Don’t Drive with One Eye Closed, Replace that Headlight!

Driving at night without your lights is dangerous and reckless, and you shouldn’t do it, agreed? This is because you need to see as far down the road as possible to avoid running into something avoidable.

Cracked Windshield

Driving with a headlight out is at least half as careless then, isn’t it? In fact, driving at night with anything less than the most light possible can result in hitting unexpected objects or animals in the road or not seeing an upcoming turn until its too late.

Aside from injuring yourself or someone else and the damage you can do to your car, you can also get pulled over when a headlight is out. Nobody needs the hassle and cost of a fix-it ticket. So what do you do when you notice your headlight is out?

Replace Those Bulbs

One rule-of-thumb is if one bulb is out, the other isn’t far behind. Go ahead and replace them both. Newer bulbs are up to 30% brighter than older bulbs and can give you up to 25% more visibility. That might be the difference between slowing down to avoid a deer or colliding with it because you never saw it. There are three types of bulbs to choose from to give you better night vision:

  • Halogen: Halogen headlights use a special filament mixed with halogen gas to generate a much brighter light than conventional headlights.
  • Xenon/HID: Instead of using a heated filament, Xenon headlights use gas. Xenon lights are brighter, have a lower operating temperature, and last longer. Unfortunately, they can be more expensive, and professional installation may be recommended.
  • LED: The advantage of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have over halogen bulbs is that they draw less power to operate, run cooler than halogen lights, and last much longer. Most newer vehicles come equipped with LED headlights from the factory. These last so long that you’re probably not even reading this article!

When Bulb Replacement Isn’t Enough

Over time, your lenses can get dirty with a buildup of dirt and grime. It’s good to clean them off from time to time to maximize your ability to see at night. Unfortunately, no matter if it is night or day, you might find yourself in a fender-bender. When that happens, bring your car into the experts at Cline Collision Center. We are committed to integrity, honesty, safety, and craftsmanship. Whether you have major damage or just need a quick fix to get you safely back on the road, we like to say that choosing Cline Collision Center is no accident! Contact us online or call 707-591-9909 today!

Ask George or Abe? How Much Tire Tread is Enough?

Maybe you’ve noticed. The cost of goods and services keeps going up. We’ve noticed, too. Though we do everything we can to keep prices down, there’s one area where inflation isn’t just acceptable. It’s preferable.

The tire tread test.

Close Up Of Tire Tread

We want you to be safe and avoid trouble as much as possible. This means having tires with plenty of tread on them. For years, the recommendation from automotive experts was to use a penny to check tire tread wear. The idea was to hold a penny so that you can see the front of it. With Abe Lincoln upside-down, go ahead and rest the penny in the tread grooves. If you can see honest Abe’s whole head, then you only have 1/16” or less of tread remaining.

For decades, this has been called the Penny Test and signified that it was the time to replace your tires. 

Automotive specialists have been rethinking that rule. It may not be enough in the most critical situations. You need more grip on the road when you have to come to a sudden stop on a rainy day. The latest research shows that on a slick road, 1/16” of an inch might not stop you until it is too late! That’s why we no longer advise you to use a penny.

It’ll cost you a quarter now!

Remember, George Washington didn’t lie about the cherry tree, and he certainly won’t lie about your tires. Run the same test with a quarter. If our first president’s whole head is visible, it means you have less than 1/8 of an inch—and it’s time to get a new set of tires.

Once you get your new tires, be sure to keep them properly inflated. Also, don’t forget to have them rotated every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. We want you and your tires to safely roll down the road for miles and miles.

This doesn’t always happen, though. If you run into trouble, or trouble runs into you, call Cline Collision Center. We will help you navigate insurance and are ASE-certified, with OEM certifications from NissanInfiniti, Fiat/Chrysler (FCA), Honda/AcuraFord, Hyundai, and Kia. We have earned Gold Class status from I-CAR, a designation that lets you know that everyone who touches your car is highly trained and understands new vehicle technologies and repairs. If you value integrity, honesty, safety, and craftsmanship, call 707-591-9909 or contact us online today!

Common Mistakes Performing Wheel Alignments When Damage Still Exists

When the stars are aligned, everything is right in the world. The traffic lights are all green. You get the job you wanted. You meet that special someone.

The same is true when your wheels are aligned. Your car steers straight. There’s no vibration. Your tires wear evenly. Everything works the way it should!

The problem is, after a collision, proper alignment can be hard to achieve. Not all shops are meticulous about structural and suspension parts damage.

Common Mistakes Performing Wheel Alignments When Damage Still Exists

Structural damage refers to any underlying damage to the structure or underpinnings of a vehicle. Back in the day, when manufacturers built vehicles body-on-frame, they called this a “bent frame.” Only trucks retain this older design, which bonds together the body and ladder-like frame. Most cars today are based on unibody construction. Panels and the underlying chassis are one piece, reducing weight while maintaining integrity.

An impact can cause the frame or unibody to bend. In particular, the design of unibody construction causes the structure to collapse and absorb the energy of the collision. Significant structural damage is often the result.

What’s this all mean to you?

It means you need autobody experts on your side when repairing your vehicle. We make sure that your car or truck is structurally sound. The wheels can’t be aligned if the vehicle isn’t. There’s no almost or close enough here. Specifications for this are exacting, and we are too. Your safety means too much to us.

We also check for damage to suspension parts, which can be overlooked. These parts must be three-dimensionally correct. If struts, shock absorbers, arms, bars, or other items are even slightly bent or damaged in any way, a post-repair tire alignment will quickly deteriorate. Your tires will begin to show irregular wear. You’ll notice that the vehicle trembles at higher speeds or that you have to steer straight.

You won’t have to worry about this when you bring your vehicle to Cline Collision Center. Your stars will suddenly align, and we’ll proudly bring your vehicle back to pre-collision condition. This includes wheel alignment that lasts because we won’t rest until every element of your repair meets our high standards. Our Gold Class certification tells you that we find hidden damage and make the right repairs to ensure your safety.

For dent removal to high-end painting and auto detailing you can trust, contact us online or call us at 707-591-9909 today!