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Maintenance Tips

Midtown Auto Service & Car Care Tips

Knowing some basics about your vehicle and scheduling regular maintenance work can really help you save money on repairs. We've put together some commonly asked car care questions and answers for your convenience. Just click on the question link for a quick answer.

Car Care Q&A

Here are some commonly asked car care and repair questions. Click on the link for a quick answer.

  • Are my car tires properly inflated? For the proper car care or service / repair? Houston, TX
  • How long should car wiper blades last? For the proper car care or service / repair? Houston, TX
  • How often should I have my car engine oil/filter be changed? For the proper car care or service / repair? Houston, TX
  • How can I tell if my automotive / car engine coolant is OK? For the proper car care or service / repair? Houston,Tx
  • Why is heat coming out of my air conditioner? For the proper car care or service / repair? Houston, TX
  • What can I do if my car overheats? Houston, TX
  • How often should my car get a tune-up? Houston, TX
  • Why are my brakes making noise? Houston, TX
  • Does my transmission ever need service? Houston,TX
  • Techtips: Automotive / Car Repair Tips Getting the Most Out of Your Repair Shop Houston,Tx
  • Techtips: Choosing the Automotive / Car Best Repair Shop Houston,Tx
  • Techtips: Getting Your Automotive / Car Ready for Summer. Houston,Tx
  • Automotive / Car Ignition Key Will Not Turn Houston,Tx
  • Automotive / Car No Start and No Sound. Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car brake warning lights is on. What does that mean? Houston,Tx
  • OBD2 Data Link Connector Locations.
  • Three Belt Dressing Ideas
  • Automotive / Car Starting and engine Backfiring. Houston,Tx
  • Automotive / Car: The Shakedown on Engine Vibration Issues, Underhood Service Houston,Tx
  • Automotive /Car No Start and a Normal Sound. Houston,Tx
  • Automotive / Car No Start and Grinding Sound Houston,Tx
  • Automotive /Car No Start and Spinning or Whirring Sound. Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car "CHECK ENGINE " light is on. What does that mean? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive /car engine oil pressure warning light is on. What should I do? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car front-wheel drive car makes a clicking sound when turning. Is anything wrong? Houston,Tx
  • What's the difference between a automotive /car U-joint and a constant velocity (CV) joint? Houston,Tx
  • How often do I need to have my automotive / car wheels aligned? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car engine has too much compression due to excessive carbon buildup. Houston,Tx
  • What is a automotive / car " valve job " and when is it necessary? Houston,Tx
  • Is it necessary to replace my automotive / car belts periodically? Houston,Tx
  • My Automotive /Car engine has a steady miss and gets terrible fuel milage. What's wrong? Houston, Tx
  • Automotive / Car Fuel injectors are dirty and need to be cleaned. Houston,Tx
  • How can I tell if my automotive / car fuel filter needs to be replaced? Houston,Tx
  • How often should I change my automotive /car fuel filter? Houston,Tx
  • How can I tell if my automotive / car catalytic converter is working properly? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car keeps blowing fuses. Should I install a larger fuse? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car has two fuse panels,one under the instrument panel and one in the engine compartment. Houston,Tx
  • On my automotive / car I have a bad voltage regulator, and do I have to replace my engine alternator? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car battery keeps running down. Does that mean I need a new battery? Houston,Tx
  • Chemical Block Testing
  • Is there any danger to me or my automotive / car vehicle if I give someone a "jump start"? Houston,Tx
  • Does a replacement automotive /car battery have to be the same size as my old one? Houston,Tx
  • Cabin Air Filter Maintenance
  • Pulsation or vibration in the automotive / car brake pedal. Houston,Tx
  • Replacing the automotive / car tires,do I have to use the same size as the originals? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car brakes are squealing. Does that mean I need a brake job? Houston,Tx
  • How to Jump Start a Automotive / Car with a Dead Battery. Houston,Tx
  • Tips for Maintaining your Automotive / Car Battery. Houston,Tx
  • Automotive / Car No Start and Clicking Sound Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car suspension is not adjustable. Does that mean the wheels can't be aligned? Houston,Tx
  • Do my automotive / car wheels need to be realigned after the struts have been replaced? Houston,Tx
  • Driving down the highway, my automotive / car pulls to one side. Houston,Tx
  • Finding a auto repair shop You Can Trust. Houston,Tx
  • 10 tips to improve fuel milage for automobiles / cars. Houston,Tx
  • Important items to carry in your vehicle in case of road-side emergencies. Houston,Tx
  • High Water Headaches for car / auto floods. Houston,Tx
  • Car / Auto Preventive Maintenance That You Can Do Yourself . Houston,Tx
  • Save Money at the Pump for auto / car. Houston, Tx
  • Be Aware of auto /car Tire Wear.
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  • Car Care Tip of the day

    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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