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Yearly Archives: 2020

Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Tech Question on your Water Pump

Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Tech Question on your Water Pump

Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Tech Question: I was driving on the freeway in Texas and my vehicle engine started to get hot. I turned off my air conditioner and was able to drive the short distance to my meeting and then found a shop in Houston. It turns out that my water pump was leaking. It cost me many hundreds of dollars to get it fixed. What could I have done to avoid this? Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Answer: This guy's story really did have a happy ending. When you continue driving when your engine's overheating you risk a catastrophic engine failure. It really is a good idea to pull over and let your vehicle engine cool down before driving again. If you add water or coolant, be sure your engine is cool or you risk serious burns. Now there's no way for Houston drivers to predict when their water pump will fail – they just wear out. This fellow's water pump replacement was more expensive because his water pu ... read more

Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Tech Question on Engine Failure

Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Tech Question on Engine Failure

Question: I’m Collins.  I had my engine go out and had to have it completely re-done.  What could I have done to prevent this? Answer: You’ve got to feel for Collins: an expensive major engine rebuild is extreme.  It’s a tough situation to be in, maybe you’re still making payments on your vehicle and nobody wants to buy it with a blown engine, so you really have no choice but to pay the money to get it fixed. Therefore, your manufacturer has preventive maintenance schedules – to help you avoid major repairs.  Suppose you don’t change your timing belt on schedule, and it breaks.  That can mean bent valves and a damaged cylinder head.  Maybe you’ve skipped over the recommendation to replace your coolant and end up with catastrophic overheating. It could be you’ve skipped a few too many oil changes and now sludge has built up to the point that expensive parts in your engin ... read more

Battery Upgrades at Kacal's Truck & Auto Service

Battery Upgrades at Kacal's Truck & Auto Service

When that car battery finally gives up the ghost and it's time to replace it,  Houston drivers have options. First, let's be clear that you should always get a replacement battery that meets or exceeds your vehicle's specifications. But you may have some special needs. When they first put the battery into your vehicle at the factory, they had no idea where it would end up over its life or how YOU would use it where you drive in Texas. That battery was chosen to meet the needs of a wide range of motorists. Replacement time is a good opportunity to talk to your service advisor about how you use your vehicle so you can get just the right battery. An obvious criterion is where you live, whether in Houston or somewhere else. Cold starts require a lot of power from your battery. The colder the climate, the more power needed. This comes from a combination of cold sluggish oil and the slower chemical reaction within the battery itself when it is cold. If this s ... read more

Suspension Problems in Houston?

Suspension Problems in Houston?

Suspension systems should continue to operate effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles, holding your tires’ footprint 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 highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads. In addition to just wearing out, suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like a pothole, hitting 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 an inspection, your service technician will check for worn, broken or missing suspension parts. If the inspection reveals any problems, take care of this important safety and handling work. When you replace your shocks, it’s usually a good idea to replace all four at the sam ... read more

Getting the Right Wheels and Tires at Kacal's Auto & Tire Service in Houston

Getting the Right Wheels and Tires at Kacal's Auto & Tire Service in Houston

A lot of people in the Houston area want custom wheels. When you do this yourself (over the internet . . .) you could run into trouble if you're not careful. Sometimes they just don't fit right: The tires rub in turns or over bumps. Consulting a tire professional at Kacal's Auto & Truck Service in Houston can ensure you get the right fit for your vehicle. First he'll ask you a series of questions about your driving needs and what you want in your new wheels. Now, not every wheel can go on every vehicle. Care must be taken so that tires and wheels are not too large or that the wheel is centered too far towards the outside or the inside. If you don't want to make any modifications to your vehicle, you would need to focus on a wheel and tire combination that would fit. With trucks, some Houston people like much bigger tires so they need a suspension lift.Also, most Houston people don ... read more

A Gift Just For YOU! 🎀

A Gift Just For YOU! 🎀

Fuel Saving Tip from Kacal's Auto & Truck Service: Gas Cap

Fuel Saving Tip from Kacal's Auto & Truck Service: Gas Cap

This fuel saving tip for Houston residents is so simple you won't believe it. It has to do with your gas cap. The first thing is to make sure it's screwed on tight. If it's loose, gas vapor will be constantly leaking out – reduced fuel economy. This could cause the check engine light to come on as well. A worn gas cap can have the same effect. If you constantly smell gas when you walk by your tank, you might need a new gas cap. So, twist your cap until it clicks three times – that means it's on tight. Have your friendly and knowledgeable Kacal's Auto & Truck Service inspect the cap to see if it needs to be replaced. See, I told you it was simple. Give us a call at (713)766-4436 Kacal's Auto & Truck Service 5030 Old Spanish Trail Houston, Texas 77021 At Kacal's Auto & Truck Service we install quality NAPA replace ... read more

Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Diesel engines are appearing in more and more vehicles in nearly every category from compact cars to pick-up trucks to high-performance luxury vehicles.  In much of the world, 40% or more of passenger vehicles are equipped with diesels.  North American is beginning to appreciate the power and fuel economy benefits of diesel engines. Many maintenance items for diesel engines are similar to gasoline engines.  One notable difference is the requirement of Diesel Exhaust Fluid, or DEF.  Modern clean-diesel engines burn very lean to reduce soot and other pollutants.  A side effect is the production of nitrogen oxides which are harmful to the environment.  DEF is added to the exhaust and reacts with nitrogen oxide to produce harmless water and nitrogen. Diesel vehicles have a tank to hold the DEF.  A small amount of DEF is metered into the exhaust as the engine runs. When the DEF starts to run low, the DEF tank must be refilled. Because DEF is so importan ... read more

Why Houston Drivers Need to Change their Transmission Fluid

Why Houston Drivers Need to Change their Transmission Fluid

It’s easy to forget about servicing your transmission because it doesn’t need it very often, but proper transmission service keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid costly repairs down the road. The transmission undergoes a lot of stress.  The grit you see in used fluid is bits of clutch material.  This grit flowing through your transmission under pressure eats away at seals and gaskets which can lead to leaks.  The transmission operates at very high temperatures – about a hundred degrees higher than engine temperatures.  Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and loose efficiency. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly.  At worse, it could lead to costly damage. When your transmission’s running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels and improves fuel economy.  That’s why manufacturers have recommended changing ... read more

Air Conditioning in the Texas Heat!

Air Conditioning in the Texas Heat!

Let’s talk about air conditioning service and repair issues.  Most of us don’t give our air conditioning a second thought if it’s making cold air.  But it’s a complex and expensive system that we should think about before it starts blowing hot air. The refrigerant in the air conditioner contains a special oil that lubricates and cools the A/C parts.  When enough refrigerant leaks out, your air conditioner still makes cold air, but the parts don’t have enough oil to protect them and they wear out faster than they should, so it’s important to service the air conditioner as recommended. Replacing old refrigerant has another benefit: refrigerant tends to gather moisture and become corrosive.  That causes leaks in the system which can be expensive to repair.  Fresh refrigerant protects the air conditioning components and keeps the system operating at peak efficiency, so it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep you cool. Ev ... read more

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