Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or Standard Infotainment System?

2017-05-23 10:45:30

auto repair Falconer

Do you use a smartphone? If you do, there’s a good chance that your cell phone is running on either iOS (Apple’s operating system) or Android (Google’s operating system). Google and Apple aim to get their operating systems just about anywhere there is a person and a screen. Now that so many new autos offer fully functional touch screens in them, these two companies have jumped at the opportunity to bring their technology to yet another market!

Looking for a new car? Is it worth it to pay more for an automobile that Android Auto or Apple CarPlay? Or would you be satisfied with what comes standard?

Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and the latest standard infotainment centers have one leading purpose and that is to transfer all the functionality of your mobile device onto the screen of your car. All three of these platforms use Bluetooth to connect to your phone and then seamlessly sync your phone to your automobile. This allows you to get calls, texts, music, navigation and much more directly to your car interface from your mobile device. Many third-party apps on your phone will also work from the car interface.

At Your Service

The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto voice assistants offer the principal advantage over standard infotainment systems. Siri from Apple and Google access from Android Auto provides  functions. Both let you answer texts, make and take calls, and control your music all with your voice.

You can ask Apple CarPlay and Android Auto voice assistants just about anything and they’ll find an answer.

Want to find a restaurant nearby? Ask either Siri or Google and it will pull up all the restaurants in the area without you even having to touch the screen. Need directions? Simply say the location and it will place the address into the navigation system. These assistants are what really set them apart from the standard technology.

How Are They Different?

In the improbable event that you are willing to change smartphone operating systems depending on which car interface you choose, what are the considerable differences?

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto take different approaches to how music is played. If you have a clear preference for either Apple Music or Google Play Music, this could be a deciding factor in your determination. For navigation, as expected, Android Auto uses Google Maps and CarPlay uses Apple Maps. This simple fact may also be a dealbreaker for one or the other. Keep in mind however, that as of this writing, both systems are very new and will change and improve with time.

Apple CarPlay is only compatible with iPhones and Android Auto is only compatible with Android phones, while standard infotainment systems are generally compatible with any mobile device that has Bluetooth. If you’re a loyal iPhone user, Apple CarPlay is a great option because the user interface will be extremely familiar. If you’re an Android user, you’ll also find that Android Auto does not have a user interface as similar as on your smartphone, but it is still fairly simple to navigate.

If you’re not into all the bells and whistles that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay grant, then you’ll probably be more than satisfied with the standard infotainment system that comes in your automobile. More importantly, for Falconer automotive service that you will be more than satisfied with, we invite you to visit I-86 Truck & Auto Repair.


Auto Fun: Automatic or Manual Transmission?

2017-05-23 10:25:08

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Do you prefer the ease of turning your car on, putting it in drive, and being able to get on your way with an automatic transmission? Or are you someone who enjoys the interactive experience of shifting into each gear with a manual transmission?

Automatic transmissions are typically the more popular option these days among Falconer motorists, but there are still men and women out there who love their stick shifts.

Let’s briefly consider the merits of each.

Let the Computer Do the Shifting
Automatic transmissions are much easier to drive due to two main reasons. First is that there are no clutch pedals to press while you shift gears, and second is that there is no stick shift. Once you put the auto into drive, you’re free to cruise around while the transmission automatically shifts your vehicle into the proper gear. All you have to do is focus on the road, brake and accelerate, and of course, steer.

...Or Not
Manual transmissions are somewhat more complicated and require some learning but can deliver a much more engaging driving experience.

With a manual you have to press in the clutch, know which gear to shift to, ease off the gas pedal, engage the gear, and ease back on the gas pedal - all in one fluid motion.

This process requires the participation of both hands and both feet, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes routine. Manual transmissions force the driver to be far more involved and many Falconer motorists find that pleasurable. (If you like to pretend you are doing 200 at Talladega, it is much easier when you are emphatically shifting through those gears!)

Whether you have to manually shift or if your vehicle does the shifting for you, trust in I-86 Truck & Auto Repair to make sure your transmission is in prime condition. To schedule a transmission service, call 716-665-2501.

Auto Talk: Summer, Winter, or All-Seasons?

2017-05-10 08:12:53

how do I know when I need new tires? Falconer

What is the "right" tire for your auto? The answer depends on several factors:

  • The type of vehicle
  • Driving conditions
  • Handling preferences

All-season tires are aptly named: they work sufficiently well in all types of driving conditions. Because of their deeper tread depth, they ordinarily last longer than summer tires. You can get all-season tires for any type of car.

Summer tires
are built for high performance driving. Falconer sports car owners who are seeking a grippy tire with enhanced handling characteristics often select summer tires.

While driving with winter tires in the summer isn't recommended, it is much worse to drive with summer tires in winters. If you are driving in ice, snow, or freezing temperatures, your tire choice is especially critical.

There are also sub-specialties of tires in each of the categories listed previously such as high performance, passenger, and off-road.

The type of tires you have on your auto influences your gas mileage, safety, and ease of driving. You can rely on the tire experts at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair help you choose wisely. We can answer the common tire questions:

  • When should I replace my tires?
  • What size do I need?
  • Which tires are best suited for my vehicle?
  • How do I confirm if I am getting the best value in tires?

Call I-86 Truck & Auto Repair today to talk tires.

Car Fun: Origins of Your Favorite Auto Emblems

2017-05-03 07:20:47

car repair and maintenance Falconer

At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, we love all things automobile-related. Occasionally, we discuss the history of some of our favorite auto insignias—those iconic works of art that are used in advertisements, on dealership signs, and adorn automobile hoods in three dimensional glory. The beautiful hood ornament pictured above was used by the Auburn Car Company, which was in business from 1900 until 1937. Today, we visit a German auto manufacturer, Japanese automaker, and one of our US car makers.


A common discussion among car enthusiasts concerning the BMW symbol is whether or not the symbol was modeled on a propeller against a blue sky. Is this true? Well, yes and no.

According to the BMW corporate site, the famous circle (unveiled in 1917) was designed to typify the Bavarian state colors. In the late twenties, however, it was "reinterpreted" as a propeller in a company advertisement that featured a plane of the era. Considering the company's aircraft manufacturing origins, the perpetuation of the propeller legend makes perfect sense. BMW Group,


No one really knows accurately how the iconic bowtie came to be. It has often been reported that co-founder William Durant was inspired by the wallpaper in a Paris hotel. However, in 1929, daughter Margery penned a history of her father that asserted that he designed it himself while sketching on a dinner napkin. Another Chevrolet historian, Ken Kaufmann, sought to discover the genuine origin of the design. During his search, he found a 1912 coal company newspaper ad with a similar symbol that could have been the inspiration. The history section of the Chevrolet corporate web page does not mention the history of the insignia, so perhaps the current owners don't know the truth either. Motor Trend,


The Toyota insignia used today has only been around since 1989 when it was unveiled the year Toyota turned 50. The artistic arrangement of ovals symbolizes several corporate values:

"The two perpendicular ovals inside the larger oval represent the heart of the customer and the heart of the company. They are overlapped to represent a mutually beneficial relationship and trust between each other. The overlapping of the two perpendicular ovals inside the outer oval symbolize "T" for Toyota, as well as a steering wheel, representing the vehicle itself. The outer oval symbolizes the world embracing Toyota. Each oval is contoured with different stroke thicknesses, similar to the "brush" art known in Japanese culture."

What automobile emblem is your favorite? We are anxious to hear. And we invite you to allow the automotive authorities at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair in Falconer to serve all of your automotive repair needs, regardless of the insignia that graces your car.



Car Fun: Cinema Car Trivia

2017-04-26 08:05:09 automotive service Falconer

Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Fun Fact: To make the sound of the boulder descending toward Indiana, the sound engineers recorded a car rolling with the engine off. Bonus Fact: To make the trucks' motors sound extra fierce for the chase scenes, tracks of genuine tiger growls were blended in.1

Movie: Back to the Future
Fun Fact: Since the DeLorean was virtually a central character, the filmmakers wanted to get the audio just right for the motion of the gull-wing doors. Oddly, the audio techs didn't like the noise of the actual doors opening and closing. They chose to use the humming sound of electric car windows. Bonus Fact: This effect was also used as the sound of Doc's automatic dog feeding contraption.1

Movie: Transformers 3
Fun Fact: 532 cars were obliterated while shooting. Bonus Fact: The character Bumblebee was initially a yellow VW bug.2

Movie: Mad Max
Not So Fun Fact: A serious motorcycle collision was captured while filming and worked into the storyline. In one of the memorable scenes, a motorcycle rider was supposed to sail over a car. During filming, the stunt rider accidentally hit the the auto and was almost killed. No wonder the scene looked so authentic!

"According to trivia book Movie Mavericks by Jon Sandys, one of the more spectacular stunts in the second movie was actually a serious accident. One of the motorcycle-riding raiders hits a car, flies off the bike, smashes his legs against the car, and cartwheels through the air towards the camera."3

Movie: Cars
Fun Fact: Many of the car-embodied characters were inspired by actual cars such as Ramone (1959 Chevy Impala), Fillmore (1960 Volkswagen Microbus), and Sally (2002 Porsche 911). Bonus Fact: This motion picture was Oscar winner and race car driver Paul Newman's last and highest earning movie. Newman died in 2008, two years after voicing Doc Hudson in the Pixar classic.4

Thanks for visiting our I-86 Truck & Auto Repair blog. We invite you to depend on us for honest, reliable automotive service

1Owen Williams, "The Secrets Behind 44 Classic Cinema Sound Effects, Empire, March 11, 2015,, access March 10, 2017
2Tom Harrison, "Top 11 Movies That Killed The Most Cars," CarThrottle,, accessed Mar 10, 2017
2"Transformers Random Facts," Visually,, accessed March 11, 2017
3Coy Jandreau, "44 Things You Didn't Know About the Mad Max Movies," Ranker,, accessed March 10, 2013
4Rebecca Pahle, "10 Fast Facts About Cars," Mental Floss, February 17, 2016,, accessed March 11, 2017

I-86 Truck & Auto Repair Car Talk: European vs American

2017-04-19 09:44:18

American vs European cars Falconer

Hello Falconer drivers! Thanks for visiting the I-86 Truck & Auto Repair blog. Today we are having a fun discussion on American vs European cars. Which camp are you in?

A classy Volkswagen Passat or an economical Ford Fusion? A precisely made BMW X5 or a luxurious Cadillac Escalade? A power packed Chevrolet Corvette Z06 or a zippy Porsche 911 Turbo? The list goes on and on and the comparisons are endless but the question is: "American styling vs European styling?" A lot of it comes down to personal preference but it is always an exciting debate!

American vs European Styling?

No matter what car segment you examine, it’s almost impossible to find it exclusive to European or American automakers. Whether you’re looking for a practical car to fit a large family, a fancy daily commuter, or you simply want to zip around in a sports car, you will be able to find a European and American car maker that offers each of those.

The top European carmakers are Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Ferrari, and Porsche while the top makers in America are Ford, Dodge, Cadillac, Chrysler, and GM.

European autos are often seen as more costly but more opulent. A Ferrari or Lamborghini will set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars but in return you get to cruise around in one of the world’s most coveted cars; just make sure you’re ready for the crowds that will surround your car just for a picture.

Mercedes Benz, Audi, and BMW are so popular and well known that some fans consider them to be in a competition among themselves. These three car manufacturers use a combination of powerful engines, opulent interiors, and beautiful designs to attract many car enthusiasts around the world.

When you consider iconic American made automobiles, you might think about the classic muscle cars such as the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger. American carmakers are known for their reliability, practicality, and dependability. They are also often seen as a better value.

Are you a fan of American or European cars? Or do you favor Japanese? (We can devote a future message to Asian models.) Whether you drive a European or American made automobile, it needs to be well maintained and taken care of. Call I-86 Truck & Auto Repair to schedule an inspection to make sure you are protecting your investment. We can also set you up for scheduled maintenance and tell you about things you can do to make your car run better.

The Most Impressive Automaker You've Never Heard Of

2017-04-12 07:35:05

reliable car repair Falconer

A Meteoric Rise
When you think of sports cars, supercars, and hypercars, you most likely think of some of the most well known European car brands in the world. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and so many others make the sports car world a formidable place for new car manufacturers to compete and succeed. But a British company you may have never heard of is not only competing in the sports car market, but they’re succeeding fantastically. That company is McLaren Automotive. Let’s explore what McLaren has done to get its autos onto the road and become a household name among sports car aficionados.

Racing Roots
McLaren actually didn’t start as a production car organization but rather a race car brand. Bruce McLaren is the originator of McLaren which was started back in 1963. You might question that since they’ve been around since the 60’s, why aren’t they more recognizable? Well, McLaren didn’t produce its first street legal car until 1993 which was the McLaren F1. But only 106 units were initially produced.

The F1 wasn’t just any sports car because it actually held the title of the world’s speediest production car for a time with a top speed of 240 mph!

Worth the Wait
After the F1, McLaren didn’t manufacture any automobiles until 2011 when it relaunched to produce the 12C. The 12C was sold from 2011 through 2014 and was McLaren’s first real shot at competing with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and other top car makers. With a base sticker price over $200,000, it needed to bring a lot of characteristics to the table and it did. With a turbocharged V8 engine over 600 horsepower, it really put McLaren back on the map.

True Believers
The past few years have been even better for McLaren. Following up the 12C was the P1 which was categorized as a hypercar.

The McLaren P1 is often associated with the Porsche 918 and the Ferrari LaFerrari in what sports car fans call the Holy Trinity.

The P1 had a starting list price of over $1,000,000 and was produced in very limited numbers. McLaren stepped up the technology in the P1 by combining a V8 engine with two electric motors; resulting in over 900 horsepower.

Obviously not everyone in the market for a supercar is ready to dish out over $1,000,000 and McLaren understands that. That’s why they’ve provided their most recent line of acclaimed gems. The entry level models are the 570S and 570GT. These autos offer many great supercar properties at a much lower list price. These two models compete with the Ferrari California and Lamborghini Huracan. Then McLaren has their 650S and 675LT which are their higher end models which have garnered a considerable amount of attention due to their dazzling design, speed, and driving capabilities.

Now that McLaren has swiftly drawn so much well-deserved recognition, every time they present a new model, it's a big deal. Their latest marvel is the new 720S which is the successor to the 650S and 675LT. The 720S is their most advanced and beautiful sports car yet and will continue to carry the McLaren brand forward.

We hope you have enjoyed today's post. Thank you for visiting our blog. We hope you depend on the team at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair to provide superior automotive service. (And if you are lucky enough to zip around in a McLaren, please stop by our shop in Falconer so we can check it out!)

I-86 Truck & Auto Repair Car Talk: Who Owns Who?

2017-04-11 16:20:56

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The 21st century automotive ruling class contains as many intermarriages as 19th century European aristocracy. Take Toyota, for example. They actually own Lexus and Scion, so next time you climb into a posh Lexus, look a little closer and you may see some design cues inspired by Toyota. Let’s explore some other manufacturers that are related to each other.

When you hear "Volkswagen," what do you picture in your mind? Many New York drivers think of German-engineered cars at an affordable price. But when you think of high-end Porsche, Audi, and Bentley, you probably envision some of the most opulent automobiles on the road. But you may be surprised to hear that Volkswagen owns all three of those brands and more. Namely, Lamborghini and Bugatti, both of which have designed unbelievable sports cars that belong in a class of their own. Volkswagen Group is the most diverse auto manufacturer on the earth. They sell just about any type of vehicle imaginable, from affordable little runabouts to super cars that cost millions of dollars.

Volkswagen has certainly advanced significantly since introducing the world to the unpretentious little Beetle over 70 years ago.

BMW is another celebrated car maker that has become a leading luxury brand. But this German company also owns two other brands that are as unique in their own ways. Mini and Rolls-Royce are both owned by BMW.

Ever heard of Daimler AG? Probably not. Ever heard of Mercedes-Benz? Most likely. Actually, Daimler AG is the owner of Mercedes-Benz and Smart Cars. Since Mercedes-Benz is a highly successful brand, that may be why Daimler AG allows them to operate so independently.

With all the mergers and acquisitions in the global auto industry, the line between "foreign" and "domestic" has been blurred beyond recognition. Many of the cars built in America are owned by foreign-based businesses and, in addition, have multiple overseas-sourced parts.

Regardless of your auto's heritage, the automotive professionals at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair will capably handle all of your maintenance and auto repair needs. Call 716-665-2501 to speak with one of our friendly technicians.

Falconer Car Lovers: What Is Your Favorite Sports Car?

2017-04-04 16:32:37

automotive service high end sports cars Falconer

Today's post discusses drool-worthy stunners that most of us will never have a chance to own. But that doesn't mean we can't picture ourselves traversing through the Swiss Alps in a Porsche 911, gliding down the Pacific Coast Highway in a Maserati GranTurismo, or even running errands around Falconer in an Audi Spyder. Let's review our favorite sports cars.

What do you get when you throw a 661 horsepower twin-turbo V8 engine into the newest Ferrari? You get the Ferrari 488GTB. Everything is constructed with meticulous attention, just as you’d expect from Ferrari. It's drop-dead gorgeous, lightning quick, and has the tight driving and handling that so many Ferrari devotees love.

It would be a challenge to find a more spectacular all around sports car than the Ferrari 488.

If you are an Iron Man fan, you might be partial to the Audi R8 Spyder, Tony Stark's ride in Iron Man 2.

We are sure that opening up up the 525-horsepower V10 engine in the Spyder would be almost as invigorating as wearing a flying suit.

Speaking of iconic movie cars, how about James Bond's line of breathtaking Aston-Martins? The sophisticated sexiness of both Mr. Bond and the Aston-Martin (DB5, DB10, DBS, and V12 Vanquish) defined the franchise for over 50 years. Though automotive technology has advanced since its introduction, we believe the classic 1964 DB5 can still hold its own when it comes to the cool factor.

Another celebrated model that emerged in the 60's and is still admired by many sports car enthusiasts is the Porsche 911. While some exotic car designers push radical changes every few years, the 911 has stayed true to its roots.

"The sports car’s fame comes from Porsche’s fierce determination not to alter its Volkswagen Beetle-inspired shape, the rear-mounted engine placement, and the engaging driving experience."1 -Miles Branman, Digital Trends

What's your favorite? All of the above? Let us know what you think.

1Branman, Miles, "Trace the iconic Porsche 911’s lineage through the ages," Digital Trends, March 25, 2016,, accessed on January 26, 2017

Falconer Car Lovers: How Many Cars Are There In The World?

2017-04-04 15:14:56

how many cars in the world Falconer

There are billions of people in the world and in today’s age there are a host of transportation options that include planes, trains, boats, motorbikes, and bicycles. But the most used forms of transportation (besides our own feet) are probably trains and cars. Since I am an automotive service specialist and not a railroad engineer, I will pose the question: "How many cars there are in the world?"

Research firms indicate that there are now over one billion vehicles in the world! And the number will most likely continue to increase barring a global catastrophe like a zombie apocalypse.

If the automobile is your preferred mode of transport, it’s important to keep your vehicle operating properly. Here are a few tips to keep your car safely on the road.

Take Warnings Seriously
Always check the warning lights on your dashboard. This is the least complicated way to know if something is amiss. Though you might be tempted to ignore it, don't respond to a check engine light like Homer Simpson by putting a piece of tape over it.

Mark Your Calendar

Follow your scheduled maintenance appointments. Bringing your car to I-86 Truck & Auto Repair for oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine services is the best way to keep your vehicle functioning in peak condition. If you have questions about your maintenance intervals, call us today at 716-665-2501. We would be happy to set up a schedule for you.

Your Car Loves a Bath

Keep your vehicle clean. This guards your engine from dirt and grime. Whether you go to a car wash or hand wash your auto, it will pay off in the long run.

Since there are so many automobiles on the road, the team of techs at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair encourages all New York drivers to drive safe and be aware of your surroundings while driving. We are certain you would never do any of the following, but the advice bears repeating: don’t drink and drive, don’t text and drive, and don’t put yourself or others in danger.

Let I-86 Truck & Auto Repair help you with all of your automotive needs. After all, your car is one in a billion.