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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Oil Filter Warning

5 10 2017

Dale BertramThe oil filter is one of the most important parts of the engine. Its job is to filter out any contaminates created by the normal wear and heat of the engine.  When your car has the oil changed, most likely the oil filter is also changed, at least I hope so.

Years ago, we all knew that the oil and filter was changed at 3,000 miles, it was just the way it was. Enter the new age of cars, oils and filters; especially synthetic oils which last much longer as stated in some of my previous articles. Many oil changes can last 5,000 to 10,000 miles depending on the type of car, type of oil and how many quarts of oil are in the oil pan.

Back in the day when we recommended the 3,000-mile service, any oil filter would easily protect the engine for that mileage, but not many oil filters would protect your car for more than 5,000 miles. If you are driving longer than 5,000 miles between oil changes and using a low cost oil change shop, you may be damaging the engine and not even know it.

Let me explain. Oil filters all look the same on the outside, but are very different on the inside. The difference lies in the amount of filtering material used and type of drain back valve used inside each filter. Less expensive filters, as you would suspect, have less filtering material and a less reliable drain back valve.

This may seem insignificant, but the results can be catastrophic. When you drive longer than 5,000 miles on one of the low cost filters, the filter starts to lose the ability to keep the contaminates contained and they slip into the engine bearings, causing premature wear.  The eventual outcome is engine failure. It does not pay to have an inexpensive oil change and an inexpensive oil filter put on your newer model car.

Currently, there is not a standard or law that says what part or quality of part, needs to be put on your car. If you have an engine failure that should be covered by a warranty, and you have been using cheap oil/filter, this is not only scary for you, the consumer, but it could get downright ugly as the manufacturer may deny the claim. Ultimately, the consumer should be aware of what is going on with the car and use a service center you trust.

A cheap oil change may save you money short term, but will not save you money in the long run.

 

 

 

 





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.

 

 





Is Your Vehicle Ready For Summer?

25 05 2017

Dale BertramMemorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer… and that means summer vacations are just around the corner!  Is your vehicle ready to hit the road?

We know we can feel our energy ooze out of us in the summer heat and your car feels it too!  Just imagine sitting there day after day on the hot pavement while the relentless summer sun shines down on you.  Car’s components such as rubber are very sensitive to heat and tend to become brittle and crack.  Here a just a few things we look for when we service your vehicle for summer:

  • Batteries take a beating. Between the car’s vibrations and heat, they usually only last three years.  It is always a good idea to have them tested to determine how much life they have left in them.
  • Cooling systems are very susceptible to summer heat. You will notice more cars sitting on the side of the road with steam pouring out from under the hood during the summer months.  We always check your cooling system thoroughly to make sure the coolant isn’t contaminated.  We also check the rubber components for cracks and frays.  If they are past their prime, we will recommend replacing them so you don’t end up on the side of the road.
  • Tires need the proper inflation to function well. They don’t operate well if they are over-inflated or under-inflated. They need to be just right!
  • Fluids and filters need to be checked and replaced if needed. They do a lot of work to protect our vehicles.
  • Air-conditioning systems need to be looked at so you and your passengers stay comfortable no matter how high the outside temperatures climb. We make sure to check the refrigerant and other components.

A quick inspection will let you know if your vehicle is good to go or if it needs a little service & repair before you head out.  Call today to schedule an appointment!





Will my engine oil and oil filter go the distance?

9 02 2017

Dale BertramChoosing the right engine oil and oil filter for your vehicle is tougher than ever with all the different products on the market today. Oil and filters today need to lubricate better and filter more particles than ever before, due to the longer change intervals.  Vehicle manufacturers in the 80s and 90s set oil change intervals to 3,000 or 3,500 miles because oils and filters of those days would break down fast as a result of the oil refining process and engine design.

Oils are much better, with synthetic products and are actually required in the majority of cars today with extended service intervals of 7,500 to 15,000 miles; it is more critical than ever to use the correct oil and oil filter. Many oil filters are only designed to filter for up to 5,000 miles, of course these filters will cause engine failure on a 15,000-mile oil change.  Filters not designed to go the distance will clog up and can start bypassing so no oil is being filtered at all. This can be disastrous on today’s high performance engines.

Don’t use just any oil. Our shop has what I call the wall of oil. We carry 20 plus different oils; they are not compatible with each other and don’t let anyone tell you different.  If your car requires a 0w20 oil, that’s what it takes, the engine is designed to work at peak efficiency and emission levels for that specific oil.

The sad thing is some people don’t have all the oils and will use what they have on hand. While the incorrect oil will work and you may never know the difference, it slowly wears out your engine and failure is imminent.  The difference between a car going 100,000 miles and one going 400,000 miles is directly related to the oil and filter you choose and interval change frequency.

Make sure you check your owner’s manual and talk with your service professional to ensure the oil and oil filter they are using on your vehicle will go the distance.

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Vitality

10 11 2016

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!

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Why Timely Service Is So Important

20 10 2016

Dale BertramI’m often asked about why timely service is so important.  I hope you find the answers to the questions below helpful too!

Q:  I’m always being told I need my filters changed.  What’s that all about?

A:  Oil, fuel and air filters all work hard to improve your engine’s running condition.  When they get dirty, contaminants enter the system.  This causes rough idling, loss of acceleration, decreased power and lower gas mileage.

Q:  I usually fill up with gasoline when my car is almost on empty.  I was told that isn’t necessarily a good thing.  What’s wrong with that?

A:  The gasoline in the tank is the cooling agent for the pump.  When the level is low, the pump is exposed and runs too hot.

Q:  I have heard that “exchanging” transmission, radiator, brake and power steering systems are a good idea?  Why?

A:  In all cases, mileage and use means more contaminants and breakdown of important fluid additives which help prevent wear and corrosion.  When the systems are exchanged and new, clean fluid is added, you now have the protection of new fluid loaded with additives and without harmful contaminants that are creating excessive wear.  When you consider the cost of a transmission, radiator, an ABS brake system or power steering units, fluid exchange, next to oil changes, is the best bargain out there!

Q:  If I have a concern about a noise, or notice that my car is just acting different, what should I do?

A:  Call your car care provider as soon as possible. If they think it needs immediate attention they will tell you to bring it in.  Safety comes first and they will never advise you to drive a vehicle that needs attention now.

Q:  What can I do to lower repair costs?

A:  Maintain components before they become major problems.  This is the key to saving money.  When you bring your car in for service, your car care provider can alert you to future repair needs or replacement parts so you can budget accordingly.

Q:  I am so busy I sometimes forget to have my car serviced.  What is an easy way to remember?

A:  Try to preset an appointment and ask to be called a day or two in advance.  If your car care provider doesn’t offer this service, think of the calendar by seasons.  On the first day of spring, summer, fall, winter call and schedule an appointment.

Q:  What’s the deal with diagnostic testing?  Doesn’t that cost me more money?

A:  No, it actually saves you money.  Trying to diagnose today’s computerized vehicles without the proper training or diagnostic equipment can result in misdiagnosis costing you $100 or $1000 in unnecessary repairs (known as parts swapping).

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