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Archive for May 2023

Pinch Petroleum Pennies! (Fuel Saving Tips)

Posted May 28, 2023 9:37 AM

If you saw a dollar bill on the ground, you'd pick it up, right? Well, whether you find that dollar on the ground or in savings at the gas pump, money is money, and here are some ways to hold on to more of it.

Slowing down is the easiest way to save fuel, especially for every speed increase over 50 mph/80 k/hr.  Tone down the speed, turn up the cash savings.  Drive smoothly (not like a race car driver) and you'll also save money in fuel.  Aggressive, fast-start, jerky-stop habits are just pulling the bucks out of your wallet about a third more than if you drove just a little more gently.  Oh, and cruise control can help with that smooth, steady speed, so use it on the highway. Bonus!

Are you hauling around a set of dumbbells or a box of books? That extra weight is costing you dough.  Store them somewhere else.  When's the last time you checked to see your tires were inflated properly? That's another money saver and makes your vehicle safer.

An idle thought… don't idle any longer than you have to.  If you will be idling for more than 30 seconds you'll save money by turning off the engine and re-starting it.  More and more of the latest vehicles now do this automatically.

Some like it cold.  But air conditioning uses a lot of extra fuel.  If you can live with the cabin at 72 on a hot day rather than turned down to arctic freeze levels, you'll save some cool cash.  Turn off the A/C all together can save you from 5-20 percent

The key to a fuel-efficient vehicle is keeping it well maintained.  If your spark plugs are old, your belts frayed and your brake pads worn, you're just throwing away fuel.  Try a few of these gas-saving suggestions and while you're at it, you'll be helping to reduce your carbon footprint that will help everyone on Planet Earth.

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



Right or Left? Kingwood Service Center Power Steering Service

Posted May 21, 2023 10:36 AM

Have you ever driven a vehicle without power steering? If you have, then you probably appreciate how much easier it is to drive today's modern vehicles. Before power steering, all of the force to turn a vehicle had to come from the driver's arms. That's why old cars had such large steering wheels: they needed plenty of leverage to steer. There were some Kingwood folks who had difficulty driving because they just weren't strong enough.

Power steering is now standard on all vehicles, but there are several ways that power can be delivered. Most vehicles use a hydraulic power steering system system. In this system, a serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump that pressurizes the power steering fluid. The pressure activates hydraulics that provides steering power.

Other vehicles use an electric pump to pressurize the power steering fluid rather than the belt-driven pump. Some newer vehicles actually have electric motors that provide steering power and don't use steering fluid at all, especially in the increasingly popular hybrid and electric vehicles.

Kingwood drivers who own a vehicle that uses power steering fluid need to have it changed regularly. Over time, moisture accumulates in the power steering fluid, which affects steering performance and can corrode steering components. Dirt and other contaminants can also accumulate in the power steering fluid, which will also negatively affect steering performance. A good power steering service at Kingwood Service Center in Kingwood will flush out the old fluid and get rid of dirt and other deposits in the system. Clean fluid will then be added. Fresh fluid provides lubricants that help protect the steering system as well as prevent corrosion.

For recommendations on how often your power steering fluid should be replaced, consult your owner's manual. It varies by vehicle model and manufacturer. For more auto advice on steering fluid changes—and other preventive maintenance—you can talk with your service advisor at Kingwood Service Center. You may need to change your fluid more often depending on the driving and weather conditions in your area.

Kingwood drivers who believe in good vehicle care will add power steering service to their preventive maintenance schedule. This will prevent damage to your steering system and extend its working life. The old days of double-handed cranking on a huge steering wheel may be over, but our new comfort and convenience are not maintenance-free. Do yourself and your vehicle a favor. Keep the power steering fluid clean.

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



Below 45 Degrees in Kingwood: Consider Winter Tires

Posted May 14, 2023 10:25 AM

Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Kingwood drivers couldn't wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. TX drivers ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.

Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Kingwood area are much better designed for the wide range of conditions that come with TX winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Kingwood temperatures below 45°F (7° C) which reduces their traction. That's a concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet conditions. But it also means that Kingwood drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it's dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.

The all-season tire that is popular among Kingwood drivers is a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for Kingwood drivers in either season but aren't great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather but lousy performance in winter. Kingwood drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed by your friendly and professional service advisor at Kingwood Service Center. It's best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. Kingwood drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

For more auto advice about tires for any TX season, ask your friendly and knowledgeable Kingwood Service Center tire professional. They can help you find the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don't forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for the best durability, safety and performance, but don't overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us in Kingwood.


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



Oil's Well That Ends Well (Oil Change Grades and Weight)

Posted May 7, 2023 9:36 AM

Changing your oil regularly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your vehicle running well.  And knowing the right type of oil to use is also very important. 

Engine oil is classified by weight, but it doesn't refer to how much the oil would weigh if you put it on a scale.  It refers to viscosity, or how easily the oil flows through the engine.  Most engines operate normally at around 210°F/99°C.  The viscosity, or weight, is assigned a number by how well it flows at that temperature.  The lower the number, the more freely it flows. 

Most vehicle engines use what's called a multigrade oil which behaves differently in different temperatures. Multigrade oils have a "W" in their viscosity number that you may have seen on a bottle of oil, something like 5W30.  The W stands for winter and shows how freely it flows in colder temperatures.

That means a 5W30 oil will behave like a 5 weight oil in lower temperatures (less viscous or thinner) and a 30 weight oil in warmer temperatures (more viscous or thicker).  That's important on a cold day because the oil needs to behave like a thinner oil when you start your engine since it need to lubricate engine components immediately to protect the metal components. Then as the engine warms up, it behaves like a thicker oil to prevent friction among those parts.  Pretty neat trick, right?

The type of oil you use can differ depending on what type of climate you operate your vehicle in and how your vehicle is used (carrying big loads, towing, etc.). Your owner's manual contains several different recommendations based on these factors.  Your service advisor can recommend the right oil for your needs.  Like Shakespeare said, "Oil's well that ends well."

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



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