Archive for October 2012

Protecting Your sedan From Theft In Mississauga Ontario

Posted October 30, 2012 12:00 PM



Every car in Mississauga Ontario is at risk for theft. So it's up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:

  1. Common sense
  2. Visible and audible devices
  3. Immobilizing devices
  4. Tracking devices

Let's review each of these. First, common sense: you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen from Mississauga Ontario where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys, and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it's against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.

And don't leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Try to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.

Remember to roll up your windows completely and avoid leaving your car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.

Keep valuables out of sight: purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive "smash-and-grab" targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.

There are lots of visible and audible devices available. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what's going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.

Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don't approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.

And here's a great one - immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car's electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can't drive your car away.

Finally, you can also get a tracking device that allows police to track your car down and recover it quickly.

Remember, where you live, work and drive around Mississauga Ontario has a great impact on your decisions. If you're in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your Mississauga Ontario auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.

Of course, the common sense suggestions from Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. don't cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves. Take a look at the attached video auto tip from AutoNetTV.

Come see us for practical advice on keeping your sedan safe.
Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road - Unit 4, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
Call us at 905-821-4992


How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.

Posted October 23, 2012 12:00 PM

Today in the Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. auto care blog, we're going to talk to Mississauga drivers about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).

In real world Mississauga driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga.

The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the vehicle owner had to follow a new, lower service interval and provide proof of oil changes in order to make a warranty claim.

So here's the bottom line for Mississauga vehicle owners: with longer oil change intervals, it's essential to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers), if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles or couple of thousand kilometers, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn't have time to build up much sludge.

But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles (10,000 kilometers) and you go over another thousand miles or couple of thousands of kilometers, you're getting into heavy sludge territory. You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And don't forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop and go driving in Ontario, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted Mississauga conditions, hot or cold weather  or haul heavy loads, you're driving in severe service conditions. Your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor can help you determine which schedule to follow.

So check your vehicle owner's manual or talk with your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor about where and how you drive in Mississauga. Should you change your oil closer to the regular schedule, or the severe service schedule? You need to make the call.

Let me give you an example of this. Some newer vehicles have an oil change indicator. It has a sophisticated computer algorithm that tracks number of cold starts, engine temperature, RPMs, mileage and many more variables to come up with a recommendation for when to change the oil.

Depending on driving conditions, the indicator in one test vehicle came on at anywhere from 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to almost 7,000 miles (11,000 km). It's typically just over 4,000 miles (6,500 km). Sometimes our driving is easy on the vehicle – like a long road trip. Sometimes, our driving is hard on it – like towing a heavy trailer or a lot of around town driving. But, usually, it's a combination of both.

Once again, it's up to you to make the call as to when to change your oil at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. to protect your vehicle engine. Another place where Ontario drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming to Mississauga owners filled with synthetic oil. Without going into a lot of detail right now, let's just say that synthetic oil lasts longer and is very resistant to oil sludge.

But it also costs quite a bit more, so some people are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. Now, it's always best to use the oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Check your owner's manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.

But getting back to the problem, if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you can't use the synthetic interval. You need to shorten it.

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

 



Power Steering Service at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga

Posted October 11, 2012 12:00 PM

Many Mississauga drivers have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering. Power steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects vehicle components from rust and corrosion.

Mississauga car owners should be aware that vehicle manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule. At Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.

Unfortunately, many Mississauga drivers don't realize how important it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it's necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.

Mississauga drivers should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you're experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga.

In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. includes an inspection of steering components.

See if you notice any of these: play in the steering wheel, the steering wheel is off center, or there's a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning.  If so, have your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. 

Give us a call.

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



Fuel Injector Cleaning In Mississauga

Posted October 3, 2012 12:00 PM

In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your vehicle engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much fuel to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute.

High temperatures under your hood and variations in Mississauga gas quality cause fuel injectors to be fouled with wax, dirt, water, additives and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure.

When your vehicle's injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn't burn as efficiently, resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it's important to keep your fuel injectors clean.

We can perform a full fuel system service for you at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in which the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time.

Ontario drivers should remember that proper maintenance of their fuel system means that they will spend less on gas in Mississauga, enjoy strong performance and prevent costly repairs down the road.




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