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!

 

 

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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.

 

 





Is Your Vehicle Ready For Summer?

25 05 2017

Dale BertramMemorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer… and that means summer vacations are just around the corner!  Is your vehicle ready to hit the road?

We know we can feel our energy ooze out of us in the summer heat and your car feels it too!  Just imagine sitting there day after day on the hot pavement while the relentless summer sun shines down on you.  Car’s components such as rubber are very sensitive to heat and tend to become brittle and crack.  Here a just a few things we look for when we service your vehicle for summer:

  • Batteries take a beating. Between the car’s vibrations and heat, they usually only last three years.  It is always a good idea to have them tested to determine how much life they have left in them.
  • Cooling systems are very susceptible to summer heat. You will notice more cars sitting on the side of the road with steam pouring out from under the hood during the summer months.  We always check your cooling system thoroughly to make sure the coolant isn’t contaminated.  We also check the rubber components for cracks and frays.  If they are past their prime, we will recommend replacing them so you don’t end up on the side of the road.
  • Tires need the proper inflation to function well. They don’t operate well if they are over-inflated or under-inflated. They need to be just right!
  • Fluids and filters need to be checked and replaced if needed. They do a lot of work to protect our vehicles.
  • Air-conditioning systems need to be looked at so you and your passengers stay comfortable no matter how high the outside temperatures climb. We make sure to check the refrigerant and other components.

A quick inspection will let you know if your vehicle is good to go or if it needs a little service & repair before you head out.  Call today to schedule an appointment!





The Temporary Spare Tire

16 02 2017

Dale BertramI have been noticing many cars driving down the road with the temporary spare tire or “donut” as some people call them. The spare tire diameter is smaller than the existing tire size. The reason for this is they don’t take up much space and the smaller tire weighs less than a full-size one.

Many of today’s cars don’t even have a spare tire; they come with a fix-a-flat type of kit only. If your car has an actual spare tire, it is only to be used as a temporary fix (that it what the “T” means in front of the tire size on the side wall), not exceeding 45 MPH in speed and to get you to the nearest repair shop.

I am amazed when I see a car on the freeway moving at 65 MPH plus on a temporary spare tire. Earlier I mentioned the temporary spare tire is a smaller diameter. This fact is important because if the spare is placed on a drive wheel, (on the front of a front-wheel drive, or on the rear of a rear-wheel drive car) it is even more critical to replace it as quickly as possible.

Different size tires from side-to-side on any car’s drive axle will damage the transmission/transaxle on a front drive or the differential assembly on a rear drive of the car. Never use a smaller temporary spare tire if you drive an all-wheel drive as this will damage the drivetrain unit that controls the all-wheel drive.

Tire issues never happen at a convenient time, so please check the air pressure and tread wear regularly. You can save yourself time and money while lengthening the life of your tires.

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Fairway Auto Repair





Going To Granny’s…

22 12 2016

Dale BertramAre you planning a trip to Granny’s for Christmas or Hanukkah or another destination for the holidays?  Will you be out and about on New Year’s Eve? Your vehicle may not be feeling up to the trip.  Instead of letting it chug along with the old “I think I can, I think I can,” listen to what it is trying to tell you. You don’t speak car?  No problem, I’ll translate for you!

Q:  What does a squealing or a scraping sound indicate when you apply the brakes?

A:  Most likely your brake pads are worn. This allows their wear indicators or sensor to touch the disc brake rotor. When this occurs, the sensor emits that high pitch noise to warn you that, “Hey, my brakes need attention!” It is best to have them checked out sooner rather than later before expensive damage or brake failure occurs.

Q:  Your car makes a knocking or pinging noise when you accelerate or climb a hill.

A:  This is a sign that the gas and air mixture in your car’s cylinders isn’t burning properly. The sound you hear is the result of the fuel and air mixture combusting unevenly in the cylinder. Yep, your car is announcing that it has indigestion! Pinging or knocking does reduce the efficiency of your engine and over a very long period of time it can cause damage.

Q:  Your van makes a chirping sound.

A:  A cyclic chirping sound from the vicinity of a wheel often indicates a wheel bearing or axle bearing that is failing. Your car says, “No, I did not swallow the canary…I need attention! Usually the noise will change with the speed of the vehicle. It may come and go at various speeds. This noise should not be ignored, because if the bearing fails, it may cause the wheel to lockup or come loose from your car!

Q: What is that hissing sound coming from under the hood?

A:  If you hear a hissing sound while driving or after turning the engine off accompanied by a sweet, sickly odor, it may mean your engine is overheating and/or leaking coolant from the cooling system. Your vehicle is telling you, “I’m getting very hot under the collar here!  Pay attention or I might just blow my top!” The temperature gauge or temperature warning light should also indicate an overheating condition. Steam may also rise from under the hood. Stop driving as severe overheating can damage your engine. Carefully open the hood. Look for any evidence of coolant leaking from the engine, radiator or heater hoses. If you see steam or smell a sweet odor, it is antifreeze leaking from the cooling system. DO NOT open the radiator or coolant reservoir cap or add coolant until the engine has cooled. Get this checked out right away.

Q:  What is that clicking or tapping noise from the engine?

A:  A metallic tapping or clicking sound means your engine may be low on oil, or is not developing normal oil pressure. Your car says, “You have blood pressure problems…I have oil pressure problems! This is serious stuff here!” The clicking noise is coming from the valve train. If the oil pressure is low due to low oil level in the crankcase or there is a problem with the oil pump, the hydraulic lifters that open and close the valves may collapse creating an increase in valve lash. This creates the clicking or tapping noise. Stop the engine, let it sit a few minutes (so the oil can run back down into the crankcase), then check the oil level on the dipstick. If low, add oil as needed to bring the level back up to the full mark. If the noise does not go away, and/or the oil pressure gauge or warning light indicates low oil pressure, it’s not a good idea to keep driving your vehicle. Loss of oil pressure can cause extensive and expensive engine damage.

Q:  Why is my exhaust system roaring?

A:  If your exhaust system has a leak, you will hear a roar coming from under your vehicle that is loudest when accelerating. Your vehicle is saying, “Listen up here!  I’m trying to save your life!” The noise means your exhaust system needs repairs. The dangerous part is if the leaking exhaust gases, which contain carbon monoxide, get inside the passenger compartment. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent killer. It takes only a small amount of carbon monoxide inside the passenger compartment to affect your alertness, ability to concentrate and react to changing driving conditions. A very small amount can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, and bring on stupor in two hours. A one percent concentration of carbon monoxide can kill a person in less than three minutes!

Q:  Why do my tires make a thumping noise?

A:  You may have a tire out of balance.  Your car is saying, “My feet are killing me!” This causes it to impact with the road in a slapping sort of manner, causing the thumping noise.  Get it looked at as soon as possible, as a neglected tire causes flat spots and eventually ruins your tires.

Now you know what your vehicle is trying to tell you.  Call us today and make an appointment.  We’ll give it an inspection so you can feel confident on the road this holiday season!

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Fairway Auto Repair





Happy Thanksgiving!

22 11 2016

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Happy Thanksgiving!

17 11 2016

Dale BertramThis year AAA says 48.7 million plan to travel for Thanksgiving.  89.4% of those plan to travel by car and travel at least 50 miles or more!  Here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure you head out with a full tank of gas. While you are at it, check out your tire pressures too!
  2. If you plan to load up your vehicle, check out the total weight your car can carry! In newer vehicles, it is printed on a sticker inside the driver’s door jamb.
  3. Make sure you buckle up! It is the law! If traveling with children and/or pets, make sure they are properly restrained and have things to occupy them on longer trips.
  4. Don’t be “that guy” who has no patience behind the wheel. Expect and prepare for traffic! No need to “lose it” as this will ruin the trip for all!
  5. Don’t be distracted. Cell phones and driving don’t mix, so if you need to send a message or make a call, hand your phone to a passenger or pull over. It’s not worth risking your life or others’ lives on the road.

Wishing you and yours a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

From all of us at Fairway Auto Repair!

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