Severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for travelers. Winter storms, bad weather, and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter. Drivers should know how to deal with winter road emergencies.
Cold Weather Driving Tips
- Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car, such as extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, an ice scraper, blankets, medications, and more.
- Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
- Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as on ice and snow.
Tips for Driving in the Snow
- Stay home. Only go out if necessary. Even if you drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by heading out onto the roads.
- Drive slowly. Always adjust your speed to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on slippery and icy roads.
- Increase your following distance to five to six seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop quickly.
- Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
- Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
- Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
- Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
Tips for Long-Distance Winter Trips
- Be Prepared: Have your vehicle checked by an Auto Repair facility before hitting the road.
- Check the Weather: Check the weather along your route and when possible, delay your trip if bad weather is expected.
- Stay Connected: Before hitting the road, notify others and let them know your route, destination, and estimated time of arrival.
- If you get stuck in the snow:
- Stay with your vehicle: Your vehicle provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Do not try to walk in a severe storm. It is easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
- Don’t overexert yourself: When digging out your vehicle, listen to your body and stop if you become tired.
- Be Visible: Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna of your vehicle or place a cloth at the top of a rolled-up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
- Clear the Exhaust Pipe: Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, ice, or mud. A blocked exhaust pipe can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment of the vehicle while the engine is running.
- Stay Warm: Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers, or paper maps. Pre-pack blankets and heavy clothing to use in case of an emergency.
- Conserve Fuel: If possible, only run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill. This will help to conserve fuel.
Be aware and stay safe on the roads!
TOP CAR ADVICE FOR FALL!
Fall is right around the corner, and that means a new season for your car as well! How do you prepare your vehicle for the fall weather? Here is all you need to know on how to get your car ready for fall driving conditions.
An excellent way to start is by giving your car a good cleaning.
Wash off all the bugs and anything from your windshield that could hinder visibility. It’s a great time to also clean out the inside because you may be less motivated to do it when the weather turns.
Wax your car.
Before the snow ever comes and the roads need to be treated with salt or sand, it’s a good idea to wax your car to protect the paint from all the elements it could encounter this fall or winter.
Check your windshield wipers and replace them if necessary.
Your wipers need to be replaced every 6 months to a year. Older wipers will tend to make less contact with your window and may squeak as they’re going and only end up smearing your window. In that case, you’re actually decreasing visibility instead of improving it.
Make sure you test your heater before the cooler temperatures arrive!
If you find that your heater is not working properly, you’ll want to make sure you have Albion Auto address those issues before you have to deal with cold and freezing temperatures. Also, be sure to make sure your defroster is working correctly.
Check your belts and hoses.
Have your vehicle checked for and replace worn belts and hoses
Change your oil to keep your car running as efficiently as possible.
Degraded oil can turn to sludge causing numerous issues including inefficiency.
Check your tires.
Do you have the appropriate tires to handle potential winter hazards? Are your tires in good enough condition? Neglecting your car’s need for good tires could be devastating. Tires that are losing their tread are going to be extremely dangerous in rain, snow, or ice. If your tires have less than 3mm of tread, make sure you replace them as soon as possible.
Check your tire pressure.
The amount of tire pressure will affect the traction and handling of your car. Because cold weather will cause the pressure in your tires to contract, you want to be monitoring them to make sure they’re properly inflated. Check your spare tire to make sure it is also sufficiently inflated.
Check the condition of your battery.
Make sure its posts and connections are free of corrosion. Have it tested to see how much charge it can hold, especially if it’s more than a few years old. You do not want to end up stranded in the cold with a dead battery if you can help it. Replace your battery if needed.
Make sure your headlights and brake lights are in good working order.
Especially in heavy fog or snow, you’ll need all the light you can get. If the plastic on your headlights has become hazy, it’s a good idea to have them buffed and polished to ensure that they’ll be shining as bright as possible.
Always make sure you have sufficient fuel in your car.
While it’s never good for your fuel pump to run it too low in any season, driving with low fuel especially in the winter is not safe. Should you end up stranded somewhere in the winter, having sufficient fuel would keep you warm longer as you wait for help.
Summer heat can be exhausting with no air conditioning in your car, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in traffic, no a/c, and no airflow. Once you start moving you will get some relief with the windows down but depending on the temperature can still be rather uncomfortable. Getting your car’s air conditioning repaired is a worthwhile investment to keep you and your loved ones comfortable this summer.
Air Conditioning Should Be A Priority
Well at one-time air conditioning in the car was a luxury, today it is becoming more and more a necessity. The extreme heat and humidity can have severe negative effects on your comfort, mood, and health.
The A/C provides a comfortable driving experience, especially on hot summer days. It controls the motion, purity, humidity, and air temperature, independent of the external conditions. The Automotive Air Conditioning provides a relaxing environment for drivers to enjoy their commute.
Ensuring Optimal Performance
Your cars air conditioning won’t perform as expected without periodic maintenance and inspections. Problems could arise such as a minor refrigerant leak which may cause air to still blow somewhat cold but in the extreme heat not be enough to keep the interior cool. Having a professional check your car’s AC ensures it performs optimally. Professional technicians inspect your A/C system thoroughly and inform you of any issues which are found
Beat The Heat This Summer
If your car’s air conditioning is not blowing cold air or seems inefficient, don’t delay. Get your car’s air conditioning inspected and repaired right away at a certified and licensed auto repair shop such as Albion Auto Service. When the next heatwave arrives, you will be glad you did.
As much of North America, Bolton ON included, are limiting travel and working from home, vehicle care doesn’t end. If you have concerns about a vehicle not being ready when you need it for grocery trips, medical appointments, or other essential travel, automotive repair shops, including Albion Auto Service ARE open during this Covid-19 crisis. Keeping you and your family mobile is a legitimate concern, and contactless processes allow for services to be performed and payment while implementing social distancing.
Vehicle lead acid batteries will lose charge at a rate of 2-8% per month. This rate increases, as temperatures increase. If your battery was already weak, there is a good chance your vehicle will not start if you let it sit for an extended period of time without starting and allowing the vehicle’s charging system to maintain the battery. A trickle charger is a great idea, if you know your vehicle will be parked for a long duration.
Rodents love the shelter of a vehicle that has not moved. And no vehicle is completely impenetrable. Some insurance plans will cover rodent damage, but you will still be out deductibles and the time you do not have your vehicle. The AVERAGE to repair chewed up wiring in a vehicle is $1200, with some instances creating $10,000 in damage! Rodents love to create havoc with wiring, insulation, and even the upholstery. Wiring issues can render your vehicle unable to be be driven, and are the most expensive damages. What can you do? Some natural rodent repellents include cotton balls that have been soaked in peppermint, cayenne pepper, or clove oils. Some people have had luck with shavings from strong deodorant soaps, like Irish Spring. Cedarwood chips and laundry dryer sheets are additional items you may have around the house that can deter these destructive little critters. If you suspect you have had rodents in your vehicle because of new, unpleasant odours, droppings, claw marks, or you are suddenly having issues with your vehicle, please contact us immediately at 905-857-8413.
Vehicles that sit locked up for days or weeks can develop some musty, unpleasant odors. If you are able to park in a secure garage, crack a window to allow the car to ventilate. If your vehicle is sitting outdoors, consider leaving a dryer sheet or two in the vehicle to help with the smells. If the odors are stronger that you might normally notice, it is possible mold or mildew in your ventilation system has taken hold. If running the fan does not eliminate the smells, commercially available sanitization is available at most auto repair facilities. This process will kill the mold and mildew, and is a great time to evaluate your cabin air filter at this time.
Brake rotors and drums are made of plain steel, with little anti-corrosion treatment. After as little as a few hours of sitting in wet environments, a fine layer of rust will start to develop on their surfaces. Of course, the longer your car sits, the worse this gets, especially on poorly drained parking surfaces. When heading out for the first time in a few days or weeks, take the time to gently push and release the brake pedal a few times before setting off. Then, with a window or two lowered, listen up. If you hear some light to moderate scraping noise from the brakes, avoid panic stops and instead brake gently for the first few stops. This will allow the brake pads to wear off the rust build-up without overheating the rotors, and will lessen the chances of a brake vibration that will require rotor replacement to cure.
If you’re a regular parking brake user, keep it up; exercising these systems (mostly made up of mechanical linkages) is key to avoid them seizing. If you haven’t touched the parking brake in months, don’t try it now unless you have the time, skills, and equipment to get unstuck.
Take care of yourself and your families during these uncertain times. Control what you can control, which includes proactively caring for your health, your home, and your mobility. We are a community that will care for each other during difficult times. If you need help, please let us know. Our mission is so much bigger than auto repair, and we treat our commitment to being an “essential service” with the utmost respect.
Spring is on its way to Bolton, ON! As we look forward to sunny days and road trips, it’s important to remember that changing seasons mean changing conditions for your vehicle. As we head into a new season, take time to make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on its maintenance needs:
Antifreeze isn’t only important during freezing winter nights. This fluid, also known as coolant, prevents the engine from overheating all year! As temperatures rise during the spring, make sure the coolant and cooling system are working properly.
2. A/C temperature and check
As the days get warmer in Ontario, you’re more likely to turn on the air conditioning in the spring and summer. Problems may have appeared during the winter while you were not using the a/c. Make sure the system is tested and ready to keep you cool and comfortable on the roads in Caledon… otherwise, you may suffer from sticky seats and uncomfortable heat as temperatures rise.
3. Tire pressure
A 10-degree increase in temperature can affect tire pressure by 1-2 psi. During the spring, temperatures in Ontario can swing rapidly from hot to cold. Check your tire pressure regularly to make sure it is still in the optimal range. Properly inflated tires can help you improve fuel efficiency (KM/L) and maximize the life of your tires.
Temperature swings also leave behind road damage, including unsightly and dangerous potholes, cracks, and bumps. Even a small pothole can damage your alignment and suspension. If you hit a pothole on the road, bring your vehicle in for an inspection and alignment right away to prevent further damage.
Spring is the perfect time to take care of routine maintenance that you may have been putting off during the winter. Fluid flushes can help ensure the coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and motor oil are all in good condition and ready for the demands of warmer weather. When you visit Keller Bros. Auto Repair for an inspection, our certified technicians will check each of these fluids – we’ll even top off your windshield washer fluid to keep you safe through spring showers!
The best thing you can do for your vehicle this spring is to stop by Albion Auto for a full inspection. Our certified auto technicians can check the above items and more to make sure your vehicle is ready for spring driving conditions. If maintenance is needed, take care of issues right away.
If you have any questions about the care of your vehicle, preparing for spring in Bolton, or scheduling an appointment, call our service consultant at 905-857-8413.
Categories: Car Care Tips
Around this time every year, auto manufacturers seem to increase the number of advertisements they air in hopes of getting drivers to buy a new car in time to enjoy the beautiful summer weather. According to both history and current trends, this is rarely a good idea, however.
Last year, the price of pre-owned vehicles went up significantly. If this trend holds, you might stand to get much more for your used vehicle down the road. When you take care of your vehicle’s maintenance, you’re not just keeping your family safe and preventing costly breakdowns. You are also paving the way for a better price when you’re ready to sell or trade-in your vehicle in the future as cars in good shape tend to fetch more money for obvious reasons.
But, just as importantly, it means that it’s a seller’s market for pre-owned vehicles right now. While used cars are usually a much better investment than buying new, neither option is wallet-friendly at the moment. The much better financial decision is to keep your current vehicle for longer by keeping up with its preventive maintenance plan.
Here are ten other reasons you should avoid the lure of a new car this spring:
- More car payments – Most car loans are for a term of three to five years. If you keep your car instead of buying a new one, you’re payment free for years 5-10!
- Higher insurance costs – Newer vehicles come with higher premiums for insurance. If your premium is more than 10% of the car’s value, you can drop collision and comprehensive coverage (and pocket that extra cash!)
- Taxes – Sales tax makes up for 13% of the cost of a new vehicle in Ontario – a $15,000 vehicle comes with roughly $1,950 in sales taxes. But you don’t have to spend that extra cash to keep your current car!
- Depreciation – As soon as you drive your brand new car off the lot, it loses value. A vehicle is not an investment. Unlike your house, you can rarely expect to get more out of your vehicle than you put into it. A new car loses 11% of its value the moment it leaves the lot and loses value the fastest during the first five years you own it (15-25% each year). Buying a new vehicle means you’ll be losing money even faster.
- Fees – Registration fees are higher for new cars. License fees, sales tax, ownership tax all factor into your registration fee. Initial payment is often significantly higher than renewing your registration. On top of the dollar value, you’ll have the hassle of waiting in line and gathering all the paperwork – your title, proof of ID, uses vehicle information package, and good old fashioned chequebook.
- Cost of buying a car – Let’s not overlook the obvious. If you’re buying a new vehicle, you’ll need money for the down payment. Instead, you could put that money in a savings account or invest and accrue interest in your pocket instead of the sellers.
- Hidden recalls – Look out for TSBs! A technical service bulletin is like a “secret recall.” The manufacturer knows something is wrong with the vehicle but hasn’t gone so far to recall the component. The bad news is that they don’t share this information publicly unless you know to look for it. If you’re buying a used vehicle (or even a new one), you could end up stuck with a stack of TSBs and hefty repair bills.
- Shopping – You might know exactly the car you want, or you could spend days and weeks researching all the options. From makes and models to paint colour, add-ons, features, warranties, and details – do you have time to research every decision? Besides, no one likes dealing with car salespeople.
- Don’t know how it handles – After years with the same car, you learn how it performs. You know exactly how to accelerate, the noises of the engine, and can pick up on changes and warning signs almost immediately. You know when you need to see your mechanic, so you can catch issues early and keep up with preventative maintenance to avoid damage and big-ticket repairs. If you get a new car, you have to go through the “getting to know you” period again. From wasting gas with “jackrabbit” starts to new noises and smells, you’ll end up spending more money at the pump and the auto shop.
- Maintenance Repairs vs. Monthly Payments – Even with older vehicles and significant repairs, the cost of repairs and maintenance will almost certainly be less than payments on a new vehicle. If you factor in the cost of maintenance you will need to pay for your new vehicle, and the difference is even more remarkable.
When it comes to preventative maintenance for your vehicle, a few hundred bucks each year can mean thousands of dollars in savings. Your owner’s manual is an excellent source of information about your vehicle’s needs, but so is a trusted mechanic. Repair shops with certified technicians, such as Albion Auto., will be able to help you keep your car well-maintained and running until you’re ready to move to a new one.
If you have any questions regarding your vehicle’s health or if you’d like to set up a preventative maintenance schedule, be sure to give us a call at 905-857-8413 or book an appointment online Book-Now
Modern automobiles are engineering marvels and finely-tuned machines that would seem very futuristic to car owners just a couple of decades ago. Even with all the advancements your vehicle still requires regular maintenance in order to function at an optimal level. Tune-up in Bolton at Albion Auto
Generally speaking, you should consider getting a tune-up every 80,000 Km at the very minimum in order to avoid encountering any major problems with key vehicle components in the future.
As oil changes are done every 5,000 Km or every three months, getting an inspection every other time you get this service done, twice a year or so, is also a good idea in order to maintain your vehicle’s health and avoid any potential issues.
While exact details can differ from shop to shop depending on a variety of factors such as market climate and such, a modern tune-up will generally consist of filters and spark plugs being replaced, the fuel system and throttle body being cleaned and a comprehensive fluid flush.
If you’re not sure how long it’s been since your last tune-up, here are a few signs you should get one performed soon:
Increased Fuel Consumption. If you’re filling your tank up more often than usual, there’s a decent chance something is out-of-whack in your engine and you’re in need of a tune-up.
Knocking/Pinging Sounds. When you hear either of these noises, particularly during acceleration, your vehicle is definitely in need of service. There’s a chance your engine is making these noises due to using the wrong octane level of fuel, but better safe than sorry!
Hard Starting. If it takes you a few tries to get your engine started more than once within a short timeframe, you should head to an auto shop ASAP.
If you need to schedule a tune-up, inspection or anything else related to your vehicle’s health, be sure to give Albion Auto a call at 905-857-8413 – our trained technicians are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have!
As we reach the peak of winter here in Bolton, ON you will most likely be contending with a lot of issues as you try and stay warm and safe while dealing with freezing rain, snow, ice, etc. One of the most frustrating issues to contend with during the winter months is a dead car battery.
Low temperatures affect your battery in a couple of ways. First, since oil has a tendency to thicken in cold weather, it takes more work for your engine to turn over. Second, cold temperatures slow down the chemical reactions that occur inside of batteries to generate electricity.
Here are three things you can do in order to avoid encountering problems with your car battery between now and spring:
Get it Tested. If your battery is more than three years old, it is recommended that an automotive technician run a diagnosis on it to make sure it is ion a good state of health. Even new batteries can lose significant power in below-freezing temperatures so having an expert take a quick look at your engine-starter is advisable during the winter.
Give it a Break. Using car accessories that draw power from your battery force it to work harder and drain quicker. Accessories that are powered by your battery can include lights, your sound system and electrical devices plugged into the internal power socket(s).
Trickle Up. A simple and popular way to make sure your battery is properly charged is to invest in a ‘trickle charger’. These low-amp chargers are easy to install/use and take the load off of your alternator, which can only produce a small amount of wattage and wasn’t designed to charge a dead battery.
Winter is a challenging time for drivers in Bolton and dealing with a car that won’t start is the last thing anyone wants to deal with this time of year. If you have any issues starting your vehicle or if you have any questions whatsoever about its health, be sure to give Albion Auto. a call at 905-857-8413 . Our trained technicians are dedicated to keeping you safely and reliably on the road all year long!
Now that the weather has turned cold in Bolton, and we have already had snow on the ground. It is a great time to make sure that your car, light truck, or SUV is ready to handle the slippery, harsh conditions we are sure to be getting more of!
Here are a few pre-winter tips for you to make sure your vehicle is ready.
Check Tread Depth. The rule of thumb is that 3mm is the bare minimum amount of tread you need to be safe on the road. When tires reach 2mm, they are officially unsafe to drive on. You can look for wear indicator bars on your tires. If the wear bars are flush with the tread of the tire, it is time for new ones, or stop by our shop for an inspection.
Check Tire Air Pressure. Low air pressure can affect your tire’s shape and how it handles the road. Be sure to keep an air pressure gauge in your vehicle in order to check your tires when they start to appear low. Many service stations have gauges and air compressors available as well.
Check your Spare Tire. Most vehicles still have one, but is it in decent condition? It’s a good idea to check on your spare tire twice a year to make sure it’s ready for the road (pressure, tread, etc.) in case you need to use it.
Be Prepared. Emergencies can pop up in an instant so it is a good idea to be ready with supplies in case something goes wrong with your car. For example, having salt in your trunk can give you traction if you’re stuck in the snow.
Consider Winter Tires. It is not always necessary to get winter tires for your vehicle but they definitely give your vehicle better traction as well as shorter stopping distances on the wet, snow-covered and even dry cold roads.
Keep Your washer fluid topped up. During winter driving conditions it is essential to have plenty of washer fluid to keep your windshield clean ensuring proper visibility.
Check your wiper blades. Making sure your wiper blades are in good shape ensures proper visibility when needed. Dried out or torn wiper blades make for dangerous driving in severe weather conditions.
To obtain a comprehensive winter inspection, be sure to swing by Albion Auto – our technicians have the know-how and equipment necessary to diagnose and assess your vehicle to keep you safe on the road this winter! Schedule your winter inspection ONLINE or give us a call at 905-857-8413.
With temperatures approaching freezing and so many gray days, it’s no wonder we often feel sleepy and sluggish during this time of year. Did you know that your car battery experiences something similar in cold weather? As the temperature drops, it can become more difficult for your battery to get enough energy to start your car. Thankfully, there are a handful of things you can do to help make sure you don’t get stranded with a dead car battery this winter!
Check the age of your battery
How old is your car battery? If your battery is older than four or five years old, it could be nearing the end of its life. Your battery is like the heart of your vehicle, so why gamble with it? Know it’s age and get it replaced when it’s “getting up there” in years. The production date of the battery is typically stamped or engraved on the top or side of the battery, depending on the manufacturer. Look for a letter and a digit, with the letter indicating the month the car battery was manufactured and the digit indicating the year it was manufactured. For example, if your battery said, “D13,” it was shipped in April 2013 and is about three years old.
Clean off corrosion around the terminals
Turn off the car, pop the hood, and take a look at your battery. Do you see any white powder around the terminals? That’s corrosion, which increases electrical resistance and makes your battery work harder than it needs to. You can use standard household products to clean off and prevent corrosion. But if you’d rather not deal with it yourself, bring your car by your local auto repair shop, Albion Auto for a Battery Terminal Cleaning Service and Corrosion Protection Package.
Install a battery blanket
You’re not the only one who appreciates a warm blanket on a cold day! Purchase an electric battery blanket to insulate your battery when temperatures start to dip. It will help prevent your battery’s fluid from freezing and help your car roar to life on a cold morning. You can find battery blankets for about $20 to $50 online or at your local auto parts store. Battery blankets are simple to install and only require the use of a nearby electrical outlet. Just plug it in, wrap the blanket around your battery, and it will thank you – by working correctly! As always, consult your owner’s manual before using a battery blanket.
Limit your use of accessories that strain the battery
When you hop into your car in the winter, you probably feel like you’re freezing. However, take a minute before you crank up the heat, and your radio, lights, or cell phone charger. Let your alternator charge up the battery for a bit before you add the strain of accessories. When you get out of your car, do the reverse. Turn everything off, so your battery isn’t bombarded with demands when you start it up later!
Keep your battery charged
A depleted battery is more likely to freeze up and fail than one that’s fully charged. If you notice your car straining a bit to start or “turn over” when you turn the key in the ignition, it might be time to pull out the car charger. Give your battery some juice so it can better withstand cruel winter temperatures. You can find a basic portable car battery charger online for around $30, depending on the charger brand and amps delivered.
Get your battery tested before it lets you down
When it comes to the state of your battery, ignorance is not bliss. Rather than getting caught in the cold with a dead battery, visit Albion Auto for a free battery test! With a quick diagnostic test, you can find out just how much life your battery has left and when you may need a new car battery.