Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there such a major difference in pricing for transmissions fluid service?
Answer: There are 3 types of services that are done:
1. The basic service is drain and refill, which leaves more than half of the old fluid in the transmission. This service is intended for some imports with a drain plug.
2. The most common service is to remove the transmission pan to drain the fluid. A new filter (if equipped) is installed as well as a new pan seal. This service still leaves more than half of the old fluid in the transmission.
3. The best service is to drain the transmission, flush the entire transmission of all old fluid, install a new filter and pan seal, as well as inspecting for clutch material and metal filings. These services should be performed
Why do I need my transmission serviced?
Answer: The purpose of automatic transmission fluid is to lubricate, clean, cool and provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to ensure smooth operation of your cars automatic transmission.
This fluid should be changed at intervals recommended by the manufacturer, to ensure smooth shifting as well as extended life of your vehicle's transmission. Some manufacturers have deleted the "dipstick" and offer lifetime fluid but should be changed at regular intervals under extreme driving conditions, such as trailer towing.
I have been told I need a Fuel-Injection Service. What is it and why do I need it?
Answer: From the first time your engine is started, dirt, carbon deposits and varnishes are formed in your vehicles fuel systems, and on the intake valves, and the combustion chamber areas. Carbon build-up can result in engine pinging, poor acceleration, hesitation, lack of power, repeated stalling, rough idle and poor fuel mileage.
This service will remove the carbon deposits from the fuel system, fuel rails, injectors, intake valves and combustion chamber. This service also tests the fuel pump pressure and an inspection of lines, regulators and all connections. The benefits of a fuel injection service are to reduce air pollution, reduce the risks of break down, improve performance and improve fuel mileage which will save you money. To prevent build-up in your fuel system, check your owner’s manual for recommended service intervals and have your fuel system cleaned by a professional service centre.
Is there something I can put on my windshield to make it repel the ice and snow?
Answer: There are a wide range of products that claim to be able to this but I have found that the best product is Aquapel. This is product that lasts 6 months or more and makes the water roll off the windshield at highway speeds and the wipers will remove the water completely on a single wipe. Snow and ice are removed easily with minimal effort.
What is a brake flush?
Answer: Every fluid in your vehicle is somewhere between fresh and rancid. Fresh fluids function as engineered, reduce wear, extend vehicle life, optimize performance and save you money. Engine oil and transmission fluid are typically maintained, while everything else gets ignored.
Brake fluid is among the most critical and overlooked fluids in today's vehicles. Brake fluid has a limited life. A container in your garage, opened two years ago, and stored with the cap tightly sealed -- should be disposed of properly; DO NOT put it in your vehicle. Brake fluid is hygroscopic; it attracts moisture at the molecular level. Once moisture is incorporated within brake fluid: it lowers the boiling point, reduces performance, corrodes the system, and can cause brake failure. Contaminated brake fluid (from corrosion or other sources) will reduce the service life of system components. When the brakes are applied, contamination moves within the system. It functions like sandpaper, wearing away components from within.
Brake fluid should be replaced every two years. If you do not know your fluids age a professional technician will review your service history for the date last serviced, inspect the system for contamination, and analyze the fluid to determine moisture content. The technician can determine if service is needed.
Are winter blades necessary or will regular blades do?
Answer: Winter blades (or rubber covered blades) are excellent to prevent ice and snow from building up in the blade preventing them from contacting the windshield completely. A good pair of regular blades will do an excellent job as long as the do not build up with ice and snow.
Is there a way to clean or prepare my windshield for winter driving?
Answer: A simple tip for cleaning your windshield is to use ordinary household glass cleaner with ammonia. It’s good at removing dirt and grease, but it tends to leave streaks. A second application may be necessary to get rid of streaks. Another option is to use car-wash soap, water and a wash mitt. (Dish soap is not recommended, as it may damage your car's paint finish.) To clean up bird droppings, sap and other stubborn substances, let the soapy water sit for a few minutes before wiping the spot with the wash mitt. Use a hose to rinse the soap and dirt away. Another effective technique is to clean the window with a mild solution of vinegar and water, applied to the glass with a spray bottle, and then wipe the glass dry with newspaper. The newsprint ink works as a polishing agent.
Don’t forget to give the wiper blades a cleaning also. Wiper blades will collect small particles of dirt and grease which will be just reapplied once you turn on the wipers.
I looked at the side of my tires yesterday and saw a combination of numbers and letters. It had “P185/70R14 H”. What does this tell me?
Answer: - “P” indicates the tire to be a passenger tire. On trucks you may find an “LT”, which would be a light truck tire. The tire type defines the proper use on the tire.
-The “185” is the tire width and is measured in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. This tire is 185 millimeters.
- The “70” indicates the aspect ratio, which is the height of the tire’s cross-section to its width. "70" indicates that the height is equal to 70% of the tires width.
-The “R” stands for the construction of the tire. "R" indicates it is a radial tire, which is what you will find on most cars. A “B” stands for a bias tire found mostly on trailers.
-The “14” indicates the wheel diameter.
-The “H” indicates the speed rating of the tire. Speed ratings range from S to Z. The rating H means that the tire’s maximum service speed is 130 mph.
Do you think the proposed change to the drive clean program will work?
Answer: There are a lot of proposed changes to be made so it is hard to comment on all of them. When I was on the drive clean advisor board most of these topics were discussed and I am happy to see that some are going to be implemented. One being the clamping down on cars allowed to go back on the road polluting with a conditional pass. The second part of this is if they are granted a conditional pass they should be only allowed a 1 year time frame to fix or improve it. And lastly that the repair cost limit to be raised to allow for these repairs to be done so the vehicle is not polluting and at the same time saving fuel and money.
I have a 98 GM Pontiac Transport. So far I am pleased with its performance. However, I am hearing more and more that after 5 years, the Dexcool coolant recommended by GM begins to corrode the intake manifold gasket as well as reduce heater performance. To prevent this from happening (and paying $100's for the GM 'repair' kit), Would it be advisable to flush the Dexcool and go to a regular coolant (and lubricant if necessary)?
Answer: Thanks for your question
We have discussed this for some time at our shop.
I would suggest that the coolant be switched to stop whatever has already started to occur, but won’t guarantee the problem has been solved due to the fact the Dexcool has been in for 6 years already. We would pull the drain plugs in the block as well as the rad and flush out the heater also.
My van pulls to the left when driving down the road. What kind of alignment would you recommend?
Answer: Thank You for your question
Being that I don’t know what kind of van it is or I have not performed any diagnosis, it would be hard for me to advise either a 4 or 2 wheel alignment.
It is very common to assume that the alignment may be causing this situation but there are other factors that can cause this also.
Such as tire pressure, brake problems or simply tire itself can cause the same symptoms.
I would advise that you have a qualified person perform a road test and proper diagnosis to verify the cause of the problem and if it is determined to be an alignment I would recommend a 4 wheel alignment. If the vehicle does not have any adjustment that can be performed on the rear of the vehicle you still should take the reading to insure there is no problems with the tracking or any other components that may be bent.
Should I replace the water pump on my wife’s 1994 Audi 100 when replacing the timing belt? I was told that that would be a good idea. Also it was recommended that the front seals on the engine should also be replaced at that time. Is this correct?
Answer: Excellent question. If you could advise me when or if the belt has been changed before and the current mileage.
On some vehicles the water pump is driven by the timing belt. On this type of application it is recommended that the pump be replaced at this time to save time and money in the long run.
On this application the water pump is driven by the timing belt and I would recommend changing it. The cost now would be lower due to the fact that it is all apart. To replace the pump later would be a much higher cost than now with no addition down time.
As for the front seals, I am not aware of any reason or common problem at this time that I would advise to replace them but when it is apart this would be the best time to inspect and replace if necessary again for the same reason as replacing the water pump, time and money.