Owning a car is a great luxury but also comes with some important responsibilities. For example, if you own a vehicle, then it is vital to ensure that you have regular maintenance performed as needed. Otherwise, you may end up having to deal with more serious and expensive repairs and maintenance over time as a result of neglecting to maintain your vehicle as needed. Fortunately, there are some basic repairs and types of maintenance that you can have done as a way of keeping your car in its best possible shape at all times.
Get That Oil Changed!
For starters, it is a good idea to have your car’s oil changed at least once every several thousand miles. The frequency with which you should have this done can vary depending on your specific car and how much you drive, of course. For this reason, you should reference your vehicle owner’s manual to determine how often you should take your car in for an oil change.
Tire Service & Repair
On the other hand, oil changes are not the only kind of maintenance that you should have done regularly. You should also take the time to ensure that your tires are in their best shape at all times. This includes having them rotated every several thousand miles to even out the wear and tear on them, as well as checking to make sure that the tread on each tire is substantial enough so that you get adequate traction while on the road. If this is not the case, then it may be time for new tires.
Car Fluid Changes
Furthermore, having your vehicle’s fluids topped off and filters changed is another important form of maintenance that should be done from time to time. This will keep your car running its best and can also improve fuel efficiency. For all of these repair and maintenance needs in addition to many more, be sure to turn to Louetta Automotive.
The reliability of a vehicle depends on how well the vehicle is maintained. Regular oil changes will keep the car working better and running smoother. The clean oil will lubricate the moving parts in the engine, and it will protect the vehicle’s engine from other impurities such as dirt, metal particles and carbon deposits. In addition, the vehicle needs a clean oil filter to trap the waste properly.
The oil does many things to keep your vehicle dependable and in top shape. It dampens the noises in the engine, and it can act as a coolant. If you do not change the oil regularly, the waste will build up on your oil pan, which will cause the engine to run hotter. An overheated engine can become an expensive repair. Therefore, it is essential to consider changing the oil regularly to prevent having this costly repair later.
The engines moving parts will hit each other causing noisy sounds. If you hear a tapping sound, you could be low on oil. The valves are not opening and closing properly due to the low oil. The oil should be changed before you hear this tapping noise to prevent major repairs.
Regular Maintenance is Key!
To receive the benefits of an oil change, it should be done about every three months, or when you have gone about three to four thousand miles since the last oil change. A car may become unreliable if maintenance is neglected. At Louetta Automotive, you will find a reliable company who will offer you services to keep your car maintained. They will make sure that your car is not neglected. However, an oil change is only one part of the maintenance for your vehicle. The professionals will help keep your car on the road by performing regular oil changes and other maintenance inspections.
For many years, the tune up was the staple car of maintenance. However, modern car engines are vastly different than they were just 20 years ago. Car engines used to have many more parts that produced an arc. As the metal on these parts started to wear away, the performance of the car would start to suffer prompting the owner to take the car to their repair shop for a tune up. Most modern engines now control these processes electronically, eliminating many of the parts that were serviced during a traditional tune up. So are tune ups a thing of the past?
Understanding the Term “Tune Up”
The term tune up is supposed to refer to a process of adjusting and replacing engine parts that, when finished, would make the car run better. The problem is that many late model vehicles don’t have much under the hood to adjust in this respect. So while the term may be a bit of a misnomer today, the concept of needing periodic maintenance to keep your car running in top shape is as true today as it was 30 years ago.
What Is A Modern Tune Up?
When a person considers getting a tune up today it is usually because they are experiencing some drivability issue such as difficulty starting or decreasing gas mileage. Any modern tune up will start with a series of performance tests to assess the overall state of the engine. Modern engine diagnostic equipment can pinpoint problems in many of your cars systems such as ignition and fuel systems that might cause these issues. A tune up will also include a visual inspection of belts, hoses and fluid levels. Parts that could potentially be replaced during a tune up include the spark plugs, distributor cap, fuel and/or air filters, and any other part as needed (think wires, hoses, belts, etc.) to keep your vehicle running smoothly.
100,000 Mile Myth?
Some modern car manufacturers tout their cars ability to go up to 100,000 miles without a tune up. Is this true? While it’s true that modern cars may not require the same amount of maintenance as their predecessors, it is important to keep up on the routine scheduled maintenance for your vehicle.
If you have found that your car has lost its get up and go, we can help! At Louetta Automotive our team of ASE certified technicians are experts at diagnosing and repairing any issue your car may be experiencing, no matter how major or minor. With 7 locations in the Houston area, you won’t have to go far to get your vehicle “tuned up”!
Floodwaters swamped the Cypress & Houston areas yesterday, turning neighborhood streets and busy main streets into rivers. What should you do in the event that your vehicle has been flooded? Should you call your insurance company? Is your car ruined? Where should you take it?
If your car was flooded, here’s what you should do:
- Do not start your car until a thorough inspection and cleaning has been completed.
- Immediately (or as soon as conditions allow) get the car as dry as possible to reduce the amount of time that water is in contact with your car’s components.
- Write down the highest level the water reached in your vehicle. This will help qualified service advisors determine the extent of the damage, as well as assist in repairs.
- Contact a qualified, certified automotive shop to inspect and evaluate the mechanical and electrical components of your vehicle.
- Flush and replace ALL fluids, filters and gaskets that were exposed to water. Your car may drive okay now, but the longer you go, the more you increase your chances of more serious damage.
- Get your vehicle’s padding and insulation replaced. This can run as little as $100. The risk of mold developing in your car and making you sick is not worth waiting.
- Stop in at Louetta Automotive or Lake Houston Automotive to have a thorough cleaning of brake parts. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, you may also need to have your bearings repacked. Again, your safety is worth the cost.
In some cases, water damage to your car can surface up to 90 days after the flood occurred, when electrical and mechanical parts begin to corrode. Don’t wait!
Can my water damage to my car be fixed?
Everything can be fixed, the question is really, how much will it cost? You can dry a car completely but still have odors, electrical problems, etc. In general, if the water goes past the floorboards, your car could be totaled.
FREE Flood Check
Louetta Automotive Can Help! We are offering FREE towing of flooded cars to any of our 7 locations and a FREE Flood Check.
Warmer weather, longer days, road trips; there are a lot of things that make summer, well, summer. Another, less amusing item that summer brings, is a steamy hot car interior. Not only does this create an uncomfortable climate, it can be hazardous to your health and cause damage to your vehicle’s surfaces. Here are a few ways to beat the heat:
- Park In the Shade
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easier said than done. There are some giant parking lots in the Houston area, and not all of them have shade to spare. Those coveted shady spots go fast! If you expect to be parked for a while, follow the trajectory of the sun. As it moves throughout the day, you can plan for your car to be in the shade at least some portion of the day.
- Invest in Window Coverings
This can be accomplished one of two ways: temporary, movable sun shades; or permanent window tinting. Sun shades are an inexpensive, effective way to block those harmful rays from damaging your car’s interior. Window tinting not only helps with keeping the sun out, if done correctly, it can even raise the resale value of your car.
- Open Those Windows
Keeping your windows cracked, even just a half-inch, can help hot air escape your car while it is vacant. Once you return to your vehicle, go ahead and crank the air conditioning! But don’t forget to open all the windows as well. This will allow all that hot air to move out of your vehicle while your replacing it with the cool air from your air conditioner.
Professional Auto AC Service in Cypress TX
Here at Louetta Automotive, we want you to stay safe over the summer! If your car needs an A/C service we’d be glad to help out. Some vehicles have A/C filters similar to the ones you have in your home. It is important to check if your filter needs to be replaced. Choose from one of our convenient seven locations surrounding the Houston area, and an experienced service advisor will help you keep your car cool for the summer.
With record gas prices expected sooner rather than later, everyone is starting to dread pulling up to the gas station. As Americans drive more and more during the spring and summer months (exactly the time when gas prices normally peak for the year!) how can a car owner cope with these rising gas expenses without sacrificing dinner every night?
Simple Tips To Keep You More Fuel Efficient
There are a couple of steps that everyone can take to help maintain or improve fuel economy. Keeping your car clean is often overlooked but can contribute greatly to the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Washing and waxing your vehicle will reduce wind resistance. At the same time removing those boxes from the trunk (you know, the ones you’ve been meaning to take out anyways) along with other non-essential items will lighten the weight of your vehicle also making it more fuel efficient. Lastly, stay on top of your tire pressure. If your tires are underinflated it takes more energy to move your car down the road.
Don’t Forget The Engine
Keeping your engine in tip top shape also contributes greatly to the performance of your vehicle, after all this is where fuel combustion happens! When your car is properly tuned it performs better, meaning fewer harmful emissions, longer lifespan and better gas mileage. A complete tune up service includes inspecting and adjusting all of the systems that are involved in the proper combustion of fuel. Things like air filters and spark plugs are routinely changed during a tune-up and help ensure that your vehicle is combusting gas at an efficient rate.
Invest A Little, Save A Lot
The steps listed above don’t take a lot of time or money (in some cases less than your next fill-up). As gas prices continue their march upward, keeping your car as fuel efficient as possible is more important than ever!
Your local automotive experts at Louetta Automotive are here to help keep you on the road and lessen the pain at the pump. Whether you need routine service or a complete car tune-up Louetta Automotive has ASE trained technicians armed with the latest equipment ready to work for you! Contact Louetta Automotive to schedule your service today!
Louetta Automotive proudly offers BG fluids and products. BG creates top of the line automotive fluids and automotive maintenance service products. These include completely synthetic engine oils, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluids and grease and gear lube.
Most automotive fluid companies make their products with crude oil base. BG Products, on the other hand, are manufactured in a lab as fully synthetic chemicals. For humans, synthetic products are bad news, but for a vehicle, synthetic fluids are the best they come. These fluids are capable of handling the higher temps better and for longer, without breaking down. This means longer periods between fluid changes and more longevity for the life of you vehicle.
BG Featured Services
- Fuel/Air Induction Service
- Lubrication & Fuel Service
- Diesel Injection Service
- Cooling System Service
- Transmission Service
- Drive Line Service
- Power Steering Service
- Brake Service
- Climate Control Service
- Battery Service
- Headlight Restoration
Other BG Products and Plans:
Lifetime BG Protection Plan
BG On The Road
This complimentary roadside assistance program can get you back On The Road! BG On The Road roadside assistance is only available with the purchase of a BG fluid change service.
There is a saying precaution is better than a good cure. The meaning is simple. Why wait till something goes wrong and scramble to fix it when you can simply avoid something going wrong to being with? This is a line of reasoning that is generally applied to your health. However, this same reasoning can be applied to the care and maintenance of your car as well.
Regularly Scheduled Service & Maintenance
We all go to the doctor every so often for our regular checkup. We do this to make sure that nothing major is going wrong. Perhaps something we cannot see under the hood. The same holds true with your car. Regularly scheduled general maintenance of your car is a crucial part of making sure your car has a long happy life. General maintenance will help identify potential problems such as faulty wires or parts that are starting to go bad. This ensures that what would have been a minor repair does not become a major headache at the most inopportune time. Regularly scheduled checkups and service will also ensure that your car is operating and peak efficiency and performance.
Most car owners understand that regularly scheduled oil changes should be a part of the maintenance routine for their car. However an oil change also provides the technician an opportunity to peer into the inner workings deep within the engine. Much like a blood test can reveal what is happening within your body. The color, consistency or presence of foreign objects (like metal shavings) in your engines oil can speak volumes about the overall health of your car.
Summer Driving Season
As the summer driving season approaches the road may be calling you. Many car owners take road trips during the summer months. Long journeys during the hot summer months can break down a car that is not properly maintained.
Having your car serviced by the car experts at Louetta Automotive will ensure that your car will not only be healthy today, but will also provide many more seasons of enjoyment for you and your family.
Have you ever pressed your gas pedal and.nothing? You double check everything. Car is on? Check. Car in gear? Check. Emergency Brake off? Check. Still nothing. So you think about recent service you may have gotten. Oil, tires, even that new muffler. What could have been missing?
Transmission fluid creates the pressure your transmission needs to move the wheels on your car when you step on the gas pedal. Since getting your transmission serviced is not something that needs to happen as often as an oil change, it can be easy to forget about. However, a proper transmission service keeps your car running smoothly and helps you avoid a very costly repair down the road.
Your local Louetta Automotive Service Advisor has a schedule for transmission service and can tell you what is recommended for your vehicle. Performing a transmission service on a regular basis is a very cost-effective solution compared to a major transmission repair.
Severe Duty Service
Houston is a severe duty service area. Many vehicles list two separate maintenance schedules in the owner’s manual one for regular driving, and one for “severe duty” or “severe service,” which calls for more frequent maintenance.
A severe duty schedule might call for shorter intervals between oil and filter changes, transmission fluid and filter changes, power steering fluid changes, brake fluid changes, air filter changes, radiator coolant changes and other filters and fluids. Give Louetta or Lake Houston Automotive a call to ensure your vehicle is prepared for high heat.
Come by your local Louetta Automotive Service Center to see if your car is due for a transmission service, and ask your technician to check your transmission fluid the next time you bring your car in for an oil change.
So you’ve bought a used car in the Houston TX area. How do you know what you’re getting? It is hard to know what you’re getting because people in the Houston area sell cars for different reasons. Think about why you’ve sold cars. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you couldn’t afford to fix?
Regular Maintenance is Important!
If you plan on owning a car for the long haul, you’ll do well to keep it maintained so that you avoid costly repairs later. It’s easy to think that skipping an oil change here and there wouldn’t ruin a brand new engine.
It’s also very tempting to skip the 30,000 mile service. Surely a brand new car doesn’t need that much work, right? This is a common misconception. Your vehicle manufacturer knows what your car needs! Follow the service schedules they recommend. Manufacturers consider Houston a severe service climate- maintenance may be needed sooner than expected. If you’re not sure what is recommended for your vehicle, check our Manufacturer Service Schedules.
What To Do First
If the vehicle didn’t come with maintenance records, you need to assume the worst. Most likely your cars coolant system and transmission have either never been serviced or are in desperate need of a service. It’s also a good idea to check the cabin air filter and have the fuel system cleaned.
Louetta Automotive can help you with a plan to take care of critical services and get the rest caught up. If your budget won’t allow you to take care of everything right away, we can help you prioritize your needs and get it taken care of over the next several months. And remember to keep your maintenance records. They’ll help you get top dollar when it’s time for you to sell.
Cars are becoming more sophisticated everyday and fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.
A number of new oil weights have been placed on the market in the last several years. Modern engines are built in much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W. Your vehicle manufacturer will recommend the weight of oil for your car, which is based on engine design.
If you’re not sure, come on in to your nearest Louetta Automotive location. Our experienced service advisors will be able to tell you what oil weight your manufacturer recommends. We can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can explain conventional and synthetic oils.
Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, manufacturers only called for a couple of different types of coolant. Now there are several different formulations that are needed because of the different materials that manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant can actually void your warranty, so you want to get that right.
Transmission fluid is beginning to be specialized as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that mandate the use of specific formulations.
As automotive technology advances, the variety of automotive fluids you need will grow. And, some of them will cost a little more than they used to! Fortunately, your local Louetta Automotive service center will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you’ll get the right fluids your car needs.
Do you hear loud noises under the hood when you turn on your air conditioner? Do you only get cool air sporadically? If so, it’s high time you get your air conditioner checked. It’s real easy to take your car’s air conditioner for granted. Just push the right buttons and out comes cool, dry, clean air. But your air conditioning system needs attention from time to time to help it keep its cool.
When most people in Houston hear the words “air conditioning problems”, it sends a shiver up their spine. That is because the air conditioning system is fairly complex. It has a lot of parts and when it’s broken, it’s expensive to repair.
What things can we do to prevent air conditioning problems?
A common cause of air conditioning failure is leaks. Water and air can leak into the system. The system doesn’t work as well with air in it. And water can cause rust that leads to damage of the A/C components. Also, refrigerant, the stuff that makes the air cold, can leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system, making it work harder to cool the air. Periodically evacuating the air conditioning system and recharging it keeps the proper amount of clean refrigerant in the system so it cools better and lasts longer.
You should also run the air conditioner regularly so that it lubricates itself and keeps the seals from drying out, which leads to leaks. Your owner’s manual will have recommendations for how often to service your air conditioner. Of course, if it’s not working right, now is the time to get it checked. Louetta Automotive can inspect and test your air conditioning and offer evacuation and recharge services. This goes a long way to avoiding having to bring your air conditioner in for major repairs.
New environmental laws have stopped the manufacture of Freon, a refrigerant that was common in cars made before 1993. There is a very limited supply of Freon so the price is very steep. It may not be worth its weight in gold, but it probably is worth its weight in silver. If you have an older vehicle that uses Freon, you may want to consider having it retrofitted to use the new R134-A refrigerant. It will pay for itself in the long run. So, if your air conditioner is just a lot of hot air, bring it in to any of Louetta Automotives 7 locations for an inspection.
Spring is finally here! After the winter, there are some things you can do to help get your car ready:
- Check Your Tires – Weather changes can increase or decrease your tire pressure. Get it checked!
- Wiper Blades – Your wiper blades can go thru some harsh times during winter. Have some fresh ones installed to get ready for the spring rains!
- Cooling System Flush – Every other year this should be done; it will prevent engine damage, especially during warmer months.
- Clean the Inside – Cold weather keeps most people from giving the interior of their car extra attention. Get out there and clean up, you’ll be happy you did!
Check back with us for more seasonal car care tips!