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Can I Save a Fuel Pump?

Can I Save a Fuel Pump?

Question I was driving one day, and my car started sputtering and then the engine finally quit, and I couldn’t get it started.  I was towed to a shop and found out I had to replace my fuel pump.  What could I have done to have saved my fuel pump? Answer This is a tough one because there isn’t any maintenance recommended for fuel pumps.  They’re inside the fuel tank and you really can’t get to them without removing the tank.  But you can do some things to make their job easier, so they last a little longer. A lot of vehicles are equipped with a fuel filter on their gas line.  This filters out dirt and rust from the gas tank before it gets to the engine.  Replacing a clogged fuel filter as recommended reduces the strain on your fuel pump. Newer vehicles have their fuel filter inside the fuel tank, so it cannot be changed.  A good tip is to not run the fuel tank too low – this can cause fuel starvation that excessively ... read more

All You Need to Know about Diesel Engines

All You Need to Know about Diesel Engines

When someone mentions diesels – images of smoky, rattley trucks may spring to mind.  The fact is that the modern clean diesel engine is much more refined than in the old daysSure, diesel engines remain a very popular choice with heavy duty pick-up trucks, but they are finding their way into nearly every segment of the automotive market.  Why is that?  Well, its science.  Diesel fuel contains more energy than the same amount of gasoline.  So, it takes less diesel fuel to do the same amount of work as gas – so you get more miles per gallon and lower emissions.  In Europe, where fuel is very expensive and high mileage is very important, around half of passenger vehicles are powered by diesel engines.  This goes for small economy cars all the way up to the world’s most expensive luxury vehicles.  The driving experience is also very good with diesel engines – in fact ... read more

Under Pressure: Your TPMS System

Under Pressure: Your TPMS System

Flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances can all be the result of driving around Texason underinflated tires. Now, it's hard to tell when a radial tire is underinflated but your friendly and knowledgeable Kacal's Auto & Truck Service can help you. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds – which is significantly underinflated. Your newer vehicle or light truck might be equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This technology has been used by race car drivers for years. They are able to head off problems from underinflation by closely monitoring tire pressure on the track.Obviously, TMPS systems don't come free for Houston car buyers. U.S. government studies have estimated the net costs of the TPMS system itself, maintaining the system, replacement of worn or broken parts and&nb ... read more

Cooling System Service At Kacal's Auto & Truck Service

Cooling System Service At Kacal's Auto & Truck Service

Last week I was out running errands in Houston and my temperature warning light came on – total panic! I pulled over and my car was overheating. After it cooled down, I went right in to my Houston service center to have them take a look. My friendly and knowledgeable service advisor told me my water pump was leaking and needed to be replaced. He said water pumps just wear out and that you need to replace them because they pump the coolant that cools the engine. He told me they checked out my radiator hoses, serpentine belt and tensioner and that they were OK. But I was overdue for changing my coolant – like, embarrassingly overdue. I didn't realize there was a schedule in my vehicle owner's manual for when to change my coolant. My Houston service advisor said that the coolant actually becomes corrosive over time and c ... read more

Upsizing Wheels and Tires in Houston

Hello Houston drivers! Let's pretend you have three doughnuts right in front of you for our discussion of upsizing wheels and tires. Hey, don't eat them now – you're going to need them later. Many Houston drivers want to accessorize their car and make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some custom wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs out there to get you the look you want. And for many, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that vehicles came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more. So let's talk about what Houston drivers should consider when they want to upsize their wheels. It's not exactly a do it yourself project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most impo ... read more

Are you fighting to keep your vehicle going straight?

It's no surprise that your vehicle will drive better in the Pasadena area if all the wheels are pointed in the same direction. That's called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the other. Something that you won't notice right away, but you will if you keep driving around when you're out of alignment, is that your tires are wearing unevenly and fairly quickly. That's because when the vehicle is pulling to one side, you have to steer it back straight. The outside of the tire just wears out faster because you're constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a long road trip – fighting to keep the vehicle going straight down the road. Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of alignment are slamming into a pothole, smacking a curb or something like a rock. And it doesn't have to be a big shock, it ... read more

Headlamp Replacement And Restoration

Way too many accidents happen at night on Texas roads. There are a lot of factors, but a big one is simply visibility: if you can't see something, it's hard to avoid hitting it. There are some things Houston drivers can do to make sure they can see as much as possible when they're driving in the dark. First of all, keep your windshield clean. Glare from oncoming headlights can obscure obstacles in the road. Clean off that film that builds up on the inside of your windshield. And make sure you have good wiper blades and plenty of washer fluid. Now it could be that your headlights aren't as bright as they used to be. It happens – the bulbs just dim over time. If it's been a couple of years since you replaced your headlamps and they aren't lighting up the road like they used to, get some new ones. They make upgraded headlamps too that give you a brighter light and a larger field of vision so you can see better and further down the road. Che ... read more

Suspension System Service at Kacal's Auto & Truck Service in Houston

Suspension System Service Suspension systems should continue to operate effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles/kilometers, holding your tires' foot print on the road. Eventually components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive. As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth Texas highways, your vehicle shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy Houston roads or hauling heavy loads. In addition to just wearing out, upgraded shock suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact, like hitting a pothole, a curb or a rock in the road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic inspections. During a car inspection at Kacal's Auto & Truck Service, your Houston service technician will check for worn, broken or missing suspension parts. If the inspection reveals any problems, take care of this ... read more

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

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