Archive for March 2016

Improve Your Night Vision When Driving in Mississauga

Posted March 27, 2016 2:01 AM

Night driving in Mississauga is not as safe as daylight driving as evidenced by the increased accident rate at night. Much of that is simply because it's dark outside.

Visibility is important to safe driving. Ninety percent of our driving decisions are based on what we see. And at night, we just can't see as much as we can during the day. In fact, if you have 20/20 vision during the day, your night vision is only 20/50. To translate, that means that an object you can clearly see 50 feet away during daylight, only becomes visible to you at 20 feet at night.

Reaction time is also related to visibility. Mississauga motorists don't react to a situation until they see it. So at night, we're reacting to situations later just because it takes longer to see them. But we don't have to stop driving at night to stay safe. We just need to practice some preventive maintenance and vehicle care that will maximize our night vision.

The most crucial item that helps us see while driving at night is, of course, our headlamps. Mississauga drivers should ensure that their headlamps are as bright as they can be. Headlamps dim over time, but they do it so gradually that it's difficult to notice. Because of this, experts recommend replacing headlamps once a year.

That's good auto advice for Mississauga drivers, but it doesn't apply to all headlamps. Some vehicles use HID, or high-intensity discharge, headlamps. These are bright headlamps that are designed to last for the entire life of a vehicle. Depending on your vehicle, you may be able to upgrade to HID headlamps. Consult with your friendly service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. to learn your options.

Most vehicles use standard or halogen headlamps. If you use standard headlamps, you might want to upgrade to halogen, which offers a brighter headlight. Halogen headlamps come in a variety of grades, so evaluate your options the next time you replace your headlamps and upgrade if you want a better light.

It won't do much good to upgrade or replace your headlamps, however, if your headlight lens is dirty or yellowed. Studies have shown that about 90% of the vehicles on the road have impaired headlights due to dirty or yellowed headlight covers. You should get into the habit of washing your headlights every time you gas up. Simply grab the window washer squeegee, run it over your windows, then swish it across your covers. No cost involved at all.

Plastic headlamp lenses yellow or become hazy over time. If your lenses have this problem, they can be restored with a special polishing process. You may be able to get this done at your Mississauga service center. If not, they should be able to tell you where you can.

Now, what good is a quality headlamp if you can't see through your windshield? Your windshield needs to be clean and streak-free if you plan on driving at night in Mississauga. You should also keep your windshield washer fluid replenished and your wipers in good condition.

Wiper blades should actually be replaced twice a year. The changing of the seasons at spring and fall, or Daylight Saving Time, can be a good reminder to do this. And while you're at it, fall is the perfect time to replace your headlamps. Those long winter nights add up to a lot more night driving for people in Mississauga.

Stay alert. Stay awake. And keep those headlamps burning bright.

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



Mississauga Drivers: Is It Time to Replace Your PCV Valve?

Posted March 21, 2016 7:26 AM

The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine.


When you are diving around Mississauga, fuel is burned in your vehicle engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.

Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine, leading to damage.

Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in Mississauga, Ontario.

Enter the PCV valve. It's a small, one-way valve that lets out the gases from the crankcase and routes them back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine. Fresh air comes into the crankcase through a breather tube. This makes for good circulation in the crankcase. And that gets the air out. As you can imagine, however, the valve gets gummed up over time.

Your vehicle manufacturer usually recommends they be changed somewhere between 20,000 to 50,000 miles/30,000 to 80,000 kilometers. Unfortunately, PCV valve replacement is left out of some vehicle owner's manuals, but your friendly service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd., we will make sure your PVC is replaced if needed.

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



Mississauga Drivers Severe Service Maintenance Schedules

Posted March 13, 2016 8:23 AM

Since driving requirements and lifestyles differ among Mississauga drivers, your vehicle manufacturer publishes two auto maintenance schedules: the regular schedule and the severe service schedule. Which schedule should Mississauga drivers follow? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are most of your trips less than four miles/six kilometers around Mississauga?
Are most of your trips less than 10 miles/16 kilometers in below-zero Ontario temps?
Are most of your trips off-highway in Ontario?
Do you drive often in dusty Mississauga areas?
Do you regularly tow a trailer or carry heavy loads around Mississauga?
Do you drive in very hot or very cold Ontario weather?


Think about your typical week. Do you live by your nearest Mississauga on-ramp and enjoy a non-stop commute? Or, do you drive the neighborhood car pool in stop-and-go traffic on Mississauga surface streets?

Let's suppose your owner's manual says the severe service oil change recommendation is 3,000 miles/5,000 kilometers and the standard recommendation is 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You know that you need to change the oil somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles/5,000 and 8,000 kilometers. Analyze your driving patterns and Mississauga weather and road conditions to determine which end of the spectrum you're closer to.

Why should Mississauga residents care about this? Normal condensation causes moisture accumulation in the engine oil. Short trips around Mississauga or winter driving means that the engine doesn't heat up enough for the moisture to evaporate. The water in the oil turns to oil sludge that clogs up your engine and doesn't let the oil protect it adequately. That's why Ontario residents need to change their oil more often – to clean the sludge out before it causes problems.

Carrying heavy loads (with or without a trailer) in Ontario summer weather causes your engine and transmission to run at higher temperatures and with more stress. The fluids will break down more quickly. Additives that clean and prevent corrosion will be depleted sooner. Air pollution and dust cause fluids to get dirty faster. Ditto for filters. All of these things can lead to premature wear and eventual repairs. If you want some expert advice, talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor. We can help you restore your vehicle to good working order and help you know the best schedule to follow.

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



Super Slick at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga: Synthetic Oil

Posted March 6, 2016 9:37 AM

When you get an oil change, it's always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the manufacturer recommends. But sometimes we're asked if we'd like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for Mississauga drivers.

Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides advantages over conventional motor oil.

First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for Mississauga drivers, cooler operating temperatures and more engine power.

Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It provides better protection for severe conditions like stop-and-go driving around Mississauga and very hot or freezing Ontario temperatures.

Also, synthetic oil doesn't generate oil sludge like conventional oil. This prevents small engine passageways from becoming clogged, which can significantly extend the working life of your vehicle engine.

Manufacturers are aware of the advantages of synthetic oil, and many of them are using it to fill their vehicles before delivering them to be sold. Many owner's manuals now come with the recommendation to use only synthetic oil. Because synthetic oil wears better and protects better than conventional motor oil, it can be changed less often. If your vehicle came with a recommendation for synthetic oil, you may have noticed that the recommended period between oil changes is longer than what you're used to. However, if you switch to conventional oil, you need to be aware that you can't follow this longer service interval. You'll have to change your oil more often.

On the other hand, if you are using conventional oil and you switch to synthetic oil, you may be able to lengthen the time between oil changes. You can ask the pros at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for more information. They can offer you good auto advice about oils and service intervals based on your driving habits and requirements.

Oil changes are the hallmark of preventive maintenance at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. All Mississauga drivers need them. So we should get excited about a product that reduces how often we need them. Synthetic oil is more expensive, yes, but it can pay for itself by lasting longer than conventional oil. And when you add in the hidden savings of an extended engine life and improved fuel economy, not to mention increased engine power, there's a good chance that synthetic oil actually saves cash in the long run. All Mississauga drivers pay for vehicle care. But understanding what we're paying for can make us more savvy shoppers.

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

 



Speak Up: Talking with Your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. Service Advisor

Posted March 1, 2016 10:23 AM

About 80% of the vehicles on Mississauga roads today are behind on their preventive maintenance schedules. That translates to about 160 million vehicles in the United States that aren't performing as well as they could be - thousands right here in Ontario. Some of the maintenance issues are minor. Others represent serious safety concerns.

There are many reasons Mississauga drivers neglect their routine car care. Some of the more common ones are complacency, lack of confidence, lack of trust and budget issues.

Modern vehicles are amazingly reliable compared to their older counterparts. They can run for years without any repairs, and we sometimes translate that to mean they don't need any maintenance. The trouble is that without maintenance, parts in the vehicle are gradually wearing out, fluids are getting dirty, oil is developing sludge — a lot of stuff is happening that we can't see, and it is destroying the vehicle. The first time we learn there is a problem, we have a major repair bill on our hands.

Older vehicles just couldn't keep going without frequent maintenance; they broke down without timely vehicle care. Modern vehicles are designed to keep running even when they're not fully healthy. Unfortunately, that convenience has led some of us to become complacent and ignore vehicle care — until we have to fix something. And fixing something today takes a whole lot more than it used to.

Some people in Mississauga just don't feel comfortable taking their vehicles to their local Mississauga service center. They don't know much about engines or auto mechanics, so they don't know what questions to ask. They don't want to appear foolish or ignorant.

Your physician doesn't expect you to understand what a ligament is or how it works. But if you have a problem with one, she's going to explain to you what it is, what's wrong with it and how it can be fixed. It's in her best interest as well as yours to do so. You'll both feel more comfortable with the treatment.

That's what you can expect from the pros at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. They have to be highly trained and work with a lot of complex, high-tech systems. They don't expect their Mississauga customers to understand car care. So ask questions. You need auto advice from a service specialist, just as you need medical advice from a doctor and financial advice from a financial advisor.

Which brings us to the next concern: trust. A lot of rumors fly around Mississauga about auto repair scams. You may have heard about some local auto shops taking advantage of customers and replacing parts that weren't broken. Frankly, this is just bad business practice. Mississauga auto service centers won't stay in business long if they're engaged in this type of activity.

It's in the best interest of Mississauga service centers to diagnose a problem correctly and fix it right the first time. That's how they keep their businesses open.

Trust must be earned. But just as it took time for you to establish a relationship and rapport with your doctor, it will take time to build a relationship with your service center.

Also, realize that when your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. recommends routine maintenance, he is generally relying on your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. In other words, your trust lies both with your service advisor and your vehicle manufacturer. You'll find that most of the service recommendations from Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. you receive coincide with what's in your manual.

Those recommendations were set up by the engineers who designed your vehicle, not Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. The team at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. is just offering you a friendly reminder — a helpful reminder really, since most of us don't post our owner's manuals to our calendars.

Money is behind most neglect of vehicle maintenance. First, they worry that they can't afford it. Second, they worry that they're being overcharged.

The simple truth is, car care is like health care. We can't afford not to have it. Preventive maintenance is cheap compared to repair work. It extends the lives of our vehicles and saves us money on fuel. It also makes our vehicles safer to drive, which can prevent accidents. Putting off preventive maintenance can be very expensive.

Mississauga area service centers have to be competitive. Like any business, they can't afford to overcharge customers or they go out of business. But vehicle care today does cost more in Ontario than it used to. Vehicles are more sophisticated, complex and high-tech. That means technicians have to be better trained. They have to purchase high-tech diagnostic equipment and tools. They have to keep up with the latest advances in vehicle engineering and subscribe to computer databases. Like any business, they also have labor costs, insurance, rent, utilities, taxes, office supplies, etc.

If you are strapped for cash, Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. can offer auto advice to help you keep your car running safely and manage your budget. For example, let's say you need new brake pads, transmission service and a new cabin air filter. A technician can't ethically recommend you delay brake service: that creates a safety hazard for you and other Mississauga drivers. You need to get that done now. But they can let you know if the transmission service can wait a month and how long you can put off changing the cabin air filter. They can also estimate what these services will cost. That gives you the time and information you need to save up for the other services.

The key to modern car care is preventive maintenance. Our modern vehicles are safer, more fuel efficient and more reliable than ever before. But to keep them that way Mississauga drivers have to be more proactive about caring for them. It's good to know there are knowledgeable professionals at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. who can help us do just that.

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




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