Archive: August 2016


Vive la Differential at Discovery Ford in Burlington

Posted 2016-08-28 03:33:03

There are a lot of drivers in Burlington who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before. With front-wheel drive being so common in Ontario these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Burlington folks don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of your mind. It's not uncommon for people in Burlington to not know they have a differential, let alone know that it needs service.

To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any Ontario high school. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside vehicle wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It's a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds (1,400 and 2,800 kg) – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That's a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool. The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for when to replace your differential fluid.

Your knowledgeable Discovery Ford service technician will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. He'll then replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Discovery Ford service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacturer's recommended service interval or you can check your owner's manual.

At Discovery Ford, we've been providing quality automotive service for our valued Burlington customers since . If you need to schedule differential maintenance, or any other automotive service, give us a call at 905.632.8696.

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


Positive Crankcase Ventilation – PCV Valve Service at Discovery Ford

Posted 2016-08-21 06:38:02

Hello Burlington! Did you know that the first federally-mandated emissions control device was introduced in the 1960's? The Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve, or PCV valve, has been installed in Ontario vehicles since 1964 and represents the first legislation by the United States government to regulate harmful emissions as well as to improve performance in the country's vehicles.

The PCV valve, as you can probably guess, is located on the crankcase. The crankcase is the lowest part of a vehicle's engine. It houses the crankshaft and the engine oil. The crankshaft connects to the pistons that power the engine.

Pistons are pushed down when fuel is burned in an engine. This causes the crankshaft to rotate, which sends power to the transmission.  It ultimately turns the axles and causes the vehicle to move. Some of the gases released by the burning fuel squeeze around the pistons and down into the crankcase.

If the escaped gases mix with the engine oil in the crankcase, oil sludge develops. This sludge has the consistency of petroleum jelly and can cause damage by clogging up passageways in the engine. Further, escaped gases can build up pressure inside the crankcase that can blow out seals and gaskets.

Before 1964, a hose was attached to the crankcase that vented escaped gases out into the air. These gases contained about 70% unburned fuel as well as harmful emissions. The PCV valve was designed to curb these harmful emissions as well as recapture unburned fuel.

The PCV valve is a small, one-way valve that allows escaped gases to exit the crankcase. The gases are then routed into the intake system so they can be re-burned in the engine. Fresh air enters the crankcase through a breather tube to facilitate this circulation and keep the air in the crankcase clean.

The PCV valve, like most working parts on a vehicle, will wear out over time. Usually it simply gets gummed up. Preventive maintenance, including routine oil changes at Discovery Ford in Burlington, will extend the life of the valve, but eventually it will have to be replaced. A sticking PCV valve won't allow gases to circulate properly, which can increase pressure in the crankcase. Over time, that pressure will lead to oil leaks.

Your vehicle manufacturer recommends that a PCV valve be replaced every 20,000 to 50,000 miles (32,000 to 80,000 kilometers), depending on the vehicle and Burlington driving conditions. It's an inexpensive repair but may not be included in the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual.  So if you're looking for auto advice about the PCV valve, you may have to ask our pros at Discovery Ford.

Taking care of our PCV valve protects the environment in Ontario and improves vehicle performance. It's just part of good vehicle care for Burlington drivers and a way all of us can do our part to improve the world we live in.

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


Getting the Right Tires and Wheels in Burlington

Posted 2016-08-15 05:11:02

A lot of people get custom wheels in Burlington. When you do this yourself (over the internet . . .) you could run into trouble if you're not careful. Sometimes, once they're mounted, they just don't fit right. The tires rub in turns or on bumps. You don't want that.

Consulting your Discovery Ford tire professional can ensure you get the right fit. First he'll ask you a series of questions about your Burlington driving needs and what you want in your new wheels. Now, not every wheel can go on every car. Care must be taken so that tires and wheels are not too large or that the wheel is centered too far towards the outside or the inside so the tires rub.

If you don't want to make any modifications to your vehicle, you would need to focus on the wheels that would fit. With trucks, some people in Burlington like much bigger tires so they need a suspension lift.

Also, most Burlington drivers don't realize that you need to keep the rolling diameter of your new tires – the overall height of the tire – very close to what came from the factory in order for your vehicle's anti-lock brakes and stability control systems to work properly.

The computers that control these systems are calibrated to a certain size tire. When you go bigger or smaller, the computer doesn't know what changes you made so it can't tell how fast you're going. This, of course, means it sends commands to the brakes and traction control that are based on the wrong speed. If you go with a different rolling diameter, your vehicle engine control computer can be reprogrammed for the new tire size.

Either way, there are hundreds of wheel and tire choices to choose from in Ontario. You can pick the style of wheel you want and then talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Discovery Ford tire professional about how big the wheel should be – and how to select the right tire for your vehicle. Your Discovery Ford service advisor will help you find the best tire to meet your style, performance, ride and handling needs in Burlington.

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


Budget for Maintenance in Burlington

Posted 2016-08-07 07:58:03

Sometimes busy Burlington residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Ontario in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Burlington residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's Burlington drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's Burlington drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Burlington area auto service centers.

Burlington drivers certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Vehicle care in Ontario  simply costs more than it used to. So if you think about it, Burlington drivers can avoid many vehicle repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Just a bit of auto advice from Discovery Ford: If you like new vehicles and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new vehicle every few years because you're afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and Ontario auto insurance with an older vehicle and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for preventive maintenance you have done at Discovery Ford, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less!

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


Lease or Buy?

Posted 2016-08-02 02:25:02



Lease? Or buy? These are the options for Burlington drivers. It's always a tough question for auto owners, but here is some info that'll help you make an informed decision.

If you buy, you'll pay the full cost of the vehicle, maybe an initial down payment, monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.

Burlington drivers who lease finance the portion of the cost of the vehicle that's used up during the term of the lease. You'll pay some money up front: fees, security deposit, first month's payment and maybe a capital reduction. The monthly payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge. When the lease is up, you return the vehicle to your local Burlington area dealership. 

So how do Burlington drivers decide?

First, how much do you have for a down payment? A lease usually requires a smaller down payment.

How much monthly payment can you afford? Again, lease payments will be much lower for any given down payment.

A lease needs requires better credit, so that's a factor.

How long will you keep the vehicle? Burlington drivers who keep their vehicles around for a while will pay less if they buy. But just two or three years? Then leasing is the way to go.

If your car might suffer a ding or two, like a work truck would, then buying's better. The auto leasing company will want their vehicle back at the lease end in tip top shape, and if repairs are needed, you'll pay.

How far do you drive in and around the Burlington area? Important to consider because leases have a mileage limit; if you go over, you pay a hefty charge per mile/kilometer when the lease is up. So high mileage Ontario drivers should definitely buy.

Will the car be used in your business? Check with your accountant, but both financing options have different tax benefits, depending on your circumstances.

Over the short term, leasing is much cheaper. Medium term, leasing and buying costs are about the same. Over the long haul, leasing always costs more.

Leases may sound a bit complicated, and the typical lease decision weighs more on the monthly payment rather than price. So sometimes Burlington leasers may pay on a higher purchase price than a buyer would.

Here is a tip: If the salesman asks if you'll be leasing or buying, say you're not sure yet. Make your best deal, then look at your financing options.

Here's another: With a buy or a lease, if you total the vehicle, you'll owe the full amount of the loan, or the balance of the lease payments. Usually, it's less than the vehicle's fair market value, and that's all your Ontario auto insurance company will pay. But ask your Burlington agent about gap insurance, which pays the difference between fair market value and what you owe. Big consideration for a lease.

Remember, you have to return your leased vehicle in excellent condition and may need to do all the vehicle manufacturer's recommended service and maintenance or face penalties. So see your local advisor at your Burlington auto repair shop  or Discovery Ford on a regular basis, get the required work done and save the service records. It's well worth it.

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


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