The Maintenance Free Myth

Posted June 18, 2017 1:57 AM

Sometimes we hear people in Mississauga say, "What's up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don't break down." While it is true that today's vehicles are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most Mississauga drivers don't realize how high tech automotive fluids have become,  fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.

Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today's automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle's components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and distances march on for all of our cars. Please don't think we're using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance - but here are some personal stories we've heard to emphasize and show how important it is to get things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and money. But they are tales of a stitch in time saves nine.

The first comes from someone who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated on a highway in Ontario and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator pan was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been completely replaced - just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundreds of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.

Another story involves the true cost of skipping an annual inspection. This guy took his SUV in for the Ontario safety inspection to renew his registration. At the Mississauga inspection station, he learned that the law had changed and that his newer rig only required an inspection every two years. He was very happy to save the money. The problem was, his rear brake pads were very worn. Two months later, it was bad enough that he could hear the grind - over the radio, DVD player and the kids. He took it in to get the bad news. Both of the rear brake rotors were damaged. The left one could be resurfaced. The right had to be replaced. So saving a little on his safety inspection turned into an extra $500 over what brake pad replacement would have been. Moral of the story for Mississauga drivers: don't skip your annual inspections. The irony is that many Mississauga service centers would have done a brake inspection for free.

Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy's little princess smacked a curb when she turned into a shopping center and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn't get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire - so it was enough wreck the alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later - and then an alignment.

Situation: son and wife with cars from the same vehicle manufacturer with essentially the same engine. Our staffer checked the son's maintenance schedule and saw that it needed a timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles/145,000 km. He had it done - it cost several hundred dollars. His wife's car had about 60,000 miles/97,000 km, so it should be ok for a while. Right? Wrong. The problem was that the wife had the turbo charged version. Its belt was scheduled for replacement at 60,000 mi/97,000 km. At 63,000 mi./101,000 km, the belt snapped on the interstate. The valves all crashed down into the cylinders at high speed, the entire head was shredded and it had to be replaced. The cost: several thousand dollars. Does he wish he had checked the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule? You bet he does - every time he passes a big-screen TV.

The team at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga recommends taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, you can make your car run better.  Plus, it is more economical to operate in Ontario. Remember to save those maintenance records. It'll show potential buyers that you've taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren't any, assume that the maintenance hasn't been done and take it to Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga for an inspection. Take care of unperformed routine maintenance sooner rather than later.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



The Easy Way to Save Cash in Mississauga

Posted May 31, 2017 9:55 AM

The hottest Ontario news story may be different every day, but there's one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Mississauga. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things people in Mississauga can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the environment. You can really improve your fuel economy by how you drive – but first, here's a review of things you can do for your vehicle that'll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Mississauga drivers is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Mississauga service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Mississauga gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn't let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter in reduced fuel economy. And worn spark plugs can cost about the same. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every 1,000 miles/1,600 km driven. Check the vehicle owner's manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that's messed up it can cost Mississauga vehicles up to 3 miles per gallon/1.3 km per liter. And of course, there's dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That's another .4 miles per gallon/.17 km per liter right there.

One item Mississauga residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another 2 miles per gallon/.85 km per liter. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon/4.85 km per liter in reduced fuel economy! And with current gas prices in the Mississauga area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Mississauga drivers at the pump. 

Now most vehicles aren't missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don't forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other services spelled out in your owner's  manual.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. knows all this stuff and can tell you when you're scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. – which may also be updated with recall notices and maintenance schedule items from your vehicle manufacturer.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Why a Trip Inspection Is a Good Idea

Posted December 5, 2016 3:23 AM

At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. we get a lot of Mississauga drivers asking about vehicle trip preparation. That's a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas around Ontario, so it's important to know that the vehicle is up to the task and won't leave you stranded.

Smart Mississauga drivers plan ahead for a major road trip – and there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around Mississauga to see if you can feel any vibrations: Are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? Come to Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for a peace-of-mind trip inspection.

1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992

The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your car has over 75,000 miles/120,000 km, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to clean harmful sludge deposits in the engine. 

How about your transmission and brakes? Have you had your transmission and brakes inspected in the last six months?

How are your wiper blades? There's nothing like not being able to get rid of the bug juice on a long road trip away from Mississauga.

Check your owner's manual for any other recommended services, and have Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga do the multi-point inspection before you head out on your trip.

Consider also having the coolant system serviced at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. – you want to stay within the vehicle manufacture’s recommendations. If you're towing a trailer around Ontario you'll want to be keep in mind that you'll be going a long way under severe conditions.

A lot of Mississauga drivers overlook severe conditions like towing, Ontario summer heat or driving on dirt roads. Plan ahead for your next road trip – Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. wants you to get there and back.



Your Vehicle Is NOT Maintenance Free, Mississauga Car Owners

Posted November 1, 2016 4:52 AM

A generation ago, Mississauga drivers seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle's preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Taking your vehicle in to your Mississauga shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Mississauga used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the vehicle was in for a tune-up at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today's engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our vehicles don't experience a huge performance drop when they're ready for some care. But it doesn't mean that they don't need it.

Modern Mississauga drivers need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner's manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you'll get better engine performance and fuel economy. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern vehicle engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they're more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the vehicle isn't driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your vehicle on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your vehicle engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and damage the vehicle's engine parts it was designed to protect. It can eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this damage, and it's a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Mississauga drivers than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in Mississauga who purchases used vehicles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Mississauga folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don't want to be bothered with maintenance or vehicle care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

We can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better fuel economy and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

Give us a call or send us an email for more helpful tips.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992

 

 



Can Your Car Last Another Year?

Posted May 15, 2016 8:24 AM

Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Mississauga car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Mississauga, Ontario, folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there's no reason a modern vehicle can't be made to last for a 150,000 miles (250,000 kilometers) or more for smart Mississauga drivers.

The old adage: 'a stitch in time saves nine' is really true for Mississauga residents when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.

Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Mississauga drivers have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd..

Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.

Don't let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventative auto maintenance at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. is a great way to keep your operating costs down.

Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure.

We know that this is a lot for busy Mississauga area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your vehicle manufacturer recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.

Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent repairs and maintain your warranty coverage.

Let us take good care of your car at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga, and it'll take good care of you.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Maintenance on My Mind

Posted April 25, 2016 1:01 AM

Ask any Mississauga man or woman if they've taken their vehicle in for preventive maintenance lately, and the answer may well be “no.” Surveys indicate that over 80% of vehicles on the road today are in need of some kind of repair or maintenance. Now, ask that same person why he hasn't taken his car in for care. The answer will probably be that he forgot or that he just didn't think about it. Most Mississauga residents seem to have a hard time remembering about scheduled maintenance for their vehicles.

Funny, because most of us in Mississauga have no trouble remembering to wash our clothes, mow our lawns or brush our teeth. It isn't that we can't remember to take our vehicles for service; it's a matter of making it a priority.

When it comes to our vehicles, Mississauga drivers like myself, need to be a little more maintenance-minded. The fact is, we can choose to do it, or we might find ourselves being compelled to do it.

For example, when we consistently forget to brush our teeth, a major consequence usually follows. The pain of that experience usually compels us to be more mindful of our teeth and take better care of them.

The same goes for our vehicles. If we ignore them long enough, a painful experience is sure to follow—painful for our pocketbooks, that is. People in Mississauga who have gone through that experience are usually more conscientious about proper car care.

So, if you're not a fan of the school of hard knocks, at least when it comes to vehicle maintenance, remind yourself to look after your car. Pay attention to the little oil change tag on your windshield. When it's time take your car in, do it. But don't just change the oil. Get a full-service oil change at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. Your technician will then check all of your fluids. He can advise you if any of them need to be changed or if any of them are low.

Low fluid levels can indicate leaks or a worn hose or seal, so they can check those for you as well. Other signs of wear are also immediately evident when you get a full-service oil change, such as a cracked serpentine belt or corroded battery cable. Your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. technician will also check the vehicle manufacturer's service recommendations for your vehicle and advise you of any other routine service that is coming due.

It's like a one-stop shop for auto advice that will keep you on top of your vehicle's maintenance.

If there is more to be done than the budget allows, you can get a picture of what needs to be done.  Then, create a plan with your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor and budget for it during the coming months. It's a whole lot less painful than unexpected car repairs.

Vehicles are more reliable than they ever have been. They can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But they're also expensive and complicated machines. Mississauga drivers can't expect them to run forever without proper fluids and filters. Preventive maintenance at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga will improve the reliability and life expectancy of your vehicle, as well as ensuring your safety on the road in Ontario.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Mississauga Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Posted March 13, 2016 8:23 AM

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Mississauga drivers, your vehicle manufacturer publishes two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Mississauga drivers follow? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles/six kilometers around Mississauga?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles/16 kilometers in below-zero Ontario temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in Ontario?
Do you drive often in dusty Mississauga areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Mississauga?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold Ontario weather?


Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Mississauga on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Mississauga surface streets?

Let's suppose your owner's manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles/5,000 and 8,000 kilometers. Analyze your driving patterns and Mississauga weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you're closer to.

Why should Mississauga residents care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Mississauga or winter driving means that the engine doesn't heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn't let the oil protect it adequately. That's why Ontario residents need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in Ontario summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs. If you want some expert advice, talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor. We can help you restore your vehicle to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
905-821-4992
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9



Budget for Maintenance in Mississauga

Posted September 22, 2015 12:00 PM

Sometimes busy Mississauga residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Ontario in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Mississauga residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's Mississauga drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's Mississauga drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Mississauga area auto service centers.

Mississauga drivers certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Vehicle  care in Ontario  simply costs more  than it used to. So if you think about it, Mississauga drivers can avoid many vehicle repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Just a bit of auto advice from Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.: If you like new vehicles and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new vehicle every few years because you're afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and Ontario auto insurance with an older vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for preventive maintenance you have done at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less!

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.

Posted February 18, 2015 12:00 PM

A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the Ontario news. Mississauga people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better gas mileage and receive a government rebate.

A lot of Mississauga motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They're good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they're paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their vehicles for 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) or more – as long as it's economical to do so.

There are plenty of Mississauga drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles (240,000 or 320,000 kilometers). We can learn from what they're doing to keep our own vehicles on the road in Ontario.

The Mississauga drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.

That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it's really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your vehicle's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is bad for your engine.

There's another reason the scheduled oil change is so important for Mississauga car owners. It's simple – a Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won't get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let's use brake fluid as an example, your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or repair.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor will also visually inspect your vehicle for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car's worth.

Realistically, things are going to wear out as your vehicle gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) you'll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.

Of course, these things cost some money, but they are less than new vehicle payments in Mississauga. With proper service at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. and regular inspections, you'll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Does Your Car Have A Recall Item?

Posted February 3, 2015 12:00 PM

No matter how well they're made, vehicles are bound to have problems with their design or manufacturing. Think of all the moving parts. When the government thinks a problem is really serious, they require the vehicle manufacturer to issue recall notices to Mississauga residents and to fix the affected vehicles free of charge. The they try to contact all Mississauga residents who own that type of car so they can have it taken care of at their Mississauga service center.

To find out if your car has any recall issues, give us a call:

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992

These recalls always affect safety, so Mississauga residents would be wise to take them seriously. It's really easy to find out if a vehicle is being recalled. For links to government sites, look in the AutoNetTV website.


Other website include: carfax.com; autobytel.com; and dmv.org. All of these sites have free recall searches.

Recalls are pretty serious for Mississauga residents and don't happen all that often. But sometimes cars have less serious problems that Mississauga residents still might want to know about. For these less serious cases, the vehicle manufacturer issues what is known as a Technical Service Bulletin – or TSB. These bulletins tell Mississauga service centers (including Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.) how to repair a problem that occurs frequently or is especially difficult.

Your Mississauga service center receives updated information through subscription plans, which are sometimes available in consumer versions too.

Whatever your source, pay attention to Mississauga vehicle recalls to keep you and your passengers safe.



Training Received by Technicians in Mississauga, Ontario

Posted January 21, 2015 12:00 PM

When your vehicle breaks down in the Mississauga, Ontario, area, or just needs some routine service, it can make you a little nervous. Because your vehicle's so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible — with the problem fixed right the first time.

We've been checking into some of the training our Mississauga, Ontario, technicians receive, and we're very impressed. It's amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern vehicle. So it's not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over the weekend.

Today there are four-cylinder engines around Mississauga that make more power than the V-8's in luxury cars did 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/97 kph.

Our engines are more and more powerful. And they're so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Mississauga drivers at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

Then there are the electronics. Some vehicles on Ontario roads have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Mississauga drivers take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

It's a real challenge for the pros at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. and other Mississauga auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center. In addition to the training, there's the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

So where do Mississauga technicians go for training? There are many sources. It's usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, online courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

Service centers in Mississauga, Ontario, have a lot of other resources available.  No one can know everything, so service centers like Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even online communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It's like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms. What's the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Mississauga drivers want everything to be simple, straightforward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn't.

So, be more relaxed next time you take your vehicle in. You can trust the professionals at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. You're in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. 

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

Posted January 7, 2015 12:00 PM

In our auto video today we'll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that "modern vehicles are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free."

Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Mississauga Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn't so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.

Here are some examples for our friends in Mississauga.

  • Some vehicles in Mississauga no longer require chassis lubrication. They're made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There's literally no way to grease those joints.

-Chalk one up for the myth.

On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts are up in the valve train that didn't even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.

  • So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.

-A point to maintenance.

  • Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.

-Myth gets a point.

  • Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.

-Point for maintenance.

I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they've always been.

So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in Mississauga if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there'll always be a check list. Your friendly and professional service advisor at {[ Shop }} can answer any questions you have about your vehicles maintenance schedule.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992


 



I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement in Mississauga

Posted August 20, 2014 12:00 PM



About 90% of our driving decisions in the Mississauga area are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.

Most Mississauga drivers have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our vehicle windshield is just dirty. In fact, it's estimated that 46,000,000 drivers across the nation are driving with wipers that can't adequately clear their windshield in a storm.

It seems like our wiper blades are always at their worst when we need them the most. If that sounds like you, you've got plenty of company in the Mississauga area. 78% of drivers only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.

Mississauga drivers need to change their thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as vehicle safety component. Then we'll stay ahead of the storm.

Mississauga vehicle owners really ought to replace wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of Ontario, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.

Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Mississauga conditions, if your vehicle has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.

Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don't clear the vehicle windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren't just a safety hazard for Mississauga drivers; they can also scratch their windshield. That may require replacing the entire vehicle windshield – that's the consequence for neglecting such a small part.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. recommends Mississauga drivers replace worn blades right away. We can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.

Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Take it with you if you're heading out on a road trip.

Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn't cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won't clean your windows as well.

So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eyes on the road.

Find us at:

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Clean Air for Your Engine: Engine Air Filters In Mississauga

Posted June 18, 2014 12:00 PM

Every Mississauga car owner who has taken their car in for an oil change has been told that their engine air filter's dirty.

Here's what goes into the determination of when to change the filter: First, your vehicle owner's manual will have a recommendation of when the filter should be replaced.

So between your owner's manual and your Mississauga technician's inspection there's really no guesswork involved for Mississauga drivers.

Now, most air filters purchased in Mississauga don't cost a lot to replace. It's just that Ontario people hate getting caught with an unexpected expense. On the plus side, though, changing a dirty air filter at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. can often save enough on gas to pay for itself before your next oil change in Mississauga.

Think about a dirty furnace filter in your Mississauga home. When it's all clogged up, enough clean air can't get through. In your vehicle, that means that your engine can't get as much air as it needs to burn the fuel efficiently. So it makes do with less air and has to use more gas to move your vehicle around Mississauga roads.

Your vehicle actually needs about 12,000 times more air than fuel to run. Engine air filters don't cost much in Mississauga at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. When it's time to change yours, just get it done. You'll get better fuel economy, have better performance and protect your vehicle engine.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Maintaining Your Older Car in Mississauga, Ontario

Posted May 21, 2014 12:00 PM



The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars in Mississauga, Ontario: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the Mississauga motoring public, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new vehicle.

Because new vehicles are more expensive, people in the Mississauga area are driving their old vehicles longer. The average vehicle is now over nine years old. Two thirds of vehicles on the road in Ontario have more than 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today's cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on goin'.

Give Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. a call at 905-821-4992 to schedule your next maintenance.

Some owner's manuals don't specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn't mean it doesn't have to be done. In fact, it's more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 75,000 miles (120,000km).

First, just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that's recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) should be performed at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000 and 60,000 miles (24,000, 48,000, 72,000 and 96,000 km) and so on. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule is more appropriate than the regular schedule; ask your service advisor. Watch for leaks; seals and gaskets dry out over time and don't hold the fluids as well as they used to.

It's also time to make sure you have a good technician, like those here at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put on some clicks, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble's brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair.

And a regular wash and wax will help maintain your car's appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a few clicks on the old odometer.

High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection.

Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 miles (80,000 km), consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. High mileage fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road. It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it's way cheaper than a new car payment!

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Technician Training at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.

Posted April 22, 2014 12:00 PM

Your vehicle is important to you, and keeping it running properly is important to your lifestyle. That's why you're smart enough to have it serviced regularly at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga. And even though it may just be routine maintenance, you want it done right by automotive professionals.

It's also very important to your Mississauga service center to keep you happy and on the road. You might be surprised at the amount of money our Mississauga auto service center spends annually to make sure our friendly and knowledgeable technicians are properly trained.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. offers a variety of automotive services for many kinds of vehicles. We need to be current on the latest techniques and parts so that we can give you quality service. Our Mississauga service centers subscribe to data services that list the high quality parts and fluids recommended by your manufacturer.

And each service has a checklist of standard procedures. Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. technicians follow these procedures so they can safely deliver a consistent level of high-quality service.

Some services at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. require the use of specialized equipment. Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. technicians are trained extensively on this equipment so that they can service your car quickly and efficiently.

Classroom, video and hands-on training is provided by the company and outside trainers. It's not only important that friendly and knowledgeable technicians be able to perform a given task, they also need to be thoroughly trained in inspection and diagnostic techniques. One of the great services they perform is to detect potential problems before they become serious.

The automotive service industry has standards for classifying and communicating problems. For example, it's one thing to learn that your manufacturer recommends that you change your serpentine belt every 30,000 miles/48,000 km and another to learn that the belt is on the verge of failure. These standards help you understand the urgency of recommendations, letting you make better automotive service decisions.

Ontario folks may be interested to know that service technicians (including those at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.) are trained in compliance with federal and local Mississauga laws and regulations, including environmental regulations regarding the disposal of used parts and fluids.

It's the goal of Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. to provide fast, courteous service. You should feel free to ask your friendly and knowledgeable technician or one of the managers about your service or for more information about their recommendations.

At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., well-trained service providers, established procedures, industry standards and, of course, great people, combine to give you the best auto service in Mississauga.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Commitment to Make Your vehicle Last at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.

Posted January 30, 2014 12:00 PM

These days many people in the Mississauga area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you've got to start with what you've got. It'd be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you've had the vehicle for a while or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that's where you start.

Go through the maintenance schedule for your vehicle and see what's been done and when. Have your Mississauga service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.

Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You might be pretty overwhelmed.

To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there's a failure. In a consultation with your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you'll be prepared for it in a few months.

Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.

For advice on how to make your vehicle last longer, visit us at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd..


Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



10 Services Mississauga Drivers Often Overlook

Posted January 15, 2014 12:00 PM

We live such busy lives nowadays: work, social events, running the kids all over Mississauga. Some days it's all we can do to keep track of everywhere we need to be. That's why you've gotta be organized. Smartphones, calendar apps - we have to keep track of it all.

So let's talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.

Here is a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked by Mississauga residents. They're all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.

1. Power Steering Service
Be honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your power steering parts are protected from corrosion. Next time you're in for an oil change, ask your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor if it's time for a power steering check-up.

2. Wheel Alignment
When your wheels are out of alignment your vehicle pulls to one side. It's pretty annoying, but it's also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out really fast, which is an unnecessary expense! Most owner’s manuals suggest you get your alignment checked once or twice a year.

3. Differential Service
Did you even know you had a differential? Well, you do - one, two or three in fact. Differentials are often called gear boxes and they're part of the drive-train that transfers power from your vehicle engine to your wheels. They don't need service that often, but you can't completely forget them. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor.

4. Cabin Air Filter
More and more cars these days have cabin air filters (a great feature, in my opinion) to clean the air in the passenger area where we sit. They filter out dust and pollen. When they're clogged up, they can get smelly. Change your cabin air filter on schedule to enjoy fresh, clean air, which can also help with allergies.

5. Timing Belt Replacement
Most cars and some vans and trucks driven around the Mississauga area have timing belts. Without going into a lot of detail, let's just say that your car won't run without it – period. And if it breaks while you're driving, it can do thousands of dollars’ worth of engine damage. Check your owner's manual or speak with your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor. If you're approaching 60,000 miles or 100,000 kilometers; definitely look into it right away.

6. Transmission Service
Transmission service is very basic, but it's often forgotten by Mississauga drivers. Your vehicle transmission needs clean fluid from time to time to keep operating efficiently and avoid pricey repairs.

7. Air Conditioning Service
Most of us don't think about our air conditioning until it fails on a hot day in Mississauga. If you're lucky, you just need to add refrigerant. If you're not, some of the components may have been ruined. Of course, these components are not cheap. Regular air conditioning service at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga adds clean refrigerant which cools and lubricates your air conditioner and conditions the seals.

8. Brake Service
No we're not talking about squealing, grinding brakes here. We're talking brake fluid. Over time, the fluid gets a lot of water in it. Because water compresses differently than the brake fluid, your brakes won't work as well. It may even get dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether. Check with your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. technician for recommendations.

9. Coolant System
Another thing that's so easy for Mississauga drivers to forget about: When you don't change your antifreeze on schedule it becomes corrosive. Fresh coolant contains additives that maintain the pH balance in the coolant. These additives wear out and the fluid in the radiator can actually eat holes in the radiator or hoses. Then you're stranded - bummer.

10. Fuel System Cleaning
In these times of high fuel prices, fuel system cleaning is vital. Fuel gums up a bunch of parts as it moves from the gas tank and through the engine. A thorough fuel system cleaning at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga will keep clean gas flowing into the engine. Your fuel injectors also get gunked up over time and need to be cleaned. Having your fuel system cleaned on schedule at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. will really help your fuel economy.

There you have it: 10 services that are often overlooked by Mississauga residents. Did you know that a recent survey showed that 90 percent of vehicles on the road have at least one scheduled maintenance service that hasn't been performed? Considering our busy lives, we're not surprised. Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. can help with any of these services. Give us a call or come see us.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles in Mississauga, Ontario

Posted January 9, 2014 12:00 PM



The median age for cars in the Mississauga, Ontario area was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Mississauga area, bring it into Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for high-mileage maintenance.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992

Many people in Ontario are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern vehicles are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn't have to be a painful experience.

Local car owners in Mississauga with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let's start with the special needs of the older vehicle...

The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There'll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.

All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.

So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they're worth it.

In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.

Talk with your Mississauga service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.

Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.

If anything, following recommended service intervals for your vehicle is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.

So, have your Mississauga auto service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven't gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it's time to start taking care of those things. It'll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



The Importance of Mississauga Drivers Following Service Intervals

Posted December 27, 2013 12:00 PM

Today in our Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. blog, we're going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn't the only aspect of your life in Mississauga with recommended intervals: Let's start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?

Now, what would happen if you didn't follow these intervals? Well, you'd get more cavities. You may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you'd have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.

Clearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don't, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Mississauga takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.

So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our vehicles? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don't seem that urgent. All our Mississauga neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It's easy to put off. The other reason is that we're just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it's a bit intimidating.

From a practical standpoint, people in Mississauga don't need to memorize their vehicle owner's manuals. You can let your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. advisor remind you of the guidelines established by the vehicle manufacturer; he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your vehicle. You really can rely on Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.

For Mississauga drivers who want to be more proactive with their vehicle care, here are some simple ways for you to remember what has a maintenance interval.

First: Fluids. If it's liquid, it's got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.

Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing and alignment. And while you're thinking tires, don't forget brakes and shock absorbers.

And what makes your vehicle go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Mississauga car owners remember to take their vehicle in to Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.

And if you don't follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel economy, your vehicle doesn't run as well, your safety is compromised and you'll spend more money in the long run. So it's the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.

Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992

 



Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle

Posted October 24, 2013 12:00 PM



We live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term "built to last" goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They're still a very big investment and Mississauga drivers want to make them last as long as possible.  We also want to make keeping them running as cheap as possible. When talking vehicles, it's all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, "A stitch in time saves nine," and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your vehicle. A great example is coolant service in Mississauga.

Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing, it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That's why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And of course, Mississauga vehicle owners shouldn't forget those oil changes right on schedule. Skipping even one change can start the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Our engines are full of gaskets and seals. Fresh fluids condition those gaskets and seals to keep them from drying out and leaking. Automotive fluids contain additives that help clean and lubricate the various systems they protect. Over time, the additives are used up and the fluid just does not provide the protection it did when it was fresh. And don't forget the mechanical systems. Changing brake pads before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors is a great way to keep your operating costs down.

Replacing serpentine belts and timing belts on schedule is much cheaper for Mississauga drivers than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure. Also, air filters, fuel filters, PCV valves and batteries are all important. Regular wheel alignments, tire rotation and balancing will make your tires last longer. And don't forget to replace your shocks and struts when they wear out. Your fuel system needs regular cleaning to keep running well, prevent mechanical damage and improve fuel economy.

Now this is a lot to remember for Mississauga drivers - too much, really. But it is your Mississauga automotive technician's job to keep on top of this stuff. At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. we can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it. We can advise you about which  maintenance schedule you should use - the regular schedule or the severe service schedule - depending on the kind of driving you do. We also know the right fluids for your vehicle and may even suggest higher mileage formulations for your older vehicle.

Bottom line - take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent damage and maintain your warranty coverage.

Of course, you want your vehicle to look as good as it runs. Regular washing will prevent rust and protect your finish. Take advantage of cleaners, waxes and protectants for your interior and tires. Your vehicle will look great and you'll be proud to drive it longer.

Most of us in Mississauga can't afford to throw away our car when it breaks down. By budgeting for regular preventive maintenance, we can prevent many inconvenient - and expensive - problems down the road, and can keep driving "old faithful" for years to come.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Keep Your Mississauga Car Breathing Free: Engine Air Filter

Posted October 15, 2013 12:00 PM

Hey Mississauga - this is something really amazing: Your vehicle uses 12,000 times as much air as fuel when you drive it. All of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean.

That's like 100 gallons (380 liters) of air every block! The engine air filter is just another example of a very important but inexpensive part that has to do a tremendous amount of work. And when it works, everything goes well. But, when it doesn't, well, it can lead to problems. Of course, your vehicle manufacturer recommends how often to change your air filter. But like most service intervals, where and how you drive your vehicle in Ontario affects when your filter needs to be changed.

Dusty conditions around Mississauga or polluted city driving means you'll need to change your filter more often. Our trained professionals at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. can check your filter for you. In fact, it's often a routine part of an oil change.

When you think about it, a clogged air filter won't allow as much air through as a clean filter. Your vehicle needs this air to efficiently burn its fuel, giving you better fuel economy and performance.

Dirtier filters don't work as well as clean ones. A filter can only hold so much; after that, it allows dirt to pass right into your engine. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in different grades. There are high performance air filters available for most vehicles. These high performance filters cost a little more, but they increase horsepower and may improve fuel economy to boot.

So it's important for Mississauga drivers to make sure and have their air filter checked. If it needs replacing, it doesn't cost very much at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga and it should easily pay for itself in better fuel economy before your next oil change.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992




 



Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

Posted October 4, 2013 12:00 PM

All Mississauga service advisors know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures. (On some vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)

So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why your vehicle manufacturer and your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn't fail.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.

Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there's a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn't slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Budgeting for Maintenance In Mississauga Ontario

Posted July 26, 2013 12:00 PM



Life's full of surprises in Mississauga Ontario, some of which cost money. A leaky roof, a broken tooth, or an unexpected car repair. Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. of Mississauga Ontario and AutoNetTV have done some research on how we can budget for proper vehicle care.

Everyone in Mississauga Ontario does our best to budget for scheduled vehicle maintenance. What's hard is unexpected repairs. The truth is that our vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before with proper maintenance. That's because of improved vehicle design and manufacturing quality. But some of those same improvements also lead to higher repairs costs.

Let's take the fuel pump. Previous generations were often stranded by the side of the road by vapor lock. This occurred when the gas vaporized between the gas tank and the fuel pump. Fuel just stopped flowing.

You had to sit and wait until the car would start again. To alleviate the problem, fuel pumps are now located inside the gas tank. This is a great solution, but when the fuel pump fails, it's a much more expensive proposition to replace it.

Sealed wheel bearing assemblies are another example. These wheel bearings can't be serviced – you just have to replace the entire assembly when it starts to fail. That costs several times as much as service on non-sealed bearings.

So we all benefit in Mississauga Ontario from design improvements, but we need to plan for repairs down the road.

There's a tool that can be found on Edmunds.com that you can use to prepare your service and repair budget.

Let's suppose you have a 2003 Toyota Camry – a very popular car in Mississauga Ontario. It's now paid for and you'd like to keep it running for the next three years. You can go to Edmunds' True Cost to Own calculator and enter your vehicle's data. The calculator will provide estimates of what it'll cost to service and repair your vehicle over the next five years. The estimate is based on where you live in or near Mississauga Ontario, manufacturers' recommendations and repair experience for your particular model.

Of course these are just estimates – there's no way to predict what'll actually happen to the car in your driveway, but it's a good starting point.

The calculator also has estimates for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel costs.

Let's focus on maintenance and repair. This table shows that the average monthly cost of maintenance and repairs is eighty-three dollars. That may sound like a lot, but compare it to a new car payment.

Budgeting for Maintenance

So if you set aside eighty-three dollars a month, you'd go a long ways towards taking care of routine maintenance and being prepared for the unexpected repairs that arise.

Of course, you can't predict when something will go wrong or what it'll cost, but at least you have a reasonable target to shoot for.

Some people around Mississauga Ontario are afraid of what can go wrong with their older car so they buy a new one. That's fine if you really want a new car, but if you properly maintain your older vehicle, you'll save a lot of money on new car payments and insurance. It just makes good economic sense.

Get with your Mississauga Ontario service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. and work out a plan for keeping your vehicle on the road.

You can visit Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. at 1705 Argentia Road - Unit 4 in Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9 or just give us a call at 905-821-4992.



Keys to Long Lasting Vehicle

Posted June 26, 2013 12:00 PM



New cars cost so much these days. Add financing and insurance and, well a new vehicle may not seem so attractive. A lot of Mississauga, Ontario people are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

The good news is that with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacture, there’s no reason a modern vehicle can’t be made to last for a 150,000 miles or more.

There is an old saying that says, 'a stitch in time saves nine' and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service.

Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That’s why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And your oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Don't let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors. Preventive maintenance is a great way to keep your operating costs down.

Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure.

Now this is a lot to remember. Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. can keep on top of this stuff. We can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it.

Bottom line – take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent costly damage and maintain your warranty coverage. Call Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. today for an appointment; you can reach us at 905-821-4992.

Take good care of your car, and it’ll take good care of you.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
Give us a call today at 905-821-4992.
Or stop by at 1705 Argentia Road - Unit 4, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9


Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. and the Maintenance Mindset

Posted May 23, 2013 12:00 PM

When it comes to their vehicles, some Mississauga residents don't have a maintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. Mississauga drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance but just may not have applied it to their vehicles.

Here's something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he'll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they've got you covered. And at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., we check to see if your vehicle manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage.

The oil change becomes kind of a focal point, a way to check in to see what needs to be done. The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, you have to remember that vehicles are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their operation. Without them, the vehicle won't run at all.

So when you come in to Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for an oil change, you get advice from your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor and a reminder for recommended services so you can avoid a total failure. And remember that your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and helping you avoid expensive breakdowns.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Busting Automotive Myths in Mississauga, Ontario

Posted May 15, 2013 12:00 PM

Myths passed around our Mississauga, Ontario community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the vehicles of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.

To get the truth about auto myths you hear around the Mississauga area, come over to Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd..


Let's examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.

The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.

The truth on which this myth is based is that many new vehicles come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around Mississauga. A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in Mississauga still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.

Another common rant you'll hear around Mississauga is that modern vehicles don't need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a 'tune-up', which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. Service technicians at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.

This definition just doesn't apply to modern vehicles. Service centers like Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. generally consider a tune-up to be the major service visit, recommended by your manufacturer, every 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) or so.

Of course you can't lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can't adjust a carburetor if your car doesn't have one. You probably don't need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers). What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?

The danger with these modern-day myths is they prevent people in our local Mississauga community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .

You get the picture. Your vehicle is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your Mississauga service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., or do some research of your own.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



The Harm in Skipping an Oil Change for Mississauga Drivers

Posted April 23, 2013 12:00 PM

People in Mississauga have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you're wondering: What are the key issues?

Some new vehicle manufacturers are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles (8,000 km to 13,000 km) or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new vehicle manufacturers announced that owners like those in Mississauga were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.

The manufacturers' standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles/12,000 km. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.

What causes oil sludge? It's a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.

Severe driving around Mississauga includes short trips under four miles (six and a half km)  or trips under 10 miles/16 km in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn't get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.

Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.

The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in Mississauga just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule or to the standard schedule.

Some types of vehicle will give oil change reminders. But it's important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It's programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.

For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your Mississauga service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it's a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what's needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.

If you're realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.

So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.

 Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

Posted March 20, 2013 12:00 PM

Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your vehicle engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let's go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on Mississauga streets, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce 20 pounds of carbon dioxide?

The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about 12,000 gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your vehicle needs a lot of air to keep going in Mississauga. A lot of clean air is best.

You've seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your vehicle also works better when its internals are clean. When your vehicle air filter is dirty, it simply can't trap any more dirt, so the pollutants just pass through into your air intake system. From there it can clog your fuel injectors and even get into the motor itself. Not surprisingly, burning dust and pollen in your vehicle engine does you no good.

Replacing a dirty air filter at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga can improve your fuel economy by up to 10 percent. At today's Mississauga fuel prices, you should be able to pay for a new air filter before your next oil change.

The verdict: When your vehicle engine air filter needs to be replaced; it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on the level of air pollution where you drive in Ontario. A simple visual inspection at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga will tell you when you need a new engine air filter.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992




Synthetic Oil for Mississauga Autos

Posted January 29, 2013 12:00 PM

If you are a driver in Mississauga and you aren't currently using synthetic motor oil in your vehicle, maybe now's the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil.

Synthetic oil doesn't gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Mississauga, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil, with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle.

Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why, we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations.

The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a pile of marbles?

Synthetic motor oil lubricates better because there's less friction. That means better wear protection, cooler operating temperatures, more power and better fuel economy. And synthetic oil doesn't sludge up like conventional oil, so it prevents those small oil passages from clogging up.

Some manufacturers are extending oil change intervals. The added protection of synthetic oil covers you for these longer intervals. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive and see if he thinks you can benefit from synthetic oil. Also ask about the appropriate oil change interval for synthetic, because it may very well be longer than for conventional oil.

Most of us here in Mississauga have a busy life and might occasionally miss an oil change; go ahead, admit it. Since we're not perfect, doesn't it make sense to use a motor oil that's got your back?

Now synthetic oil costs more. But it lasts longer, protects better and increases fuel economy. You'll likely save money in the long run. If you're serious about making your car last longer, start using synthetic motor oil right away.

Give us a call to schedule an oil change, or visit us at our Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. website.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Fall and Spring Checkup in Mississauga

Posted January 9, 2013 12:00 PM



When I was a kid, my dad always made sure he took the cars in for Spring and Fall checkups. I was telling a friend that it's about time to get into Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for a checkup and he said that he read on the internet that modern cars don't need seasonal service.

My friend is (technically) right about some things, but from a practical standpoint, a seasonal check up still makes sense.

Back when my dad was teaching me about how to take care of the family vehicle, most of them used a different weight of oil in the winter and in the summer. But most of today's modern engines run the same oil year round. High-tech engines and high-tech motor oils are better able to handle the seasonal changes.

Your owner's manual or Mississauga service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. can tell you the right oil to use.

Of course, you're concerned about the coolant or antifreeze. You don't want to overheat in the Ontario summer or freeze up in the winter. Your engine cooling system protects against both of these things. And modern coolant  'antifreeze' as it's sometimes called — is up to doing both very well. It's designed to last for longer distances than most people drive in a year or two.

So how does a Spring and Fall check-up fit in? Let's start with Spring. Summer is coming. That means heat, more driving and road trips. It just makes sense to check your fluid levels and do a visual inspection to see that everything is up to snuff.

You may not be scheduled to drain and replace the coolant for some time, but you need to make sure you have enough coolant and that you don't have any leaks or hoses that are about to fail.

That's pretty practical: a check-up to see if there are any problems or emerging conditions that could later become a problem, like a cracked belt.

And the same principle applies for getting ready for winter. Cold weather means lots of failed batteries. It takes more power to crank up a cold engine, and cold also decreases the available cranking power the battery has available.

So a battery test in the Fall could tell you if you've got a battery that is running on its last legs. And of course, if you live where winter temperatures get below 45 degrees F (7 degrees C) or you have ice and snow, you'll want to consider changing to winter tires.

So Spring and Fall auto checkups at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. are practical reminders to get ready for the demands of the hot and cold seasons to come.

And odds are that you have one or more routine services that are due anyway. Like a transmission service, brake or power steering fluid, differential service stuff like that. Are your wiper blades still good? Are your headlamps starting to dim?

So Spring and Fall, change your clocks, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and get a check-up for your cars.

See, dad was right again.

Come and see us at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for your Spring and Fall automotive checkup.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Gas Savings in Mississauga: Sharpen Your Pencil

Posted October 18, 2012 12:00 PM

High gas prices in Mississauga increase the cost of living for Ontario drivers. You've probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Mississauga vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to Ontario news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn't been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

In this area, we can take a lesson from professional Mississauga vehicle owners. I'm talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Mississauga folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their Mississauga business in the red.

So what does this mean to Mississauga drivers? Well, there's a 90 percent chance that you're missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here's a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most Mississauga vehicle owners honestly say that there isn't at least one thing on the list that hasn't been done?

Let's suppose you chose to spend $150 and get caught up on some of these services at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. Figure that they combine to improve your fuel efficiency by 15 percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in Mississauga is driven about 12,000 a year. If you get 20 miles per gallon in your vehicle, over the course of one year you would pay for the $150 worth of service and save an additional $165 dollars if gas is at t$3.50. If gas is $4.50, you would save $255. And you'd rack up savings of $345 dollars with gas at $5.50.

GAS PRICE
$3.50
$4.50
$5.50

20 MPG
$165
$255
$345

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Mississauga for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A 15 percent improvement in fuel economy can generate huge savings – $650 a year if gas is $4.50 a gallon in Mississauga. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

 

GAS PRICE

A) $3.50, B) $4.50, C) $5.50

10 MPG: A) $480, B) $660, C) $840

20 MPG: A) $165, B) $255, C) $345

30 MPG: A) $60, B) $120, C) $180

 

So catch up on those services you've been neglecting at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you'll save a lot of money at Mississauga gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992

 



Before You Leave Mississauga, Get A Trip Inspection

Posted July 25, 2012 12:00 PM



You know, at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. we get a lot of people asking about how to prepare their car for a trip. That’s a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas outside of Mississauga so you may be anxious to know that the car is up to the task and won’t leave you stranded.

You really do need to plan ahead for a major road trip – there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around Mississauga to see if you can feel any vibrations: are the wheels are in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok?

Come in and see us for trip inspection.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road - Unit 4
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992

The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your car has over 75,000 miles, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to clean harmful sludge deposits in the engine. You may also need a new PCV valve and an engine air filter.

How about your transmission and brakes? Have you had your transmission and brakes inspected in the last six months?

How are your wiper blades? There’s nothing like not being able to get rid of the bug juice on a long road trip away from Mississauga.

Check your owners’ manual for any other recommended service and have Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. do the multi-point inspection before you head out.

Consider also having the coolant system serviced – you want to stay within the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re towing a trailer you’ll want to be keep in mind that you’ll be going a long way under severe conditions.

A lot of folks overlook severe conditions like towing, or summer heat, or driving on dirt roads. Plan ahead for your next road trip – we want you to get there and back.



Make Your Vehicle Last

Posted June 15, 2012 12:00 PM



We live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days, Ontario folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough - they had to do without. Most Mississauga drivers couldn't afford new vehicles very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It's a good thing that vehicles are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us Ontario penny pinchers is that a modern vehicle can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Mississauga vehicle owners making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a little farther between recommended oil changes, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and for clogged passages. Then some vehicle parts don't get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted; the radiator starts being damaged - one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning - really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older vehicles. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Mississauga at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It's like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. is cheaper than a new car  payment for Mississauga drivers. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol - you don't want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Keeping Your Car Young in Mississauga

Posted April 17, 2012 12:00 PM



As Mississauga consumers, we live in a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away.

New stuff comes out so fast in Ontario, and much of it is fairly cheap, so we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff - especially parents who grew up in the Depression. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough; we had to do without. 

We couldn't afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It's a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us Mississauga penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care. The engineering's there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's maintenance schedules.

Is it really that bad for Mississauga motorists to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a little longer than the recommended interval  between oil changes, you've created an opportunity for  sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don't get oiled and they start to wear out faster. 

Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted; the radiator starts being damaged, one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It's also even more important for older vehicles in the Mississauga area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they're working harder anyway. But it's never too late for Mississauga drivers to get back on track with maintenance and to hold off further damage.

It's just another example of our parents knowing what's best. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That's like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let the pros at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga help you keep track of the rest.

Of course, it is inevitable for vehicles that some things are going to wear out along the way, like alternators, water pumps and such; they don't last forever. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It's like having high cholesterol; you don't want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992


 



Risk of Extended Oil Change Intervals

Posted March 29, 2012 12:00 PM



Nothing in your engine workers harder than your oil. With hundreds of moving parts, and thousands of explosions every minute, it's no wonder that engine oil needs to be changed frequently!

You've probably heard the old rule of thumb: Change your oil every 3,000 miles/ 5,000 kilometers or 3 months, whichever comes first. But some car manufacturers have introduced extended oil change intervals. They figure that a modern vehicle driven under the right conditions can go for 5,000 miles/8000 kilometers or more between an oil change.

The key phrase here is "under the right conditions". If you look at your owner's manual, you'll see two different maintenance schedules: one for "normal" driving conditions and one for "Severe Service". Severe service driving conditions include stop and go, short trips, towing, hauling, hot, cold, and dusty driving. That's why at AutoNetTV we often refer you to the severe service schedule in your owners' manual, because, for most of us Ontario car owners, that's the way we use our vehicles in everyday life.

Recently, four of the largest auto manufacturers in the world have extended engine warranty coverage for engine damage caused by oil sludge resulting from longer oil change intervals. They found that real-world conditions require more frequent oil changes than the 7,500mi/12,000 km interval they were recommending. They subsequently recommended more frequent oil change intervals and proof of timely oil changes in order to qualify for the extended warranty.

Oil sludge is the culprit. Sludge is oil that has turned to a thick, jelly-like consistency. Sludge can block passages in the engine, preventing oil from lubricating vital engine parts. Parts wear more quickly and may fail prematurely.

Sludge is caused by several factors. The first one is simply - time. The engine oil is contaminated by exhaust gas that eventually leads to sludge. That is where the recommendation to change your oil at least every three months comes from. Sludge can also come from oil that gets contaminated by water from normal condensation. A few minutes of driving at Ontario freeway speeds allows the oil to heat up enough for the water to evaporate. The problem is we often run errands or take other short trips that don't allow the engine to warm up enough for the water to evaporate. This is especially true in winter. Sludge also forms when the engine gets too hot, causing the oil to breakdown. Stop and go summer driving, towing and hauling are all prime conditions for creating harmful sludge. And every engine has hot spots that create sludge.

Given all of these factors, estimating when to change your oil is pretty complicated. A couple of manufacturers have computer programs built into their vehicles that record the number of cold starts, how many times the cylinders fire, engine temperature and other factors. From that, the computer estimates when you should change your oil and flashes a warning. But what if you do not have a vehicle with this feature? How do you know when to change your oil? We're not sure you really can. Which is why it is better to be safe than sorry. 3,000 mi/5,000 km or three months - whichever comes first - talk with a service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga and see if that's a good recommendation for the way you drive.



Economics of Maintenance for Mississauga Auto Owners

Posted March 2, 2012 12:00 PM

Buying a new car in Mississauga is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

People in Mississauga who've been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let's assume you live right here in Mississauga and have a five year old vehicle. It's now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there'll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don't know what to expect. For help we turned to maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They're able to use manufacturer's maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can't predict what will happen to your vehicle in Mississauga, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let's look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it's actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Mississauga:

  • Ford Escape - $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado - $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee - $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent - $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Mississauga service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there's any particular problem in common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Which Item Is Most Stolen from Vehicles in Mississauga?

Posted February 24, 2012 12:00 PM


 

Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Mississauga?

Is it:

  1. Stereo
  2. Wheels
  3. Air Bag
  4. DVD System

Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in Ontario – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in Ontario.

Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.

Contact us at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 1705 Argentia Road, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
You can reach us by phone at: 905-821-4992

There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.

That is definitely one car part you don't want to take a chance with, so Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. recommends following these guidelines:

  • Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.).

 

  • Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.

 

  • You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.

 

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Hey Mississauga Drivers; What Is the Most Distracting Food?

Posted January 3, 2012 12:00 PM



So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around Mississauga?

Is it:

  1. A Hamburger;
  2. Coffee;
  3. A Soft Drink, or
  4. Gummy Bears?

Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving. But if you chose 'coffee,' then give yourself an extra two points.  Coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in Mississauga and around the country.

Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!

You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the types of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons: one, that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and two, you won't have to worry about getting that cinnamon roll frosting out of your dashboard after that near miss.

Keep drinks in spill-proof containers, too, so you can keep your eyes on the Mississauga road without worrying about where that spill is headed.

So, taking a food break… or filling out accident reports. We don't have to ask you which you prefer; it's a no brainer.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Maintenance Free Myth

Posted December 20, 2011 12:00 PM



Sometimes we hear people say, "What's up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don't break down." While it is true that today's cars and trucks are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most folks don't realize how high tech automotive fluids have become. Fluids like, engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.

Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today's automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle's components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and miles march on for all of our cars. Please don't think we're using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance - but here are some personal stories from AutoNetTV staff members to emphasize the importance of getting things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and budget. But they are tales of a stitch in time saves nine.

The first comes from a staffer who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated on the highway and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator pan was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been exchanged - just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundred of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.

Another story involves the true cost of skipping an annual inspection. Our staffer took his SUV in for the Ontario safety inspection to renew his registration. At the inspection station, he learned that the law had changed and that his newer rig only required an inspection every two years. He was very happy to save the $45 bucks. The problem was, his rear brake pads were very worn. Two months later, it was bad enough that he could hear the grind - over the radio, DVD player and the kids. He took it in to get the bad news. Both of the rear brake rotors were damaged. The left one could be resurfaced. The right had to be replaced. So saving a few bucks on his safety inspection turned into an extra $500 over what brake pad replacement would have been. Moral of the story: don't skip your annual inspections. The irony is that many Mississauga service centers would have done a brake inspection for free.

Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy's little princess smacked a curb when she turned into a shopping center and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn't get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire - so it was hard enough wreck the alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later - and then an alignment.

Situation: son and wife with cars from the same manufacturer with essentially the same engine. Our staffer checked the son's maintenance schedule and saw that it needed a timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles/145,000 km. He had it done - it cost several hundred dollars. His wife's car had about 60,000 miles/97,000 km, so it should be ok for a while. Right? Wrong. The problem was that the wife had the turbo charged version. Its belt was scheduled for replacement at 60,000 mi/97,000 km. At 63,000 mi./101,000 km, the belt snapped on the interstate. The valves all crashed down into the cylinders at high speed and the entire head was shredded and had to be replaced. The cost: several thousand dollars. Does he wish he had checked the maintenance schedule? You bet he does - every time he passes a big-screen TV.

We're talking about taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, your car runs better and is more economical to operate. Remember to save those maintenance records. It'll show potential buyers that you've taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren't any, assume that the maintenance hasn't been done and take it to your Oakville or Burlington service center for an inspection. Take care of unperformed maintenance sooner rather than later.



Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. On Your Serpentine Belt

Posted December 14, 2011 12:00 PM


 

Today we're going to be talking about serpentine belts for our Mississauga, Ontario, customers. Let's start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That's the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there's the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you're driving around Ontario in the summer.

The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most Mississauga residents' vehicles. Those pumps provide pressure that assists your steering and braking.

In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around Mississauga, Ontario, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.

The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That's really a lot of work for one belt.

But modern engine design has a single belt that snakes around the front of the engine and drives most, if not all, of these accessories. Serpentine belts do a lot of work, but they're tough and can last for a long time.

Just how long will they last? That'll vary for each individual car in the Mississauga area. Your owner’s manual will have a recommendation for when it should be changed, but it could need it sooner. The good news is that a visual inspection at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. can detect a belt that's getting close to failing.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor can look at the belt: if it has more than three or four cracks per inch, it needs to be replaced. A deep crack that's more than half the depth of the belt - replace. Frayed, missing pieces, a shiny glazed look? Toss it. Come see us.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Keeping Your 'Old Faithful' Auto Running

Posted November 15, 2011 12:00 PM

At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. we've had a lot of Mississauga customers asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that's been building for several years in Ontario. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. It looks like it's going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of Ontario folks are putting off buying a new car. 

So let's say you're one of the average in the Mississauga area; you've got a nine-year-old car with 80,000 miles (130,000 km) on the odometer. What can you do to make it last another year or two?

Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care in Mississauga. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.

Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there's no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if Mississauga drivers stay on top of their recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some vehicle manufacturer's owner's manuals runs out at 60,000 miles (100,000 km) or so: how do Mississauga vehicle owners know what to do when they're way past that?

It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) for the first 60,000 miles (100,000 km), you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) after you hit 60,000 miles (100,000 km). But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it's very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga, for example, leaves an opportunity for sludge to build up. Talk to your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for more details.

So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around Mississauga are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:

  1. it keeps efficiency from decreasing;
  2. it prevents repairs, and;
  3. they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.

Having the oil changed may be the most important thing Mississauga drivers can do. A full-service oil change at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get worse. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren't scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.

If you live in the Mississauga area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner's manual and talk with us at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.

And, the team at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. strongly encourages Mississauga drivers to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They're fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some Mississauga auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles (80,000 km) as a preventive measure.

Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around Mississauga. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.

Give us a call for more information:

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Following Recommended Intervals for Your vehicle

Posted October 4, 2011 12:00 PM

If you're reading this article in Mississauga, Ontario, then you probably care about your vehicle and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your professional service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you had planned. And you worry that if you say "no," you might be harming your vehicle or risking your family's safety.

At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. Service recommendations are in your owner's manual. But it is not like you want to keep your vehicle auto maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.

Vehicles are complicated machines and it takes some effort for Mississauga residents to keep them running well. That is why they have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your vehicle performing efficiently and prevent breakdowns. In a typical owner's manual you'll find: oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks - yeah, it is a really long list!

Fortunately, this isn't a test: Mississauga residents don't need to have it memorized. Your friendly advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. has access to your manufacturer's recommendations. Don't be surprised when your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. reminds you something is due. Your manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. help you stay on top of maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. We'll also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Looking Down the Road - Headlamps

Posted September 13, 2011 12:00 PM



If you've ever been driving around Mississauga and had a headlamp go out, you've probably just wanted to replace the bad bulb. If your car uses halogen headlamps, they dim over time. So if you just put in one, they won't have the same brightness, which can be distracting and will affect your field of vision.

To have your headlights inspected, visit us at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. We're at 1705 Argentia Road in Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9. Or give us a call at 905-821-4992.

Experts at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. recommend replacing your halogen headlamps every year. It's easy to remember if you do it when Daylight Saving Time changes in the fall. That way you'll have bright headlamps for those long Ontario winter nights.

There are other types of headlamps in addition to halogen. There are the old standard bulbs that have been around for decades. These are OK, but you can usually upgrade to halogen. They cost a little more but you can't believe the difference. If you do a lot of night driving you might want to use a premium halogen bulb that filters out the yellow hues and gives a very white light that's a lot like daylight.

You may have noticed those bluish headlights on luxury cars. They are high intensity discharge or, HID lamps. They really light up the road. You can upgrade to HID on some vehicles. These cost quite a bit, but they'll last for the life of your car. If you want your friends to think you have HIDs, you can get halogens with a bluish tint - no one needs to know.

Seriously, though, night driving is all about reaction time – time to stop – time to get out of the way. You can't react to what you can't see. You need headlamps that'll give you a good view down the road and good peripheral vision as well. Your headlights need to be aimed correctly so you can see and to keep your lights from shining off into oncoming traffic.

You may have seen older vehicles with headlights that are awfully dim and maybe even yellow. That's because the plastic headlight lenses have gotten cloudy and yellowed with age. They can be replaced, but many Mississauga service centers offer a service to restore the lens that's a lot cheaper.

You can't drive if you can't see. AAA reports that nine out of ten vehicles have dirty or yellowed headlamps. So run the window squeegee over your headlights when you gas up to clear the dirt and bugs. Get your lenses restored if they need it and don't forget to replace your standard or halogen bulbs every fall.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992



Severe Service Requirements

Posted August 24, 2011 12:00 PM

A lot of Mississauga drivers have asked whether or not they should use their severe service maintenance schedule, which is listed in their vehicle's  owner's  manual. It can be somewhat confusing, so we decided to consult an expert. Cricket Killingsworth is from QMI/Heartland, a manufacturer of automotive products and fluids. She's been in the automotive business for over 30 years and is a speaker, a trainer and a writer.

Cricket says there's so much confusion on this topic because, "Most owner's manuals actually have two maintenance schedules. Sometimes these are called 'regular service' and 'severe service.' Sometimes they're simply called Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. A severe service schedule recommends that things like an oil change, air filter replacement and transmission service be done more often: either in fewer miles or in less time."

Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers create a specific schedule for each vehicle they manufacture. So there isn't one generic schedule that applies to all vehicles. In addition to your owner's manual, Mississauga automotive repair centers (including Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.) subscribe to information services that provide the auto maintenance schedules for every vehicle - so they can help Mississauga drivers know when to take care of needed services. Below is a typical definition for severe service.

  • Most trips are less than four miles/six and a half kilometers
  • Most trips are less than 10 miles/16 km and outside temperatures are below freezing
  • You drive regularly in very hot Ontario weather
  • The engine is at low speed most of the time (not on the freeway)
  • Stop and go driving
  • You drive in in dusty or muddy conditions
  • You routinely tow a trailer, haul heavy loads or carry a car-top carrier around Mississauga

It's common sense for Mississauga drivers: Just a few minutes at higher speeds allows the moisture in the oil to evaporate. Very short trips, or trips of less than 10 miles when it's very cold, don't allow the engine to heat up enough to get rid of the water. And water in the oil leads to damaging sludge. Also, towing and heavy loads raise operating temperatures and cause fluids to break down faster. Dusty and muddy driving around Mississauga means that more dirt will get past the air filter to contaminate the fuel system and engine oil.

The bottom line is that you need to decide for yourself if the regular or severe service schedule is right for you, based on your driving habits. Look at your owner's manual or talk with your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor who can help you know which schedule to follow.

Here is what a fleet manager said recently: "Since city miles are generally tougher on vehicles than highway miles, we use the manufacturer's severe service schedule as the basis for our preventative maintenance program. We massage those schedules over time, increasing or decreasing the service intervals so that they make the most sense. There is a little bit of art to go along with the science."

Make an honest evaluation of your driving habits. Unless you do mostly Ontario highway driving in moderate weather, you'll likely have a fairly good amount of severe service mixed in. Some Mississauga drivers just want to play it safe and follow the severe service recommendations, rather than analyzing how they drive each month.

Ask us for help evaluating your driving and service needs.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992




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