Driving In All Kinds Of Weather

31 01 2019

Dale BertramHere is a little checklist of things to do when driving in unusual weather … at home in Phoenix or elsewhere!

Driving In The Rain

  • Turn your headlights on – many states require it.
  • Remember that oil on the pavement can make driving conditions slick.
  • Should you hydroplane, keep the steering wheel straight but remove your foot from the gas.
  • It takes longer to stop on wet roads so adjust your speed accordingly.
  • Don’t drive closely behind large vehicles as their spray can reduce your visibility.
  • Make sure your wiper blades are working properly.
  • Make sure your tires have proper tread.
  • Drive carefully through puddles, they may be hiding a pothole.
  • If your windows fog use the defroster.
  • If you are in a thunderstorm and you need to pull over, do not park under trees.
  • Look out for downed branches and power lines.

Driving In Flood-Like Conditions

  • Driving through moving water could cause your vehicle to be swept away.
  • It only takes two feet of water to carry a car away.
  • If your carpets get wet do not turn on the ignition as it can damage your vehicle.  Have your car care provider check it out first!
  • Even a small amount of water can damage your braking system.
  • If you are driving through deep water and your vehicle stalls…do not attempt to restart it because it could result in engine damage.

Driving In Fog

  • Reduce your speed
  • Use low beam headlights
  • Use your defroster
  • Use your wipers
  • Poor visibility limits your vision when it comes to other vehicles, pedestrians, and animals…proceed with caution.

Driving In Ice

  • Bridges and overpasses freeze first
  • Reduce speed
  • Easy on the brakes
  • Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others on the road
  • If you skid, turn your steering wheel into the skid, ease off the accelerator and do not slam on the brakes.
  • If you encounter black ice ease up on the gas rather than applying the brakes

Driving In Snow

  • Make sure your windows are clean and that accumulated snow is removed from the hood and top of the vehicle.
  • Drive slowly and allow ample stopping distance so you don’t collide with a vehicle ahead of you.
  • Do not slam on brakes…ease off gas gently and then lightly apply brakes.
  • If your area allows and it is necessary use chains and snow tires.

Driving With a False Sense of Security

Those who drive SUV’s and trucks and other four-wheel drive vehicles sometimes have a false sense of security. Slick highways put all vehicles on an equal footing so proceeding with caution is recommended.





How Are Your Shocks/Struts?

24 01 2019

Dale BertramShocks and struts take a beating so we don’t have to!  They help us ease the pain of driving over less than perfect roads and stabilize us over bumps, when we stop quickly and when we go around corners.  We pretty much take them for granted.  Our owner’s manuals tell us they need to be replaced every 30,000 to 90,000 miles, depending on our driving habits.  That is a wide range!

We would like to recommend that you take some time when you are out driving around to notice a few things about your vehicle.  If your car is bouncing a bit after you hit a bump in the road, is nose diving after you brake or is swaying around corners you need to have your shocks replaced.

Struts basically perform the same function as shocks except they also are an integral part of your suspension system.  When you are out and about in your car and notice the same symptoms as above and also notice noise while you go over those bumps or turn corners you might also have an alignment situation.

Shocks and struts also give you another symptom if they are ready to be replaced…they leak fluid.  They do a lot for us and we certainly take them for granted until we notice our ride is just not as enjoyable or comfortable as it could be.  Bad shocks and struts also cause wear and tear on our tires and our suspension components.

Make sure your shocks and struts are ready for whatever condition the roads you drive on happen to be in. Whatever your car may need, at Fairway Auto Repair we want your vehicle to always be ready to go when you are!  Call us!  We are here for you and your car!



Auto Parts Don’t Last Like They Used To!

10 01 2019

Dale BertramWhy do parts fail more often than they did in the old days? Parts are made smaller and lighter to help the manufacturers meet the 50.5 MPG mandate by the year 2020. This change is imposed by the government CAFÉ standard (corporate average fuel economy). The car companies are working to increase the technology of cars with turbo charging  engines that are smaller; using direct fuel injection; and the start and stop system, just to name a few.

Car manufacturers have found it is less expensive to lighten the weight of vehicles instead of creating new technology to meet the CAFÉ standards.  The manufacturers are shedding pounds of components whenever and wherever possible!

A repair that comes to mind is having to replace an electric window motor? This repair can cost $300 to $800. One reason this part fails more often than they did in older cars is because the part is integrated with the window regulator as one unit and made half the size to in order to save weight and improve fuel mileage.

Other ways the manufacturers are making parts lighter to increase fuel mileage:

  • They are using aluminum frames,
  • Smaller transmissions with 5, 6, 7 or 8 gears.
  • Engines are designed to use extremely light oils such as 0w20 to help reduce internal part friction.
  • Brakes are very small compared to years past.
  • Every external body part on your car is being downsized or made of plastic, carbon fiber or other composite materials.
  • Less fluid capacity in engines, transmissions, power steering and all other systems are other ways to save weight.
  • Transmissions that used to hold 10 quarts of oil, might hold 6 now. All cars also require synthetic oils in all components to help make up for the smaller capacity.

To sum it up, parts are smaller, fluid capacities are less, and the stress is greater than ever on car systems. I wish I had a silver bullet for you, but I don’t. The best advice I can give you is choose a service provider that you trust, have the car inspected regularly and service the fluids often.



Being Gentle With Your Vehicle Saves Money

16 08 2018

Dale BertramSome drivers inflict damage to their vehicles just by the way they drive.  If you find you must have repairs more often than most people, you could be personally responsible.

  • Do your brakes seem to wear out fast?
  • Does your transmission need extra attention?
  • Do you need an alignment a few times a year?
  • Do you dash up to a red light or stop sign and push hard on the brake pedal?
  • Do you fly over speed bumps?
  • Do you floor it as soon as the light turns green?
  • Do you hit the curb with your tires?

When you put a lot of stress on your brakes, you are putting a lot of pressure on the braking system components such as the rotors, calipers and pads.  This causes them to wear out faster than normal driving.

Tires that get hit with the curb, are driven with the wrong tire pressure and hit speed bumps at fast speeds are not going to last long…nor is the alignment. It also costs more in fuel.

If you like to floor it as soon as the light turns green you put a lot of stress on your engine, powertrain parts and fuel pump.

We are not trying to tell you how to drive, but we did want to share how you can save money on your vehicle repairs.  If you find yourself getting repairs for your car more often than other people, think about your driving habits.  It really could have a lot to do with it.



Drips and Puddles

19 07 2018

Dale BertramThose annoying under the car drips can leave your driveway and garage floor a mess…in fact everywhere you park becomes a victim to this mess.  They are also a sign that something is wrong and needs to be taken care of. The only drip you don’t need to be concerned with is the condensation from your air conditioner.  Everything else is a signal that there is a problem. The small drips are giving you fair warning that if ignored, serious problems are in your future. Here are a few examples:

  • A reddish brown drip may mean one of three things; leaking transmission, over tightened pan gasket or a leaking front seal.
  • A green or orange-red drip suggests a cooling system problem such as leaking hose or radiator.
  • A brown to brownish-black drip that is thick in consistency is more than likely engine oil.  This is not a huge problem if it is slight but when it grows to puddle size it is a sign of something serious and if not kept under control could mean severe engine trouble.
  • A leak that looks like tea and feels oily is brake fluid.  This type of drip or leak is always serious!

If you notice a puddle three inches or larger under your car don’t ignore it.  Get it to the professionals as soon as possible. A puddle between one and two inches isn’t as serious…yet…unless it is brake fluid.  Don’t put off having it looked at too long though…it could become a much more serious problem.

It is a good practice not to ignore drips because if left unchecked those drips will turn into puddles that get bigger and bigger until you no longer have a small problem, you have a major problem.  Make an appointment with us today, and your car’s health care professional at Fairway Auto Repair will stop the drips.  Remember, minor problems come with minor price tags…major problems come with major price tags…maybe even the cost of a new engine!

Prevention is always the best medicine for your vehicle.




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!



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!