Archive for February 2012

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



Custom Wheels and Tires for Your Mississauga Ride

Posted February 15, 2012 12:00 PM


 

It seems like everywhere you go in the Mississauga area you see custom wheels. Big trucks, little cars, mini-vans - it doesn't matter - are expressing themselves with custom wheels. Some Ontario auto owners want smaller tires and wheels - some want larger - and some want them enormous. So where do you start if you want new wheels? At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., we suggest you start with your budget. We know, that sounds so practical. But if the look you're after goes beyond just new tires and wheels and enters into the world of suspension modifications, you need to be prepared for the additional cost.

Let's start with something easy - you want to give your ride a unique look and the stock wheel size is just right for you. One of the concerns you will have is that the new wheels have the same offset as your vehicle factory wheels.

Your tire and wheel professional at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga can help you find the right size wheel or install adapters to make your new wheels fit. All you have to do is pick from the hundreds of styles available.

So, what about Mississauga drivers who want to upsize? Well, if you want bigger wheels, but you want to keep the same overall tire diameter, that's pretty easy for the team at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. The same offset concerns apply. You need to know that the tires will likely be a little bit wider than the originals and you don't want them to rub when you make sharp turns. Your tire professional at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga will help you avoid this.

Heading the other direction, some vehicle owners in the Mississauga area like to run smaller than standard wheels and lower the suspension. All of the same fitment issues still apply as well as calibration issues. Don't think that vehicle suspension modifications are a bad thing. Many systems actually improve ride, function and performance over the stock set-up.

Regardless of your budget, you want your vehicle to continue to do all the things you need it to do. Some of those show cars and trucks you see on TV and Mississauga showrooms  look good but have been modified in ways that may not suit your needs. For example, if you put large rims on your SUV with low profile tires, you may be in for busted rims if you go off-roading a lot around the Mississauga area. There just isn't enough sidewall to absorb the impact of thumping over rocks.

Some stuff the largest tires and wheels possible in their vehicles but have to severely restrict suspension travel so that the tires aren't rubbing all day. That can lead to a very harsh ride around Ontario. Again, talk with your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. wheel professional about all of these things: how you drive in Mississauga, what look you are going for, your budget and what compromises you are willing to make.

At the end of the day, you're going to be rollin' out of Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. with one sweet ride.

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



Timing Belt Replacement in Mississauga

Posted February 7, 2012 12:00 PM

Today we want to talk to Mississauga drivers about timing belts. They're something that many drivers don't know much about and yet your vehicle won't run if it's broken – and it could cause many thousands of dollars damage if it does break. A broken timing belt is usually a tale of woe. Even though timing belt replacement is scheduled in the owner's manual, it's not the kind of thing that most Mississauga area auto owners remember because it's not well understood.

Let's review what a timing belt does. As most know, the engine's power is generated in the cylinders. A piston rides up and down in the cylinder. During the first down stroke, an intake valve at the top of the cylinder opens and air and fuel is drawn into the cylinder. Then the piston returns to the top, compressing the fuel and air mix. At the top, the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel, pushing the piston down in the power stroke. As the piston once again returns up in the final stroke of the cycle, an exhaust valve opens at the top of the cylinder and the exhaust is pushed out. The timing belt is what coordinates the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. It's called a timing belt because the valves have to open and close at just the right time.

Now, not all vehicles have timing belts. Some have timing chains. Like the name implies, they use a chain rather than a belt to perform the function. It used to be that most engines used timing chains, which are extremely durable. The leading vehicle manufactures started using belts rather than chains to save money in the manufacturing process. So now Mississauga drivers and their advisors at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. are left with a component that can break. They sort of shifted the problem to us. There are two broad categories of engine design: interference and non-interference. If the timing belt on a non-interference engine breaks, the engine simply stops running. That could be very dangerous for drivers depending on where they are at the time, but it causes no internal engine damage.

Interference vehicle engines, on the other hand, will get real messed up when the timing belt breaks, because the valves will actually fall down into the path of the pistons. Things get chewed up when that happens and it'll cost a chunk of change to repair the vehicle engine.

So, what are the warning signs? Unfortunately, there really aren't any. There aren't tell-tale sounds. In some vehicles, a technician from Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. may be able to see part of the belt for a visual inspection, but many have a cover that's in the way. The reality is that if the belt slips even one notch, it might as well be broken for all the damage it'll cause. There's no middle ground.

So how can we avoid these problems? Simply replace the timing belt when your owner's manual calls for it. It can be 60,000 miles/97,000 km; it might be 90,000 or 100,000 miles/145,000 or 160,000 km. The point is, if you have 60,000 or more miles (97,000 or more km), ask your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor right away if your vehicle requires a timing belt replacement.

Contact Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. to learn more about your car's timing belt
You can find us at:

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

Sometimes Mississauga drivers can go quite a while without a failure, but we've seen them happen within a couple of oil changes of being due. It's not worth the risk.

What does it cost to replace a timing belt in Mississauga? Well, that really depends on what kind of car you have. I can tell you that it's usually not very easy to get to the timing belt – you often have to remove some accessories to get at it. It isn't a cheap procedure, but it's a fraction of what it could cost to repair the damage caused by a failure.

At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga, we're all about trying to prevent repairs, keeping you and your passengers safe and increasing your driving enjoyment. 



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




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