Our Top 10 DIY Car Detailing Tips

Some car owners just love their cars. Some of those same car lovers relish a job well done. And for those who fit that description, DIY detailing can be very gratifying. But if you’re going to do the job yourself, you might as well do it right—the way the pros do it. Here are ten tips to help you.

  1. Maintenance makes detailing easier

There are a lot of nooks and crannies in and on your car, so detailing is always going to be a big job. You can more quickly Continue reading

What Is a Safe Braking Distance?

Rear-end collisions are, probably, the most common type of auto accident in the US. Ever wonder why? Because drivers do not leave enough distance between the front of their car and the back of the car in front of them. Plain and simple.

There’s an easy way to remedy that problem and make yourself virtually incapable of causing a rear-end collision—always maintain a safe braking distance.

Factors Affecting Braking Distance

How much distance it takes to actually stop your car depends on four factors: Continue reading

#TeenDriverTips

Teen drivers have a bad reputation. Statistically, there are plenty of reasons why—teen drivers cause and are involved in more accidents than any other driving demographic.

But your age does not have to define your driving behavior. We have a few tips to make you a diamond in the rough—a safe teen driver.

Make “Don’t Text and Drive” a Habit

One reason teens are involved in so many accidents is because Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Electric Cars

Electric cars are no longer the stuff of science fiction. They are real, and they are a viable option for your daily commute. If you are in the market for a new vehicle, we have some thoughts about electric cars you should keep in mind as you weigh your options.

The “Pros” of Electric Cars

Electric cars, or EVs, as the insiders say, have a great deal going for them…

  1. They are cheaper to run and maintain

Pure electric vehicles do not require Continue reading

Why Your Brakes Squeak in the Rain

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring…but it’s more the squeal your brakes are making that has you concerned. That squeal could mean nothing…or it could be good reason to stand your hairs on end. But when road conditions are wet (and possibly icy), you need to know.

The Most Likely Cause of Brake Squeaking

If you notice that you only hear a squeak in the rain, it’s likely due to Continue reading

Tips to Prevent Morning Frost on Your Windshield

Frosty morningJanuary mornings often greet you with ice on the windshield—not exactly what you needed when you are already cold and running late. Did you know you can spare yourself the hassle of the morning defrost or ice scraping?

Here are three ways you may prevent frost from forming on your windshield: Continue reading

Why You Should NOT DIY Dent Repair

Crunch. The gut-wrenching sound of crinkling metal as your car takes a hit. You get out to examine the damage and, sure enough, it’s a dent. Too large to be ignored, but small could it be small enough to handle on your own?

It’s tempting to jump to YouTube to find a way to fix a dent yourself. And surely there are some lucky souls who have. But the great likelihood is that you will pay dearly for the money you try to save by doing the job yourself.

Common DIY Techniques…and Snags

The Internet is full of tricks to get dents out of your car. The most popular include:

The Plunger

Moisten the surface of the plunger—the cup-size for sinks, not the bigger size for toilets—and then apply to the car around the dent, and plunge! Push and pull until the dent pops out.

The snag: First, the dent must be larger than the plunger for this to work. If the dent is small, the plunging will have very little effect on the dent. If the dent is too large, however, then there is a good chance of making a single, large dent into several smaller dents. Then, the pushing and pulling of the plunger may not create sufficient pressure to remove the dent, or the metal may become overstretched. Even though the paint will likely stay intact, the integrity of the metal may be compromised and weakened, possibly even over-corrected and warped.

Boiling Water

Nowadays bumpers are made of plastic, not metal. To remedy a small dent, you just need to get the plastic a more pliable so that you can pop it out from the underside. To do so, boil water and pour it over the dented area and then apply pressure from the underneath.

The snag: Working with any heated material, there is an increased risk of a burn injury. Also, the area of the bumper that is dented may not be easily accessible. The heat from the water dissipates quickly, so you might not have enough time to actually pop the dent out. Though you are welcome to continue to apply the water, each application increases the risk of injury and possibility of damaging the paint.

Hair Dryer and Compressed Air

Apply heat to the area using a hair dryer. When it is sufficiently warm, apply compressed air. The rapid cooling will cause the metal to contract and snap the dent out of place.

The snag: The theory of this method is alluringly simple and straightforward. However, there are other factors that complicate its efficacy. The dent must be fairly shallow for this to work. Depending on the area and curve of the dent, it is unlikely that you will be able to sufficiently heat and cool the area evenly and quickly enough to actually change the appearance of the dent. Though the paint will likely go unscathed, so is the dent.

Dowel Rods

Put a screw into the opposite sides of a dowel rod to make a handle. Make 4-6 “poppers.” Apply hot glue to the bottom of the dowel rod and stick it around the dented area. Allow the glue to cool and then gently pull the dowels and pop the dented metal back into place.

The snag: The big problem with this technique is the effort and skill required. This method requires quite a bit of finesse in terms of glue pull placement and consistent pulling pressure required to fix the dent. This technique has a trial and error component, which often takes more time than it saves; and the hot glue applied directly to car paint is not recommended.

Though you may cringe at the thought of shelling out the cash to go to an auto body shop for a little (or a big) dent, the pros have the right equipment, experience and time to do the job right. Save yourself the time, the headache, and the risk of further damaging your vehicle. Bring your car to Quanz Auto Care. (Did we mention we now have three locations to serve you?!)

How to Choose an Anti-Theft System for Your Car

Albuquerque often tops national lists of cities where most car thefts happen. Understandably, many car owners want to avoid discovering that their car is not where they left it. There are a lot of options for aftermarket anti-theft systems. Knowing how they work and what they cost can help you pick the best one for your vehicle.

Types of Anti-Theft Systems

Anti-theft systems may work by:

  • Deterring break-ins

Some anti-theft systems are designed to discourage thieves from targeting your car for theft. Car alarms are the most common system that uses this strategy, but other devices, like steering wheel locks that are visible through the windows, may also serve the same purpose.

  • Preventing ignition/mobility

You may physically or electronically immobilize your vehicle, making it impossible (or at least extremely difficult) for thieves to take your car. Immobilizing anti-theft systems include:

  • Steering wheel lock (like The Club)
  • Tire lock
  • Kill switch
  • RFID

Some immobilizing anti-theft systems must be deactivated every time you get in your car. Others may be linked to your key fob or other electronic transmitter that automatically recognizes the authorized user (i.e. the driver with the right keys).

  • Safeguarding mechanical systems

Because what your car has under the hood may be more valuable than a mode of transportation to some thieves, there are anti-theft systems intended to block access to mechanical components. Hood locks, for instance, require a key to pop the hood, keeping your engine and other chop shop targets safely covered.

  • Locating your vehicle

Thieves do not want to be found, so anti-theft systems that allow you (and law enforcement) to find your vehicle make your car an unattractive target. Popular tracking systems include LoJack and other systems (like Verizon’s hum) that plug into your car’s OBD reader.

Considerations for Choosing an Anti-Theft System

There are two major considerations for choosing an anti-theft system:

  1. What type of theft are you most trying to prevent?

If you depend on your vehicle for work and home life (as most of us do), you want to prevent your car from moving anywhere without your knowledge. So, the ideal anti-theft system will deter thieves from targeting your car at all or will immobilize your car if an unauthorized user gains entry. That makes deterrents and immobilizing systems your top choices.

If you have invested a lot in aftermarket upgrades and customizations, you will likely want to add a layer of protection on top of your mechanical components. That makes a hood key essential.

  1. What is your budget?

As you know, the simple desire to prevent car theft does not always provide the budget to do so. For those looking for an economical anti-theft system, physical immobilizers—steering wheel and tire locks—are likely the least expensive. For mid-budget range, you may be able to get a decent electronic locking system. Do be aware, however, kill switches typically need to be deactivated before each drive. If that introduces a hassle you cannot tolerate on a daily basis, then an RFID system may be better suited for you.

Owners of newer cars or cars that tend to be stolen more than others may want to invest in multiple systems, including a locating system that makes recovery more likely (and hopefully likely before components have been removed).

For questions or information on installing any aftermarket anti-theft system, call Quanz Auto Care.

How to Properly Wash, Polish and Wax Your Car

Sure, it’s December, but almost any time of year in sunny Albuquerque is good for car washing. And since we recommend washing and waxing your car at least once every three months, that means it may be time for your quarterly exterior clean-up. To do the job right… Continue reading

Is Your Car Ready for Holiday Travel?

If you are sticking close to the greater Albuquerque area for the holidays, chances are you won’t run into severe winter weather. But many Albuquerque residents are transplants who will return to their childhood stomping grounds in chillier parts of the country. If you’re making that trip in your car, make sure your vehicle is ready for harsher winter driving conditions. Here’s how: Continue reading

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