What I need to know before buying an hybrid or electric car

by Larry Johnson 13. February 2018 09:52

What do I need to know @ charging my HEV &EV?

     Plug type

1)                        Tesla

2)            J1772 ( standard )

3)            Chademo


1)                 charging with Level 1 or level 2 ( 5 miles an hour vs 40 miles an hour )

2)               Should my charge station be smart

3)               The effect of cold weather about 30% range reduction


Is it safe to charge my electrical car?

    Yes, of course the system should self- check and switch off if there is a problem

How far can I drive?

    Up to 300 miles, just like the fuel counter parts there are various options and ranges

Why dive electric?

         Do to the cost of electricity it is like 70mpg




  there ARE THE 3 KINDS?

1)              ELECTRIC ONLY

2)              PLUG IN HYBRID

           Hybrid ( only recharges during negative driving- slowing down )


Is it worth it to drive on electricity

by Larry Johnson 27. April 2017 06:41

Is it worth it to drive on electricity

For those of you not interested in specific details, it is safe to say that, even at 27 cents per kWh (currently the most expensive in the U.S.); you will be paying about half as much per mile in "fuel" costs as your average family sedan at $2.50 per gallon gas. In addition, you won't have to go to the repair shop for oil changes anymore unless you have a hybrid saving about $30 every 3-4 months. At the average US electricity rate of 12 cents per kWh, you would be paying about a quarter as much for "fuel" costs—dropping your yearly fuel bill from about $1,400 to $350.Battery technology is getting better and better each year however as you can see you are saving about $1000 a year you can easily afford a high voltage battery. And as always Johnson Automotive is here to help you with your service and repair needs on gas, diesel, electric, and hybrid vehicles stop by 601 w Oak st Fairbury, IL 61739 or call 815-692-4015 


Automotive Diagnostics

by Larry Johnson 31. January 2017 08:00

On-board diagnostics (OBD) is an automotive term referring to a vehicle's self-diagnostic and reporting capability. OBD systems give the vehicle owner or repair technician access to the status of the various vehicle subsystems On-Board Diagnostic systems are in most vehicles today. In the 1980's manufacturers started using electronics to control engine functions and diagnose problems. This was to meet EPA emission. Over the years on-board diagnostic systems have become more and more sophisticated. OBD-II, a new standard introduced in the mid-'90s, there was almost complete engine control and monitors the chassis, body , accessory devices, and the diagnostic control network of the car.

. The amount of diagnostic information available thru OBD-II has varied widely since its introduction this software is built into all cars made after 1996, and it is included in many earlier cars as well. The latest technology is called OBD-II, which stands for on board diagnostic system. The OBD-II is incredibly useful to mechanics and other people curious about the status of their vehicle when something seems to go wrong. The OBD-II system in your vehicle has sensors and ports in various parts of the car. There is one underneath the dash of most cars, and many vehicles also have a port under to the driver's seat. There are other sensors and activation centers spread throughout the vehicle in order to monitor the activity of various parts of the car. Essentially, the software is located all throughout the vehicle.

Today's automobiles are so complicated that it might seem like any kind of repair requires a degree in electrical engineering. Our cars are electronically complex, but built-in diagnostics come as part of the deal. There are more than 3000 generic fault codes, in addition to manufacturer-specific codes. Not all of them point to a clear solution. The oscilloscope helps us find the problem. What purposes have oscilloscopes in automotive diagnostics? Between missing data perimeters in data and inconclusive diagnostic codes the oscilloscope is an irreplaceable tool. Often the problem hasn’t recorded an error code (DTC) in the corresponding ECU, a DTC that can be read with a code reader. Usually a DTC is recorded when there is a broken cable or a cable has short circuited to a positive or negative supply. But when a detector or a mechanism has stopped working in some mid position, there is no error recorded. In this case, as when you need to find the reason that caused an error to be recorded – the automobile oscilloscope is the most needed instrument. With the increase of sensors, actuators and wiring diagrams built in the modern automobiles, the automobile oscilloscope is an instrument which diagnoses irregularities in the automobile., when you have to observe output signals from inductive sensors, whose output signals form an impulse sequence, slow-changing analog signals, primary and secondary ignition circuits, intake manifold absolute pressure, starter current waveforms, charging currents and etc. One characteristic of a great automotive technician is the ability to perform efficient and effective diagnostics. These techs seem to know what they need to know and the tools and tests to get it. Of course, this is partly due to an accumulation of meaningful experience—experience based on real understanding. One of the skills that distinguish inexpert is a knack for finding the relevant details of his diagnostic experiences and making the “connections” and “putting the pieces together.” These abilities are what lead to an in-depth understanding of automotive systems and to “meaningful experience.”


Charge Time and Battery Capacity

by Larry Johnson 2. November 2016 07:42



Charge Time and Battery Capacity

It’s misleading that charging times are generally quoted as time for a full charge. While it does take about 22 hours (Level 1) or 8 hours (Level 2) to charge a Leaf from empty to full, you’re not likely to do that often because you will rarely arrive home with a fully depleted battery. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a 40-mile Volt, a 100-mile Leaf or a 240-mile Tesla Roadster, if your commute is 40 miles, you’ll only need about 9 hours (Level 1) or 3 hours (3.3 kW Level 2) to charge.

A Tesla Roadster, With a high-power 16.8 kW Level 2 charging station, which can charge the car in 3.5 hours. After driving the car for a few months, I realized it’s all but pointless to have such a big charging station in your garage. It’s rare that you drive over 80 miles in a day. The 16.8 kW charging station can restore 80 miles in under 80 minutes. I want that charging speed when I’m making a long trip, not when I’m sleeping at home. You can drop the power from the charging station to about 7.2 kW because it’s a little nicer to the electrical panel and the grid, and a typical overnight charge is still under 2 hours. Ignoring the fact that Tesla is still using the now-incompatible proprietary charging plug they picked before there was a chosen standard, most people buying a Tesla Roadster today would be well-served to buy a 6.6 kW charging station for home.





How much should a tow cost?

by Larry Johnson 13. August 2016 10:13

How much should a tow cost?

There are many expenses to operating a tow truck and a tow company. One of the most obvious expenses is the operator. He will be asked to do many different tasks such as door unlocks, jump starts, proper loading, winching, and tire service etc. if this vehicle is your baby or you just signed a considerable loan you may be more concerned about the process. So do you want to call a trained professional?

What is a:


A trained professional that uses practical mechanical knowledge experience to move, transport and recover your vehicle.


The transportation of a vehicle charges are based on the length of time and particular use of the truck and the operator.

Service call

A service on location such as a jump start, door unlock, tire service, fuel and fluid delivery, and some minor mechanical services.


From tires to brakes or from hydraulic oil to oil changes and everything  beyond including repairs and replacements all of these costs are inevitable a tow truck is just like your vehicle only larger and generally Works harder

Outside storage

Not available in all circumstances and requires pre-paid condition also may be added to vehicles left for an extended period and refers to general parking

Outside secure storage

Lighted, fenced, and monitored secures you vehicle and its content from being taken

Inside storage

Climate controlled and protected secures you vehicle and its content from virtually any disruption

And may be utilized at our discretion or your request

After hour fee

As you might expect it cost more to operate after regular business hours. many companies offer employees extra pay both hourly and in the form of minimum clock times.

Administration fee

The process of recording the hazardous waste, property and vehicle damage, recovery, and reports for parties involved, police departments, local and federal agencies, insurance agents, insurance companies

Additional labor/ dollies

Some labor attributed to removable of your vehicle in a drive way, parking lot, in the street, etc. may not necessarily be a recovery though dollies and other special labor and equipment may be necessary


The process of removing debris from alongside and in the road way, fluids (oil, coolant, fuel, transmission fluid, etc.) as this all creates hazards and no one wants pieces left in there yard from an accident. This process and pulling the vehicle on the road way preparing it for transport is separate from the transport or towing of the vehicle.

Fluid recovery


After the vehicle returns back to the storage yard any fluid dripping, leaking, or any potential contamination to the environment must be reclaimed. This is our care for our environment and the EPA really frowns on it also.



by Larry Johnson 30. June 2016 11:34

Many people ask me what my rates are, when can I get a car what cars do you have available

I hope to answer most if not all you questions in this post as they are at the time of this post


what area do you serve

 Pontiac 61764, Forrest 61741, Chenoa 61726, Lexington 61753, Fairbury 61739, Towanda 61776, Gridley 61744, Sauemin 61769, Flanagan 61740, Cullom 60929, Kempton 60946, Emington 60934, Strawn 61775, stell 60919, Campus 60920, Cooksville 61730, Cropsey 61731, Odell 60460, Anchor 61720, Gibson City 60936, Dwight 60420, Colfax 61728 Il area.

Many people ask me if we pick up the answer

Yes and no

Yes, 24 hours a day if you utilize our tow truck in all aspects our customers come first

Or During business hours in most cases

All cars are smoke free with penalties

What kind of cars do you have?

HERTZ 4 door sedans

Can you get larger like SUV or minivan?


What are your rates?

Mileage is unlimited


$35 / day

All information must be filled out by and from one person whom will be responsible for the rental

Insurance replacement

Whatever direct bill agreement your insurance company has prearranged



$200 on a credit card

Insurance replacement

$50 on a debit card or a credit card

Supplemental insurance

Insurance protection plans

A)        Protect everything complete –        $ 40.90

B)        Protect the car  ( LDW )  -             $ 13.50

C)        Protect me  ( L I S )          -           $ 13.95

D)       Protect my & others stuff  -            $ 6.95

             E)        Roadside assistance           -           $ 6.49


Cheaper is not always better

by Larry Johnson 29. September 2015 03:50

We have all experienced something that was very cheap and didn’t live up to our expectations.

Most of us had that first inexpensive car. Some say that was a lot of money at the time and how every time you turned around it needed fixed. Even so some of you knew that you shouldn’t but you still did it yourself. Sometimes you took it to someone you knew didn’t have the credentials or the knowledge to repair the problem. The frustrations in those kinds of situations can be overwhelming.

Remote starts are one of those things that fall into this category connecting to you most expensive investment outside of your home is pretty important to be done right. Just one mistake can be costly. And guess who gets to pay, that’s right you!

You try to get your issue resolved and you have to go back again and again. Then you feel really ill when you ask yourself what else is going to be related to this!


Master with advanced level certified, 20 years’ experience $70,000 in diagnostic equipment the training at and beyond the dealership. Great reviews and testimonials all speak volumes of Johnson Automotive in Fairbury. Why not trust your vehicle to the shop so many others applauding rave about.


A Safe remote start for manual transmission

by Larry Johnson 28. September 2015 03:48

A Safe remote start for manual transmission

In the past many people would take a chance and often time the not so safe idea would crash through the garage or chase it down the street!

Transportation to day is largely done with an automatic transmission only about 33% of cars offered a manual transmission.so back to the safety factor how is it so safe to remote start a manual transmission? The use of software and a digital accelerometer is the primary defense that makes this fool proof

A special sequence is required to validate remote start along with specific inputs

The sequence is as follows The parking brake must be engaged and operable, factory safeties are operable, and transmission out of gear, and reservation mode set for remote start to engage Manual Transmission ---necessary Reservation Mode--In order to remote start our manual transmission vehicle these necessary safety features must be used. The vehicle must be left in neutral before exiting the vehicle the vehicle door pins (tells you when your vehicle door is ajar) can’t be installed if a convertible/removable or removable top.* Windows must be rolled up. * Don't set for reservation mode or remote start with people left in the vehicle. Activating Reservation Mode) While the vehicle is running, place in neutral, set the emergency/parking brake, and remove pressure from the foot brake.  2) Remove the key from the vehicle’s ignition. If you had started the car with your remote start then when you take the key out the car should still be running. 3) Once the car is exited with people and all doors are shut the engine will shut off within 10 seconds upon closing the last door. Whoever opens a door to get out needs to shut their door before the engine will shut off.4)ONCE THE VEHICLE SHUTS OFF 




road trips that go wrong turn out right

by Larry Johnson 8. August 2015 09:42

Are we there yet? Comes from the back .Whether your near the Pontiac 61764, Forrest 61741, Chenoa 61726, Lexington 61753, Fairbury 61739, Towanda 61776, Gridley 61744, Sauemin 61769, Flanagan 61740, Cullom 60929, Kempton 60946, Emington 60934, Strawn 61775, stell 60919, Campus 60920, Cooksvile 61730, Cropsey 61731, Odell 60460, Anchor 61720, Gibson City 60936, Dwight 60420, Colfax 61728 Il area You’ve had a long road trip and now your car makes a heart wrenching noise! Roadside Assistance Company says their having trouble locating a tow truck 1 hour ago and YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!! Just call JOHNSON AUTOMOTIVE 815-692-4015 complete auto repair, TOWING, & HERTZ RENT A CAR


Out here in the country, in Strawn near Sibley, close to Saunemin IL

by Larry Johnson 5. August 2015 05:01

Out here in the country, in Strawn near Sibley, close to Saunemin IL animals are everywhere in the road, running into the side of your vehicle. This damage can make your car inoperable “now what” you say, just grab a phone and dial 815-692-4015 Getting your car to a safe place DONE, getting  you transportation home, to work, your everyday tasks DONE. From ford to BMW, from dodge to Mercedes Benz from Chevrolet to Volkswagen domestic, Asian, European COMPLETE AUTO REAPAIR, TOWING, HERTZ RENT A CAR. Honest, clean, professional courteous certified service.


Check us out at http://www.johnsonautomotiveservice.com/