Thirteen Often Neglected Auto Services

12 10 2017

Dale BertramIn honor of Friday the 13th this October, we thought we would have a little fun and tell you how to keep your car from turning into a “car of the driving dead!” It needs to be serviced regularly, yet so many fail to do so! Here is a list of items to keep in mind if you want to keep your vehicle running well…and safely!

 

  • Brakes
  • Charging System
  • Cooling System
  • Failing to have a tire alignment
  • Filter changes
  • Fluid checks
  • Ignoring lack of tire tread
  • Ignoring the check engine light when it illuminates
  • Ignoring TPMS light
  • Lights
  • Oil, lube and filter change
  • Tire pressure checks
  • Wipers

These are all relatively simple checks so don’t delay.  Have them checked today!

 

 

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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.

 

 





Electric Vehicle Updates

31 08 2017

Dale Bertram– According to the ChargePoint report, 542,000 electric cars have been sold in the U.S. to date.

– Tesla Model S is by far the best-selling electric car in the U.S.

– Bloomberg New Energy Finance released a study recently forecasting that electric cars will be reducing oil demand significantly by 2040.

– Ride-hailing firm Lyft plans to deliver at least one billion rides in electric, autonomous vehicles by 2025.

– According to the most recent data compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the 1997 Accord and 1998 Civic were the most stolen cars nationwide in 2016.

– Nissan will be showing the next-generation Leaf all-electric car during National Drive Electric Week, following right after the global reveal on September 5.

– Volkswagen’s Electrify America subsidiary is partnering with Texas-based EVgo to establish a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the United States.

– Bloomberg analysis piece points to natural gas vehicles having failed in a race won by cheap gasoline prices and growth in electric vehicle sales.

– Lyft is focusing on self-driving cars.

– Lyft says it got a boost from Uber’s woes!

– UK plans to stop sale of all diesel, petrol cars by 2040.  

 

 





Taxi Moms and Dads (and Grandparents, Too!)

10 08 2017

Dale BertramHey, Phoenix drivers, is this you? On a daily basis are you running children to pre-school, school, after school extra curricular events, and doctor/dentist/orthodontist appointments?  Do your resolutions to prepare healthy meals end when after a day of dropping this child off and picking this child up finds you too tired to cook?  You berate yourself as you drive through McDonalds…again but find yourself whispering a silent “thank goodness for Micky D’s?” You tell yourself you will do better on the weekends but then you start those off sitting on the bleachers at football games cheering your child on or watching your child, the cheerleader.  On Saturday and Sundays can you be found sitting in lawn chairs watching your child(ren) playing soccer?  If you answered yes to any of the above, you are a shuttle service.  Hey…many grandparents I know are operating shuttle services too!

You probably realize the gas tank is getting close to empty more frequently but you may be overlooking another important fact.  Most of this sort of driving is short trips but it does add up and takes a lot out of your vehicle.  This is what we refer to as “severe” driving.

  • Frequent short trips of less than 10 miles.
  • Multiple short trips

Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation. Sludge is that thick, sticky substance that forms inside the engine through a combination of oil oxidation residue, carbon and water. Water condenses as a result of a hot engine cooling down. The oil mixes with the water and makes this thick sludge that sticks to the engine parts. Frequent cold starts and short trips cause this condition because it does not allow the engine oil to heat up enough to vaporize and remove the water. Sludge clogs oil passages such as oil drain-back holes and, in some cases, block the oil pick-up screen in the oil pan, causing the engine not to get enough oil.

Checking your motor oil tells us a lot about your driving habits and if you fall into the category of “severe driving” we can show you what it looks like next time you are in for an oil change.  Keeping the engine oil flowing correctly is the single most important thing you can do to give your vehicle long life.  If you are a severe driver you don’t need to stress over it.  Engine oils and additives have come a long way to break down the sludge and help keep it from forming.  We can recommend the best products and suggest how often you should come in for a complete oil change.

The technicians at Fairway Auto Repair are here for our shuttle services, taxi moms and dads and yes…the grandparents who provide these services as well. Together, we’ll get you through it so you don’t miss a moment of your children or grandchildren’s special moments.

Visit us at www.fairwayautorepair.com to find out more!

 

 





School Time in Phoenix

27 07 2017

Dale BertramIt doesn’t seem to matter whether you have school-aged children or not, back-to-school time seems to affect most of us.  The lighter traffic we enjoyed during our morning commute comes to an abrupt end.  We have to be more aware than ever of young people waiting for the bus in the early morning darkness.  We have to remember to slow down in school zones and be more aware of children as they dash here and there.  We have to allow time for extra cars and buses on the highway.

If you do have children going back to school, are a teacher or work for the school system in some capacity, your life gets more hectic than ever.  There is the long list of school supplies to purchase, sports and other after school events, homework to squeeze in among all the other activities and meet the teacher nights.

Then you have me, your car care provider reminding the childless, the empty-nesters and those with children to get your car serviced for back-to-school.  Why do I do this?  Because I know when life gets more hectic it is easy to forget our vehicles’ needs.  Unfortunately, when we let servicing our cars slide the car breaks down. Sadly, when this happens our carefully staged work-life balance comes crashing down.  We realize at that moment just how important our vehicles are to us and how living without them is near impossible.

Back-to-school really does affect us all one way or the other so this is just my friendly reminder that in the back ground, that wonderfully engineered vehicle you take for granted as always being ready to go when you are, needs care too.  I also do this because I know that maintaining your vehicle on a quarterly basis saves you money, too! Call today for an appointment!

To find out more about caring for your car, visit us at http://www.fairwayautorepair.com!

Happy Back To School Everyone!

 

 





Arizona Driving

13 07 2017

Dale BertramI am often asked how can drivers keep their cars running well during the extreme hot Phoenix weather?  Ask any technician at Fairway Auto Repair and we will tell you that getting your car serviced regularly and keeping your tires rotated goes a long way.  Arizona driving does require special help due to our extreme heat with triple-digit temperatures from late May through September.

Here is what we do when you bring your car to Fairway Auto Repair:

  • We inspect your tires’ tread and pressure –  Over or under-inflated tires increase the risk of losing traction or having a blowout. Typically, tire pressure needs to be adjusted seasonally as hot weather causes the air inside tires to expand and increases the pressure inside the tire.
  • We inspect your battery frequently –  While batteries may have guaranteed life time warranties elsewhere, in Arizona the life expectancy of even the best batteries tops out at about three years. Heat is very hard on batteries because the battery contains liquid and heat causes the fluids to evaporate. Low fluid levels will damage the internal structure of the battery causing it to die.
  • We inspect engine components – We always check belts, hoses and other engine components. Anything made of rubber suffers in Arizona’s extreme summers with hoses and belts becoming brittle, dry and prone to break or burst. While owner’s manuals make recommendations for typical wear and tear, keep in mind that Arizona’s climate is not considered typical and more frequent replacement of belts and hoses is a must.
  • We inspect and replace air filters frequently. In Arizona we drive through dust storms and that doesn’t do a car’s interior any favors. Thankfully we have air filters to stop all that dirt, dust, pollen and other debris from getting into the engine where it could damage the combustion chamber. Signs of a dirty filter include reduced mileage and reduced engine performance. You don’t want to drive with a dirty filter as it can no longer protect your engine from debris.

You can trust your car’s needs to Fairway Auto Repair to make sure it makes it through this heat.  To find out more about us, check out our other articles at www.fairwayautorepair.com.

 

 





Goodbye Spare Tire?

29 06 2017

Dale BertramRemember when cars had a full size spare tire? Then they went to the small temporary spare tire called the donut.  Now, in order to save weight, many manufacturers are doing away with the spare tire altogether on certain models.  Certainly less weight increases gas mileage.  It is also easier and less expensive to shed weight from a car, than to introduce technology to save fuel. This year about 14 percent of new model cars in the United States have no spare tire.

The tire repair kit which replaces the spare tire, weighs in at about 20 pounds less than a spare tire and a jack assembly and do not take up much room either. But what should you do if you happen to get a flat? The car manufacturers are supplying a quick-fix kit instead.

If you get a major blow out that is larger than a quarter of an inch, or if the puncture is on the side of the tire instead of the bottom, the repair kit won’t do the job and you will need to be towed.  The manufacturers figure that in most cases the repair kit will do the job as it should take care of flats 85 percent of the time.

The manufacturers also feel that TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems) will alert you in most cases that you have a leak which you can fix before you have a flat. So if the low tire light sends a signal, don’t ignore it. If you buy a new car, you might want to look for the spare tire.

Manufacturers have been mandated by the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards and are scrambling to get better gas mileage (an average of 54.5 miles per gallon) by 2025 and are doing all they can to make it happen. Not every manufacturer is using this method to help their cause but it is something you need to be aware of.  You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere and start looking for a spare that you aren’t going to find.