Q. I'd like to restore and improve the performance of my 2002 Chrysler M300 Special. Are there shops in the Northwest suburbs that do this kind of work?
A. I am not sure what you are looking to do here. If you are looking to restore the car to it's factory performance, a qualified independent repair shop should be able to help you. You can find a good shop by asking family and friends or reach out to your local chamber of commerce. Another place you can look is on the ASA (Automotive Service Association) website, www.asaillinois.org.
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If you are looking to do high-performance modifications, I would visit one of the local cruise nights and ask some of the Mopar guys who they would recommend. I am not sure how much you can do to your car but I am sure someone has figured out some tricks. You could also snoop around on the Web and see if you can find some tips!
Q. I am getting a 2005 Toyota Camry from grandma in Arizona. It has been garaged-kept (never driven in summer months) and has only 25,000 miles on it. What parts and fluids should be changed? I would like to keep it another 10 years.
A. What an opportunity for you to get a great car with such low mileage! Because of its age and how it was driven, I would recommend changing/flushing all the fluids. This would include the coolant, transmission fluid, power-steering fluid, brake fluid and the engine oil.
If it has a timing belt, I would change that, too, and I would scrutinize all the rubber parts of the car for any signs of dry rot or deterioration. These parts would include, but not limited to, the belts and hoses, axle boots, tires and brake hoses.
Finally, don't skip the normal inspection you would give any older car like the brakes and filters. Make sure all the lights work. If there are any leaks, you might want to get these taken care of now, too.
If you put a little money and time into this car now, I don't see any problem with you getting the 10 years out of it that you would like. Best of luck with it!
• Douglas Automotive is at 417 W. Main St., Barrington, (847) 381-0454, and 123 Virginia Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-0440. For information, visit douglasautomotive.com. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.