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Basics Of A Healthy Car

Posted on 05/15/2018

Summer is almost here and that means most of us will be putting more miles on our vehicles.  We want you to arrive at your destination, near or far, and here is a list of the basics to make sure you do!

  1. Call Fairway Auto Repair to schedule a checkup for your car!  Our experts know what to look for!
  2. Oil is the lifeblood of your car and it needs to be clean to keep all your car’s engine parts running well.  A new filter is a must with each oil change.  If it isn’t clean, it can’t do its job of trapping contaminates.
  3. Hoses and belts also work hard to keep your car’s engine cool and if working properly, it can prevent an overheated radiator as well.  We check them out to make sure they don’t crack or snap and all the connections are as they should be. 
  4. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can cause a blowout and certainly prematurely ages your tires.  We will make sure the tire pressures are just right!
  5. Windshield wipers are often overlooked … until you need them!  They can crack and should be changed every 6 months or so.
  6. Air filters catch debris so we make sure they are clean so they can do their job properly.
  7. Brakes need to be in proper working order so you can stop when you need to…on a dime if necessary.  Leaks and aging brake pads need to be maintained or changed before they become a problem.
  8. The coolant allows all the moving metal parts to work properly.  When coolant gets old or is depleted those parts can fuse together, and this causes major problems.  It is very preventable with the proper maintenance.  We will check this out for you so you don’t find yourself stranded on the side of the road with steam coming from underneath the hood.
  9. Batteries do not like heat.  Hot weather can actually cause a battery to become overcharged and that shortens its life.  We will clean the cables and the terminals and make sure all connections are secure. 
  10. Air conditioning is something we take for granted…until we don’t have it!  Today’s AC systems are very complex and certainly the maintenance and repair of this system is best left to the professionals.  We will assess the situation and let you know if there is a problem and how best to fix it

Call us today and enjoy your summer!

Being Economical and Ecological

Posted on 05/01/2018

Many people are not anxious to trade in their car for a “greener” model just yet.  They do want to be economical and ecological and you can be!  Here is what you need to do!

  1. Use the proper grade of gasoline as indicated in your owner’s manual.  If your vehicle calls for regular, you won’t benefit by paying for premium gas.
  2. When it is time to fill up, really fill up.  Putting in so much today and so much tomorrow costs more.
  3. Do not top off your gas.
  4. Make sure your gas cap is properly closed.
  5. Fill up when you get to ¼ of fuel left to lengthen the life of your fuel pump.  Running on empty can destroy the pump!
  6. Drive the speed limit.  If you drive at 65 mph instead of 75 mph you would save 13%.  If you drive 55 mph you can save 25%!  Every five miles over 65 mph costs you about 24 cents per gallon.
  7. Idling just uses gas needlessly and hurts the environment.
  8. Remove excess weight from your trunk and luggage rack!  Extra weight costs more in fuel.
  9. Keep your car properly maintained.  For example, dirty air filters and improperly inflated tires can cost you 13% more at the pump. 
  10. Jack rabbit starts and braking on a dime also use excessive amounts of fuel. 
  11. Know where you are going.  Use a GPS to avoid having to back track and drive around aimlessly. 
  12. Maintain a safe following distance so you don’t have to keep braking and accelerating.
  13. Take off slowly from a full stop.
  14. Park in the shade when it is hot outside.  It uses more fuel to cool down a hot interior when you put on the air conditioning.  It also costs more to drive with the windows down due to wind resistance. 
  15. Inoperative 02 sensors (oxygen sensors) need to be fixed as soon as possible.  When an 02 sensor gets lazy, fuel efficiency goes down.
  16. If your check engine light is illuminated it means a component has failed.  Gas mileage is hurt by failed components.
  17. Worn spark plugs, ignition wires, distributor caps and rotor buttons can cause a dramatic decrease in gas mileage.
  18. A carbon clogged fuel system and valves cause poor fuel economy and a sluggish engine.

Keep in mind that when you save fuel, you are helping the environment!  To get your vehicle where it needs to be call Fairway Auto Repair today and we’ll make sure your car is on the cutting edge economically and ecologically.

Oil Consumption

Posted on 04/24/2018

Question: How often should you check the oil level in your car?

Every 1,000 miles of driving; the newer the car and the lower the mileage. This seems to be the forgotten “check list” item.

Question: How often do you check the oil level in your car?

From what we can tell…rarely! Our shop is seeing more cars come in with no visible oil on the dipstick. Granted, the majority of the cars have 75,000 miles or more. Remember, that many cars with smaller engines also have less oil capacity (four quarts or less) to lubricate the moving parts.

When technology builds in lights, bells and whistles to replace opening the hood and pulling a dipstick or visually inspecting the under-hood fluid, I get concerned. The warning systems are great backups but should not replace physically inspecting items.

The reason for the oil consumption concern is due to low tension piston rings, used to get better miles per gallon. This causes engines to run hotter than ever to achieve better MPG. Today, lighter oils (0w20 and 5w20) are also used for, you guessed it, better MPG, with 0w16 in the new models coming into production.

The latest change is GDI (gasoline direct injection), which is a completely different way for the fuel injector to deliver the fuel into the engine. Yep, this is for MPG also. Combine all these changes and add the extended oil change interval, and you get major oil consumption.

The car mentioned above, with no oil on the dipstick, also did not have a warning light on to let the driver know what was going on. That tells us the light comes on when the car is beyond critical for the oil level and is doing internal engine damage.

The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, in car terms, means servicing your car more, and often equals 200, 300, or even 400,000 miles of driving. We have many customers that have continued success because they adhere to regular servicing of their car!

We have a new service that is helping cars with oil consumption issues. It cleans the piston rings and keeps the car running longer.

Drips and Puddles

Posted on 04/17/2018

Those annoying under the car drips can leave your driveway and garage floor a mess…in fact everywhere you park becomes a victim to this mess.  They are also a sign that something is wrong and needs to be taken care of. The only drip you don’t need to be concerned with is the condensation from your air conditioner.  Everything else is a signal that there is a problem. The small drips are giving you fair warning that if ignored, serious problems are in your future. Here are a few examples:

  • A reddish brown drip may mean one of three things; leaking transmission, over tightened pan gasket or a leaking front seal.
  • A green or orange-red drip suggests a cooling system problem such as leaking hose or radiator.
  • A brown to brownish-black drip that is thick in consistency is more than likely engine oil.  This is not a huge problem if it is slight but when it grows to puddle size it is a sign of something serious and if not kept under control could mean severe engine trouble. 
  • A leak that looks like tea and feels oily is brake fluid.  This type of drip or leak is always serious!

If you notice a puddle three inches or larger under your car don’t ignore it.  Get it to the professionals as soon as possible. A puddle between one and two inches isn’t as serious…yet...unless it is brake fluid.  Don’t put off having it looked at too long though…it could become a much more serious problem. 

It is a good practice not to ignore drips because if left unchecked those drips will turn into puddles that get bigger and bigger until you no longer have a small problem, you have a major problem.  Make an appointment with us today, and your car’s health care professional at Fairway Auto Repair will stop the drips.  Remember, minor problems come with minor price tags…major problems come with major price tags…maybe even the cost of a new engine!

Prevention is always the best medicine for your vehicle.

 

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