Posts Tagged ‘auto care houston’

Winterize Your Automobile / Car – Midtown Auto Service – Houston Texas

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Ten Steps in Winterizing Your Automobile / Car:

Car Care Houston
Car Service Houston
Automobile Car Care Houston
Automobile Car Service Houston

By Laura T. Coffey

1. Get the right kind of oil change. Are you approaching the time for a 30,000-mile full service for your vehicle? If so, don’t procrastinate! Among other things, the service should include an oil change, and the oil used should have the right viscosity, or thickness, for your vehicle at this time of year. Oil tends to thicken as it gets colder, and if it’s too thick it won’t do the best job of keeping your engine lubricated. Check your owner’s manual for guidance about which oil to use in different climates and temperatures.

2. Make sure you can see. When’s the last time you replaced your windshield wiper blades? They usually work effectively for about one year, so be sure to invest in some new ones if you’re due. Here’s another important step to take before you find yourself struggling to see in a blinding storm: Fill up your windshield washer reservoir with windshield washer fluid. (Plain water won’t do the trick at this time of year because it freezes.) Also check to see that your heater and defroster are working properly so you can keep the windshield nice and clear.

3. Give your battery a little TLC. This is an ideal time of year to make sure your battery’s posts and connections are corrosion-free and that your battery has all the water it needs. If your battery is more than three years old, have a certified repair shop test its ability to hold a charge. Granted, you might be able to find a Good Samaritan to help you jump-start your vehicle in the middle of a blizzard — but wouldn’t you rather avoid such a scenario altogether?

4. Examine your belts and hoses. When you have that full service done on your vehicle, make sure the belts and hoses get checked for wear and tear — even if you’re driving a modern car. Cold weather can do a number on belts and hoses, so they deserve attention.

5. Check your tire pressure. Your tires must be properly inflated to ensure you’ll have the best possible traction as you drive along — and traction is often severely jeopardized in wet, snowy or icy conditions. The air pressure in your tires has likely dropped as the weather has gotten colder, so it’s important to see where things stand now. (You can generally expect that you’ll lose 1 pound per square inch whenever the temperature drops by 10 degrees Fahrenheit.) Again, your trusty owner’s manual will tell you what your target tire pressure should be.

6. Think about switching to snow tires. Do you live in a hilly place that gets its fair share of snow? Then you might want to improve traction even more by investing in winter tires and using them over the next few months instead of your usual all-season tires. When shopping around for snow tires, ask about all the fees that might come into play, such as fees for mounting and balancing. You can accomplish this easily and make accurate cost comparisons by asking each store for the “out the door charge.”

7. Do you have four-wheel drive? If so, it’s important to check the status of your four-wheel-drive system and be sure it’s working correctly — especially because most drivers don’t use their 4WD systems in the pleasant summer months. Be sure that the system engages and disengages easily, and that all drivers in your household know how and when to activate the system.

8. Get the antifreeze mixture just right. Aim for having a 50-50 mix of antifreeze (coolant) and water inside your radiator. This will prevent the mixture from freezing even at ridiculously cold temperatures. It’s easy to check the status of the mixture with an inexpensive antifreeze tester, which you can pick up at any auto parts store. If the mixture is off, your cooling system should be drained and refilled or flushed. Be sure you’re equipped to dispose of your old antifreeze properly if you do this job yourself. It can’t just be poured down the drain.

9. Prepare an emergency kit. Store this stuff in your trunk during the winter months, especially if a road trip is in your future:

a blanket
extra boots and gloves
an extra set of warm clothes
extra water and food, including hard candies
an ice scraper
a small shovel
a flashlight
windshield washer fluid
windshield wipers
flares
jumper cables
a tool kit
tire chains
a tire gauge
a spare tire with air in it
tire-changing equipment
a first-aid kit
paper towels
a bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter, which can provide additional traction if a tire gets stuck in snow.
Also, keep the gas tank as full as you can to prevent the gas lines from freezing.
10. Know what to do if you get stranded. Don’t wander away from your car unless you’re completely sure about where you are and how far away help is. Light two flares and situate them at each end of your vehicle to call attention to your plight. Put on the extra clothes and use the blanket to stay warm. If you have enough gas in the tank, run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes for each hour you’re waiting for help. Leave at least one window open a little bit so that snow and ice don’t seal the car shut. Suck on a hard candy to prevent your mouth from getting too dry.

Channel 11-khou 11-Tv Interview Midtown Auto Service 2008-houston-tx

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Midtown Auto-Voted Houston’s Auto Repair of the Year 2007/Houston,Tx

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Midtown Auto Service & Repair — Voted Houston’s Auto Repair of the Year 2007

Midtown Auto-Voted Houston’s Auto Repair of the Year 2007/Houston,Tx

JUNE 2008 FEATURED ARTICLE-BEST AUTO REPAIR SHOP HOUSTON-MIDTOWN AUTO SERVICE

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Award-Winning Shop Lives by Golden Rule

Posted 6/1/2008
By Leona Dalavai Scott

Midtown Auto Service Named ‘Best Auto Shop.’


Shop Stats

Name: Midtown Auto Service
Location: Houston, Texas
Web site: www.midtownautoservice.net
Square footage of shop: 6,000 square feet
Repairs per week: 150 cars
No. of years in business: 21 years
On his success rate with retaining technicians: “I offer my technicians two weeks of paid vacation during Christmas and New Year’s after they’ve been employed with me for a year. Also, I treat them and their spouses to dinners and lunches on random occasions. I try to let them take care of family or personal business without penalties. All of my techs have their own computers with Internet access to Alldata and Identifix. Things like that really make a person want to stay.”


Midtown Auto Service in Houston, Texas
Mikey credits his prime location for business staying strong even during tough economic times.

Mikey Yu is not your average shop owner. With a criminal justice degree from the University of Houston, he always wanted to be a cop.

But when his dad retired in 1998, Mikey thought that it would be a smart move to buy the shop from him. Within four years of taking over the shop, he expanded the facility from 2,900 square feet to 6,000 square feet. Along the way, he earned his ASE
certification to become an auto technician.

Mikey is also a state-certified inspector and his shop, Midtown Auto Service, is a state-certified emissions and repair facility. The shop is known in the community for its engine and emissions diagnostic capabilities and for solving electrical driveability issues for all makes and models.

Mikey says his shop’s strength stems from the way it treats its customers and its technicians. He conducts his business by the golden rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” He believes you should treat your customers and employees the way you would want to be treated.


ASE certified master tech Richard Kline working on a 2004 Lexus ES 300 timing belt.

“And if you treat your employees as family members instead of just a number, I think that productivity increases,” Mikey says. Midtown Auto Service employs two L1 master auto techs and another master auto tech. Mikey’s wife, Sharon, handles all of the administrative work in the office while Mikey takes care of the “heart of the business,” which he sees as fielding questions and calls from customers and handling technician concerns and problems.

“Our line of work is difficult,” Mikey explains. “The customers who bring their cars and trucks to us normally know nothing about repairing their cars but have heard horror stories about other automotive service shops in the past. So, you start building a rapport with customers and listen to issues about their car. Just listen. Listening is very important. That can help break the barrier of customer distrust from the beginning.”


Master ASE Certified Tech Byung Young working on a car using his 1/2 cordless SnapOn gun.

As a result of his business philosophy, Mikey has experienced great success with Midtown Auto Service. In 2007, the shop was named the “Best Auto Shop” by Citysearch, a popular Web site that enables users to post opinions on just about anything, including recommendations for services such as auto care. In 2006, the shop was named “Best Auto Repair Shop” by the local newspaper. In addition, the shop is a AAA-approved auto repair facility and a recognized emissions repair facility.

Mikey also shares his knowledge and expertise of cars through articles in Undercar Digest and Automotive Report. He has also been featured on “Car Talk,” an entertaining radio show about automotive service issues that is broadcast on National Public Radio.


ASE L1 MASTER AUTO TECHNICIAN; Panda Lee is working on an electrical drain/short on a 2006 Jaguar S-type.

As he looks toward the future, Mikey would like to expand his shop. He is currently trying to acquire the land next to his so he can double his shop size to 12,000 square feet or more. However, real estate in his area has skyrocketed so he is proceeding on those plans with caution. Despite the downturn in the economy, Mikey says Midtown Auto Service’s business has been good as a result of its prime location between downtown and the medical districts of Houston.

As Mikey celebrates the success of Midtown Auto Service, the thing he is most proud of, he said, is the teamwork his employees exhibit in working with the motoring public. As his accolades and accomplishments show, this teamwork is paying off nicel





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    More Tips
    My automotive / car keeps blowing fuses. Should I install a larger fuse? Houston,Tx
    Not unless you are willing to risk electrical damage or a fire! A fuse is a protection device that is designed to blow if the amp load in a circuit exceeds the "safe" limit for that circuit. Fuses are built with a specific amp rating which is marked on the fuse. The wiring and design load of the circuit dictates the size of fuse that’s required to protect the circuit. Circuits that draw a lot of power need fuses with high amp ratings (20 or 30 amps) while those that use minimal power require smaller fuses (5 to 15 amps). When the current in a circuit exceeds the normal limit for whatever reason, the metal element in the fuse melts and opens the circuit stopping the flow of current. A short, for example, causes a runaway electrical current. If not stopped, wires can start to melt and things can catch on fire. So respect the amp ratings specified for fuses (which can usually be found in your vehicle owners manual, on the fuse block itself or a fuse block reference decal). What happens if you install a fuse with the wrong amp rating? If you install a 20 amp fuse in a circuit designed for 10 amps, you’re asking for trouble. A difference of 10 amps might not sound like much, but it may be enough to fry a sensitive electronic component or to overheat wires to the point where the insulation may start to melt. WARNING: Under no circumstances should you ever bypass or eliminate a fuse. No electrical circuit should ever be operated without fuse protection. This is extremely dangerous, especially if you’ve had problems with a fuse blowing before. If a fuse keeps blowing, it usually means something is amiss in the circuit. The wiring should be checked along with the components in the circuit to determine if there’s a short or other problem. The fuse for the windshield wiper circuit, for example, may blow if ice or debris builds up in the cowl areas and interferes with the movement of the wiper arms. If a fuse blows in a motor circuit (heater blower motor, cooling fan motor, power seat or window, electric fuel pump, etc.), it often indicates a shorted motor. If a fuse in a light circuit blows, look for wiring or connector shorts. Adding driving lights may also overtax the headlight circuit unless a separate circuit is provided for the driving lights. An A/C fuse will blow if the system is low on refrigerant and is working unusually hard, or if the compressor is hanging up. Stereo systems with high amp boosters should also have their own electrical circuit with fuse protection to avoid overloading the normal radio circuit.


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