Tag Archives: auto mechanic

A Guide To Effective Budgeting And Save Your Money

Back To School Budgeting Tips

Back to school tends to be quite expensive. The costs for having to buy new school clothes, shoes, supplies and numerous other things can definitely add up fast. This may cause your family to miss certain deadlines such as making car payments or taking your vehicle to a mechanic in Houston Texas for regular maintenance. In addition, an increasing number of schools are requiring you to furnish more school supplies on your own. This can also cause a strain on your family budget. However, there are different things that you can do to minimize your costs. It does take some planning, but you can look at local ads and online to ensure that you get the best deals and not buy things you don’t really need when you are out shopping.

Make A List And Then Stick With It

The biggest mistake that people tend to make while they are shopping for their children’s back to school things is failing to plan ahead. Just creating a list is the key. Having a list helps to reduce impulse buys and helps you stay focused on what your task is. The easiest way to get your list created is to collect all of your children’s supply lists, examine what your clothes your kids currently have in their wardrobes. Make a list for each of your children; it should include clothes, shoes, school supplies as well as other items.

Hint: To help avoid fights and struggles, get your children involved. Have two copies of each of your lists, one goes to each of your children and one for you, and then let the kids help check the items off the list. It is an excellent way for your children to stay involved while avoiding the things they want that aren’t on your list. It will also provide your kids with a sense of accomplishment as an important part of ensuring they have all the things that they need for their school year. Give a budget amount for older children and allow them to determine what their budget can afford and what it can’t. It will them to develop money management skills for their future.

Best Mobile Mechanic Houston | Money Saving TipsDraw From Your Stash

As you are working on your list, look around your house for items that you might already have. That can include hand-me-downs that are in good condition still as well as left over school supplies and office supplies that you might have stored up. If your kids are concerned about having the same things, encourage them to design something new on their own. For example, last year’s binder can be refreshed by giving a new design. One of the best places to find DIY ideas is Pinterest, including ways to make your office supplies more exciting and interesting.

Hint: You can revitalize things like backpacks as well to make them more and personalized.

Look for Sales

There are many sales available throughout the back-to-school season. Before school starts and also after are good times to find deals. Look online and at weekly circulars at your nearest clothing stores and school supply stores. In particular, look at each of the ads for all of the times that you need. Then create a list of all of the places you need to go to get the things that you need. Make sure to compare prices to find the best deals.

Buy In Bulk And Share Costs

Some of greatest deals for school supplies can be found when you buy in bulk. What that means is you end up getting way more than what you actually need. There are a couple of ways this can be handled. You can have a party, donate to children who are unable to afford to buy their own back-to-school supplies or keep them to use for next year.

Have A Swap Party

The idea for this is pretty simple. Send e-vites out to parents of children at your school Have everyone on the list sign up to purchase a certain item in bulk. Then have your party where people can swap for the items that they need. This should allow everyone to leave your party with many of the back-to-school items that they need.

Avoid Name Brands

As soon as something has a popular name, the price increases. Although it is nice to be part of some popular trends, it definitely is not necessary. Make sure to speak with your children about why it isn’t possible to have everything they want. You can also allow older children to choose some of the items they want to purchase. That will help them learn to buy items that are less expensive so they can get more things on their list.

Consider Secondhand Items

It does take time to sort through thrift and consignment stores, but quite often you can find things that you couldn’t afford otherwise. Check secondhand stores for things on your list. It can also help you find good brands at less expensive prices. You might be surprised at the number of items that you find that are in good condition. Another potentially good source can be Craigslist for find barely used items such as supplies, shoes, and clothes. Just make sure to follow some safety guidelines when you are picking up items that you bought on Craigslist.

Clip Coupons

Check out your favorite stores and then clip or print out coupons to take with you on your shopping trips. You can find them in the newspaper as well as online.

Back to school isn’t something that has to cost you a fortune. All you need is some planning and a bit of effort and time to find great deals so that you can stick with a realistic budget.

Call us today or contact Mobile Mechanic Houston for more information!

3 Red Flags That May Indicate Your Brakes Need Maintenance

Why Your Brakes Might Not Be In The Best Of Shape

Mobile Mechanic Houston | Autp Inspection HoustonIf you own or drive a car, you know how important maintenance is to keep your car running its best. For best results, you should handle small problems as soon as possible, otherwise, they will likely become bigger problems down the road.

One aspect of your car that you should pay close attention to when it comes to maintenance issues is your braking system. In today’s cars, the braking system covers a lot more than just pads and brake shoes. Because braking systems in modern cars are a lot more complex, potential problems could come from several places, including bent brake drums and cracked lines and hoses. If you pay attention while driving, your car will tell you about potential problems that may be just around the corner How can you tell when you’re braking system is in need of maintenance? Keeping an eye out for the three red flags below is a good start:

Squealing

The first and most obvious red flag to keep an eye out for is squealing. By paying close attention to the squeal, you will most likely be able to tell which brakes are in need of maintenance. What causes this aggravating and embarrassing squealing noise? Basically, the braking system in modern cars functions as a result of friction generated between the car’s brake pads and brake rotors. Over time, your brake pads are worn down as a result of this friction. Brake pads today typically have a steel indicator clip built into them that squeals when contacting the rotor once the brake pads had been worn down to the point they need replacing.

Vibration

Another common red flag to be alert for is vibration when engaging your brakes. If you feel a vibration when you press your brake pedal, it probably means your brake rotors are warped. Rotors typically become warped when you drive on bad brake pads for too long, but it can also occur if you often drive on roads with steep inclines. Whatever the cause of the warping may be if you’re feeling a vibration when braking it’s probably time to have your rotors checked.

Pedal Problems

If your brake pedal just doesn’t feel right, maybe a little too loose or too tight for example, it could be an indication that something is up with your brakes. As an example, if your brake pedal has very little resistance when pressing on it, it could be an issue in the brake lines or the brake hydraulics. If your brake out is the exact opposite and is tight or sensitive, this could be an indication of a worn down rotor. Either one should be checked out by a Houston auto inspections expert before the problem gets worse.

With all the horror stories floating around about unethical repair shops taking advantage of car owners when they are most vulnerable, it’s understandable that you may be intimidated when it comes to getting the maintenance your car needs. To put your mind at ease, do a little research in advance on any auto repair shops you are considering to make sure you’re getting your car’s maintenance handled by a reputable mechanic.

Call or contact Mobile Mechanic Houston today if you’re concerned the quality of your brakes or you have any other questions regarding mobile auto mechanic services.

Don’t Forget These Things When Looking For An Auto Mechanic in Houston

Keep These 4 Things In Mind Before Hiring A Car Mechanic In Houston

The auto repair industry has a well-earned reputation for ripping people off, which causes most car owners to dread seeking their service when a car repair is necessary. Mobile Mechanic Houston wants to be the best Houston auto repair service in town, so we go out of our way to avoid being associated with such practices. To avoid getting ripped off by sleazy car mechanics, keep the 4 points below in mind.

Best Mobile Mechanic Houston | Houston Mobile Auto MechanicWatch The Mark Up

One way car repair shops like to pad their bottom line is by marking up the cost of their parts by ridiculous amounts. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier today than ever before to compare the cost they are quoting you to the cost typically charged at other places. Even better, avoid the hassle and concern and choose one of our Houston repair shops. Our car parts are never marked up, and because of our access to multiple vendors, we typically get the best price around. Further, since we have nothing to hide, our invoice containing the price we paid for your part is available to you at your request.

Part Warranty

If you’ve ever had a new car part fail a mere few months after the repair job has been completed, you know how frustrating that can be. This is why it is important to make sure any parts used in your repair job are under warranty, otherwise, you will be responsible for covering the cost to replace the failed part again. Any shop that wants to be the best Houston auto repair service will use warrantied parts whenever possible, just like we do at Mobile Mechanic Houston.

Be Informed

Never assume the mechanic is telling you the truth, otherwise, you could be getting ripped off. A reputable and reliable mechanic will take the time to explain what the problem is and what is necessary to fix it. That’s how we do things at Mobile Mechanic Houston. Our professional mechanics will explain to you in thorough detail what the problem is and exactly what needs to be done to solve it. We understand not everyone is loaded with cash, so we want to put customers’ minds at ease by knowing they are only being charged for services that are necessary.

Comparison Shop

When you need your car repaired, you may be tempted to go to the first auto mechanic you find. To get the best prices, it’s better to call multiple repair shops to see what they charge for the repair you need before committing to any one mechanic. Free quotes are available anytime at Mobile Mechanic Houston, and our reputable reputation speaks for itself. We believe we can compete with any other car repair service in the Houston area, and we have many satisfied customers who agree with us.

If you need an best Houston auto repair with no fear of getting ripped off, Mobile Mechanic in Houston is the one to contant or call. Our prices are second to none and our service can’t be beaten, so set up an appointment today for your car repair needs.

Knowing When It’s Time To Have A Houston Mobile Mechanic Visit

Common Causes Of An Illuminated Check Engine Light: What To Do

Picture this scene: It’s the end of a great weekend getaway. You’ve spent a couple days relaxing and de-stressing and there are still a few precious hours left before you have to start worrying about anything. That’s before the “check engine” light on your dashboard blinks to life. Is there any faster way to ruin your day?

Best Mobile Mechanic Houston | Mobile Auto MaintenanceThe check engine light, for all its mystery and ominousness, is a pretty straightforward part of your car’s on-board diagnostic system. While you can rest assured that an illuminated light does mean you have trouble, not every cause that can illuminate the light is serious.

Presented here are the five most common causes of engine light activation. While you might need to start looking for professional auto repair in Houston TX after that light comes on, you might also be facing something simple that you can actually fix yourself.

1. Faulty Sensor

Your car uses a suite of oxygen sensors (generally two to four of them) to monitor the interaction of oil and air in your engine. If one of these sensors fails, inaccurate data may lead to emissions problems and a cost reduction in engine efficiency.

Oxygen sensors typically fail when they become obstructed by oil ash. This ash disturbs the sensor’s ability to accurately sample the oil-oxygen mix and determine when a change is needed. The good news is that changing an oxygen sensor is actually well within your abilities as long as you learn where to find it. (Your owner’s manual will provide invaluable guidance here.) If you leave a sensor replacement up to a professional mechanic, it will generally cost you roughly $200. Getting the sensor fixed quickly should be a top priority.

2. Faulty Gas Cap

This seems like a far too trivial problem to turn on your dreaded check engine light. The truth of the matter is that a leaky gas cap can upset your car’s entire fuel ecology. Leaking gas vapor can lead to a significant reduction in fuel efficiency. Check and confirm that your fuel cap is tightly sealed. Look for cracks in the cap as well. If you need a replacement, you can find (and install) a perfectly serviceable one for just $3.

3. Spark Plug / Wire Issues

A faulty spark plug is more likely to start misfiring and causing jerky acceleration while your car is in motion. Modern spark plugs are generally very durable – usually lasting up to 100,000 miles – but a manufacturing defect may cause one to fail early. If you encounter this problem yourself, you need to replace your flawed spark plug as soon as possible. Spark plugs are easy to replace on your own, and they’re generally immediately accessible as soon as you open the hood. Take the time to let your car cool down before removing them! Though a plug spanner may allow you to safely remove a hot spark plug, it still has the potential to burn your fingers.

4. Mass Air Flow Sensor

If your car’s mass airflow sensor fails, you’ll have issues with lower mileage, higher emissions, and inopportune stalling. The air flow sensor has either worn out or been installed improperly if this is the case. A replacement sensor will generally cost $200 to $300 depending on your car’s make and model.

5. Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters play a vital role in reducing your car’s exhaust. If the code attached to your engine light indicates a problem with the catalytic converter, you’ll probably be able to tell that acceleration has fallen off and your mileage is getting worse. A replacement catalytic converter may cost as much as $2,000. This is a job best left to experts, so leave it up to an experienced mechanic unless you’re a professional yourself.

While these five issues account for most engine check lights, there are many other possibilities. There might even be perfectly explainable and harmless factors that cause your light to come on. Something as simple as errant moisture on a high-humidity day might cause the light to illuminate.

If you need help deciphering your check engine light, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Mobile Mechanic Houston by contacting us or calling today!