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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5 Reasons Your Car Breaks Down in Autumn & How to Avoid It

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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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

5 Ways to Wreck Your Car and How to Avoid Them

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

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

8 Essentials to Stock in Your Emergency Car 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

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…)

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Plan for a Safe Ride Home this Christmas

Plan for a Safe Ride Home

It’s now the end of November, and you know what that means! With the watering restrictions of summer a distant memory, and the federal election long behind us, and Halloween costumes packed up for another year, it’s finally time to turn our attention to holiday planning, and more important, holiday partying.

For many people, the holidays are a time of great indulgence, more so than Halloween or even birthday parties. For this reason, drinking and driving becomes an even larger concern across the province, so it’s never too early to start planning a safe ride home. Read More

How to Restore Your Vehicle’s Headlights

VW Headlight

Can a car or truck ever be considered totally shiny and clean if its headlights look dull? At Searles, we don’t think so!

Dull-looking headlights might sound like an oxymoron, but they exist. Headlights appear to look dull when the polycarbonate plastic components of most headlights degrade over time, usually due to general oxidation and powerful UV rays—yes, we do get enough sunshine in Victoria to do considerable damage to headlights. Other things that can degrade the look of your headlights include dirt, salt, pollution, water vapour and road damage. This breakdown in plastic creates a cloudy-looking fog or haze over the light’s casing. Read More

How to Choose a Roadside Assistance Provider

Roadside Assistance

It used to be that you’d be hanging out with your buddies in downtown Victoria, and if someone accidentally locked their keys in their car, someone else would know somebody with a BCAA membership. Problem solved.

But these days, BCAA is no longer the frontrunner in the roadside assistance realm, as it seems like every man and their dog is offering some sort of roadside assistance package.

Consumers can now purchase their plans through big box stores, local towing companies and ICBC. Even banks, credit card companies and cell phone providers are throwing in roadside assistance packages to sweeten their deals. Read More