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Archive for April 2017

Kingwood Customer Detective Work

Posted April 30, 2017 3:15 AM

One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at Kingwood Service Center is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.

Cars are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So, it's challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it's not something obvious, it's easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.

Let us at Kingwood Service Center introduce you to something we'll call 'Customer Detective Work' –  helping your technician find clues to what's wrong.

We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me; You come in to Kingwood Service Center and your car is making a funny sound...

    • Q: Where's the sound?
    • A: Around the right front wheel.
    • Q: What kind of sound?
    • A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.
    • Q: When do you hear the sound?
    • A: When I turn and accelerate. 
  • Q: Right and left? Forward and back?

Do you see where we're going? You're gathering additional information to help your technician at Kingwood Service Center know where to start. Based on your car and the tech's experience, he'll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.

You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says "making a funny noise."

If the tech can experience the problem personally, he's better able to make a diagnosis and repair and then test to see if the repair solved the problem.

Ask us for details.

Kingwood Service Center
3318 Northpark Dr
Kingwood, TX 77339
(281) 360-7323
http://www.kingwoodservicecenter.net



All About Your TPMS in Kingwood

Posted April 24, 2017 2:39 AM



Kingwood drivers know that underinflated tires wear out more quickly. Underinflation is also a major cause of tire failure for TX auto owners. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of underinflated tires.

It's hard for many Kingwood drivers to tell when a radial tire is underinflated. If your owner’s manual recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under-inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.

Uncle Sam to the rescue! A recent U.S. federal law required vehicle manufacturer’s to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles. Many Canadian vehicles have them as well.  The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below its pressure recommendations.

Obviously, all of this doesn't come free for Kingwood car owners. Government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.

TX service centers have purchased new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and updated expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems.

Kingwood Service Center service advisors have been trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to the service center to perform what was once a very inexpensive service. So if you've noticed the cost of flat repairs, tire changes, and rotations going up, please keep in mind that it's because of government mandated safety equipment. Your Kingwood service center just wants to keep you safely on the road - and it's committed to do so at a fair price. Remember, this change will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

Kingwood Service Center
3318 Northpark Dr
Kingwood, TX 77339
(281) 360-7323
http://www.kingwoodservicecenter.net



What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

Posted April 17, 2017 6:01 AM

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Kingwood, TX, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Kingwood drivers don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of Kingwood customers' minds. It's not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Kingwood Service Center in Kingwood at (281) 360-7323 for information about differential service, or stop by our Kingwood, TX, auto center at 3318 Northpark Dr, 77339.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Kingwood high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It's a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Kingwood, TX area weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds (1,400 and 2,800 kg) – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That's a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So vehicle manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

The professionals at Kingwood Service Center will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then they’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Kingwood Service Center service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacture's recommended service interval or you can check your owner's manual. Give us a call at (281) 360-7323 for more information about your differential service.

Kingwood Service Center
3318 Northpark Dr
Kingwood, TX 77339
(281) 360-7323
http://www.kingwoodservicecenter.net



Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From Kingwood Service Center

Posted April 10, 2017 1:59 AM

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the TX news. Kingwood people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better gas mileage and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Kingwood motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They're good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they're paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their vehicles for 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) or more – as long as it's economical to do so.

There are plenty of Kingwood drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles (240,000 or 320,000 kilometers). We can learn from what they're doing to keep our own vehicles on the road in TX.

The Kingwood drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it's really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your vehicle's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is bad for your engine.

There's another reason the scheduled oil change is so important for Kingwood car owners. It's simple – a Kingwood Service Center professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won't get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let's use brake fluid as an example, your Kingwood Service Center technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or repair.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Kingwood Service Center service advisor will also visually inspect your vehicle for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car's worth.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your vehicle gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) you'll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some money, but they are less than new vehicle payments in Kingwood. With proper service at Kingwood Service Center and regular inspections, you'll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.

Kingwood Service Center
3318 Northpark Dr
Kingwood, TX 77339
(281) 360-7323
http://www.kingwoodservicecenter.net



By the Numbers: Tire Replacement at Kingwood Service Center in Kingwood

Posted April 3, 2017 5:47 AM

Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, Kingwood drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local Kingwood tire store.

Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When Kingwood drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.

The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the Kingwood area, it should have a high aspect ratio. For high performance on the road, you want a lower aspect ratio.

The R simply means this is a radial tire.

The 92 is the load rating index, or in other words, a rating of how much load a tire can safely carry. If you frequently haul heavy loads around Kingwood, you will want a tire with a high load rating.

The last letter in our “code” sequence is the speed rating on the tire. Not all tires have this rating. In general, the closer the letter is to the end of the alphabet, the higher the speed rating. In other words, Z is the highest rating and A is the lowest. One exception: H comes between U and V. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

If you'd just as soon ignore all of the markings on your tire, that's okay. When you need to replace your tires just ask your friendly and knowledgeable Kingwood Service Center tire professional for his auto advice on the best tires for you and your vehicle. Replacing tires is a standard part of preventive maintenance for Kingwood drivers vehicles. We all have to do it sooner or later. And the better we understand what we're buying, the better our vehicle will perform and the safer we will be on TX roads. Good vehicle care is informed vehicle care.

Kingwood Service Center
3318 Northpark Dr
Kingwood, TX 77339
(281) 360-7323
http://www.kingwoodservicecenter.net



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