These days many people in the Houston area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you’ve got to start with what you’ve got. It’d be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you’ve had the vehicle for a while, or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that’s where you start.
Go through the maintenance schedule for your family car and see what’s been done and when. Have your Spring service advisor at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.
Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles. You might be pretty overwhelmed.
To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there’s a failure. In consultation with your Spring service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you’ll be prepared for it in a few months.
Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.
All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Houston car owners. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won’t work as well for Spring car owners and could even cause damage.
In addition to new grades of engine oil, many family cars now leave the factory with synthetic oil. Spring auto owners should always use the grade recommended by their vehicle manufacturer and type of oil in their engine.
All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your family car cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.
Most passenger vehicles on Spring roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your family car power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.
Now, the vital thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids and that using the right fluids is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you’ve got that down, it’s easy to remember to check with your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair service professional or family car owner’s manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.
So you have some exciting plans for the TX weekend. You’re going to take some of your Spring, TX friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you’ve gotten the boat all ready. And you haven’t forgotten about your tow vehicle. You’ve gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more important than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your family car maintenance is up to date.
Think about it – heavy expressway traffic on the way out of Spring. There’s hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it’s going to be pretty hot in Spring this weekend. And all the time you’ll be towing around several thousand extra pounds. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.
Let’s just consider the transmission. It’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the local TX lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.
It’s essential to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, it’s essential for Spring motorists to have it serviced by automotive professionals like the team at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring to make sure it runs efficiently.
An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid must pass to keep it shifting smoothly. Spring motorists who neglect regularly scheduled transmission service risk the passages clogging up and starting to have problems.
Spring car owners who neglect their transmission for too long will eventually experience costly transmission failure. You really don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.
This reminds us of how much of our driving around Spring, TX is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips, driving in very hot or very cold TX weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Spring, TX add to the strain. Basically, any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions.
While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your service professional at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.
At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair we’ve had a lot of Spring, Hufsmith, and Tomball clients asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that’s been building for several years in TX. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles on them. It looks like it’s going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of Houston folks are putting off buying a new car. Thanks to AutoNetTV, we can provide you with a video answer to this important question.
So let’s say you’re one of the average drivers in the Houston area; you’ve got a nine year old car with 80,000 miles on the odometer. What can you to do make it last another year or two?
Let’s start with the premise that there’s no reason that a modern car can’t run for 200,000 miles with proper care in Spring. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.
Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there’s no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if quick Spring motorists stay on top of their recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some auto maker’s owner’s manuals runs out at 60,000 miles or so: how do Spring motorists know what to do when they’re way past that?
It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles for the first 60,000 miles you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles after you hit 60,000 miles. But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it’s very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring, for example, leaves an opportunity for dangerous sludge to build up. Talk to your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair tech.
So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around Spring are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:
it keeps MPG from decreasing;
it prevents costly repairs, and;
they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.
Having the oil changed may be the most important thing car owners can do. A full-service oil change at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair service specialist a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get pricey. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren’t scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.
If you live in the Spring area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner’s manual and talk with your service advisor at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.
And, the team at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair strongly encourages Spring auto owners to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They’re fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some Spring auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles as a preventive measure.
Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around Houston. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.
Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Spring car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and – well a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Spring, TX folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.
Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more for smart Spring car owners.
The old adage: ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is really true for Spring drivers when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.
Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Spring auto owners have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule.
Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.
Don’t let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventative auto maintenance at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair is a great way to keep your operating costs down in Spring.
Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the expensive damage that can be caused by failure.
We know that this is a lot for busy Houston area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your vehicle manufacturer recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.
Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent costly repairs and maintain your warranty coverage. Call C&A Transmission & Auto Repair today for an appointment; you can reach us at 713.960.4534.
Let us take good care of your car at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring, and it’ll take good care of you.
C&A Transmission & Auto Repair Give us a call today at 713.960.4534. Or stop by at 20336 Holzwarth Road, Spring, TX 77388