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What can I do to improve my fuel economy?

Question: What can I do to improve my fuel economy? Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Answer: There are actually a lot of things Houston drivers can do – some of them are pretty easy. One of the first things is make sure their tires are properly inflated. On the inside of the driver's door or door jamb is a plate that indicates the correct tire pressure. Careful – there might be a different pressure for the front and rear tires. Check them at least once a month. Carrying extra weight in the vehicle hurts . Leave unnecessary stuff home. Do we even need to mention driving fast around Houston and jackrabbit starts? Gently accelerate and plan your stops so that you can ease into them a bit. This really makes a big difference. Now there are a number of maintenance items that improve fuel economy for Houston drivers. Lubricants should be replaced on schedule – dirty oil, transmission fluid and differential fluid cause more friction and drag which hurt . A big one ... read more

Suspension wear and why it's important.

Your suspension system keeps your car up off the road. From there, it’s responsible for a smooth and comfortable ride around Houston, Texas. It also keeps your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many critical parts that do a big job. They should be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time would be when you get your semiannual alignment check. Here are some warning signs of suspension problems: the car pulls to one side, wandering, erratic steering, uneven tire wear, leaning, shocks bottom out, poor ride or handling, oil leaking from shocks, and excessive bouncing. Now suspension parts just wear out over time. Shocks and struts eventually lose their ability to control your ride. If you’re in an accident, your suspension can be damaged or knocked out of alignment. Even a minor accident, like hitting a curb, pothole or large rock, can mess things up. If you suspect suspension problems, ask a trust ... read more

What do I need to do for my high mileage vehicle?

What do I need to do for my high mileage vehicle?

Question: What do I need to do for my high mileage vehicle?Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Answer: Houston drivers ask this question at Kacal's Auto & Truck Service a lot more these days. The median age for vehicles on Texas roads is now over 11 years. Regardless of your reason for keeping your vehicle around, the good news for Houston drivers is that it's capable of going 150,000 to 200,000 miles (or 250,000 to 3500,000 kilometers) or more with proper care and professional automotive service at Kacal's Auto & Truck Service. Here are some tips from Kacal's Auto & Truck Service on how to make your car last: First, Houston drivers should follow all of their regularly scheduled maintenance routines. Things like oil changes, transmission and cooling system service are for avoiding damage. This reduces your overall cost for keeping ... read more

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Alternator Replacement

Many Houston drivers have probably noticed a bunch of warning lights on their dash when they start their engine. They flash on to test the circuits and then go off if everything's OK. One of the warning lights looks like a car battery. Its job is to tell you if your vehicle battery's not charging properly. Houston motorists probably know that their battery stores electricity – enough to start the engine and get moving. But that's about it – you can only get a few miles or kilometers on battery power alone. You need an alternator to generate enough electricity to run your vehicle engine and power your electrical accessories like the stereo, power seats, heater fan, on-board computers and so on. On top of that, the alternator needs to recharge your battery. So when your vehicle alternator isn't working, there isn't enough electricity ... read more

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February Heart Engine Health

It’s heart health month! Just as we take care of our own hearts, we should also consider taking care of our vehicles heart. Do you know what part of a vehicle is the heart? If you said the engine, then you are right! We must take care of not just our health but our vehicles. Many forget that an annual tune-up for their engine is important. It is just as important as our own check-up. By taking a few minutes out of your day for a basic engine tune-up, you can save a vehicle from dying. Considering how no two people are alike, we must remember this about vehicles as well.  Basic engine tune-ups vary depending on the type of vehicle. Most basic tune-ups include a check of the following: Battery / charging voltage  Belts and hose Scan for fault codes Idle speed  Gaskets and seals are reviewed for dirt, grime or leaks Spark plugs Fuel Pump  PCV Valve Now, this is merely the basics, but most mechanical shops will complete a review of all filters and much mo ... read more

Diesel Winter Tips

Diesel Winter Tips

Diesel Winter Tips Winter is a blissful time for many people but not everything enjoys the cold. Have you experienced issues with your vehicle not starting? Or stopping after it starts during the cold? Was it specifically on days where the temperature was below 32 degrees? When you are a diesel lover then you know the frustrations of chilly weather. For others, this comes as a surprise when they experience their first “Diesel vs. the Cold”.  Why does this happen? Unlike gasoline which does not solidify and is more flammable, diesel will solidify during chilly weather. Since diesel contains paraffin, which is a mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum and commonly used in candles or cosmetics, it can solidify into a waxy substance(“Paraffin,”2018).  When diesel solidifies it is commonly called, “gelling”.  Don’t worry about the frustration but focus on a few solutions. Here are three tips for preventing or minimizing diese ... read more

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Simple answers from Kacal's Auto & Truck Service for houston timing belt replacement

Question: My friend had a broken timing belt and it was very expensive to repair his engine. What can I do to avoid a broken timing belt?Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Answer: Well, a broken timing belt can lead to one of the most expensive engine repairs Houston drivers will ever face. The good news is that replacing your timing belt on its recommended schedule can help avoid those problems. Here's a brief overview of what the timing belt does: Air is drawn into the cylinder of the engine through the intake valves. After the air and fuel mixture is burned, it's pushed out through the exhaust valves. The timing belt, which is driven by the engine, turns the camshafts which control when the intake and exhaust valves open and close. It is important that the opening and closing of the valves take place at exactly the right time for the engine to run properly. Beyond that, on some vehicle engines, the valv ... read more

Fuel Injector Cleaning In Bellaire

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your vehicle engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. High temperatures under your hood and variations in Bellaire gas quality cause fuel injectors to be fouled with wax, dirt, water, additives and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure. When your vehicle's injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn't burn as efficiently, resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it's important to keep your fuel injectors clean. We can perform a full fuel system servic ... read more

Five Fast Fixes 4/1/2015

Vehicle:    2005 Lexus GX470 Base 4.7L, V8, MFI, DOHC, Eng Desg 2UZFE Mileage:    116,853 Customer Concern:    The left rear suspension is lower than the rest of the vehicle and there is a code 51. Replaced the left rear air suspension bag but it will not fill up. Tests: 1. Code 51 indicates that the air suspension pump ran for more than 100 seconds but the vehicle height did not change. Determine if the pump is working properly and that it is able to build pressure.  2. Test the rear height control valve and determine if it has battery voltage applied to the Purple/White wire and good ground on the White/Black wire. If so, the control unit is trying to open the valve and direct air to the left rear air suspension bag. If the height control valve has power and ground for the left rear circuit and there is no air coming out to the left rear air suspension bag, the rear ... read more

Five Fast Fixes- 11/27/14

Vehicle:2010 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS 2.4L, L4, MFI, DOHC, VIN B, Eng Version Theta II Mileage:18,244 Customer Concern:The check engine light is on with an Intake Manifold Runner Performance (Bank1) code P200A. Tests: 1. Check the resistance of the Variable Charge Motion Actuator (VCMA) motor from terminal 4 to terminal 5. The specification is 3.4 to 4.4Ω at 68 degrees fahrenheit. 2. With the key on, actuate the VCMA motor with a compatible scan tool and confirm the change of VCMA feedback sensor signal and the sound of operation. The specification is about 0.84 volts open and about 4.16 volts closed. 3. If your scan tool will not operate the VCMA motor, backprobe and monitor the VCMA position sensor signal at terminal 2 Black/Orange wire with the key on and apply battery voltage to the motor at terminal 5 Orange wire. Pulse a ground at terminal 4 Pink wire and the position sensor signal voltage should chan ... read more

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Five Fast Fixes
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