Facebook like page Just blue

Doug McAllister

Doug McAllister of Douglas Automotive in Barrington writes a weekly Under the Hood column.

Complete the form below to send Doug a message

Your full name
Your e-mail address
Your phone number
Your message
items 1-10 out of 120

Reader has suggestion for steering problem

Nov 17 2014 | 5:44 am - Here is a follow-up from one of our readers regarding the steering problem on an Astro van, which I wrote about several weeks back. He suggests a fluid change for the all-wheel drive steering system.

Spare tire needs attention, too

Oct 05 2014 | 8:27 am - Q. When I have the tires on my car rotated and balanced, I never think about the tire in the trunk. Other than making sure it is inflated to the correct pressure, should I have it looked at for signs of deterioration?

Fine scratches can be masked by polishing windshield

Sep 26 2014 | 12:33 pm - Q. I have a lot of little scratches on my windshield. Is there anything that I can put on the windshield to make the scratches go away?

Brakes ‘thump’ when backing out of garage

Aug 08 2014 | 3:00 pm - Q. I recently had my rear brakes changed on 2002 Toyota Camry XLE. When I back up every morning, they make “stump, thump, thump” sound.

Car owner frustrated with string of alternators

Aug 01 2014 | 1:52 pm - Q. I have a 1992 Toyota Corolla with 105,000 miles on it. The concern I have is that I have replaced the alternator three times with an aftermarket alternator in the last 5 years.

Mice can do significant damage to autos

Jul 25 2014 | 11:49 am - We have seen several cars brought into the shop this year with rodent damage. I don’t know if this is because of the extremely long and cold winter we experienced here in the Chicago area but, whatever the reason, we have seen more of this...

No harm in changing fluids early

Jul 03 2014 | 2:01 pm - Q. My dealer recomends I change my transmission fluid and coolant. I checked the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual, which states these items don’t need attention with 34,000 miles. The dealer says the owner’s manual is...

On rare occasion, old transmission fluid can help

Jun 20 2014 | 2:03 pm - Q. I recall reading somewhere that if the transmission fluid hasn’t been changed for a very long time, replacing it may not be a good idea because the new fluid is thinner and dirt free, compared to the old fluid. The implication was, one...

Don’t ‘flush’ transmission fluid

Jun 12 2014 | 11:37 am - Last week I referred to the proper technique for changing the transmission fluid as an exchange, rather than drain-and-fill. It prompted this response from a reader.

Use proper technique to change transmission fluid

Jun 06 2014 | 10:11 am - Is there a specific test to determine to what degree one’s transmission fluid is fouled? I own two Honda Civics and do not know whether to follow the dash reminder notices or do more regular maintenance.

items 1-10 out of 120