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)
How can I tell if my automotive / car fuel filter needs to be replaced? Houston,Tx
The only way to tell for sure is to remove the filter and blow through it. If there’s little resistance, the filter is still okay and does not need to be replaced. But if there’s more than minimal resistance, the filter is dirty and should be replaced. CAUTION: Gasoline is poisonous, does not taste very good and may burn sensitive lips. So don’t hold the filter to your mouth to blow through it. Instead, attach a short piece of clean rubber hose to the filter and then blow through the hose to test the filter. Filter Problems A completely plugged fuel filter will stop your engine cold by choking off the flow of fuel to the carburetor or injectors. The engine may not start, or it may start, then stall and die. Some filters have a spring-loaded bypass, however, that allows fuel to bypass the filter element if it becomes clogged. Fuel continues to flow, but it may carry dirt to the carburetor or injectors, which can create additional problems. A partially restricted filter will usually pass enough fuel to keep the engine running at idle or low speed, but may starve the engine for fuel at higher speeds or loads. So your engine may run fine putting around town, but sputter and lack power when you try to drive at highway speeds or pass someone. Tank Filter Located inside the fuel tank is a screen or mesh sock that acts like a prefilter to keep big pieces of dirt and rust from being drawn into the fuel pickup tube or tank-mounted electric fuel pump. If the screen becomes clogged with debris, it can have the same effect as a plugged or dirty fuel filter. Therefore, if you’ve been experiencing a fuel starvation problem and have replaced the fuel filter -- and it didn’t help -- the screen in the tank is probably the culprit. To clean or replace it, the fuel tank usually has to be removed. WARNING: The fuel tank must be drained prior to removal. The fuel must be stored in a sealed "approved" container. The battery should also be disconnected to prevent any accidental sparks from an in-tank electric fuel pump connection from igniting the vapors. Do not smoke when working on the fuel tank, filter or fuel lines, and keep all other sources of ignition away (electric heaters, pilot lights, etc.) from the work area. Filter Replacement Replacing the fuel filter periodically (every year or so) for preventative maintenance can reduce the risk of filter-related driveability problems. Most vehicle manufacturers, however, no longer specify a replacement interval for the fuel filter. Or, if they do it’s some incredibly long interval like once every five years or 50,000 miles. Many mechanics feel this is unrealistic. Waiting that long to change the filter is asking for trouble, especially if you drive on gravel or dirt roads, buy the cheapest gas you can find from "cut-rate" stations, use gas with alcohol in it, or your vehicle is more than six or seven years old and may have rust in the tank. The fuel filter on carbureted engines is usually located at the inlet fitting of the carburetor, or an "in-line" filter is used between the fuel pump and carburetor. When replacing a filter that screws into the inlet fitting on the carburetor, be careful not to overtighten the filter. The threads in the carburetor are relatively soft and can be easily stripped. But also make sure the filter is snug so that it doesn’t leak. It’s okay to apply some gasket sealer to the filter threads to assure a leak-free connection. But do not use RTV silicone sealer (which gasoline dissolves) or teflon tape (pieces of which can flake loose and end up in the carburetor). When replacing an in-line filter, most filters come with two new rubber hoses that go on either side of the filter. Use them. Don’t reuse the old hoses because rubber hoses deteriorate over time and can leak or shed small flakes or rubber that can end up in the filter or carburetor. Also, make sure the hose clamps are properly positioned and tight. NOTE: Most in-line filters have an arrow showing the direction fuel should flow through the filter. Install the filter so the arrow points toward the carburetor. Fuel Injection Filters Fuel filters on fuel injected engines are usually larger and have a finer filter element than those on carbureted engines. Consequently, they are usually more expensive. The filter may be located anywhere between the fuel tank and injector fuel supply rail or throttle body. On many cars, light trucks and minivans, the filter is located underneath the vehicle along a frame rail. On some, the filter is part of the electric fuel pump assembly inside the fuel tank! Refer to a shop manual for your fuel filter’s location. CAUTION: Fuel injected engines usually have a lot of residual pressure in the fuel line, even when a vehicle has sat overnight. So either follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedure for relieving pressure in the line prior to removing the filter (applying vacuum to the fuel pressure regulator manifold fitting, or cranking the engine with the ignition disabled), or wrap a rag around the hose connections and slowly loosen them. If the filter has an arrow indicating the direction of flow, it should be installed with the arrow pointing toward the engine and away from the fuel tank. If the filter is located inside the tank, the tank will probably have to be removed. Follow the same precautions as previously described for replacing a plugged pickup screen.
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