Monday, December 30, 2013

Understanding Your Cars Fuel System

The fuel system feed your engine the gasoline/diesel it needs to run. If anyone of the parts in the system break down your engine will not run. Let's look at the major parts of the fuel system:
Fuel tank: Basically a holding tank for your fuel. When you fill up at a gas station the gas travels down the filler tube and into the tank. In the tank there is a sending unit, which tells the gas gauge how much gas is in the tank.

Fuel pump: On newer cars the fuel pump is usually installed in the fuel tank. Older cars have the fuel pump attached to the engine or on the frame rail between the tank and the engine. If the pump is in the tank or on the frame rail then it is electric and is run by your cars battery. Fuel pumps mounted to the engine use the motion of the engine to pump the fuel.

Fuel filter: Clean fuel is critical to engine life and performance. Fuel injectors have tiny openings, which clog easily so filtering the fuel is the only way to prevent this. Filters can be before or after the fuel pump, sometimes both.

Fuel injectors: Most domestic cars after 1986 and earlier foreign cars came from the factory with fuel injection. Instead of a carburetor to mix the fuel and air, a computer controls when the fuel injectors open to let fuel into the engine. This has resulted in lower emissions and better fuel economy. The fuel injector is basically a tiny electric valve, which opens and closes with an electric signal. In the picture below you can see the injectors towards the outer part of the intake. By injecting the fuel close to the cylinder head the fuel stays atomized ( in tiny particles ) so it will burn better when ignited by the spark plug.

Carburetors: A carburetor takes the fuel and mixes it with air without computer intervention. While simple in operation, they tend to need frequent tuning and rebuilding. This is why most newer cars have done away with carburetors in favor of fuel injection.

Common Problems:  
The most common problem is a clogged fuel filter. Make sure you follow your manufacturers recommendations as to when you should change the fuel filter. This information should be in your owner's manual. Symptoms include sputtering at high speeds or engine not starting at all. Always check the ignition system first, if that's OK then the next suspect is the fuel filter.

Next most common problem is the fuel pump failing. Most modern electric fuel pumps can be heard when you turn the key on. If you don't hear the pump running and your car will not start, it could be your fuel pump. The first thing a mechanic will check is the relay, which sends power to the pump. If this is operating correctly then the pump will have to be replaced.

Last but not least are dirty injectors. While the fuel filter does a good job of filtering the fuel, it's not perfect. Over time deposits and tiny particles lodge themselves in the injectors. This can clog the injector and prevent it from delivering the fuel the engine needs. It can also cause an injector to stick open and send too much fuel into the engine. A regular addition of high quality fuel system cleaner can help keep your injectors clean. Most automotive parts stores will have a good cleaner available. Add it to your empty tank right before you fill up and it will clean as you drive. We recommend doing this every 3 months to keep your injectors performing like new. We also offer a cleaning service where we actually disconnect the fuel line and flush cleaner through the engine. This is only necessary when you let your injectors get to a point where they can not be cleaned by a store-bought product. Regular use of a good in-tank cleaner will keep you from having to pay for this service.

Where do you buy your gas?
Believe it, or not, it can make a difference. Always buy from a well know national brand service station. Gas stations, which are not affiliated with one brand of gas, tend to get whatever is left at the end of the day from the delivery truck. One day they might get Texaco, and Exxon another. Also water mixed with gas will cause problems with your engine. The engine will not run right, plus the water will promote rust in the fuel system. 

You can count on  A & A Complete Auto Repair Houston for all your Diesel & Gasoline car or truck Repair in the Houston metro Area Pasadena Pearland Conroe Deer Park Friendswood Galveston Lake Jackson La Porte League City Missouri City Sugar Land Texas City The Woodlands Angleton Bellaire Clute Dickinson Freeport Galena Park Humble Jacinto City Katy La Marque Richmond Rosenberg South Houston Stafford Alief West University Place. Call us today at 281-564-7782 or visit our shop at 12160 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77099 . Your Satisfaction is Our Ultimate Goal.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Car Heater is not providing much heat / not working. What's wrong?

It could be any of a number of problems. A heater that's working properly should blow air that's about 75 to 100 degrees F. hotter than the outside air. If it doesn't, any of the following might be at fault: 

  • A low coolant level (often due to a leak or weak radiator cap), but may also be the result of not getting the cooling system completely filled. If you've just recently changed the antifreeze, check the coolant level in the radiator to see if the radiator is full. An air pocket in the heater core or a heater hose may be interfering with the flow of coolant through the heater core. 
    One way to tell if the coolant is circulating through the heater core is to feel both heater hoses. Both the inlet and outlet return hoses should feel hot when the engine is at normal operating temperature and the heater is on. 
    Refilling some cooling systems can be tricky. Some front-wheel drive and rear-engine applications require special filling procedures to eliminate the air pockets that become trapped in the heater hoses and heater core. To help vent the trapped air, some vehicles have a "bleeder" valve (or more than one valve) on the thermostat housing and/or certain hose connections. Opening the valve(s) allows air to escape as the system is filled. The valve(s) should then be closed when coolant starts to dribble out the valve. On vehicles that lack these special bleeder valves, it may be necessary to temporarily loosen the heater outlet hose so air can bleed out as the system is filled. 

  • An open thermostat or one that's too cold for the application (most vehicles today require a 190 to 195 degree F. thermostat). One way to tell if the thermostat is stuck open is to start a cold engine and feel the upper radiator hose. You should feel no coolant moving inside the hose until the engine starts to get warm. After several minutes, you should feel a sudden surge of hot coolant when the thermostat opens.   

  • A defective heater control valve. On most vehicles built since 1970, vacuum operated heater control valves are normally open unless vacuum is applied. This allows coolant to circulate through the heater core even when the heater isn't being used. To test the control valve, apply vacuum with a hand pump. If the valve fails to close, replace it. 

  •  A plugged heater core. Accumulated crud in the cooling system may plug the core and block the flow of coolant. The only cure here is to replace the heater core. To prevent the problem from reoccurring, the cooling system should be flushed and refilled with a fresh 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. Distilled water is best since it contains no minerals). 

  • An inoperative airflow control or inlet door in the heater ducting or plenum. If the defrosters aren't working either, you've found the problem. Sometimes all that's needed to fix the problem is to reattach or repair a loose cable or vacuum hose. On vacuum-actuated systems, however, the vacuum motor or control switch may be defective and require replacement. 

  • A defective blower motor. If the blower motor doesn't work (no sound/no air), the motor may be defective. Or, there may be an electrical problem such as a blown fuse, defective power relay, heater switch or resistor, or loose wire. A blown fuse is a symptom not a cause. A fuse blows when a circuit overloads to protect the wiring and other components against damage. If the fuse is blown, therefore, find out why it blew before replacing it. Always use a replacement fuse with the same amp rating as the original. If a new fuse blows as soon as the blower is turned on, there's an electrical short in the heater circuit or motor that should be investigated. If the fuse lasts a while and then blows, the fan motor is probably running hot due to worn brushes and/or bushings and should be replaced.
    The motor itself can be checked by using a pair of jumper wires. Connect one wire to ground and the other to a source of battery voltage. If the motor fails to spin, it should be replaced.
  • A pinched or kinked heater hose. In rare instances, you might even find mis-routed hoses if somebody worked on the cooling system recently. 

  • A weak water pump (one with badly eroded impeller blades), or one that doesn't turn fast enough because of a slipping drive belt. 

  • An electric cooling fan that remains on all the time, or a clutch fan that's locked up and overcools the radiator 

  • You can count on  A & A Complete Auto Repair Houston for all your Diesel & Gasoline car or truck Repair in the Houston metro Area Pasadena Pearland Conroe Deer Park Friendswood Galveston Lake Jackson La Porte League City Missouri City Sugar Land Texas City The Woodlands Angleton Bellaire Clute Dickinson Freeport Galena Park Humble Jacinto City Katy La Marque Richmond Rosenberg South Houston Stafford Alief West University Place. Call us today at 281-564-7782 or visit our shop at 12160 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77099 . Your Satisfaction is Our Ultimate Goal.
    (original article link:

    Monday, November 4, 2013

    The Importance of car maintenance

    Your One Stop Shop For All Your Car Needs

    There are several car maintenance measures that you have to do to keep your car at its best. It is important to bring your car to A & A Complete Auto Repair Houston Shop / Service Center and have it checked on a regular basis.

    Have your engine checked regularly. Remember that the engine is the heart of your car; with a busted engine, your car is useless. Having your engine checked regularly will ensure that it is working properly and it is up to speed. Also, it is important to check your car transmission, otherwise you might be stuck in one of the main highways of  Houston under the heat of the sun.

    Checking the brakes should also be part of your basic car maintenance. It is highly suggested that you seek the assistance of a good Auto Mechanic to have your brakes checked. Remember that maintenance of your brakes is important for safety reasons. Low brake fluid levels can cause soft brake pedals.

    At the same time, dirty brake pads can cause the brakes to squeak. Having your brakes checked regularly by an Auto Mechanic can prevent these from happening and ultimately reduce the risks of accidents caused by brake malfunction.

    In Houston, auto AC is as important as air conditioning in your home. A functioning auto AC provides daily comfort from the heat outside. If your auto AC emits undesirable cooling then it is time to bring your car to 
    A & A Complete Auto Repair Houston and have it checked. AC repair can range from a simple cleaning of a dirty condenser to a mechanical procedure.

    It is important that you take care of any minor concerns as soon as you recognize them to avoid any serious problems and an expensive car repair procedure in the future.

    For a complete list of Services A & A Complete Auto Repair Houston located at 12160 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77099. 281-564-8872 , please visit

    Friday, October 25, 2013

    Engine Knock? Low Oil Pressure?

    Regular oil changes and maintaining the proper oil level will prolong the life of your engine. If you experience any of issues discussed in this article, bring your vehicle to A & A Complete Auto Repair Houston to have it properly diagnosed. For more information about the services we offer, please visit our website 
    Oil pressure light flickering? Engine knock? Both? Major repair problem or minor annoyance? Either way, you should always quickly investigate the source before it becomes an even bigger problem.
    Oil pressure - or more precisely the lack of it - in certain parts of your car's engine can become a major repair nightmare.
    All engines lose a certain amount of oil pressure over time as normal wear increases bearing clearances. But unusually low oil pressure in an engine, regardless of mileage, is often an indication that something is seriously wrong and requires immediate repairs.
    That "tappet" noise may be only one sticking lifter but it may also indicate an oil flow problem that will eventually cause damage to at least one valve.
    A flickering oil light is more difficult to troubleshoot if your engine is not obviously in need of major repair work.
    Modern engines with hydraulic lifters, tight tolerance bearings and miniature oil filters require conscientious monitoring of oil pressure.

    Diagnostic Tips

    A good place to start your diagnosis of a low pressure condition is at the dipstick. Check the oil to see that it's at the proper level (not low nor overfilled). If low, the engine may be burning or leaking oil. Adding oil may temporarily remedy the low pressure condition, but unless the level is properly maintained, the problem may recur.
    If the engine is leaking oil, try new gaskets or seals to fix the leak. If the engine is burning oil, the valve guides and seals are most likely worn, but the rings and cylinders might be bad, too. A wet compression test and/or leak down test will tell you if it's the valve guides or rings and cylinders that are worn.
    The least expensive fix in the case of worn guides is to install new valve guide seals (if possible) without pulling the head.
    The best fix is to pull the heads and have the guides lined, knurled, replaced or reamed for over sized valve stems. Worn rings and cylinders would call for a complete overhaul.
    Also note the condition of the oil and make sure it's the correct viscosity for your car and climate.
    Heavier viscosities, such as 20W-50, straight 30W or 40W, may help maintain good pressure in hot weather but are too thick for cold weather driving and may cause start-up lubrication problems - especially in overhead cam engines.
    Light viscosities, on the other hand, such as straight 10W or 5W-20, may improve cold weather starting and lubrication but may be too thin in hot weather driving to maintain good pressure.
    That's why most car and OE parts manufacturers recommend 5W-30 in modern engines for year-round driving.
    If the level is okay, the next thing to check would probably be the pressure sending unit. Disconnect the unit and check the warning lamp or gauge reading.
    If the warning light remains on with the sending unit disconnected, there's probably a short to ground in the warning lamp circuit. Likewise, if there's no change in a gauge reading, the problem is in the instrumentation, not the engine.
    Bad sending units are quite common, so many mechanics replace the unit without checking anything else to see if that cures the problem. This approach might save time, but it's risky because unless you measure pressure directly with a gauge attached to the engine, you have no way of knowing if pressure is within specifications or not.
    Most warning lamps won't come on until pressure is dangerously low (less than four or five pounds). So don't assume the absence of a warning lamp means pressure is okay, especially if the engine is making any valve or bearing noise.
    If a check of pressure reveals unusually low readings, check the filter. It's possible the filter might be plugged with gunk. Replace the filter and see if that makes a difference.
    The next step is to drop the oil pan and check the oil pump pickup screen. If the screen is clogged with debris, you've found the problem. Also, check to see that the pickup tube is properly mounted and positioned, is firmly attached to the pump (no leaks) and is not obstructed.
    If the pump is mounted inside the crankcase, the next step might be to remove and inspect the pump. Open the pump cover and measure clearances. Also, check for scoring or other damage. A broken pump drive would tell you something entered and jammed the pump. If the pump is worn or damaged, replacement is your only option.
    If the pump appears to be okay, the next step is to measure the rod and main bearing clearances. Check the clearances on the main bearing closest to the pump (this has the greatest effect on pressure) and clearances on the furthest rod bearing (this will show the greatest wear).
    If the bearings are worn, they need to be replaced. But before you do so, carefully inspect and measure the crankshaft journals to check for wear, scoring, out-of-round and taper. If the journals need attention, the crank will also have to be reground or replaced.
    Other diagnostic checks might include camshaft end play and/or pulling a valve cover or the intake manifold to check the cam bearings and lifters.
    Remember, excessive clearances or leaks anywhere in the engine's oil supply system can contribute to low pressure.
    Once you've identified and repaired discovered problems, your final check is to start the engine and make sure pressure is within your car's specifications. Use a mechanical pressure gauge and don't rely on the dash gauge or the warning light to verify that the repairs you've made have eliminated your problem.

    One Final Warning

    If you insist on driving blind and deaf to the obvious warnings coming from under your car's hood, the next sound you hear may be a rapping or knock noise from the rod bearings - which will eventually be followed by dead silence as your engine seizes and your car coasts to a dead stop.
    You can count on  A & A Complete Auto Repair Houston for all your Diesel & Gasoline car or truck Repair in the Houston metro Area Pasadena Pearland Conroe Deer Park Friendswood Galveston Lake Jackson La Porte League City Missouri City Sugar Land Texas City The Woodlands Angleton Bellaire Clute Dickinson Freeport Galena Park Humble Jacinto City Katy La Marque Richmond Rosenberg South Houston Stafford Alief  West University Place. Call us today at 281-564-7782 or visit our shop at 12160 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77099 . Your Satisfaction is Our Ultimate Goal.  The original source of this article is: