Car Care Tips: 10 Things to Look For

Here are 10 tips on how to maintain your car and keep it in peak running condition.

Car problems develop very slowly and you may not know until it’s already a very costly to repair.  Cars are designed for one system to rely on another for peak running conditions.  If a part of one system goes bad, it could begin to affect another system. We humans are very adaptable to our surroundings.Service with Honda Cars of Katy

You may hear a noise and think the engine is just cold or the type of road surface is causing that thumping noise, but it may be your car is trying to tell you something.  So turn down that radio and listen for words our customers use such as: thump, pop, rattle, bump-ah-d-bump, his-s-s, clink, clank, clunk, groan, moan or whir.

Here are 10 areas where a minor issue may quickly become a major problem and safety concern. If you ever hear or see anything below, come see us to get the problem corrected. You’re welcome to make up your own words; we want to hear them all because it helps us keep you safe and happy driving your Honda.

  1. Tire tread – 3/32 inch is low
    1. 30,000 mile tires may not last that long – depending on your driving, check them
    2. Bad tire inflation causes worn tire tread that is more subject to road damage
    3. Uneven wear can cause difficulty stopping straight at high speeds
  2. Wheel Balance – bumps can loosen balance weights
    1. Vibration causes other parts of steering to fail
    2. Causes uneven wear to ball joints and tie rods
    3. Makes it hard to stop
  3. Wheel Alignment – can cause steering problems
    1. Car pulls to one side
    2. Wastes gas
    3. Damages other parts by constant pull
  4. Shocks & Struts – get bent, chipped or broken
    1. Dangerous when stopping at high speeds
    2. Causes rough ride that get worse
    3. Damages tires and causes them to wear out to quickly
  5. Breaks – almost go to the floor or need pumping
    1. May fail causing a wreck
    2. Overheating causes other break parts to fail
    3. Leaking breaks will stain the garage and driveway
  6. Engine oil – engine runs hot, drips on the floor
    1. Low oil can cause over heating
    2. Old oil can cause damage to smooth working engine parts
    3. Failure to change oil could void your warranty
  7. Engine tune up – hard to start, won’t idle smooth
    1. Improves gas mileage
    2. Insures quick acceleration when needed
    3. Protects your warranty rights
  8. Radiator – makes a funny his-s-s noise, leaks on the floor
    1. Proper coolant mix and level protect for Houston summer and winter
    2. Sludge build up causes rust
    3. Cool engine runs more efficiently
  9. Air conditioning – finally cools off, won’t work a slow speed
    1. Proper mix of coolant and oil make it work better
    2. Worn or damaged pulley loosens seals causing leaks
    3. Heat of summer (Houston) exaggerates damage
  10. Battery, belts, PCV and clean engine
    1. Worn belts can break easily driving high freeway speeds
    2. Battery must be checked and post cleaned before summer and winter
    3. Worn PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve causes sludge build-up
    4. Clean engine runs cooler helps moving parts work more smoothly

Our service department wants to help you avoid costly repairs by helping you keep your vehicle well maintained.  Car maintenance in Houston is demanding because of the hot, humid weather; but you can look and listen for the things above and that will go a long way to protecting your investment.

Honda Cars of Katy – Remarkable Service, Remarkable Facility

Today we’re going to be talking about the Service Drive and Express Service Center at Honda Cars of Katy just off I-10. To schedule your appointment online visit KatyHonda.com.

When you spend money on a new vehicle, you want to make sure it’s well maintained.

Honda Cars of Katy has a complete service department full of professional mechanics who are trained to make sure your car gets the best service possible – And remember, the people working on your vehicle — are trained and certified to work on your specific model.

Honda Cars of Katy also has an express service drive, with four quick change lanes. The express service drive is the perfect place to get your oil changed in a hurry – no appointments necessary!

The Express Service Drive is also affordable with oil changes as low as $19.95 – and you can even watch the work being done.

For longer repairs, Honda Cars of Katy’s Service Drive will provide you with a complementary loaner car or shuttle service.

If you decide to wait at the dealership there is free wi-fi, the Odyssey Grille and a children’s play area available.

So when it’s time to service your vehicle, remember to visit a service department that is experienced and friendly and will always take the best care of you and your vehicle.

The Honda Cars of Katy Service Drive and express service drive are located right off of I-10 just outside Houston. Check out this week’s service specials today and become a fan of Honda Cars of Katy on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the latest Honda news!

The Importance of Taking Care of your Tires

Tires aren’t real sexy.  It’s hard to market tires, because they all look the same – black and round, and they have been black and round for as long as there have been cars.  They’re so mundane that car owners don’t tend to think about them much until they wear out or go flat.

That’s a mistake. Tires are a big part of auto maintenance.

You’ve spent some real money on your tires, and they have a big role in your car’s gas mileage, ride, handling and drivability.  Not paying attention to them can shorten their lifespan and send you shopping for tire replacement before they hit the end of their service life.

Taking care of your Tires with Honda Cars Of Katy

Rotate your tires regularly

Ideally, tires should be rotated at every other oil change or every 5,000-10,000 miles.  Often, things like minor pulls to the right or left can be corrected with a tire rotation.  Not rotating tires can shorten their service life by wearing them unevenly, but regular rotation will give you better handling, a better ride and better road manners for your car.

Tire Alignment

Check your front-end alignment every 25-30,000 miles.  Improper alignment can wear tread unevenly (as can wheels that are out of balance) and chew up a set of tires.  Conversely, one of the easiest ways to spot front-end alignment problems is by looking at the wear patterns on the front tires – look at tread that’s wearing out more quickly at the inside or outside edge of a tire, or a “cupped” wear pattern towards the middle. Additionally, if you notice a shaking of the steering wheel, this is a good indicator misalignment of your tires.

Tire Inflation

One of the easiest ways to extend the life of your tires is to check your inflation regularly.  Overinflated tires will make a hard-riding car with jittery handling and tire wear that’s concentrated towards the middle of the treads.  Under-inflated tires will wear at the edges first, but even more importantly (with $3/gallon gas), tires that are under-inflated by as little as 5 psi can cost you 20% in gas mileage.  You’ll find the proper inflation levels embossed on the tire’s sidewall.

Invest $5.00 in a tire gauge, keep it in the car and use it!  Your tires, your car and your wallet will appreciate it. For all of your service needs, make sure you book your service online or call Honda Cars of Katy’s service department 1-888-982-5888.

Honda Cars of Katy Celebrates “Civic Week” on Facebook

This week Honda Cars Of Katy debuted the all-new Honda Civic video on their Facebook Fan Page just in time for the close of the biggest event of the season—Happy Honda Days. This inside look at the Honda Civic was posted this Thursday, January 6th, at noon.

“For the Honda Civic, its success can be attributed to an impressive reputation for reliability, durability and affordability.  Outstanding fuel economy and exceptional engineering have also played a large role in making the Honda Civic a top choice for many Americans and Texans since 1973.” Chris Morrison, General Manager of Honda Cars of Katy, said. “At Honda Cars of Katy, the latest Honda Civic is the most radically designed Civic to date, inside and out. With its clever interior, sharp design and wide range of models, it comes highly recommended for Houston drivers looking for style at a price that won’t break the bank.”

The dealership highlighted the Civic on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, this Blog and YouTube. “Civic Week” also encouraged fans to share their experiences with their Honda Civic by posting comments, stories and pictures on the dealership’s Facebook Page.

View the all-new Honda Civic video below:

My Honda Civic – The only Vehicle I’ll Ever Buy by Jerry Renshaw

When you find a good product that you’re happy with, you tend to stick with it.  That’s just the way we’re wired.  That probably explains a lot about why Honda owners are so loyal to the brand.  The Honda Civic has been in production for almost 40 years now, with a transverse engine and front wheel drive layout, and have always combined a surprising amount of interior room and comfort with a reliable, economical design.

Honda Cars of Katy Honda CivicMy first Civic was all the way back in ’89, right after I got out of college. Even though Civics hadn’t yet reached the level of refinement they have now, it was still a great car with a strong-running 1.6 liter 4 cylinders, cloth seats, an AM/FM stereo radio and a 5-speed transmission.  I took that car back and forth from Texas to the Midwest I don’t know how many times, and I never saw less than 35 mpg out of it on the Interstates.  I held onto that Civic until it hit 168,000 miles, when I sold it for $1600 – it wasn’t burning oil and was still holding together just fine.

Civic #2 was a ’95 model that I bought used.  It was a newer generation of Civic, with a lower hood, more aerodynamic styling, quieter interior and about the same fuel economy.  That white Civic had a velour interior, power windows and locks and a 5-speed manual transmission. Again, I kept driving that one until the odometer was well over the 150k mark, and had very little in the way of trouble over those years.  It certainly held together better than my wife’s cars did during those years…

The third Civic I had was a ’03 model, with an automatic transmission and the 1.6 liter engine.  I was really, really fond of that Civic for the time I had it; unfortunately, that car came to a bad end the day when a guy in an F150 pulled out in front of me at an intersection.  I hit him at about 30 mph – needless to say, it was more than a fender-bender.  The car was in bad shape, but I wasn’t – between the car’s crumple zone and the airbag, I walked away from that collision with some bruises and a sore collarbone from the shoulder belt.  I am not at all sure I would have come out that well in any other car.

I thought the ’03 was about the best Civic I had owned, until I got the ’10 model.  With the engine upgraded to 2.2 liters these days, the Civic has more power than before while still getting 38 mpg out on the highway. This one’s got a full set of power options, leather interior, MP3 stereo and a whole slate of other amenities my earlier cars didn’t have.  It’s quiet, it rides and drives great on the highway, it’s got nimble handling and more than enough power – I couldn’t be happier with a car than I am with this one.

Can you guess what car I’m going to get next?  You guessed it…another Civic from Honda Cars of Katy. I have yet to make a bad call on this brand, and like I said…we all tend to keep coming back to products that we’ve had good experiences with, right?