Windshield Wiper Wisdom

•January 19, 2015 • Leave a Comment

You all know to prepare your vehicles for winter driving. But while you’ve likely heard plenty about checking your battery, flushing your fluids, and changing the oil, there is another component of your vehicle that often goes overlooked despite being a key safety feature during inclement weather—the windshield wipers.

A wiper tune-up can have an enormous impact at any time of the year, but it’s especially effective and important when visibility is at a premium during the winter months. Maintaining proper windshield wiper health gives you a much better chance of getting through the season without any accidents.

How the Windshield Wiper System Works

Your vehicles wiper system is comprised of five parts:

  1. wiper motor
  2. wiper arms
  3. wiper blades
  4. wiper inserts
  5. washer fluid

The arm connects to the base of your vehicle and holds the blade. The wiper insert (the rubber squeegee that’s actually in contact with your windshield) is held by the blade. The motor powers everything. And washer fluid is, of course, the liquid that shoots onto your windshield to clean it.

Checking Your Wiper System

In order to maintain optimum condition, your wiper system needs routine maintenance and replacements. The wiper insert should be replaced at least twice a year, ideally before and after the winter months. To check to see if your wiper inserts need to be replaced at any time, just spray washer fluid and switch on your wipers. If you hear a screeching sound or see streaks on your windshield, your wiper inserts are worn and need to be replaced.

Your wiper blades also need regular attention. Cleaning them twice a month will help you stay on top of any cracks or other damage that could lead to problems in severe weather. Wipe down your wiper inserts with a clean rag and some washer fluid at the same time you clean the blades.

Five Minutes Makes a Difference

A few minutes of effort is well worth the safety and advantage of having clean, healthy wipers. Winter driving is just too dangerous without perfect and reliable visibility.

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It all starts with the battery (for your car anyway!)

•December 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment

When you start your car this winter, the last thing you want to hear is a “chug, chug, chuuug” from your engine when it’s trying (in vain) to turn over. If this happens, it’s quite possibly your battery, especially if you haven’t tested or replaced it in some time. But starting your car is just one important function the battery serves. This blog is all about batteries.

Car batteries usually last four to six years, but it’s good to have your battery tested after three to four years because there are few warning signs of a dying battery. However, if you have to jump start your car for any reason or if you notice your car sounds different when you start it, then it’s time to have your battery tested.

Your battery is in great demand.

If you drive a newer vehicle, the demands placed upon your battery are significant. This is because new cars have so many more electrical systems than older vehicles. Here are a few of the features that may be using power from your battery in addition to the starting system:

  • Wipers and defoggers
  • Lights
  • Fan
  • Power windows and door locks
  • Power seats
  • Heated seats
  • Stereo and auxiliary power ports
  • ECU (electronic control unit)

In addition to the numerous functions it performs, weather can take a toll on your battery. Both temperature extremes—hot and cold—are battery killers. Battery capacity falls by about 1% per degree below 68 degrees, while high temperatures accelerate aging, self-discharge, and electrolyte usage. Fully discharged batteries (“dead” batteries) lose about 80% of their life expectancy when compared to a battery that never went “dead.”

Get your battery tested!

Be proactive when it comes to your battery. If it’s between three and five years old (or older), or if you are noticing a pattern of slow engine cranking, stop by 2nd-to-None Service and have your battery tested. It’s one quick pass or fail test that just may keep you off the side of the road this winter!

2014 FREE RIDE Winner Announced!!!

•October 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment
David, Lynnetta, Cruz, Mike & Jody at the 2014 FREE RIDE Giveaway

David, Lynnetta, Cruz, Mike & Jody at the 2014 FREE RIDE Giveaway

On October 10, David and Lynnetta joined with Mike and Jody Tavenner of Tavenner’s Towing to give away a 2000 Dodge Intrepid. This is the third year the foursome have come together to give back to the Moriarty community by giving away a car. They also donated a $1,000 scholarship to a Moriarty High School graduating senior in the name of the person who nominated the winner of the car.

Our Winner, Tyler "Cruz" Howse

Our Winner, Tyler “Cruz” Howse

Meet Our Winner – Tyler “Cruz” Howse

Our 2014 FREE RIDE winner is Tyler “Cruz” Howse. He was nominated by Diana and Leon Ricter of Windmill Water in Edgewood. Cruz graduated from Moriarty High School last year, and is now attending UNM full-time. He’s also supporting his father and mother by working two jobs. His father became disabled after a root canal infection spread to his brain, and his mother is his dad’s full-time caregiver. Without a car, Cruz was relying on friends to get everywhere he needed to go.

While in high school, Cruz was very active in the community. He ran cross country and track, played basketball, and participated in the Special Olympics by running on a relay team. He was also part of the National Honor Society and Student Council.

 A Reliable Car for a Deserving Young Man

In spite of his circumstances, Cruz has not only endured, he has done well for himself and the people who depend on him. He’s an outstanding young man who is defined by hard times and hard work. We here at 2nd-to-None Service are proud to be able to award him with a much-needed car to help make his life a little easier.

Fuel Efficiency Myths

•September 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

We’ve talked before about ways to save money at the pump. But just as there are many great tips to help improve your vehicle’s fuel economy, there are numerous fuel efficiency myths that don’t actually do anything to increase mileage—and some of these practices can even harm your vehicle.

The Modern Gas Gauge (image from flickr)

The Modern Gas Gauge (image from flickr)

Myth #1 – Gas mileage decreases as vehicles age.

If you keep your car or truck properly maintained and take care of necessary repairs as they arise, you shouldn’t notice any significant decrease in fuel economy as your vehicle ages. Just make sure to watch out for dirty fuel injectors, defective oxygen sensors, worn spark plugs and plug wires, and a leaky gas cap.

Myth #2 – Shifting into neutral at stops conserves gas.

Unless you drive an older vehicle with a carburetor, shifting into neutral at stops won’t conserve gas. Modern vehicles have computerized fuel-injection systems that sense if an engine is revving above idle when you ease off the accelerator. When this happens, the fuel injectors shut off, so gas is no longer injected into the engine, even if the car is still in gear. Not only is shifting into neutral ineffective when it comes to saving gas, it can actually cause premature wear on shift components.

Myth #3 – Topping off the tank improves gas mileage.

Unless You're a Pro, A Stick Probably Won't Improve Your Mileage. (Image from flickr)

Unless you’re a pro, a stick probably won’t improve your mileage. (image from flickr)

Many people think that by topping off the gas tank they’re getting as much fuel as possible into their vehicle, enabling them to go just a bit farther between fill-ups. In reality, after your tank is full and the gas nozzle shuts off, any additional gas is drawn into a gas station’s vapor recovery system and back into its storage tanks. According to AAA, you could even damage your car’s evaporative emissions system by topping off your tank.

Myth #4 – Manual transmissions get better gas mileage.

In the old days, a manual transmission almost always achieved better gas mileage than an automatic because a reasonably skilled driver could control engine revs through efficient shifting. With modern vehicles, however, a high-tech automatic transmission is generally more competent than a driver using a clutch and stick shift. Not many Americans learn how to properly drive a manual transmission anymore, and given that a stick is usually reserved for high-performance cars, it’s difficult for the average driver to squeeze the best possible mileage from a vehicle with a clutch.

Myth #5 – Using cruise control saves gas.

Use your cruise, but not to save gas. (image from flickr)

Use your cruise, but not to save gas. (image from flickr)

Unless you’re on a long highway trip on very flat terrain, your cruise control system probably won’t save you much gas. You’ve probably experienced the sudden acceleration and engine revs that occur when you begin going up a hill with the cruise control on—this rapid acceleration burns a lot of fuel, just as if you floored the gas pedal yourself.

Myth #6 – Fuel additives can increase your gas mileage.

Most auto parts stores sell many different kinds of fuel additives that claim to improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Other than fuel-injector cleaner (which can help your fuel economy if your fuel-injectors are clogged and dirty), most fuel additives—even if they work as advertised—probably won’t save you enough money at the pump to cover their added cost. To help consumers, the Federal Trade Commission has a website dedicated to the claims of gas saving products: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0057-gas-saving-products.

Myth #7 – Filling up when it’s cooler gets you more gas.

You may have heard that if you buy gas in the coolest part of the day, you get more fuel for your money because a cooler liquid is denser. However, gas is almost always pumped from underground storage tanks that are naturally insulated from temperature swings—which means a slight change in outdoor temperature won’t significantly affect the gas, or save you any money.

Lowering the tailgate decreases fuel efficiency. (image from flickr)

Lowering the tailgate decreases fuel efficiency. (image from flickr)

Myth #8 – Lowering a truck’s tailgate improves gas mileage.

Many pickup truck drivers incorrectly believe that lowering the tailgate is better for aerodynamics and therefore improves gas mileage. But, in fact, driving with the tailgate up is more aerodynamically efficient—air flows over the truck, falls over the cab, and pushes forward on the rear of the truck. The benefits of that airflow are lost when the tailgate is down. Replacing the tailgate with an aftermarket net is worse than having no tailgate at all; it’s like dragging a fishing net through water.

FREE RIDE CAR GIVEAWAY!

•August 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

It’s time for 2nd to None’s “FREE RIDE” car giveaway! This year, we’re giving a 2000 Dodge Intrepid to a deserving individual in Torrance or Santa Fe County. If you know a valuable member of our community who needs reliable transportation, fill out an application form. It’ll only take a few minutes, and you could change someone’s life!

The 2000 Dodge Intrepid we're giving away on October 10.

The 2000 Dodge Intrepid we’re giving away on October 10.

Nominees should meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a resident of Torrance County or Santa Fe County
  • Must be a “giver by nature, and we prefer someone who is active in our community
  • Must be faced with economic challenges and hardships that would make it difficult to buy a car or repair an existing vehicle
  • Must have a valid New Mexico driver’s license and be able to afford to register and insure the vehicle in their own name
  • Must be nominated by someone other than the recipient
  • Must have application in by October 1, 2014

Winner Will Be Announced on October 10!

2nd to None will announce the winner of the FREE CAR giveaway on October 10 at the Homecoming Football Game. Please send us your submissions ASAP–we can’t wait to hear your inspiring stories!

Thanks!

David & Lynnetta

Full-Size Pickup Sales Improve with Housing Market Recovery

•August 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

According to Automotive News, the sale of full-size pickups will likely increase as the housing market eventually recovers, catching up to the rest of the economy.  Pickup sales and new-home construction have always thrived and suffered in step with each other, as contractors and builders rely on full-size pickup trucks to haul lumber, plywood sheets, and other housing materials.

Full-Size Pickup Truck Sales Back on the Rise

Full-Size Pickup Truck Sales Back on the Rise

The 2008 homebuilding crash brought the big truck segment to its knees. Sales dropped to 1.6 million, falling from 2.1 million in 2007. And in 2009, sales dropped to 1.1 million. We don’t know the numbers for 2014 yet, but sales have since risen, reaching 1.9 million in 2013.

Truck makers are responding by introducing redesigned models with new features and functions. For example, Ford is launching its redesigned F-150 with an aluminum intensive body this fall, and Nissan has begun promoting a redesigned full-size Titan pickup for 2015.

Oil Drilling Is a New Source for Truck Sales

Oil drilling and energy industry activity are also helping truck sales in the U.S. In 2010, only 187 oil rigs were operating in the United States. This summer, there were over 1,500. More trucks are being bought to do work on and around these rigs.

The Time Is Right for a New Truck

Another reason that truck makers are expecting growth is the age of pickups on the road today. In 2013, the average age of full-size pickups reached 13 years, and the current average age for scrapping and replacing older vehicles is between 13 and 15 years. That means many truck drivers will soon be in the market for a new vehicle.

If you drive a full-size pickup truck in the Albuquerque area, bring your truck to 2nd to None Service in Moriarty for maintenance and repairs. We work on all kinds of big trucks.

Conserve Gas and Pad Your Wallet

•August 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Remember when a gallon of gas cost around a $1?

Gas Prices Are Well Over $3 in NM

High Gas Prices in New Mexico (Image from Flickr)

Well those days are long gone. With gas prices solidly over $3 a gallon in New Mexico, it’s all about trying to save money at the pump. Some people are sharing rides or taking public transportation to manage costs; however, that’s difficult for those living in rural areas with few close neighbors. And while Albuquerque residents can use ABQ RIDE buses to get around, Moriarty doesn’t have a public transportation system.

So that means you–like most of us–are probably dependent on your car to get to work, to get to the store…to do pretty much anything! And did you know the average one-way commute in Moriarty is 35 minutes compared to 24 minutes for the State of New Mexico? We’re in our cars more often than most AND for longer periods of time! We need to save on gas however we can.

Gas Saving Tips

Luckily, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has many tips for saving gas and making sure your car or truck gets optimal miles per gallon.

  1. Monitor your tires – Underinflated tires and/or poorly aligned wheels waste gas by forcing your car’s engine to work harder.
  2. Remove excess weight from your vehicle – Less weight means better mileage.
  3. Consolidate trips and errands – If you’re going to town, make a list and make sure you take care of everything you need to do.
  4. Avoid stop-and-go traffic – Plan your trips to town at times when traffic is light.
  5. Keep your engine tuned-up – Replace your filters and fluids according to your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule, and correct any engine problems.
  6. Use windows and air conditioning (A/C) wisely – Keep your windows up when driving at highway speeds to reduce air drag, and turn the A/C off in stop-and-go traffic to save fuel.
  7. Avoid excessive idling – Shut off your engine if you’re parked and waiting in your car.
  8. Observe speed limits – Speeding decreases your miles per gallon.
  9. Drive gently – Sudden acceleration guzzles gas, so adjust your speed gradually.

If you haven’t had your car or truck serviced in awhile, bring your vehicle to 2nd to None Services for a little TLC. When your car’s running in top condition, you’ll be filling up less often.

 
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