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DO I REALLY NEED TO DO A COOLANT FLUSH FOR MY CAR?  OR IS THE MECHANIC JUST TRYING TO SELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T NEED TO DO ?
 
Sometimes, drivers forget that the vehicles we drive every day and depend on require regular maintenance or a little “TLC” to keep running safely and reliably over the course of time.
 
Most people know the importance of getting regular oil changes at proper specified intervals which is one of the most important and cost effective ways of keeping your vehicle’s engine happy !  The next fluid that most people remember to change is the transmission fluid but most people forget about replacing the coolant if the car isn’t leaking or the needle on the car’s dash doesn’t show the car overheating !
 
Lots of people ask the question………”Is it really necessary to change my vehicle’s coolant?” As always, its best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance but its best to replace the coolant periodically as a rule of thumb !.
 
What does the coolant( or antifreeze as its usually called) do?
 
The internal combustion engine could also be referred to as a heat engine because it uses heat to cause gases to expand and uses engine pistons to convert mechanical work from expanding gases. There is always left over heat after each cycle because of the temperatures present in an internal combustion engine.  This excess heat needs to be removed efficiently in order to keep your engine temperature constant so it can continue working and doing its job !  The faster the excess heat can be removed the more efficient the engine will continue to work.  The main purpose of the coolant in your engine is to remove the excess heat through the radiator.
 
The coolant is also referred to as antifreeze because additives are put into the liquid to prevent it from freezing in cold climates.
 
The coolant is circulated through the engine block, radiator and heater core by the water pump. The water pump spins at nearly the same RPM (rotations per minute) as your engine and therefore its bearings also need to be cooled and lubricated.  Another vital factor is your cooling system needs to remain clean even internally to promote good heat transfer so your coolant is also a corrosion inhibitor for the various types of material it may come in contact with !
 
What is the main reason to regularly change your coolant ?
 
The answer is protection again internal engine corrosion   Antifreeze contains different chemicals to maintain the pH levels and to keep the various materials from corroding.  Over time, these chemicals are depleted or precipitate and will no longer protect your engine and cooling system from corrosion.  Over time, this can lead to costly leaks and component failures.
 
Replacing your vehicle’s coolant is the best way to prevent future cooling system problems.  Every time you replace the coolant, it is best to perform a cooling system flush as well.  This will ensure that any depleted antifreeze, precipitants or corrosion products are completely removed from your vehicle’s cooling system.  With the old antifreeze removed the new antifreeze will be able to better resist corrosion and with the precipitants and corrosion products removed, heat transfer will be restored to its maximum.
 
Also for the cost of approx. $90 + hst, it’s a no brainer to just get it done at least once a year or for extended life antifreeze every 2 years for a cost of about $20 more than regular coolant.
 
Come by to Best Deals Auto today to flush your coolant and keep driving safe with great peace of mind !
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WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF INSTALLING WINTER TIRES ON YOUR VEHICLE ?
We are constantly hearing on CP24 and the news that the police is going to great lengths to stop distracted driving by increasing fines.  The media has been putting a great deal of emphasis on the dangers of distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, excessive speeding and wreckless driving or racing.  Many lives are lost due to these distractions.  Senseless and somewhat preventable by constantly reminding drivers of these perils !
On a different note, safety can also be measured by the regular maintenance of one’s vehicle.  As Canadians, we must endure harsh Canadian Winters and we can discuss the benefits and also some cons of installing winter tires.
Some drivers swear by installing winter tires every winter, however, some people claim that all-season tires are good enough to use during winter months, however, the majority of studies / evidence points to the merits of winter tires.
Most tire experts agree that in most cases, winter tires outperform all-season tire on cold surfaces and in harsh winter conditions.  A study by Transport Canada solidifies this thinking as their data confirms that all-season tires are less effective than winter tires when temperatures drop below -10 Celsius.
It has been reported that a proper winter tire can "improve braking up to 25%  over an all-season radial tire, and can improve collision avoidance by almost 38%."
Last year, insurance companies have started giving incentives on their client’s vehicle policies if they install winter tires on their vehicle.  The reason for this is studies have shown that winter tires have a positive effect on the accident toll rates in cities and studies have shown a decrease by 5% in road accident victims with winter tire installation !
All-season tires are not manufactured with the same cold-weather rubber compounds, tread swipes or water channeling tread patterns for deep snow traction as their counterpart winter tires. 
A common mis-conception also among drivers is that since most new vehicle are front-wheel drivetrain, one can install only 2 winter tires on the front.  That couldn’t be further from the truth as all 4 tire should be replaced with winter ones.  All vehicles require both forward and sideways traction in order to prevent loss of control in icy winter conditions.
If you have made the smart decision to install winter tires on your vehicle this winter, please read the following recommendations
Always install 4 winter tires and not 2 to give you optimum vehicle handling, optimize ABS and electronic stability ride systems.
It’s a good idea to install winter tires about 2-3 weeks BEFORE the first snowfall.  If you wait until after the 1st major snowfall, you will encounter a mad rush at service centres and wait times can be hour !
Don’t keep winter tires on your vehicle all year round.  Winter tires should be removed when the temperature is constantly above 5 degrees C.  Winter tires are not effective in summer months and don’t effectively stop in dry summer conditions.
Consider buying a separate set of winter only tire and rims.  This way they are easier to install and remove each season.  You can save your nice fancy rims for summer and use plain steel rims for winter.
Buy snow tires in the proper size for your particular vehicle.  Look in your owner’s manual for the recommended size for your car !
Ensure your tires are properly inflated.  People should check their tire pressure at least once a month as when temperatures drop in the winter, tire pressure can decrease !
Store your winter tires properly and flat.  Improper tire storage can damage the tires and shorten their lifespan.  Most service centers offer tire storage at a nominal fee.
The only con to installing winter tires is the cost.  Also,it costs money to install and remove the tires each season.  Also, when you sell your car, you most likely have to sel the winter tires with the vehicle because each vehicle tire size is specific to that particular vehicle!  But what price do you pay for safety ?  If you can avoid a potentially dangerous accident by having winter tires its worth every penny of your investment. Safety is priceless !
With winter approaching, visit Best Deals Auto to install your winter tires and don’t compromise the safety of your vehicle and the safety of your loved one !  We are concerned for your safety !  Cal to make an appointment soon !
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BUYING NEW TIRES OR USED TIRES ? WHAT IS RECOMMENDED?
 
Many customers who are on a tight budget or have just purchased a car and are low on cash, consider buying used tires versus brand new tires for their vehicle.  It is very enticing to choose the used tire option and it seems very environmentally friendly to give a used tire a “chance”.   With today’s eonomy, consumers try to save money anywhere they can and tire prices have hiked in the past several years with increased costs of petroleum based raw materials.   Is buying partially worn used tires a good idea as a cheaper alternative to buying brand new tires?
Unfortunately the answer is NO.  When buying used tires, you don’t know where they have been or how they have been used.  The tires may look okay visually but may have been driven overloaded, underinflated or at excessively high speeds.   Any one of these factors or combination of factors could lead to internal damage not visible from the outer tread of the tire and in summary, the tire could be unsafe.
Now, some people would say “but they look okay to me”, so what’s the likelihood they are unsafe?  The answer is nobody really can tell for sure and that’s why we are cautious !  Also tires age and can get dry rot and degrade over time especially if they are stored and not being used on a car everyday!   For example, an old, unused spare tire can be pass its life and unsafe to drive on aswell!  Don’t risk buying a used tire without knowing its history !  When buying tires, you can refer to the DOT code on the tires which shows the date of production to make sure they are not more than a couple of years old !
BUT DON’T PEOPLE BUY USED TIRES ALL THE TIME ASK SOME CUSTOMERS ?  Its very true that tire shops usually sell take-offs (the ones clients are replacing), and tires are always for sale on kijiji or craigslist, but you are taking a risk not knowing the history of those tires.  You may not know if those tires are the subject of a recall or anything like that if you are not the registered buyer.
THE QUESTION WE ARE ALWAYS ASKED IS THAT used cars are sold with used tires on them, so why not buy used tires then?  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander right ?  While we understand that if you are on a tight budget, you gotta do what you gotta do and sometimes due to budget restraints, used tires are the only option.  Try your best to gauge the tire’s condition and ask the right questions from the buyer.  Chances are if the car was neglected that the seller had, the tires were too !
IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT AND FOR SAFETY AND PEACE OF MIND, ALWAYS GO WITH NEW TIRES…………I even say that its better to get a no name brand new tire than a name brand used one.  You can go for a no-name brand like Sunny or Wanli, and can get a better bang for your dollar than going with name brands like Goodyear and Michelin.   Remember the rubber is the first thing that touches the road and is important for traction and stopping in the event of an emergency or icy conditions !
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Should I be LOYAL TO MY AUTO MECHANIC ?  THE ANSWER IS YES! 
 
About 10-15 years ago, people used to be very loyal when making purchases or using services.  For example, you used to go to the same barber to cut your hair or used to go to the local convenience store to buy bread or milk because you felt comfortable doing so and knew the owner or barber.
 
Well, times have definitely changed and some people say that customer loyalty is very limited or “a thing of the past!”  Customer loyalty and retention is disappearing in most businesses over the past few years, especially with younger customers.
Businesses used to depend on loyalty and strongly thought that customers who purchased a brand or service and liked it would demonstrate a preference for that brand or service over its competitors.
 
The wake-up call is that this is not true anymore.  Despite loyalty rewards programs, most consumers say that their decisions INITIALLY to purchase or go to a store or action to BUY is more positively influenced by research online, together with referrals from friends or family.
 
An astonishing  94% of those surveyed indicated that their decision to buy was “positively influenced” by online research. Around 51% of consumers visit a brand’s website to research the brand prior to purchase, and 39% said they go to third-party review sites, but almost 75% rely on general consumer reviews as their first choice for research intelligence.
 
For approximately 45% of respondents, online consumer reviews “most influenced” their purchase.
New consumer behavior is redefining what we view as contemporary loyalty. With more information, consumers have seized control and are more open to the wide choices in the marketplace. In summary, purchase consideration is following a new path,regardless of brand category.
 
This theory is definitely true with electronics and furniture.  For example, if you had a coffee maker with a particular brand and it brewed a great cup of java and you enjoyed its features, if it broke you could very possibly enter a store and end up buying a different brand with the same features due to a SALE OR PROMOTION ON ALMOST THE EXACT SAME PRODUCT SAVE FOR THE NAME TAG !
 
This theory is not so true with services.  Services are more personal and you tend to develop a rapport with the person and grow close to the person offering the services i.e. hairdresser, nail salon, gardener,mechanic, doctor  etc.  It becomes a “trust thing” and you have to feel comfortable with the person performing the services.
 
For example, a mechanic is performing work on your vehicle which you probably rely on and depend on for family and work.  You want somebody reliable working on your car and somebody that “knows your car history”.  The only way to trust somebody and allow somebody to gain a history on your vehicle is by going to the same person over the course of time.   This relationship is a two-way street.  If your mechanic knows you are loyal, he is more likely to give you deals and the attention your car deserves and perhaps he will throw in an oil change or plug a tire or rotate your tires for free if he feels you support him!
 
In summary, loyalty is a 2-way street.  If you are in a pickle and your car is broken down and need support, then a mechanic you have been loyal to will be glad to help.  Its always better to give your car to somebody you know to fix rather than to some random dealership or Canadian Tire where you are not very likely to deal with the same mechanic all the time.
 
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MECHANIC AND YOU WILL BE BETTER OFF IN THE LONG RUN !
 
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MY CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON SO WILL I PASS THE EMISSION TEST IN ONTARIO?

If  your  check engine light is on and you live in Ontario, you will automatically fail the emission test. 

Some people think that simply clearing or erasing the light will allow them to pass the emission test because its simply not on when they are taking their car in for the test.  This is not a good idea as you will fail for the car’s computer being ‘NOT READY”.  Putting a piece of duct tape over the light won’t help either!   You will have to have a check engine light scan and diagnose the cause of the light coming on, and fix your issue.

The Drive Clean test reads the car’s computer OBDII (on-board diagnostics) system. As you drive, your computer cycles through numerous self-tests and stores that information. The problem is your car won’t be in test mode if the battery was recently disconnected, drained or boosted, or your computer codes were cleared during a recent repair. If an emissions reading can’t be obtained, you’ll be told to go drive around for a few days and essentially build up a user history – get your car to run through a complete drive cycle.
Nowadays, more people take the check engine light on more seriously on their car.  The manufacturer put that light there for a reason !  If the check engine light comes on, it’s a good idea to get it checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.

The problem is that fixing emissions problems on a vehicle doesn’t have a high perceived value; the car might not feel any different, so people don’t want to deal with it.” The environmental impact is enormous and the gas savings for a more efficiently running vehicle is also great, but a car that won’t run is far more likely to get you into a mechanic to fix it then one that is emitting something you can pretend isn’t there.

In the long run, fixing a check engine light soon after it comes on, is a good idea for the long run and to keep from a small issue becoming a big one !  Common causes of a check engine light coming on are: oxygen sensor, engine misfire, evaporative leak. 
 
Most of the time, if you fix the causes pretty soon after the warning light comes on, usually it is pretty inexpensive to fix one code before it multiplies into many codes.

Since you need to pass the emission test every 2 years in order to renew your sticker or transfer your vehicle, it simply doesn’t make sense to ignore the light on anymore.  GET IT FIXED ! IT JUST MAKES BETTER SENSE ! 

If you choose to ignore the light as you don’t notice your car driving any different, it could cost you more in the long run and cause you unnecessary stress and higher than necessary costs when you are ready to pass your emission test.  DON’T IGNORE YOUR CAR’S SIGN THAT IT NEEDS SERVICE BY IGNORING THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT !  It is the only way your car can communicate to you that something is wrong !  Treat your car well and it will love you back by minimizing break-downs and costly repairs !
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Wow ! What a SUV ! Image doing this ! 
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HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CAR NEEDS BRAKES ?

Some people think they can buy a car and just put gas in it and drive and never think about the fact that the car needs to be maintained and that you need to “look” and “listen” while you drive to make  sure your car is kept in good condition !   You may not think about brakes too often, but its one of the most important features that you should always make sure is in top working condition !
There are basically a couple of ways you can check for break wear and its pretty simple……..LOOK AND LISTEN ! 
If you have alloy wheels, you can peak through the wheel’s spokes and the outside pad will be pressed against the metal rotor.   Basically, the pads should be at least ¼ inches thick, if not, go and get your brakes inspected as soon as possible !
If you hear a high pitched screech sound when you apply your brakes, that’s also an indication that you need to get your brakes repaired right away.  Some may also describe the noise as a grinding or howling also.  There is a sense of urgency when this happens because it could be one of two things: a) it could be the pads are metal to metal with the rotors and are you have absolutely no brake pads left  or b) it could be a metal shim that is also called an indicator that gives you an audible warning that something is wrong and you need to go and get your brakes checked.   Newer cars usually have this but not all cars have brake indicators so its vital to take this noise seriously if you hear it !   
Sometimes, however, if your car has been sitting for a while, or after a heavy rain fall or car wash, moisture can cause a thin layer of rust to develop on the brake rotors. This is normal. When you first apply the brakes, the pads pressing on the rust-covered rotors may cause a squeal for a few stops until the rust is worn off and then the sound will disappear.

Another tell-tale sign is if your brakes are not as responsive as they should be or if the pedal "sinks" toward the floor as this could be an indication of a leak in the braking system. It could be an air leak (in the brake hose) or a brake fluid leak.  Be aware of your car and its surroundings, and check if there is a puddle of fluid when the car is parked.  Brake fluid kind of looks like regular motor oil but less gooey.
Another sign is if your vehicle "pulls" to one side while braking.  This may be a sign that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid. Your vehicle may calipers or perhaps the caliper pin(s) need servicing if this is happening ! .

Vibration or pulsating brake pedal are often a symptom of warped rotors (but can also indicate that your vehicle is out of alignment). The vibration can feel similar to the feedback in the brake pedal during a panic stop in a vehicle equipped with anti-lock brakes.  It is a sign of warped rotors if the vibration occurs during braking situations when the anti-lock brakes are not engaged. Warped rotors are caused by severe braking for long periods, such as when driving down a steep mountain or when towing. Tremendous amounts of friction are created under these conditions, heating up the rotors and causing them to warp. The vibration is felt because the brake pads are not able to grab the surface evenly.  Not much you can do for this except replace brakes more often !
For many owners, maintaining the vehicle's brakes is something that is often overlooked. But keeping your brakes properly calibrated and in good working order can prevent costly repairs down the line, and, more importantly, help you avoid a collision.
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Should I Change The Cabin Air Filter  in my Car? 
Many people who drive spend a lot of time inside their car.  Just like you are concerned about the air quality in your home or atmosphere, you should also consider the air quality inside your car !
The cabin air filter is a feature that is found on most newer vehicles and functions to cleans the air that comes into the interior through the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. It primarily catches dust, pollen and other airborne material that can make riding in a car unpleasant.  It is particularly important to replace the cabin air filter if you have allergies or other respiratory problems like asthma.
When Should you change it and how often ?   Recommendations on when it should be replaced vary by manufacturer — some say every other oil change, others longer.   However, how often can depend on how much you drive and where. Obviously if you commute far every day or spend a lot of time in your car, it should be done more often!  Its best and recommended to check the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual……that will tell you the manufacturer’s recommendation for your specific make and model car !  But common sense dictates that  if you drive in heavy traffic or in a major city that has poor air quality, you could need to replace the filter annually or even more often.  However, that also could be true in a desert climate where there is a lot of dust.
Some signs or symptoms that you need a new cabin air filter are reduced air flow through your HVAC system, such as when you crank up the fan too high and you get more noise than results. Another is persistent bad odors or musty smell in your vehicle!   Even if you don't have these warnings, you should have the filter replaced at least once a year, after all you should be concerned about the air you breathe in asuch a tight space as a car !
Many cabin air filters are located behind the glove box and are easily accessible by freeing the glove box from its fasteners. Others are located under the dashboard and may not be easy to reach, or under the hood where fresh air enters the HVAC system. The cost of most cabin air filters are around $25-45 + hst.  Labour would be extra according to how difficult it is to access your cabin air filter on your particular car.
When you replace your cabin air filter, ask your mechanic to see the current one. Depending on how long the filter has been in service, you might be shocked at what you see: leaves, twigs, insects, soot and grime that literally cover the entire surface that comes in contact with incoming air.   This sight may cause you to pay more attention to this little filter and change it more often…………..after all if you think about it, we change the furnace filter in our homes just before winter , so why not make your cabin air filter change an annual thing also and keep the peace of mind that the air quality in your car is being quality controlled by a clean cabin air filter !  There is no price to good health and being good to your lungs with clean air is a good start to long lasting illness prevention  !
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