Lucas Auto Care Video Lessons
Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Houston car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and – well a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Houston, 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 Houston car owners.
The old adage: ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is really true for Houston car owners 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 Houston drivers 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 Lucas Auto Care is a great way to keep your operating costs down in Houston.
Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the costly 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 Lucas Auto Care keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your car maker 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 pricey repairs and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Lucas Auto Care today for an appointment; you can reach us at 281.379.5800.
Let us take good care of your car at Lucas Auto Care in Houston, and it’ll take good care of you.
Lucas Auto Care
Give us a call today at 281.379.5800.
Or stop by at 12600 Grant Road, Houston, TX 77429
A recent report stated that over 80 percent of the vehicles on our Houston TX roads have one or more service or repair that’s needed, but hasn’t been taken care of. Now that’s a lot of undone service. That translates into something over 160 million vehicles in the U.S. alone. Some of the neglected items are minor. Others are serious safety concerns.
There are several reasons why we hesitate to take care of recommended services; especially services that our Houston TX automotive advisor recommends when we’re in for something else, like an oil change.
The first issue boils down to comfort with car care. We don’t always feel we know enough to make good decisions. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that vehicles are so reliable these days. They almost become an appliance. Of course you love your European Car, but if you don’t have to worry about it breaking down all the time, you’re not forced to think as much about preventive maintenance.
Perhaps your dad knew a lot about cars and always made sure they were taken care of. He was very comfortable dealing with his local Houston TX service advisor. People who don’t know as much about cars hesitate to ask questions because they don’t want to look ignorant.
It’s human nature. But, there’s so much to know in this world, we can’t all be experts in everything. So we specialize. It’s very important to ask questions of any specialist, whether it’s your doctor, financial advisor or your automotive technician in Houston, TX.
Your auto technician at Lucas Auto Care wants your questions. We want you to understand the recommendation and why it needs to be done.
That brings us to the next issue; people say that they don’t always know if they really need the service or if they are just being sold something.
At the heart, it speaks to trust. Do you trust your Houston service center and your service advisor? Trust has to be earned and that takes time and experience. But you can shortcut the process when you realize that most of the recommendations are based on manufacturer’s maintenance schedules.
In other words, “you don’t have to trust me, you can trust your owner’s manual”.
Your Houston service center has computer databases that contain the manufacturer’s recommendations for almost all vehicles, so they don’t need to rummage through your glove box to look for your owner’s manual to know what to do.
Basically, the engineers who designed the car say “here’s when you need to have it serviced”. That’s who makes the recommendation, not the technician. He’s just reminding you.
Now you do need to trust your Houston technician’s experience and judgment from time to time. When he inspects your vehicle, he may find problems or concerns. He will explain things so that you can prioritize the concern and make a good decision about whether or not to have something done.
That brings us to the third issue; money. Often the concern is about spending the money to take care of a recommended service. Our money has many places it needs to go. And we have another list of places we want it to go. Auto maintenance isn’t usually on either of those lists.
Look, everyone who works at Lucas Auto Care has a family budget, too. They can relate. Maybe a little look behind the scenes would be helpful.
Service centers like Lucas Auto Care invest heavily in training, diagnostic equipment and tools so that they can make repairs and perform services as efficiently as possible. And like any other business, they have labor costs, insurance, rent, utilities, shop and office supplies, taxes and so on.
We work hard to make sure that we diagnose the problem correctly and fix it right the first time. That’s the only way we can maintain our reputation and remain in business. If we’re not satisfying our customers and providing a good value, you won’t come back and the service center won’t be around for long.
When there is a real budget concern, your Houston service center can help you prioritize the work that needs to be done and come up with a plan for taking care of it that works within your budget.
Let’s say you have a serious problem with your brakes. That’s a safety concern so a technician can’t ethically say, well, let’s put that off for a couple of months. What they can do is take care of the brakes now and address the cabin air filter or transmission service next month.
A lot of gas is wasted in the Tomball area by dirty fuel delivery systems.
Let’s start at the tank. The gas tank gathers dirt, rust and sediment over the years. That’s why there’s a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank. A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently.
The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time. This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine. A fuel system service at Lucas Auto Care will leave your intake as clean as a whistle.
The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors. They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a particular spray pattern. When they’re clogged, the fuel doesn’t get atomized the way it’s supposed to and doesn’t get burned as efficiently.
See your owner’s manual or ask your Tomball service advisor at Lucas Auto Care when a fuel system cleaning is recommended.
It’s important for Houston motorists to know battery basics. First, let’s talk about which is harder on a battery – hot or cold TX weather. Most Houston motorists think it’s cold weather because that’s when we call on our batteries to have enough power to start a cold European Car engine.
However, heat does more damage to a battery than cold. Truth is, our batteries start to die a little from day one. Keeping a full charge slows the process, which is hard with short Houston trips because the alternator doesn’t have time to fully recharge the battery from starting the engine. Houston auto owners can top off the charge with a computer controlled battery charger – say, once a month in the TX summer and every three months during the winter.
As far as how long a battery will last, statistics show that 70% have given up the ghost within four years. By that time, they aren’t capable of taking a full charge like they used to, and your European Car alternator has to work overtime to keep up. This causes your alternator to wear out early.
If you’re pushing 4 to 5 years on your battery, see your honest Lucas Auto Care technician for a battery test to see if it’s recommended to replace it. Not only can you avoid getting stranded with a dead battery, but you’ll save unnecessary wear and tear on your European Car alternator.
Give us a call
Lucas Auto Care
12600 Grant Road
Houston, TX 77429
Safe TX travel starts with preventive maintenance and good car care at Lucas Auto Care. But there are other things Houston drivers can do to prepare for emergencies on the road. Here’s some auto advice that can help you plan for emergencies, and just may save your life — or someone else’s.
First, Houston motorists should consider keeping an auto emergency kit in their car. The kit should contain items that will allow you to deal with common emergencies on the road.
Some vital items you should carry in your European Car include jumper cables (or a booster box), flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools. Other useful items include gloves, two quarts of oil, some antifreeze, water and everything you need to change a tire. You might also consider a can of tire inflator, which is a great temporary fix for minor flats.
But taking care of your European Car is only part of emergency preparedness. It is essential to take care of the people in the car, too. For this reason, you should carry a first aid kit, drinkable water and blankets. Other items to consider include high-calorie food items (like energy bars), toilet paper, a towel, a hat and boots. And, of course, when you travel in TX and out-of-state you should always have your cell phone, some emergency cash and a credit card.
Depending on where you live, you may need to add other key items to this list. For example, sunscreen, sunglasses, and extra water would be good to have on hand in a hot climate. For the cold and snowy TX season, some salt, a hand shovel, emergency blankets and matches might be in order. Also, if your TX area is prone to severe weather or earthquakes, you should check with your local Red Cross or disaster preparedness office for their recommendations on what to keep on hand in your European Car for emergencies.
When you travel away from your Houston home, you should check the weather forecasts before you leave, and pack appropriate emergency supplies. Also, do some research about the areas you will be traveling through so you can be prepared for the climate and terrain. Remember the basics: heat, water, shelter, light, and food.
When you travel, it is critical to leave your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. Check in periodically at prearranged checkpoints. That way, if something does happen, someone else will quickly know you are in trouble and will be able to send help. These checkpoints will also help rescuers find you quickly, as they will have a better idea as to where you are.
The automotive professionals at Lucas Auto Care want Houston drivers to be safe. Preventive maintenance, proper planning, smart communication: these are the basics of safe travel.
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