Is Your Air Conditioner Ready For Warmer Days?

22 03 2018

Dale BertramSpring is in the air in Phoenix and hot summer days are coming our way. Many of our customers’ thoughts are turning to…air conditioning.  At Fairway Auto Repair we get countless calls asking us how much it costs to fix.  There is no one simple answer to this question but I’ll give you some industry-wide estimates so you have something to go on. Generally, if you drive an older vehicle it will cost more to fix because the parts will be harder to find.

Testing the A/C System: A technician must test the system to determine what is wrong with it.  This requires a test for leaks and an inspection of the parts such as the compressor, condenser, hoses, and valves. The most help a consumer can be is to give as much information about when the condition occurred.

Evacuating & Recharging the A/C System: This is the most common fix of the A/C system. Refrigerant will naturally seep out over 3 to 5 years and will need attention.

Leaking Hose:  We use a leak detection unit to test for leaks.

Compressor Failure:  This is the most complex of all to fix and will be the costliest. The compressor is the pump that keeps the Freon flowing.

Replacing the Complete System: The cost of this is determined by the make and model you drive.   Usually this occurs when someone tries to save money and adds the off the shelf sealer as a quick fix, it always causes grief later.

Working on air conditioning systems is not easy.  The system itself is built in and around your car’s engine making it difficult.  Specialized equipment is required and a technician that is certified in this area is a must.  In some countries it is illegal for a non-authorized technician to work on A/C systems. A non-experienced technician can inadvertently cause problems and contaminate the environment.

These prices are not set in stone but an industry-wide average.  We will have one of our certified technician give you an estimate after they have diagnosed your vehicle.




How To Be Green For St. Patrick’s Day and Every Day!

15 03 2018

Dale BertramMost of us are concerned with keeping our environment green.  We buy the reusable bags for our shopping trips, combine driving trips to be more fuel efficient and use the new style light bulbs to conserve energy.  All these seemingly little conscious efforts add up to help our earth.

It may surprise you to learn that the automotive service and repair industry has been one of the leaders in keeping our environment clean…even before it was a popular theme with the general public.  We are very careful with waste disposal in every way.  As an example, one gallon of improperly disposed of motor oil can contaminate a million gallons of drinking water!  When consumers bring their car in for regular service it is one of the biggest benefits to cleaner air and the good news is…it saves you money too!  In fact, it saves you money in more ways than one!  It prolongs the life of the car you have, it saves money in fuel, and a regularly maintained vehicle saves you money on expensive repairs!  It is a good deal all around.

  • A regularly maintained car can last 50% longer.
  • A properly tuned car keeps your engine firing properly…one misfiring spark plug can waste 30% in fuel efficiency!
  • Keeping your tires checked and rotated makes them last longer and can help your engine work better and easier.
  • Clean filters make a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Of course, it also helps not to drive like you are trying out for NASCAR or using it to transport or store heavy objects.  All of this contributes to wear and tear on your vehicle too plus cuts way down on fuel efficiency.

Working together, we can all help our earth be a bit greener…breathe a bit easier…and save ourselves more of our hard-earned cash.





How Phoenix Drivers Can Keep Their Car’s Value High!

22 02 2018

Dale BertramMany of our customers at Fairway Auto Repair plan to keep their car going until it can’t go another mile.  If you are in that category, this article is not necessarily for you.  If you do plan to sell your car in the near future, or trade it in someday, read on!  I was reading an article by AAA and they estimate that a vehicle’s depreciation costs American car owners $3,571 per year, up less than 1 percent from previous years. They went on to give us pointers on how to give our vehicle more value when it is time to part ways!

  1. Keep up with regular maintenance. A good technician can always tell if a driver skipped oil changes or other maintenance. When we do a used car inspection at Fairway Auto Repair for our customers prior to purchase, our technician runs tests that can tell if the fluids have been changed or not. Some leasing companies in Phoenix charge lessees for unperformed maintenance. Make sure you keep receipts to prove you have kept current with your vehicle’s service.
  2. Mileage. Keeping your mileage between 10,000 and 12,000 miles per year gets you more at trade in. If you’re driving significantly more than 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year – especially if the high mileage pushes the vehicle out of the manufacturer’s warranty – that could lower the car’s value. Many drivers rent a car when they have to travel far distances, for example, to keep the mileage on their vehicle lower.
  3. Make Changes That Increase, Not Decrease! Modifying your car to suit your style might make you feel great…but it might just hurt the value when you want to sell it or trade it in. Keep that in mind before you spend the money to install any feature.  Research to see what changes may help…and what changes may hurt.  Do not do any change that will affect the vehicle’s warranty.
  4. Color! I have seen everything under the rainbow when it comes to paint colors on cars. When you have been in the industry as long as I have, nothing will surprise you. Just keep in mind that painting your car an unusual color could deter potential buyers. Stay with a generic color like a silver or white because those tend to be the most popular colors.
  5. Fresh! Cigarette or pet smells often linger and could give the impression you haven’t taken the best care of the vehicle. If you smoke in the car, then that smell will remain in there so someone who gets into the car will be able to tell. The smoke can also discolor the ceiling and other areas. Before trading in or selling, you might want to visit an auto parts store and ask what they suggest to remove the smell. Keep pet hair removed. If it is not coming off for you, go to a car wash that does a great inside job as well and explain your predicament. Hopefully, they can help.
  6. Keep it Clean! Wash your car regularly to maintain its appearance. Try to wash your car once a week and wax it once a month. If the car looks good that will absolutely improve its value and you will feel good driving it as well. “It’s part of proving that the car is well-maintained.” It shows you care!

To find out more about keeping your car in peak performance, visit our website at



Accidents Happen

15 02 2018

Dale BertramAfter the Crash

70% of traffic accidents do not involve injuries. It doesn’t seem to matter though, whether you have a fender bender or total your vehicle; accidents cause a lot of stress.  It’s always a good idea to keep a check list in your glove box just in case of an accident so you can more calmly assess the situation and act in a rational manner.  Here are some things Phoenix drivers need to keep in mind.

  • Call 911 if someone is injured or call the police if not.
  • If possible and there isn’t a lot of damage to the vehicles move them a safe distance from traffic.
  • Exchange information
  • When the police arrive they will fill out an official accident report for you.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent

  • Do I have rental car coverage?
  • Do I have comprehensive coverage (covers theft, fire, vandalism, glass replacement and deer claims)?
  • How much is my deductible?
  • If I have an accident, what kinds of parts will be used to repair my vehicle (new original manufactured parts or new aftermarket parts or reconditioned parts)?
  • What does full coverage mean (you have collision but not necessarily rental, comprehensive or new original manufactured parts coverage)?

Questions to Ask Your Body Shop

  • Can I get a written estimate and an explanation of planned repairs?
  • Will I receive a written guarantee from your shop?
  • When is my deductible due?
  • Will my vehicle be available for the insurance adjuster’s inspection?
  • What is the estimated completion date of my repairs?
  • Will I owe more than the insurance estimate?

Hopefully you won’t be in an accident any time soon but just in case, these are points to ponder and remember. To find out more about keeping your vehicle healthy, visit us at!



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

18 01 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!




11 01 2018

Dale BertramI was finally sitting down after a long day, hoping to relax a little.  I turned on the news and heard that Nissan was researching technology where your car could read your mind!  Whaaaattttt?  I thought of road-rage drivers, under-the-influence drivers, and those who just aren’t the best drivers!  Scary.  I then started researching to learn more as I couldn’t believe this could ever be a good thing!  Here is what I discovered:

  • The driver would wear a skullcap that measures brainwaves and activity.
  • The autonomous car would analyze this activity in real time.
  • The system would then alter steering, acceleration and braking based on the driver’s brain analysis…basically knowing what you want before you do.
  • This supposedly improves reaction time and increases driving enjoyment.
  • This also enables the car to respond to the driver’s needs to improve the comfort of the drive such as heating/air conditioning. This keeps the driver relaxed.

Why is this important if a car can drive itself without human interference?  According to Nissan, we humans enjoy the driving experience and do not wish to give up that pleasure to “a machine.”

We will see…



Keeping Your Vehicle Physically Fit!

4 01 2018

Dale BertramOn December 26th our television sets and other devices seem to be taken over by ads brought to us by diet and exercise gurus.  They seem to feel that a New Year should be a time to restart our bodies to be at peak efficiency!  I suppose during the busy holiday season we can overdo on the food and at the same time have less time to exercise.

The same can be said of our cars.  We often get so busy running here and there (in our cars) during the holidays that we neglect old faithful!  Here are a few resolutions to keeping your car fit! We can inspect it and make sure to remind you when it is time to bring it to us in order to…

  • Keep your car’s fluids clean and don’t let them run low!
  • Keep your car’s filters clean.
  • Keep your car’s tires properly inflated.
  • Keep your car’s wipers in good working order.
  • Keep your car’s lights lit!
  • Keep your car’s brakes stopping when they need too!
  • Keep your car’s charging system ready to go!
  • Keep your car’s exhaust system healthy.

Your car has many components and it is our pleasure to keep them physically fit for your driving pleasure.  If your car has been a little neglected over the holidays, give us a call and we’ll get it back in tip-top shape!