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KEEP YOUR CAR & SHOW IT SOME LOVE!

car care

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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!)
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

Time For A Tune-up?

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!

Winter Car Battery Maintenance

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!

Is Your Vehicle Ready for Winter?

Winter tires go a long way to ensuring the safety of you and the ones you love.

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.

HOW TO AVOID A DEAD BATTERY THIS WINTER

battery test albion auto
battery test AT Albion Auto

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.

Driving in the Rain

Although we are approaching the end of May, we are definitely getting a lot of rain! Driving in the rain presents a unique set of challenges, and with the unpredictable weather we are getting this year, you need to be prepared to adapt to unfavourable driving conditions.

Here are a few tips for driving safely in wet weather conditions !

  • Make sure that your car’s equipment is in working order before encountering rainy weather. Check your headlights, tail lights, and windshield wipers to make sure that they will work efficiently when they are needed. Also check the tread of your vehicle’s tires. Balding tires can severely reduce traction on wet roadways.
  • Turn your headlights on – Not only do headlights help you see, they help you be seen. That can be more important when visibility is affected by heavy rain. 
  • Use your windshield wipers – This seems like common sense, but if there are water droplets collecting on your windshield, your ability to see and react to road conditions is compromised. Most cars windshield wiper speed is adjustable to clear moisture from the glass in a light mist or in a heavy downpour. There are also several products available that can be sprayed or wiped onto the glass and claim to defer the collection of rainwater.
  • Avoid pooling water – If water is pooling and flowing across the road, try to avoid it. Pooling water can cause hydroplaning to occur. Which is when you lose traction and skid across the surface of the road. To avoid hydroplaning, drive around places where water has collected by changing lanes or safely steering around such areas.
  • Slow down – Not only should you adhere to the posted speed limit when driving in wet weather conditions, you should drive  slower than you normally would. Wet roads are very dangerous. Your vehicle’s reaction time is much slower when it is raining. Reducing speed is very important in rainy weather.

Be sure to give us a call at 905-857-8413 or contact us online, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your vehicle – we’re dedicated to keeping you safely on the road!

Getting the Most Engine Power From Your Vehicle

computer testing
computer testing

Cars are an important part of everyday life. They help us get to work, home, soccer practice for the kids, musical recitals, and even give us entertainment through NASCAR and Monster Truck rallies. There are those that like the style and look of the older cars, and others who enjoy the comfort, convenience, and the safety features of the newer model of cars. Whatever your preference is, it is important to make sure that your car is running properly and that you are getting the most out of your engine power from your vehicle. 

What is Engine Power and Torque?

Power and torque are what is produced from the engine when you turn on your car and press on the accelerator. Air and fuel combust together causing the crankshaft, the transmission, and the drive axles to convert the potential energy of your car into kinetic energy. Here are a few of the textbook definitions to make it easier to understand your car’s engine. 

Power– How rapidly work is accomplished. 

Engine Power Efficiency – refers to the relationship between the total energy contained in the fuel, and the amount of energy required for it to perform. 

Engine Power Output – refers to the maximum amount of power an engine can put out. In a car, this is often referred to as horsepower. In the United States, horse-power is used to show how much work is required to pull 33,000 pounds a distance of one foot per minute. 

Torque– is a rotating force produced by an engine’s crankshaft. This helps determine how much work can be done. The higher torque results in a higher ability to perform work. 

What Causes Poor Engine Performance? 

It’s terrifying to be driving on the highway and you go to accelerate, and your car either feels like it isn’t responding or it is losing power. The causes for this kind of problem are usually a result of mechanical failures, such as low compression, where the cylinders are not producing enough increase in pressure during the combustion process. Other problems include but are not limited to:

Camshaft Position Sensors Malfunctioning

The Camshaft Position Sensor is designed to give the electronic control module information on how fast the camshaft is operating in your car. (The camshaft is a set of cams that work the valves in the combustion chamber of your car.) The control module then dictates when the fuel injector and the ignition should go off. If this is malfunctioning, this will cause your car to jerk as the engine doesn’t have enough power to accelerate when being asked to.

Clogged or Bad Fuel Injectors

Fuel injectors spray fuel inside the engine. Bad fuel injectors could delay when the fuel is being sprayed into your engine, resulting in lower performance and ultimately leading to the engine not being able to produce enough power to run the vehicle. 

Bad Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are located in your car’s combustion chamber. They send a signal that causes an electric spark in the combustion chamber, allowing the air and the fuel mixture to ignite, and send the needed energy for your engine to perform. With bad spark plugs, this reaction becomes more and more delayed, resulting in the weakening of your engine power and ultimately a failing of the engine. 

All of these malfunctioning parts will result in your engine and your vehicle losing power. If left unchecked or unresolved, then your vehicle will ultimately fail, and result in costly repairs. It is important to keep your vehicle running smoothly, so noticing any sort of jerking or a change in the way a car rides is a good indicator that your car needs a tune-up. 

What Can I Do To Correct My Car’s Loss of Power?

When it comes to your engine, it is the brain and heart of your car. If it is having trouble, it is time to take it in for a much-needed tune-up. At Albion Auto Sales & Service, we specialize in making sure that your engine is running smoothly, resulting in a reliable car and a happy client.

We can provide engine rebuilds, which focuses on finding broken parts and replacing them with parts that not only fit your engine but help it run more smoothly. Engine rebuilds are not only more economically friendly, but it is also a good way to make sure that the rest of the engine is running smoothly, and if not, that the hidden problem is taken care of in a timely and efficient manner. 

We also offer engine replacements which can be helpful if you find your car is really fickle and needs extra care. In the long run, an engine replacement can be more cost-efficient, as it saves you from the hassle of having other parts of the engine malfunctioning. A new engine will guarantee that your vehicle runs like it is brand new. 

All Services

We do it all. From headlight bulbs to major engine repairs. Visit a reliable and affordable complete car care centre. Albion Auto, conveniently located nearby in Bolton.

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