Hailing a Cab in the 21st Century

2017-08-15 13:29:46 car repair and maintenance Falconer

Rewind the clock 30 years ago and imagine someone saying, “Hey, did you know that I can hail a cab right from my phone?” I’m guessing your reaction would be one of disbelief and you might even call the person crazy! Fast forward to today and millions are now using their phone to call for a ride.

A Better Way

This idea of ordering a taxi with a smartphone app has not taken a lot of time for people to get used to. Uber took advantage of the popularity of taxis while greatly improving the user experience by providing service in areas where conventional taxis don't line up at the curb. (Why didn't I think of that?)

In 2010, Uber introduced a location-based ride-share service out of San Francisco, California, to assess how the market would receive such an idea. The results were amazing and from there the company took off! Uber is now in over 50 countries and millions of men and women get rides daily directly from an app on their phone.

A New Industry Is Born

In 2012, Uber’s principal competitor, Lyft, began its service and has also adored impressive growth. These two companies are currently the leaders in this burgeoning industry, but there will certainly be many other businesses that will put their own spin on the concept and snatch a portion of the market.

You Use Your Phone, Of Course!

So how does this new service function? It’s easier than you may imagine. Simply download one of the company’s apps, set up an account, and then you’re ready to call for a ride. From the app, you pay the driver and indicate your drop-off location. The app even calculates the cost of your journey beforehand so you know exactly what to expect. The driver will arrive at your location, pick you up, and then drop you off where you’ve indicated. It’s as easy as that.

The Demise of the Conventional Taxi?

This new way to taxi is starting to become the standard. What do you think about it? Have you used these apps to request a ride? Do you think the traditional taxi will disappear? We welcome your comments.

Thank you for stopping by our blog. I-86 Truck & Auto Repair proudly serves the automotive service and repair needs of hundreds of Falconer drivers. We invite you to discover why our loyal clients wouldn't take their automobiles anywhere else. Call 716-665-2501 to make an appointment.

Computer Diagnostics For Modern Engines

2017-08-08 13:22:22

auto diagnostics Falconer

Automotive technology zooms along in the fast lane on the innovation highway. Some of the parts in a car have been simplified, while some have become even more complex. As automobiles have become more advanced, so have the ways that we diagnose and repair troubles as well as perform routine maintenance services. Let’s review the state of automotive diagnostics.

The ECU and OBD

Two dynamic tools are the engine control unit and the on-board diagnostic reader. For short, they’re called the ECU and the OBD. The ECU and OBD devices are onboard computers that help control and manage all the functions of the auto. The ECU’s main responsibility is to read and test the engine. ECU technology was introduced in 1939 but had very few functions at the time. Today’s ECU can ascertain optimal engine performance, find any engine issues, and make sure everything’s operating properly.

The ECU and OBD have played vital roles in keeping vehicles running well for hundreds of thousands of miles. These devices light up the little indicator warnings on your dashboard when something is wrong.

Mechanic Or Computer Programmer?

Well-equipped automotive service centers now have powerful diagnostic computers which help them correctly identify malfunctions. This has necessitated that technicians be trained on these sophisticated devices. Now you will find service advisors pouring over computer screens as often as they wield a wrench.

Shade Tree Mechanics Are Now YouTube Mechanics

Technology has also benefited the auto owner that works on their own car. With online tutorials, instructional videos, and manuals, in many respects, DIY projects are easier even though cars have become more complex. It helps ambitious amateur mechanics save cash and gain some useful skills.

Trust The Experts At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair

There are literally thousands of automotive tools, components, and techniques that are continually be updated and refined. But you don't have to keep up with them. The team of skilled technicians at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair does that for you. And we take care of older cars as well as those with all the new bells and whistles. Call our Falconer automotive repair center at 716-665-2501.

I-86 Truck & Auto Repair : VIN Cloning

2017-08-01 13:52:09

VIN cloning Falconer

Car thieves have advanced significantly from busting windows and hot-wiring. In today's article, we are discussing a more sophisticated way professional car thieves are stealing cars and covering their tracks: VIN Cloning. No, it's not the latest sci-fi movie, but a real-life epidemic that is resulting in misery for victims here in New York and around the country.

VIN Cloning is not about reproducing actual cars, but stealing VIN numbers. The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is the unique 17 digit number assigned to each car by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is used like a social security number to track the car's history throughout its life. You probably have discovered that a valid VIN is needed to sell your automobile, register it at the DMV, or buy auto insurance.

A VIN swindler steals a car and masks it under a legitimate VIN number from a similar make and model in order to hide under the radar. With a seemingly valid VIN, the car can be transported across state lines, registered, and resold with all the documents in order.

Imagine how problematic it would be if swindlers were to copy your plates and VIN number and attach them to a recently lifted vehicle. Though the scheme may go undetected for years, eventually there would be numerous victims: the car owner whose VIN was duplicated (you), the used car dealer who buys the stolen vehicle, the insurer, and the buyer who unwittingly purchases the vehicle with your car's VIN.

If you unknowingly purchase a taken car with a replicated VIN and forged title paperwork, the automobile could be seized and you could end up losing thousands of dollars. Here are some VIN fraud protection tips from the FBI:1

  • If you’re car shopping, beware of low prices that seem too good to be true.
  • Get a copy of the car’s history report.
  • Carefully inspect the VIN plate on the dashboard for any scratches or other indications of tampering.
  • Make sure the VINs in the car and on the corresponding paperwork match: the driver’s side door label, car frame, dashboard, and title credentials.
  • Look for incorrect spellings on paperwork.

Smart used car buyers not only protect against VIN fraud, they make sure the vehicle they buy is mechanically sound. If you are shopping for a used car, bring it into I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, for a thorough inspection. It's a small price to pay for peace of mind.

1https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/stories/2009/march/cloning_032409
http://abcnews.go.com/US/vin-cloning-thieves-masking-car-thefts/story?id=28401709

 

Auto Talk for Falconer: Have You Ever Parked on a Hill and Failed to Set Your Emergency Brake?

2017-07-25 13:41:36

affordable automotive service Falconer

Have you ever left your parking brake undone (or left a manual transmission out of gear), climbed out of your vehicle, and off your car goes? It’s not common, but with over 1.2 billion cars in the world, it happens from time to time.

You may have experienced something like this if you have ever driven an automobile with a standard transmission. This is a typical scenario: you fire up the motor and then realize that you forgot something inside your house. Leaving the engine running, you start getting out of the vehicle to quickly reclaim the item.

Suddenly, you have the eerie sensation that the automobile is moving (because it is). Fortunately, you can fix this easily if you can hop back in, engage the clutch, and put the car in gear before it hits something.

A more dangerous situation is when your car waits until you are out of sight before it decides to take off. This is what happened in an unusual story we heard the other day. The auto owner parked his car in front of a friend's home on a gently descending rural road. After spending some time inside the house, he came outside and discovered—to his horror—that his vehicle was gone.

His mind started racing. Where is my car? Did someone steal it? Is this a joke? He finally found it when he assessed his surroundings and looked carefully at a large object nearby.

The car had rolled down a gradual descent that tapered off into a even, grassy yard where it came to a stop. It was difficult to identify at first because it was partially hidden by a trampoline that was balancing on top of it!

The trampoline was just tall enough to allow the small sedan to roll underneath it and take it for a short ride. It is unknown if children were bouncing on the trampoline when the driverless car moved toward them, but if so, we are sure it was an experience they will never forget. And perhaps there were anonymous pranksters involved, but they were never caught. The driver was fortunate that no one was injured and the body damage was minimal.

Hopefully, Falconer drivers reading our I-86 Truck & Auto Repair article today will always remember to set their parking brake and put manual cars in gear when parking.

By the way, thanks for visiting our site. We invite you to bring your car to I-86 Truck & Auto Repair in Falconer the next time it needs a repair or scheduled maintenance. We are enthusiastic about winning lifelong customers with our exceptional service.

 

I-86 Truck & Auto Repair Car Talk: What Is Your Favorite Auto Brand?

2017-07-18 13:17:37

what is your favorite auto make? Falconer

Some Falconer drivers are loyal to one car brand, while others will mix and match different makes to suit all of their needs. There are hundreds of brands of cars internationally but most of the small ones are owned by one of the following mega-corporations: General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Fiat-Chrysler, Daimler, Renault-Nissan, Honda, BMW, Ford, FCA, TATA, PSA, and Hyundai.

Just about every car maker offers a car that caters to the wants, needs, and delight of any Falconer motorist. At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, we have had the privilege of servicing a broad range of autos and have received a lot of feedback from customers. Here’s what they’ve had to say.

When it comes to European cars, the three main brands for which we hear high praises are Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz. Each of these concentrates on luxury, speed, and comfort.

Audi owners love their A4 sport sedan, Q7 SUV, and their outrageously fast R8.

BMW matches with the very popular 3 Series sedan, X5 SUV, and the M6 sports car.

Mercedes Benz competes with their C class sedans, GLE SUV, and the lightning fast AMG GTS sports car. Based on the great things we’ve experienced with these classics, we agree that you can't go wrong with European engineering.

Some of our I-86 Truck & Auto Repair customers are loyal to our homegrown American brands such as Ford, Chevrolet, and Tesla. Just like the European makers, these domestic automotive companies compete by offering many different models. Ford owners love the well-designed Ford Fusion sedan, the rugged Explorer SUV, and arguably the most popular muscle car, the Ford Mustang GT.

Chevrolet drivers are always delighted to show off the redesigned Impala sedan, and the iconic Corvette and Camaro.

Tesla has created a whole new category by creating autos that run 100% on electricity and are extremely advanced technologically.

Two popular Teslas are the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV. Unlike some of the earlier electric cars, the Teslas can really move!

You can’t forget about the popular Japanese models. Scores of drivers love their Nissans, Toyotas, and Hondas. All three of these brands have a well-deserved reputation for being economical, reliable, and good looking.

Nissan’s top sellers are the Maxima sedan, the Pathfinder SUV, and the GTR sports car, which is one of the fastest cars mentioned in this article.

Honda delivers the reliable Accord sedan and the Pilot SUV. If you want a Honda sports car, your best bet might be the new NSX from Acura, a division of Honda.

Toyota has the Camry (the top selling sedan for fourteen years), the Highlander SUV, and one of the most loved hybrids, the Prius.

In this article, we don't have room to examine the hundreds of brands sold worldwide, but we’d love to hear your feedback. Which car brand do you think is supreme?

Whatever it is, here at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair in Falconer we've got you covered, because we can service an extensive range of makes. If you live in the Falconer area and are in need of any automotive service, large or small, call today for an appointment.

 

I-86 Truck & Auto Repair Question of the Day: Do You Carpool?

2017-07-11 13:18:49

honest car repair Falconer

In today's message we will talk about something many Falconer drivers do every day, or, perhaps feel guilty about not doing. We're talking about carpooling. Whether you drive to work with some colleagues or take turns driving with other parents in the neighborhood to get the kids to school, you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of ride sharing.

Pros:
You can save on gas, car maintenance outlays, and parking fees. U.S. carpoolers save over one billion dollars every year.1
In the case of carpooling kids to school, you save time by not having to drive every day.
Where available, you can use the carpool lanes on highways and zoom past the single drivers in the stop-and-go lanes.
When it's not your day to drive, you can sit back and close your eyes or get a jump start on your work to-do list.
You can feel good about reducing your carbon footprint and relieving congestion on roads. It is estimated that traffic could be reduced by 20% if all commuters shared rides just one day a week.1
You can establish new relationships (this can also be a disadvantage, see below).
Some parents prefer carpooling kids to school rather than having them take a bus.

Cons:
It reduces flexibility in your personal commuting schedule and you are forced to be punctual or incur the wrath of your fellow carpoolers.
You have to have a car large enough to hold the carpoolers in your group.
You can't run errands on the way to or from work.
Your fellow carpoolers may drive you crazy.

The team at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair can keep your car up-to-date on scheduled maintenance, which will make it less likely that you will need a repair that will leave you without wheels for a few days. Our clients appreciate our friendly professionalism and reasonable automotive service rates. We invite you to become another satisfied customer. Call 716-665-2501 today!

If you would like to start carpooling in the Jamestown area but don't know of anyone you can join with, you might want to think about some of the ride sharing apps that pair ride seekers with drivers in real time. These services are especially helpful for men and women who don't want to commit to an ongoing arrangement and only need to share rides as needed. The Green Living Ideas website reviews several of them. http://greenlivingideas.com/2016/04/27/best-apps-for-carpool-and-rideshare-2016/ 2

Sources:
1 "Carpool Commuter Statistics," Statistics Brain, http://www.statisticbrain.com/carpool-statistics/, accessed February 25, 2017
2 Andrea Bertoli, "Best Apps for Carpool and Rideshare 2016," Green Living Ideas, April 27, 2016, http://greenlivingideas.com/2016/04/27/best-apps-for-carpool-and-rideshare-2016/, accessed February 25, 2017 (Note: I-86 Truck & Auto Repair is not affiliated with either Green Living Ideas or any of the apps reviewed. We provide this information as a service to our readers.)

Protect Your Car From These Bad Habits

2017-07-04 13:50:41

check engine diagnostics Falconer

At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, we understand that your car is a significant purchase. We can help you protect your investment by providing quality maintenance and repair services. Another way you can make sure your vehicle serves your transportation needs as long as possible is to avoid these bad habits.

Flooring it When the Light Turns Green

Okay, Mr. Earnhardt, you are not at Talladega. You don't need to floor it and push your car to the limit just to slow down at the next stoplight.

Junk in the Trunk

Do you keep a lot of stuff in your trunk that you don't need to haul around? You are stressing all those costly parts unnecessarily. (And your fuel efficiency takes a hit, as well.)

Riding Your Brakes

This can be a challenging habit to break (no pun intended) for extra cautious car owners. (And I've seen it become a point of contention between spouses.) If you only brake when required, you will not wear out your brakes prematurely.

Always Running on Empty

Think about how your fuel pump functions. It sucks fuel from your gas tank, right? What if it constantly has to be a bottom feeder, drinking in that little bit of fuel in the lowest part of your gas tank? When you fill up, there is a relatively low concentration of sediment, but this is reversed when you are down to just a few gallons. Your fuel pump never gets a break from sucking this dangerous gas/sediment mix. That's how to diminish the life of your fuel pump. (Also, it is wise to keep your tank as full as possible in the event that you get lost far away from a service station or break down in freezing temps and need to run the engine to stay warm while you wait for help.)

Ignoring Your Car's Distress Signal

Don't disregard your car's request for help. You risk letting a small problem become a big, costly trouble. If your check engine light is on, and you don't know why, give I-86 Truck & Auto Repair a call at 716-665-2501.

Know Your Warranty

2017-06-27 13:15:02

auto repair Falconer

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had the experience of acquiring a product and not quite understanding the warranty that comes along with it. It seems like just about anything that you can buy—from a refrigerator to a cell phone—either comes with a warranty or you have the option to add a warranty. When shopping around for cars, there is some vital warranty information that should be analyzed beforehand so you’ll be clear on what’s covered if something does go wrong.

New Cars

If you’re buying a new car, warranties are typically much easier to come by and are more straightforward than their used car warranty counterparts. Most car manufacturers now deliver a warranty with the purchase of a new vehicle. These standard manufacturer warranties will either cover you for a set amount of time or a specific number of miles. For example, some manufacturer warranties will cover you for 5 years and up to 60,000 miles. This means that as long as your automobile is less than 5 years old and has been driven less than 60,000 miles, you’ll be covered by your manufacturer (subject to the terms of the warranty) if something happens to go wrong.

Read the Fine Print

So what does the warranty cover? For that you’ll want to check with the auto dealer or manufacturer for detailed information on exactly what’s covered, but most are powertrain warranties. Powertrain warranties typically cover things like the engine, transmission, and other components that the manufacturer installed. If something in the powertrain breaks or stops working as it should, the manufacturer or dealership will either fix it or replace it at no cost. Don't know what a powertrain is? Call I-86 Truck & Auto Repair at 716-665-2501 and we will explain. Obviously, a warranty isn’t the same as insurance, so if you do something yourself to cause damage to the automobile or are involved in an accident, you’ll be responsible for fixing it, not the automaker or dealership.

Used Car Warranties

If you’re in the market for a used car, you may be able to get a warranty. First thing you’ll want to check is whether the used car you are contemplating already has a standard manufacturer warranty that can be transferred to you. If it can be transferred to you then you could be in luck. But you’ll need the details because the car could have 59,000 miles on it and only have a 60,000 mile warranty. But in some cases, you can find a car with low miles that still has that same transferrable warranty.

If there’s no transferrable warranty then you still have some options. One is to find a dealership that offers warranties through third party companies. This isn’t always the lowest priced option but it could be of value if you want that extra peace of mind when buying a used vehicle. The cost of a third party warranty can usually be added into the financing of your car and can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. If you decide to add a third party warranty, make sure you scrutinize the details; the specific repairs that are covered and how you’ll get service performed if something does go awry.

Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

The last option you have if you plan to buy a used auto is to search dealerships that market certified pre-owned vehicles. Certified pre-owned mean that it has been certified by the manufacturer and is eligible for the same standard manufacturer warranty despite the car being used. This turns out to be a great find for many although there are fewer certified pre-owned cars on the New York used vehicle market.

If you need automotive service or repair—whether or not it is covered by a warranty—communicate with us at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair in Falconer.

The Inside Scoop on Car Interiors

2017-06-20 12:34:45

auto repair Falconer

At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, we believe that many autos are a pleasure to look at from the outside. And some have gained popularity for outer body appearance alone. For example, think of your favorite car and then consider why you like it. I’m guessing one of the main reasons is because of how it looks on the outside. But have you ever analyzed the amount of detail and innovation that goes into car interiors?

While the outside styling of cars is what turns heads, the interior is what keeps the driver and passengers happy and comfortable. But auto interiors haven’t always offered opulent comfort and an array of tools at your fingertips. Technically, the first cars had no "interior" because they were basically open-air buggies with a motor. Even decades later, autos had no AC, no head rests, no leather seats—not even cup holders. Nowadays there are interior characteristics that make autos more comfortable than they’ve ever been.

A Spa or a Sedan?

Need a back massage? There are vehicles that have massagers built right into the seats along with seat warmers that have been enjoyed for a while now. Want to stay connected at all times to the internet? There are automobiles that have Wi-fi hotspots. Bluetooth has become a highly acclaimed feature. It allows you to link your cell phone so that you can route calls, music, and other types of media through your car's built-in sound system.

(Away From) Home Theater

Touch screens and infotainment centers are also becoming an option that almost every car maker is offering now. It is fantastic to see the added functionality that these screens offer. Now cars don’t require dozens of different dials to manage the settings. Navigation, music controls, and temperature adjustments can be done right from the screen. If you don’t want to use the screen, many vehicles offer steering wheel controls that let you make changes without having to take your hands off the steering wheel. (Our great-grandparents would probably chuckle at how spoiled we are.)

It All Starts With The Materials

Innovative features aren’t the only things that are making interiors more comfortable, but also the materials used to engineer them. In more plush cars, you can get interiors full of leather, exotic woods, carbon fiber and other high-end materials. When you sit in a car that uses these premium materials you can see and feel the difference.

Next time you’re considering a new vehicle, don’t focus solely on how it looks on the outside because what’s on the inside is what really matters. Of course, there is always the possibility that if your ride is too nice, you may never get out of it.

I-86 Truck & Auto Repair Car Talk: The Evolution Of The Car Key

2017-06-20 12:19:45

top auto service center in Falconer

The key to your car is one of the smallest, yet most essential features of your car. In today's article we’re going to look at how the key has changed and advanced over the years.

Back when cars were first developed and then started being mass-produced, keys weren’t even part of the equation. You’d have to crank a lever that was connected to the engine just to get your auto to fire up, and that took strength and patience. This was the norm back then, but imagine having to start your vehicle like that every time you wanted to take a drive. Not my idea of convenient. (And it's easy to see why turn-of-the-century era bank robbers had to have an accomplice sitting in the getaway car with the engine running.

It wasn’t until 1949 that someone had the clever idea of using a key to start the engine. After painstaking engineering and testing, Chrysler was the first automotive company to furnish a key to start the ignition. Every car maker followed suit, but for years, the key remained virtually the same.  While vehicle manufacturers continued to add new features to their cars, the key was something that always seemed to be left out of the mix.

In the 90’s, one of the first updates was the addition of a chip (or transponder) inserted into the key that could communicate with the car’s computer. This allowed the car and key to be programmed together so the automobile couldn't start without the programmed transponder key.

This was a vital security breakthrough that prevented people from copying your key. This technology led to many other revolutionary automotive innovations. One disadvantage, however, is that if you lose a transponder key, you may have to sell your house to pay for a replacement.

Now that keys had chips in them that could communicate with the vehicle, auto manufacturers kept coming up with new twists on the concept. Most motorists can now lock and unlock their car with buttons on their key fob. Some raise the trunk lid. This is made possible by the transponder chip in the key. Cars with push-button start have chips and other technology in the key that allows you to start them just by having the key within the car.

Keys have progressed considerably and now in some of the latest high-end autos, you can use your phone to fire up the engine.

Will keys eventually be replaced by our smartphones? Who knows? But the possibilities are endless!

Even if you can't yet use your cell phone to fire up your motor, you can use it to call the auto experts at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair at 716-665-2501 to schedule an appointment when you are seeking unparalleled automotive service in Falconer.