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Yearly Archives: 2021

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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Headlamps

You may be surprised to learn that 40% of traffic fatalities take place at night even though there’s 60% less traffic.  It goes to show how important proper visibility is to nighttime driving. Obviously, a clean windshield is important – so are good wiper blades.  Your headlights play a big role as well.  There are two main concerns.  One is with the headlamp, or bulb.  The other is with the lens.  The fact of the matter is that headlamps go dim over time.  You just need to replace them.  Some vehicles come with a standard blub which you can replace, or you can upgrade to a halogen bulb that’s much brighter.  Halogen costs a little more, but you’d be amazed at the difference. It’s a good idea to replace your headlamps once a year.  The idea is that your lamps never dim to the point that they become a safety issue.  Just take care of it at a fall oil change so that your lights will be bright for the ... read more

What Causes a Car To Overheat?

What Causes a Car To Overheat?

When you are driving your vehicle, you want all to be right with it and you do not want to encounter any issues along the way. If you are in motion and begin to see smoke coming from underneath your hood, you know immediately there is an issue and you may become scared or even frustrated; knowing there is something you will have to handle. Seeing smoke one of the first thoughts may be that your vehicle is probably overheating… you know to pull over immediately, turn your vehicle off and access things, but then there is the thought of why this could be happening. While you know there is an issue with your vehicle, you know that it is overheating and it shouldn't be… but you may not know exactly why this is happening. Here are some issues that may be occurring to cause your car to overheat. Leaks in Your Cooling System: This is generally the main reason your vehicle will overheat. Any small leak can lead to an expensive pair if you wait too long to take care of it ... read more

Fuel Filter

The function of a fuel filter is pretty self-explanatory.  It filters your fuel.  The fuel filter is in the fuel line somewhere in between the fuel tank and the engine.  Both gas and diesel vehicles use fuel filters. There’s not a lot of dirt in the fuel supply, but there is enough that you want to screen it out.  The problem gets worse the older your vehicle becomes.  That’s because dirt, rust and contaminates will settle out of the fuel and onto the bottom of the fuel tank.  After a car is five years or older, it can have a fair amount of sediment built up.  That just means that the fuel filter must work harder as your car ages.  It’ll get clogged sooner and need to be replaced more often. A symptom of a clogged fuel filter is that the engine sputters at highway speeds or under hard acceleration.  That’s because enough fuel is getting through around town, but when you need more fuel for speed, enough can’t ... read more

Alternator

Your alternator makes electricity to start and run your engine and all the electrical systems in your vehicle. That’s everything from the on-board computers to the turn signals. And of course, there is the entertainment system, seat heaters, power windows, and everything you plug into the power outlets. After your alternator makes enough electricity to do all that, it recharges your battery with what’s left over. When you constantly have a low or dead battery, the alternator is usually a prime suspect. However, the alternator is just one component of the starting/charging system and a problem with any of the other components could be the actual cause. In addition to the alternator, the charging/starting system includes the battery, starter, serpentine belt system, and all the electrical cables that connect them. Your technician has a systematic process of testing components and connections to get to the source of your problem. The initial symptoms determine where to begi ... read more

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