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!

 

 





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

21 07 2017

Dale BertramMisconception # 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.

 

 





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.

 

 





Our Pledge To You!

18 05 2017

Dale BertramMany of our customers are keeping their cars longer.  I thought I would just take a moment to reassure you that we will do our utmost to keep your cars in great shape.  It is just one less thing you need to worry about.  Peace of mind is one of our specialties.  Here are a few other things you can always expect from us:

We pledge to always treat you like a person, never just another number to be served.
We pledge to always give you outstanding customer service.
We pledge to keep current with our certification training so we are always up-to-date with the latest manufacturer information.
We pledge to keep you informed of services/repairs you will need “down the road” so you can be financially prepared.
We pledge to be available to answer any questions you may have.
We pledge to treat you like we would want to be treated and how we would want others to treat our family members.
We pledge to keep you informed about manufacturer recalls.
We pledge to give you a choice when it comes to parts…original manufactured or aftermarket parts.
We pledge never to apply high pressure sales tactics on you.
We pledge never to sell you something you don’t need.
We pledge never to take your business for granted.

Rest assured that as our customer, you will receive the very best from each of our staff.  Keeping you happy is our number one priority!

“There is only one boss. The customer. And he/she can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his/her money somewhere else.”  – Sam Walton





Letting Off Steam

27 04 2017

Dale BertramA vehicle’s radiator sits front and center and when it loses its cool…look out!  Steam comes pouring from under the hood.  This is not a situation you want to find yourself in as it usually involves sitting on the side of the road until your car can be towed.  At Fairway Auto Repair, when we inspect your vehicle we look for these warning signs so you don’t experience the pain of overheating!

  • Leaking coolant – when the coolant level is low it generally means it is leaking out through the upper radiator hose.
  • Discolored coolant – indicates a clog.
  • Cool spots – also indicates a clog.

You have probably heard about coolant fluid exchanges.  A fluid exchange is beneficial because it removes the small particles of dirt and rust that clog up the essential elements.  These elements prevent your radiator from doing its job…cooling your engine properly.

Consumers are keeping their vehicles longer in this economy and we have seen an increase in radiator replacements.  Since we are driving our vehicles longer these days it isn’t surprising that left unchecked, a radiator will malfunction.

Prevention is the key to keeping your radiator healthy.  We in the industry recommend that every two years or 30,000 miles, exchanging the fluid.  This fluid exchange prevents corrosion and gives your radiator a longer life.

Keep in mind that if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of overheating DO NOT immediately get out of your vehicle and raise the hood.  That really is steam rising out of your radiator and it will burn you very badly.  Once you pull over turn the engine off and let your car cool down before you check under the hood.  Better yet, call your car care provider and get a tow while you are waiting for the car to cool.

Before your vehicle lets off steam help it keep its cool with a systems check!  You’ll be glad you did!

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.





Don’t Assume

13 04 2017

Dale BertramMany people assume that because we live in warm/hot weather conditions we don’t have the same issues that those in colder climates do.  That is mostly true, but don’t assume too much.

Some think that cold weather causes more wear and tear on a battery than warm weather.  Actually, the reverse is true.  Hot weather makes for extremely high temperatures under the hood which is detrimental to a battery’s life. According to the Car Care Council, the average life of a battery is 31/2 years-even shorter in warmer climates. That’s because excessive heat and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate. That’s slow death for a battery.

Some customers question the need for anti-freeze.  Anti-freeze is just another name for coolant.  It is only referred to as anti-freeze because in sub-zero temperatures it does not freeze!  All vehicles need coolant, no matter what name you prefer to call it.  Coolant keeps the engine cool and lubricates the water pump.  Overheating is the biggest reason for breakdowns on the highway.  When the coolant gets dirty it loses the ability to clean the different components.  That is why we recommend fluid exchanges every so often.

Snow and ice and heavy rain isn’t the only culprits when it comes to your vehicle’s wiper blades. Wiper blades are one of the most neglected components on vehicles today. Many blades are cracked, split, torn, brittle, worn or otherwise in obvious need of replacement. Others may look okay, but does a lousy job of wiping when put to the test. Ninety percent of all driving decisions are based on a clear unobstructed view of the road, which means good visibility is absolutely essential.  All wiper blade materials fall victim to environmental factors. Exposure to sunlight and ozone causes the rubber to age, even if the wipers aren’t used much. As a set of blades age, they lose much of their flip-over flexibility and they’re less able to wipe cleanly. They may develop a permanent set, called “parked” rubber, or curvature which prevents full contact with the windshield. This tends to be more of a problem on vehicles that are parked outside in the hot sun all day. The sun bakes and hardens the rubber. Then when the wipers are needed, they streak and chatter because they’ve taken a set and won’t follow the curvature of the windshield. It can be very annoying as well as dangerous. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year so you are always prepared when you need them.

Yes…we love not having to deal with snow and ice but let’s not forget that heat has its drawbacks too.

Happy Motoring!





Accidents Happen

6 04 2017

Dale BertramAfter the Crash

70% of traffic accidents do not involve injuries. It doesn’t seem to matter though, whether you have a fender bender or total your vehicle; accidents cause a lot of stress.  It’s always a good idea to keep a check list in your glove box just in case of an accident so you can more calmly assess the situation and act in a rational manner.  Here are some things Phoenix drivers need to keep in mind.

  • Call 911 if someone is injured or call the police if not.
  • If possible and there isn’t a lot of damage to the vehicles move them a safe distance from traffic.
  • Exchange information
  • When the police arrive they will fill out an official accident report for you.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent

  • Do I have rental car coverage?
  • Do I have comprehensive coverage (covers theft, fire, vandalism, glass replacement and deer claims)?
  • How much is my deductible?
  • If I have an accident, what kinds of parts will be used to repair my vehicle (new original manufactured parts or new aftermarket parts or reconditioned parts)?
  • What does full coverage mean (you have collision but not necessarily rental, comprehensive or new original manufactured parts coverage)?

Questions to Ask Your Body Shop

  • Can I get a written estimate and an explanation of planned repairs?
  • Will I receive a written guarantee from your shop?
  • When is my deductible due?
  • Will my vehicle be available for the insurance adjuster’s inspection?
  • What is the estimated completion date of my repairs?
  • Will I owe more than the insurance estimate?

Hopefully you won’t be in an accident any time soon but just in case, these are points to ponder and remember. To find out more about keeping your vehicle healthy, visit us at http://www.fairwayautorepair.com!