Vehicle Updates

4 05 2017

Dale BertramThe state of autonomous vehicles and the cybersecurity of connected cars is constantly changing, so I sometimes hesitate to report on the latest and greatest for fear it will be “old news” by the time it is published…but since some of you have been asking…here goes!

  • A company called NuTonomy is testing these vehicles in Boston even though Uber had a crash of its autonomous vehicle in Arizona in March.
  • Legislation has been reintroduced recently dealing with improved cybersecurity for cars (and airplanes). Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal’s proposal hopes to create cybersecurity and privacy standards for today’s connected vehicles, as well as a rating system for cars. Rep. Ted Lieu hopes to prevent attacks on connected cars with his introduction of the Security and Privacy in Your Car Study Act.
  • Intel Corp., wants to dominate technology for self-driving cars with plans to purchase Mobileye NV.
  • Tony Aquila of Solera Holdings is deeply concerned about vehicle owners’ privacy. If not properly protected, the detailed data from technology (including brake sensors) could be used in ways that would not benefit vehicle owners.

Some states are moving ahead with their own rules and regulations hoping that the federal government will start moving forward on such quickly.  The biggest holdup may be the old “who is liable” if things go wrong.

The change is coming… we just don’t know how quickly…





Letting Off Steam

27 04 2017

Dale BertramA vehicle’s radiator sits front and center and when it loses its cool…look out!  Steam comes pouring from under the hood.  This is not a situation you want to find yourself in as it usually involves sitting on the side of the road until your car can be towed.  At Fairway Auto Repair, when we inspect your vehicle we look for these warning signs so you don’t experience the pain of overheating!

  • Leaking coolant – when the coolant level is low it generally means it is leaking out through the upper radiator hose.
  • Discolored coolant – indicates a clog.
  • Cool spots – also indicates a clog.

You have probably heard about coolant fluid exchanges.  A fluid exchange is beneficial because it removes the small particles of dirt and rust that clog up the essential elements.  These elements prevent your radiator from doing its job…cooling your engine properly.

Consumers are keeping their vehicles longer in this economy and we have seen an increase in radiator replacements.  Since we are driving our vehicles longer these days it isn’t surprising that left unchecked, a radiator will malfunction.

Prevention is the key to keeping your radiator healthy.  We in the industry recommend that every two years or 30,000 miles, exchanging the fluid.  This fluid exchange prevents corrosion and gives your radiator a longer life.

Keep in mind that if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of overheating DO NOT immediately get out of your vehicle and raise the hood.  That really is steam rising out of your radiator and it will burn you very badly.  Once you pull over turn the engine off and let your car cool down before you check under the hood.  Better yet, call your car care provider and get a tow while you are waiting for the car to cool.

Before your vehicle lets off steam help it keep its cool with a systems check!  You’ll be glad you did!

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.





Hot, Hot and Hotter!

20 04 2017

Dale BertramHot days are ahead!  We also drive more in summer months and we need to treat our cars as kindly as we can.  The average American spends 72 minutes a day during the week commuting between work and home…that equals 12 days!  On weekends, holidays and vacations we can pile on even more miles.

Maybe it is because we get more time off in the summer! There is the weekend get-a-ways, vacations, the road trips to see the sights, picnics, getting to the lakes and rivers for boating and fishing, amusement parks, and visits with family and friends at reunions. It is important to make sure your vehicle is ready for the extra wear and tear. We are here to help.  We want you to enjoy your summer without worrying about your car getting you to your destination and back home again.  We’ll make it is ready to go by keeping it well maintained. It is the little things like making sure you keep up with your oil changes, the spark plugs are alive and well, belts and hoses are not cracked or frayed, the charging system is strong, the filters are clean, tires are properly inflated, brakes are able to stop when you need to and the exhaust system is doing its job.

If you take care of your vehicle, it will take care of you!  It will also save you money on vehicle repair as well as save you money at the gas pump.

How do you check gas mileage?

When you fill up your vehicle with gasoline, make a note of the odometer reading.  The next time you fill up, divide the miles driven by the amount of fuel used (gallons).  Read your owner’s manual to find out what gas mileage your vehicle should be getting. If your vehicle isn’t giving you the gas mileage it should, call us and we will have it running at peak performance in no time!  Don’t despair; we are here to help you!





Don’t Assume

13 04 2017

Dale BertramMany people assume that because we live in warm/hot weather conditions we don’t have the same issues that those in colder climates do.  That is mostly true, but don’t assume too much.

Some think that cold weather causes more wear and tear on a battery than warm weather.  Actually, the reverse is true.  Hot weather makes for extremely high temperatures under the hood which is detrimental to a battery’s life. According to the Car Care Council, the average life of a battery is 31/2 years-even shorter in warmer climates. That’s because excessive heat and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate. That’s slow death for a battery.

Some customers question the need for anti-freeze.  Anti-freeze is just another name for coolant.  It is only referred to as anti-freeze because in sub-zero temperatures it does not freeze!  All vehicles need coolant, no matter what name you prefer to call it.  Coolant keeps the engine cool and lubricates the water pump.  Overheating is the biggest reason for breakdowns on the highway.  When the coolant gets dirty it loses the ability to clean the different components.  That is why we recommend fluid exchanges every so often.

Snow and ice and heavy rain isn’t the only culprits when it comes to your vehicle’s wiper blades. Wiper blades are one of the most neglected components on vehicles today. Many blades are cracked, split, torn, brittle, worn or otherwise in obvious need of replacement. Others may look okay, but does a lousy job of wiping when put to the test. Ninety percent of all driving decisions are based on a clear unobstructed view of the road, which means good visibility is absolutely essential.  All wiper blade materials fall victim to environmental factors. Exposure to sunlight and ozone causes the rubber to age, even if the wipers aren’t used much. As a set of blades age, they lose much of their flip-over flexibility and they’re less able to wipe cleanly. They may develop a permanent set, called “parked” rubber, or curvature which prevents full contact with the windshield. This tends to be more of a problem on vehicles that are parked outside in the hot sun all day. The sun bakes and hardens the rubber. Then when the wipers are needed, they streak and chatter because they’ve taken a set and won’t follow the curvature of the windshield. It can be very annoying as well as dangerous. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year so you are always prepared when you need them.

Yes…we love not having to deal with snow and ice but let’s not forget that heat has its drawbacks too.

Happy Motoring!





Accidents Happen

6 04 2017

Dale BertramAfter the Crash

70% of traffic accidents do not involve injuries. It doesn’t seem to matter though, whether you have a fender bender or total your vehicle; accidents cause a lot of stress.  It’s always a good idea to keep a check list in your glove box just in case of an accident so you can more calmly assess the situation and act in a rational manner.  Here are some things Phoenix drivers need to keep in mind.

  • Call 911 if someone is injured or call the police if not.
  • If possible and there isn’t a lot of damage to the vehicles move them a safe distance from traffic.
  • Exchange information
  • When the police arrive they will fill out an official accident report for you.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent

  • Do I have rental car coverage?
  • Do I have comprehensive coverage (covers theft, fire, vandalism, glass replacement and deer claims)?
  • How much is my deductible?
  • If I have an accident, what kinds of parts will be used to repair my vehicle (new original manufactured parts or new aftermarket parts or reconditioned parts)?
  • What does full coverage mean (you have collision but not necessarily rental, comprehensive or new original manufactured parts coverage)?

Questions to Ask Your Body Shop

  • Can I get a written estimate and an explanation of planned repairs?
  • Will I receive a written guarantee from your shop?
  • When is my deductible due?
  • Will my vehicle be available for the insurance adjuster’s inspection?
  • What is the estimated completion date of my repairs?
  • Will I owe more than the insurance estimate?

Hopefully you won’t be in an accident any time soon but just in case, these are points to ponder and remember. To find out more about keeping your vehicle healthy, visit us at http://www.fairwayautorepair.com!

 

 





Is Your Air Conditioner Ready For Warmer Days?

30 03 2017

Dale BertramSpring is in the air in Phoenix and hot summer days are coming our way. Many of our customers’ thoughts are turning to…air conditioning.  At Fairway Auto Repair we get countless calls asking us how much it costs to fix.  There is no one simple answer to this question but I’ll give you some industry-wide estimates so you have something to go on. Generally, if you drive an older vehicle it will cost more to fix because the parts will be harder to find.

Testing the A/C System: A technician must test the system to determine what is wrong with it.  This requires a test for leaks and an inspection of the parts such as the compressor, condenser, hoses, and valves. The most help a consumer can be is to give as much information about when the condition occurred.

Evacuating & Recharging the A/C System: This is the most common fix of the A/C system. Refrigerant will naturally seep out over 3 to 5 years and will need attention.

Leaking Hose:  We use a leak detection unit to test for leaks.

Compressor Failure:  This is the most complex of all to fix and will be the costliest. The compressor is the pump that keeps the Freon flowing.

Replacing the Complete System: The cost of this is determined by the make and model you drive.   Usually this occurs when someone tries to save money and adds the off the shelf sealer as a quick fix, it always causes grief later.

Working on air conditioning systems is not easy.  The system itself is built in and around your car’s engine making it difficult.  Specialized equipment is required and a technician that is certified in this area is a must.  In some countries it is illegal for a non-authorized technician to work on A/C systems. A non-experienced technician can inadvertently cause problems and contaminate the environment.

These prices are not set in stone but an industry-wide average.  We will have one of our certified technician give you an estimate after they have diagnosed your vehicle.





In the News!

23 03 2017

Dale BertramHere are a few interesting news items I wanted to share with my readers!

  • Traffic jams are costly, in both time and money. In the United States the average driver wastes $1200 just by sitting in traffic.
  • Virtual reality experiences may help you buy a car! Forrester predicts that by 2022, the use of a VR headset will let consumers see what it would be like to own a certain vehicle without going through the traditional test drive.
  • An artificial leaf that turns CO2 into fuel could cause fossil fuel to become obsolete! The University of Illinois is researching how to reverse the process of fossil fuels to greenhouse gas by recycling atmospheric carbon into fuel with the use of sunlight. The good news is this sustainable fuel would cost the same as a gallon of gas.
  • Michigan is testing self-driving cars at the American Center for Mobility. This is a 335-acre site strictly used for research and development of these vehicles.  The University of Michigan has a 32-acre site at MCity for the same purpose and Ford has tested vehicles there.
  • Airbus is working on a flying car prototype and hopes to demonstrate it by year’s end. Airbus says this will be a “clean” technology and will make the need for bridge and road construction obsolete, saving billons. This will be a single passenger vehicle.  Makes me think of George Jetson!

We will see where all this goes!  I’ll keep you posted as I hear more.