Cambridge Auto Center AutoNet TV

Will Proper Auto Maintenance at Cambridge Auto Really Save Gas?

Posted June 26, 2016 9:51 AM

Have you ever thought about all the little things we do to keep our lives running smoothly - like vacuuming? It makes a room feel fresher and more comfortable. We may not consider that we're also prolonging the life of the carpet by keeping it clean. But San Antonio drivers don't always extend those good habits into the garage. Our vehicles need regular maintenance just like our rugs need vacuuming. We may not notice a difference in the feel or appearance of the vehicle, but, just as cleaning a carpet carries the hidden reward of prolonging its life, maintaining our vehicles incurs a hidden reward that becomes noticeable at San Antonio gas stations.

When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything San Antonio drivers can do to decrease friction and increase the efficiency of their engines will translate to savings on fuel. Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something. So if we can reduce friction, we can decrease the amount of fuel it takes to run our vehicles. Engine oil is usually at the heart of friction problems in an engine. Too little oil means parts are not getting lubricated, which increases friction and dirty oil doesn't lubricate as well as clean oil. So one secret to good fuel efficiency is to stay on top of oil changes. Don't skip them and don't procrastinate. The same auto advice applies to transmission fluid. Keep it full and keep it clean, and your vehicle will run with less friction and better fuel economy.

If your tires are under-inflated, it increases the friction between the tire and the road. Again, there is increased drag, and it takes more fuel to move your vehicle. San Antonio drivers should check their tire pressure every month and keep their tires properly inflated.

Alignment and brake problems can also increase friction. Besides saving fuel, keeping these systems in good repair has the added benefit of saving you on tires and brake pads since these items wear out more quickly when the alignment is off or when the brake system isn't in good working order. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Cambridge Auto .

The second culprit that stealthily steals our gas is inefficient fuel combustion, which depends on the engine getting the right amount of clean fuel to the right place with the right pressure at the right time in the right pattern. The key to peak engine performance is to keep the fuel system clean. Varnish and gum can build up in a fuel system, which will interfere with the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors are responsible for all those “rights” we spoke of. If they're dirty, amounts, timing, pressure and spray patterns can all get out of whack. The result? Reduced fuel efficiency. A fuel system cleaning at Cambridge Auto in San Antonio can get your injectors back on track, improving performance and efficiency.

There are a few other maintenance items that can improve your fuel economy. One is to replace your PCV valve when it gets sticky. This valve allows unburned fuel in your engine exhaust to return to the engine. San Antonio drivers can also replace worn spark plugs and dirty fuel filters. A well-maintained vehicle will require fewer repairs and save at San Antonio gas pumps.

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

 



Relax When the Wind Blows in Texas: Winter Car Prep for San Antonio Drivers

Posted June 19, 2016 2:55 AM

When autumn comes around in San Antonio, leaves fall, nights get longer, and there's a definite nip in the air. Time to unpack the boots and gloves and fold some extra blankets onto the beds. It's also time for San Antonio drivers to winterize their vehicles.

Here is some expert auto advice for San Antonio drivers on what vehicles need to keep everyone safe and rolling throughout the Texas winter months.

1. Check your antifreeze. Top it off or change it if necessary. You don't want your radiator, engine or hoses freezing up. If your vehicle isn't generating enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze might be low, or you might have a thermostat problem. Either way, you should get it checked out before the full force of Texas winter sets in. If you are due for a cooling system service at Cambridge Auto in San Antonio, get that done as well.

2. Check your brakes. The slushy wet conditions of winter increase stopping distances. Ice exacerbates the problem. Your first concern, of course, is to make sure you adapt your driving habits to winter weather: slow down, and give yourself plenty of room to stop. Get your brakes checked at Cambridge Auto and replace any worn pads or other parts. Check your brake fluid. It can accumulate moisture and decrease your stopping power.

3. Test your battery. A battery's cranking power drops in the cold, so if your battery is already weak, the onset of winter will do it in. The last thing you want is to be on a snowy Texas road in the dark and cold with a dead battery.

4. Pack emergency supplies. Toss a blanket into the trunk. If you do find yourself stranded, your first concern will be to stay warm. If you're traveling away from Texas population centers, then pack some emergency food and water as well. Also, it's a good idea to top off your tank in winter. That way, if you get stuck, you'll have some fuel to burn to stay warm, and it'll keep your gas lines from freezing up.

5. Check your wiper blades. They may be able to handle a light San Antonio summer rain shower, but they might not be up to the ice and snow that collect on a windshield in winter. If you experience particularly harsh winters or really wet ones, you can purchase special blades that resist freezing. And don't forget to top off your wiper fluid.

6. Check your tires. Tires lose pressure over time, but they lose pressure fast when it's cold outside in San Antonio. Tires lose about one pound of pressure every six to eight weeks; they also lose one pound of pressure for every 10°F drop in temperature. If the last time you checked your tires it was 80°F outside and it's 40°F now, your tires could be down five pounds in pressure — and that's serious. It's a safety issue and cuts down on your fuel economy.

7. Driving conditions in the San Antonio area may warrant special winter tires. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Cambridge Auto tire professional to get the right tires for your area and for your driving habits. If you are getting winter tires, it's always best to get them for all four wheels. But if you're only going to get two, put them on the rear wheels, even if you drive a front-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle. Traction is more important on the rear of a vehicle if you want to prevent sliding or fish-tailing on slick surfaces.

So there you have it: a quick checklist to winterize your car in Texas. When it comes to car care, preventive maintenance is always the best practice for San Antonio drivers, especially when it comes to winter weather. None of us want to be caught out in the winter cold.

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



Cambridge Auto Fuel Saving Tip for San Antonio: Check Engine Light

Posted June 14, 2016 10:48 AM


Here's a question for San Antonio, Texas : How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your check engine light? 

Hey, it's not there to create ambiance; it's a warning that something's wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson's fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)

Many conditions that trigger the check engine light can hurt your vehicle. A lot.

If your date's eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the check engine light, try to think of all the gas money you'll save by getting it fixed. Give Cambridge Auto a call when you are ready.

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



What San Antonio Customers like About Us at Cambridge Auto

Posted June 7, 2016 6:10 AM

A big part of the service we provide at Cambridge Auto for our San Antonio customers is education. We want you to feel confident with your service decisions.

And we're always open to questions from our valued San Antonio area customers. Even though we try to be proactive in our Cambridge Auto automotive education, we sometimes get busy fixing cars and need a reminder. Please, just ask.

We've found our San Antonio customers like the service reminders. They've grown to trust that our recommendations are based on the vehicle manufactures’ published maintenance schedules and that Cambridge Auto is not just pulling them out of the air.

We know that people in San Antonio live a busy life with a lot more to think about than wondering if it's time to replace the PCV valve on their vehicle. Part of our Cambridge Auto service process is checking the vehicle manufactures’ schedule to make sure we don't overlook service.

We hope Texas drivers appreciate their courtesy inspection when they come into our San Antonio facility for service. If we find something unexpected, it's good to know, and if we don't find anything wrong, you get a little peace of mind.

You know, customer satisfaction is very important to us at Cambridge Auto. We want to run a professional and friendly San Antonio automotive service operation. If we do, you'll keep coming back and recommend us to your friends.

Give us a call at 210-697-9600.

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



It Is Time to Check Your Intervals

Posted June 1, 2016 8:31 AM


Part of the engineering that goes into designing a vehicle is testing the components to ensure that they meet durability and safety standards. Because of this, manufacturers have a good idea as to how long the parts in your vehicle will last under normal driving conditions. For this reason, they give us guidelines to follow regarding how often to inspect the various parts and systems on our vehicles.

Vehicular components are required to meet certain standards. The government mandates some of these standards. Others are set by the auto industry. Recommended car maintenance schedules are designed to help San Antonio vehicle owners maintain these standards. Disregarding routine maintenance or procrastinating preventive maintenance will result in lowered performance and reduced safety for a vehicle.

Maintenance schedules are designed to ensure three areas of automotive performance for San Antonio drivers: protection of the vehicle itself, efficiency, and safety.

Protection

Your vehicle's components need protection from dirt, road damage, rust, corrosion and fuel and combustion by products. Protective components include filters and fluids.

Most of the fluids in your vehicle are there to keep the vehicle running smoothly and to protect the vehicle from corrosion, damage or harmful contaminants. These fluids need to be changed regularly in order to continue protecting your vehicle.

For example, motor oil lubricates your engine, which keeps it running well, but it also contains detergents and other additives that clean your engine and protect it from corrosion. Your vehicle's engine was engineered for best performance with a specific weight and type of motor oil. San Antonio drivers should always be careful to use the right motor oil for their engine.

Over time, the  additives in motor oil are depleted, and the oil becomes contaminated by dirt, water and waste gases from combustion. So in order to keep your engine clean and to continue to protect it from corrosion, the oil has to be changed periodically.

Efficiency

Over time, your vehicle's systems will get dirty and parts will wear down. Cleaning dirty systems and replacing worn parts will improve the efficiency of your vehicle, which is usually measured in terms of and power output.

For example, your fuel system components gradually get clogged up with gum and varnish from gasoline. This restricts fuel flow, which lowers your engine's efficiency. Gas mileage drops as a result. Cleaning your fuel system will restore and improve gas mileage.

Safety

Some of your vehicle's systems must be maintained for safety reasons. Your brakes are a prime example of this. Brake pads and brake fluid need to be replaced in order to ensure good braking power. Poorly maintained brakes lead to accidents.

Your owner's manual is your first resource when it comes to knowing when and how to maintain your vehicle. Of course, you can consult with your Cambridge Auto service advisor. He can give you good auto advice on how to adjust your service schedule to account for climate, local road conditions and your driving distances.

Beyond routine maintenance, your vehicle also requires regular inspections. These inspections are usually recommended at specific mileage intervals, like fifteen or twenty thousand miles. The interval is based on the known life expectancy for particular components in your vehicle. Regular inspections will identify vehicular components that need to be repaired or replaced before damage is done to the vehicle or safety is compromised. They are also designed to safeguard the efficiency and performance of your vehicle.

The multi-point inspection that comes with a full-service oil change does not cover all of the regular inspections your vehicle needs for peak performance and safety. Check with the automotive professionals at Cambridge Auto in San Antonio to find out what additional inspections your vehicle needs and how often. Good car care requires regular and consistent maintenance. But good maintenance pays for itself in better and fewer repairs. It may even save your life.

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



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



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