When “You Can Trust Us” Rings True

You’ve probably heard the horror stories:

A friend goes in for a routine oil change, and her mechanic calls her hours later telling her she needs additional services that are going to run an extra $300, or

A coworker had a minor fender bender, takes his car to a garage suggested by someone in his Fantasy Football League, and they discover underlying alignment damage that your insurance adjuster didn’t…and won’t cover. Continue reading When “You Can Trust Us” Rings True

Shifting into New (Year’s) Driving Habits

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are historically two dates with the highest incidences of traffic accidents. The NHTSA is likely to report that the number of fatal traffic accidents rose between 2011 and 2012. So, it seems evident that driving habits present an obvious opportunity for self-improvement, one that’s, ironically, often overlooked when making New Year’s Resolutions. But 2013 is the year to change that…and we’re going to help! Continue reading Shifting into New (Year’s) Driving Habits

It’s About Time: Recommended Vehicle Maintenance Schedules

As you embark on this new year, don’t forget your vehicle while making resolutions and plans for the upcoming year. Keeping up with routine maintenance can keep your car in tip-top shape—increasing reliability, protecting value and even preventing costly repairs. Continue reading It’s About Time: Recommended Vehicle Maintenance Schedules

Whose Responsibility is to Prevent Distractions Behind the Wheel?

As we continue to observe National Impaired Driving Prevention month, we’ve thought about the ways distracted driving impacts so many lives and how it has prompted both personal and public response. With many cities across the country enacting cell phone bans while driving, like Albuquerque, we have to wonder, whose responsibility is it to prevent distractions behind the wheel? Continue reading Whose Responsibility is to Prevent Distractions Behind the Wheel?

When Bambi Crosses the Road

Shorter days and cooler temperatures are signaling to the critters of New Mexico that winter is coming, so they’re preparing for a long winter’s nap. Their preparations mean they are more active, and more likely to cross your (paved) path. For the safety of you, your passengers, others on the road and the animals, know how to prevent animal-related crashes and how to minimize damage when you can’t. Continue reading When Bambi Crosses the Road

Get Your Car Ready for Winter

The Halloween candy you haven’t already eaten will leave your house in the sacks of trick-or-treaters, and relatives will soon be rolling up the driveway to share your Thanksgiving feast. These are sure signs that winter is on the way…and with it, cold temps, snowy roads and corrosive salt. It’s time to prepare your car now!

Systems Check

Ensuring that your vehicle can safely maneuver and keep you comfortable through harsh temperatures and wet roads may involve little more work than just checking various systems before you must rely on them.

Inside your car:

√ Check your heater and defroster.

If your engine temperature gauge points above the C, but your interior environment isn’t getting any warmer, you may have a faulty heater coil.

Under the hood:

√ Check for battery corrosion.

If your battery is over three years old, it’s also a good idea to make sure it can hold a charge.

√ Check belts and hoses.

Cold, dry air can make once-pliable belts brittle. If your hoses and belts are showing signs of wear, the change in weather conditions may bring on the tear, rip or break that spells disaster.

√ Check your 4WD system.

Familiarize yourself with how to engage your 4WD system and how it feels (you might want to test it out on roadways a bit rougher than pavement…check your owner’s manual for recommendations).

Outside the car:

√ Check your tire pressure.

In the summer, because hot air expands, we typically recommend inflating your tires one to two psi less than the manufacturer recommendations. In the winter, fill ‘em up. Also, if you’re planning on enjoying the slopes, you might want to invest in snow tires before heading up to Angel Fire.

√ Check your paint.

Nicks and chips in your paint expose panels and other structures to moisture and salt, inviting severe corrosive damage.

Fluids Check

Although winter is cold, improper lubrication and coolant levels can lead to overheating and engine damage. Make sure that:

√ Your oil is at an adequate level and the right viscosity for the weather.

Cold air keeps fluids thicker. Your owner’s manual may recommend a different thickness for summer and winter conditions.

√ Your coolant and water mixture is 50/50.

Many coolant solutions come premixed, but if you’re not sure, it may be worth having your system flushed.

As winter approaches, get in the habit of filling up your gas tank when it’s half empty. Keeping a full tank will keep fuel lines from freezing. If you’re going to be encountering extreme temperatures, a fuel additive (like Heet) will provide additional protection.

Maximize Visibility

Preventing winter auto mishaps has more to do with preventing breakdowns. It also means preventing accidents. To avoid crashes, make sure you can see what’s coming:

√ Get new wiper blades.

√ Fill up your windshield wiper fluid…with a formulation made for low temperatures to avoid freezing on contact.

√ Clean your headlamps and replace burnt out bulbs or blown fuses.

Of course, accident prevention is also aided by defensive driving. Expect that to be covered in a later blog.

Prepare for the Worst

Winterizing your car will significantly decrease the chances of being stranded roadside, but be prepared for stalls or accidents. Make sure your car is equipped with an emergency kit. We recommend:

√ Extra clothes, non-perishable food and water

√ Ice scraper

√ Shovel

√ Tool kit

√ Jumper cables

√ Spare windshield wiper blades and tire

√ Material to provide traction (e.g sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter)

Also, know the numbers and provisions of your roadside assistance policy. If you don’t have one, get one.

If you have any questions about what maintenance your car needs to ready it for winter driving, contact Quanz Advanced Auto Body. We can look up your manufacturer’s recommendations and schedule any necessary service.

The Ghouls of the Automotive World

There’s little more than a week until Halloween when the ghouls of the underworld come out to play with the humans. But the ghouls of the automotive world are out all year long, riding among the normal sedans, crossovers and sports cars unnoticed…until now. In celebration of the spookiest day of the year, we’re going to call out the spookiest cars ever made. Continue reading The Ghouls of the Automotive World

How to Prevent Car Theft

When it comes to auto theft, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is much more energy- and cost-effective to equip your car with devices and get into the habits that deter car thieves than it is to file a police report, open a claim with your insurance carrier, hope that your car is found and returned (although there’s a good chance it won’t be), and if it is, shell out the cash to get it refitted with the parts that car thieves stripped. Continue reading How to Prevent Car Theft