Articles:

It's About Time: Following Service Intervals at Gurr Auto

There are a lot of things in life that St. Thomas residents have to do on a regular basis. We wash dishes every day, do our laundry and mow our lawns every week, and pay the bills every month. We should go to our St. Thomas dentist twice a year and see our doctor for a check-up once a year. When we don't stay on schedule with these routines, it can lead to embarrassing, painful or expensive consequences. Scheduled maintenance is also part of good vehicle care. St. Thomas drivers should take their vehicles in regularly for a good check-up. But many folks struggle to remember or actually even ignore this auto advice. When it comes to our vehicles, we're more likely to listen to, “If it ain't broke, don't fix it,” than, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Yet it is the second adage that is the more applicable one.Regular brushing treatments prevent cavities. Filling a cavity prevents a more ... read more

Categories:

Inspection

Keep Your Cool in St. Thomas

St. Thomas drivers rely on their vehicle's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your vehicle engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it's cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.There's a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that's easily reached inside your vehicle's engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.Also, if it's freezing outside in St. Thomas, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the Ontario cold.So, if you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System

THE IMPORTANCE OF VISIBILITY (Cleaning Vehicle Glass)

We've all been through it. The vehicle ahead of us kicks up mud, slush, snow or salt on our windshield and we can't see a thing.  And not being able to see a thing when we're driving?  Not a good thing. Debris on a vehicle's glass can be blinding when driving directly into the sun.  And other things can ruin visibility: scratches on the glass, fogged windows, mineral deposits.  So lets make one thing clear:  Your windows.  Here are some tips. Number one rule, don't use abrasives on glass. That means no gritty cleaners that are made for metal.  Avoid at all costs those dark green abrasive pads on some kitchen sponges that are made to clean metal pots and pans UNLESS the manufacturer specifically says they can be used on glass. Use the appropriate cleaner for the substance that's being cleaned off. Special automotive glass cleaners are available, and your Gurr Auto service advisor can make recommendations. Vinegar can work wonders. Sometimes you'll see ... read more

When Are Your Tires Worn Out?

  Hey St. Thomas area drivers, are your tires worn out? What is the standard for our Ontario streets? How can you tell on your vehicle?While there may be legal requirements for the St. Thomas area, there are safety concerns that go beyond meeting minimum replacement mandates.Two-thirty-seconds of an inch is the depth of the tire tread wear indicator bars that US law has required to be molded across all tires since August 1, 1968. When tires are worn so that this bar is visible, there's just 2/32 of an inch – 1.6 millimeters – of tread left. It's that level of wear that's been called into question recently.We're referring to the tread depth on a tire, it can't move surface water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.In a safety study, a section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to cover it.A car and a full-sized pick-up accelerated&nb ... read more

Categories:

Tires and Wheels

Gas Savings in St. Thomas: Sharpen Your Pencil

High gas prices in St. Thomas increase the cost of living for Ontario drivers. You've probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some St. Thomas vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.According to Ontario news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn't been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive. In this area, we can take a lesson from professional St. Thomas vehicle owners. I'm talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, St. Thomas folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they h ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Direct Fuel Injection Update from Gurr Auto

For those of you in St. Thomas, Ontario who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same fuel economy. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower.So what are the differences from a conventional engine?The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it's then drawn into the engine with the air.With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cyl ... read more

Categories:

Fuel System

Budget for Maintenance in St. Thomas

Sometimes busy St. Thomas residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Ontario in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time St. Thomas residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's St. Thomas drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's St. Thomas drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehic ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance

Time for a Brake (Brake Pad Replacement)

Stop! It's one of those things your vehicle has to do consistently and reliably.  That's why brake maintenance is vitally important, worthwhile for you to make sure stays up to date. A brake system has many components. If your vehicle has disc brakes, they have pads that make contact with the rotors (the metal discs).  Those pads usually have a metal back, and the part that presses against the discs is made of a material which provides friction to stop the vehicle. Because of that friction, the pads are expected to wear down and eventually the rotors will, too.  But the pads usually are the part that will need to be replaced more often. But how do you know when it's time? There are several signs, one of which is when your brakes squeak or make a high-pitched sound when you step on the brake pedal.  Many newer vehicles also have sensors on the brake pads.  When the pads get worn down to a certain point, the sensor will tell the vehicle's computer to turn on a li ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

Arrive Alive in St. Thomas

We've all seen drivers do crazy things while driving to or from St. Thomas. A guy shaving in the rear-view mirror, a woman applying makeup, people talking on their phones, texting or drinking from an enormous coffee mug. It's a wonder we even dare drive on Ontario roads.The truth is that all of us are distracted when we drive. Unfortunately, traffic, road construction and other external factors are beyond our control. The distractions inside our car, however, are things we can often control.Here's some things that'll give you more control in your car, and help keep your attention on the roads around St. Thomas. St. Thomas drivers who are 16 to 20 years old tend to be more distracted by the radio, CD or MP3 player. St. Thomas drivers who are 20 to 29 are more distracted by passengers in the car, including small children. Those over age 65 tend to be more distracted by objects or events that are outside of the vehicle. Other factors like fatigue, stress and lack of sleep make it harde ... read more

Too Hot to Handle (Vehicle Overheating)

In the hot weather, seeing steam coming from the engine compartment is something we all dread.  No one wants that to happen to them. But if you know the signs of overheating and how to deal with it, you may be able to reduce the risk of damage to your vehicle, maybe even prevent getting stranded on the road. Besides the steam coming out of the engine compartment, here are a few signs of overheating.  Your vehicle has a heat gauge that may have a needle that can go into a red zone or up to the "H" (for High) position.  You may smell odors, perhaps a burning (could be hot oil) or a sweet smell (engine coolant leaking).  When you encounter any of those signs, you know you have to do something to keep the engine as cool as possible to avoid potentially catastrophic damage.  Turn off the air conditioning and turn up the heat.  While that last part may sound odd, it helps draw heat out of the engine.  If you can do it safely, pull off the road to a spot awa ... read more

Categories:

Cooling System
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