5030 Old Spanish TrailHouston,Texas 77021
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Yearly Archives: 2012

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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Do You Ask The Right Questions About Your Vehicle?

We find that a lot of our customers are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions, but don't want to be embarrassed or to seem pushy. Cars are very complicated and there's more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it's because cars have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn't need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road. You know, your local hospital has a Patient's Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction. It's all about the communication. It's a little harder when you're trying to find the right service center in Hous ... read more

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Ever Been In A Car Accident? What Did You Do?

If you've ever been in a car accident around Houston, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do. Let's review what you should do in case of an accident in Texas: When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in Texas - even if it's not your fault. And hit-and-run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver's license or even jail time in our local Houston lockup. Most states, including Texas require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other Houston motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed. Always file a police report. It's tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report ... read more

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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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