Boyd's Auto Blog

Automotive Tips from Boyd Automotive & Tire,: Brake Noise

2017-08-16 05:23:03

Your brake pads are the important parts that rub against the rotor (or disc) to slow and stop your car when driving in St. Catharines. They eventually wear down.

When your pads are worn too much, they won’t stop your vehicle as well. When the friction material is worn away, metal parts of the pad are exposed and you’ll hear a squeal or grinding sound.

That’s when St. Catharines drivers should replace their brake pads at Boyd Automotive & Tire,. Not only will new pads restore your stopping power, but replacing them on time will prevent damage to the rotor.

If your brakes are making noise, ask your Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor to inspect your brakes. Addressing problems early will restore your safety and prevent expensive brake damage.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

New School: Automotive Boyd Automotive & Tire, Technician Training

2017-07-31 04:57:03

St. Catharines consumers are demanding. We want a safe, reliable vehicle that handles well and is comfortable to ride in. Oh, and we want good fuel economy, too. We also want vehicle repairs that are cheap, fast and easy. Unfortunately, one usually comes at the cost of the other.

Today's vehicles have made significant improvements in reliability and performance over the last few decades. They also deliver more power to St. Catharines drivers more efficiently than ever before. For example, some of today's 4-cylinder engines are equal to yesterday's V-8's. Our vehicles also offer an amazing range of features that make them more comfortable and convenient than ever before.

But all of that improvement has come at a price for St. Catharines vehicle owners. Our vehicles are more complicated and difficult to repair than ever before. They have numerous mechanical and electrical systems. Fuel systems are so complex they have to be run by a computer. Our vehicles are covered with sensors and high-tech electronic equipment. Our dashboards rival the control panel of the first manned space flight.

With all that complicated equipment, it's no wonder we call mechanics service technicians these days. You can't learn to repair vehicles in the backyard with your dad anymore. Today's Boyd Automotive & Tire, technicians have to go to school. School may come in the form of classroom instruction, online courses or both. Technicians are also trained on-site at the St. Catharines service centers where they work (including Boyd Automotive & Tire,) to keep them abreast of constant improvements in vehicle engineering, diagnostic equipment and repair techniques.

Today's technicians need to be certified to work on our vehicles. They can earn a variety of certifications in Ontario, but the highest of these is Master Technician. It's like a graduate degree in auto repair.

Vehicle repair at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines requires more than just training and certification, though. It also takes information and creative thought. St. Catharines area auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and online repair communities in order to get the information they need to: work on various makes and models of vehicles, get recommended maintenance schedules, learn about non-standard features and locate hard-to-find parts in an unusual engine. They also use this information to help diagnose rare or difficult vehicle problems. Many auto repair problems also require a bit of creative thinking for the team at Boyd Automotive & Tire, to solve. St. Catharines service technicians at Boyd Automotive & Tire, act much like doctors in these situations. They're given a set of symptoms, and they have to come up with a diagnosis and treatment that will fix the problem. This process becomes as much of an art as it is a science.

A proper diagnosis, even by a highly qualified technician, can take time. And a technician's time is going to cost us. It's just the price of progress.

Of course, the best vehicle care for St. Catharines vehicle owners is planned preventive auto maintenance. This is also the least costly way to keep your vehicle in good repair. Regular inspections and replacement of worn parts will prevent most repairs from ever being needed in the first place.

And with the amazing complexity of today's automobiles, isn't it good to know there's someone out there with the knowledge, training and skill to give us good auto advice? Whether we need preventive maintenance or repairs, the team of automotive professionals at Boyd Automotive & Tire, can help us keep our vehicles on the road. We just can't do it on our own anymore.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?

2017-07-25 07:44:03

Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all St. Catharines residents know about them. But do we know enough?

Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals.

Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for St. Catharines residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable.

Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways and blocking passage of oil to vital engine parts, shortening your engine's life expectancy.

To prevent sludge, you have to get your oil changed regularly, as often as the manufacturer recommends. Check your owner's manual for every vehicle you own to know the interval for each one. Don't assume they will be the same.

If you tow a trailer, haul heavy loads, make a lot of short trips around St. Catharines, usually engage in stop-and-go (or around-the-town) driving, drive in cold or hot Ontario weather, or drive in polluted or dusty conditions, you may need to change your oil more frequently. Check your vehicle's owner's manual for a “severe service” recommendation.

If the manual doesn't give you the advice you need, talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor. He will be able to answer any questions about preventive maintenance or vehicle care that you may have, including how often to change your oil.

St. Catharines residents need to get the right weight and type of oil recommended for their vehicles. More and more are using synthetic oil in their vehicles. Synthetic oil typically lasts longer and is more resistant to sludge formation than conventional motor oil. But it is also more expensive. So it can be tempting for St. Catharines residents to ask for conventional oil, but if you replace synthetic oil with conventional oil, you will have to change your oil more often to prevent sludge build-up. In the end, you're probably not saving money at all.

Also, your engine may not be designed for the conventional oil. Check your owner's manual before replacing synthetic oil with conventional.

Talk to your Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor for more information.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

Good Service at Boyd Automotive & Tire, Equals Good Fuel Economy in St. Catharines

2017-07-16 08:03:03

Whether we're trying to save money, save gas or save the environment, most of us St. Catharines drivers have an interest in decreasing fuel consumption. We've all heard about ways to save money on gas in Ontario, but does it really add up to much? How much can we boost our fuel economy through preventive maintenance and more courteous driving?

The US government has a website that actually answers that question. Let's look at some of the data and find out if any of these fuel-saving ideas are really worth the effort. We've all heard that a tune-up can improve gas mileage. It turns out that it can save us 4% at the pump. At $1.00 per litre, that's 4¢ for every litre in savings.

Other common repair items can also save you at the pump. For example, if your oxygen sensor is faulty, it's not delivering the information to your engine's computer that allows it to calculate the right fuel-to-air ratio. The result? The fuel doesn't burn efficiently. Replacing that faulty sensor can save you 40% at the pump. That's certainly a reason to improve your car care and have the automotive professionals at Boyd Automotive & Tire, inspect things once in a while.

A faulty oxygen sensor will activate the check engine light. So will a lot of other problems that are big fuel wasters. Finding out why your light is on and fixing the problem will also improve your fuel economy. Bring your car into Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines and we will take care of it for you.

What about tires? St. Catharines drivers have all heard that keeping them inflated will improve our gas mileage. True? Yep. It's a 3% savings for that one. And even small drops in tire pressure can start to add up, so a weekly tire check is in order.

Using the correct weight in motor oil is another way you can save at St. Catharines area gas pumps. It adds up to a 2% savings.

What about that courteous driving? That doesn't cost us anything and doesn't require our St. Catharines service center to implement anything. Is it worth the bother?

Again, the answer is yes. Sudden acceleration, such as charging away from stoplights, sudden stops and quick lane changes all add up in lowered fuel economy. Taking it easy when you drive on Ontario roads amounts to a 5% savings around town and a whopping 33% savings on the freeway. Is it worth your time to slow down? How much do you get paid?

Speeding is another way we ding ourselves at the gas pump. We've all heard that it's okay to drive five miles over the speed limit, but that actually hurts our wallets. Eventually it could add up to more than a speeding ticket. An extra five miles over the speed limit ends up costing us 7% per litre. Fifteen miles over? 23% Now there's a reason to slow down.

Another thing St. Catharines vehicle owners can do to improve that costs nothing is to toss the junk out of our trunks. In other words, clean out the car and stop hauling around non-essentials. Don't treat your vehicle like a storage locker. Dumping one hundred pounds of extra weight adds up to a 2% savings at the pump.

So when you tell someone you were going somewhere anyway and they're welcome to come along, that's okay. But if someone tells you they need to come along and it's no harm to you since you were going anyway—well, now you can tell them, “Sorry, dude, but you're an extra 5 cents per litre!”

All joking aside, let's all do ourselves a favor and fatten up our wallets by practicing good car care and better driving habits in Ontario.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

Automotive Tips from Boyd Automotive & Tire,: Battery Testing

2017-07-09 01:06:04

The simple fact is that 70% of car batteries fail within 4 years. They just need to be replaced at Boyd Automotive & Tire, when they are no longer able to hold a full charge.

Batteries are a big ticket item for most St. Catharines drivers and it’s tempting to put off buying a new one as long as possible. But a battery that cannot hold a full charge requires the alternator to work extra hard, causing it to wear out prematurely.

Your Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor can test your battery to see if it should be replaced. Testing is a good idea for Ontario drivers because a battery might still be good, but become dead because of a bad alternator or even a worn serpentine belt and tensioner.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

 

Right or Left? Boyd Automotive & Tire, Power Steering Service

2017-07-03 02:21:03

Have you ever driven a vehicle without power steering? If you have, then you probably appreciate how much easier it is to drive today's modern vehicles. Before power steering, all of the force to turn a vehicle had to come from the driver's arms. That's why old cars had such large steering wheels: they needed plenty of leverage to steer. There were some St. Catharines folks who had difficulty driving because they just weren't strong enough.

Power steering is now standard on all vehicles, but there are several ways that power can be delivered. Most vehicles use a hydraulic power steering system system. In this system, a serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump that pressurizes the power steering fluid. The pressure activates hydraulics that provides steering power.

Other vehicles use an electric pump to pressurize the power steering fluid rather than the belt-driven pump. Some newer vehicles actually have electric motors that provide steering power and don't use steering fluid at all, especially in the increasingly popular hybrid and electric vehicles.

St. Catharines drivers who own a vehicle that uses power steering fluid need to have it changed regularly. Over time, moisture accumulates in the power steering fluid, which affects steering performance and can corrode steering components. Dirt and other contaminants can also accumulate in the power steering fluid, which will also negatively affect steering performance. A good power steering service at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines will flush out the old fluid and get rid of dirt and other deposits in the system. Clean fluid will then be added. Fresh fluid provides lubricants that help protect the steering system as well as prevent corrosion.

For recommendations on how often your power steering fluid should be replaced, consult your owner's manual. It varies by vehicle model and manufacturer. For more auto advice on steering fluid changes—and other preventive maintenance—you can talk with your service advisor at Boyd Automotive & Tire,. You may need to change your fluid more often depending on the driving and weather conditions in your area.

St. Catharines drivers who believe in good vehicle care will add power steering service to their preventive maintenance schedule. This will prevent damage to your steering system and extend its working life. The old days of double-handed cranking on a huge steering wheel may be over, but our new comfort and convenience are not maintenance-free. Do yourself and your vehicle a favor. Keep the power steering fluid clean.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

Power Steering Service in St. Catharines

2017-06-27 09:36:03



Most St. Catharines 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 St. Catharines 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 Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines.

The fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. It breaks down as the years go by and collects unwanted moisture, so St. Catharines 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 Boyd Automotive & Tire, 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 Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines 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 Boyd Automotive & Tire, 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 St. Catharines area, the bearings will need service more often.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

 

Boyd Automotive & Tire, Fuel Saving Tip for St. Catharines: Check Engine Light

2017-06-18 03:22:03

Here's a question for St. Catharines, Ontario : How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your Check Engine light? 

Hey, it's not there to create ambiance; it's a warning that something's wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson's fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)

Many conditions that trigger the Check Engine light can hurt your vehicle. A lot.

If your date's eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the Check Engine light, try to think of all the gas money you'll save by getting it fixed. Give Boyd Automotive & Tire, a call when you are ready.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

How Does Boyd Automotive & Tire, Know What to Recommend?

2017-06-13 10:26:05

When you drop your vehicle off at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines, we don't just poke around under your hood looking for stuff to do. Boyd Automotive & Tire, professionals have lists and procedures we follow for different types of service. First of all, your St. Catharines service center will note the mileage on your vehicle. we'll then check to see what inspections and services the vehicle manufacturer recommends for a vehicle of your make, model and mileage. If you are a regular customer, we will also check your vehicle's history.

If the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations go beyond the services you've ordered, we'll let you know. We'll also indicate whether those services are urgent or if you can wait a while to take care of them. The Boyd Automotive & Tire, pros won't do work that you don't agree to.

We will, however, perform inspections while we're servicing your vehicle. we'll check belts, filters and fluids. we'll check your windshield wipers for wear. we'll let you know if there's an urgent problem that needs taken care of, and we'll give you a heads-up about problems that might be developing. If repairs or services are in order, you are given options based on driving needs and budget.

You can think of it like a trip to the dentist for a check-up. The dentist will check if you've had x-rays recently. If not, he'll get your permission to take new ones. Then the hygienist will clean your teeth and check your gums. At the end, the dentist comes in and inspects your teeth. You'll be told if you need any work done, about problems that are developing, and if anything is urgent. You'll be given different care options and recommendations on where to get work done that is beyond your dentist's usual purview. Then you'll be sent to the front desk for appointments and paperwork.

These procedures make sure your teeth are in good working order and that you are apprised of any problems. Then you can make a decision as to what work you want done and when. Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines operates the same way. We want St. Catharines drivers to be able to make informed decisions about their car care.

Preventive auto maintenance is a lot like dental check-ups. Small problems can quickly develop into big ones. A cavity becomes a root canal. A dirty filter becomes engine damage. Skipping check-ups for either your teeth or your vehicle can lead to repairs.

Boyd Automotive & Tire, follows industry guidelines. A part is replaced only if it can no longer perform its function, no longer meets its design specifications or is missing – or if you ask for upgraded performance. Your Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor will recommend a part be replaced if it is showing signs that it will soon fail.

Dentists often offer services that go beyond routine care, such as teeth whitening. Service centers also offer St. Catharines drivers help with upgrades to a vehicle. we'll know what parts are needed and how to perform the work so that safety and performance aren't compromised. You can rely on the pros at Boyd Automotive & Tire, for good auto advice.

The next time you're headed to the dentist's office, think about the vehicle you're riding in. Is it time for it to get a check-up, too?

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

Automotive Tips from Boyd Automotive & Tire,: Serpentine Belt System Wear

2017-06-06 09:26:04

The primary job of the serpentine belt for St. Catharines drivers is to provide important traction to spin the accessories. As the belt wears it loses some of its grip and the accessories may not spin at optimal speeds. For example, if your alternator doesn’t spin fast enough, the battery will not completely recharge while you’re driving and you could end up stranded around St. Catharines with a dead battery.

In short, a worn serpentine belt will stress all of the accessories it powers leading to premature wear and possible early replacement. When as little as 5% of belt material is lost, the serpentine belt cannot provide the proper traction for the accessories. Your friendly and professional Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor can inspect your belt for excessive wear and replace your serpentine belt system if it’s excessively worn.

Give us a call.

Boyd Automotive & Tire,
80 Commerce Place
St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 0B3
905-685-5821

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