Archive for May 2013

Ontario Balance: Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation

Posted May 29, 2013 12:00 PM



Everyone in the Mississauga area wants our tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to maximize tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.

When wheels are out of balance, they wobble a bit. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. And they vibrate. To fix this, your service technician at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. puts weights on your wheels to balance them out. If a front wheel is out of balance you’ll feel it in the steering wheel. If it’s a rear wheel you’ll feel it through your seat.

That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a car wear out more quickly than the rear tires. As they push through turns from Mississauga to Mississauga, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.

Proper tire inflation will also help your tires last longer. Under-inflated tires wear excessively on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Over-inflated tires wear to fast in the middle.

Four wheel drive trucks and SUV’s tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more important with them. Give us a call to get our recommendation on your sedan .

See your owner’s manual or ask your service technician at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It’s usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

Tires cost a lot and they are one of the most critical safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

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


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



Mississauga Exhaust and Emissions Service

Posted May 8, 2013 12:00 PM

Many Mississauga residents don't realize that there is more to exhaust system maintenance than just tailpipes and mufflers, if you can see smoke or if it's too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. is really a lot more comprehensive these days.

For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Ontario and federal emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.

So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it's so sophisticated, we recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., regularly to make sure everything's working right – which is usually every six months or 6,000 miles/10,000 kilometers.

If your 'check engine light' comes on while you are driving around the Mississauga area, especially if it's flashing, then you need to bring your car into Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. ASAP. Chances are it's an emission related problem. Signs of exhaust or emissions trouble include difficulty starting, engine noise or smoke.

We hope this hasn't been too 'exhausting' of a discussion. Remember that a properly functioning exhaust system is for Ontario’s health and safety. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga if you think you might need your exhaust system checked. A quick look can sure save a lot of pain down the road.

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



Is Your Mississauga Driving Severe?

Posted May 1, 2013 12:00 PM



People near Mississauga, Ontario, often ask Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. how often they should have a particular service done. It's a great thing to ask. You can look at your owner's manual or have your Mississauga, Ontario, service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. look up your vehicle in a service database. What you find is often a surprise to people – there are actually two service schedules.

One is the regular schedule and the other is the severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe service schedule. When asked, most folks in Mississauga will say that their driving is normal and that the 'regular' schedule probably applies to them. 'Severe service' sounds pretty extreme – 'I don't drive like that.'

Well, here is what the manufacturers say constitutes severe driving conditions; you can draw your own conclusions.

  • Most of your trips are less than four miles (six and a half kilometers).
  • Most of your trips are less than ten miles (16 km) and outside temperatures are below freezing.
  • The engine is at low speed most of the time – not on the highway. You operate your vehicle in dusty areas.
  • You regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads.
  • You drive with a car-top carrier.
  • You do a lot of stop-and-go driving.
  • You drive in very hot or very cold weather.

If that's severe driving, what constitutes regular driving? Well, it would look something like this: I live somewhere with moderate temperatures all year round – I'm thinking San Diego here. And I live close to a freeway on-ramp. Everywhere I need to go is right off the freeway, at least four miles (six and a half km) from my home. I can drive at a steady 60 miles per hour (100 kph) when I'm on the freeway.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like my normal driving. It sounds more like ideal conditions. I live where it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I run short errands around Mississauga. Occasionally we load up for family trips.

For me, normal driving includes elements of severe service driving. So here's what I tell people: think about how you drive, where you live, where you go and what you are expecting to with your vehicle in the near future.

Picture a line with 'regular' on one end and 'severe' on the other, and make a judgment on where you fall. If your regular oil change recommendation is 5,000 miles (8,000 km) and the severe service recommendation is 3,000 miles (5,000 km), when should you change your oil? For me, it's closer to 3,000 miles (5,000 km). For my wife, it's closer to 5,000 miles (8,000 km). Your Mississauga, Ontario, auto service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. will be happy to have this discussion with you and help you sort it out.

Just a quick word on why severe service intervals are shorter. One has to do with heat. That can either be external heat from the weather, engine and transmission heat from stop-and-go driving or working extra hard moving heavy loads or towing. The heat causes the fluids like oil and transmission fluid to break down more quickly, and then they aren't as effective.

Another factor is water. Moisture naturally collects in fluids as they cool. In your motor oil, for example, if you don't drive long enough for the oil to fully heat up, the water won't evaporate. Water in the oil can lead to the buildup of damaging sludge.

If you live where the air is dusty or polluted, fluids will become contaminated and filters will get dirtier more quickly.

So make an honest evaluation of your driving conditions. You've made the commitment to take care of your vehicles, so it only makes sense to follow the right schedule.

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




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