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




Independence From Summer’s Heat Starts Here!

28 06 2018

Dale BertramWhen I think about those wonderful Patriots who declared our independence back in 1776 I often think about the amazing sacrifices they made. They sacrificed their businesses, their family time, and could all have been hanged for treason.  They also dressed very elegantly but sitting in a building with no air conditioning and walking or riding horses or being driven around in horse drawn carriages wherever they went had to be incredibly hot! Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can be a very hot and humid place in the summer months. I don’t even like to think about how hot it would have been in Phoenix!

Today we enjoy air conditioning and have trouble getting by without it!  Summer temperatures can soar here in Phoenix!  It can test your vehicle’s air conditioning system. Here are some suggestions from Fairway Auto Repair to help you beat the heat this summer!

  1. Roll your car windows down slightly on hot days to keep the heat from building inside your car. Your car’s air-conditioning system works by removing heat, so the cooler the interior is to start with, the easier and faster it can cool down your vehicle.
  2. Before you get in your car, open all the windows and/or doors completely, for a moment to let the hot air leave the interior fast.
  3. When you first turn the air conditioning on, set the controls to “max” or “rec” and use the highest blower speed. This moves the air and re-circulates it for a quicker cool-down. When you feel comfortable, switch the system to “norm” and select a lower fan speed. The lower blower speed produces colder air from the system.
  4. If your cool air smells like “dirty socks” or a gym locker set the system to the “outside” air mode (not “rec”) frequently to help prevent or lessen this problem.
  5. If you have an Automatic Temperature Control system read your owner’s manual to find out exactly how your system works. Usually the quickest cool-down comes by setting the temperature as low as it will go at first, then adjusting it.

If your air-conditioning system isn’t helping you beat the heat, give Fairway Auto a call! We are certified to use Freon properly to keep our environment healthy and you cool and comfortable.  To find out more about your vehicle’s A/C system, visit our website at www.fairwayautorepair.com.  Fairway Auto Repair wants to make sure you keep your cool all year long!

 

 





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!

 

 





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!

 

 





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.

 

 





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.