Kelowna Auto Repair

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Important Changes to B.C.’s Winter Tire Regulations

Thanks to the Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation has decided that winter is now one month shorter on British Columbia’s high mountain passes! Ok, not quite, but the MoT has changed the rule surrounding when winter tires must be worn, or chains carried, on our province’s high mountain roads. After some technical analysis, the MoT has decided that winter tires/chains are necessary on high mountain passes from October 1st to March 31st (it was previously October 1st to April 30th). In addition, the Motor Vehicle Act will be altered to make it clear that Mud and Snow (M+S) and mountain/snowflake tires are considered winter tires and the regulations for tire-chains and studded tires will be updated and modernized. Among many other changes, the MoT will also be instituting a new maximum speed limit on selecte ... read more

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Crash Course: What Makes up a Vehicle’s A/C System?

In the summer, your car’s A/C is your best friend. Not only does it keep you comfortably cool (even in Kelowna’s summer sun!), but the cool air can also help to keep you more alert on those longer road trips too. However, many people don’t know too much about their vehicle’s air conditioning unit. After all, most of us turn the A/C on without giving it a second thought. It’s one of those pieces of equipment that we only really notice when it isn’t working properly. So how does your air conditioning unit work and what are the various parts? Your car’s A/C system consists of the following key components: Compressor - the compressor is responsible for compressing the refrigerant in your A/C system. It hates moisture. Condenser - the condenser (AKA mini-radiator) is one of your compressor’s buddies. It takes hot gasses from the compressor and converts them into liquid form. The liquid is passed on to th ... read more

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Getting Your Car Ready for a Summer Road Trip?

Summer is here and that means summer road trips are too! Before you hit the road this summer, here are a few tips on getting your car ready for the trip... Check Your Tires Before you head out check your tread and tire pressure. The optimum tire pressure for your specific vehicle should be listed in your owner’s manual. Don’t neglect the tread/amount of wear on your tires. A downpour could make the roads slippery, so your tread still needs to be in good shape. Also, be sure to check the pressure of your spare tire too! Check Your Filters Often neglected, make sure your filters are clean and in good order. Dirty filters can lead to increased gas consumption and, in some cases, may even negatively impact your vehicle’s engine power. Get those filters checked! Check Your Fluids Make sure your oil, coolant, windshield washer fluid, power steering fluids etc. are clean and topped up! Test Out Your Brakes One of the most es ... read more

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How Long Do Wiper Blades Last?

This is a real pet peeve of ours! Windshield wiper blades don't get the respect they deserve. They play a critical role in the safety and drivability of your vehicle by removing water, dirt, slush and snow. Here in Kelowna, they endure temperature fluctuations, from sub-zero winter weather to burning hot Okanagan summer sunshine. At times, they might have to operate for hours on end. Yet they're relatively cheap to buy and are made out of thin, flexible rubber -- not exactly the sturdy type of material that can take this kind of abuse forever. All of this combines to make your windshield wiper blades one of the hardest working and  least durable parts on your car or truck. Over time, they will crack, lose their shape and flexibility. Dryer climates certainly immune from wiper wear - heat and lack of moisture can damage your blades even if you never use them; just as very cold temperatures can make your blades stiff and easy to break. It ... read more

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BC Highway Winter Road Conditions Continue

Even though it's March 7th, the higher elevation roads here in BC continue to be a problem for drivers. Melting and freezing water can create black ice and heavy slush can prove to be just as dangerous when driving at high speeds. It is the las in BC that in order to drive the high mountain roads, all cars must have proper snow tires (those marked with the snowflake).  This photo was taken on February 17th by a friend of Boyds who was driving from Vancouver back to Kelowna only minutes before an avalanche closed the highway for two days. You can see from the photo that the normally 2-lane wide highway was down to only one lane due to the high snow bank dividing the highway. The vehicle in front is a big dually truck with two snowmobiles on the back. Before you drive the high mountain roads, check your fuel, your windshield fluid, your windshield wipers and your tire pressure. Check the BC Highways website to make sure the roads are open and above all... t ... read more

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