The weather gets hot here in Houston, particularly in the summer. (You are welcome for the little shot of obvious.) Of course you know it is hot in the summer, and being though it is summer, you dress accordingly. We dress in shorts and sandals, adapting to the warmer weather seemingly without even noticing. Wouldn’t it be amazing if preventative maintenance on your car was that intuitive? With Gulf Coast Alignments you don’t have to worry about the maintenance on your car, we are here when you need us, just like your favorite pair of summer flip flops.
The oil change is the most basic and one of the most important maintenance procedures you can do for your car. A car without oil is not going to last very long out there on the road. This, everyone knows, what they probably do not know is what exactly oil does when inside of your engine. The main purpose of oil is lubrication but it also regulates temperature. Of course, once oil breaks down, no amount of additives will bring back its protective qualities. Modern oil, particularly synthetics, is primarily made from additives. Additives have changed the reliability of modern vehicles. Oil used to be pulled straight from the ground and with minimal refinement, used to lubricate engine parts. It stands to reason why early vehicle engines were not known for their reliability. Today though, engines are designed with specific metal blends and alloys that actually perform at their peak with modern oil. This allows vehicles to last much longer and has reduced breakdowns considerably. Of course, in order to reap the benefits of this technological safety net you must change your oil on a regular basis. So listen to your dad and get that oil changed at Gulf Coast Alignments, it really is as important as he says it is.
In order for a gasoline engine to run, it must have three distinct components to work, fuel, air, and spark. If any of these components are missing the engine will not start. While in theory, any old air will do, it is imperative to the longevity of the engine that the air be clean and free of foreign particles. Before combustion, the air is sucked (or pushed) along a series of passageways ending up in the combustion chamber above the pistons. If the air is contaminated serious damage can occur in the combustion chamber, which features very tight tolerances and metal that is highly sensitive to corrosion. The threat for potential damage makes the air filter extremely important but one that many overlook. The condition of your air filter depends entirely on the conditions that you have been driving in and it is a good idea to replace it every few oil changes just to be safe.
As we discussed previously, the engine needs fuel, air, and spark in order to run. Just as the air must be clean and free from contaminants, it is critical that the fuel be just as pure. Now the problem with fuel is the delivery method. When you pick up that little nozzle at the gas station and pump fuel into your gas tank it is good to assume that the fuel is packed full of contaminants. Fuel at most service stations is stored in large tanks buried underground. Depending on the age of the tanks, there could be several years of sediment in the bottom and this could be transferred into your vehicle’s fuel tank. Thankfully most gas stations implement a pretty good filtration system but that alone does not stop dirt and water from entering your vehicle’s fuel system. When you pump gas into your fuel tank, you are introducing contaminants into the fuel system. Your fuel system is extremely susceptible to damage from contaminants. Components like fuel injectors have very tight tolerances and can be destroyed by dirty fuel. This is where your fuel filter becomes extremely important, as it is the first line of defense for your fuel system. Many simply forget about the fuel filter, but it should be changed at regular intervals just like your oil filter.
Back in the day, it was very common to take your car in for a tune up. The old school tune up consisted of things like valve adjustments, spark plug replacement, and replacing the distributor cap and rotor. Thankfully the modern tune up is not as intensive. Cars do not even use distributors anymore, valve adjustments are made through computer controlled sources or an adjustable valve train and spark plugs are built to last well over one hundred thousand miles. These days tune ups depend on the mileage of the vehicle and the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance. For example, many major components are due for replacement at around 100k, this means that your spark plugs and timing belt probably will be replaced.
Many of us simply forget that a tire rotation is an integral part of vehicle maintenance. Your tires are the connection between your vehicle and the road, in fact your car only touches the road at those four little patches of rubber resting on the pavement. This is why it is so important that your tires are in good shape and inflated to the proper PSI (pounds per square inch). Rotating your tires at the proper intervals will increase the effective life of the tires. If you really want to get the most life out of your tires the best thing to do is rotate them at every oil change. This way your tires will wear evenly and last almost twice as long as tires that are never rotated. Of course, that depends on your driving habits and conditions you drive in.
Think Gulf Coast Alignments for Preventative Maintenance
While our name may say “Alignments”, we hope you have seen that we are so much more than the best alignment shop in Houston. We are also your one-stop for regular preventative maintenance, tune ups, steering, brake service, and much more. The philosophy behind our selection of services is getting our customers back on the road fast and safely. We found that our customers would rather take care of vehicle maintenance and repairs all at once. This way when you bring your car in for an alignment we can throw on a new set of brake pads, or when you want a new lift kit on your truck, we can perform a tune up as well. When you think of Gulf Coast Alignments think full-service auto care. Please contact us today for an appointment and let us get you back on the road with intuitive preventative maintenance.