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

Spring Exhaust And Emissions Service

Many Spring motorists don’t realize that there is more to exhaust system maintanance than just tailpipes and mufflers. And if you can see smoke, or if it’s too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like C&A Transmission & Auto Repair is really a lot more comprehensive these days.

For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in Spring in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. TX and federal emissions requirements have forced auto makers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.

So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it’s so sophisticated, vehicle manufacturers recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair, regularly to make sure everything’s working right – which is usually every six months or 6,000 miles.

If your ‘check engine light’ comes on while you are driving around the Houston area, especially if it’s flashing, then you need to bring your car into C&A Transmission & Auto Repair ASAP. Chances are it’s an emission related problem. Signs of exhaust or emissions trouble include difficulty starting, engine noise or smoke.

So let’s do a quick rundown of the exhaust system for Spring auto owners. First up, the exhaust manifold. That’s the part that attaches to the engine and collects the exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe.

The exhaust gaskets help seal the connection with the manifold and other joints along the way. Now, if the manifold is cracked or loose, or a gasket is leaking, then dangerous gases could escape into the cabin, where you ride. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, so it’s important that your exhaust system doesn’t leak.

The exhaust pipes connect the various critical components. They can rust or be damaged by a rock, so they need to be inspected periodically.

Next comes the catalytic converter. This part actually looks like a muffler. It changes toxic chemicals into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any maintenance itself for Spring auto owners, but eventually it wears out. If yours has stopped working, you probably won’t discover it until your car fails its TX emissions inspection.

Next, the muffler. The critical job of this aptly-named part is to muffle engine noises. Mufflers work by either absorbing or baffling sound. Many Spring drivers don’t know that you can actually customize your car’s sound with different mufflers – which is pretty cool because in addition to changing the look of your ride, you can also customize its sound!

Rusted or road-damaged mufflers can actually leak and they need to be replaced right away. The exhaust system is attached to the car by a series of hangers and clamps that hold the system in place. And when these hangers come loose or break then hot exhaust components can touch and melt wires, hoses and lines. Just think of how harmful a hot curling iron can be – but worse. It’s not good to have that waving around. Talk to your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technician.

And finally, we end at the tailpipe. Appropriate name. This is the final outlet for the exhaust. And one other component is the oxygen sensor. It monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust so the engine-control computer can adjust the vital fuel-to-air mix to keep the car running right.

We hope this hasn’t been too ‘exhausting’ of a discussion. Remember that a properly functioning exhaust system is critical for Spring auto owners’ health and safety. Talk with your personable service specialist at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring if you think you might need a diagnostic examination of your exhaust system. A quick look can sure save a lot of pain down the road.

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Wheel Balancing at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? Spring motorists can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on TX highways. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it’s a back tire, you’ll feel the vibration in your seat.

Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it’s too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 MPH, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s where you get your vibration.

Most Spring motorists are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.

Most high-quality tires sold in Spring hold their balance pretty well for motorists. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and dangerous tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some pricey repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better gas mileage.

Some Houston car owners have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owners’ manual for your requirements, or ask your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair service professional. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.

Talk To C&A Transmission & Auto Repair About New Shoes For Your Vehicle

Custom wheels are one way that Spring folks express themselves and personalize their family car. But they aren’t as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several critical factors need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the family car, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits, and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Spring car owners start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose.

When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require expensive adjustments to your family car suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping in Houston or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel.

There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose a wheel that is already the same size as the ones on your family car. Second, you can choose larger wheels, and third, you can choose smaller wheels. Mounting wheels that are the same size as the ones already on your car sounds easy enough. But, even though the wheel may be the same diameter as your current wheels, but that doesn’t mean it will fit your family car. Besides diameter, wheels also have an offset. This is the measurement from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on. If your new wheel does not have the same offset as your current wheels, your family car tires can rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. This can lead to blowouts, uneven tread wear, and other mechanical problems.

The tire and wheel professionals in Spring at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair on 20336 Holzwarth Road can help you select a wheel that has both the correct diameter and offset for your family car. Or, if you really want a specific wheel in spite of the offset difference, your may be able to install adapters that will make the wheels fit.

Mounting larger wheels is a more involved process. There are several ways of doing this. You can mount larger wheels, but keep the overall tire diameter the same. Or you can “supersize” your tire/wheel combo. Mounting larger wheels while maintaining the same overall tire diameter is the easiest way to increase wheel size. You still need to adjust for offset. Generally, this alteration means that your new tires will be wider than the originals, so you will have to install adapters to keep them from rubbing on the wheel wells. Consult your C&A Transmission & Auto Repair service specialist by calling 713.960.4534.

If you want to install larger wheels and increase the overall tire diameter, it is critical that the package fits in the wheel well: you may have to do some minor modifications to your suspension. More importantly, you will have to reprogram your family car engine’s computer to calibrate for the larger tire size. The computer calculates your speed based on the rotation of your tires, so increasing the size of the tires will render it inaccurate. Inaccurate speed calculations can mess up your anti-lock brakes and your stability control systems, as well as your speedometer and odometer.

As you can see, the more modifications you make, the more vital it becomes to have your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair service advisor tire and wheel professional help you with your car care.

If you really want those “super-sized” tires, great: just factor in the issues listed above, plus you may have to have modifications done to your suspension system.

The larger wheels and tires will add weight to your vehicle. This weight is not held up by the suspension system, so is referred to as “unsprung” weight. Adding unsprung weight affects your car differently than just adding loads inside of your car. Unsprung weight can affect acceleration and braking. Putting large wheels on your family car may require an upgraded brake system.

Also, you may not get the performance from your family car that you’ve been used to. It may be sluggish when accelerating or harder to handle when turning. You may also find that the ride is bumpier than it was before. Of course, done right at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair, a good wheel job can sometimes improve a vehicle’s ride or performance. It just depends on your vehicle, the type of wheels you choose, and what you are hoping to accomplish.

Now let’s suppose you want smaller wheels on your vehicle. That should be easier, right? Not really. You still have to worry about offset, and it is vital that your computer be reprogrammed to account for calibration issues. And you may need adjustments to your suspension system.

Remember your budget? All of these scenarios require that you shell out some cash. Perhaps now you can see why it is good auto advice for Spring auto owners to make that consideration first, before setting their heart on a specific type of wheel.

Another consideration should always be your driving habits. Do you do a lot of off-roading on the outskirts of Houston? Do you carry heavy loads? Do you tow a trailer on TX interstates? All of these factors must be considered when replacing your tires and wheels. Some wheels just may not be up to the work you need them to do.

For example, if you mount large rims on your vehicle, then add low-profile tires to avoid major adjustments to other systems, they won’t be able to handle off-roading as well as larger tires. There won’t be enough sidewall on the tires to absorb the impact from off-roading. You could end up with dented or broken rims.

At the end of the day, Spring auto owners should always put safety ahead of appearance. That’s why you shouldn’t add custom wheels to your vehicle without consulting with your C&A Transmission & Auto Repair tire and wheel professional. Cutting corners when installing custom wheels by not making necessary adjustments to all of the systems impacted by the change can result in dangerous operating conditions as well as expensive repairs down the road.

The personable auto professionals at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair want to remind Spring car owners of the basics of vehicle safety: preventive maintenance, emergency preparedness and professional repairs. Stay safe, and stay on the road.

PCV Valve Service At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair In Spring

Today, we are talking about your PCV valve. The PCV Valve is a little, inexpensive part that does an important job for Spring auto owners. PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.

The crankcase is the bottom area of the engine that holds the oil. When the family car engine’s running, fuel is burned to generate power. Most of the exhaust from combustion goes out through the exhaust system. But some exhaust blows by the pistons and goes into the lower engine, or crankcase.

These hot gases are about seventy percent unburned fuel.
PCV Valve Service At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair In SpringThis can dilute and contaminate the oil, leading to damaging engine oil sludge. It can also cause family car engine corrosion, something we see occasionally at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair. At high speeds on Spring freeways, the pressure can build up to the point that gaskets and seals start to leak.

Back in the old days, auto manufacturers simply installed a hose that vented these gases out into the atmosphere. But starting in the 1964 model year, environmental protection laws required that these gases be recycled back into the air intake system to be mixed with fuel and burned in the family car’s engine.

This is much better for air quality and improves MPG also. (Budget-conscious Spring drivers take note!) The little valve that performs this important function is the PCV valve. The PCV valve lets dangerous gases out of the engine, but won’t let anything back in. Over time, the vented gases will gum up the PCV valve and it won’t work well. That can lead to all of the problems I’ve already described, oil leaks, excessive oil consumption and decreased MPG.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the PCV Valve at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring and quick and inexpensive to replace. Even so, it’s often overlooked because many Spring car owners don’t know about it. Check your family car owner’s manual or ask your C&A Transmission & Auto Repair service advisor. If this is the first time you’ve heard of a PCV valve, you might be in line for a replacement.

There’s another aspect to the PCV system. In order for the valve to work correctly, it needs a little clean air to come in. This is done through a breather tube that gets some filtered air from the engine air filter. Now some vehicles have a small separate air filter for the breather tube called the breather element. That’ll need to be replaced at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair when it gets dirty.

Please ask your personable Spring service advisor about your PCV valve. For the price of a couple of burger combo meals in Spring, you can avoid some very pricey engine repairs.