Your Teen Driver And Safety

8 11 2018

Dale BertramI’m often asked what parents should look for in a car for their teen driver.  Of course, a lot of teens dream of a fancy sports car but that certainly isn’t the safe choice for young, inexperienced drivers.  Teen drivers, between the ages of 16 to 19 are far more likely to have a crash than any other group.  They tend to underestimate dangerous situations and they don’t always react to them appropriately.  It is hard for a mature, experienced driver to always make the right snap judgment when behind the wheel to avoid an accident.  Everything happens way too fast.  When you are brand new at driving it gets worse.

I always advise that before you pick a car based on price or looks think reliable and safety first, then choose the safest car you can afford to buy.  Air bags, stability control and excellent tires are a good start.  Large to mid-size cars are safer than small cars because they are heavier.  16 models with the highest crash rates included 11 small cars.  I know it is natural to assume that a smaller car is easier to handle and many times the teens like them because they appear sportier, however they are not the safest choice.

You also don’t want to buy a car that has a lot of horsepower or one that has too little.  Too much speed and power are of course, dangerous but lack of power can be equally dangerous as they are too slow during lane changes. You might also share with your teen that Arizona traffic tickets are mighty expensive these days.  For example, just rolling through a stop sign will get you a relatively inexpensive ticket but by the time you pay all the agencies involved it can cost you plenty!

When you narrow down your choice of vehicle, check out the crash test scores on Safercar.gov. If you are buying a used car, please have it inspected carefully by us at Fairway Auto Repair and let us know let us know it is for a teen driver as we can may be able to give you more insight into the safety of the vehicle.

Self-driving cars are soon to be a reality and then all we in Phoenix have to worry about it is when the car’s computer crashes!

 

 

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Replacing a Car Battery…Why It Takes an Expert!

2 11 2018

Dale BertramOur vehicles are much more complicated than they used to be.  Each system is controlled by a separate computer module and each car can have as many as twenty of these modules.  They each have their own “memory” and they depend upon the car’s battery to keep the memory intact.

We all have had to reset our car’s clock after a battery disconnect but these days more can be lost than your car’s clocks time.  Here are some of the issues that can occur after a battery power failure or disconnect:

  • Loss of time on the clock, loss of set radio stations and anti-theft lockout
  • Stalling, failure of emission monitors
  • Loss of power seat and mirror positions
  • Door control loss such as locking, driver door switch pad, child lock switches, etc., which are associated with the driver’s door. In most of the cases the driver door module acts as a master and others act as slaves in communication protocols.

If you have replaced your car’s battery on your own and you are experiencing any of these issues, please contact us today.  We can help your car get its memory back!

 

 





Keep Safe This Halloween!

25 10 2018

Dale BertramHalloween is a favorite of retailers because consumers spend a great deal on parties and decorating.  It is supposed to be a fun time but sadly, it has its share of problems such as pedestrian deaths, car thefts and car vandalism.

Car Thefts
Halloween ranks third as the deadliest day for pedestrians.  December 23 and January 1 are the two days ahead of Halloween.  It does, however, come in first for car thieves.  It seems car thieves take advantage of cars being parked in unfamiliar places and people seem more distracted.  It is also easy for a thieves to disguise themselves on that day as so many are in costume.

Vandalism
Cars are also twice as likely to be vandalized on Halloween.  Tires are often slashed and windows broken.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that approximately 1,253 claims are filed due to vandalism on October 31 as compared to 692 on an average day.

What can a driver do?  If at all possible, stay out of unfamiliar places.  If you must park in a strange place, keep an eye on your vehicle as much as possible and try to choose a well-lit area.

Drivers
Children are so excited on Halloween that sometimes they don’t practice “safety first.”  They don’t remember to cross only at crosswalks and with dark costumes and no flashlights, they are easy to overlook.  Drive slowly through neighborhoods and residential streets.  It is only a couple of hours that they are out…but it can be a dangerous time.

No Tricks…Just Treats

Let’s keep this day an enjoyable and safe time for all!

 

 





Double, Double Toil And Trouble

18 10 2018

Double, double toil and trouble,
On the ground beneath me is a puddle.
Its origins have my owner befuddled,
But lucky for me he calls Fairway Auto Repair on the double!

They carefully have my poor self towed in,
And I wait patiently for them to begin.
The techs carefully, slowly raise my hood,
By the look on their faces I feared the prognosis wasn’t good!

From under my hood the steam rose like a thick fog,
Like some witch’s brew made in an old-time bog!
It didn’t look good and my heart began to thud,
I didn’t want to hear that I was now just a dud!

As I braced myself to hear I was now a pile of rubble,
(Deep in my heart I hoped for a rebuttal!),
“She’s in bad shape!” They said, “Make no mistake!”
But we can fix her, so relax and take a break!”

“She’s suffered from a coolant leak,
If you would have kept driving her the outcome would have been bleak!
Since you towed her in we can fix her, piece of cake!
To have driven her would have been a big mistake!”

They fixed my coolant system and fixed it well,
Those folks at Fairway Auto Repair sure are swell!
Next time you find yourself in such trouble,
I suggest you call Fairway Auto Repair on the double!





Do I Have To Use A Dealer To Keep My Warranty In Effect?

11 10 2018

Dale BertramWhen a customer buys a new car, they are always concerned that if they keep coming to my shop for routine maintenance and repair it will void the warranty! I always tell them to relax because the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) the nation’s consumer protection agency says NO! It is illegal for a dealership to even suggest that they might deny your warranty coverage because your routine maintenance and repair is done by an independent repair shop!

Oil changes, fluid exchanges, tire rotations, brake pads, belt and hose replacements and other services are considered “routine” maintenance and are essential to keep your car running well for years to come. A complete list of these services can be found in your owner’s manual.

Customers also are concerned that the use of aftermarket parts may void their warranty.    This will not void your warranty and you can even use recycled parts and your warranty will still be good! The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act states emphatically that it is illegal for a manufacturer or dealership to void your warranty because you chose to use an aftermarket or recycled part.

The only time a dealership or manufacturer can deny you coverage is if the following occurs:

-A part was improperly installed and caused damage

-If the aftermarket or recycled part was defective and caused other parts to be damaged

Keep in mind that if these two things should occur the dealership or manufacturer must demonstrate or prove that this did, in fact, cause damage.

We always encourage our customers to keep a record of all services/repairs but if you fail to do so, or have misplaced them, rest assured that we have those records should you ever need them.

We are always here for you!

 

 





How Is Your Transmission?

27 09 2018

Dale BertramThere are two types of transmissions, as you all know; manual and automatic.  Here are some signs that they might need a checkup by a professional:

Automatic –

  • Thankfully today we don’t have to guess as much as we did in days gone by. We have dashboard lights that illuminate to alert of a potential problem.  It could be the “check engine light” and it may pinpoint it even better as a transmission problem by showing the “reduced power” light.
  • If your car simply won’t move even after it starts just fine, this could be telling you a major transmission failure has occurred.
  • Slippage is another indication and is an odd sensation if you have never experienced it before. It may be a simple issue like a control solenoid or a serious issue such as loss of pressure.
  • If you notice a leak on the ground it could be transmission fluid. Look for red (fresh fluid) or shades of red/brown as the fluid ages.
  • Noises you may experience if your transmission is not as healthy as it should be are grinding or whining.

Manual –

  • Just like with an automatic transmission, if your vehicle starts fine, but won’t move, it could be a transmission issue.
  • Shifting issues often indicate worn rings or gear teeth. These can make it difficult to shift gears, cause the gears to clash or even jump out of gear!
  • If you notice a brown leak on the ground, this tells you the gear oil is leaking. A professional can find the leak for you as it can come from a few locations.
  • If you hear a growling, grinding or whining noise, this can signal low fluid, worn bearings and/or gears.

If your car is experiencing any of these problems, please contact your automotive repair professional.  They can quickly diagnose the problem and tell you the best solution for your vehicle.

 

 





Let’s Talk Lights!

20 09 2018

Dale BertramThe daylight hours are getting shorter now and we depend on our lights more and more.  I have noticed people driving around with one headlight out or a brake light and one can only assume a turn signal (though some people just don’t bother to use them for some strange reason!). It is a good idea to test your lights!  You can have someone assist you, ask us to check, or check them out yourself by pulling up to a building and shining your lights, or even do it in your garage.  Seeing well while driving is very important, and it is also important that others see you!

If your headlights seem yellowed, we can fix that!  Just contact us and we’ll tell you how we do this (no, it isn’t magic!).

When Your Lights Go Dim
Your vehicle’s alternator keeps the battery charged.  The alternator replaced the generator of the past.  If your car fails to start as quickly as it used to (hard or slow cranking) or your lights seem dimmer it could be a sign that your alternator needs to be replaced.  If you are used to dashboard lights telling you of a problem and you didn’t see the “alt,” “bat,” or “gen” light come on to alert you, keep in mind that the alternator is responsible for those dashboard lights!  If it isn’t working then the lights will not illuminate.

Today’s vehicles have more and more equipment that is powered by our alternators.  We have stereo systems with multiple speakers, televisions and DVD players, fancy headlights and navigation systems, rear wipers and heat and air conditioning systems.  We take for granted that all this works, but sometimes an alternator simply gets overworked and needs to be replaced. If you have a poor battery it also puts extra stress on the alternator and can even cause it to overheat because it will try to keep the voltage up.

When an alternator fails it usually does so in stages so pay attention when things start functioning abnormally.  The signs are often subtle such as dimmer lights.  You may be using all the bells and whistles at once such as the television, wipers, air conditioning and the navigation system and they seem sluggish.  When you stop using one or more of the functions the remaining ones work better. The dashboard lights may start flickering.

When you take your vehicle to your car care provider they will:

  • Perform a “load test” to check the voltage readings (measure the voltage at the alternator connector and the battery)
  • Check the belts to determine if they are old and cracked or slipping
  • Listen as an experienced mechanic can tell from a clanging or rattling noise that something is not as it should be

Alternators work long and hard for us but occasionally even the best can fail.  The battery will still run many miles on reserve power so this usually saves you from being towed in. As always, if things aren’t working as well as they normally do it is best to have it checked out before it becomes a serious problem.  This always saves you time and money!