Staying cool in the heat…Windows or A/C?

It’s getting warm in Schaumburg and across Illinois. To beat the heat on the warmest days, you have two options: Roll the windows down, or crank up the A/C.

But for the environmentally- and Fuel-conscious among us, this simple decision can become a loaded debate. Which option is better for your vehicle’s fuel efficiency?

Windows Down

The biggest factor with windows is drag. Cars are designed to be aerodynamic with the windows up, but rolling them down increases the wind resistance. Your vehicle needs to use more energy (and gas) to push through the extra air flow and move along the roads. This effect is small at lower speeds, giving you the fresh breeze to cool down. But at highway speeds, the drag can be very noticeable.

A/C On

Air conditioning puts an extra load on your engine. Though running an extra belt and A/C pump doesn’t sound like a lot, it means your engine has to work a little harder and use more gas to keep the car running. And while it depends on several factors, A/C can reduce fuel economy by more than 25% (according to In some cars you may even notice a drop of power immediately when you turn on the A/C.

Windows or A/C?

So which is better for your vehicle?  Though every car is different, in general it is better to roll the windows down at low speeds and save the A/C for the highway.

If you’re looking to save even more, try turning the AC up a few degrees, parking in the shade, or using a windshield cover to keep your vehicle cool.

And when your air conditioning struggles to get your car cool, bring it into our shop right away. Our certified technicians will perform an inspection to identify the issue and perform repairs to get the A/C working efficiently to keep you cool without putting excess load on the engine.

Drop by our independent auto repair shop in Schaumburg anytime or call to schedule an appointment: 847.985.6196

Three Car Care Myths – and the FACTS!

Test your Car Care Knowledge

Now is the perfect time to test your knowledge of proper car maintenance! There are lots of myths and misconceptions about proper car care — can you spot the difference between truth and urban legend in the three myths below?

Myth: Engine oil can go 10,000 miles or more between changes.

Some car makers are recommending 10,000 mile intervals between oil changes, a recommendation that really only benefits car makers, since they produce new engines. We live in the real world, where severe driving conditions like commuting in stop-and-go traffic, towing, or dirt roads increase the frequency that you’ll need an oil change.

Pushing it to 10,000 miles creates the unnecessary risk of severe engine damage and expensive repairs. Use the rule of thumb to change your oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles. Our experienced technicians will work with you to determine the best interval between oil changes based on the type and weight of oil, your vehicle’s engine, and your driving habits.

Myth: You can wash your car with dish soap.

Washing your car can help maintain its value and save you money, but don’t use dish soap! Detergents in dish soap and laundry soap can strip the wax off of your vehicle!

Car washes are a reliable alternative. These are designed to effectively and efficiently clean your vehicle. They also usually use less water and soap than you would washing yourself at home.

If you’re washing at home, do not use dish soap. Instead, we recommend using a liquid or soap designed for cars that will clean without harming the wax or paint. If you’re trying a new product, always test in an inconspicuous area first.

Myth: You must go to a dealer to keep your factory warranty.

As long as you follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle, and keep accurate records of these services, you can take your vehicle to our independent auto shop and still maintain your factory warranty!

The Magnusson Moss Warranty Act of 1975, allows you to have maintenance services performed by an independent auto repair shop without risking the manufacturer’s warranty.

Skipping maintenance all together is not an option. You can void your warranty and leave your vehicle at risk for extensive damage. Our experienced technicians will help you understand your warranty and the maintenance necessary to uphold it. Get better service, usually at a better price, at an independent shop!

If you have questions about a rumor you’ve heard or to learn more about the best care for your vehicle, call our experts at 847.985.6196.