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The Role of the Check Engine Light

Posted on 01/21/2020

Your 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.

Hey Phoenix Drivers, How’s The Air In There?

Posted on 01/14/2020

Hey, Phoenix drivers, did you know you have a great little device called the cabin air filter and its function is to protect drivers and their passengers from contaminants such as pollen, mold spores, dust and other small and annoying particles? 

The cabin air filter is located on the passenger side of the vehicle and is most often, but not always tucked behind the dash around the glove compartment area (don’t you wonder why we still call it glove compartment?  I wonder how many actually contain gloves.).

Whenever you turn on your defroster, air conditioning or heater it captures the debris so it doesn’t get into the cab of your vehicle.  It is a very busy part and needs to be replaced at least once a year.  If you or a passenger has severe allergies you may want to get it replaced more often.  A clean cabin filter also helps prolong the life of your vehicle’s heating and air-conditioning system because it keeps debris and corrosion away from the evaporator core.

At Fairway Auto Repair, we get calls when customers turn on their heater fan on occasion, wanting to know what that annoying rattling noise is from time to time.  It is usually captured leaves or food stuffs left behind by rodents.  Next time you get your cabin air filter changed you might ask to have a look at it.  You will be very amazed about what it has collected and very thankful too that all that debris didn’t circulate into the cab of your vehicle. 

Cabin air filters are becoming more sophisticated…some even eliminate odors.  The good news is that it is usually a quick item to replace (depending on where the manufacturer placed it) and it is inexpensive.  It is a very small price to pay to breathe easier! Our technicians at Fairway Auto Repair will be glad to change it for you! Our job is to keep Phoenix drivers safe and aware of all that is going on with their vehicle! Don’t forget to visit our website at www.fairwayautorepair.com to find out more!

Help Your Car Have A Long And Happy Life

Posted on 01/07/2020

We seem to be an “anti-aging” society.  Everywhere you look there is some commercial for an anti-aging herb or cream.  They all promise to keep us looking and feeling years younger. Many consumers are proving it is more than possible not only with themselves but their cars too!  They are keeping their cars going 200,000 miles and longer!  How?  By following the rule book…their owner’s manual! 

Yes…this truly is the most unread book by consumers but fortunately, those of us at Fairway Auto Repair do follow the rules.  The rules are a basic outline of how many miles you can drive a vehicle before fluids or parts need to be replaced.  It also takes into account your driving habits.  Those who drive in Phoenix’s stop and go traffic put a bigger strain on their vehicle so that is considered “severe” driving.  Your car will need to be serviced more frequently than those who zip along the highways with no need for frequent stops.

It pays to be consistent with your car’s service! Many think it is okay to delay or even skip an oil change all together.  Your engine may not blow up at the moment you go over the recommended mileage but it does accelerate the engine wear and can cause premature engine damage.  Driving your car on fumes instead of filling up before the warning signal comes on isn’t good for your vehicle either. Using the right fluids and the right parts are vitally important to keep your car from aging.  The wrong weight oil or the wrong transmission fluid won’t help your car stay young.

If you want to keep your car from aging, keep it clean and keep it serviced in timely intervals.  You and your car can have a long and happy life together!

Keep Your Vehicle Physically Fit!

Posted on 12/31/2019

On 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!

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