Articles:

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

Automotive Tips from Gurr Auto: Serpentine Belt System Wear

The primary job of the serpentine belt for St. Thomas drivers is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at optimal speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded around St. Thomas with a dead battery. In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature wear and possible early replacement. When as little as 5% of belt material is lost, the serpentine belt cannot provide the proper traction for the accessories. Your friendly and professional Gurr Auto service advisor can inspect your belt for excessive wear and replace your serpentine belt system if it’s excessively worn.Give us a call.Gurr Auto845 Talbot StreetSt. Thomas, Ontario N5P 2A8519.637.9861http://gurrauto.co ... read more

Categories:

Serpentine Belt

Stay Safe in St. Thomas by Putting Your Cell Phone on ICE

We don't want to think about it, but each St. Thomas resident who drives or rides in a vehicle is potentially an accident victim. In the worst-case scenario, those people are unconscious and unable to communicate with Ontario rescue workers. Rescue workers and St. Thomas police are well aware of this difficulty, even if the rest of us don't stop to think about it. They can all recount stories of searching through glove compartments, pockets, wallets, purses and cell phone directories for a person's name and for contact information for someone who can help them get the person the medical care they need. This contact information is critical in an accident because St. Thomas medical workers need to know about allergies and potential drug interactions. Also, in Ontario, some medical treatments can't be provided without authorization or consent, and there can be insurance and billing issues if the person's medical care is not properly arranged. ICE provides a solution ... read more

Categories:

Emergency Items

Hey St. Thomas Drivers; What Is the Most Distracting Food?

So what is the most distracting food to have in the car while driving around St. Thomas?Is it: A Hamburger; Coffee; A Soft Drink, or Gummy Bears? Well, you may be surprised to learn that all but the gummy bears are in the top ten most distracting foods when you are driving. But if you chose 'coffee,' then give yourself an extra two points.  Coffee is the number one food distraction for drivers in St. Thomas and around the country.Food distractions cause 25 percent of all car accidents; over a million and a half each year!You'll notice that all of the top ten distracting food items are messy. Messy foods are the types of food you might spill (very distracting!), then try to clean up (a safe-driving impossibility!). If you gotta eat on the run, take five-then drive. You'll thank yourself later for two reasons: one, that you can actually relax for just a moment in our fast-paced world, and two, you won't have to worry about ge ... read more

Categories:

Maintenance
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