One of the most overlooked service procedures on cars that affect your tire’s tread longevity, fuel efficiency and wheel handling is the wheel alignment. Wheel alignment is important for safe driving and the longevity of your vehicle. If improper wheel alignment goes without being noticed, it can result in costly services such as replacing your tires or safety major concerns.
Wheel alignment is important for safe driving and the longevity of your vehicle, but it is one of the most overlooked service procedures. Improper wheel alignment affects steering, turning, suspension, and the tire’s performance and tread’s longevity.
Wheel alignment should be monitored regularly because inadvertent actions such as driving on pot holes and unpaved roads, bumping the curbs or concrete parking stalls can put force on your tires therefore throwing off alignment right away.
Here are five signs your car needs a wheel alignment:
Does your vehicle feel like it is getting pulled to one side of the road when you’re driving on a smooth road? This is a telltale sign that your vehicle is in need of a wheel alignment service.
The car’s emblem on your steering wheel should be perfectly horizontal when driving straight. If the wheel needs to be held at an angle in order to drive straight, your vehicle needs immediate attention from a Service Advisor.
Uneven tread wear is an easy way of telling your wheel alignment is incorrect. Look for uneven worn out treads on either side of your tires. If you notice uneven tread wear, your tires may be inflated incorrectly or a wheel alignment service may be due.
After a turn, does your steering wheel smoothly return into the proper position? If your wheel feels sluggish or loose, it is a sign that your vehicle is due for a wheel alignment service.
The final symptom that your vehicle is in need of a wheel alignment is a shaky steering wheel. If your wheel shakes or vibrates when driving on a smooth straight road, your car may be due for a wheel alignment service.
If your vehicle shows some or all signs of a wheel alignment, make sure to attend to it as soon as possible by trained technicians. Bring it to one of our six dealerships in Vancouver, Burnaby and North Vancouver or contact us today!
Even though gas prices have skyrocketed recently, it doesn’t mean your wallet has to take a hit. Here are few tips on how to save on gas and in turn help the environment too!
Clean the junk out of your trunk
Unnecessary weight can dramatically reduce your fuel efficiency, so it is best to clear your car and trunk of all that junk! When you are going on road trips, make sure to pack as lightly as possible!
Fuel efficiency can be improved when using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. Various oils are specifically created to fit certain models and engines. Look for motor oils that have the description “Energy Conserving” on the American Petroleum Institute (API) Service Symbol to ensure the oil contains friction-reducing additives.
Do not strap cargo onto the roof
Stacking your roof with cargo increases aerodynamic drag, thus causing you to use more gas.. If you need extra room, instead of packing luggage directly onto the rooftop, invest in an aerodynamic rooftop carrier. Carriers range between $35-$180 and can be found at Canadian Tire or at any of Destination Auto Group’s dealership.
Stay calm and relax
Aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and abrupt braking can lower fuel efficiency. These behaviours do not only waste gas, they are a safety hazard for you and others driving around you. Keep a calm and alert mindset during your commute and drive at a consistent speed to maximize fuel efficiency on the road.
Maintain tire pressure
It is important to keep tire air pressure at the recommended levels set by manufacturers. A single tire that is underinflated by 2 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) can increase fuel consumption by 1%. Furthermore, driving with underinflated tires can decrease traction and cause uneven wear on tires.
While being in, or seeing an accident is never something we wish for, knowing what to do can sometimes mean saving a life and/or preventing further injury. At Destination Auto Group we are committed to safety; with this in mind, we are pleased to provide you with some tips on what to do in case you witness or find yourself in a car accident.
What to Do at the Scene of a Car Accident
- Stop; Assess Injuries & Call 9-1-1
Check yourself for any injuries – your safety and well-being is the most important. If it’s safe: pull over, get out of your vehicle and call 911. When you feel safe and are mobile, you may exit the vehicle to survey the area of the accident. If in doubt, go to the hospital to get checked to ensure there are no serious injuries.
- Exchange Information
Get the names and contact information of anyone else involved in the car accident as well as witnesses. Make sure to gather the following information:
- Basic Information – time, date and location of accident
- Other Driver – license #, car make model, insurance details, license plate #
- Witnesses/Bystanders – Name, phone & email
- Photos & summary of situation
The ICBC Claims Card is a great tool to use when recording and/or drawing a picture of the accident.
- Call Dial-A-Claim
ICBC’s Dial-A-Claim Center is open 24 hours a day and provides you with hassle-free claims service. If you were injured in the accident, a family or friend may report the accident on your behalf. For accidents that happen within the Lower Mainland call 604 520 8222; for everywhere else in BC call 1 800 910 4222.
What to Do After a Car Accident
- Watch for Additional Injuries
In some cases you may be injured but not realize it; particularly if you have an internal injury. If you feel anything unusual, see a doctor to ensure no injuries go unnoticed and make sure you take steps to mitigate any injuries that resulted from the accident. For insurance purposes – make sure to create a formal document of all injuries and problematic areas.
- Consider Consulting a Car Accident Lawyer
Some people speak with a lawyer after the accident to ensure they are adequately protected. Lawyers can provide you with knowledge and insight regarding your rights. If you choose to hire a lawyer, your lawyer will be communicating with the other parties – leaving you stress free. Even if you choose not to hire the lawyer, the information they provide allows you to be confident in the decisions you make and assertive when/if a claim needs to be negotiated.
Car accidents can be horrible to be a part of or even to witness, but knowing and maintaining top-of-mind awareness can help you in case an accident does happen!
5 Tips to Prepare Your Car for the Summer
Summer’s heat, dust and long road trips will take its toll on your car. It’s important to make sure your car is ready for the upcoming summer and all of the fun activities! Here are 5 tips to help prepare your car for the summer!
Check the Coolant & Radiator
The summer heat is naturally tough on your car, sitting in traffic or parked outside makes it easy for your vehicle to overheat. If your engine gets too hot, moving metal parts in the engine can start to fuse together cause extreme internal damage. To ensure your car doesn’t overheat, it’s extremely important to ensure your car’s coolant system, pumps, hoses, thermostats and fans are all working properly!
Maintain Your Air Conditioning
Those who have driven through the hot summer weather without air conditioning know the big difference a little cool air can make. A malfunctioning air conditioning unit may be caused by low levels of refrigerant. Not sure if how your air conditioner is working? Bring it in and have one of our Certified Technicians take a look!
Check Your Tires & Brakes
Fresh tires will increase traction, give you better fuel economy and sharpen handling. Don’t enjoy changing tires? All-season tires are a great alternative if you don’t want to use seasonal tires. Brakes are the single most important aspect of your vehicle. Make sure they are checked by a trained technician to ensure brakes and brake pads are 100%.
Change the Oil & Oil Filter
Clean engine oil keep the metal parts from touching and grinding down the parts. The oil contains several key additives to move dirt particles towards the filters. Manufacturers recommend oil changes every couple of months, it’s important to check oil monthly to make sure the engine runs smoothly.
Create a Roadside Emergency Kit
Some breakdowns may be unavoidable and can result in a trip-wrecker. Save yourself by putting aside the following items for unexpected stops:
- Jumper cables
- Emergency flares & reflectors
- Blanket & towel
Need help getting your car prepared for the summer? Bring your vehicle in to one of our six dealerships and our certified technicians will be more than happy to help you out! Call us at 1.888.599.6993 or visit our website for more information.
Whether you’re planning a camping trip with friends up the Sunshine Coast, or a family weekend in the BC interior, keep safe and well prepared with these car tips courtesy of the staff at Destination Auto Group:
1. Check under the hood – before you go, have your local dealer check your air conditioning (especially the filters), battery and oil levels, and rotate/change to your summer or all-season tires. This will both increase fuel efficiency and keep your axels healthy.
2. Prepare yourself in case you get lost or stranded – always keep water and food items stocked before you go. This can be as simple as a few water bottles and some nuts, granola bars or non-perishable food items. Keep a first aid kit, rain gear and blanket on hand in case the weather turns unexpectedly.
3. In case of emergency repair – ensure you have an extra working spare tire, and a small tool kit with basic supplies such as screw drivers, fuses, and jumper cables to get yourself going again.
Maximize the fun and uptime of your summer trips by making sure you are always prepared for whatever comes your way.
Visit us at one of our six dealerships in North Vancouver, Vancouver, or Burnaby to get your car checked-up and ready for the road!
They taught you how to ride a bike, change a flat tire and have loved you unconditionally throughout your rebellious years. Each year, we dedicate a day to recognize all the hard work our fathers do for us. We interviewed two outstanding Dads, Dennis Lee, IT Manager and Gary Harpestad, General Sales Manager at Happy Honda about the joys of fatherhood.
Q: How many children do you have and how old are they?
D. Lee: I have three beautiful kids: Alex (17), Brayden (8), and Kellen (5).
G. Harpestad: I have 4 children: 3 boys aged 4, 12 and 18, and a girl aged 7. Obviously my daughter rules over the boys with an iron fist.
Q: What is the best thing about being a parent?
D. Lee: The best part of being a father is listening to the noise made up of mindless chatter and laughter and seeing the pure joy in the eyes of my children after they accomplish something; it’s the honest affection, big hugs and the occasional “I love you daddy” that I’ll never get bored of hearing.
G. Harpestad: The best thing about being a parent is the unconditional love from my kids; it’s so nice to be greeted after a long day at the office with hugs and “Daddy!” as I walk through the door.
Q: What is your favourite family tradition?
D. Lee: My favourite family tradition is our annual “Dad’s and Tots” camping trip. This one weekend we have together out in the wild is always a blast.
G. Harpestad: Our family doesn’t really have any “traditions” to speak of, as my wife has a very small family and mine are all in South Africa. However, we do set aside “family time” on a regular basis which everyone really looks forward to and enjoys. This could be a family movie night, going to the beach, attending the kids sporting events or just playing some kind of sport together.
Q: How does Destination Auto Group encourage a healthy work-life balance?
D. Lee: John G, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer reminds me that although work is important, it’s not everything, and spending time with my family and kids is what makes me most happy. I’m lucky to learn from and work closely with amazing individuals that lead through their actions.
G. Harpestad: Destination Auto Group encourages a healthy work – life balance by giving me the tools, training and support I need to do my job efficiently and maximize my productivity during the work day. This allows me the time off and the ability to focus on my family while at home.
Destination Auto Group would like to take this opportunity to celebrate all the amazing Dads out there! Happy Father’s Day!
On Sunday, May 25th 2014, Destination Auto Group participated in the 30th Annual World Partnership Walk that took place in Stanley Park. Despite the rain, Team Destination joined over 4,000 participants in great spirits, excited to help end global poverty! This year, Team Destination raised over $2,000 in addition to its $50,000 sponsorship, and had over 40 Associates representing the company.
Parvez Velji, Product Advisor at Destination Toyota, has participated in the World Partnership Walk for over 20 years. “This year’s Walk was particularly exciting because many of my coworkers were involved with fundraising and also participated in the Walk – we had a great time! It’s a special feeling to know you’re making a difference in someone’s life, and raising awareness in Vancouver is as important as the work being carried out in developing countries.”
Destination Auto Group believes that alleviation of global poverty is an important issue that needs to be addressed, and we are committed to being a strong role model both in our community and on a global level. Taking steps to help end global poverty is a small thing we can do to make a big impact. To learn more about Destination Auto Group’s participation in the Walk, click here.