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Houston Auto – Car Maintenance T.V. Interview Channel 11 – Winterizing Your Car – Midtown Auto Service & Repair Houston 2011

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

How to prepare a car for winter

Your car has a lot to endure during winter – cold weather, slippery roads, salt and sand on the streets. Any hidden problems your car may have will get worse during cold winter. An old battery, engine oil that hasn’t been changed for awhile, worn out spark plugs, a bad thermostat are the types of things that could cause a problem on cold mornings. Winter driving is very demanding and bad tires or worn out wipers can compromise your safety. Here are few tips how to prepare your car for winter:

• Pre-winter maintenance
• Consider winter tires
• Check tire pressure
• Battery
• Wipers
• Protecting your car’s body
• Lubricate door locks
• How to prevent door seals from freezing
• Other thing to know
• Winter Road Kit
• Adjust your driving habits
Pre-winter maintenance

A number of things in your car need to be checked out before winter: the condition of the battery, battery terminals, the engine cooling system, the condition of the engine antifreeze, all the belts, brakes, the tires, the windshield wipers, lights, the spare tire, etc. All the fluids need to be checked and topped up or changed if needed. Check you owner’s manual for more specific information.
Any problems with your car need to be taken care of before the winter because the cold temperatures will make almost any problem worse.
It’s a good idea to change the engine oil before winter – the fresh oil will make the engine to start easier during cold weather. Check your owner’s manual – some cars may require winter grade oil during cold season.
Take your vehicle to your mechanic or a local dealer for an oil change and have the car inspected. Visiting one of the quick lube places will not be enough, since things like brakes, steering and suspension can only be inspected when the car is lifted on the hoist.
Have your mechanic check the freezing point and condition of the engine coolant.
Any problems with the cooling system need to be addressed before winter. You don’t want to be without heat in the winter, and a simple problem such as a bad thermostat or even a small leak will result in a long warm-up time and little heat from the heater on the highway.
Winter tires

Consider installing good-quality winter tires. Winter tires are specifically designed to improve traction on snow-covered or icy roads. Many dealerships will store your off-season tires if you purchase tires with them. There may be a small fee, but it’s worth it for the convenience.
If you have alloy wheels, especially those with wide performance tires, consider purchasing winter tires pre-installed on steel rims instead of changing tires only – it’s easy to damage alloy rims during winter and they are usually not repairable. There is less labour involved in changing tires that are already installed on the rims, so the charge is usually less. Winter tires need to be installed on all four wheels. Don’t skimp on safety.
While winter tires have better traction on winter roads than all-season tires, they are not foolproof; drive carefully in winter conditions. Winter tires wear faster on dry roads in warm weather; don’t forget to remove them when the winter season is over.
Tire pressure

Check tire pressure regularly during winter – proper pressure is important to maintain better traction. You can find recommended tire pressure in the owner’s manual or on the tire pressure placard.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell when the battery will decide to quit – sometimes it happens unexpectedly with no prior signs. However, if you feel that cranking speed is slower than before, the battery is probably close to its end. Have your battery tested by your mechanic, especially if it is more than 2-3 years old. A dead battery is one of the most common causes for a no-start during winter. Make sure the battery terminals are tight and not corroded. Corroded terminals will cause troubles.
Wipers, windshield washer fluid

Windshield wipers are very critical to winter driving; consider installing winter wipers.
Make sure you replace summer washer fluid with special winter windshield washer fluid that won’t freeze.
If the washer jets don’t spray properly, clean and adjust them. Good visibility is important – don’t forget to clean your windshield and other windows from inside as well.
Protecting car body

Winter is harsh on your car’s body: moisture, sand and road salt damage the exterior paint and speed up the corrosion process. If road salt is common on the roads in your area during the winter, consider rust proofing your vehicle.
It’s good idea to wax your car before winter – wax will help to preserve the paint. Check our How to wax a car tips.
Scratches and stone chips will more likely be corroded after winter, so touch up or repair any damages to your car’s paint before winter.

Remove the leaves and other debris accumulated during the fall under the cowl panel below the windshield and in other areas. The leaves block water drains and collect moisture. This will cause corrosion and extra humidity inside the car, as the air intake for the cabin heater is usually located under the cowl panel.

Wash your car more often during winter. Moisture, salt and dirt get accumulated inside the wheel wells, under the doors and other areas, which can cause corrosion. I like washing my car at a self-service coin car wash with the high-pressure gun, as it washes off the dirt and salt from hard to reach areas and from underneath the car.

Check our Car body care page for more tips.
Lubricate door locks

Lubricate the door and trunk locks, as well as the hood locking mechanism so they won’t freeze. It’s also a good idea to lubricate hinges of the hood, doors and the trunk.
Clean and lubricate the door rails if your vehicle has sliding doors.
How to prevent door seals from freezing

To prevent rubber door seals from sticking in freezing weather lubricate them with special lubricant for rubber door seals. Usually it’s called ‘weatherstrip lubricant’. I use the spray from Würth called “Rubber Care”.
Other things to know

– Synthetic oil will help your car to start easier in extreme cold.
– If your “Check engine” light is on, have the problem checked and fixed – it will only get worse in the winter.
– If major a tune up is due soon based on the maintenance schedule, it’s better to do it before winter – worn out spark plugs or bad ignition cables are more likely to cause problems with starting in cold weather.
– Vehicles with a diesel engine need special attention – a simple thing like dirty fuel filter or bad heater plug could cause a lot of troubles on a cold day.
– Consider buying winter floor mats – they will help to keep the water from leaking under the car’s carpet, which could cause corrosion to the wiring and electronic components. Modern cars have a lot of electronics under the carpet.
Winter kit

Winter weather is unpredictable and you need to be prepared for any situation. Here are the recommended items you should keep in your car: basic tool kit, an ice scraper, a shovel, sand or kitty litter, tow cable or chain, traction mats, road flares or warning light, an emergency sign, a flashlight, booster cables, a fire extinguisher, extra windshield washer fluid, fuel line antifreeze, first aid kit, a charged cell phone, an emergency food pack, a bottle of water, warm clothing and footwear for each passenger, a warm blanket for each passenger, matches in a waterproof container, a reflective vest.
I take my winter kit with me whenever I have to travel by car during winter and a couple of times I already had to use some of the items.
Adjust your driving

Winter road conditions are unpredictable and you need to adjust your driving habits. Don’t forget that if you have a 4WD vehicle, it accelerates and handles better in slippery conditions but its braking ability is pretty much the same as of any other vehicle. If you have options like ABS, Traction Control or Stability control and you haven’t used them yet, take some time to study your owner’s manual, as there are some specifics in handling a car equipped with these options.
I’d also recommend to check more winter driving tips that you can find at your Automobile Association or Transport Safety Authority websites.
By Vlad Samarin

Auto Car Care Repair Service Interview-Febuary 2010, Channel 11-Houston,TX

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

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.

Auto Car Care Repair Maintenance-PART II: Channel 11 KHOU TV-AAA APPROVED AUTO REPAIR HOUSTON FACILITY Auto-Car Talk With ASE Master Auto Technicians September, 16 2009

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Keep Your Auto Car Engine Properly Tuned
Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.
Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.
Fuel Economy Benefit: 4%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.10/gallon

Keep Tires Properly Inflated

You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.

The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner’s manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall.

Fuel Economy Benefit: up to 3%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: up to $0.08/gallon

Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil

You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1-2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1-1.5 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.

Fuel Economy Benefit: 1-2%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.03-$0.05/gallon

Replacing a Clogged Air Filter on Modern Cars Improves Performance but Not MPG
A new study shows that replacing a clogged air filter on cars with fuel-injected, computer-controlled gasoline engines does not improve fuel economy but it can improve acceleration time by around 6 to 11 percent. This kind of engine is prevalent on most gasoline cars manufactured from the early 1980s onward.
Tests suggest that replacing a clogged air filter on an older car with a carbureted engine may improve fuel economy 2 to 6 percent under normal replacement conditions or up to 14 percent if the filter is so clogged that it significantly affects drivability.
The effect of a clogged air filter on diesel vehicles will be tested in the near future.

Note: Cost savings are based on an assumed fuel price of $2.58/gallon.

Some leading maintenance companies keep this car maintenance interval program to themselves; now it’s revealed for you. This breakthrough method will couch you on how to keep a diligent maintenance interval schedule that can save you maintenance costs.

Preventive car maintenance interval program is an important solution to your vehicle maintenance problems. If you use the car maintenance interval scheduling, you can track your vehicle expenses and at the same time monitor the vehicle performance. To begin a car maintenance interval program, start by setting up your vehicle maintenance reminder parameters where you can record the vehicle fuel economy and performance. This can also include monitoring the dash gauges of every vehicles and equipment you want to maintain. A periodic check up can be set so the various vehicle maintenance functions can be monitored. As an example, you can include any warranty appointments that maybe needed by the vehicle dealerships. This can give you a guideline when to bring the vehicle to an authorized dealer for routine check ups which can ultimately help your over all maintenance cost.
It is worthwhile to mention that when car maintenance interval program is applied, there can be longer oil and filter changes when optimum gas is used, including keeping the tires longer, fixing break downs when they occur, replacing shock absorbers which can be used only when maintenance is needed. If you like, use also the synthetic oil as soon as the 3rd or 4th oil change is done. Parts like distributor cap, rotor, air filter, plug wires must be watched closer and only replaced when needed. For reference, you can use 24,000 miles for distributor cap and rotor for replacement schedule and 12,000 miles for air filters. For vehicle fluids such as your transmission, monitor it by checking the color of the trany fluid.
Car maintenance interval program should include changing the engine oil to performing engine tune ups including having the ability to set the desired schedule recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. When a maintenance work is done, it can be recorded and filed or archived as a vehicle maintenance history. This way, it can be access later and monitor what was done to a vehicle such as PM, repairs, parts and labor to determine over all operating cost. This will help calculate future vehicle problems to avoid repeating the same repairs which can be expensive. As a general rule, always follow the vehicle manufacture maintenance schedule recommendation.
When used successfully, car maintenance interval program can help you avoid major expensive engine repairs by doing routine maintenance jobs such as changing timing belts and oxygen sensors. Other parts required can be found by using the recommended parts suggested by the vehicle manufacturer. This is your insurance so you can get maximum amount of performance, reliability and extended service life from your vehicles. Including in this practice is the cleaning of the fuel injectors which is often over looked. When not done, it could plugged up the injectors and result in poor mileage and performance. Also, if the intake side of the engines are not regularly cleaned, it can lead to build up of dirt to collect in the throttle bodies which can fail later on. This will result to poor engine responsiveness and bad fuel consumption.
Still, some car maintenance interval program can warn you if the check engine light in the dash occurs. It can even recommend what parts to be used to hasten the fixing of the vehicle and prevent down time.
Click back to Car Maintenance

Discover the basic auto maintenance program for your vehicle and save in maintenance costs.

When evaluating that the cost of vehicle neglect, usually the cost is in the hundreds or thousands of dollars when you take them to a mechanic that is why it is important that we should know the basic auto maintenance. When doing this maintenance, start by using the vehicle maintenance owner’s manual to determine the best maintenance schedule for the vehicle you have. If the manual is not available, you can buy the electronic version usually found in the internet for reasonable fee.
Some important highlights of basic auto maintenance are:
Performing regular maintenance check ups will help prolong the life of your vehicle tires, parts, brakes and other vehicle components. When servicing the brakes, always ensure to gather the old brake parts for recycling. The brake fluids does not need to be replaced unless there is a presence of brake fluid contamination or if a brake leak is detected. On most newer brake system, a sensor is used to monitor the brake fluid level or determine if the brakes needs some work or not. This is usually activated in the master cylinder where the sensor is located.
Most newer vehicle has front wheel drive axle system and as such, has a CV joint used to transfer the engine torque to the front tires. This CV joints should be monitored and greased if possible. The most common failure for this part is the cracking or breaking the rubber cover. As soon as this is detected, the CV joint rubber must be covered to prevent dirt contact with the bearings.
Among common maintenance used are engine oil change, tires checks and rotations, belts inspection, brakes inspection, spark plugs and wires check ups and replaced if necessary including fuel injector servicing. A better way of getting a tune up is now done by having a complete engine analysis that can also checked the over all safety of the vehicle. Actually, an emission test is the best way to check engine performance by scanning all the engine sensors. Such sensors such as oxygen , tps, coolant, idle air control sensors can be tested by the scanner before they break down. This is the most important step necessary to make sure the engine parts are in top shape.
Under inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every drop of 1 psi of tire pressure. In essence, a proper inflated tires not only save you gas but give you safer driving environment.
It is a good practice to monitor the battery condition all the time. Check for signs of corrosion in the battery post and make sure to check it for cracks and boiling which shows that the charging system is over charging.
Always check your engine belts like the ones used for steering, water pump, alternators and crankshaft drive pulleys. When serpentine belt is used, monitor them for belt noise which shows that the belt tensioner is worn (serpetine belt is a multiple groove belt used to replaced the old multiple belt system).
Servicing the transmission is usually done by dropping the trany oil pan at suggested vehicle maintenance interval. When done, the trany can be checked for signs of trany oil discoloration or presence of debris in the old oil which suggest that the trany itself is failing. After inspection, a new trany oil filter should be installed to increase the life of the transmission. On some vehicle models, the trany solenoids can be tested whenever the trany oil pan is dropped.

Saving Money
Five Ways To Keep Your Car Running At Peak Fuel Efficiency
By Andrew Stoy, 9:00 AM on Sat Jun 21 2008, 53,192 views (Edit, to draft, Slurp)

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Back in the good ol’ days of $2.50-per-gallon gasoline, you could ignore simple car maintenance. After all, what was it costing you? A buck here and a buck there? But when prices hit the $4 mark, things changed. Now, every cent counts, and you can save a surprising amount of scratch by performing a few simple maintenance tasks yourself. We’ve put together a quick list of five basics from Jalopnik’s “How To” series, ranked from easiest to most difficult, that can help any vehicle owner squeeze a few extra MPG (Miles Per Gallon) out of their daily driver.

1. Fill Up Smart
It doesn’t get easier than this. Fill up your vehicle during the coolest part of the day. With older pumps that don’t have a temperature-compensating flow meter, fuel is denser when it’s cool, so you actually get more for your money when you pump gas in the early AM instead of filling up at 5:30PM on your way home from work. Also, if you really want to penny-pinch, and you don’t need to be using premium fuel in your car, ditch the premium gas and use the cheaper stuff. Finally, stay away from E85 — the ethanol-mixed fuel provides lower fuel economy than the pure stuff.

2. Keep Your Car Clean
First off, wash and wax your car — it doesn’t just look good, it actually lowers the wind resistance of your vehicle. No, not by much, but every little bit helps, remember? More importantly, clean out the inside of your vehicle, particularly any unnecessary boxes of heavy junk you have in the hatch/trunk/backseat. By removing weight, you can improve fuel economy. Just keep the baby seat installed.

3. Check Your Tire Pressure
Underinflated tires take more energy to push down the road so check your tire pressure often. Invest a few dollars in a good dial-type tire pressure gauge and use it to check your tire pressure once a week. Even if the pressure is only a couple PSI low, you’re burning a lot more fuel than you need to.

4. Change The Air Filter
If your engine’s wheezing and has to work harder bringing in the air it needs to burn fuel efficiently, it doesn’t complain to you. It simply burns more fuel. By replacing your air filter annually, or biannually if you live in a dusty area, you’ll ensure the engine can breathe freely. Consult your owner’s manual for filter changing instructions — it’s usually a straightforward process. While it won’t save you dollars per fill-up, it could save you at least the price of an air filter each year depending on your mileage.

5. Replace Your Spark Plugs
Worn spark plugs can’t ignite the air/fuel mixture in your engine as effectively, resulting in more fuel used for a given amount of power produced. Depending upon the vehicle you drive, your spark plugs may need to be changed as often as yearly or as rarely as once a decade or so. Again, consult your owner’s manual for details. Note that we’re now getting into “real work.” If you drive an older vehicle with an inline engine, changing plugs can be done in as little as an hour. A transverse V6, like that commonly found on minivans and domestic sedans, can be an entirely different story involving bloody knuckles, part removal, flex sockets, and extensive cursing. If your car is due for plug replacement and you’re not up to the task, a competent shop should be able to do the work for a reasonable fee.


Importance of Auto Car Care Repair Maintenance: Channel 11 KHOU TV-AAA APPROVED AUTO REPAIR HOUSTON FACILITY Auto-Car Talk With ASE Master Auto Technicians July 29, 2009

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The Importance of Car Maintenance

Car Maintenance Tips to Protect Your Investment:

Many people consider car maintenance to be a necessary evil. Fortunately, there are several things you could do to protect your investment and save some money. Like children, each vehicle requires different needs that the owner should consider. Car maintenance should be a top priority for any vehicle owner.

Oil Is Not Optional

Let’s start with the most universal car maintenance task: oil changes. Unless otherwise directed by the oil manufacturer, every car needs the oil changed around every 3000 miles or 3 months, whichever occurs earlier. Your two basic choices are to take your car to the dealer for service or use an independent service center. Looking at the bottom line, using an independent service center will be cheaper. However, your dealer may have specials that are not widely advertised. These specials typically are a fixed percentage off oil changes or when your bill goes over a certain dollar amount. Consider going to the dealer for you oil changes.

Tires Experience Wear and Tear

Another item that will wear out eventually is your tires. There are several places, including your new car dealer, that sell and install tires. Most new car dealers will perform some type of computerized tire alignment with the installation of the new tires. More likely than not, your cheapest place to buy tires will be at large discount chains, such as Wal-Mart, Coscos, Kmart etc. With tires, you must rotate them roughly every 6,000 miles to promote their longevity. Without tire rotation, your tires will not meet their expected mileage lifetime. If you skip getting your tires aligned, you might have to buy a new pair of tires much sooner. Make sure you take the time to schedule this necessary component of car maintenance.

Keeping up with car maintenance can really protect the money you’ve invested in buying your new car. Savvy consumers don’t neglect car maintenance and neither should you.

So far we’ve tackled the numerous ways by which you can easily conduct effective car/vehicle reparations and some ways on how you can easily maintain the various parts of your ride. Let’s take a break from the technicalities of repair and automobile upkeep to focus on the importance of vehicle maintenance.

While learning to repair your vehicle is a great way to cut costs, there are also a number of undeniably important reasons why it’s just as vital for you to conduct regular maintenance on your car, SUV or truck. The following are some compelling arguments on the value of vehicle maintenance.

By carefully maintaining your vehicle, you increase driving safety. You can be the world’s most effective and skillful driver, but with a rotten ride, you and your vehicle become accident-prone. Every year, thousands of accidents become a result of vehicle neglect. It’s not just bad driving that causes accidents, in fact when it comes to the majority of automobile accidents around the world, you have faulty brake systems, worn wiper blades and tires, exhaust buildups and leaking gas tanks to blame.

You help reduce pollution with vehicle maintenance. Most countries around the world have anti-smoke belching campaigns to help save the environment. Each year, your vehicle’s noxious emissions contribute directly to global pollution. A well-maintained vehicle will easily limit the amount of dangerous fumes and automotive fluids released into the air and local water tables.

Another reason why you should maintain your vehicle is it definitely lowers your cost of operation. It’s common sense, I know, but it never hurts to point out good advice, right? The point is a well-maintained car wouldn’t need too many repairs. Meaning, you won’t have to keep on heading to your car mechanic and ordering car parts or truck accessories if you keep your vehicle in excellent condition.

A hidden advantage behind careful maintenance is that in case you do decide to sell your used vehicle, you’re going to get a better price. Most buyers value excellent vehicle performance and condition over the car model. So it only follows that a well-maintained five-year-old vehicle is going to fetch a more handsome price compared to an ill-maintained and broken-down two-year-old car.

If you keep your vehicle well-maintained, expect it to perform better. You lengthen your vehicle’s great performance if you keep a careful eye on its vital fluids, oil and various parts. If you don’t maintain your vehicle well, expect it to quickly show signs of internal wear. Your car will also be more dependable if you make sure that it is always in good condition.

And lastly, a well-maintained vehicle will mean less roadside emergencies. There’s nothing more frustrating then having your vehicle break down in the middle of nowhere with no tools at hand. Lessen your chances of getting stranded due to a cracked radiator, bad tires or a malfunctioning battery by making sure your vehicle is in excellent condition prior to a long trip.

Remember, these are just some of the main reasons behind keeping your vehicle well-maintained. In the next few days, I’ll be featuring more vehicle maintenance tips to ensure that you get the best performance out of your ride.

Midtown Auto Service: Auto Repair Houston Texas – Diagnostic Codes

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Channel 2-KPRC-TV-AAA APPROVED AUTO REPAIR FACILITY-Auto-Car Talk With ASE Master Auto Technicians February 02,2009

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Dominique Sachse: Anchor for channel 2 news, Houston: Live on Channel 2 “CARTALK”@ 4:00 P.M , 5:00 P.M and 6:00 P.M.


Answering Car Questions Live On The Air


Amy Davis KPRC Reporter: Also Known As: “Ask Amy”


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


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


  • Fuel Injection Service, Not Just Cleaning
  • The Art of Extraction
  • EGR Systems: Operation and Diagnosis
  • Proactive Target Marketing:_Rethinking Your Business Strategy
  • Engine Performance: HO2S Diagnostics


  • Developing Employee Potential
  • How Critical Thinking Can Help Your Business
  • How to Diagnose the Ford Glow Plug
  • What to Look for When Shopping for the Right Shop Management Software
  • Putting a Price Tag on Complaints

  • AutoInc. Web Site | ASA Web Site | ASA Encourages Legislative Participation | Spray Booth Safety | Trigger Point: Is It Time You Serviced Hybrids? | Lip Service: First-Class Telephone Skills | Guest Editorial | Tech to Tech | Tech Tips | Around ASA | Shop Profile | Net Worth | Stat Corner | Members’ Advantage | Chairman’s Message


    Thursday, March 13th, 2008

    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 in Houston, 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 “The Local 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)



    Contact: (713) 523-2886

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    ASE certified mechanics Search For Midtown Auto Service AAA Here BCCA AIRCHECK Texas facility

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