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
Automobiles have changed a lot since the 1990's, let alone the beginning of 20th Century. These 20 important innovations in automobile engineering are no exception.
They really help show us just how far the technology has come since the paradigm shift in the 20th Century. The following list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
The steam engine was, undoubtedly, the most important innovation in automobile engineering. Although originally developed to pump water out of mines, improvements over time would drastically shrink the size of the technology.
The first reliable engine was developed by James Watt in 1775 but this was, in turn, refinement of the earlier Newcomen Engine.
Steam engines would initially lead to the development of locomotives and ship propulsion but would later be refined for use in early cars in the late 1800's to early 1900's. The steam car became popular at this time, especially as roads improved. Fuel was relatively cheap as well.
The fate of the steam engined car was sealed when Henry Ford fully developed his mass production process. Electrical starters for internal combustion engines also removed the need for hand crank engine starting but internal combustion engine driven cars would ultimately win out as they were much cheaper to buy.
The internal combustion engine is, by any standards, the de facto reason for the existence of the automobile, today. Although various examples of early engines have been around since the 1700's, it took Etienne Lenior to produce the first reliable one in 1859.
The modern internal combustion engine, as we know it, wouldn't be developed until Nikolaus Otto patented his atmospheric gas engine in 1864. Later developments were made by George Brayton (the first liquid fuel engine) and a collaboration with Otto, Daimler, and Maybach gave the world the first four-cycle engine in 1876.
The two-stroke engine was developed by Karl Benz a little later in 1879 with the production of Benz's first commercial motor vehicles commencing in 1886.
Internal combustion engines are feedback system that relies on inertia from each cycle to initiate the next. For this reason, cars need a way to rotate (crank) the engine so it can run on its own power.
Early engines used a variety of methods from gunpowder cylinders to springs to pure manpower using the iconic crank handle to do this. Although effective. these methods were inconvenient, sometimes difficult, and could be dangerous. Engines would often 'kick back' meaning the process was less than predictable.
What was needed was a less laborious, more convenient, and predictable means of starting the engine.
The first electric starter was developed in England by H. J. Dowsing in 1896. The first U.S. patent for one was in 1903 with an improved one in 1911. The first cars to have electrical starters installed were produced by Cadillac in 1912.
Starter motors have now come to dominate the automobile market but there rise was not guaranteed in the early 1900's with hand cranks still in use well into the 1920's. Interestingly hand cranks were still supplied by some manufacturers as late as the production of cars like the Citroen 2CV (1948-1990).
The Diesel engine, or compression-ignition (CI Engine), was developed by Rudolf Diesel and is still today the highest thermal efficiency of any practical internal combustion engine. In some cases, low-speed diesel engines can have a thermal efficiency of just over 50%.
As the name suggests, ignition of the fuel is accomplished by mechanical compression of the air in the combustion chamber to such a degree that injected atomized diesel ignites instantaneously (adiabatic compression). This contrasts with spark ignition of petrol or gas engines.
Rudolf Diesel, after almost being killed by an earlier ammonia vapor fueled steam engine, decided to base his new engine on the Carnot Cycle instead. Soon after Karl Benz was awarded his patent in 1893, Diesel published his groundbreaking treatise "Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat-engine to Replace the Steam Engine and The Combustion Engines Known Today".
The Diesel engine was born.
Anti-lock brakes or anti-skid barking systems (ABS) are actually a pretty old piece of automobile engineering. Although modern systems were introduced in the 1950s in the Aero-industry and became popular in cars from the 1970s onwards, the concept dates from as early as 1908.
Modern systems allow the car to maintain tractive contact with the road during braking, thus preventing the wheels from locking or ceasing to rotate and therefore causing the vehicle to skid. The system is automated and takes advantage of the principles of threshold and cadence braking practiced by skilled drivers using the previous generation of braking systems.
The first patented 'ABS' was developed by German engineer Karl Wessel in 1928 - but he would never develop a working product. During the 1950's the technology began to take shape with Dunlop Maxaret's anti-skid system that was used extensively on UK jet aircraft like the Avro Vulcan and English Electric Lightning.
A truly modern system was introduced by Chrysler and was a computerized, three channel, four-sensor all-wheel ABS. It was called "Sure Brake" and came as standard on their 1971 Imperial. Other car manufacturers followed suit over the following decades with ABS being introduced in the 1990's on motorcycles.
Automatic transmission, auto or self-shifting transmission as another great innovation in automobile engineering. The automated system frees the driver from the need to change gear ratios manually as the vehicle is on the move.
This innovation, in a pinch, immediately reduced the number of controls that a driver needs to use to control the automobile. It has had obvious advantages for individuals with disabilities but also means the driver can keep two hands on the wheel more often than in manual cars.
It was originally developed in 1921 by Alfred Horner Munro, a Canadian. He patented his design in 1923 and acquired UK and US patents in 1924 and 1927 respectively.
Munro was actually a steam engineer and his early design used compressed air rather than hydraulic fluid as used by modern systems. Sadly, he never found a commercial application. Two Brazilian engineers, José Braz Araripe and Fernando Lely Lemos, developed a hydraulic fluid version in 1932 and sold their design to General Motors in 1940.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Power Steering or power-assisted steering (PAS) is another great innovation in automobile engineering that helps drivers steer their cars. Using hydraulic or electric actuators, drivers need to exert much less effort when turning the steering wheel than in not PAS fitted vehicles, especially at low speeds or when stationary.
Early versions of power steering were patented in 1876, 1902 and 1904. but none of these made it into production. The first practical system was devised in 1926 by Francis W. Davis. He later moved to General Motors and further refined his designs.
Chrysler Corporation was the first to make power steering commercially available in a passenger car in their 1951 Imperial. GM quickly followed suit with their 1952 Cadillac.
Today, most vehicles come with power steering as standard.
Airbags are one of the most important innovation in vehicle safety and automobile engineering. They are designed to inflate extremely quickly and deflate equally as fast during collisions, impacts or sudden rapid deceleration.
This technology has literally saved thousands of lives since their mass adoption in the automobile industry.
Airbags can trace their origin to air-filled bladders used as early as the 1950's. Their invention is widely credited to John W. Hetrick who registered his patent in 1951. A similar system was also patented in Germany by Walter Linderer at about the same time. Both systems used compressed air that was triggered using a spring, bumper contact or manually by the driver.
It would take the development of crash sensors in the 1960's for the technology to become widely adopted. Mercedes-Benz, GM, Ford, and Chrysler would include them in their cars from the 1970's but they wouldn't become standard until the 1990's.
Electric car engines have been around for much longer than you might expect. Although they have become 'mainstream' thanks to Tesla of late, the first practical production electric car appeared in London in 1884.
Another design, The Flocken Elektrowagen, was produced in Germany in 1888. They, along with steam car engines, also outsold the very first internal combustion engines, at least before the advent of the electric starter engine.
The early electrical cars were popular it the late 1800's and early 1900's as they offered a level of comfort and ease of use not achieved by rivaling technology at the time. It is estimated around 30,000 such vehicles had been produced by the turn of the 20th Century.
The internal combustion engine would ultimately win out, shunting electrical cars into the shadows until the electric cars renaissance in the late 20th Century.
GPS, or Global Positioning System, was originally developed by the United States Government for use by their armed forces. It was originally launched in 1973 and integrated various concepts from previous systems (including classified designs from the 1960s).
The first system used 24 satellites and became fully operational in 1995. Credit for its creation is often given to Roger L. Easton, Ivan A. Getting and Bradford Parkinson from various agencies.
Civilian use was allowed from as early as the 1980's. GPS systems have since become integrated into many modern technologies from your smartphone to your car and have revolutionized the way we all navigate.
The catalytic converter is one of the most important automobile engineering innovations of all time. Its ability to convert toxic and other pollutants into less-hazardous forms has improved the air quality of our cities drastically.
The basic concept is to pass exhaust gases through the converter, catalyzing it in a redox reaction. They have become a legal requirement on diesel and gasoline engines but can also be fitted to lean-burn engines and kerosene heaters and stoves.
They were first introduced in the U.S. to comply with the EPA's stricter regulations on exhaust emissions from 1975. Catalytic converters were the brainchild of Eugene Houdry, a French engineer, who'd moved to the U.S. in 1930.
He was shocked by the level of smog and pollution in Los Angeles when he arrived and decided to try to solve the problem. By the mid-1950's he filed for and was awarded, a patent for his technology.
It took stricter environmental regulations around the world for the mass adoption of them into cars. The first production converter, an improvement on Houdry's design, was produced in 1973.
The now ubiquitous three-point seatbelt is designed to dissipate deceleration energy during a collision over the chest pelvis and shoulders of the passenger. It was first introduced by Volvo in 1959 and it was developed by Nils Bohlin who had previously worked for SAAB developing ejection seats.
Before this innovation, the two-point seat belt was the standard. these strapped across the body with a buckle placed over the abdomen. These were known to cause serious injuries during high-speed crashes.
This great innovation in automobile engineering first appeared in the Volvo PV 544 but became standard in the 1959 Volvo 122. Volvo would later make the patent open in the interest of safety for the general public and industry at large.
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that these beltS save around 11,000 lives every year.
When Toyota released the Prius in 1998, though production started in 1997, few would appreciate the impact it would have on the auto industry. It incorporated a hybrid drivetrain that dramatically improved fuel efficiency forcing other car manufacturers to follow suit.
The Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid that came with a tiny 1.5-liter gas engine, electric motor, and nickel-metal hydride battery. Although uptake was slow at first today most car brands have some form of hybrid vehicle in their catalog.
ESC or Electronic stability control helps correct a skid if your car starts to slide. It is, in effect, an improvement on the anti-lock brake systems that preceded it. ESC had a marked improvement in car safety, especially during emergency situations.
As ESC yaw sensors detect a slide, the system applies the brakes on individual wheels to help correct the skid, and straighten the car. Some ESC systems also take control of the throttle to manage power to each wheel as well.
Mercedes-Benz and BMW brought ESC to their luxury market in the mid-1990s. As the technology improved over time it became a legal requirement in many countries in passenger cars from 2011.
Onboard diagnostics II, OBD II for short, was the natural progression from the first onboard diagnostics systems from the 1980's.
Its introduction provided home mechanics and professional technicians a means of finding out what exactly is wrong with a vehicle through a series of codes.
OBD II also allowed for a considerably more sophisticated method of controlling the engine, improve fuel efficiency etc.
It was initially hated by car enthusiasts and mechanics it has sparked a new industry of scan tools and other aftermarket devices ranging from fuel economy meters to engine performance tuners.
Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) allows for a driver to switch between gears and enhanced and seamless speed compared to more traditional transmissions. It has resulted in a process that is as easy as an automatic transmission but quicker than a manual transmission.
On a typical six-speed DCT gearbox, one clutch will handle odd gears whilst the other will shifts even gears. Gear changes are controlled by a series of computers.
The concept was initially devised by a Frenchman, Adolphe Kegresse, before WW2, but he never made a working model.
DCT was first introduced in the 1980s in racing cars but was first brought to the general public by Volkswagen. Their first dual clutch transmission, DSG, was launched in 2003.
It has since become widely available in many other car brands from Lamborgini to Mercedes-Benz.
The traditional car key is fast becoming a living fossil in the auto industry. Smart keys are fast becoming the standard with many meaning engine ignition is started with the press of a button not the turning of a key.
Some even open the car you as you approach. These were once just a novelty with some early designs resembling a credit card.
As convenient as key fobs are, they could leave your car open to car hacking.
Turbochargers, Turbos, have been used in production cars since the 1960's. They are effectively compressor that is driven by the cars exhaust gasses, forcing more air into the engine's cylinders.
More fuel and more air leads to more power and can make a smaller engine perform outside of its class. They are commonly used with Otto and Diesel cycle engines.
The technology was invented by Swiss Engineer Alfred Buchi who received a patent for it in 1905. They would initially find applications in aircraft engines, especially during WW2.
Today, car manufacturers now generally downsize their engine sizes to include turbocharged alternatives. This simultaneously boosts performance and increases fuel efficiency.
Another important automobile engineering innovation was the flashing turn signals (indicators). Early forms date as early as 1907 but the 1938 patented version is now widely offered, often legally required, on street legal cars.
They are required to blink on and off at a rate between 60 and 120 "blinks per minute". Older models used a thermal interrupter switch to provide the 'blink' but these have been replaced with transistor circuits.
But what about the clicking sound?
Cruise control was first developed by one Ralph Teeter in the 1940's. He developed it in response to his belief that uneven speeds caused accidents.
And so Ralph succeeded in developing a servomechanism to help maintain a car's speed by taking control of the throttle from the driver. Although unpopular when first introduced in the 1950's it now comes as standard in many cars today.
The addition of radar to cruise control in the early 2000's has since taken the technology to the next level. It has also paved the way for driverless cars.
So there you go 20 of greatest innovations and inventions of Automobile Engineering. Have we missed any big ones?
A policeman pulls over an old man in a pickup truck because the bed of his truck is full of ducks. The officer says, “Sir, it is unacceptable to have this flock of ducks downtown, take them to the Zoo this instant!”
The old man confirms that he will and drives off. The next day the officer sees the same man in the same truck still full of ducks. Only this time all the ducks are wearing sunglasses. The officer pulls him over again and yells, “I told you to take these ducks to the Zoo!”
The old man replies, “I did! But now the little buggers want to go to the beach!”
A hip young man goes out and buys a 2001 Ferrari 360 Spider. It is the best convertible sports car, costing about $250,000. He takes it out for a spin and while stopping for a red light, an old man on a moped, wearing an open face crash helmet (looking about 70 years old) pulls up next to him.
The old man looks over the sleek, shiny red surface of the car and asks, “What kind of car ya’ got there, sonny?” The young man replies, “A 2001 Ferrari 360 Spider. They cost about a quarter of a million dollars!”
“That’s a lot of money,” says the old man, shocked. “Why does it cost so much?” “Because this car can do over 200 miles an hour!” states the cool dude proudly. The moped driver asks, “Can I take a look inside?” “Sure,” replies the owner.
So the old man pokes his head in the window and looks around. Leaning back on his moped, the old man says, “That’s a pretty nice car, all right!”
Just then the light changes so the guy decides to show the old man what his car can do. He floors it, and within 30 seconds the speedometer reads 220 mph. Suddenly, he notices a dot in his rear view mirror. It seems to be getting closer!
He slows down to see what it could be and suddenly, whhhoooossshhh! Something whips by him, going much faster! “What on earth could be going faster than my Ferrari?!” the young man asks himself.
Then, ahead of him, he sees a dot coming toward him. Whoooooosh! It goes by again, heading the opposite direction! And it almost looked like the old man on the moped!
“Couldn’t be,” thinks the guy. “How could a moped outrun a Ferrari?!” Again, he sees a dot in his rear view mirror! Whooooosh Ka-BbblaMMM! The moped plows into the back of his car, demolishing the rear end. The young man jumps out, and it IS the old man!!! Of course, the moped and the old man are hurting for certain. He runs up to the old man and says,
“You gotta tell me how you got that thing to be faster than my Ferrari !” The old man looks up and replies, “OK..., but first, unhook my suspenders from your side-view mirror, will ya?”
I was walking down the street today when tow truck driver pulled up alongside me and said, “Excuse me, I’m looking for the accident site involving a van carrying a load of cutlery.”
A State Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 MPH. He thinks to himself “this driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!” So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.
Approaching the car, he notices that there are four old ladies — the three passengers are wide eyed and white as ghosts.
The driver, obviously confused, says to him, “Officer, I don’t understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?”
The officer replies, “Ma’am, you weren’t speeding, but you should know that driving much slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers.”
“Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly... Twenty-two miles an hour!” The old woman says, pointing to a sign next to the road.
The State Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that the sign was the route number, not the speed limit. A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.
“But before I let you go, Ma’am, I have to ask... Is everyone in this car OK? Your passengers seem awfully shaken and they haven’t muttered a single peep this whole time,” the officer asks.
“Oh, they’ll be all right in a minute officer. We just got off Route 119.”
Between 12:00 am on Thursday November 28, 2019 through 11:59 pm Monday December 2, 2019 Whipple is having a very rare sale on their products.
A huge thanks to Huffington Post for the great tips here. We chose our top 5 but you can find these and 12 more in their article. Enjoy these relationship saving hacks on your next road trip. Read the Huffington Post article here.
Sometimes we just want you to read what other people are saying about topics like this. Don't let us influence you and always do your own research. We are always here to talk and will give you the best advice we can. We hope you find this useful.
Original story and post on lowestrates.ca by Dominic Licorish
As far as I’m concerned, cars are magic. I know they have transmissions, drivetrains, horsepower, and all those other things they say in commercials, but as to how they all fit together and work? Don’t know, don’t care, and I’m sure many people who own cars don’t either.
If you don’t know how to fix your car, someone else is gonna have to do it. Generally speaking, that means finding an auto repair shop, and those come in two flavours: independent and dealership.
We got in touch with Mark Whinton from the Carquestions Youtube Channel and asked him for advice to help drivers make a choice on whether they should go to a dealership or mechanic (and summarized the answers in a chart below for you lazy folks).
“In most cases, you’re going to go to the independent mechanic. It’s just more financially viable. Dealers have higher targets, so prices are usually higher. That’s just how it is.” said Whinton. On top of that, he told me that those higher prices don’t necessarily come with higher quality service.
“No matter where you go, you’re likely to get the same quality of service,” he said. Though, he did also acknowledge that dealerships can be a better solution for luxury models like Mercedes-Benz and BMW because, they’re most likely to have training, as well as access to parts and equipment that are specifically meant for your car.
So, here are a few questions Mark Whinton says drivers should ask themselves when deciding where to take their cars for service.
1. Has there been a manufacturer recall for your vehicle’s issue?
2. Is your issue covered under your vehicle’s warranty?
3. Does your vehicle require special parts, repair tools, or techniques?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are you should go to a dealership.
Dealerships cover recall and warranty repairs at no cost to the owner and therefore should be the first solution to consider if your vehicle has an issue. Whinton says he’s seen people spend thousands on repairs they could have had done for free if they’d known. If your vehicle has a problem, verify if the problem falls under your warranty and go to the Transport Canada webpage for a comprehensive guide on checking for vehicle recalls.
Some independent mechanics go out of their way to be able to service luxury and/or rare vehicles, but it’s not very common. So if you answered yes to question #3, you’re most likely going to have to go to a dealership (but there’s no reason not to check the options in your area).
If you answered “no” to all of these questions, chances are you’re better off going to an independent mechanic. Whether it’s general maintenance (brake job, oil changes, tire changes, etc.) or a special issue (leaks, rattling noise in engine, dashboard warning lights), independent mechanics generally offer better prices than dealerships.
|There has been a manufacturer recall for your vehicle||√|
|Your vehicle is still under warranty||√|
|Your vehicle needs hard-to-find/proprietary parts||√|
|Your vehicle has a special issue (leaks, rattling noise in engine, dashboard warning lights)||√|
|Your vehicle just needs general maintenance (brake job, oil changes, tire changes, etc.)||√|
That’s the first thing Zain Manji, co-founder and chief operating officer of mobile auto service company Fiix, told me when I asked where drivers are better off getting their car serviced. In his eyes, either one can be good options depending on the professionalism, expertise, and transparency of the person working on your car. The right choice, he says, is to go the shop that can best meet all of those qualities while still fitting your budget.
“Many shops and dealerships don't always have the most qualified individuals working on your car. Many actually utilize apprentices to do the majority of the work, since apprentices need practice, hours, and are a lower cost option for them. At the same time, there are many shops who aren't transparent with their customers and who use fear tactics in order to up-sell their customers.”
Whether you choose a dealership or an independent shop, you can still get bad service. You never really know what’s going to happen to your car when you leave it with someone. A driver in Mississauga recently figured this out after mechanics at a dealership took his Mercedes out to get coffee.
Manji says the key to finding an excellent mechanic is to look for:
We found this great post on FamilyHandyman.com and we just had to share. Though we offer great maintenance packages for all vehicles, we also want to educate and inform our customers here at Dale Adams and we understand that doing it yourself can save you money. Here are 10 great tips that will help you keep your vehicle running smooth.
7 Driving Techniques You Should Learn from a Race Car Driver & Why
Driving your conventional 4-door sedan may not seem to have anything in common with the experience of driving a $10 – $15 million Formula 1 (F1) car. The former is for average folk, while the latter is for the exceptionally gifted drivers out there, and it’s fair to assume all racing skills are only useful for race tracks. But they’re not worlds apart. In fact, there are a number of driving techniques you can learn from a race car driver, that will help make your daily drive to work or those summer road trips better. Not only are they good for improved performance, they’re actually great for your safety as well.
Let’s start with your eyes and brain here. On the track, a race car driver uses his or her eyes like a film camera, capturing different “shots”, primarily focusing on what’s far ahead of them or where they want to go. They’re not fixed just on what’s directly in front of them.
This is an important skill for you as a driver. Too many people fix their eyes on the car ahead of them, rather than the flow of traffic in the distance. For a race car driver, doing so means putting yourself in a bad position. For you, that could mean ending up in a serious or fatal accident. Keep this in mind: your brain needs time to process the road conditions ahead, and you can only do so if you have time to see what’s taking place beforehand. That calls for looking into the distance, not the foreground.
Like the left hand, you have individuals who use their left foot more than their right. Some of the best race car drivers are in this category, preferring to brake with their left foot. Braking with the left significantly reduces the time it takes to slow down, which of course, is vital at times when driving. The reason for this stems from the fact that your left foot is closer to the brake.
Drivers of race cars need to often decelerate from speeds of 250km/h to 80km/h around sharp corners, so quick braking is essential. For the average citizen, quick braking matters not for the finesse of turning around bends (although it is impressive), but to avoid losing control of your car or prevent a rear-end collision. A second can mean the difference between escape or impact. Braking with the right usually wastes that precious fraction of time, which often translates to a distance of 30 – 50 feet travelled. Left-foot braking, however, cuts that time down by several seconds. In turn, you stop much faster than you would with traditional braking.
For some odd reason, a lot of drivers think the busier they are behind the wheel, the better their driving skills are. They believe the constant steering, braking, accelerating and shifting of gears makes them more skilled since they’re able to multitask so well. They are mistaken. Watch a race one day – the occasional dash cam footage will show a level of stillness you may have not noticed before. The driver is usually focused on turning the wheel.
They maintain this focus to avoid losing control of their cars. Anytime they accelerate, brake or steer, there is the potential of breaking traction, which isn’t always desirable. A loss of traction is something you certainly don’t want as a driver, especially when the roads are slippery due to rain or ice. Unless you have refined chops as a racer yourself, you’ll want to maintain a smooth and steady drive by focusing on one thing at a time, without steering or braking/accelerating too hard.
Here’s a strange tip: don’t just grip the wheel, pull it. Race car drivers practice this weird little hack to gain superior control of their steering. So if the driver has to turn left, for example, they’ll pull down with their left hand (or if making a right, they’ll push down with the right) as if this allows for more dexterity and as a result, more control (although some recommend pulling down and pushing up with one hand).
For both race car drivers and yourself, more dexterity and control means a better driving experience. In terms of safety, you can weave around obstacles such as potholes, or distracted drivers instantaneously. Also, sharp turns that require plenty of stability won’t faze you.
Remember too, that racing isn’t all about speed, and safety plays a big part in the sport as well. That’s why drivers practice how to escape a slide at length since it can actually happen on a race track. Of course, there’s a difference between sliding and drifting (which is common in some motorsport such as rally racing). Drifting is controlled – sliding is not and since it puts the racer in danger, they must put their eyes where they want the car to stop, turn the wheel in that direction and maintain that position while slowly braking.
For both the race car driver and the average joe, doing so can prevent a collision with another vehicle. However, this technique is even more paramount for the average driver, because other motorists most likely won’t have the skills of a professional racer who can quickly dodge an out-of-control car.
Racing in the rain is no doubt riskier than racing on dry pavement. So the race car driver has to keep his vehicle balanced, in order to not spin out on the slippery surface. In motorsports, there’s a “racing line”, which is the path they should follow to complete a course as quickly as possible. However, in rainy weather, racers can’t follow these lines completely, and they’ll have to focus more on finding patches of road that offer the most grip.
Of course, rain can be dangerous both to the racers and regular drivers. But how can you abandon your “racing lines” to find your grip? Well apart from equipping your vehicle with the appropriate tires, you should take your attention off doing the speed limit and trying to beat the amber light. Rather, focus on early braking, maintaining your distance with other cars, and looking out for slick patches of road that may cause skids. The goal here isn’t to get to your point B faster, but to get there safely.
Tire blowouts occur on race tracks too. It can be devastating for the driver since it may cost them the chance of a winning title, like what happened to F1 racer Sebastian Vettel last fall. Nevertheless, drivers remain calm and keep their car moving straight until they’re moving slow enough to drive off to the pit stop. They don’t stomp on the brake or try to steer off the road, as this could cause their car to spin out of control, smashing into other vehicles.
This technique can be hard to pull off because it goes against everything your mind is telling you in such a frightening situation. But it can save lives. Again, this driving technique is probably more urgent for the average citizen, because a lot of drivers out there don’t have the reflexes, poise and muscle memory to stay away from you if you’re out of control. So remaining in a straight path will keep you and all those around you safe.
Learning from the masters
There are a ton of racing legends out there who have their own tips on how to drive a car. Of course, classic heroes like Mario Andretti or modern phenoms such Lewis Hamilton have their own tricks which they may not share with you. However, they all follow some basic driving techniques that you can also use. And they’re not only useful for performance, but your safety as well. So the next time you see something about a race car driver, don’t dismiss them as overpaid young men who get to sit all day – their skillset has relevance for you as well.
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