Fuel Economy, Vehicle Maintenance & the Environment

To most ofProper tire pressure improves your gas mileage! us good fuel economy means we have more money left in our wallet after a visit to the gas pumps. Did you know it also means you have done a good thing for our environment?

FYI – Fuel economy is gauged by the number of kilometers your vehicle will travel per liter of fuel.

The steps in finding, making and burning gasoline all produce by-products that are considered harmful to the environment. The less fuel you use means less harm to the environment and while you and your vehicle might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, what YOU do DOES make a difference. Ironwood Auto Technicians in Campbell River is committed to helping you keep your vehicle environmentally friendly and running like a top!

If you drive like 007 on a mission, constantly pushing the speed limits, screeching to a stop, burning rubber when the light turns green, then your driving is costing you money. If you leave your car idling when you could turn it off and blast your A/C system when you are going slow enough to open a window and enjoy some fresh air then you are also burning more gas than you need to.

Tips to keep your car and driving environmentally friendlyGood vehicle maintenance and decent driving habits will help reduce your “vehicle footprint” on our planet. For instance, low tire pressure, a clogged air filter or fouled spark plugs can affect your fuel economy, costing you more money at the pumps and adding a little more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

A couple of trips a year to your trusted service station for regular maintenance is not a luxury, these days it’s a necessity. Your technician will check your spark plugs, replace your fuel filter and air filter, check your cabin air filter, check your ignition and emission systems and ensure that your onboard computer control system is working properly.

You can improve your gas mileage by 4% with a proper tune-up and up to 40% if a serious maintenance issue like a faulty oxygen sensor is identified and resolved. These numbers add up to money in your pocket and a little less pollution on earth. Sounds like a win/win proposition! Contact Ironwood Auto Technicians and make sure your vehicle is serving both you and the environment.

Season’s Greetings from Ironwood Auto Technicians

Season's Greetings from Ironwood Auto Technicians

The staff of Ironwood Auto Technicians would like to wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and best wishes for health and happiness in 2017!

Tips on Choosing Your Tires

Winter Tire PictogramTires can be confusing and if you have recently moved to Vancouver Island you need to know that tires that may be good for Prince George or Kelowna winters aren’t necessarily good for Island winters.

There are basically 3 types of tires to choose from, All Weather, All Season & Winter.
Here is a VERY simple explanation of the differences.

–All Weather tires are considered the tire that truly performs well in all weather conditions. They are used for severe winter conditions including ice, slush or snow. The open tread pattern pushes away ice & snow to maintain contact with the road. The rubber compound stays soft below 7 degrees to maintain grip but doesn’t wear prematurely in warm summer temperatures. High resistance to tearing makes the All Weather tire a long-lasting, multi-purpose tire that can be left on your car all year. All-weather tires carry the Transport Canada pictogram of a snowflake inside a mountain peak on the sidewall of the tire. This indicates that they have met specific snow traction performance requirements.

–All Season tires satisfy the needs of most road conditions but are now considered more of a three season tire because of how they perform in cold weather. They have deep water channels for wet traction and harder rubber compound for greater tire life in WARM weather. However this compound becomes very hard in temperatures below 7 degrees, resulting in poorer traction in freezing weather. These tires do not carry the Transport Canada pictogram of a snowflake inside a mountain peak on the sidewall of the tire.

–Winter tires are designed to perform in cold, icy, wet & snowy weather. They are optimized for handling and traction under wet conditions but can be used in dry conditions as well. The rubber compound is the softest of all the tires which gives them flexible tread, great for hugging an icy, snowy road but they wear down in warm temperatures. No problem if you swap them out in the spring. Winter tires are by far are the best tire for severe winter conditions. They have a pictogram of a snowflake inside a mountain peak on the sidewall of the tire.

So how do you know what tire is best for a Campbell River winter? Since winters can range from mild and wet, to cold, wet and icy, to snowy and icy for a while, then wet again, the All Weather tire seems to be your best bet for this unpredictable climate. If you make a lot of trips to the interior or to Mt. Washington for skiing then Winter tires may be the ones for you, just swap them out for All Season or All Weather tires in the spring and you’re good to go for several seasons.

The technicians at Ironwood Auto Technicians in Campbell River will be happy to go over your tire options with you and help you select tires that work best for you.

How’s Your Air Conditioning?

FIs your vehicle air conditioning keeping you cool?rom one sun lover to another let’s agree on one thing, a hot summer day at the beach is heaven! On the other hand, a hot summer day in your car without air conditioning is… well, imagine cloven hooves a tail and a pitchfork and you get the picture.

For a vehicle owner a working A/C system is more than a matter of personal comfort on a hot summer day. By pulling moisture out of the air your A/C also keeps your windshield from fogging up.

Safety and comfort are two of the reasons why the system should be checked for leaks on an annual basis .Did you know that the refrigerant in your A/C system does more than cool the air? Sure if levels of refrigerant drop too low the A/C system won’t be as effective as it could be. You may notice the difference but think you can “live with it” for another summer but FYI the refrigerant also delivers the oil that protects several related parts in the A/C system. By neglecting to service your A/C you run the risk of ruining your A/C. Remember, prevention is ALWAYS cheaper than a repair!

Trouble Shooting
The following can indicate signs of trouble with your A/C:
• a fan blower that’s louder than usual
• a compressor that frequently engages & disengages
• rough idling or high engine temp whenever you run the A/C
• dash controls that don’t work
• musty odours
• water on the floor

At Ironwood Auto Technicians our mechanics are trained & certified in A/C, they can diagnose & repair your A/C system and get you back on the road.
Be proactive! Don’t dread driving in this summer heat when a little preventative maintenance may be all you need to keep cool until fall

Merry Christmas! How Are YOUR Brakes?

RoadSalting (200x164)Winter driving is here and even on Vancouver Island winter weather means the possibility of snow and the certainty of ice. These winter conditions mean road crews are out spreading salt, calcium and gravel on our highways and we are all driving through it with our vehicles.

We may be happy to see the road crews at work making driving conditions safer, but the material they leave in their wake can wreak havoc with our brakes. Variations in temperature and humidity along with exposure to the salt, gravel and calcium can contribute to faster wear and premature brake failure or poor braking consistency. Considering that our brakes are our vehicle’s most important safety feature this is something you simply cannot afford to ignore.

If you have noticed any issues with your brakes you should consider a pre-emptive strike and have them looked at before the problem worsens. Ironwood Auto Technicians can disassemble your brakes, clean them and properly lubricate each part, extending their life and ensuring they work effectively when you need them most, on the ice and snow of winter roads.

Please drive safely and make sure you adjust your driving to suit the weather and road conditions. With good brakes and the proper care and attention you’ll sail through another winter problem free!

Season’s Greetings from Ironwood Auto Technicians!

The staff of Ironwood Auto Technicians would like to wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and best wishes for health and happiness in the year to come!Holly (125x97)

 

Don’t Ignore Your Check Engine Light!

Check Engine light

Don’t ignore your “Check Engine” light!

You should be familiar with all your dashboard warning lights. If the symbols don’t make sense to you have a look at your manual, it will explain them and give you general instructions on what to do next. Your Ironwood Auto Technicians are available to answer questions about your dashboard warning lights, being firm believers that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

With that in mind, catching a warning light early can save you money! Take your “Check Engine” light, for example. A steadily illuminated “Check Engine” light is less urgent than a flashing light, which means you have some time to get it checked out. It doesn’t mean leave it until it starts flashing and you have a real problem, keep in mind that it is usually less expensive to fix a problem at this stage

A flashing check engine light indicates a condition exists that could lead to serious damage! Expensive damage! This situation calls for immediate action. Ironwood Auto Technicians can diagnose the “Check Engine” light on most makes and models of vehicles. They will identify the problem and discuss the solutions with you. Don’t delay, being proactive in this situation can save you money.

Gas – How Can You Pay Less at the Pumps?

GasPumps (200x132)

Save Money at the Pumps!

Did you know that in many cases it is up to you how much fuel your vehicle burns? Sure there is a limit to what you can do to improve fuel economy but within those parameters you can save yourself some money, the price of gas being what it is these days.

For instance, when was the last time you serviced your fuel system? In this case that old adage “If it works don’t fix it” may be bad advice. Your fuel system might function but is it functioning optimally? If not then it is costing you money.

Have your auto technician clean your fuel injectors, combustion chamber and throttle valve. (of course different vehicles have different components) If a valve sticks open your car may still run but it’s burning more gas (and costing more money) than it needs to.

Your fuel filter is like your liver, it filters out all the garbage in the system. In your vehicle that would be FuelFilter (150x90)dirt and rust from your gas tank. It then delivers a clean, pressurized supply of fuel through your fuel pump to your engine. If your fuel filter is clogged that puts pressure on your fuel pump to deliver the gas needed to run your vehicle efficiently.

If your car is equipped with a carburetor you should replace your fuel filter every year. This will extend the life of your fuel pump and give you better fuel economy.

If your car has fuel injectors your fuel filter should be replaced every 2 years or 40,000 kms to ensure optimal performance.

Cops For Cancer Tour de Rock

Tour de Rock

Cops For Cancer Tour de Rock Vancouver Island, BC

The Tour de Rock will be coming through Campbell River on September 22 and 23rd as part of their cancer research fundraising bike ride on Vancouver Island. Come out and support them and most importantly watch for them on the road and help keep them safe.

What is the Tour de Rock? A group of dedicated police officers, media personalities and a special guest have been training since the beginning of March to take part in Vancouver Island’s 2015 Cops for Cancer team. They will bike the length and breadth of Vancouver Island to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Canadian Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society

Vehicle Air Conditioning – What You Need to Know

The air conditioning on any vehicle dramatically reduces the available horsepower from between 15% to 25%. Of course this drain of horsepower affects your fuel economy so you now have to decide whether to “open the window, save gas and listen to traffic” or “turn on the AC, sacrifice fuel economy and be able to hear your sound system”.

You should be aware that using your air conditioning system does put additional stress on your vehicle’s cooling system in general so your cooling system needs to be in good working order to prevent your engine from overheating while your AC is on.

Your air conditioning unit contains lots of moving parts and they do wear out. Your AC hoses and components need to be checked for debris and metal particles that can restrict the flow of refrigerant through your AC system, making your vehicle work harder to keep you cool this summer.

AirFilter225Many new cars have cabin air filters, if you have one it should be inspected to make sure it is not clogged and air can move the cold air efficiently. This ensures the interior of your vehicle will cool down quickly.

If you need AC maintenance or a diagnosis and repairs on a non-working AC we have the technicians & diagnostic equipment ready to do the job! This is a common problem, call Ironwood Auto Technicians and book an appointment today so you’re in good shape for the rest of the season. 250-914-4151

Personal Note: Enjoy the summer weather and help take care of our Island in these dry conditions. There are over 100 fires burning in BC right now, many caused by human carelessness. We ALL need to be more careful!

Tires!

Spring has almost sprung, now is the time to consider replacing your winter tires. Ironwood Auto Technicians can supply you with the service of changing over your tires and has a good selection of new tires if needed.