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Monthly Archives: August 2020

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

Vehicle Service to Improve Fuel Economy

Vehicle Service to Improve Fuel Economy

Let’s review some things that Houston drivers can do to improve fuel economy. Bottom line,  the better you maintain your vehicle, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in fuel savings before your next oil change and will keep saving you money after that. A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends for budget conscious Houston drivers. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use and increases the power, so you can’t go wrong with that. Some of us Houston drivers ignore our Check Engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel economy. And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your fuel economy.&nbs ... read more

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