Phoenix Auto Repair

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Gasoline and Additives…Does Paying More Get You More?

Gasoline and Additives…Does Paying More Get You More?

It seems that gas prices go up and down with no apparent rhyme or reason three or four times each week. It also seems that mostly the prices are the same but you have that favorite place that is a couple of cents cheaper and the place that is always a nickel or so higher per gallon. If you used the place that charges more is it really better for your car? They always say they are better…but if so…what makes them worth the extra? Relax! AAA says using the cheaper gas will not hurt your car at all. Your car’s onboard computer is able to adjust the variables of fuel between brands and drivers will not notice a change in performance. Just what is the difference in the gasoline? Gasoline starts as a base when it is delivered to its various destinations. Then, depending on the company various additives are mixed in. All of these companies must adhere to the mandates set by the Environmental Protection Agency so using less expensive gas will not hurt the envir ... read more

The Good, The Bad, And The Very Bad

The Good, The Bad, And The Very Bad

Today I read that “Microsoft Joins The Connected Car Battle, Introduce Windows In The Car” and followed that up by reading “Tesla Electric Cars Vulnerable to Remote Unlocking Hack, Researchers Say.” I’ve already mentioned that many are concerned about privacy invasions with connected vehicles. We are all vulnerable with our smartphones, laptops and other devices so it stands to reason when you make a vehicle connected, it too will be subject to hackers. Nitesh Dhanjani told a cybersecurity conference recently that Tesla electric cars are vulnerable to simple, traditional hacking techniques. All a hacker has to do is crack one password and they can remotely unlock and then lock the vehicle. A key fob, using a wireless signal via the Internet is used to unlock the vehicle whenever the owner is ready. If the six-digit password is hacked using traditional methods the hacker can break into the car! The good news is they can’t drive off in the car without furt ... read more

The Cost Of Neglect Is High!

The Cost Of Neglect Is High!

Drivers today are trying to save money by cutting corners in many ways…including car care. They figure putting off routine maintenance won’t hurt but it does hurt in two ways! First, a poorly maintained vehicle can be an unsafe vehicle. Thousands of wrecks each year are attributed to unperformed services and repairs. According to the Car Care Council there are roughly $2 billion dollars a year in unperformed auto service and repairs. Think of that the next time you are driving…how safe are the cars driving alongside you? Secondly, a poorly maintained vehicle costs consumers more money. When a driver continually puts off much needed routine services those lack of services turn into expensive car repairs. One example is putting off oil changes often leads to needing a new engine…a very high-ticket repair! To keep your vehicle well maintained a driver needs to do the following: • Make sure the oil is changed on a regular basis. If you aren’t su ... read more

Poor Road Conditions!

Poor Road Conditions!

What does driving on poor road conditions mean to drivers? Poor road conditions wreak havoc on tires and alignment. The accuracy of your car’s steering and suspension is nearly as important to your safety as a well-maintained brake system. The result of driving on bad roads significantly reduces steering control, causes steering wheel vibrations and unusual noises. Weak shocks or struts permit excessive rebound of your wheels, allowing them to become airborne. A vehicle with worn shock absorbers is more susceptible to undercarriage damage. When you notice this happening the car should be checked out immediately. A loose tie rod end can break causing you to lose steering control. If your vehicle sways on turns, doesn’t feel balanced when you accelerate or brake, bounces or bottoms out, you may need to replace your vehicle’s shocks or struts. Worn shocks or struts increase the wear of tires, ball joints, steering linkage, springs and C.V. joints. For best control and handli ... read more

You Might Be A Shuttle Service If...

You Might Be A Shuttle Service If...

On a daily basis are you running children to pre-school, school, after school extracurricular events, and doctor/dentist/orthodontist appointments? Do your resolutions to prepare healthy meals end when after a day of dropping this child off and picking this child up finds you too tired to cook? You berate yourself as you drive through McDonalds…again but find yourself whispering a silent “thank goodness for Micky D’s?” If you answered yes to any of the above, you are a shuttle service. Hey…many grandparents I know are operating shuttle services too! You probably realize the gas tank is getting close to empty more frequently but you may be overlooking another important fact. Most of this sort of driving is short trips but it does add up and takes a lot out of your vehicle. This is what we refer to as “severe” driving. • Frequent short trips of less than 10 miles. • Multiple short trips Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge fo ... read more

Your Car Is Keeping Tabs On You!

Your Car Is Keeping Tabs On You!

We have heard that “connected cars” can help us in extraordinary ways and we could easily get used to the convenience. Did you know that “connected cars” can keep tabs on drivers as well? That can be good but it can also be strangely unsettling! Let’s think about the pros and the cons when it comes to our cars and our privacy. The Pros Your car’s computer can determine when parts are wearing out before you experience any problems and alert you. Your car’s downloadable apps can help you find parking as well as surf the net and other web based activities. Your car can call for assistance when you are in an accident. Your car can be tracked and disabled if stolen. Your car can help you find it in a crowded parking lot and even have the doors unlocked for you. Your car can help you avoid crashes. Your backseat passengers can be entertained online. A car can take charge of teen drivers by lettin ... read more

Technology vs Distracted Driving

Technology vs Distracted Driving

The technology makers are fast at work providing new cars with interactive dashboards, voice-activated functions and web-connected services. Apple recently introduced CarPlay integration and Google will soon have its own Android-based version. While it seems great to be able to dictate texts, answer emails, check your social media, and make telephone calls while on the go, many question if drivers’ minds will be concentrating on driving or connecting with unseen family, friends and business associates. The technology gurus say that drivers can still have their “eyes up front and their hands on the wheel” but consumer advocates, policymakers and AAA argue that it is still distracted driving. This June look for a report to be released from the federation of motor clubs warning that hands-free, in-vehicle communications would be dangerous to drivers and others who share the road with them. Certainly we would all like to think we are capable of “multi-tasking” but more and ... read more

Pulling A Code Is Not Diagnosing A Vehicle’s Problem

Pulling A Code Is Not Diagnosing A Vehicle’s Problem

Today many drivers, thanks to Infomercials, think all you need to do to diagnose a vehicle’s problem is plug in a device, pull a code, and take it to the parts store, buy the part, get it installed and you are good to go! If that were the case anyone could do it and my staff and I wouldn’t have to spend hours per year in training classes to stay current in the ever changing world of vehicle service and repair. Sadly, many shops still say they are “diagnosing” a vehicle’s problem when in fact they are doing nothing more than trying different parts on a car until it finally works. We in the industry call these shops The Parts Replacers. It is unfortunate for consumers who trust their car repair to these parts replacers because they have to ultimately pay for every part they tried even if that part wasn’t the one that was needed. They add it to the driver’s tab and keep on replacing until they find one that does the job. Those of us who stay current with traini ... read more

Sludge - What It Is And What It Does

Sludge - What It Is And What It Does

Sludge…the very word conjures up thoughts of something dark and ugly. It is actually a gooey, tar like substance that deposits itself inside your car’s engine. One of the roles of motor oil is to keep your engine cool so it has to be able to take the heat…when it fails to do so these deposits form in the engine. Some vehicle’s engines have more trouble than others due to poor design. Their passages are smaller and they actually bake the oil inside the engine. To find out if your car is one of these select models of vehicles prone to sludge problems, you can key in the words “engine sludge” online and get a great many articles about these cars and light trucks. You will see that you aren’t alone if you are experiencing the dreaded sludge problem. If you are shopping for a used car and need some valuable information, this is a good place to start. Cars that were lease returns, rentals or had owners that didn’t have proper maintenance performed on the vehicles also seem ... read more

What Is Diagnostic Testing and What It Means To You

What Is Diagnostic Testing and What It Means To You

Cars today are basically computers on wheels and technology is rapidly turning them into Smartphones on wheels. The mechanic of yesteryear would be completely lost when it comes to maintaining these cars, much less repairing them. That is why we no longer call these professionals mechanics…they are automotive technicians. Technology is changing fast and these technicians have to keep current so they are constantly in training. Most vehicles of today have an ECU (Engine Control Module) that monitors sensors in the engine, fuel and exhaust systems. It actually makes adjustments to the fuel and air mixture continually. When the module comes across a problem that it can’t adjust it stores a trouble code that your technician can retrieve. The dashboard will illuminate letting the driver know there is a problem so they can schedule an appointment and get this taken care of (if the dashboard doesn’t just illuminate but flashes constantly, stop drivi ... read more