About 90% of our driving decisions in Atascosa are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.
Most SAN ANTONIO drivers have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our sedan windshield is just dirty. In fact, it’s estimated that 46,000,000 motorists across the nation are driving with wipers that can’t adequately clear their windshield in a storm.
It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we SAN ANTONIO car owners need them the most. If that sounds like you, you’ve got plenty of company in the Atascosa area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.
SAN ANTONIO motorists need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as a key sedan safety component. Then we’ll stay ahead of the storm.
SAN ANTONIO auto owners really ought to replace wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of TX, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.
Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Atascosa conditions, if your sedan has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.
Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering SAN ANTONIO sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t clear the sedan windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard for SAN ANTONIO auto owners; they can also scratch their windshield. That may require replacing the entire sedan windshield – that's a costly consequence for neglecting such a small part.
AutoNetTV and Cambridge Auto Center recommend SAN ANTONIO auto owners replace worn blades right away. Your SAN ANTONIO service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At Cambridge Auto Center, they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.
Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their essential work. Even though Cambridge Auto Center will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Bring it with you if you’re heading out on a road trip.
Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn’t cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t clean your windows as well.
So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road.
Find us at:
Cambridge Auto Center
9823 Fredericksburg Road
SAN ANTONIO, TX 78240
Posted in the Maintenance category
Most SAN ANTONIO auto owners worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy TX freeway but don’t worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown at the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during Atascosa rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot sedan.
A lot of SAN ANTONIO drivers judge their vehicles’ air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keeps the sedan running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very costly in SAN ANTONIO.
Helotes auto owners should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system’s components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing pricey repairs, and keep it at peak performance.
Inadequate refrigerant indicates a leak in the air conditioning system. Over time, seals in the system can crack, causing the refrigerant to leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system. Replacing these seals will keep your sedan air conditioning system at its best, and, again, will help you avoid more pricey repairs.
At Cambridge Auto Center, we advise our SAN ANTONIO customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.
Check with your sedan owner’s manual or with your SAN ANTONIO service professional for information about how often your sedan air conditioning system should be serviced.
Another piece of good auto advice: if your sedan air conditioner isn’t working or is starting to show signs of breakdown, NOW is the time to get it fixed at Cambridge Auto Center in SAN ANTONIO. Waiting will only increase the chances that you are in for major repairs and a significant repair bill.
On a final note, if you own an older vehicle, you should check into upgrading the air conditioning system. Vehicles manufactured before 1993 often contained a refrigerant known as Freon. The manufacture of Freon was outlawed in 1993, leading to an ever-dwindling supply, which leads to an ever-steeper price for SAN ANTONIO auto owners in TX. If your vehicle still uses Freon, you should have it retrofitted to use the new, EPA-approved R134A refrigerant. The retrofit will actually pay for itself by reducing the cost to recharge the refrigerant in your sedan.
Remember, preventive maintenance — of your entire car — will keep you on the road. And, in this case, it will help you keep your cool!
Posted in the Air Conditioning category
One SAN ANTONIO automotive service issue that doesn't get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don't get talked about very much around Atascosa, but they're very critical. First let's define what the driveline is:
Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.
That's not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you're not moving. So SAN ANTONIO motorists need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we're going to have to oversimplify a bit.
If you are ready to have your drive train looked at, give us a call:
Cambridge Auto Center
9823 Fredericksburg Road
SAN ANTONIO, TX 78240
Call Us at 210-697-9600
Let's start with front wheel drive. The point where the transmission stops and the driveline begins is a little blurred with front wheel drive because the transaxle houses both the transmission function and the differential function. The half shafts that send power to each front wheel, come out of the transaxle. The shaft is connected to the wheel by a constant velocity, or CV, joint. The CV joint is protected from dirt and water by an airtight, flexible rubber boot.
So, Cambridge Auto Center driveline service would include properly servicing the transaxle and inspecting the cv boot to see if it's torn or loose. If it is, it needs to be replaced and the CV joint inspected for damage. Repairs may be in order. Besides visual damage to the airtight CV boot, you might hear a clicking noise when turning. Recommended maintenance for the transaxle and CV joints will be spelled out in your owner's manual or check with your considerate Cambridge Auto Center tech.
On to rear wheel drive. The driveline for a rear wheel drive vehicle starts with the driveshaft – that long tube that connects the transmission with the differential on the rear axle. Some vehicles in SAN ANTONIO have a two piece drive shaft. The shafts are connected to the transmission and the differential with big universal joints. Most SAN ANTONIO motorists have probably heard the term 'u-joints'. These joints can wear out, just like the CV joints in front wheel drive vehicles. You may hear some clunking or feel a jolt when shifting into drive or reverse – if you do, get your driveline inspected at Cambridge Auto Center in SAN ANTONIO.
The differential on the rear axle sends power out to each rear wheel through half shafts in the axle. The differential fluid needs to be drained periodically and replaced with clean fluid. When the seal on the end of the axle is damaged or leaks, the axle will need to be serviced. The routine maintenance item here is differential service. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or SAN ANTONIO service advisor for intervals.
Now let's go on to all wheel drive. Remember that the difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive is that an all wheel drive vehicle is essentially providing power to all of the wheels all of the time. The sedan may be able to shift more of the power to the front or to the back depending on where you need traction. All wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well on dry pavement. Even some high-end sports cars from makers like Lamborghini and Porsche have all wheel drive.
Some all wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well off-road in SAN ANTONIO, but all hard-core rock crawlers are four wheel drive. These guys thrive in mud, sand, rocks and hills – but they don't work well on dry pavement when they're in four wheel drive. So they have the option to shift to rear wheel drive only on dry pavement.
Most all-wheel drive vehicles are very similar to front wheel drive when it comes to the front end. They also have a center differential that transfers power to the rear differential. Connecting it all is a shaft from the transaxle to the center differential and another from the center differential to the rear differential. So all of the normal front wheel drive service is essential as well as service to the center and rear differentials.
Four wheel drive can be thought of as a rear wheel drive vehicle that can also send power to the front axle. There's a transfer case in the middle of the vehicle that can be shifted to send power through a drive shaft to a differential on the front axle. So SAN ANTONIO motorists need differential service for the front and rear differentials and for the transfer case as well.
The bottom line for SAN ANTONIO car owners is that the maintenance schedules are in your owner's manual. Your SAN ANTONIO service advisor can answer any questions you've got. If this is the first time you've heard some of this stuff – it's time to ask someone at Cambridge Auto Center if any of it needs to be done now.
Watch our auto tips video from AutoNetTV
Posted in the Drive Train category
SAN ANTONIO drivers rely on their car's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your sedan engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it’s cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.
There’s a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that’s easily reached inside your sedan's engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.
Also, if it’s freezing outside in SAN ANTONIO, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the TX cold.
So, if you remember your SAN ANTONIO high school chemistry, you’ll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than either component alone.
Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures in and around SAN ANTONIO.
Whenever your sedan is running, the coolant in the cooling system is working to keep your engine from overheating. When it’s cold outside, the coolant acts as antifreeze to keep the fluid from freezing in your engine.
All that exploding fuel in your engine creates a lot of heat. Without coolant, the metal sedan engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. The costly parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole sedan's engine is ruined and has to be junked.
This is why it is critical that SAN ANTONIO drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their sedan cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your sedan vehicle manufacturer has a maintenance requirement for draining and replacing your coolant. These recommendations can vary widely, so check your owner’s manual or ask us at Cambridge Auto Center in SAN ANTONIO.
The reason SAN ANTONIO auto owners need to change the coolant is that it has additives in it to protect the cooling system. As you can imagine, with all the heat, the cooling system’s a pretty harsh environment. The additives keep the fluid from becoming corrosive and damaging the radiator and other sedan cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced.
Many SAN ANTONIO auto owners ask Cambridge Auto Center why there are different colors of antifreeze. It is very important that you use the correct type of antifreeze. The different types of antifreeze – or coolant – are different colors so you don’t mix them up.
The car makers use different materials to make the cooling system, and they require different types of antifreeze to protect them.
So check with us at Cambridge Auto Center in SAN ANTONIO or your owner’s manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your sedan cooling system.
Posted in the Cooling System category
Let's talk about deciphering the auto service menu board. SAN ANTONIO, TX service centers like Cambridge Auto Center have a board that lists the routine services they provide. But some people don't know what these services really are unless they ask. Let's go down a typical list, in alphabetical order, starting with air conditioning service.
Feel free at any time to give Cambridge Auto Center a call at 210-697-9600 to learn of the many services we offer, or stop by our SAN ANTONIO, TX auto center at 9823 Fredericksburg Road 78240.
First remember that all of these services are recommended by vehicle manufacturers. They set how often or at how many miles the service should be done.
Air conditioning service involves purging the old refrigerant and capturing it for proper disposal. Then fresh refrigerant is installed. The fresh refrigerant will lubricate the system and will also help it cool better.
Alignment. Service centers like Cambridge Auto Center make sure all four wheels are lined up and track with each other. This reduces tire and suspension wear and improves safety and handling.
Battery service. Service centers like Cambridge Auto Center inspect the battery for corrosion, leaks or damage. Test the battery's ability to hold a charge. If the battery's still strong, clean it up. If not, replace it.
Brake service. This could be two things. A brake inspection to see if the brakes are working well mechanically and to see if the pads are still safe. If not, replace the pads and make any repairs that might be in order.
The other thing is to evacuate the brake fluid, clean out the system and replace it with fresh fluid. This is important, but often over looked.
Cabin air filter. The cabin air filter is the filter that cleans the air that comes into the passenger compartment. It works like the filter on your furnace at home. It gets dirty and needs to be changed often.
Cooling system. This is the cooling system for your engine. Replace the old coolant with fresh to protect your radiator and other cooling system components from corrosion.
Differential service. Every vehicle has at least one differential. They don't require service very often, so people don't think of them much. The differential transfers power from the drive train to your wheels. Drain the old fluid and add fresh lubricant.
Engine air filter. This filters the air that's burned in the engine. It also gets dirty and needs to be replaced often.
Fuel filter. This filter cleans the fuel before it gets to the engine. Like the other filters, it too gets clogged and needs to be replaced in order to maintain good flow.
Contact Cambridge Auto Center, your SAN ANTONIO, TX auto repair center, by calling us at 210-697-9600.
Posted in the Service Intervals category
When your car breaks down in the SAN ANTONIO, TX area, or just needs some routine service, it can make SAN ANTONIO car owners a little nervous. Because your car’s so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible. And with the problem fixed right the first time.
We’ve been checking into some of the vital training our SAN ANTONIO TX technicians receive, and we’re very impressed. It’s amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. So it’s not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over weekend.
Today there are four cylinder engines around SAN ANTONIO that make more power than the V-8’s in luxury cars 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to 60 mph.
Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their MPG keeps inching up. And they’re so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to SAN ANTONIO drivers at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.
Then there’s the electronics. Some cars on TX interstates area have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. SAN ANTONIO motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.
It’s a real challenge for the techs at Cambridge Auto Center and other SAN ANTONIO auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center as well. In addition to the training, there’s the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.
So where do SAN ANTONIO service professionals go for training? There’re many sources. It’s usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.
And AutoNetTV produces monthly training for SAN ANTONIO automotive service centers called The Pro Channel. If you were to watch the Pro Channel segment on re-flashing the engine control computer, you’d be amazed at how much is involved: special software, hardware interfaces and a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill.
Service centers in SAN ANTONIO, TX have a lot of other resources available as well. No one can know everything, so service centers like Cambridge Auto Center subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them with they run into a difficult problem.
It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. SAN ANTONIO car owners want everything to be simple, straight forward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn’t.
So, be more relaxed next time you take your sedan in. SAN ANTONIO motorists can trust their considerate Cambridge Auto Center techs. You’re in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Cambridge Auto Center. Visit AutoNetTV.com to see more great auto tips videos about many service topics.
At Cambridge Auto Center, we provide quality automotive service including chassis lubrication, fuel filter and chassis lubrication.<br><br>
Posted in the Maintenance category
So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? SAN ANTONIO auto owners can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on TX freeways. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat.
Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Cambridge Auto Center, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the service specialist will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 MPH, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration.
Most SAN ANTONIO auto owners are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.
Most high-quality tires sold in SAN ANTONIO hold their balance pretty well for motorists. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at Cambridge Auto Center in SAN ANTONIO if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and harmful tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some expensive repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better MPG.
Some Atascosa car owners have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owners' manual for your requirements, or ask your considerate Cambridge Auto Center service professional. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category
The team at Cambridge Auto Center in SAN ANTONIO and TX car owners are all talking gas mileage right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. SAN ANTONIO car owners want to save the environment and their pocketbooks.
And we all know—or should know—that preventive maintenance will help maximize fuel economy. But is there something more SAN ANTONIO car owners can do? After all, some of us SAN ANTONIO folks can’t cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.
Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from SAN ANTONIO to Boerne. And that means buying more gas in SAN ANTONIO and producing more emissions.
Of course, your sedan’s weight isn’t negotiable. And you can’t do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn’t an article about diet and exercise.
But look around your sedan. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight around TX? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your SAN ANTONIO home? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don’t. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.
The same goes for anything else in your car: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing; whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it; store it when you don’t.
Clean out your SAN ANTONIO. You’d be surprised how much weight you’re lugging around SAN ANTONIO in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food, and regular old dirt. Even if it’s not a lot of weight, you’ll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.
Now, don’t toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire—the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in your SAN ANTONIO when you go on a longer trip, but you don’t have to lug it around all the time. After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?
Lose the junk and save some money in SAN ANTONIO.
Posted in the Fuel System category
Some of us SAN ANTONIO car owners just love tires. All those little rubber hairs on new tires and the smell is wonderful. SAN ANTONIO drivers live in a great time for tires. No matter how you drive between SAN ANTONIO and Atascosa, where you want to go or the look you're after; there is a tire for you.
The same is true about wheels. The hardest part for SAN ANTONIO motorists is choosing from the thousands of wheels available at TX tire shops.
The team at Cambridge Auto Center may not be able to help with that, but we can help you get some things in mind before you consult with your SAN ANTONIO tire professional. Let's start with function and think about how you drive.
For example, maybe you have a large SUV but you don't drive off-road around SAN ANTONIO, so an off-road tread isn't important. Also, because you are not out bouncing over rocks in the TX backcountry, you don't need a high profile tire to protect your rims. So that means you can probably go with the low-wide look.
If you have a winter season with rain and snow or if you find you need better ice and snow performance, they make great, high-performance snow tires that won't make it look like you are driving a tractor.
There really are a lot of options for any given vehicle. SAN ANTONIO auto owners will find it very helpful to have a discussion like this with their SAN ANTONIO tire pro or the tire experts at Cambridge Auto Center when they need new tires. You can find the best solutions for your driving needs and to make improvements in ride or handling.
Picking a wheel that is the same size as what you are now running is important and pretty simple. But, it gets trickier if you want to upsize. Just get some help when you go bigger. All that tire and wheel still needs to fit in the available space. You do not want your tires to rub when you turn or hit a bump. SAN ANTONIO car owners also need to make sure their brakes and suspension bits will fit with their wheel of choice. It doesn't matter how great your car looks if it's not drivable.
Taller, wider wheels and tires probably weigh more than your stock shoes. And it's "unsprung" weight - that has a big impact on brake performance. The upsized shoes increase rotational inertia - if you go too big you may need to upgrade your brakes to compensate.
Another possible problem is an inaccurate speedometer. This happens because the number of rotations can change with the new wheels. Fortunately, speedometers and odometers are all controlled by the engine computer; so it is manageable to get it reprogrammed at Cambridge Auto Center to compensate for the bigger tires.
No matter what you are after: low cost, long life, high performance, traction or stunning good looks, your wheel and tire professional at Cambridge Auto Center in SAN ANTONIO, TX can help you identify your needs and give you a custom fit. With all the options available, you don't have to compromise. There is a tire out there with your name on it!
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category
Scratching your head? Don't worry, if you don’t know what a differential is – you will in a moment. That fact is that if you drive a car anywhere in SAN ANTONIO, TX, you have a differential. Whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, you have a differential. Some SAN ANTONIO auto owners might even have two or three.
Not surprisingly, a differential’s job is to compensate for differences. Specifically the differences in wheel speed when turning. For instance, imagine taking a corner near your SAN ANTONIO, TX home. Your inside wheel has a shorter distance to travel than the outside wheel as you turn the corner. That means that your outside wheel has to turn faster to keep pace with the inside wheel.
The differential allows the wheels to turn at different speeds while still providing power to your vehicle. Without a differential, SAN ANTONIO drivers' tires would scrub and hop along the pavement during turns like the early cars.
Ever noticed the big bulge in the middle of the rear axle on trucks? That’s the differential. Rear-wheel drive vehicles have a differential in back. Most four-wheel drive trucks and SUVs will also have a similar differential on the front axle. Front-wheel drive vehicles’ differential is called a transaxle because it combines the differential and transmission in one unit. An all-wheel drive vehicle will have a differential or transfer case that adjusts for speed differences between the front and rear drive wheels.
It can seem a little complex to some Atascosa motorists - but you can see that all of the engine’s power is routed through your differentials. They’re strong enough to handle the work, but- we've said it before - they need to be properly lubricated in order to stay strong. So from time to time, you need to schedule a differential service in SAN ANTONIO at Cambridge Auto Center. The used fluid is drained and replaced with clean fluid. Some auto manufacturers advise certain differentials to have special additives installed.
Get your differential serviced at Cambridge Auto Center in SAN ANTONIO.
Recommendations for the time and mileage interval for servicing your differential can vary greatly by vehicle. A front-wheel drive vehicle’s transaxle will need servicing more frequently than the rear differential on a pick-up truck, so check with your SAN ANTONIO, TX Cambridge Auto Center service advisor or your manufacturers owner’s manual for recommendations.
How and where you drive in SAN ANTONIO will have an important impact as well. If you drive on dirt roads or through streams around Atascosa, TX, you’ll need to service your differential much sooner than if you always stay on TX interstates.
Posted in the Drive Train category