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Archive for March 2023

The Right Automotive Fluids for Kingwood Drivers

Posted March 26, 2023 9:17 AM

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Kingwood drivers. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won't work as well and could even cause damage.

In addition to new grades of engine oil, many vehicles now leave the factory with synthetic oil. People in Kingwood should always use the grade recommended by their manufacturer.

All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Kingwood Service Center in Kingwood. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your vehicle cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.

Most passenger vehicles on Kingwood roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your vehicle power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.

Now, the thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids; using the right fluid is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you've got that down, it's easy to remember to check with your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Kingwood Service Center or your vehicle owner's manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.

Give us a call.

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

 



Breathe Easier (Cabin Air Filter)

Posted March 19, 2023 9:31 AM

When you get in your vehicle, how does it smell? If it's not so nice, it may be time to have your cabin air filter changed.

It's not the same one that filters out the air used in the engine.  The cabin air filter screens out dust and other particulates from the outside air so when it enters the cabin, you don't have to breathe them in when you're driving.  Maybe your commute finds you traveling along dusty rural roads, or maybe you pass by some city factories that have smokestacks spewing out smoky exhausts.  Or in spring, maybe you notice your allergies acting up because of the pollen in the air.  The cabin air filter will remove a lot of those things.

The more it filters out, the more those small particles add up.  That reduces how much airflow the heating/air conditioning system can handle, and you may notice not as much air is coming through your vehicle's vents.  That can also be a sign you need your air filter replaced.

Our technicians will remove and inspect the air filter; it's usually located around the glove compartment, under the dash or sometimes in the engine compartment. If you wish, your service advisor can show you what condition yours is in; if it needs replacing, you'll be able to see the dirt, bugs, leaves and other crud that accumulates after several months of driving. 

Each vehicle's manufacturer recommends an interval after which your cabin air filter should be replaced. Depending on how much and where you drive, you might find yourself needing a replacement more or less often than the manual suggests.

Just like you clean your furnace filters periodically, it's wise to do the same with your vehicle.  After you do, you'll find you might just breathe easier!

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



Alternator Facts (Failing Alternator)

Posted March 12, 2023 11:02 AM

If you notice that your headlights are flickering at night, that's something to pay attention to. While there could be many different things that could cause that problem, one possibility is your vehicle's alternator.

The alternator takes mechanical energy from the engine and turns it into electricity, in essence a generator.  The current it makes charges the battery and supplies power to the vehicle's electrical systems.  An alternator is made up of several different parts: a pulley, magnets, coil wires, brushes and a voltage regulator.  While your vehicle is running, these parts get a good workout and, after time, they begin to wear out.

Other symptoms of a failing alternator include your vehicle's lights dimming, the power windows going up and down more slowly than they used to, your power seats not moving quite as fast as before. 

Another sign of a worn out alternator is engine stalling.  Vehicles with fuel injection require a certain amount of power, and when an alternator is going bad, your engine could stall because the alternator isn't cranking out enough of it.

An alternator on its last legs can also fail to charge your battery properly.  Sometimes your battery isn't getting enough charge from the alternator and will go dead.  It also can be the opposite problem. The battery is getting too much power and will cause the battery to get hot.  Your vehicle may give you a clue on the instrument panel.  If you see any of these warning lights, take note: Check Engine, ALT, CHARGE or one that looks like a picture of a battery.  If that light is on, it's time to have your service facility give it a look.

As mentioned earlier, there are other components of your vehicle's electrical system that can fail, such as a worn out serpentine belt or a malfunctioning voltage regulator.  A reputable service facility has diagnostic tools to pinpoint the causes of your problems. And when your issues are fixed, your electrical system will be back to its hard-working self.  You'll get a real charge out of it!

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



Rubber Match (Tire Replacement)

Posted March 5, 2023 10:02 AM

A set of new tires isn't probably high on anyone's list of exciting purchases.  But since your life is literally riding on them, it's probably a good idea to know when it's time for you to buy new ones.

If you've been feeling your vehicle slipping more in wet weather or it takes a longer distance to stop, those are a couple of signs you may need new rubber all around. Here's how to make your decision.

First thing to do is look at your tires.  The surface of the tire that contacts the road is the tread. When that tire was new, the tread was deep (the grooves in the rubber that provide traction). If they're starting to look somewhat smooth, you have a seriously worn tire that definitely needs replacing.  Bring your vehicle in for us to look at your tires and we can check your tread with a tread gauge.

Also look at the sides of your tires.  If they have cuts or cracks in them, or if you see signs of bulges or scrapes made by hitting curbs or potholes, those could be signs of serious damage. 

Keep an eye on your tire pressure monitors.  If you notice one or more of your tires showing frequent pressure changes, that needs to be checked out. 

One other thing you probably didn't know is that your tires all have birthdays, and they're printed on each sidewall.  When you bring your vehicle in for us to inspect your tires, we can tell you how old they are. That's important because rubber deteriorates with age, even if they don’t have that many miles on them.  Tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires when they reach a certain age, usually from six to ten years old. 

Now the question is, which tires should you buy? That's one for your service adviser who can recommend replacements based on your driving style, the model of vehicle you own, where you drive most often, and other factors. 

Oh, and if you want your new set of tires to last as long as possible, remember to have them rotated regularly, keep the right pressure, and don't drive aggressively. 

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



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