Phoenix Auto Repair

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How Are Your Shocks/Struts?

How Are Your Shocks/Struts?

Shocks and struts take a beating so we don’t have to!  They help us ease the pain of driving over less than perfect roads and stabilize us over bumps, when we stop quickly and when we go around corners.  We pretty much take them for granted.  Our owner’s manuals tell us they need to be replaced every 30,000 to 90,000 miles, depending on our driving habits.  That is a wide range!  We would like to recommend that you take some time when you are out driving around to notice a few things about your vehicle.  If your car is bouncing a bit after you hit a bump in the road, is nose diving after you brake or is swaying around corners you need to have your shocks replaced.  Struts basically perform the same function as shocks except they also are an integral part of your suspension system.  When you are out and about in your car and notice the same symptoms as above and also notice noise while you go over those bumps or turn corners you migh ... read more

Sometimes there is nothing scarier than car trouble...

Sometimes there is nothing scarier than car trouble...

Sometimes there is nothing scarier than car trouble…you know how it is…you drive along and all is great then suddenly… You hear a different noise (squealing or scraping sound when you hit the brakes, knocks or pings when you climb a hill, rumbling or hissing sound from your muffler, thumping from a tire, clicking of a worn CV joint, chugging when you turn off the engine) You notice a different smell (moisture or antifreeze odor inside the car) You see a small leak or a puddle from under the car (antifreeze, oil, brake fluid) You see lights illuminated on your dashboard (check gauges, check engine light) You hear nothing at all (dead battery) Your mind immediately goes into panic mode! You wonder how long it will take to fix the problem? How will you get to work? How will you pick up the children or get them to school or practice? How will you run errands? How much will it cost? Will it need to be towed? Is it safe to drive to our shop for needed repairs ... read more

Understanding Your Service Reminder Light

Understanding Your Service Reminder Light

Most of us don’t read the owner’s manual, if you even have one anymore. Many car manuals can only be found online now. Carmakers have come up with service reminders in the form of a warning indicator light, that appears on the gauge cluster (near the speedometer). Often, it comes on well before the service is required to give you time to schedule the appointment. There are several types of warning systems: Set mileage system. The light comes on every time you have driven a set number of miles and an oil change is needed. This varies among different carmakers, but it is roughly every 5,000 miles. In some systems, you can set the interval yourself. Oil sensor system. An onboard computer analyzes how the car is being driven, and the light comes on when an oil change is required. Driving only short trips will trigger the light sooner; highway driving means you can go many more miles between service visits. Oil Level or Low System ... read more

How Often Should I Have My Car Serviced?

How Often Should I Have My Car Serviced?

I know in this day and age it is sometimes difficult to remember those certain appointments…like going to the dentist or the doctor every six months…or having your vehicle serviced at least twice a year! You can ignore it until suddenly you aren’t feeling your best, or you experience a toothache, or your car breakdowns! Here is what your car’s owner manual tells you should happen and how often. We recommend you visit us every six months to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape! Your owner’s manual states that every time you stop for fuel you need to: Check engine oil level and add as required. Check windshield washer solvent and add if required. Once a month you are supposed to: Check tire pressure and look for unusual wear or damage Inspect battery and clean and tighten terminals as required. Check fluid levels of coolant reservoir, power steering, brake master cylinder, and transmission and add as needed Check ... read more

The Sound of Silence Can be Golden

The Sound of Silence Can be Golden

The job of a muffler is to keep your vehicle quiet. There is a lot involved for a piece of equipment that doesn’t look too intricate. It silences the noise of your car in these ways: Changes the pressure pulses Dampens the pressure pulses Absorbs the pressure pulses The noise is measured in decibels and the muffler dissipates the level of sound. There are two types of mufflers; direct-fit or universal. A direct-fit muffler doesn’t require modifications. A repair shop just has to line it up and bolt it on. They are, however, not readily available for all vehicles. A universal muffler is easy to find and usually requires some modifications. This is done by lengthening or shortening pipes or even replacing them. New hangers are a must to keep the new equipment from rattling. Thankfully these modifications are not difficult or expensive; they just take more time. If you are replacing a direct-fit muffler with a universal muffler, don’t expect it to muffle the ... read more

October is Fall Car Care Month

October is Fall Car Care Month

Twice a year the Car Care Council, a non-profit organization, celebrates National Car Care Month. This happens in April and again in October. The reason they feel the need to spend money on advertising the importance of car care is because so many consumers don’t take care of their vehicles properly. Neglect of this kind causes accidents, expensive breakdowns, pollution, using more fuel than necessary and even lost time at work! The Car Care Council hopes a gentle reminder twice yearly will prevent all this. Here is a check list for safety, dependability and savings! Have all fluids checked Have air filter checked Have battery and charging system checked Have belts and hoses checked Have oil and lubrication service Have all lights checked Have all wipers and fluid checked Have tires checked for proper inflation and tread Have suspension system checked Have brake system checked Many consumers feel a false sense of security today because they have cell phones or On ... read more

Why Won’t Your Car Start?

Why Won’t Your Car Start?

Car problems of any kind can be frustrating but the one that seems to annoy people the most is when their car won’t start. There are several possible reasons your car won’t start but the number one reason is a battery issue. If you try to start your car and you don’t hear a noise we call that a “no crank” and this could be caused by one of three things; the battery, the ignition or the starter circuit. 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. A ... read more

Brake System Components Overview

Brake System Components Overview

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 ve ... read more

What is Repairophobia?

What is Repairophobia?

What is repairophobia, you ask? It is the fear of auto repair. I read this term just the other day and said to myself, “Yes, it is about time it had a name!” What are the reasons consumers have this dreaded condition? Many consumer news reporters love to feature a certain shop or auto repair chain routinely ripping drivers off. They go under cover and take a well-maintained vehicle into the shop and then share with the public the long list of repair items the shop claims are needed. This hurts all auto repair shops, not just the culprit who apparently can’t earn enough money being honest. The majority of auto repair shops are honest, hard working individuals. The con artists are few and far between. Consumers are worried that they won’t have enough money if they take their vehicle in for routine maintenance and the service advisor informs them they need a repair as well. They hadn’t budgeted for more than the routine service. Always ask for a pr ... read more

That Crazy Check Engine Light

That Crazy Check Engine Light

Most of us have probably had this happen at one time or another. You’re driving down the road and suddenly your check engine light comes on. As you’re worrying about what the problem could be and if your vehicle is still safe to drive, the light turns off. Relieved, you keep on driving and tell yourself that you’ll have it checked out. But, of course, the matter is quickly forgotten. You don’t remember about it until you’re out driving a few days later and the same thing happens all over again. So, is there a problem with the engine or with the light? Engine sensors measure a variety of areas that help reduce emissions and serve functions for the engine, transmission and other systems. The areas they measure include manifold air temperature, coolant temperature, manifold absolute pressure, airflow, throttle position, vehicle speed and oxygen levels. The light will turn on if a measurement stays outside the normal range long enough. This doesn&rsq ... read more