How to Spot a Lemon at the Used Car Lot

How to Spot a Lemon at the Used Car Lot

Most blogs about how to spot a lemon at a used car lot recommend you do homework before you start car shopping. In other words, they say you ought to research the makes and models you might be interested in, and check:

  • that they are known to be reliable
  • that there are no known safety or operational issues with any particular year
  • that recalls have been kept to a minimum or are non-existent
  • that friends and family don’t have anything bad to say

While researching makes and models is an important step in the car buying process, it wouldn’t exactly help prevent you from ending up with a lemon. Why? Let’s take a look: Read More

The Top 5 Ways to Wreck Your Car

Car in Pothole

More often than not, drivers are guilty of ignoring warning signs or doing certain things to their vehicles that lead to an earlier trip to the repair shop than they had anticipated. At Searles we see it all the time: early on-set damage to vehicles that we know could have been prevented.

Sure, accidents happen, and potholes and icy patches can come out of nowhere, but in many cases, paying more attention on the roads and to your vehicle itself will help prevent you from having to see an auto mechanic practically every other month.

However, if you really want to come and see us more often, here are five of the worst things you can do to damage your car: Read More

Getting to Know Your Vehicle’s Exterior Sensors

vehicle exterior sensors

As much time as you spend taking care of your car, it spends a great deal of time taking care of you. And I am not just talking about getting you from point A to point B in a timely fashion. I am talking about all of the many ways it keeps you safe on the road.

Have you taken a newer car on a test drive lately? How safe did you feel? Very? It’s no surprise. Many vehicle makes and models out there now come equipped with advanced safety features in the way of exterior sensors. These exterior radars and sensors alert you when objects creep into your blind spots. Depending on the type of system, your car might also apply the brakes on your behalf. Whoa, Nelly!

These advanced safety features are considered add-ons for the majority of makes and models out there and are marketed under various trade names. This means each system’s capabilities will vary by manufacturer and model. For example, right off the top there is Acura’s Collision Mitigation Brake System, Cadillac’s Automatic Collision Preparation and Volvo’s Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection, which are just a few options out there. Read More

5 Reasons Your Car Won’t Start

Jumpstart Your Car with Cables

As an auto mechanic, I sure hate the sound of a car not starting in the morning. And as a car owner, I am sure you do too. For me, the first step is investigating what the problem might be. Whereas, for the average driver, their first instinct is thinking:

“Man! This better not cost me a lot to fix!”

There are plenty of reasons that your car won’t start, even when it was running good enough to get you to Downtown Victoria but just doesn’t want to face another trip up Douglas Street again.

Below are the top 5 reasons your car won’t start, starting with the obvious one: your dead or dying battery. Read More

All About Brakes: Staying Up On Brake Maintenance

Best mechanics in Victoria at Searles Auto RepairMany drivers don’t think twice about their vehicle’s braking system until their brakes start to give way. This is a concern because weak brakes are a hazard on the road, especially in regions like Victoria where stoplights are the norm, there are merging lanes as far as the eye can see, and the weather can turn on you in a heartbeat.

Of all the car maintenance tips we like to inform our customers about, brake system maintenance is at the top of our list. We believe staying up to speed on the life of your brakes is one of the smartest moves a driver can make. Read More

8 Important Things to Stock in Your Car Emergency Kit

Car Emergency Kit from Canadian Tire

Have you ever noticed that whenever a small earthquake shakes Vancouver Island and surrounding areas, out come all the emergency preparedness headlines? The only reason these reminders exist is because few people are prepared for disaster around here, and the media knows it!

The truth is, it’s not that people are too lazy or too cheap to think about preparing for an emergency, it’s just that most of us don’t want to think about the possibility of something bad happening. It’s just not something we place on the top of our minds—same goes for taxes, rising food costs, climate change and the like. So, items in our emergency kits remain on the store shelves, waiting to be assembled.

Well, I’m here to tell you that experiencing an emergency while on the road is a lot more likely than a tidal wave or the Big One coming for us, and that preparing for a roadside emergency takes very little effort and space inside your vehicle. In fact, there are emergency car-care kits available at stores that have included some or all of these components for you already. It’s just a matter of picking one up, or putting it on your birthday wish list. Read More

Important Things You Should Know About Your Car Battery

Car Battery Light

Car batteries are the lifeline of the vehicle. These unassuming, small little boxes are the key to starting your vehicle every time you need to go somewhere. Just like your morning cup of coffee provides you with a jolt of electricity every day, it is your car battery that provides your vehicle with the juice it needs to spring into action.

Understanding the basics of how car batteries work will help ensure that you are never stranded with a dead one! Here are some of the most important things you need to know about your car’s battery and electrical system. Read More

Give Your Car Some Love This Valentine’s Day

Love Your Car This Valentines Day

Have you ever noticed just how well your vehicle treats you? Just think about it: Your car gets up with you every morning without hesitation, allows you to always pick the restaurant (OK, drive-thru), and constantly keeps you warm and safe. Yes, our vehicles certainly show us a lot of love, and that’s why we believe it’s always good to show them a little love back in order to keep up the healthy relationship.

Whether you’re single or attached this Valentine’s Day, consider spoiling your car with any or all of the following car maintenance ideas. Because isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is really for? Preventing problems from arising in the relationship? (Between car and driver, of course…)

 

Read More

Can an Independent Auto Mechanic Void a Vehicle’s Factory Warranty?

Warranty on car registration plate keyringThe short answer is, probably not!

The world of warranties is a confusing place. There’s often a lot of paperwork involved, a lot of money on the line, and a lot of decisions to be made. Simply put, Consumer Reports defines a warranty as something that is put in place “to ensure consumers that the product performs as promised, with the manufacturer taking responsibility for problems during a predetermined period.” All new vehicles come with a limited warranty of a minimum of three years, with some dealerships offering upwards of 5 and 10 year limited factory warranties. Read More

Seasonal Tire Storage Tips

Seasonal Tire Storage at Searles Auto Repair

 

Every year in Victoria, when the rain turns to snow and the snow turns to ice, do you find yourself always asking yourself the same questions?

  • Are my car’s all-season tires going to be enough to get me through another year of winter-driving?
  • Will the weather even get bad enough to warrant two types of tires this year?
  • Do I even need to worry about it?

Answering these questions is an internal debate many Victoria drivers wrestle with at this time of year. Read More