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.


ArticleID 7534

3 Tips To Save On Cost Of Ownership

2018-09-12 08:12:39 auto insurance repairs Falconer

It's not just your imagination that you pull out your debit card several times a month for a car-related expense.

Have you ever added up how much it costs to own a vehicle? First off, there's the purchase price and taxes. For most motorists, the dollar amount for their car is second only to the cost of their home. Many individuals finance their automobile, so the initial purchase expense continues monthly for as many as 72 months. 

You fork over cash every time you fill the tank. In most states, you have to pay a registration fee every year. Car insurance rates can take a big chunk of the family budget (especially if you have teenagers who are driving).

There are amounts for scheduled maintenance and repair. This includes oil changes, new tires, brake service—and everything else. Always remember, however, that failing to bring your automobile in for scheduled auto maintenance and repair costs a lot more!

So what's the grand total? Most vehicle owners spend around $9,000 per year. Stretch that over a lifetime and you could spend half a million. Ka-ching!

Here are 3 ways to bring that number down.

1. Stop Guzzling Gas

In our fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the rush-rush-rush mentality. Driving aggressively, however, costs you big time. Slow down, avoid jackrabbit starts and stops, and turn off the engine instead of idling. This can diminish your gas bill up to a third. You can also download apps which show the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood.

2. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

Don't count on your tire pressure monitoring system. Some systems only indicate a problem when a tire has dropped quickly. Some don't indicate incremental pressure decreases. Check your manufacturer's recommendations for the proper pressure, or talk with an automotive service advisor at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair.

3. Wait A Few More Years For a New Car (And Buy A Nearly-New Vehicle Instead)

If you buy a new automobile every few years, you pay more in several ways. First off, you don't take advantage of the off-the-lot depreciation savings that used buyers enjoy. If you buy a one-year-old vehicle, you pay a lot less but still get an automobile with many years of useful life ahead. Experts recommend keeping a vehicle from 5-7 years. After seven years, the expenses for repairs might negate the savings of a new automobile. When it comes time for a new vehicle, you can check the Edmunds True Cost to Own calculator to compare total vehicle ownership costs.

ArticleID 7767

The Evolution of Infotainment

2018-09-05 08:15:19

auto electronics repair Falconer

In 1930, the radio became a standard feature in American cars. For many decades, the radio was the only gadget that could really qualify as an "infotainment system." But today there are a variety of these bells and whistles in automobiles at every price point.

Infotainment systems are the non-critical features in your vehicle that assist with communication and navigation (the "info" part) and help keep auto owners and passengers entertained (the "tainment" part). Today we will look at some of the most popular features.

Global Positioning System

For decades, car travel navigation required a paper map and passenger to read it. (This method has no doubt triggered its share of marital discord.) Now our vehicles connect to satellites in space to tell us where we are and help us find our destination. Many navigation systems also interface with real-time traffic data to help you choose the fastest route.


Bluetooth is the short-range wireless connection that allows electronic devices to communicate. Many automobiles have systems that pair to your cell phone allowing for hands-free calling. For older automobiles there are numerous after-market Bluetooth systems that are economical and easy to install.

In-Car Wi-Fi

Using your cell phone as a hot spot in the car has always been problematic. It would burn through the phone battery and likely drain your data for the month. But now many automobiles have the Wi-Fi connection included. Because a large, high-quality antenna is built into the car, you can even stream video on the road!

Satellite Radio

The humble car radio has also gotten a high-tech upgrade. Satellite radio signals are broadcast nationwide for the express purpose of reaching people in vehicles. This allows for a wide variety of programming options, if you're willing to pay the subscription fee.

Is there an infotainment system that you just can't live without? We would love to know. Enter it in the comments section. Also, we invite you to consult the team of specialists at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair with all of your automotive repair needs. Whether your automobile has an 8-track player or a Wi-Fi connection to satisfy eight teenagers' internet needs, we'll take care of you. Call us today!

ArticleID 7626
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