Fall Scenic Drives Near Chicago

The crisp morning air and changing leaves all note that fall is in the air. The best way to take in the biggest eyeful of color is behind the wheel. Here are a few of our favorite fall color drives that are all within a days drive of Chicago.

Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway


This beautiful scenic byway from Chicago to St. Louis leads you through exceptional fall foliage and past magnificent water views and bluffs. Starting in Ottawa following the Illinois River through twists and bends all the way down to Havana. Check out this map for the full 291 mile loop.

Peoria Grandview Drive


Grandview Drive features a two and a half mile winding scenic road through Peoria and Peoria Heights. Theodore Roosevelt dubbed it “the world’s most beautiful drive”.  Along this road you will see views of the Illinois River and some of the most prestigious and historic homes in the area.

Northwest Illinois Loop – Galena


Head west of the city to take in the beautiful sites of Northwestern Illinois. Travel along country roads and quaint small towns along the winding Mississippi river. A perfect time of year to visit Galena and the many charming shops and historic buildings of this area. You can view the full Northwest Illinois Loop here.

Michigan Tunnel of Trees


If you are looking for a weekend getaway (6 hour drive) head up to northern Michigan. The M-119 Michigan highway has been dubbed the best drive in all of Michigan. This scenic road winds from Harbor Springs to Cross Village and takes you along the Lake Michigan coast, past quaint towns, and through beautiful forests. View a map with some great places to stop along the way.

Door County Scenic Drive


The Door County peninsula is one of the best fall vacation spots and is only 4 hours from the city. Along the 66 miles of peninsula you will see bluff top views of the lake, historic fishing communities, and lighthouses. Find out more here.


Any of these 5 drives are perfect for a weekend getaway. Just make sure your car is in prime condition as always when taking a road trip. Visit our website for recommended maintenance service on your European vehicle.

Should I Repair My Car or Buy A New One?


As your car ages, it will no doubt need more repair work. So the question often becomes should you get a new car or continue to repair you current one?  With more cars passing the 100,000 mile mark and recent gas price declines, more and more people are opting for keeping their current car.

Before you start test driving that brand new model consider the following:

Can You Afford To Set Aside 15%-20% of Your Income?

  • A general rule of thumb is to not spend more than 15%-20% of your net income on a car. This includes not only your monthly payment, but also take into consideration repairs, maintenance, and insurance
  • Do you really want that chunk of money coming out of your monthly funds? Consider saving that money towards your next car and you could have a decent down payment and avoid those high finance charges when you do decide to buy.
  • If you still find you need additional insight visit this calculator from Allstate to help you with your decision.

Do You Keep Up on Routine Maintenance?

  • A lot comes down to car maintenance. If you diligently follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule the vehicle will be in good shape way into the 6 figure mark. The problem is most people disregard the scheduled maintenance and the minor issues can quickly turn into catastrophic problems and easily cost double to fix.
  • It’s often less costly to repair an existing car rather than replacing it with a new vehicle. Look at it this way – a $500/month car payment will cost you $6000 per year added to which you may still need to buy tires and some routine maintenance.  Well timed repairs and routine maintenance will likely be considerably less than $6000 per year!
  • European cars tend to be more expensive to buy initially, however, they generally keep their value better in the long term.  In addition, many European models are designed to well exceed the 100K mile marker.  Good maintenance has helped many of our customers exceed 200K and even 300K miles some cases.

Don’t Forget – Higher Insurance & Registration Fees

  • Don’t forget those taxes and fees you have to pay in addition to the sticker price of a new car. New cars generally require higher insurance fees to cover pricier repairs in the event of an accident.
  • As a general rule, foreign brands are more costly to insure and repairing them generally tends to be pricier.

The Rate of Car Depreciation is Insane!

  • On average, a car depreciates the most after one year of ownership and continues to depreciate at a rate of 10% each year thereafter for the first five years, according to Consumer Reports. See the chart below:


There are many things to consider when you are looking at buying new vs. keeping your current vehicle. Generally, if your vehicle is paid off and your annual repair fees don’t outweigh the cost of a monthly payment it’s best to keep your current car and save the money for a full cash payment on your next vehicle. Also, it’s important to find a reliable and trusted mechanic like Rennology Motor Sport.  We let you know of your vehicles problems and give you the best solution for you and your wallet!

Gifts for Dad: The Car Enthusiast

Sometimes it can be hard to shop for dad. Show this list to your kids so they can get you what you really want this Father’s Day.

Racetrack Wall Sculptures


Linear Edge creates stylish wall sculptures of world famous race tracks. Motor sport enthusiasts can display their passion in a unique, sophisticated way. The wall sculptures start at $160. We have one on the wall in the Rennology Motor Sport – North Aurora shop. Check it out when you visit us next time! For those that want something smaller they also design coaster sets which start at $29.99 for a set of four.

Grip Strip


Dad will love the Grip Strip. Just slap it on the car dashboard and your phone will stick to it! No more bulky cell phone mounts that get in the way of your radio and heating controls.

Lego Ferrari


Build your own Ferrari F40! Lego has created a replica of the iconic sports car. Wonderfully detailed with a V8 engine this is a must have for any Ferrari car enthusiast. Retail price is $99.99

AWE Tuning Gift Certificates


Give dad the gift of tuning! With an AWE tuning gift certificate you give dad the gift of upgrading his car. The certificates come in increments of $50-$500 to purchase anything on the AWE tuning website. Then come visit Rennology for installation.

Car Engine Coffee Table


A one of a kind piece that dad would surely love to add to his man cave, but hurry there is only one available in the Chicago area and it’s a steep $499! Available here on Etsy.

Gear Shift Wine Bottle Stopper


This beautifully designed wine stopper is perfect for the car and wine lover at heart. Made of wood and metal and only $17.99. A must have for any car enthusiast.

Car Detailing Kits


Adam’s premium car care product line is the best in car detailing. We use it at Rennology on our own personal vehicles. They have a full product line which includes car wax, sealants, dressings, cleaners, and polishes. Right now they are offering great Father’s Day Specials.

Personalized Cutting Board


Who doesn’t want a cutting board with their car logo on it? This vendor will engrave any car logo you wish and they run for $25. Find them here on Etsy.

Rennology Motor Sport T-Shirt


Why not get dad a Rennology Motor Sport T-shirt? Stop by the shop and get yours today!


Why Is My Car Overheating?

Overheating is the most common cause of roadside breakdowns. With temps hitting the mid 80’s in Chicago it’s more important than ever to make sure your vehicle is in peak condition for the upcoming summer months. In this article, we share what to do if you end up in a situation where your car is overheating and also tips on what to look out for.


What to Do if Your Car Overheats:

  • Turn your heater or A/C to the maximum – this allows the car to cool down by dispersing the heat in the engine.
  • If you happen to be in heavy traffic, shift the car into neutral – this draws more air and liquid through the radiator to help cool things off.
  • It’s best to pull over to the side of the road and let your engine cool down. Major damage can occur when a car is overheating.

Most Importantly…

DO NOT open the hood until the engine stops steaming and cools down.

DO NOT open the radiator cap while the radiator is hot.

DO NOT add coolant or water to the radiator when the radiator is hot.

Reasons Your Car is Overheating:

Low Coolant Levels

  • This is the first thing to check since it is the most common reason. If it appears low you can refill the coolant, but if you are entirely out of coolant it may be best to tow the car.

Coolant Fan Failure

  • Is the fan acting sluggish or not working at all? This could be due to a bad electric fan or bad radiator fan switch.

Cooling System Leak

  • Check underneath the car to see if you notice any liquid. If so, you should take it to your mechanic to have them pressure-test the cooling system.

Thermostat Malfunction

  • The thermostat needs to open in order to keep coolant flowing through. This is most crucial on hot summer highway drives.

Clogged Radiator

  • Flushing your radiator is recommended every couple years so it’s in peak condition.

Water Pump Bearing Failure

  • Bearings eventually wear out due to the constant load from the drive belt or timing belt.

Check out this great video that explains how the engine cooling system works.

You can easily prevent overheating by checking your liquid levels in the vehicle’s system and maintaining it correctly. We don’t want to see you stranded on the side of the highway this summer. Call Rennology Motor Sport at 708-687-5258 is you are experiencing similar issues with your European vehicle.