Archive for May 2016

Automotive Tips from Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.: Signs of an Alignment Problem

Posted May 31, 2016 7:29 AM

When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Mississauga drivers often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like an accident, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object.

While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday Mississauga driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well.

In addition, your vehicle can lose alignment over time with just normal driving. When your wheels are out of alignment, Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga can return your wheels to the vehicle manufacturer’s factory settings. Most owner's manuals suggest an alignment check every year or two. 

Give us a call.

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

 



Exhaust Service at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.: Passing the Smell Test

Posted May 23, 2016 7:22 AM

The exhaust system on a vehicle is more complex than most Mississauga residents realize. It contains everything from old-fashioned pipes and clamps to sophisticated computers and sensors. All Ontario folks know a properly functioning exhaust system is good for the environment, but sometimes we forget that a damaged exhaust system can be deadly. That's why preventive maintenance on your exhaust system is so important. We can help you with that at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga.

The exhaust manifold is the first component in your exhaust system. The manifold is attached to the engine. It collects the gases that are produced by the engine and directs them into the exhaust pipes. At this point, these gases are both hot and chemically dangerous.

One of the gases produced in your engine is carbon monoxide. This gas is colorless and odorless. Breathing it can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and drowsiness. Continue breathing it and you will die.

To keep this gas and others from entering your vehicle passenger compartment, the connections from the manifold to the engine and from the manifold to the exhaust pipes are sealed with gaskets. These connections should be routinely inspected at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. for cracks and to check if they have come loose.

The exhaust pipes can also get damaged, allowing dangerous gases to leak into your passenger compartment. These pipes can rust or be dented or broken by rocks and other roadway debris, so they need to be inspected regularly.

The catalytic converter is the next component in your vehicle exhaust system. You can breathe a sigh of relief now, because this is where the dangerous engine gases are converted into carbon dioxide and water, greatly reducing the amount of harmful emissions in your exhaust. You'll also be happy to know that your catalytic converter doesn't require maintenance. However, it will wear out. If you fail an emissions inspection because of a faulty catalytic converter, you need to replace it.

The muffler's job is far less critical, but far more noticeable, than the catalytic converter's. It dampens or absorbs the noise from the engine. Most Mississauga residents don't realize that we can actually customize the noise our car makes with a custom muffler. You can upgrade to a muffler that will make your car sleuth-quiet, or you can advertise your presence in Mississauga with a sassy rumble.

Mufflers can also rust or be damaged by road debris. But just because their main function is to dampen out engine noise doesn't mean they can be ignored. If your muffler is leaking, you need to get it replaced quickly. Exhaust fumes need to exit through your tailpipe, not your muffler.

The exhaust pipe contains at least one oxygen sensor. The sensor monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust, which allows it to adjust the fuel-to-air ratio in the engine. This keeps your vehicle engine running smoothly and maintains good fuel economy. So, besides keeping you and the environment healthy, a well-maintained exhaust system also keeps your vehicle healthy. The tailpipe itself can rust or get damaged by road debris, so it needs a quick inspection once in a while, too.

The whole exhaust system is mounted on the vehicle with clamps and hangers. These clamps and hangers can come loose, rust or get dinged up by road debris. Remember that the gases in your exhaust system are hot, so the exhaust system itself gets hot. The clamps and hangers keep the exhaust system attached to the vehicle, but they also prevent the heated components from touching things they shouldn't. If you don't inspect and replace broken, loose or damaged clamps, you may end up with melted wires, hoses or lines. And that can spell some expensive repairs.

You should schedule an exhaust system inspection as recommended in your vehicle owner's manual. Because this system is critical to your health and the health of your car, and because of its sophistication and complexity, you need to have the work done at a qualified service center such as Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga.

Maintaining your emissions and exhaust system is not just good auto advice: it's good health advice for all Mississauga residents and their families.

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



Can Your Car Last Another Year?

Posted May 15, 2016 8:24 AM

Have you checked out the price of new vehicles at Mississauga car dealers? Ouch! Add financing and insurance and a new ride may not seem so attractive. A lot of Mississauga, Ontario, folks are hoping to make their cars last a lot longer.

Fortunately, with the current state of automotive engineering and manufacturing, there's no reason a modern vehicle can't be made to last for a 150,000 miles (250,000 kilometers) or more for smart Mississauga drivers.

The old adage: 'a stitch in time saves nine' is really true for Mississauga residents when it comes to car maintenance. A great example is coolant service.

Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. Smart Mississauga drivers have their cooling system service taken care of right on schedule at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd..

Ditto for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. Of course, oil changes should be done right on schedule to avoid the build-up of harmful oil sludge.

Don't let your brake pads go too long before they are worn to the point that your rotors are at risk. Preventative auto maintenance at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. is a great way to keep your operating costs down.

Replacing belts and hoses is much cheaper than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure.

We know that this is a lot for busy Mississauga area drivers to remember. Let the team of automotive professionals at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. keep on top of this stuff for you. We can tell you what your vehicle manufacturer recommends and help you develop an affordable plan to take care of it.

Bottom line – do routine maintenance on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent repairs and maintain your warranty coverage.

Let us take good care of your car at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. in Mississauga, and it'll take good care of you.

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



Hey Mississauga Drivers, How Many Miles Are on Your Car?

Posted May 8, 2016 4:43 AM



Nowadays, Mississauga drivers are paying more at Ontario gas pumps. For some families it adds up to several hundred dollars every month. That's got to come out of the budget somewhere. This is one of the reasons many Ontario drivers are putting off buying a new car. They plan on keeping their old vehicle for a year or two longer than before.

Even now, 2/3 of the personal vehicles on our local Mississauga, Ontario, roads have over 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) on them. The average age of vehicles is over nine years. And most people in the Mississauga area can't afford to be stranded or inconvenienced by a breakdown. So following a regular maintenance schedule, like personal diet and exercise plans, is actually critical to preserving your investment.

Determining what to do for a higher-mileage vehicle can be challenging because many owner's manuals don't publish service intervals after 60,000 miles (100,000 kilometers). Thus, Mississauga drivers need to be better at keeping records and planning for preventive maintenance.

You can start by figuring that services with a recommended interval should still be performed on that interval, even after you're past the tables in your service manual. For example, a service might be recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers). Well, just keep doing it every 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) for as long as you have your car.

Now higher mileage engines operate under more stress. Some Ontario automotive experts suggest that the severe service schedule is more appropriate and that routine service should be performed at shorter intervals. Check with your owners' manual or service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. to see if the severe service schedule is right for your vehicle.

And keeping current with your full-service oil change schedule is important for a couple of reasons. First, older engines have had more time to build up oil sludge. Skipping an oil change here and there can really compound the problem for your vehicle.

Another equally important reason is that your other fluids are routinely checked and topped off. Power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant and transmission fluid can be kept at optimal levels even though the older seals and gaskets are leaking more than when they were new.

And speaking of older seals and gaskets: they start to dry out and become more brittle with age. You may want to consider using high mileage formulation oil and fluids. These products contain  additives to condition seals and gaskets to keep them from leaking. The high mileage formulations cost more than standard products, but they are well worth it in terms of preventing serious repair bills down the road.

Older vehicles in the Mississauga, Ontario, area need repairs and replacements that newer ones don't: things like timing belts, radiator hoses, suspension work, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries. That may seem like a lot of stuff to have done, but it works out to be cheaper than new car payments.

With a high-mileage vehicle, a couple of relationships will become pretty important to Mississauga drivers. The first is with your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd.. You need someone you trust to take care of your car and be mindful of your needs. Ask for help to develop a plan to keep your vehicle road-worthy that works within your budget and for the Mississauga, Ontario, area driving conditions. 


The next relationship is with your vehicle itself. We're not talking about naming your car or tucking it in at night. We just mean - pay attention and get to know your vehicle. Notice unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Then you can describe the changes to your service advisor at Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. and head off problems. We can't do anything about the price of gas, but we can properly maintain Old Faithful to keep it safely and economically on the local Mississauga roads.

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



Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?

Posted May 2, 2016 2:32 AM

Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all Mississauga residents know about them. But do we know enough?

Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals.

Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for Mississauga residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable.

Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways and blocking passage of oil to vital engine parts, shortening your engine's life expectancy.

To prevent sludge, you have to get your oil changed regularly, as often as the manufacturer recommends. Check your owner's manual for every vehicle you own to know the interval for each one. Don't assume they will be the same.

If you tow a trailer, haul heavy loads, make a lot of short trips around Mississauga, usually engage in stop-and-go (or around-the-town) driving, drive in cold or hot Ontario weather, or drive in polluted or dusty conditions, you may need to change your oil more frequently. Check your vehicle's owner's manual for a “severe service” recommendation.

If the manual doesn't give you the advice you need, talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor. He will be able to answer any questions about preventive maintenance or vehicle care that you may have, including how often to change your oil.

Mississauga residents need to get the right weight and type of oil recommended for their vehicles. More and more are using synthetic oil in their vehicles. Synthetic oil typically lasts longer and is more resistant to sludge formation than conventional motor oil. But it is also more expensive. So it can be tempting for Mississauga residents to ask for conventional oil, but if you replace synthetic oil with conventional oil, you will have to change your oil more often to prevent sludge build-up. In the end, you're probably not saving money at all.

Also, your engine may not be designed for the conventional oil. Check your owner's manual before replacing synthetic oil with conventional.

Talk to your Meadowvale Auto Repair Specialists Ltd. service advisor for more information.

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




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