Category Archives: Cars

The Importance of Clean Engine Oil

Engine motor oil serves a most vital role – or set of roles in the protection of your engine and to give you both long term engine life as well as reliable and economical transportation. Indeed both experienced mechanics, dealership service writers and fleet managers will all advise heartily that the most important thing you can do in servicing and maintaining your vehicle is to change your engine oil regularly – even more often than recommended intervals.

Engine Oil is Always Being Worn Away By Engine Oil Contaminants:

Oil in your engine sump and being circulated through your car, SUV, truck or van’s power plant not only lubricates your engine but as well and importantly removes great amounts of waste heat generated during the gasoline combustion process and processes. Yet while doing its job, it is literally taking the greatest of beatings. The oil is challenged by friction, assaulted by both heat and chemical changes, and contaminated by a myriad of contaminants including soot, water, acids as well as assorted various impurities and grit like materials.

Better Engine Oil Brands Have Additives Added To Help Protect Motor Oils:
Yet to help protect the oil itself, retain its freshness and its intrinsic abilities to play its various roles, higher quality – most costly – commercial engine oils have additives that help to prevent rapid deterioration.

Determining Recommended Oil Change Intervals:
Eventually however even the very best oil, brands and types of lubrication motor oils lose their protective and functional abilities. Therefore change your oil at recommended intervals. How can you determine this? Your owner’s manual (usually in your glove box), or a recommended service schedule may also provide this information. If not check online at the auto makers & manufacturer’s website. Failing that your trusted local mechanic or service tech writer at your local automobile dealership.

Change Oil by Mileage or Time – It Depends on Your Driving Style & Habits:

Sometimes – or a lot of times – it’s best to change even more frequently than is generally recommended. Some motorist does it by time, other miles or km distance. It often comes down to your driving habits and history. If you put on a lot of miles then mileage is your key. If you are the type who only uses their vehicle to drive to the mall and shopping center and perhaps church, placing very few miles distance on engine and auto then go by time. Yet in many cases those with few miles , and stop and go driving – as compared to those who put on a lot of highway and freeway miles where the engine warms and heats up – burning or boiling off water in the engine crankcase , those low volume drivers would be best to change their oil at more frequent times intervals. As a reference point check the owner’s manual for recommended oil change intervals for “severe service”. Severe service is a category of automobile use as typified by short distances, lots of stop and go and idling – as you might find in taxis or police vehicles.


Generally in 2012 most motorists , auto owners and drivers, and even fleet drivers take the engine oil in their motor for granted – seldom ever giving it a though .
This should not be the case. Check your engine oil levels often and regularly and have your engine oil replaced fully on very frequent and regular intervals.

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Auto Owners – Have Your Battery Checked For Winter Driving

Auto Owners - Have Your Battery Checked For Winter Driving

Auto Owners - Have Your Battery Checked For Winter Driving

It May Be Time To Replace That Car Battery

  Whir, whir , whir.  Will your car, truck or SUV start come the coldest days of January?  Few motorists and auto owners give their auto battery much thought.  Yet come the dead of winter and the long wait for the motor league wrecker tow truck for a boost may give you pause to think that perhaps next time I will replace that battery earlier, and perhaps with a larger amperage model.  And you don’t have to be up north in the Canadian arctic with a blinding wintertime blizzard to come to this conclusion.

It’s only a question of time and miles before its time to replace your battery even it’s a very high quality unit that came new with the vehicle.  Some mechanics and fleet operators will advise you to replace auto batteries like clockwork regardless of miles and km every 3 or 4 years.  Eventually all batteries run out of chemicals, the plate deposits become too extensive, the plates vibrate and break apart.

This often comes as a direct result of improperly tightened hold-down clamps. Yet another wise reason to have your battery replaced and installed properly either by a good mechanic or the service department at your local auto dealership.  Another common means by which lead acid auto batteries fail is that cells themselves begin to leak causing the current (and battery) to short circuit.

When it comes time to replace your vehicle’s battery – either because its necessary or you deem it’s a good and wise idea overall it is both essential and imperative that the unit be replaced with one of the same size and rating.  Bargains you get from your neighbor or uncle that don’t fit properly or of inadequate amperage are just plain false economy and shortly will cost you more in inconvenience , time lost and two than you saved instead of getting a proper replacement battery in the first place.

How do you determine what is correct?  It’s a good guide that the size of any battery is determined by its outside dimensions of the casing itself.  Charts are available wherever batteries are sold , or repaired to help you decide and determine which size , and what price is correct for your car and will fit into your automotive repair and maintenance budget overall.

Again an automobile’s battery is both a component of any car, truck, van or SUV that we both depend on and as well take for granted.  Take a few moments out before this winter’s cold snap really hits to either check your battery for its condition or the charge it can hold.  Alternatively if this is beyond your skill set or time available take your vehicle to a professional mechanic, battery shop or the service center of your local auto dealership.

George Garry

Winter driving in Winnipeg is terribly demanding on any car or truck.  Autowest Winnipeg  Service Center has a complete new modern service center with trained staff and shop charges much lower  than the majors in the province of Manitoba  In the Surrey BC Eagle Ridge GM Auto service center – expert auto mechanic , car & truck diagnostic expert staff on hand – most up to date modern engine diagnostic equipment with factory trained professionals

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What Are Your Priorities When Car or Truck Shopping ?

It’s amazing how people get carried away when car or truck shopping.  They get carried away with their egos and often buy – of finance the least practical vehicles for their needs what so ever. How does this occur and how can you prevent it so that at the end of the exercise you drive off the dealership lot or away from the private home where you purchased a good used vehicle, sourced online on Kijji or Craigslist?

     Figure out Your Car Shopping Priorities &Don’t Wait Till Your Car Breaks-down:

First and foremost prepare before you go out or even begin serious auto shopping.  Secondly most people only buy cars only when they are forced to.  If you know that somehow in the upcoming or near future that you are going to have to replace your vehicle – say you are hearing rumbling noises under the hood or from your transmission and you now it’s only a matter of time – then don’t ignore the situation at your peril.  If you need reliable transportation to work to earn your livelihood or for routine errands – then why wait until your vehicle is dead on the tow truck at on your local mechanics garage before you begin your search.  If your vehicle is d.o.a. and you are desperately out on the prowl ( in some one else’s car or truck) , this will certainly not put you in a good position at all for negotiating a great car deal or auto financing terms with the auto salesperson or his “manager”.

Plan Ahead on Paper Your Needs and Budget:

So first of all do your planning for your new car, truck, sports utility vehicle or van beforehand.  Do it on paper.  Figure out your priorities and budget.  Spend some time and energy thinking what are your real concerns and priorities – in addition to reliability and good gas mileage and do this on paper.  You will be amazed that with some thought how priorities seem to “gel out”.  True if you are purchasing a new vehicle – the deals are on the lot not to be ordered from the factory just for you.  Cars on new car dealers’ lots and in inventory often will come already with packages installed. It may be a case then of getting add-ons you really don’t want or need or it may that you get these nice luxuries thrown in for free and no additional cost for you overall.

  Don’t Be Backed in the Corner by Lack of Preparation & Planning:

Secondly do your car shopping ahead of time before you are backed in a corner. It will be a lot more pleasurable, less rushed and you will have the luxury of tie and thought not backed into a corner by timings and the sales process.  Most likely 99.9 % of the time you will also drive off with a much better deal of transportation that you really wanted in your mind’s eye anyways.

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Is Your Car Safe?

Is Your Car Safe?

Nobody wants to be in a car crash, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about car safety. Driving a car that is well-made and has lots of safety features will ensure that, should the worst happen, you have a chance of getting out of a bad situation relatively unscathed. Think of it as an insurance policy.

The safety organisation Euro NCAP tested 29 of the most popular cars, and released the results earlier this year. The crash tests performed by Euro NCAP produced some interesting, but comforting, results. Of the 29 cars that they tested, more than half qualified for the organisations five star safety rating.  In 2009, almost all of the cars that Euro NCAP tested managed to qualify for the five star rating, but the reduction in qualifiers is not down to cars being more poorly made. The NCAP have increased the standard required for a five star rating, so the top cars are incredibly well designed.

The safest cars, according to the crash tests, were:

  • BMW 5 Series
  • Alfa Romeo Giulietta
  • Honda CR-Z
  • Kia Sportage
  • Toyota Verso

Even the cars that came in lower in the rankings, such as the Citroen Nemo, far exceeded the EEC crash standards.

Keeping Your Car Safe

The one thing that you can take away from the NCAP results is that, off the lot, most cars are pretty safe. However, once they’ve been in the hands of their owners for a while that can change. You need to take care of your car to keep it safe. So, don’t doge that Land Rover service.

Yes, you’ve probably heard your friends complain about how much a Volvo service costs, or give horror stories about how their Land Rover service fee was massive, but it looked like the mechanic barely did anything. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that a service is just a quick nose around the car. How would you feel if someone said that your job was nothing? The mechanics that service cars know what they’re looking for, and they do a lot more than just put a stamp and a signature in a book for you.

On a day-to-day basis, you should make sure that your tyres are in good condition, your fuel tank is topped up, your fluid levels are sufficient, all of the lights are working, and your brakes are OK. Try to get into the habit of walking around your car checking out all of the important bits at least once every few days. If you spot a problem, fix it immediately.

If you live in an area where winters are snowy or icy, invest in a set of winter tyres, and change over to them as soon as the weather starts to turn bad. The initial outlay for the tyres might be expensive, but you should be able to get a couple of years use out of them, if you have space to store them in your garage. From an accident prevention perspective, they’re well worth the investment.

This article was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Main Dealer Discount, who can provide drivers with information on Volvo service costs and access to a discounted Land Rover service.

As Crispin has just had his first child, he is very concerned with car safety.

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Top Tips for Driving During the Winter

Top Tips for Driving During the Winter

Top Tips for Driving During the Winter

Driving during the winter can be an upsetting and difficult experience. Thousands of people crash every year while driving during the winter. These crashes often cause expensive repairs and increased insurance premiums. Winter car crashes can also be fatal, killing hundreds of people every year. Driving during winter requires careful considerations of road conditions and careful driving methods that help avoid crashes and fender benders.

Pre journey checks

Clean off your lights before leaving and turn them on immediately. This will warm them up and keep snow and ice from gathering on the surface. Keep them on as you drive to increase your visibility to other motorists. Check your wipers to make sure they are clean and use them during snow storms. Check your windshield fluid to make sure you have enough for the trip.

Driving technique

The most obvious thing to do during bad winter driving conditions is simply to slow down. Try to keep at least three times the normal length between you and the car in front of you. Snow and ice can make it nearly impossible to stop quickly in the winter. With excessive length between you and the car between you, it should give you enough room to stop.

Carefully manage how you use your break. Break very gently instead of quickly to avoid skidding. Ease off the brake if you feel the wheels lock up or feel the car start to skid. If you have a manual transmission, stay in lower gears to give yourself the traction to go over ice and snow. This is especially useful going up or down hills.

Never use your cruise control in bad winter conditions. Cruise control will automatically speed or up slow down your car to reach your desired speed. This can cause a quick burst of speed which can be a major problem on icy and snowy roads. Manage your speed during these difficult driving conditions.

Avoid “vehicle ego” in bad conditions. Drivers that have four wheel drive, all-wheel drive and front wheel drive vehicles often think their vehicles can handle any road conditions. You’ll see them passing you going 70 miles per house while you’re going 40. Stick to going 40. These vehicles are powerful, but they cannot handle all conditions.

Be Prepared

Be prepared for getting stuck in the snow. Carry food and water with you while you drive in adverse conditions. Have warm blankets and self-heating pads in an emergency kit, as well as tow wires and jumping cables. Always carry a cell phone and a flash light.

Guest post provided by We Buy Any Car a leading car buying service. Planning to sell your car and thinking “how much is my car worth?” Why not give us a try.

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5 Popular Cars That Are Difficult to Insure

Everyone expects that exotic sports cars and luxury cars can be a nightmare to insure, but what about popular every day cars? The Highway Loss Data Institute (HDLI) compiles relative levels of insurance loss risk for each vehicle on the market, taking into account such areas as personal injury, liability, collision and medical payments; their results may come as something of a surprise. Here are five popular vehicles where drivers may be paying more for insurance than expected:

Scion TC

With a 2.5 liter engine putting out 180bhp and a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds the tC is no slouch. Scion’s marketing for the tC is aimed squarely at drivers on the more youthful end of the spectrum; unfortunately the tC tops the HLDI’s list of worst loss risk for all coverages. Young drivers may be disappointed by how much they have to pay for insurance on this model.

Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe

That the Cobalt features on this list at all is quite unexpected. However, with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety scoring the Cobalt as poor in side-impact crash tests, and a recall of 98000 Cobalts in 2007 for falling below federal safety standards for trim padding, insurance loss risk for this model is high for bodily injury liability and medical payment coverage making the Cobalt harder to insure than its immediate competitors like the Honda Civic.

Suzuki SX4

The cheapest AWD car on the market, the trendy crossover SX4 may not seem such a bargain when insurance premiums are taken into account. Collision losses for this model are very high, and although crash test results would suggest otherwise and are actually quite good for a small car, personal injury and bodily injury liability losses are also high, suggesting the higher cost of insurance for the SX4 is due to the driving habits of SX4 owners.

Mitsubishi Lancer

An iconic car among rally driving enthusiasts where the Lancer Evolution has been highly successful, the Lancer is still regarded as something of a driver’s car despite having a. A combination of poor side impact crash test ratings and higher collision losses than the Porsche 911 Turbo make insuring the Lancer more difficult than any other small four-door model.

Dodge Charger

This popular aggressively styled rear wheel drive sedan may be a blast to drive, and is growing increasingly popular with Police Departments nationwide, but it has substantially worse than average insurance loss results in five out of six insurance coverage categories so it can be difficult to insure this modern muscle car. Interestingly, the Charger HEMI model with the 5.7 liter V8 fitted instead of the V6 of the standard model, is actually easier to insure, which just goes to show you can’t always predict how hard it will be to insure a particular car just by looking at engine sizes.


Miles Walker looks at car insurance quotes over at CarinsuranceComparison.Org. His most recent review looked at Wyoming car insurance.

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