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.

 

 

Advertisements




Happy Thanksgiving!

22 11 2017





Double, Double Toil And Trouble

19 10 2017

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!

Wishing you all a safe and happy Halloween!





October is National Car Care Month

28 09 2017

Dale BertramTwice a year the Car Care Council, a non-profit organization, celebrates National Car Care Month.  This happens in April and again in October.  The reason they feel the need to spend money on advertising the importance of car care is because so many consumers don’t take care of their vehicles properly.

Neglect of this kind causes accidents, expensive breakdowns, pollution, using more fuel than necessary and even lost time at work! The Car Care Council hopes a gentle reminder twice yearly will prevent all this.

Here is a check list for safety, dependability and savings!

  • Have all fluids checked
  • Have air filter checked
  • Have battery and charging system checked
  • Have belts and hoses checked
  • Have oil and lubrication service
  • Have all lights checked
  • Have all wipers and fluid checked
  • Have tires checked for proper inflation and tread
  • Have suspension system checked
  • Have brake system checked

Many consumers feel a false sense of security today because they have cell phones or On-Star so they are able to call someone for help.  Yes…these are great when you need them but of course avoiding a breakdown or accident due to neglect or not to pollute the air or use more gas than necessary is a better choice.

If you have been putting off service or repair; call your car care provider today and not only will you be driving a safer, more eco-friendly vehicle, you will save money in the long run!

 

 

 





Being Economical and Ecological

21 09 2017

Dale BertramMany people are not anxious to trade in their car for a “greener” model just yet.  They do want to be economical and ecological and you can be!  Here is what you need to do!

  1. Use the proper grade of gasoline as indicated in your owner’s manual. If your vehicle calls for regular, you won’t benefit by paying for premium gas.
  2. When it is time to fill up, really fill up. Putting in so much today and so much tomorrow costs more.
  3. Do not top off your gas.
  4. Make sure your gas cap is properly closed.
  5. Fill up when you get to ¼ of fuel left to lengthen the life of your fuel pump. Running on empty can destroy the pump!
  6. Drive the speed limit. If you drive at 65 mph instead of 75 mph you would save 13%.  If you drive 55 mph you can save 25%!  Every five miles over 65 mph costs you about 24 cents per gallon.
  7. Idling just uses gas needlessly and hurts the environment.
  8. Remove excess weight from your trunk and luggage rack! Extra weight costs more in fuel.
  9. Keep your car properly maintained. For example, dirty air filters and improperly inflated tires can cost you 13% more at the pump.
  10. Jack rabbit starts and braking on a dime also use excessive amounts of fuel.
  11. Know where you are going. Use a GPS to avoid having to back track and drive around aimlessly.
  12. Maintain a safe following distance so you don’t have to keep braking and accelerating.
  13. Take off slowly from a full stop.
  14. Park in the shade when it is hot outside. It uses more fuel to cool down a hot interior when you put on the air conditioning.  It also costs more to drive with the windows down due to wind resistance.
  15. Inoperative 02 sensors (oxygen sensors) need to be fixed as soon as possible. When an 02 sensor gets lazy, fuel efficiency goes down.
  16. If your check engine light is illuminated it means a component has failed. Gas mileage is hurt by failed components.
  17. Worn spark plugs, ignition wires, distributor caps and rotor buttons can cause a dramatic decrease in gas mileage.
  18. A carbon clogged fuel system and valves cause poor fuel economy and a sluggish engine.

Keep in mind that when you save fuel, you are helping the environment!  To get your vehicle where it needs to be call Fairway Auto Repair today and we’ll make sure your car is on the cutting edge economically and ecologically.

 

 





Un-necessary Service

7 09 2017

Dale BertramI hear the phrase un-necessary 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 fine 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!

 

 





Protecting Your Vehicle from Predators!

24 08 2017

Dale BertramIn an effort to be “greener”, plant-based biodegradable materials are being used in cars today.  This is great for the economy as it reduces waste.  It turns out though, that what is good for the earth is also enjoyed by four-legged creatures.  Yes…rodents are using their sharp, little teeth to chew right through wiring, hoses, and anything plastic.  They make themselves cozy little nests to live in.

You might wonder why your car is leaking fluid, or has some other problem, when it was just checked out.  It could be a rodent invasion.  Chewing through components or adding such things as acorns and seeds to your vehicle is bound to cause issues.

What can you do?  Here are a few suggestions we found when reviewing this problem:

  • Paint wires with hot sauce
  • Cover components with metal mesh (and any place they might build a nest)
  • Use electrical tape treated with capsaicin (think super-hot chili)

The best deterrent is probably finding a solution to keep them out of your garage entirely.  If you can think of other solutions, please, let us know so we can pass it along to others who have found their vehicle invaded by the furry menaces.