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Yearly Archives: 2016

Six important reasons to add winter tires to your ride

Six important reasons to add winter tires to your ride

Winter, and the associated snow, ice, cold and climatic nastiness that goes with it, will be with us Canadians shortly. You know that winter tires will make your ride safer if you’re driving in winter. You know that you should probably install a set, because they’re a good idea. If you ask someone you know who owns winter tires, they’ll tell you they make a big difference for grip, handling, traction and all-around confidence. They’ll tell you, as well, that winter tires pay for themselves the first time you stop clear of an accident situation, rather than winding up in it. Here’s a look at a few key benefits you can expect by installing a set, especially on your newer car, truck or SUV model. Compromise-free: Winter tires have both a flexible rubber compound and unique tread design that’s made exclusively for use on snow, slush and ice and in cold temperatures. With no compromises made for other seasons, drivers will bene ... read more

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8 Simple Winter Car Care Tips

8 Simple Winter Car Care Tips

Winter is just around the corner. For many drivers, that also means the challenges of winter car ownership are just around the corner, too, like salted streets, icy roads, freezing temperatures and heavy snow. How can you make sure your car is well cared for during the difficult winter months? We've listed eight simple car care tips that can go a long way toward making sure your car stays in great shape all winter long. Lighting One major hazard with winter driving is that the sun sets earlier in the day, which means there's less daylight, especially on your commute home. As a result, you'll want to do everything you possibly can to make sure all of your vehicle's lights are in excellent shape, providing the brightest possible illumination they can. If a bulb is out, fix it before winter starts, and if there's snow covering any exterior light, make sure you remove it before setting off to drive anywhere. If your headlights are foggy or yellow, consider replacing t ... read more

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Three reasons you should really clear that snow off your car

Three reasons you should really clear that snow off your car

What’s the condition behind the almost universal attraction for drivers to watch snow blow off their cars and trucks as they head out on winter roads?  Is it something akin to a child’s fondness for splashing in mud puddles or sticking their tongues to frozen metal gate posts?  Is it laziness or from being rushed? No matter what the reason, we’ve all seen vehicles on the road covered in snow with barely a porthole-sized section of unfrosted glass through which we see the driver huddled down, chin on the steering wheel, desperately trying to navigate his or her course, and sometimes, more than we’d care to admit, it’s us behind that wheel. If you haven’t been given enough reasons to take the few minutes required to clear your vehicle of snow and ice before pulling out of your parking spot, here are a few you might not have considered. It’s illegal Police services have quite a few tools in their fine-books to address ... read more

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2017’s Hottest Auto Tech Trends

2017’s Hottest Auto Tech Trends

Although the whole, “Jetsons,” thing hasn’t seemed to pan out just yet, there are some pretty spectacular technology trends to hit the auto market next year. See which top five are invading 2017’s auto industry! 1. Apple and Google Takeover There’s been a lot of debate within the auto industry about whether or not Apple and Google are about to take over our cars as well. Rumors are swirling that Apple is working under the guise of “Project Titan,” in order to create a new Apple car. Can you imagine the pressure to fit in? You’d need to buy the latest model of an Apple car every year and a half, which almost looks identical to the one you already have. My anxiety over this is almost the equivalent to Eli Manning watching Petyon win the Superbowl. We’ll have to wait a little later than 2017 to fi ... read more

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How to Store Your Tires

How to Store Your Tires

  It's a perennial issue with extra sets of tires and/or wheels: What's the best way to store them when they are not being used? Many people store tires improperly, and this can often shorten the life of your tires. The essential problem here is outgassing: as the rubber ages it loses volatile oils through the outer layers of the tire. Normally, the flexing motion of the tire tends to keep the oils evenly distributed throughout the rubber, so that outgassing is a minor issue. But when tires are stored for long periods of time without that flexing motion, outgassing must be kept to​ a minimum to avoid drying out the outer layers of rubber to the point that they begin to crack instead of flexing. We call this pattern of cracking rubber that develops over time “dry-rot” and it's a sign of approaching doom for your tires. Here are the best ways to avoid it if you are storing your tires or even a whole car over a season or longer. Get the Weight Off ... read more

Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Car Travel

Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Car Travel

  How to Stay Safe and Avoid Road Trip Headaches.   Millions of travelers will hit the road this holiday season, but before you jump in the car and head over the river and through the woods, follow these tips to make your trip safe and hassle-free. Do:  Fill up. It may seem like a no-brainer, but fill up your gas tank before you leave and try to keep it half full, just in case you get stuck in brutal traffic (or snow storms). With potential inclement weather, accidents, or construction, having extra gas on hand can remove stress and create options in an emergency. Further, it can prove vital to keep you warm during an extended delay or help take a long detour. Bring your car in to a mechanic. Get it checked out before a big trip. Look for signs of uneven or excessive tire tread wear and have them replaced  if necessary. Consider changing to winter tires if your travels will lead you to a snowy place. Pack up an emergency ... read more

Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

  Fall is in full swing, and rainy weather is the norm in many parts of the country. Though many of us drive in the rain on a fairly regular basis, and like to think of ourselves as expert drivers, driving in heavy rain can be tricky and even dangerous. We would all benefit from brushing up on our wet weather driving skills every once in awhile. Here are some useful tips for driving in the rain. TRY TO PLAN AHEAD This might seem easier said than done at times, but the best advice for driving heavy rain is to simply avoid it if possible. Only take necessary journeys, and if public transport is an option, take it. If you must go out in your car, try to plan your journey so as to avoid the most hazardous and congested highways if possible. SLOW DOWN Vision is poor, reaction times are slower, and the slick road means that it can be harder to stop. This is why, to prevent accidents, you should drive slower than you would usually, 10 or even 20 miles per hour below the usual li ... read more

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5 Bad Habits of New Car Owners That Ruin a Vehicle’s Value

5 Bad Habits of New Car Owners That Ruin a Vehicle’s Value

A flood of new car owners have hit the streets following this past Labor Day weekend. Based on the first 15 days in August, J.D. Power estimates that new vehicle sales reached 1.27 million units for the month – up 12 percent from the previous year and the highest level since before the recession. A number of personal finance gurus advise against buying a brand new car – ever – but drivers are obviously ignoring this advice. Perhaps it's because the cost of financing a new car is so low; a gobankingrates.com auto loan rate study last month found the national average for new car loans is just 3.99 percent APR, while some local banks and credit unions charge as little as 0.99 percent APR. So if you bucked the frugal option, accepting that a new car's value decreases by 11 percent on average as soon as the odometer rolls to &q ... read more

Car-care basics for first-time owners

Car-care basics for first-time owners

  How to keep your new car in top shape As a first-time car owner, odds are good that you don’t have a new car, but rather one that’s new to you. If so, you’re not alone, since every year about three-quarters of all car sales are used cars. But new or old, every car needs to be cared for and this guide can help. The good news is that some important tasks, like checking the tire pressure, polishing the car, and installing new windshield wipers, are simple and can be done in your driveway. Other jobs, like oil changes or new brakes, are better left to a pro, and for major repairs you’ll definitely need a trained mechanic. For new and almost-new cars still covered by warranty, repairs can be readily handled by the dealership, where warranty work is free. But when you’re facing an expensive out-of-pocket repair or service, it pays to phone around to several repair facilities and get more than one estimate. (Try our car repair estimator for a ... read more

5 Winter Driving Mistakes to Avoid

 5 Winter Driving Mistakes to Avoid

AAA Expert William Van Tassel, Ph.D., provides five tips on staying safe on snowy roads. No matter if you grew up in the blistering cold of Western New York winters or on the sunny coast of Southern California, driving in snow, sleet, and ice can be dangerous to even for the most experienced fleet driver. Automotive Fleet reached out to one of the experts at AAA, William Van Tassel, Ph.D., to find out the top five winter driving mistakes to keep in mind when traveling down the highways, byways, country roads, and city streets during this wintery season.   Mistake No. 1: Not Adjusting Speed to Conditions The speed limit is just a start; drivers need to adjust their speed to match their immediate driving conditions. The three factors that should always be considered are visibility, traffic, and traction. Solution: If visibility is minimized or if the road is wet, snowy, or icy, you should slow down significantly. This will give you ... read more

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