Boyd's Auto Blog

Road Trip: Be Ready for Anything with a Trip Inspection at Boyd Automotive & Tire,

2017-12-17 07:07:03

Road trip, anyone? Nothing spoils a great vacation faster than ending up stranded on the side of the road or spending a week in a rundown motel while our vehicle sits in the shop. Long days on the road can bring out the worst in your vehicle, so before you leave, prepare it for the journey by getting a trip inspection at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines. After all, you wouldn't travel without clean socks, why ask your vehicle to travel with a load of dirty oil?

The first step in a trip inspection at Boyd Automotive & Tire, is to look at your travel plans. What kinds of roads will you be driving on? Will you be in the Ontario back country or on the freeway? Will you be crossing mountains? Off-roading? What will the weather be like? How far away from St. Catharines will you be traveling? How much are you hauling? Will you be towing a trailer or lugging a rooftop carrier? Will you encounter dust, mud, snow or sea salt? All of these questions can help determine which services are most needed. And don't hesitate to ask your Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor. He can give you good auto advice on what trip conditions are hardest on what systems of your vehicle and what kinds of services it realistically needs. Start with the tires and check them for tread wear and proper inflation. Replace or rotate them as needed. If you need to change them out for winter tires, then do so.

Then look at your shocks or struts for wear. Replace them if needed. You'll want that extra comfort on your trip. Be sure to check your alignment as well. Steering a vehicle that is out of alignment is tiring, and dangerous. Don't overlook your brakes. With extra passengers and baggage, your brakes are going to get a workout. You want them in top condition.

In addition, inspect belts and hoses. If any of them are close to wearing out, have them replaced before your long trip does them in.

Change your engine air filter if it needs it, or if it's close to needing it. Your car's air filter processes 12,000 times as much air as the amount of fuel it burns. A clean air filter will protect electronic sensors that affect how your engine runs.

Get an oil change at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines if it's coming due. Make it a full-service oil change while you're at it. That way, all of your fluids will get checked and topped off. Change any dirty or old fluids. St. Catharines drivers don't want to overstress their cooling systems or transmissions with dirty fluid during a long trip.

Does your vehicle smell? Check the cabin air filter. The bad smell could also indicate an exhaust leak, which can be fatal on a long trip. So don't ignore bad odors; check them out.

If your air conditioning hasn't been up to snuff, then give it an overhaul. You want your vacation to be relaxed and pleasant, and that means keeping the passenger compartment comfortable.

And be sure to check your wiper blades and your headlamps. You may find yourself driving in unfamiliar territory at night after a long day. You'll want to be able to see as much as possible.

Of course, almost everything listed here is just part of preventive maintenance for smart driving. If you keep up with your vehicle care on a regular basis, a trip inspection will be a breeze at Boyd Automotive & Tire,.

Taking care of your vehicle before you leave for a road trip will pay you back in safety, peace of mind, improved comfort and better fuel economy. It will also help your vacation go as planned by keeping you on the road and headed for that next great adventure. Just don't forget to pack your socks.

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

Engine Hydration for St. Catharines Drivers: Role of Your Water Pump

2017-12-10 09:55:03

The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine.

The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers), but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers).

Water pumps don't gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they're either working or they're not. A failed water pump has to be replaced.

Water pumps can fail in two ways: they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket where the pump attaches to the engine.

If you hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, it's time for a new one. If you see coolant leaking in the area near the pump, it needs to be replaced. Also, coolant on the driveway could indicate water pump failure. Many water pumps aren't visible because they're under a plastic cover, so you may have to take your vehicle to Boyd Automotive & Tire, to know if the water pump has failed. If your water pump is run by the timing belt, then it should be replaced when you replace the belt. Most timing belts need to be replaced at around 60,000 to 90,000 miles (100,000 to 150,000 kilometers). The labor for replacing a timing belt is about 90% the same for replacing a water pump, so it's cost-effective to take care of them both at the same time. Also, if your water pump develops a leak (if it's powered by the timing belt), you have to replace the timing belt as well since contamination by coolant fluid damages the belt. It just makes sense for St. Catharines residents to replace both of these parts whenever either one needs it.

Replacing a water pump at Boyd Automotive & Tire, is a vehicle care issue that almost all of us St. Catharines residents face eventually. They don't last forever. On the other hand, we can extend the life of most of the components of our vehicle through preventive maintenance. Just as exercise and diet keep our heart healthy, regular check-ups and fluid changes will keep our vehicles healthy. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor.

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

Below 45 Degrees in St. Catharines: Consider Winter Tires

2017-12-06 08:46:03

Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and St. Catharines drivers couldn't wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. Ontario drivers ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.

Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the St. Catharines area are much better designed for the wide range of conditions that come with Ontario winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at St. Catharines temperatures below 45°F (7° C) which reduces their traction. That's a concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet conditions. But it also means that St. Catharines drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it's dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.

The all-season tire that is popular among St. Catharines drivers is a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for St. Catharines drivers in either season but aren't great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather but lousy performance in winter. St. Catharines drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed by your friendly and professional service advisor at Boyd Automotive & Tire,. It's best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. St. Catharines drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

For more auto advice about tires for any Ontario season, ask your friendly and knowledgeable Boyd Automotive & Tire, tire professional. They can help you find the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don't forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for the best durability, safety and performance, but don't overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us in St. Catharines.


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

Automotive Tips from Boyd Automotive & Tire,: Where Should New Tires Be Placed

2017-11-28 05:04:04

When St. Catharines drivers need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control and anti-lock brake systems.

If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your friendly and professional Boyd Automotive & Tire, tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.

Give us a call.

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

Will Proper Auto Maintenance at Boyd Automotive & Tire, Really Save Gas?

2017-11-20 06:25:03

Have you ever thought about all the little things we do to keep our lives running smoothly - like vacuuming? It makes a room feel fresher and more comfortable. We may not consider that we're also prolonging the life of the carpet by keeping it clean. But St. Catharines drivers don't always extend those good habits into the garage. Our vehicles need regular maintenance just like our rugs need vacuuming. We may not notice a difference in the feel or appearance of the vehicle, but just as cleaning a carpet carries the hidden reward of prolonging its life, maintaining our vehicles incurs a hidden reward that becomes noticeable at St. Catharines gas stations.

When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything St. Catharines drivers can do to decrease friction and increase the efficiency of their engines will translate to savings on fuel. Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something. So if we can reduce friction, we can decrease the amount of fuel it takes to run our vehicles. Engine oil is usually at the heart of friction problems in an engine. Too little oil means parts are not getting lubricated, which increases friction; dirty oil doesn't lubricate as well as clean oil. So one secret to good fuel efficiency is to stay on top of oil changes. Don't skip them and don't procrastinate. The same auto advice applies to transmission fluid. Keep it full and keep it clean, and your vehicle will run with less friction and better fuel economy.

If your tires are underinflated, it increases the friction between the tire and the road. Again, there is increased drag, and it takes more fuel to move your vehicle. St. Catharines drivers should check their tire pressure every month and keep their tires properly inflated.

Alignment and brake problems can also increase friction. Besides saving fuel, keeping these systems in good repair has the added benefit of saving you on tires and brake pads. These items wear out more quickly when the alignment is off or when the brake system isn't in good working order. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Boyd Automotive & Tire,.

The second culprit that stealthily steals our gas is inefficient fuel combustion. It depends on the engine getting the right amount of clean fuel to the right place with the right pressure at the right time in the right pattern. The key to peak engine performance is to keep the fuel system clean. Varnish and gum can build up in a fuel system, which will interfere with the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors are responsible for all those “rights” we spoke of. If they're dirty, amounts, timing, pressure and spray patterns can all get out of whack. The result? Reduced fuel efficiency. A fuel system cleaning at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines can get your injectors back on track, improving performance and efficiency.

There are a few other maintenance items that can improve your fuel economy. One is to replace your PCV valve when it gets sticky. This valve allows unburned fuel in your engine exhaust to return to the engine. St. Catharines drivers can also replace worn spark plugs and dirty fuel filters. A well-maintained vehicle will require fewer repairs and save at St. Catharines gas pumps.

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

 

Automotive Tips from Boyd Automotive & Tire,: Air Conditioning – Common Problem

2017-11-15 09:56:03

Your auto air conditioning system cools and conditions the air in your passenger compartment when you are driving around St. Catharines. It also removes moisture from the air to keep your windows from fogging up.

A common A/C problem for St. Catharines drivers that visit Boyd Automotive & Tire, is contaminated refrigerant (the gas that cools the air). The inside of the A/C hoses deteriorates over time and tiny fragments of rubber clog passages. This makes the system less efficient and overworks various components.

Leaks can develop at seals and gaskets and may reduce the amount of refrigerant, causing the system to work too hard to compensate. Dirty components can have the same consequences.

Ask your Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor for an air conditioning system inspection to make sure everything is up to spec.

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

 

Clean Fuel Makes a Happy Engine in St. Catharines, Ontario

2017-11-07 02:03:04

If the fuel system in your vehicle is dirty, you will be hurting your engine and losing performance as you drive around St. Catharines, Ontario.

Unless they drive a vintage car, St. Catharines auto owners have fuel injectors which need to be properly maintained. That is why your vehicle owner's manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Boyd Automotive & Tire, in St. Catharines has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Boyd Automotive & Tire, uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.

After a professional fuel system cleaning at Boyd Automotive & Tire,, you'll notice more power, improved and reduced exhaust emissions. We strongly recommend you follow your fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your vehicle running strong.

St. Catharines drivers don't need the added expense of replacing a fuel injector that's been damaged by neglect. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor and see when your car is scheduled for fuel system cleaning.

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

Distracted Driving

2017-10-29 12:12:04

When asked, most people think they are good at multi-tasking. Scientific studies, however, reveal that only around 2% of the population can truly demonstrate the capacity to effectively multi-task. For the rest of us who are not so biologically wired, no amount of practice can increase our effectiveness at multi-tasking. Turns out, multi-tasking is almost a superpower. Think of fighter pilots: capable of maintaining their orientation in three dimensional space and performing specific and highly complicated functions while accessing life threatening situations and coming up with an appropriate response. Admit it – you can’t do that.

Yet when it comes to driving, we seem to think we are very capable of safely operating a motor vehicle with myriad distractions. 77% of young adults feel somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive while 55% claim it’s easy to text and drive. Can they possibly be right? Let’s look at some statistics.

Nearly 23% of all accidents in the United States involve cell phones. Every day, 11 people are killed and over 900 are injured in texting-related accidents. In fact, texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated. Just think back at your own experiences: how many of your “near misses” as a pedestrian or in a vehicle have involved a driver with a cell phone in their hand?

There are three types of driving distractions:

  • Visual (eyes off the road)
  • Manual (reaching for something or manipulating an object)
  • Cognitive (mind off the task of driving)

Of course, texting or using a cell phone involves all three. Eating, applying make-up, arguing and working on-board features like the stereo and navigation system are all very real distractions. You may be interested to know that hands-free cell calls are not substantially safer than using a handheld phone. Any time you glance away from the road (like looking at a text or incoming phone call) your eyes are off task for at least 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour/90 kph, you will cover the length of a football field in that time. Would you ever consent to strapping on a blindfold and driving off down the road for that distance?

So what do you do? First, accept the fact that you are not part of the 2% of all the people on the planet who can truly multi-task (if you are one of the lucky ones you would know by now because your performance does not degrade no matter how many additional tasks are added). Next, don’t EVER drive distracted. Incoming text: it will wait for later. Juicy hamburger: eat it in the parking lot. No exceptions, ever. And don’t accept anything less from drivers of vehicles in which you are a passenger.

Another way to avoid distractions is to keep on top of scheduled maintenance and necessary repairs so that your vehicle itself doesn’t become a distraction. We can help you with that.

Give us a call.

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

Know Your Towing Limits in St. Catharines

2017-10-24 03:09:03

Some St. Catharines drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle. Nope. If you're going to do any towing around St. Catharines, you should be aware of safety issues, Ontario towing laws and potential liability.

Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. They calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. St. Catharines drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own.

Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg), but if you have a 2,000-pound (900 kg) hitch limit, you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds (900 kg). If you tow a 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would be liable for any resulting damages.

Another example, one popular pick-up truck has a tow rating of 10,300 pounds (4,600kg). But in the owner's manual, it specifies that a sway control device be used for trailers weighing over 2,000 pounds (900 kg) and that a weight-distributing hitch is required for trailers over 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg). If the vehicle owner tows a 6,000-pound (2700 kg) trailer without a weight-distributing hitch and ends up in an accident, the owner will be held liable for not complying with the towing requirements in Ontario.

St. Catharines auto owners also need to keep in mind that tow weights include the weight of passengers and cargo inside the tow vehicle. So if your tow rating is 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg), and you're carrying 700 pounds (320 kg) of passengers and cargo, you can only tow a trailer weighing up to 6,300 pounds (2,880 kg).

Two numbers that St. Catharines drivers should be aware of are the GVWR and the GCWR. These codes are usually imprinted on the inside of the driver's side door. GVWR stands for gross vehicle weight rating. Take GVWR and subtract the total weight of the vehicle, and you have the maximum weight the vehicle can safely carry in passengers and cargo. GCWR stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating. Take that number, subtract the weight of the tow vehicle and the trailer, and you have the maximum weight of passengers and cargo that the tow vehicle and trailer together can safely carry.

This may seem a bit complicated, but you ignore these ratings at your own peril. If you haul or tow loads over the maximum ratings around Ontario, you become liable in event of an accident.

Local St. Catharines laws require that safety chains be attached when towing a trailer. Some Ontario jurisdictions may require trailer brakes as well. Others mandate trailer brakes only in certain situations. If you are going to tow a trailer, you should find out the local St. Catharines laws regarding trailer brakes and hitches, as well as weight and length restrictions.

To tow safely, Ontario drivers also need the proper tires on the tow vehicle. Tires need to be in good condition with adequate tread, and they need to have a load rating high enough to handle the weight of the trailer. Your trained Boyd Automotive & Tire, tire professional can help you select the right tire to use when towing around St. Catharines.

Your 's owner's manual is your primary source for auto advice regarding towing since it is specific to your vehicle. Be sure to read it carefully before doing any towing. And as always, keep your preventive maintenance up-to-date, and practice good car care to ensure the safety of your vehicle on the road—especially when pulling a trailer.

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

What You Need to Know from Your Boyd Automotive & Tire, Service Advisor

2017-10-18 01:51:03

St. Catharines drivers may feel intimidated when they take their vehicles to a service center. They have questions but aren't sure how to ask. They don't want to feel embarrassed about their lack of knowledge. They don't want to make the service technician feel that they don't trust him.

If your service advisor at Boyd Automotive & Tire, uses a term you don't understand, just ask them to explain. Remember, they are the auto service experts. If they came to your place of work, they probably wouldn't understand the jargon, either. When you take your vehicle in to be serviced, make sure you understand the financial issues up front. Ask about payment policies, warranties and, of course, the cost of the work being done.

It helps to understand basic services your vehicle needs. Know the difference between a quick check-up and a thorough inspection, which you are getting and which you are asking for. Understand that diagnosing a problem takes time, and time isn't free. If you have concerns about cost, negotiate your limits before service is done. Don't be afraid to ask your service advisor for auto advice on how to keep your vehicle on the road within your budget. He can help you prioritize your vehicle's needs. Some repairs are for the safety and future health of your vehicle. Others can wait. Your Boyd Automotive & Tire, service advisor can help you set up a plan to get all the work done as you can afford it.

It may be tempting for St. Catharines drivers to save money with budget parts. Your service advisor can help you to sort through the options to work within your budget. High-quality parts are always preferable for any auto repair. Your service advisor will make sure the parts used won't compromise the safety of your vehicle.

Don't leave your St. Catharines service center without your paperwork, either. Ask about warranties for parts and labor. You may need these for claims or if there is a problem in the future. Get detailed explanations of the work done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of repairs, service and warranties.

Those records may also help close a deal when it comes time to sell your vehicle. After all, the biggest concern most people in St. Catharines have when buying a used vehicle is that they are inheriting someone else's problems.

Records of repairs and service are a good picture of your vehicle's condition and performance and what problems a new owner can expect. People are always happier to purchase a vehicle they know has been well-maintained. Whenever we climb into a vehicle, we are entrusting our health and safety to it. Perhaps it's time to take our vehicles' health a little more seriously. Open up; ask and learn.

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

 

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