5030 Old Spanish TrailHouston,Texas 77021
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Five Fast Fixes- 5/6/14

Just like you, we see our share of new and unique vehicle problems. The 5 Fast Fixes below are examples of some recent head scratchers that we worked through with customers on our Repair Hotline. These short-cut tests and confirmed fixes are now at your fingertips along with more than 600,000 Hotline Archives in Direct-Hit. Vehicle: 2009 Scion tC Base 2.4L, L4, MFI, DOHC, Eng Desg 2AZFE, Naturally Aspirated, GAS Mileage: 64,209 Customer Concern: When the headlights are turned on, the combination meter illumination and radio go dark. Tests: 1. Check the voltage of the 7.5 panel fuse when the headlights are switched on. If the voltage drops, clean the fuse contacts and recheck it. 2. If the fuse has 12 volts, check the voltage of the Red wire connector 1P pin 6. This is the wi ... read more

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Five Fast Fixes

Five Fast Fixes- 4/23/14

Just like you, we see our share of new and unique vehicle problems. The 5 Fast Fixes below are examples of some recent head scratchers that we worked through with customers on our Repair Hotline. These short-cut tests and confirmed fixes are now at your fingertips along with more than 600,000 Hotline Archives in Direct-Hit.   Vehicle: 2007 Hyundai Tiburon GS 2.0L, L4, MFI, DOHC, VIN D, Naturally Aspirated Mileage: 61,054 Customer Concern: The vehicle shifts very hard from second to third gear when hot. Replaced the transmission and it still does it. There are no codes. Tests: 1. Perform the automatic transmission (A/T) adaptive value reset and relearn as described in Technical Service Bulletin 08-AT-007. The TSB states that the only way to reset the A/T adaptive values is with a compatible scan tool. If your scan t ... read more

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Five Fast Fixes

Do You Own A Vehicle That Had A Recall?

No matter how well they're made, cars in Houston will have design or manufacturing problems. And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone who owns that type of car to get the recall work done. These recalls always affect safety, so take them seriously. It's easy to see if a vehicle's being recalled. The government has links on its website - http://www.recalls.gov/nhtsa.html. There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There's CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV ... read more

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Fuel Saving Tips And Myths

With high fuel prices in Houston comes lots of gas saving advice. Some is myth. And some is just designed to prey on people desperate to save some money on gas. When you get one of those e-mails that's going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through. Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics? Do some research on the internet or ask your service advisor at Kacal's. There aren't any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank and the government hasn't suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your car run on air. Not even at the Johnson Space Center in Houston! So next time you get one of those e-mails, call us. You'll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement

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Nighttime Driving Visibility In The Houston Area

There are a number of factors that contribute to the high nighttime accident rate in the greater Houston area, things like drowsy driving and a higher rate of impaired driving. Without a doubt, visibility is a major contributor. Let's focus on visibility… It's said that 90 percent of our driving decisions are based on what we see. Nighttime driving has the effect of reducing 20/20 vision to the equivalent of 20/50 vision. What you could clearly see at 50 feet in daylight can't be seen until you are just 20 feet away at night. Accident avoidance is dependent on reaction time. Reaction time deteriorates measurably in low light conditions. One thing we can do to improve visibility is to make sure our headlights are as bright as they can possibly be.Headlamps dim over time. They dim so gradually that you may not notice it. Many experts suggest replacing your standard or halogen headlamps once a year.If your vehicle has standard headlamps, consider upgrading t ... read more

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Our Helpful Guide To Your Vehicle Diagnosis

Modern vehicles around Houston have several computers on board that control all kinds of things like engine functions, transmission shifts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, emissions – and on some vehicles, even steering, braking and the throttle. Think about that for a minute – things that used to be controlled by simple mechanical connections now have electronic controls that rely on computers, software and sensors. It’s no wonder that when something goes wrong with their car it can be pretty complicated for Houston motorists to track down the source of the problem. To help our service advisor figure out what’s wrong, your car is equipped with on-board diagnostics. The check engine light comes on to tell you there’s a problem and the engine management computer stores a trouble code. Our experts connects a scan tool to your vehicle’s diagnostic port and retrieves the trouble codes as well as other important data. rouble code ... read more

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Safety Systems In Houston: Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances can all be the result of Houston area folks driving around on under-inflated tires. Now, it’s hard to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your manufacturer recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your car tire’s considered significantly under inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds. New laws required manufacturers to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System – or TPMS system – in all cars and light trucks by the 2008 model year. The system has a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below manufacturer’s pressure recommendations. This technology has been used by race car drivers for years. They are able to head off problems from under inflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track. It’s up to your car’s manufacturer to determine which of many TPMS systems available they’ll use to comply with the law ... read more

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About Your Well-Trained Technicians At Kacal's

When your car breaks down, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in the Houston area, you need to get back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time. If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training that our professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. Let me give you some perspective. Today there are four cylinder engines that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars twenty years ago. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty. Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep gas prices. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars driving around Texas roads are so much more com ... read more

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The Easy Way To Make Your Car Last 200k Miles

A lot of Houston motorists have so-called clunkers that they want to keep.They’re good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their cars for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so. There are plenty of Houston drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own high mileage cars on the road in Texas. Houston drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your car's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that can damage your engine. There’s another reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Houston car owners. It’s si ... read more

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Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline?

Today we want to talk with you about a very important safety issue. This automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: fire fighting experts. You’ve probably heard of E-85 gasoline being offered in Texas. Some newer vehicle models are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not. Does your vehicle use E-85 gasoline? Bring it down to Kacal's Auto and Truck Service at 5030 Old Spanish Trail in Houston to find out, or give us a call. E-85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption. E-85 fuel is a mix of 15% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 85% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. The result is lower harmful exhaust emissions to our local communities. All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol and in fact a lot of gasoline sold in the Houston area does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well meaning people with ... read more

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