Skip to main content

Best Auto Repair, Kingwood

CONTACT US

Archive for January 2021

The Power Behind your Engine (Alternator Diagnosis and Repair)

Posted January 31, 2021 12:10 PM

There's nothing like that sinking feeling when you turn the key and nothing happens in your vehicle.  A lot of us are quick to blame the battery.  But it may instead be your alternator that's failing.

Your battery supplies power to start your vehicle, but the alternator is what sends power when your engine is running.  The good news is alternators last a fairly long time, and it's not unusual to get seven years out of one. But they can give up the ghost thanks to the harsh conditions in the engine compartment.

Alternators have bearings inside them that keep things turning smoothly.  Debris, liquid, dirt and more can team up with the high temperatures your engine generates to cause those bearings to seize up.  That's not good, and if that happens, you may even be able to hear the bearings grind.

Other symptoms of a dying alternator are a squealing noise in the engine compartment or your headlights may go dim and bright, dim and bright.  You might even notice an electrical smell.  Any of these signs warrants a trip to your service facility.

Here's something else to think about.  If your alternator's bearings have seized up and the unit's shaft is not turning freely, that can destroy the belt that's attached to it.  So don't be surprised if your service advisor says both parts have to be replaced. 

There are different grades of alternators you can buy, but consider just how important this part is to keep your vehicle running.  Your service advisor will give you options based on your driving style and vehicle.  Remember, if you notice any of those symptoms that may signal a failing alternator, have it taken care of before you wind up stuck somewhere at the side of the road.

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



In a Fog (Fogged Windows in Cold Weather)

Posted January 24, 2021 7:32 AM

It's bad enough in cold weather when ice and snow block your visibility.  Add to that fog on the inside of your windows and you could be driving blind.  So here are a few tips on how to keep your windows from fogging up when there's a chill in the air.

You probably know fog is really condensation, when moist, warm air meets a cold surface and turns to liquid.  If your windshield fogs up, you probably turn on your windshield defroster. Most defrosters blow heated air on the windshield glass to warm it up so it won't condense the moisture.  Many also turn on the air conditioning to reduce the moisture. 

That same strategy can work on the rest of the windows.  First, turn up your heater's temperature setting.  The hotter the air, the more moisture it will hold.  Also, turn off the "recirculating" setting since you want all outside air to come in. Then switch on the air conditioning.  It will remove the moisture from the outside  air that it's blowing inside the cabin.  Try cracking a couple of windows to make it easier for the air to flow. This should do the trick pretty quickly. 

There's one other thing to try.  Many vehicles have electric heater elements embedded in the rear window glass (the rear window defroster) and in the outside rearview mirror glass. Make sure to turn those on, too; sometimes they're on the same switch.

For all of these things to work, of course, your vehicle's components have to be maintained so they'll do the things they're designed to do.  And you didn't think it was important to have your air conditioning working in the cold weather months! 

One final tip.  Keep the insides of your windows CLEAN.  Oil and dirt on the glass give the water molecules something to latch on to.  That ought to clear up this problem.

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



The Best Book that's Not a Best-Seller

Posted January 17, 2021 11:25 AM

Sometimes the movie is better than the book, sometimes it's the other way around.  But when it comes to your vehicle, the best book of all is the owner's manual. The plot is simple: Owner wants long life and dependable performance from the vehicle, manual has the way to achieve that long life and dependable performance.

And yet, it's amazing that some people will own a vehicle for years and never even crack this book.  They'll only read it when they absolutely have to, for things like finding out how to change the clock. 

Ok, so you're probably not going to rush right over to your glove box and start reading the owner's manual cover to cover.  We know that.  But just think of what you can get out of it.

Consider this.  Those who wrote or helped write this book include the engineers who designed it and the people who tested and refined it.  They know more about your vehicle than anyone, period.  They know how long a part is likely to last and what you need to do to take care of it. They know how far a distance or how long a time you can drive before you have to change certain fluids in it.  They know what temperature it can reach before things will start to break.

And they've put your vehicle model through torture, testing it in the absolute worst conditions to see how to make it stand up to more abuse than it will ever receive.  They've then torn it down, examined it and, in many cases, redesigned the parts to make them even better. 

And they've put down—in fairly minute detail—this blueprint that, if you and our experts at Kingwood Service Center follow their suggestions, will make it very likely that your vehicle will serve you well for a long time.  If you don't follow those suggestions, all bets are off.

We didn't even mention that the owner's manual tells you how to operate everything in your car.  How to adjust the heat and air conditioning, how to pair your smartphone with the audio system, how to program your key fob so it won't sound the horn when you lock your vehicle.

Have you lost your manual or did you buy a vehicle that didn't come with one?  Many are available either online or in paper form. If you don't know where to begin with such a long book, try a couple of pages a week, just three minutes.  You’ll discover your vehicle does things you never even knew it could do.  And the movie will never be as good.


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



Wasteful Thinking

Posted January 10, 2021 8:03 AM

With the weather getting colder, you might be tempted to start your vehicle up, let it idle for 15 or 20 minutes and then get in the nice, cozy cabin.  Some vehicles offer remote starting that let you do that from the comfort of your home or apartment.  But is letting your vehicle idle like that good for it?

Manufacturers say it doesn't harm the vehicle.  They say it's because modern vehicles are made differently from those in the past.  Just about all newer vehicles employ fuel injection which uses computers to adjust the amount of gasoline that goes into the cylinders.  The engine gets only the fuel it needs, taking conditions into account.

Older vehicles, on the other hand, used to use carburetors.  When you started a cold engine, the carburetor wasn't able to adjust the gasoline amount depending on conditions.  Some of the gasoline would mix with oil and the pistons wouldn't get the same lubrication as they would with undiluted oil.

So yes, you can warm up your newer vehicle for your own personal comfort.  But consider how much fuel you are wasting.  That is not only throwing away money, it's a waste of natural resources.  And it puts more carbon into the atmosphere. 

Automakers have to be mindful of what fuel economy their vehicles can achieve.  So the flip side of the remote starts they offer is a "stop-start" feature.  When you stop your vehicle, even at a stoplight, your vehicle will turn the engine off.  When you take your foot off the brake and step on the accelerator, it starts up right away.  That feature can save as much as 10 percent of the fuel your vehicle uses. 

Your vehicle may not have that start-stop feature, but you can still save fuel by shutting off your engine manually if you are waiting somewhere, like a parking lot or perhaps sitting outside your child's school waiting to pick him or her up.  It saves you money and contributes to a healthier atmosphere for our planet.

Kingwood Service Center
3318 Northpark Dr
Kingwood, TX 77339
(281) 360-7323



Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles in Kingwood, TX

Posted January 3, 2021 12:30 PM



The median age for cars in the Kingwood, TX area was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At Kingwood Service Center we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Kingwood area, bring it into Kingwood Service Center for high-mileage maintenance.
3318 Northpark Dr
Kingwood, TX 77339
(281) 360-7323

Many people in TX are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern vehicles are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn't have to be a painful experience.

Local car owners in Kingwood with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let's start with the special needs of the older vehicle...

The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There'll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.

All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.

So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they're worth it.

In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.

Talk with your Kingwood service advisor at Kingwood Service Center about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.

Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.

If anything, following recommended service intervals for your vehicle is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.

So, have your Kingwood auto service advisor at Kingwood Service Center help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven't gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it's time to start taking care of those things. It'll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.

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



Cold Weather Vehicle No-Nos (Items to Avoid Storing in a Freezing Vehicle)

Posted January 1, 2021 9:26 AM

It's always easier to leave a few things in your vehicle so you'll have them on hand.  But in cold weather, while it's a good idea to carry items such as a phone charger, blanket and shovel, there are some things you shouldn't store in your vehicle.

  • Medicines and drugs.  Cold temperatures can affect the chemical makeup of some drugs.  Avoid leaving them in a vehicle, especially those in a liquid form like insulin, eye drops and cough syrup.
  • Latex paint.  They are water based, and when they freeze, they get lumpy and lousy.  Your paint job will not be what you had in mind.
  • Cellphones and computers.  Most of these have lithium ion batteries.  If they get colder than freezing (0 degrees C, 32 degrees F), if you try to charge them, you'll more than likely ruin the batteries. 
  • Bottled water, soda, wine or beer.  OK, here's the scoop.  All of these can freeze and split the container they're in.  Yes, soda, wine and beer will take a lower temperature to freeze than water, but all of these can easily freeze if the mercury plunges low enough.  The problem isn't when they're frozen; it's when they unfreeze, drip out of their containers and leave you with a colossal mess. 
  • Musical instruments.  Guitars are made of wood.  When a guitar freezes and you bring it quickly into a warm room, you may hear cracking sounds that tell you that guitar will be not-so-gently weeping from the damage that can occur.  The same goes for wind instruments and others.  Don't ever subject musical instruments to quick temperature extremes.

 

Take a little time and effort not to leave these things out in a frigid vehicle.  You'll likely spend far more time and money tending to the resulting consequences than if you'd just brought them inside in the first place.

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



Search



Archive

April 2016 (16)
May 2016 (5)
June 2016 (4)
July 2016 (4)
August 2016 (5)
September 2016 (4)
October 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
December 2016 (4)
January 2017 (5)
February 2017 (4)
March 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
June 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
August 2017 (4)
September 2017 (3)
October 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
December 2017 (3)
January 2018 (5)
February 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
April 2018 (5)
May 2018 (4)
June 2018 (4)
July 2018 (5)
August 2018 (4)
September 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
November 2018 (4)
December 2018 (5)
January 2019 (5)
February 2019 (4)
March 2019 (4)
April 2019 (4)
May 2019 (4)
June 2019 (5)
July 2019 (4)
August 2019 (4)
September 2019 (5)
October 2019 (4)
November 2019 (4)
December 2019 (5)
January 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
March 2020 (5)
April 2020 (4)
May 2020 (5)
June 2020 (4)
July 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
September 2020 (4)
October 2020 (4)
November 2020 (5)
December 2020 (4)
January 2021 (6)
February 2021 (4)
March 2021 (4)
April 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
June 2021 (4)
July 2021 (4)
August 2021 (5)
September 2021 (4)
October 2021 (5)
November 2021 (4)
December 2021 (4)
January 2022 (6)
February 2022 (4)
March 2022 (4)
April 2022 (4)
May 2022 (5)
June 2022 (4)
July 2022 (5)
August 2022 (4)
September 2022 (4)
October 2022 (5)
November 2022 (4)
December 2022 (4)
January 2023 (5)
February 2023 (4)
March 2023 (4)
April 2023 (5)
May 2023 (4)
June 2023 (4)
July 2023 (5)
August 2023 (4)
September 2023 (4)
October 2023 (5)
November 2023 (4)
December 2023 (5)
January 2024 (5)
February 2024 (4)
March 2024 (5)
April 2024 (4)
May 2024 (4)
June 2024 (3)

Categories

Exhaust (8)Tires and Wheels (33)Timing Belt (5)Drive Train (6)Fuel System (37)Steering (13)Service Intervals (6)Alignment (16)Older Vehicles (4)Automotive News (7)Parts (6)Fuel Economy (10)Windshield Wipers (8)Battery (15)Differential Service (2)Service Standards (11)Maintenance (43)Monitoring System (3)Cooling System (15)Brakes (13)Transmission (7)Cabin Air Filter (8)Air Conditioning (12)Fluids (14)Winter Prep (3)Engine Air Filter (1)Auto Safety (4)Inspection (6)Headlamps (5)Safety (4)Check Engine Light (4)Suspension (2)What Customers Should Know (53)Diagnostics (4)Keys to a long lasting vehicle (4)Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (2)Shocks & Struts (5)Serpentine Belt (5)Dashboard (1)Oil Change (5)Customer Detective Work (1)Alternator (4)Safe Driving (1)Tires (8)Winter Tires (1)Trip Inspection (4)Spark Plugs (2)Wheel Bearings (1)Emergency Items (1)TPMS (2)Diesel Maintenance (1)Tire Rotation and Balancing (1)Water Pump (2)Transfer Case Service (1)PCV Valve (1)

Partners

ASE Master Technician
ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
ACDelco
BG Products
Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite 2019
Car Care Aware

What our clients are saying about us

We have established longterm and stable partnerships with various clients thanks to our excellence in solving their automotive needs!

Trustworthy service! quotes-image
, 06/17/2024
reviewicon
Service and communication were both excellent. I’ve been using them for years and will continue to.quotes-image
, 06/12/2024
reviewicon