Tag Archives: auto repair tyler tx

Tools 101: Essential Tools for Basic DIY Auto Repair

Auto Repair Tyler TXNothing beats having a professional mechanic perform auto repair on your vehicle. However, if you find yourself in a DIY situation, you’ll need certain tools on-hand to get the job done. From wrenches to ratchets, here are the tools you’ve got to have when attempting to work on your vehicle yourself.

Screwdrivers

Just about every DIY project can’t reach completion without help from the trusty screwdriver, and automotive repair isn’t an exception. Working on a vehicle also requires flat and Phillips head screwdrivers in a variety of depths and thicknesses. For instance, you’ll find that stubbed screwdrivers are needed to get into tight spaces and are helpful for removing sensors. Long and skinny screwdrivers are excellent for extending your length. Additionally, heavy-duty and small flathead screwdrivers are also essential for auto repairs, as are torx, also called star-headed, screwdrivers.

Socket Set

Socket sets are arguably the most necessary tool when it comes to vehicle repair. Look for a set that includes standard and metric sizes, as well as 3/8-inch, ¼-inch and ½-inch drivers and sockets. Also, make sure you have a variety of lengths and depths when it comes to socket sizes. Socket extensions are often useful for reaching into tight spaces.

Wrenches

Look under the hood, and you’re likely to find lots of bolts staring back at you. The best tool to manipulate these often tight items is a wrench. You’ll need a good quality set to ensure a strong grip and less damage to the tools and the vehicle. Ratcheting wrenches with open-ended sides and a ratcheting box end are often helpful to have.

Pliers

Just about any auto repair job requires a variety of pliers. Having a regular-sized pair of pliers is often handy. Vise grips are also extremely helpful for repairs involving coolant hoses and other clamps. Long and short needle nose pliers are also standard when working on automotive DIYs. They are helpful when manipulating or maneuvering small items or areas.

Multimeter

A multimeter tool is essential for vehicle repairs as it can tell you what wires are “hot,” or have current going through them. It will also detect how much voltage they are holding. Purchasing a multimeter that is also able to read amperage is a good investment.

Hughes Automotive in Tyler, TX, is happy to help should your DIY auto repair project go downhill or if you just plain need assistance.

Call us today at (903) 730-6788 or visit http://hughesauto.biz/ for more information.

Hughes Automotive |  Auto Repair Tyler TX  | (903) 730-6788

Take Your Vehicle to a Car Mechanic For Computerized Diagnostics

Car Mechanic Tyler TXWhen something goes wrong with your car and you take it to your mechanic to have it checked out, they’ll likely tell you your car will need to go “on the computer” to find out what’s wrong with it. Your vehicle, like every other light-duty car or truck built after 1996, is controlled by microprocessors that can find and log problems with it and then send the codes for those problems to your repair shop’s computer.  This makes it easier for a car mechanic to figure out what’s going on with your vehicle.

Early Engine Diagnostics

Since the introduction of General Motors’ “check engine” light in the early 1980s, cars in the United States have been equipped with systems that allow them to self-report problems. Back then, few cars had such systems and the ones that existed were very basic.  Mechanics used to refer to the “idiot lights” that lit up to indicate that something was wrong somewhere in the vehicle, without any specific information as to what or where the problem was.  Advances in computerized diagnostics came about largely because states, specifically California, began requiring some type of emissions testing and control for passenger and commercial vehicles.

The Latest Computerized Diagnostics

The newest versions of On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) are much more sophisticated and are better able to help pinpoint your car’s malfunction for repair technicians. The on-board computer in your vehicle scans the car’s systems for problems when you turn your ignition key and the “check engine” or “service engine soon” light blinks.  If the light stays off while you’re driving, then all of your systems are working correctly.  If the light stays on, then you should take your car to a repair shop as soon as possible so that a qualified technician can scan your vehicle for Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC).

Your Car Mechanic Still Plays an Important Role

DTCs can’t tell a mechanic if a particular part is bad; they can only tell that the Powertrain Control Module, or PCM, detected something it wasn’t supposed to in a certain circuit. This is why OBD is just the starting point for the technician.  From there, they can perform additional tests that will say exactly what the problem is.

At Hughes Automotive in Tyler, TX, our technicians use their years of experience and extensive car knowledge, along with your vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics, to make sure that your vehicle is properly diagnosed, repaired and back on the road.  Call us at (903) 730-6788 or visit us at www.hughesauto.biz to find out more about us and the complete line of auto repair services we provide.

Hughes Automotive |  Car Mechanic Tyler TX  | (903) 730-6788

What A Pre-Winter Brake Service Involves And Why You Need One

Brake Service Tyler TXWinter and vacation traveling are right around the corner; if you’re planning on traveling by car, you need a pre-winter brake service.  Though just about every system can benefit from a checkup before cold weather sets in, it’s crucial that your brakes be in good working order before you take your family out on the road this year.  Wet, icy, crowded roads are the perfect recipe for automobile accidents that can end your vacation before it begins.  When taking your car in for brake service, these are the parts of the system that will be checked:

Brake Pads and Shoes

Brake pads and shoes are the first things a brake technician will check because, of all the parts in the braking system, they wear out the fastest.  They contact brake rotors and drums every time the brakes are engaged and they work by clamping down on them.  This means that every time they’re used, they wear down a little more.  If your pads or shoes are worn down, your technician will replace them.

Rotors and Drums

Rotors and drums are attached to your car’s wheels and they spin with the wheels until you engage your brakes.  The pads or shoes squeeze down on the rotors or drums to stop your car; this action wears down the pads and shoes, which will eventually leave only the hard metal underneath to grab your rotors or drums.  This metal contacting the rotors and drums scratches grooves into them that not only makes your car emit a screeching sound when you step on your brakes, it also makes for less-efficient braking.  Your technician will either “turn” your rotors to remove scratches or replace them.

Calipers and Wheel Cylinders

Calipers fit over rotors and wheel cylinders fit over drums.  They are fitted with brake shoes or pads, which they bring into contact with the rotor or drum to stop your car.  Your technician will check your calipers and wheel cylinders to ensure that they function properly and he will replace them if necessary.

Master Cylinder

The master brake cylinder is the heart of your car’s braking system.  It is a hydraulic pump that pushes brake fluid through brake lines to calipers and wheel cylinders; this gives them the force needed to stop your car’s forward movement.  Your technician will check your master cylinder, the brake fluid reservoir located above it and all of the brake lines leading from the master cylinder to your brakes.  Replacing the master cylinder and/or replacing and “bleeding” the brake lines is an extensive repair but it can mean the difference between stopping and not stopping.

Wheel Bearings and Grease Seals

Wheel bearings don’t have a direct impact on stopping your car, but they do allow your car’s wheels to turn freely.  The grease seals protect the bearings from outside dirt and debris.  A good technician will check wheel bearings and seals to make sure they’re in good condition.

Parking Brake Cable

Though the parking brake isn’t something a lot of people routinely use, its condition should be checked by your repair technician to ensure that it will work when you need it to keep your car from rolling when it’s parked.

Don’t trust just anyone with your pre-winter brake service.  Call us at Hughes Automotive in Tyler, TX at (903) 730-6788 or visit us online at www.hughesauto.biz to schedule an appointment for a brake checkup as soon as possible.

Hughes Automotive |  Brake Service Tyler TX  | (903) 730-6788

Your Brake Repair And Brake Maintenance Questions Answered

Brake Repair Tyler TXAt some point in the life of your automobile, you’re likely going to need a brake repair. Brakes wear out faster than almost any other part of a vehicle because they’re constantly in use. Sure, your engine, transmission and other parts are all engaged and working every time you use your car, but your brakes are responsible for stopping a ton or more of metal, glass and rubber every time you step on the brake pedal.  That kind of wear and tear takes a significant toll on brake parts. Since you know a brake repair is probably in your future, you may have some questions about maintaining brakes and brake repairs. Here are the answers to some of those questions:

What Causes Brake Noise?

When your brakes make a squealing sound, it’s usually caused by the brake pads vibrating, spring clips losing tension or a poor brake pad fit on the caliper.  If your brakes make a grinding noise when you use them, it’s likely caused by the metal backing of a brake pad making contact with the rotor because the brake pad material has worn away.

Why Do My Brakes Feel Spongy?

Spongy car brakes are brakes that don’t feel like they’re engaging unless you completely depress the brake pedal, which you shouldn’t have to do to at least partially engage your brakes. Sponginess can be caused by a number of things, including mechanical issues or problems with the hydraulic system. Problems with the hydraulic system can also cause your car to pull to one side when you apply the brakes.

How Often Should I Have My Brake Fluid Changed?

Healthy brake fluid is essential to an effective braking system, so it’s important that you have it checked periodically. Some manufacturers recommend changing brake fluid every two years. Your owner’s manual should give you a good timeline for having it changed and your mechanic can also check it when he checks all of your other fluid levels.

Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake When I Use The Brakes?

A shaking steering wheel is often a sign that your car’s rotors need to be examined to see if they are “out of round,” or warped.  Another common problem that can cause shaking in your steering wheel or brake pedal is a sticking caliper.

Why Do The Brakes On My New Car Squeal?

Most mechanics will tell you that brakes should never squeal or make any kind of alarming noise for any length of time. Short-term squealing can be caused by dampness on the brake parts, but squealing that goes on for more than a couple of hours can mean that your car’s manufacturer used cheap brake pads that have a high metallic content or that something has come loose in the wheel. Either way, you should have it checked out before any extensive damage can be done.

How Long Are Brake Pads And Rotors Supposed To Last?

You know that you’re likely going to need a brake repair at some point that will include replacing pads or turning rotors; how often that happens depends on your driving style and driving conditions. If you like to drive fast and slam on the brakes at the last minute, your brake parts won’t last as long. If you live in the city and your driving conditions are mostly stop-and-go, you’ll put more wear on your brakes, which means less time between repairs or replacement of parts.  There really is no set timeline for wearing out your brakes.

For brake repairs and check-ups, call Hughes Automotive in Tyler, TX, at (903) 730-6788 or visit www.hughesauto.biz.

Brake Repair Tyler TX
Auto Repair Tyler Tx
2100 E 5TH ST
Tyler, Texas 75701
903-730-6788

To Avoid An Automotive Repair, Don’t Skip Basic Car Maintenance

Automotive Repair Tyler TXAt Hughes Automotive, we specialize in automotive repair and we know how important basic maintenance is when it comes to keeping your car on the road and keeping your car from bankrupting you with major repairs.  Basic maintenance that prevents bigger problems is relatively inexpensive and can be easily done by qualified technicians, like ours at Hughes Automotive.  Here are some of the regular, preventive maintenance tasks you must have done and why it’s important not to skip them:

Don’t Skip Scheduled Service

If your car is new and under warranty, you’ll need to stick with the manufacturer’s schedule for maintenance services.  Not only will this keep you car covered by the warranty, it will also ensure that your car stays on the road for as long as possible.  Scheduled maintenance usually involves (at least) changing the oil, rotating the tires, checking the spark plugs, plug wires and timing belt and checking all fluid levels.  As the mileage on your car goes up, you may find that scheduled maintenance includes more extensive service; but you should continue to make sure you follow the manufacturer’s schedule to save yourself from having to deal with even bigger headaches and expenses when systems completely break down.

Have Your Air Filter Replaced

When you take your car to your mechanic for a checkup, make sure he or she checks your air filter. Clogged air filters can result in reduced fuel economy, a misfiring engine and reduced horsepower.

Get Regular Oil Changes

If your car isn’t new and under warranty, ask your mechanic about the right oil change intervals for your car.  Whether it’s every 3,000 miles or every 10,000 miles, make sure that you change your car’s oil on time even if it seems to be running perfectly.  Over time, engine oil can lose its viscosity and stop lubricating moving parts, which can ultimately result in an engine that simply stops working.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Have your mechanic check your tire pressure as often as possible.  It’s also a good idea to invest in an inexpensive tire gauge so that you can check your tire pressure yourself, including the spare, to make sure your tires aren’t over- or under-inflated.  Properly-inflated tires improve fuel efficiency and cut down on tire wear and tear.

Wash Your Car

It’s a good idea not to neglect the outside of your vehicle.  Washing it regularly – which is something you can do yourself – is a great way to maintain its new-car finish.  Dirt, chemicals and bird droppings can strip away wax and, eventually, paint, leaving your car vulnerable to moisture.  Moisture will eventually lead to rust that will spread, weaken your car’s body and expose vital parts that could become damaged.

If it’s time for basic maintenance for your car, call us at Hughes Automotive Repair in Tyler, TX at (903) 730-6788 to make an appointment for service.  You can also visit www.hughesauto.biz to find out more about our other vehicle services.

Automotive Repair Tyler TX
Auto Repair Tyler Tx
2100 E 5TH ST
Tyler, Texas 75701
903-730-6788

How To Know When It’s Time To Get your Car A Brake Repair

Brake Repair Tyler TXThink that the only time you need to worry about a brake repair is when your car won’t stop?  Actually, that’s a little too late because a car that won’t stop is a deadly weapon and the end result of weeks or months of neglect of brake problem symptoms.  In most cases, your car will send some pretty clear signals that your brake system is in need of repair – signals you shouldn’t ignore.

◾ Strange Noises

An unusual, high-pitched shrieking sound when you step on the brake pedal is usually the first warning sign of a potential brake problem.  Automobile brake pads are equipped with small, metal shims called indicators.  These indicators give you an audible warning when your brake pads are worn down enough to need replacing.  Occasionally, when you car has been exposed to water, a thin layer of rust can develop on the brake disc that can cause the brakes to squeal when they’re applied; but this rust layer wears off quickly.  So a high-pitched squeal or shriek that is constant is a good reason to see a mechanic sooner rather than later.

◾ Fading

If your brakes aren’t as responsive as they should be or the pedal goes farther to the floor than usual when you step on it, you may have a leak or air in the lines that carry fluid from the brake fluid reservoir to the brakes.  If your brakes are fading and you notice a small puddle of dark fluid under your car, take your car in for a brake repair as quickly as possible.

◾ Pulling

When you apply the brakes and your vehicle pulls to one side, it may be a sign that your brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is some type of debris in your brake fluid.  Though this isn’t necessarily a dangerous situation, you should still see a mechanic for a brake adjustment or to have the fluid drained and replaced.

◾ Grinding

A continuous grinding sound with or without applying your brakes is a good indication that your brake pads are completely worn down and you’re grinding the metal disc against the metal caliper.  This grinding can score your disc, creating an uneven surface which can result in your disc needing to be “turned” (or evened out) or even replaced.

◾ Vibration

When your discs, or rotors, are warped, you might feel a vibration when you step on the brake pedal.  You might mistake this vibration for the normal feeling you get when you have to make an emergency stop and the anti-lock brakes engage; but if the vibration occurs during braking situations when the anti-lock brakes aren’t engaged, then it’s likely the result of a warped rotor.  See a mechanic to replace a warped or turned rotor.

For the best brake repair in Tyler, TX, call us at Hughes Automotive at (903) 730-6788 or visit us online at www.hughesauto.biz.

Brake Repair Tyler TX
Auto Repair Tyler Tx
2100 E 5TH ST
Tyler, Texas 75701
903-730-6788

Photo Credit:  ©Depositphotos.com/ simazoran

Automotive Repair Tyler TX: The Secret To Great Car Maintenance

Automotive Repair Tyler TXWhen you need an automotive repair Tyler TX, you can be sure that at Hughes Automotive, we’ll keep your car on the road with great maintenance and expert repairs.  But the real secret to making your car outlast the payments is you.  No matter how hard we work to keep your car running, you are the first line of defense because you’re the one who knows which noises are normal and which ones are strange or whether or not that puddle under your car is new.  You’re also the one who has to decide that it’s time a trained mechanic figures out why your car is pulling to the left or why the brake pedal goes all the way to the floor before the car stops.

Auto Repair Tyler TX:  Get Regular Maintenance

When there’s nothing wrong with your car and it seems to be running the way it did when you first bought it is when sticking to a regular maintenance schedule is really important.  When you bring your car to Hughes Automotive, we’ll make sure that it gets everything it needs – lubrication, oil, and fluids – that the manufacturer recommends at the right intervals.  And we can check for problems in the making with a bumper-to-bumper inspection that can spot items that can wear out like timing belts, hoses, brake pads and tires.  Dirty fuel injectors, loose steering, batteries that are losing power and more can lead to breakdowns that can leave you stranded on the side of the road.

Automotive Repair Tyler TX:  Stop Problems Before They Start

Between scheduled maintenance appointments, you can be extra vigilant by performing a few simple checks that will help to extend the life of your vehicle:

✓ Check your engine oil.  Remember that no matter how clean it looks, you shouldn’t skip bringing it into us for an oil change at least every 4,000 miles.  If it’s low, you can add oil yourself or bring it to us.

✓ Do a visual inspection of your car’s fluid levels.  Check your owner’s manual to find out how to  inspect your brake fluid, power steering fluid, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid levels.

✓ Check your tire pressure once a month.  The owner’s manual will tell you what the ideal pressure should be.

✓ Have someone help you check your lights, front and back.  Make sure brake lights, headlights, and turn signals are all working.

✓ Inspect your windshield wipers to see if they are cracked or splitting.  You can easily replace these yourself.

The secret to a car that keeps on running years after newer cars have gone to the junkyard?  Great owner care, regular maintenance and great automotive repair Tyler TX from Hughes Automotive. When it’s time to schedule service, call us at (903) 730-6788.  In the meantime, visit us at www.hughesauto.biz to learn more about our shop and the automotive services we offer.

Automotive Repair Tyler TX
Auto Repair Tyler Tx
2100 E 5TH ST
Tyler, Texas 75701
903-730-6788

Photo Credit:  ©Depositphotos.com/ Goodluz

Why Get Auto Repair Tyler TX For a Check Engine Light?

Auto Repair Tyler TXWhen you see a check engine light on, you might think that you can put off auto repair Tyler TX, but it’s important to get your car looked at. This light can mean that something is seriously wrong, or it can mean a very simple fix, depending on the year, make and model of your vehicle. You should check the little things, such as a loose gas cap, yourself. If you have no idea what could be causing this light to come on, then bring the vehicle in.

Call Hughes Automotive at (903) 730-6788 for a diagnostic check and auto repair Tyler TX as soon as you see that dreaded check engine light come on.

Auto Repair Tyler TX
Auto Repair Tyler Tx
2100 E 5TH ST
Tyler, Texas 75701
903-730-6788

Auto Repair Tyler TX: Your Alignment Questions Answered

Auto Repair Tyler TXKnowing when it’s time to take your car in for auto repair Tyler TX is easy if something obvious goes wrong.  If your brakes stop working, your car doesn’t start or you have smoke coming out from under your hood, you make a beeline for your favorite repair shop.  But what happens when your car drifts to one side or you notice uneven wear on your tires?  Do you take it in to have your mechanic figure out what’s happening?  You should, because drifting, pulling and uneven tire wear are signs of an alignment problem that can cost you money in fuel and tires and, more importantly, make driving your vehicle unsafe, especially at high speeds.

Car Repair Tyler TX:  When Should I Take My Car In For An Alignment?

Take your car in to your mechanic if:

– You’ve recently hit something in the road like a pothole or a curb.

– You notice that your tires are wearing unevenly or abnormally.

– Your car pulls or drifts to one side even when you’re holding onto the steering wheel.

– Your steering wheel stays at an angle even when you’re driving straight or it fails to easily return to its normal position after a turn.

– Your steering feels unstable or you feel a vibration in the steering wheel.

– You buy a new set of tires, especially expensive ones.

– You’ve replaced some steering or suspension parts.

Auto Repair Services Tyler TX:  Why Is An Alignment So Important?

Correct wheel alignment – the kind your car had when it rolled off the assembly line – is designed to minimize tire wear and to maximize safety and occupant comfort.  Correct wheel alignment increases tire life and performance, increases your fuel economy and reduces stability and steering problems to make handling easier and driving safer.

Auto Repair Tyler TX:  How Are Wheels Aligned?

A wheel alignment is basically an adjustment of your wheel angles.  The three, main angle adjustments are camber, caster and toe.

Camber is the angle that your wheels lean away from the vertical line of your car when you look at it from the front.  If the wheels lean too far one way or another, you’ll get uneven tire wear.  If the top of the wheel is farther away from the axle than the bottom, it’s called positive camber.  If the bottom is farther out than the top, it’s negative camber.  A significant difference in camber angles means your car will pull to the left or right.

Caster is the angle between the pivot line and vertical.  Positive caster is when the line is angled forward.  When the line is angled backward, caster is negative. Caster misalignments can cause drifting and steering problems.

Toe is the direction your wheels are pointing in relation to the center line of your car.  Toe-in happens when the front of the wheels on an axle are closer together than the rear of the wheels.  Toe-out is the opposite.  Both types of toe will cause your tires to wear unevenly.

If you suspect your car may need an alignment, take it in as soon as possible for auto repair Tyler TX.  To get the best service and the best price, bring it to us at Hughes Automotive.  Give us a call at (903) 730-6788 or visit www.hughesauto.biz to make an appointment for one of our technicians to inspect your vehicle’s alignment.

Auto Repair Tyler TX
Auto Repair Tyler Tx
2100 E 5TH ST
Tyler, Texas 75701
903-730-6788

Photo Credit:  ©Depositphotos.com/ Deerphoto

Auto Repair In Tyler, TX: How To Get A Great Car Repair

Auto Repair Tyler TXThe key to a great auto repair in Tyler, TX is choosing a great auto repair shop.  But finding a great auto repair shop in East Texas is like finding a needle in a haystack.  Here are some helpful tips for finding a mechanic and a shop you can trust to do the job right at a fair price:

▸  Ask friends and family for recommendations.  If you ask someone you trust where they take their vehicles for repairs, they won’t send you to someone they’re not sure of.  There’s always the chance that your experience with their trusted mechanic won’t be the same but it’s a good starting-off point.

▸  Check online.  If you’re new in town or you want to change repair shops, a good option is to get online and search for auto repair shops in your area.  You can insert a specific search radius so you’re not driving 30 miles for a car repair and once you have a short list of possibilities, you can check rating sites like Yelp, Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau to find out more about each shop.  Though remember that if there are a lot of glowing reviews and only a handful of negative ones for a specific shop, don’t focus on the negative reviews if the shop seems perfect in every other way.

▸  Visit the shop that is closest to you and has the best reviews.  There’s no substitute for going to a repair shop in person to check it out.  It’ll give you a chance to ask for a price list, check the cleanliness of the shop and the waiting room and to look for those all-important signs of competent technicians like trade school diplomas, certificates for advanced automotive coursework and ASE certification for the shop and its mechanics.  ASE certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is the most important accreditation to look for and you can always ask that the technician working on your car be ASE-certified.

▸  Take the shop for a ‘dry’ run.  Take your car into the shop for minor auto repair in Tyler, TX like an oil change and tire rotation.  Though it’s not really a dry run, it’s more of a chance to dip your toe into the water to see how courteous and responsive the staff is, how well they do their work, if they finish the job in a timely manner and if the price you pay is the price you were quoted.  While this is no guarantee of great service down the line when you need transmission work or a brake job, it’s a pretty good indication of how the shop operates.

To make your job easier when you’re looking for auto repair in Tyler, TX, be sure to put Hughes Automotive on your short list.  At Hughes Automotive, we do great repair work and we treat our customers the way we want to be treated.  Call us today at (903) 730-6788 or visit us online at www.hughesauto.biz to find out more about us.

Auto Repair Tyler TX
Auto Repair Tyler Tx
2100 E 5TH ST
Tyler, Texas 75701
903-730-6788

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