Best DIY Car Care & Maintenance Tips

Sure, it’s already been hot in Albuquerque, but even more intense heat is still coming…followed in a couple months by monsoon rains. Whether you’ve stayed on top of car care or have neglected maintenance, there are some visual inspections, top-offs and preventative maintenance tasks you can (and must!) do to make sure your car’s ready for summer.

DIY Maintenance for Visibility

Visibility entails your ability to see the road (and obstacles on it) and the ability of other drivers to see you. To ensure optimal visibility during low-sun hours (dawn and dusk) and summer storms, check: Continue reading Best DIY Car Care & Maintenance Tips

What to Do When Your Parking Brake Gets Stuck

So, you parked on a hill, remembered to engage the E-brake, but now that it’s time to leave, you can’t get it to disengage. What do you do?

A sticking emergency or parking brake is most commonly a winter problem because of ice. And for that, you need to melt the ice, which you can do a number of ways:

  1. Warm up your car and hope that is enough to melt the ice around the parking brake.
  2. Create a snow and ice dam around your car so that the heat from the engine is trapped below your car, more effectively melting the ice around the parking brake.
  3. Use a hairdryer to melt the ice from the parking brake.

No matter what method you use, you see the common theme—melt the ice and the parking brake should work.

But what about when ice is clearly not the problem? Well, then, things are little trickier. Continue reading What to Do When Your Parking Brake Gets Stuck

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 Our Top 10 DIY Car Detailing Tips

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 Body. (Did we mention we now have three locations to serve you?!)

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 How to Properly Wash, Polish and Wax Your Car

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 Is Your Car Ready for Holiday Travel?

Effective DIY Maintenance—What You Really Need to Do to Extend Your Vehicle’s Useful Life

Routine vehicle maintenance will give you more useful years in your vehicle and minimize repair expenses over the lifetime of the vehicle. That much you know. But what do you really need to do to realize these benefits? It’s really not as hard as you might think. Here’s what the pros at Quanz Auto Body suggest you do to show your care a little TLC: Continue reading Effective DIY Maintenance—What You Really Need to Do to Extend Your Vehicle’s Useful Life

4-Item Winter Readiness Checklist

Winter is nearly here, so NOW is the time to get your car ready for winter weather conditions. We’ve created a brief checklist of the most important aspects of routine car maintenance that need to be tended to for optimal driving performance and comfort.

Battery

Cold weather can affect battery performance, making it difficult to Continue reading 4-Item Winter Readiness Checklist

DIY Maintenance or the Pros?

When it comes to repairing your vehicle, it may be tempted to try and save a little cash by attempting DIY maintenance and repairs. The problem is the “What if?” What if you don’t do the maintenance or repair job right? That can lead to even pricier issues later down the road. So, the money you save and then some will be going to a professional mechanic to fix the bigger issue. Our advice: at least always consult with an ASE-certified mechanic…unless it’s one of these issues:

Maintenance Issues You Do NOT Want to Toy With

There are some maintenance or mechanical repairs that you should always leave to your ASE-certified technician at Quanz Auto Body: Continue reading DIY Maintenance or the Pros?