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Integrated Technology: Android Auto

Integrated Technology: Android Auto

Smartphones are awesome! We carry the power of limitless communication in our pockets these days, but with great power comes great responsibility. Nearly 25% of automotive accidents involve someone using a phone while driving. There are times when, for the safety of ourselves and others, we simply can't use our mobile devices. Well, at least there were times like that up until relatively recently. As phones and vehicles become smarter, their ability to communicate with each other becomes greater and greater. Enter apps like Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto that introduce a seamless transition to on-the-go mobile device usage to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. In this blog, we'll be focusing on Android Auto. Developed by Google for Android smartphones, Android Auto is designed to mirror some features of your mobile device on the infotainment screen of Android Auto-enabled vehicles. These are typically features drivers need to be able to acces ... read more

Is It Time To Service Your Alternator?

Is It Time To Service Your Alternator?

The battery is a vitally important part of your car. Not only is it responsible for powering your radio, headlights, and some safety mechanisms, but you also can't even start your car without it. Why, then, do you rarely have to replace it? Surely one battery can't run all of those things every day without charging. Well you're right, it can't. That's where your alternator comes in. You see, the battery is one of two vital parts of your car's electrical system. The other would be your alternator. We might even go as far as to say it's even more important than the battery itself. Alternators are a little harder to diagnose and replace than a battery. We've seen a lot of battery and alternator problems, and we're here to help you shock your electrical system back to life. So what exactly is an alternator? Usually little bigger than a softball, the alternator is primarily responsible for recharging the battery after the vehicle has bee ... read more

Preparing For Extreme Weather

Preparing For Extreme Weather

Unprecedented weather conditions give us the benefit of hindsight. How prepared were you? Did you plan for the unexpected? It's paradoxical, of course, why would you plan for the unexpected? Better question is why wouldn’t you? Let us help you with a good lesson with some easy exercises. Tires Your tires are your first line of defense against winding up in a ditch or trunk-deep in a poor stranger's car. Driving on ice is bad, driving on ice with balding tires is worse. Tires with good tread can help you grab any friction that's left on the road, even in icy conditions. In a pinch, snow and dirt can even provide a little traction, but only if your tires can grab it. Extreme weather, hot or cold, is equally unkind to your tires themselves, causing wild swings in air pressure and potentially making rubber brittle and prone to damage. Heat & A/C Your car is a second safe haven. Losing access to heat and A/C in your home may mean you ... read more

Do You Need a Brake Flush?

Do You Need a Brake Flush?

Regularly changing your car's brake fluid helps to maintain brake system integrity, and could even give it a totally fresh start sometimes. Topping off or changing your brake fluid may solve some braking issues, but eventually a brake flush will be needed to achieve the right results.   What is a Brake Flush? A brake flush involves removing all of the brake fluid from the entire brake system and replacing it with new, clean brake fluid. This is not to be mistaken for brake bleeding, which only removes a portion of brake fluid in order to remove bubbles that may have formed in the brake lines.   Why is a Brake Flush Important? Your brake system contains many components, all of which are at risk for deterioration. Rubber parts can rot (especially in the South Texas heat). Wheel cylinders and calipers are hydraulic parts that eventually wear out. Some parts may chip and release material fragments into the brake fluid. Dust and brake material particles can ... read more

Speaking Your Car's Language

Speaking Your Car's Language

There are roughly 6500 languages spoken in the world today, but none of them can adequately translate your car's language. Your car is always talking. Most of the time it will tell you all about how good it's feeling. Unfortunately, eventually it's going to complain, and it will be up to you and a qualified technician to decipher what it's trying to say.   Fortunately, we know enough to have compiled a few key phrases in your car's language. It won't prepare you for a European excursion, but these translations might help you out during your daily commute.   Variable Speed Slapping A dying tire has a very distinctive sound. Slapping that changes tempo with your car's velocity is an indicator of your tire breaking apart and impacting your car like a rubber and steel weed whacker. Stop driving immediately if you hear this, or you may cause significant body damage to your vehicle (or worse, find yourself in a potentially major accident). Now ... read more