Preventing Flat Tires

Part of owning a car means preparing for problems, including flat tires. And, there are a lot of causes behind just that. The good news is that there are ways to prepare for and prevent flat tires from occurring. Take a look at our tips on preventing flat tires and the warning signs your tire may be losing air. Avoiding and Preventing Flat Tires 1. Check Tire Pressure Losing air from a tire leads to a flat. That’s a no-brainer. So, checking your car’s tire pressure regularly will help you spot a leak before it turns into a flat. If you’re unsure of what your tire pressure should register at, you can find the psi (pounds per square inch) on a label in the driver’s door jamb, in your car's manual or on the side of the tire as well. Cars now come with their sensors that will alert you when a tire is low. Another tell-tale sign of low tire pressure is a drop in your vehicle’s gas [...]

5 Things to Know About Airbags

Car maintenance is not always about the longevity of your car. It can also be about safety. How often do you think about the airbags in your car? What are important things to know about airbags? From safety rules to how they work, here's a few things about your car's airbags. A Brief History of Airbags in Cars Car airbags are also known as a Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) and are usually found in the dashboard, interior sides, and the steering wheel. Airbags were first introduced in the 1970s. In 1998 they became a federal regulation in car production. We rarely hear or think about airbags outside of car accidents. However, you should consider them part of your regular car maintenance. Why? According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Airbags reduce the chance that your upper body or head will strike the vehicle's interior during a crash.” Airbags usually deploy within 300 to 400 milliseconds during a crash. This means that they have some super-charges projectiles behind [...]

Driving Into Autumn & Fall Car Care Tips

Fall. The season of pumpkins, pumpkin pie and pumpkin spiced lattes. But, it's also the season of change as leaves change and temperatures begin dropping. And that means it's time to get your car ready for a different season with these fall car care tips and tricks. Fall Car Care Tips & Maintenance To-Dos With Autumn comes a significant change in weather. Gone are the blue skies and hot temperatures. Instead, start expecting cold mornings and stormy weather. So, what do you need to do to get your car ready for fall? 1. Check Your Tires With almost guaranteed sunny weather gone, now is the time to check on the things that keep you connected with the road — your tires. Checking your tires' tread should be apart of your general car care checklist, but before fall it's especially important. Same goes for your tires' air pressure. Just had full tires, but notice they look less inflated on the crisp fall mornings. Don't automatically assume you have a leak. As [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Roadside Safety — What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down

Well, your car broke down. Now what? Hopefully, you are already on the side of the road, but even there isn't necessarily safe. Here are a few tips for staying safe when your car breaks down. Preventing Car Break Downs The first step of roadside safety? Avoid it! Many breakdowns are preventable with proper maintenance and general car care. Money woes stopping you from performing regular maintenance? Remember, repairs post-breakdown are far more expensive than a 5-month check-up. Driving and feel something funny? Instead of waiting for it to truly go South in the middle of the highway, pull off at the next exit. Stopping at the parking lot of a gas station or rest stop are safer options than the side or shoulder of the road. Plus, it's easier and better for service vehicles as well. Roadside Safety Tips After your car breaks down, it's hard to be in a "safety-first" mindset. But, that's exactly where your mind needs to be. Move Off the Road Seems like a no-brainer, but some folks don't move [...]

Getting Your Car Ready for Spring

You may not have noticed yet, but it's March! With March comes warmer temperatures, spring flowers and the annual desire for deep cleaning. This need for cleanliness and order should extend to your car as well. After all, it put in lots of work this winter. But, what does getting your car ready for spring require? Helping Your Car Recover from Winter Winter is hard on your vehicle. From corrosive salts to terrible road conditions to road damage during the winter season, the colder months aren't kind on cars. Wash the Salt Off Salt, the corrosive enemy of your metal vehicle. Frequent washings during the winter months are the key to avoiding salt damage, but another good wash and wax going into Spring helps as well. Pay particular attention to the underside of your vehicle including the tires, wheel wells and all the areas you can reach underneath. While some areas don't require soap, a good soaking and spray assists in removing the built up winter grime. Check the Brakes Your brakes need some love [...]

7 Bad Car Habits You Need To Stop Doing

We are all guilty of a few bad habits, from smoking to biting your nails to leaving the lights on when you leave the house. And your car is no different. Here are a few bad car habits you need to stop — and soon. 1. Sudden Shifting You reverse out of a spot and without slowing, immediately put it into drive and go on your merry way. Stop. Over time, these sudden directional changes wreak havoc on your drivetrain from the engine to the transmission to your axles. Take the extra three seconds. Completely stop before going forward. 2. Flooring It (and Than Quickly Braking) We are all guilty. At some point, everyone has hit a wide-open stretch and gunned it. While its fun (and relatively harmless) every once in awhile, doing it all the time is one bad car habit you need to stop. Inevitably after gunning it, slamming the brakes follows. Neither is great. Fast acceleration burns fuel, but also puts a massive, sudden load on the drivetrain. Braking quickly causes wear [...]

By |2018-02-16T11:25:19-06:00February 16th, 2018|Car Service & Maintenance, Car Tips|1 Comment

Texas Car Inspections – What You Need to Know to Pass

Whether you just moved to the Lone Star State or its that time of year again, Texas Car Inspections are a requirement every driver has to meet. Let's take a closer look at what the Texas Safety Inspection and Emissions Test requires of car owners to pass. How Often Do I Need to Inspect My Car in Texas? Texas requires an annual safety inspection if you wish to keep your car's registration valid and lawful. No exceptions. But, what if you have a multi-year registration or are just in-state for college? Multi-Year Registration. If you have multi-year registration, it does not matter. The state mandates the same yearly inspection rules. New Residents. You have 30 days starting the date you move to Texas. Anything after 30 days and you are susceptible to ticketing. Out-of-State Vehicles (College Students). Your car and your home address are out of state, but you are living in Texas, it can get confusing. You will need to get a safety inspection in the state of Texas while keeping your out-of-state registration. What's [...]

Finding a Trustworthy Car Mechanic & Auto Shop

Car repairs do not come cheap. You want to know the mechanic performing them does right by your vehicle—and you. But, what makes a car mechanic trustworthy? How do you find a good auto shop? Qualities of a Trustworthy Car Mechanic and Auto Shop While they may not have an easy-to-spot outward appearance, trustworthy car mechanics have some common traits and attributes. Listening and Communication Skills Worthwhile mechanics and auto shops take the time to listen to their customers. Not only is it considerate, but it may also help them when diagnosing problems down the road. When it comes to repairs, they can easily communicate their intended plans of action. They can walk you through complex repairs in a way that is easily understood—they include you in the process. Mechanics that are transparent instill trust, versus a behind-closed-doors style that leaves customers wondering what is happening to their vehicles. Consideration for Budget No one looks forward to spending their hard-earned dollars on their vehicle. A thoughtful car mechanic should keep this in mind when suggesting [...]

By |2018-12-21T10:10:39-06:00December 19th, 2017|Car Service & Maintenance|3 Comments
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