Let’s Talk About Lights!

Posted on 02/18/2020

I have noticed people driving around with one headlight out or a brake light and one can only assume a turn signal (though some people just don’t bother to use them for some strange reason!). It is a good idea to test your lights!  You can have someone assist you, ask us to check, or check them out yourself by pulling up to a building and shining your lights, or even do it in your garage.  Seeing well while driving is very important, and it is also important that others see you!

If your headlights seem yellowed, we can fix that!  Just contact us and we’ll tell you how we do this (no, it isn’t magic!).

When Your Lights Go Dim

Your vehicle’s alternator keeps the battery charged.  The alternator replaced the generator of the past.  If your car fails to start as quickly as it used to (hard or slow cranking) or your lights seem dimmer it could be a sign that your alternator needs to be replaced.  If you are used to dashboard lights telling you of a problem and you didn’t see the “alt,” “bat,” or “gen” light come on to alert you, keep in mind that the alternator is responsible for those dashboard lights!  If it isn’t working then the lights will not illuminate.

Today’s vehicles have more and more equipment that is powered by our alternators.  We have stereo systems with multiple speakers, televisions and DVD players, fancy headlights and navigation systems, rear wipers and heat and air conditioning systems.  We take for granted that all this works, but sometimes an alternator simply gets overworked and needs to be replaced. If you have a poor battery it also puts extra stress on the alternator and can even cause it to overheat because it will try to keep the voltage up.

When an alternator fails it usually does so in stages so pay attention when things start functioning abnormally.  The signs are often subtle such as dimmer lights.  You may be using all the bells and whistles at once such as the television, wipers, air conditioning and the navigation system and they seem sluggish.  When you stop using one or more of the functions the remaining ones work better. The dashboard lights may start flickering.

When you take your vehicle to your car care provider they will:

  • Perform a “load test” to check the voltage readings (measure the voltage at the alternator connector and the battery)
  • Check the belts to determine if they are old and cracked or slipping
  • Listen as an experienced mechanic can tell from a clanging or rattling noise that something is not as it should be

Alternators work long and hard for us but occasionally even the best can fail.  The battery will still run many miles on reserve power so this usually saves you from being towed in. As always, if things aren’t working as well as they normally do it is best to have it checked out before it becomes a serious problem.  This always saves you time and money!

This Valentine’s Day Show Your Care You Care!

Posted on 02/11/2020

Each time a driver starts their engine and gets on the highways that car, truck or SUV needs the driver’s full attention and the vehicle needs to be well maintained in order to protect the driver, their passengers and those they share the road with.

Here are a few of the ways Fairway Auto Repair can help make sure the vehicle you drive is good to go!

1.  We use the proper oil and filter for your make and model every time we change the oil.
2.  We check your tires because they need to be properly inflated and rotated to keep them and you going for miles.
3.  We always check your vehicle’s fluids and top off as needed.
4.  We check all your vehicle’s filters because only a clean filter can perform properly to capture impurities.
5.  We check your wiper blades to make sure they function properly.
6.  We inspect the belts and hoses to make sure they aren’t cracked or frayed.
7.  We inspect the brakes so you can stop when you need to!
8.  We inspect the exhaust system to make sure it is working properly.
9.  We inspect the battery to make sure it is fully charged and ready to go!
10.  At Fairway Auto Repair we make sure all systems are ready to roll!

Preventive maintenance keeps your car healthy and ageless.  Fairway Auto Repair is always here to help!  Call us today for an appointment!


These Are The Brake System Components

Posted on 02/04/2020

These are the brake system components that work together to make sure you can stop your car! This is just a brief overview of what each component’s job is.

Brake pads and shoes – Friction works to slow your vehicle down and this takes place in the pads and shoes when they are forced against a rotor or drum.  Due to this friction, they wear out and need to be replaced before you get to “metal on metal”. 

Brake rotors and drums – These are attached to the wheels of your car and again, help create the necessary friction needed to stop a vehicle.

Brake calipers (disc) – These are clamps, and using hydraulics, they move their pistons out, increasing the fluid pressure.  This makes the pad contact the rotor’s surface and this in turn causes your vehicle to stop or slow down as needed.

Brake fluid – Fluid is a very important ingredient in your vehicle and without it, your vehicle is not going to stop.  The fluid runs through hoses and steel lines to keep the elements working properly.

How Will Phoenix Be Commuting in the Future?

Posted on 01/28/2020

There is a lot of noise out there about the cars of the future.  As a child, I often dreamed of flying around in a car like George Jetson’s.  We are still waiting for that to be the normal mode of transport.  What do we have? 

  • Gasoline Engine:  This old standby is popular because even though we often have reason to complain about gasoline prices, the cost to buy an electric or battery operated vehicle is much higher than the cost to buy a gasoline powered car.  Gas pumps are everywhere as well so you don’t have to map your route based on charging stations. The gasoline engine is still the most convenient, economical form of transport.
  • Electric/Battery Cars: We hear a lot about this “clean” driving.  It is great for the environment, but the high cost makes it a tough sell. 
  • Autonomous Cars:  These sophisticated alternatives to the gasoline engine are all the talk right now.  If the manufacturers can move past the software glitches these cars could be very attractive to drivers…if the price is right and they can learn to trust a vehicle without a steering wheel.  A great deal of money is being allocated towards these vehicles to third party software experts.  Tests are ongoing at this time…on our roads! 
  • Shared Rides:  In metropolitan areas this is catching on.  Many consumers have decided to give up the hassle of car ownership and thanks to Uber and Lyft, commuters aren’t having to shell out the big dollars to take a taxi. 

The race to find the most efficient and affordable vehicle has been going on for a very long time.  Steam, crank and other resources have at one time or another been created and tested.  The first electric vehicles were being tinkered with in the 1830’s and the first gasoline in the 1870’s.  We will just have to keep working on finding the best mode of transportation for us and our environment! 

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