How To Be Green For St. Patrick’s Day and Every Day!

15 03 2018

Dale BertramMost of us are concerned with keeping our environment green.  We buy the reusable bags for our shopping trips, combine driving trips to be more fuel efficient and use the new style light bulbs to conserve energy.  All these seemingly little conscious efforts add up to help our earth.

It may surprise you to learn that the automotive service and repair industry has been one of the leaders in keeping our environment clean…even before it was a popular theme with the general public.  We are very careful with waste disposal in every way.  As an example, one gallon of improperly disposed of motor oil can contaminate a million gallons of drinking water!  When consumers bring their car in for regular service it is one of the biggest benefits to cleaner air and the good news is…it saves you money too!  In fact, it saves you money in more ways than one!  It prolongs the life of the car you have, it saves money in fuel, and a regularly maintained vehicle saves you money on expensive repairs!  It is a good deal all around.

  • A regularly maintained car can last 50% longer.
  • A properly tuned car keeps your engine firing properly…one misfiring spark plug can waste 30% in fuel efficiency!
  • Keeping your tires checked and rotated makes them last longer and can help your engine work better and easier.
  • Clean filters make a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Of course, it also helps not to drive like you are trying out for NASCAR or using it to transport or store heavy objects.  All of this contributes to wear and tear on your vehicle too plus cuts way down on fuel efficiency.

Working together, we can all help our earth be a bit greener…breathe a bit easier…and save ourselves more of our hard-earned cash.







9 11 2017

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  We are here to help your car keep its vitality!



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.





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 to find out more!



The Light…What Does It Mean?

15 06 2017

Understanding your service reminder Light

Dale BertramMost of us don’t read the owner’s manual, if you even have one anymore. Many car manuals can only be found online now. Carmakers have come up with service reminders in the form of a warning indicator light, that appears on the gauge cluster (near the speedometer). Often, it comes on well before the service is required to give you time to schedule the appointment.

There are several types of warning systems:

  1. Set mileage system. The light comes on every time you have driven a set number of miles and an oil change is needed. This varies among different carmakers, but it is roughly every 5,000 miles. In some systems, you can set the interval yourself.
  2. Oil sensor system. An onboard computer analyzes how the car is being driven, and the light comes on when an oil change is required. Driving only short trips will trigger the light sooner; highway driving means you can go many more miles between service visits.
  3. Oil Level or Low System. This light should not be ignored! It means the oil level is low and needs immediate attention. You should visit your trusted shop for advice or check and add the correct type of oil for your vehicle. Using incorrect oil is not recommended unless it is an emergency and you have no choice.

Servicing your car is a choice made by you. I recommend finding a trusted maintenance shop and consulting with them for service intervals. The random statement of changing oil every 7,500 miles does not apply to every car. Some manufacturers have issued service bulletins to rescind the extended oil change interval due to excessive engine sludge build up

New technology, the direct fuel injection, the 0W20 oil, the higher system temperatures and the smaller engines creating more power is great for fuel economy, but makes servicing your car on time a must. Ignoring your fluid changes will cost you big time in the future.



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.


Fairway Auto Repair

Going To Granny’s…

22 12 2016

Dale BertramAre you planning a trip to Granny’s for Christmas or Hanukkah or another destination for the holidays?  Will you be out and about on New Year’s Eve? Your vehicle may not be feeling up to the trip.  Instead of letting it chug along with the old “I think I can, I think I can,” listen to what it is trying to tell you. You don’t speak car?  No problem, I’ll translate for you!

Q:  What does a squealing or a scraping sound indicate when you apply the brakes?

A:  Most likely your brake pads are worn. This allows their wear indicators or sensor to touch the disc brake rotor. When this occurs, the sensor emits that high pitch noise to warn you that, “Hey, my brakes need attention!” It is best to have them checked out sooner rather than later before expensive damage or brake failure occurs.

Q:  Your car makes a knocking or pinging noise when you accelerate or climb a hill.

A:  This is a sign that the gas and air mixture in your car’s cylinders isn’t burning properly. The sound you hear is the result of the fuel and air mixture combusting unevenly in the cylinder. Yep, your car is announcing that it has indigestion! Pinging or knocking does reduce the efficiency of your engine and over a very long period of time it can cause damage.

Q:  Your van makes a chirping sound.

A:  A cyclic chirping sound from the vicinity of a wheel often indicates a wheel bearing or axle bearing that is failing. Your car says, “No, I did not swallow the canary…I need attention! Usually the noise will change with the speed of the vehicle. It may come and go at various speeds. This noise should not be ignored, because if the bearing fails, it may cause the wheel to lockup or come loose from your car!

Q: What is that hissing sound coming from under the hood?

A:  If you hear a hissing sound while driving or after turning the engine off accompanied by a sweet, sickly odor, it may mean your engine is overheating and/or leaking coolant from the cooling system. Your vehicle is telling you, “I’m getting very hot under the collar here!  Pay attention or I might just blow my top!” The temperature gauge or temperature warning light should also indicate an overheating condition. Steam may also rise from under the hood. Stop driving as severe overheating can damage your engine. Carefully open the hood. Look for any evidence of coolant leaking from the engine, radiator or heater hoses. If you see steam or smell a sweet odor, it is antifreeze leaking from the cooling system. DO NOT open the radiator or coolant reservoir cap or add coolant until the engine has cooled. Get this checked out right away.

Q:  What is that clicking or tapping noise from the engine?

A:  A metallic tapping or clicking sound means your engine may be low on oil, or is not developing normal oil pressure. Your car says, “You have blood pressure problems…I have oil pressure problems! This is serious stuff here!” The clicking noise is coming from the valve train. If the oil pressure is low due to low oil level in the crankcase or there is a problem with the oil pump, the hydraulic lifters that open and close the valves may collapse creating an increase in valve lash. This creates the clicking or tapping noise. Stop the engine, let it sit a few minutes (so the oil can run back down into the crankcase), then check the oil level on the dipstick. If low, add oil as needed to bring the level back up to the full mark. If the noise does not go away, and/or the oil pressure gauge or warning light indicates low oil pressure, it’s not a good idea to keep driving your vehicle. Loss of oil pressure can cause extensive and expensive engine damage.

Q:  Why is my exhaust system roaring?

A:  If your exhaust system has a leak, you will hear a roar coming from under your vehicle that is loudest when accelerating. Your vehicle is saying, “Listen up here!  I’m trying to save your life!” The noise means your exhaust system needs repairs. The dangerous part is if the leaking exhaust gases, which contain carbon monoxide, get inside the passenger compartment. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent killer. It takes only a small amount of carbon monoxide inside the passenger compartment to affect your alertness, ability to concentrate and react to changing driving conditions. A very small amount can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, and bring on stupor in two hours. A one percent concentration of carbon monoxide can kill a person in less than three minutes!

Q:  Why do my tires make a thumping noise?

A:  You may have a tire out of balance.  Your car is saying, “My feet are killing me!” This causes it to impact with the road in a slapping sort of manner, causing the thumping noise.  Get it looked at as soon as possible, as a neglected tire causes flat spots and eventually ruins your tires.

Now you know what your vehicle is trying to tell you.  Call us today and make an appointment.  We’ll give it an inspection so you can feel confident on the road this holiday season!


Fairway Auto Repair