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Archive for February 2019

Maintaining Your Diesel in Kingwood

Posted February 24, 2019 6:58 AM

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven't been as common in the Kingwood area because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Kingwood diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV's.

Diesels are popular in TX because they get better fuel economy than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you're not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don't produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in TX as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In TX, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Kingwood drivers dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles also perform as well as other passenger vehicles. Most people don't notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer around TX, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don't all Kingwood people drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven't told me about. That's true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in TX. The better fuel economy of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more expensive to drive in Kingwood. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in TX, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for TX drivers depends now on the current price of fuel and how far you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Kingwood area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in TX becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Kingwood are similar. You may be thinking, wait:  You just told me that filters are more and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for Kingwood auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.

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



Why Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation Save You Money on Tires

Posted February 17, 2019 1:36 AM



Kingwood drivers want their tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to extend tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.

When wheels are out of balance, they wobble and vibrate. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. If a front wheel is out of balance you'll feel it in the steering wheel. If it's a rear wheel you'll feel it through your seat. To fix this, your technician at Kingwood Service Center puts weights on your wheels to balance them out.

That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a vehicle wear out faster than the rear tires. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.

Proper tire inflation will also help Kingwood folks' tires last longer. Underinflated tires wear more on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Overinflated tires wear too fast in the middle.

Four-wheel-drive trucks and SUV's tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more important with them. Give Kingwood Service Center a call to get our recommendation for your vehicle.

See your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Kingwood Service Center for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It's usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, or 8,000 to 13,000 km.

Tires are among the most important safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they'll take care of you.

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



Kingwood Exhaust and Emissions Service

Posted February 10, 2019 10:11 AM

Many Kingwood residents don't realize that there is more to exhaust system maintenance than just tailpipes and mufflers, if you can see smoke or if it's too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like Kingwood Service Center is really a lot more comprehensive these days.

For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. TX and federal emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.

So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it's so sophisticated, we recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Kingwood Service Center, regularly to make sure everything's working right – which is usually every six months or 6,000 miles/10,000 kilometers.

If your 'check engine light' comes on while you are driving around the Kingwood area, especially if it's flashing, then you need to bring your car into Kingwood Service Center ASAP. Chances are it's an emission related problem. Signs of exhaust or emissions trouble include difficulty starting, engine noise or smoke.

We hope this hasn't been too 'exhausting' of a discussion. Remember that a properly functioning exhaust system is for TX’s health and safety. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Kingwood Service Center in Kingwood if you think you might need your exhaust system checked. A quick look can sure save a lot of pain down the road.

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



Steering Clear in Kingwood

Posted February 3, 2019 7:45 AM

Those who know vehicles believe the steering system may be the most vital component of them all. Perhaps you've found over the years your steering has gotten loose. Or maybe suddenly, your steering wheel has gotten very hard to turn. Let's steer you in the direction of understanding why this may be happening.

First, loose steering. This can likely be the result of wear and tear on the components that connect the steering mechanism with the wheels. Those parts can be ball joints, Pitman arms or tie rods. These parts take a lot of abuse on the road, thanks to railroad tracks, potholes, uneven surfaces: you name it. It's important that they be checked regularly and maintained at Kingwood Service Center.

Second, the hard-to-turn wheel. Virtually all vehicles on the road have power steering. There are a couple of different types, though, so let's deal with each. By the way, when they fail, your vehicle's steering can suddenly go from easy peasy to really hard to control.

Some vehicles have hydraulic power steering. It uses a hydraulic fluid that can either leak out or become contaminated. When that happens, you can lose that power assist. There's also a belt involved, and if it becomes worn, stretched or cracked (or even breaks), you'll find yourself struggling with the wheel. If you hear a loud whine coming from the area in the engine compartment when you are steering, that could mean your power steering pump is failing. The best way to avoid these problems is regular maintenance.

Recently, manufacturers have been using electric power steering systems that have some advantages over hydraulic systems. They have electric motors that—like everything mechanical—can fail. Sometimes a fuse to the power steering motor will blow, but simply replacing the fuse often doesn't get to the root cause of the problem. A Kingwood Service Center technician can evaluate the system and recommend a solution.

Steering issues are all about safety and should be addressed as soon as possible. When you tell your service advisor, try to be specific about the signs and symptoms. It's one way to steer clear of trouble on the road.

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



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