Archive for January 2015

Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle in Mississauga?

Posted January 29, 2015 12:00 PM

There is a clear and vocal demand in Mississauga and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the Ontario market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Mississauga area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Mississauga auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Mississauga dealership.

Mississauga drivers should carefully research the vehicle care before buying an alternative fuel vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs as well; these vehicles may help save our environment here in Mississauga, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You'll need to decide what you can afford and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.

Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in Ontario.

Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.

One piece of Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your vehicle unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel
Diesel engines are nothing new on Ontario freeways, and many get great fuel economy. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in the Mississauga area.

Natural Gas
Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Mississauga and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on Mississauga roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Mississauga, ask your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor about it.

On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some Ontario areas, or even unavailable in many parts of the country.


Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles were all the rage in Ontario some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Mississauga auto owners. These vehicles won't come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, many of these cars have a short range before their power runs out and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.

Hybrids
Hybrids have been among the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Mississauga and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.

There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard vehicle and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.

In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the vehicle. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV's.

A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.

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



Training Received by Technicians in Mississauga, Ontario

Posted January 21, 2015 12:00 PM

When your vehicle breaks down in the Mississauga, Ontario, area, or just needs some routine service, it can make you a little nervous. Because your vehicle's so important to your life, you need to be back on the road as soon as possible — with the problem fixed right the first time.

We've been checking into some of the training our Mississauga, Ontario, technicians receive, and we're very impressed. It's amazing how much knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern vehicle. So it's not like when your uncle worked on his hot rod over the weekend.

Today there are four-cylinder engines around Mississauga that make more power than the V-8's in luxury cars did 20 years ago. A new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket's Ferrari in a race to 60 mph/97 kph.

Our engines are more and more powerful. And they're so reliable. This is all due to engineering. But the benefits come to Mississauga drivers at the price of simplicity. Modern cars are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin.

Then there are the electronics. Some vehicles on Ontario roads have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle functions as well. Mississauga drivers take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks.

It's a real challenge for the pros at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. and other Mississauga auto service centers to keep up. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the auto technician and the service center. In addition to the training, there's the financial commitment to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools as well.

So where do Mississauga technicians go for training? There are many sources. It's usually a combination of formal classroom training, training provided in the service center by auto parts and equipment manufacturers, online courses and home study courses. There are many independent certifications available all the way up to Master Technician.

Service centers in Mississauga, Ontario, have a lot of other resources available.  No one can know everything, so service centers like Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even online communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It's like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms. What's the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. Mississauga drivers want everything to be simple, straightforward and cheap – and sometimes it just isn't.

So, be more relaxed next time you take your vehicle in. You can trust the professionals at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. You're in good hands. The more you know, the more comfortable you can be with your automotive service decisions at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. 

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



Check Engine Light Diagnosis at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.

Posted January 16, 2015 12:00 PM

Hello Mississauga . Have you ever had your Check Engine light come on? Did you panic? Or just scowl and ignore it? What should you do? Pull to the side of the road and call a tow truck? Or just keep driving? What does that little light really mean for Mississauga drivers?

First of all, the Check Engine or Service Engine light does indicate that something is wrong. That's why it is called a warning light. But the something that is wrong might be a loose gas cap, or it might be serious vehicle engine trouble. That's why Mississauga residents often don't know how to respond to it.

The Check Engine light has two modes: it flashes or it stays on. A flashing light is serious. You need to get your vehicle to Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga ASAP. No, you don't need to call a tow truck, but, yes, you can't wait to get your car serviced. If your Check Engine light is on and flashing, you should not tow trailers, haul heavy loads or drive at Ontario freeway speeds. Any of these could lead to serious damage that could result in repair bills for Mississauga drivers who ignore it.

steady Check Engine light is less serious, but that doesn't mean it can be ignored. You should plan to get your vehicle inspected at your local Mississauga automotive service center at the first realistic opportunity. Not the first convenient opportunity, but the first realistic one.

Modern automobiles have a computer in the engine that monitors and controls many of the engine functions. When the computer senses something wrong, it first tries to fix the problem itself by adjusting the vehicle engine. If the problem persists, the computer signals the Check Engine light to come on.

This process stores a trouble code inside the vehicle engine's computer. Your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. scans the computer and reads the code. This does not tell the technician exactly what is wrong with the car, but it gives him a good idea as to where to start looking.

Of course, the best thing to do is to keep that pesky Check Engine light from coming on in the first place. Good vehicle care and routine preventive maintenance go a long way to keeping your vehicle out of your Mississauga auto repair shop. But, if that light does come on, be smart. Take care of the problem early, and take care of it professionally.

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

 



Are Modern Vehicles Maintenance Free?

Posted January 7, 2015 12:00 PM

In our auto video today we'll be talking with Alan Peterson about myths surrounding automotive maintenance. You can lump these myths into the statement that "modern vehicles are so reliable, they are virtually maintenance free."

Any good myth has some elements of truth. No offense to Mississauga Bigfoot fans, but this maintenance-free myth has more evidence than most. If we look at some isolated areas of auto maintenance, we could conclude that maintenance isn't so important. But other areas would just as easily lead you to believe that maintenance is more important than ever.

Here are some examples for our friends in Mississauga.

  • Some vehicles in Mississauga no longer require chassis lubrication. They're made with self-lubricating materials and have sealed joints. There's literally no way to grease those joints.

-Chalk one up for the myth.

On the other side, some vehicles come with sophisticated variable valve timing. A lot of complicated parts are up in the valve train that didn't even exist not that many years ago. These parts are very vulnerable to oil sludge.

  • So, skipping an oil change here and there could lead to very expensive damage.

-A point to maintenance.

  • Electronic ignition has eliminated replacing points.

-Myth gets a point.

  • Fuel injectors on direct injection engines are very expensive to replace so one must be sure to get a fuel system cleaning on schedule.

-Point for maintenance.

I think you get the picture. As automotive technology advances, it eliminates or reduces some maintenance requirements. And maintenance becomes more critical for some items. Most others remain very similar to what they've always been.

So the maintenance mindset is still important for car owners in Mississauga if we want our vehicles to last a long time. The checklist may change over time, but there'll always be a check list. Your friendly and professional service advisor at {[ Shop }} can answer any questions you have about your vehicles maintenance schedule.

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


 



How Much is Enough for Mississauga Auto Owners? Tire Tread Depth

Posted January 1, 2015 12:00 PM

Most Mississauga drivers know that tires wear out and that the wear has to do with tread depth. Most of us have heard that “bald” tires are dangerous, but most of us picture a tire with no tread at all when we think of a bald tire. And when we take our vehicles in for preventive maintenance, the technician tells us they're need to be replaced long before all the tread is worn off. Just how much tire tread wear is too much? And how can you tell? Tires are and their condition is important to the safe handling of a vehicle, so it's for Mississauga vehicle owners to know the answers to these questions.

First of all, it's important to understand that there may be a legal limit to tread wear. If your tires are worn past this limit, you have to replace them to be in compliance with Ontario auto safety laws. That's why measuring your tread wear is part of a vehicle safety inspection.

In some jurisdictions, tread must be at least 1.6 millimeters or 2/32 of an inch thick. This standard has been in effect since 1968. But this standard has recently been called into question, and some Ontario professionals are arguing that it be changed.

The safety issue that has brought this standard under scrutiny is the ability of a vehicle to stop on a wet surface. When a vehicle has trouble stopping, most Mississauga drivers immediately look at the brakes as the source of the problem. But tires are crucial to safe stopping distances because they provide the traction required in a stop.

A tire's contact with the road surface creates traction, which allows for effective braking. On a wet surface, a tire only has traction if it can get to the road's surface. So tire tread is designed to channel water out from under the tire to allow it to stay in contact with the road. If the tire can't shift the water, then it starts to “float.” This condition is called hydroplaning. It is very dangerous for Mississauga drivers since the vehicle won't stop no matter how hard the driver presses the brakes. Steering control is also lost.

A recent study tested the stopping ability of a passenger car and a full-sized pick-up on a road surface covered with only a dime's depth of water (less than a millimeter). The vehicles were traveling at 70 mph (112 kph) when they stopped on the wet surface. At 2/32 (1.6 mm) tread depth, the stopping distance was double that of a new tire. The passenger car was still traveling at 55 mph (89 kph) when it reached the stopping distance it experienced with new tires.

Let's suppose that you're on a busy Mississauga road in a light drizzle and a vehicle stops suddenly in front of you. You just bought new tires and you brake hard, missing the vehicle with only inches to spare. If you hadn't bought those new tires, you would have crashed into that vehicle at 55 mph (89 kph). That is a major difference.

What if your tires had a tread depth of 4/32 (3.2 mm)? You would have crashed into that vehicle at 45 mph (72 kph). Still not a good situation. But it's better.

Now what if you were driving that pick-up truck? You wouldn't have missed that vehicle in the first place, and you would have crashed at higher rates of speed in both of the other scenarios. The heavier your vehicle, the longer its stopping distance. It's a matter of physics.

The results of this test has led Consumer Reports and others to ask that the standard for tread wear be changed from 2/32 (1.6 mm) to 4/32 (3.2 mm). The increased standard will improve safety on the road and save lives here in Ontario and nationally.

Of course, until the standard changes, you'll have to decide whether you'll be willing to replace your tires a little sooner.

You can use an American quarter to tell if your tread wear is down to 4/32 (3.2 mm). Place the quarter into the tread with George's head toward the tire and his neck toward you. If the tread doesn't cover George's hairline, you're under 4/32 (3.2 mm). With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the digits of the year.

You can measure the 2/32 inch (1.6 mm) tread wear with a penny. If the tread touches the top of Abe's head, it's at 2/32 (1.6 mm). Tires are super important when it comes to vehicle care. But their condition has a major impact on safety. We need to decide whether to sacrifice safety for economy. Keeping our tread wear above 4/32 in (3.2 mm) is good auto advice.

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




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)