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Archive for October 2023

Read a Good Tire Lately? (Tire Wear)

Posted October 29, 2023 8:27 AM

There's lots of good information to read in books and online.  You might not know that you can also "read" your tires and learn a lot about what shape they're in and if they are in need of attention. It's important to know how your tires are doing because a tire failure can be very dangerous to you, your passengers and others on the road near you.

You read your tire by looking at the surface that rides on the road, where the tread is.  Check out the outer and inner edges.  If you notice there's more wear on the inner or outer edge than on the rest of the tread, your vehicle could be out of alignment.  Wear on an inner or outer edge could mean your wheels are leaning too much to one side.  When you see this, visit our service center soon to have the alignment checked.

What about if both edges are worn? That could be a sign that you don't have enough air in that tire.  In an underinflated tire, the middle is not contacting the road surface as much as the edges, so the edges wear down first.  It could also mean that you're taking corners too aggressively or your tires haven't been rotated on a regular schedule.

Another thing you might see on your tires' tread area is wear in the center of the tire.  That means you likely have too much air in that tire.  Too much air makes your tire contact the road in the middle more than on the edges so the middle wears down prematurely. 

You might also see some smooth spots on the tread in irregular spots. This is called cupping. This is sometimes caused by suspension problems. A technician can examine your suspension to see if it is up to the manufacturer's specifications.

Finally, you may spot tires that are worn unevenly in a pattern that goes diagonal to the tread pattern.  This could mean your tires are out of balance, something our service center can check. They might also check alignment at the same time.

Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that contacts the road surface.  That means your acceleration, traction, steering and braking are all dependent on your tires being healthy. Maintain your tires by having one of our trained technicians read the clues and making sure they're always in roadworthy shape. 

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



Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight and Your TX Driving

Posted October 22, 2023 3:02 AM



Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from Kingwood knows this makes sense.

Some of us in the Kingwood area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I'm not talkin' what you see in the mirror.

Guys: sports equipment and tools. Ladies: well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about 45 pounds of french fries on the floor.

All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and there, and everywhere else.

Lose the junk and save some money.

...And you really only need one of those spare tires.

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



Them's the Brakes (Brake Rotor Resurfacing)

Posted October 15, 2023 11:50 AM

Your vehicle's brakes wear out.  It's inevitable. You'll notice it when you step on the brake pedal and feel it harder to stop, or there's vibration when you are braking. 

Most modern vehicles have disc brakes that each use a brake pad that press on a disc (disc brakes!) called a rotor.  The friction between them enables you to stop, and each time you do a little bit of the pad and the rotor wears down.

The original brakes on vehicles used a rotor that was thick enough to last through at least two replacements of the pads.  But vehicle manufacturers who want to save costs and weight now make them thinner, and sometimes the rotors have to be replaced after the first pad replacement.  But not always.

Vehicle manufacturers specify a minimum thickness to provide safe braking.  Sometimes rather than having to have your rotors replaced, they can be put on a lathe and resurfaced.  In other words, the surfaces of the disc can be slightly shaved off so the surface is flat and doesn't wobble. 

Whenever you bring your vehicle in to have the brakes checked, the technician will measure the thickness of the rotors to see if they can be resurfaced without leaving them too thin for safe braking. If they can, with the right tools and skill, the rotors can be resurfaced.  If not, the rotors should be replaced. 

Discuss the options with your service advisor.  Our service center can recommend replacements that are designed to help stop your vehicle as well as or better than the vehicle's original rotors.

Either way, keep in mind that keeping your brakes in top condition can supply the margin of safety that may one day save your life or the lives of those around you.

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



A Clean Sweep (Fuel Injector Cleaning)

Posted October 8, 2023 7:16 AM

Your vehicle gets its power from burning fuel, usually gasoline, and it counts on something called fuel injectors to send gas to the engine in a spray that is easy to ignite.  It’s a precise operation, and when it’s working well, you have plenty of power and an efficient engine.

But after time, contaminants in the fuel system may prevent the injectors from spraying like they’re supposed to.  They can also shoot contaminants into the engine. 

One sign that could point to dirty fuel injectors is a misfiring engine. Misfires can be caused by several things, so it’s a good idea to bring your vehicle to us so we can trace the cause. Another sign is that your fuel economy has gone downhill or your engine doesn’t have the “pep” it used to.

If we discover that your injectors are clogged or not working the way they should, we can clean them to get rid of those contaminants to restore your engine to its top performance.  When you bring your vehicle to us, we will connect the flushing equipment, flush out the injectors and reassemble the system.

A good time to have fuel injectors inspected is when you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance.  An oil change is an ideal time to have a technician take a close look at your entire fuel delivery system. 

When you have your fuel injectors cleaned, you may see your mileage go up, your engine performance improve, and your exhaust emissions decrease.

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



Don't Do It Yourself (Perils of DIY Vehicle Repair)

Posted October 1, 2023 1:32 AM

Your vehicle is a complicated machine, and yes, it would be nice if you could take care of all of its problems yourself.  There was a time when vehicles were simpler and it wasn't too hard for a weekend mechanic to replace brakes, adjust a carburetor or perform a tune-up.  But vehicles are far more complicated these days, with traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes, air bags and fuel injection just a small sample of the new technologies. 

Like a lot of things these days, technology changes in leaps and bounds.  Anyone who repairs vehicles has to stay up on the latest computers, sensors, suspensions, steering, electronics, hydraulics and more.  Many power steering, braking and heating and air conditioning systems that used to be mechanical are now being replaced by electronic systems.  Computers are an integral part of  much of the latest automotive technology, something you didn't see a lot of until as recently as the 1990s.

Today's most highly-trained technicians are able to keep up with how to perform the latest repairs and service by continuing education about their craft.  When once an auto repairman could do fine with a lift and a good set of tools, now specialized electronic analysis equipment and tools are must-haves when it comes to vehicle repair.

Because of how fast technology changes, access to the latest repair databases and manuals is also important.  Manufacturers require certain service procedures to be performed precisely, and any other way can leave a vehicle compromised when it comes to performance and safety. 

Your vehicle is capable of traveling at high speeds on challenging surfaces with ever-increasing traffic issues and unpredictable obstacles.  You need your vehicle to be working up to its engineered potential.  That's why you should leave repairs and service to professionals.  They work on vehicles every day, and years of experience with hundreds of repairs equip them to deal with the unexpected as well as the routine. 

When you develop a trusting relationship with a reputable service facility, you can have confidence that the maintenance, service and repairs are being done by people who know what they're doing.  Your safety and your vehicle's performance and reliability are well worth it.

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



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