Car Facts We Bet You Don’t Know

There are so many things to know about cars, it would take years to learn everything. Each car has its own mechanical systems, its own unique driving experience, and its own visual appeal. CarLife (serving Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Glendale area) knows what makes cars tick and the most efficient way for them to run. We also found some great fun facts about cars for you to enjoy, just because. Check them out.

Fun Facts

Currently, there are around one billion cars in use on the earth.
*An estimated 165,000 cars are manufactured each day.
*That new car smell we all know and love, is made up of over fifty organic compounds.
*Up to nineteen girls can be packed into a smart car.
*The average car has 30,000 parts.
*The first car accident happened in 1891 in Ohio.
*The inventor of the cruise control, Ralph Teetor, was blind.
*The world record for miles on a car goes to Irvin Gordon, whose 1966 Volvo has over three million miles on it.
*95% of a car’s lifetime is spent parked.
*In the early 20th century, horses were causing so much pollution with their poop that cars were seen as the “green” alternative.
*Up to 80% of an average car is considered recyclable.
*In 1895 the world’s first automobile race occurred, where the top speed was 15mph.
*In 1896, the world’s first speeding ticket was issued. The speed limit was 2 mph, and the driver was going 8mph.
*By U.S and European law, electric cars are required to make an artificial noise, in order to be safer for pedestrians.
*The Mini Cooper’s first sketch design was drawn on a napkin in Switzerland.

There are hundreds more crazy facts we could add to the list above.Maybe your vehicle has hidden little secrets? Contact CarLife today for all your automotive needs and to find out more about your vehicle!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/11/2017) Pedro Ribeiro Simoes (Flickr)

Mistakes When Buying a Car

A car is one of those possessions that can mean a lot to people in terms of how they present themselves to the world. Your car choice may be a representation of your personality, status, or individuality. Owning a car can give you a sense of freedom, of responsibility and maturity. When you get the chance to buy a new or used vehicle, it can be a like a clean slate. You will get to paint a new or upgraded picture of how others see you. You get to choose a new color, more technologically advanced options, or add a unique blend of your personality to the car through accessories. Whatever the reason, buying a vehicle is exciting, but it can also get some people in trouble. CarLife can give you the best services for car repair in the Scottsdale, Glendale and Gilbert areas, as well as help help educate you on some important factors to consider while car shopping. When it comes to buying a car, there are several areas people often forget to consider that we will look at in this article.

Not Researching

People frequently walk into dealerships without any idea of what a car is worth, what they are looking for, or what they can afford. This is a recipe for getting a poor deal on a car that you will end up unsatisfied with. To avoid buyer’s remorse and get a deal you are thrilled about, you need to first gain an understanding of your wants and needs in a car, and then look at your budget to see what you can comfortably afford. Then, you need to do your research! What are the safety ratings on the car you are interested in? Will the car require repairs, and how much will that be? Check out competitor pricing on your desired vehicle. Resources like Kelly Blue Book and CarFax will help you get a better understanding of the type, value and history of a car you are interested in.

Not Evaluating Your Budget and Finances

It is best to go over your finances in detail before you even walk into a dealership or start researching the kind of vehicle you would like. Exploring your finances will help you understand what you can afford monthly for a car payment, including taxes and insurance. Do not make a decision based on what you are approved for or what the dealership would suggest. You should know your budget, what you can afford monthly. Do not let yourself be swayed from that amount! It is great to get a new vehicle, but it is terrible to get one you cannot afford.

If you plan to trade in your current vehicle, research beforehand how much it is worth and what you owe on it. Coming to the dealer with your numbers aligned will help you get the best deal possible.

You will also want to research possible scenarios for financing. Find out from a credit union or your bank what kind of financing you could get so you will be able to compare rates when you get to the dealership. Considering insurances is also beneficial. Call up several car insurance companies for quotes on the new vehicle you have chosen.

Impulse Buying – Bad Idea

When we see something we like, it can be hard to not let the excitement take over. The worst thing you can do when buying a car is to impulse-buy. This is when you have not done any research on the car or scouted around at different dealers for the best price. It is very possible you will find a better deal if you wait instead of buying what is right in front of you, right now. A car is the often second largest life purchase behind a home, and it is important to make a wise decision.

The best thing to do when purchasing a vehicle is to take your time, consider all your options, know your budget, and do the research. Do not let anyone push you into a vehicle you don’t like or know anything about. Make sure you leave feeling empowered in your decision by being prepared.

Carlife not only wants the your car to run extremely well, we also want to see owners who are happy with their vehicle choices. See us today for all your repair and servicing needs!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/11/2017) Kevin Cabral (Flickr)

BMW Beauty

The BMW is one of a kind and in a class of its own. It is a brand that is known worldwide for reliability, capability and luxury. Here at CarLife, we are privileged to get to regularly maintain, service and repair a wide range of vehicles, including BMWs. What makes a BMW stand out from the crowd of vehicles manufactured? Let’s find out.

History

Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) was founded in 1916 in Germany, with an initial focus on building aircraft. They moved into building motorcycles in the early 1920’s, and finally cars in 1928. After World War II they established themselves as one of the world’s top manufacturers of line engines, sports cars, motorcycles, and luxury vehicles.

What is Special About A BMW?

BMW is a widely known brand across the world, but why? Exquisite attention to detail from the inside to the outside is what makes them stand out. They have a sleek, luxurious appearance that is instantly recognizable. BMWs have a distinct kidney-shaped grill, and a well-known white, blue and black emblem that stands for class, power and excellent driveability. Not only do they look good, what makes them really special becomes clear once you get in. Upon entering the vehicle, you are wrapped in luxury with heated seats (optional) and a driver-oriented ergonomic design for maximum comfort. That is all before you turn the key to engage the engine. The engines are designed with power for an excellent, smooth ride, but with a classy ease to them that keeps your space quiet. You don’t have to worry about hearing your conversation partner—that is, unless you turn on the top-of-the-line stereo.

On a more practical level, BMWs are built to last. They are reliable vehicles created to outlast many others on the road. Whether you purchase a brand new BMW 7 series, or find a used convertible BMW 1 series, they are worth the time and money.

CarLife sees the benefits of purchasing a vehicle that is known for excellence in its engines, design and reliability. See us today for all your repair needs, or to show off the beautiful BMW that you drive with style.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/27/2017) Tobias Fidelis (Flickr)

Get Your Car In Line!

When our lives are out of alignment, we feel unsteady. The same goes for our cars. We need them to be in alignment for safety and a smooth ride. CarLife, located in Gilbert, Glendale and Scottsdale, knows the perfect balance for your car! We are passionate about keeping cars running as smooth as possible.

Importance of Good Alignment

When it comes to keeping your car maintained well, having great wheel alignment is important for your tires, gas mileage, and maneuverability. Driving on poor road conditions, hitting large bumps in the road, having erratic driving, or getting in an accident can cause your tires to come out of alignment.

How to Tell If Your Car Is Not Aligned

When you are driving, it is easy to tell if your car is out of alignment. If you let go of the steering wheel for a second or two, and your vehicle starts to move to the left or right, there is a good chance there is misalignment. Your car, when aligned to its precise design, should continue to steer straight without pulling one way or another if you briefly let go of the steering wheel. Another telltale sign of misalignment includes feeling vibration while driving, especially in the steering column.

Getting Aligned

CarLife has professional tire technicians who are more than capable of tackling the intricate systems in your car to get the proper alignment. Our professional staff is extremely knowledgeable in all the systems that work together to keep your vehicle running in tip top condition. We are able to conduct tire alignment efficiently, so only a quick visit is needed. Tire alignment is recommended every time you get new tires for your vehicle, when you feel your car pulling to one side or the other, when you feel vibration, or every 6,000 miles to stay safe.

CarLife knows how busy life can be, and we want to be there to help you take care of your vehicle while avoiding any inconvenient time constraints or costs. Come see us today for a proper tire alignment, a tune up or any other services you need for your vehicle.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/14/2017) (Flickr)

The Best Way to Deck Out Your Vehicle

Owning a vehicle is not a right, it is a privilege. When we have the privilege of owning a car, we like to give it a personality that reflects our own. The many accessories available to us allow us to add our own splash of personality to our vehicles. CarLife not only works to excel at giving the best automotive repair services possible in Gilbert, Scottsdale, and Glendale but we also like to appreciate the personality of the cars we work on.

Why Car Accessories?

There are various reasons that someone invests in accessories for their car. Accessories can show personality through a fuzzy, blue steering wheel cover or they can be more practical such as a mini fan that helps with keeping cool in the summer. We can enjoy the ability to embrace our vehicles with fun and practicality to make our commutes the most pleasant as possible.

Types of Car Accessories

There are some fun ways to deck out your car, whether it is LED lights that come alive at night to highlight your tires or spinner rims that blow your mind. There are also some great practical accessories that can make any time in the car much more pleasant. These include:
*Dashboard Video Recorder: These can record the amazing views you see along the way or help keep you from a fine or jail time.
*Wondergel Extreme Seat Cushion: This will allow a more comfortable ride on the derriere.
*Console Side Pockets: These help to decrease the aggravation of losing keys, phone, change, or food down the side of your seat, aka the carmuda triangle.
*DashGrip Gel Pads: The pads will allow you to keep safe by not having to search for items that slide during your drive.
*Phone Car Mount: To conveniently view your navigation on your phone, or to have hands free driving, there are several different types of car mounts to ensure safety.
These are just a handful of the more practical accessories that help to increase convenience, lessen irritation, and increase safety while driving.

The importance of your car is that it is truly yours. It is yours to maintain, to care for, and it is yours to jazz up and deck out. You get to decide on whether you want to give your car personality through things such as LED cup holder lights or more practicality through means of accessories like vehicle trash bins that help keep you clean and organized. Of course, doing both is an option, as well.

CarLife is here to help you embrace your vehicle, not only through great automotive repair services, but also through advice on great car accessories that would be unique for you. We want you to love your car as much as we do and give it the convenience or splash of personality you have been looking for. Come see us today for all your vehicle needs!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9//2017) Nikos Koutoulas (Flickr)

The Ins and Outs of Your Tires

In the heat it can be difficult to maintain tire pressure and it can get annoying when the low air light on your dash continually comes on. One of the most important aspects of your vehicle are your tires. They impact your gas mileage, your brakes, the way your car rides, and various other areas of the car. It is also highly important for your safety to maintain and have great tires. Carlife knows the value of well maintained tires. Our Gilbert, Scottsdale, and Glendale locations are passionate about giving your vehicle the best automotive services possible.

Basics of Tires

Each tire has it’s own specifications of how long it lasts and how many miles it can go. The life of the tire is determined by how well you maintain the tires, the design of the tire, road conditions, the weather, and the tire type itself. Driving habits and styles can also impact the overall life of your tires. Here are a few tips for maintaining tires for the long haul:
*After five years, your tires should be inspected annually.
*After ten years, it is highly recommended for you to get new tires. This includes replacing your spare tire as well.
*Well maintained tires can increase the lifespan of the tire itself. Checking and keeping the correct air pressure and getting regular tire rotation as well as regular vehicle maintenance is important.
It is important to pay attention to your tires, how they are riding, and if there seems to be a change in the smoothness of your ride.

Inspecting Your Tire

It is important for you as the owner to have regular maintenance for your tires but also pay attention to them yourself. A few ways to do so include:
*Check Air Pressure Monthly
*Check Tread Wear
-Using a Depth Gauge
-Using Tread Depth Indicators
-With the Penny Test: Gripping the penny between your thumb and forefinger at Abe’s body, place the penny upside down with the head sticking into the low part of your tread. If the tread covers any part of his head, you are ok. If his head is not covered at all, your tread is dangerously low and should be replaced.
*Check for Wear and Damage
*Look for signs of perforation, cuts, or deformation of your tire.
These are just a few ways to see if there is something concerning about your tires. Tires are incredibly important to how your car runs and, especially, for your safety. If you have questions or concerns about your tires, call us at CarLife and let us help you stay as safe as possible.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9//2017) Damian Gadal (Flickr)

Regular Tune Ups for Your Vehicle

The purpose of going to the doctor for an annual health check up is to ensure your body is in the best shape possible. Likewise, regular check ups are important for your vehicle in order to prevent any unnecessary repairs, costs, or mishaps. CarLife recognizes the need for a regular tune up for our own bodies as well as for our vehicles. We are dedicated to providing the most effective and cost efficient auto repair services in Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, and Mesa. Why do we need regular tune ups for our vehicle? Let’s find out!

What is a Tune Up?

When you get a tune up, you are giving your car a boost of energy and checking it over for any flaws that could cause issues in the future. A tune up checks over your brakes, tires, fluid levels, fuel filter, air filters, and important valves. As-needed tune ups look at your timing belt, spark plugs, hoses, and wires. During the tune up, if something is seen as less than ideal, the specific concern is adjusted and fixed to ensure a smooth running vehicle.

Why Regular Tune Ups?

Every electronic or mechanical piece of equipment needs regular maintenance to continually work effectively and efficiently. When you rely on your vehicle to get to work, school, or to be reliable enough to run a loved one to the ER, the last thing you need is for it to break down. Without regular tune ups, you can lose thousands of dollars in repairs and suffer unbelievable headaches. Reasons to get regular tune ups for your vehicle include:

**Avoiding Accidents: Regular check ups include looking at your tires and brakes. If your tires are wearing thin or your brakes are worn down, they could lead to a very dangerous situation. If you are on the freeway with tires that cannot handle the road, or if you don’t have appropriate brakes, you could find yourself in trouble and causing major accidents.
**Avoid Breaking Down: When you are in a rush to a meeting, have to bring a loved one to the hospital, or are picking up your child, the last thing you need is unexpected time constraints. By getting regular maintenance, you will avoid the hassle of a last minute breakdown and will be able to drive without concern.
**Cost Less: When you are having regular maintenance, you can easily prevent major issues from coming up. When major issues with your engine arise, it can easily cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.
**Less Repairs: When having preventative maintenance for your car, you are affording yourself to needing less repairs in the future.

By giving your car regular maintenance, it not only saves you money but it keeps you and your loved ones safe while giving you a peace of mind. It is worth it to know that you have a reliable vehicle that will not be causing you problems.

CarLife is dedicated to effective, efficient tune ups to ensure you have the best service for your vehicle. Contact us today and let us give you peace of mind about your vehicle being in tip top shape!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8//2017) flattop341 (Flickr)

Car Battery Basics

When your engine isn’t running quite right or if you feel power leaving your car when turning it on, you may have a battery issue. Just like when a body is not being fed and it tires out, you need to ensure that your car battery is charged with the energy it needs to help run the vehicle. CarLife knows how important excellent service is for all your automotive repair needs. We are dedicated to helping the Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, and Mesa areas get the best car service possible. Batteries play a critical role in keeping your car running in tip top shape and, unfortunately, Arizona’s heat can take a toll on them. Let’s look at some of the basics of batteries.

A Few Basics

It helps to start off with the basics of knowing your battery and how it functions. For over a 100 years, the lead acid battery has been consistently used to power vehicles. The lead acid battery is made up of lead oxide, lead, plates, and has 35% sulfuric acid with 65% water solution. The solution is called electrolyte which creates a chemical reaction resulting in electrons. When testing a battery, you are looking for the amount of sulfuric acid that is in the electrolyte. If the acid is low, it means the reaction creating the electrons is lacking. At this point, the rest of the sulfur ends up resting on the plates of the battery so that, when it is recharged, the sulfur returns to electrolyte allowing your battery to run smoothly again.

Battery Lifespan


With the high energy output needed for vehicles these days, the battery lifespan of lead acid batteries has been decreasing. The average battery, however, can last from 6 months to 48 months. If you are maintaining your battery to what is required, your battery will have a longer life span. Some maintenance tips to improve your battery life include:
*Clean out the cable connections and tighten them since dirty and loose connections often cause battery issues.
*Check the fluid level of a serviceable battery. Ensure you are using distilled water for the best results.
*Prevent corrosion of the cables on top-post batteries by using silicon sealer for the post, petroleum jelly for the washer, and grease exposed cables at the end.
*Don’t overfill battery cells due to natural expansion with warmth.
To get the most out of your battery, maintaining it to its specific requirements is key. Taking care of your car is just like taking care of your body; you do certain things to ensure long life and health along the way.

Carlife knows what is best for your car and can help you care for your engine and battery. Come see us today.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/22/2017) Andy Armstrong (Flickr)

Stay Cool in the Heat

The worst time for the air conditioning in your car to go out is when the temperature outside reaches into the hundreds. A malfunctioning AC creates an unpleasant driving experience in such hot weather. This can ben even bigger problem if you need to present yourself professionally or well dressed when you arrive at your destination. Carlife understands the need for quick, efficient, and quality repairs for your car, especially with the heat in Arizona (Mesa, Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Gilbert, Scottsdale).

Diagnosing AC Issues

Having the air conditioning go out in your car can definitely ruin your day. You may be hoping and pleading that this is not the case, that for some reason the fact that your car not getting cooler is just a minor fluke. There are a few things to pay attention to in order to see if it is indeed your AC that has given up. These include:
Your Car is Cool Not Cold: If you have set the control to max AC, but the air is only slightly cold, this is a sign that something may be off. From here you can:
*Check that the cabin air filter isn’t clogged
*Check that the condenser or radiator cooling fans are running when AC is on
**Ensure the condenser is not clogged with leaves, bugs, or debris that could be blocking airflow
*Compressor Clutch: When the AC is set on high with fans blowing, it is important to be sure the clutch on the compressor is being engaged.
*Leaks: These are the most common problems when air conditioning is not working.

While these are the three most likely problems to diagnose if the air conditioning is not working, there can be another common area causing issues.

Recharging AC

Your air conditioning may be running low on what it needs in order for you to get good, cold air blowing. The heat depletes your car of its juices and overtime the refrigerant leaks out of the lines in the engine. This is a common wear and tear problem for vehicles but thankfully it comes with an easy fix. Putting more refrigerant back in can solve all kinds of things. It is a quick, simple fix and can also be the least costly.

At Carlife we believe in providing efficient, productive, and cost effective solutions to all your car needs. We want to be your automotive repair you know and trust. Contact us today if you feel your AC could use a boost to keep you cool!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/8/2017) Herry Lawford (Flickr)

Ways to Improve Your Gas Mileage

Who doesn’t want to have better gas mileage? Everyone. We all want to save money and not be constantly affected by the rise and fall of gas prices. We shouldn’t have to live on the whims of the oil company. While cost effective automotive repairs can help keep your gas budget in check, there are other ways you can deliberately improve your gas mileage. For all you folks driving the freeways in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Gilbert, Carlife wants to provide some useful tips on how to improve your gas mileage and keep your gas budget in line.

Know Gas Mileage

The first thing to do in order to improve your gas mileage is to measure your current gas input and output. This will give you a baseline so that you can tangibly see the positive improvements in your gas mileage. While the newer cars have an automatic mpg counter on the display, these are usually not completely accurate and can give you a skewed view of the reality of your car. The best way to gain knowledge of your gas mileage is to track it yourself. This is an easy process. First, fill your car up fully and turn your trip counter to zero or write down your mileage. Second, when you fill up next, make a note of the amount of gallons you put in as well as stop the trip counter or write down your mileage again to calculate the miles driven. Divide the mileage by the gallons and you will get your mpg. Then just keep note of it each time you fill up. When you have five calculations, you will have an average of your total miles per gallon and you can start to see the improvements in your mpg when you start making some changes.

Saving Gas

There are several ways that you, as the driver, can affect your gas mileage. The following tips will help you see what will work best for you and how you can save money on gas.

*Hitting the Gas: When you gun the gas pedal as soon as the light turns green, you are wasting immense amounts of gas. Let up a bit, you are not racing. Allow yourself to gradually pick up speed and then stay at a consistent speed.
*Gas Type: If your car says to use regular gas, there is a reason. The premium is not necessary and therefore is just a waste of gas.
*Internet: Using the internet will help you find the gas stations in your area with the cheapest gas prices. This will save you money overtime and allow you to increase the money for your mileage.
*Tire Pressure: Checking your tire pressure to ensure that it is staying at the desired number will help with gas. When your tires are getting low, it increases rolling resistance and takes up more gas.
Roof Rack: Getting rid of your roof rack actually helps with the aerodynamics of the car. When there is added pressure against the wind and air resistance, it increases the need for gas to be consumed.
*Air Filter: Changing your air filter can seem like a random thing that would have no effect. In reality, if your engine is working to get air ingested, it is using the fuel to do so. Having clean airflow will positively affect your gas mileage.
*Spark Plugs: When your car has over 80,000 miles, your spark plugs can become filled with carbon deposits. Having fresh spark plugs can help with better gas mileage.

As there are several things you can do to increase your gas mileage, a lot of them have to do with good care of your car engine. The engine is like your mind. When you are feeding it junk food or not feeding it at all, it won’t be working to the best of its ability and it will take more energy to function. But when you feed your body and mind healthy foods regularly, the firing capacity is highly increased.

Contact Carlife today to learn more about improving your gas mileage and getting a regular tune up through the quality services we provide!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/08/2017) We have moved!Please visit /highwaysengland (Flickr)