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Maintenance Tips

Midtown Auto Service & Car Care Tips

Knowing some basics about your vehicle and scheduling regular maintenance work can really help you save money on repairs. We've put together some commonly asked car care questions and answers for your convenience. Just click on the question link for a quick answer.

Car Care Q&A

Here are some commonly asked car care and repair questions. Click on the link for a quick answer.

  • Are my car tires properly inflated? For the proper car care or service / repair? Houston, TX
  • How long should car wiper blades last? For the proper car care or service / repair? Houston, TX
  • How often should I have my car engine oil/filter be changed? For the proper car care or service / repair? Houston, TX
  • How can I tell if my automotive / car engine coolant is OK? For the proper car care or service / repair? Houston,Tx
  • Why is heat coming out of my air conditioner? For the proper car care or service / repair? Houston, TX
  • What can I do if my car overheats? Houston, TX
  • How often should my car get a tune-up? Houston, TX
  • Why are my brakes making noise? Houston, TX
  • Does my transmission ever need service? Houston,TX
  • Techtips: Automotive / Car Repair Tips Getting the Most Out of Your Repair Shop Houston,Tx
  • Techtips: Choosing the Automotive / Car Best Repair Shop Houston,Tx
  • Techtips: Getting Your Automotive / Car Ready for Summer. Houston,Tx
  • Automotive / Car Ignition Key Will Not Turn Houston,Tx
  • Automotive / Car No Start and No Sound. Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car brake warning lights is on. What does that mean? Houston,Tx
  • OBD2 Data Link Connector Locations.
  • Three Belt Dressing Ideas
  • Automotive / Car Starting and engine Backfiring. Houston,Tx
  • Automotive / Car: The Shakedown on Engine Vibration Issues, Underhood Service Houston,Tx
  • Automotive /Car No Start and a Normal Sound. Houston,Tx
  • Automotive / Car No Start and Grinding Sound Houston,Tx
  • Automotive /Car No Start and Spinning or Whirring Sound. Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car "CHECK ENGINE " light is on. What does that mean? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive /car engine oil pressure warning light is on. What should I do? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car front-wheel drive car makes a clicking sound when turning. Is anything wrong? Houston,Tx
  • What's the difference between a automotive /car U-joint and a constant velocity (CV) joint? Houston,Tx
  • How often do I need to have my automotive / car wheels aligned? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car engine has too much compression due to excessive carbon buildup. Houston,Tx
  • What is a automotive / car " valve job " and when is it necessary? Houston,Tx
  • Is it necessary to replace my automotive / car belts periodically? Houston,Tx
  • My Automotive /Car engine has a steady miss and gets terrible fuel milage. What's wrong? Houston, Tx
  • Automotive / Car Fuel injectors are dirty and need to be cleaned. Houston,Tx
  • How can I tell if my automotive / car fuel filter needs to be replaced? Houston,Tx
  • How often should I change my automotive /car fuel filter? Houston,Tx
  • How can I tell if my automotive / car catalytic converter is working properly? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car keeps blowing fuses. Should I install a larger fuse? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car has two fuse panels,one under the instrument panel and one in the engine compartment. Houston,Tx
  • On my automotive / car I have a bad voltage regulator, and do I have to replace my engine alternator? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car battery keeps running down. Does that mean I need a new battery? Houston,Tx
  • Chemical Block Testing
  • Is there any danger to me or my automotive / car vehicle if I give someone a "jump start"? Houston,Tx
  • Does a replacement automotive /car battery have to be the same size as my old one? Houston,Tx
  • Cabin Air Filter Maintenance
  • Pulsation or vibration in the automotive / car brake pedal. Houston,Tx
  • Replacing the automotive / car tires,do I have to use the same size as the originals? Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car brakes are squealing. Does that mean I need a brake job? Houston,Tx
  • How to Jump Start a Automotive / Car with a Dead Battery. Houston,Tx
  • Tips for Maintaining your Automotive / Car Battery. Houston,Tx
  • Automotive / Car No Start and Clicking Sound Houston,Tx
  • My automotive / car suspension is not adjustable. Does that mean the wheels can't be aligned? Houston,Tx
  • Do my automotive / car wheels need to be realigned after the struts have been replaced? Houston,Tx
  • Driving down the highway, my automotive / car pulls to one side. Houston,Tx
  • Finding a auto repair shop You Can Trust. Houston,Tx
  • 10 tips to improve fuel milage for automobiles / cars. Houston,Tx
  • Important items to carry in your vehicle in case of road-side emergencies. Houston,Tx
  • High Water Headaches for car / auto floods. Houston,Tx
  • Car / Auto Preventive Maintenance That You Can Do Yourself . Houston,Tx
  • Save Money at the Pump for auto / car. Houston, Tx
  • Be Aware of auto /car Tire Wear.
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  • Car Care Tip of the day

    What's the difference between a automotive /car U-joint and a constant velocity (CV) joint? Houston,Tx

    A U-joint (the "U" stands for "Universal"), which is also called a "Cardan" joint after the guy who invented it, is a type of flexible coupling typically used on both ends of the driveshafts in rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles. Each U-joint consists of a four-legged center cross with needle bearing cups on the ends of each leg of the cross. The bearing cups on one pair of legs are mounted to the driveshaft. The other pair of cups are held in place by a pair of U-bolts attached to a yoke that mates to either the transmission or differential. The bearing cups allow the joint to swivel and bend as the driveshaft follows the motions of the differential and axle as the suspension bounces up and down. Most original equipment U-joints on newer vehicles are "sealed" and do not require periodic greasing. But many replacement U-joints as well as the U-joints on older vehicles do have a grease fitting which allows the joint to be lubed periodically. Cv Joints A constant velocity (CV) joint does essentially the same thing as a U-joint, only better. There are two basic types: "ball-and groove" CV joints (called "Rzeppa" joints after the guy who invented them), and "tripod" CV joints. Rzeppa CV joints, which are used as the outer joints on most front-wheel drive cars and minivans, consist of a cup-shaped outer housing, a center race and cage assembly. Machined into the outer housing and center race are six grooves that hold six steel balls. The balls are held in position by windows or slots cut into the cage assembly. The joint is designed so that when it bends, the balls are always positioned at the midway point inside the joint. This eliminates the cyclic variations in speed that a U-joint experiences when it operates at more than a few degrees off-center. A variation on the Rzeppa CV joint is the "cross-groove" CV joint. It also has six balls between an inner race and outer housing. But this type of joint is designed to move or plunge in and out to compensate for changes in driveshaft length that occur as the suspension moves up and down. This type of joint is used as the inboard CV joint on many European and Japanese front-wheel drive cars. The tripod style of CV joint consists of a three-legged cross or trunnion with roller bearings on the end of each leg. The trunnion is attached to the driveshaft, and the roller bearings run in machined grooves or channels in an outer "tulip" housing. This type of joint is also designed to plunge in and out, and is used as the inner CV joint on most domestic front-wheel drive vehicles. There are also some Japanese and European front-wheel drive cars that use a tripod-style joint as the outer joint. All CV joints are enclosed by a rubber or hard plastic boot. The boot keeps grease in and contaminants out. CV joints do not require periodic maintenance or greasing, and are engineered to last 100,000 miles or more. All front-wheel drive cars and minivans have four CV joints: one inner joint and one outer joint on each of the vehicles two driveshafts (which are also called "halfshafts"). CV joints are also used on the driveshafts of some rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles, too.
    Featured Testimonial

    I moved to Houston not to long ago, and I needed some service on my car. I didn't know where to go so I went on-line and I found Judy's Book here. I read an article that Alice wrote and she praised this shop, so I decided to go there. It was like being at my old mechanic shop back where I'm from. I loved it. The owner was nice and polite. I really believe he gave me an honest price and treated me fairly. I think Midtown Auto Service is the new name of the shop, but Mikey is still the owner. Because that's the person who I dealt with.

    -Karla S.
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