Drips and Puddles

19 07 2018

Dale BertramThose annoying under the car drips can leave your driveway and garage floor a mess…in fact everywhere you park becomes a victim to this mess.  They are also a sign that something is wrong and needs to be taken care of. The only drip you don’t need to be concerned with is the condensation from your air conditioner.  Everything else is a signal that there is a problem. The small drips are giving you fair warning that if ignored, serious problems are in your future. Here are a few examples:

  • A reddish brown drip may mean one of three things; leaking transmission, over tightened pan gasket or a leaking front seal.
  • A green or orange-red drip suggests a cooling system problem such as leaking hose or radiator.
  • A brown to brownish-black drip that is thick in consistency is more than likely engine oil.  This is not a huge problem if it is slight but when it grows to puddle size it is a sign of something serious and if not kept under control could mean severe engine trouble.
  • A leak that looks like tea and feels oily is brake fluid.  This type of drip or leak is always serious!

If you notice a puddle three inches or larger under your car don’t ignore it.  Get it to the professionals as soon as possible. A puddle between one and two inches isn’t as serious…yet…unless it is brake fluid.  Don’t put off having it looked at too long though…it could become a much more serious problem.

It is a good practice not to ignore drips because if left unchecked those drips will turn into puddles that get bigger and bigger until you no longer have a small problem, you have a major problem.  Make an appointment with us today, and your car’s health care professional at Fairway Auto Repair will stop the drips.  Remember, minor problems come with minor price tags…major problems come with major price tags…maybe even the cost of a new engine!

Prevention is always the best medicine for your vehicle.

 

 

Advertisements




Longevity

31 05 2018

Dale BertramPreventive maintenance is the key to longevity for your vehicle. It is made up of several moving parts that need to be properly lubricated to limit friction and degradation of parts. Fairway Auto Repair has been urging our customers for years to save money by having their vehicles serviced regularly.  One of the vital ingredients to give your car long life is the use of proper lubricants.

I’m sure most all the drivers in Phoenix know that replacing a car’s engine or transmission is very costly.  We hope you never have to find out. To prevent that, the oil needs to be changed regularly as do other fluids. Our technicians at Fairway Auto Repair can be relied on to use quality fluids to ensure your car’s health.

Oil lubricates all the moving parts of your vehicle while you are driving it. This keeps every part moving smoothly and prevents jamming which leads to part failures.  Oil that isn’t changed regularly gets dirty and the buildup of contaminates can also lead to the failure of parts. Clean oil is essential.

If you aren’t sure how often your particular car’s oil needs to be replaced, we can help.  It depends on your driving habits and other factors like our weather here in Phoenix. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to oil changes.

We can help Phoenix drivers’ vehicles’ have a healthy and extended life.  To find out more about us and your vehicle, visit us at http://www.fairwayautorepair.com.

 

 





Misconceptions

17 05 2018

Dale BertramHere are some of the most common misconceptions that I hear on a regular basis:

Misconception # 1: Your car manufacturer specifies regular maintenance schedules just to get you back into their shop and make more money off of you.

Although manufacturers are making cars that last longer and require less overall maintenance, they do require preventive maintenance. If maintained properly, you can expect your car to go well over 100,000 miles without major repairs. For instance, most engines have timing belts that must be replaced (as maintenance) before they break and cause expensive damage.

Misconception # 2: A shop can give you an accurate price quote over the phone without seeing your car.

You can waste your time calling 20 different shops and get 20 different prices and chances are every one of them will be wrong. Unless the shop has had a chance to examine or test drive the car in person, there is no way to accurately diagnose your problem and give you an accurate price quote. Beware of any shop that is willing to give you a quote over the phone without seeing the car. Most likely they will tell you a real low price just to get you to set up an appointment. Then they may hit you with a much higher price once you get there.

Misconception # 3: Most repair shops will recommend extra work just to get you to spend more money.

The fact is that any shop that does not look for potential problems is actually doing you a great disservice. Quality repair shops road test every car and want to uncover wear and tear before they cause expensive problems and breakdowns. Something as simple as discovering and changing a worn belt can save you the danger (and embarrassment) of breaking down on a busy highway and an expensive towing charge.

Misconception # 4: All repair shops are the same.

There can be a huge difference between repair shops. New car technology requires constant training to keep current with all the changes. It also requires having the latest diagnostic equipment available.

 

 

 





Vitality

10 05 2018

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!

 

 





Brake Dust

19 04 2018

Dale BertramI’m sure most of us have experienced this…you drive through an automatic car wash and when you get home you notice the clean shine of your entire vehicle…until you look down at the wheels.  What is that grime on the wheels?  That is brake dust… metallic particles, carbon fibers and adhesive residue from your vehicle’s brake pads that attaches to your wheels.

To keep it from building up it should be removed weekly as it essentially bakes on to the surface of alloy wheels.  It is recommended that you wash the wheels when they are cool to avoid streaking, discoloration and pitting. The adhesive residue in the dust causes it to bond firmly with the wheels and since they are most often acidic it starts a corrosion process.  The metal filings in the dust usually oxidize with the metal of the rims causing galvanic corrosion to occur. If you are removing the dust yourself be careful not to inhale the dust or the vapor from cleaning products especially designed to remove the grime.  This can be toxic and if you are asthmatic, harmful.

If your vehicle seems very prone to brake dust, you might consider having brake dust shields installed.  They come in a variety of colors, are inexpensive and easy to install.

You might also consider higher quality brake pads as poor quality ones produce a lot of dust. Having your brakes checked regularly (quarterly) is recommended as many times an adjustment is needed and this helps stop excessive dust.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Brakes made from organic materials (glass and rubber) wear faster so create more dust than brakes made from semi-metallic and metallic material. Ceramic brake pads have less metal and therefore less dust is created.
  • Brakes installed improperly can cause excessive dust.
  • If you have installed larger diameter wheels to your vehicle the size of the brakes and pads need to be larger as well or they will wear out quickly and increase the amount of dust during the process.
  • If the springs are worn it causes continual rubbing and if the pads are always touching the drums you get an increase in dust.
  • Overloading a vehicle with weight, driving hard, short stop and go trips, and leaving your foot on the brake pedal all increase brake dust.

Now we know that brake dust, though not harmful to your vehicle, is a nuisance and if you feel annoyed by it you are not alone as it is a top complaint among consumers.

 

 





Late Model Cars Can Be A Challenge To Your Car’s Battery Life

12 04 2018

Dale BertramToday’s newer models have a lot of “bells and whistles” and this puts a lot of demand on battery charging systems.  We all know that climates with excessive heat take their toll, such as our Arizona temperatures.  Our hot weather causes the electrolyte inside the battery to dry out.  The popular maintenance free type battery has a sealed top so it doesn’t even allow water to be added, so its life expectancy in Arizona is low.

Ideally, the battery should be at full charge.  When it starts to lose its charge, sulfate builds up on the plates.  As it sits, the sulfate takes hold and is difficult to loosen once the battery is recharged.  Sadly, it then becomes more difficult to “recharge” and will quit all together.

To keep the “bells and whistles” going strong in modern cars, they need to draw current from your car’s battery even when it is not running.  Here is an example; you use your key fob to gain entry to your vehicle as it is “keyless”, draining power from the battery.  You go on a two-week vacation and leave your vehicle at the airport parking garage.  Even as it sits your car’s battery is still discharging power to these systems.  You may return and find the battery cannot turn over the engine.

Damaged battery cables can also make your battery fail because that causes a faulty electrical connection.  What can you do?

  1. Whenever we install a new battery for you, rest assured that we always check out the cables. Sometimes they just need to be cleaned but other times they need to be replaced.
  2. Manufacturers are starting to use absorbent glass mat batteries in new vehicles because they last longer in cars that have the stop/start systems and other battery draining options. Ford Motor Company says 70 percent of its vehicles will come equipped with this battery this year.

With our heat constantly pulling life from our cars’ batteries in Arizona, have them inspected frequently.  All of us at Fairway Auto Repair are here to keep your car going strong…and to make sure your battery is up to the challenge.

 

 





Unnecessary Service

29 03 2018

Dale BertramI hear the phrase unnecessary 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 find 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!