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Extended Maintenance Intervals Mean More Repairs

For the last decade most of us in the auto repair business have bemoaned the extended service intervals promoted by most car makers. Simply stated, this means that vehicle manufacturers have been extending the time and mileage between oil changes and other fluid services. We have tried to educate our customers that good service will prevent costly repairs. Now, courtesy of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, we have the numbers …Read More

For the Love of Cars

Many would argue that America’s newest drivers, from Millennial to Gen Xer, are ambiguous about their vehicles. However, driving itself is too addicting for America’s love affair with vehicles to fade. Like all affairs, the focus may change, but we not only love our current cars, we dream of our next and even covet our neighbor’s.

A simple glance at a new driver purchasing their first car will renew your faith in automotive lust. Stand amidst a parking lot full of classics and watch a 6 year old’s jaw drop when a built ’57 starts its engine. Watch a seasoned driver receive their first text or email from their vehicle. Better yet, spend a moment exploring the safety features that are available right now on new vehicles and wonder at the reality of autonomous driving. We have moved from fuel dumping carburetors to sleek and silent beasts pushing more torque from electric motors than we ever imagined. We are intrigued by the vast technology packed both under the hood and into the cabins of our beloved vehicles.

Classic vehicles continue to gain value and 2015 brought record new car sales to the industry. We spend money on what we love and economic indexes have always been the American way of gauging success. 2016 brings our aging love affair a new line up of ready to customize vehicles that feature increased performance, continually improving safety and vehicles that we can feel good and even green about.

The manufacturers have adapted both the vehicle and their marketing strategies to bolster the interest of all ages. They are responding to the aging baby boomers with dynamic drive train combinations that provide the performance we coveted as teens while salving our new found needs for fuel economy and preserving the planet. The sophisticated cabins are driver focused with infotainment systems stronger than any component tower we previously created in our homes.

Old or new, vehicles will always have a special place in our hearts. As Valentine’s day approaches remember that four wheeled “Love” sitting in your garage or driveway. A little tender loving care will go a long way in keeping her safe and dependable for miles and years to come. Be assured that the smiling service station attendants who topped off your fluids, aired your tires and checked your oil for years are alive and well at the neighborhood garage you have come to trust.
wishing you miles and miles of happy driving in the vehicle you love,

Lynn Beckwith

That Car Lady, KPRC 950am Houston and The Car Counselor Show

To find a smiling technician ready to help you service and maintain the vehicle that you love visit Beckwith’s Car Care or Freedom Automotive.


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Debut Vehicles Highlight the 2016 Houston Auto Show

HOUSTON (January 25, 2016) – Coming off the heels of the Detroit Auto Show, Texas will have the first chance to see a number of all-new vehicles. Nearly 20 models from various manufacturers will make their debut at the 2016 Houston Auto Show coming January 27 through January 31, 2016, along with 700 other new, classic and modified vehicles.

Produced annually by the Houston Automobile Dealers Association (HADA) and presented by the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Auto Show covers 700,000 square feet of display space at NRG Center and offers Houstonians the opportunity to see, touch and drive todays latest in automotive innovation.

Vehicles debuting in Texas at the 2016 Houston Auto Show are:

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Headlining the Houston Auto Show for the Alfa Romeo brand is the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, the first of a new-generation of Alfa Romeo vehicles built on an all-new platform that embodies the brand’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) that delivers race-inspired performance, advanced technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience to the premium mid-size sedan segment.

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

The 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider will also be on display with its race-inspired performance, advanced technologies and seductive Italian design. The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider offers driving enthusiasts a technical, mid-engine design inspired by the brand’s legendary racing history to represent the essential sportiness embedded in the brand’s DNA: handcrafted in Modena, Italy.

2016 Buick Envision

Sitting between its Encore and Enclave siblings, the Buick Envision is a luxury crossover that features a sleek look with smooth lines. QuietTuning technologies promise a peaceful drive while the well-appointed, modern interior and controls make it a comfortable and fashionable one as well.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica reinvents the minivan segment with an unprecedented level of functionality, versatility, technology and bold styling. Re-engineered from the ground up on an all-new platform, the Pacifica delivers class-leading gasoline and hybrid powertrains to the minivan segment. With more than 100 available safety and security features, the all-new Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment system, and a full array of comfort and convenience technologies, the Chrysler Pacifica is a no-compromises minivan ideally suited for today’s families. The Chrysler display also will feature the Chrysler 300―the reigning “Car of Texas” and the Chrysler 200, the “Mid-size Car of Texas,” from the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA).

2017 Ford Raptor

The Ford Raptor is a commanding pickup that features four full-sized doors and plenty of muscle. Weighing 500 pounds less than its predecessor, the Raptor will work hard efficiently. Rocks, sand or road, the Raptor’s EcoBoost V6 engine is ready for any adventure out there.

2017 Ford Escape

When the open road calls, the Escape answers with a revamped bold and sporty style. Look for an impressive list of cutting-edge features such as adaptive cruise control, parking assist, lane departure warning, and start/stop technology. Coupled with a fresh and functional interior and the Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system, drivers are in for quite a ride.

2017 GMC Acadia Denali

The Acadia Denali is an exciting crossover that begs to be noticed – the custom Denali grill, chrome accents, signature LED lighting and confident design don’t mind being stared at. The most modern technology and safety innovations are artfully blended with a premium interior to make the Acadia Denali a true attention-grabber.

2017 Infiniti QX30

All new for 2017, the Infiniti QX30 looks to take the crossover standard to new heights – filling the needs of both city and country drivers who are looking for safety, refinement, and comfort – with just a touch of attitude. Created for a new generation of premium buyers who appreciate category-defying design inside and out, the QX30 boasts a purposeful appearance that makes a bold visual statement as part of Infiniti’s premium model line-up.

2016 Jeep 75th Anniversary models: Cherokee, Renegade, Wrangler

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night & 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland

To celebrate the unparalleled history of the legendary Jeep brand, all 75th anniversary special-edition models feature Jeep-exclusive green exterior paint (Sarge Green, Recon Green or Jungle Green, depending on model), Low Gloss Bronze wheels, bronze and orange exterior accents, unique interiors, including exclusive seats with embossed 75th Anniversary logo or one-of-a-kind Ombre Mesh fabric, open-air freedom and a 75th Anniversary exterior badge.

2017 Lexus GS F

Find yourself on the fast track with this sophisticated sedan. The engine is backed by 467 horses while the show-stopping interior style is crafted with high-contrast colors, race car inspired seats and gleaming trim.

2017 Lotus Evora 400

Clocking in at 186 mph, this is the speediest production Lotus to date. A dramatic new cockpit, complete with racing line indicator on the steering wheel, puts this vehicle squarely in the fast lane.

2016 Nissan Sentra

Retooled, refreshed and ready to roll, the Nissan Sentra enters the New Year with a polished interior and redesigned exterior. Advanced technology and safety features enhance this fuel efficient and energetic sedan.

2016 Nissan Altima

Stepping out from behind the curtain, the made-over Nissan Altima boasts a more aerodynamic, sleeker look, improved fuel economy and the next steps in safety advances. Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the spacious interior and special touches that make for a first-rate ride.

2016 Shelby F150

Featuring the unmistakable stripes of a Shelby, this pickup roars into 2016 with a 700 horsepower engine and legendary inspiration from top to bottom. With a nearly six-figure price tag and a limited production number, it will be a lucky few who land one of these in their garage.

At this year’s Houston Auto Show, not only do attendees get to see the latest in automotive innovation, sixteen manufacturers offer car lovers an opportunity to test drive more than 70 brand new vehicles.

The Aftermarket Expo of the Houston Auto Show includes everything from the exotic to the extreme, from ultra-luxury to off-road and everything in between. New to the aftermarket areas this year is Canada’s Campagna Motors, the world leader in three-wheel motorcycles and the creators of the T-Rex. EVS Motors, who cater to the most discriminating auto enthusiasts, will once again display one-of-a-kind dream cars fresh from their Performance Studio. MSR Houston returns with new partner, Fittipaldi Exotic Driving. Sports Car Club of America will display a Formula Mazda racecar and Allout Off-road will present a half million-dollar H1 Hummer on tracks.

The 2016 Houston Auto Show at the NRG Center is open daily, Wednesday, Jan. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 31. Show hours are:

Wed. – Fri. Noon 9:30 p.m.

Saturday 10:00 a.m. 9:30 p.m.

Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Adult tickets are $12 and $5 for children 6 to 12 years old when accompanied by an adult. Coupons for $2 off are available online and at participating Houston area new car dealerships. For more information, visit www.houstonautoshow.com.

About the Houston Automobile Dealers Association

The Houston Auto Show is produced annually by the Houston Automobile Dealers Association (HADA). Comprised of approximately 175 franchised new car and truck dealers employing over 30,000 people in the Houston area alone, HADA is proud to serve as the local backbone for Houstons automotive industry. By providing educational seminars and workshops, legislative representation, community service programs and services designed to assist franchised new car and truck dealers, HADA is committed to promoting and maintaining a competitive automotive industry in Houston and the individual communities its members serve.

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FIRST Robotics Teams Gear Up for “First Stronghold” With $250,000 From FCA Foundation

2015 frc msc

Working in an industry that is not only hungry, but desperate for new talent can be challenging for everyone involved. The automotive industry presents an outstanding opportunity at many levels. FCA is helping create interest and even passion for innovation among American youth. Kudos to FCA for the large donation to this robotics competition. FCA continually invests in youth programs through the FCA Foundation and since its origin in 1953 has contributed more than $500 million to initiatives that help empower and build strong communities. – Lynn Beckwith

From the Chrysler Newsroom:
FIRST Robotics Teams Gear Up for “First Stronghold” With $250,000 From FCA Foundation

2015 frc msc

  • Grants enable Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan teams to compete for robotics championship. For a complete list of competing schools, you can read more here.
January 5, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – The FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US LLC, today announced $250,000 in grants to FIRST Robotics Competition (grades 9-12) and FIRST Tech Challenge (grades 7-12) teams in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. The grants will offset the costs associated with items such as registration fees, parts and materials and team apparel for an estimated 650 students.“The real-world experience that students gain through their participation in FIRST programs is invaluable in preparing students for the future,” said John Nigro, Vice President – Product Development, FCA – North America. “We are equally proud of our employees who generously give their time and skills to help mentor students and serve as competition coordinators.”The FCA Foundation’s grant announcement coincides with the official start (Jan. 9) of the 2016 FIRST Robotics design and build season. During this six-week phase, teams will build, program and test robots with the guidance of adult mentors. It’s estimated that more than 3,100 teams comprised of 78,000+ students from around the world will compete for glory in First Stronghold, this year’s design challenge. Teams that win their regional qualifiers will compete for the 2016 FIRST Championship at the Edward Jones Dome, April 27-30, in St. Louis.
“We are proud to support an organization that taps into such formidable minds and encourages deeper levels of ingenuity within the pillars of STEM,” said Lesley Slavitt, Head of Civic Engagement, FCA US LLC, and CEO of the FCA Foundation.

2015 frc msc

2015 frc msc


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Veterans Day Open House Celebration at Beckwith’s Car Care on November 11, 2016.

Veterans Day Open House Celebration at Beckwith’s Car Care on November 11, 2016. 10am to 4pm We will have an open house all day with a special gift for Veterans, as well as, treats and beverages. For all who have served our great country it is an honor to celebrate Veteran’s Day and pay tribute to you – the Veteran’s of the American Armed Forces. We hope that you will stop by …Read More

Constitution Day Celebration 2016

Join us on Saturday, September 24th from 2pm to 4pm to celebrate patriotism at our Constitution Day Celebration! It celebrates the foundation of our nation and honors our soldiers and veterans. The Atascocita High School Marine ROTC will present a flag ceremony. If you have a community or Veterans group that would like to join us in any fashion please give Jason or Lynn a call at 281-540-2000 or send …Read More

Lotta & Florence Lawrence, Mother and Daughter Inventors

Reprint from the Historic Vehicle Association. Please visit their page.

On this date in automotive history:
“On December 28, 1938, the silent-film star Florence Lawrence commits suicide in Beverly Hills. She was 52 years old. Though she was best known for her roles in nearly 250 films, Lawrence was also an inventor: She designed the first “auto signaling arm,” a mechanical turn signal, along with the first mechanical brake signal. She did not patent these inventions, however, and as a result she received no credit for–or profit from–either one.

Born Florence Bridgewood in 1886 in Hamilton, Ontario, Lawrence entered show business when she was very young: her mother, a vaudeville actress named Lotta Lawrence (née Charlotte Bridgewood), brought baby Florence on the road with her, sending her onstage as “Baby Flo, The Child Wonder Whistler.” Lawrence got her first movie role in 1907 (“Daniel Boone”) and in 1910 she became the first actress to headline a film by name. (Before that, she was simply known as “The Biograph Girl,” for the name of her film studio.)

Because she was such a successful actress, Lawrence was able to buy her own car–a rarity in the early 20th century, when cars were still luxury items. She adored driving and loved learning all she could about the way automobiles worked. “A car to me is something that is almost human,” she said, “something that responds to kindness and understanding and care, just as people do.” In 1914, she developed a mechanical signaling arm that, with the press of a button, raised or lowered a flag on the car’s rear bumper that told other drivers which way a car was going to turn. After that, Lawrence devised a rudimentary brake signal that worked on the same principle: when a driver pressed the brakes, a “STOP” sign flipped up from the back bumper. These inventions were enormously important, obviously–today, every car on the road has electrical turn signals and brake lights–but because she never bothered to file patents for her work, Lawrence never got the recognition she deserved. (Not that it would have made much difference: her mother, also an inventor, patented the first electrical windshield wipers in 1917 and never got much credit either.)

After Lawrence was badly burned while rescuing another actor from a studio fire in 1915, she had a hard time finding work. Her first and second husbands died tragically, and she was divorced from her third less than a year after marrying him. She also had a rare bone-marrow disease that caused her a great deal of pain. Lawrence’s life came to an early end in 1938, when she poisoned herself in her Beverly Hills home.” [text source:history.com]

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Driving on Ice…Tires, Lexus creates “amazing”

Lexus proves its commitment to innovation at every turn. Now its at every turn of their tires – Lexus is the first to explore how frozen water can be used instead of conventional metal and rubber to create tires. A bit of a parody on driving on icy roads.

After three months of research, design and testing, the finished wheels were fitted to a Lexus NX for the ultimate ice drive. The car itself was deep-frozen, stored for five days at -30°C (it started first time) before being driven off down a London road.

Its important to note that even after 5 days of subzero temperatures the Lexus NX started right up.

Of course these glowing ice treads are not planned for production, but were rather a special commission to help illustrate Lexus’s ongoing desire to “create amazing.”

In addition to the innovative idea of ice wheels instead of an icy road, Lexus incorporated glowing LED lights to accent the sculpted ice wheels. After all with three months of research, design and testing and even deep freezing the Lexus NX for five days at -30C, these wheels deserved all the attention they can get. The use of LED illumination is an art form for Lexus, their vehicles shimmer and glow on a daily basis. Many even illuminate when you walk near the vehicle with your keys in your purse or pocket.

Special acrylic inserts provided structure so that the ice wheels could support the Lexus NX.



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Changes in steel that make your vehicle strong and safe

If you have driven vehicles for decades how can you help but compare the way the steel in your car doors feels today compared to the behemoth models they drove as teenagers. Like most automotive technologies the steel industry has seen vast changes and improvements. My first exposure to The Steel Market Development Institute was this year at the Texas Auto Writers Truck Rodeo. The information they shared brought together decades of changes and provided insight into the motivation and engineering that has improved the structure of the vehicles we drive today.

Steel is one of the oldest materials used in the production of automobiles, but advanced engineering has created more than 200 grades of steel that perform differently for a myriad of needs in the vehicle manufacturing industry. Strength, safety and even the ability to repair frame and body components after damage are all considered in this complex production process.

Listen to Dr. Jody Hall with the Steel Market Development Institute as she discusses just a few of the features and technologies that come to play in vehicles today on The Auto MOJO Radio Show. Here is a clip from her live radio broadcast.

Sustainability: Advanced High Strength Steel produces lower CO2 emissions and is completely recyclable.

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OOOOHHH Laaaa Laaaa…I’m in love with Lexus LF-FC

Lexus Press Release –
Reprint, because I could not get past just staring at the photo!

With a high output hydrogen fuel cell and electric motors powering this all wheel drive luxury concept the Lexus LF-FC immediately stole my heart. Add the integration of no touch hand signals that will control your audio and climate control and advanced automated driving technologies and I’m certain that this concept fell right off the pages of a comic book I read when I was 10.

Read on if you dare!

Lexus LF-FC Flagship Concept Revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show

October 28, 2015
TOKYO (Oct. 28, 2015) — Taking center stage in the Lexus booth at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015, Lexus revealed the LF-FC flagship concept, a visionary new vehicle that offers a peek into the design and technology direction of the brand’s future flagship sedan.

“Lexus wants to surprise and evoke emotion with its distinctive design and forward-thinking technology. For us, it is more than just a car, and we should exceed conventional imagination. The LF-FC expresses our progressive luxury and high-tech vision of a not so distant future,” said Tokuo Fukuichi, Lexus International President.

The LF-FC features a fresh new styling theme that embodies Lexus’ “L-finesse” design philosophy. From every angle, the sedan is aggressively elegant, exuding the spirit of a grand touring vehicle. An evolved version of Lexus’ signature grille with a new mesh design dominates the front, while floating “L-shaped” daytime running lights (DRL) extrude flawlessly from the front fenders. The rear is highlighted by striking new taillights that adopt the same floating theme as the DRL. When seen from its profile, the LF-FC’s true character is revealed. The roofline flows from front to rear in the manner of a “4-door coupe,” suggesting that this vehicle isn’t just meant for straight highways, but to also be enjoyed on twisty roads. The sporty 21-inch aluminum wheels with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) rims, add an extra dose of flair to what is already a dynamically styled machine.

The spacious interior of the LF-FC has been designed to wrap its occupants in a comfortable yet futuristic environment, while providing the driver with a highly-functional cockpit. The cabin has been designed in two sections, top and bottom. The top conveys a sense of openness, allowing the driver to concentrate on the road ahead without feeling constrained. When seen at eye level, the front seats seem to be floating. The rear seats have been designed for those who enjoy being driven, offering a reclining feature and plenty of head and knee space. High-quality aniline leather on the seats, doors and dashboard enhances the level of luxury of the interior.

Highlighting the new technology inside the LF-FC is an advanced human machine interface that can be operated by simple hand gestures, without the need to touch a panel or controls. A small holographic image on the center console indicates where the system can interpret your hand gestures to control the audio system and ventilation.

At the heart of the LF-FC is a high output fuel cell power system that energizes the rear wheels, and also sends power to two in-wheel motors in the front, making the LF-FC all-wheel-drive. This innovative drive system allows precise torque distribution control between the front and rear wheels, giving the full-size sedan exceptional dynamic handling and superior road stability. The strategic placement of the fuel-cell stack at the rear of the vehicle, power control unit at the front and T-formation configured hydrogen fuel tanks result in front and rear weight distribution optimal for a sporty sedan.

Using automated driving technologies, with elevated traffic environment recognition, prediction, and judgment function, the LF-FC provides a safe and efficient driving experience for its occupants and supports the vision of a world without traffic accidents.

LEXUS LF-FC Specifications
Length 208.7 in.
Width 78.7 in.
Height 55.6 in.


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