There are a number of factors that contribute to the high nighttime accident rate in the greater Corrales area, things like drowsy driving and a higher rate of impaired driving. Without a doubt, visibility is a major contributor. Let’s focus on visibility…
It’s said that 90 percent of our driving decisions are based on what we see. Nighttime driving has the effect of reducing 20/20 vision to the equivalent of 20/50 vision. What you could clearly see at 50 feet in daylight can’t be seen until you are just 20 feet away at night.
Too make sure your headlights are giving you the greatest visibility, visit us at Dearholt Auto Care. you’ll find us located on 7201 Wyoming NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109. Please give us a call to make an appointment: 505.857.0868.
Accident avoidance is dependent on reaction time. Reaction time deteriorates measurably in low light conditions. One thing we can do to improve visibility is to make sure our headlights are as bright as they can possibly be.
Headlamps dim over time. They dim so gradually that you may not notice it. Many experts suggest replacing your standard or halogen headlamps once a year.
If your vehicle has standard headlamps, consider upgrading to halogen lamps. They make a big difference. And there are upgrades available within the halogen category as well. This once-a-year expense is very modest compared to the safety benefits.
Some pickups come with high intensity discharge – or HID – headlamps. These lamps should last for the life of your car. They are very bright and are clearly the best option for nighttime driving. Depending on your vehicle, you may be able to upgrade to HID headlamps. Talk with your Corrales service advisor at Dearholt Auto Care about options for your car.
Another startling fact is that 90 percent of pickups on the road have dirty or yellowed headlight covers. Dirty is easy to fix. Just run the window washer over the headlight cover when you stop for gas. Get those bugs and dirt off the cover.
Now plastic headlight covers can yellow or become hazy over time. They can be restored to clarity with a special polishing process. Dearholt Auto Care can help you with this service.
It’s also vital to keep your windshield clean and streak free when driving at night. Make sure you have plenty of washer fluid and that your windshield wipers are in good working order.
We recommend replacing wiper blades twice a year – in the spring and fall. Fall is also a good time to replace headlamps so you’ll be ready for those long winter nights.
Nothing Lasts Forever
POP! That’s how quickly one of your vehicle’s belts can fail and leave you stranded. CHA-CHING! That’s how quickly you can instantly save $20 on a new NAPA belt that could have prevented the POP! So, visit Dearholt AutoCare, your local NAPA AutoCare Center today for a FREE belts and hoses inspection. If needed, we’ll install a new NAPA Belts & Hoses Power OE Belt and DriveAlign Tensioner — and you’ll save $20 instantly! Start off 2016 right … with a FREE belts and hoses inspection at Dearholt AutoCare at7201 Wyoming NE! Offer good through February 29, 2016, for most cars, light trucks and SUVs.
All Lined Up: Wheel Alignment Service At Dearholt Auto Care
When all of your vehicle’s wheels are lined up exactly with each other, your wheels are in alignment. Hitting a road hazard or even just the normal bumps and bounces of everyday driving in Albuquerque can cause your pickup’s wheels to be out of alignment.
Driving for an extended time in Albuquerque when your wheels are out of alignment results in uneven tire wear. This is dangerous … and expensive. Worst case scenario, you have a blowout on a crowded NM interstate. It can also cause premature wear to your suspension system, which can be really expensive to repair. At the very least, you may have to replace your tires years too early.
Here are some alignment basics from Dearholt Auto Care:
The first adjustment is called toe or do the wheels point in towards each other or away from each other at the front of the tire. The next adjustment is called camber or do the wheels tip in or out at the top. And finally, there is castor. Castor measures the angle where the front axles attach to the vehicle.
The ideal alignment for your pickup was designed by its engineers. Alignment service at Dearholt Auto Care starts with an inspection of the steering and suspension – to see if anything’s bent or broken. Then your personable Dearholt Auto Care technician will look at tire condition.
From there, the pickup is put on an alignment rack and an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels are then aligned to pickup car makers’s specifications.
Your pickup owner’s manual probably has a recommendation for how often your alignment should be checked – usually every couple of years. If you suspect an alignment problem, get it checked at Dearholt Auto Care before you suffer expensive tire or suspension damage.
Make Your Vehicle Last
We live in such a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days NM folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough – they had to do without. Most Albuquerque motorists couldn’t afford new cars very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.
It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days for Albuquerque auto owners. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us NM penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Albuquerque car owners making sure we follow the automobile manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.
Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and clog passages. Then some pickup parts don’t get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.
It is probably even more important for older pickups. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.
And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Albuquerque at Dearholt Auto Care, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It’s like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your personable Dearholt Auto Care service specialist help you keep track of the rest.
Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Dearholt Auto Care is cheaper than a a steep new car payment for Albuquerque drivers. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol – you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.
How Your Check Engine Light Works
Have you ever had an experience like this in Albuquerque NM? You drive through the one of those automatic car washes. When you get to the end, where the dryer is blowing, your check engine light started flashing!
You fear the worst, but within a block or two, the light stopped flashing, but stayed on. By the next day, the light was off.
You wonder; “What was going on?” Well, it’s actually a good lesson in how the Check Engine light works.
Your air intake system has a sensor that measures how much air is coming through it. When you went under the high-speed dryer, all that air was blasting past the sensor. Your engine computer was saying, there shouldn’t be that much air when the engine is just idling. Something’s wrong. Whatever’s wrong could cause some serious engine damage.
Warning, warning! It flashes the check engine light, to alert you to take immediate action.
It stopped flashing because once you were out from under the dryer, the airflow returned to normal. Now the engine control computer says the danger is past, but I’m still concerned, I’ll keep this light on for now.
Then the Check Engine Light goes off in a day or two.
The condition never did recur, so the computer says whatever it was, it’s gone now. The danger is past, I’ll turn that light off.
Now a flashing check engine light is serious. You need to get it into our Albuquerque NM shop as soon as possible. But if it stops flashing, so you have time to see if the problem will clear itself or if you need to get it checked. How does the computer know when to clear itself?
Think of it this way. The engine control computer is the brain that can make adjustments to manage the engine. Things like alter the air to fuel mix, spark advance, and so on. The computer relies on a series of sensors to get the information it needs to make decisions on what to do.
The computer knows what readings are in a normal range for various conditions. Get out of range, and it logs a trouble code and lights up the check engine warning.
The computer will then try to make adjustments if it can. If the computer can’t compensate for the problem, the check engine light stays on.
The computer logs a trouble code. Some people think the code will tell the technician exactly what’s wrong?
Actually, the code will tell the technician what sensor reading is out of parameters. It can’t really tell you why, because there could be any number of causes.
Let’s say you’re feeling hot. You get your heat sensor out – a thermometer – put it under our tongue and in a minute or two you learn that you have a fever of 104 degrees.
You know your symptom – a fever – but you don’t know what’s causing it. Is it the flu, a sinus infection or appendicitis?
You need more information than just that one sensor reading. But it does give you a place to start and narrows down the possible problems.
There are reports on the internet telling you that you can just go down to an auto parts store and get them to read your trouble code or buy a cheap scan tool to do it yourself.
There are two problems with that. First, the computer stores some trouble codes in short term memory, and some in permanent memory. Each manufacturer’s computer stores generic trouble codes, but they also store codes that are specific to their brand.
A cheap, generic scan tool, like you can buy or that the auto parts store uses, doesn’t have the ability to retrieve long-term storage or manufacturer specific codes. Your Albuquerque NM service center has spent a lot of money on high-end scan tools and software to do a deep retrieval of information from your engine control computer.
The second problem is that once you’ve got the information, do you know what to do with it? For example, a very common trouble code comes up when the reading on the oxygen sensor is out of whack.
So the common solution is for the auto parts store to sell you a new oxygen sensor, which are not cheap, and send you off on your way. Now your oxygen sensor may indeed have been bad and needed replacing. But the error code could have come from any of a dozen of other problems.
How do you know the right solution? Back to the fever analogy, do you need surgery or an aspirin? Leave it to the pros at Dearholt Auto Care. Give us a call at 505.857.0868 and let us help you resolve your check engine light issue.