Make It Last

What you can do to help your vehicle last longer

Mike Herzing has some great tips on saving money by extending the life of your vehicle. Courtesy photo

Purchasing a vehicle is a huge investment, usually our second largest, and the best way to protect that investment is to follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. Of course, maintenance isn’t what it used to be.

Even though you don’t replace spark plugs until 100k miles or more, vehicles are far from maintenance free.

The main point to remember is to pay attention to your fluids and filters.

Power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant should be flushed out every 30,000-50,000 miles.  Always use synthetic fluid if you can afford it.

Air filters and cabin filters need to be checked and replaced as needed. Once again, use good filters. By the way, the aftermarket oiled cotton filters aren’t as good as they say. Stick with a good quality paper filter. It’s hard to go wrong with the OEM filter.

Always use quality parts and have your oil changed every 4,000-6,000 miles. I would go ahead and rotate the tires at the same time. While the tires are off, have the shop check the brakes. Most shops do a quick check of your vehicle at every oil change anyway. And most do it for free. Some charge for the tire rotation, and some don’t.  

Auto maintenance isn’t an exact science; each person’s driving habits are different. You need to go with what works for you. Be conservative, but cutting corners will only cost you in the long run. Remember that the average vehicle on the road is almost 12 years old.  

The new generation vehicles are well engineered, but they have to be maintained. If you do your maintenance, you will have a vehicle you can depend on for years of reliable service.  

 

Mike Herzing is an ASE Master Technician, Former Automotive Instructor, and Current Host of Let’s Talk Wheels with Mike Herzing heard on ESPN 97.5 Houston and The Lets Talk Wheels Radio Network. Saturday Mornings.

Email Mike: Mike@letstalkwheels.com

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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