The Estimate

21 02 2019

Dale BertramToday automotive service and repair shops are getting more calls than ever asking for an estimate and we at Fairway Auto Repair are no exception.  We understand that consumers in Phoenix are searching for the best value for their hard earned dollars. It has been a while since I addressed this issue but many are asking exactly how we, and other auto repair shops arrive at the estimated price so I thought I would take a moment and explain this again.

An estimate consists of three parts:

  1. The labor rate
  2. Parts and supplies
  3. Overhead

Fairway Auto Repair and other automotive service and repair shops estimate the labor rate by how long any given service or repair should take. There are guidelines set down by the manufacturer of each vehicle estimating the time it takes a trained technician to perform any given task.

Parts and supplies are included in the estimate, of course. We use two categories of parts, OEM or “Aftermarket.” The parts manufactured by the original car manufacturer are known as Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM parts. Aftermarket car parts include parts for replacement, collision, performance, and appearance. These parts are usually cheaper than the new OEM parts.

Shops such as myself make sure we use quality parts as they last longer and we feel save our customers more money down the road. These parts also come with a warranty so if the part for whatever reason fails or doesn’t perform as it should, we can replace it without the consumer having to pay for it all over again.  Supplies include such things as replacement fluids and disposal fees.

Overhead includes such items as the cost of the building lease/mortgage, the constant training that we must take to keep up with technology, utilities, diagnostic and scanning equipment and staff benefits.

The goal of independent service and repair shops like Fairway Auto Repair, is to provide quality parts and labor with an excellent warranty.

I hope this helps clarify how we arrive at an estimate. For more information on caring for your vehicle, visit our website at or contact us.  Fairway Auto Repair is always here to help you!




Safety First

14 02 2019

Dale BertramHaving a well-maintained vehicle is very important to safety while driving.  Many accidents could be avoided by having a car serviced regularly.

Another detriment to our safety on the highways is distracted driving.  I doubt you can drive without noticing another driver that is either driving recklessly or seems to not be paying attention while driving.

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert your attention away from the main task of driving. It is both dangerous and disturbingly common. Drivers spend more than half of their time focused on things other than driving. You may be surprised to learn that cell phones and texting are just part of the problem when it comes to distracted driving. We know many think that if they are “hands free” it is okay…but I’ve talked to people that have been so focused on their phone conversation they don’t “remember” their drive at all!  Now that is scary!

The fact is, anything that occupies your mind or your vision can cause you to be distracted behind the wheel!

A list of driving distractions may include:

  • Talking on your phone
  • Texting
  • Eating or drinking
  • Grooming
  • Reading – including maps and directions
  • Programming a GPS or navigation system
  • Adjusting a radio or MP3 player
  • Adjusting the temperature controls

It only takes a moment for an accident to occur.  To make sure your car is roadworthy, bring it to Fairway Auto Repair and we’ll make sure your vehicle is up to date on service and repair.  The rest is up to you!



How Are Your Shocks/Struts?

24 01 2019

Dale BertramShocks and struts take a beating so we don’t have to!  They help us ease the pain of driving over less than perfect roads and stabilize us over bumps, when we stop quickly and when we go around corners.  We pretty much take them for granted.  Our owner’s manuals tell us they need to be replaced every 30,000 to 90,000 miles, depending on our driving habits.  That is a wide range!

We would like to recommend that you take some time when you are out driving around to notice a few things about your vehicle.  If your car is bouncing a bit after you hit a bump in the road, is nose diving after you brake or is swaying around corners you need to have your shocks replaced.

Struts basically perform the same function as shocks except they also are an integral part of your suspension system.  When you are out and about in your car and notice the same symptoms as above and also notice noise while you go over those bumps or turn corners you might also have an alignment situation.

Shocks and struts also give you another symptom if they are ready to be replaced…they leak fluid.  They do a lot for us and we certainly take them for granted until we notice our ride is just not as enjoyable or comfortable as it could be.  Bad shocks and struts also cause wear and tear on our tires and our suspension components.

Make sure your shocks and struts are ready for whatever condition the roads you drive on happen to be in. Whatever your car may need, at Fairway Auto Repair we want your vehicle to always be ready to go when you are!  Call us!  We are here for you and your car!



Auto Parts Don’t Last Like They Used To!

10 01 2019

Dale BertramWhy do parts fail more often than they did in the old days? Parts are made smaller and lighter to help the manufacturers meet the 50.5 MPG mandate by the year 2020. This change is imposed by the government CAFÉ standard (corporate average fuel economy). The car companies are working to increase the technology of cars with turbo charging  engines that are smaller; using direct fuel injection; and the start and stop system, just to name a few.

Car manufacturers have found it is less expensive to lighten the weight of vehicles instead of creating new technology to meet the CAFÉ standards.  The manufacturers are shedding pounds of components whenever and wherever possible!

A repair that comes to mind is having to replace an electric window motor? This repair can cost $300 to $800. One reason this part fails more often than they did in older cars is because the part is integrated with the window regulator as one unit and made half the size to in order to save weight and improve fuel mileage.

Other ways the manufacturers are making parts lighter to increase fuel mileage:

  • They are using aluminum frames,
  • Smaller transmissions with 5, 6, 7 or 8 gears.
  • Engines are designed to use extremely light oils such as 0w20 to help reduce internal part friction.
  • Brakes are very small compared to years past.
  • Every external body part on your car is being downsized or made of plastic, carbon fiber or other composite materials.
  • Less fluid capacity in engines, transmissions, power steering and all other systems are other ways to save weight.
  • Transmissions that used to hold 10 quarts of oil, might hold 6 now. All cars also require synthetic oils in all components to help make up for the smaller capacity.

To sum it up, parts are smaller, fluid capacities are less, and the stress is greater than ever on car systems. I wish I had a silver bullet for you, but I don’t. The best advice I can give you is choose a service provider that you trust, have the car inspected regularly and service the fluids often.



New Year’s Resolutions

27 12 2018

Dale BertramI hope you all have a wonderful start to the New Year and I know more than a few of you will be making some New Year’s Resolutions.  Here is a simple one I would encourage you to add to your list; a New Year’s Resolution for your Car!

  1. You hear us folks in the automotive service and repair business always saying; “According to the manufacturer’s recommendations…” well…those recommendations are all listed in your owner’s manual. Making sure you bring your car in for these recommended services keeps your car running well and increases its life.
  2. Regular maintenance also saves you money! For example, replacing a worn set of brake pads is much less expensive than replacing brake rotors.
  3. Do you know your car communicates with you? It communicates by a lit dashboard telling you service is needed, poor engine performance, rough handling, fading brakes, strange or unusual noises, drips and more.
  4. Regular maintenance also makes you eco-friendlier and being eco-friendly saves you money!
  5. The best way to take care of your car in 2019 is to bring it to our shop quarterly where we will check it out for you with tender loving care so you can enjoy many more miles together. Our New Year’s Resolution is to help you keep your car running great, safely and save you some money at the same time!

Happy New Year!



Checkups – They Keep Us Healthy

13 12 2018

Dale BertramOur calendars are filled with important “checkups”.  Just for our health alone we have:

  • Doctor and dentist every 6 months
  • Yearly blood test
  • Vision and hearing test every year
  • Don’t forget your pets’ trips to the vet!

Our homes require checkups, too!

  • Smoke alarm batteries need to be changed every 6 months,
  • Fire extinguishers also need a 6-month check!
  • Clean the gutters!
  • Service the furnace/air conditioner systems and don’t forget to have the chimney cleaned!

Our vehicles also require a complete semi and/or annual physical checkup.  Many drivers think all that they need to do to keep their car healthy is change the oil.  While that is vitally important, that isn’t all your vehicle needs.  Not only does your car need the fluids and tires checked, it also needs a health scan and an analysis of the “class 2 communication systems” on board your car.

We offer a comprehensive inspection that includes a check of the exterior lighting, mirrors, flashers, interior doors, locks, seat belts, tilt wheel, windows, clock, spare tire/jack, trunk latch, air conditioning and blower motor, heater, defroster, battery and cables, starter, charging system, washer/wipers, power windows, warning lights, horn, complete cooling system performance test, brakes/rotors/calipers/master cylinder/brake lines/fluids/parking brake and engine condition and filters, fluid leaks, exhaust system, mounts, emission systems, transmission condition, steering and suspension, power steering, ball joints, bushings and of course, the tires!

All of these components need to be in peak performance to keep you safe on the road.  A reliable vehicle gives you peace of mind and prevents inconvenient breakdowns!



Cabin Air Filters – Why They Help In Winter Months, Too!

29 11 2018

Dale BertramWhen drivers think of cabin air filters, they usually think of them as necessary in the spring.  They are, of course, very helpful in the spring as they help allergy sufferers by trapping pollen and keeping the spores out of the car or “cabin” of the vehicle.  Some argue that yes, that is important, but it is even more important to make sure your cabin air filter is working well in the winter months! Why?

  • Tailpipe emissions release particulates that create havoc with drivers’ and their passengers’ respiratory systems. When our outside temperatures even drop 20 degrees, this release is doubled. Cabin air filters can stop these particulates even when they are as small as one micron in diameter!
  • Just like your car’s battery, the warmer months cause the damage in cabin air filters that is often the result of failure in colder weather. If your vehicle seems to be struggling with heating/cooling issues, it could be due to leaves, bugs, and pollen build up in your cabin air filter.  It did its job protecting you and your passengers all spring, summer and fall, but now it is full of debris and needs to be changed.
  • How’s your defroster working? If you are finding it hard to see out the windshield, it could be due to a clogged cabin air filter.  This clog restricts the blower and keeps it from delivering hot air to the windshield.  This also lets you know that your cabin air filter is struggling and needs to be replaced.

Call us today and let us check your cabin air filter.  Your car will operate more efficiently, and you and your passengers will breath better!