Cambridge Auto Center AutoNet TV

Hitting The Brakes In Boerne

Posted May 23, 2016 10:13 AM


Hello San Antonio, let's talk about Hitting But 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 vehicle or truck rolls off a local San Antonio 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 vehicle. San Antonio 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 ' 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 Cambridge Auto is important for your vehicle and your family's safety. At Cambridge Auto 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 Cambridge Auto. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the vehicle 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 Cambridge Auto cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the vehicle 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 San Antonio area roads and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. Texas vehicle owners 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.

Cambridge Auto
9823 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, Texas 78240
210-697-9600
http://cambridgeauto.autotipsvideo.com



It Pays to Take Care of Your Transmission at Cambridge Auto

Posted May 15, 2016 7:40 AM


If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that vehicle engines are getting more and more powerful in San Antonio and at the same time are getting better and better fuel economy. I've gotta tell 'ya, most of that's because of technological advances in transmissions. To get a better understanding of why that is, let's talk bicycles.

You've probably seen plenty of cyclists on San Antonio roads. Perhaps you ride yourself. Then you know that a cyclist's cadence is the number of times per minute he or she pedals. The ideal pedal speed is the zone where they can most efficiently generate power over a sustained period of time. The experienced Texas cyclist uses her gears to keep her pedal speed in the ideal zone whether she's climbing a hill, cruising on a flat stretch or killing a downhill.

Think of it this way: if you have a 1-speed bike, you really have to pump hard to get up to speed. Your top speed is limited by how fast as you can pedal. And if you're climbing a steep Texas hill – forget about it.

Now let's add a couple of gears: one lower and another one higher. With the lower first gear, you can get up to your ideal pedal speed quicker. When you shift to second, your pedal speed drops below ideal for a while as you work to get back to peak efficiency. Same thing happens when you shift to third, but now you can go much faster than you could with a 1-speed bike using the same effort. Add more gears and you can see that it's much easier to maintain ideal pedal speed. The result, quicker starts, better hill climbing, higher top speed and, most of all, a lot less fatigue for the San Antonio rider.

Like a cyclist on a bike, every vehicle engine has an ideal engine speed called its power band. When an engine is running in that zone, it can make power very efficiently. It's the vehicle transmission's job to keep the engine in the power band over a wide range of operating conditions. Today 5 or 6 speed automatic transmissions are pretty much the minimum, and 7 and 8 speeds are fairly common in San Antonio.

Obviously these sophisticated transmissions are very expensive. In fact, next to your vehicle engine, your transmission is the most expensive component in your vehicle, so it pays to take good care of it. Your manufacturer has a recommended service interval for changing your old, contaminated transmission fluid. Servicing your transmission on schedule at Cambridge Auto keeps it operating at its best and can prevent costly damage. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Cambridge Auto advisor if it's time for transmission service. Come see why smart San Antonio drivers trust their transmissions to Cambridge Auto.

Give us a call

Cambridge Auto
9823 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, Texas 78240
210-697-9600
http://www.cambridgeauto.com



All About Your TPMS in San Antonio

Posted May 8, 2016 3:26 AM




San Antonio drivers know that under-inflated tires wear out more quickly. Under-inflation is also a major cause of tire failure for Texas auto owners. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of under-inflated tires.

It's hard for many San Antonio drivers to tell when a radial tire is under-inflated. If your owner’s manual recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under-inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.

Uncle Sam to the rescue! A recent federal law required vehicle manufacturer’s to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles. The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below its pressure recommendations.

Obviously, all of this doesn't come free for San Antonio car owners. Government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.

Texas service centers have purchased new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and updated expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems.

Cambridge Auto service advisors have been trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to the service center to perform what was once a very inexpensive service. So if you've noticed the cost of flat repairs, tire changes, and rotations going up, please keep in mind that it's because of government mandated safety equipment. Your San Antonio service center just wants to keep you safely on the road - and it's committed to do so at a fair price. Remember, this change will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.

Cambridge Auto
9823 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, Texas 78240
210-697-9600
http://www.cambridgeauto.com



Diagnosing Your Vehicle at Cambridge Auto in San Antonio

Posted May 1, 2016 10:00 AM

When we San Antonio residents get a car repair bill, we really shouldn't be surprised to find “diagnostic fees” as one of the line items. When we get a computer fixed, there is usually a charge for the time it takes to diagnose the problem. When we go to a medical doctor, most of his fee is for his ability to diagnose what's wrong. It's no different with our vehicles.

Some diagnoses are fairly simple. Brake repairs at Cambridge Auto usually require only a visual inspection, for instance. But other problems are much more difficult to diagnose. An intermittent engine problem, for example, takes time and expertise to pinpoint.

Modern vehicles have multiple computers that monitor a variety of sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of those sensors has a reading that is higher or lower than the standard parameters, the computer turns on the check engine light. Technicians at a service center such as Cambridge Auto in San Antonio can scan the engine's computer for a trouble code. This code tells the technician which reading is too high or too low.

That's where some San Antonio residents get confused. They think that this reading concludes the diagnosis, and they don't understand why the diagnostic fee is as much as it is when all the technician did was to scan the computer. But the truth is the trouble code is only the beginning of the diagnostic procedure.

Remember, the trouble code only tells which reading is out of parameter. It doesn't say what is causing the reading to be too high or too low. Your Cambridge Auto service technician still has to find the underlying problem. It's a lot like going to the doctor. He can take your temperature and discover that you have a fever, but that doesn't tell him what is causing your fever.

Automotive diagnostic technology can cut down the time it takes to figure out what's wrong with a vehicle that isn't running right. But it doesn't do away with the need for your friendly and knowledgeable Cambridge Auto service technician to make a proper diagnosis. Car care, like medical care, still requires the human touch.

Cambridge Auto
9823 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, Texas 78240
210-697-9600
http://www.cambridgeauto.com



New Life for Your Older Car in San Antonio

Posted April 25, 2016 11:49 AM

Isn't it amazing how much of our stuff is disposable these days? Clothes, electronics, housewares, furniture.

Remember the days when San Antonio families mended their clothes, polished their shoes and neatly put away their toys every night? If something was lost or ruined through neglect, your parents just told you to do without, that you should have taken better care of it. They considered the loss a “life lesson.”

But today many San Antonio drivers tend to neglect one of the more expensive and important purchases we make: our vehicles. Vehicles are a lot more reliable today than back when we polished our shoes, and that reliability can sometimes make us take them for granted. Drivers in San Antonio neglect good car care practices and procrastinate preventive maintenance. What we're really doing is heading straight for one of those dreaded “life lessons.” Eventually we'll pay for our neglect in repair bills and a shorter life for our vehicle.

Is procrastinating routine maintenance really so terrible? Consider procrastinating brushing your teeth or washing your clothes or getting the dishes done. Gunk builds up, makes the job harder, and ultimately damages your teeth, clothing or dishes. It's the same with your car. Some of the best auto advice out there for San Antonio drivers is to stay on top of routine oil changes by bringing their car into Cambridge Auto. Even a few thousand miles extra between oil changes can result in oil sludge, which can clog passages in your engine. This means oil can't get to some of the engine components, and they'll wear out faster without lubrication. Every time you procrastinate an oil change, the problem gets worse, eventually cutting years off the life of your engine.

The same is true if you skip cooling system service. Corrosion inhibitors in the fluid become depleted over time, opening the system up to damage. Consistent neglect will lead to holes in your radiator. Talk to your friendly service advisor at Cambridge Auto for suggestions and feedback.

Neglect of other fluids can also result in engine damage. Brake fluid, transmission fluid, differential fluid—all of these need to be serviced on a regular basis. In addition, your fuel system needs periodic cleaning or it can start to break down and cause permanent damage to your engine.

The good news is that it's never too late to get on track and start getting good, regular preventive maintenance for your vehicle at Cambridge Auto. You may not be able to reverse damage that's already been done, but you can prevent further damage.

It really does all start with an oil change. With a full-service oil change at Cambridge Auto, your fluids will be checked and your car inspected for wear and tear. Our pros at Cambridge Auto can also advise you of other inspections and maintenance items that are coming due. If you're on top of oil changes, your service advisor will keep track of your maintenance schedule and remind you what needs to be done.

Older vehicles are going to need repairs. But with good maintenance, those repairs will involve fairly routine stuff like alternators, water pumps, belts and batteries. But the cost of these replacement parts at Cambridge Auto is much cheaper than the repair bills that come with serious engine damage, and they're certainly less than the cost of a new car.

We may not need to polish our shoes anymore, and tossing out that outdated cell phone may not be such a loss, but when it comes to our vehicles, they're just too valuable to be treated as disposable. Let's take a step back, listen to our parents, and take care of our stuff. If we don't, we could be on our way to a “life lesson” involving our bank account and a bus pass.

Cambridge Auto
9823 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, Texas 78240
210-697-9600
http://www.cambridgeauto.com



How To Get Better Gas Mileage In San Antonio

Posted April 18, 2016 9:37 AM


There is no escaping it: things work better when you take care of them. Something most of us in San Antonio can relate to is our computers. You've probably noticed how they get slower and slower over time. It takes longer to start up and programs take forever to load. Eventually, many of us just get a new computer at our nearest San Antonio computer store. But computer experts know that there are things you can do to delay the need for a new computer purchase. You can run utilities that clean off temporary files and clean your memory registry. You can optimize your hard drive and a number of other things.

What you're doing is maintaining your computer to make it efficient. It's the same thing with your car or truck. You maintain it to make it more efficient. It works the way it was designed to and that means it uses less fuel while you drive around San Antonio. better And you save money.

To help organize our discussion, let's think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion.

Friction. Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the vehicle engine. It has to work harder to overcome the drag – and that takes more fuel. The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil. Low oil means there's not enough to fully lubricate the engine so there's more friction. Dirty oil won't lubricate as well as clean oil. The same principles apply to transmission fluid. Getting your oil changed and transmission serviced on schedule at Cambridge Auto will reduce friction and help you get better gas mileage.

Another friction related problem is under-inflated tires. When your vehicle tires are low on air, it's like driving on Texas highways through sand – your vehicle has to work harder to move every mile. Check your tire pressure at least once a month.

Wheels out of alignment and dragging brakes also increase friction. And your tires and brake pads will wear out much sooner as well. At Cambridge Auto, we provide quality brake and wheel alignment services.

Let's move on to Fuel. You have to get the right amount of clean fuel to the combustion chamber at precisely the right time. A dirty fuel system has varnish and gum interfering and the fuel injectors may be unable to deliver the correct amount of fuel at the right pressure and in the spray pattern that the engineers intended. A vehicle fuel system cleaning at Cambridge Auto will get all of that working right and really improve fuel economy.

Replacing your fuel filter on schedule will help keep your fuel clean. Replacing a sticky PCV valve will allow unburned fuel from the engine to be returned to the intake system to be used. Replacing worn spark plugs will burn your fuel as efficiently as possible.

All of these things can help you save money on gas at San Antonio pumps.

Give us a call

Cambridge Auto
9823 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, Texas 78240



Cambridge Auto Advice on What to Pour into Your Vehicle

Posted April 10, 2016 3:04 AM


Changes in vehicle design and manufacture have resulted in changed fluid requirements for our vehicles. With the sophistication of engines, transmissions, differentials, etc., it's best for San Antonio residents to always use the proper type of fluid for their vehicle. Using incorrect fluids can actually damage your engine.

As engines have become more sophisticated, new weights (or grades) of engine oil have been introduced. Today, there is a much wider range of weights for engine oil as well as a variety of formulations for different types of engines.

Transmission fluid, brake fluid and coolant/anti-freeze have changed because the materials that go into making the systems they protect have changed. The fluids in our vehicles generally have two jobs: to lubricate and to prevent corrosion. The fluids formulated for your vehicle are specifically designed to protect the materials that make up its engine parts. Using the wrong fluid may leave some parts vulnerable to corrosion. Further, using the wrong fluids can also void your vehicle's warranty. So Cambridge Auto recommends San Antonio drivers follow the fluid recommendations in their owner's manuals.

Vehicle fluids, including engine oil, are also designed in special formulas for higher mileage vehicles. These formulas contain additives that help clean older engines and transmissions as well as recondition older seals and gaskets. These fluids are perfectly okay for your vehicle, as long as you match the original fluid recommendations in your owner's manual. In other words, a high-mileage oil is fine as long as it is the same weight as the oil recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer.

Good car care always includes proper attention to your vehicle's fluids. Understanding and using correct fluids will keep your vehicle running well and will help prevent early corrosion and wear of vital engine parts.

Talk to your Cambridge Auto service advisor for more information.

Cambridge Auto
9823 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, Texas 78240
210-697-9600
http://www.cambridgeauto.com



Gas Savings In San Antonio: Sharpen Your Pencil

Posted April 3, 2016 6:44 AM


High gas prices in San Antonio increase the cost of living for Texas drivers. You've probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some San Antonio vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to Texas news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn't been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

Gas

In this area, we can take a lesson from professional San Antonio vehicle owners. I'm talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, San Antonio folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in may put their San Antonio business in the red.

So what does this mean to San Antonio drivers? Well, there's a ninety percent chance that you're missing some service that would improve your . Here's a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most San Antonio vehicle owners honestly say that there isn't at least one thing on the list that hasn't been done?

Let's suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Cambridge Auto. Figure that they combine to improve your by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in San Antonio is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your vehicle, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you'd rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

 

GAS PRICE
$3.50
$4.50
$5.50

20 MPG
$165
$255
$345

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in San Antonio for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in San Antonio. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

 

GAS PRICE

A) $3.50, B) $4.50, C) $5.50

10 MPG: A) $480, B) $660, C) $840

20 MPG: A) $165, B) $255, C) $345

30 MPG: A) $60, B) $120, C) $180

 

So catch up on those services you've been neglecting at Cambridge Auto. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you'll save a lot of money at San Antonio gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

Cambridge Auto
9823 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, Texas 78240
210-697-9600
http://cambridgeauto.autotipsvideo.com

 

 



Differential Service at Cambridge Auto

Posted March 28, 2016 4:27 AM


Here at AutoNetTV, we have national viewers, like your neighbors in San Antonio, who write to us with questions or feedback. One common question we're asked is: "What is a differential and what does it do?" You may have been told by your Cambridge Auto service advisor that your differential needs serviced, or seen it as an option up on the service menu. Differential service at Cambridge Auto covers a lot of things, so let's first talk about what a differential does.

As you drive through a turn, your outside wheels and inside wheels turn at different speeds. Kind of like the cars going around a race track - the ones driving in the outside lanes have a greater distance to travel than the cars in the inside lanes. The differential is what allows the outside and inside drive wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds so that the tires don't hop or skip while taking corners, or lose traction in dirt or snow on San Antonio area roads. Differentials have gears in them that transfer the power from the drive train to your wheels - which is why they're often referred to as gear boxes. The gears need to be very strong to do this work, and they need to be properly protected so that they'll last.

All vehicles in San Antonio have some form of differential. If you have a front-wheel drive car, your differential is sometimes called a transaxle and is located in the front. If you have rear-wheel drive, the differential is in the back of the car. San Antonio auto owners with a four-wheel drive vehicle have a differential in the front and the back - and in the middle as well. The center differential adjusts for differences in speed between the front and rear wheels.

Differential fluid lubricates and cools the gears. Over time, the fluid can get dirty from bits of the gears grinding off. The additives that keep the fluid clean and protect the differential break down over time. So your vehicle manufacturer has scheduled intervals for you to have your differential fluid changed. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Cambridge Auto service advisor if you are not sure about your recommended schedule.

Cambridge Auto
9823 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, Texas 78240
210-697-9600
http://www.cambridgeauto.com



Fuel System Cleaning the Professional Way at Cambridge Auto

Posted March 20, 2016 2:42 AM

Your fuel system needs to be clean to do its job properly. When it gets dirty, the results are lower engine performance, reduced fuel economy and impaired safety. It can even lead to costly repair bills for San Antonio drivers. So keep your fuel system clean as part of your routine preventive maintenance.

Fuel injectors have replaced carburetors in most of today's vehicles. These injectors deliver better fuel economy than a carburetor, but they can be compromised by rust, dirt and other contaminants. They need to be clean to maintain the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume of delivered fuel so that the vehicle engine can run at peak efficiency.

There are products on the market that San Antonio vehicle owners can add to their gas tank that will help keep your fuel injectors clean. These products will keep a clean fuel system clean, but have trouble cleaning a system that has already gotten gummed up.

If your fuel system needs a major cleaning, Cambridge Auto can help. We have the tools and chemicals necessary to clean up your fuel system. We can remove accumulated carbon, grit, gum and varnish and get your fuel system and those all-important fuel injectors back up to snuff. Once your fuel system is clean, you'll notice the difference in improved power and better . You may not notice that your vehicle is now producing fewer emissions, but our Texas environment will be better for it.

San Antonio drivers should consider adding a cleaning product to their gas tank after a fuel system cleaning. Those cleaners will help prevent your fuel system getting gummed up again, plus they can prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system.

Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Cambridge Auto if your car is in need of a fuel system cleaning. That kind of auto advice can save you big bucks in repair bills down the road.

Your owner's manual and Cambridge Auto advisor can help you with other car care advice that can help improve the safety and performance of your vehicle. Cambridge Auto in San Antonio can also help you set up a schedule to perform that maintenance and help you customize that schedule so it accounts for the climate and road conditions in your area.

San Antonio drivers should remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to car care, that old adage has proven itself true.



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