Car Care Tips

Haley Writes: I have a 2005 Tundra truck with a funny brake problem. When I sit at a light, the brake pedal sinks to the floor sometimes. My husband drove it and it didn’t do it for him. For me, it was acting up about once a week, now it happens more often.  Could it be my imagination?

Mike: Haley, what you have is a brake master cylinder that is bypassing. The internal hydraulics are failing and it should be replaced with a new one as soon as possible. It will only get worse and then completely fail. When you are replacing the master cylinder is also a good time to have your brake system flushed.

Angie writes: I am purchasing a new Civic next week and was wondering if I should have it undercoated. I have heard pros and cons, but would like your input.

Mike: As a former tech, I hate undercoating because it makes it hard to work on anything that has been sprayed. It also adds unnecessary weight to the vehicle that makes fuel economy suffer. New cars have great corrosion protection from the factory, and a great corrosion warranty to back it up. They do this because unless you live in a rust belt state, they never rust anyway! There is no way I’d undercoat any of my vehicles.
Here is a tip: This is one of my pet peeves: lights that are out. It’s a good idea to have your vehicles lights checked at every oil change. You never know when a brake, signal, or taillight has failed. Most often, it is only a bad bulb. If more than one light is out, check the fuses. Your owner’s manual will show what bulbs or fuses to use, where they are, and how to change them. Most bulbs and fuses on today’s cars are easy to change. Here is another one: If a turn signal flashes in one direction, but not in the other direction or flashes fast in one direction, then that means there’s a bad bulb on one side. If you have a lighting problem, and someone hits you because of it, it could get expensive.

Listen to The Automotive Reporter radio program with Mike Herzing and Harold Gunn Sunday mornings from 8:00-9:00 on KGOW 1560AM “The Game”

Mike Herzing publishes the website: www.letstalkwheels.com. Mike has owned Accurate Auto Center in Tomball, TX since 1979 and is a former ASE Certified Master Tech.

This announcement was brought to you by Honda Cars of Katy, please call with any questions at 281-994-0055.

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Car Care Tips- Maintenance Schedule

Helen writes: I have been listening to you talk about the importance of doing scheduled maintenance on our cars. My new car’s owners manual talks about normal service and severe service. I have been going by the normal requirements, but my brother says that is not enough. What is the difference?

Mike: Helen, great question, and an important one, because if you go by the “normal driving” schedule, you’ll be inviting failures. I don’t know of any place in Texas that qualifies for the “normal driving” maintenance recommendations. The industry says: If you drive in stop and go driving, or high temperatures, or high humidity, or dusty conditions, or use the A/C often, you should use the severe service recommendations. In Texas, we have ALL of these conditions not just one of them. Go by the more complete schedule and you will avoid a lot of problems and get more trouble free miles from your vehicle.

Here is a tip: Since June is tire safety month, I will climb on my soapbox and talk about checking your tire pressures. I constantly harp on people to check their tire pressures and you seem to be coming around. Here is another thing to add: when checking your pressures, don’t forget the spare! Trust me, you’ll be glad you checked.

Herzing publishes the website: www.letstalkwheels.com. Mike has owned Accurate Auto Center in Tomball, TX since 1979 and is a former ASE Certified Master Tech.

This announcement was brought to you by Honda Cars of Katy, please call with any questions at 281-994-0055.