Many Ottawa drivers probably don't think of their shock absorbers as an important safety system; but that's just what shocks and struts are. They're all about ride control – keeping your vehicle tires in contact with the road and managing body motion.
Every time you hit a bump or pothole on a Ottawa road, your tire wants to bounce up. The bigger the bump, the higher the bounce. Your shocks or struts push down on the tire to maintain the traction you need to start, stop and turn.
If you've ever ridden in a vehicle with bad shocks, you know how it wallows on corners. The front end dives when you hit the brakes and the rear end squats when you accelerate. It's not only uncomfortable, it is difficult to handle.
You may have heard vehicles described as having “flat cornering." That means that when you take a corner, the body doesn't roll very much. When shocks start to get worn, your vehicle will roll more on corners. The weight of your vehicle's body shifts and tosses your vehicle to the outside of the turn, making it harder to control.
With good shocks, you can turn corners with confidence. When the shocks are bad, the body rolls too much and you need to slow down to maintain the same level of control. When you have to combine brake dive with body roll, you can quickly end up with an unsafe handling situation.
Shocks can break or start to leak, but they usually just wear out. After all, your vehicle shocks will move up and down over 75 million times in 50,000 miles/80,000 km. If you replace shocks at Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa, it will restore your vehicle's original ride control and quality. You can even upgrade shocks and struts if you want better handling or towing capacity on ON roads.
Shocks are an important safety system: don't wait until they are completely shot, perhaps risking your safety or damaging other suspension components. At Bank Street Hyundai we can help you with quality shocks and struts as advised in your owner's manual, usually at around 50,000 miles/80,000 km, for a comfortable, safe handling ride in Ottawa.
Give us a call.
Modern Ottawa vehicles have several computers on board that control all kinds of things like engine functions, transmission shifts, traction control, anti-lock brakes, stability control, emissions – and on some vehicles, even steering, braking and the throttle.
Think about that for a minute – things that used to be controlled by simple mechanical connections now have electronic controls that rely on computers, software and sensors. It's no wonder that when something goes wrong with their vehicle it can be pretty complicated for Ottawa drivers to track down the source of the problem.
To help your service advisor at Bank Street Hyundai figure out what's wrong, your vehicle is equipped with on-board diagnostics. The Check Engine light comes on to tell you there's a problem and the engine management computer stores a trouble code. Your friendly and knowledgeable Bank Street Hyundai technician connects a scan tool to your vehicle's diagnostic port and retrieves the trouble codes as well as other important data.
Trouble codes are like clues for the technician to follow as he diagnoses what's wrong with your vehicle. In a way, it's like going to your Ottawa doctor with a problem. She'll run some additional tests and gather the information she needs to make a diagnosis and form a treatment plan. How much a vehicle diagnosis costs at Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa depends on how much time it takes to sort out the symptoms and find the underlying problem.
Give us a call.
Bank Street Hyundai
2775 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1N3
90% of our driving decisions are based on vision. Anything that impedes your vision can affect your driving safety – including a dirty windshield. In that sense, your wiper blades are an important safety system. Most Ottawa drivers will wait until their wipers have failed before they replace them. Then they find themselves in a driving situation around ON when they really need forward visibility only to discover that their wipers are worn or maybe even torn and can’t clear snow or rain from the windshield.
As an important safety system, wiper blades should be replaced BEFORE they fail. Test your wipers at least once a month. If they are not doing the job, your friendly and professional Bank Street Hyundai service advisor can replace them for you.
Give us a call.
Bank Street Hyundai
2775 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1N3
Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your vehicle into Bank Street Hyundai for a check up.
In today's Bank Street Hyundai auto post, we're talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. Ottawa residents need fuel to go, and the cleaner the fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better mileage .
A clean fuel system saves money for Ottawa drivers at ON gas stations. We guess you could say it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things Ottawa residents can do to keep their vehicle fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.
So buying cheaper gas in ON can actually be more expensive for Ottawa drivers in the long run. Now, most cars on ON roads are more than five or six years old. That means they've had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be filtered out of the fuel before it hits your vehicle engine. That's the fuel filter's job.
When the fuel filter is clogged, the dirty fuel will bypass the filter and go on up to the engine where it can clog fuel injectors and get into the cylinders. So Ottawa residents should have their fuel filter changed when recommended. Check your owner's manual or ask your friendly and knowledgeable Bank Street Hyundai service advisor if your fuel filter is due for replacement.
Bank Street Hyundai
2775 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1N3
There is no escaping it: things work better when you take care of them. Something most of us in Ottawa can relate to is our computers. You've probably noticed how they get slower and slower over time. It takes longer to start up and programs take forever to load. Eventually, many of us just get a new computer at our nearest Ottawa computer store. But computer experts know that there are things you can do to delay the need for a new computer purchase. You can run utilities that clean off temporary files and clean your memory registry. You can optimize your hard drive and a number of other things.
What you're doing is maintaining your computer to make it efficient. It's the same thing with your vehicle. You maintain it to make it more efficient. It works the way it was designed to and that means it uses less fuel while you drive around Ottawa. And you save money.
To help organize our discussion, let's think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion.
Friction. Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the vehicle engine. It has to work harder to overcome the drag – and that takes more fuel. The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil. Low oil means there's not enough to fully lubricate the engine so there's more friction. Dirty oil won't lubricate as well as clean oil. The same principles apply to transmission fluid. Getting your oil changed and transmission serviced on schedule at Bank Street Hyundai will reduce friction and help you get better fuel economy.
Another friction related problem is underinflated tires. When your vehicle tires are low on air, it's like driving on ON highways through sand – your vehicle has to work harder to move every mile. Check your tire pressure at least once a month.
Wheels out of alignment and dragging brakes also increase friction. And your tires and brake pads will wear out much sooner as well. At Bank Street Hyundai, we provide quality brake and wheel alignment services.
Let's move on to Fuel. You have to get the right amount of clean fuel to the combustion chamber at precisely the right time. A dirty fuel system has varnish and gum interfering, and the fuel injectors may be unable to deliver the correct amount of fuel at the right pressure — and in the spray pattern — that the engineers intended. A vehicle fuel system cleaning at Bank Street Hyundai will get all of that working right and really improve fuel economy.
Replacing your fuel filter on schedule will help keep your fuel clean. Replacing a sticky PCV valve will allow unburned fuel from the engine to be returned to the intake system to be used. Replacing worn spark plugs will burn your fuel as efficiently as possible.
All of these things can help you save money on gas at Ottawa pumps.
Give us a call.
Anyone who drives a car in Ottawa knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good vehicle care requires keeping its cooling system in good condition.
A vehicle's cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the vehicle's engine to absorb more heat.
Why shouldn't Ottawa auto owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won't cool your vehicle engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.
So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn't it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold ON weather. That would spell disaster for your vehicle's engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!
Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your vehicle. Ottawa area drivers should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.
That is just good auto advice. Your vehicle's manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner's manual or ask your friendly and knowledgeable Bank Street Hyundai service advisor for these recommendations, as they vary widely among vehicles.
Every Ottawa car owner who has taken their car in for an oil change has been told that their engine air filter's dirty.
Here's what goes into the determination of when to change the filter: First, your vehicle owner's manual will have a recommendation of when the filter should be replaced.
So between your owner's manual and your Ottawa technician's inspection there's really no guesswork involved for Ottawa drivers.
Now, most air filters purchased in Ottawa don't cost a lot to replace. It's just that ON people hate getting caught with an unexpected expense. On the plus side, though, changing a dirty air filter at Bank Street Hyundai can often save enough on gas to pay for itself before your next oil change in Ottawa.
Think about a dirty furnace filter in your Ottawa home. When it's all clogged up, enough clean air can't get through. In your vehicle, that means that your engine can't get as much air as it needs to burn the fuel efficiently. So it makes do with less air and has to use more gas to move your vehicle around Ottawa roads.
Your vehicle actually needs about 12,000 times more air than fuel to run. Engine air filters don't cost much in Ottawa at Bank Street Hyundai. When it's time to change yours, just get it done. You'll get better fuel economy, have better performance and protect your vehicle engine.
If you've ever heard a squealing sound under your vehicle hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that's used by your vehicle's electrical systems and also charges the battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead after a short distance.
The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).
And, on most vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some Ottawa vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.
When they understand what it does, Ottawa drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why vehicle manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owner’s manuals. If this important maintenance component is not included in your owner’s manual, come see us at Bank Street Hyundai.
At Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa, your professional technician can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch or couple of centimeters, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny, glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.
If it has lost a significant amount of thickness, it also needs to be replaced. Talk to your service advisor at Bank Street Hyundai. There's a special spring-loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there's a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn't slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Bank Street Hyundai, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.
As mentioned, a squealing sound could alert you that the serpentine belt needs to be replaced. It may be loose if you hear a slow, slapping sound when idling your vehicle.
All in all, the serpentine belt is very important to the operation of your vehicle. And it's not that expensive to replace at Bank Street Hyundai – so it's good to do so before it fails.
We don't want to think about it, but each Ottawa resident who drives or rides in a vehicle is potentially an accident victim. In the worst-case scenario, those people are unconscious and unable to communicate with ON rescue workers.
Rescue workers and Ottawa police are well aware of this difficulty, even if the rest of us don't stop to think about it. They can all recount stories of searching through glove compartments, pockets, wallets, purses and cell phone directories for a person's name and for contact information for someone who can help them get the person the medical care they need.
This contact information is critical in an accident because Ottawa medical workers need to know about allergies and potential drug interactions. Also, in ON, some medical treatments can't be provided without authorization or consent, and there can be insurance and billing issues if the person's medical care is not properly arranged.
ICE provides a solution for these concerns. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency and is a way for others to quickly identify emergency contacts in your cell phone.
Bob Brotchie, a paramedic from Cambridge, England, developed the idea for ICE in 2005. It soon spread around the globe. The system is simple, affordable and highly functional. Ottawa rescue workers can tell you that they can't always find purses and wallets at the scene of an accident. But these days, almost no one in ON goes anywhere without their phone.
To add ICE to your phone, simply put ICE in front of the names of those people who should be contacted in case you are in an emergency. For example, “ICE-Dad,” or “Ice-Deborah,” or “ICE-Dr. Mitchell.” Ottawa rescuers can quickly identify and access this information, saving valuable time. The only thing Ottawa drivers have to do after that is to keep their contacts current. Every time you change the batteries in your smoke alarm, it is a good idea to double-check your phone and make sure your ICE cell phone numbers are up-to-date. Of course, we'd rather avoid an accident in the first place. It's good advice to keep up with preventive maintenance (we can help you with that at Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa) and practice good car care and driving habits. Those can go a long way to keeping you safe on the road. Planning for the unthinkable helps your rescuers find the information they need quickly. Let's put the world on ICE.
Bad air quality while you're driving around Ottawa is nothing to sneeze at. But seriously, more and more vehicles these days come equipped with a cabin air filter. Since they're fairly new on the scene, a lot of folks don't know about them yet.
These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment, or cabin, of your car or truck. They do the same job as the furnace filter you have at home. They can filter out particles as small as three microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.
So your cabin air filter can clean out dust, pollution, pollen and spores to keep the air in your car nice and clean. And just like your furnace filter, they need to be replaced when they get dirty. Check your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Bank Street Hyundai, but they typically need to be replaced at around 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000-24,000 kilometers).
The filter is usually either under the hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you'll want to have Bank Street Hyundai take care of replacing them.
As we said, many people don't realize they have a cabin air filter and go to their shop complaining about a funky smell in the ventilation system. It turned out to be a cabin air filter that was long overdue for replacement – really dirty and starting to smell. A quick replacement and they were on their way and smelling fine.
Ottawa residents who are allergy sensitive can really benefit from a cabin air filter, as it keeps allergens to a minimum. If you're one of them, you'll want to stay on top of your filter replacement schedule.
Of course if you do a lot of driving around the Ottawa area in dusty or polluted conditions, you'll need to change your cabin air filter more often.