Wheel Alignment and Balancing: Are They The Same Thing?

2018-11-14 07:52:32 is wheel alignment and balancing the same thing? Falconer

When you feel vibrations in your automobile when driving on a smooth road, you might assume it's a tire or wheel issue. And rightly so. Since your tires are what connects your car to the road, they are the usual suspects when things start shaking. To fix the problem, you know you are going to need a wheel service. But which service do you need? Alignment? Balance? Wait a minute—is there a difference?

Is wheel alignment the same as wheel balancing?

There are many ways tires and wheels get out of whack. Depending on the issue, you might need a wheel alignment or a wheel balancing service. Or both.

It's easy to get these two services confused. Let's break it down.

What is a wheel alignment service?

A wheel alignment is also called a tire alignment. However, both terms are misleading. It's actually the suspension system that is adjusted in this operation. But it does influence the tires significantly. Your car needs to be in proper alignment to get the longest life out of your tires.

The intent of a wheel alignment service is to angle the wheels so they are: 1. Precisely parallel to each other and, 2. Perfectly perpendicular to the ground.

Camber, Toe, and Caster

As three-dimensional objects, wheels can vary from the ideal angle in several ways. When performing a wheel alignment service, your service professional will check three different measurements: camber, toe, and caster.

Camber is the angle of the wheel from the perspective of the front of the car. If you were looking at your car from the front and the tires tip in toward the center of the vehicle, it would be a camber issue.

Caster is the angle of the steering pivot from the perspective of the side of the automobile.

Toe is probably the simplest to understand. It refers to the direction the wheels point, in relation to each other. You can imagine this angle by moving your toes to point to each other or away from each other.

What is a wheel balance service?

The goal of a wheel balance service is to cause the tires to revolve without any shaking or vibration. This is accomplished by making sure the weight is distributed evenly around the axle.

Call I-86 Truck & Auto Repair in Falconer if you need either of these services. When wheels are correctly aligned and balanced, your tires will last longer, you will get better MPG, and you will enjoy a smoother ride.

ArticleID 7760

Connected Cars Pose Privacy Concerns for Drivers

2018-11-07 08:00:38

auto diagnostics and repair Falconer

Technology has touched every aspect of modern life. And the pace of innovation seems to speed up every year. In the foreseeable future, there will probably be a new iPhone released every week.

Of course the auto industry is moving forward as well. Even economy automobiles have features like rearview cameras and high-end infotainment systems.

Car Connectivity Is Transforming Auto Travel

One innovation that is transforming driving is the ability of cars to connect to the internet. This technology brings all sorts of benefits to the driver. Route optimization saves car owners time and fuel costs. Online diagnostics detect problems before major (expensive) systems are compromised. Accident prevention systems offer the greatest benefit as they can actually save lives.

What are the implications of all this data being transferred and collected? Who owns it? Who has access to it? How can it be weaponized?

In the case of an accident, can police officers have access to collected data? How about auto insurers?

It has been demonstrated in simulations that hackers can take control of a vehicle through its connectivity features. Consider the circumstances where vehicle thieves don't even need to enter a vehicle to steal it. It is probably already happening.

Privacy Laws Are Inadequate

When you consider the potential harm, it could lead a driver to stick with their trusty low-tech 2001 Accord forever. One thing is certain: US privacy laws are currently not equipped to protect drivers from the misuse of automobile-collected data.

"I'll Take The Unconnected Model"

Will automakers keep some models unconnected? There is probably a market for people who want to protect themselves from a data breach that could ruin their life. Or maybe they simply don't want their infotainment systems blasting targeted ads based on their internet browsing history.

Thanks for visiting the I-86 Truck & Auto Repair blog. We are dedicated to keeping up with rapidly-advancing automobile technology so we can service our clients' modern cars. If you are looking for full-service automotive repair in Falconer, give us a call at 716-665-2501.

ArticleID 7622

4 Auto Maintenance Tasks Many People Forget

2018-10-31 08:04:47

headlight lens restoration Falconer

Most Falconer drivers are dutiful about regular oil changes and have the oil filter replaced when their tech reminds them. But your vehicle has thousands of parts and regular maintenance goes far beyond oil changes. Have you overlooked any of the following maintenance tasks?

Replace Wiper Blades

If you turn on your wipers and they just smear the dirt and dead bugs around your front window, it's time to replace the blades. If you do this every six months, you won't ever get to the point where they can't safely wash your windshield in a rain or snowstorm.

Rotate Your Tires

Tires are an expensive purchase but many drivers buy them, have them mounted, and then forget about them. A tire rotation service at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair is economical and pays off by protecting your investment and extending tire life.

Check Headlight Lenses and Headlight Bulbs

Only replacing the bulbs does no good if the lenses are cloudy. Most drivers whose cars are a few years old don't realize how significantly their headlight power has diminished. Talk to your service professional at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair about headlight lens restoration.

Check Your Tail Lights and Brake Lights

It's easy to miss the back end of your car. Faulty brake lights can result in a crash or a fine. Let I-86 Truck & Auto Repair take care of these vital components.

The team of automotive professionals at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair handle these oft-overlooked items along with all other routine maintenance services your vehicle needs. Our valued clients appreciate our quality work, fair prices, and timely turnaround. Call us at 716-665-2501 to schedule an appointment.

ArticleID 7536

Improve Visibility For Night Driving

2018-10-24 08:06:22

headlight restoration Falconer

Poor visibility is a factor in many automobile accidents. In fact, you probably know individuals who avoid driving at night because they feel unsafe. Of course, many auto owners have no choice because they work shifts that require them to commute before sunrise or after sunset or they actually drive for a living.

If you do a lot of driving at night or in bad weather, the team at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair counsels that you take some simple steps to improve your visibility when driving at night and lessen your risk of being involved in a collision.

Headlamps

Some drivers never think about their headlamps until a bulb goes completely out and they receive a citation. (You are much more conscientious about auto maintenance, right?) Just like tires, headlamps get continually jolted and shifted around with normal driving. This not only makes visibility worse for you, it can blind other drivers on the road, increasing the danger. To make sure your headlamps are pointing at the correct angle, call I-86 Truck & Auto Repair to schedule headlight service.

Headlights also get dirty and over time. You can clean them yourself or have your service specialist at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair clean them during a headlight service or other appointment. You will be amazed at how much more powerful your bulbs are when they don't have to penetrate road grime, pits, scratches, and oxidation. Speaking of pits and scratches, ask us about complete headlamp restoration which is the best way to be certain that your headlamps are as powerful as possible.

Fog lights can improve visibility considerably. If you live where it's frequently foggy and your vehicle doesn't have fog lights, talk to us about putting some on your vehicle.

Windshield

An obscured windshield can decrease visibility significantly. Whether it's dirt, snow, ice, rain, dead bugs, or bird droppings—make sure it doesn't build up on your window. Replacing your wiper blades when needed and keeping your washing solution reservoir full is critical. If you find yourself in a blizzard or foggy conditions, it may be better to stop and wait for the weather to clear up.

Mirrors

Many beginning drivers ed classes start with instructions for adjusting your mirrors for your height. This is still wise advice. Keep in mind that if your side mirrors are angled straight back, they can reflect the lights from a car behind you directly into your eyes. If you have experienced this, you know how dangerous it is. You can adjust your side mirror to prevent this, thought it might require you to move a bit to be able to see your way clear when changing lanes.

Minimize Interior Light

This may seem counterintuitive, but bright dash lights reduce your night vision. You may have never even used your instrument panel dimmer control, but now is the time to find it. Here is an interesting factoid on this subject from Popular Mechanics:

"Racers take the nighttime driving very seriously—in fact, endurance racers and rally drivers cover their dashboards with black felt to avoid stray reflections. While you shouldn't do that in a road car, we like to turn down the dash brightness quite a bit."

Know Where to Keep Your Eyes

Our eyes are naturally enticed by light. Fight the impulse to stare into oncoming headlights. Concentrate the white line.

Prescription Eyeglasses Only

The American Optometric Association cautions against wearing non-prescription sunglasses claimed to improve night vision, regardless of the claims. Only wear prescription glasses (non-shaded) for nighttime driving. Also keep in mind that eyeglasses with thick frames can cover vision. Your optometrist can also prescribe glasses with an anti-reflective coating that can help when traveling at night.

Take Frequent Breaks

Driving at night with diminished visibility requires more concentration and staring at oncoming headlights can even be somewhat hypnotizing (picture Kaa the cobra in Jungle Book). If you are planning a long road trip, schedule frequent breaks to rest your eyes and brain. Speaking of road trips, I-86 Truck & Auto Repair recommends scheduling a safety inspection prior to your next adventure. Call 716-665-2501 today to schedule.

https://lifehacker.com/5892783/how-to-improve-your-night-driving
http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g106/10-safety-tips-for-driving-after-dark/
https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-over-60-years-of-age
http://www.allaboutvision.com/over40/night-driving-tips.htm

ArticleID 7539

Why Auto Recycling is Eco-Friendly

2018-10-17 07:55:59

advanced auto repair Falconer

Are you all about recycling? Do you save your newspapers and soda cans and send them to the recycler? Do you drop off your old clothes to thrift stores? Have you ever thought about what happens to your automobile at the end of its useful life?

The automobile recycling industry has been thriving for over a seventy-five years. Though it may not seem like a tree hugger’s dream, auto recycling helps our planet. The parts in your car today will come in handy when it comes to making your children’s cars in the future. Now, you may be thinking, “But technology will be so advanced by the time my two year-old is driving.” That is true, but car recycling will proceed along with it.

Did you know?

1. Automobiles are the most recycled product in the world. Every year, over 25 million tons of the things we recycle are from vehicles. Metal, windshield glass, aluminum, individual parts, and tires (to name a few) are among the most common recycled materials and assets these days.

2. 86% of your vehicle can be reused after market. That means things like the engine coolant, motor oil, or the battery. These things are important, because it means less natural resources are used to make new vehicles. Approximately 90% of the aluminum in a car can be reused or recycled to make new cars.

3. Each year, Americans recover 25 million tons of auto parts. Professional auto salvage operations tear apart the engine and transmission to retrieve useable parts. This is especially important for individuals who need a rare component that is not in production any more. And rebuilt parts are cheaper than new parts

4. Every year, the amount of recycled car parts in the United States is sufficient enough to produce roughly 13,000 new cars.

5. In addition to more autos, the aluminum we recycle can be reused to make airplane parts, bicycles, countertops, soda cans, tile, and some jewelry. Car tires are used to make asphalt, flooring, and shoes.  Glass beads, jewelry, bottles, and dishes are made from windshields, as well as tile flooring, countertops, and porcelain.

Green auto owners want to extend the life of their auto as long as possible. Here at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair in Falconer, that's exactly what we do by providing expert car repair and maintenance services. Call 716-665-2501 to speak with a service technician.

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy points out that if you mow your lawn and find an old car, you might be a redneck. But see if you can get some quality parts out of it.

https://www.thebalance.com/auto-recycling-facts-and-figures-2877933
http://events.steelmintgroup.com/fifteen-interesting-facts-on-auto-recycling-6134-2/
https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/eco-tourism/sponsorstory/13-surprising-car-parts-that-can-be-recycled-and-reused
https://www.recycleeverywhere.ca/recycling-info/what-they-become/
https://info.glass.com/recycling-auto-glass/

ArticleID 7543

Just For Fun: What is the Most Expensive Car in the World?

2018-10-10 07:30:54

most expensive car Falconer

How much did you pay for your last car? The national average cost for a new auto today is $33,560. If you have $30k to spend, you’ll have a broad array of nice cars to choose from. What if you double it to $67,120? Then you’ll be able to shop around in the big ticket brands such as BMW and Mercedes Benz. But how many times would you need to multiply it for the most expensive car in the world?

To reach the price of the costliest car in the world, you’d have to multiply the national average cost of a new car by 144.5.

How much would that be? A cool $4,850,000. So now that we know the price tag, let’s talk about the costliest automobile in the world and why it justifies such a price tag.

The Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita at $4,850,000 is the most expensive street legal, production car that money can buy.

Koenigsegg is a Swedish auto maker that specializes in supercars that are immensely fast and amazingly luxurious.

As an example of the extravagance of this stunning showpiece, consider the fact that the CCXR Trevita’s paint is made from carbon fiber with diamonds woven into it. These diamonds create a dazzling reflection when hit by sunlight. Imagine the attention you would attract if you picked the kids up from school in a Trevita.

If you pay millions of dollars for a car it better be fast, and the CCXR takes velocity to a whole new level. Its engine puts out over 1,000 horsepower and it can accelerate up to a top speed of 254 mph - that's 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds.

Hope You Have a Big Garage
If you have $4,850,000 in your auto budget, you can either buy 144 new cars at $33,560 or buy one Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita. (If you decide on the CCXR Trevita, please bring it into I-86 Truck & Auto Repair so we can check it out.)

Whether your auto is worth millions or hundreds of dollars, at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair we know that you trust in it every day. Our factory trained technicians furnish quality comprehensive maintenance and repair services to car owners in Falconer and the greater Jamestown area.

Sources:
James R. Healey, "Average new car price zips 2.6 percent to $33,560," USA Today, May 4, 2015, http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/05/04/new-car-transaction-price-3-kbb-kelley-blue-book/26690191/, accessed February 25, 2017
Trevia, Koenigsegg, http://koenigsegg.com/trevita/, accessed February 25, 2017
Andrew Hard, "The Ten Most Expensive Cars in the World Make Teslas Look Like Toyotas," August 1, 2016, http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/the-top-ten-most-expensive-cars-in-the-world/, accessed February 25, 2017

ArticleID 7287

Keep Your Teen Driver Safe

2018-10-03 08:30:35 car repair Falconer

When a son or daughter gets their driver's license, it can be one of the most nerve-racking milestones in a parent’s life.

Safety Features Protect Brand-new Drivers

With technological advances in safety, carmakers help give parents a little more peace of mind when their teenagers are behind the wheel.

Companies like Kia, Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Audi, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz have equipped their vehicles with a lot of new safety features. These include electronic stability control, back-up cameras, navigation, crash detection, and lane departure warning.

Parents can now monitor the driving habits of brand-new teen motorists even if they are not in the automobile with them. These systems send an alert when the driver exceeds a pre-set speed limit. They are GPS-equipped so they can notify the parent when the vehicle travels outside a defined geographic area. They also signal when there is a mechanical problem or the vehicle needs routine maintenance. And some even prevent the driver from turning the radio up to an ear-splitting volume.

New surround-view cameras give drivers a bird’s eye view of their vehicle. This makes lane changing and parking much safer and easier. These systems can prevent those fender-benders that frequently occur when inexperienced drivers parallel park or navigate crowded parking lots.

In-car Wi-Fi is an added bonus to help families stay connected.

Safe and Affordable Vehicles for Teen Drivers

With the growing number of drivers and hazards on the road, parents want to put their youth in the safest auto possible. But many parents can't afford a new car for their teen. (Many moms and dads can't afford a new car for themselves!) Buying a used car can still offer cost-minded parents safety and reliability.

Here are some safe, cost-effective used cars for first-time teen drivers:


Ford Focus
Toyota Rav4
Chevrolet Malibu
Honda Civic, Hyundai Sonata
Kia Soul
Volkswagen Jetta

Consider a minivan for the student athlete who needs a lot of cargo room. They are generally more fuel-efficient and less expensive than SUVs. (Your teen would probably rather have a sports car, but they should be grateful just to have wheels, right?)

Consider The Cost To Insure

Some of the lowest priced cars to insure are Ford Fusion, Mazda 3, Honda Civic, and Toyota Prius (great fuel efficiency, too!).

Inspect That Used Car Before Buying It

If you are looking at used for your adolescent driver, call I-86 Truck & Auto Repair to schedule a pre-purchase car inspection. We can assess the mechanical condition of the auto so you can purchase with confidence.

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/03/safest-used-cars-under-10-000-for-teen-drivers/index.htm
https://www.consumerreports.org/new-cars/best-new-cars-for-teens/

ArticleID 7730

Low-tech Theft Safeguards for Your Ride

2018-09-26 08:17:25

auto diagnostics and repair Falconer

The auto industry is integrating more and more technology into our cars every year. But this doesn't mean that there aren't great low-tech solutions to car problems. A good example is theft protection. A simple, analog gadget just might be the tool you need to keep your automobile from falling into the hands of vehicle thieves.

Tire Locks

When you think of tire locks, you probably associate them with the dreaded "boot" used by police to immobilize illegally parked cars. You definitely don't want to see one on your car, it really ruins your day! But if you want to deter a criminal, tire locks can be your best friend. They are economical and easy to attach.

While using wheel locks every time you park your automobile might be a bit overkill, many auto owners utilize them if they park on the street overnight. Others find them useful when they will be out of town for a while, or for RVs or trailers that are not used often.

Steering Wheel Locks

Like the tire lock, steering wheel locks make it impossible for anybody to drive off in your car because they won't be able to steer it. Most are designed like a long bat that secures inside of the wheel and extends beyond it. The extended part will hit the vehicle ceiling or the seat as the wheel is turned, thus limiting the mobility of the steering wheel to less than 180 degrees.

Another design attaches from the steering wheel down to the pedals. This restricts the wheel completely.

Hood Locks

In some areas of the country rates of automobile theft are low, but theft of automobile parts is high. Batteries are especially valuable because many automotive service centers will allow you to turn a battery in for cash, no questions asked (unfortunately). A low-tech hood lock will safeguard your internal parts.

If you have any questions about theft prevention devices for your car, we here at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair would be happy to answer them. Keeping your vehicle safe and running well is our mission; give us a call at 716-665-2501.

ArticleID 7623

Exhaust System FAQs

2018-09-19 11:40:34 exhaust system service Falconer

What does my exhaust system do?

1. Transfer the gases from your motor out of the engine compartment to cool your engine and protect the passenger compartment from toxins.
2. Mute engine noises.
3. Reduce harmful emissions by converting carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons into oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor.

How does a muffler work?

A muffler is manufactured with many chambers and tubes. When highly pressurized gases are forced into the muffler, they lose energy. The sound vibrations also cancel one another out as they bump around the maze of baffles and tubes.

Do I need to do routine exhaust system service?

Yes. Check your owner's manual for exhaust service guidelines or call I-86 Truck & Auto Repair at 716-665-2501. A service technician will counsel you on appropriate service intervals.

What are the warning signs of a problem in my exhaust system?

Strange noises: clunking, knocking, etc.
A noticeable decline in MPG
A change in the color of exhaust released
Rough idling

What does CARB mean?

CARB stands for the California Air Resource Board. This agency establishes vehicle emissions levels for the state of California. Automakers use CARB guidelines for most exhaust systems marketed and used in the United States. "CARB-Certified" exhaust systems, headers, and catalytic converters will most likely be legal in all U.S. states. As of this writing, the Trump administration was proposing weakened emission standards.

ArticleID 7762

The Auto Industry and the Millennial Driver

2018-09-19 08:06:51

auto service Falconer

Millennials do things their own way—and in some aspects of life—different than any generation before. Millennials have had an impact on just about every market you can think of. Of course, the automotive industry is also responding to the Gen Y car buyer. Let’s explore some of the major trends.

Ready to Buy

Ten years ago, many thought that millennials wouldn't embrace car buying in large numbers. It's true that some find it easier to pick up their phone, open up an app, and get a taxi right to their location. There was also the notion that this tech-savvy group won their freedom and autonomy from their cell phone instead of from owning a car as previous generations had done. At the top of the recession, millennial automobile sales were very low, but that was true for all age groups. Now that we are many years past the recession, they are in a position to buy and sales are up in this category.

Keep it Simple

The automobile buying experience used to be longer and more involved. Dealerships and auto brands have automated the buying process and it's not just the younger generation that is benefiting! Now there are plenty of incentives offered by dealerships to get millennials excited about acquiring a car.

According to Autotrader, millennials are:

  • Still interested in cars and driving
  • More likely to examine lesser-known brands than older buyers
  • Dependent on research, including word-of-mouth

Another way dealerships are trying to entice Gen Y auto buyers is by offering flexible leasing options. Some feel less responsibility when they are just borrowing/renting the car and not actually owning it. Of course, there are pros and cons to leasing, but many millennials like the idea of leasing. Especially now that leases can be customized to fit the customer’s needs.

Because millennials are so used to using technology (and they do everything virtually), the automobile shopping and buying experience has transitioned online. Almost every dealership and automaker has an online presence. This is a perfect way to entice millennial motorists and pique their interest without needing a trip to the showroom.

With online chat, upfront pricing, automobile configurators, and other nifty features, apps and websites cater to how millennials shop for cars.

Gen Y has a unique dynamic but the industry is responding, as it has done for every previous generation. If you’re a millennial, you might not even notice this evolution because it’s what you are used to. But if you’re a bit older, we’re sure you can see how the vast automotive industry has changed to accommodate the millennial auto owner.

At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, we furnish quality automotive service to our patrons of all ages—from those who remember the days before power steering to Gen X-ers who can't imagine a car without Bluetooth.

https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/buying-a-car-how-millennials-do-it-differently-218419
http://www.jdpower.com/resource/millennials-embrace-cars-defying-predictions-sales-implosion

ArticleID 7534
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