Vitality

10 05 2018

Dale BertramOur vehicles are so important to us so it is important that we don’t take them for granted!  Here are a few things that Fairway Auto Repair recommends our customers have us check when they bring their cars in for service.

  • Lights – These are often overlooked. Headlights, brake lights, turn signals and taillights are all vital to our safety!
  • Brakes – Brake pads need to be replaced now and then. If they go bad…you don’t stop when you need to!
  • Tire Pressure – Over-inflated or under-inflated damages the tire and shortens their life. Tire pressures need to be just right!  Having a flat tire is not only an inconvenience, it can be dangerous too!
  • Tire Tread – if your tread is worn, or if your tires have lumps or bumps you could slip and slide (no ice needed) and even have a blowout! This could cause an accident!
  • Power Steering Fluid – Trying to drive a car without power steering is almost impossible. To keep your car under your control, this fluid is vital!
  • Transmission Fluid – This fluid needs to be exchanged periodically to keep your car shifting properly and to keep it under your control.
  • Coolant – No one wants to sit on the side of the road with steam pouring out of the hood due to an overheating vehicle. No one needs to if their coolant is kept in great shape and exchanged as needed from time to time!
  • Air Filter – A clean air filter helps in many ways…one being fuel economy. It is an inexpensive fix and only takes a moment to replace. Filters do just what they say…filter out the bad stuff such as dirt and contaminates.  We look at all filters to make sure they are doing their job.
  • Alignment – If your car seems to be pulling you in the wrong direction…an alignment may be the answer! A car out of alignment has a mind of its own!
  • The Oil – Last but not least, this vital fluid truly is the “life blood” of today’s vehicles. Keeping it clean and at the proper level keeps your car going strong.

These are just some of the items that keep the cars on Phoenix roads running well. They also help keep us safer as a well maintained vehicle helps prevent accidents due to mechanical failure.  Fairway Auto Repair is here for you, Phoenix drivers!  To find out more ways to keep your ride safe, or to make an appointment, check us out at www.fairwayautorepair.com.  We are here to help your car keep its vitality!

 

 

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Mechanical Failures That Cause Accidents

3 05 2018

Dale BertramBrakes  – Brake failure tops the list.  Brake pads wear out, brake lines leak fluid and ABS systems can also be the cause of brake failure.

Tires – Bald tires can cause a car to “slip and slide” even on dry pavement.  If there isn’t enough tread to hug the road you can be in serious trouble.  Tire blowouts can also cause accidents.

Wipers – If you can’t see, you can’t drive!  It is that simple!

Lights – More accidents happen at night and if your headlights, taillights, or brake lights, turn signal blinkers aren’t working…people can’t see you!  Don’t be a road hazard!

Steering – Loss of fluid, tie rods, ball joints and other components that make up this system can cause mechanical failure and accidents.

Roadside Assistance Calls

AAA and other services are called mostly for:

  • Dead battery
  • Flat tires
  • Cars that run out of fuel
  • Locking keys inside the vehicle

Now…we can’t keep you from locking your keys in your car, or make sure you get to the gas station on time, but we can sure help with the mechanical issues! Don’t let these things happen to you…contact us today!

 

 





Never Assume

26 04 2018

Dale BertramIn a recent study of several hundred people, the question was asked, “Does the auto shop where you take your vehicle employ certified technicians?” The vast majority answered that they assumed that they were certified.

Sadly, this is not the case! Someone who cuts hair or does manicures is required to be state certified and take continuing education classes, but a mechanic, who works on tires, engines or brakes doesn’t need a single day of training nor are they required to have the proper tools.

The only certification system we have in the automotive repair industry is strictly voluntary and is administered by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) which offers a series of written tests that a technician can take to be certified in many different areas of the car. All tests are voluntary, not required. At Fairway Auto Repair, I require all the staff to be ASE certified and I know many other shops do as well.

I recommend using an AAA Approved auto shop because they require ASE certified technicians and those technicians must have a minimum set of tools for the cars they work on. AAA approved shops have tough standards and you, the consumer, have a voice through the arbitration system if you feel something went wrong with your car repair.

In these uncertain times, saving a few dollars is always something to consider, but don’t get so caught up with a low price that you get poor service/repair.  This will cost you more later. Have a knowledgeable certified technician perform the service or repairs on your car; it will save you time and money in the long run. Before you agree to have any work performed, ask if the technician working on your car is certified for that year, make & model.

 

 





Brake Dust

19 04 2018

Dale BertramI’m sure most of us have experienced this…you drive through an automatic car wash and when you get home you notice the clean shine of your entire vehicle…until you look down at the wheels.  What is that grime on the wheels?  That is brake dust… metallic particles, carbon fibers and adhesive residue from your vehicle’s brake pads that attaches to your wheels.

To keep it from building up it should be removed weekly as it essentially bakes on to the surface of alloy wheels.  It is recommended that you wash the wheels when they are cool to avoid streaking, discoloration and pitting. The adhesive residue in the dust causes it to bond firmly with the wheels and since they are most often acidic it starts a corrosion process.  The metal filings in the dust usually oxidize with the metal of the rims causing galvanic corrosion to occur. If you are removing the dust yourself be careful not to inhale the dust or the vapor from cleaning products especially designed to remove the grime.  This can be toxic and if you are asthmatic, harmful.

If your vehicle seems very prone to brake dust, you might consider having brake dust shields installed.  They come in a variety of colors, are inexpensive and easy to install.

You might also consider higher quality brake pads as poor quality ones produce a lot of dust. Having your brakes checked regularly (quarterly) is recommended as many times an adjustment is needed and this helps stop excessive dust.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Brakes made from organic materials (glass and rubber) wear faster so create more dust than brakes made from semi-metallic and metallic material. Ceramic brake pads have less metal and therefore less dust is created.
  • Brakes installed improperly can cause excessive dust.
  • If you have installed larger diameter wheels to your vehicle the size of the brakes and pads need to be larger as well or they will wear out quickly and increase the amount of dust during the process.
  • If the springs are worn it causes continual rubbing and if the pads are always touching the drums you get an increase in dust.
  • Overloading a vehicle with weight, driving hard, short stop and go trips, and leaving your foot on the brake pedal all increase brake dust.

Now we know that brake dust, though not harmful to your vehicle, is a nuisance and if you feel annoyed by it you are not alone as it is a top complaint among consumers.

 

 





Late Model Cars Can Be A Challenge To Your Car’s Battery Life

12 04 2018

Dale BertramToday’s newer models have a lot of “bells and whistles” and this puts a lot of demand on battery charging systems.  We all know that climates with excessive heat take their toll, such as our Arizona temperatures.  Our hot weather causes the electrolyte inside the battery to dry out.  The popular maintenance free type battery has a sealed top so it doesn’t even allow water to be added, so its life expectancy in Arizona is low.

Ideally, the battery should be at full charge.  When it starts to lose its charge, sulfate builds up on the plates.  As it sits, the sulfate takes hold and is difficult to loosen once the battery is recharged.  Sadly, it then becomes more difficult to “recharge” and will quit all together.

To keep the “bells and whistles” going strong in modern cars, they need to draw current from your car’s battery even when it is not running.  Here is an example; you use your key fob to gain entry to your vehicle as it is “keyless”, draining power from the battery.  You go on a two-week vacation and leave your vehicle at the airport parking garage.  Even as it sits your car’s battery is still discharging power to these systems.  You may return and find the battery cannot turn over the engine.

Damaged battery cables can also make your battery fail because that causes a faulty electrical connection.  What can you do?

  1. Whenever we install a new battery for you, rest assured that we always check out the cables. Sometimes they just need to be cleaned but other times they need to be replaced.
  2. Manufacturers are starting to use absorbent glass mat batteries in new vehicles because they last longer in cars that have the stop/start systems and other battery draining options. Ford Motor Company says 70 percent of its vehicles will come equipped with this battery this year.

With our heat constantly pulling life from our cars’ batteries in Arizona, have them inspected frequently.  All of us at Fairway Auto Repair are here to keep your car going strong…and to make sure your battery is up to the challenge.

 

 





How’s The Air In There?

5 04 2018

Dale BertramHey, Phoenix drivers, did you know you have a great little device called the cabin air filter and its function is to protect drivers and their passengers from contaminants such as pollen, mold spores, dust and other small and annoying particles?

The cabin air filter is located on the passenger side of the vehicle and is most often, but not always tucked behind the dash around the glove compartment area (don’t you wonder why we still call it glove compartment?  I wonder how many actually contain gloves.).

Whenever you turn on your defroster, air conditioning or heater it captures the debris so it doesn’t get into the cab of your vehicle.  It is a very busy part and needs to be replaced at least once a year.  If you or a passenger has severe allergies you may want to get it replaced more often.  A clean cabin filter also helps prolong the life of your vehicle’s heating and air-conditioning system because it keeps debris and corrosion away from the evaporator core.

At Fairway Auto Repair, we get calls when customers turn on their heater fan on occasion, wanting to know what that annoying rattling noise is from time to time.  It is usually captured leaves or food stuffs left behind by rodents.  Next time you get your cabin air filter changed you might ask to have a look at it.  You will be very amazed about what it has collected and very thankful too that all that debris didn’t circulate into the cab of your vehicle.

Cabin air filters are becoming more sophisticated…some even eliminate odors.  The good news is that it is usually a quick item to replace (depending on where the manufacturer placed it) and it is inexpensive.  It is a very small price to pay to breathe easier! Our technicians at Fairway Auto Repair will be glad to change it for you! Our job is to keep Phoenix drivers safe and aware of all that is going on with their vehicle! Don’t forget to visit our website at www.fairwayautorepair.com to find out more!

 

 





Unnecessary Service

29 03 2018

Dale BertramI hear the phrase unnecessary 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 find 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!