Brake Dust

1 06 2017

Dale BertramI’m sure most of us have experienced this…you drive through an automatic car wash and when you get home you notice the clean shine of your entire vehicle…until you look down at the wheels.  What is that grime on the wheels?  That is brake dust… metallic particles, carbon fibers and adhesive residue from your vehicle’s brake pads that attaches to your wheels.

To keep it from building up it should be removed weekly as it essentially bakes on to the surface of alloy wheels.  It is recommended that you wash the wheels when they are cool to avoid streaking, discoloration and pitting. The adhesive residue in the dust causes it to bond firmly with the wheels and since they are most often acidic it starts a corrosion process.  The metal filings in the dust usually oxidize with the metal of the rims causing galvanic corrosion to occur. If you are removing the dust yourself be careful not to inhale the dust or the vapor from cleaning products especially designed to remove the grime.  This can be toxic and if you are asthmatic, harmful.

If your vehicle seems very prone to brake dust, you might consider having brake dust shields installed.  They come in a variety of colors, are inexpensive and easy to install.

You might also consider higher quality brake pads as poor quality ones produce a lot of dust. Having your brakes checked regularly (quarterly) is recommended as many times an adjustment is needed and this helps stop excessive dust.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Brakes made from organic materials (glass and rubber) wear faster so create more dust than brakes made from semi-metallic and metallic material. Ceramic brake pads have less metal and therefore less dust is created.
  • Brakes installed improperly can cause excessive dust.
  • If you have installed larger diameter wheels to your vehicle the size of the brakes and pads need to be larger as well or they will wear out quickly and increase the amount of dust during the process.
  • If the springs are worn it causes continual rubbing and if the pads are always touching the drums you get an increase in dust.
  • Overloading a vehicle with weight, driving hard, short stop and go trips, and leaving your foot on the brake pedal all increase brake dust.

Now we know that brake dust, though not harmful to your vehicle, is a nuisance and if you feel annoyed by it you are not alone as it is a top complaint among consumers.

 

 





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!





Our Pledge To You!

18 05 2017

Dale BertramMany of our customers are keeping their cars longer.  I thought I would just take a moment to reassure you that we will do our utmost to keep your cars in great shape.  It is just one less thing you need to worry about.  Peace of mind is one of our specialties.  Here are a few other things you can always expect from us:

We pledge to always treat you like a person, never just another number to be served.
We pledge to always give you outstanding customer service.
We pledge to keep current with our certification training so we are always up-to-date with the latest manufacturer information.
We pledge to keep you informed of services/repairs you will need “down the road” so you can be financially prepared.
We pledge to be available to answer any questions you may have.
We pledge to treat you like we would want to be treated and how we would want others to treat our family members.
We pledge to keep you informed about manufacturer recalls.
We pledge to give you a choice when it comes to parts…original manufactured or aftermarket parts.
We pledge never to apply high pressure sales tactics on you.
We pledge never to sell you something you don’t need.
We pledge never to take your business for granted.

Rest assured that as our customer, you will receive the very best from each of our staff.  Keeping you happy is our number one priority!

“There is only one boss. The customer. And he/she can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his/her money somewhere else.”  – Sam Walton





Late Model Cars Can Be A Challenge To Your Car’s Battery Life

11 05 2017

Dale BertramToday’s newer models have a lot of “bells and whistles” and this puts a lot of demand on battery charging systems.  We all know that climates with excessive heat take their toll, such as our Arizona temperatures.  Our hot weather causes the electrolyte inside the battery to dry out.  The popular maintenance free type battery has a sealed top so it doesn’t even allow water to be added, so its life expectancy in Arizona is low.

Ideally, the battery should be at full charge.  When it starts to lose its charge, sulfate builds up on the plates.  As it sits, the sulfate takes hold and is difficult to loosen once the battery is recharged.  Sadly, it then becomes more difficult to “recharge” and will quit all together.

To keep the “bells and whistles” going strong in modern cars, they need to draw current from your car’s battery even when it is not running.  Here is an example; you use your key fob to gain entry to your vehicle as it is “keyless”, draining power from the battery.  You go on a two-week vacation and leave your vehicle at the airport parking garage.  Even as it sits your car’s battery is still discharging power to these systems.  You may return and find the battery cannot turn over the engine.

Damaged battery cables can also make your battery fail because that causes a faulty electrical connection.  What can you do?

  1. Whenever we install a new battery for you, rest assured that we always check out the cables. Sometimes they just need to be cleaned but other times they need to be replaced.
  2. Manufacturers are starting to use absorbent glass mat batteries in new vehicles because they last longer in cars that have the stop/start systems and other battery draining options. Ford Motor Company says 70 percent of its vehicles will come equipped with this battery this year.

With our heat constantly pulling life from our cars’ batteries in Arizona, have them inspected frequently.  All of us at Fairway Auto Repair are here to keep your car going strong…and to make sure your battery is up to the challenge.





Vehicle Updates

4 05 2017

Dale BertramThe state of autonomous vehicles and the cybersecurity of connected cars is constantly changing, so I sometimes hesitate to report on the latest and greatest for fear it will be “old news” by the time it is published…but since some of you have been asking…here goes!

  • A company called NuTonomy is testing these vehicles in Boston even though Uber had a crash of its autonomous vehicle in Arizona in March.
  • Legislation has been reintroduced recently dealing with improved cybersecurity for cars (and airplanes). Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal’s proposal hopes to create cybersecurity and privacy standards for today’s connected vehicles, as well as a rating system for cars. Rep. Ted Lieu hopes to prevent attacks on connected cars with his introduction of the Security and Privacy in Your Car Study Act.
  • Intel Corp., wants to dominate technology for self-driving cars with plans to purchase Mobileye NV.
  • Tony Aquila of Solera Holdings is deeply concerned about vehicle owners’ privacy. If not properly protected, the detailed data from technology (including brake sensors) could be used in ways that would not benefit vehicle owners.

Some states are moving ahead with their own rules and regulations hoping that the federal government will start moving forward on such quickly.  The biggest holdup may be the old “who is liable” if things go wrong.

The change is coming… we just don’t know how quickly…





Letting Off Steam

27 04 2017

Dale BertramA vehicle’s radiator sits front and center and when it loses its cool…look out!  Steam comes pouring from under the hood.  This is not a situation you want to find yourself in as it usually involves sitting on the side of the road until your car can be towed.  At Fairway Auto Repair, when we inspect your vehicle we look for these warning signs so you don’t experience the pain of overheating!

  • Leaking coolant – when the coolant level is low it generally means it is leaking out through the upper radiator hose.
  • Discolored coolant – indicates a clog.
  • Cool spots – also indicates a clog.

You have probably heard about coolant fluid exchanges.  A fluid exchange is beneficial because it removes the small particles of dirt and rust that clog up the essential elements.  These elements prevent your radiator from doing its job…cooling your engine properly.

Consumers are keeping their vehicles longer in this economy and we have seen an increase in radiator replacements.  Since we are driving our vehicles longer these days it isn’t surprising that left unchecked, a radiator will malfunction.

Prevention is the key to keeping your radiator healthy.  We in the industry recommend that every two years or 30,000 miles, exchanging the fluid.  This fluid exchange prevents corrosion and gives your radiator a longer life.

Keep in mind that if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of overheating DO NOT immediately get out of your vehicle and raise the hood.  That really is steam rising out of your radiator and it will burn you very badly.  Once you pull over turn the engine off and let your car cool down before you check under the hood.  Better yet, call your car care provider and get a tow while you are waiting for the car to cool.

Before your vehicle lets off steam help it keep its cool with a systems check!  You’ll be glad you did!

Fairway Auto Repair is here for you, Phoenix drivers!  To find out more ways to keep your ride safe, or to make an appointment, check us out at www.fairwayautorepair.com.





Accidents Happen

6 04 2017

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 http://www.fairwayautorepair.com!