Keeping Your Vehicle Physically Fit!

4 01 2018

Dale BertramOn December 26th our television sets and other devices seem to be taken over by ads brought to us by diet and exercise gurus.  They seem to feel that a New Year should be a time to restart our bodies to be at peak efficiency!  I suppose during the busy holiday season we can overdo on the food and at the same time have less time to exercise.

The same can be said of our cars.  We often get so busy running here and there (in our cars) during the holidays that we neglect old faithful!  Here are a few resolutions to keeping your car fit! We can inspect it and make sure to remind you when it is time to bring it to us in order to…

  • Keep your car’s fluids clean and don’t let them run low!
  • Keep your car’s filters clean.
  • Keep your car’s tires properly inflated.
  • Keep your car’s wipers in good working order.
  • Keep your car’s lights lit!
  • Keep your car’s brakes stopping when they need too!
  • Keep your car’s charging system ready to go!
  • Keep your car’s exhaust system healthy.

Your car has many components and it is our pleasure to keep them physically fit for your driving pleasure.  If your car has been a little neglected over the holidays, give us a call and we’ll get it back in tip-top shape!




Oil Filter Warning

28 12 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.




21 12 2017

Dale Bertram‘Tis the season when we think of all aspects of our lives in terms of the holidays.  I was thinking of the Grinch and how he basically made his little dog perform the task of a reindeer until the little guy almost broke down under the weight of the load he was expected to carry up and down mountains.

Some are guilty of that with their vehicles.  They expect it to perform miracles without thinking that it might break down due to neglect.  Are you a Grinch when it comes to your vehicle? Here are some clues that you are afflicted with Grinchitis.

You might be a Grinch if:

  1. You put off servicing your vehicle until it breaks down.  This costs you more money and hurts the environment too!
  2. You drive on tires that are mismatched and bald.  I am told that being “matchy, matchy” when it comes to clothes is out but this does not apply to tires.  I am also told that bald is beautiful, but again, not when it comes to your tires!
  3. You put off buying new wiper blades and become a road hazard when it rains!
  4. Your headlights are so cloudy you can barely see or be seen.
  5. Your brakes won’t stop you on a row of greenbacks, much less a dime.
  6. Your car shakes, rattles and rolls and it has nothing to do with that 50’s music you are playing!
  7. You use your vehicle as a storage container or a dumpster.
  8. People frequently write “wash me” in the dirt and dust on your car.
  9. Instead of getting your radiator/cooling system repaired, you keep adding anti-freeze and let it drip out, endangering animals that may lick it and become sick or even die.
  10. You drive around with a black stream of smoke coming from the back of your vehicle.

If any of these apply to you, call your car care provider immediately.  They have the cure for Grinchitis!



Everything You Need To Know For Holiday Travel

14 12 2017

Dale BertramChances are sometime during the holiday you will be traveling afar or just down the street.  Here are a few tips to make this holiday season safe and more enjoyable!

  • A well-maintained vehicle lessens the chances of a breakdown. When your car breaks down you aren’t the only one annoyed…think of the drivers who are behind you during this busy time of the year!
  • If you are traveling with children, make sure they are properly “buckled up” for safety.
  • If you are shopping remember to keep packages out of sight in your vehicle when it is parked at the shopping center so thieves aren’t tempted.
  • Keep your “roadside assistance” number with you “just in case.”
  • Don’t drink and drive and be sure that any medications you take won’t impair your driving ability.
  • Do not drive when fatigued as you could fall asleep at the wheel.
  • On long trips, schedule frequent stops to stretch your legs and plan for meals and bathroom breaks!
  • Keep any children entertained in the car with toys, movies, games (magnetic ones are a good choice or handheld devices) and books and art supplies.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!



Celebrate Your Car’s Milestones!

7 12 2017

Dale BertramWe recently had a customer’s Jeep in for service that was almost at 500,000 miles!  The secret, of course, is good, quality service on a scheduled basis. Back in the day, when your car reached 100,000 miles it was used up…inside and out!  Today’s cars are designed to keep going and going…as long as you take good care of them!  Our goal at Fairway Auto Repair is to keep our customers’ vehicles going as long as they want to keep them!

Cars aren’t all that much different than us humans!  If you eat right, exercise, take supplements, have regular checks up and get plenty of fluids…they tell us we will feel a lot better and should lead a long and healthy life.

Your car is the same way.  It needs to be given the right fluids on a regular basis (and exchanged periodically), its charging and cooling systems checked and the brakes and exhaust system kept in good working order. We recommend you have our technicians check all your vehicle’s components periodically to make sure nothing is worn and needing replacement.

Today’s cars do go longer between service visits than the previous 3,000 miles that we all adhered to, but you still need to visit your automotive repair shop at least three times a year.  We still recommend quarterly. Why? There is a seldom read book in your glove box…take it out and look at it.  Notice that it has recommendations for certain items to be taken care of each time you fill up with gas?  Other items are to be checked monthly?  I can tell you from looking at my customers’ cars that these items do not get checked between visits to my shop!  That is why those that extend service visits for 2,000 miles or longer are pushing the envelope!

Newer vehicles have a friendly built-in alert system that tells you when services are due to be taken care of.  This is good because ignoring your car is not as easy as ignoring your owner’s manual or our service reminders!

When your vehicle celebrates 100,000 miles treat it to some major preventive maintenance.  It would be like giving a friend a day at the spa for rejuvenation.  Look at it as a birthday gift for your car.  Even though they are built to go many miles these days…reaching 100,000 miles is still a major milestone and should be treated as such.  Then…wish it 100,000 more miles!

As always, our technicians at Fairway Auto Repair are here to keep Phoenix drivers happy by keeping their cars in great working order!  To find out more about us and what your vehicle needs to reach major milestones, visit our website at!



Today’s Car Batteries Ain’t What They Used To Be!

30 11 2017

Dale BertramOur cars today are comprised of several computers or as we call them…modules.  They are busy controlling every aspect of our driving experience now including the battery.  We all remember how it used to be…you try to start your car and nothing happens.  In the past you would get out the jumper cables, get another car lined up to yours, attach the cables very carefully and correctly to each battery and in a few minutes you were good to go…at least for a little while.  This gave you time to get the battery tested and if it was a case of leaving your lights on it is probably okay…if not…you just get a new battery installed and you are on your way…problem solved.

Today’s batteries are more complex and if you try to jump start your vehicle it could be bad news.  It could cause a surge of energy to pass through the car that could potentially damage a module or multiple modules.  This is especially true if the keys are left in the ignition.

In the not too distant past a car battery could be fully recharged in an hour.  Today’s batteries not only require a special charger, it can take a full day to recharge it. We can’t use the old style chargers on these new style batteries without causing some serious damage.  It can destroy the battery and even worse, cause an explosion that can cause harm to people and property.  Obviously, if you have a new style battery, this is not the time to “do it yourself” at home.  Get the battery to a qualified repair shop and if they tell you they need to keep it for a day to determine its status, look at that as a sign they know what they are doing!  This gives them time to determine the state of the battery and if it can be saved.

Qualified technicians will also know to check the battery for what we call parasitic draw.  Sounds bad, I know, but it is not a bug or other type of creature, it is a slow drain on your car’s battery.  It seems okay at first after a recharge and can go for a day or even longer before it drains again to a non-starting point.  When your battery and alternator are checked the technician can determine what the problem is there and then and that saves you time which of course, saves you money.



Happy Thanksgiving!

22 11 2017