October is National Headlight Safety Month, and one of the best ways to prepare for the highly unpredictable New England weather is to properly maintain your vehicle’s headlights. It is also one of the easiest ways to stay safe on the road by being able to see and be seen by incoming traffic.
Headlights are one of the most easily overlooked and underappreciated elements of vehicular safety. Most drivers only think about their headlights once they burn out, and while this does not affect the overall performance of the car, this attitude can negatively impact you as the driver.
Studies show that 90% of a driver’s reaction time depends on vision, with proper illumination being crucial to awareness. 49% of accidents occur at night (a startling number given that most driving occurs during the day), with the most dangerous time being the hours between 6 PM and 9 PM. Very often, people fail to notice one of their lights is out –a dangerous and fineable offense. One of my favorite maintenance tricks is to check your vehicle’s reflection when waiting behind someone at a stop to make you can see both lights against his or her bumper. Since lights don’t burn out very often, you only need to remember to do this once or twice a month.
For the astute driver who notices his or her headlights seem dimmer than before, a headlight restoration kit should be used before any plans to replace the bulbs themselves. The casing for the headlights can get steadily caked with dirt, and many do not realize that the average car wash is not enough to clean this off.
If you’re in the market for new bulbs, there are three types to consider: incandescent, halogen, and xenon. Incandescent bulbs are like the run-of-the-mill light bulbs found at home, only much larger. They are less energy efficient, and have the shortest rated life of typical bulbs. Halogen bulbs are a step up in energy efficiency, rated life, and illumination. Finally, we have xenon bulbs, which are lit with a bluish tint. These lights are extremely bright and very energy efficient, but should be installed properly to reduce glare, and to avoid blinding other drivers.
So remember don’t overlook your headlight maintenance because your visibility on the road is everything!
There’s nothing quite as painful as dealing with car troubles. In these moments, you realize just how dependent you are on your vehicle, and how utterly helpless you are without it. And at the end of the day, there’s often no real choice but to bite the bullet and take your car in for repairs. Choosing between Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts or less expensive aftermarket parts begs the question: is a less expensive part a lower quality part?
Hidden in the term OEM is the fact that you’re buying genuine parts –parts designed for, and meant for, your vehicle. Genuine OEM parts come with the assurance that what you’re buying is truly an authentic replacement for your repair needs.
Maybe it’s about finding a less expensive option or greater selection and availability, but drivers often elect to have their repairs done using aftermarket parts. While these parts are typically cheaper than OEM parts, they often come with a reduction in quality and durability.
For example, replacing brake pads is a very common repair job, and a clear instance of when OEM parts should be favored over aftermarket. Though cheaper, aftermarket parts wear out considerably faster than OEM brake pads. The money saved using aftermarket comes directly from the quality of the components. Aftermarket brake pads are notorious for their inferior construction and poor bonding. This not only means you’ll have to replace your brake pads more frequently, but you also run the increased risk of having your brakes fail at a crucial moment.
Automobile repair can be annoying and expensive (unless you’ve recently purchased a Volvo), where the goal is to fix the problem as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. Dealing with car troubles, however, isn’t just about short term fixes, but more about long term solutions. Inexpensive parts may get you back on the road, but are likely to quickly send you right back to the shop.
While insurance companies often refuse to cover the full cost of OEM parts to cut down on their expenses, the implications of deciding whether to use OEM or aftermarket span beyond the car itself. For instance, using non-OEM parts may partially or completely void your vehicle’s warranty. Repairing a leased vehicle with aftermarket parts may cost you your security deposit –on a similar note, repairs done using aftermarket parts can significantly damage your vehicle’s resale value.
OEM parts typically come with a one year warranty. Because these replacement parts are the same ones currently in your vehicle, they fit better, and therefore incur lower labor costs (often the most expensive part of car repair). And while it is possible to find aftermarket parts equitable to OEM ones, the time spent researching and purchasing these components may not be worth it, considering your vehicle will be sitting useless in the meantime.
Taking your car in for repairs is always stressful, but the best way to care for your vehicle comes from using quality parts. OEM parts come with an assurance of quality, and allow you to preserve the value (and durability) of your vehicle. Though more expensive, these parts will easily make up their cost by allowing you fewer trips to the shop. And isn’t that something you deserve?
(All offers end 2/28/11)
1. 2012 VOLVO S60 T5* – Lease now for $299 per month for 36 months. Stock #3112.
2. 2011 VOLVO S80** – MSRP $41,050. SAVE $5,400. Sale Price: $35,650 or Lease for $369 /month for 36 months. Several available at this price.
3. 2011 VOLVO XC70 T6 AWD**– MSRP $42.300. SAVE $4,000. Sale Price: $38,300 or Lease for $459/month for 48 months. Stock #1971.
PARTS & ACCESSORIES SPECIALS
1. Volvo Ski Rack Special– Save $31.00!
Reg. Price: $155.00
Sale Price: $124.00***
2. Winter Snow Tire Package– Save $300.00! Free Installation & Storage
Reg. Price: $1,599
Sale Price: $1,299^
3. Genuine Volvo Wipers – Save 20%!
Includes free installation. Let Jaffarian help you see clearer!
Visit Jaffarian Volvo TODAY to learn about all of our specials!
*Volvo Allowance and $1000 Owner Loyalty Bonus apply. Includes Safe + Secure Coverage Plan. $1,993 cash due at signing, 10K miles per year, tax title registration additional
**$2,999 due at signing. Includes Volvo Allowance and Volvo Loyalty Program Rebates. Up to 10K miles per year. Tax, title, registration & documentation fees are additional. Based on a Tier 1+ credit.
***Offer only applies to item #8622614
^Mounted and balanced on alloy wheels. Available for most models.
Volvo strongly recommends snow tires for driving in locations with sustained periods of snow and icy driving conditions.
At $1,299 Our Snow Tire Package Includes*:
- Alloy Wheels
- Bridgestone Blizack Tires**
- Mounting & Balancing
- Free Installation
Additionally – Swap & Store^ for FREE
FREE Installation and Tire Pressure Sensor Reset!
Don’t miss out on this great offer! Call Jim or Larry TODAY at 866.373.0212 to schedule your appointment
*16” fits most Volvo’s; some may be slightly higher. Subject to availability. Offer ends 12/31/10
** Tire subject to availability. Offer ends 12/31/2010
^Valid only on snow tires installed at Jaffarian Volvo