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

Shake It Up in Spring!: Why Wheel Balancing

Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, us Spring car owners generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.

When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Spring motorists want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair service specialist spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most Spring drivers are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.

High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Spring car owners can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your family car — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.

The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the freeway, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the detrimental vibration. When Spring drivers’ tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and critical suspension parts.

Getting a balance job at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring can prevent expensive repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your family car as well as its handling performance, and it will improve your fuel economy. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair, you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced as well.

Some Spring vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what the recommends for your family car. Balancing your tires is part of important preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components, including some pricey ones. So practice good car care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from C&A Transmission & Auto Repair. Massages chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Spring drivers’ nerves.

Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle

Spring drivers live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term “built to last” goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They’re still a very big investment and Spring drivers want to make them last as long as possible – and we want to make keeping them as cheap as possible. When talking cars, it’s all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, “a stitch in time saves nine” and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service in Spring.

Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing – it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That’s why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And of course, Spring drivers shouldn’t forget those oil changes right on schedule. Skipping even one change can start the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Our engines are full of gaskets and seals. Fresh fluids condition those gaskets and seals to keep them from drying out and leaking. Automotive fluids contain additives that help clean and lubricate the various systems they protect. Over time, the additives are used up and the fluid just does not provide the protection it did when it was fresh. And don’t forget the mechanical systems. Changing brake pads before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors is a great way to keep your operating costs less pricey.

Replacing serpentine belts and timing belts on schedule is much cheaper for Spring drivers than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure. Also, air filters, fuel filters, PCV valves and batteries are all important. Regular wheel alignments, tire rotation and balancing will make your tires last longer. And don’t forget to replace your shocks and struts when they wear out. Your fuel system needs regular cleaning to keep running well, prevent costly mechanical damage and improving fuel efficiency.

Now this is a lot to remember for Spring car owners – too much really. But it is your Spring automotive technician’s job to keep on top of this stuff. At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair we can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it. We can advise you about which  maintenance schedule you should use – the regular schedule or the severe service schedule – depending on the kind of driving you do. We also know the right fluids for your vehicle and may even suggest higher mileage formulations for your older family car.

Bottom line – take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent pricey damage and maintain your warranty coverage.

Of course, you want your car to look as good as it runs. Regular washing will prevent rust and protect your finish. Take advantage of cleaners, waxes and protectants for your interior and tires. Your vehicle will look great and you’ll be proud to drive it longer.

Most of us Spring car owners can’t afford to throw away our car when it breaks down. By budgeting for regular preventive maintenance, we can prevent many inconvenient – and pricey – problems down the road, and can keep driving “old faithful” for years to come.

Coolant Service at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair

Spring motorists’ cars have to operate in a wide range of TX temperatures which requires our engine coolant to be able to perform ‘no matter what’. Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant does its thing. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive…

And all the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That’s why auto manufacturers recommend different types of anti-freeze for our Spring, TX vehicles.

There are several different ‘families’ of anti-freeze available to us here in Spring, TX. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at  C&A Transmission & Auto Repair will know the right kind for your car.

It’s critical to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in Spring, TX. Regular service at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair needs to be done to avoid failures and also to keep your warranty in place.

While the specifics of the service required may vary from vehicle to vehicle, your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair tech will know what to do. You’ll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals.

Some auto manufacturers recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your Spring service specialist recommends.

Someday, you may have to deal with an overheating problem, so you need to know what to do if your coolant temperature warning light comes on or your temperature gauge is in the hot zone.

Now, overheating can be very costly. Spring car owners can literally melt down their engine and have to replace the whole thing. So don’t ignore warning signs.

First turn off the air conditioner. This will lower engine temperature right away. Next, crank up your heater to maximum heat and run the fan at high speed. You might need to roll down the windows, but this will take a lot of heat off the engine.

Pull over as soon as you can safely do so
, especially if you are stuck in slow-moving traffic, and shut the car off. It may take as much as 45 minutes for the engine to cool to the point that it’s safe to operate the car again.

If you need to add water or antifreeze, be sure to wait until the car cools down. Opening the radiator cap or even the overflow bottle when the coolant is hot and under pressure may result in serious burns.

After the engine has cooled for 45 minutes or so, look to see if the coolant is low in the overflow tank. If so, you can cover the overflow tank cap with a large cloth and open the lid. Then start the engine and pour in some water or antifreeze. Pouring it in when the car is running will circulate the new, cool fluid with the warmer fluid in the engine and avoid engine damage.

Of course, overheating is a serious problem and you need to get it fixed right away. C&A Transmission & Auto Repair can make sure the coolant is right before you drive home.

Those spring and winter inspections really come in handy when they head off a cooling system problem. And don’t forget that severe service driving conditions, like towing or hot, dusty driving around Spring, TX, mean that you’ll need to service your coolant more frequently.

At AutoNetTV, we suggest that you have C&A Transmission & Auto Repair inspect your coolant system to find small problems before they become big, and to change belts and hoses before they fail. After all, we don’t want you to lose your cool out there in Spring, TX.

Time Out: Suspension Problems in Spring

Your vehicle’s suspension system has two important jobs: to prevent the passengers from getting tossed around inside the vehicle every time it hits a bump in the road and to keep the tires firmly planted on the road around every corner and over every bump.

To see your suspension system, you’ll have to look under your vehicle. Anything that connects the wheels to the vehicle’s frame is part of the suspension system. They’re heavy-duty parts that work hard while you’re driving and take a lot of wear and tear. Because of this, you should have your personable C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technician look at them once a year as part of your preventive maintenance routine. A good time for an inspection is every time you get your alignment checked.

If your suspension is in trouble, you often feel it in how your vehicle drives. If the vehicle pulls to one side or wanders, if the steering is erratic, if your ride isn’t as smooth as it should be, or if your vehicle handles poorly, you should get an automotive analysis of your suspension system. Uneven tire wear can also indicate worn parts in your suspension system. If your shocks are leaking oil then they definitely need to be replaced. All in all, if you don’t feel in control when you’re driving, go get your suspension inspected.

Shocks and struts wear out. Wheel bearings may need to be repacked every few years. Some parts of your suspension may need to be lubricated whenever you change your oil. Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicle under control. Good car care can prevent accidents for Houston car owners.

If you are in an accident, even a minor one, it can damage your suspension system or knock your wheels out of alignment. Even hitting a curb, pothole or large rock can damage your suspension. A wheel balancing or alignment won’t correct a suspension problem, and after any suspension work, you’ll may need to get an alignment.

At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair, we advise Spring auto owners never to procrastinate essential repairs to their suspension system. A damaged suspension system can lead to loss of control of a vehicle in an emergency situation and serious accidents.

Potholes are unsightly nuisances around Spring, but they’re also a major cause of suspension damage for Spring motorists. To avoid this, Spring auto owners should always keep their tires properly inflated. This gives the tires maximum resiliency. When you’re driving around the Houston area, avoid potholes if possible. If you can’t avoid one, then slow down before driving over it. Slower speeds limit pothole damage. But if you’re a little late detecting a pothole, don’t brake on top of it. This will throw the vehicle’s weight forward and increase the damage.

The suspension system may not be pretty to look at, but it provides Spring auto owners with a safe, comfortable ride — as long as they maintain it properly. You don’t have to show it off, but you should be proud of it.