Category: Home


Make Your Vehicle Last

Posted 2017-04-23 05:46:03



We live in such a disposable society. It's amazing all the stuff we throw away. New stuff comes out so fast, we just toss the old and move on. In the old days, Ontario folks were real sticklers about taking care of their things. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough - they had to do without. Most Burlington drivers couldn't afford new vehicles very often, so they had to make them last as long as they could.

It's a good thing that vehicles are more reliable these days. They just don't break down as often. And the good news for us Ontario penny pinchers is that a modern vehicle can easily go 200,000 miles/320,000 km with proper care. The engineering and the manufacturing quality is tremendous. The missing ingredient is us Burlington vehicle owners making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules.

Every time you go a little farther between recommended oil changes, you have created an opportunity for sludge to be formed and for clogged passages. Then some vehicle parts don't get properly lubricated and they start to wear out faster. Skip a cooling system service and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted; the radiator starts being damaged - one step closer to a failure. Same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning - really everything on your schedule.

It is probably even more important for older vehicles. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they are a bit more stressed anyway. But it is never too late to get back on track with your auto maintenance and to hold off further damage.

And it really does start with the oil change. When you get a full service oil change in Burlington at Discovery Ford, we top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. It's like your safety net. Go in for an oil change on time, and let your service advisor at Discovery Ford help you keep track of the rest.

Some things are going to wear out along the way, things like alternators, water pumps, etc. But fixing those at Discovery Ford is cheaper than a new car  payment for Burlington drivers. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to mess with other things. It is like having high cholesterol - you don't want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696
http://www.discoveryford.com


Breathe Deep With Your Cabin Air Filter

Posted 2017-04-16 07:11:03

Bad air quality while you're driving around Burlington is nothing to sneeze at. But seriously, more and more vehicles these days come equipped with a cabin air filter. Since they're fairly new on the scene, a lot of folks don't know about them yet.

These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment, or cabin, of your car or truck. They do the same job as the furnace filter you have at home. They can filter out particles as small as three microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.

So your cabin air filter can clean out dust, pollution, pollen and spores to keep the air in your car nice and clean. And just like your furnace filter, they need to be replaced when they get dirty. Check your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Discovery Ford, but they typically need to be replaced at around 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000-24,000 kilometers).

The filter is usually either under the hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you'll want to have Discovery Ford take care of replacing them.

As we said, many people don't realize they have a cabin air filter and go to their shop complaining about a funky smell in the ventilation system. It turned out to be a cabin air filter that was long overdue for replacement – really dirty and starting to smell. A quick replacement and they were on their way and smelling fine.

Burlington residents who are allergy sensitive can really benefit from a cabin air filter, as it keeps allergens to a minimum. If you're one of them, you'll want to stay on top of your filter replacement schedule.

Of course if you do a lot of driving around the Burlington area in dusty or polluted conditions, you'll need to change your cabin air filter more often.

Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696
http://www.discoveryford.com


Servicing High Mileage Vehicles at Discovery Ford

Posted 2017-04-10 08:09:03

The price of gas and the uncertain economy are both causing Ontario residents to review their finances. More and more Burlington drivers are opting to keep their vehicles longer and put off purchasing a newer car. It is estimated that two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads of North America today have over 75,000 miles/120,000 km on them. And the average age of vehicles is now over eleven years. That translates to some car care issues that many Burlington men and women haven't dealt with in the past.

Older vehicles simply have different maintenance requirements than newer ones. Learning those requirements presents a challenge for people in Burlington because many owner's manuals only publish maintenance schedules up to 60,000 or 90,000 miles (96,000 or 145,000 km). Vehicle owners have to keep good records and be more involved in planning preventive maintenance if they want to keep their vehicles on the road. First of all, any service in your owner's manual that comes with a recommended mileage interval should be continued at that interval.

For example, if it is recommended that you change your oil every 5,000 miles/8,000 km, you should continue to change your oil every 5,000 miles/8,000 km. The owner of an older vehicle has to recognize that his engine is operating under higher stress than a new one. It's just starting to show its age. So many experts suggest that the “severe service schedule” should be followed once a vehicle has racked up some serious road distance. On this schedule, the mileage interval for many services is shortened or should be performed more often. Check with your service advisor at Discovery Ford.

Burlington drivers who own older vehicles should also be careful not to neglect or postpone oil changes. A full-service oil change is more critical for an older vehicle than for a new one. Older engines have had a lot of time to build up sludge in their oil compartment, so changing the oil at regular intervals is a must. Skipping an oil change compounds the sludge problem. With a full-service oil change, the vehicle's fluids are also checked and topped off. Your service advisor at Discovery Ford will also let you know if these fluids need to be replaced. Older vehicles have older seals and gaskets, which often develop tiny leaks. Regularly checking fluids will compensate for these leaks and offer a heads-up about any serious ones. So, again, it is important to stay on schedule and not skip or procrastinate a fluid check.

Older seals and gaskets begin to dry out and show their age by becoming brittle. High-mileage formulation oils and fluids can help extend the lives of these gaskets and seals. These products contain additives that recondition seals and gaskets and keep them from leaking. High-mileage formulas cost more than standard products, but in the long run they can pay for themselves by preventing more costly repair bills.

If a vehicle is getting on in years or mileage, its parts are as well. High-mileage car maintenance requires necessary repairs and replacements. Timing belts, radiator hoses, parts of the suspension system, anti-lock brakes, air bags, water pumps, alternators and batteries will not last forever and will wear out in higher-mileage vehicles. They need to be inspected regularly by your friendly and knowledgeable Discovery Ford service advisor and replaced as necessary.

But don't go running for the new car lot just yet. These repairs may sound like a lot, but in total, they're still cheaper for Burlington drivers than new car payments. And if you stay on top of them and budget for them, they aren't as burdensome as it may appear.

If you plan on driving your vehicle into its high-mileage years, there are two relationships you need to develop. The first is with your Burlington service center. Discovery Ford can offer you invaluable auto advice and help you develop a service plan that is right for you and your vehicle. Second, you need to develop a relationship with your vehicle itself. You don't need to name it, but you should become familiar with its noises and idiosyncrasies. Pay attention to changes in its habits such as new or unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Taking note of such things and sharing them with your service advisor can help stave off a lot of big-ticket repair issues.

As we get older, keeping up with a diet and exercise plan becomes more and more critical to maintaining good health. It's the same with our vehicles. A preventive maintenance plan and smart vehicle care will keep them on the road and keep them safe for a good many years to come. 

Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696
http://www.discoveryford.com

 


Easy Miles – Do Burlington Driving Conditions Affect Service Intervals?

Posted 2017-04-04 08:52:03

Have you ever noticed that your vehicle has a schedule in your owner's manual for what is called “severe service” maintenance? Let's define what severe driving conditions aren't: The easiest driving a vehicle experiences is traveling on the interstate for 20 miles (32 kilometers) or more at a constant rate of 65 miles per hour (105 kilometers per hour) in 75°F (24°C) weather with only passengers on board. Change any one of those parameters and you are adding stress to your engine. Change them significantly and you are driving under severe conditions.

Let's look at the parameters one a time. First, the length of the trip. Short trips around Burlington are harder on an engine than longer ones. As your engine cools down, water in the air condenses onto the engine. When you heat the engine again, the water evaporates off. This is healthy. But on short trips, the engine doesn't stay hot enough long enough for all of the water to evaporate. So it starts to build up in the engine oil leading to sludge, which can clog up your engine and lead to serious engine damage. If most or all of your trips around the Burlington area are less than four miles, you should be using the severe service maintenance schedule. Changing your oil more frequently at Discovery Ford in Burlington will help prevent the formation of sludge.

Most of us Burlington drivers think of severe Ontario weather conditions when we think of severe driving conditions. And we're right. Cold Ontario weather takes its toll on the oil in your vehicle. Remember how water has to evaporate out of the oil to keep your engine healthy? It can take up to ten miles of driving for an engine to get hot enough to get rid of moisture in the oil when the weather is cold.

Hot Burlington weather is also bad for vehicles. When an engine runs, it gets hot. The longer it runs, the hotter it gets. If it gets too hot, it breaks down. So it has to be constantly cooled to keep running. Hot Ontario weather means your cooling system has to work harder to keep your engine from getting too hot.

So, in the end, most of us Burlington auto owners drive under severe conditions some of the time. Smart Burlington residents will ask themselves the question: "Should I follow the severe service maintenance schedule?" An honest evaluation of our driving habits is the best way to determine which schedule to follow.

Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696
http://www.discoveryford.com

 


Fuel System Cleaning the Professional Way at Discovery Ford

Posted 2017-03-27 04:49:04

Your fuel system needs to be clean to do its job properly. When it gets dirty, the results are lower engine performance, reduced fuel economy and impaired safety. It can even lead to costly repair bills for Burlington drivers. So keep your fuel system clean as part of your routine preventive maintenance.

Fuel injectors have replaced carburetors in most of today's vehicles. These injectors deliver better fuel economy than a carburetor, but they can be compromised by rust, dirt and other contaminants. They need to be clean to maintain the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume of delivered fuel so that the vehicle engine can run at peak efficiency.

There are products on the market that Burlington vehicle owners can add to their gas tank that will help keep your fuel injectors clean. These products will keep a clean fuel system clean but have trouble cleaning a system that has already gotten gummed up.

If your fuel system needs a major cleaning, Discovery Ford can help. We have the tools and chemicals necessary to clean up your fuel system. We can remove accumulated carbon, grit, gum and varnish and get your fuel system and those all-important fuel injectors back up to snuff. Once your fuel system is clean, you'll notice the difference in improved power and better fuel economy. You may not notice that your vehicle is now producing fewer emissions, but our Ontario environment will be better for it.

Burlington drivers should consider adding a cleaning product to their gas tank after a fuel system cleaning. Those cleaners will help prevent your fuel system getting gummed up again, plus they can prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system.

Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Discovery Ford if your vehicle is in need of a fuel system cleaning. That kind of auto advice can save you big bucks in repair bills down the road.

Your owner's manual and Discovery Ford service advisor can help you with other car care advice that can help improve the safety and performance of your vehicle. Discovery Ford in Burlington can also help you set up a schedule to perform that maintenance and help you customize that schedule so it accounts for the climate and road conditions in your area.

Burlington drivers should remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to vehicle care, that old adage has proven itself true.

Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696
http://www.discoveryford.com


Speak Up: Talking with Your Discovery Ford Service Advisor

Posted 2017-03-19 02:31:03

About 80% of the vehicles on Burlington roads today are behind on their preventive maintenance schedules. That translates to about 160 million vehicles in the United States that aren't performing as well as they could be - thousands right here in Ontario. Some of the maintenance issues are minor. Others represent serious safety concerns.

There are many reasons Burlington drivers neglect their routine car care. Some of the more common ones are complacency, lack of confidence, lack of trust and budget issues.

Modern vehicles are amazingly reliable compared to their older counterparts. They can run for years without any repairs, and we sometimes translate that to mean they don't need any maintenance. The trouble is that without maintenance, parts in the vehicle are gradually wearing out, fluids are getting dirty, oil is developing sludge — a lot of stuff is happening that we can't see, and it is destroying the vehicle. The first time we learn there is a problem, we have a major repair bill on our hands.

Older vehicles just couldn't keep going without frequent maintenance; they broke down without timely vehicle care. Modern vehicles are designed to keep running even when they're not fully healthy. Unfortunately, that convenience has led some of us to become complacent and ignore vehicle care — until we have to fix something. And fixing something today takes a whole lot more than it used to.

Some people in Burlington just don't feel comfortable taking their vehicles to their local Burlington service center. They don't know much about engines or auto mechanics, so they don't know what questions to ask. They don't want to appear foolish or ignorant.

Your physician doesn't expect you to understand what a ligament is or how it works. But if you have a problem with one, she's going to explain to you what it is, what's wrong with it and how it can be fixed. It's in her best interest as well as yours to do so. You'll both feel more comfortable with the treatment.

That's what you can expect from the pros at Discovery Ford. They have to be highly trained and work with a lot of complex, high-tech systems. They don't expect their Burlington customers to understand car care. So ask questions. You need auto advice from a service specialist, just as you need medical advice from a doctor and financial advice from a financial advisor.

Which brings us to the next concern: trust. A lot of rumors fly around Burlington about auto repair scams. You may have heard about some local auto shops taking advantage of customers and replacing parts that weren't broken. Frankly, this is just bad business practice. Burlington auto service centers won't stay in business long if they're engaged in this type of activity.

It's in the best interest of Burlington service centers to diagnose a problem correctly and fix it right the first time. That's how they keep their businesses open.

Trust must be earned. But just as it took time for you to establish a relationship and rapport with your doctor, it will take time to build a relationship with your service center.

Also, realize that when your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Discovery Ford recommends routine maintenance, he is generally relying on your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. In other words, your trust lies both with your service advisor and your vehicle manufacturer. You'll find that most of the service recommendations from Discovery Ford you receive coincide with what's in your manual.

Those recommendations were set up by the engineers who designed your vehicle, not Discovery Ford. The team at Discovery Ford is just offering you a friendly reminder — a helpful reminder really, since most of us don't post our owner's manuals to our calendars.

Money is behind most neglect of vehicle maintenance. First, they worry that they can't afford it. Second, they worry that they're being overcharged.

The simple truth is, car care is like health care. We can't afford not to have it. Preventive maintenance is cheap compared to repair work. It extends the lives of our vehicles and saves us money on fuel. It also makes our vehicles safer to drive, which can prevent accidents. Putting off preventive maintenance can be very expensive.

Burlington area service centers have to be competitive. Like any business, they can't afford to overcharge customers or they go out of business. But vehicle care today does cost more in Ontario than it used to. Vehicles are more sophisticated, complex and high-tech. That means technicians have to be better trained. They have to purchase high-tech diagnostic equipment and tools. They have to keep up with the latest advances in vehicle engineering and subscribe to computer databases. Like any business, they also have labor costs, insurance, rent, utilities, taxes, office supplies, etc.

If you are strapped for cash, Discovery Ford can offer auto advice to help you keep your car running safely and manage your budget. For example, let's say you need new brake pads, transmission service and a new cabin air filter. A technician can't ethically recommend you delay brake service: that creates a safety hazard for you and other Burlington drivers. You need to get that done now. But they can let you know if the transmission service can wait a month and how long you can put off changing the cabin air filter. They can also estimate what these services will cost. That gives you the time and information you need to save up for the other services.

The key to modern car care is preventive maintenance. Our modern vehicles are safer, more fuel efficient and more reliable than ever before. But to keep them that way Burlington drivers have to be more proactive about caring for them. It's good to know there are knowledgeable professionals at Discovery Ford who can help us do just that.

Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696
http://www.discoveryford.com


On Board Diagnostics for Burlington Motorists

Posted 2017-03-14 05:37:03

Some Burlington vehicle owners wonder why Discovery Ford and other Burlington auto repair shops charge a fee for vehicle diagnostics.

Receiving a diagnostic charge at Discovery Ford for a tricky automotive problem shouldn't be a surprise. In the Burlington area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your vehicle brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy Ontario road, you pull off at the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you're having an intermittent problem with your vehicle engine, however, a Discovery Ford diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Burlington driver's confusion comes when the problem involves the Check Engine light. The Check Engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There's a common misconception among Ontario drivers that the trouble code tells the Discovery Ford technician exactly what's wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.

In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that's out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the Check Engine light.

The vehicle computer's trouble code just tells the Discovery Ford technician what engine parameter is out of range, not what's causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that's causing the malfunction.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Discovery Ford customers. The service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.

Burlington service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These  databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming and difficult. Of course Discovery Ford wants to figure out what's wrong with your vehicle and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696
http://www.discoveryford.com


Fuel System Cleaning at Discovery Ford for Better Performance

Posted 2017-03-05 07:13:03

Hi Burlington residents. Let's talk fuel injectors. A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle's engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.

Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.

Vehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle's control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle.  It also adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle's engine. Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detriment to their performance. When an injector gets gummed up, it affects the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel delivery. The result is a decrease in fuel efficiency and loss of engine performance for Burlington residents.

So it's to Burlington residents' advantage to keep their fuel injectors clean. That starts with keeping the fuel in your tank clean. High-quality fuel contains detergents and additives that help clean your engine. Brand-name fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel to Burlington vehicles than do bargain Burlington area service stations.

The second way to keep your injectors clean is to keep your fuel filter clean. This filter screens dirt and rust out of the fuel as it travels from the tank to the engine. If the filter clogs up, fuel will bypass it and carry its load of dirt into the engine.

Burlington residents should check their owner's manual to find out how often they should change their fuel filter. This should be part of your regular preventive maintenance. Also, remember that if you use bargain-brand or low-grade fuels, or if you drive an older vehicle, your filter will need to be changed more often.

You can also purchase cleaners at Discovery Ford that will protect your fuel injectors. These cleaners are added to the fuel tank. They work best at preventing build-up in your fuel injectors and can clean up small amounts of carbon, gum and varnish. But they won't be able to clean a fully gummed-up injector. Read the labels before using any of these products for full directions on their use. If your fuel injectors are gummed up, you can get a professional deep cleaning service at Discovery Ford in Burlington that will result in better fuel economy and improved vehicle performance.

Good vehicle care will prevent serious damage to your fuel injector system. And this is one system that you want to keep in perfect condition.

Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696
http://www.discoveryford.com


Line Them Up: Wheel Alignment Service at Discovery Ford

Posted 2017-02-28 08:48:03

Hello Burlington! Let's talk about alignment. One of the most important parts of preventive maintenance for your vehicle is keeping the wheels in alignment. Poor alignment causes your tires to wear unevenly, which can significantly reduce their lifespan. This means you will have to replace them more often, which can be costly for drivers in Burlington.

It can even damage your suspension system, which is costly to repair. But even more importantly, uneven tread wear can lead to blowouts on the road, a dangerous and potentially deadly safety risk for Burlington drivers and their passengers.

It may not take an accident or bad driving habits to “knock” your tires out of alignment. Tires can go out of alignment with just everyday Ontario driving. Burlington road hazards, pot holes, uneven or gravel roads, and even the bumps and bounces of normal Burlington roads and surface streets can gradually put your vehicle tires out of alignment.

So it's good auto advice to have your vehicle's alignment inspected periodically. Your vehicle's owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should get an alignment check: usually every year or two. But if you think your vehicle tires might be out of alignment, you should bring your vehicle into Discovery Ford now.

When you bring your vehicle in for an alignment, your technician at Discovery Ford will start by inspecting the steering and suspension systems. If something is broken or damaged there, it will need to be fixed in order to get good alignment of the wheels.

If all looks good in the steering and suspension departments, the vehicle will then be put on an alignment rack where an initial alignment reading is taken. The wheels can then be aligned to the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. The ideal alignment for any vehicle is set by its engineers and may vary from vehicle to vehicle.

There are three types of adjustments that may have to be made to correctly align a vehicle's tires. The first is called “toe.” This refers to tires that are out of alignment because they point inward or outward at the front of the tire. Think of a person who is pigeon-toed or splay-footed, and you get the idea.

The second adjustment is the camber. This adjustment affects the angle at which the tires meet the road. Think of a solid building in contrast to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The last adjustment is the castor. This adjustment measures the angle of the tire in relation to the front axles. So, a piece of auto advice that just might be good for life as well: keep everything in alignment, and you'll be able to steer where you want to go. Drive safely.

 Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696
http://www.discoveryford.com


Tracking True in Ontario: Wheel Alignment in Burlington

Posted 2017-02-21 01:54:04

The biggest issue for Burlington area drivers is always safety. When your vehicle wheels are out of alignment, the vehicle will pull to one side, which could lead to an accident. When you're vehicle is out of alignment, you should have it taken care of right away at Discovery Ford in Burlington.

When undergoing an alignment service at Discovery Ford, your vehicle is put on an alignment rack where the tires, steering and suspension parts are checked for damage. Then the alignment is charted and checked against the factory settings.

Precision adjustments are made to bring the wheels back into alignment. This gets all four wheels going in exactly the same direction.

Burlington drivers should be aware of the signs of alignment problems. These include the car pulling to one side. Also, the steering wheel may not be centered when you're going straight. If you see the edges of one or more tires rapidly wearing down, you should have your Burlington service center look it over. If you've been in an auto accident in Ontario, you should get your alignment checked.

Obviously, a big jolt can seriously knock things out of alignment, but Burlington area drivers also need to understand that a series of smaller ones can add up.

That's why we recommend periodic alignment checks. If your vehicle owner's manual doesn't specify the interval, once a year might be appropriate. Or check with a service advisor at Discovery Ford in Burlington.

One thing's for sure: the cost of the alignment at Discovery Ford is cheaper for Burlington drivers than having to buy a couple of new tires because of neglect.

 Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696
http://www.discoveryford.com

 


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