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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

    On my automotive / car I have a bad voltage regulator, and do I have to replace my engine alternator? Houston,Tx

    The voltage regulator controls or regulates the alternator's output. Think of it as the brains of the charging system. It senses how much voltage is needed by your vehicle, then modifies the field current within the alternator so it puts out just the right amount of current. Too little current can allow the battery to run down while too much can damage it and other electrical and electronic components. When the regulator fails, the charging system usually ceases to function -- except in cases where the nature of the failure causes the alternator to run wild and overcharge the battery. In any event, the only cure for a dead or defective regulator is replacement. In older vehicles, the regulator was a separate component usually mounted somewhere in the engine compartment. If this type of regulator failed, it could be easily replaced in a matter of minutes with a new one. But for the last decade or more, most regulators have been mounted in or on the alternator itself. This was done by the vehicle manufacturers to simplify wiring and assembly. It was also made possible by advances in electronics that allowed the regulator to be reduced in size to a small chip. Charging systems that have a separate regulator mounted away from the alternator are referred to as "externally regulated" charging systems while those that have the regulator in or on the alternator are called "internally regulated" charging systems. On some vehicles there is no regulator at all! Voltage regulation is controlled by the engine computer. Unfortunately, internally regulated alternators are packaged as a unit -- which means that if either component fails (alternator or regulator) both must be replaced. This is because internal regulators are not available separately (at least not to the general public or the typical service facility). Electrical shops and remanufacturers who rebuild alternators can get them and can replace the regulator separately if that's all that's wrong with the unit -- but they'll usually charge you the same as if you bought a rebuilt alternator. The truth is, the high cost of labor today has made it impractical for most service facilities to fool around trying to rebuild or repair components like alternators, starters, carburetors, front-wheel driveshafts, transmissions and even engines. It's faster, easier and usually cheaper to simply replace the old unit with a new or remanufactured one than to try to overhaul or fix it. Besides, most new and remanufactured parts come with a guarantee.
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