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Is it the Battery, Starter, or Alternator?

When you've got places to be, but a car that won't budge, it leads to some strong feelings of frustration — and confusion! Your next question is probably, "is it the battery, starter, or alternator?" With all three having the ability to cause your engine not to start, 1/3 isn't seeming like good odds anymore. A little knowledge can go a long way in helping you diagnose the issue (and how much effort it will be to get your car going again). Car Parts 101 - The Battery, The Starter, and The Alternator While the three parts work in tandem to get your car moving, they all have separate (but equally important) roles. Car Battery Your vehicle's battery is the first spark that ignites the engine into action. Once the ignition switch is engaged (either by turning the key or pressing the start button), the battery sends voltage to the starter to help it get the gears turning. It also lets you crank the tunes without having your car [...]

Responsibilities of Car Ownership

Owning a vehicle is part of the American way. Especially for those living in the suburbs and rural areas in Texas, a car gets you where you need to go on your schedule. And for many folks, driving starts promptly at 15 with your learner's permit as a right of passage. But many drivers forget about the responsibilities of car ownership. From having your financials in order and taking driving seriously, owning and driving a vehicle isn't something to be taken lightly. Financial Responsibilities of Car Ownership Purchasing a car (new or used) takes money. And the financials don't stop there. Yearly, you'll need to register your vehicle. Texas requires your state registration fee, local registration fee, and inspection costs. For a typical passenger car or truck, expect to spend around $80 per year. You will also need to keep your car insurance current. The cost of insurance varies depending on your age, vehicle, and driving history, The average cost of car insurance in Texas is around $150 per [...]

By |2022-03-23T12:14:06-06:00March 23rd, 2022|Auto Care, Car Tips|0 Comments

The Road’s Stickiest Problems

We talk a lot about protecting your car from wear and tear and early damage. But, that's mostly centered around your car's engine and components. Today, we'd like to talk about some of the road's stickiest problems. While contaminants on your car's paint certainly dull the shine, we don't often think about what else road remnants are doing to your vehicle. Beyond keeping your vehicle looking like new, keeping your car clean can also help keep it on the road. Avoiding the Road's Stickiest Problems You can't avoid road grime; it's a fact of life for any driver. But that doesn't mean you should let it go unchecked. Bugs, Bugs, and More Bugs "Bet he doesn't have the guts to do that again!" It's a saying most of us have either heard or said while on a road trip or commute. With so many bugs flying around Texas, you've noticed the build-up on your grill and windshield. And those tiny bugs can cause some issues. If left on your [...]

I Put the Wrong Fuel in My Car – Now What?

We've gone over the different fuel types in previous articles. Whether from not knowing any better or an accident, putting the wrong fuel into your vehicle can cause some issues. If you mitigate this mistake quickly enough, you can minimize the damage. Put the Wrong Fuel in Your Car? Here's What to Do. The first step: quit driving and look up what you need to do (see below). The less fuel that is entered into your system, the better. From there, here's what you need to do to know about the wrong gas types. Gas in Diesel Vehicles Diesel and Gas are very different fuel types. Diesel fuel is thicker and acts as a lubricant. Thinner gasoline fuel causes wear to the fuel pump, injectors, and filters. This wear can happen quickly. Immediately halt your travels and call a tow truck for a ride to your local automotive shop, where they can drain the tank and fuel lines and fuel filter/s. Diesel in Gas Fueled Cars While engine damage [...]

By |2022-02-18T11:42:17-06:00February 18th, 2022|Car Questions, Damaged Car|0 Comments

The High Cost of Car Technology

Gone are the days of the most prominent technology in the car being the ability to roll down the windows. These days, cars are jam-packed with the latest in car technology advances. And it's not just for your entertainment or to enjoy a hands-free conversation on your commutes; driving functions also rely on computers and information systems. When it comes to these technological advances, we all pay for them. New cars are only getting more expensive. And with recent advancements and added-on technologies, it leads to more repairs. Those repairs can be just as costly. And with so many supply-chain issues, getting the necessary replacement parts to repair those pieces of car technology could take some time. Most Common Car Technology Repairs When it comes to vehicle technology, there is a trend. A trend of common technology repairs that we see in our shop include: Backup Camera Blind Spot Sensors Lane Assistance Bluetooth Navigation Audio Systems Performance Sensors With so many new features, it's important to do what you [...]

By |2022-02-10T14:30:29-06:00February 10th, 2022|Car Parts|0 Comments

Diesel vs. Gasoline

We all know that gasoline and diesel fuels are different. We know not to put diesel into a gas engine and vice versa. But, do we know the "whys" behind that rule? When it comes to diesel vs. gasoline, not only are the fuel types different, but the respective engine types are different. And each fuel engine comes with its benefits as well as disadvantages. Diesel vs. Gasoline Gasoline engines were invented in 1876 and were ground-breaking — but they weren't efficient. The four-stroke combustion engine only utilized 10% for the fuel, while the other 90% produced heat and burned off. So, in 1892, Rudolf Diesel created the combustion power engine (also known as the diesel engine). While gasoline engines have had many technological advances that led them to be more efficient than the original model, they operate slightly differently from their diesel engine counterparts. Diesel and Gasoline Engine Differences Both engines use internal combustion, with cylinders compressing air and fuel mixtures to create mechanical energy turned into motion [...]

By |2022-01-19T14:52:20-06:00January 19th, 2022|Car Parts, Car Questions|0 Comments

Let’s Talk Foggy Headlights

Let's talk about something we hate to see on other cars and our own cars — foggy headlights. Your vehicle's headlights make driving at night, rain, and snow easier. But, not if they are foggy and dull. And even if you are washing your car regularly, you can't keep your headlights as shiny and bright as they were when you drove off the car lot. Why is that? Causes of Foggy Headlights Dirt and Grime Sure, you may wash your car weekly, but you can't stop the build-up. Over time, your vehicle and headlamps encounter dirt, salt, grime, and other road debris (it's an inevitable part of being on the road). These things slowly eat away the top coat of your headlamps and cause scratching, which adds to the hazy headlight appearance. The Solution? Cleaning your vehicle regularly is an excellent start as removing any salt or chemicals as soon as possible minimizes their impact on your top-coat. Occasionally restoring the top coat of your car's headlights is a [...]

Increasing Your Winter Fuel Efficiency

With fuel prices continuing to rise, we all would like to save a little money on gas this winter. In very cold and snowy areas, winter can decrease your fuel efficiency — by up to 24% — because of the cold weather and less-than-optimal driving conditions. Not all hope is lost, though. It's still possible to increase your winter fuel efficiency to help offset the increase in gas prices and gas needed. It just takes a bit of change in habit. Tips for Increasing Winter Fuel Efficiency While changing your driving habits and vehicle maintenance schedule can feel like a lot of work, it's worth the money you'll save on gas this winter. Store Your Car in a Warm Place While you may like using your garage for storage purposes during the summer, it's time to make room for your vehicle(s) during the cold months. Keeping your car inside when it's cold means the engine has less work to warm up and therefore uses less gas. Reduce Your Idle [...]

By |2021-12-15T12:48:22-06:00December 15th, 2021|Car Tips|0 Comments

Replace or Repair Your Vehicle?

When faced with an extensive vehicle repair, it can leave you wondering if you should replace or repair your vehicle. And you're not alone. If you aren't a mechanic or car expert, it can be hard to know your next steps. But we are here to help! Let's talk about some of the big questions you need to ask yourself when debating replacing your car over repairing it. When It's Time to Replace Your Car Deciding to replace over repair comes down to three main questions: 1. How much will repairs cost? 2. How much is your car worth? and 3. Are there any safety concerns that cannot be adequately repaired? Finding Out the Cost of Repairs If you were just in an accident or need a major repair, your first step is to visit your local auto shop. They can take a look at your vehicle and make a list of required repairs and let you know the cost of those repairs. If you're in the Houston area, [...]

What to Do About Your Cracked Windshield

Cracked windshields are unavoidable (unless you've figured something out that we haven't yet). Some start as small chips, some come from weather changes, others from road debris, and some appear out of nowhere. But, wherever they come from, having a cracked windshield means you have some phone calls to make before it becomes worse or before you get a ticket. When to Repair or Replace Your Cracked Windshield Your windshield not only protects you from the elements, but an intact windshield ensures your airbags perform their job of protecting you and your passengers and helps keep everyone inside the vehicle in the case of an accident. When you notice damage on your windshield or any windows, you'll want to start thinking about your next steps. A repair may succeed if you have a small chip (smaller than a quarter) or a crack less than eight centimeters. A glass repair technician will be able to determine if your damaged windshield can be repaired. What happens if your cracked windshield or [...]

By |2021-11-08T15:05:01-06:00November 8th, 2021|Auto Care, Car Questions, Damaged Car|0 Comments
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