Hitting The Brakes In Brazos Valley

April 16th, 2014 by shopdan

Hello Bryan College Station, let’s talk about brakes. Braking, as all Texas drivers know, is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between Bryan College Station, College Station and Brazos Valley.

Hitting The Brakes In Brazos ValleyBut the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let’s step back. A new car or SUV or truck rolls off a local Bryan College Station showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the car or SUV. Bryan College Station drivers tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of vehicle manufacturers’ specs that they lose their ability to stop.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around Texas, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail – a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at Superior Auto Service is important for your car or SUV and your family’s safety. At Superior Auto Service we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at Superior Auto Service. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the car or SUV fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Superior Auto Service cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the car or SUV to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.

This is especially important on wet College Station area freeways and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. Texas motorists need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.

Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Bryan College Station Drivers

April 10th, 2014 by shopdan

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Bryan College Station car owners know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your car or SUV engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine’s cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.

There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with air and before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the car or SUV engine.

Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional car or SUV engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.

Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Bryan College Station DriversWhy the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the car or SUV engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions.

Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the car or SUV engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization. Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.

When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won’t be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and gas mileage as well as delivering less power to the engine.

Bryan College Station motorists should understand that fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more costly. And we’re talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.

So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good car care and preventive maintenance. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.

If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you’ll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, Bryan College Station auto owners will enjoy better fuel efficiency and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.

Deep Clean Your Fuel System At Superior Auto Service

April 3rd, 2014 by shopdan

Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your car or SUV into Superior Auto Service for a check up.

3701 S College Ave
Bryan, Texas 77801
(979) 846-5344

In today’s Superior Auto Service auto post, we’re talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how critical it is to have a clean fuel system. Bryan College Station car owners need fuel to go, and the cleaner the fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better gas mileage.

A clean fuel system saves money for Bryan College Station motorists at Texas gas stations. We guess you could say, it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things Bryan College Station drivers can do to keep their car or SUV fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.

So buying cheaper gas in Texas can actually be more costly for Bryan College Station car owners in the long run. Now, most cars on Texas highways are more than five or six years old. That means they’ve had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be filtered out of the fuel before it hits your car or SUV engine. That’s the fuel filter’s job.

Fuel FilterWhen the fuel filter is clogged, the dirty fuel will bypass the filter and go on up to the engine where it can clog fuel injectors and get into the cylinders. That could be dangerous. So Bryan College Station car owners should have their fuel filter changed when recommended. Check your owner’s manual or ask your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service service specialist if your fuel filter is due for replacement.

The fuel then goes up into the throttle body. This is another area where varnish and gum can accumulate. A professional fuel system cleaning at Superior Auto Service in Bryan College Station will use a combination of special cleaning chemicals and old fashioned swabbing to clean out the throttle body. Now, the fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel delivery system.

It’s critical for Bryan College Station auto owners to keep those fuel injectors clean. The fuel injectors need to deliver a precise amount of fuel, at exactly the right time, in a particular spray pattern. They just can’t do that if they’re dirty. Dirty fuel injectors really rob power and hurt fuel efficiency.

It is important for the fuel system proper, but there are a couple other things that will help keep your car or SUV engine clean as well. Of course, air is mixed with the fuel before it’s burned. Dirty air means dirt gets into your engine, so you need to replace your engine air filter when it’s dirty.

The PCV value routes unburned fuel that escapes into the lower engine back up into the intake system to be burned. A sticky PCV valve needs to be replaced at Superior Auto Service to make sure that system is working properly for Bryan College Station car owners and the breather filter needs to be replaced if it’s dirty as well.

Do all these things and your car or SUV engine’s air and fuel will be as clean as possible. You’ll get much better fuel economy and better power.

Superior Auto Service

Fuel Injector Cleaning At Superior Auto Service

March 21st, 2014 by shopdan

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your car or SUV engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute in every single fuel-injected car driving down Bryan College Station, College Station, and Brazos Valley freeways.

Most fuel injectors for gas engines are known in the College Station automotive community as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. The fuel pump provides pressure needed to squirt the right amount of fuel into the engine.

A few car makers have recently introduced gas direct injection systemson some engines. They are now available at some College Station dealerships. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure – many times the pressure of port injection systems.

Although more complicated, direct injection technology promises greater power with improved gas mileage for gas-poor Bryan, College Station, and Bryan College Station drivers. Texas motorists can expect to see more of it in the future.

High temperatures
under your car or SUV hood and variations in College Station gas quality cause fuel injectors to be fouled with wax, dirt, water, additives and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure.

When injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn’t burn as efficiently resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it’s important for Bryan College Station motorists keep their fuel injectors clean.

Your technician ar Superior Auto Service can perform a fuel system service for you in which the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time.

Proper maintenance of your car or SUV fuel system means that you will spend less on gas, enjoy strong performance and prevent costly College Station repair bills down the road.

Superior Auto Service

Superior Auto Service Helps You Decipher The Menu Board: Part 2

March 4th, 2014 by shopdan

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Some Bryan College Station service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Bryan College Station drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

Superior Auto Service fuel system cleaning: Over time, the car or SUV fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

Superior Auto Service headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It’s usually good to change them when they do.

Superior Auto Service inspections: Bryan College Station drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they’re going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle’s ready for Texas summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used car or SUV and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

Superior Auto Service oil change: – there are several options: Some Bryan College Station centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

Superior Auto Service PCV valve replacement in Bryan College Station:
PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It’s a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. Just needs to be changed now and then.

Superior Auto Service power steering service: Often overlooked. Your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the car or SUV system running well for a long time.

Superior Auto Service serpentine belt service:
That’s the belt that powers the car or SUV engine’s accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You’ll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that’ll shut you down.

Superior Auto Service shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Bryan College Station people don’t notice when it’s time to change them. If they’re worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

Superior Auto Service transmission service:
This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It’s like an oil change for your transmission.

Superior Auto Service tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.

Superior Auto Service

Bryan College Station Exhaust And Emissions Service

February 28th, 2014 by shopdan

Many Bryan College Station auto owners don’t realize that there is more to exhaust system maintenance than just tailpipes and mufflers. And if you can see smoke, or if it’s too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like Superior Auto Service is really a lot more comprehensive these days.

For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in Bryan College Station in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Texas and federal emissions requirements have forced vehicle manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws.

So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it’s so sophisticated, auto manufacturers recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Superior Auto Service, to make sure everything’s working right.

If your ‘check engine’ light comes on while you are driving around the College Station area, especially if it’s flashing, then you need to bring your car into Superior Auto Service ASAP. Chances are it’s an emission related problem. Signs of exhaust or emissions trouble include difficulty starting, engine noise or smoke.

Malfunction Indicator LampsSo let’s do a quick rundown of the exhaust system for Bryan College Station car owners. First up, the exhaust manifold. That’s the part that attaches to the engine and collects the exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe.

The exhaust gaskets help seal the connection with the manifold and other joints along the way. Now, if the manifold is cracked or loose, or a gasket is leaking, then harmful gases could escape into the cabin, where you ride. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, so it’s important that your exhaust system doesn’t leak.

The exhaust pipes connect the various essential components. They can rust or be damaged by a rock, so they need to be inspected periodically.

Next comes the catalytic converter. This part actually looks like a muffler. It changes toxic chemicals into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any maintenance itself for Bryan College Station motorists, but eventually it wears out. If yours has stopped working, you probably won’t discover it until your ‘check engine’ light comes on.

Next, the muffler. The vital job of this aptly-named part is to muffle engine noises. Mufflers work by either absorbing or baffling sound.

Rusted or road-damaged mufflers can leak and they need to be replaced right away. The exhaust system is attached to the car by a series of hangers and clamps that hold the system in place. And when these hangers come loose or break then hot exhaust components can touch and melt wires, hoses and lines. Just think of how dangerous a hot curling iron can be – but worse. It’s not good to have that waving around. Talk to your honest and friendly Superior Auto Service service advisor.

And finally, we end at the tailpipe. Appropriate name. This is the final outlet for the exhaust. And one other component is the oxygen sensor. It monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust so the engine-control computer can adjust the critical fuel-to-air mix to keep the car running right.

We hope this hasn’t been too ‘exhausting’ of a discussion. Remember that a properly functioning exhaust system is vital for Bryan College Station motorists’ health and safety. Talk with your honest and friendly service advisor at Superior Auto Service in Bryan if you think you might need a diagnostic examination of your exhaust system. This can sure save a lot of pain down the road.

Auto Tips Videos provided for Superior Auto Service by AutoNetTV.

Superior Auto Service

Looking Down the Road – Headlamps

February 22nd, 2014 by shopdan

If you’ve ever been driving around Bryan College Station and had a headlamp go out, you’ve probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won’t have the same brightness which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Superior Auto Service. We’re at 3701 S College Ave in Bryan, Texas 77801. Or give us a call at (979) 846-5344

Experts in Bryan College Station recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when daylight savings time changes in the fall. That way you’ll have bright headlamps for those long Bryan College Station winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can’t believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and give a very white light that’s a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they’ll last for the life of your car. If you want your Bryan College Station friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint – no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can’t react to what you can’t see. You need headlamps that’ll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. And your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and also, to keep your lights from shining off into on-coming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That’s because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but places offer a service to restore the lens that’s a lot cheaper.

You can’t drive if you can’t see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don’t forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

Superior Auto Service

Busted: The Maintenance-Free Myth In Bryan College Station Texas

February 13th, 2014 by shopdan

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There’s a segment of the Bryan College Station population that’s not committed to proper vehicle maintenance. Mistaken perceptions have crept into the Texas area over time. Many Bryan College Station motorists think the root lies in the fact that modern cars are so reliable. Reliability has improved dramatically in recent years. Quality surveys report fewer problems with new cars than ever before.

Back when cars spent more time in the repair shop, Bryan College Station drivers were more mindful of routine service. Now, it’s much easier to put it off.

Take tune-ups for example. In the days of mechanical ignition systems, an engine needed to be tuned-up every couple of years. The ignition points had to be replaced, spark plugs and coils replaced and the timing adjusted. If your engine was out of tune, you knew it. It ran poorly and got bad fuel economy.

Brazos Valley The Maintenance-Free MythNow, the ignition system in your car or SUV is electronic and controlled by the engine management computer. Spark plugs rarely get fouled and will last for as much as a hundred thousand miles. So tune-ups used to force you in to Superior Auto Service for service and while you were there you just took care of whatever else was on the list.

Also, in recent years, a large percentage of new cars in Bryan College Station have been leased. These folks plan on turning the car in after two or three years, so they haven’t focused on the maintenance that helps your car last longer.

Given all that, what’s the benefit to keeping up with factory scheduled maintenance? Well, your car or SUV will perform better and return better fuel economy.

Those benefits pay for themselves as they go along. The big plus is that major repairs are prevented. And these aren’t just repairs that are a long ways off. Modern car or SUV engines are far more sophisticated and have many parts that are in critical need of proper lubrication. Missing just one oil change can allow oil sludge to start forming. Sludge clogs small engine passages, robbing parts of the lubrication they need. An expensive failure could easily occur within two or three years.

And modern engines require more sophisticated fluids. Because of the different types of materials that are used to make auto parts, things like aluminum, plastics and steel, different types of additives are required to protect automotive components from corrosion. These additives deplete with time as well as with use.

For example, your car or SUV engine coolant could actually become so corrosive that it eats holes in your radiator or other cooling system parts. Of course, that could lead to massive engine damage, all for the want of replacing the coolant on schedule.

Taking care of the little things now prevents big problems later. At Superior Auto Service, we have been taking care of all those little things for 32 years. Your car or SUV still needs to be taken care of – it’s just that some of those points of care have changed with automotive advancements. The need for proper maintenance in Bryan College Station did not go away.

Superior Auto Service

Stop It! You Need Good Brakes

February 7th, 2014 by shopdan

Good brakes are obviously very important. If you’ve ever had your brakes go out while you’re driving around the Bryan College Station area, you’ll know how terrifying it can be. Today we’ll focus on how to tell when you have a brake problem, and how to make good repair choices.

Often, the first indication that something’s wrong with the brakes is an unusual sound. It could be a squeal, chatter or grinding sound.

Some brake pads have a little piece of metal embedded in them that will make a squeal or chirping sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced. It’s an early warning indicator.

When you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at Superior Auto Service soon.

Now a chattering sound is more urgent. That usually indicates that something is loose. It could be a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have some serious trouble stopping the vehicle. It would be a good idea to park it until you can get into the shop.

A grinding noise usually means that the brake pad is completely worn away and the metal parts of the brake are rubbing directly on the metal brake rotor. That means the rotor is being damaged and will need to be replaced. More on that later.

Another warning sign is that your brake pedal may feel soft and spongy – or it may even feel very hard to push in. Both could mean trouble. And of course, you may get a dashboard brake warning light.

Now when it comes time to replace your brake pads, you have a choice to make. You can get the same pads that came standard on your vehicle. You can expect the same performance and durability as with the pads that came on the car from the factory.

Now you can also get a budget brake pad. Sometimes drivers insist on lower cost pads. That’s OK if the budget demands it, but you need to be aware of the trade offs. Lower grade pads are usually noisier, so you’ll have to live with more noise when you apply the brakes. They also tend to generate a lot more brake dust, you know, that black dust that accumulates on your wheels. And they probably won’t last as long either. In our opinion, that’s a lot of compromise for just a few dollars in savings.

You can also choose to buy premium brakes pads. These perform at higher specifications than the factory pads. You can expect quieter operation, less brake dust and better stopping power.

Now, getting back to the rotors. The rotors are the discs that the brake pads clamp down on to stop the vehicle. If you’ve been driving with worn brake pads, the rotors will have to be replaced.

Something that’s often overlooked is the brake fluid. Your manufacturer has a recommended schedule for evacuating the old brake fluid, cleaning the system and refilling it with fresh brake fluid. This is really important to brake performance.

So here’s the bottom line: if you suspect, inspect. If you notice any of these warning signs, have your brakes inspected. Your advisor can help you make the repair decision that’s right for you.

Superior Auto Service

Emergency Items For College Station drivers

January 28th, 2014 by shopdan

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Safe Texas travel starts with preventive maintenance and good car care at Superior Auto Service. But there are other things Bryan College Station car owners can do to prepare for emergencies on the road. Here’s some auto advice that can help you plan for emergencies, and just may save your life — or someone else’s.

First, Bryan College Station motorists should consider keeping an auto emergency kit in their car. The kit should contain items that will allow you to deal with common emergencies on the road.

Some vital items you should carry in your car or SUV include jumper cables (or a booster box), flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools. Other useful items include gloves, two quarts of oil, some antifreeze, water and everything you need to change a tire. You might also consider a can of tire inflator, which is a great temporary fix for minor flats.

But taking care of your car or SUV is only part of emergency preparedness. It is vital to take care of the people in the car, too. For this reason, you should carry a first aid kit, drinkable water and blankets. Other items to consider include high-calorie food items (like energy bars), toilet paper, a towel, a hat and boots. And, of course, when you travel in Texas and out-of-state you should always have your cell phone, some emergency cash and a credit card.

Depending on where you live, you may need to add other important items to this list. For example, sunscreen, sunglasses, and extra water would be good to have on hand in a hot climate. For the cold and snowy Texas season, some salt, a hand shovel, emergency blankets and matches might be in order. Also, if your Texas area is prone to severe weather or earthquakes, you should check with your local Red Cross or disaster preparedness office for their recommendations on what to keep on hand in your car or SUV for emergencies.

When you travel away from your Bryan College Station home, you should check the weather forecasts before you leave, and pack appropriate emergency supplies. Also, do some research about the areas you will be traveling through so you can be prepared for the climate and terrain. Remember the basics: heat, water, shelter, light, and food.

When you travel, it is essential to leave your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. Check in periodically at prearranged checkpoints. That way, if something does happen, someone else will quickly know you are in trouble and will be able to send help. These checkpoints will also help rescuers find you quickly, as they will have a better idea as to where you are.

The automotive professionals at Superior Auto Service want Bryan College Station auto owners to be safe
. Preventive maintenance, proper planning, smart communication: these are the basics of safe travel.

Superior Auto Service