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Archive for August 2023

Tire or Re-Tire? (Getting Tires Ready for Hot Weather)

Posted August 27, 2023 7:03 AM

Heat isn't easy on vehicle tires, and as the seasons change, make sure yours are ready to take the heat. 

Let's talk first about inflation.  Heat causes air to expand, so heat alone can raise the pressure in your tires.  If you are driving on overinflated tires, they won't have as much contact with the road surface.  In that case, it will take you a longer distance to stop.

On the other hand, you don't want your tires to be underinflated during hot weather, either.  That can cause your sidewalls to flex.  Friction will then hike up the temperature and your tire can be in danger of blowing from the added heat.

Other things can cause problems, such as uneven wearing.  Your service advisor knows the signs to look for and can diagnose where the wear is and what is likely causing it.  Another thing a technician will look for on tires is tread depth and the condition of the sidewalls.  Any cuts, cracks or bulges could be indications that your tire is not healthy. 

Oh, and one other thing.  Your tires could have plenty of tread left on them but still be dangerous.  And that is because rubber ages, gets brittle and cracks after time.  (Ever run across an old rubber band in a drawer that has never been used but breaks the second you try to stretch it? 'Nuff said.) Some tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires after 6 years of their manufacturing date.  Your service advisor can read a manufacturing code and tell you how old your tires are. 

Tire manufacturer Michelin used to have an ad slogan that said, "Because so much is riding on your tires." That includes you and your passengers.  Always keep healthy tires on your vehicle and make sure they're ready for whatever season it is.

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



Automotive Tips from Kingwood Service Center: Signs of an Alignment Problem

Posted August 20, 2023 8:30 AM

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Kingwood drivers often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like an accident, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object.

While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday Kingwood driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well.

In addition, your vehicle can lose alignment over time with just normal driving. When your wheels are out of alignment, Kingwood Service Center in Kingwood can return your wheels to the vehicle manufacturer’s factory settings. Most owner's manuals suggest an alignment check every year or two. 

Give us a call.

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

 



The Light Many Drivers Fear (Check Engine Light)

Posted August 13, 2023 11:52 AM

Ask just about any driver about one thing they fear seeing inside their vehicle and they'll say it's the Check Engine light coming on. You know, that little light on your instrument panel that is in the shape of a vehicle engine, often accompanied by the words Check, Check Engine, Check Engine Service, or Service Engine Soon.

There are so many different reasons that light shows up, from something as simple as a loose gas cap to a more serious problem that requires immediate attention. 

The Check Engine light comes on because a component of your vehicle's onboard diagnostics system is telling you something isn't operating normally. Your vehicle has a lot of sensors built in, all tied together by computers.  When the sensors are showing that things somewhere aren't functioning the way they should be, they alert the vehicle's diagnostic computers and tell you something's amiss.

The simple rule is if the Check Engine light is on steadily, it's something you should have checked soon but it's not urgent.  If it's flashing or has turned red or orange instead of yellow, get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible.  If you don't, you may be facing some costly repairs.

Here are a few problem areas that may trigger your Check Engine Light. 

  • Something's wrong with the emissions equipment.  Maybe too much fuel is getting into the catalytic converter, or the exhaust gas recirculation system isn't working right.  Because some of these components are expensive to replace, it's worthwhile to have a technician look at your vehicle sooner rather than later.
  • Your ignition system isn't working right.  That means spark plugs, coils, and wires.  If your engine is misfiring, that could translate into an illuminated Check Engine light.
  • The transmission isn't behaving the way it should.  The transmission works in tandem with the engine, so if a sensor sees something wrong there, it will tell the vehicle to turn on the Check Engine light.

As you can see, there are many things that can cause the light to come on, and when it does, it really is a good idea to find out why.  When you bring your vehicle in, we have an electronic device that can read a code or multiple codes stored in your vehicle's computers.  That will provide the technician with clues pointing to the cause of the trouble and helps pinpoint where that trouble is. 

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



The Need for Speed (Wheel Speed Sensor Maintenance)

Posted August 6, 2023 10:57 AM

Today's vehicles have some pretty amazing technology in them, including a computerized braking system we all pretty much take for granted these days.  Antilock brake systems (ABS) have been around for years but they help drivers stop in much shorter distances reliably than ever before.  When you see your ABS warning light come on, it's important to find out what's causing the problem. It's a safety issue.

Often the problem when the ABS light comes on is a faulty wheel speed sensor.  (In some cases the traction control light will also come on, perhaps because of a non-working wheel speed sensor.) Your vehicle uses the speed sensors to measure the rotational speed at each wheel. That sensor sends the speed data to a computer that can then adjust braking power and prevent your wheels from locking up. 

If any of the wheel speed sensors isn't working right, the ABS warning light will go on and the vehicle's computer will turn off the antilock brake system.  You'll still have working brakes, but you will lose the functionality of that computerized system.

When your vehicle warns you the ABS has a non-working sensor, you can have a technician check to see what's going on. It could be one of the sensors is dirty and a cleaning will solve the problem.  But it also could be that one or more sensors needs to be replaced. 

A technician will use computerized diagnostic equipment to determine what and where the problem is, replace any bad parts and then check to make sure the system is fully operational. 

Antilock brakes and traction control are significant technologies that help prevent your vehicle from slipping on less-than-perfect road surfaces, especially useful during wintery weather.  Make sure they're helping you drive the way they designed to.

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



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