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Articles:

A Clean Fuel System In Houston

Your fuel system encompasses everything it takes to get fuel from your tank to your engine.  Starting with your fuel pump, which is in the tank, there are the fuel lines, fuel filter, throttle assembly and fuel injectors. When all these parts are clean, fuel flows at it should be giving you good fuel economy and strong engine performance.  But when your fuel injectors, valves and fuel intake are clogged or gummed up, your engine doesn’t run as efficiently, and performance and economy suffer. Now fuel just naturally gums stuff up over time.  The government requires all fuel to have detergent in it to help clean your fuel system, but all fuel is NOT created equal.  Bargain fuel may just have the minimum amount of detergent to meet governmental requirements.  Using good quality fuel that may have several times the minimum amount of detergent will help keep your fuel system clean and put off the day when a professional fuel system cleaning is needed. If yo ... read more

Airbags in Houston

After they’ve had an accident, some people wonder why their airbags didn’t go off.  Movies and television lead us to believe that airbags go off with the slightest bump.  The reality is much more complicated.  First, airbags come out with great force and speed.  Now getting hit in the face with an airbag is way better than getting hit in the face with a windshield – but if the accident impact isn’t hard enough that you would be severely injured, the airbags may not be triggered at all because they could do more harm than good. So how does your vehicle know when an accident is likely to result in life threatening injuries that would merit deploying the airbags?  Well, there are sensors all around your vehicle that send information to the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) computer that decides which airbags should be deployed and when.  There are impact sensors that measure the direction and intensity of an impact in the front, rea ... read more

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What are the Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts?

What are the Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts?

What are the Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts? Shock and struts make the vehicle run stably by absorbing the impact on sudden braking, when driving on uneven surfaces, or accelerating. Many of the modern vehicle models use either of the two or a combination of both. When they are worn, you will have a rough ride, and the vehicle may damage other items such as the drivetrain and the steering systems. Here are some signs of worn struts and shocks: Uneven Sliding and Veering If you are driving in normal conditions, you do not expect to slide or veer off the road. The car should also drive straight even in mild wind conditions. However, if you have problems driving straight on the road, it is one sign of bad shocks. Uneven Tire Wear Usually, tires wear uniformly. However, if some struts are not working right, you will find patchy areas of wear on the tire. This is caused by tires that are not flat on the road. Tires that do not touch the road firmly a ... read more

Simple Answers from Kacal's Auto & Truck Service for Houston: Cooling System

Question My engine never overheats.  Why should I get a cooling system service? Answer That’s a good question to ask, because if you don’t have the full answer you may end up in trouble.  It seems that, if your engine is running at the proper temperature then everything must be OK.  But the fact is that engine overheating is the most common cause of mechanical failure.  So how do you get from everything is just fine to suddenly overheating and potential engine damage? Truth is, it is not a sudden process, but it is an invisible one.  Your engine coolant circulates through your engine where it absorbs heat and then flows through the radiator where it is cooled – and then back to the engine again.  If the coolant can flow freely – and there are no leaks – then the coolant can do its job.  This is the point where you must look deeper. The cooling system is a harsh environment: very hot ... read more

Recommended Factory Scheduled Maintenance Performed Here

As you know, your vehicle has factory scheduled maintenance items. These range from oil changes to timing belt replacement to brake inspection. These recommendations are usually made for certain mileage or time intervals. For some vehicles, certain recommendations are clustered around major intervals like 30,000/60,000/90,000 miles (50,000/100,000/150,000 kilometers). Following factory recommended service goes as long way towards preventing breakdowns and keeps your vehicle operating as safely and economically as possible. What you may not know is that you can have ALL of your factory recommended service performed right here – even while your vehicle is still under warranty. That’s right; your factory warranty is protected wherever the factory recommended service is performed. And following the recommended inspection schedule helps us uncover any potential concerns and allows us to make necessary repairs before they become big, expensive problems. So if your new car comes ... read more

Axles

Your axles are the last link in transferring power from the engine to your wheels.  They’re strong parts that last a long time – but they can run into trouble. Axles just wear out over time and need to be replaced.  And sometimes axle seals leak, causing the axle to wear out prematurely.  Lubricant leaks out, and water and dirt can get in and contaminate the gears.  When this happens you might hear strange noises coming from your axle.  If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the sound would be at the rear end.  If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the sound would be up front.  Of course, with an all-wheel drive, the sound could come from either front or back.  It might be a groaning sound or clunking when turning. There are different kinds of axles, each with their own potential problems.  Your service technician knows this and checks for things like leaking seals, torn CV boots, worn axle joints.  An inspection will ... read more

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What is The Difference Between Brake Pads and Brake Shoes?

What is The Difference Between Brake Pads and Brake Shoes?

When it comes to discussions about braking systems in cars, a person may have heard mechanics speaking about brake pads and brake shoes. While brake shoes essentially perform similar functions to brake pads, they are not the same thing. The way brake pads work is that the pads are pressed together by a caliper against a rotor disc and is thus called a 'disk brake', meaning that the pads that press up against the rotor actually generate the friction that is needed to make the car come to a stop. Brake shoes, on the other hand, are a crescent-shaped piece of metal with one side that is rough, in order to help create friction. Brake shoes are part of a drum brake system and are found inside of a drum-type brake, where they help slow down the car's wheels when brakes are applied. Drum brakes and brake shoes are actually an old-fashioned braking system and are becoming less common in the manufacture of newer vehicles, however some models of vehicle still use drum brakes on t ... read more

Visual Blind Spots When Driving Around Houston Texas

When we drive on our Houston Texas streets, we encounter blind spots. We can greatly reduce our blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments to your vehicle before you start to drive. First, adjust your rear view mirror to give the best possible view directly to the rear of your vehicle or other vehicle type. 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 the outside mirror so that you can barely see the right side of the car. With your vehicle mirrors adjusted this way, you'll have  ... read more

Houston Drivers Ask: Why is My Check Engine Light On?

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some and is totally ignored by just as many.  Just what it means is a mystery to most of us. First, if your check engine light is flashing, that means that something is wrong that could cause severe damage to the catalytic converter or other components.  Get that taken care of right away.  If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at highway speeds, tow or haul heavy loads.  Take it easy all the way to the service center. If the light is glowing steadily, you should keep an eye on it for a day or two.  If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment with your service advisor to get it checked out. Some more information on how the Check Engine Light works may be informative.  Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, not surprisingly, called an engine control computer.  The computer can adjust many engine parameters for environmental condition ... read more

Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Tech Question On Your Battery

Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Tech Question: I'm David in Houston, Texas. For the last year and a half I've had some battery problems. I had trouble starting my car so I bought a new battery at a parts store in Houston. At first everything was fine, then about six months later I had problems starting my car again, so I got a new battery. Again, everything was fine for another five or six months then I had trouble starting my car again. I went to get another battery and the parts guy said why do you need another battery, weren't you in a few months ago? So he tested my battery and it was OK. Apparently I've been replacing good batteries. What's wrong with my vehicle? Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Answer: Look, we can't fault David for not knowing what's wrong with his vehicle – he just didn't have enough information. And frankly, neither do I. Let's talk about where our friend went wrong and what ... read more

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