Thirteen Often Neglected Auto Services

12 10 2017

Dale BertramIn honor of Friday the 13th this October, we thought we would have a little fun and tell you how to keep your car from turning into a “car of the driving dead!” It needs to be serviced regularly, yet so many fail to do so! Here is a list of items to keep in mind if you want to keep your vehicle running well…and safely!

 

  • Brakes
  • Charging System
  • Cooling System
  • Failing to have a tire alignment
  • Filter changes
  • Fluid checks
  • Ignoring lack of tire tread
  • Ignoring the check engine light when it illuminates
  • Ignoring TPMS light
  • Lights
  • Oil, lube and filter change
  • Tire pressure checks
  • Wipers

These are all relatively simple checks so don’t delay.  Have them checked today!

 

 

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Oil Filter Warning

5 10 2017

Dale BertramThe oil filter is one of the most important parts of the engine. Its job is to filter out any contaminates created by the normal wear and heat of the engine.  When your car has the oil changed, most likely the oil filter is also changed, at least I hope so.

Years ago, we all knew that the oil and filter was changed at 3,000 miles, it was just the way it was. Enter the new age of cars, oils and filters; especially synthetic oils which last much longer as stated in some of my previous articles. Many oil changes can last 5,000 to 10,000 miles depending on the type of car, type of oil and how many quarts of oil are in the oil pan.

Back in the day when we recommended the 3,000-mile service, any oil filter would easily protect the engine for that mileage, but not many oil filters would protect your car for more than 5,000 miles. If you are driving longer than 5,000 miles between oil changes and using a low cost oil change shop, you may be damaging the engine and not even know it.

Let me explain. Oil filters all look the same on the outside, but are very different on the inside. The difference lies in the amount of filtering material used and type of drain back valve used inside each filter. Less expensive filters, as you would suspect, have less filtering material and a less reliable drain back valve.

This may seem insignificant, but the results can be catastrophic. When you drive longer than 5,000 miles on one of the low cost filters, the filter starts to lose the ability to keep the contaminates contained and they slip into the engine bearings, causing premature wear.  The eventual outcome is engine failure. It does not pay to have an inexpensive oil change and an inexpensive oil filter put on your newer model car.

Currently, there is not a standard or law that says what part or quality of part, needs to be put on your car. If you have an engine failure that should be covered by a warranty, and you have been using cheap oil/filter, this is not only scary for you, the consumer, but it could get downright ugly as the manufacturer may deny the claim. Ultimately, the consumer should be aware of what is going on with the car and use a service center you trust.

A cheap oil change may save you money short term, but will not save you money in the long run.

 

 

 

 





October is National Car Care Month

28 09 2017

Dale BertramTwice a year the Car Care Council, a non-profit organization, celebrates National Car Care Month.  This happens in April and again in October.  The reason they feel the need to spend money on advertising the importance of car care is because so many consumers don’t take care of their vehicles properly.

Neglect of this kind causes accidents, expensive breakdowns, pollution, using more fuel than necessary and even lost time at work! The Car Care Council hopes a gentle reminder twice yearly will prevent all this.

Here is a check list for safety, dependability and savings!

  • Have all fluids checked
  • Have air filter checked
  • Have battery and charging system checked
  • Have belts and hoses checked
  • Have oil and lubrication service
  • Have all lights checked
  • Have all wipers and fluid checked
  • Have tires checked for proper inflation and tread
  • Have suspension system checked
  • Have brake system checked

Many consumers feel a false sense of security today because they have cell phones or On-Star so they are able to call someone for help.  Yes…these are great when you need them but of course avoiding a breakdown or accident due to neglect or not to pollute the air or use more gas than necessary is a better choice.

If you have been putting off service or repair; call your car care provider today and not only will you be driving a safer, more eco-friendly vehicle, you will save money in the long run!

 

 

 





Being Economical and Ecological

21 09 2017

Dale BertramMany people are not anxious to trade in their car for a “greener” model just yet.  They do want to be economical and ecological and you can be!  Here is what you need to do!

  1. Use the proper grade of gasoline as indicated in your owner’s manual. If your vehicle calls for regular, you won’t benefit by paying for premium gas.
  2. When it is time to fill up, really fill up. Putting in so much today and so much tomorrow costs more.
  3. Do not top off your gas.
  4. Make sure your gas cap is properly closed.
  5. Fill up when you get to ¼ of fuel left to lengthen the life of your fuel pump. Running on empty can destroy the pump!
  6. Drive the speed limit. If you drive at 65 mph instead of 75 mph you would save 13%.  If you drive 55 mph you can save 25%!  Every five miles over 65 mph costs you about 24 cents per gallon.
  7. Idling just uses gas needlessly and hurts the environment.
  8. Remove excess weight from your trunk and luggage rack! Extra weight costs more in fuel.
  9. Keep your car properly maintained. For example, dirty air filters and improperly inflated tires can cost you 13% more at the pump.
  10. Jack rabbit starts and braking on a dime also use excessive amounts of fuel.
  11. Know where you are going. Use a GPS to avoid having to back track and drive around aimlessly.
  12. Maintain a safe following distance so you don’t have to keep braking and accelerating.
  13. Take off slowly from a full stop.
  14. Park in the shade when it is hot outside. It uses more fuel to cool down a hot interior when you put on the air conditioning.  It also costs more to drive with the windows down due to wind resistance.
  15. Inoperative 02 sensors (oxygen sensors) need to be fixed as soon as possible. When an 02 sensor gets lazy, fuel efficiency goes down.
  16. If your check engine light is illuminated it means a component has failed. Gas mileage is hurt by failed components.
  17. Worn spark plugs, ignition wires, distributor caps and rotor buttons can cause a dramatic decrease in gas mileage.
  18. A carbon clogged fuel system and valves cause poor fuel economy and a sluggish engine.

Keep in mind that when you save fuel, you are helping the environment!  To get your vehicle where it needs to be call Fairway Auto Repair today and we’ll make sure your car is on the cutting edge economically and ecologically.

 

 





The “New Car” Smell Can Be Bad For You!

14 09 2017

Dale BertramMany people know right off that the new car smell is bad news.  It makes their eyes water, gives them headaches, and nausea.  Some even experience a sore throat and immune system disorders.  These chemicals that cause the new car smell are toxic.

The smell comes from volatile organic compounds.  Even after the smell wears off you may notice a “fog” on the inside of your windshield and these same compounds cause that to happen.  This mix of compounds can consist of over 100 different chemicals.  The base of the compound is petroleum and it can be found in your car’s carpet, dashboard, solvent, and glue.  If you have had new carpet installed in your home you may experience the same smell. I have heard of office workers having to go home after new carpet has been laid in their building because they got sick almost immediately from the fumes.

Some countries limit the amount of these compounds manufacturers can use but so far the United States has not.  Car manufacturers have received complaints so they are trying to limit the problem by minimizing the release of the toxic chemicals.  Leather and fabric upholstery both generate volatile organic compounds so it isn’t as simple as selecting a different material to limit the smell.

The smell is most noticeable in the first two months of manufacturing and does eventually wear off, as you know.  If your new car smell is particularly potent it is vital that you leave the windows down as much as possible to air it out.  Even leaving them open a small bit can help. Parking in the sun makes the fumes worse so try to avoid that as much as possible. Air from outside is the only thing that will help.  Turning on the air just recirculates the toxins. Next time you “test drive” a new car that has been sitting in the sun with the windows rolled up you will get a good dose of these compounds.

Getting a new car is always a fun experience but we at Fairway Auto Repair just wanted you to be aware of these dangerous compounds so you can enjoy your car without getting sick from that new car smell!

 

 

 





Un-necessary Service

7 09 2017

Dale BertramI hear the phrase un-necessary service and wonder what that means. We visit the doctor for physicals, we visit the dentist for cleanings, we have our home air-conditioning unit cleaned and checked, a yearly eye exam and of course, the car needs a checkup too.

All of these professionals recommend some kind of service or checks to keep everything working properly. Most shops recommend services on cars that come in to their bays using the guidelines set out by the manufacturers or from the shops’ experience of early component failures. Sometimes there are a few recommendations and sometimes there are many service recommendations.

We recommend service to keep your car safe and reliable, just like the dentist tells you about issues developing with your teeth and gums. We know no one likes to spend hard earned dollars on maintenance services, especially when after these services are performed the car seems to run as usual with no noticeable differences.

I have found there is basically two types of philosophy on maintenance. The people who believe in maintaining and those who believe it’s better to wait until it breaks, then fix it. There are at least 30,000 parts on the average new car and over 5,000 of them are moveable parts. All moving parts require a clean source of lubricating oils, coolant or greases along with filters set in place to catch harmful materials. In addition, we have electronic parts that can be affected by poor maintenance habits. The simplest of new cars have more computing power than the Apollo Moon Lander. In fact, you could get to the moon with just 1/10th the computing power found on the modern car! Today’s electronics are so sophisticated that cars may run well even when there are serious failures in progress. The systems have enough authority to mask developing problems. By the time you have a detectable malfunction, one that you can feel or sense, you may have damaged expensive parts. The only outward indication the driver may get is a warning lamp on the dash. Poor maintenance practices can force electronics to work overtime, or carry excess current to compensate for worn out spark plugs, clogged filters, and more. Continuous operation in overtime builds heat in electronic components which leads to what engineers call “exceeding the duty cycle.”

In the end, it’s always the customer’s choice. Preventative maintenance is optional. Some people feel their car is running fine and they don’t need the service recommended by the auto service center. We certainly won’t try to talk you into saving money by caring for your car. You can choose to do preventative maintenance on a timetable that you control or you can wait until your car breaks unexpectedly, leaving you stranded without transportation and a potentially large repair bill. Neither philosophy is right or wrong. We are always here to help you either way!

 

 





Electric Vehicle Updates

31 08 2017

Dale Bertram– According to the ChargePoint report, 542,000 electric cars have been sold in the U.S. to date.

– Tesla Model S is by far the best-selling electric car in the U.S.

– Bloomberg New Energy Finance released a study recently forecasting that electric cars will be reducing oil demand significantly by 2040.

– Ride-hailing firm Lyft plans to deliver at least one billion rides in electric, autonomous vehicles by 2025.

– According to the most recent data compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the 1997 Accord and 1998 Civic were the most stolen cars nationwide in 2016.

– Nissan will be showing the next-generation Leaf all-electric car during National Drive Electric Week, following right after the global reveal on September 5.

– Volkswagen’s Electrify America subsidiary is partnering with Texas-based EVgo to establish a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the United States.

– Bloomberg analysis piece points to natural gas vehicles having failed in a race won by cheap gasoline prices and growth in electric vehicle sales.

– Lyft is focusing on self-driving cars.

– Lyft says it got a boost from Uber’s woes!

– UK plans to stop sale of all diesel, petrol cars by 2040.