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

C&A Transmission & Auto Repair Guide To Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Today’s C&A Transmission & Auto Repair post focuses on using the proper fluids for your vehicle. Significant advancements in automotive technology have lead to the development of high-tech fluids to keep modern cars operating at peak performance. This is due to both engineering advances and new high-tech materials used to build family car automotive systems.

A simple example of this is the cooling system. For decades it was primarily made out of iron, steel and rubber hoses. There was one kind of coolant that protected these components from corrosion.

Now cooling system components are made with various metal alloys and plastics. These materials require different additives to protect them from corrosion. Since the materials used vary among family car car makers, we now have a number of different kinds of coolant.

It’s essential for Hufsmith car owners to use the right coolant. C&A Transmission & Auto Repair Guide To Using the Correct Fluids in Your VehicleIf you pour in the wrong kind, it won’t protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your family car owner’s manual. Of course, your C&A Transmission & Auto Repair automotive advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.

Brake fluid is confusing for some Hufsmith drivers. Back when we opened C&A Transmission & Auto Repair 2 years ago, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Spring people mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That’s not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your family car.

Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in family car automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.

Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to Hufsmith motorists and C&A Transmission & Auto Repair professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today’s high-tech family car engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances. Every year, engines make more power and (thankfully!) get better MPG. And along with all the complexity and sophistication, they still have to be durable.

That’s where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those family car engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.

At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as impressive as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, make sure you always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.

Check your family car owner’s manual or ask your Hufsmith service technician.
The wrong fluid can cause damage to your family car engine. If you drive a car or truck around TX with 75,000 miles or more, consider high mileage formulations. These fluids contain extra detergent to clean dirtier older engines as well as additives to condition seals and gaskets. That’ll help prevent leaks. Always be sure that the high mileage fluid is the same weight or type of fluid recommended for your family car.

To Save Gas Around Spring: Keep Up with Your Scheduled Service

One topic that hits the news in Spring on a regular basis is the price of gas. The answer for some TX drivers is to buy a vehicle that gets better gas mileage. For those of us Spring car owners who don’t want to add a car payment to our monthly expenses, we need to improve our fuel economy any way we can.

Following recommended service intervals by coming into C&A Transmission & Auto Repair is one of the best ways Spring car owners can keep their minivan running efficiently. That means better MPG. When you give it some thought, it only makes sense. Dirty oil or transmission fluid can’t lubricate or clean. That means more drag which reduces MPG.

Keeping up with scheduled oil changes and transmission services will save gas for TX drivers.

Dirty engine air filters are another efficiency pirate. They rob your sedan engine of enough air to effectively burn the fuel, so you need more gas to get the job done. Replacing a dirty air filter can pay for itself in fuel savings before the next oil change.

You can imagine what dirty fuel injectors can do to your family car as you drive around Spring. If your pickup owner’s manual recommends a fuel system cleaning, come into C&A Transmission & Auto Repair and ask us to get it done for you.

A simple, but very effective way for Spring car owners to save gas is to keep their tires properly inflated. Low tires can cost you up to a mile per gallon. Check your tire pressure when you gas up – or at least once a month.

C&A Transmission & Auto Repair
20336 Holzwarth Road
Spring, TX 77388

A Cold Day In Spring

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Most Spring drivers worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy TX highway but don’t worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown at the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during Houston rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot family car.

A lot of Spring drivers judge their vehicles’ air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keeps the family car running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very pricey in Spring.

Tomball car owners should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system’s components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing pricey repairs, and keep it at peak performance.

Inadequate refrigerant indicates a leak in the air conditioning system. Over time, seals in the system can crack, causing the refrigerant to leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system. Replacing these seals will keep your family car air conditioning system at its best, and, again, will help you avoid more expensive repairs.

At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair, we advise our Spring customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.

Check with your family car owner’s manual or with your Spring service specialist for information about how often your family car air conditioning system should be serviced.

Another piece of good auto advice: if your family car air conditioner isn’t working or is starting to show signs of breakdown, NOW is the time to get it fixed at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring. Waiting will only increase the chances that you are in for major repairs and an expensive repair bill.

On a final note, if you own an older vehicle, you should check into upgrading the air conditioning system. Vehicles manufactured before 1993 often contained a refrigerant known as Freon. The manufacture of Freon was outlawed in 1993, leading to an ever-dwindling supply, which leads to an ever-steeper price for Spring drivers in TX. If your vehicle still uses Freon, you should have it retrofitted to use the new, EPA-approved R134A refrigerant. The retrofit will actually pay for itself by reducing the cost to recharge the refrigerant in your family car.

Remember, preventive maintenance — of your entire car — will keep you on the road. And, in this case, it will help you keep your cool!

Go Big or Go Home: Upsize Your Wheels at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair

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A lot of us Spring car owners like our vehicles to reflect our personalities. We’re picky about color and body style. We’ll customize anything from floor mats to window tints to license plates. One popular way for TX auto owners to customize a vehicle is to get new wheels.

Wheels come in thousands of designs. Custom wheels can add personality, style or sass to a vehicle. Many of these customizations involve getting a bigger wheel.

Fifteen or sixteen-inch wheels used to be the factory standard, But today, because a lot of Spring drivers like the look of larger wheels, many vehicles are available with seventeen or eighteen-inch wheels. Optional wheel packages of twenty inches or more are also available in Spring.

If you want to upsize the wheels on your current vehicle, however, you should know it’s not a do-it-yourself project. There are vital factors involved in ensuring your wheel change doesn’t jeopardize the safety of your vehicle.

First of all, it’s essential for TX motorists to understand rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is the overall height of a tire. If you increase the rolling diameter of your tires when you upsize your wheels, you may have to modify your suspension to make sure the larger tires fit in the space and don’t rub in turns or over bumps. If that’s more work than you’re willing to do or pay for, then you need to maintain rolling diameter when you change your wheels.

It’s not as hard for Spring drivers as it sounds. Imagine a doughnut. That doughnut represents rolling diameter, so you can’t make the doughnut bigger. However, you can increase the size of the doughnut hole. That gives you a bigger wheel. Tires with reduced sidewall on larger wheels will preserve your rolling diameter.

Rolling diameter is critical because your wheels and tires still need to fit inside the wheel well. Also, your speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brakes are all programmed to work with a specific rolling diameter. You’ll throw off the readings on your speedometer and odometer if you change your rolling diameter. And for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, your rolling diameter has to be within 3% of factory recommendations. While some Spring auto owners who upsize may not be concerned about meter readings, throwing off the brake system is a serious safety hazard.

Further, many vehicles in Spring are now equipped with electronically controlled suspensions. Changing the rolling diameter will negatively affect this system as well, which can lead to a less smooth ride and lower handling performance as well as dangerous safety concerns.

Your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair tire professional may be able to reprogram your vehicle’s computer to adjust for a larger (or smaller) rolling diameter.

So to maintain rolling diameter, you’ll need tires with a shorter sidewall. These tires will be designed to give the sidewalls the strength they need to maintain ride quality. Consider that doughnut again. As the wheel (the doughnut hole) gets bigger, the sidewall of the tire (the width of remaining doughnut) gets shorter. That means the tire holds less air. The sidewalls have to be made stiffer to compensate for the decreased air capacity.

To improve their strength, the shorter tires will also be slightly wider than your previous tires. But this means you’ll have a larger contact patch, or, in other words, a larger area of tire making contact with the road. This can actually increase your handling performance and decrease braking distances. Many TX auto buffs customize their wheels just for this reason—they want the improved performance rather than looks or style. If you drive a truck or an SUV around Spring, you might be interested in the extra control an upsized wheel can provide.

Now, that larger contact patch still has to fit inside your wheel well without rubbing when cornering or when bouncing over bumps or potholes on Spring roads. This is termed fitment, and you may need a few essential adjustments so your new wheels will fit properly. You may need spacers so that your brakes will fit inside the new wheels, as well.

C&A Transmission & Auto Repair tire professionals are experts at mounting, adjusting and customizing wheels. They can give you a lot of good auto advice about wheels and tires and how they affect driving performance and car care. They can help Spring car owners select wheels and tires that will suit their driving needs and habits.

For example, if you drive off-road around Houston, you should consider a higher profile tire. This type of tire will protect your rims from expensive damage while you’re bouncing over rocks. Or, if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads around TX, you’ll want a tire with a load rating equal to your demands. Your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair tire professional can help you with these types of concerns.

Once you’ve got your new wheels, have your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair tech review to see if you need an alignment. You don’t want those new wheels and your higher performance compromised by poor alignment. Get the most out of your investment by getting the work done right at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring.

Last but not least, remember tire pressure. With larger wheels, your new tires will hold less air and they’ll need slightly higher pressure. You’ll need to stay on top of essential preventive maintenance and keep them properly inflated. Be sure to check their pressure at least once a week. If you don’t keep your tires at their correct pressure, they will wear out really fast. It will also impair your braking and handling performance.

So smile and show off your vehicle around Houston. Make it all yours. Bumper stickers, vanity license plates, custom wheels — strut your stuff!