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,, accessed February 24, 2017
2 Dan Nienaber, "Car accident turns into $90,000 insurance fraud case," Mankato free Press, November 20, 2014,, accessed February 24, 2017
3 "Farmers Insurance Hall of Claims," Farmers Insurance,, accessed February 24, 2017
4 "12 Of The Weirdest Cases Of Car Insurance Fraud," Eyewitness Dashcams, May 5, 2016,, accessed February 24, 2017
5 David Pegg, "25 Most Ridiculous Insurance Claims Ever," List 25, July 19, 2013,, accessed February 24, 2017
6 "Farmers Insurance Hall of Claims," Farmers Insurance,, 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.

Bertha Benz, Intrepid Automotive Visionary

2018-01-09 15:19:41

I-86 Truck & Auto Repair full service automotive repair

When you were in school and learned about Henry Ford and the assembly line, were you taught about Bertha Benz's momentous contributions to the birth of the automobile, and, by extension, life on planet earth as we know it?

I didn't think so. So to rectify the historical shortchanging of an intrepid female trailblazer, today we will highlight Bertha Benz.

Behind Every Great Man...

Bertha's husband, as you probably presumed, was Karl Benz. He patented what many consider to be the first motor car in 1888. (There were earlier steam-powered wagons.)  At that time, it isn't apparent that Karl had envisioned the contraption being used for private personal transport. Karl would also have been forgotten by history without his wife, Bertha, who financed his ventures, encouraged his endeavors, tested his inventions, and executed a brilliant public relations triumph.

When the patent was granted, the prototype was barely more than a one-seated wagon, three wheels, a brake, and a motor that ran on ligroin or petroleum ether. It was similar to the vehicle in the photograph above which is displayed in the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

Nevertheless, Bertha decided to try it out without informing her hesitant husband, departing one summer morning while he was still asleep.

Her horseless carriage test drive wasn't a spin around the block, she decided to take her two sons and visit family 56 miles away!

They met an obstacle around every corner, but Bertha's ingenuity and grit helped her to hurdle every one and complete the round trip victoriously.

"She'll Be Comin' Around the Mountain..."

First off, there were no roads designed for "motorwagens." And there wasn't a gear to go up hills, so she had to recruit people to help her push.

Since there were no gas stations, Bertha planned her route so she could get petroleum ether at pharmacies along the way. The engine needed to be cooled continually, so frequent access to water was also important.

Fortunately, Bertha inadvertently wore a toolkit which was utilized for necessary roadside repairs including unclogging a fuel line with a hat pin, commissioning a shoemaker to line the brake pads with leather (the first brake linings), and contriving wire insulation from her garter.

Since your "buggy" has at least 1,000 more parts than Bertha's, it takes quite a bit more than hat pins and garters to keep it running. We invite you to trust in the service specialists at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair for all your car maintenance and repair requirements. To find out more about our comprehensive menu of automotive services, call 716-665-2501. To learn more about Bertha and see photographs, look at the websites below.


Falconer Auto Tips: Engine Rebuilds

2018-01-02 15:12:06

engine rebuilds Falconer

Hearing that their car needs a new engine is not something that any Falconer driver wants to hear but it’s not something that can be ignored. Today we want to review the different types of replacement engines available.

What Are My Options?

Crate Engines
These engines are engineered using high-quality parts and are as close to new as you can get. They come ready to run immediately after they are installed in the automobile.

Remanufactured or Reconditioned Engines
With remanufacturing, all used and worn parts are interchanged resulting in an engine that meets the initial factory specifications. Certified "remanufactured" engines have a higher standard than "reconditioned" engines, though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Essentially, a remanufactured engine is manufactured to function as long as the initial engine. A reconditioned engine has been disassembled and cleaned and had damaged and worn parts replaced.

You may be asking if it is smarter to just purchase a new auto. If other parts of your vehicle are not mechanically sound, the body has rust, or you don't want to drive your car for several more years, we would not counsel a rebuild. But a rebuilt engine offers many advantages.

An engine rebuild is usually substantially less expensive than buying a new car and also delivers a savings on the taxes, licensing fees, and higher insurance rates required with a new purchase.

If you’re car savvy and have mechanical ability, an engine rebuild can actually be a DIY project. But we recommend coming to us at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair. We can further highlight your choices (such as warranty considerations) and give you expert guidance on the pros and cons of each type of replacement engine. The rebuilt engines we source for our clients meet exacting standards and we know what types of components are used. Falconer DIYers who purchase crate or rebuilt engines on the internet or elsewhere are at risk of receiving inferior parts.

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