C&A Transmission and Auto Repair

Servicing Spring, Houston, and surrounding areas since 1988

C&A Transmission and Auto Repair - Servicing Spring, Houston, and surrounding areas since 1988

Drive Defensively In TX

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Car care is a critical part of auto safety in Spring. But the most important thing we can do to improve safety on TX roads is to drive safely.

Defensive driving is safe driving. And defensive driving is all about attitude. You have to decide that you will be a safe driver in TX, no matter what anyone else is doing.

Spring drivers can start with awareness. Always maintain awareness of your surroundings, the road conditions, other vehicles on the Spring road or expressway and road hazards. Have you ever suddenly realized that you have arrived somewhere, but you don’t really remember driving there? That is unsafe driving.

Never assume that other Spring motorists are paying attention. You be the one on alert. You be the one to take initiative to stay out of the way of other TX drivers. And don’t let familiarity dull your alertness. Remind yourself to pay as close attention while driving on the roads near your Spring home as you would in unfamiliar territory around TX.

Prepare your family car so you can give the road your full attention. Secure passengers and pets before leaving the driveway. Secure loose items in your family car so they can’t become projectiles if you have to brake suddenly. If children or pets become a distraction while driving, pull over and take care of the problem before re-entering traffic. Unclutter your windows. Take down the danglies from your rearview mirror. And don’t use your family car dashboard as an office. Move distractions and clutter to the backseat. Keep your windshield clear.

Properly maintain your family car. Preventive maintenance doesn’t just prevent repairs; it prevents unsafe vehicles. Make sure your tires, lights, brakes, suspension, alignment and steering get regular check-ups at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair. Also, listen to your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair tech when he gives you auto advice about other systems in your family car. Knowing about the wear and tear on your family car can help you avoid dangerous situations.

Avoid driving when you are sleepy or angry. Get a good night’s sleep before a road trip in TX, and learn to set aside relationship, job or other issues while you are in a vehicle. Again, you have to take charge of your own safety. Don’t daydream in your vehicle. Also, talking to passengers can be a distraction. Keep your mind on the road. Conversations may keep you from daydreaming or excessive boredom on a long trip, but always keep your driving foremost in your mind.

Maintain a proper speed. Driving too fast is dangerous on crowded Spring roads, but driving too slowly can cause accidents, too. At night, don’t overdrive your headlights. Your stopping distance needs to be shorter than the distance your headlights are illuminating.

Never drink and drive. Alcohol plays a part in half of all fatal accidents in TX and nationally. Also, don’t drive drugged. Pay attention to the warning labels on any medications you are taking.

Other Spring motorists need to see you and know what you want to do. Use your family car turn signals, and stay out of other TX drivers’ blind spots.

If you can, avoid driving over debris in the road. You can damage your family car or end up in an accident. Of course, if swerving to avoid the debris is dangerous, then slow down and navigate as best you can. Do what you can to alert other auto owners to the problem. You may want to pull to the side of the Tomball road and report the debris or move it to the side of the road, if you can do so safely.

Never follow too closely on Houston roads or expressways. Observe the two-second rule. Choose an object ahead such as a tree or traffic sign. As the car in front of you passes it, start counting: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. If you reach the object before you’re done, you’re too close. Back off.

If you are on one of the TX expressways, or if you are hauling a heavy load, or if you are tired, or if in any way you are not the model of the alert and attentive driver, then increase that two-second rule to three seconds. Give yourself an added measure of safety. If the Houston weather is bad, increase the rule to five seconds.

Inevitably, someone always pulls in front of you when you are trying to follow the “seconds” rules. Don’t get mad. Just back off and leave them to their bad driving habits. Remember, you are not going to give up your safety for anyone else’s cussedness. It’s always a bad trade.

If someone is following you too closely, pull over and let them pass. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. If you’re late, worry about it after you’re there, not while you’re on the road.

If you see a vehicle driving erratically in Spring, stay away. Take the next right or the next exit off the freeway. Notify the Spring police as soon as you are safely stopped.

And of course, don’t be the idiot driver we all complain about in Spring. Don’t contest your right-of-way, don’t race to beat someone to a merge, and don’t cut into someone else’s two seconds of space. Winning these types of ego trips may end up losing you your family car—or worse, your life or the life of a friend.

The professional automotive team at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair wants all Spring motorists to stay smart and stay safe.

Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles In Spring TX

Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the Spring TX area (zip code: 77388) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Houston area, bring it in for high-mileage maintenance:
C&A Transmission & Auto Repair
20336 Holzwarth Road
Spring, TX 77388

Many people in Spring are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern family cars are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn’t have to be a painful experience.

Local car owners in Spring with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let’s start with the special needs of the older vehicle…

The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There’ll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.

All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.

So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they’re worth it.

In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.

Talk with your Spring service advisor at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.

Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.

If anything, following recommended service intervals for your family car is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.

So, have your Spring auto service advisor at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven’t gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it’s time to start taking care of those things. It’ll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.

What is That? Check Engine Light Service At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair

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Okay. You went to your local Spring car wash and while your family car was under the dryer, the check engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Something is seriously wrong with the family car! You head for the nearest Spring service station, but on the way, the check engine light stops flashing, and just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your family car in to get serviced. In the meantime, the check engine light goes off. What? You decide the light must be faulty, or that when it comes on it doesn’t mean anything, or that it’s just in your family car as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary pricey repairs. You’re glad you didn’t take your car to the Spring repair shop and resolve to ignore that engine light in the future.

Whoa! Let’s look at what really happened. Your family car was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report to the engine computer, where a warning was triggered: there shouldn’t be that much airflow when the family car engine is idling. This is a serious problem that could cause permanent engine damage. Warning! The check engine light starts flashing, letting you know you need to take immediate action to prevent that damage.

You drive out from under the dryer, and the air intake sensor sends a new message to the computer. The computer realizes that everything is normal and tells the check engine light to stop flashing. The family car doesn’t need immediate attention; but there was a problem, and it should be checked out by your technician. After a few days the computer senses that the problem is gone, so it turns off the warning light.

You may think this story illustrates the uselessness of a check engine light, but you should remember that a computer can’t think for itself, it can only follow its programming. It doesn’t know the difference between a car wash air dryer and a serious malfunction in your family car engine. That doesn’t make it useless. It just means you have to be the smart one.

Being smart doesn’t mean ignoring your family car check engine light. It lets you know when something is wrong, and you can prevent a lot of damage to your vehicle by paying proper attention to it.

Your engine computer is constantly collecting data about what is going on inside your family car engine. It knows what parameters are normal, and when a reading may indicate a problem. It uses the check engine light to let you know when something isn’t right. It then stores a code in its memory that a service advisor can retrieve that indicates which reading was abnormal.

The service advisor uses this code as a starting place to find out what’s wrong with your family car. It’s like going to the doctor with a fever. The fever is the reading that is abnormal — your temperature is too high — but the doctor still has to figure out what’s causing it. It’s probably an infection, but what kind? Sinus infection? Appendicitis? Flu? The problems and their solutions are quite different. But a fever also tells a doctor what’s NOT wrong with you. Fevers don’t accompany stress headaches, ulcers or arthritis, so there’s no sense in testing for those conditions.

Your Spring service advisor responds to a trouble code in your family car’s computer in the same way. The code doesn’t say exactly what’s wrong, but it does give the technician a good indication of where to start looking —and where he/she doesn’t need to look.

Now, you wouldn’t consider diagnosing yourself with a serious medical problem; good medical advice — unless you’re a doctor. So you shouldn’t consider trying to diagnose your vehicle’s troubles by yourself; good auto advice — unless you’re a trained mechanic.

There are cheap scanners available on the market and some Spring auto parts stores offer to read trouble codes from your family car engine computer for you, but these are really not good alternatives to taking your vehicle to a qualified service center such as C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring. Your engine’s computer has both short-term and long-term memory, and there are some codes that are specific to a particular make of vehicle. Cheap scanners can’t read an engine computer’s long-term memory nor can they interpret manufacturer – specific codes. That’s why manager Carlisle Aspinall at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair spends a lot of money on high-end diagnostic tools.

It’s as if you had a choice between a doctor who had a tongue depressor and a thermometer and one who had all the latest medical diagnostic equipment on hand. Honestly, which would you choose?

Getting your codes read at your Houston auto parts store isn’t really a money-saver, either, unless you’re a trained mechanic. You’ll end up with a code that tells you a symptom. What usually happens next is that the Houston parts store sells you something that directly relates to the symptom. It may or may not fix the problem. It’s actually cheaper to just go to the C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring and get things fixed right the first time.

Remember, a fever can indicate a sinus infection or appendicitis. An antibiotic may be okay for that sinus infection, but it won’t help your appendicitis. Is it really wise to wait around to see if the antibiotic helps when you might have appendicitis?

Part of good car care is knowing where you can get a problem fixed, and fixed right. Preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping you out of the repair shop, but eventually, we will all have a problem that needs fixing. Let’s do it right the first time at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair. In the long run, it’s actually the less costly choice.

What To Do In Case Of An Accident

If you’ve ever been in a car accident around Spring TX, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It’s hard to think straight and know what to do.

Let’s review what you should do in case of an accident in Spring, TX:

When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in TX – even if it’s not your fault. And hit-and-run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver’s license or even jail time in our local Spring lockup.

Most states, including TX require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able.

Warn other Spring motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood.

Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.

Always file a police report. It’s tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you won’t have an objective report to help defend yourself.

Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don’t. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of TX law, the other guy may be responsible.

Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as “I was going 35 miles per hour” not “I wasn’t speeding”. Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you.

Also get the officer’s name and badge number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.

Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license number and expiration
  • Insurance information

Also take down a description of the other vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number. Most insurance companies don’t record license plate numbers, so the VIN number is the best way to track the vehicle.

Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can’t wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary.

Always call your insurance agent or your TX auto insurance company’s 800 number.

Call or see your local Spring physician if you think you may have been injured.

We here at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy travels.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the TX news. Spring people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better fuel efficiency and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Spring motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, Spring grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their family cars for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Spring drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own family cars on the road in TX.

The quick Spring car owners of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At C&A Transmission & Auto RepairThat may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your family car’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is harmful for your engine.

There’s another essential reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Spring car owners. It’s simple – a C&A Transmission & Auto Repair professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or costly repair.

Your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technician will also visually inspect your family car for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your C&A Transmission & Auto Repair advisor will be able to remind you of other critical services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Spring dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your family car gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some income, but they are less expensive than new family car payments in Spring. With proper service at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more income in your wallet.