Boyd's Auto Blog

Getting the Right Tires and Wheels in St. Catharines

2017-10-10 10:51:03

A lot of people get custom wheels in St. Catharines. 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 Boyd Automotive & Tire, tire professional can ensure you get the right fit. First he'll ask you a series of questions about your St. Catharines 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 St. Catharines like much bigger tires so they need a suspension lift.

Also, most St. Catharines 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 Boyd Automotive & Tire, tire professional about how big the wheel should be – and how to select the right tire for your vehicle. Your Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor will help you find the best tire to meet your style, performance, ride and handling needs in St. Catharines.

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

Differential Service at Boyd Automotive & Tire,: Viva la Difference

2017-10-02 05:21:04

Every vehicle on Ontario roads has a differential, and it is important to the proper operation of the vehicle.  But most St. Catharines residents don't have a clue what it is.

The differential compensates for differing wheel speeds. For example, when you turn, the inside tire on the turn travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. So the inside wheel of the vehicle must move at a slower speed than the outside wheel. Without a differential, the wheels would hop and scrape while turning.

Have you ever seen the large bulge in the middle of the rear axle of a truck? That's the differential. In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the differential is located on the back axle. Four-wheel drive vehicles and SUV's have differentials on both the front and the rear axle.

You might expect that the differential is located on the front axle of a front-wheel drive vehicle. You'd be right. But the differential is called a transaxle on a front-wheel drive vehicle because its location allows it to be combined with the transmission.

In an all-wheel drive vehicle, an additional differential or transfer case is located between the front and rear axles. Differentials are strong: They have to be because of the job they do. But those tough parts need proper lubrication. You don't want your differential to seize up. That results in damage to your vehicle.

So you need to have your vehicle differential serviced regularly. It's not a complicated job. At Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines, we've been servicing differentials for years. The used lubricating fluid is simply drained and then replaced. Some vehicles require specific additives in the differential fluid; your St. Catharines service center will ensure you are getting what your vehicle needs.

The intervals in time or mileage for servicing your differential vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. Check with your owner's manual or Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor to find out how often your vehicle differential needs to be serviced.

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

It Pays to Take Care of Your Transmission at Boyd Automotive & Tire,

2017-09-29 06:10:03

If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that vehicle engines are getting more and more powerful in St. Catharines. At the same time, they are getting better and better fuel economy. I've gotta tell 'ya, most of that's because of technological advances in transmissions. To get a better understanding of why that is, let's talk bicycles.

You've probably seen plenty of cyclists on St. Catharines roads. Perhaps you ride yourself. Then you know that a cyclist's cadence is the number of times per minute he or she pedals. The ideal pedal speed is the zone where they can most efficiently generate power over a sustained period of time. The experienced Ontario cyclist uses her gears to keep her pedal speed in the ideal zone whether she's climbing a hill, cruising on a flat stretch or killing a downhill.

Think of it this way: if you have a 1-speed bike, you really have to pump hard to get up to speed. Your top speed is limited by how fast as you can pedal. And if you're climbing a steep Ontario hill – forget about it.

Now let's add a couple of gears: one lower and another one higher. With the lower first gear, you can get up to your ideal pedal speed more quickly. When you shift to second, your pedal speed drops below ideal for a while as you work to get back to peak efficiency. Same thing happens when you shift to third, but now you can go much faster than you could with a 1-speed bike using the same effort. Add more gears and you can see that it's much easier to maintain ideal pedal speed. The result, quicker starts, better hill climbing, higher top speed and, most of all, a lot less fatigue for the St. Catharines rider.

Like a cyclist on a bike, every vehicle engine has an ideal engine speed called its power band. When an engine is running in that zone, it can make power very efficiently. It's the vehicle transmission's job to keep the engine in the power band over a wide range of operating conditions. Today 5 or 6 speed automatic transmissions are pretty much the minimum, and 7 and 8 speeds are fairly common in St. Catharines.

Obviously these sophisticated transmissions are very expensive. In fact, next to your vehicle engine, your transmission is the most expensive component in your vehicle, so it pays to take good care of it. Your manufacturer has a recommended service interval for changing your old, contaminated transmission fluid. Servicing your transmission on schedule at Boyd Automotive & Tire, keeps it operating at its best and can prevent costly damage. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Boyd Automotive & Tire, advisor if it's time for transmission service. Come see why smart St. Catharines drivers trust their transmissions to Boyd Automotive & Tire,.

Give us a call.

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

The Boyd Automotive & Tire, Guide to Custom Wheels

2017-09-11 08:50:03

If you're interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your vehicle, there are a few things you should know first.

Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many St. Catharines drivers have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don't fit right and the tires rub against the vehicle when they turn or go over a bump.

To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Boyd Automotive & Tire, tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your vehicle. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you'll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you're willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable professional's help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional St. Catharines custom wheel shop, like Boyd Automotive & Tire,, can help you get the work done right.

The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your vehicle are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason you should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in St. Catharines. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

Your car's computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your vehicle, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine's computer reprogrammed at Boyd Automotive & Tire, to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn't just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want and meet your handling needs. We're not saying you shouldn't personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines.

After all, good vehicle care isn't just about preventive maintenance. It's also about making good choices.

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

 

Boyd Automotive & Tire, Alternator Replacement Service in St. Catharines

2017-09-05 08:44:03

Your vehicle alternator doesn't get enough credit. Though your battery gets your engine started, after that – it's all about the alternator. 

Driving around St. Catharines is a lot of work for your alternator, and as upgrades such as heated steering wheels, cooled seats, stability control and lane departure warning become more common, it will have to work even harder. Eventually this workhorse just wears out. When it does you have no choice but to order an alternator replacement because your vehicle won't run without one. 

Come see your friendly and professional service advisor at Boyd Automotive & Tire, to learn more.

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

Fuel System Cleaning at Boyd Automotive & Tire, for Better Performance

2017-08-29 11:02:03

Hi St. Catharines residents. Let's talk fuel injectors. A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle's engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.

Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.

Vehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle's control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle.  It also adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle's engine. Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detriment to their performance. When an injector gets gummed up, it affects the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel delivery. The result is a decrease in fuel efficiency and loss of engine performance for St. Catharines residents.

So it's to St. Catharines residents' advantage to keep their fuel injectors clean. That starts with keeping the fuel in your tank clean. High-quality fuel contains detergents and additives that help clean your engine. Brand-name fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel to St. Catharines vehicles than do bargain St. Catharines area service stations.

The second way to keep your injectors clean is to keep your fuel filter clean. This filter screens dirt and rust out of the fuel as it travels from the tank to the engine. If the filter clogs up, fuel will bypass it and carry its load of dirt into the engine.

St. Catharines residents should check their owner's manual to find out how often they should change their fuel filter. This should be part of your regular preventive maintenance. Also, remember that if you use bargain-brand or low-grade fuels, or if you drive an older vehicle, your filter will need to be changed more often.

You can also purchase cleaners at Boyd Automotive & Tire, that will protect your fuel injectors. These cleaners are added to the fuel tank. They work best at preventing build-up in your fuel injectors and can clean up small amounts of carbon, gum and varnish. But they won't be able to clean a fully gummed-up injector. Read the labels before using any of these products for full directions on their use. If your fuel injectors are gummed up, you can get a professional deep cleaning service at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines that will result in better fuel economy and improved vehicle performance.

Good vehicle care will prevent serious damage to your fuel injector system. And this is one system that you want to keep in perfect condition.

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

2017-08-22 06:55:04

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 $3.50 a gallon, that's 14¢ per gallon in savings, and at $4.00 a gallon, that's a 16¢ per gallon 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 gallon. 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 fifteen cents a gallon!”

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,: 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

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