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Stop Driving on Empty

We’ve all been there before. Your car’s gas light has just turned on. You could stop to get gas, but you could also put it off until the next time you go out. You may have lived out this exact scenario dozens of times. However, you may not realize how damaging and dangerous this can be. Continue reading to learn why you should stop driving on an empty gas tank right away. Reasons to Stop Driving on Empty You May Damage Your Car The first danger of driving on empty is to your car. Several different essential parts can be damaged by continuously driving with low gas. The first is the catalytic converter, which is a part of your car’s fuel system. When you drive on empty, you run the risk of stalling out. This can be very damaging to a catalytic converter and may ultimately make you need to replace or repair the part. You may also cause damage to your car’s fuel pump while driving on empty. [...]

By |2020-06-23T13:28:53-06:00June 23rd, 2020|Car Tips|0 Comments

Synthetic Oil Versus Conventional Oil

These days, you'll most often see "full synthetic oil" or "synthetic blend" on your oil change receipt. What is that? Before synthetic, there was conventional oil. Over time, after research and advancing technology, conventional oil has begun to be phased out. So, what's the difference between the two engine oils? What is Synthetic Oil? It's oil, but instead of being just naturally made, it takes a bit of work.  Synthetic motor oil combines a base oil, powder additives, and carrier oil. Both synthetic and conventional oils use refined crude oils, but the difference comes with the artificially made additives and a higher level of refinement found in synthetic oils. Full synthetic is the purest, with the highest level of refinement for the base oil and additives. However, there is no industry standard, so the levels of refinement range between the different manufacturers. Rarely is anything every fully "full synthetic." Benefits of Synthetic Engine Oil Overall, synthetic engine oils (compared to conventional oils) reduce sludge build-up, lower friction between [...]

By |2020-06-08T16:05:57-06:00June 8th, 2020|Car Questions|0 Comments

We’re Open! COVID-19 & Northwest Auto Center of Houston

Update on March 31, 2020 Like many businesses across the nation, we are adjusting our hours to accommodate these uncertain times. Moving forward, we will be open and available by appointment only. This will give us the needed time to handle needed sanitation measures and social distancing requirements. To make an appointment, please call us at (281) 894-8880. We are dedicated to the Houston community, still using our 30+ years of service to offer the services you need at prices you can afford. We appreciate the community’s support. Stay safe and strong. - Northwest Auto Center of Houston Family Update on March 20, 2020 To all our Family, Friends & Clients, We want everyone to know that during this difficult time, we're here and we will be open as long as possible, (unless we are mandated to close). If you need us or if we can be of service, (even something as simple as an oil change). We're here to help! As we have for over the last 30 years, we offer scheduled maintenance, brake [...]

By |2020-03-31T13:39:21-06:00March 20th, 2020|Auto Care, Houston Texas|0 Comments

My ABS Warning Light is On, What Does that Mean?

As drivers, we may be accustomed to a few dashboard lights. Perhaps it's the "high-beams" light when you're driving dark, unlit roads, the "tire pressure" indicator on cold mornings, or even the "low gas" light when you're feeling brave. But, what about the ABS warning light? Anyone see that one lately? What Does ABS Stand For? Over the years, cars add more and more safety features. And in vehicles manufactured during or after the 1990s, those safety features include the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS). ABS has one purpose: keeping your tires from locking at the same time when braking. This technology allows your vehicle to keep a grip on the pavement instead of skidding and sliding. This especially helps in situations where grip is already reduced, like on wet pavement or dirt roads. While you don't think about it until you need it, you always want the ABS ready to spring into action. So, when you see your ABS warning light on, it's essential to take notice. My ABS [...]

By |2020-03-19T14:57:49-06:00March 19th, 2020|Car Parts, Car Questions|0 Comments

Back-to-School Auto Maintenance Tips

The new school year means carpooling, after-school activities, and play dates. With all the focus on the kids in this new routine, it can be easy to forget about the most helpful tool you have at this time--your vehicle. The good news is that you can get your car back into tip-top shape with a few auto maintenance and car care tips. We know that you've been shopping for school supplies and clothes in preparation for the new school year! Why not focus a little of that attention on your car? It doesn't take much work and will make your life so much easier. Let's take a look! 8 Back-To-School Auto Maintenance Tips 1) Give Your Car a Good Scrub All of our cars' exteriors can use a little tender lovin' care. You may think that taking your vehicle to the car wash is for aesthetics, but the truth is that it can keep your car healthy. Debris, dust, and rust can damage a vehicle over time. The best [...]

By |2019-09-25T11:35:04-06:00September 25th, 2019|Car Service & Maintenance|0 Comments

Back-To-School Driving Safety Tips

School's back in session! Taking the kiddos to school can mean bus stops, crosswalks, and kids on bikes. During before and after school activities and pickups, drivers need to be super careful and on high alert. School zone driving safety isn't just up to families with children in school; it's up to everyone to keep the roads and zones safe.   Now is a perfect time to do a little review on driving safely around schools and neighborhoods! School Zone Driving Safety In a school zone, you have a ton to think about. From other parent drivers to kids on their way to and from class, a lot is going on. Not only do you need to think about your safety, but you also need to create a safe environment for those around you. Let's take a look at a few tips that can keep you and your loved ones safe. Load and unload kids in designated areas. Dropping children off on the street may save you the hassle [...]

By |2019-09-05T11:22:32-06:00September 5th, 2019|Car Tips|0 Comments

Car Parts 101 – The Car Muffler

Have you ever heard an unusually loud car and wondered why it made such a ruckus? Chances are the car has an aftermarket muffler or has a hole in the muffler/exhaust system—the muffler is essential to suppressing the loud sounds of a vehicle's exhaust as it exits the car. The name seems pretty fitting, right? A muffler muffles the sound. Although Texas may not have a decibel regulation on the sound produced by vehicles, the southern state does have code on car mufflers. According to the Texas Transportation Code, "A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a muffler in good working condition that continually operates to prevent excessive or unusual noise." It's a good idea to know the ins and outs of your car's muffler. Let's take a more in-depth look at how mufflers work. How Does a Car Muffler Work? A muffler is a cylindrical, metal part that attaches to the exhaust. Your car's engine works off of combustion, which can be quite noisy. As the exhaust funnels [...]

By |2019-08-22T12:54:43-06:00August 22nd, 2019|Car Parts|0 Comments

Signs of an Overheating Car and What to Do

Imagine this. 'You're driving down I-69 in rush hour on a hot summer day, and you start to notice your 'car's acting funny. You look down at the instrument cluster and see that the temperature gauge is indicating that your engine is hotter than usual. You really 'don't want to pull over because the interstate is busy and you want to get home. What do you do? Unfortunately, an overheating car is a real possibility, and there are right and wrong ways to respond to this scenario. 'Let's take a look at some things that can cause your car to overheat and what you should do if you notice those issues. Tell-Tale Signs of an Overheating Car You 'can't always predict when you will run into car trouble, and an overheating car is no exception. Luckily, there are some signs that can help you recognize when your 'car's engine is too hot. 1.   Temperature Gauge We used the temperature gauge as the example in the scenario above. Your temperature [...]

By |2019-08-06T11:08:09-06:00August 6th, 2019|Auto Care, Car Tips|0 Comments

What is a Catalytic Converter?

As of 1975, the catalytic converter has been a mandatory component in cars, and for a good reason too. As your car's engine burns gas, it creates toxic pollutants that cannot be released back into the environment. This is where your car's catalytic converter comes in. Forming part of your car's exhaust system, the catalytic converter is designed to reduce the levels of nitrous oxide and ozone released into the atmosphere. What Does a Catalytic Converter Do? As the gasoline burns inside the engine, the expanding gases from combustion push the pistons to turn the crankshaft. These cases are full of toxic molecules that can wreak havoc on the environment. The catalytic converter takes toxic chemicals produced by your car and makes them less harmful through a series of reactions. Through these chemical reactions, the byproducts become carbon dioxide and water, which are okay for immediate release. Where is the Catalytic Converter? Many newer vehicles have the catalytic converter close to the engine; the older models, they were [...]

By |2019-08-16T14:54:09-06:00July 24th, 2019|Car Parts|0 Comments

Car Parts 101 – Car Radiators

Let's talk about car parts! Specifically, an essential part of your car's cooling system, car radiators. Because when it gets hot in Texas, it's really, really hot. Your car's engine works through combustion. Combustion means explosions. Explosions mean heat. For your car to take you across town, it has to produce a lot of heat. Without a cooling system, the engine combustion jacks up the engine's temperatures quickly, causing issues when it gets too hot. The radiator is one car part you don't want to have trouble with, especially in the dead of summer. So, what is a radiator, and how does it work keeping your car cool? What Are the Parts of Car Radiators? You can locate your car's radiator under the hood next to the engine. Radiators come in different makes and models, but they all have the same necessary components. Coolant – the liquid used to conduct the heat away from the engine, transmission, and radiator. Coolants can be gaseous or liquid. However, most modern vehicles [...]

By |2019-07-09T13:21:25-06:00July 9th, 2019|Car Parts|1 Comment
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