Searles Presents: How NOT to Drive in Winter Weather

winter driving stuck in ditch

Here one day, gone the next. That is almost every Vancouver Islander’s attitude when it comes to snow and ice on the roads. It’s no wonder why drivers all blame each other for “not knowing how to drive in this crap.” Unfortunately, the City of Victoria also gets needlessly blamed for not responding fast enough…

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Top 5 Reasons Your Car Breaks Down in Autumn and How to Avoid Them

autumn car repair victoria

If you’re anything like the team here at Searles Auto Repair, you tend to deny winter is coming and delay pulling out the winter boots for as long as possible. “It’s still not dipping below zero out there! I’m good,” you might catch yourself saying some mornings.

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All-Season, All-Weather, or Winter Tires – What’s the Difference?!

winter tires victoria bc

Now that we are well into Fall, Thanksgiving 2016 is all but a distant memory and Halloween has now arrived. While these dates on the calendar give us plenty of reasons to celebrate the onslaught of fall, they also make it all too easy for us to avoid the looming task of switching to our winter tires before the weather truly turns nasty.

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Best Tech Gadgets for Your Teen’s New Ride

car-wifi-hotspot

Let’s face it, the majority of teenage drivers on the road aren’t driving anything too fancy. Their first rides are usually something a little older, whether that’s their parents’ thoughtful hand-me down vehicle, or their older sibling’s beat-up old ride.

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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