The classic "tune-up" was once the heart of the automotive business and
contrary to some beliefs, today's modern vehicles still need tune-ups to
keep them performing at the most efficient levels.
As the pace of technology quickened, the procedures required to perform a traditional tune-up changed dramatically. Highly sophisticated ignition and fuel systems are now the norm, using one or more onboard computers to control critical engine and transmission management functions.
If the vehicle isn't being properly maintained, you're not going to get where you want to go. As part of the 21st Century Tune-up on today's modern vehicles, the following systems should be inspected: battery, charging and starting engine, mechanical powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks), fuel ignition, and emissions.
To help ensure good performance, fuel economy and emissions, the Car Care Council also recommends that motorists take the time necessary to become familiar with their vehicle. Study the owner's manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems. Pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.
Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter
Mechanical failure - an inconvenience anytime it occurs - can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. A well-maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, lasts longer, and could command a higher resale price.
Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of a professional auto technician.
Engine Performance - Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters - air, fuel, etc.
Fuel - Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a full gas tank helps keep moisture from forming.
Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.
Cooling Systems - The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Windshield Wipers - Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent - you'll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.
Heater/Defroster - The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be replaced periodically. Check your owner's manual for the location and replacement interval.
Battery - The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
Exhaust System - Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.
Tires - Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.
Carry emergency gear - gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flash light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.
Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Summer
Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance. Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too! Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.
Air Conditioning - A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner's manual for location and replacement interval.
Cooling System - The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.
Engine Performance - Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended - more often in dusty conditions. Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
Windshield Wipers - A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
Tires - Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.
Brakes - Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.
Battery - Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
Emergencies - Carry some basic tools - ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first-aid kit, flares, and a flashlight. Consider buying a cellular phone.
Keeping your vehicle in tune with the environment is definitely a win-win
situation. Besides helping the environment, a properly maintained and
operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer, and will last
longer - up to 50% longer, according to a survey of ASE-certified Master
The following tips should put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care.
I called a day a head to make sure i would be able to get my car?s state inspection done during my lunch and they said of course! The next day I showed up and they were immediately assisting me. Very kind and energetic team. I was in and out within 20 min. It was fantastic work and felt appreciated because they were considerate of my time. Keep up the good work!
Kevin gives top of the line service. He his through and honest in all the work he has done for us. Highly recommend if you need anything done to your vehicles.
These guys are awesome! Went in for the annual vehicle inspection and mentioned another problem that several others had looked at but could not fix. Kevin jumped on it and had it resolved in ten minutes. Amazing service and I will definitely be back. Thanks Kevin!
I took my truck in thinking it needed a tune up, but Kevin took a look at it first and said he didn?t see anything wrong with it. He even test drove it to see if he could hear anything. Fortunately, it didn?t need a tune up or anything else. He could have just sold me something, but he didn?t. He was very honest and very trustworthy. I will definitely be taking my truck to him for any work that it will need in the future. I definitely recommend him to everyone! Kevin and his team will treat you right for sure!
Outstanding customer service! Very honest and all repairs were completed on time! I would recommend this repair shop for any make or model, ask for KEVIN, he?s the Owner and a great guy! Highly recommended and thanks Kevin for the great customer service!!
Kevin and his team are wonderful! They are knowledgeable, caring, and TRUSTWORTHY professionals who exemplify customer service. As a mother, it is of the utmost importance that I have reliable transportation. Having been taken advantage of by so many mechanics in the past, I'd become a little leery about taking my car to be serviced. Thank God I don't have to feel that way anymore! My dad recommended this shop, which is now where my family will entrust our vehicles for all services. Thank you Kevin!
My gf and I moved here a few months ago and found ourselves in search of an affordable and reliable mechanic. Well needless to say we were lucky to discover this shop. Kevin and his crew took excellent care of us and were very reasonable in price. Same day service and kept me updated throughout the repair. I highly recommend these guys.
Excellent service! Mr. Kevin was quick and very thorough in explaining the issue I had with my Acura TL. His prices are fair and he has integrity, so there?s no need to worry about being ripped off. I highly recommend using him for your auto repair needs!
We are very pleased with the service provided by Specialized Truck & Auto Service. We like that we can drop off our truck and we know that Kevin will take care of whatever is wrong with it. Above all, Kevin is a very honest man. I highly recommend Specialized Truck and Auto Service.
I moved to Tx in 2012. My daughter recommended Kevin to do work on my 1997 Ford Ranger. Being an older vehicle, I had several jobs done. Each time Kevin did a great job. He has always been dependable. Once he fixed my A/C and it stopped working again. He checked it out to find that the part he had put in was defective. It was under warranty so we didn?t have to pay for it. Kevin also put the second part on at no cost to me. He stands behind his work. I believe he also loves his line of work. He is fair and upfront. I recommend him highly.
Don't waste your time looking at the reviews of all the other auto shops in houston. This guy is 30 minutes from my house and well worth the commute. He was transparent with quoting, stuck to it, got it done fast and extremely friendly. You can tell the minute you arrive the guys here are like family. They all love their jobs and it shows. I like a mechanic who cares more about taking care of the customer than being greedy and making more money. This business has all 5 star reviews for a reason. Look no further.
Kevin and the team are reliable and do top notch work. He LISTENS to his customers and takes care of the issues they are concerned about and informs you of other items that are found for your review. And there is no pressure. Great man, great place, and reasonable pricing. Highly recommend.
I have had several repair needs that Specialized Truck and Auto has handled. I find their staff to be professional and courteous and their work to be excellent. I recommend them to anyone in need of mechanic services.
Excellent and trustworthy service! Kevin will walk you through the process and give you an honest diagnostic of your vehicle?s problem. He will definitely go the extra mile to get the job done at very fair and competitive price! 100% Recommended!
Kevin and his Team at Specialized Truck and Auto went above and beyond the call of duty in taking care of the issues I was having with my Range Rover. I could not have been more impressed with the level of service and care I was shown. Auto Repair can often be a house of horrors for a lady, but I am totally comfortable and pleased with how Everything was handled. Please consider this a 5 out of 5 rating and recommendation for Specialized Truck and Auto Service!
The best customer service ever he knew what was wrong right away and fixed my truck. Very nice and patient people serving you with a smile. I'll be sending them a lot of business.
I have taken different cars to Kevin over the years, and he has always been honest, upfront and dependable. He explains everything to you in a way you can understand and provides recommendations to get you the best price. If you want a mechanic you can trust, go to Specialized Truck and Auto.
I have know Kevin at specialized truck and auto for almost 3years now and he is honest very thorough and goes great work. He has fixed all of my cars my sons cars and now I have my mother going there so he has become her mechanic also. He is also customer friendly and explain everything the he has to do to get your car running again. Great guy an I highly recommend him, and he has very reasonable pricing.
Kevin is as honest and hard-working as the day is long!! He takes care of all our vehicles and I contacted him for his advice before I purchased my new car! Expertise is not cheap, you get what you pay for and more!!! He has been our mechanic and mentor for over five years!
Very happy with Kevin's service. I highly recommend his shop. He was patient and listened to all my concerns. He is trustworthy and will be my mechanic for all future needs. Thank you for your great service, sir!
I can?t say enough good things about this company and the ownership to adequately describe how great they are. While driving from Austin to Houston, my car had major failure and they came to where my car died and fixed it within hours..... on a Saturday!! They are honest mechanics that do great work!
I was able to get a same day appointment for my State Inspection. They were quick and attentive and informed me of everything that needed my attention.
Kevin is first and foremost an individual of high integrity. He's an outstanding mechanic and warranties all of his service work. If you want your vehicle taken care of correctly and to last for hundreds of thousands of miles, then take it to Kevin.
YOU HAVE TRIED ALL THE REST NOW TRY THE BEST! HONESTY IS PRICELESS IN THIS DAY AND AGE! STAND UP HONEST AND TRULY BLESSED HANDS! I PROMISE YOUWILL NOT REGRET YOUR EXPERIENCE!
I have known the owner for years at Specialized Truck and Auto Service. Kevin is thorough, reliable, and gets the job done right. He is a man of integrity with 30+ years of diagnosing and repairing cars while making customer service a priority! Specialized Truck and Auto will not disappoint!
Finally! A mechanic you can trust! I take all my cars to Kevin, he really knows his stuff. Great service, great price, great guy!