A drained automotive battery equals a conked car. If it happens in your garage, it's an inconvenience. When you're away from home, it's far worse.

Tell-tale signs of a dying battery include:

  • A slowly cranking or non-starting engine
  • Non-functioning electrical components, such as wiper blades, lights and your stereo
  • Car not starting without a jump
  • Illuminated dashboard warning lights

Driving habits and environmental factors can shorten a battery's lifespan, which is typically 3 to 5 years, and batteries can and do fail without any warning. If your battery is at least 5 years old, we recommend replacing it, or at the very least, testing it.

Brake Repair/ABS

Feeling brakes grind and pulse during a near collision surely is a teeth-clenching experience.

If you notice screeching brakes, a soft brake pedal, leaking brake fluid or your ABS warning light, it's time to schedule an appointment with Hong Kong Auto Service.

We will perform a FREE BRAKE INSPECTION and can address any conditions that require:

  • Diagnosing the ABS (anti-lock braking system)
  • Replacing worn shoes and pads
  • Machining or replacing rotors and drums
  • Lubricating caliper slides
  • Flushing brake fluid

Maintenance Tip: Brake-fluid flushing is important for all braking systems but it's vital for vehicles with antilock brakes or ABS because the brake-pumping motor can accumulate dirt or moisture and transfer those contaminants to the brake fluid. Replacing a pump is anything but cheap, making preventive maintenance a true bargain.

(Note: The free brake inspection includes removing all four wheels and inspecting the brake pads and/or shoes, calipers, drums, rotors and brake hardware for wear and proper operation. Inspections or diagnostics beyond this, such as investigating the antilock braking system (ABS) warning light, will incur a separate diagnostic fee.)

Cooling System

Staying cool and hydrated on a hot Chicago summer day certainly is a challenge. The same goes for your engine, which can overheat without proper cooling capabilities and suffer catastrophic engine failure.

Coolant travels through your car's radiator, water pump and engine cooling passages to keep it "hydrated" and operating at proper temperature. Your coolant must be flushed periodically because dirty coolant can lead to an overheating engine, clogged radiator or worse.

The following can be symptomatic of a cooling system problem:

  • Low coolant warning light
  • Engine temperature gauge going high or reaching into the red zone
  • Low coolant levels
  • Leaking coolant
  • Steam under the hood
  • Heater blowing cool air

Hong Kong Auto Service will thoroughly check not only the coolant level and condition, but we'll examine the system's other components, including drive belts, cooling fan, radiator, water pump, radiator hoses, thermostat and cap.

Oil Changes

Pull in and pop the hood.

Hong Kong Auto Service offers Wilmette's most comprehensive oil change to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Typical quick lubes might be fast, but how effective are they?

Hong Kong Auto Service provides a full-service repair/maintenance facility plus great automotive technicians who devote attention to the entire vehicle, not just a few easy services. Go with "the other guys," and they might overlook issues that could turn into pricey or unsafe problems later on.

Come in to us for an oil change, and we'll inspect your car up, down and sideways.

Preventive Maintenance

Think about preventive auto care like visiting the doctor before you're sick: You can catch minor car care issues before they turn into major repairs.

When we don't feel quite right, it's usually a signal to us to see our doctor for a checkup. The same thing goes for automobiles. Why not enjoy a smooth-running machine and the peace of mind a well-maintained vehicle brings instead of worrying about that noise you've been ignoring?

Tasks like checking fluid levels and changing filters might seem trivial, but they make a big difference in preserving your vehicle's vim and vigor. Unlike humans, cars do have maintenance schedules. Detailed in your owner's manual, these schedules recommend maintenance services at specific mileage or time intervals and often include:

  • Oil changes
  • Changing air filters
  • Flushing coolant
  • Changing fuel filters
  • Flushing the transmission fluid
  • Rotating and balancing tires
  • Replacing the spark plugs
  • Aligning wheels
  • Replacing the timing belt

When you trust your car to the technicians at Hong Kong Auto Service, they will inspect it and advise you of your maintenance needs. This not only helps you stay on top of your maintenance schedule, it can also catch developing problems, which saves you money, time and aggravation.

Shocks / Struts

Bumpy ride? Loud clunks when encountering potholes? Let us inspect your shocks or struts.

Your vehicle will often signal steering or suspension problems with excessive bouncing, steering wheel vibration, uneven tire wear, or noise while turning or driving over bumps.

With our comprehensive steering and suspension services, the technicians at Hong Kong Auto Service will transform your rough ride into one that's smooth as glass. Call on us when you need help:

  • Diagnosing noises, steering wheel pull and poor handling
  • Installing new shocks and struts
  • Locating steering fluid leaks
  • Balancing wheels and tires
  • Aligning your vehicle
  • Eliminating road vibrations and bounce
  • Improving your overall ride

Timing Belts

"It's all about the timing." You've heard that expression many times. It's true for car engines, too.

Valves, pistons, camshafts and crankshaft all need the timing belt to move them into the right position at the precise time. Through the years and over thousands of miles, the timing belt begins to wear and it can break if not replaced at the recommended interval.

When that happens, your best-case scenario is a stalled vehicle (without warning) that requires a tow truck and an unexpected repair bill. Even worse, you could have pistons and valves colliding, causing internal engine damage. Often, the extent of this damage is unknown until the engine is disassembled. Such repairs can easily cost $2,000 or more.

Unfortunately, there are really no warning signs before a timing belt fails. Your only protection is to replace it at the recommended interval. On many cars, it's 90,000 miles; some are 105,000 miles.

Check your owner's manual or ask the professionals at Hong Kong Auto Service to advise you when it's time to replace your timing belt.

(Note: If your vehicle uses a timing chain, it does not need to be replaced at a particular interval. It would only need to be replaced in fairly uncommon circumstances.)

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