Articles:

Why People in LUCAS Hesitate to Get Their Vehicle Serviced

A recent report stated that over 80 percent of the vehicles on our LUCAS, TX, roads have one or more service or repair that's needed but hasn't been taken care of. Now that's a lot of undone service. That translates into something over 160 million vehicles in North America alone. Some of the neglected items are minor. Others are serious safety concerns.There are several reasons we hesitate to take care of recommended services, especially services that our LUCAS automotive advisor recommends when we're in for something else, like an oil change.The first issue boils down to comfort with car care. We don't always feel we know enough to make good decisions. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that vehicles are so reliable these days. They almost become an appliance. Of course you love your vehicle, but if you don't have to worry about it breaking down all the time, you're not forced to think as much about preventive maintenance ... read more

Categories:

Inspection

Singing a Different Tune (Up) (Tune Ups)

Engines required a lot more maintenance in earlier times.  You'd have to have your spark plugs, wires, rotors, caps, distributor points, fuel and air filters changed periodically.  There were mechanical adjustments of a vehicle's timing, dwell, spark gap and idle mixture, too. Unless you like to tinker with old cars, a lot of those terms won't mean much to you.  That service was called a "tune up" back then, and you can see why.  But now, computers have reduced the number of maintenance items, and a tune up is a whole lot different than it used to be.  In fact, in some vehicle service facilities, that term is also a thing of the past.  A tune up of today would more accurately be called simply periodic maintenance. Now, most vehicles still have spark plugs and wires, fuel filters, air filters and PCV valves, and they should be inspected tested and/or replaced at regular intervals.  Your vehicle's manufacturer has made recommendations on how often that ... read more

Higher Mileage Service Intervals for LUCAS

LUCAS drivers have probably noticed that the government mandates a lot of equipment on cars: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the motoring public in the LUCAS area, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.Because new cars are more expensive, LUCAS residents are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. 68% of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles/120,000 kilometers. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today's cars are up to the challenge - but they need a little help to keep on going.Some owner's manuals don't outline service requirements and schedules at higher mileage. Of course, that doesn't mean it doesn't have to be done. In fact, it's more important than ever for LUCAS drivers to stay on top of routine auto ma ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Wheel Balancing at Craig's Car Care Inc

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? LUCAS drivers can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on TX roads. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat.Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Craig's Car Care Inc, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kph, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration.Most people in LUCAS are surprised at ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Timing Belt Replacement in LUCAS

Today we want to talk to LUCAS drivers about timing belts. They're something that many drivers don't know much about and yet your vehicle won't run if it's broken – and it could cause many thousands of dollars damage if it does break. A broken timing belt is usually a tale of woe. Even though timing belt replacement is scheduled in the owner's manual, it's not the kind of thing that most LUCAS area auto owners remember because it's not well understood.Let's review what a timing belt does. As most know, the engine's power is generated in the cylinders. A piston rides up and down in the cylinder. During the first down stroke, an intake valve at the top of the cylinder opens and air and fuel is drawn into the cylinder. Then the piston returns to the top, compressing the fuel and air mix. At the top, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel, pushing the piston down in the power stroke. As the piston once again returns up in the final stroke of the cycle, an exhaust valve opens at the ... read more

Categories:

Parts

Should LUCAS Soccer Moms Follow the Severe Service Schedule?

So you take your vehicle in for maintenance and the pro at Craig's Car Care Inc tells you that you ought to change your oil more often. What? You followed the maintenance schedule – but you take a second look at that “severe service” schedule and see some of the following: 1. Most of your trips around LUCAS are less than four miles/six and a half kilometers.2. Most of your trips are less than 10 miles/16 km when outside TX temperatures are below freezing.3. You don't do a lot of TX freeway driving, so you drive at low speeds most of the time.4. You drive in an area with a lot of pollution, dust, dirt, mud or slush.5. You frequently tow a trailer, haul heavy loads around LUCAS or use a car-top carrier.6. The weather in your area can get very hot or very cold.Surprising, isn't it? Severe driving isn't quite what you'd envisioned.Ask yourself: "Which auto service schedule should I follow?" For some of us, it's obvious. But for most of us, it's ... read more

Hey LUCAS Drivers, How Many Miles Are on Your Car?

Nowadays, LUCAS drivers are paying more at TX gas pumps. For some families it adds up to several hundred dollars every month. That's got to come out of the budget somewhere. This is one of the reasons many TX drivers are putting off buying a new car. They plan on keeping their old vehicle for a year or two longer than before.Even now, 2/3 of the personal vehicles on our local LUCAS, TX, roads have over 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) on them. The average age of vehicles is over nine years. And most people in the LUCAS area can't afford to be stranded or inconvenienced by a breakdown. So following a regular maintenance schedule, like personal diet and exercise plans, is actually critical to preserving your investment.Determining what to do for a higher-mileage vehicle can be challenging because many owner's manuals don't publish service intervals after 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers). Thus, LUCAS drivers need to be better at keeping records and planning for preventive maintenan ... read more

The Craig's Car Care Inc Guide to Servicing Your Differential

Differential? What's that? And what's it for? I've been told by my service advisor that I need to get it serviced, but is that on the level?Do these questions sound familiar? They're not uncommon for LUCAS drivers. A lot of us in LUCAS don't know what a differential is or what it's for. Every vehicle has a differential, and, yes, it does need to be serviced. In fact, it's more important to the operation of your vehicle than the air conditioner or windshield wipers.A differential allows your vehicle tires to move at different speeds. This happens more than you think. The best example is when a vehicle is turning. The inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel during a turn. This means the outside wheel has to move faster than the inside wheel. Without a differential, your tires would hop and skip while turning. They would also lose traction in sand or snow.The location of your differential depends on what kind of vehi ... read more

Keeping Your 'Old Faithful' Auto Running

At Craig's Car Care Inc we've had a lot of LUCAS customers asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that's been building for several years in TX. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. It looks like it's going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of TX folks are putting off buying a new car. So let's say you're one of the average in the LUCAS area; you've got a nine-year-old car with 80,000 miles (130,000 km) on the odometer. What can you do to make it last another year or two?Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care in LUCAS. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there's no reason for a catastroph ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

LUCAS Customer Detective Work

One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at Craig's Car Care Inc in LUCAS is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.Cars in TX are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So, it's challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it's not something obvious, it's easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.Let us at Craig's Car Care Inc introduce you to something we'll call 'Customer Detective Work' –  helping your technician find clues to what's wrong.We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me; You come in to Craig's Car Care Inc and your car is making a funny sound... Q: Where's the sound? A: Around the right front wheel. Q: What kind of sound? A: Kind of a c ... read more

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