How FTS Automotive and Touch of Glass Can Make Your Summer Better
It’s summer, and summer often means more road trips. The kids are off school (and since it’s hot) you might be looking for a chance to drive somewhere to beat the heat. With that increased driving means more vehicle maintenance. Is that a bad thing? Not the way we see it! Because we have some great ways to help you out this summer!
1. Free battery checks – the heat can really take a toll on a car’s battery. In our busy lives, nothing can be worse than being stranded because of a bad battery. Come by FTS Automotive and we will check that battery for FREE. Should you need a replacement, we will have you back on the road before you know it! While you are here, use our free WIFI to keep the kids occupied (and to like us on Facebook!).
2. Free AC checks – is your air conditioner not working correctly? Come by and we will check your AC system free of charge. If there is an issue, sit back with that free WIFI we mentioned earlier and let our experts fix any issue!
3. 10% Off Parts and Labor on ANY service (up to $50.00) – breaking down can be stressful and costly. We are currently offering you this discount as a thank you for choosing to trust us with your vehicle.
4. Heat-damaged tires can mean big bucks – if you need to have all four tires replaced due to heat related causes, you will have your name put into a drawing for a $250.000 gift card.
5. A Touch of Glass $50 windshield buy back – all that driving means extra road time which increases the likelihood of a damaged windshield. If your windshield replacement is covered by insurance we will buy your cracked windshield from you for $50.00. Not a lot you can do with a cracked windshield, but there is a lot you can do with an extra fifty bucks!
6. 4 free dinners from Chretin’s Restaurant from A Touch of Glass – have us replace your windshield and you will get a coupon for 4 free dinners from Chretin’s Restaurant. That’s a lot of free dinners!
Thanks! Make sure to like us on Facebook for more great discounts and information from FTS Automotive Center!
The Importance of Vehicle Maintenance and Tune-Ups
Car maintenance is a critical step to ensure your
vehicle performs well on the road. Technology has changed and so has how we
take care of vehicles, especially tune-ups. Years ago, you needed to get a tune
up every 20,000 miles, but that’s changed. Depending on your manufacturer, it
may be recommended that you get one anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 miles.
Check your owner’s manual, or come in to FTS Automotive Center and we can let
you know the recommendations for your vehicle.
Now a word of caution: Yuma is hot. Heat does bad things to vehicles. You likely need a tune-up before your manufacturer recommendation. We are dusty, gritty and hot. Every component in your car has to work harder. Take spark plugs and wires, for example. If the manufacturer says in extreme conditions change spark plugs at 100K you should inspect at 80K. The more worn a sparkplug is the more energy required for it to work. Heat causes ignition components to create additional internal resistance. In other words, they have to work harder making them deteriorate faster. The more worn a sparkplug is the harder these components have to work. Compound that with additional heat over a period of years look forward to having ignition component failure.
In the end getting a routine tune-up earlier than the manufacturer’s recommendations will extend the life of your vehicle and in the end, save you money. Wear-and-tear is expected to happen to all vehicles, but taking preventative measures can likely increase the performance of the vehicle and help keep major issues from happening.
Services in a vehicle tune –up
1. Air Filter – the air filter needs to be clean in Yuma. Fine dust particles can start plugging up the filter leading to a host of problems. If it’s dirty or clogged, it needs to be replaced. The more restrictive the filter is the more gas you’re going to use.
2. Belts and hoses – it used to be very common to have to replace belts and hoses every three years of so. But cars are better now. So good in fact many cars never get them changed till the car is worn out. But then again, this is Yuma. Rubber components, belts, and hoses break down much faster. There is no scheduled maintenance for replacing these items but they have a way of talking to trained techs. They look for things like weeping around the ends of hoses, swelling, small cracks etc. Hoses transfer vital fluids through the engine and if these were to break and leak it could cause a significant issue. Fan belts and serpentine belts have tell-tale signs like squeaking and squealing, cracks, etc. Our techs will check these and change them if need be.
3. Fluids – power steering, brake, and transmission fluids will be inspected; if the fluids are low, they are topped off. Some car manufactures have recommended change intervals for fluids. Some don’t. But this we do know. All fluids will break down due to heat and use. All fluids can be tested, and our techs will make sure that your fluids are clean and at recommended levels.
4. Wheel alignments – aligning your tires should make for a much more controlled ride. Why do your wheels need realignment? Loads and many other factors can have an effect on how often the vehicle chassis alignment should be checked. As a rule, the newer the vehicle the closer one needs to keep an eye uneven tire wear. As a new car suspension settles and the moving components wear in the alignment will change. Vehicles with a lot of miles face a different issue. As the suspension components wear they start to get loose. As they get loose they start to wear much faster causing tires to wear out faster. In the end, have your tires rotated about twice a year or every 5,000 by someone who knows what to look for. It can save you a tremendous amount of money and worry in the long run.
5. Oil changes –The 3000 mile oil change interval no longer applies. So much has changed. With so many types of oil on the market and much better and complicated engines, don’t guess what oil your car needs. At FTS Automotive Center, we do changes based on the manufacture recommendation for both type of oil and interval.
For all your vehicle tune-up needs, call FTS Automotive Center at (928) 343-9430!
4 Signs You May Need New Tires
Living in Yuma has many advantages. But when it comes to the summer months, nobody wants to be stuck on the side of the road changing a flat tire. Sometimes these instances are unforeseen and even unavoidable, but here at FTS Automotive Center, we have some tips that may save you from getting stuck on the side of the road!
Tires are quite use and need specific. Using the right tire and size for the right use is paramount to long-term durability and safety. So when replacing, ensure you take your time to get the right brand and type of tire to get the maximum value. Listed below are 4 simple checks that you can do to see if your tires are due for a change.
1. Check for deterioration – Years ago, it was easier to see deterioration but tires have evolved and are now better than ever. Rubber compounds don’t crack like they used to. So how does one know if your tires are safe? Not an easy question as there are many variables. Type of tire, how fast and long a vehicle is driven, if tire pressure is maintained are just a few, but definitely check your tire rating. Tires that are S or T rated work just fine when used around town but in the Yuma heat, those same tires used for extended highway driving will degrade quickly due to higher operating temperatures. This heat can cause structural damage you may not see.
It's easy to tell that you need new tires if they look worn or unevenly worn. But how do you know about the damage a layman can’t see? The easiest way is to have a professional inspect your vehicle tires. Not someone who was selling shoes yesterday and is now selling tires. A true professional like the mechanics at FTS Automotive Center!
2. Check your tread wear - Your treads are most important in keeping the rubber on the road. Often times one does not know if the treads are still good. This simple penny trick will demonstrate how worn your treads are. Simply place the penny head first into the grooves of your tires and if you see the top of Abe’s head, your tires need replacing. You can trust Abe, he is always honest!
3. Consider your tire age – Tires are usually rated for mileage but there is no uniform age that leads to the expiration of your tire. This is a difficult question to answer as there are so many types of tires used in so many different ways. Yuma is a unique environment. One of the hottest places in theUnited States but we compound those effects because our location requires long distance, high speed driving to get anywhere out of town. Those factors shorten the lifespan of any tire. Let's just say it’s a physics/ chemistry thing.
Most major tire manufacturers are cautious in saying how long tires will last. Some say 10 years some “recommend” 6. Who is right? For the purpose of this article, we're going to give you with some rules of thumb:
Type of Vehicle
When to replace
3- 4 Years
Standard Passenger Car
Performance Passenger Car
4. Inspect your sidewalls – Damage to the sidewalls of your tires are easy to detect. If you see cracks and/or cuts on the side of your tires, it could lead to leaks or, even worse, a blowout while driving. Have a professional inspect any damage you are unsure of. When it comes to tires, better safe than sorry.
If you have any tire needs, you can visit our user-friendly website at www.ftsautocenter.com or call us at (928) 343-9430. Your safety on the road is of the utmost concern to us. Do not hesitate to stop by and have our friendly technicians check out your tires.
Tips for Talking to Your Auto
For many people, a
trip to the mechanic and auto repair can cause some level of anxiety. If simply
turning the ignition were all we needed to know to keep our cars running there
would be no need for a mechanic. Unfortunately, cars are an unsolvable puzzle
to many, thus the need to speak to an expert mechanic. Your friends at FTS Automotive Center (that’s
us) have four easy tips to help you sound like a pro when it comes to cars!
1. Communicate your car’s symptoms- cars cannot speak so it is important to give as much detail related to your vehicle as possible. Simply stating your car is “making a noise” is vague and makes it difficult to diagnose the problem. Write down your vehicle’s issues as they happen, imitate sounds your car is making ,and/or use the internet to help you find terms to communicate with a mechanic such as bucking, knocking and misfiring. Effectively communicating the issues of your vehicle will expedite the process of getting it fixed.
2. Ask for an estimate – By asking for an estimate before your car is fixed it will give insight as to what might be the issue and how much it will cost. Some of the discomfort when dealing with mechanics is not knowing how much a repair will cost and why until the problem is fixed. The more you understand the mechanic’s recommendations the better your experience will be.
3. Ask questions – Listen to what your mechanic recommends. Not knowing a lot about cars does not mean you can’t understand what is happening with your car. We will try our best to help you and we’d like you to understand as well! By learning about your vehicle you can better understand what needs to happen or at least what you can expect the next time you need your auto repaired.
4. Trust your mechanic –FTS Automotive Center has been serving Yuma since 1964 because we provide quality service to our customers and stand by our work. Like many professions, car technicians have years of experience and specialty training. We take pride in our work. When your vehicle is fixed, you will get a detailed report of what was done. We strive to do right by you and hope your experience can be a positive one.
Going to a mechanic can be nerve-wracking. Above are four ways to minimize anxiety when dealing with mechanics. If you have any questions or are looking for qualified car technicians, give FTS Automotive Center a call at (928) 343-9430.