Archive for the ‘Service Department’ Category
Cold Weather Causes Harsh Road Conditions in Austin, TX
Austin has played host to Old Man Winter this season. Driving safely is the goal! Hazards on the road increase as temperatures drop and most folks are not properly prepared for the harsh road conditions. Black ice formation on roadways can be especially hazardous as it is nearly impossible to detect. Bridges and overpasses are especially dangerous as freezing temperatures create icy conditions which, when coupled with high speeds, can be fatal. Make an effort to travel safely and take it slow. Here are some tips to help you and your family stay safe this winter.
Check Local Forecast Daily
On Twitter or Facebook this morning? Take a moment to look up information about the local forecast. Identify problem areas experiencing heavy ice formation. Check the conditions before you leave the house and try to stay updated throughout the day. If it seems unsafe to drive, wait until conditions improve before hitting the road. Your boss will understand!
Service Your Vehicle Beforehand
Maintaining your vehicle in anticipation of cold weather is another great way to prepare for road safety. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and your antifreeze level is adequate. Also, make sure your windshield wipers work properly and keep of kit in your trunk with the necessary The Howdy Honda Express Service Department can help!
Stay Alert and Aware of Other Drivers
Safe driving in harsh weather means slowing down. Increase the distance between your car and others on the road while actively giving larger trucks and trailers more room to stop if needed. Experience levels vary and some people may not be accustomed to ice, sleet, and rain.
Anticipate Changing Conditions
As the temperature drops, new issues can arise. Remain especially aware of your environment and shifts in the weather. If the changes become too difficult to drive in, find a safe place to pull over or exit the highway. Parking lots are much safer than pulling off on the side of the road where other drivers may not be able to see your vehicle.
Again, one of the best ways to avoid accidents during inclement weather is to stay home or stay put until conditions improve. Nothing is more important than your safety and the safety of others. Unless the need to travel is completely necessary, stay in one place until the temperature increases and the road is easier to navigate.
Most people don’t realize that washing cars at home pollutes the environments by carrying contaminants (detergents, mud, rubber, grease, etc.) into the drainage. Since street drains are intended for rainwater, this water goes untreated and ends up in our lakes, rivers, streams and oceans. We also can’t forget to mention how much water is wasted by washing cars at home. Fortunately, there many things you can do to minimize your environmental impact.
1. Professional Car Wash
Typically, professional car washes use significantly less water to wash your car. A 5/8″ hose running at 50 pounds per square inch uses 10 gallons of water per minute compared to an average 3 gallons of water used per minute at a professional car wash. Not only that, waste water from a professional car wash has to, by law, be drained to a water treatment facility.
2. Waterless Cleanser
While it sounds odd, waterless cleaners can work surprisingly well. When this product is sprayed onto the car, it collects dust and dirt particles with electrostatic. All you need to do is wipe the car down with a cloth to remove all the dirt.
3. DIY Cleaners
When the waterless cleaner doesn’t remove all stains, you can apply a few natural DIY tricks that will clear common stains. For example, you can rub peanut butter on tree sap or tar to clear up the stain before applying the cleanser. For sub-baked bugs stuck on your car, you can try rubbing the bug with a vinegar-soaked cloth. However, make sure to rinse and wax the area because vinegar can damage the vehicle’s finish.
4. Use less water
Although washing the car with a hose uses a lot of water, there are still ways to limit your water usage without special products.
– Use a bucket of water instead of continuously flowing the hose.
– Park over a porous surface to limit the amount of waste water that flows down the drain.
– Dispose the waste water that’s in the bucket down an interior drain like a bathtub or toilet.
Cleaning vehicles by steaming them is a relatively new method. It saves a significant amount of water and doesn’t require the use of cleansers so it avoids chemical usage.
Both car washes we built at Howdy were designed to use as little water as possible while recycling the water it does use. Right after your repair or express service (oil change, tire rotation, vehicle inspection, etc.) is done, we run your Honda through our car wash to get it nice and clean before you leave.
Brake Squeal and Wear Indicator
On Honda cars, all four brakes have audible brake wear indicators. So when your brake pads need replacing, you will hear a distinctive metallic “screeching” sound when you apply the brakes. If you do not have the brake pads replaced, they will begin screeching all the time. Do note that your brakes may sometimes squeak or squeal when you apply them lightly; don’t confuse this with the brake wear indicators. The brakes will make a very audible “screeching” noise.
Low Brake Fluid & Flushing the Brake Fluid
If your brake fluid is low, it may be leaking or brakes could be worn.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs moisture. When that moisture finds its way into the braking system, it can corrode metal and seals. Flushing the system with new fluid removes the condensation before extensive damage occurs.
When you’re flushing the system, always use Honda Heavy Brake Fluid DOT 3. If this specific fluid is unavailable, only use DOT 3 or DOT 4 from a sealed container. However, only use these as a temporary solution. The use of any non-Honda brake fluid can cause corrosion and may decrease the life of your brakes.
Honda Genuine Brake Pads
Honda Genuine Brake Rotors function the best with Honda Genuine Brake Pads. Particularly since Honda brake pads are tested extensively on Honda vehicles in the most extreme situations and environments.
Now, it’s not only for this reason that Genuine Honda Brake Pads effectively help prevent premature disc wear and minimize noise. They’re also precisely engineered with state-of-the-art materials that produce superior performance, proper wear, long life, and are specifically designed to dampen noise and reduce vibrations.
Honda Genuine Brake Rotors
Brake rotors are vital to dissipating the heat that comes from the pads every time you use the brakes. Genuine Honda Brake Rotors are built to take that heat time for lasting performance and reliability. They’re made with the optimum mix of materials and compounds to safely withstand long periods of wear and to help prevent overheating and warping.
If your brakes show any of these signs, please contact our Honda Service Center in Austin by calling 512-443-4300.
When you think about it, tires really haven’t changed all that drastically through the years. But some design students at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design are looking to change that. A class project has resulted in some serious possibilities for the future of car tires. The designs are so impressive that sponsor Hankook is keeping them under wraps until patents come through and it can show them off at 2012 SEMA in October.
“The students were asked to – and all did – change almost every aspect of the tire as well as propose concepts that more closely integrated the tire and rim,” said Professor Raphael Zammit.
To show just how innovative the new designs were, consider the winner. The entry, Tiltred, by Ben Zavala, uses three tires and rims where a single wheel would normally be. While we don’t know too many details, it is said to allow for greater road contact. With three tires instead of one, we can believe that is the case.
The second-place entry features a mechanized tire that would change for specific road conditions. The third-place entry is a replaceable tread that can be put on a tire. This would allow for the tread to be changed without disposing of a whole tire.
While there’s no way of knowing if these designs will reach production cars, they sure will be intriguing to see when 2012 SEMA rolls around.
Ensuring your tires are road-worthy is an obvious safety concerns, but your tire health can also have an effect on fuel mileage and how your car drives overall. Following are some pointers about tire wear and how to know when it is time to kiss your rubber biscuits goodbye and invest in a new set.
Replace your tires if any of the following occur:
1. They fail the penny test. A good test for tire wear is sticking a penny into the tread. If you can see President Lincoln’s entire head, then it is time to get a new set.
2. Metal is exposed. If you can actually see the metal wires in your car’s tires, it is time to change them immediately.
3. Your car pulls to one side or the other. While this is likely an alignment issue, the tires have been wearing unevenly while this has been going on. Have your tires checked as well as getting your car aligned properly.
4. The tires are 10+ years old. If tires have actually been on a vehicle this long, it is difficult to trust them anymore, as they can damage much more easily.
5. The season of your tires doesn’t match the outside. If it’s winter and you have summer tires on, you are going to want to make a change. If you don’t, you could find yourself out of control when the first storm hits. All-season tires are a good bet, as they are rated for all four seasons, as long as they aren’t worn out.
To keep yourself safe and improve longevity, make sure to check the tire’s air pressure. Underinflated tires are the leading cause of wear on tires. If you keep them at proper inflation, not only will they last longer, but your car will drive its best as well. Remembering that having your tires rotated will also increase their life, as front tires wear more quickly than rear. Keep these tips in mind – and remember – we carry tires at Howdy Honda, so you can purchase and install them in just one stop.
While many people do a good job changing their own oil or tires, there are important vehicle components, such as the timing belt, that need to be left to the professionals.
The timing belt is what allows the crankshaft to drive the camshaft, which opens and closes the valves, and without it, the engine can’t run.
For this reason, changing the belt when recommended is crucial to your Honda’s maintenance. For Hondas manufactured after 1997, this is every 105k miles (not 60k miles like many other cars). DO NOT try to squeeze the life out of the timing belt because it will eventually break and potentially damage your entire engine; meaning hundreds of dollars worth of auto repairs and possibly an entire new engine.
Your safe bet is to replace the belt every 105k miles. However, if you hear slapping sounds coming from the engine, bring the car in because the timing belt might be loose. You can also visually inspect the belt from time to time; you should look for cracks, shredding, excessive slack, or oil leaks from adjacent seals.
Rest assured that the small price you will pay to have the belt replaced could ultimately save your engine and save you a lot of money. Check your mileage and if your Honda is near the 105k, 210k, etc. -mile mark, bring it to the best Honda Service Center in Austin to get your timing belt replaced.
Introducing Howdy Honda’s AutoPilot airport shuttle. This program was especially designed for Honda owners in Austin TX who have a busy travel schedule. Now you can leave your Honda getting serviced* at our Honda Service Center and we’ll take you to and from the Austin-Bergstrom Airport. Take a look at how the program works:
When you live in a town as great as the city of Austin, the best part of any trip is coming home again – and with Howdy Honda’s Auto Pilot service, you’ll find we’ve made homecoming even better.
At Howdy Honda, we’ve created our Auto Pilot service for busy travelers just like you. The combination of our world-class service and a free ride to and from the airport’s front door is the perfect complement to a great trip.
Next time you’re scheduled to fly, give us a call and talk to one of our friendly service advisors to schedule your service appointment.
On your way to the airport, stop at our Honda Service Center on Highway 71 east of I-35 and head straight to the service drive to check in your car.
One of our friendly employees will drive you the airport in our comfortable Auto Pilot shuttle and you’ll be on your way.
As you travel, our certified technicians will be providing the service your car needs and getting it ready for your safe return.
When you get back to Austin, our Auto Pilot shuttle will be waiting to pick you up at the airport. We’ll have you reunited with your vehicle and on your way home in no time.
So the next time you fly out of Austin, put your trip on Auto Pilot with Howdy Honda. You’ll see what we mean when we say we’re Austin friendly and Texas proud.