop for more than ten years. They have service some of my old and new vehicles have done everything from basic to major maintenance. They're a family business and I've gotten to know every single one of them. They're fabulous and wonderful people and they always make it convenient for me. It's a great place with top-notch customer service. They're good people who do good work.
I am extremely happy with my choice to take my car to get serviced at The Auto Shop! Prior to moving the the area, I had taken my car to the same family owned shop for years and I am glad to say that I have found my new go to guys!
Excellent service. Friends and I were traveling through and had some car problems. The staff at the auto shop were exceptionally helpful, didn't cost an arm and a leg, and we were back on the road in no time.
I have been going to the auto shop for a long time. They are always friendly, give me a ride when I need it, always call with estimates before doing work, and always call if there are any changes. If there are ever any problems, they always take care of it. Highly recommend this shop, have tried some others they dont compare
I am a college student and my car always needs to be fixed, so I have tried almost every auto shop in carbondale. The auto shop was the only shop that I liked, because they worked with me on prices and they took their time to make sure my car was fixed right.
I've been going to the auto shop for years and I have nothing but good things to say! They may not be the cheapest by any means, but they are friendly, honest and I trust them with my car - for anything from an oil change to a brake job - which to me is worth every penny. I have never ever felt that creepy mechanic vibe there - and hey, no one likes to hear what the damage is when your car needs work but Jeremy as the front desk is always happy to take his time and patiently explain what's going on and exactly what I'm paying for and why. The Auto Shop family is truly a shining example of what an honest American mom and pop business should be!
I have been to The Auto Shop several times. I love that it is family owned. Everyone has always been very friendly and I have never had a reason to believe that anyone has been dishonest. All details were explained to me thoroughly and only the work I approved was done to my car. Prices are a little higher than some other places, but it's worth it to me because I know I am getting good quality work and I know I can trust these people!
Great customer service, honest personnel and clean facility. The auto shop is family owned and operated which I tend to try and take my business to all local and family business.
I have been taking my vehicle to the Auto Shop for the past 2 years. Yes it is a little overpriced, but I have had nothing but good experiences. The difference between the Auto Shop and other shops in Carbondale, is that I know my car will be fixed correctly when it is finished. They explain everything to me when I ask. Every other mechanic in Carbondale is a flat out CROOK! Never go to Midas! Go to the Auto Shop and breathe easy knowing your car will be taken care of.
I have been using the Auto Shop since 2007. They helped me with several problems that I had with a Honda Accord that I owned as well as a Ford Escort. I always speak to Jeremy at the front desk. He is very knowledgeable and keeps in great contact with me. He will even text message me, if I say that it is okay (he always asks first), which is very convenient for my work schedule. I work for a local Police Department and it is very inconvenient when I have vehicle problems. He always gets me a timely, transparent, and fair estimate. The shop never completes any unauthorized work and keeps in excellent contact with me throughout the process. I took my Ford Explorer to the Auto Shop and had it checked out before I bought it. It has been a great vehicle for me and I did not have any major or avoidable problems. If you are a student, or a professional in the area I would highly recommend the Auto Shop. Fast, Fair, and Reliable.
This was my first ever experience going to the Auto Shop. They do really quality work and seem to really care for their customers. They told me about problems wrong with my car that that i had no ideal was wrong with it. They checked certain things that big name car shops like Meineke wouldn't have even looked into. They also are very helpful with explaining the technical stuff wrong with your car that is hard to understand if you don't know much about cars. I recommend The Auto Shop over other Carbondale auto shops because you wont be sorry for with the reliable job they will do on your car.
I've been going to The Auto Shop for several years and I've always been pleased with the service. They've really helped me when money is tight and they've always done an outstanding job of keeping me informed about the needs of my vehicle. This is the only shop in town that I feel has been 100% honest with me, quickly makes the right diagnostic, and does the work right the first time. I highly recommend The Auto Shop to everyone.
I really appreciate having a business like yours that I can count on, whether its help me with a little spring cleaning on my vehicles, manufacturer warranty repairs, or just helping out with my wife's car when I am out of town. All of you are wonderful professionals and people!!
My daughter is attending school at SIU, she encounters car problems, and even though I'm 400 miles away, The mechanics at The Auto Shop worked patiently with me as they diagnosed the problem. They provided a thorough and fair assessment of the problem, explained the recommended fixes thoroughly (provided options), priced the repairs very fairly and performed the work to our satisfaction. My daughter's car runs better than before! It's comforting to know there's now a place my daughter can go to in the future without having to be concerned about her being taken advantage of. Thank you, Auto Shop!
I was pleased as always with my auto repair at the Auto Shop. My car was doing some strange things and it took some time to diagnose, but they figured it out. Stephanie took extra time to search for parts for me as my situation was a little different than usual. My car was fixed by the end of the next day and Stephanie even delivered it to my work so I could have it that night. As always I was very happy and confident in the work done by their mechanics.