So it looks like we could be mostly restricted to staying within Alberta this summer due to COVID 19. No matter where you’re headed or if you’re a pro or a novice, these travel tips will make your road trip an easy ride
There’s no question about it; road trips are awesome. A successful road trip will stay with you for life. The ability to just get up and go and the absolute thrill of uncertainty; where will you sleep? Where will you eat? When will you get to your next stop?
It’s up to you to choose where to go, when to go and what kind of budget you’ll have. Our travel tips cover some tips that will make your next Alberta (or anywhere for that matter) road trip a success and a story you will retell fondly.
Special thanks to momondo.ca and their article that we used as a guide while adding our own Alberta flair.
We hope these following tips help you explore our great province.
A great place to start. Enter your start and final destination, and get an idea of timing. Adjust the route and see where you can go and how long it’ll take you (you can also see if you’re just a few hours shy of somewhere you might not have originally thought of, but would love to visit). Make sure you’ve got your basic route worked out, your A to B, but don’t have every single kilometre written in stone. You’ve got to have room for the unexpected turns, the snap decisions and the ‘I wonder what’s down here?’ moments.
If your trip is going to be a long one, a couple of months or more, you might want to think about buying a used car and selling it on when you’re done. Make sure you get it checked over before signing anything though – the last thing you need is a break down in the middle of nowhere!
Few things go together as well as music and the open road. There’s going to be plenty of time for tunes, so make sure you’ve downloaded some playlists to your smartphone (and don’t forget the USB cable). That said, it’s wise to check out local radio as well to hear the kind of music you probably wouldn’t listen to back home, probably won’t think you’ll like, but probably come to love.
Highways might be fast, but you’ll miss a lot. If possible (given time and terrain), take the road less travelled. You’ll see so much more, meet the locals and venture down paths you’d never even have seen. On a similar note: take that detour! See a sign for an odd sounding ghost town or weird tourist attraction? Follow it! Now’s your chance. Spontaneity rules on road trips.
Give the local grub a go – even if you have no idea what it is. After all, it might be the only chance you get. The same goes for accommodation: it might be tempting to stay at the shiny new resort, but why not stay at the unique B&B/kitsch motel/mom and pop place down the road?
Who knows when you’ll next be able to grab a bite to eat? Pack a cool bag – or splash out on an electric car cool box – and store drinks and snacks in case you get peckish (or in case you get a little lost …).
Depending on your budget – and on your wheels – you might consider camping instead of hotels or motels. It’s cheap, easy and a great way to meet people. If you’ve got a large car or van, you can even sleep in your vehicle at some campsites, RV campsites, and in some petrol stations and Walmart stores.
Yes, Google Maps is great, but there’s something about a paper map– you know, the things you occasionally see gathering dust in the back of taxis or your parents’ car. You’d be surprised at how useful it can be – both for finding out where you are, and for note taking on impromptu stops (and think of the nostalgia value when you’re home).
Go down those small roads, get out of your comfort zone and explore – but be sensible. Listen to advice, always let someone know where you are and where you’re going – and don’t be a hero.
On a more practical note, keeping a few litres of water in your car at all times can literally be a lifesaver. If you have the room, a litre of gas is a good idea too.
From shopping around for the best rates, to bundling your insurance services, there are a multitude of ways you can try to get cheaper car insurance in Canada - it just takes a little hunting.
A blog from Canadadrives.ca. Originally published in March 2019
Whether you live in Quebec (where they enjoy Canada's lowest insurance premiums) or BC (where the cost of living is no joke), getting the best car insurance rates from top insurers is on the mind of any driver, especially when it comes to renewal time. There are a lot of tips that even seasoned drivers don’t know about.
IBC Source: GISA & MSA data for private insurers (as of December 31, 2018), SGI Annual Report (2018), MPI Annual Report (2018), Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), and ICBC Service Plan (2019)
*Ontario figure updated February 2020 by Canada Drives to reflect 1.56% average increase.
If you’re getting car insurance for the first time, fear not. These helpful tips below can apply to you as well! Here are our 13 ways you can save on car insurance.
An important note: The governments of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have government-run auto insurance, and in Quebec, the public insurer manages the insurance regime for bodily injuries only. If you’re from these provinces, your options for shopping around are a little more limited, but you can still pick and choose what insurance coverage options you truly need.
Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) or “telematics” is an insurance plan that is based on the kind of driving you do, versus what the insurance company thinks you do (mileage, work or pleasure, etc).
Thanks to modern tech, drivers with UBI policies can see up to 25% saved off their yearly premiums. UBI is a great starting point for “higher risk” drivers, like those in big cities, young drivers, etc, because they can see even greater savings.
Most Canadians don’t know that even adding features that improve your road safety, like snow tires or an upgraded alarm system, can reduce your premium! The rules vary province-to-province.
If you regularly change your tires every winter, keep your receipt and tire information when you call your provider. If you don’t use winter tires, but all-weather tires (different from all-season), still ask. They may offer a slightly smaller discount for using them.
Do you have renters, homeowner, boat, RV, motorcycle insurance? Do you have multiple people in your home that also need car insurance? Some providers offer steep discounts for bundling your insurance services, ranging from 5%-25% per policy.
Vehicles that have excellent crash test ratings, have low-theft scores, aren’t sporty or attract loads of attention generally get cheaper rates. Sure, it may be fun to drive a hot red sports car, but is it worth the premium? You decide.
If you’re comfortable with a greater out-of-pocket cost to you in the event of an accident, then you can consider a higher deductible, say $500, or $1000 as examples. Some companies could let you go higher than that.
Insurance is not a one-and-done purchase. If you live in Ontario, you probably pay some of the highest premiums in the country, seeing an average increase of 3.35% every year (but for many, it’s much more).
Simply put - you want to shop around if you’re in a high-competition province. As you get older, your premiums could go down. If you stay accident-free, your premiums could do down. As your car ages, your premium goes down. If you’ve stayed ticket-free...you get the point.
This may not be something you can do at the onset of finding a new policy, but it’s rather a maintenance approach. If you think you may miss or be late with a payment, be proactive and call before your payment is due.
This may sound antithetical to the previous tip, but depending on the company, it may benefit you more to stay with your existing provider.
Some companies do offer nice loyalty discounts when their customers reach milestones. Check in every few years, or call them upon renewal time and ask if they have a loyalty discount.
Gaps in insurance history is a significant signal to insurance companies that could keep your premium higher.
Even if you don’t have a car for a while, see if you can get yourself added as a secondary driver to a family or trusted friend member’s policy to keep gaps off your driving history. The more you drive, the lower your insurance.
Lastly, and this should go without saying but, tickets and accidents will hurt your premiums for a while (it takes at least 3 years from payment of a ticket for it to “fall off” your record).
The longer your driving record is with no infractions, you’ll hopefully benefit from the lowest rates available.
Depending on the age of your car, where you live and what your driving habits are like, you may not need a fully-loaded policy. Reviewing your policy annually, how much your car would go for if it had to be written off (collision coverage), etc. and cutting the excess could lower your annual premium.
Of course, find the right balance with what you’re comfortable doing. If you feel better having the coverage “just in case”, then your piece-of-mind may not be worth saving a few extra bucks every month. Just like with a higher deductible, this is all based on your comfort level.
Some insurance companies offer a decent discount on your premium if you pay all at once at your policy renewal time. They may offer a slightly smaller discount if you pay bi-annually, too.
The bonus to this, too (especially if you’re trying to consolidate your spending habits) , is that you’ll naturally avoid the risk of missing a monthly payment.
Being a member of an organization or alumni group can give you a discount on your insurance premiums. When you shop around, write down what you’re a member of and ask the provider if they have group discounts.
If your vehicle has lower market value, you may be better off saving the money on collision and comprehensive coverage. This is because your insurance policy only pays out the value of the car if it’s written-off in an accident (totalled) or stolen.
What qualifies as “comprehensive” and “collision” can vary province-to-province, so make sure you check what your policy covers specifically before removing these protections.
If you’re in the market for a new-to-you vehicle, come pick a car at Canada Drives and see what payment plans we can build for you. Apply now
Driving is a necessity for a lot of people in the world today. Whether it be going to work, school or anywhere in between, you can see plenty of vehicles on the roads getting to where they need to be.
As more people drive to their destination, the more dangerous it can be on the roadways. Here are 5 quick tips that can keep you and your family safe on the roads, no matter where you go!
Checking your blind spot may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many accidents a year are related to drivers not checking their blind spot! The first thing every driver must do is adjust their mirrors. When positioned correctly, side mirrors help eliminate the blind spot in your vehicle. Though most modern vehicles have blind spot monitors, it is always safer to check your blind spot yourself.
If you experience one of your tires blowing out while you are traveling, DO NOT slam on the brakes! Although your first instinct might be to stop your vehicle, doing this may cause your car to fishtail or even flip over. What you should do instead is apply pressure to the gas pedal until the vehicle stabilizes and then guide your car to a safe zone with your foot off the gas and brake pedals. The drag from your tire blowing out will stop the vehicle eventually. Afterward you can change the tire or call for help.
It is important to always keep a safety kit in your car. Your car safety kit should have some of the following:
Having a safety kit in your vehicle can help during times of car trouble. Including an old cell phone in your kit can help in emergencies, as phones can still connect to emergency services without being connected to an active phone contract. There are many things you can put in your safety kit, and it is completely customizable for you.
We all drift out of our lanes from time to time. We drift because we lose focus, or other things need attention (or get attention, like changing songs on an iPod).
If you drift, you don’t need to take a violent sudden action to correct it, unless danger is looming. Assuming no one is near enough to be affected, you can simply drift back into your lane and continue on your way.
There’s no need for drama most of the time.
We know this last one is obvious, but seriously, when is the last time you actually checked if the following are in good working order and have been kept up on maintenance? How many are you ignoring?
1. The Oil
2. The Tire Pressure
3. The Brakes
4. The Power Steering Fluid
5. Wheel Alignment
6. The Antifreeze or Coolant
7. The Tire Treads
8. The Air Filter
9. The Transmission Fluid
10. The Lights – All of Them
Any of these 10 crucial elements of your vehicle can cause a serious problem in a bad situation. We are all guilty of ignoring maintenance but as your safety is involved, as well as a major investment in your vehicle, we can't emphasize enough how important it is to keep up on these things. You can do much of this yourself, or bring your vehicle in to us at Dale Adams Automotive and we will always give you exceptional quality of service at a fair price.
Here is a link to better explanations of these important items.
This will probably never happen to you. Or to anyone you know.
But knowing the steps to get out of a sinking car may save your own life, as well as those of your passengers. Think it through, while sitting in your car, and remember your plan, and you’ll be in good shape. Here are the steps to take when your car ends up in the water.
As with any safety plan, it’s important to have a plan–know what you will do. You will only need to think about it once or twice in your driving career, but you may end up being thankful you did.
Being a safe driver is paramount to keeping you and everyone around you safe. Always be aware of your surroundings and never make any rash decisions. Plan ahead for the moderate cost of maintaining a vehicle and make time to check your vehicle at least every 3 months. If you have questions or concerns we are only a call or email away.
A huge thanks to Champion Auto Parts for creating this great reference.
You love everything about spring…well, almost everything. You love the warmer temperatures, spending time outside and hearing the birds chirp, but can do without the allergy-inducing pollen that invades the air.
If you suffer from allergies, you go through this love-hate relationship with spring every year. While you can’t magically get rid of all the pollen in the air, you can ensure the air inside your car is clean and fresh with a new cabin air filter.
You are probably aware that your vehicle’s engine has an air filter, but did you know that your car’s HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) system may also have one? Commonly called a cabin air filter, it performs the same duties for your HVAC system as the engine air filter does for your car’s engine.
The cabin air filter is a small pleated filter made of multi-fiber paper cotton or other engineered material. Before entering the passenger compartment, outside air is directed through this filter to trap the contaminants inside the filter and prevent them from entering the inside of your vehicle.
Clean air is essential to your vehicle running properly; your car’s engine air filter ensures that clean air reaches the engine. In the same way, your car’s ventilation system counts on the cabin air filter to keep a steady stream of clean air flowing.
The cabin air filter keeps dust, dirt, pollen, bacteria and exhaust gases from entering the HVAC system of your car. It also prevents bugs, leaves and other debris from clogging up the system. Vital to clean air inside the car, the cabin air filter keeps the air inside the car fresh so you and your passengers can breathe easy – something you’ll appreciate all year long but especially during allergy season.
While there is no warning light that comes on when your cabin air filter needs changing, there are some signs that you may notice:
If you observe one or more of these signs, it is likely that the time has come to change it. You can either do the job yourself or have your trusted mechanic switch it out for you.
It is recommended that you change your cabin air filter annually or every 12,000 miles. If you find yourself driving in heavily polluted areas or travelling on dirt roads, you should change the cabin air filter every 5,000 miles. Allergy sufferers may want to consider changing it more often to ensure air quality and to reduce their allergy symptoms.
If you don’t change your cabin air filter, the filter will become more clogged with dirt and debris and the efficiency of the filter and your car’s HVAC system will be compromised. The air volume into your passenger compartment will be continually reduced which will lead to the issue of foul odors inside your car. The simple act of changing your cabin air filter will dramatically improve the air quality in your vehicle.
There are some other steps you can take to ensure that you keep pollen and other allergens out of your vehicle. Here are some easy things you can do:
The content contained in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with our certified technicians or mechanics here at Dale Adams if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein.
If you are like many people these days, you love listening to podcasts. It is a great way to get to learn about anything you are interested in. We found this great article on feedspot.com that listed 20 great podcasts for car enthusiasts but we felt we would narrow it down to our top 10. Many others were about buying cars and other topics we felt our customers wouldn't be as interested in.
Let us know in the comments what your favourite vehicle-based podcasts are. We hope you enjoy these.
About Podcast Join long time mates Peter Ronis, Halil Mustafa and Ross Galettis obssessed about talking about cars. This is an automotive podcast recorded from various locations.
Frequency 1 episode / week
Since Oct 2018
Podcast shoutengine.com/AllTorqueCar..+ Follow
Seal Beach, CA
About Podcast This podcast is dedicated to car enthusiast and professional car detailers. Jimbo, along with his guest will teach you how to detail a car, give you the very best auto detailing tips to make sure your ride is dialed in and will be interviewing professional auto detailers weekly, so you can grow and succeed in all things car detailing and car culture.
Frequency 1 episode / week
Since Jul 2014
Podcast autodetailingpodcast.libsyn.com+ Follow
About Podcast A podcast about automobiles, classic and vintage cars, Cherry Classics as well as unique automotive-related destinations and museums along with the people behind them.
Frequency 26 episodes / year
Since Oct 2018
Podcast curbside.tv/podcast+ Follow
About Podcast Hosted by Adam Carolla and Matt D'Andria, CarCast covers everything from hot rods to supercars, delivering serious expertise with a good sense of humor. Automotive designers, racers and celebrity car enthusiasts come to CarCast for a real, unscripted, lively discussion of all things on four wheels.
Frequency 2 episodes / week
Since Oct 2016 Podcast carcastshow.com/category/car..+ Follow
Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA
About Podcast America's funniest auto mechanics take calls from weary car owners all over the country and crack wise while they diagnose Dodges and dismiss Diahatsus. You don't have to know anything about cars to love this one hour weekly laugh fest.
Frequency 1 episode / week
Podcast npr.org/podcasts/510208/car-..+ Follow
About Podcast New York Times contributor and Emmy Award-winning automotive journalist Tom Voelk looks at all things cars.
Frequency 1 episode / week
Since Feb 2014
Podcast drivencarreviews.libsyn.com+ Follow
About Podcast The Car Help Podcast brings listeners valuable automotive advice and the latest in automotive news. They publish every week and cover everything automotive from car buying tips, mechanical and repair advice, insurance, car reviews and industry news.
Frequency 4 episodes / month
Since Jan 2017
Podcast shoutengine.com/TheCarHelpPo..+ Follow
About Podcast This podcast is all about cars from news, movies, expert interviews, culture and even car games. Join me on today's journey into car world.
Frequency 1 episode / day
Since Dec 2016
Podcast codyscarconundrum.podbean.com+ Follow
About Podcast Volkswagen brings you a whole new perspective on all things cars and culture. Take a journey with Heather Maltman and Kurt McGuiness.
Frequency 1 episode / year
Since Oct 2018
Podcast mytoasterhaswheels.podomatic..+ Follow
If you live in a place like where we live here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, you realize that it can get really cold out here sometimes. We are talking temperatures that can drop to -25 °C (-13°F) or even colder when you add wind-chill. Nobody likes that, and even worse, it takes a toll on your vehicles.
So the questions is, what is the best way to prepare your vehicle and what is the recommendation for warming up your vehicle before you drive?
You won't like this answer, but it is actually best to minimize the amount of time you need to warm up your vehicle. Environmental benefits aside for a second, it is actually harder on your vehicle to start it and let it warm up for a long time before driving than it is to start it for just as long as it takes to clear the vehicle windows so you can see.
Please note that this advice applies to anyone driving a vehicle that was built post-1980s. If you have an older vehicle you will indeed need to warm it up a bit more.
If you want a very detailed explanation of all of this our friends at Esurance.com have an excellent detailed article all about this.
To be ready for the freezing temperatures you would be best advised to be sure your vehicle is ready for winter to minimize the chance of not starting or breaking down in a situation where you would not want to have to walk or flag down help in these extreme conditions. Trust me, I once was in a car that broke down in the country in extreme cold and trying to walk to a small local town was not fun, and downright dangerous. Here are 8 tips you should take to heart when you want to be sure that your vehicle is winter and cold ready.
Swapping out your standard windshield wipers for winter blades can do wonders for your visibility in harsh driving conditions. These blades have been tested to withstand and perform at extremely low temps and are designed to be more flexible, protecting better against the buildup of snow and ice.
A bout of cold weather can be the death knell for a worn battery, so assess your battery’s health before the cold weather begins (hot summer days also take a toll on car batteries). Change your battery every 3 years (follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your vehicle) and check for signs of corrosion.
All-season tires are fine most of the time, but if you’re dealing with extremely cold temperatures and slick pavement, it might be worth investing in a good pair of winter tires. With specialized tread patterns and rubber compounds, winter tires will give you the enhanced traction you need on icy roads.
If you are often driving in deeper snow and ice it is also recommended that you carry a set of chains or have something for increased traction control like sand, kitty litter, etc.
In cool air, tire pressure can drop. You’ll want your tires properly inflated all winter long in order to maintain optimal traction, so it’s important to do periodic checks to ensure they’re at the right levels. Each car is different, though, so check your car manual for the recommended amount.
Car locks can freeze in the extreme cold. Using a grease agent or lubricant spray can help keep all your car’s moving parts in working order. Inject lubricant spray into lock cylinders to keep things moving all winter long. And if you have a little extra time, try lubricating your door hinges too.
Most areas are within cell coverage now and this can be a life saver. You should always have a chrging cable connected to your car so you can charge while driving. You never know when you might need help and you can't always be sure others will drive by to help. Having a cell phone by your side can save you. If you are driving in remote areas it is always good to let somebody know when you are expected to arrive so just in case you miss that deadline they can start to look for you.
We hope all of these tips are helpful and that your vehicle is ready for the cold. If you have any questions about your vehicles readiness please contact us and we'd be happy to help. We have winter tire options for all vehicles old and new at reasonable prices. Stay warm and safe on the roads.
In the event something goes seriously wrong you want to at least have a minimum amount of supplies. We recommend all of these but think about having the following in your vehicle somewhere:
Dale and the Dale Adams Automotive Crew