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.

 

 





Cars Want To Be Green For St Pat’s Too!

16 03 2017

Dale BertramEven if you don’t own the newest car on the block it can be greener! With a little tender loving care, it can give you a lot more miles and it will make it environmentally friendly…and save you money.  Improving the environment and your bank account at the same time is a win-win situation!

At Fairway Auto Repair, we know exactly what is needed.  Our techs check out your car’s battery, charging and starting systems; engine mechanical; powertrain control, onboard diagnostic check; fuel; ignition; and emissions systems.  This alone can improve gas mileage by four percent!  The oxygen sensor can be checked too, just to be safe.  That can improve gas mileage up to 40%!

Our technicians also look at your vehicle’s filters as a clogged filter can bring down fuel efficiency by as much as 10%…that’s 15 cents a gallon!  Spark plugs need checking too so they are firing properly.  Misfiring wastes fuel!

The cooling system can also cause a car to boil over if it isn’t in top form.  This can leave you sitting on the side of the road with steam coming out from under the hood.  This is bad at any time, but worse during peak driving hours when you can be the cause of a traffic jam! And you know what else…you guessed it…it wastes fuel and raises emissions.

Last but not least, our techs look at the tires.  If they are over-inflated it makes your vehicle less fuel efficient…if they are under-inflated…same scenario.  Tires need to be just right!

Being environmentally friendly is something we all can help with…especially when it comes to your vehicle!





Being Economical and Ecological

29 09 2016

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.

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Helping Phoenix Drivers Keep More of Their Money

22 09 2016

Dale BertramWe spend a lot of time in our cars…aside from our places of business…they are almost our home away from home.  The average American spends 72 minutes per weekday in transit, mostly to and from work or school. Then on weekends we pile on even more miles. Fuel, insurance, tires and maintenance cost us plenty!

We can’t really control the cost of fuel and insurance but a well-maintained vehicle certainly keeps your cost down in all areas. How, you ask?

  • Vehicle gas caps – About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
  • Under inflated tires – When tires aren’t inflated properly it’s like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon. Neglected tires also mean they won’t last as long. Buying new tires due to neglect gets expensive.
  • Worn spark plugs – A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced regularly.
  • Dirty air filters – An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture – too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 15 cents a gallon.
  • Don’t be an aggressive driver – Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 7 to 49 cents per gallon.
  • Avoid excessive idling – Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
  • Observe the speed limit – Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mph driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.
  • Take care of your current car and it will last longer and save your money on insuring a new model and a car payment.
  • A well maintained car also saves you money on expensive repairs due to neglect.

Save yourself some money…take care of your vehicle and your vehicle will certainly take care of you! Contact us at Fairway Auto Repair and our technicians will get your car ready to become a money saving machine!  Visit our website at www.fairwayautorepair.com to find out more!

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The Weight Loss Of Vehicles

4 12 2014

Dale BertramCorporate Average Fuel Economy or CAFE was put into effect in 1975 and Congress has been tweaking it for 38 years, so it constantly improves the average fuel economy for all cars and trucks sold in the United States. Currently the “defined” standard is 30.2 miles per gallon for passenger vehicles and 24.1 miles per gallon for light trucks. When vehicles fall below 30.2 mpg or 24.1 mpg the manufacturer is penalized $5.50 for every 0.1 miles per gallon below the standard.

Have you ever heard of the “Gas Guzzler Tax?” Passenger cars that get less than 22.5 miles per gallon have this tax levied on them.  It is not applicable for SUVs, trucks or vans, however. With all these penalties, manufacturers are working hard to not only make engines that are fuels sippers but make vehicles that are lighter in weight.

By 2016, the new standard will be a combined 35.5 miles per gallon and by 2025 the government standard is 54.5 miles per gallon! This has manufacturers scurrying to build a lighter vehicle because the lighter the vehicle, the more fuel efficient it is.  Those of us in the United States, on average, prefer our vehicles on the roomy side as opposed to small.  Manufacturers need the light weight of aluminum but the cost for manufacturers to change their assembly lines to work with aluminum and alloys is costly!

General Motors Ventures has invested in a Rhode-Island based company called NanoSteel Corporation.  They make a strong steel sheet that can take shape while withstanding the standard stamping process and yet is twenty percent lighter than the usual cold-rolled grade steel. It does not require heat to shape it and the assembly line doesn’t have to be retrofitted.

High-end vehicles have been using aluminum successfully but this new steel is wonderful news for manufacturers and auto repair shops alike!  How are the vehicles doing?  The 2014 Cadillac CTS weighs 250 pounds, or 7 percent less than the 2013 model. Jaguar Land Rover Sport is 800 pounds lighter or 17 percent less than the 2013 model.  The 2014 Jeep Cherokee that replaces the Liberty is 200 pounds lighter but 5.1 inches longer.

Lighter cars will not lower safety standards but they will brake, accelerate and handle better.  Parts made from lighter high-strength steel can be 39 percent lighter! It is also $2.75 less per pound than aluminum and $7 per pound less than carbon fiber.

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Fairway Auto Repair





Lube Oil And Fuel Economy

16 01 2014

Dale BertramUsually when you hear about fuel economy lube oil isn’t at the top of the list of importance. The manufacturers talk about lighter weight vehicles using different materials and of course lightening up the load the cars carry by taking away the spare tire or donut. You even hear about bio-fuels and hybrid and electric vehicles often as the answer to fuel economy. Not only is fuel economy a hot topic right now but so is how it cuts down on pollution.

Hybrids and electric vehicles have been embraced by many but even so…conventional engines are still the most popular. It has been mandated by the government that these vehicles reach 35.5 mpg for model years 2011-2016.

Lighter weight materials, gasoline direct injection and turbo charging are helping to reach this goal. Ford states that they have manufactured two-million turbo-charged Eco-boost engines since 2009. This year they will introduce a one-liter engine in the Ford Fiesta models.

Research tells us that 70-75 percent of vehicles manufactured in the years 2016 – 2020 will have turbocharged – gasoline direct injection with the highest production taking place at the end of that period. Engines with less than 1.5 liter displacement are predicted to make up 6 – 10 percent of vehicles produced in North America which is certainly an uptick considering we currently have none. All these improvements create challenges, however.

Here are some technological challenges that must be overcome to make these engines efficient all the way around:

• Steel timing chains in Gasoline Direct Injection engines can wear out quickly.
• Gasoline Direct Injection engines cause high oxidation of lube oils.

What is the answer to these problems? Upgraded varieties of chemicals for lube oil additives to keep the engines in good running condition. Lube oils will remain the life blood of vehicles; it seems, for at least a few more years to come. Then as now, maintaining a vehicle is important to keep it going, keep it fuel efficient and keep our environment safe and clean.

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Fairway Auto Repair





The Weight Loss Of Vehicles

6 06 2013

Dale BertramCorporate Average Fuel Economy or CAFE was put into effect in 1975 and Congress has been tweaking it for 38 years, so it constantly improves the average fuel economy for all cars and trucks sold in the United States. Currently the “defined” standard is 30.2 miles per gallon for passenger vehicles and 24.1 miles per gallon for light trucks. When vehicles fall below 30.2 mpg or 24.1 mpg the manufacturer is penalized $5.50 for every 0.1 miles per gallon below the standard.

Have you ever heard of the “Gas Guzzler Tax?” Passenger cars that get less than 22.5 miles per gallon have this tax levied on them. It is not applicable for SUVs, trucks or vans, however. With all these penalties, manufacturers are working hard to not only make engines that are fuels sippers but make vehicles that are lighter in weight.

By 2016, the new standard will be a combined 35.5 miles per gallon and by 2025 the government standard is 54.5 miles per gallon! This has manufacturers scurrying to build a lighter vehicle because the lighter the vehicle, the more fuel efficient it is. Those of us in the United States, on average, prefer our vehicles on the roomy side as opposed to small. Manufacturers need the light weight of aluminum but the cost for manufacturers to change their assembly lines to work with aluminum and alloys is costly!

General Motors Ventures has invested in a Rhode-Island based company called NanoSteel Corporation. They make a strong steel sheet that can take shape while withstanding the standard stamping process and yet is twenty percent lighter than the usual cold-rolled grade steel. It does not require heat to shape it and the assembly line doesn’t have to be retrofitted.

High-end vehicles have been using aluminum successfully but this new steel is wonderful news for manufacturers and auto repair shops alike! How are the vehicles doing? The 2014 Cadillac CTS weighs 250 pounds, or 7 percent less than the 2013 model. Jaguar Land Rover Sport is 800 pounds lighter or 17 percent less than the 2013 model. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee that replaces the Liberty is 200 pounds lighter but 5.1 inches longer.

Lighter cars will not lower safety standards but they will brake, accelerate and handle better. Parts made from lighter high-strength steel can be 39 percent lighter! It is also $2.75 less per pound than aluminum and $7 per pound less than carbon fiber.

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Fairway Auto Repair