Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the Colorado news. Castle Rock people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better MPG and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Castle Rock motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They’re good commuters, Castle Rock grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they’re paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their SUVs for 200,000 miles or more – as long as it’s economical to do so.

There are plenty of Castle Rock drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles. We can learn from what they’re doing to keep our own SUVs on the road in Colorado.

The brilliant Castle Rock auto owners of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it’s really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your SUV’s engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is dangerous for your engine.

There’s another essential reason why the scheduled oil change is so important for Castle Rock car owners. It’s simple – a Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won’t get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let’s use brake fluid as an example, your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or pricey repair.

Your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service advisor will also visually inspect your SUV for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car’s worth.

And your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. advisor will be able to remind you of other critical services that the factory recommends you get done. Just think of that oil change the same way as you do about going to your Castle Rock dentist for your six month cleaning and checkup. Don’t skip it.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your SUV gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles you’ll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some bucks, but they are less costly than new SUV payments in Castle Rock. With proper service at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock and regular inspections, you’ll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more cash in your wallet.

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Coolant/Antifreeze Service At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.

Anyone that drives a car in Castle Rock knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your SUV cooling system in good condition.

A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the SUV’s engine to absorb more heat.

Why shouldn’t Sedalia motorists just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won’t cool your SUV engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.

So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn’t it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold Colorado weather. That would spell disaster for your SUV’s engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!

Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your SUV. Denver car owners should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.

That is just good auto advice. Your SUV’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service professional for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among auto makers.

Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it’s hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.

Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the SUV cooling system functioning well and doesn’t allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.

But don’t just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or ask your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech if you don’t know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your SUV cooling system.

You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It’s easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your SUV engine by using the wrong antifreeze.

One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.

Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. to keep you on the road and help your life in Castle Rock run more pleasantly.

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Getting New Tires In Castle Rock?

best tire shops in Castle Rock

There are so many tire choices in the Castle Rock, Sedalia, and Larkspur area, selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming for Denver drivers. And even though it’s kind of fun to have new tires on your SUV, they’re a significant investment for most Denver folks so you want do it right.

Tip: talk with your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tire professional. He’ll help you sort through the choices.

Here are some of the vital issues you’ll talk about: One is size – you know, all those numbers on the side of the tire. The right size is important. All new vehicles are required to have stability control which, along with other important safety systems, is calibrated to work with specific tire sizes. Your Castle Rock tire professional can help stay within vehicle manufacturers’ specifications or program a different tire size into your SUV’s computer.

And you’ll want to discuss how and where you drive in Denver to determine the type of tire you need: summer, winter,  all season tires or all-terrain. There are tires for every Castle Rock auto owner’s needs.

Like we said, tires are a big investment, so you want to get a good value on tires. Now that doesn’t always mean the cheapest tire. A top tier tire from Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. will last a long time and give Castle Rock drivers good performance throughout its life. Tires sold in Castle Rock bargain tire shops may not live up to that promise. Again, your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tire professional can give you options that offer the best long-term value within your immediate budget.

Last, with a 2-wheel drive vehicle, it’s critical to always replace both tires on an axle. Modern sensors and computer safety systems for SUV brakes, stability and traction control need both tires to have the same amount of wear to work properly. And always put the new tires on the rear so you don’t fishtail in a turn. With all-wheel drive you should replace all four tires at the same time.

Schedule a tire inspection at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. to see how much life is left in your SUV tires and seek the help of a professional when choosing new shoes for your vehicle.

Give us a call

Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.
303-688-4510
1235 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, Colorado 80109

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Nighttime Visibility In Denver

There are a number of factors that contribute to the high nighttime accident rate in the greater Denver 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 Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. you’ll find us located on 1235 Caprice Drive, Castle Rock, Colorado 80109. Please give us a call to make an appointment: 303-688-4510.

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 SUVs 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 Denver service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. about options for your car.

Another startling fact is that 90 percent of SUVs 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. Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. 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.

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The Right Automotive Fluids For Denver Drivers

What grade of oil should I use?

All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Denver drivers. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won’t work as well for Castle Rock drivers and could even cause damage.

In addition to new grades of engine oil, many SUVs now leave the factory with synthetic oil. Castle Rock auto owners should always use the grade recommended by their automobile manufacturer  and type of oil in their engine.

All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your SUV cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.

Most passenger vehicles on Castle Rock roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your SUV power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.

Now, the vital thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids and that using the right fluids is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you’ve got that down, it’s easy to remember to check with your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. service specialist or SUV owner’s manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.

Give us a call

Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.
303-688-4510
1235 Caprice Drive
Castle Rock, Colorado 80109
http://ddautorepair.com

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Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. Service For Your Exhaust System

Your SUV’s exhaust system is more than just a tailpipe and a muffler. In fact, it is one of the most complex systems on your SUV. Maintaining it is good Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. auto advice for Castle Rock car owners, but it’s also good health advice and good environmental advice.

The exhaust system includes your emissions system. Because this system may affect your health and the health of our Denver area environment, it is subject to strict government regulations. Satisfying these regulations demands some high-tech, computer-controlled equipment, which means that the emissions system is a lot more sophisticated than it was thirty years ago. Most auto manufacturers recommend that you have your SUV exhaust and emissions systems checked by a qualified service advisor at regular intervals.

The exhaust system starts with the exhaust manifold. The manifold is attached to the SUV engine. It collects exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe. Gaskets seal the connection of the manifold to the engine and to other joints. A cracked or loose manifold or a leaking or damaged gasket can allow dangerous gases to enter the passenger compartment of a vehicle. One of these gases is carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly. For this reason, it is essential that Denver car owners keep their exhaust system in good repair.

The pipes that connect the various parts of the exhaust system can rust or be damaged by rocks or other road debris. Such damage can cause dangerous gases to leak into the air. So it is critical that exhaust pipes get an inspection regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next vital component of your SUV exhaust system. It sort of looks like a muffler. Its job is to change dangerous gases into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any regular maintenance, but it can wear out. If it fails, you will need a new catalytic converter to pass an emissions test in Colorado. Call Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. at 303-688-4510 if you suspect a problem with your catalytic converter.

Oxygen sensors in the exhaust pipe monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust. This helps the SUV engine’s computer keep the fuel-to-air mixture at optimal levels.

The muffler is also part of your SUV exhaust system, but it deals with a different kind of emission. It keeps your SUV from emitting bad sounds. Mufflers act like finely tuned musical instruments. They create a feedback of sound waves to absorb or decrease the noises made by your engine. Different mufflers can create different sound waves, so you can actually “tune” your car to produce a particular sound, anything from whisper to rumble.

It is essential for damaged mufflers be replaced immediately at your Castle Rock automotive service center, especially if they are leaking. Not only will the extra noise annoy your Castle Rock neighbors, a leaky muffler could be serious.

The entire exhaust system is attached to your SUV by hangers and clamps. These fasteners can rust, come loose or break. The essential components of the exhaust system can get very hot, so when the hangers or clamps fail, these hot components can come into contact with other parts such as wires and hoses. These can melt, causing serious and expensive damage to your vehicle. Good car care requires that you have your exhaust system inspected regularly.

Let’s not forget the tailpipe. It’s the last essential piece in the exhaust system — and of your SUV, for that matter. Exhaust fumes exit your SUV through the tailpipe.

If your SUV has any of the following symptoms, it may have a problem with the exhaust system: it’s hard to start, it runs rough, it’s noisy, it’s smoking. Also, if your “check engine” light comes on, especially if it’s flashing, it is important to get your SUV to Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock right away. Often, the “check engine” light indicates a problem with the emissions system.

Caring for your SUV exhaust system yields cosmetic benefits like quieting your engine sounds, but also may impact your health and safety. Your life, or the life of a loved one, may actually be on the line.

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Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.

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When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock is a lot like buying shoes, except that Castle Rock auto owners’ vehicles don’t have changeable apparel and don’t need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of Colorado road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Denver area drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Castle Rock need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough Colorado mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the Denver area tire market, although prices don’t vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Castle Rock often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires, but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in Denver are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don’t hesitate to ask your Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the Colorado tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don’t have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, Castle Rock folks get what they pay for.

At Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc., we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40-thousand-mile tire,” or a “60-thousand mile tire.” This refers to the number of miles a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you’re really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It’s always better for Castle Rock drivers to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you’re driving on Tier 3 tires, it’s a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That’s the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires, and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Denver auto owners.

So, some good auto advice for Castle Rock auto owners would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you’ll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there’s some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t have to purchase tires as often.

Good car care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

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How Do You Save Gas In Castle Rock Colorado?

No one in Castle Rock, Colorado likes to spend a chunk of change at Denver gas pumps. Rising Colorado fuel prices, however, have spurred Castle Rock auto owners to focus on how to improve their gas mileage. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we are car-loving Americans, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let’s look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here’s what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his Castle Rock service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his MPG.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here’s a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Castle Rock, Colorado. First get caught up on your important routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost MPG. If it’s time for a tune-up, git’er done at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. That’s a big item.

If your check engine light is on, have your Honest Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. tech figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Castle Rock car owners as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra hundred pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Denver folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on Colorado highways and Castle Rock streets: don’t speed and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven’t mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That’s because there aren’t any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of “miracle fuel saver” scams in Colorado. Don’t shell out any money to swindlers, you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your service advisor at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock before spending your hard earned cash.

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Higher Mileage Service Intervals For Castle Rock

Castle Rock drivers 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 Denver but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car in Colorado.

Because new cars are more expensive, Castle Rock 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 Castle Rock drivers to stay on top of routine auto maintenance for cars with more than 120,000 miles/190,000 kilometers. Just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 24,000 miles/38,000 kilometers should be performed at 24,000 mi/38,000 km; 48,000 mi/77,000 km; 72,000mi/116,000 km, 96,000 mi/154,000 km; and on and on.

Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule may be more appropriate than the regular schedule. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and do not hold the fluids as well as they used to. If you don’t already have one, it is more vital than ever to get a good service advisor, like any one of the automotive professionals on our team at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put some clicks on the odometer, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course.

Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints for Castle Rock drivers that trouble is brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a steep repair. Regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things Castle Rock car owners can do to really help a high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, transmission fluids and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have higher mileage.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older SUV engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better gas mileage and excellent wear protection. Come into Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc. in Castle Rock for a checkup.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high kilometer vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 mi/80,000 km, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. The fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids in Castle Rock because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold for Castle Rock motorists in terms of preventing costly repair costs down the road.

It does cost more for motorists to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle in Castle Rock – but it’s much cheaper than a new car payment!

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Looking Down the Road – Headlamps

If you’ve ever been driving around Castle Rock and had a headlamp go out, you’ve probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won’t have the same brightness which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Double “D” Auto Repair, Inc.. We’re at 1235 Caprice Drive in Castle Rock, Colorado 80109. Or give us a call at 303-688-4510

Experts in Castle Rock recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when daylight savings time changes in the fall. That way you’ll have bright headlamps for those long Castle Rock winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can’t believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and give a very white light that’s a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they’ll last for the life of your car. If you want your Castle Rock friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint – no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can’t react to what you can’t see. You need headlamps that’ll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. And your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and also, to keep your lights from shining off into on-coming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That’s because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Castle Rock service centers offer a service to restore the lens that’s a lot cheaper.

You can’t drive if you can’t see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don’t forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

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