A Cold Day In Bryan College Station

October 23rd, 2014 by shopdan

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Most Bryan College Station car owners worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy Texas highway but don’t worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown at the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during College Station rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot car or SUV.

A lot of Bryan College Station drivers judge their vehicles’ air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keeps the car or SUV running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very costly in Bryan College Station.

Brazos Valley auto owners should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system’s components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing costly repairs, and keep it at peak performance.

AAA Approved Auto RepairInadequate refrigerant indicates a leak in the air conditioning system. Over time, seals in the system can crack, causing the refrigerant to leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system. Replacing these seals will keep your car or SUV air conditioning system at its best, and, again, will help you avoid more expensive repairs.

At Superior Auto Service, we advise our Bryan College Station customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.

Check with your car or SUV owner’s manual or with your Bryan College Station technician for information about how often your car or SUV air conditioning system should be serviced.

Another piece of good auto advice: if your car or SUV air conditioner isn’t working or is starting to show signs of breakdown, NOW is the time to get it fixed at Superior Auto Service in Bryan College Station. Waiting will only increase the chances that you are in for major repairs and a costly repair bill.

On a final note, if you own an older vehicle, you should check into upgrading the air conditioning system. Vehicles manufactured before 1993 often contained a refrigerant known as Freon. The manufacture of Freon was outlawed in 1993, leading to an ever-dwindling supply, which leads to an ever-steeper price for Bryan College Station car owners in Texas. If your vehicle still uses Freon, you should have it retrofitted to use the new, EPA-approved R134A refrigerant. The retrofit will actually pay for itself by reducing the cost to recharge the refrigerant in your car or SUV.

Remember, preventive maintenance — of your entire car — will keep you on the road. And, in this case, it will help you keep your cool!

Superior Auto Service

Clean Air for Your Engine: A New Engine Air Filter at Superior Auto Service

October 17th, 2014 by shopdan

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All of us Bryan College Station car owners know we have to get the oil changed in our car or SUVs periodically. That’s just part of good car care. But when College Station service advisors change your oil, they also usually inspect your air filter. That’s why they sometimes let you know that your air filter needs to be changed before releasing your car or SUV.

Don’t just chock this up to trying to sell you something else. Brazos Valley drivers really do need to change their air filter when it gets dirty. You can check your owner’s manual to see how often your air filter should need to be changed, but remember, if you live in an area in Texas with poor air quality, or if you drive a lot or drive under harsh conditions in the College Station area, you may need to change that filter more often than is recommended.

Changing an air filter isn’t guesswork. If a filter’s dirty, it needs to be replaced. Air filters aren’t very pricey at Superior Auto Service in Bryan College Station. But the problems they cause if Bryan College Station motorists don’t change them can get to be pricey.

For every gallon of gas your car or SUV burns, it needs 12,000 gallons of air. Clean filters allow better airflow into your engine, which means that your engine will get more air more quickly. That means your car or SUV engine runs more efficiently.

Dirty air filters cut airflow to your engine. All the debris in the filter clogs up the spaces the air needs to pass through to get to the engine. This dirty air can damage pricey electronic components.

If you are in tune with your car or SUV, you’ll notice a difference when you change a really dirty air filter for a clean one. Your car or SUV may actually purr for you again. Its performance improves when it has a new, clean filter. So remember, changing your air filter is one of the most vital elements of preventive maintenance. At Superior Auto Service, it’s inexpensive, it’s effective, and it’s essential.

Helping Bryan College Station Drivers Get the Right Tires

October 10th, 2014 by shopdan

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Every Bryan College Station vehicle owner has to purchase tires at some time or another, so it’s a good idea to understand what the choices are. The best seasonal performance is achieved by purchasing tires to match the season you are driving in. Summer tires are designed for hot temperatures. The tread is engineered for good traction on dry or rainy Texas roads. But the rubber compound in summer tires gets stiff when temperatures drop below 45°F, and snow and mud can pack into the tread, reducing the traction of the tire.

Winter tires are designed for good traction on snowy surfaces. The tread actually throws snow off of the tire as the wheel turns. The rubber compound in a winter tire is soft so that it will remain flexible at College Station temperatures below 45°F. At higher temperatures, however, the softer rubber wears down rapidly.

All-season tires sacrifice some of the extreme performance of summer or winter tires, but they maintain adequate traction in either type of Bryan College Station weather.

So your first consideration when buying a tire is where you live in Texas and where you usually drive. If you require maximum summer and winter performance you can go with dedicated summer and winter tires; you would just need to change out your tires each spring and fall.

For serious winter driving in Texas, look for tires with a severe snow rating. These tires are labeled with a mountain-and-snowflake logo.

Your second vital consideration is the quality of tire to purchase. Summer, winter and all-season tires come in a variety of grades and styles at Texas tire stores. Bryan College Station drivers will want to purchase a tire that will give them good wear and that will handle their driving style and road conditions. Your Superior Auto Service tire professional can give you auto advice as to which type of tire will best fit your needs.

Bryan College Station motorists who drive off-road around Texas may want to look at a high-grade tire that is designed for off-road use. These tires are designed to handle the extra wear of off-roading while still giving good performance on Bryan College Station streets and expressways. There are a number of options to choose from so that you can find the right tire whether you are only an occasional off-road explorer or a serious rock climber.

New wheels can be purchased in Bryan College Station as a statement of style or to add personality to your car or SUV. There are almost unlimited options. If you change the size of the wheels on your car or SUV, however, you will need to get some professional help to make your vehicle compatible with its new wheels. Talk to your Superior Auto Service service advisor for more information about tires.

Wheel Alignment

September 30th, 2014 by shopdan

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Hello Bryan College Station motorists! Let’s talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly in Bryan College Station.

It can even damage your suspension system, which is a significant repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for Bryan College Station auto owners and their passengers.

It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday Texas driving. Bryan College Station road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, even the bumps and bounces of normal College Station highways and streets can gradually put your car or SUV tires out of alignment.

Wheel Alignment System

Wheel Alignment System

So it’s good auto advice to have your car or SUV’s alignment inspected periodically. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have recommendations on how often you should get an alignment check: usually every year or two. But if you think your car or SUV tires might be out of alignment, you should take your car or SUV into Superior Auto Service now.

When you take your car or SUV in for an alignment in Bryan College Station, your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service tech will start by inspecting the steering and suspension systems. If something is broken or damaged there, it will need to be repaired in order to get good alignment of the wheels.

If all looks good in the steering and suspension departments, the car or SUV will then be put on an alignment rack where an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels can then be aligned to the auto maker’s specifications. The ideal alignment for any vehicle is set by its engineers and may vary from vehicle to vehicle.

There are three types of important adjustments that may have to be made to correctly align a vehicle’s tires. The first is called “toe.” This refers to tires that are out of alignment because they point inward or outward at the front of the tire. Think of a person who is pigeon-toed or splay-footed, and you get the idea.

The second adjustment is the camber. This adjustment affects the angle at which the tires meet the road. Think of a solid building in contrast to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The last adjustment is the caster. This adjustment measures the angle of the tire in relation to the front axles. So, a piece of auto advice that just might be good for life as well: keep everything in alignment, and you’ll be able to steer where you want to go in College Station. Drive safely.

Superior Auto Service

Cool Running In Bryan College Station

September 26th, 2014 by shopdan

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Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don’t hear much any more about cars overheating. That’s because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn’t mean you can’t overheat your car or SUV engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the interstate in Bryan College Station waiting for your car or SUV engine to cool down.

When you service your cooling system at Superior Auto Service, your technician will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good car care. Your car or SUV owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.

If your engine overheated, your honest and friendly technician will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the car or SUV radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He’ll also check your water pump. They don’t need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need a diagnostic examination regularly. They can and do wear out.

The water pump is a critical component of your car or SUV cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your car or SUV cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.

There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your service professional will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Superior Auto Service is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Bryan College Station for 32 years.

Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the College Station repair shop. This means that a regular cooling system inspection should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to do this. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live in Texas.

At Superior Auto Service, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.

Superior Auto Service

Viva la Differential At Superior Auto Service In Bryan College Station

September 17th, 2014 by shopdan

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There are a lot of Bryan College Station people who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before. With front-wheel drive being so common in Texas these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Bryan College Station folks don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind. So it’s not uncommon for Bryan College Station people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any Texas high school. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside car or SUV wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It’s a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a car or SUV moving goes through the differential. Most cars weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool. The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for when to replace your differential fluid.

Your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service service technician will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. He’ll then replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Superior Auto Service service advisor can look up the car or SUV manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual.

At Superior Auto Service, we’ve been providing quality automotive service for our valued Bryan College Station customers for 33 years. If you need to schedule differential maintenance, or any other automotive service, give us a call at (979) 846-5344.

Superior Auto Service

Superior Auto Service Engine Air Filter Replacement

September 9th, 2014 by shopdan

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When your experienced Superior Auto Service professional technician changes your oil, he will also inspect your air filter. You shouldn’t need a new filter at every oil change, but you will need to change it regularly. Heed your service advisor’s auto advice if they tell you to change your filter. It’s not expensive, and it makes a big difference to your car or SUV.

Air FilterAn air filter does what its name implies: it filters stuff out of the air. Air is drawn into your engine through the filter because your engine needs air to burn fuel. If the filter weren’t there, a lot of dust and debris would come into the car or SUV engine with the air. That dust and debris would get hot, burn, and produce all kinds of ash and gumminess that would eventually clog up your engine.

Drop in an air filter and voilá! Problem solved.

But air filters themselves get clogged up with all the junk they clean out of the Bryan College Station air. This doesn’t allow the junk into the car or SUV engine, but it does block up the airflow. A blocked airflow will reduce engine efficiency.

An engine needs about 12,000 gallons of air to burn just one gallon of gasoline. Think of a runner. If he is breathing well, he can run well. But if he has a lung condition, he won’t be able to generate the oxygen necessary to keep his cells powered up. He won’t be able to run at peak efficiency.

Or consider a vacuum cleaner. Even without the light, you can tell when the vacuum bag is full because the machine just doesn’t clean anymore. Change the bag and its efficiency immediately improves.

So keep your car or SUV breathing well by keeping its air filter clean. That’s good car care.

Bryan College Station car owners who get a charge out of the feeling of power in their engine might consider upgrading their air filter. Talk to your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service service professional. Premium air filters have been proven to increase horsepower and torque. So with the cost of a premium air filter, you can increase the horsepower in your engine — there’s no cheaper way to do that!

It’s also one of the least expensive and simplest elements of essential routine preventive maintenance – and protects against damage to expensive car or SUV electronic systems. No Bryan College Station resident should have an excuse to drive around College Station roads and interstates with a dirty air filter.

Superior Auto Service

Straight And True In Bryan College Station: Wheel Alignment

September 5th, 2014 by shopdan

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Most Bryan College Station folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by Bryan College Station drivers is a periodic alignment inspection.

Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more expensive than an alignment check in Bryan College Station. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in College Station.

Tire balanceTire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your car or SUV. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the car or SUV may not steer properly.

One or more wheels on your car or SUV can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Bryan College Station street. An accident, even a minor one, that involves a wheel on your car can lead to misalignment. The small bumps and bangs of everyday Brazos Valley driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.

If you have had wheel damage to your car or SUV, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any Superior Auto Service tech will give you that piece of auto advice. But good car care suggests that you also get your alignment inspected on a regular basis. At Superior Auto Service in Bryan College Station, we can take care of that for you.

Your owner’s manual or Superior Auto Service service advisor can give you a suggestion on how often your alignment should be checked. If it doesn’t, then once a year is a good rule of thumb. However, if you drive a lot and especially if you drive on rough surfaces a lot, then you may want to consider an inspection more often. Ask your honest and friendly service professional for a recommendation.

If your car or SUV is out of alignment, one or more of the wheels is not tracking correctly and will “pull” against the others. Thus, one sign of poor alignment is that your car or SUV pulls to one side when you drive around College Station. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.

Bryan College Station auto owners should also check the wear on their tires. If they seem to be wearing out too quickly, or if you notice that a tire is wearing on one side more than the other, you should get your alignment checked.

When you get an inspection, your vehicle will be put on a rack and all the parts of the steering and suspension systems will be inspected for wear or damage. The alignment of the tires will be charted and compared to the original factory settings. If no repairs are needed on the steering or suspension systems, the wheels will then be adjusted to bring them back into alignment.

This may seem like a lot of bother for College Station car owners, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Bryan College Station residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.

Superior Auto Service

Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Superior Auto Service

August 19th, 2014 by shopdan

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When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Superior Auto Service in Bryan College Station is a lot like buying shoes, except that Bryan College Station drivers’ vehicles don’t have changeable apparel and don’t need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of Texas road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for College Station area drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Bryan College Station need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough Texas trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

Tire balanceThe best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the College Station area tire market, although prices don’t vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Bryan College Station often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires, but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in College Station are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don’t hesitate to ask your Superior Auto Service tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the Texas tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don’t have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, Bryan College Station folks get what they pay for.

At Superior Auto Service, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40-thousand-mile tire,” or a “60-thousand mile tire.” This refers to the number of miles a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you’re really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It’s always better for Bryan College Station drivers to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you’re driving on Tier 3 tires, it’s a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That’s the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires, and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for College Station motorists.

So, some good auto advice for Bryan College Station drivers would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you’ll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there’s some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t have to purchase tires as often.

Good car care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

Superior Auto Service

Super Slick at Superior Auto Service in Bryan College Station: Synthetic Oil

August 15th, 2014 by shopdan

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When you get an oil change, it’s always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the auto maker recommends. But sometimes we’re asked if we’d like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for Bryan College Station drivers.

Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides essential advantages over conventional motor oil.

Valvoline synthetic 5w40First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for Bryan College Station drivers, cooler operating temperatures, more engine power and increased fuel economy.

Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It provides better protection for severe conditions like stop-and-go driving around Bryan College Station and very hot or freezing Texas temperatures.

Also, synthetic oil doesn’t generate dangerous oil sludge like conventional oil. This prevents small engine passageways from becoming clogged, which can significantly extend the working life of your car or SUV engine.

Manufacturers are aware of the advantages of synthetic oil, and many of them are using it to fill their car or SUVs before delivering them to be sold. Many auto manufacturer’s owner’s manuals now come with the recommendation to use only synthetic oil. Because synthetic oil wears better and protects better than conventional motor oil, it can be changed less often. If your car or SUV came with a recommendation for synthetic oil, you may have noticed that the recommended period between oil changes is longer than what you’re used to. However, if you switch to conventional oil, you need to be aware that you can’t follow this longer service interval. You’ll have to change your oil more often.

On the other hand, if you are using conventional oil and you switch to synthetic oil, you may be able to lengthen the time between oil changes. You can communicate with your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service technician. He can offer you good auto advice about oils and service intervals based on your driving habits and requirements.

Oil changes are the hallmark of essential preventive maintenance at Superior Auto Service. All Bryan College Station car owners need them. So we should get excited about a product that reduces how often we need them. Synthetic oil is more pricey, yes, but it can pay for itself by lasting longer than conventional oil. And when you add in the hidden savings of an extended engine life and improved fuel efficiency, not to mention increased engine power, there’s a good chance that synthetic oil actually saves in the long run. All Bryan College Station auto owners pay for car care. But understanding what we’re paying for can make us more savvy shoppers.

Superior Auto Service