Archive for May 2014

Make Your Battery Last

Posted May 28, 2014 12:00 PM



Today's report from Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. is on vehicle batteries, why they die and what we can do to lengthen their life. Most of us have had a dead battery at one time or another. In fact, it would be very unusual if you hadn't. You may be surprised to learn that only 30 percent of Mississauga vehicle batteries last for 48 months.

Now that's an average. How long a battery lasts depends on many factors. You may not know that one of the biggest factors is the temperature where you live and drive around in Ontario. You might suppose that cold weather was harder on batteries because it takes more power to crank a cold engine, but the opposite is actually true.

For more information on your battery, please visit us:
Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.
1705 Argentia Road
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 3A9
905-821-4992

Batteries in very cold climates have a life expectancy of 51 months as opposed to 30 months in very warm climates. The reason is simple: batteries are chemically more active when they're hot than when they're cold.

A vehicle battery will actually start to discharge on its own within 24 hours in hot weather. It takes several days in cold weather. When batteries are left too long in a state of partial discharge, the discharged portion of the battery plates — for the lack of a better word — 'die.' Recharging the battery will not restore the dead part of the battery plate.

One of the big problems for the way most of us drive in the Mississauga area is that our batteries are often partially discharged. The biggest job the battery does is to start the vehicle. It takes some time for the alternator to recharge the battery after starting. If you're driving short distances, especially if there are several starts and stops, your battery may not fully recharge.

Another issue is that vehicles are coming equipped with more and more electricity-hungry accessories like navigation systems, DVD players, CD and MP3 players, heated seats, heated steering wheels and so on. And we often plug in cell phones, computers and other gadgets. Combine that with short trips and it's no wonder that our batteries are partially discharged.

Experts say we can extend our battery life by topping off the charge periodically using a good quality battery charger. You may have heard these chargers referred to as 'trickle chargers.' They're attached to the battery and plugged into a wall outlet to slowly bring the battery up to full charge.

Now, there's some science involved with how fast a battery should be recharged. If you buy a cheap manual charger, you'll have to tend it. Frankly there is a learning curve on how to do it right and it requires much attention. A computer controlled charger – or smart charger – monitors the process and determines the appropriate rate of charge. And it even stops charging when it's fully charged. It costs more than the manual charger, but the automatic model is worth it.

The suggestion is to charge once a month in warm weather and once every three months in cold weather.

Another thing to avoid is deeply discharging your battery, something like running the headlights and stereo with the engine turned off. That'll take months off the battery life every time you do it.

Now, as we discussed, heat is hard on a battery. A dirty, greasy battery holds more heat. You can wipe off excess dirt with a paper towel or ask your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. to clean it for you. We can even test your battery and tell you if it's time to replace it.

Batteries are fairly expensive, so taking a few steps to make them last longer is well worth it. Of course, the battery will eventually need to be replaced. Always make sure you get a new battery that meets the factory specifications for your vehicle. If you feel you need more battery capacity than what came with your vehicle, talk with your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. about appropriate upgrades.

If you have a dead battery, be careful to inspect it before you jump start it. If the case is bulging, cracked or leaking, do not jump start it. Damaged batteries can explode or catch fire. And deeply discharged batteries can freeze. Do not jump start a frozen battery.

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



Can Car Scent Keep You Safe on Ontario Roads?

Posted May 15, 2014 12:00 PM

Here's a travel tip that'll I'll bet you didn't know, and it might keep you safer...

The average American commuter in Ontario spends two and a half hours daily in their vehicle.

The government says 100,000 auto accidents yearly are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. (Aggressive driving is the number one traffic safety concern.)

So what does this have to do with how your vehicle smells while you're driving around Mississauga?

Well, which scent did you think makes drivers more alert?

Is it:

  • A. Strawberry
  • B. New Car
  • C. Pine
  • D. Warm Vanilla Breeze

It's C. Drivers are more alert and have less fatigue with pine scent in the vehicle, according to AroMetrics.

And, drivers were less angry with overall improved driving performance with strawberry and pine scents.

And you thought they just smelled nice.

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



Fuel Saving Tip: Mississauga Tune Up

Posted May 7, 2014 12:00 PM



Have you ever gone to listen to an orchestra? The musicians take the stage early and tune their instruments. Each individual instrument must be in tune, but the critical thing is for the entire orchestra to be in tune with each other. That's why they tune up together.

Now this is no surprise; I'm going to relate the orchestra to your vehicle. Your engine has many component systems that each need to be working properly. And the components need to be working in sync, all timed up together in order for the engine to work efficiently.

We call this... (ta-da) a tune-up. When an orchestra's out of tune you get a bad concert. When your vehicle's out of tune you get bad performance and bad fuel economy.

So check your owner's manual for recommended tune-up intervals. Or ask your Mississauga service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. what he thinks.

...Just be careful not to say you want to make beautiful music together – that kinda makes us uncomfortable.

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




Search


Archive

August 2011 (16)
September 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
November 2011 (4)
December 2011 (5)
January 2012 (4)
February 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
June 2012 (4)
July 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
September 2012 (4)
October 2012 (5)
November 2012 (4)
December 2012 (4)
January 2013 (5)
February 2013 (3)
March 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
May 2013 (5)
June 2013 (3)
July 2013 (5)
August 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
October 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
December 2013 (4)
January 2014 (5)
February 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
April 2014 (4)
May 2014 (4)
June 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
August 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
October 2014 (5)
November 2014 (4)
December 2014 (4)
January 2015 (5)
February 2015 (4)
March 2015 (5)
April 2015 (3)
May 2015 (2)
June 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
August 2015 (4)
September 2015 (4)
October 2015 (5)
November 2015 (3)
December 2015 (3)
February 2016 (1)
March 2016 (5)
April 2016 (4)
May 2016 (5)
June 2016 (4)
July 2016 (4)
August 2016 (5)
September 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
November 2016 (5)
December 2016 (4)
January 2017 (5)
February 2017 (4)
March 2017 (4)
April 2017 (3)
May 2017 (5)
June 2017 (3)

Categories

Air Conditioning (9)
Alignment (10)
Alternator (1)
Auto Safety (1)
Automotive News (7)
Battery (7)
Brakes (8)
Cabin Air Filter (5)
Check Engine Light (1)
Cooling System (10)
Dashboard (2)
Diagnostics (3)
Diesel Maintenance (1)
Differential Service (2)
Drive Train (6)
Emergency Items (1)
Engine Air Filter (1)
Exhaust (6)
Fluids (13)
Fuel Economy (4)
Fuel System (41)
Headlamps (3)
Inspection (6)
Keys to a long lasting vehicle (2)
Maintenance (45)
Monitoring System (3)
Older Vehicles (3)
Parts (10)
Safety (2)
Serpentine Belt (2)
Service Intervals (8)
Service Standards (10)
Shocks & Struts (6)
Steering (8)
Suspension (1)
Timing Belt (5)
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (1)
Tire Rotation and Balancing (1)
Tires and Wheels (36)
Transmission (6)
Warranty (2)
Windshield Wipers (5)