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.
When properly aligned, all of your wheels are pointed in the same direction. Your vehicle will track true and handle the way it is designed. Ottawa drivers often associate our wheels being “knocked” out of alignment with an event like a major crash, hitting a pothole, curb or some other object. While these can certainly take your wheels out of alignment, the bumps and bounces of everyday Ottawa driving take their toll on wheel alignment as well. Your car can lose alignment over time with just normal driving.
When your wheels are out of alignment, the team of automotive professionals at Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa can return your wheels to the factory settings. Most owners’ manuals suggest an inspection every year or two.
Give us a call.
Bank Street Hyundai
2775 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON KIT1N3
Some Ottawa 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 Ottawa, you should be aware of safety issues, ON 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. Ottawa 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 ON.
Ottawa 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 Ottawa 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 ON, you become liable in event of an accident.
Local Ottawa laws require that safety chains be attached when towing a trailer. Some ON 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 Ottawa laws regarding trailer brakes and hitches, as well as weight and length restrictions.
To tow safely, ON 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 Bank Street Hyundai tire professional can help you select the right tire to use when towing around Ottawa.
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.
Hello Ottawa drivers, let's talk about batteries. Car batteries are just like any rechargeable battery. They will eventually wear out and die. If you are shopping for a new battery in Ottawa, here's some auto advice to help you.
There are two measurements to consider when purchasing a new battery: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The power required to start a cold engine is measured in cold cranking amps. The number you need is determined by what kind of vehicle you drive and where you live. In general, higher-cylinder engines require more cold cranking amps than lower-cylinder engines. In other words, an eight-cylinder engine needs more cold cranking amps than a six-cylinder one. Also, diesel engines require more cold cranking amps than gasoline engines.
The weather where you live in ON also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder the vehicle engine, the more power it takes to get it started. Also, cold ON weather reduces the electrical efficiency of the battery, which reduces the amount of energy available in the battery to start the engine. Thus, in freezing temperatures, you need more power to start an engine, but you have less power available to get it started.
Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa can help you choose an appropriate battery for your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you need extra power owing to cold weather or a need for more reserve capacity, you may want to choose a heavy-duty battery. Just make sure it fits into your vehicle. An oversized battery may give you the power you need, but it's a serious safety hazard if the terminals come into contact with other parts of the vehicle.
Keep in mind that preventive maintenance performed at Bank Street Hyundai and good vehicle care can extend the life of your battery. Judicious use of electric gadgets and good driving habits are wise and can help you get the most out of your battery.
We live such busy lives nowadays: work, social events, running the kids all over Ottawa. Some days it's all we can do to keep track of everywhere we need to be. That's why you've gotta be organized. Smartphones, calendar apps - we have to keep track of it all.
So let's talk about schedules. Specifically, automotive service schedules. And particularly, the scheduled services that are sometimes forgotten.
Here is a list of 10 service items that are often overlooked by Ottawa residents. They're all very important and need appropriate attention. So here we go, in no particular order.
1. Power Steering Service
Be honest; have you ever thought of this on your own? Your power steering fluid gets dirty and builds-up moisture over time. Cleaning out your power steering system means that dirt and gum are removed and your power steering parts are protected from corrosion. Next time you're in for an oil change, ask your Bank Street Hyundai service advisor if it's time for a power steering check-up.
2. Wheel Alignment
When your wheels are out of alignment your vehicle pulls to one side. It's pretty annoying, but it's also dangerous. And it causes your tires to wear out really fast, which is an unnecessary expense! Most owner’s manuals suggest you get your alignment checked once or twice a year.
3. Differential Service
Did you even know you had a differential? Well, you do - one, two or three in fact. Differentials are often called gear boxes and they're part of the drive-train that transfers power from your vehicle engine to your wheels. They don't need service that often, but you can't completely forget them. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Bank Street Hyundai service advisor.
4. Cabin Air Filter
More and more cars these days have cabin air filters (a great feature, in my opinion) to clean the air in the passenger area where we sit. They filter out dust and pollen. When they're clogged up, they can get smelly. Change your cabin air filter on schedule to enjoy fresh, clean air, which can also help with allergies.
5. Timing Belt Replacement
Most cars and some vans and trucks driven around the Ottawa area have timing belts. Without going into a lot of detail, let's just say that your car won't run without it – period. And if it breaks while you're driving, it can do thousands of dollars’ worth of engine damage. Check your owner's manual or speak with your Bank Street Hyundai service advisor. If you're approaching 60,000 miles or 100,000 kilometers; definitely look into it right away.
6. Transmission Service
Transmission service is very basic, but it's often forgotten by Ottawa drivers. Your vehicle transmission needs clean fluid from time to time to keep operating efficiently and avoid pricey repairs.
7. Air Conditioning Service
Most of us don't think about our air conditioning until it fails on a hot day in Ottawa. If you're lucky, you just need to add refrigerant. If you're not, some of the components may have been ruined. Of course, these components are not cheap. Regular air conditioning service at Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa adds clean refrigerant which cools and lubricates your air conditioner and conditions the seals.
8. Brake Service
No we're not talking about squealing, grinding brakes here. We're talking brake fluid. Over time, the fluid gets a lot of water in it. Because water compresses differently than the brake fluid, your brakes won't work as well. It may even get dangerous. The water can also rust out brake system components and then your brakes can fail altogether. Check with your Bank Street Hyundai technician for recommendations.
9. Coolant System
Another thing that's so easy for Ottawa drivers to forget about: When you don't change your antifreeze on schedule it becomes corrosive. Fresh coolant contains additives that maintain the pH balance in the coolant. These additives wear out and the fluid in the radiator can actually eat holes in the radiator or hoses. Then you're stranded - bummer.
10. Fuel System Cleaning
In these times of high fuel prices, fuel system cleaning is vital. Fuel gums up a bunch of parts as it moves from the gas tank and through the engine. A thorough fuel system cleaning at Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa will keep clean gas flowing into the engine. Your fuel injectors also get gunked up over time and need to be cleaned. Having your fuel system cleaned on schedule at Bank Street Hyundai will really help your fuel economy.
There you have it: 10 services that are often overlooked by Ottawa residents. Did you know that a recent survey showed that 90 percent of vehicles on the road have at least one scheduled maintenance service that hasn't been performed? Considering our busy lives, we're not surprised. Bank Street Hyundai can help with any of these services. Give us a call or come see us.
Air quality has certainly become a hot issue in our modern world. We install air filters on our ventilation systems and in our vacuum cleaners. There's a filter that cleans the air going into our vehicle's engine — so why not one for the air in the passenger compartment?
Foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers haven't been ignoring the issue. Cabin air filters are becoming a standard feature on newer vehicles. These filters can clean particles out of the air down to three microns, which accounts for pollen, dust and most pollutants. Ottawa residents who suffer from allergies or have a respiratory disorder should be a lot more comfortable. And even if you don't have a medical need for the filter, the cleaner air in your car just might help you breathe better, figuratively as well as literally.
Cabin air filters are still fairly new in the Ottawa area, so you'll have to check your vehicle owner's manual to see if you have one. If you do, your routine car care will have to include changing the filter as part of your preventive maintenance. The owner's manual will give recommendations on how often the filter has to be changed, but if the air where you live in ON is particularly dirty or if you're prone to hay fever, you may want to change it more often.
Your friendly service advisor at Bank Street Hyundai can also offer suggestions on how often to change your cabin air filter in your Ottawa area. They're the ones who actually see the dirty filters, after all.
There is no standardized location for cabin air filters. Ottawa residents can usually find them in the vehicle engine compartment or under the dashboard, but they might be somewhere else. So the ease of changing the filter will depend on its location. Some are readily accessible, but others make you wonder how they got installed in the first place. Bring your car into Bank Street Hyundai and we will locate your cabin air filter for you.
However, if you have a newer vehicle, it's good auto advice to find out if it has a cabin air filter. If it does, you should change the filter regularly. A sure sign that a filter needs to be changed is that the interior of your vehicle will start to smell bad. That smell is exactly how some Ottawa drivers discovered that they had cabin air filters in the first place!
Cabin air filters are just one more way we have to stay safe, stay healthy and stay on the road in ON.
A lot of us drivers are asking ourselves the same question lately: how can we save on fuel? Ottawa area residents are all cutting back, if not in fuel consumption, then in other areas of our lives.
Preventive maintenance is an important way people in Ottawa can conserve fuel by improving fuel economy. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to keep the oil in our vehicle adequate and clean.
Oil lubricates your vehicle engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means it takes more fuel to keep the vehicle motor running. This all translates to lower fuel economy.
Check your oil to make sure the engine is getting all it needs. Your owner's manual and service advisor at Bank Street Hyundai will tell you the proper weight and type of oil for your vehicle.
Responsible Car Care
Dirty oil grits up your engine, which also increases friction. So even if there's enough oil, you're still getting that extra drag that reduces your fuel economy. That's why your owner's manual recommends getting your oil changed regularly. It's good auto advice.
While you're checking your oil, you should take a quick look at your transmission fluid as well. Your transmission also needs clean, adequate fluid to work efficiently. An inefficient transmission also translates into lower fuel economy.
Your service advisor at Bank Street Hyundai will be able to check your oil and other fluids, top you off or change your oil if necessary.
Your owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should check your oil and transmission fluid. But you can also consult with the pros at Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa. The types of roads you drive on in ON, the climate where you live and the air quality in your area can all affect how often you should change your oil.
And don't forget that this will improve our environment here in Ottawa as well. Improved efficiency translates to fewer emissions. Changing your oil as scheduled doesn't just help your vehicle (and your pocketbook), it helps keep the air clean as well.
When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.
Buying tires at Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa is a lot like buying shoes, except that Ottawa vehicles don't have changeable apparel and don't need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of crazy ON road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.
Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Ottawa drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around ON need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough ON mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.
The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the market, although prices don't vary much from brand to brand.
Tire chain stores in Ottawa often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in the Ottawa area are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don't hesitate to ask your Bank Street Hyundai tire professional who makes their private brand.
The cheapest tires on the ON tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don't have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, you get what you pay for.
At Bank Street Hyundai, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40,000 mile/65,000 km tire,” or a "60,000 mile/100,000 km tire." This refers to the number of miles/kilometers a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.
Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you're really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It's always better to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.
That said, if you're driving on Tier 3 tires, it's a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That's the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Ottawa area drivers.
So, some good auto advice would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you'll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there's some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won't have to purchase tires as often.
Good vehicle care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.
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 Ottawa 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 Ottawa gas stations.
When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything Ottawa 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. Ottawa 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 Bank Street Hyundai.
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 Bank Street Hyundai in Ottawa 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. Ottawa drivers can also replace worn spark plugs and dirty fuel filters. A well-maintained vehicle will require fewer repairs and save at Ottawa gas pumps.