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Archive for September 2022

Drivers that "T" Us Off (Bad Driving Practices)

Posted September 25, 2022 7:39 AM

We've all seen drivers who do things that—let's be frank—really irritate us.  They're inconsiderate, can put people in danger and make the road a much less friendly place.  They really "T" us off.  These are the bad drivers who fit their description to a "T." 

  • The Tailgater.  You've seen this terrible driver who follows a few inches off the bumper of the vehicle ahead.  We all know what's going to happen if the driver ahead of the tailgater has to slam on the brakes.  And we've all been that driver followed by the tailgater, whose vehicle fills up your entire rearview mirror.  The tailgater is likely not in a great frame of mind and, thanks to his or her stupid driving practices, the "tailgatee" is getting pretty ticked off as well.  That's a formula for a big problem. Know anybody who respects or likes a tailgater? Didn't think so
  • The Texter. All sorts of people think they are perfectly capable of texting while driving.  It's not hard to spot them.  They're usually going more slowly than other drivers.  They may be weaving in and out of their lane.  They're looking down at their phone, not at the road.  At a stoplight, they're the ones who sit there for 30 seconds after the light has turned green.  Did you know a recent study found that a quarter of all accidents involve someone who is texting and driving?
  • The Trasher.  Their window goes down and the trash flies out.  They treat anything outside their vehicle as their personal garbage dump.  They finish up a cigarette and flick their butt out, leaving dozens a day for the rest of us to "admire." The Trasher has been around for a long time.  It's time for them to clean up their act.
  • The Turn-signal Troublemaker. They don't think they need to use turn signals because THEY know where THEY'RE going and no other driver needs that information.  They change lanes without any warning.  Or they made their move minutes earlier and have "forgotten" to turn off their signal.  Use those turn signals wisely and carefully.  And if you're not using your turn signals because they're not operating correctly? Get 'em fixed!

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



Plugging Away (Spark Plug Replacement)

Posted September 18, 2022 11:30 AM

If you drive a vehicle with a gasoline engine, thank the spark plugs for igniting the gasoline/air mixture in each cylinder that keeps your vehicle traveling smoothly down the road every day.  Your spark plugs work hard, firing thousands of times in a well-choreographed order, and you usually don't pay much attention to them until one of them stops working the way it should.

Signs that spark plugs are wearing out include:

  • Engine runs more roughly than it did
  • Vehicle doesn't start as easily as it used to
  • Vehicle hesitates when you press on the accelerator
  • Your fuel economy has gotten worse

When a spark plug stops working altogether, you will find your engine has likely lost a lot of its power and isn't running smoothly.  Your Check Engine light may  come on.  Then it's time to head to come to our service center to have it diagnosed.

If your plugs need to be replaced, they're usually done all at the same time. And if your vehicle has spark plug wires, experts recommend you change them as well. Different type of spark plugs last longer than others, and your service advisor can discuss what's best for your vehicle and driving habits.

A technician will also determine if there are any carbon deposits on your plugs, how healthy the ignition coil is (it's the part that supplies the high-voltage jolt that makes the spark) and will look for other signs and symptoms that may point to other problems in your engine. For instance, if a spark plug is fouled by oily deposits, it's possible oil is getting into the combustion chamber. 

They will also check all the plugs to see if there are problems in just one or all cylinders.  Sometimes a technician will find a plug that has overheated, literally melting the metal.  In that case, they may recommend they correct that problem before replacing the spark plugs.

Most spark plugs will last for a good, long time.  Even if you aren't seeing any symptoms they're wearing out, make sure you have your service advisor check your vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance intervals.  Preventative maintenance will keep your vehicle running reliably so you can count on it to get you where you want to go. 

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



Stay Safe in Kingwood by Putting Your Cell Phone on ICE

Posted September 11, 2022 10:19 AM

We don't want to think about it, but each Kingwood resident who drives or rides in a vehicle is potentially an accident victim. In the worst-case scenario, those people are unconscious and unable to communicate with TX rescue workers.

Rescue workers and Kingwood police are well aware of this difficulty, even if the rest of us don't stop to think about it. They can all recount stories of searching through glove compartments, pockets, wallets, purses and cell phone directories for a person's name and for contact information for someone who can help them get the person the medical care they need.

This contact information is critical in an accident because Kingwood medical workers need to know about allergies and potential drug interactions. Also, in TX, some medical treatments can't be provided without authorization or consent, and there can be insurance and billing issues if the person's medical care is not properly arranged.

ICE provides a solution for these concerns. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency and is a way for others to quickly identify emergency contacts in your cell phone.

Bob Brotchie, a paramedic from Cambridge, England, developed the idea for ICE in 2005. It soon spread around the globe. The system is simple, affordable and highly functional. Kingwood rescue workers can tell you that they can't always find purses and wallets at the scene of an accident. But these days, almost no one in TX goes anywhere without their phone.

To add ICE to your phone, simply put ICE in front of the names of those people who should be contacted in case you are in an emergency. For example, “ICE-Dad,” or “Ice-Deborah,” or “ICE-Dr. Mitchell.” Kingwood rescuers can quickly identify and access this information, saving valuable time. The only thing Kingwood drivers have to do after that is to keep their contacts current. Every time you change the batteries in your smoke alarm, it is a good idea to double-check your phone and make sure your ICE cell phone numbers are up-to-date. Of course, we'd rather avoid an accident in the first place. It's good advice to keep up with preventive maintenance (we can help you with that at Kingwood Service Center in Kingwood) and practice good car care and driving habits. Those can go a long way to keeping you safe on the road. Planning for the unthinkable helps your rescuers find the information they need quickly. Let's put the world on ICE.

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

 

 



Too Hot to Handle (Vehicle Overheating)

Posted September 4, 2022 10:02 AM

In the hot weather, seeing steam coming from the engine compartment is something we all dread.  No one wants that to happen to them. But if you know the signs of overheating and how to deal with it, you may be able to reduce the risk of damage to your vehicle, maybe even prevent getting stranded on the road.

Besides the steam coming out of the engine compartment, here are a few signs of overheating.  Your vehicle has a heat gauge that may have a needle that can go into a red zone or up to the "H" (for High) position.  You may smell odors, perhaps a burning (could be hot oil) or a sweet smell (engine coolant leaking). 

When you encounter any of those signs, you know you have to do something to keep the engine as cool as possible to avoid potentially catastrophic damage.  Turn off the air conditioning and turn up the heat.  While that last part may sound odd, it helps draw heat out of the engine. 

If you can do it safely, pull off the road to a spot away from traffic.  Turn off the engine so it can cool down for a few minutes.  You may want to call for help at this point, then switch on the key to "accessory" position to see if the engine has cooled down to the normal range.  You may have to have your car towed to a service facility or, if there's one nearby, you may be able to slowly drive to it.  But keep your eye on the heat gauge and immediately stop if it starts to overheat again. 

The best hedge against engine overheating is regular maintenance.  When the cooling system and other engine components are working like they should, your chances of an overheated engine are drastically reduced.  Your service facility will keep their eyes open for leaking hoses, cracked belts, rusted pipes and other things so they don't fail at the most inopportune time.

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



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