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I Had No Idea! (Four Things You Didn't Know About Vehicles)

Bet you didn't know: Some of the earliest rearview mirrors were marketed as "Cop Spotters" so drivers would know when police were following them. Who wants a ticket, anyway? According to eBay Motors, Elmer Berger first patented a rearview mirror that was mounted on the front fenders, on the spare tire secured to the side of the car of at the top of the driver's door frame.  About 80 percent of your vehicle is recyclable. So says The Balance. That means four-fifths of most vehicles can be recycled.  Much of that recycling is done by automotive aftermarket recyclers.  Between the U.S and Canada, they reclaim enough steel to produce 13 million new vehicles. The man who invented the first modern cruise control couldn't even drive a car because he was blind! His name, says Smithsonian.com, was Ralph Teetor.  Blinded at a young age by a knife accident, Teetor was inspired to create a speed control by a couple of things.  One, the U.S. imposed a mandatory 35 mph/55 kp ... read more

The Power Behind your Engine (Alternator Diagnosis and Repair)

There's nothing like that sinking feeling when you turn the key and nothing happens in your vehicle.  A lot of us are quick to blame the battery.  But it may instead be your alternator that's failing. Your battery supplies power to start your vehicle, but the alternator is what sends power when your engine is running.  The good news is alternators last a fairly long time, and it's not unusual to get seven years out of one. But they can give up the ghost thanks to the harsh conditions in the engine compartment. Alternators have bearings inside them that keep things turning smoothly.  Debris, liquid, dirt and more can team up with the high temperatures your engine generates to cause those bearings to seize up.  That's not good, and if that happens, you may even be able to hear the bearings grind. Other symptoms of a dying alternator are a squealing noise in the engine compartment or your headlights may go dim and bright, dim and bright.  You might even notic ... read more

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Alternator

Positive Crankcase Ventilation ? PCV Valve Service at Rusty's Garage

Hello The Woodlands! Did you know that the first federally-mandated emissions control device was introduced in the 1960's? The Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve, or PCV valve, has been installed in Texas vehicles since 1964 and represents the first legislation by the United States government to regulate harmful emissions as well as to improve performance in the country's vehicles.The PCV valve, as you can probably guess, is located on the crankcase. The crankcase is the lowest part of a vehicle's engine. It houses the crankshaft and the engine oil. The crankshaft connects to the pistons that power the engine.Pistons are pushed down when fuel is burned in an engine. This causes the crankshaft to rotate, which sends power to the transmission.  It ultimately turns the axles and causes the vehicle to move. Some of the gases released by the burning fuel squeeze around the pistons and down into the crankcase.If the escaped gases mix with the engine o ... read more

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Exhaust

Automotive Detective Work in The Woodlands

There's a reason we use the word “diagnose” when we talk about fixing cars in The Woodlands. Figuring out what's wrong with your vehicle has a lot of similarities to figuring out what's wrong with someone who is ill. Vehicles are a mass of complex systems that can produce a variety of symptoms when something goes wrong. As with human diagnoses, a specific symptom may be indicative of a number of problems, and figuring out the specific cause takes training and experience.Sometimes the diagnosis of your vehicle's trouble comes down to a matter of trial-and-error. This can be frustrating for The Woodlands drivers because time and money are on the line. You may feel you should only be paying for repair work. Of course, you only want to pay for the right repair – and a proper diagnosis is part of getting it right. Like at the doctor's office — some of what you pay for is the doctor's time and effort t ... read more

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Diagnostics

It Wears on You (Tire Rotation)

If someone told you there was a fairly inexpensive way to improve your vehicle's handling, fuel economy and extend the life of your tires, you'd probably ask, "What do I have to do?" The answer is to rotate your tires.  But you have to do it regularly. A lot of drivers think skipping tire rotation is a way to save money.  But when you don't rotate your tires, they will almost certainly wear unevenly.  That's because when your tires touch the surface of the road, the friction and traction causes miniscule parts of the rubber to come off.  And that process isn't exactly the same on each corner of your vehicle.  Some vehicles have the drive wheels in the front, some in the rear and some on all wheels. Rotating your tires at regular intervals minimizes the differences in the way the tires wear.  The amount and pattern will be spread out equally if your tires spend time at all different positions.  The more even the wear, the more consistent traction, hand ... read more

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Tires

When Your Air Bag Light Comes On (Illuminated Air Bag Light)

There are some dashboard lights you should pay more attention to than others.  One is the air bag light.  If it's on and your vehicle is in an accident, your air bags probably won't do their job. Automakers began installing air bags in the late 1990's since they were mandatory in the United States, and manufacturers have included them in Canadian vehicles as well.  Safety experts say using a seat belt in combination with an air bag gives passengers the best chance of surviving a crash and minimizing serious injury. The air bag warning light takes a few different forms.  Some look like a picture of a belted passenger with an inflated air bag from a side view.  Or there may be a warning light that says something like "Air Bag," "SRS" (for supplemental restraint system), "Airbag Deactivated" or "Air Bag Off." Different things cause the air bag light to come on.  Your vehicle may have been in an accident during which, while the air bags didn't inflate, crash s ... read more

Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around The Woodlands

Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around The Woodlands

With high fuel prices in The Woodlands, Texas, comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on   is great.  When you get one of those e-mails that's going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?Do some research on the internet or ask your The Woodlands, Texas, service advisor at Rusty's Garage.There aren't any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank, and the government hasn't suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your vehicle run on air. Not even in The Woodlands!So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You'll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.We're here for you at Rusty's Garage, so give us a call at 8324958270 for good honest advice about your vehicle. Rusty's Garage 25143 MELDA RD The Woodlands ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Wash Me, Wash Me Right (How to Wash a Vehicle)

Most would agree they'd rather drive around in a clean, shiny vehicle than one coated with a layer of dirt.  When warmer weather comes around, some of us are bound and determined to wash our own vehicles.  And to protect the paint and its luster, there are a few things to keep in mind when you get out the bucket and soap. Cool body.  It's not a good idea to wash a vehicle when the body is hot.  If it's been sitting out in the sun or you've been riding around on a sunny day, make sure you cool your vehicle off by either moving it to the shade or wetting it down with cool water. The problem with washing a hot vehicle is that it's going to dry so fast, minerals in the water can form hard-to-remove spots on the paint.  And some of those can be really difficult to get out.  Best to avoid it. Slippery when wet.  Make sure you wet your vehicle down thoroughly before you get the washing mitt out.  Experts keep a couple of buckets of soapy water on hand ... read more

Rusty's Garage Radiator Service

The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common in The Woodlands, it is easy to prevent. The most recognizable part of the coolant system is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then passes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it's back to the engine again.There are several ways for the cooling system to fail. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is comprised of water and antifreeze. The proper ratio keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Understandably, either can lead to massive engine damage.Another coolant issue that is often overlooked by The Woodlands drivers is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that protect the coolant system from corrosion. As the ... read more

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Cooling System

The Rusty's Garage Guide to Vehicle Diagnosis

Modern The Woodlands vehicles have several computers on board that control all kinds of things like engine functions, transmission shifts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, emissions – and on some vehicles, even steering, braking and the throttle.Think about that for a minute – things that used to be controlled by simple mechanical connections now have electronic controls that rely on computers, software and sensors. It's no wonder that when something goes wrong with their vehicle it can be pretty complicated for The Woodlands drivers to track down the source of the problem.To help your service advisor at Rusty's Garage figure out what's wrong, your vehicle is equipped with on-board diagnostics. The Check Engine light comes on to tell you there's a problem and the engine management computer stores a trouble code. Your friendly and knowledgeable Rusty's ... read more

Categories:

Diagnostics
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