Sunshine, coffee mugs, and other ramblings

Thank goodness the weather has finally gotten better! I think the pacific northwest is a really cool place, with lots of cool things to do… but I live in Fort Wayne for a reason. I’m not a big fan of rain!

I am one of those people who gets a little blue when it is too dreary or chilly for too long. This weather and this day has renewed my spirit. And honestly, when it comes to coffee and local shops- Fort Wayne has them. So why go so far away when there is so much good here? For example, another locally owned and operated business in Fort Wayne is Fortezza Coffee . The atmosphere is so cool and there are so many cozy spots. I was able to run in there for a meeting today and it really set the tone for a great day. Nothing like coffee, cinnamon, honey and a good conversation to elevate your mood. 

But as with all things, I believe it is the people that have the power to make everything better. Not only the amazing and talented person I met with for coffee, but our customers as well.

After my meeting I walk into our waiting room and see two of my favorite customers. They are an older couple- pushing 90 (don’t rush it, the Mrs. would say) just in for their routine oil change. Her, as always, looking very put together in a matching outfit consisting of a matching fedora and a snazzy pantsuit  and him in his standby kahki’s and coffee mug.

A few years ago I got in the habit of bringing him hot chocolate in the waiting room. Normally we have coffee and cookies for our customers and sometimes hot chocolate, but that day we were out of hot chocolate in the front room. He looked so disappointed that we didn’t have any out there that I went to the break-room and made him a hot chocolate in one of our mugs. Thus the tradition started.

So it is no surprise that one of my co-workers has stepped in and made him his standby. It makes me happy when people notice the details and appreciate each other.

That is one thing I miss from working at the front counter. I love our customers. I love talking to our customers. I love learning about their lives and being there for their lives- the highs and the lows.

Why the lows? Because it makes me feel good to be able to help them. I believe that if people focused 5% more on other people each day, their day would be at least 5% better.

What do you think?





Time to Take Another Look at Diesel Vehicles


If you haven’t looked into diesel engines lately, you may be interested in today’s post. Why should you care about modern diesel engines? Fuel efficiency, for starters. Because diesel fuel has a higher compression rate than gasoline, diesel fuels provide more power per barrel. This is especially advantageous for drivers who pull heavy loads with powerful trucks that require a lot of fuel.

There are still many misconceptions about diesel powered vehicles. Let’s debunk some of the myths.

1. Diesel Burns Dirty
This was true years ago. Since 2006, however, U.S. diesel vehicles have been required by law to use ultra-low-sulfur diesel or USLD. Modern diesels are soot-free and have a smaller carbon footprint.

2. Diesels Are Sluggish
Not any more. They are as fast off the line as similar gasoline-powered cars. If your idea of fun is to spend an afternoon test-driving new cars, go take a spin in a diesel BMW or Porsche.

3. Diesels Are Loud
Back in the day, you could hear a diesel motor from a mile away. Today’s diesels run quiet.

4. Diesels Have a Bad Resale Value
Actually, diesel vehicles have a lower depreciation rate.

Another often-overlooked benefit is lower risk of fire. Diesel fuel is less flammable and won’t explode like gasoline.

Diesel engines require parts that are heavier and stronger. At Fox and Fox Frame Service Inc., we occasionally service diesel cars and trucks with over 300,000 miles. The heavy-duty parts make diesel vehicles a little more expensive new but due to the extra burliness, diesel engines last a lot longer. This is one of the reasons diesels inspire such a loyal following.

Moreover, diesels can run on many types of alternative fuels unlike gasoline engines which require extensive modification.

Cons? Cold weather starting. Diesel engines can be hard to fire up when the temperature drops. However, an engine block heater can solve this problem. Talk to your considerate Fox and Fox Frame Service Inc. service advisor for more information.

If you are in the market for a new automobile that’s easy on gas, you might want to explore your diesel options. You’ll save money and may qualify for a tax credit if you buy a clean diesel vehicle. Of course, diesels require regular maintenance like any other vehicle and the services are usually a little more costly due to the nature of the engines. But the extra cost is offset by the fuel efficiency and longer engine life.

Bottom line? The diesel vehicles on Fort Wayne roads today are not your grandfather’s diesel.

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Q: When should I replace my windshield wipers?

Q: When should I replace my windshield wipers?
A: Well, most Fort Wayne car owners wait until they fail. The problem with that is that you find out they have failed when you actually need them most – a little too late.
Wiper blades are an important part of your safety system; especially in northern Indiana where we have severe changes in the weather. As you can imagine, 90% of our driving decisions are based on what we see. If you can’t see well because your wipers can’t clear your windshield, your ability to drive safely is significantly impaired.
So the simple answer: of course, Fort Wayne motorists should change your wipers if they don’t work well. But replace them before they go bad so they are always ready when that storm hits. For some Fort Wayne drivers, once a year may be enough. For others – those who drive a lot, whose wipers are exposed to a lot of sun, or use their wipers more – replacing the blades a couple of times a year might be in order.
There several types of wiper blades. The conventional blade is the base model. On the other end of the spectrum are beam blades. These have a solid beam that provides uniform pressure over the entire wiper surface for better contact with the windshield. And there are hybrid blades that are a combination of conventional and beam blades.
Upgraded wiper blades last longer and provide a cleaner wipe. Fort Wayne motorists can always upgrade, but should never go with a lower grade blade than what was installed on your vehicle from the factory.
Finally, there are special winter blades. The special design of winter wiper blades resists snow and ice build-up in the blade.
Remember, using your wipers on an icy windshield will tear up your wiper blades. Scrape your windshield before running your wipers.
One of your service specialists at here at Fox & Fox can give you wiper blade options and help you select what’s best for this important safety system.
Give us a call 424-1630

Getting your morning charge?


Car batteries wear out just like any other battery and need to be replaced. There are a couple of things Fort Wayne drivers should know when looking for a new car battery: one is cold cranking amps and the other is reserve capacity.


Let’s start with cold cranking amps. This can be thought of as the power output used to start a vehicle when the engine is cold. The number of cold cranking amps you need depends on your vehicle and specifically how cold it is where you live. The two factors are that the colder an engine is, the more power it takes to turn it’s engine over to get it started. It has all that cold, sluggish oil to contend with. The other factor is that the chemical reaction in the battery that creates electrical energy is less efficient in the cold.


If you live where it’s cold, you need a battery with more cold cranking amps than you do where it’s moderate or hot. You should always get at least as many cold cranking amps as the manufacturer recommends, but may want to upgrade if the temperatures are going to get very low.


An important note: Batteries may also list the Cranking Amps – CA – number. It is the Cold Cranking Amps – or CCA – that is the important number here. CCA is the number to use in your comparisons.


Now with all this talk of cold temperatures in Fort Wayne, it’s important to note that heat is the real enemy of long battery life. In other words, the damage that’s done over the hot summer months in Fort Wayne shows up with the increased demands on the vehicle’s battery when the weather turns cold.


That means areas (like Fort Wayne) with extreme hot temperatures in the summer and extreme cold temperatures in the winter; the battery is under additional stress. That means it is even more important that the battery health is assessed regularly.


Now on to reserve capacity: It’s a measurement of the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has at a given load. The number is more important these days because of parasitic drain. Parasitic drain is the battery energy that’s used when the key is off. So the power drawn by the vehicle’s security system, the remote start system, even the power the minivan computers require to maintain their memory.


Reserves are also needed when you make very short trips around Fort Wayne. You’re not driving long enough for the battery to recover the energy it used to start your engine.


So go with the minimum recommended by your manufacturer and upgrade if you need more. Talk with your considerate Fox and Fox Frame Service Inc. service adviser about options. If you need more from your battery, a larger capacity battery may be what you need.


An added bonus is that our batteries their warranties. Be sure to ask your adviser about your battery’s warranty, so know exactly what you are getting.


At Fox and Fox Frame Service Inc., we have been providing quality auto service in Fort Wayne for 50 years and install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 260.424.1630.



Understanding Suspension Systems

Suspension integrity is something that as drivers we give little thought about, and many more of us know little about. Understanding your vehicle’s suspension isn’t as difficult as you would expect it to be. Think of how your skeleton provides the structure to hold up your weight. Your joints cushion you as you walk and allow you to change direction. Your vehicle’s suspension system is similar: It bears the weight of your vehicle, absorbs bumps in the road and controls the body as you steer.

Like the bones in your body, your car or truck’s suspension parts are connected by joints that allow all the components to move as they should. Over time and miles, the joints start to wear and your suspension gets loose and doesn’t operate as precisely as before, reducing proper tire contact with the road. An accident, pothole or hitting a curb or rock can also damage or break minivan suspension components.

If you’ve ever hurt your foot, you know you’ve had to walk differently to keep it from hurting as bad. Do that long enough and your ankle, knee, hip and even your back will start to hurt from the strain of not moving normally. The same thing happens in your minivan when one joint or part is worn or damaged: it stresses everything else and causes premature wear to the whole system.

Signs of suspension problems include uneven tire wear, vibration, a pull to one side, or when your vehicle rattles or clunks when you hit a bump or turn on a windy road.

If you suspect a suspension problem, call Bob or Rhonda at Fox and Fox. We will schedule a thorough examination of your suspension system. Our techs can also check your alignment while they’re at it.

Taking care of worn or damaged suspension components early, will head off future damage and wear and keep you from having to make expensive repairs down the road.

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Take care of what you have, get better gas mileage AND save money!

Something we hear quite frequently from Fort Wayne drivers is that their fuel economy is down and their vehicle just doesn’t have the pep it used to. When that happens, one of the things we look for is clogged fuel injectors.

The engine management computer tells your fuel injectors exactly when to spray fuel into your engine. It is key that clean fuel injectors spray the right amount of gasoline or diesel fuel in a nice, specific spray pattern. A dirty injector can’t spray enough fuel and it comes out in an uneven, weak pattern.

When your fuel injectors are dirty or clogged, the fuel just can’t burn as efficiently, which causes fuel economy to drop. And your car, truck, or minivan’s engine can’t make as much power.

Fuel injectors just get dirty over time. Gas and diesel fuel cause varnish and gum to build up in your fuel injectors, especially if you buy bargain gas. If your fuel injectors get too dirty, they can be damaged and need to be replaced – which can be pretty pricey.

The good news is that a professional fuel injector cleaning at Fox and Fox Frame Service Inc. in Fort Wayne can get the sticky buildup out of your injectors. So you know that your injectors will be able to spray the right amount of fuel, at exactly the right time, and in the right spray pattern. Your fuel economy will be restored, along with your vehicle’s engine performance. Fuel injectors are cleaned as part of a comprehensive fuel system cleaning that includes the induction system (throttle plates, intake manifold, idle air by-pass passages and, if applicable, the mass airflow sensor).

So ask Bob or Rhonda today about fuel injector cleaning at Fox and Fox Frame Service Inc. where we can get your engine running like new without a pricey fuel injector replacement.

Give us a call at Fox and Fox Frame Service Inc.  we install NAPA. Give us a call at 260.424.1630

Our Customers

At Fox and Fox we’ve always believed that we do more than fixing and maintaining cars, we are serving and helping people.

And honestly that is my favorite part of my job. I look forward to coming to work every day and seeing familiar faces. I am honored that I get work at a place where our customers trust us to serve their needs and I get to be the person that they share the ups and downs of their life with.

We see so many different people, with different backgrounds, ages, lifestyles. I learn so much everyday. Each person that comes through our door leaves their mark.

Our waiting room might not be glamorous, but it is comfortable and kid friendly. Our coffee and cookies are fresh. We appreciate our customers and all that they bring us.

Thank you for letting us be your car care company.

Our Customers

Brent & Chase Minnick enjoying themselves in our comfortable waiting room. (After they each had a cookie, of course!)

Sometimes safety is more than driving cautiously…

Weather is changing and so are the road conditions. There are many things that you can do to and for your vehicle to make it better prepared for poor driving conditions, conversely making things safer for you and your family.

I saw this video today and was reminded how quickly a bad accident can happen. Please take the time to watch this and think about your safety.

If taking the time to get your vehicle winter road ready is something that’s hard to do… consider using our consierge service. We will come to you, pick up your vehicle, service it, and bring it back!


A car that will drive for you?!

It goes without saying that there have been amazing technological advances in these last 50 years since our company’s inception in 1963. We know that phone technology, television technology, book keeping technology and numerous other types have technology have grown, changed and in some cases been created.

It stands to reason that cars have changed in numerous ways as well- everything from the types of materials used, to multiple options for the same model to complex safety systems… Previously I had written a blog about the debate about automation in our lives and how that could impact the car industry. As some of you might recall Google (a world leader in software technology) is leading the way in hardware design as well.

For the past few years, Google has been testing their automated vehicle in Nevada. This vehicle has logged over 300,000 miles so far. I am sure that you will have plenty of questions about this technology… I’ve included some links to help answer most of your questions.

Automated? How does that work? … let this article shed a little light on it :

What is like inside an automated Google car?

How has this already changed things for the automotive industry?

What’s Next; The debate on Man vs. Machine.

Just because the technology is there, doesn’t mean that it is what the majority chooses, despite how much to could benefit us. The technology to commnicate through a device that displays the video and audio has been available for several years, but it wasn’t until Apple utilized it with “facetime” that it has become commonplace. One could argue that it is a rarely used feature for most iphone users, as many people enjoy the privacy that is affored to them with a traditional phonecall.

The same train of thought might apply to automated vehicles. It might be nice to have your car drive you around without the stress of driving, allowing you to do other things along the way to your destination. Also, it appears that the google car, has a safer driving record than the average driver. Will there come a time when we will have to pay  higher insurance premium to drive ourselves? Or when self driving will be known as reckless driving? lnteresting thoughts… 

Another factor to consider is that as vehicles have become more complex, the cost of parts has skyrocketed. Thusly making repairs more costly, and the window of repair vs. a vehicle being totalled out after an accident much smaller. Although this might be a good thing for vehicle manufacturers, it seems that it would make it harder for those of us who see their vehicles as a tool that we intend to keep for a long time.

This article talks about some of those questions; and helps us to ask, “what next?”

What are your thoughts?

October is Fall Car Care Month

October is Fall Car Care Month

Posted on: October 4th, 2012 by sara

Did you know that October is Fall Car Care Month. Fall car care is essential in ensuring that your vehicle is ready for the winter driving season. Colder temperatures and more challenging conditions put greater strain on your vehicle and make safe driving more difficult.  It is especially hard because no one wants to get stuck anytime, let alone in cold weather.

Don’t end up like this driver:

Let us take a look at your vehicle and make sure it is weather ready. Call us today for more information 260-424-1630.