Spring Cleaning Your Car

•April 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

When you think of spring cleaning, you probably think of your home, but what about your car? Winter is the harshest time of year for cars, and your vehicle likely deserves a thorough cleaning. Here’s what you should do.

Steps for Washing Your Car Thoroughly & Efficiently

People__Washing carClean the inside of your car first and follow with the outside. Remove all trash, including what has accumulated in the trunk, vacuum the inside, and clean the windows.

For the outside, include the tires and wheels and the underside and fenders to eliminate any road salt or grime. Wheels and tires should be cleaned with a mitt other than the one used to wash the body. This step will avoid contaminating the vehicle’s paint with debris from the wheels.

Wash the car in the shade and use a product sold specifically for cars. Soap up one section at a time, thoroughly rinsing away the suds as you go. Clean the fenders and bumpers last since they will have the most dirt and grime that can contaminate the wash mitt.

Give your car a final rinse by letting water cascade down the surfaces of the vehicle. To avoid water spots, use a chamois or other product made for drying to dry the car. If you have time, you may also want to wax your car according to the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Waxing should always be done out of direct sunlight and every six months.

Once you’re done, a new air fresher and trash container are the perfect finishing touches!

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10 Tips to Get the Best Possible Oil Change

•March 19, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Like any auto repair and service shop, we do a lot of oil changes. We also see the effects of neglect and shoddiness when it comes to oil changes. If you decide to do your own oil change, or you find yourself at a quick lube station, make sure the job is done right. Here are some tips, and keep in mind, following a routine maintenance schedule for oil changes is probably the single best thing you can do for your vehicle.

  1. Allow your vehicle’s engine to warm up fully before you change the oil or get your oil changed.
    Once an engine is warmed up completely, all the dirt particles and contaminants that settled at the bottom of the oil pan when the engine was off get churned up and suspended in the oil. This will ensure that most of the contaminants get removed when the oil is drained.
  1. Make sure your vehicle is level when the oil is being drained. This enables the old, dirty oil to drain out as completely as possible.
  1. Examine the waste oil as it is draining into the pan. Look for signs of contamination, such as water, because with every drain, water will settle at the bottom of the pan. Also, feel for bits of metal which could suggest internal engine problems. A thorough mechanic will often run his fingers through the oil while it is draining to feel for grit, metal, and other contaminants that signal possible engine problems.
  1. Remove and inspect the old filter carefully. Most modern cars use a spin-on oil filter. When removing the filter, make sure that the gasket sealing ring comes off with the filter. If it does not, use your fingernail to pry it loose and remove it.
  1. Choose your new filter carefully. Select one that has been manufactured by a company widely known for the quality and efficiency of its filtration products.
  1. Install the filter properly. Make sure to coat the sealing ring with fresh motor oil and hand-tighten only.
  1. Oil Change

    Make sure you use the correct oil for your car.

    Choose the correct grade of new oil. Oil is the lifeblood of the engine and choosing the appropriate grade will ensure proper performance. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct service designation. It will be specified as an API (American Petroleum Institute) rating.

  1. Choose the correct viscosity or thickness of oil. It will vary by make and model of car and the climate in which the vehicle is operating. The viscosity of the oil will be specified in your owner’s manual as an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) number. For example, a typical multi-grade oil is 5W30.
  1. Use exactly the right amount of oil. Too much or too little can endanger the life of your vehicle’s engine parts. Over-filling can cause oil leaks and can damage engine seals and gaskets. Having too little oil can cause friction and shorten engine life.
  1. If you plan to regularly do your own oil changes, invest a few dollars in a magnetic oil pan drain plug. It will capture most of the potentially damaging metal particles that may collect in the oil pan.

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.

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

 
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