While a bumpy road may be a minor nuisance to car drivers, a road littered with potholes can cause expensive car care auto repair / service costs to your car and even result in a car accident. Potholes are bowl-shaped openings in the road that can be up to 10 inches deep and are caused by wear-and-tear and weathering of the roads. They occur when the top layer of the road, the asphalt, has worn away and exposed the concrete base. Once a pothole forms, it can grow to several feet, with rain water accelerating the process.
We experience too many of these conditions just by driving our cars. Now, imagine that it is late at night, and there are no warning signs or overhead lighting. The speed limit is 40 miles-per-hour and, just before two cars meet, one car goes over a pothole, loses control and spins out directly in front of the other car driver and causes an auto accident.
Top-10 Worst U.S. Urban-Area Roadways For Potholes
New York City
With five major cities in the top seven, California residents will need to know about the dangers of potholes.
Potholes put a huge strain on your car’s suspension and shocks (which absorb most of the impact of bumps and potholes). It can cause expensive damage to your car and cause you to make an unexpected appointment with the auto mechanic. They can also cause an impact similar to that of a 35-mph car accident, if deep enough.
Sometimes, when a pothole is so severe, or your car is not equipped to handle the blow, it will cause you to lose control of your car. This leads to car accidents that, many times, have caused wrongful deaths. Motorcycle drivers are at special risk of injury if they ride over a pothole. Having just two wheels on the ground and a lower weight than cars, motorcycles are ill-equipped to handle potholes. Coupled with fewer safety features, motorcycle accidents caused by potholes are very deadly. Cars and truck are also at risk, as well, to get into an auto accident after running over a pothole.
Some Helpful Hints For Reporting Potholes To State Highway Authority
Give the exact location of the pothole.
Be prepared to describe it (length, width, depth).
Try to remember if you saw or heard rain water in the hole.
Ask if the hole in a bus route or on trolley or railway tracks.
It is always important to remember that, when dealing with potholes, you will have to expect the unexpected. Since a dangerous situation can arise out of nowhere, it is important to make sure that you are not speeding and are making safe decisions; otherwise, hitting a pothole could cause a car accident. Careful drivers have the best chances of avoiding car accidents. A careful driver will also be more likely to avoid an auto accident after hitting a pothole.
How Auto Car Repair / Service / Care Insurance Works in Houston
Similar to car auto insurance, an auto repair / service / care insurance in Houston policy is a contract between a vehicle owner and the car insurance company, which binds the company to pay for all repairs done on the vehicle for a fixed length of time.
Coverage varies widely from company to company and few states in the U.S. regulate auto insurance coverage. So it’s important to become familiar with auto repair insurance terms and industry requirements, while also understanding how auto repair insurance is regulated in your state.
What It Covers
A standard auto repair insurance policy typically covers the breakdown and the wear and tear of your car, although the two are not always mutually inclusive. Some companies may only offer breakdown coverage, which means they are only liable to pay for repairs necessitated by breakable parts. If you want a wear and tear policy as well, which covers parts that wear out over time, you may need to purchase that from a separate company or shop around for a car insurance company that offers both.
There are also auto repair insurance policies that cover the engine, transmission, and other parts of a vehicle through which oil flows. However, this would be least preferable in terms of coverage, since it does not include a majority of a vehicle’s components.
Bumper-to-bumper policies are also available from some car insurance companies, which cover nearly all the mechanical systems of a vehicle (from bumper to bumper). If there are any exclusions, the policy will list the parts that are not covered. For instance, policies do not cover parts like brake pads and windshield wipers. Likewise, most policies do not cover overheating resulting from a faulty radiator.
Before you buy your auto repair insurance, make sure you know exactly what is covered, as well as how much you will be paying by way of deductibles. Even if the manufacturer’s warranty has lapsed, you can still receive coverage on vehicles that have done less than 100,000 miles. But keep in mind that as your vehicle clocks up the miles, the cost of a policy will increase, as will repair costs.
A perk you’ll want to know about: if you buy a transferable policy, you can actually leverage it to increase your car’s resale value.
While most people are very aware of the benefits of having auto insurance, few understand how auto repair insurance can protect you from unexpected repair bills. Now you have a better understanding of how it works so you can make an informed decision on whether this type of insurance is right for you.
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:
extra boots and gloves
an extra set of warm clothes
extra water and food, including hard candies
an ice scraper
a small shovel
windshield washer fluid
a tool kit
a tire gauge
a spare tire with air in it
a first-aid kit
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.
We are a Texas Approved AAA Auto Repair Facility in Houston. Also, we are an Independent Auto Care/Repair Factory Dealer Service Center for AC Delco inHouston, with ASE Certified Technicians. Recognized by the state of Texas, Midtown Auto Service & Repair is licenced to issue auto inspections on all types of vehicles.
Being a State Recognized Emmission Repair Facility we offer low income waivers, low milage waivers, individual vehicle waivers, to everyone who failed their state / emmission inspections. Also, some of our services include, auto engine diagnostics, auto engine repair, auto engine misfires, auto check engine light on, auto overheating problems, auto emissions failures, auto drivability issues, brakes,alignments,complete exhaust repairs,tire balancing & rotations, timing belts, waterpumps, auto electrical troubleshooting, doors & windows, oil changes,shocks/struts,A/C work,state inspections and much much more.
We have been featured in magazines such as Undercar Digest, Tech Shop and Automotive Report. These magazines were contacted by other auto repair shop owners and customers who reported us worthy as a featured story. Midtown Auto Service is honored by these recognitions of these auto technical trade magazines. Which is considered a great achievement from our peers.
Also, Citysearch has awarded Midtown Auto Service as Best Auto Repair Shop 2006-2007. Citysearch awarded us with a plaque, “Best Auto Repair 2006 -Audience Winner.” In 2007, Citysearch again awarded us with two rewards, “Best Auto Repair 2007 – Audience Winner & Editorial Winner.” Thus, making Midtown Auto Service the only auto service care facility in Houston, Texas to win two years in a row by Citysearch.
In addition, Midtown Auto Service have won other coveted national recognitions, such as, “Yahoo 2005 Best & Trusted Auto Care Facility” and by “TheLocal Newspaper – The Best Auto Service 2006.” We are also listed in a national radio broadcast, “Car Talk” as listed as a good repair shop to visit in Houston in their “mechanics file.”
Come and try us out and see the difference, we are conveniently located between the downtown & medical center, also known as Midtown.
In conclusion, we service all foreign, domestic and most european cars. In addition, we take checks and all 4 major credit cards,( checks, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, & American Express)
What is a automotive / car " valve job " and when is it necessary? Houston,Tx
A valve job is removing the cylinder head(s) from the engine so the valves, guides and seats can be refurbished to restore compression and oil control. A valve job may be necessary by the time an engine has 80,000 or more miles on it, or to fix a "burned valve," compression or oil burning problem. Before we describe all the steps that a typical valve job involves, we should warn you that some shops don’t necessary do all the steps. In other words, you get what you pay for. A "cheapie" valve job might skip a lot of things that saves you a few dollars in the short run, but may end up costing you a lot more in the long run. So look for a shop or service facility that does quality work. A valve job typically begins by disassembling, cleaning and inspecting the cylinder head. Cast iron heads are "Magnafluxed" to check for hairline cracks. This involves applying a strong magnetic field to the head and sprinkling iron powder on it. Cracks disrupt the magnetic field and attract the iron powder, making invisible cracks easy to see. Cracks are bad news because they can leak coolant into the combustion chamber damaging the cylinders and/or causing the engine to lose coolant and overheat. If cracks are found in any critical areas of the head, the head must either be repaired or replaced. Cracks in cast iron heads are most often repaired by "pinning" (installing a series of overlapping threaded pins). Cracks in aluminum heads are very common and can often be repaired by welding. If a head has been repaired (pinned or welded), most shops will usually pressure test the head afterward to make sure there are no leaks. Some may also apply a sealer compound to the inside of the water jackets as added insurance against future leaks. Once the head passes this point, it is also checked for flatness. The surface of the head must be flat to seal the head gasket against the block. Excessive warpage, roughness or any damage can cause the head gasket to fail. If the head exceeds the maximum allowable out-of-flatness specs, it must be resurfaced or replaced. Usually there’s enough metal in the head to allow for a certain amount of resurfacing. But on many import aluminum cylinder heads, the amount of resurfacing that’s possible is minimal. Overhead cam aluminum cylinder heads are often found to be warped (usually the result of overheating). If the condition cannot be corrected by resurfacing, the head can often be straightened by heating it in a special oven and then bending it until it is straight. Next come the valves, guides and seats. The guides are checked for wear. They’re almost always worn, so they either need to be replaced, relined or knurled (a process whereby grooves are cut into the inside diameter of the guides to decrease the bore size). Few shops knurl guides anymore. Most install new guides, guide liners or bore out the old guides to accept new valves with oversized stems. Aluminum heads have cast iron or bronze guides that can be replaced but most cast iron heads do not. If the valves are to be reused, they will be inspected, checked for straightness then refaced. Many shops automatically replace all the exhaust valves to reduce the risk of failure (exhaust valves run much hotter than intakes and are much more likely to fail). The seats in the head are either cut or ground to restore the sealing surface. If a seat is cracked or too badly worn to be refaced, the seat must be replaced. If that isn’t possible (as is the case on many late model cast iron heads because the casting is too thin), then the entire head must be replaced. All aluminum heads have hardened steel seats that can be replaced. The valve springs are all inspected and tested to make sure they are still capable of maintaining proper pressure. The spring retainers, keepers and other hardware is likewise inspected. Any worn or damaged components are replaced. New valve guide seals are always used. The valves are then installed in the head and shimmed to restore proper valve height. This is necessary because machining the valves and seat alters their dimensions. Valve height is important because it affects valvetrain geometry and guide wear. If it is an overhead cam engine, the cam is also installed and the valve lash adjusted prior to returning the head to the customer.
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