Articles:

WIPE OUT! NEW WIPER BLADES FOR ALBUQUERQUE DRIVERS

When Albuquerque motorists talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn’t the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around New Mexico? Yet we often don’t even notice our windshields until we can’t see through them, or until our wiper blades fail. It’s estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won’t keep their windshields clear during a storm — that’s 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety’s sake, Albuquerque drivers need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don’t get new ones until the old ones become a dangerous safety hazard. Instead, we Albuquerque auto owners need to make wiper blades an essential part of our preventive maintenance routine. Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In New Mexico areas that e ... read more

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THE JIM’S AUTOMOTIVE GUIDE TO SAVING FUEL: CAR WEIGHT

The team at Jim’s Automotive in Albuquerque and New Mexico car owners are all talking gas mileage right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. Albuquerque car owners want to save the environment and their pocketbooks. And we all know—or should know—that preventive maintenance will help maximize gas mileage. But is there something more Albuquerque drivers can do? After all, some of us Albuquerque folks can’t cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize. Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from Albuquerque to Cedar Crest. And that means buying more gas in Albuquerque and producing more emissions. Of course, your sedan’s weight isn’t negotiable. And you can’t do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn’t an article about diet and exercise. But look around your sedan. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight ar ... read more

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HIGHER MILEAGE SERVICE INTERVALS FOR ALBUQUERQUE

Albuquerque motorists have probably noticed that the government mandates a lot of equipment on cars: emission devices and control computers; safety equipment like airbags; and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the motoring public in Bernalillo but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car in New Mexico. Because new cars are more expensive, Albuquerque residents are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. 68% of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles/120,000 kilometers. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on going. Some owner’s manuals don’t outline service requirements and schedules at higher mileage. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever for Albuquerque ... read more

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DON’T LET BRAKES STRESS YOU OUT

DON’T LET BRAKES STRESS YOU OUT

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STEER RIGHT IN BERNALILLO

STEER RIGHT IN BERNALILLO

Virtually all vehicles come with power steering so many Albuquerque drivers have never driven a car or truck without it. Power steering assists you when you turn your sedan steering wheel. Without it, it would be very hard to steer. Now this power assist comes in a couple of forms. In recent years, a lot of Bernalillo vehicles have an electric motor that reduces steering effort and helps improve MPG. The other kind of power steering is hydraulic. This is the kind most older New Mexico vehicles, and a lot of newer ones, have. Power steering fluid is pressurized by a pump and is used to assist steering. Of course, Bernalillo auto owners need the right amount of fluid in the system. If it’s too low your steering is affected and you could damage your sedan pump. Also, power steering fluid can become corrosive over time and damage the pump, hoses and connectors; leading to leaks and repairs. Power ... read more

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HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH FOR BERNALILLO AUTO OWNERS? TIRE TREAD DEPTH

Most Bernalillo motorists know that tires wear out and that the wear has to do with tread depth. Most of us have heard that “bald” tires are dangerous, but most of us picture a tire with no tread at all when we think of a bald tire. And when we take our vehicles in for preventive maintenance, the technician tells us they’re need to be replaced long before all the tread is worn off. Just how much tire tread wear is too much? And how can you tell? Tires are costly and their condition is important to the safe handling of a vehicle, so it’s essential for Bernalillo auto owners to know the answers to these questions. First of all, it’s vital to understand that there may be a legal limit to tread wear. If your tires are worn past this limit, you have to replace them to be in compliance with New Mexico auto safety laws. That’s why measuring your tread wear is part of a vehicle safety inspection. In some jurisdictions, tread must be at least 1.6 millimeters or 2/32 of an inch thick. T ... read more

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GOOD TIMING: PROPER TIMING BELT REPLACEMENT SAVES MONEY FOR ALBUQUERQUE DRIVERS

Knowing how their engine works can help Albuquerque motorists make informed decisions about car care and prevent pricey repairs to their vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to timing belts. An engine’s power is generated in the cylinders. Inside the cylinder is a piston that moves up and down while the engine is running. Power is generated in a cycle that includes four strokes of the piston. First, the piston drops and a valve at the top of the cylinder opens to let in fuel and air. The piston then rises, which compresses the fuel and air. At this point, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel and pushing the piston down. This downstroke transfers energy to the engine, which provides the power it needs to run. The piston rises again, and a valve opens to release the exhaust. All of this movement is orchestrated by a timing belt. The timing belt is so named because it keeps the pistons and valves operating in synch with each other, just as a conducto ... read more

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DRIVE TRAIN SERVICE IN ALBUQUERQUE AT JIM’S AUTOMOTIVE

The drive train in your vehicle includes all the essential components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. Those components differ depending on what type of vehicle you drive, namely, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The preventive maintenance your driveshaft needs will also differ by what type of vehicle you drive. Let’s start with front-wheel drive. In this vehicle, the transmission and the differential are combined in one component, known as the transaxle. The transaxle is connected to two half-shafts (axles), which are then connected to the wheels with a constant velocity (or CV) joint, which is protected by an airtight rubber boot. Jim’s Automotive service for this type of driveline includes servicing the transaxle and inspecting the CV boot. If the boot is damaged, the CV joint will need to be inspected, and the boot will need to be repla ... read more

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FUEL INJECTION KEEPS GETTING BETTER FOR ALBUQUERQUE MOTORISTS

Albuquerque auto owners know that engines burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine’s cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors. There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with air and before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the engine. Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6. For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower. Why the big difference in power? Direct i ... read more

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THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW: POWER STEERING SERVICE AT JIM’S AUTOMOTIVE

Service to a vehicle’s power steering system is a vital part of preventive maintenance for astute Albuquerque motorists. This system provides power to the steering wheel so you can turn it with ease. Without power steering, all of the power to turn your sedan’s wheels would have to come from you. The central element of most power steering systems is a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid, and it is this pressure that provides auxiliary steering power. A belt connected to the engine usually powers the pump, although some systems use an electric pump. Some newer sedans have an electric motor that directly provides the power steering boost. Pressurized fluid moves from the pump to the steering gear through a high-pressure hose. A low-pressure hose returns fluid to the pump. Power steering fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the system. Albuquerque motorists should remember that fluid level ... read more

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