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

Check Engine Light Diagnosis At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair

Hello Spring drivers. Have you ever had your check engine light come on? Did you panic? Or just scowl and ignore it? What should you do? Pull to the side of the road and call a tow truck? Or just keep driving? What does that little light really mean for Spring car owners?

First of all, the Check Engine or Service Engine light does indicate that something is wrong. That’s why it is called a warning light. But the something that is wrong might be a loose gas cap, or it might be serious family car engine trouble. That’s why Houston auto owners often don’t know how to respond to it.

The check engine light has two modes: it flashes or it stays on. A flashing light is serious. You need to get your vehicle to C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring ASAP. No, you don’t need to call a tow truck, but, yes, you can’t wait to get your car serviced. If your check engine light is on and flashing, you should not tow trailers, haul heavy loads or drive at TX expressway speeds. Any of these could lead to serious damage that could result costly repair bills for Spring motorists who ignore it.

A steady check engine light is less serious, but that doesn’t mean it can be ignored by Tomball car owners. You should plan to get your vehicle inspected at your local Spring automotive service center the first realistic opportunity. Not the first convenient opportunity, but the first realistic one.

Before you take your family car in, however, check the gas cap. A loose gas cap can trigger the check engine light. If it is loose, twist it until it clicks three times. If that was the problem, your Spring engine light will reset after several days. However, if it stays on, then you need to schedule an inspection at your Spring auto repair center center or C&A Transmission & Auto Repair.

Modern automobiles have a computer in the engine that monitors and controls many of the engine functions. When the computer senses something wrong, it first tries to fix the problem itself by adjusting the family car engine. If the problem persists, the computer signals the check engine light to come on.

This process stores a trouble code inside the family car engine’s computer. Your service specialist scans the computer and reads the code. This does not tell the tech exactly what is wrong with the car, but it gives him a good idea as to where to start looking.

It is NOT good auto advice to deal with a check engine light by disconnecting the battery. Yes, this makes the light go off, but it doesn’t solve the problem. It’s rather like trying to put out a fire by disconnecting the smoke detector. Also, disconnecting the battery will erase your family car’s computer memory. An engine’s computer, over time, learns to adjust for peculiarities of the specific family car engine, for driving conditions in your Spring area, and for your driving habits. Losing its memory means it has to learn and adjust for these things all over again.

Also, don’t buy a cheap consumer scanner or get a trouble code read at your nearest Spring auto parts store, then try to fix a problem yourself — unless, of course, you are a trained Houston mechanic. Today’s auto repair equipment is fairly high-tech and knowing a code is only an indication of where a problem might be, not the answer to what is wrong. Trying to save a little money by doing it yourself may end up costing you big in the long run.

Of course, the best thing to do is to keep that pesky check engine light from coming on in the first place. Good car care and routine preventive maintenance go a long way to keeping your family car out of your Spring auto repair shop. But, if that light does come on, be smart. Take care of the problem early, and take care of it professionally.

Defensive Driving In Spring TX

There was a man in Houston who learned that most car accidents occur within a mile of home – so he moved. (Just Kidding!)

When we think of defensive driving, we often focus on our local TX highway situations. The fact of the matter is we need to be just as careful close to home in Spring, because that’s where we do most of our driving. We can’t let our familiar surroundings keep us from driving defensively.

Defensive driving begins with the proper attitude. Have in mind that you won’t let anyone take your safety away from you. You’ll be aware of your surroundings, road conditions, other vehicles and hazards. And the first person to be concerned with is you: start with your own environment.

Don’t leave without securing all occupants including children and pets. Watch for loose items that can become projectiles during evasive maneuvers.

Driving too fast or too slow increases the chance of an accident.

Never drive impaired: Alcohol is a factor in half of all fatal crashes. Never drink and drive.

Other impairments include being sleepy, angry, daydreaming or talking. If you suddenly wonder how you got where you are – you’re not paying enough attention.

Keep your windows clean and uncluttered. No fuzzy dice and stickers.

Keep your car in good shape so that it handles properly: Maintain tires, lights, brakes, suspension, wheel alignment and steering.

Always use your turn signals while driving around Spring TX. Avoid other vehicles’ blind spots.

Don’t drive faster than your headlights – if you can’t stop within the distance you can see, you’re going too fast.

Avoid driving over debris in the road. Even harmless looking items can cause damage or an accident.

Keep your wheels straight when waiting to turn at an Spring TX intersection. That way if you’re hit from behind, your car won’t be pushed into on-coming traffic.

My daddy always said that when you drive, you’re actually driving five cars: yours, the one in front, the one behind and the ones on either side. You can’t trust that other drivers will do the right thing, so you’ve got to be aware of what they’re doing at all times.

If you see another car driving erratically, weaving, crossing lanes, etc., stay back. Take the next right turn if you’re downtown Spring, or take the next exit on the TX highway. Notify the police if you see someone driving dangerously in our Spring community.

Never follow too close. The minimum distance is the two second rule. Pick a landmark ahead, like a tree or road marker. When the car in front of you passes it, start counting: ‘one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand’. If you pass the landmark before reaching two-one-thousand, you’re following too close.

Remember that the two second rule is the minimum – it assumes you’re alert and aware. Three seconds is safer. Move out to five seconds or more if it’s foggy or rainy.

Someone will inevitably move into your forward safety zone – just drop back and keep a safe distance.

If someone follows you too closely, just move over.

Don’t play chicken by contesting your right of way or race to beat someone to a merge. Whoever loses that contest has the potential to lose big and you don’t want any part of that. So stay alert, constantly scan around your car and arrive safely.

C&A Transmission & Auto Repair
20336 Holzwarth Road
Spring, TX 77388
888.372.3223

Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Spring Car Owners

A generation ago, Spring car owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your family car in to your Spring shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Spring used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the family car was in for a tune-up at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our family cars don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.

Modern Spring auto owners need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Spring service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and MPG. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern family car engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of critical parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the family car isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your family car engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the family car engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this costly damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Spring motorists than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to critical engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Houston who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Spring folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

Spring auto owners can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel efficiency, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

What Spring Automotive Service Consumers Should Know

There are some things Spring auto owners should know about Spring car service and repair. First and foremost, C&A Transmission & Auto Repair cares about you and your family’s safety. And we really appreciate your business. C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.

Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix cars. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The personable service advisors that work for C&A Transmission & Auto Repair need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other service specialists to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.

The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time in TX and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. Average Spring or Spring car owners may not realize the business and environmental regulations C&A Transmission & Auto Repair must comply with. Of course that costs money too. Like any TX business, overhead is a big factor.

When you go into your favorite Houston restaurant you don’t value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you’ll come back and tell your friends.

It’s the same for C&A Transmission & Auto Repair. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, Spring customers are happy to see them succeed as a TX automotive business.

Contact C&A Transmission & Auto Repair to learn more about our extensive auto service training.
You can find us at:
20336 Holzwarth Road
Spring, TX 77388
Or call us at 888.372.3223

At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair, we love to see our Spring customers whenever they come in, but we would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. We want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your Houston area friends and family to come in for their important scheduled maintenance too. That lowers our marketing costs and helps keep its labor rates down. That’s good for everyone in Spring.

C&A Transmission & Auto Repair appreciates this great review of automotive service from AutoNetTV.