The Woodlands Auto Repair

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Save Fuel by Watching Your Weight

Most The Woodlands drivers are all talking right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. Texas folks want to save the environment and our pocketbooks.And we The Woodlands drivers all know — or should know — that preventive maintenance will help maintain maximum fuel efficiency. But is there something more we can do? After all, some of us The Woodlands road warriors can't cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get around The Woodlands. And that means buying more gas and producing more emissions.Of course, your vehicle's weight isn't negotiable. And you can't do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn't an article about diet and exercise.But look around your car. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight while driving around The Woodlands? Do you really need your g ... read more

Categories:

Fuel Economy

Ask Rusty's Garage: What Happens When a Serpentine Belt Breaks?

Ask Rusty's Garage: What Happens When a Serpentine Belt Breaks?

The serpentine belt is aptly named since it snakes around under your hood. It may lack its namesake's fangs, but it sure packs a wallop when it breaks.The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine systems. It runs the alternator, which charges the battery; the water pump (on some vehicles), which cools the engine; the air conditioning, which cools the driver and passengers; and the power steering pump, which allows for easier steering. When the belt breaks, all of these systems shut down.Okay, so maybe you can live without air conditioning and power steering for a while, but your battery can't live very long without an alternator, and when the cooling system goes down, your vehicle engine will overheat. That's why The Woodlands drivers should never wait to get a serpentine belt replaced.Serpentine belts are fairly inexpensive at Rusty's Garage in The Woodlands. And they look downright cheap when you compare them to the cost of an overheated vehicle engine, a tow truck, time lost on the ro ... read more

Categories:

Timing Belt

What The Woodlands Customers like About Us at Rusty's Garage

A big part of the service we provide at Rusty's Garage for our The Woodlands customers is education. We want you to feel confident with your service decisions. And we're always open to questions from our valued The Woodlands area customers. Even though we try to be proactive in our Rusty's Garage automotive education, we sometimes get busy fixing vehicles and need a reminder. Please, just ask. We've found our The Woodlands customers like the service reminders. They've grown to trust that our recommendations are based on the vehicle manufactures’ published maintenance schedules and that Rusty's Garage is not just pulling them out of the air. We know that people in The Woodlands live a busy life with a lot more to think about than wondering if it's time to replace the PCV valve on their vehicle. Part of our Rusty's Garage service process is checking the vehicle manufacture's schedule to make sure we don't overlook service. We hope Texas drivers ... read more

Serpentine Belt Service at Rusty's Garage in The Woodlands

Serpentine Belt Service at Rusty's Garage in The Woodlands

Don't you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you're zipping down a busy The Woodlands road? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator - which charges the battery; the water pump - which cools the engine; the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All are pretty important parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components. Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go long distances. Like all moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving around The Woodlands, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the vehicle immediately or it will overheat, potentially causing engine damage. You can be sure that it won't happen at a convenient time or place. (As if there was a convenient time or place!) You might even need to ... read more

Categories:

Parts

Fall and Spring Inspection at Rusty's Garage

Good vehicle care for us The Woodlands residents has always meant taking our vehicles in every spring and fall for a check-up. Vehicles needed routine maintenance to prepare them for the changes in weather. Today's vehicles aren't quite as sensitive to seasonal changes. Older vehicles required different weights of oil for summer and winter. But today's engines can run on the same oil all year. Both the engines and the oils have been improved.Antifreeze—or coolant as it's also called—protects the engine from both freezing and hot temperatures and thus is required by the engine year-round. Modern coolants don't have to be changed as often as they did in the past, but your owner's manual has a recommendation for when it should be replaced to extend cooling system life.Getting a spring and fall checkup at Rusty's Garage in The Woodlands for your vehicle is still good auto advice.First of all, there is a lot of preventive auto maintenance involved ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

TPMS: Tire Pressure Monitoring for Your The Woodlands Vehicle

TPMS: Tire Pressure Monitoring for Your The Woodlands Vehicle

The Woodlands drivers may know that all 2008 model year and newer cars, mini-vans and light trucks in Texas come with a tire pressure monitoring system. Many slightly older vehicles around the The Woodlands area have these systems as well. A tire pressure monitoring system – called TPMS – consists of sensors on each wheel that measure tire pressure.If tire pressure drops 25 percent below the vehicle manufacture’s recommended pressure, the sensor sends a signal to a monitoring unit that causes a warning to light up on the dashboard. When drivers see the warning light, they know it's time to put some air in the tires.There are many benefits to people in The Woodlands who drive with properly inflated tires. First is cost savings. Running at the correct air pressure improves fuel economy. Driving on underinflated tires is like driving through sand – it drags down your fuel economy. Drivers in The Woodlands will also see longer, more even t ... read more

Don't Be Fuelish

If you smell gasoline in your vehicle, pay attention to your nose. That's because it has an important message for you. Newer vehicles should never have a gasoline smell inside. One of the most dangerous conditions can come when your fuel line system has a leak or multiple leaks. Vehicles with fuel injectors are under pressure, meaning a crack or small hole in a fuel line can allow vaporized fuel to escape, sometimes around hot engine parts. Gasoline vapor and hot metal? You see the problem. One of the most common causes of a gasoline smell inside a vehicle is a fuel tank leak. The gas tank can rot or be punctured by road debris. A Rusty's Garage technician can evaluate the condition of your fuel tank and suggest either repair or replacement. Fuel injectors can develop small leaks around their seals or O-rings. Those can deteriorate over time as the material they are made of gets old and less flexible. A technician can replace those parts. Modern vehicles contain something called a char ... read more

How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Rusty's Garage

How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Rusty's Garage

Today in the Rusty's Garage auto care blog, we're going to talk to The Woodlands drivers about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Rusty's Garage customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).In real world The Woodlands driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Rusty's Garage in The Woodlands.The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the ve ... read more

Categories:

Fluids

What to Do In Case of an Accident

What to Do In Case of an Accident

If you've ever been in a vehicle accident around The Woodlands, Texas, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do.Let's review what you should do in case of an accident in The Woodlands, Texas:When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in Texas, even if it's not your fault. And hit-and-run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver's license or even jail time in our local The Woodlands lockup.Most places, including Texas, require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able.Warn other The Woodlands motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood.Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.Always file a police report ... read more

When "Shady" is a Good Thing

Just like your skin can burn from too much sun, so can the paint on your vehicle.  It can turn dull, oxidize and fade the more ultraviolet rays beat down on it. One solution is to park in a shady spot, or you can buy a cover for your vehicle and put it on when you know it's going to be sitting in the sun for awhile. Yes, it takes a couple of minutes to put on, but in the end, keeping the gloss on your paint will help it retain its beauty… and its value. And it's not just the sun that can damage your vehicle's paint.  Grit, bird droppings, sap, dust and dead bugs can all ruin the paint.  So, keep your vehicle clean.  Wash it with a soap made especially for vehicles. Dry it with special towels that won't scratch your paint.  Remember:  DON'T WASH YOUR VEHICLE IN THE SUN. Once your vehicle is washed, protect the paint even further with a coat of wax.  DON'T WAX YOUR VEHICLE IN THE SUN, EITHER. Don't forget the vehicle's interior.  Plastic com ... read more