Auto Blog

Changing Your Fluids Saves Your Car (and Your Wallet)

We've heard it from our parents since the day we first started driving: "Make sure to always schedule an oil change." Which is good, because changing your fluids saves your car. But, that's not just limited to oil changes. Transmissions fluids, brake fluids and other should also be included on that list. Why? Well, we repeat: changing your fluids saves your car. The Essential Fluids While every part of your engine works together to keep you moving, these fluids are the lifeline - the blood - of your engine. Which is why changing your fluids and keeping them in shape is critical. But, which fluids are we talking about? While windshield wiper fluid sure makes seeing much easier, it's not critical. Engine Oil Engine Oil is the classic; it's what you are replacing when you go in for those regular (we hope) oil changes. What is its job? Protecting your engine's components from corrosions while also keeping your engine cool. The later which is relatively important for drivers in [...]

Tips for Going Green with Your Current Car

Hybrid cars and electric vehicles aren't for everyone. While great for the environment, they aren't great for everyone's lifestyles. For the farmers and ranchers, a Prius just won't cut it. Some need a car with some power to get them up steep roads and driveways. Others can't afford a fancy, new car in their garage. Whatever your reason, that's okay. Luckily, going green(er) with your current car is a possibility. Here are a few tips for going green while keeping your vehicle. How Cars Affect the Environment Before even hitting the road, vehicles require plenty of energy. During production, plants use copious amount of power running the machinery needed to turn steel, rubber, glass, plastics, and paints into a working, drivable car. Once your vehicle hits the road, fuel becomes the most significant impact on the planet. From extraction to transporting to burning, your car's need for fuel and emissions affect air quality, natural resources and more. But, that doesn't mean the solution is only to ride your [...]

By |2018-07-26T12:27:55+00:00July 26th, 2018|Car Questions, Car Tips|0 Comments

Wheel Alignment & How to Tell Your Out of Alignment

Your vehicle is a well-oiled machine — literally. With so many moving parts in such a small space, you quickly realize when something is off or not working correctly. Wheel alignment included. But, what is tire alignment? What causes your car to fall out of alignment? And how can you tell is your wheel alignment is off? What is Tire or Wheel Alignment? When speaking of alignment, we are referring to your vehicle's suspension, not the actual tires or wheels. Your suspension connects the body of your car to the four wheels and helps protect the frame from massive hits, like potholes or bumps. When you visit your local auto shop, and they realign your wheels, they are adjusting the angles of your tires to make the best contact with the road. Unaligned tires cannot grip the road as well and could potentially damage your suspension system if left unchecked for too long. The Angles of Tire Alignments When checking the alignment, mechanics and auto shops take note of three [...]

Safe Driving with Kids – 5 Tips & Tricks

Distracted driving. We see the billboards and PSAs warning drivers to put down their phones, stop changing the music, and stop chatting with friends. But, what about kids in the car? Studies show new moms are three times as likely to crash than the average driver, and with such precious cargo in the car that is a terrifying statistic. But, driving with kids doesn't have to be scary or stressful. Here are our tips and tricks to staying safe while driving with kids in the car. 5 Tips & Tricks for Driving with Kids Safely From screaming toddlers to agitated teens to improper use of child seats, driving with kids can be difficult. But, don't let the stress get to you. By keeping your cool and planning ahead, it's just another drive around the block. Tip 1 - Learn How to Install a Child Seat Before the Baby Comes Perfect practice makes perfect. Don't just assume you know how to use your child's car seat. After all, you [...]

By |2018-07-12T12:36:31+00:00July 12th, 2018|Car Tips|0 Comments

Car Transmission 101 & Common Issues

You can have the world's most powerful engine, but without a working transmission, you and your car would not be moving anytime soon. A part of your vehicle's powertrain the transmission moves the power from the engine to your wheels. With all that responsibility, it's no wonder folks get nervous when they suspect car transmission problems. What Does a Car Transmission Do? Your car's transmission has a lot going on. Using different mechanical components, it transfers the power created in your engine to your drive axle (or axles depending on your vehicle) to propel you forward or backward. Controlling Power and Speed Gear ratios determined automatically or manually dictate the amount of power transferred as well as the speed. Lower gears transfer more power, but less speed. With higher gears, less energy is transferred as the vehicle is already traveling at a higher rate. The higher the gear, the lower the gear ratio. Automatic Versus Manual Transmission The difference in automatic and manual transmissions comes down to how that gear ratio is dictated [...]

By |2018-06-28T14:47:03+00:00June 28th, 2018|Car Questions|0 Comments

Two-Wheel Versus Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles

Ah, the classic debate: two-wheel versus four-wheel drive cars. When Googling, the number of questions that went like these shocked us... How do you drive a car with only two wheels? Is it safe to drive cars with only two wheels that work? Is your vehicle totaled when it has two wheel drive? Having a two-wheel drive car doesn't mean only two wheels exist. It all comes down to a difference in power. Two-Wheel Versus Four-Wheel Drive The difference is not the number of wheels, but the number of wheels that are actively driving the car forward or backward. With two-wheel drive models, either the front or rear set of wheels is in charge of power and movement. With four-wheel drive, all four wheels are actively propelling the car in it's given direction. It's fairly evident that a two-wheel drive vehicle doesn't have as much "get up and go" compared with a four-wheel drive car with a comparable engine. It's up to half of the wheels to get it going while the other two follow [...]

By |2018-06-21T11:39:19+00:00June 21st, 2018|Car Questions|1 Comment

Fuel Efficiency Going Down? Here’s Why It’s Dropping.

We all know that sudden acceleration when the light turns green doesn't do your fuel efficiency any favors. In fact, many everyday driving habits affect your car's fuel economy. But, let's say your driving habits haven't changed. You aren't taking turns like a Nascar driver, and you haven't been revving your engine. So, why is your fuel efficiency decreasing? But, Doesn't Fuel Efficiency Normally Change Over Time? Yes. As car's age, fuel economy declines. No matter how well you take care of your vehicle, it's engine efficiency and power are never as good as when you drive it off the lot. However, while a product of the miles you've driven, this decrease in efficiency is most likely due to faulty or worn engine components. It's also true your gas mileage changes over the period of the day as well. Colder mornings mean lower fuel economies. In fact, at 20-degrees your fuel economy is 12% lower than at 77-degrees. But, what about on a typical, warm day? With a car that isn't incredibly old. Why do [...]

By |2018-06-14T15:54:31+00:00June 14th, 2018|Car Questions|0 Comments

6 Safe Driving Tips You Shouldn’t Forget

Sure, it's been a few years (or decades) since you took your driver's license test. But, that doesn't mean you should forget all the rules and driving tips! Actually, quite the opposite. While at the time it may have seemed like the obstacle in the way of your freedom, the driver's test prepares you for the road. Here are a few things you should always remember from your driver's test that will help you stay safe on the road. Safe Driving Tips You Shouldn't Forget They range from remembering signals, to proper following distances and the classic "put the phone down." But, all of these tips for driving safely help you (and those around you) arrive to your destinations accident-free. Tip #1 - Follow Proper Spacing Rules It's time to stop tailgating. Not only will it not get you there faster, but it also makes everyone around you angry, and it inhibits your ability to stop in time. So what's a reasonable distance? Follow the three-second rule. You should be (at the minimum) three seconds [...]

By |2018-05-22T09:16:02+00:00May 22nd, 2018|Car Tips|1 Comment

5 Summer Car Tips

Welcome to Texas—it's hot, really hot! While Texas may cool off during the winter, once summer hits expect temperatures to start hitting 100-degrees. While you can take shelter in your home, your car cannot. Unfortunately, all that heat deals damage to your vehicle. So, what can you do to prepare your car for the summer heat? Protecting Your Car from the Heat & Summer Car Tips Just how hot can your car get during Summers in Texas? If it's 102-degrees outside, the interior can escalate to 160-degrees! No wonder heat is one of the biggest environmental concerns for vehicles. Here are some summer car tips to keep your vehicle cool in the hot weather. Tip #1 - Check Your Coolant System Regularly Keeping your car cool isn't just a luxury, it's a requirement. Your cooling systems works overtime during the summer to keep your engine cool and prevent overheating. What should you look out for with your cooling system? For starters, always keep your coolant level topped off. Get an oil change to keep built-up [...]

By |2018-05-10T09:50:49+00:00May 10th, 2018|Auto Care, Car Tips|0 Comments

Drive Belts 101 — What They Do and Signs of a Failing Belt

Ever wonder what's responsible for transferring power and timing in your engine? The answer is drive belts. Whether a multi-belt system or a singular belt, without them your car doesn't function. Different Types of Belts in Cars V-Belt System Found in older vehicles, the v-belt system uses multiple belts coming off a single crankshaft to drive and transfer power to most major components. They act together as a transmission belt, forcing power to the alternator, hydraulic steering, cooling systems and more. Drive belts got the "V-Belt" name because of the way the teeth in the rubber belt are grooved, forming a line of v's. The v-belt system tapered out as the multi-belt system comes with more disadvantages than a one-belt system including: harder to tension correctly rotation of the pulley under hard strain more expensive as they tend to wear and fail at once Serpentine Drive Belts The most common belt in the modern car and responsible for most of the functions in your vehicle, the Serpentine Belt replaced the multi-belt V-belt system. The serpentine [...]

By |2018-05-01T09:18:31+00:00May 1st, 2018|Car Questions|0 Comments