Monthly Archives: November 2011

Fox and Fox: A Fort Wayne Tradition

Fox and Fox was born in 1963 when Walter Fox and Jerry Fox purchased what was then called
“The Body and Fender Shop” from their employer. At that time, as the name implies, the shop was a complete body shop.

Walt and Jerry specialized in frame and alignment repair and immediately discontinued paint and body repair to concentrate on their specialties. Dolores, Jerry’s wife, handled the office details while they concentrated on the shop. They grew rapidly because the frames on cars were becoming more technologically advanced and required more knowledge, training and equipment to repair.

Before long they were performing these repairs for most area body shops and Insurance companies.
The large size and weight of these vehicles provided many alignment, suspension and brake repairs as well. After Walter passed away, Jerry and Dolores ran the company by themselves and continued to grow.

In 1968 Dick Fox, Jerry’s son, began to work in the summers and after school. In 1970 after graduation from high school and while going to IPFW to obtain a business degree he began to take over some office duties along with his wife Joellyn and was made a part of the business in 1973.

In the late 70s with the introduction of the “unitized body” constructed vehicles it was necessary to retool and retrain and new skills were required. Air conditioning, engine repair, drive train, and electrical know-how and equipment were required.

The shop grew and there were increased opportunities to perform maintenance repairs.

Finally in the late 80s with air bags and restraints the need for computer diagnostic skills was apparent and we decided that it would be best to make the shop full service offering oil changes, tune up, drive-train, alignment, air conditioning, services available to anyone needing them in addition to the collision services already being offered.

Once that transition was completed the next logical step for growth was to offer complete collision repairs including paint and body and in 1997 a paint booth was purchased and a painter hired.

Since that time Fox and Fox has been a complete collision repair center able to take a damaged vehicle from start to finish, working with all major Insurance companies while providing expert frame and suspension repairs for shops that do not specialize in that area. The mechanical repair shop performs every type of maintenance and repair needed on cars, vans, SUVs, and mid-size trucks.

Today, our company is proud to say that he have been serving our community for almost 50 years. Our goal is to provide complete car care for you and your family, giving you the confidence that we can service all your car needs with honesty, expertise and professionalism.

Visit our website today to schedule online: www.foxandfoxservice.com or visit our facebook page for the latest service specials:https://www.facebook.com/#!/FoxandFoxFW.

Fox & Fox, where our family welcomes the privledge to keep your family safe and on the road!

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New Car Preview 2012: Hottest New Technology

By: Jerry Edgerton
(MoneyWatch) 
 
In the past decade, new cars have become rolling wonders of technology — to the extent that some new cars have actually taken a hit for being too complicated. This year, with federal gas mileage standards ratcheting ever tougher, much of the hot new tech is aimed at boosting MPG. But other advances help drivers stay more connected to the Web and social media, and new safety systems can help you avoid accidents.On the mileage front, as usual, hybrid and electric vehicles top the charts. Ford and Mitsubishi are introducing 2012 electric vehicles to compete with the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt. And several new or improved hybrid models are joining the race.

Straining to meet the new federal standard — an average of 35.5 MPG by 2016 — automakers are prospecting for any feasible mileage-boosting advantage. One example: Cars as varied as the large 2013 Ford Taurus sedan (on sale in late 2012) and the 2012 Kia Rio subcompact have introduced shutters that improve aerodynamics by closing automatically when outside air is not needed to cool the engine — usually at highway speeds, when the engine is not working as hard and needs less cooling.

 
The Rio — rated at 30 mpg in city driving, 40 mpg on the highway – employs another new gas-saving technology. Anyone who has driven a hybrid like the Toyota Prius is familiar with that slightly eerie feeling when the gasoline engine shuts off completely at a stoplight or other full stop, then restarts automatically when you reach a certain speed. Now the Rio (at right) is one of the first all-gasoline cars to use a similar gas-saving system, with numerous others expected to follow.Let’s have a closer look at some of the new technology for 2012 that improves performance, mileage, entertainment and safety.Eight-Speed Transmissions
 
 
Improving the efficiency of automatic transmissions is one of the best tools that manufacturers have for boosting MPG. At Chrysler Group, reviewerssay the new eight-speed transmission has also improved performance. Putting the eight-speed into the V-6 versions of the Dodge Charger (right) and the Chrysler 300 not only improves acceleration at both high and low speeds; it also increases gas mileage to ratings of 19 MPG in city driving, and 31 on the highway.Increased Connections
Several automakers have updated their onboard technology to let drivers connect to better (or at least more) data and media. Critics of these trends — and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is a vocal one — worry that these systems promote distracted driving. But automakers say drivers can use many functions without taking their eyes off the road.Among the updates:
  • Toyota’s new Entune system — available in the redesigned Camry and other 2012 models — allows a driver to link with a smart phone and see such items as weather forecasts and stock quotes on the dashboard screen.

The improved version of General Motors OnStar service — long praised for its automatic reporting to system phone operators if your car is in a crash — now lets subscribers listen to Facebook posts and make voice posts to their own Facebook account.

  • And Ford’s SYNC system, the earliest to operate with voice commands, will now let you hear Twitter updates.
 
Avoiding Accidents
Several luxury models already carry new technology that helps drivers avoid accidents. Now this safety technology has spread further into the market, with the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox SUV picking up a couple of improvements.That expansion, say safety advocates, signals the beginning of more widespread use. “We expect these new systems to be [available] on many mainstream models within a few years,” says Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.Among the Equinox’s new features:
  • A lane-departure warning that alerts you if your car is drifting out of its lane — a possible life-saver for drowsy drivers.
  • A forward collision warning that senses if your vehicle is so close to the one ahead that a crash is likely. It makes a loud noise and automatically activates the brakes.
Photos courtesy of the manufacturers

When you can’t stop: A little information about your vehicle’s brakes

 

Good brakes are obviously very important. If you’ve ever had your brakes go out while you’re driving around the Fort Wayne area, you’ll know how terrifying it can be. Today we’ll focus on how to tell when you have a brake problem, and how to make good repair choices.

Often, the first indication that something’s wrong with the brakes is an unusual sound. It could be a squeal, chatter or grinding sound.

Some brake pads have a little piece of metal embedded in them that will make a squeal or chirping sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced. It’s an early warning indicator.

When you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at Fox and Fox soon.

Now a chattering sound is more urgent. That usually indicates that something is loose. It could be a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have some serious trouble stopping the vehicle. It would be a good idea to park it until you can get into the shop.

A grinding noise usually means that the brake pad is completely worn away and the metal parts of the brake are rubbing directly on the metal brake rotor. That means the rotor is being damaged and will need some work. More on that later.

Another warning sign is that your brake pedal may feel soft and spongy – or it may even feel very hard to push in. Both could mean trouble. And of course, you may get a dashboard brake warning light.

Now when it comes time to replace your brake pads, you have a choice to make. You can get the same pads that came standard on your vehicle. You can expect the same performance and durability as with the pads that came on the car from the factory.

Now you can also get a budget brake pad. Sometimes drivers insist on lower cost pads. That’s OK if the budget demands it, but you need to be aware of the trade offs. Lower grade pads are usually noisier, so you’ll have to live with more noise when you apply the brakes. They also tend to generate a lot more brake dust, you know, that black dust that accumulates on your wheels. And they probably won’t last as long either. In our opinion, that’s a lot of compromise for just a few dollars in savings.

You can also choose to buy premium brakes pads. These perform at higher specifications than the factory pads. You can expect quieter operation, less brake dust and better stopping power.

Now, getting back to the rotors. The rotors are the discs that the brake pads clamp down on to stop the vehicle. If you’ve been driving with completely worn brake pads, you’ve scratched grooves into the rotors. If the grooves aren’t too deep, the rotor can be resurfaced. A thin layer of metal is cut off the surface of the rotor to make it smooth again.

Now, if the grooves are too deep or if the rotor has already be resurfaced before, there may not be enough material to resurface and still have a rotor that’s thick enough to safely stop the vehicle. In that case, the rotor will have to be replaced.

Something that is unfortuanlly sometimes overlooked is the brake fluid. Your manufacturer has a recommended schedule for evacuating the old brake fluid, cleaning the system and refilling it with fresh brake fluid. This is really important to brake performance.

So here’s the bottom line: if you suspect, inspect. If you notice any of these warning signs, have your brakes inspected. And if you aren’t sure what brakes would be best for you, talk to one of our service writers; They’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

Prolonging the Life of your Car

Considering the effort and resources that go into a car purchase, it is only apt that the same amount of effort would be given for car maintenance. Prolonging the life of a car greatly depends on how the owner performs preventative maintenance. Keeping a vehicle in top running condition requires discipline. It is important to know your vehicle both as a whole and by its individual parts. Take the time out to learn the best practices for preventative maintenance. An important first step in auto maintenance is reading and understanding the owner’s manual. In addition to that, Fox & Fox, is here to share a few tips about car maintenance. Read on and take notes:

* Brakes – Working brakes are important to ensure your safety. Make it a habit to regularly check your brakes for any malfunction. Every two years, the brake fluid should also be professionally replaced. Without proper car maintenance, brake issues such as rotted brake lines or malfunctioning anti-lock brake pumps may occur, which could be even more damaging to the car and to your budget.

* Fluids – Clean fluids are needed since it runs through the car system to keep all car parts healthy. Vehicle fluids such as antifreeze coolant, power steering, transmission, and brake fluids should be checked and replaced when needed. Check the windshield washer fluid, too.

* Oil – Regular oil change is very important in order to keep your car in proper running order. This helps improve the life of your car’s engine and also allows your car to maximize the horsepower it puts on the road.

* Gas – A cheaper grade of gas does not mean you can opt to use it. Always use the gas specifically formulated for your vehicle type. Just scout through different gas stations and choose one with cheaper gas prices in order to help you save some money.

* Upkeep – Cleaning both the interior and exterior of the vehicle regularly results to an enjoyable ride and improves the car’s resale value. Any rust bubbles or dents noticed when washing the car must be quickly addressed.

Regular car maintenance is important in order for your car to serve you well for a long time. Should you encounter more complicated vehicle issues, contact a professional auto mechanic like Fox & Fox. We dedicate ourself to providing quality workmanship alongside fair auto repair cost estimates.

Fox and Fox is one of the most notable auto repair shops in Fort Wayne. We are BBB Accredited and A+ rated.