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Where are your blind spots while driving?

Everyone has blind spots – and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Jessica Simpson. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around Houston. First let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others... To begin, we can greatly reduce our blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments in your american high mileage car before you start to drive. First, adjust your rear view mirror to give the best possible view directly to the rear of your car. You don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or your dazzling smile. The rear view mirror should look to the rear. Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middle of the car and adjust ... read more

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Can A Car Scent Keep You Safer While Driving On Texas Roads?

Here's a travel tip that'll I'll bet you didn't know, and, it might keep you safer... The average American commuter spends two and a half hours daily in their car.The government says a hundred thousand auto accidents yearly are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. (Aggressive driving is the number one traffic safety concern.) So what does this have to do with how your car smells while you're driving around Houston? Well, which scent did you think makes drivers more alert? Is it: A. Strawberry, B. New Car, C. Pine, or D. Puppy? It's C. Drivers are more alert and have less fatigue with pine scent in the car, according to AroMetrics. And, drivers were less angry with overall improved driving performance with strawberry and pine scents. And you thought they just smelled nice

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Finding Government Recall Information For Your Vehicle

No matter how well they're made, vehicles 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 information at http://recalls.gov/nhtsa.html. Recalls are serious, but not all that common. But sometimes there are less significant issues, and for these, manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Kacal's Auto and Truck Service how to repair a frequent or difficult problem. The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer version ... read more

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In Case Of Emergency ICE

Sometimes the unthinkable happens in Houston. A terrible accident and those involved aren't able to provide rescuers with emergency contact information. You have people who you'll want to be contacted to arrange help, give consent to treatment, and inform paramedics of medical conditions, allergies or medications. Too often, our local police and rescue workers must sift through pockets, glove compartments, wallets, purses and cell phone directories for clues – often wasting precious time. A brilliantly simple solution is now spreading around the globe: ICE. ICE – standing for In Case of Emergency, is a way to identify emergency contacts in your cell phone directory. Simply put 'ICE' before a contact name in your cell phone, like 'ICE – Dad', 'ICE – Nancy', or 'ICE – Doctor Roberts'. Rescuers will be able to quickly identify your emergency contacts, saving valuable time. Bob Brotchie, a Cambridge, England paramedic came up with the idea an ... read more

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Which item is most stolen from vehicles in Houston?

Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Houston? Is it the stereo, wheels, air bag, or DVD system? Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in Houston – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in Houston. Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them. There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all. That is definitely one car part you don't want to take a chance with, so Kacal's Auto and Truck Service recommends following these guidelines:Use a reputable collision repair c ... read more

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Defensive driving on Houston roads and Texas highways

There was a man in Pasadena who learned that most car accidents occur within a mile of home – so he moved. (Just kidding!) When we think of defensive driving, we often focus on our local Texas highway situations. The fact of the matter is we need to be just as careful close to home in Houston, because that's where we do most of our driving. We can't let our familiar surroundings keep us from driving defensively. Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won't let anyone take your safety away from you. You'll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment. Don't leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers. Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident. Never drive impaired: Alcoh ... read more

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Emergency items for your high mileage car

Watch our video on how local roadside emergencies can range from a flat tire downtown to being stranded on a flooded street for hours. So you may want to consider a basic emergency kit to keep in the car at all times and a travel kit tailored to a specific trip. Your close-to-home kit for around Houston would have some basic items to work on your car: everything you need to change a tire, gloves, a couple quarts of oil, some antifreeze and water. A can of tire inflator is a great temporary fix for minor flats. You'll also want jumper cables or a booster box, flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools. Now for your comfort and safety: a first aid kit, drinkable water, high calorie food (like energy bars), blankets, toilet paper, cell phone, towel, hat and boots. Keep some change for a pay phone, emergency cash and a credit card. People who live in areas with frequent severe weather or earthquakes may want to carry provisions for longer e ... read more

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Most Distracting Food For Texas Drivers?

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Houston? Is it: a hamburger; coffee; a soft drink, or gummy bears? Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving. Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year! You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the type of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons, one being that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and the other is that you won't have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss. Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on ... read more

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When To Servce Your Transmission

Let's talk about transmission service. It can be easy to forget about getting your transmission serviced because it doesn't need it very often. It's easy to remember to change the engine oil - you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your car running smoothly and helps you avoid costly repairs down the road. The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually it's 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and loose efficiency. As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn't lubricate and cool the transmission as well - leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the t ... read more

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Battery Maintenance And Replacement

Modern cars and trucks run on 12-volt electrical systems. 12-volts is enough to get the job done without having so much power that there is danger of electrocution. Today we have more electrical components and do-dads than ever. This really strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos. Plus there are all the engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off. Fortunately, battery technology has given us resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is, batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cann ... read more

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