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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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When To Get A Professional Fuel System Cleaning

While driving in Houston, getting enough fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean. Today’s production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume. You can buy fuel system cleaners that you just pour into your gas tank that can help maintain an already clean fuel system, but can’t do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see our professionals at Kacal's. We have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. At Kacal's, we can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently. You’ll enjoy more power, better gas mileage and reduced exhaust emissions. The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate vital en ... read more

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Tire Pressure Monitoring System

You may know that all 2008 model year and newer cars, mini-vans and light trucks in Houston come with a tire pressure monitoring system. Many slightly older vehicles around Houston have these systems as well. A tire pressure monitoring system – called TPMS – consists of sensors on each wheel that measure tire pressure. If tire pressure drops 25 percent below the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, the sensor sends a signal to a monitoring unit that causes a warning to light up on the dashboard. When you see the warning light, you know it’s time to put some air in your tires. There are many benefits to driving with properly inflated tires around Houston. First is cost savings. Running at the correct air pressure improves fuel economy. Driving on under-inflated tires is like driving through sand – it drags down your fuel economy. You’ll also see longer, more even tread wear so your tires’ll last longer. Another important benefit of properly inflated tires ... read more

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Your Check Engine Light

NASA is a major computing center in the Houston area. Did you know that today's cars carry more computer power than the Apollo 121 Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969? New cars have as many as 12 networked computers and over five miles (eight kilometers) of wiring. In fact, for the last decade or so, computers have been controlling about 85% of your vehicle's functions. Cars have sensors for manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold air pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen content. All of this electronic wizardry is pretty complicated. So how do you know when there is a problem? It's simple - the Check Engine light comes on. The computer monitors all the sensors and uses that information to decide what to adjust such as the fuel mix, spark timing and idle speed. In addition, the computer monitors its own circuits. When it finds a fault, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores a trouble code in ... read more

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Remember Your Coolant Antifreeze Service

You may know that most automotive failures are tire related, but do you know the second most common cause for vehicle failure? Nope, it's not teenagers. It is the coolant system. But, if you take good care of your coolant system, it will take good care of you. A car's engine creates a lot of heat - so much heat, that if it is not properly cooled, the engine can lock up, resulting in massive damage and repair bills. But when everything is working right, your engine operates at the proper temperature and all is well. Without antifreeze in your cooling system, the water could freeze and cause engine damage. This could be very expensive, not to mention inconvenient. The right mix of water and antifreeze protects the engine against damage from freezing and overheating. Antifreeze also protects the coolant system against corrosion that could cause the system to fail. The thing to remember is this: coolant system failure is very common, but it is also very easy to pre ... read more

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