Phoenix Auto Repair

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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Oil Consumption

Oil Consumption

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

Drips and Puddles

Drips and Puddles

Those annoying under the car drips can leave your driveway and garage floor a mess…in fact everywhere you park becomes a victim to this mess. They are also a sign that something is wrong and needs to be taken care of. The only drip you don’t need to be concerned with is the condensation from your air conditioner. Everything else is a signal that there is a problem. The small drips are giving you fair warning that if ignored, serious problems are in your future. Here are a few examples: A reddish brown drip may mean one of three things; leaking transmission, over tightened pan gasket or a leaking front seal. A green or orange-red drip suggests a cooling system problem such as leaking hose or radiator. A brown to brownish-black drip that is thick in consistency is more than likely engine oil. This is not a huge problem if it is slight but when it grows to puddle size it is a sign of something serious and if not kept under control could mean severe engine trouble. A l ... read more

Gasoline

Gasoline

Gasoline has been around for decades and the changes to the formulation have been incredible. The basic refined crude is mostly the same. What makes each brand unique is the additives and detergents package mixed in. Regular fuel has less additives than the premium blend. One of the biggest changes to gasoline is the introduction of ethanol. Ethanol has brought us lower emissions and a little better MPG, but it also has caused some new drivability issues. Most fuels started with a small amount of ethanol; now the base amount is 10%. As we randomly test fuel from the tanks we see as much as 30% ethanol. What that means is the ethanol and the detergents added do not work together! Ethanol washes the detergent away that is supposed to help stop carbon build up inside the engine. Type “engine carbon” into a browser and there are many articles to scan. The tough part for you, the driver, is you don’t know it’s happening until it gets bad. Here are the symptoms of ... read more

The Check Engine Light

The Check Engine Light

Your car has many computers that monitors your engine for the best performance; your transmission for proper shifting, your braking system for safe stopping, and they also monitor many other devices to make sure they are working properly. If a system detects a problem, it needs to alert you, so you can bring your car in to Fairway Auto Repair for service. This is the role of the check engine light. The check engine light looks different from car to car, but it's always a yellow or orange color, usually with a picture of an engine. If the check engine light comes on solid (not blinking), you can continue to drive the car until you have a chance to bring it in. This does not mean you should ignore it. When the check engine light is on, the car defaults to a backup system that controls all the important systems. Driving around for a short time until you can set up an appointment is no problem, but continuing to drive more than 20 miles is a ... read more