Phoenix Auto Repair

(602) 242-1545
Tue - Thu: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Articles:

Automotive Advertised Specials – Just How Special Are They?

Automotive Advertised Specials – Just How Special Are They?

Everybody likes to save money. That is perfectly understandable. In my opinion, however, it is HOW we save money that is important. Everywhere you look, there are specials and deals. It might be savings on a flat screen TV; a restaurant buy one get one free meal, or an auto repair shop special. The consumer is bombarded with coupons. How do you choose which deal is worth the money and which ones are just to get you in the door in order to sell higher priced items? Here is an advertised auto care package on Amazon: $89 ($299.98 value) for transmission service, an oil change, and tire rotation, also includes an external transmission inspection, up to five quarts each of conventional transmission and engine oils and front and rear brake inspection. In a previous article I stated that there are no standards for service and when I read this special it is an amazing amount of service for the price. What really stood out to me, however, was the fact that it says conventional oils and ther ... read more

Listen… Is That Your Car Crying For Help?

Listen… Is That Your Car Crying For Help?

Life is busy and dollars are tighter than ever for many people. The car is just a machine that provides freedom to get where we need to go at a moment’s notice. Many of us can still remember when our car “talked to us” when it was not feeling well. What’s that you say? I’m talking about the days before we had modern technology. If the car needed spark plugs, it would idle rough, hiccup or stall. With the modern car, the computer system can mask a concern until it’s too late, resulting in an expensive repair. Most shops preach preventive service to make sure our customers don’t wait until the car needs major work. We want to keep our customers safe and their cars from coming to us via the tow truck. This is accomplished when the consumer pays attention to their machine. The driver needs to be aware of their car and the clues it gives when some component is going bad. This requires paying attention! - Check the gauges! - Pay attention when the ... read more

The Life Of A Car Battery

The Life Of A Car Battery

The two main reasons for shortened battery life are: •    Excessive heat - Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure of the battery. •   Overcharging - A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, resulting in a slow battery death.   To get the most out of your battery: •    Have your battery and its connections checked at every oil change •    Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate. Overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging. •    Always have the battery replaced with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified. •   Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Further, as corrosion accumulates on battery terminals it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flo ... read more

Who Is Liable?

Who Is Liable?

Self-driving cars have been in the news a great deal lately. As of this writing Google’s self-driving cars have been in 12 “accidents” and have asked that reports of any accidents be withheld going forward. Seems kind of funny coming from a company who made privacy scarce. Google was quick to blame other drivers for the accidents, however. I wonder what the insurance companies are saying! Consumer Watch-dog, a group for consumer advocacy asked the DMV to make all crash records public…currently they are confidential. Google wants the self-driving car to be free of steering wheel, brake pedal and accelerator so how could a person intervene under those circumstances? The Consumer Watchdog group wants reports to be made public giving the full circumstances of any crashes and how many times drivers are having to take control. There are currently 20 driverless cars cruising the California highways and over a million miles have been driven. They claim they ha ... read more

Pets and Summer Vacation

Pets and Summer Vacation

We see lots of dogs with their heads sticking out windows of cars enjoying the breeze. It makes me smile but at the same time I’m always concerned for the dogs’ health. It seems no matter how many warnings people are given about the dangers of leaving dogs and children in a hot car in summer, each year in Phoenix we hear the sad news that it happens…way too often! If you do plan to travel with your pets this summer, make plans before you leave home so you and your pet aren’t overly stressed by the trip. •    Select a hotel or cabin that welcomes pets. •    Plan a vacation that your pet will enjoy as well! •    Find restaurants that offer outdoor dining that accommodate your animals. •    Make sure your pets have all their shots up to date, are in good health for travel and have had their flea and tick prevention. •    Don’t assume that a “pet friendly ... read more

The Temporary Spare Tire

The Temporary Spare Tire

I have been noticing many cars driving down the road with the temporary spare tire or “donut” as some people call them. The spare tire diameter is smaller than the existing tire size. The reason for this is they don’t take up much space and the smaller tire weighs less than a full-size one. Many of today’s cars don’t even have a spare tire; they come with a fix-a-flat type of kit only. If your car has an actual spare tire, it is only to be used as a temporary fix (that it what the “T” means in front of the tire size on the side wall), not exceeding 45 MPH in speed and to get you to the nearest repair shop. I am amazed when I see a car on the freeway moving at 65 MPH plus on a temporary spare tire. Earlier I mentioned the temporary spare tire is a smaller diameter. This fact is important because if the spare is placed on a drive wheel, (on the front of a front-wheel drive, or on the rear of a rear-wheel drive car) it is even more critical to ... read more

Future Cars – Augmented Reality Windshields

Future Cars – Augmented Reality Windshields

Cars that can give us directions are great. We can usually drive with confidence as long as the directions are given to us verbally…but when we have to look at an in-car display…we have to take our eyes off the road and that is never good. Well…BMW has already fixed this problem. All a driver has to do is get the information right off their windshield! That seems pretty fantastic to me! But that is not where BMW stopped with the idea. BMW is working on an augmented reality dashboard that will identify an object in front of you on the road and tell you exactly how far you are from the object. What if there is construction just ahead, or a stalled car…you will know that in plenty of time to stop. What if a car is pulled over on the side of the road changing a tire and you can’t tell it until you are almost next to it…that won’t happen with this system. You will have plenty of notice and you will see it all on your windshield. BMW i ... read more

Future Cars – Airbags that Stop Cars Before They Crash?

Future Cars – Airbags that Stop Cars Before They Crash?

Airbags started out protecting the driver, then the front seat passenger, then on the side and then they provided knee protection…what is next? How about an airbag that stops us before we even crash? Mercedes’ lab is experimenting with an airbag that is proactive rather than reactive. It would deploy underneath the car, enabling the car to actually come to a stop before it crashes. They have a “friction coating” that slows the car to enable quicker stopping (I know. That sounds strange but it is true!) . It also lifts the car up so it doesn’t dip when the brakes are applied hard…as brakes applied before impact would do now. This improves the bumper to bumper connection so that drivers and passengers won’t slide under seat belts during the actual collision. The latest series of airbag problems have sent many auto makers and their vendors back to the drawing board. Airbags and Recalls Many of you are concerned abou ... read more

CONNECTED VEHICLES – IS IT OUR MINDS OR ACTIONS THAT CAUSE DISTRACTIONS?

CONNECTED VEHICLES – IS IT OUR MINDS OR ACTIONS THAT CAUSE DISTRACTIONS?

Those who are in the process of making our rides connected feel that the distractions while driving can be kept to a minimum if the amount of “touch interaction” is kept to a minimum. I have to think about that one. I was in a line of stopped traffic at a red light next to another car just yesterday and the woman was obviously talking on a cell phone and had about four car lengths in front of her. She was seriously distracted by the conversation. I feel many drivers … even though they are hands free are not concentrating on their driving. I feel some are totally unaware of their surroundings even…they are so in tune to the conversation they are having. More than half of drivers surveyed recently feel they would have a hard time managing multiple, non-integrated applications while driving though they feel the technology would be helpful as they can do local search, navigation and mapping easily from their car. •    Wouldn’t it ... read more

Brake Dust

Brake Dust

I’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 ... read more