Subaru Service Tips in Countryside, IL

How Do You Know You Car Needs Service?

Sometimes it can be tough to decide when your Subaru needs an oil change, or when it's time to change your tires. Or maybe you just want to know what that warning light means and if you need to be concerned. The Autobarn Subaru of Countryside Service Center has some helpful tips for determining what the best plan of action is when it comes to your Subaru.

Perform the Penny Test on Your Subaru

Have you heard of the penny test? Performing the quick-and-easy penny test is an excellent way to determine if your Subaru needs a tire replacement. The penny test examines the tread depth of each tire on your Subaru Outback, and all you need is one coin with Abraham Lincoln's face on it. The penny test takes less than a minute to do and will provide you with the necessary insight into whether your Subaru Ascent needs a new set of tires. You can order new tires and book an installation at The Autobarn Subaru of Countryside.

How To Do The Penny Test on Your Tires

  • Take a penny and place it upside down in one of the tire tread grooves. The penny should go in headfirst.
  • Look at the penny and determine if you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln's head. If you can, there's shallow tread depth.
  • You should repeat this task several times on multiple tread grooves. If the result is the same, schedule a tire replacement.

If your tread covers half of Abraham Lincoln's head, your tires do not need to be replaced. However, if the tread barely reaches the top of Lincoln's head, you should go ahead and book a tire replacement at your Countryside Subaru dealership, serving Broadview and Oak Lawn. Low tread depth poses a risk for your Subaru Outback. If you don't have adequate tread on your tires, you'll have less traction. You need superior on-road grip to stay safe in the rain, snow, and ice.

Schedule Your Subaru Tire Replacement Today

The penny test is a simple procedure that you can perform anywhere in the Chicago area. It takes seconds and doesn't cost you a cent. Aside from the penny test, you can also look at how long it's been since installing your last set of tires. You should install new tires on your Subaru Impreza every six years. If you want expert feedback, book a tire inspection at The Autobarn Subaru of Countryside near Oak Lawn.. You can order tires from the Subaru parts department and explore tire specials from your home in nearby Oak Lawn.

Why is Regular Brake Service Necessary?

There are four primary components to a properly functioning braking system: Pads, Rotors, Calipers, and hydraulics. Problems with any of these can have consequences ranging from mild irritation due to noise or strange pedal feel to complete loss of stopping power. By inspecting your brake system regularly, you can preempt issues before they become serious. Here's a brief high-level overview of each part and their most common problems.

When you press the brake pedal, pressure increases inside the fluid-filled brake lines, distributing that pressure to the caliper. The caliper squeezes the brake pads against the rotor, which is attached to the wheel, and the resulting friction slows the wheel's rotation.

Of course, friction leads to material degradation, and since they're much softer, the brake pads degrade the fastest, which is why they're the most frequently replaced brake components. Extreme conditions and excess debris can cause them to wear even faster.

Rotors are more durable and can last up to twice as long as pads or longer under optimal conditions. The most common rotor problems are uneven surfaces (caused by material build-up or uneven wear), scoring (big scratches caused by a combination of high heat and debris), and corrosion. Calipers last even longer, often working smoothly for 10+ years before the pistons or seals wear out.

However, while brake pads get the most attention, it's the brake fluid that should be checked/changed most often. The two most common causes of brake line issues are air and water. Air is much more compressible than brake fluid and therefore affects pressure transmission. Water causes oxidation (rust). It also tends to boil at normal braking temperatures.

What are Signs that I Need Brake Service or Replacement?

Brake noise is perhaps the most common (and jarring) indicator associated with braking problems. But while squealing could signal there's an issue, some noises are temporary and harmless. For example, squeaking due to moisture from snow, ice, or fog (familiar occurrences for Oak Lawn drivers) will eventually subside with the brakes dry out. However, ongoing noises are cause for concern. Other signs to look for include:

  • Stiff or spongey pedal feel
  • ABS light illumination
  • Strong acrid/burning odor
  • Excessive steering wheel vibration
  • Pulling to one side.

What Does the Check Engine Light Mean in My Subaru Vehicle?

The check engine light can be a scary thing to see if your vehicle isn't experiencing problems, but it's important to relax and have your vehicle inspected as soon as possible at our Countryside, IL service center. The check engine light can mean many different things, and there are certain ways of telling whether your vehicle will need a tune up or if a larger problem is at hand. At The Autobarn Subaru of Countryside, we're here to help you maintain and keep your vehicle performing at the highest level during every outing in Chicago. That's why we want to help put your mind at ease by explaining some of the different reasons the check engine light can come on and what you should do if you see it on your dashboard.

If the Light Stays On, it's Less Likely that There's a Larger Problem

If the check engine light comes on and remains on, it's not likely that your vehicle is in immediate danger of incurring major damage. A steady check engine light, however, isn't something to forget about and you should still bring your vehicle into our Broadview area service center as soon as possible so that whatever issue triggered the check engine light can be resolved before it becomes a larger problem.

If the Check Engine Light Flashes, Your Vehicle is Damaged and Needs Servicing ASAP

If your check engine light comes on and begins to flash, it's an emergency. A flashing check engine light is the universal sign that there's a problem with your engine, ranging from a misfire in the engine, leaking fuel, damage to the catalytic converter, and more. You should immediately bring your vehicle into our Subaru service center near Chicago.

Check Your Gas Cap

Many times, a sudden and unexpected check engine light can be as minor as forgetting to properly screw on your gas cap after you filled up in Oak Lawn, so it's always important to check that it's screwed in tight.

Questions About Subaru Service?