covid photo

We are open and here for you and your vehicle!

Auto Repair is an Essential Business. We are making special accommodations in order to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. Walk-Ins are welcome but we do prefer Appointments. Please call our office to schedule an appointment. Thank you and Be Safe!

Yearly Archives: 2020

Simple Answer Service Intervals: Wheel Bearings

Question: I remember my dad having the shop “pack the bearings” on the family car. Is this something I need to have done? Kacal's Auto & Truck Service Answer: That's a really good question. At one time, all wheel bearings were “serviceable” and needed to be taken care of from time to time. It's a little trickier these days. First off, the wheel bearings in your vehicle make sure your wheels rotate smoothly. As you can imagine, with all those revolutions per minute your wheels can generate a lot of heat. The bearings keep that heat down as much as possible. They're packed in grease for lubrication. The term “packing the bearings” refers to putting fresh grease around the bearings. On many modern vehicles, the wheel bearing assembly is sealed. These wheel bearings are not serviceable so there is n ... read more

✔️ Prevent Transmission Problems!

Question My name is Suzanne.  We were taking a camping trip over a three-day weekend.  About half way to our campsite, the transmission went out on our SUV.  It took all weekend to get towed out and get back home. What can I do to prevent transmission problems in the future?   Answer Transmission repairs can be expensive.  On top of that poor Suzanne was out in the middle of nowhere.  Her vacation weekend turned into three days of car repairs. Look, transmissions are tough and durable.  All you must do to maintain them is replace the fluid on schedule.  The fluid gets contaminated with bits of clutch plates and metal.  Dirty transmission fluid under pressure acts like liquid sandpaper, eating away at important gaskets and seals. Then your transmission doesn’t shift as well.  It can start to leak and overheat.  And then you could end up like Suzanne. Another thing ... read more

Driving, Distractions and Multi-tasking.

When asked, most people think they are good at multi-tasking.  Scientific studies, however, reveal that only around 2% of the population can truly demonstrate the capacity to effectively multi-task.  For the rest of us who are not so biologically wired, no amount of practice can increase our effectiveness at multi-tasking.  Turns out, multi-tasking is almost a superpower.  Think of fighter pilots: capable of maintaining their orientation in three-dimensional space, performing specific and highly complicated functions while accessing life threatening situations, and coming up with an appropriate response.  Admit it – you can’t do that. Yet when it comes to driving, we seem to think we are very capable of safely operating a motor vehicle with a myriad of distractions.  77% of young adults feel somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive while 55% claim it’s easy to text and drive.  Can they possibly be right?  Let&rsqu ... read more

Tags:

safety

Let's talk about air conditioning service and repair issues for the Houston, Texas area!

Most of us in Houston don't give our air conditioning a second thought as long as 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 by your Houston, Texas service center. 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 ... read more

Need a Suspension Inspection at Kacal's Auto & Truck Service in Houston?

Need a Suspension Inspection at Kacal's Auto & Truck Service in Houston?

Your suspension system keeps your car up off the road.  From there, it’s responsible for a smooth and comfortable ride.  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 s ... read more

What's Shakin' with my Brakin'? (Brake Rotor Service)

What's Shakin' with my Brakin'? (Brake Rotor Service)

If you feel your vehicle vibrating when you’re braking, or if you don't stop in as short a distance as you used to, it may be time to have your brakes checked. All newer vehicles have disc brakes in the front, and more manufacturers are using disc brakes all around (instead of an older technology called drum brakes), so there's a pretty good chance at some point you'll find yourself facing a disc brake repair when yours begin to wear out. Before we go any farther, here's how disc brakes work.  If you've ever had a bicycle with hand brakes, you know there is a caliper that pushes pads on each side of your bicycle wheel when you squeeze the brake handle.  Disc brakes are similar, but there's a metal disc (called a brake rotor) there instead of the bike wheel's rim. In disc brakes, the vibration you feel when you are stopping is often because the surface of the rotor is not flat, or the rotors have an uneven thickness. Sometimes, the rotors ca ... read more

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

Kacal's Auto and Truck Service is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Kacal's Auto and Truck Service (713) 747-8076 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.