Archive for January 2012

Introduction to Diesels for Mississauga, Ontario

Posted February 1, 2012 12:00 PM



Something you're going to be hearing a lot about around Mississauga, Ontario, is diesel engines. We're not talking about semi-trucks and buses; we're talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.

Most people in Ontario are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import brands offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven't been available in Mississauga, Ontario. But that's about to change.

In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in Mississauga, Ontario, so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.

Why are so many Mississauga drivers interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There's more power in a barrel of diesel fuel than there is in a barrel of gasoline. The result? Better performance and improved fuel economy.

Diesel powered vehicles get about 20 percent better fuel economy. And as for power – why do you think that the majority of new heavy duty pick-up trucks are being sold in Mississauga with diesel engines?

If you think back to the late 1970's and early 1980's, you may shudder when you think of the diesel powered cars of the day – noisy, smoky, under-powered beasts that rattled and shook their passengers. Modern diesels sold in Ontario have evolved considerably.

They are quiet, clean – and powerful. They're so refined that many Mississauga drivers can't even tell they're riding in a diesel powered vehicle. In addition to fuel savings, diesels generally last longer than gasoline engines because of their heavy duty construction.

Another thing the Mississauga green crowd takes advantage of is the use of bio-diesel in diesel vehicles. Bio-diesel is made from vegetable oil – even recycled cooking oil from Mississauga restaurants. There is a lot of buzz about hybrid cars in Ontario. Look to diesel-electric hybrids in years to come to make a good idea even better.

Every year, manufacturers introduce new diesel models. Look for diesels in domestic light trucks, SUVs and passenger cars. Import brands have plans to bring more of their outstanding diesel engines to Ontario as well.

New Mississauga diesel owners need to know that properly maintaining a diesel engine is somewhat different than a gasoline engine. Fluid change intervals are different. Emissions control devices have to work harder to filter diesel fuel and to scrub the exhaust so you will need to pay attention to that. And the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures than gas fuel injection systems, so it's important to keep your fuel system clean with a diesel.

The good news is that Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga is keeping up with the new diesel technology and will be able to advise you on maintaining your diesel.

When we tell you to look for more diesels on Mississauga streets, you won't be looking for smoky tail pipes as a clue. You also won't be listening for that familiar big rig rattle. And, you certainly won't be waiting for them at the stoplight, because modern diesels are as quick as their gasoline counterparts.

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



Water Pump

Posted January 25, 2012 12:00 PM

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your vehicle from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

  • the radiator
  • the radiator cap
  • the hoses
  • the thermostat
  • the water pump

The water pump's like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your vehicle. It's a small pump that's driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.

The water pump only operates when the engine's running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. We see it often at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles/64,000 km, but most fail by 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Consult your owner's manual or friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. to see what's recommended.

Since a water pump either works or it doesn't, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It's possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine.

So how can Mississauga drivers tell when the water pump is failing? If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, it's got a problem. If you can see coolant in that area, you've got a leak.

Some water pumps are driven off the timing belt. They might be under a plastic cover so you can't see the water pump. Look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, have Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. check it out.

Most timing belts need to be changed at 60,000 miles/97,000 km – some longer. It's a good idea to change your water pump at the same time if it's one of those that's driven off the timing belt. To start with, 90% of the work's already done with the timing belt change. And if you don't and develop a leak later, you'll have to change the belt again along with the water pump because the belt will have been contaminated by the leaking coolant.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. can replace a failed water pump with a brand spankin' new one or with a rebuilt pump. Rebuilt will save you some money, but ask your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. what he thinks. Don't feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. We can get you back on the road and on with your life.

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



Tire Rotation and Balancing

Posted January 17, 2012 12:00 PM

You can make your vehicle tires last longer with regular tire rotation and wheel balancing.

Let's start with tire rotation. In normal driving around Mississauga Ontario, your front tires wear more on the shoulders because they handle much of the cornering forces in turns. Front-wheel drive vehicles have even more force on the front tires.

We rotate the tires so that all of the tires do some duty on the front end as well as getting a little break on the back end. That way, all four tires wear more evenly over their life and last longer.

For most vehicles in Mississauga Ontario, tires are rotated front to back. Some manufacturers recommend a cross rotational pattern that includes the spare tire, and some high-performance vehicles have different size tires on the front and rear and may even have uni-directional tires that can only be on the left or the right side of the vehicle. Your Mississauga Ontario service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. can help you sort that out and will perform the right tire rotation for your vehicle.

Your tire manufacturer will have a recommendation for how often you should rotate your tires. It's usually somewhere around 5,000 to 8,000 miles, or 8,000 to 13,000 kilometers.

Let's move on to wheel balancing. That's when there are heavy spots on the tire and wheel that cause it to wobble.

Balancing adds weights to the wheel to balance it out. Now, we are talking about very small weight differences. Variations in the tire and wheel manufacture can cause a slight imbalance. The valve stem, and now the tire pressure monitoring sensors in the tire, also play into the equation.

Even small differences can cause annoying vibrations at speed: the wheel is essentially bouncing a bit as it goes down the road. For example, at freeway speeds, an out of balance wheel can be slamming into the road 14 times a second. That's annoying and can cause your tires to wear out more quickly.

If a front wheel's out of balance you'll feel the vibration through the steering wheel. When it's a rear tire, you'll feel the vibration through your seat. If you're getting bad vibes from your vehicle, bring it in to see if it's a balance issue or something else. You should balance your wheels whenever you get a new tire or remount a tire like when it's been removed for a flat repair.

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

 

At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. we install quality NAPA replacement parts.



The Fallacy of Cheap Tires

Posted January 10, 2012 12:00 PM

Do you ever shop for shoes in one of our Mississauga area shoe stores?
When buying a running shoe, is quality important?
Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?
Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pair of lower quality shoes at the same price?

Is the warranty important when buying tires?
When you choose new tires in Mississauga, what's the most important factor for you?

Give us a call at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. at 905-821-4992 for tire recommendations.

You know, buying tires in Mississauga is a big deal. It's a big ticket item so you know you'll be spending a lot. You're not only concerned about the price, but you want to know that it'll be a long time before you need to buy new tires again.

And of course there's the safety aspect as well. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. They need to be up to the task. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer, the tires need a high load rating to be up for the job.

As a tire professional, I think it's important that people understand the effect of price on a tire's performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad had a saying, "Pay twice as much and buy half as many."

Dad applied that to a lot of things. He thought that one high quality suit would last longer and look better than two cheap suits. The saying really seems to hold true when it comes to shoes and boots, too.

I buy high-quality work shoes because I spend a lot of time on my feet. They're more comfortable, have important safety features like steel toes and non-slip soles and they last at least twice as long as cheap shoes. I feel I get very good value for my money.

I apply the same thinking to tires. The major tire brands that you're familiar with are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are well-engineered and very high quality. Comparable tires are usually in the same price range from brand to brand.

Stepping down in price you come to private label tires. Some large tire store chains carry tires with the chain's own brand. It's important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 brands that you are familiar with, so they are a quality product. You can ask your tire professional who makes their private brand.

The lowest priced tires on the market are Tier 3 tires. These tend to be imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can't expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.

So let's say you need new tires. You've determined the features you need. So you have several options, including price options. Now, you've probably heard the term 'it's a 40,000 mile/64,000 km tire' or 'it's a 60,000 mile/97,000 km tire'. Simply put, the manufacturer warrantees the tire for 'X' number of miles/kilometers. If that's important to you, look for the warranty.

What's the difference in the tires with higher mileage warranties? It's the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you'll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.

Now the cheapest tires you can find won't have a manufacturer's mileage warranty, or if it does, it'll be relatively low. That brings us back to dad's saying; if you buy the cheapest Tier 3 tire you can, you will likely go through two sets in the time it would take to wear out one set of good quality tires. And the good tires won't cost twice as much, so you'll end up paying more per mile/km driven with the cheap tires.

Hey, I realize that sometimes the budget will only allow for a Tier 3 tire. I make them available for my customers who need them because I would rather see them driving with safe, new tires than pushing their old tires beyond their safety limits. But at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., we always counsel our customers to buy as much tire as they can afford, because it will be much less expensive in the long run.

Your tires are the only parts of your vehicle that touch the road. You're only as safe as your tires are well built.

Buy value – not price.

Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992
http://meadowvaleautorepairspecialists.autovideotipsblog.com



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




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