Phoenix Auto Repair

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Articles:

A Healthy Car

A Healthy Car

Cars are built better than ever these days and give us miles of service. Keeping them healthy is important and extends their life. Oil is their lifeblood. Dirty oil makes it harder for your engine to turn over and causes premature engine wear. Belts and hoses are made of very durable material with relatively long lives but they do deteriorate over time. We recommend an eight to ten-year replacement cycle. Leaks are not normal except for condensation from your air conditioner. 11 different fluids keep your car running; brake fluid, antifreeze, engine oil, power steering fluid, air conditioner refrigerant, shock absorber fluid, battery electrolyte, windshield washer solvent, rear axle or CV boot lubricant and fuel. If any of these leaks, they need to be fixed right away. Tires need to be kept properly inflated to save gas and tire wear and rotated every six months. Coolant, when neglected c ... read more

How Often Should You Check The Oil Level In Your Car?

How Often Should You Check The Oil Level In Your Car?

Question: How often should you check the oil level in your car? Every 1,000 miles of driving; the newer the car and the lower the mileage. This seems to be the forgotten “check list” item. Question: How often do you check the oil level in your car? From what we can tell…rarely! Our shop is seeing more cars come in with no visible oil on the dipstick. Granted, the majority of the cars have 75,000 miles or more. Remember, that many cars with smaller engines also have less oil capacity (four quarts or less) to lubricate the moving parts. When technology builds in lights, bells and whistles to replace opening the hood and pulling a dipstick or visually inspecting the under-hood fluid, I get concerned. The warning systems are great backups but should not replace physically inspecting items. The reason for the oil consumption concern is due to low tension piston rings, used to get better miles per gallon. This causes engines to run ho ... read more

Helping Your Car Survive the Holidays

Helping Your Car Survive the Holidays

Unless you have a deserted island you can escape to during the holiday season, you and your vehicle can feel the strain. Traffic in Phoenix is heavier, more ‘occasional’ drivers are on the roads and if you are like the majority, you spend more time just sitting in traffic and through a traffic light…or two…or more if you live or work around a shopping center. We want you to enjoy the holidays and one of the ways to have less stress during this joyful time is to make sure your vehicle is up to the challenge! Here are just a few things we can do for your vehicle so you can be sure you arrive on time for the family feasts, holiday parties, community events and shopping extravaganzas: We make sure your oil and filter are clean. We check the tires for proper inflation and rotate if needed. We inspect the brakes to make sure you can stop on a dime if necessary! We top off fluids or exchange them. We check the charging system so you don’t come out of th ... read more

Does Your Car Have A Mind Of Its Own?

Does Your Car Have A Mind Of Its Own?

We get calls from Phoenix drivers complaining that their car seems to have a mind of its own. It wants to bounce and rock and drift and sway. We know exactly what the problem is when we hear these complaints. It is either your vehicle’s shocks or struts. Usually they wear out slowly and you don’t notice that they are aging, then suddenly, it seems like you can’t keep your tires on the road! If it wasn’t for shocks and struts we would have a very uncomfortable and unsafe ride. Not only do they give us a smooth ride, they also affect our braking. Here are some clues that your vehicle needs service in this area! When you are crossing an intersection does your vehicle bounce more than three times? When you come to a fast stop does it rock back and forth? When you change lanes quickly does it sway from side to side? When you apply the brakes suddenly while driving at higher speeds does it seem to pull to the left or to the right? When rounding a curve do ... read more

Alternative Cars – What’s the Latest?

Alternative Cars – What’s the Latest?

I was going through my past articles and I wrote this one in November of 2010. It is interesting to read and realize we have come a long way…and then again…not so much. Below I have italicized the “latest” for your perusal. Almost 100 years ago we were weighing the pros and cons of electric cars versus gasoline powered cars. We were beginning to get better roads and wanted to go further and faster than the electric cars of the time would allow. The peak of the electric car was reached in 1912. At that time an electric roadster sold for $1,750, while a gasoline car sold for $650. Seems we have come full circle. Here is a list of concerns that consumers currently have about purchasing an alternative vehicle: Batteries are toxic and concerns have been raised about landfills overflowing with corrosive and carcinogenic materials found in used batteries. Drivers are having “range anxiety” as they aren’t used to considerin ... read more

Thanks for Being Our Customer!

Thanks for Being Our Customer!

We always find time to be thankful for our wonderful customers! We wish each and every one of you a safe, enjoyable Thanksgiving!Make It A Happy Thanksgiving! Whether you are going on an extended road trip, driving to the airport or just plan to get groceries or do some Black Friday shopping, it will probably involve your car! Here are what the road-side assistant companies suggest you have checked out before the holiday to make sure your vehicle is safe and your Thanksgiving less stressful! Tires: Make sure your tires are properly inflated. If they have bad tread wear and need to be replaced, it is better to do it before you are in a breakdown situation. Wiper Blades: Many an accident could be avoided if drivers could see where they are going! Make sure your wiper blades are up to the challenge! Battery: A dead battery can be avoided! A simple test will make sure it is up to par. The best thing you can do before any road ... read more

Driving and the Holidays

Driving and the Holidays

We want our community to be safe during the holiday seasons. More and more people are staying in on New Year’s Eve to avoid the possible dangers on the road, but, the Memorial Day holiday and Thanksgiving holiday are the most dangerous times on the road now. Let’s talk about Thanksgiving since it is coming right up! Many are off on Thanksgiving, of course, but the Wednesday before a lot of folks are driving to be with family and friends for the big day. We know the roads are crowded on Thanksgiving Eve. Thanksgiving also has people going to closer destinations for their turkey dinner, but thankfully it isn’t as crowded overall. Then comes Black Friday, where many start shopping to kick off the Christmas frenzy. We now have stores opening on Thanksgiving, so they can get people geared up to get those gifts under the tree. College sports are a big deal during the Thanksgiving weekend and with that comes drinking. Add that to the crowds shopping and coming home ... read more

The Light That Cried Wolf

The Light That Cried Wolf

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

Do Not Be Afraid

Do Not Be Afraid

The Fear Generators The thought of automotive repair seems to strike fear in the hearts of even the bravest of Phoenix consumers. Why is that? When consumers go to the doctor or dentist and get bad news they fear bodily pain; when they get bad news about their vehicle they fear the pain they might feel in their wallet because repair invoices are higher than preventive maintenance invoices. Auto repair shops are still tops in the rating charts of businesses consumers don’t trust. They also top the charts in complaints to the Consumer Protection Division. The media took hidden cameras to several untrustworthy auto repair businesses to reinforce in the consumers’ minds that some shops are a bunch of rip-off artists. The general public is not very knowledgeable about the ins and outs of automotive repair because the places they do business with don’t bother to educate their customers. Fear Eliminator: The Warranty A reputable shop w ... read more

The Cyclops Syndrome

The Cyclops Syndrome

Beware The Cyclops Syndrome We’ve all seen it…driving down the road on a dark night and here comes a single lighted something coming your way. Is it a motorcycle? A UFO? It passes by and you realize it was a car with a headlight out! When driving at night, even on busy lighted highways it is essential to see and be seen…clearly! It is also helpful when driving behind someone to see their taillights and to be able to know their intentions by seeing their brake lights or turn signals! This brings me to your headlights. Back in the day they were made with glass but now they are made with plastic or polycarbonate. This material is porous and expands slightly when it gets hot. Over time it becomes oxidized and gets cloudy in appearance. Not only does it look bad, it reduces visibility. Your auto car professional now has a way to clean these for you and it is money well spent so you can see when driving at night and others can see you clearly t ... read more