Archive: February 2015


Transmission Care in Burlington, Ontario

Posted 2015-02-24 12:00:00

Do you have any plans around Burlington, Ontario, for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends are taking the boat up to the lake. Maybe you'll be having a lot of fun water skiing and doing a little fishing.

You got the boat all ready. It's all gassed up. You packed lots of snacks and the cooler's stocked – ready to go.

How about your tow vehicle? It has plenty of gas and you've even vacuumed it out, but is your auto maintenance up to date?

Stop and think. You'll have some heavy traffic on your way out of town. Hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and you may have hot weather. And all the time you're going to be towing around a lot of extra weight.

That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Your transmission's going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What's a fun little blast to the lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.

It's important that you have enough transmission fluid. If you're running low, the transmission will run too hot and won't have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing.

And if it's time for a transmission service, you really should have it done at Discovery Ford before your trip. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to have it serviced on schedule to make sure it runs efficiently.

Automatic transmissions contain a maze of passages that the fluid has to pass through to keep them shifting smoothly. If you neglect transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems. Neglect your transmission for too long and it can fail. Believe us – you don't want to pay for a major transmission repair.

You know, most of us in Burlington, Ontario, do a lot of our driving under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips or driving in very hot or very cold weather. Also, dusty roads, city driving around Burlington, and basically any driving that's not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions is severe driving. We all need to think about whether or not we need to follow the severe service schedule.

So, consider going in for a full service oil change before you leave for the lake to make sure everything has been looked at. Ask for a trip inspection while you're at it. Your Burlington, Ontario, service technician at Discovery Ford can check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.

Don't forget the sunscreen. And to thank your Discovery Ford service technician, how about bringing him back a nice trout?

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


Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down Around Burlington

Posted 2015-02-17 12:00:00




There's not much we can do about the price of gas in Burlington, Ontario, but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we're driving on our Burlington streets.

Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.

The first thing we can do is watch the 'go-pedal'. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don't need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Go a little slower on the freeway to Burlington. Once you're going more than sixty-five miles an hour your fuel economy starts to drop dramatically. Leave early so you don't need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speed uses less gas.

Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands.

Hey at current gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.

Discovery Ford
850 Brant St
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2J5
905.632.8696


What to Do After You Buy a Used Vehicle in Burlington

Posted 2015-02-11 12:00:00

So you've bought a used vehicle in the Burlington area. Do you know what you're getting? It is hard to know what you're getting because people in the Burlington area sell vehicles for different reasons. Think about why you've sold vehicles. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you wanted to run away from? Maybe it was a little of both.

Used vehicles in Ontario with 25,000 to 35,000 miles/40,000 to 55,000 km on them are often lease returns, corporate program cars or rental fleet vehicles. Most Burlington buyers feel pretty confident about these because they're newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained?

Burlington drivers who are planning to own a vehicle for a long time will keep up on auto maintenance so that they can avoid repairs down the road. But, if you know you're only going to have the vehicle for two or three years, you may not be so committed to maintenance. It would be easy to think that skipping an oil change here and there wouldn't ruin a brand new engine. Then it'll be someone else's problem when it comes time to pay for the damage.

It is very tempting for Burlington drivers to skip the 30,000 mile/50,000 km service if they know they'll be turning in their leased vehicle in a couple of months.

If the vehicle didn't come with maintenance records, Burlington used vehicle buyers need to assume the worst. Most likely the coolant system and transmission have never been serviced. The cabin air filter has probably not been changed and a fuel system cleaning at Discovery Ford may be in order.

You'll want Discovery Ford to check the A/C, battery, engine air filter, serpentine belt and hoses. A used vehicle inspection at Discovery Ford is well worth the cost.

And if your “new” used vehicle has been driven an even longer distance, an inspection is even more important. Check your owner's manual or talk with your service advisor at Discovery Ford about what should have been done. Please don't forget the timing belt; that can be very expensive if it fails.

Discovery Ford will help you with a plan to take care of services and get the rest caught up. If your budget won't allow you to take care of everything right away, we can help you prioritize your needs and get it taken care of over the next several months. And remember to keep your maintenance records. They'll help you get top dollar on the Ontario used vehicle market when it's time for you to sell.

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


Braking News: Keep Your Stopping Power

Posted 2015-02-11 12:00:00

Richard Petty once told AutoNetTV, “You've gotta have good brakes. If you've got good brakes you can keep yourself out of a lotta trouble.”

That's why a regular brake inspection is on every Burlington driver's maintenance schedule. An inspection by your service advisor at Discovery Ford will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems.

Of course, if you're having trouble with your brakes, get your car into Discovery Ford in Burlington right away. Here are some symptoms for Burlington drivers to watch for:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

If you are experiencing any of these, it's time to get your brakes checked. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Discovery Ford .

There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that's attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle.

Drum brakes are most common on back wheels. Both types have pads or shoes that press against the brakes and slow the vehicle. Brake pads and shoes are made out of very tough material to withstand the heat and force generated when stopping your vehicle. Eventually, they wear out with use and become too thin and need to be replaced at Discovery Ford. 

If the brake pads wear away completely, you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced. That's not only expensive but also dangerous because your vehicle won't stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

A brake service at Discovery Ford will also include a check of your brake fluid. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid means not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. Burlington  drivers should change the brake fluid when their  vehicle manufacturer recommends to avoid these problems.

Come in to Discovery Ford for an brake inspection before damage occurs. You can call ahead for an appointment by calling 905.632.8696.

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


Trip Inspection at Discovery Ford in Burlington

Posted 2015-02-11 12:00:00

Burlington area drivers love their vehicles. And one of the most enjoyable things about them is taking a road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like vehicle trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

Now Burlington drivers can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip. The first step is to look at your trip plan from your vehicle's perspective. What kind of roads will you be traveling – winding Ontario byways? Purple mountain majesties or fruited plains? What weather conditions are you likely to encounter? How far will you travel each day? How much weight will you be hauling – passengers and luggage? Pulling a trailer, roof top carrier or ATVs? Will it be dusty?

Prepared with answers to these questions, you can schedule a trip inspection at Discovery Ford in Burlington to help you prepare your vehicle for your big adventure. A lot of our Burlington customers prefer to go through this exercise with their friendly and knowledgeable service advisor to get their input and make sure they haven't overlooked anything.

A great place for Burlington drivers to start is with the tires. Inspect them for tread wear and proper inflation. Is it time to rotate your tires? Replace them? Are they up to the job? You wouldn't want to drive regular highway tires on a muddy off-road adventure on Ontario rock-crawling trails. 

Shocks and struts play a major role in both driving comfort and safety. If they need to be replaced, you'll really be glad you did once you hit the road. Is it time for a wheel alignment? Fighting a car that's pulling to one side all day can be tiring and dangerous. 

And don't forget your brakes. Any strange noises, grabbing, soft or hard peddle feel? If there is any doubt, get a brake inspection at Discovery Ford in Burlington before you leave.

Moving under the hood, have a belts and hoses inspection. If something is excessively worn or near failure, the stress of a long road trip might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Talk to your service advisor at Discovery Ford.

Your engine air filter will be inspected. Your car's air filter will process 12,000 times as much air as the fuel burned by the engine. If the filter needs to be changed, you'll notice improvements on your trip.

How close are you to your next oil change? Will you be able to complete your trip before it's due? If not, just get it taken care of before you go so that you don't need to interrupt your trip. In fact, a full service oil change at Discovery Ford is a great idea because they will top off all your fluids and check to see if any other maintenance items are due, such as transmission or cooling system service.

Do you notice any unusual odors in your vehicle? If so, it could be as harmless as a dirty cabin air filter. But if it's an exhaust leak, it could be fatal for Burlington drivers and their passengers on a long trip. Of course you'll want to be comfortable, so get an air conditioning service if you aren't getting the cold air you’re used to. 

Are your wiper blades still working well? If not, that is a quick and inexpensive fix for Burlington drivers. Headlamps are often overlooked when planning for a trip. If you haven't changed the bulb in six months or so, replacement bulbs will really light up the night on your trip and provide the necessary after-sundown visibility.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all become more important as you plan for your trip.

They will always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient stops and delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn't want to miss the world's largest ball of string, would you?

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


Suspension Service in Burlington at Discovery Ford

Posted 2015-02-11 12:00:00

When they hear the word suspension, many drivers in Burlington may think back to those energetic days of grade school. Well, your vehicle's suspension is actually a good thing because it keeps your vehicle up off the road and helps provide a comfy ride around Burlington. Its job is to keep your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many parts. If you look under your vehicle, it's basically everything that connects your wheels to the vehicle's frame. These are heavy duty parts that do a lot of work. They need to be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time for this is when you get your annual alignment service at Discovery Ford.

Here are some warning signs of suspension problems:

  • the car pulls to one side
  • it wanders
  • the steering is erratic
  • you see uneven tire wear
  • you experience a poor ride or handling
  • you see oil leaking from shocks

Basically, you just don't feel in control when you're driving.

Some suspension parts just wear out with use. Shocks and struts eventually lose their ability to control your ride. Wheel bearings need to be repacked every couple of years. And some suspension pieces need to be lubricated when you get your oil changed. Your service advisor at Discovery Ford can perform an inspection and tell you what problems you may have.

If you're in an accident, your suspension can be damaged or knocked out of alignment. Even a minor accident, like hitting a curb around Burlington or even a large rock can mess things up for drivers. With a minor accident it's tempting for many to just get an alignment or wheel balance to correct the problem. But if there's damage, a simple alignment won't actually fix the problem, and you'll just have to align it again after the repairs are made. So if you have an accident, get your suspension system inspected right away. Suspension problems are a major safety issue because they can lead to unsafe handling.

One big cause of suspension damage for Burlington drivers is potholes – those nasty magnets that form in roads in freezing weather. They seem to draw our tires right into them. Here are some tips for avoiding damage from potholes: First, keep your tires at their full air pressure. That gives tires their maximum resiliency and will hopefully keep your wheels or other suspension parts from crunching on a big hole. Next, just pay attention. When you see a hole you can't miss, slow down before you hit it. Driving at a slower speed will limit the damage and may keep your drink from spilling. But avoid the temptation to brake directly over the pothole. That will cause the car's weight to shift forward and add to the potential damage.

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


Discovery Ford Radiator Service

Posted 2015-02-11 12:00:00



The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common in Burlington, it is easy to prevent.

The most recognizable part of the coolant system is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then passes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it's back to the engine again.

There are several ways for the cooling system to fail. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is comprised of water and antifreeze. The proper ratio keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Understandably, either can lead to massive engine damage.

Another coolant issue that is often overlooked by Burlington drivers is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that protect the coolant system from corrosion. As these additives are depleted over time, they can't protect the radiator and other parts from rust, scaling and corrosion. That old container of coolant gathering dust in your garage may still keep your engine cool, but it won't protect it from corrosion.

If you get a warning message to check the coolant or if the vehicle temperature gauge is in the hot zone, your cooling system needs to be checked. It's OK to add water or antifreeze yourself. But you need to be cautious. Remember four things:

  • First, you never want to open the radiator pressure cap. You could be severely burned.
  • Second, get to Discovery Ford in Burlington immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your vehicle owners manual - it will direct you to only make additions to the coolant overflow bottle.
  • Third, remember that you need a proper mixture of water and antifreeze. If you make an emergency addition to your cooling system, follow-up with your Discovery Ford service center where we can make necessary adjustments.
  • Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze. You need to check your vehicle owners manual to make sure you use the right kind. Mixing antifreeze types or using the wrong kind of antifreeze may void the manufacturers warranty on your cooling system. Again, another reason to depend on your Discovery Ford service center in Burlington to do things right.

Remember, Discovery Ford has the equipment to change your coolant quickly and inexpensively.

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


The Discovery Ford Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle

Posted 2015-02-11 12:00:00

The automotive professionals at Discovery Ford would like to give Burlington drivers an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, vehicles are becoming more sophisticated every day.  Fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.

The Burlington do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many Ontario ] owners rely on the advice of their friendly and knowledgeable Discovery Ford service advisor to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their vehicle and their driving habits in the Burlington area.

Let's start with engine oil. Burlington drivers who have been paying attention will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the Ontario scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. The vehicle manufacturers recommend the weight of oil for each vehicle they make. The recommendation is based on engine design. Your Burlington service center will know what weight your vehicle manufacturer recommends - and it's important to follow those recommendations. Your service advisor at Discovery Ford can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can tell you all about conventional and synthetic oils.

Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, vehicle manufacturers only recommended a couple of different types of coolant. Now, several different formulations are needed because of the high-tech materials that vehicle manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant in your vehicle can actually void your warranty, so it's important to get that right.

Transmission fluid is becoming specialized for Burlington vehicles as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that require specific formulations. Recently, new, somewhat confusing, standards for brake fluid have also been released.

Not too long ago, there was a good chance that all of the vehicles at your house would use many of the same fluids. However, as automotive technology advances, the array of basic automotive fluids Ontario drivers need will grow. And, some of the formulations will cost a little more for Burlington drivers. Fortunately, Discovery Ford will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you'll get the right fluids your vehicle needs. It's all part of the commitment we make to your driving peace of mind.

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


Power Steering Service in Burlington

Posted 2015-02-11 12:00:00



Most Burlington drivers are too young to remember life before power steering - cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let's look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine; a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.

These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea for Burlington drivers to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why power steering fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owner's manual for the right type - or just ask your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Discovery Ford in Burlington.

The fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. It breaks down as the years go by and collects unwanted moisture, so Burlington drivers need to replace it from time to time. Many vehicle manufacturers specify power steering service intervals. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the car maintenance schedule for many of us. So, when in doubt, every 25,000 miles/40,000 km or two years is a good fallback. Your technician at Discovery Ford will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with the good stuff.

Here are some  warning signs of trouble with your power steering: It's harder to turn the wheel, there's erratic power assist, you hear loud whining coming from the pump (which may be difficult to hear over the loud whining coming from the backseat), you have to top-off the fluid frequently, or you hear squealing belts. Remember to never hold the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time. That will wear out your power steering pump quickly.

Other steering components can be bent or damaged from wear or hard knocks: ball-joint, idler-arm, steering-gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod to name a few. Warning signs here are steering play, wandering, uneven tire wear and an off-center steering wheel. An annual alignment check at Discovery Ford in Burlington will reveal bent or damaged steering components.

Most SUV's, pick-ups and rear-wheel-drive cars need regular front-wheel-bearing service.

The bearings should be cleaned and inspected. If they are excessively worn, they need to be replaced. The bearings are then repacked in clean grease. The team at Discovery Ford also recommends the wheel-seal be replaced when the bearings are serviced. Like everything else, check your owners' manual maintenance schedule. It's usually required around every two years or 40,000 miles/64,000 km. If you drive through water in the Burlington area, the bearings will need service more often.

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

 


Air Conditioning Service in Burlington

Posted 2015-02-11 12:00:00



Hey Burlington! Let's talk about one of our Ontario summertime must-haves: your car A/C. It's real easy for Burlington drivers to take their car's air conditioner for granted. Just push the right buttons and out comes cool, dry, clean air. But your air conditioning system needs attention from time to time to help it keep its cool.

Do you hear loud noises under the hood when you turn on your air conditioner? Do you only get cool air sporadically? If so, it is time to get your air conditioner checked at Discovery Ford in Burlington. 

When most Burlington folks hear the words "air conditioning problems." it sends a shiver up their spine. That is because the air conditioning system is fairly complex. It has a lot of parts and when it's broken, it's hard to repair.

What things can Burlington drivers do to prevent air conditioning breakdowns?

A common cause of air conditioning failure is leaks. Water and air can leak into the system. It doesn't work as well with air in it and water can cause rust that leads to damage of the car A/C components. Also, refrigerant, the stuff that makes the air cold, can leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system and making it work harder to cool the air. Periodically evacuating the air conditioning system and recharging it keeps the proper amount of clean refrigerant in the system so it cools better and lasts longer.

Burlington drivers should run their air conditioner regularly, even during a Ontario winter, so that it lubricates itself and keeps the seals from drying out, which leads to leaks. Your owner's manual will have recommendations for how often to service your air conditioner. Of course, if it's not working right, now is the time to get it checked. The team at Discovery Ford in Burlington can inspect and test your air conditioning and offer evacuation and recharge services. This helps you avoid repairs.

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


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