Superior Auto Service Smart Car Care Videos: Causes of Wheel Misalignment

October 1st, 2015 by shopdan

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Bryan College Station motorists often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like a major accident, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object. While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well. Your vehicle can lose alignment over time with just normal driving.

When your wheels are out of alignment, the team of automotive professionals at Superior Auto Service in Bryan College Station can return your wheels to the factory settings. Most owners’ manuals suggest an inspection every year or two.

Give us a call

Superior Auto Service
(979) 846-5344
3701 S College Ave
Bryan College Station, Texas 77801

Superior Auto Service Auto Maintenance Videos: Rotor Problems

September 24th, 2015 by shopdan

The brake rotor, or disc, is attached to your wheel. The brake pads rub on the rotor to slow your automobile.

Rotors can warp, crack or become misaligned. They can also be damaged by worn out brake pads that scratch grooves into the surface. These conditions result in less contact surface for the brake pads, leaving you with reduced braking power.

Over time and miles, rotors can also wear down below safe specifications. It is vital for Bryan College Station drivers to know that simply replacing brake pads on a wheel with a bad rotor will not solve the trouble. Depending on their condition, rotors may be resurfaced or replaced.

Brake noise or a pulsation in the brake pedal are signs of potential brake troubles that should be addressed right away. If you have any brake concerns, please have your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service tech carry out a thorough examination.

Give us a call

Superior Auto Service
(979) 846-5344
3701 S College Ave
Bryan College Station, Texas 77801

Auto Videos for Bryan College Station Drivers: Wiper Blade Options

September 23rd, 2015 by shopdan

Wiper blades are critically important to Bryan College Station car owners for good driving visibility and safety. When it’s time to replace your wiper blades, there are a number of different wiper blade designs and grades. Bryan College Station car owners should always use at least the design or grade that came with their vehicle.

In Texas, where there is a lot of wet weather, flying insects and a lot of highway driving, you may want to upgrade to a more advanced design or premium quality wiper blade. Your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service service specialist can share the options available for your automobile and help you decide which wiper blades are prime for you.

Give us a call

Superior Auto Service
(979) 846-5344
3701 S College Ave
Bryan College Station, Texas 77801

Superior Auto Service College Station Bryan Texas

Good Timing: Proper Timing Belt Replacement Saves Money for Bryan College Station Drivers

July 24th, 2015 by shopdan

Knowing how their engine works can help Bryan College Station drivers make informed decisions about car care and prevent pricey repairs to their vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to timing belts.

An engine’s power is generated in the cylinders. Inside the cylinder is a piston that moves up and down while the engine is running. Power is generated in a cycle that includes four strokes of the piston. First, the piston drops and a valve at the top of the cylinder opens to let in fuel and air. The piston then rises, which compresses the fuel and air. At this point, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel and pushing the piston down. This downstroke transfers energy to the engine, which provides the power it needs to run. The piston rises again, and a valve opens to release the exhaust.

All of the valve movement is orchestrated by a timing belt. The timing belt is so named because it keeps the valves operating in synch with the pistons, just as a conductor keeps all of the instruments in an orchestra in time with one another. Thus, the timing belt is critical to the proper operation of your engine.

Not all vehicles in the Bryan College Station area have timing belts. Some have timing chains. A timing chain is more durable and rarely breaks, but timing belts are cheaper, so many automobile manufacturers use them to save money.

Timing belts wear out and break, so an important part of preventive maintenance for Bryan College Station car owners is to replace the timing belt on schedule.

Camshaft Timing BeltThe results of failure of a timing belt depend on the type of engine in your vehicle, but they are always inconvenient and can be very costly for Bryan College Station car owners. If your engine is a non-interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the engine simply stops running. Now that can be an incredibly detrimental situation depending on where you are driving around Bryan College Station when it breaks, but it won’t cause any engine damage. On the other hand, if your vehicle has an interference engine and the timing belt breaks, the valves on your cylinders will actually fall into the path of the pistons. Then things start getting chewed up by the motion of the engine and it will cost thousands of dollars to get everything sorted out again. Compounding the problem is that there aren’t any warning signs before a timing belt breaks. A visual inspection of the belt is difficult also. In some vehicles, parts of the belt may be visible, but most vehicles hide the belt under a cover.

The timing belt doesn’t even have to break to cause major engine damage. If it slips, even one notch, the result could be engine damage with repair costs in the thousands of dollars.

Our only car care option is to simply replace the timing belt periodically. You can check your owner’s manual to find out how often your timing belt should be replaced. Many vehicles need a replacement at 60,000 miles, but the recommended replacement mileage could be as high as 90,000 or 100,000 miles. If your owner’s manual recommends replacement at 60,000 miles, however, don’t wait until 65,000 miles to get it done. Remember what you’re risking.

Replacing a timing belt is not a cheap part of preventive maintenance for Bryan College Station auto owners. The belt is usually difficult to get to and often requires removal of some of the engine accessories. The cost of the replacement, however, is a lot less than the repairs may cost if the timing belt fails.

For more auto advice on timing belts and other engine components, you can always consult with your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service service specialist. When it comes to car care, ignorance is not bliss. It can end up costing you in a big way. Give us a call (979) 846-5344

Superior Auto Service

Fresh Air Inside Your Car in Bryan College Station

July 21st, 2015 by shopdan

Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern Bryan College Station world. We install air filters on our ventilation systems and in our vacuum cleaners. There’s a filter that cleans the air going into our car or SUV’s engine — so why not one for the air in the passenger compartment?

Foreign and domestic auto makers haven’t been ignoring the issue. Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air down to three microns, which accounts for pollen, dust and most pollutants. Brazos Valley auto owners who suffer from allergies or have a respiratory disorder should be a lot more comfortable. And even if you don’t have a medical need for the filter, the cleaner air in your car just might help you breathe better, figuratively as well as literally.

Dirty Cabin Air FilterCabin air filters are still fairly new in College Station, so you’ll have to check your car or SUV owner’s manual to see if you have one. If you do, your routine car care will have to include changing the filter as part of your vital preventive maintenance. The owner’s manual will give recommendations on how often the filter has to be changed, but if the air where you live in Texas is particularly dirty or if you’re prone to hay fever, you may want to change it more often.

Your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service technician can also offer suggestions on how often to change your cabin air filter in your College Station area. They’re the ones who actually see the dirty filters, after all.

There is no standardized location for cabin air filters. Bryan College Station motorists can usually find them in the car or SUV engine compartment or under the dashboard, but they might be somewhere else. So the ease of changing the filter will depend on its location. Some are readily accessible, but others make you wonder how they got installed in the first place. Bring your car into Superior Auto Service and we will replace your cabin air filter for you.

However, if you have a newer car or SUV, it’s good auto advice to find out if it has a cabin air filter. If it does, you should change the filter regularly. A sure sign that a filter needs to be changed is that the interior of your car or SUV will start to smell bad. That smell is exactly how some College Station auto owners discovered that they had cabin air filters in the first place!

Cabin air filters are just one more way we have to stay safe, stay healthy, and stay on the road in Bryan College Station. Give us a call (979) 846-5344

Superior Auto Service

Easy Miles

July 9th, 2015 by shopdan


Have you ever noticed that your car maker has a schedule in your owner’s manual for what is called “severe service” maintenance? Let’s define what severe driving conditions aren’t: The easiest driving a vehicle experiences is traveling on the interstate for twenty miles or more at a constant rate of 65 miles per hour in 75°F weather with only passengers on board. Change any one of those parameters and you are driving under severe conditions.

Let’s look at the vital parameters one a time. First, the length of the trip. Short trips around Bryan College Station are harder on an engine than longer ones. As your engine cools down, water in the air condenses onto the engine. When you heat the engine again, the water evaporates off. This is healthy. But on short trips, the engine doesn’t stay hot enough long enough for all of the water to evaporate so it starts to build up in the engine oil leading to sludge, which can clog up your engine and lead to serious engine damage. If most or all of your trips around College Station are less than four miles, you should reflect on using the severe service maintenance schedule. Changing your oil more frequently at Superior Auto Service in Bryan College Station will help prevent the formation of sludge.

AAA Approved Auto RepairEach car or SUV engine has a “power band,” or the range of RPM’s in which it runs most efficiently. Generally this power band falls in the range of Texas highway speed driving. So if you’re driving around town in Bryan College Station all the time, your engine has to work harder. That’s why MPG ratings are so much better on the freeway than in the city. Again, this type of driving is considered severe and requires more frequent maintenance for your transmission, cooling system and brake fluid.

Most of us Bryan College Station auto owners think of severe Texas weather conditions when we think of severe driving conditions. And we’re right. Cold College Station area weather takes its toll on the oil in your vehicle. Remember how water has to evaporate out of the oil to keep your engine healthy? It can take up to ten miles of driving for an engine to get hot enough to get rid of moisture in the oil when the weather is cold.

Hot Bryan College Station weather is also harmful for car or SUVs. When an engine runs, it gets hot. The longer it runs, the hotter it gets. If it gets too hot, it breaks down. So it has to be constantly cooled to keep running. Hot Texas weather means your cooling system has to work harder to keep your engine from getting too hot.

Another vital element of severe driving is the conditions we drive through. Dusty, polluted Bryan College Station areas are dangerous to your filters. Dirt, dust and contaminants will also get into your fluids, and they’ll get dirty faster, so they’ll need to be changed more often as well. Finally, when you’re pulling a trailer around Bryan College Station, carrying heavy loads or using a car-top carrier, you are putting more stress on your engine. The engine, transmission and brakes are all working harder to handle the extra load.

So, in the end, most of us Bryan College Station motorists drive under severe conditions some of the time. Smart Bryan College Station auto owners will ask themselves the question: “Should I follow the severe service maintenance schedule?” An honest evaluation of our driving habits is the best way to determine which schedule to follow. If you have any questions, give us a call (979) 846-5344

Superior Auto Service

Time Out: Suspension Problems in Bryan College Station

July 3rd, 2015 by shopdan

Your vehicle’s suspension system has two vital jobs: to prevent the passengers from getting tossed around inside the vehicle every time it hits a bump in the road and to keep the tires firmly planted on the road around every corner and over every bump.

To see your suspension system, you’ll have to look under your vehicle. Anything that connects the wheels to the vehicle’s frame is part of the suspension system. They’re heavy-duty parts that work hard while you’re driving and take a lot of wear and tear. Because of this, you should have your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service service advisor look at them once a year as part of your preventive maintenance routine. A good time for an inspection is every time you get your alignment checked.

If your suspension is in trouble, you often feel it in how your vehicle drives. If the vehicle pulls to one side or wanders, if the steering is erratic, if your ride isn’t as smooth as it should be, or if your vehicle handles poorly, you should get a diagnostic examination of your suspension system. Uneven tire wear can also indicate worn parts in your suspension system. If your shocks are leaking oil then they definitely need to be replaced. All in all, if you don’t feel in control when you’re driving, go get your suspension inspected.

Shocks and struts wear out. Wheel bearings may need to be repacked every few years. Some parts of your suspension may need to be lubricated whenever you change your oil. Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicle under control. Good car care can prevent accidents for College Station car owners.

If you are in an accident, even a minor one, it can damage your suspension system or knock your wheels out of alignment. Even hitting a curb, pothole or large rock can damage your suspension. A wheel balancing or alignment won’t correct a suspension problem, and after any suspension work, you’ll may need to get an alignment.

At Superior Auto Service, we advise Bryan College Station drivers never to procrastinate critical repairs to their suspension system. A damaged suspension system can lead to loss of control of a vehicle in an emergency situation and serious accidents.

Potholes are unsightly nuisances around Bryan College Station, but they’re also a major cause of suspension damage for Bryan College Station auto owners. To avoid this, Bryan College Station motorists should always keep their tires properly inflated. This gives the tires maximum resiliency. When you’re driving around the College Station area, avoid potholes if possible. If you can’t avoid one, then slow down before driving over it. Slower speeds limit pothole damage. But if you’re a little late detecting a pothole, don’t brake on top of it. This will throw the vehicle’s weight forward and increase the damage.

The suspension system may not be pretty to look at, but it provides Bryan College Station motorists with a safe, comfortable ride — as long as they maintain it properly. You don’t have to show it off, but you should be proud of it.

Blind Spot Safety For Bryan College Station Driving

June 19th, 2015 by shopdan

Blind spots may be a good thing when it comes to a spouse’s annoying habits, but when driving an automobile in Bryan College Station, they are definitely to be avoided. So, while it’s not good marital advice, it’s good auto advice to minimize your own blind spots and stay out of other College Station motorists’ blind spots, especially when it comes to large, heavy vehicles like trucks and buses.

First, minimize your own blind spots. Do this before you pull out of the driveway or parking space. Adjust your rearview mirror so that you see as much of the area behind you as possible. And, no, this doesn’t include the passengers in the back seat. The rearview mirror isn’t designed to be a baby monitor.

Next, lean to the side until your head almost touches the driver’s side window. Now adjust the driver’s side mirror so that it just catches the side of the car or SUV. Then, lean to the middle of the car and adjust the passenger’s side mirror in the same way. These adjustments will ensure you the widest possible view behind your vehicle.

Of course, you can’t eliminate blind spots entirely. There is always an area behind any vehicle where the driver just can’t see what’s there. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. Toddlers are just the right size to hide in a pickup’s or SUV’s blind spot. The blind spot on an RV or tractor-trailer can actually hide your crossover! You should always check behind any vehicle before getting in and backing up. And if you sit in the car or SUV for a few minutes before backing up, it is essential to get out and check again, especially if you are pulling out of a neighborhood driveway in Bryan College Station. No precaution is too extreme if it saves the life of a child.

Once you have taken care of your own blind spots, be aware that other Bryan College Station motorists have them, too. And avoid them. Trucks and buses have large blind spots, and they have blind spots on all four sides, so they should always be given extra room on Brazos Valley roads. They are also heavy, which means they need more room to stop, and their length means they need a wider area for turns, and their large size makes them less maneuverable than a car.

Trucks may cause about 60% of the accidents involving a truck and a car, but 78% of fatalities in such accidents are with the smaller vehicle. The number of fatalities in Texas, as well as the number of crashes, could be cut significantly if Bryan College Station motorists learned to properly share Texas roads with trucks.

Never follow a truck too closely. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side mirror, then he can’t see you. If you need to pass a truck, it is essential to make sure you give yourself enough time to pass the rig. Wait for the right opportunity rather than “cutting it close.” On a two-lane Texas highway, it’s always a good idea to wait for a passing zone if they are available. A little patience could save your life or the lives of others. Turn on your turn signal so the truck knows what you’re planning, and pass on the left whenever possible. Remember those blind spots? They are much larger on the right side of a truck.

Once you’ve committed to passing the truck, don’t muck about. Pass it quickly and give yourself plenty of room to move back over. It is critical to wait until you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror before pulling back in front of the truck. Once again, use your car or SUV turn signals. After you pull in front of the truck, decelerate to the regulated driving speed slowly. Remember that the truck has a long stopping distance, which translates into a long slowing distance. And, since trucks are so big, we often perceive them as traveling more slowly than they really are. Trucks are a lot of weight moving at a high speed, and we need to treat them accordingly.

Never pull to the right of a truck at an intersection unless you are absolutely certain it is not going to turn. Check if its turn signals are on or if it has angled to the left or right. (Trucks often begin a right turn by angling to the left to widen their turning area.) Trucks need a lot of room on city streets, and they probably can’t see you if you pull along their right side. Too many cars have ended up in Bryan College Station body shops because the car owners thought they could beat that truck to the right turn, or they only noticed the seemingly open lane, and not the truck angling into a turn.

While learning to share College Station area roads and expressways with trucks and other large vehicles may not seem like preventive auto maintenance, it does, in fact, go hand-in-hand with good Bryan College Station car care. Keeping your car or SUV out of the body shop can save you big bucks and prevent the stress of a major accident, along with the injuries that could come with it.

The team at Superior Auto Service in Bryan College Station urges you to stay safe, and stay on the road!

Superior Auto Service

Bouncy Bouncy

June 12th, 2015 by shopdan

When Bryan College Station drivers think about preventive maintenance, what usually comes to mind is oil, fluids and brakes. We don’t generally think about our shocks or struts, but these critical auto parts keep our tires on the road.

Bryan College Station drivers don’t think about shocks as often as oil changes because shocks and struts last a long time and wear out slowly. They don’t need to be checked as often as our brake pads or air filters. By the time your shocks have fifty thousand miles on them, their performance will have noticeable degraded. If you want to restore the handling and ride designed for your car or SUV, look at replacing your shocks and struts.

Of course, if you drive off-road around Bryan College Station, carry heavy loads, tow a trailer, or put in a lot of mileage on poor driving surfaces, your shocks or struts will wear out more quickly. You’ll need to replace them more often or upgrade to better shocks.

Your suspension system uses springs and shocks to absorb the “shocks” and vibrations of driving over road surfaces. Springs support the car or SUV’s weight, suspending it above the axles so the body of the car or SUV is protected from most of the bumps on the road. Shocks control the bounciness of the springs by moderating rebound. They also push your tires down onto the road’s surface, maximizing traction. Without shocks, your wheels would bounce over bumps and lift against curbs and corners. Shocks are critical to the safe handling of your car or SUV as well as a comfortable ride. Struts are a combination shock and spring in one unit.

shock-strutWorn shocks result in lowered vehicle handling performance. If your vehicle “squirms” around corners or gets “floaty” over bumps, then you need to check your shocks. If the rear end of your vehicle squats while accelerating, the front end dips while braking, or one corner sags, you probably need new shocks.

Uneven tire wear may also be an indication of bad shocks. If shocks are damaged or leaking, they definitely need to be replaced.

If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, you need to replace them all. This will maintain an even ride and predictable, safe handling.

If you’re unsure whether you need new shocks, or if you’re considering upgrading to a higher quality shock, then consult with your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service service advisor. They can give you critical auto advice on the condition of your shocks and how to match your driving needs to the quality of your shocks.

Good car care is essential to the safety, performance and efficiency of your car or SUV. It can improve the comfort of your ride as well.  Give us a call (979) 846-5344

Superior Auto Service

Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Bryan College Station Car Owners

June 3rd, 2015 by shopdan

A generation ago, Bryan College Station car owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your car or SUV in to your Bryan College Station shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Bryan College Station used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the car or SUV was in for a tune-up at Superior Auto Service, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our car or SUVs don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.

Modern Bryan College Station auto owners need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Bryan College Station service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Superior Auto Service in Bryan College Station, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and fuel efficiency. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern car or SUV engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of critical parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the car or SUV isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your car or SUV engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the car or SUV engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this pricey damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Bryan College Station motorists than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to vital engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in College Station who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Bryan College Station folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

Bryan College Station drivers can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel economy, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.