What is your Exhaust trying to tell you?

1158Even if your vehicle isn’t showing any warning lights if your exhaust changes from its regular color this could mean something is going wrong with your vehicle.

Blue Exhaust:

This means that your engine is burning oil. The valve guide seals or piston rings are most likely warn out and the oil is leaking past where it should be lubricating. The oil is going to the combustion chamber where its being burned up with the fuel. Burning oil can cause rough starts as this can ruin your vehicles spark plugs.

If your vehicle is turbocharged it is also possible that the blower is in need of rebuilding or replacement.

Gray Exhaust:

There are many reasons for gray smoke:

  • Fluid getting burned up in the engine
  • Faulty transmission
  • Vacuum modulator

Its best to have gray exhaust checked out by a trusted mechanic.

White Exhaust:

Thin White:

  • This is probably the result of normal condensation buildup inside the exhaust system

Thick White:

  • This can be caused by the engine burning coolant that can result in a serious issue like a blown head gasket, damaged cylinder head, or cracked engine block. These are all costly repairs.

Black Exhaust:

This means the engine is burning to much fuel. You should check your air filter and other intake components like sensors, fuel injectors and the fuel pressure regulator.

It may also be a clogged fuel return line. Black smoke is very easy to have diagnosed. However, Burning unnecessary fuel will affect your fuel economy so make sure you get it checked out as soon as possible!

Any exhaust coming from your vehicle means it is in distress. Pay attention to what your vehicle is trying to tell you in order to ensure many years of adequate driving. Drive safe!

Smart Tips for Winter Driving

Smart Tips for Winter Driving

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SGI provides our customers with some simple, yet knowledgeable tips that drivers should be reminded of during each winter season.

Make sure to remove all ice and snow from your windows before you drive. Do not being driving until the windshield is totally defrosted. Don’t forget about clearing off your head and tail lights to ensure they are visible by other motorists.

Always check road conditions before you leave your home. You can call the highway hotline at 1-888-335-7623 toll free in Canada, or visit this website to view current road conditions.

Do not brake or accelerate too hard on icy roads, this can cause you to skid and lose control. Applying gentle pressure to your breaks instead of slamming them will help you to avoid skidding and maintain control of your vehicle.

Using your cruise control during variable road conditions is not recommended. You will need to have full control of your vehicle and adjust speed as needed. Using CC could cause you to lose control in the event of slippery road conditions.

Winter time means it is time for a regular tune-up, especially before a road trip! Come visit us at the Quick Lane to have your vehicle inspected before you hit the road.

How Far Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?

As a driver, you will unfortunately encounter a flat tire at some point. So how long can you really drive on your spare? In this article, we shed some light about this topic to enlighten those customers who are unsure.

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Full-Size Spare

If you are lucky enough to have your vehicle come with a full-size spare, obviously the durability and time you can drive on the tire will increase. These tires require extra space for storage and therefore if you are a truck/SUV owner, you will be one of the few to have an extra tire this size. Most service centers will recommend that you get a new tire put on as soon as you can, due to the fact that the spare has not been used as much as the other tires. This may cause the wheel to operate differently which could be dangerous.

Donut Spare

Most vehicles will come with a “donut spare.” A wheel that does not resemble your other tires and is a lot less durable. The idea is to have this tire put on only to allow you to get to your closest service center to have a new tire put on. It is not recommended to drive more than 100 kilometers to your destination or reach a speed of over 80 kilometers per hour.

In the end, regardless of the type of spare you have, you will need to purchase a new tire. Don’t put yourself and others at risk because of finances. You can’t put a price on safety!

Should you buy a Manual Transmission?

016Ford_Mustang_2015_35832726_Although automatic vehicles are becoming more and more advanced each year manual transmissions have their place in the automotive world too. There is no better feeling than having total control over your vehicle.

Perks to buying a manual:

  • Manual Transmissions are more affordable than automatics.
  • Manual Transmission repairs are considered to be less costly.
  • In many models especially older vehicles a Manual Transmission gets two more miles per gallon of fuel than the automatic model.
  • There is a sense of accomplishment with the perfect up shift and knowing a skill that not many others do.
  • You will always know what gear your car is in, unlike an automatic, which might have geared up once or twice, and won’t deliver power when you need it.

Drawbacks to buying a manual:

  • Your friends or family may not be able to drive your car. In some ways this could be a blessing but in the case of an emergency this is not ideal.
  • Often manual transmissions are reserved for the basic trim level and don’t have many luxuries.
  • They may be harder to sell as less people drive manual transmissions although with the right buyer they may pay premium price.

The savings in the purchase price and fuel economy of a manual transmission are significant advantages. It may be time for a change, so why not learn how to drive a manual transmission and feel the power and control beneath your feet.

Nitrogen or Air?

Nitrogen_Tire_moleculesThe air we put in our tires typically features about 78% nitrogen, so why should you pay more to fill your tires with pure nitrogen?

When it comes to vehicle maintenance and your safety having the right amount of air in your tires is a big deal. However air contracts and expands depending on temperature. For every ten degrees your tire pressure may change about 1 PSI, this is why you need to check your tire pressure on a regular basis.

If it’s cold your tire pressure drops and your tires become deflated. If your tires deflate even the slightest bit there is a huge chance your fuel-economy will go down as well. If it’s hot out the PSI in your tires will increase and you will get reduced traction and uneven tire wear. Therefore you will need to let some air out of your tires.

Nitrogen doesn’t replace the need to regularly check your tire pressure and it also is affected by temperature. Nitrogen exhibits an advantage over regular air when it comes to pressure loss over time. Tires may look like they are sturdy; however they actually allow air to pass right through them. On average your tires will lose about 1 PSI per month.

A tire filled with nitrogen leaks way less at approximately about one third slower than normal. If you don’t like checking your tire pressure often then nitrogen isn’t a bad idea. However, you should be checking your tire pressure often either way at least every time you get your oil changed.

If you have unpredictable air then water is probably your issue. Air pumps at gas stations may not be giving you good quality air. Having water-vapor in your tires is very bad since water reacts even more drastically then just air. Nitrogen is a dry gas, which means filling your tires with it will ensure you won’t get any water in them; this will keep your tire pressure consistent in both hot and cold weather conditions and leave you with peace of mind.

In my opinion, while nitrogen filled tires are consistent when it comes to pressure and temperature it may just be cheaper to purchase a tire gauge and good quality air compressor. As a onetime purchase these two things will save you money in the long run. However, nitrogen would give you better peace of mind especially if you tend to do a lot of driving and want to save money on gas mileage.

If you have any questions regarding Nitrogen Tires the Capital Ford Quicklane would be happy to assist you.

Car Recalls – What You Want to Know

As a receptionist at Capital Ford Lincoln, I frequently get calls from customers asking about the proper steps to take once their vehicle has been recalled. In this article, we address some of the common questions customers may have to help alleviate some of the uncertainty.

  1. What is a car recall?

Most of the time, a recall is the result of engineering errors which can cause a certain defect. During a certain time period at a certain manufacturer is when we will see a pattern within these errors.

  1. What are some common recall errors?tools

-Accelerators that break or freeze suddenly

-Airbags that deploy for no apparent reason

-Faulty steering parts that cause a loss of control

-Wiring or leaks that could potentially cause a fire

-Vehicles powering down while in motion

  1. How do I know if my car is part of a recall?

If your vehicle is showing no signs of malfunction, you should be alerted via e-mail or letter from your purchasing dealership. A lot of the time, dealerships will have you book an appointment to bring your vehicle in for an inspection.

  1. Will I have to pay for my repairs?

It is unlikely that you will have to fork out your own cash. As a manufacturer, the defect was a result of their work – therefore they should take 100% financial responsibility.

  1. What if my vehicle is not fixable?

In an unlikely case that your vehicle cannot be repaired, some manufacturers may have to replace or refund your vehicle. As the owner, you may receive an identical or similar model as compensation.

*If you have received notice that your vehicle has been recalled or you suspect your vehicle has been involved in a recall – do not hesitate to contact your dealership and ask questions to book your vehicle in.

Driving Habits that Could Cost You

Most driver’s know the effects of bad driving habits – but do you actually? After completing some research, I myself learned some new things. Keep reading and maybe you can too!

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  1. Driving on empty – When your vehicle has no option to use up whatever gasoline is left at the bottom of the tank, it is forced to run on dirty fuel. The dirty increments get pushed into the vehicle’s fuel line and engine. Your fuel filter’s life can potentially shorten which may cause you to replace it sooner.

 

  1. Revving the engine – We all love Fast & Furious – and copying these habits may give you that adrenaline rush, but unfortunately it could mean bad news for your vehicle. This is most critical when your vehicle hasn’t had proper time to warm up. Revving the engine while cold means the oil is still sitting in the oil pan and the rest of the engine has not been lubricated. This will damage your vehicle significantly if it continues to become a part of the driver’s routine. A possible engine replacement or costly repair could arise… Bet you don’t see that in the movies.

 

  1. Stopping and starting – While travelling in the city, this is inevitable. For others, this needs to be avoided. Flooring your gas pedal is putting significant strain on the vehicle’s engine and wastes unnecessary gas. Your breaks take a hit too, which could mean frequent replacements. Take your foot off the gas, your wallet will thank you.

 

  1. Driving with a cold engine – It’s pretty simple; you only need to wait about 30 seconds for your vehicle to “warm-up” most days. If the temperature is below zero, allow your vehicle five minutes (at most). Not following these simple rules may cost you when it comes to fuel mileage in the long run.

 

  1. Don’t speed – The one cardinal rule of driver education – sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet most drivers seem to do it anyway. It’s not any surprise that if you slow down, your wallet may grow. But if you don’t, prepare to continue paying for fuel more often and possibly… speeding tickets!

Diesel Vs. Gasoline

 

DIESEL

 

VS.

 

GASOLINE

Diesels hold their value over gasoline powered vehicles likely because of their high fuel efficiency.

 

 

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In 2012, a “cost of ownership” comparison over a 5 year period, gasoline proved to essentially cost consumers less than a diesel.

 

 

On average, diesels cost about $5,000 more than a gas powered vehicle of the same model.

 

 

 

Towing capacity in gasoline vehicles is much less than diesel powered trucks/SUVs/cars. Diesels can still maintain their fuel efficiency while completing the heavy work.

 

Great fuel mileage for travel on the highway.

 

Fuel mileage is best while travelling in the city or short distances.

 

Higher insurance, maintenance & repair costs.

 

Typically, a gas powered vehicle has a shorter lifespan than a diesel.

 Fuel contents contain more usable energy = better mileage.

At this moment in 2014, gas is cheaper than diesel and will most likely remain cheaper.

 

Noise is typically a negative factor when it comes to a diesel powered vehicle.

 

Gas powered vehicles may require more frequent “major” repairs in comparison to a diesel.

When to Patch or Pitch

0126bFortunately many of the times your tire can be repaired when punctured. However, whether your tires have thousands of miles or a hundred a puncture may make it necessary to replace your tire.

Tires require a certain amount of inflation pressure to carry the load of a vehicle and should never be driven on while low or flat. If you didn’t notice your tire was flat and drive on it for several miles it may be scrapped. You can tell if a tire has been driven on while flat or very low pressure by circumferential scuffing on both the inside and outside sidewalls.

The tire must be taken off the rim and inspected to be sure the damage isn’t more than skin deep. If you don’t dismount the tire hidden damage may be missed. Scuffs to the side walls or damage to the inner lining of the tire means the reinforcing cords have been permanently damaged.  There’s no point fixing a tire that’s been damaged from being overloaded or driven too far while under inflated.

You should also consider the size, type and location of the damage. Guidelines allow punctures of up to 1/4” in diameter in the tires tread area. Many companies will limit the number of repairs to two and they can’t be closer than 16”. Repair of punctures in the sidewall are not permitted. If you have a rusty nail sticking out of your sidewall unfortunately you’re going to be buying a new tire.

So remember, tires can be patched, but not all of them are eligible. If a puncture is too large or in the wrong place the tire is, unfortunately, scrap. Having a flat tire is a huge inconvenience. However, repairing a permanently weakened or incorrectly repaired tire can cause even worse damage to your vehicle and endanger your safety. If you are unsure if you can have your tire patched have it looked at by a professional or replace it to ensure safety.

Avoiding a Rollover

Picture this; you, your family, and your furry friends driving home from the city after a long day of shopping. The vehicle is packed full of groceries and It is pitch black outside, you are exhausted and everyone is fast asleep but you… as you are dozing off a sharp corner comes out of nowhere. You try your best to keep your vehicle under control but the next thing you know your vehicle begins to roll. This may be one of the most tragic events that could happen to you and your loved ones.

How to avoid a roll over:

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Driver should be well trained and experienced.

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Rest well. Fatigue can affect driving and response time.

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Inspect the vehicle before every trip, especially the tires.

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Vehicle weight should never exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

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Ensure all passengers are buckled up and side mirrors adjusted.

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Replace old tires. Check the vehicle owner’s manual for correct size.

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Safety is First.

To limit danger in the event of a rollover:

  • As wonderful as it sounds to have your furry friend curled up on your lap for those long drives they can become a distraction, as well as a hazard in a roll over. Pets should be secured with proper harnesses attached to the seats; they will protect both you and your pet. These harnesses come in different sizes and styles and are available at most pet stores.
  • It’s very important to wear your seat belt properly. The strap should be on your shoulder, not tucked under your arm or sitting behind your back. When the seat belt isn’t worn correctly, the odds of leaving your vehicle or being tossed around … and getting seriously hurt or killed increases.
  • Children sitting in the back should not be leaning forward. This sometimes happens when they’re wearing the seat belt around their waists, but not their shoulders. It can be very dangerous and may cause them to be violently rattled during a rollover.
  • Any item that is hard and loose should be put into the trunk of the car or strapped down. Smaller items can be stored in the glove box or pockets of the vehicle. Something as simple as a coffee mug can become the difference between life and death when they become projectile in a roll over.