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364 posts categorized "Car Care"

August 27, 2017

Tips to Help Get Your Car Ready to Go Back to School

The fall can be a very busy time for students and parents, with everyone rushing to get things done for the back to school season.  One item which can fall off the to-do list easily is vehicle maintenance.  Whether you're  parent of a student in high school or you're heading off to college yourself, there is no better time than the back to school season to to do a thorough maintenance review on your car, or your teen's car to make sure it's ready for a great school year, too.

Under the Hood

In order to avoid costly repairs or issues, go ahead and take a look under the hood of your vehicle and perform some basic checks:

  • Check your fluids.  Engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant are all easily checked.  Check your owner's manual if you're not sure where some of these are.
  • Are you leaking a fluid?  Brown or black fluid is usually oil.  Reddish fluid is either transmission or power steering fluid - power steering fluid will leak from near the front of the vehicle, transmission from the center.  A clear to brown, very slick fluid that isn't oil could be brake fluid.  Any other brightly colored fluid is almost certainly coolant.
  • If you're dripping something that looks like water, it probably is - condensation builds up on the AC compressor and drips off.  Totally harmless.
  • Check your battery.  Make sure the connections are cleaned and have it tested if you don't have a tester yourself.

Check the Tires

It's good to check your tire pressure once a month.  Use the pressures in your owner's manual or inside the driver's side door, not the ones on the tire's sidewall itself.  Also check for tread wear using the old tried-and-true penny method (if Abe Lincoln's head clears your tire, you don't have enough tread), and check for signs of uneven wear, caused by alignment issues or over- or under-inflation.  Check your spare while you're at it, and make sure it has plenty of air, and that you have a jack, a lug wrench, and booster cables on hand.

Hit the Lights

Finally, make sure to check your headlights (high and low beams), taillights, brake lights, and all turn signals.  If any of them are out, replace the bulbs.

July 18, 2017

Meet YouTube Personality Jessica Chou "Jessicann" AskPatty Car DIY Expert

ASK ME YOUR CAR MAINTENANCE QUESTIONS! I'm excited to announce that I'm partnering with AskPatty.com to answer all of your car maintenance questions! Head over to AskPatty.com, click 'ASK THE EXPERTS' and fire away with your questions! As you all know, I'm just starting out on my own car journey, so let's learn together! I'll try my best to research and answer your questions the best I can.

March 01, 2017

Gas Prices are Going Up - Here are Some Tips to Save Gas

Pumping_gasI don’t know about where you live, but gas prices are definitely going up where I live. My vehicle uses premium gas and right now it’s around 1.25/litre meaning close to $80.00 a fill up and the prices are supposed to keep going up! A few years ago I remember paying 1.50/lt and it’s supposed to go higher this time around. So here are some tips to saving gas while you drive:

  • Combine your trips - sounds so simple but if you live in town sometimes it’s easy to just run out and get things as you think of them. A warmed up engine is more fuel-efficient. When you first start your engine even if you live in a warm climate it is cold and it burns more gas.
  • Don’t waste gas by idling - how many times have you gone through the drive through lately or are waiting for someone. If you are going to be stopped for more than 30 seconds, shut your car off and restart it when it’s time to move.
  • Change your spark plugs - seems that nowadays spark plugs last forever, but a fouled spark plug can reduce your fuel efficiency by as much as 30%.
  • Drive with windows open if you are going less then 60km/hr. Obviously I wouldn’t suggest this in the winter but in the summer time for sure. If you are going over 60 km/hr. then close your windows, as your car will be more aerodynamically efficient.
  • Check your tire pressure - Most people have at least one under inflated tire on their vehicle. When your tires are low it creates a greater rolling resistance and the engine has to work harder to get through the air. Kind of like riding a bike with low air. You have to work a lot of harder to pedal the bike!
  • Don’t use cruise control in hilly areas - If you are using cruise control and going up and down hills what happens is the engine holds you back as you are going down the hill to try and maintain the speed you’ve set the cruise control at and as you go up the hill the transmission will have to downshift to give you the necessary power to get up the hill. Keep your momentum up as you go down the hill to help you get up the hill.
  • Get rid of the extra weight - are you driving around with your kids hockey equipment and your gym equipment and water softener salt in the back of your car? If so, you are going to burn more gas
  • Take off your roof rack - if you don’t use it, take it off.
  • Keep your car clean - believe it or not a clean car will glide through the air more efficiently than a really dirty one.

Kelly_Williams_with_tireRace car driver, educator, safety advocate, TV personality, Kelly Williams started racing cars at 17 years old and continued to race for 15 years. Now she works in the automotive industry, teaching women about taking care of their vehicles. She also teaches performance driver training with BMW as well as other manufacturers, keeps busy as a spokesperson for Be Car Care Aware, hosts ladies' Car Care clinics across Canada, and has recently launched a new consumer website www.KellysGarage.ca

#KellyWilliams #AskPatty #Canada

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February 01, 2017

How Often Do I Need to Change My Oil?

Woman_checking_oil-iStock_46051112-kasto80Most drivers have grown up with the traditionally advertised oil change recommendation of 3,000 miles, but if you've bought a new car within the last ten years that interval may no longer be necessary.

In fact, if you’re driving a car that’s less than five years old, you may only need to change your oil every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. Some models don't require an oil change more frequently than every 15,000 miles; synthetic oil can help your engine last longer, and may even allow car owners to go up to 20,000 miles between changes. If you're changing your oil too frequently you’re simply wasting money and oil.

Continue reading "How Often Do I Need to Change My Oil?" »

October 21, 2016

Are You Getting Ready for Winter?

Woman_with_snowy_car-winter_driving-iStock_000018495162-omgimagesHave you thought about buying a new winter jacket, new winter gloves, or even new boots? If you have, then you are thinking about getting yourself ready for winter, but have you thought about getting your car ready for winter? Hmmm… probably not.

Why not, I wonder? Our cars are very important to us and we need to take care of them so they don’t let us down in the cold winter months.

Below are a number of items that you should be having checked when you take your vehicle in for service in the next month.

Continue reading "Are You Getting Ready for Winter?" »

October Doesn't Have to be Scary: Squeaky Brakes and Creepy Car Noises

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While wary ears may be scanning for the spooky sounds of Halloween this time of year, the sounds coming from beneath your hood should be taken just as seriously.

While it's not likely that your car is possessed, investigating these sounds right away can keep a truly terrifying maintenance bill out of your future. Whether its squeaking, grinding, whirring or screeching, read this guide to understanding the sounds your car makes, so you won't be spooked by creepy car noises.

Continue reading "October Doesn't Have to be Scary: Squeaky Brakes and Creepy Car Noises" »

October 20, 2016

Is It Bad For Your Car If You Drive Until You Run Out Of Fuel?

Empty_gas_tank-iStock_76575303So I did this the other day.

Well, I didn't actually run out of gas, but after sitting in rush-hour traffic for two hours, my "Miles to Empty" indicator dropped in one step from 14 miles left on the tank to alternating between zero and one mile left.

I pulled off the freeway immediately to find a gas station and along the way, watched it creep back up to three miles to empty and breathed a sigh of relief.

Continue reading "Is It Bad For Your Car If You Drive Until You Run Out Of Fuel?" »

October 19, 2016

October Doesn't Have to be Scary: Headlight Out

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Did you know? October is Headlight Safety Month! The seasons are changing and days are growing shorter so it's especially important that we all ensure our cars are safe and visible before setting our clocks back on Sunday, November 6.

This is particularly relevant because according to statistics from the Motor Vehicle Lighting Council, limited visibility is a factor in 2.8 million accidents, 23,000 fatal crashes, and 2,300 pedestrian deaths!

Continue reading "October Doesn't Have to be Scary: Headlight Out" »

October 17, 2016

October Doesn't Have to be Scary: The Check Engine Light

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One of the most vital components to a properly functioning vehicle is the 'Check Engine' light. It alerts the driver to a variety of potential problems based on the vehicle's onboard diagnostic system, and can seem like one of the most mysterious lights on your dashboard.

When the 'Check Engine' light comes on, it means that some system in your vehicle, including ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating at peak performance, even if your vehicle appears to you to be running normally. The warning light generally indicates that the engine management computer has detected a malfunctioning fuel, emissions component, or a system failure.

Continue reading "October Doesn't Have to be Scary: The Check Engine Light" »

October 13, 2016

Another Way to Protect Your Car's Passengers: Window Tinting

Window_tinting-iStock_47033532-RobertsGalleriesEver since I became a mother more than 20 years ago, I've recognized the value of having tinted windows. Once you start driving around with kids in the car, the importance of keeping the sun off their little faces becomes pretty much a no-brainer.

I've lived in the San Fernando Valley for 30 years now. Aside from places like Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; and Orlando, Florida; the valley ranks pretty high as a Hellhole between June and August when the summer sun blazes at its hottest. It doesn't take long for a car's interior to climb to oven-like temperatures, and when you're toting a baby around, that heat can be more than inconvenient: It can be downright dangerous, especially to small children whose little bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.

Continue reading "Another Way to Protect Your Car's Passengers: Window Tinting" »




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