Keep Safe This Halloween!

25 10 2018

Dale BertramHalloween is a favorite of retailers because consumers spend a great deal on parties and decorating.  It is supposed to be a fun time but sadly, it has its share of problems such as pedestrian deaths, car thefts and car vandalism.

Car Thefts
Halloween ranks third as the deadliest day for pedestrians.  December 23 and January 1 are the two days ahead of Halloween.  It does, however, come in first for car thieves.  It seems car thieves take advantage of cars being parked in unfamiliar places and people seem more distracted.  It is also easy for a thieves to disguise themselves on that day as so many are in costume.

Vandalism
Cars are also twice as likely to be vandalized on Halloween.  Tires are often slashed and windows broken.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that approximately 1,253 claims are filed due to vandalism on October 31 as compared to 692 on an average day.

What can a driver do?  If at all possible, stay out of unfamiliar places.  If you must park in a strange place, keep an eye on your vehicle as much as possible and try to choose a well-lit area.

Drivers
Children are so excited on Halloween that sometimes they don’t practice “safety first.”  They don’t remember to cross only at crosswalks and with dark costumes and no flashlights, they are easy to overlook.  Drive slowly through neighborhoods and residential streets.  It is only a couple of hours that they are out…but it can be a dangerous time.

No Tricks…Just Treats

Let’s keep this day an enjoyable and safe time for all!

 

 

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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!

 

 





How Is Your Transmission?

27 09 2018

Dale BertramThere are two types of transmissions, as you all know; manual and automatic.  Here are some signs that they might need a checkup by a professional:

Automatic –

  • Thankfully today we don’t have to guess as much as we did in days gone by. We have dashboard lights that illuminate to alert of a potential problem.  It could be the “check engine light” and it may pinpoint it even better as a transmission problem by showing the “reduced power” light.
  • If your car simply won’t move even after it starts just fine, this could be telling you a major transmission failure has occurred.
  • Slippage is another indication and is an odd sensation if you have never experienced it before. It may be a simple issue like a control solenoid or a serious issue such as loss of pressure.
  • If you notice a leak on the ground it could be transmission fluid. Look for red (fresh fluid) or shades of red/brown as the fluid ages.
  • Noises you may experience if your transmission is not as healthy as it should be are grinding or whining.

Manual –

  • Just like with an automatic transmission, if your vehicle starts fine, but won’t move, it could be a transmission issue.
  • Shifting issues often indicate worn rings or gear teeth. These can make it difficult to shift gears, cause the gears to clash or even jump out of gear!
  • If you notice a brown leak on the ground, this tells you the gear oil is leaking. A professional can find the leak for you as it can come from a few locations.
  • If you hear a growling, grinding or whining noise, this can signal low fluid, worn bearings and/or gears.

If your car is experiencing any of these problems, please contact your automotive repair professional.  They can quickly diagnose the problem and tell you the best solution for your vehicle.

 

 





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!

 

 





Is Your Automotive Service and Repair Shop Certified?

2 08 2018

Dale BertramIn a recent study of several hundred people, the question was asked, “Does the auto shop you use have certified technicians?” The vast majority said they assumed that they were.

The shop you use may have certified people, but the reality is there is no mandatory certification required to own or operate an auto repair shop. This is one part of our industry that I would like to see reviewed. A professional that cuts hair or fingernails is required to be state certified, but a mechanic who works on tires, engines or brakes doesn’t need a single day of training or any tools to do so.

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a series of tests that a technician can take to be certified in many different areas of the car. All tests are voluntary, not required. At my shop, I require all staff to be ASE certified and I know many other shops do as well. ASE tests are all written tests and it does not necessarily mean a person is competent to work on a car.

AAA Approved auto shops must have ASE certified technicians employed as well as have a minimum set of tools for the cars they work on. I recommend using an AAA approved shop due to their tough standards, and you have a voice through the arbitration system, should you have a concern with the service or repair.

In these uncertain times, saving a few dollars is always something to consider. But don’t get caught up with a low price that 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. If you wonder sometimes why someone is lower in price than everyone else, there’s usually a reason.

 

 





The Role of the Check Engine Light

26 07 2018

Dale BertramYour car has many computers that monitor your engine for the best performance, your transmission for proper shifting, your braking system for safe stopping, and it monitors many other devices to make sure they are working properly. If a system detects a problem, it needs to alert you, so you can bring the car in for service. This is the role of the check engine light.

The check engine light looks different from car to car.  It is usually a yellow or orange color. It will rarely be red. Most of the time it illuminates in the shape of an engine. If the check engine light comes on solid (not blinking), you can continue to drive the car until you have a chance to bring it in. This does not mean you should ignore it.

When the check engine light is on, the car defaults to a backup system that controls all the important systems. Driving around for a short time until you can set up an appointment is no problem, but continuing to drive more than 20 miles is a bad idea.

If the check engine light is blinking rhythmically, this indicates a serious problem! A computer system has had a major malfunction that will damage the catalytic converter. If you notice a blinking check engine light, you do not need to stop in the middle of the bridge and call a tow truck, but you do need to stop driving as soon as it is practical. Whether the check engine light is solid or blinking, it’s a good idea to drive gently.

The modern car is more complex than ever, and many folks believe a small hand-held code reader will tell you what’s wrong with the car. This is incorrect information. It is called a code reader for a reason; it reads the trouble code for the major systems only. A code reader will not tell you the complete story of the car’s condition.

Please don’t diagnose or replace parts based on a code reader device. The only way to correctly find all the issues with your car is to use a scanner. The scanner does what it says; it scans all the modules and systems of the car, instead of a select few that a code reader does. Most cars have 20 to 100 modules; a code reader is not set to read even half of those.

No one wants to pay for expensive testing, but it beats changing parts and losing that hard-earned cash we all want to spend elsewhere. Please use a shop that is well equipped and don’t rely on the old code reader any more.