Why Do New Cars Cost So Much?

2018-03-13 16:57:14

car repair Falconer

Recent studies have shown that the median household in the country cannot afford an average-priced new automobile. Graph after graph represents the sticker price of new vehicles going up much more sharply than the median household income. But why? Cars have always been cars. What has changed?

Safety And Emissions

Our cars today are safer and cleaner than they ever have been. This is good news for drivers and good news for Mother Earth. However, one consequence is the rise of prices for these cleaner, safer cars.


Carmakers know more and more each year about how to make cars more efficient and safer, and the cost of that research gets passed along to auto buyers. All of the engineers, scientists, and designers need to be paid for analyzing data and integrating new knowledge into automobile design and development.

What The People Want

It's not just government regulation that increases the price of cars, consumers are demanding more and more from the cars they purchase. Amenities that would have been considered only for luxury cars decades ago are now standard. Gone are the days when "rolling down the window" meant actual work and cars were opened with things called keys. Today's motorists want keyless entry and power everything.


One of the biggest demands put on carmakers is to incorporate more technology into new cars. Camera systems are practically everywhere and our vehicles now talk to our phones!

New cars are definitely pricier today, but in the end, we are driving significantly better autos. They keep us safer with things like standard airbags and stability control systems. They also run better (and longer) than the automobiles of decades past. Many cars can go 200k miles with standard maintenance and few major repairs.

Have you been able to purchase a new vehicle? Or are you trying to keep your older vehicle going for a few more years? Either way, I-86 Truck & Auto Repair is here to help you protect your investment with full-service auto maintenance and repair.

Fender-Bender? Important Do's and Dont's

2018-03-06 17:20:29

auto insurance repairs Falconer

It happens all the time on Falconer streets and in parking lots. A driver hits another vehicle at slow speed. The damage is minimal. Nobody is hurt. So the drivers exchange insurance information and agree to leave it at that. Why call law enforcement for something so minor?

There are actually several vital reasons.

Why You Should Get A Police Report If You Are In A Fender-Bender

1. The other driver may sue you for damage you didn't cause.
2. You want a police officer to document the fender-bender.
3. You might need a police report to file an insurance claim.
4. An injury might not manifest until days later, and you will need the report.
5. The other driver and any witnesses may change their story in the days ahead. You want documentation to establish the facts—especially if you weren't at fault.

What If The Accident Happens On Private Property?

This situation can be confusing. In some states, officers don't come to private property if the accident didn't cause any injuries. In other states, you are only required to file a police report for automobile damage above a specific dollar amount. The problem is—how do you know how much it will cost to fix it? It's best to get a police report if you can.

What Do You Do In Case Of An Accident?

You have to exchange insurance information. No matter what. You cannot leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information. You should wait for a police officer to come—as we just established.

Some drivers involved in an accident don't want to report the incident to their insurance carrier. Usually, it's because they are afraid their insurance premiums will skyrocket. Regardless of what the other driver wants, you really should report it to your insurance company.

If you don't, you could relinquish some legal protections or insurance benefits. And you will probably get in trouble with your own insurer if they find out about the collision in some other way. You pay a lot of money to keep your vehicle insured. Don't give up protections because another auto owner tries to convince you that you can work it out with each other.

If you have been involved in a fender-bender, you need an auto service center that works with car insurance companies. At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, we do insurance repairs to get you back on the road quickly. We can be reached at 716-665-2501.

Auto Talk for Falconer: Is Your Car Getting the Best Service? How to Choose a Repair Shop

2018-02-27 16:00:37

auto repair Falconer

If you’re sick and need medical care, I’m guessing you don’t just randomly find any doctor to help you. You probably do your research, get advice from friends and family, read reviews, and make sure that the doctor is trusted and qualified to help you with your condition.

Do you do the same for your car? Of course, your health and wellness is significantly more important than your auto, but cars also need specialized services to run well and avoid avoidable repairs. Today we’ll give you a few tips on how to choose the right auto repair shop for your vehicle.

Consult Experts

First we’ll start with qualifications and experience. This is essential when looking for someone to service your car. Sorry to use a body analogy again, but if you had a broken arm, you wouldn’t see a dentist. Many automotive repair centers also focus only on one area of service, such as transmissions or collision repair. A shop that specializes in brake service wouldn't be the best place to fix a wiring issue.

If you are looking for a service center to provide ongoing routine maintenance, you'll want to find one that provides an extensive range of services and has mechanics that are qualified in many different fields. If you live in the Falconer area, talk to us at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair (716-665-2501). Our technicians have extensive training and experience.

How Much Will it Cost?

Next you’ll want to find fair pricing. If you’re unsure of how much you should be paying, don’t always count on the first quote you get. Call around or check several service center websites so you can get an idea of how much you should pay for the service you need. Once you know the range, choosing the least costly isn’t always the best. You’ll want to refer to the first tip to make sure they have techs who will do the job right.

Another tip is to read reviews and ask people you know for referrals about automotive service centers and mechanics they’ve used. When checking online reviews, notice how many are listed. The more, obviously, the better. Remember, you can’t go solely off these reviews because no automotive service center is free of problems or issues. But if you find a lot of negative reviews, it may not be the best option. And vice versa, if you find a lot of great reviews, you’ll most likely have a similar experience.

Do Your Homework

The final tip is to get as much information as you can on your automobile's issue and then ask a lot of questions. This will help you know what your service professional plans to do and allows you to set some expectations. If your advisor explains what’s going on and offers a plan, then you’re probably in good hands!

A Better Way To Shop For Cars

2018-02-20 16:11:50

Falconer top auto service

Are you old enough to remember what it was like to look for a car before the internet significantly upgraded shopping for, well, everything?

Before the internet made its grand entrance, the auto buying experience was typically the same for everyone. You’d have to wander down to the dealership, look at the cars they had on the lot and see if one fit your needs. If you didn’t find the car you were looking for, it was on to the next dealership to continue your hunt.

If you wanted to buy a vehicle from a private seller, there was really only the newspaper. There had to be a better way.

Now, every major automaker has a website dedicated to their vehicles. On these and other websites you can do all the searching, researching, and comparing right from the comfort of your home. This allows car shoppers to buy a lot of information before acquiring an automobile.

Another game changer is the built-in car configurator. The car configurator offers you the tools to create and customize your car exactly how you want it. From the paint color on the exterior to the materials in the interior, the choice is yours.

Another considerable way the world wide web has impacted car buying is on prices. Now it is easier for customers to search their local dealerships for the particular car they want, and then compare the costs. This is prompting dealers to be more competitive than they’ve ever been.

If you’re looking to buy a car, and you haven't taken advantage of the web, we highly recommend checking out online reviews and spending time researching. If you're looking for an esteemed automotive repair shop in Falconer, visit http://www.i86autorepair.com/.

Your Car Knows More Than You Think

2018-02-13 16:00:03

auto electronics repair Falconer

Many of us have grudgingly accepted the fact that Siri and Google know more about us than our moms. But how many drivers know that their daily driver is silently recording information?

Almost every vehicle built in the last 15 years has an Event Data Recorder (EDR). The device is similar to the "Black Box" on an airplane. They are not quite as sophisticated as those used in aviation, but they are getting smarter all the time.

EDRs record a plethora of data: speed, angle of steering, braking action, rate of acceleration, airbag deployment, number and location of passengers, and seatbelt use (or lack thereof).

There are benefits and disadvantages to EDRs and the telematics they use to transmit information.


EDR data can help crash first responders make better medical transport and treatment decisions.

Automotive engineers use EDR data to improve car safety.

Auto insurance companies can plug into your EDR to monitor driving habits and lower your premium rates if you qualify.

EDRs can be used by car theft investigators to locate stolen cars.

EDRs make it possible for a technician to diagnosis a malfunction with your vehicle remotely.

The systems used by EDRs to communicate with your car make it possible to update electronic systems with a remote download.


Carmakers haven't been forthcoming about educating their customers about this powerful device.

You can't easily turn it off if you don't want your driving behavior recorded.

Data is virtually impossible to access for the average motorist.

"Getting your hands on black box data requires professional training, and a Crash Data Retrieval system that starts at $2,000 and can cost up to $20,000 with accessories. The CDR system plugs into the on-board diagnostics port under the dashboard on the driver's side and transfers the information to a special computer program." USA Today, "How To Keep Your Black Box Private"

If you are nervous that your EDR data could be used against you, keep in mind that GPS and OnStar-type services are probably more likely to compromise your privacy, as they record a lot more information and are easier to hack into.

It will be interesting to see how the current EDR legal issues play out. If you have questions about the black box in your automobile or other auto electronics, give us a call at 716-665-2501. Thanks for visiting the I-86 Truck & Auto Repair blog.

Increase MPG With Tips From Hypermilers

2018-02-06 16:02:48

car repair Falconer

When it comes to increasing fuel economy, hypermilers have made it a lifestyle. While some of their methods are extreme by most peoples' standards, car owners seeking to spend less at the pump can learn a lot from them.

Hypermiling is a term coined by fuel-efficient driving World Record holder Wayne Gerdes, a man who can squeeze an unheard-of number of miles out of tank of gas. Here are some of the fuel economy tips you can use to increase your fuel economy.

Regular Maintenance

Even a dirty air filter can decrease fuel economy. Your technician at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair can help you set up a schedule for oil changes, air filter replacement, spark plugs, and other recommended services that will not only boost fuel efficiency, they will prevent the need for repairs.

Slow Down, Minimize Braking, Keep a Steady Speed

If you brake continually, mash the gas pedal when the light turns green, and routinely drive 10 MPH over the speed limit, radically changing your habits will require full concentration and a lot of effort. Cruise control is your friend—if you keep to a slow, steady speed as you drive, it will pay off in spades.

Choose a Car With Standard Transmission

Automatic transmissions have been dominant for so long, some younger drivers have never even seen, let alone driven, a stick shift. If you are serious about increasing fuel economy, sell your current automobile and find a standard transmission.

Keep the A/C Off

Some older drivers remember how to stay cool before most automobiles had A/C. Opening the windows, however, will make you less aerodynamic and negate the MPG increase of keeping the A/C turned off. This one takes some planning if you are going on a long road trip. You could start with an insulated cooler full of ice and a spray bottle. A battery-powered portable fan would also help.

Maintain Correct Tire Pressure

Many motorists forget this one. If you aren't sure exactly what pressure your tires should be filled to, swing by I-86 Truck & Auto Repair on 1739 Lindquist Drive in Falconer and we will take care of your tires and get you on your way.

Shed Some Pounds

Many individuals have a roof or rear rack or a trunk full of stuff they really don't need to haul around. The child safety seat you only need a couple times a week, athletic equipment, boxes of clothing you meant to drop off at the Goodwill, the bag of mulch you are going to spread in the flowerbed when you get around to it. You get the idea.

Wayne Gerdes is not only committed to beating the manufacturer's MPG ratings for the vehicles he reviews on his website, he is passionate about inspiring our nation's drivers to collectively reduce CO2 emissions and lessen US dependence on foreign oil.

The Discovery Channel show Mythbusters performed some hypermiling experiments that resulted in impressive fuel savings. You can read about it here: https://mythresults.com/crash-cushion-hypermiling


Safety Tips for Older Drivers

2018-01-30 15:36:24

trusted mechanic in Falconer

For entirely different reasons, both teen drivers and senior motorists are involved in more accidents than the drivers in between these age groups. Today's message offers safety tips for veteran motorists (we address teens in another post), many of whom have mental and physical challenges that can influence driving ability.

1. Test Your Vision Regularly

Our vision can deteriorate as we age due to conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. First off, always wear your prescription eyeglasses or contacts when you are on the road. If you experience a decrease in vision, see your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Many veteran drivers can see well in daylight hours but struggle after sundown. If this is the case for you, it may be time to restrict all driving to daytime.

2. Test Your Hearing Regularly

Limited ability to hear increases the risk of an auto accident. If your doctor says you need a hearing aid, get one.

3. Stay Healthy and Manage Meds

Many mature motorists have at least one chronic health condition (heck, many middle-aged men and women do also). Dementia, arthritis, Parkinson's Disease, diabetes, seizures, and sleep disorders affect driving expertise. To compound the issue, the medications used to manage these conditions can further impair driving ability. Make sure you know the biological effects of the medications you take and work with your doctor and/or pharmacist to determine if it's safe to drive while under the influence. You may be able to take a reduced dose or change the time you take the medication to allow for some unimpaired driving hours.

General health and wellness is important, as well. By eating right and staying physically active, you can save flexibility, strength, and stamina.

4. Acknowledge Limitations and Adapt Driving Behavior

You may have restricted motor functions that makes it difficult to see when backing up or handling the car in bad weather. You may have longer reaction times that could be dicey if someone cuts you off suddenly. You may have periodic dizzy spells. If you plan carefully, you may be able to continue driving safely. You may want to steer clear of rush hour, drive only in good weather, take an alternate route to avoid complicated intersections, and lengthen your following distance.

5. Take a Driving Course for Older Drivers

We could all benefit from taking a course to upgrade our driving prowess. There are many programs created precisely for senior motorists. You can check AAA and AARP for information about the courses they offer in your area. If there is not a classroom course in your area, you could take one of the online courses and maybe even get a discount on your auto insurance.

6. Keep Your Car In Proper Working Order

When considering all the threats to driver safety, there are enough things to worry about outside of the automobile—the last thing any driver needs is a problem inside the vehicle. Older drivers can rely on I-86 Truck & Auto Repair to keep their car running safely and efficiently. For automotive peace of mind, call the automotive experts in Falconer at 716-665-2501 to speak to a service advisor.


Car Bling That Won't Break the Bank

2018-01-24 08:17:43

car repair Falconer

The home remodeling trend seems to get bigger and bigger each year, as is evidenced by the growing number of magazines, television shows and even entire networks devoted to the subject. But not everyone has tens of thousands of dollars to throw down on an open concept kitchen, no matter how easy and affordable the shows make it appear.

That doesn't mean that you can't get artistic with other spaces in your life. If you are itching to stamp your personal style onto a prized possession, look no further than your car. There are numerous products that allow you to customize your ride at very little cost.

Seat Covers

A great way to add color and texture to the interior of your automobile is with seat covers. You can find a large assortment of prints and colors no matter the type of seat you need it for. Seat covers can also be very practical since they can be removed and cleaned so easily, and you can pick material that is comfortable for whatever climate you live in. Sheepskin is popular in cold areas or just during winter months, and mesh can help car owners stay cool when it's hot outside.

Shift Knobs

Want to celebrate your standard transmission? Then find a special knob to top your gear shift. There's always the classic hand-stitched leather look, but for those who want to fly their nerd flag high and proud, look for a cap that resembles your cherished comic book character. You can even make your stick shift look like the hilt of a samurai sword!

Steering Wheel Covers

The steering wheel is a great place to add a little cost-effective bling such as a rhinestone-studded cover. Faux fur is also a colorful and fun option that will leave your hands warm and happy after each journey. Want to improve your grip too? Silicone anti-slip covers come in a variety of colors.

Car Molding Strip

For those drivers with a bit of a DIY streak in them, look to decorative moulding strips. These flexible PVC strips can add lines of color when you fit them into the spaces in your automobile's interior, such as between the dash board and the radio. Added benefit: no more dirt and gunk building up in those cracks!

Dashboard Mat

These useful gadgets can do more than just keep your phone from sliding around, they can also be a major statement piece. Just like mouse pads, these mats can be printed with national flags, logos, camouflage, colorful patterns, you name it!

You make it yours, and the team at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair will make sure it's always operating in top condition with quality automotive service and repair.

Accident or Insurance Fraud?

2018-01-16 15:16:07

automotive service Falconer

Strange accidents transpire in real life, while other "accidents" are carefully set up by insurance scammers. Read the following stories and guess which claims were deemed legit and covered by the insurers and which auto owners were charged with insurance fraud. The answers are given at the end of the article.

1. A butcher driving his delivery truck claims that he crashed into a bevy of turkeys and one of the birds flew through his window causing him to drive off the road.1

2. Two women approach an intersection from opposite sides but neither stops and they crash in the middle. Each motorist maintains that she had the green light. Initially, the auto insurance company refuses to pay because there was no proof of who was at fault. Months after the episode, a man claims to have been in a car behind one of the drivers and verifies that she had the green light and that the other driver was at fault.2

3. A driver reports that his vehicle was damaged when a horse pulling a buggy in a 4th of July parade got spooked and ran the buggy into his car.3

4. A driver in a $1 million Bugatti Veyron claims he was reaching for his cell phone when he accidentally drove off the road and into a lake.4

5. A man told his insurance company that his shattered windshield resulted from following a car with a Christmas tree strapped on top. Evidently, the straps came loose and when the tree and his windshield met, his windshield lost.5

6. An auto owner reports that his home and several of his cars were damaged in an episode of post-DIY destruction. The man said he tried to repair his water heater and thought he had succeeded. However, a few hours later it exploded and launched through his roof, damaging several cars and other homes close by before it came to a stop.6


1. The carrier believed that the man was telling the truth and covered the claim.
2. Three years after a $90,000 insurance settlement, the woman's husband tells the company that the "eyewitness" was actually on the same dart team as his wife. The woman was charged with insurance fraud.
3. All details were substantiated and the carrier compensated for the damage.
4. Another car owner happened to film the automobile going into the lake. When authorities compared the man's story with the video, they concluded that the occurrence was deliberate.
5. The auto insurer replaced the windshield, and since the car owner hauling the tree kept on going, the man also got a complimentary tree out of the deal.
6. This is an example of "truth is stranger than fiction." Insurance investigators concluded that the man was telling the truth and paid out for the extensive damage. Apparently, no fraudsters have yet to choreograph a water-heater launching.

We wish you safe travels, but in the unfortunate event that you need quality repair service for an auto accident, the team at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair will work with the auto insurance carriers involved to make sure all repairs and parts meet our stringent standards. In the meantime, watch out for turkeys, errant Christmas trees, skittish horses, and flying water heaters.

1 "Farmers Insurance Hall of Claims," Farmers Insurance, https://www.farmers.com/hall-of-claims/#/, accessed February 24, 2017
2 Dan Nienaber, "Car accident turns into $90,000 insurance fraud case," Mankato free Press, November 20, 2014, http://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/local_news/car-accident-turns-into-insurance-fraud-case/article_aeb50e4e-d7a7-5735-855b-511652fd6ba5.html, accessed February 24, 2017
3 "Farmers Insurance Hall of Claims," Farmers Insurance, https://www.farmers.com/hall-of-claims/#/, accessed February 24, 2017
4 "12 Of The Weirdest Cases Of Car Insurance Fraud," Eyewitness Dashcams, May 5, 2016, http://www.eyewitnessdashcams.com/weirdest-cases-car-insurance-fraud/, accessed February 24, 2017
5 David Pegg, "25 Most Ridiculous Insurance Claims Ever," List 25, July 19, 2013, http://list25.com/25-most-ridiculous-insurance-claims-ever/3/, accessed February 24, 2017
6 "Farmers Insurance Hall of Claims," Farmers Insurance, https://www.farmers.com/hall-of-claims/#/, accessed February 24, 2017

3 Critical Things Your Auto Shop Wants You To Understand

2018-01-15 10:12:35

auto repair Falconer

At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, we pride ourselves on both our technical ability and our dedication to customer service. We are frequently reminded, however, that our relationship with each of our valued customers is reciprocal. Some of our customers make things easier for both of us by understanding some fundamentals.

Here are 3 critical things you should know about car repair.  By understanding these, you can help us provide timely service and ensure a favorable experience when you bring in your car for repair or maintenance.

1. Help Us Help You By Giving Us All The Details

"It makes a weird noise" is pretty ambiguous. If you give us all the other particulars, it helps us diagnose the problem quicker. Where is the noise coming from? Persistent or intermittent? Does it happen when you are braking, accelerating, or idling? When did you first observe the issue? Has it been getting worse?

2. Know Your Warranty

Car owners who know what is covered in their warranty are less likely to be surprised when they get the repair bill. Some auto owners are under the impression that their warranty will only cover repairs done at the dealer. This is rarely true. While we're on the issue of warranties, ask us about our parts and repair warranty.

3. It Takes A Lot of Money to Run a Service Center

No one likes a big unexpected car repair bill. We get that. But before you assume that you are getting overcharged, consider just how much it costs us to fix your car. Some shops have over 25k invested in tools. Diagnostic machines can cost over 10 grand. Leasing or buying a building is pricey. (How much is your mortgage payment?) Competent, highly-trained technicians don't work for free and need ongoing training to keep up with rapidly-advancing automotive technology. It costs us to dispose of used oil responsibly (and legally). The price of parts never goes down. And don't forget about insurance. While managing an automotive service center is rewarding in many ways, it is not the path to the fattest paycheck in the world. We love to serve our customers, so we strive to offer prices that are economical. We may not be the very cheapest, but we can explain why we offer the greatest value.