Replacing a Car Battery…Why It Takes an Expert!

2 11 2018

Dale BertramOur vehicles are much more complicated than they used to be.  Each system is controlled by a separate computer module and each car can have as many as twenty of these modules.  They each have their own “memory” and they depend upon the car’s battery to keep the memory intact.

We all have had to reset our car’s clock after a battery disconnect but these days more can be lost than your car’s clocks time.  Here are some of the issues that can occur after a battery power failure or disconnect:

  • Loss of time on the clock, loss of set radio stations and anti-theft lockout
  • Stalling, failure of emission monitors
  • Loss of power seat and mirror positions
  • Door control loss such as locking, driver door switch pad, child lock switches, etc., which are associated with the driver’s door. In most of the cases the driver door module acts as a master and others act as slaves in communication protocols.

If you have replaced your car’s battery on your own and you are experiencing any of these issues, please contact us today.  We can help your car get its memory back!

 

 

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Double, Double Toil And Trouble

18 10 2018

Double, double toil and trouble,
On the ground beneath me is a puddle.
Its origins have my owner befuddled,
But lucky for me he calls Fairway Auto Repair on the double!

They carefully have my poor self towed in,
And I wait patiently for them to begin.
The techs carefully, slowly raise my hood,
By the look on their faces I feared the prognosis wasn’t good!

From under my hood the steam rose like a thick fog,
Like some witch’s brew made in an old-time bog!
It didn’t look good and my heart began to thud,
I didn’t want to hear that I was now just a dud!

As I braced myself to hear I was now a pile of rubble,
(Deep in my heart I hoped for a rebuttal!),
“She’s in bad shape!” They said, “Make no mistake!”
But we can fix her, so relax and take a break!”

“She’s suffered from a coolant leak,
If you would have kept driving her the outcome would have been bleak!
Since you towed her in we can fix her, piece of cake!
To have driven her would have been a big mistake!”

They fixed my coolant system and fixed it well,
Those folks at Fairway Auto Repair sure are swell!
Next time you find yourself in such trouble,
I suggest you call Fairway Auto Repair on the double!





Do I Have To Use A Dealer To Keep My Warranty In Effect?

11 10 2018

Dale BertramWhen a customer buys a new car, they are always concerned that if they keep coming to my shop for routine maintenance and repair it will void the warranty! I always tell them to relax because the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) the nation’s consumer protection agency says NO! It is illegal for a dealership to even suggest that they might deny your warranty coverage because your routine maintenance and repair is done by an independent repair shop!

Oil changes, fluid exchanges, tire rotations, brake pads, belt and hose replacements and other services are considered “routine” maintenance and are essential to keep your car running well for years to come. A complete list of these services can be found in your owner’s manual.

Customers also are concerned that the use of aftermarket parts may void their warranty.    This will not void your warranty and you can even use recycled parts and your warranty will still be good! The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act states emphatically that it is illegal for a manufacturer or dealership to void your warranty because you chose to use an aftermarket or recycled part.

The only time a dealership or manufacturer can deny you coverage is if the following occurs:

-A part was improperly installed and caused damage

-If the aftermarket or recycled part was defective and caused other parts to be damaged

Keep in mind that if these two things should occur the dealership or manufacturer must demonstrate or prove that this did, in fact, cause damage.

We always encourage our customers to keep a record of all services/repairs but if you fail to do so, or have misplaced them, rest assured that we have those records should you ever need them.

We are always here for you!

 

 





Let’s Talk Lights!

20 09 2018

Dale BertramThe daylight hours are getting shorter now and we depend on our lights more and more.  I have noticed people driving around with one headlight out or a brake light and one can only assume a turn signal (though some people just don’t bother to use them for some strange reason!). It is a good idea to test your lights!  You can have someone assist you, ask us to check, or check them out yourself by pulling up to a building and shining your lights, or even do it in your garage.  Seeing well while driving is very important, and it is also important that others see you!

If your headlights seem yellowed, we can fix that!  Just contact us and we’ll tell you how we do this (no, it isn’t magic!).

When Your Lights Go Dim
Your vehicle’s alternator keeps the battery charged.  The alternator replaced the generator of the past.  If your car fails to start as quickly as it used to (hard or slow cranking) or your lights seem dimmer it could be a sign that your alternator needs to be replaced.  If you are used to dashboard lights telling you of a problem and you didn’t see the “alt,” “bat,” or “gen” light come on to alert you, keep in mind that the alternator is responsible for those dashboard lights!  If it isn’t working then the lights will not illuminate.

Today’s vehicles have more and more equipment that is powered by our alternators.  We have stereo systems with multiple speakers, televisions and DVD players, fancy headlights and navigation systems, rear wipers and heat and air conditioning systems.  We take for granted that all this works, but sometimes an alternator simply gets overworked and needs to be replaced. If you have a poor battery it also puts extra stress on the alternator and can even cause it to overheat because it will try to keep the voltage up.

When an alternator fails it usually does so in stages so pay attention when things start functioning abnormally.  The signs are often subtle such as dimmer lights.  You may be using all the bells and whistles at once such as the television, wipers, air conditioning and the navigation system and they seem sluggish.  When you stop using one or more of the functions the remaining ones work better. The dashboard lights may start flickering.

When you take your vehicle to your car care provider they will:

  • Perform a “load test” to check the voltage readings (measure the voltage at the alternator connector and the battery)
  • Check the belts to determine if they are old and cracked or slipping
  • Listen as an experienced mechanic can tell from a clanging or rattling noise that something is not as it should be

Alternators work long and hard for us but occasionally even the best can fail.  The battery will still run many miles on reserve power so this usually saves you from being towed in. As always, if things aren’t working as well as they normally do it is best to have it checked out before it becomes a serious problem.  This always saves you time and money!

 

 





Ten Good Reasons to Invest in an Annual Car “Physical” and Needed Maintenance

6 09 2018

Dale Bertram

  1. CUT REPAIR COSTS – Discovering a worn component before it creates major problems can save big money.
  2. SAFETY – A poorly maintained vehicle can drive you into a serious accident.
  3. BETTER PERFORMANCE – This translates to improved fuel economy as well as “driveability.”
  4. SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT – Under-maintained vehicles are a serious contributor to air pollution.
  5. IMPROVED TRADE-IN/RESALE VALUE – A well maintained vehicle can be worth two to three times as much as one that has been neglected.
  6. BETTER HANDLING – Incorrect wheel alignment, worn suspension components and/or tires cause poor ride and handling.
  7. ABILITY TO PLAN AHEAD – When a check-up indicates future need for replacement of a part, you can budget accordingly.
  8. DEPENDABILITY – A well-maintained vehicle is less likely to stall, fail, or otherwise leave you stranded.
  9. DRIVING ENJOYMENT – It’s more comfortable and more fun to drive a car that holds the road and rides well.
  10. PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP – It’s said that your car is an extension of our personality. Keep it looking like you care!

 





Listen…Is That Your Car Crying For Help?

23 08 2018

Dale BertramThe car is just a machine that provides freedom to get where we need to go at a moment’s notice. Many of us in Phoenix can still remember when our car “talked to us” when it was not feeling well. What’s that you say? I’m talking about the days before we had modern technology. If the car needed spark plugs, it would idle rough, hiccup or stall. With the modern car, the computer system can mask a concern until it’s too late, resulting in an expensive repair.

Fairway Auto Repair encourages preventive service to make sure our customers don’t wait until the car needs major work. We want to keep our customers safe and their cars from coming to us via the tow truck. This is accomplished when the consumer pays attention to their machine. The driver needs to be aware of their car and the clues it gives when some component is going bad.

  • Check the gauges!
  • Pay attention when the dashboard lights illuminate, even when the car seems to run fine!
  • When you back out of a driveway or parking space, always check for fluid on the ground.

We have a customer that noticed some very small drops of coolant on the ground. This was actually his car’s way of speaking to him. He chose to ignore the cry for help from the car and because the temperature gauge was reading normal, he was not concerned. As a result, the car slowly lost coolant and the computer kept the car going until he felt the second cry for help while driving on the freeway. The car was losing power but again it was ignored until finally the car just stopped running…while he was still on the freeway. Fortunately, the customer was able to coast to the shoulder. This customer’s engine locked and was ruined! Instead of fixing the coolant leak that would have cost a small amount of money, he had to get his entire engine replaced and at a considerable cost!

This scenario is common so when your car cries for help, please don’t ignore it. You will save money, time and aggravation if you have your car serviced regularly.  If you have questions about your vehicle, you can always call us or visit our website at www.fairwayautorepair.com.  Fairway Auto Repair has many helpful articles on our website as a way to help our customers and our neighbors in Phoenix!

 

 





Being Gentle With Your Vehicle Saves Money

16 08 2018

Dale BertramSome drivers inflict damage to their vehicles just by the way they drive.  If you find you must have repairs more often than most people, you could be personally responsible.

  • Do your brakes seem to wear out fast?
  • Does your transmission need extra attention?
  • Do you need an alignment a few times a year?
  • Do you dash up to a red light or stop sign and push hard on the brake pedal?
  • Do you fly over speed bumps?
  • Do you floor it as soon as the light turns green?
  • Do you hit the curb with your tires?

When you put a lot of stress on your brakes, you are putting a lot of pressure on the braking system components such as the rotors, calipers and pads.  This causes them to wear out faster than normal driving.

Tires that get hit with the curb, are driven with the wrong tire pressure and hit speed bumps at fast speeds are not going to last long…nor is the alignment. It also costs more in fuel.

If you like to floor it as soon as the light turns green you put a lot of stress on your engine, powertrain parts and fuel pump.

We are not trying to tell you how to drive, but we did want to share how you can save money on your vehicle repairs.  If you find yourself getting repairs for your car more often than other people, think about your driving habits.  It really could have a lot to do with it.