Mechanical Failures That Cause Accidents

3 05 2018

Dale BertramBrakes  – Brake failure tops the list.  Brake pads wear out, brake lines leak fluid and ABS systems can also be the cause of brake failure.

Tires – Bald tires can cause a car to “slip and slide” even on dry pavement.  If there isn’t enough tread to hug the road you can be in serious trouble.  Tire blowouts can also cause accidents.

Wipers – If you can’t see, you can’t drive!  It is that simple!

Lights – More accidents happen at night and if your headlights, taillights, or brake lights, turn signal blinkers aren’t working…people can’t see you!  Don’t be a road hazard!

Steering – Loss of fluid, tie rods, ball joints and other components that make up this system can cause mechanical failure and accidents.

Roadside Assistance Calls

AAA and other services are called mostly for:

  • Dead battery
  • Flat tires
  • Cars that run out of fuel
  • Locking keys inside the vehicle

Now…we can’t keep you from locking your keys in your car, or make sure you get to the gas station on time, but we can sure help with the mechanical issues! Don’t let these things happen to you…contact us today!

 

 

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Never Assume

26 04 2018

Dale BertramIn a recent study of several hundred people, the question was asked, “Does the auto shop where you take your vehicle employ certified technicians?” The vast majority answered that they assumed that they were certified.

Sadly, this is not the case! Someone who cuts hair or does manicures is required to be state certified and take continuing education classes, but a mechanic, who works on tires, engines or brakes doesn’t need a single day of training nor are they required to have the proper tools.

The only certification system we have in the automotive repair industry is strictly voluntary and is administered by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) which offers a series of written tests that a technician can take to be certified in many different areas of the car. All tests are voluntary, not required. At Fairway Auto Repair, I require all the staff to be ASE certified and I know many other shops do as well.

I recommend using an AAA Approved auto shop because they require ASE certified technicians and those technicians must have a minimum set of tools for the cars they work on. AAA approved shops have tough standards and you, the consumer, have a voice through the arbitration system if you feel something went wrong with your car repair.

In these uncertain times, saving a few dollars is always something to consider, but don’t get so caught up with a low price that you get poor service/repair.  This will cost you more later. Have a knowledgeable certified technician perform the service or repairs on your car; it will save you time and money in the long run. Before you agree to have any work performed, ask if the technician working on your car is certified for that year, make & model.

 

 





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!

 

 





Accidents Happen

15 02 2018

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!

 

 





Everything You Need To Know For Holiday Travel

14 12 2017

Dale BertramChances are sometime during the holiday you will be traveling afar or just down the street.  Here are a few tips to make this holiday season safe and more enjoyable!

  • A well-maintained vehicle lessens the chances of a breakdown. When your car breaks down you aren’t the only one annoyed…think of the drivers who are behind you during this busy time of the year!
  • If you are traveling with children, make sure they are properly “buckled up” for safety.
  • If you are shopping remember to keep packages out of sight in your vehicle when it is parked at the shopping center so thieves aren’t tempted.
  • Keep your “roadside assistance” number with you “just in case.”
  • Don’t drink and drive and be sure that any medications you take won’t impair your driving ability.
  • Do not drive when fatigued as you could fall asleep at the wheel.
  • On long trips, schedule frequent stops to stretch your legs and plan for meals and bathroom breaks!
  • Keep any children entertained in the car with toys, movies, games (magnetic ones are a good choice or handheld devices) and books and art supplies.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

 

 





Happy Thanksgiving!

22 11 2017





Don’t Ruin the Holidays with Road Rage

16 11 2017

Dale BertramMany feel that road rage is triggered by drivers who are feeling rushed or spend too much time in heavy traffic. We know around the holidays traffic intensifies so be aware of your stress triggers and keep them under control when you are driving.

Most drivers who experience road rage show it by tailgating, changing lanes quickly without signaling, running red lights, honking the horn and using obscene gestures.  In a recent survey fifty-six percent of men said they experience feelings of road rage on a daily basis and forty-four percent of women do.

Studies show that 1500 people are injured or killed in road-rage incidents each year. It is believed that those who suffer from violent road-rage tendencies have Intermittent Explosive Disorder and this affects up to 16 million Americans during their lifetime. Psychiatrists believe this disorder starts in childhood or early adolescence. When they get violent on the road they have excuses like, “he cut me off,” or “I was signaling for that parking spot first!”

The majority of aggressive drivers are poorly educated young men between the ages of 16 and 26. Usually they have had run ins with the law and have substance abuse issues…but not always. Some professional, successful people who have had a bad day at the office and who seem to have no emotional problems have also flown into a rage.  Class, race, religion, age, gender don’t seem to matter in some instances.  They just had a rough day and getting cut off in traffic resulted in the final straw.

Generally speaking though, those categorized as “type A” or competitive personalities are more prone to road rage. They are more controlling people and get frustrated more easily when things don’t go their way.  If they felt things went against them all day this aggressive behavior can show up behind the wheel.

The best advice when you feel someone near you on the road is experiencing road rage is to get out of their way and don’t make eye contact.  If you are pursued by an angry driver do not drive home…drive to the police station.

If you are a person who gets easily frustrated with other drivers be aware of your emotions and stay calm.  Don’t let a bad day for you get worse by harming others and possibly ending up in jail.  That only makes your bad day go on for a very long time. If you need to seek professional help, do so sooner rather than later.

It may be years before this device is available but meanwhile, be very aware when you are driving and take steps to keep calm and share the road graciously with others.