How Much Do You Really Know About Your Car’s Airbags?

Airbags

Airbags. We hope to never see them and we don’t know much about them, yet we trust them with our lives.

Does that seem a little strange to you? Then maybe it’s time to up your airbag IQ.

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5 Things That Are Throwing Your Car’s Wheel Alignment Off

 

Wheel AlignmentFor many, wheel misalignment is seen as one of those pesky problems that comes along with car ownership. And while yes, wheel misalignment can occur naturally over time, it’s more likely that there’s a specific reason behind your wonky tires. Like your driving habits. Or your tendency to neglect your car. Or that time you bumped a curb in the parking lot.

When your tires are out of alignment, it basically means  they aren’t pointing in the right direction. You may notice  your vehicle pulling to one direction or vibrating as the wheels pull against each other, or that your steering wheel is crooked even though you’re driving straight. This all negatively affects your steering, suspension and tires, but more importantly, it compromises your safety on the road. And that’s never a good thing.

Are you familiar with these common causes of wheel alignment problems?

Hitting curbs

Everyone hits a curb at one point or another. Whether it’s a gentle bump as you pull into a tricky driveway or a bad jolt from hitting one of those concrete parking spot dividers (not technically a curb, but close enough), it can be enough to throw a tire or two out of alignment. Read More

The Truth About Antifreeze: Functions it Provides for Your Engine

truth about antifreeze

Here’s something you might already know: Antifreeze (also known as coolant) is part of your engine’s cooling system, and its obvious job is to protect the water in the system from freezing. Without the right mixture and amount of antifreeze, the water could freeze, swell up, and cause major engine damage. And that’s not cheap.

But just because antifreeze is called antifreeze doesn’t mean its only purpose is to protect your car from freezing. This hard-working fluid actually has tons of other jobs! Antifreeze…

Keeps your vehicle from overheating

Antifreeze protects your car from chilly winter days by lowering the freezing point of the cooling system. But did you know that it also protects that same system from boiling over in the summer? Antifreeze raises your cooling system’s boiling point, which means your engine can safely run at high temperatures.

Some people aren’t aware of this, and insist that it’s better to use plain old water in the summertime. Not true! Whether it’s -40 or +40, we always recommend a 50/50 mix of fresh coolant and water. Read More

This is What Your Car Really Wants For Christmas

christmas car maintenance

It’s hard to shop for that special car in your life. It doesn’t ask for much, really, just some fuel every now and then. It happily takes you from point A to point B without complaint, even when you spill coffee all over its car mats and wipe it up with your shoe (not so effective, by the way).

So maybe it’s time to give that lovable hunk of metal a big “thanks!” for all it does. And the best way to do that? By giving it what it truly wants this holiday season…

Indoor parking

Your garage is more than just a handy place to store all of your junk. It also happens to be a great place to keep your car!

Heat, sun, rain, and snow can quickly weather a vehicle, as can Victoria’s nasty winter storms (flying branches aren’t so great for your car’s paint job). Storing your car in a garage, or any covered area, protects it from the elements and keeps your car’s exterior and interior looking new. Plus, your car will be much harder to steal or break into. Read More

Winter is Coming. Is Your Vehicle You Ready?

winter driving

Winter might be mild in many parts of British Columbia, but that doesn’t mean driving is a breeze. According to an ICBC survey, almost 4 in 10 respondents feel less confident driving during the winter. What’s more, 7 in 10 feel less safe and more frustrated by the actions of other drivers.

Staying off the road is the safest (and least stressful!) option, but that’s not a reality for most drivers. So, what you can do instead is reduce your speed, keep your distance, and make sure your car is prepared for the wet, wild, and chilly weather.

Winter tires

Winter tires aren’t technically mandatory in BC, but the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure can designate them to be required on certain roads and highways, including the Malahat, from October 1 to March 31. If you go beyond the signs and are caught driving on these roads without winter tires, police can ticket you and make you turn back.

Pesky fines aside, winter tires are a safer option for driving in the winter, even here in Victoria. Our temperatures regularly dip near freezing and all season tires harden up and lose traction at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. And while driving without winter tires will not void your insurance (remember, they’re not mandatory), they can affect how much you’re at fault. Read More