Cambridge Auto Center AutoNet TV

Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft in San Antonio, Texas

Posted September 19, 2016 5:58 AM




Every car in San Antonio, Texas is at risk for theft. So it's up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:

  1. Common sense
  2. Visible and audible devices
  3. Immobilizing devices
  4. Tracking devices

Let's review each of these. First, common sense: you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen in Texas where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it's against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.

And don't leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. San Antonio drivers would be wise to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.

People in San Antonio should know that it's important to roll up their windows completely and avoid leaving their car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.

Keep valuables out of sight: purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive "smash-and-grab" targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.

There are lots of visible and audible devices available for San Antonio drivers. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what's going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.

Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don't approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.

And here's a great one - immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car's electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can't drive your car away.

Finally, drivers can also get a tracking device that allows San Antonio police to track their car down and recover it quickly.

Remember, where you live, work and drive around San Antonio, Texas has a great impact on your decisions. If you're in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.

Of course, the common sense suggestions from Cambridge Auto don't cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves.

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



San Antonio Drivers: Is It Time to Replace Your PCV Valve?

Posted September 11, 2016 8:43 AM


Improved The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine.

When you are diving around San Antonio fuel is burned in your vehicle engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.

Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine leading to damage.

Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in San Antonio, Texas.

Enter the PCV valve. It's a small, one-way valve that lets out the gases from the crankcase, and routes them back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine. Fresh air comes into the crankcase through a breather tube. This makes for good circulation in the crankcase. And that gets the air out. As you can imagine, however, the valve gets gummed up over time.

Your vehicle manufacturer usually recommends they be changed somewhere between twenty and fifty thousand miles. Unfortunately, PCV valve replacement is left out of some vehicle owner's manuals, but your friendly service advisor at Cambridge Auto, we will make sure your PVC is replaced if needed.

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



Let Cambridge Auto Help You Keep Your Vehicle Another Couple of Years

Posted September 5, 2016 1:23 AM

San Antonio area residents may remember when the U.S. government's “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.

But a lot of San Antonio drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They're dependable and they're paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles, as long as the repair bills don't get too expensive.

There are a lot of vehicles on Texas roads that have run past the 150,000 or 200,000 mile odometer. Is there something that their owners are doing that keeps these vehicles on the road? Or did they just win the “lemon lottery,” and luck out by getting a particularly good vehicle? Not surprisingly, most of these owners have something in common. They never skip an oil change. Can keeping a vehicle on the road for 200,000 miles really be that easy for San Antonio drivers?

Actually, it makes sense. Oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle. Clean oil ensures that the engine will run efficiently and staves off the build-up of sludge that can eventually damage engine parts. Oil changes remove dirty oil and replace dirty oil filters, keeping an engine clean and running smoothly, just like eating right keeps our hearts healthy by preventing build-up in our arteries.

But there's another reason why not skipping an oil change can result in a longer life for your car. When you bring your car in to Cambridge Auto for an oil change, all of the fluid levels are checked and topped off. If these fluids are depleted, dirty or low, they can damage the engine.

If a fluid is significantly low, it usually indicates a leak somewhere, leading to an inspection of relevant parts. This inspection and the replacement of the worn part can prevent repair bills and maintain the health of the engine.

At an oil change, your technician at Cambridge Auto will also do a quick check for worn belts or hoses, uneven tread wear, leaking shock absorbers and other signs of wear and tear. This advance notice allows the owner to replace parts before they break down and possibly damage your vehicle.

The oil change is also a good time to review any other service that the vehicle might need. Many car owners rely on their pros at Cambridge Auto for good auto advice on check-ups and follow-up car care that will keep older cars running well.

Parts wear out on older vehicles. There's no avoiding it. As the odometer chugs upward toward 200,000 miles, the vehicle will need several batteries, a couple of alternators and water pumps, a new set of shocks and possibly some brake rotors. But these items—all together—add up to far less than the cost of a new car.

Good car care and preventive maintenance are the hallmark of San Antonio drivers that have kept their vehicles on the road and running past the age when most of us have given up and headed back to a car lot. We can learn from their wisdom.

So treat your car right: Take good care of it and don't skip the check-ups at Cambridge Auto in San Antonio. 

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



What Is That? Check Engine Light Service at Cambridge Auto

Posted August 30, 2016 1:09 AM


Okay. You went to your local San Antonio car wash and while your vehicle was under the dryer, the check engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Something is seriously wrong with the vehicle! You head for the nearest San Antonio service center, but on the way, the check engine light stops flashing, and just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren't as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your vehicle in to get serviced. In the meantime, the check engine light goes off. What? You decide the light must be faulty, or that when it comes on it doesn't mean anything, or that it's just in your vehicle as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary repairs. You're glad you didn't take your car to the San Antonio repair shop and resolve to ignore that engine light in the future.

Whoa! Let's look at what really happened. Your vehicle was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report to the engine computer, where a warning was triggered: there shouldn't be that much airflow when the vehicle engine is idling. This is a serious problem that could cause permanent engine damage. Warning! The check engine light starts flashing, letting you know you need to take immediate action to prevent that damage.

You drive out from under the dryer, and the air intake sensor sends a new message to the computer. The computer realizes that everything is normal and tells the check engine light to stop flashing. The vehicle doesn't need immediate attention; but there was a problem, and it should be checked out by your Cambridge Auto service advisor. After a few days the computer senses that the problem is gone, so it turns off the warning light.

You may think this story illustrates the uselessness of a check engine light, but you should remember that a computer can't think for itself, it can only follow its programming. It doesn't know the difference between a car wash air dryer and a serious malfunction in your vehicle engine. That doesn't make it useless. It just means you have to be the smart one.

Being smart doesn't mean ignoring your vehicle check engine light. It lets you know when something is wrong, and you can prevent a lot of damage to your vehicle by paying proper attention to it.

Your engine computer is constantly collecting data about what is going on inside your vehicle engine. It knows what parameters are normal, and when a reading may indicate a problem. It uses the check engine light to let you know when something isn't right. It then stores a code in its memory that a technician can retrieve that indicates which reading was abnormal.

The technician uses this code as a starting place to find out what's wrong with your vehicle. It's like going to the doctor with a fever. The fever is the reading that is abnormal — your temperature is too high — but the doctor still has to figure out what's causing it. It's probably an infection, but what kind? Sinus infection? Appendicitis? Flu? The problems and their solutions are quite different. But a fever also tells a doctor what's NOT wrong with you. Fevers don't accompany stress headaches, ulcers or arthritis, so there's no sense in testing for those conditions.

The pros at Cambridge Auto respond to a trouble code in your vehicle's computer in the same way. The code doesn't say exactly what's wrong, but it does give the technician a good indication of where to start looking —and where he/she doesn't need to look.

Now, you wouldn't consider diagnosing yourself with a serious medical problem; good medical advice — unless you're a doctor. So you shouldn't consider trying to diagnose your vehicle's troubles by yourself; good auto advice — unless you're a trained mechanic.

There are cheap scanners available on the market and some San Antonio auto parts stores offer to read trouble codes from your vehicle engine computer for you, but these are really not good alternatives to taking your vehicle to a qualified service center such as Cambridge Auto in San Antonio. Your engine's computer has both short-term and long-term memory, and there are some codes that are specific to a particular make of vehicle. Cheap scanners can't read an engine computer's long-term memory nor can they interpret manufacturer - specific codes. That's why our manager at Cambridge Auto spends a lot of money on high-end diagnostic tools.

It's as if you had a choice between a doctor who had a tongue depressor and a thermometer and one who had all the latest medical diagnostic equipment on hand. Honestly, which would you choose?

Getting your codes read at your San Antonio area auto parts store isn't really a money-saver, either, unless you're a trained mechanic. You'll end up with a code that tells you a symptom. What usually happens next is that the San Antonio area parts store sells you something that directly relates to the symptom. It may or may not fix the problem. It's actually cheaper to just go to Cambridge Auto and get things fixed right the first time.

Remember, a fever can indicate a sinus infection or appendicitis. An antibiotic may be okay for that sinus infection, but it won't help your appendicitis. Is it really wise to wait around to see if the antibiotic helps when you might have appendicitis?

Part of good car care is knowing where you can get a problem fixed, and fixed right. Preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping you out of the repair shop, but eventually, we will all have a problem that needs fixing. Let's do it right the first time at Cambridge Auto.

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

 



Beware of Cheap Tires in San Antonio

Posted August 23, 2016 5:45 AM


Do you like to shop for shoes in San Antonio?
When buying a running shoe, is quality important?
Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?
Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pairs of lower quality shoes at the same price?

Is the warranty important when buying tires?

San Antonio drivers should also think about the safety aspect of tires. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction on Texas freeways and surface streets. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer on Texas highways, the tires need a high load rating.

Ask your friendly and knowledgeable San Antonio tire professional at Cambridge Auto. I think it's important that San Antonio residents understand the effect of price on a tire's quality, performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad would say, “Pay twice as much and buy half as many.”

The same principle applies to tires. The major tire brands that you're familiar with in San Antonio are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are high quality and well-engineered. Comparable vehicle Tier 1 tires are usually priced similarly.

Stepping down, you come to private label tires. Some large Texas tire store chains carry tires with their own brand. It's important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 companies that you are familiar with – so you are pretty safe in choosing them. To be sure, you can ask your Cambridge Auto tire professional which manufacturer makes their private brand.

The lowest priced tires on the market in San Antonio are Tier 3 tires which are usually imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can't expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.


What's the difference in the tires with high mileage warranties? It's the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you'll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.

Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that touch the road. You're only as safe as your tires are well built. Buy value – not price.

Give us a call.

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

 



Exhaust Service at Cambridge Auto: Passing the Smell Test

Posted August 16, 2016 1:22 AM


The exhaust system on a vehicle is more complex than most San Antonio residents realize. It contains everything from old-fashioned pipes and clamps to sophisticated computers and sensors. All Texas folks know a properly functioning exhaust system is good for the environment, but sometimes we forget that a damaged exhaust system can be deadly. That's why preventive maintenance on your exhaust system is so . We can help you with that at Cambridge Auto in San Antonio.

The exhaust manifold is the first component in your exhaust system. The manifold is attached to the engine. It collects the gases that are produced by the engine and directs them into the exhaust pipes. At this point, these gases are both hot and chemically dangerous.

One of the gases produced in your engine is carbon monoxide. This gas is colorless and odorless. Breathing it can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and drowsiness. Continue breathing it, and you will die.

To keep this gas, and others, from entering your vehicle passenger compartment, the connections from the manifold to the engine and from the manifold to the exhaust pipes are sealed with gaskets. These connections should be routinely inspected at Cambridge Auto for cracks and to check if they have come loose.

The exhaust pipes can also get damaged, allowing dangerous gases to leak into your passenger compartment. These pipes can rust or be dented or broken by rocks and other roadway debris, so they need to be inspected regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next component in your vehicle exhaust system. You can breathe a sigh of relief now, because this is where the dangerous engine gases are converted into carbon dioxide and water, greatly reducing the amount of harmful emissions in your exhaust. You'll also be happy to know that your catalytic converter doesn't require maintenance. However, it will wear out. If you fail an emissions inspection because of a faulty catalytic converter, you need to replace it.

The muffler's job is far less critical, but far more noticeable, than the catalytic converter's. It dampens or absorbs the noise from the engine. Most San Antonio residents don't realize that we can actually customize the noise our car makes with a custom muffler. You can upgrade to a muffler that will make your car sleuth-quiet, or you can advertise your presence in San Antonio with a sassy rumble.

Mufflers can also rust or be damaged by road debris. But just because their main function is to dampen out engine noise doesn't mean they can be ignored. If your muffler is leaking, you need to get it replaced quickly. Exhaust fumes need to exit through your tailpipe, not your muffler.

The exhaust pipe contains at least one oxygen sensor. The sensor monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust, which allows it to adjust the fuel-to-air ratio in the engine. This keeps your vehicle engine running smoothly and maintains good gas mileage. So, besides keeping you and the environment healthy, a well-maintained exhaust system also keeps your vehicle healthy. The tailpipe itself can rust or get damaged by road debris, so it needs a quick inspection once in a while, too.

The whole exhaust system is mounted on the vehicle with clamps and hangers. These clamps and hangers can come loose, rust or get dinged up by road debris. Remember that the gases in your exhaust system are hot, so the exhaust system itself gets hot. The clamps and hangers keep the exhaust system attached to the vehicle, but they also prevent the heated components from touching things they shouldn't. If you don't inspect and replace broken, loose or damaged clamps, you may end up with melted wires, hoses or lines. And that can spell some expensive repairs.

You should schedule an exhaust system inspection as recommended in your vehicle owner's manual. Because this system is critical to your health and the health of your car, and because of its sophistication and complexity, you need to have the work done at a qualified service center such as Cambridge Auto in San Antonio.

Maintaining your emissions and exhaust system is not just good auto advice: it's good health advice for all San Antonio residents and their families.

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



New School: Automotive Cambridge Auto Technician Training

Posted August 7, 2016 8:10 AM

San Antonio consumers are demanding. We want a safe, reliable vehicle that handles well and is comfortable to ride in. Oh, and we want good fuel economy, too. We also want car repairs that are cheap, fast and easy. Unfortunately, one usually comes at the cost of the other.

Today's vehicles have made significant improvements in reliability and performance over the last few decades. They also deliver more power to San Antonio drivers more efficiently than ever before. For example, some of today's 4 cylinder engines are equal to yesterday's V-8's. Our vehicles also offer an amazing range of features that make them more comfortable and convenient than ever before.

But all of that improvement has come at a price for San Antonio vehicle owners. Our vehicles are more complicated and difficult to repair than ever before. They have numerous mechanical and electrical systems. Fuel systems are so complex they have to be run by a computer. Our vehicles are covered with sensors and high-tech electronic equipment. Our dashboards rival the control panel of the first manned space flight.

With all that complicated equipment, it's no wonder we call mechanics service technicians these days. You can't learn to repair cars in the backyard with your dad anymore. Today's Cambridge Auto technicians have to go to school. School may come in the form of classroom instruction, on-line courses or both. Technicians are also trained on-site at the San Antonio service centers where they work (including Cambridge Auto) to keep them abreast of constant improvements in vehicle engineering, diagnostic equipment and repair techniques.

Today's technicians need to be certified to work on our vehicles. They can earn a variety of certifications in Texas, but the highest of these is Master Technician. It's like a graduate degree in auto repair.

Vehicle repair at Cambridge Auto in San Antonio requires more than just training and certification, though. It also takes information and creative thought. San Antonio area auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and on-line repair communities in order to get the information they need to work on various makes and models of vehicles, to get recommended maintenance schedules, to learn about non-standard features, and even to locate hard-to-find parts in an unusual engine. They also use this information to help diagnose rare or difficult vehicle problems. Many auto repair problems also require a bit of creative thinking for the team at Cambridge Auto to solve. San Antonio service technicians at Cambridge Auto act much like doctors in these situations. They're given a set of symptoms, and they have to come up with a diagnosis and treatment that will fix the problem. This process becomes as much of an art as it is a science.

A proper diagnosis, even by a highly qualified technician, can take time. And a technician's time is going to cost us. It's just the price of progress.

Of course, the best car care for San Antonio vehicle owners is planned preventive auto maintenance. This is also the least way to keep your vehicle in good repair. Regular inspections and replacement of worn parts will prevent most repairs from ever being needed in the first place.

And with the amazing complexity of today's automobiles, isn't it good to know there's someone out there with the knowledge, training and skill to give us good auto advice? Whether we need preventive maintenance or repairs, the team of automotive professionals at Cambridge Auto can help us keep our vehicles on the road. We just can't do it on our own anymore.

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



Tracking True in San Antonio: Wheel Alignment

Posted August 2, 2016 11:56 AM


At Cambridge Auto, we occasionally see severe tire damage that could have been prevented with proper wheel alignment. During a Cambridge Auto alignment service, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are inspected for problems. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the vehicle factory settings. Adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels moving in precisely the same direction.

If you don't remember hitting a pothole, how do you know if your wheels are out? The most obvious sign is that your car pulls to one side. Also, your steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you're in the habit of checking your tire wear regularly, you may notice the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down. You should have your San Antonio auto service center look it over. Of course, if you've been in an accident, you should get your alignment checked.

It's not surprising that a forceful impact can seriously knock tires out, but remember that a series of smaller ones can add up. That's why your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic alignment checks. If your vehicle owner's manual doesn't advise a specific interval, once a year might be appropriate. Check with your Cambridge Auto service advisor. As with most other preventive maintenance services, the cost of the alignment is a heck of a lot cheaper than having to purchase new tires earlier than expected.


Give us a call.

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



Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Wheel Bearings

Posted July 26, 2016 7:49 AM




Why are wheel bearings for San Antonio vehicles important? It's simple: your wheel bearings keep the wheels on your vehicle. In today's Cambridge Auto post, we'll discuss more about wheel bearings and how you can make sure they can do their very job while you drive around San Antonio, Texas.

Wheel bearings are pretty simple parts. They're made of high quality steel and are engineered to last 100,000 miles or more if properly cared for. The bearings do two jobs: First, they allow the wheel to freely rotate with as little friction as possible. Second, they support the weight of the vehicle. For example, if your car weighs 3,600 pounds, each wheel has to support approximately 900 pounds. That's a lot of heavy lifting over many, many thousands of miles.

Even though wheel bearings are pretty straightforward, they need to be in near perfect condition to do their job for San Antonio vehicles. The bearings are packed with heavy grease to lubricate and protect them. A seal keeps the grease in and water and dirt out. It's when the seal starts to leak that problems begin. The grease can become contaminated; causing the wheel bearings to overheat and ultimately fail.

The first sign that your wheel bearings are in trouble is an unusual noise coming from a wheel. It could be a chirping, growling, rumbling or a cyclic sound. The noise could get louder or even disappear at certain speeds. Your technician at Cambridge Auto can inspect for bearing wear by lifting the vehicle and checking for play in the wheel.

Now some wheel bearing assemblies are factory sealed. That means that they cannot be serviced – they can only be replaced. Those that aren't sealed can be serviced on schedule at Cambridge Auto. The bearings are removed, cleaned and inspected. If the bearings are still good, they're re-installed – if not, they're replaced. They are then packed in grease and a new seal is installed.

If your vehicle has a factory sealed wheel bearing assembly, the entire assembly needs to be replaced when trouble arises. Unfortunately, the parts are pretty – but they usually last about 150,000 miles as long as the seals hold up.

Now, even a good seal cannot keep out water that's exerting pressure on the seal. So if you've driven through hub deep water your bearings should be cleaned and repacked if they're serviceable. If you have factory sealed bearings, you just need to watch for signs of premature failure. If your wheel bearings can be serviced, your 's owner's manual will recommend an interval, usually around 30,000 miles.

If you have any sort of trailer, don't forget its wheel bearings. They probably need to be serviced even more frequently. This is especially true for boat trailers that are used to launch the boat by backing it into the water. These should be serviced every year, usually at the end of the season so that the bearings don't have the opportunity to rust all winter.

So what happens to San Antonio vehicles if wheel bearings fail? Well, the wheel can literally fall off the vehicle. I don't need to tell you how that could be. So check with your service advisor at Cambridge Auto and see if your vehicle's wheel bearings can be serviced and when it's recommended. Listen for warning signs. If you've been fording streams or puddle surfing after rainstorms, be especially vigilant.

Visit the automotive professionals at Cambridge Auto for a wheel bearing inspection. 

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



Know Your Towing Limits in San Antonio

Posted July 19, 2016 9:31 AM


Some San Antonio drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle. Nope. If you're going to do any towing around San Antonio, you should be aware of safety issues, Texas towing laws, and potential liability.

Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. They calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. San Antonio drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own.

Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds, but if you have a 2,000-pound hitch limit, you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds. If you tow a 10,000-pound trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would be liable for any resulting damages.

Another example, one popular pick-up truck has a tow rating of 10,300 pounds. But in the owner's manual, it specifies that a sway control device be used for trailers weighing over 2,000 pounds and that a weight-distributing hitch is required for trailers over 5,000 pounds. If the vehicle owner tows a 6,000-pound trailer without a weight-distributing hitch and ends up in an accident, the owner will be held liable for not complying with the towing requirements in Texas.

San Antonio auto owners also need to keep in mind that tow weights include the weight of passengers and cargo inside the tow vehicle. So if your tow rating is 7,000 pounds, and you're carrying 700 pounds of passengers and cargo, you can only tow a trailer weighing up to 6,300 pounds.

Two numbers that San Antonio drivers should be aware of are the GVWR and the GCWR. These codes are usually imprinted on the inside of the driver's side door. GVWR stands for gross vehicle weight rating. Take GVWR and subtract the total weight of the vehicle, and you have the maximum weight the vehicle can safely carry in passengers and cargo. GCWR stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating. Take that number, subtract the weight of the tow vehicle and the trailer, and you have the maximum weight of passengers and cargo that the tow vehicle and trailer together can safely carry.

This may seem a bit complicated, but you ignore these ratings at your own peril. If you haul or tow loads over the maximum ratings around Texas, you become liable in event of an accident.

Local San Antonio laws require that safety chains be attached when towing a trailer. Some Texas jurisdictions may require trailer brakes as well. Others mandate trailer brakes only in certain situations. If you are going to tow a trailer, you should find out the local San Antonio laws regarding trailer brakes, hitches, as well as weight and length restrictions.

To tow safely, Texas drivers also need the proper tires on the tow vehicle. Tires need to be in good condition, with adequate tread, and they need to have a load rating high enough to handle the weight of the trailer. Your trained Cambridge Auto tire professional can help you select the right tire to use when towing around San Antonio.

Your 's owner's manual is your primary source for auto advice regarding towing since it is specific to your vehicle. Be sure to read it carefully before doing any towing. And as always, keep your preventive maintenance up-to-date and practice good car care to ensure the safety of your vehicle on the road—especially when pulling a trailer.

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



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