Category Archives: Automotive
We live in a do-it-now society
Remember when phones were connected by a cord? When you needed to call someone, you waited until you got home. Or perhaps you had those family vacations where dad drove all day and you stopped for a picnic lunch and for supper in a roadside diner.
Not anymore. We live in a do-it-now society. When you think of something, you do it. We have access to a variety of very convenient things that allow us to multitask. It’s not always bad. But the temptation is to multitask when driving.
Here are four things that you shouldn’t do while driving. Wait until the vehicle is stopped before you do these things
Calls: Increasingly, laws are being passed to ban handheld mobile devices while driving. This is a good idea. Our attention is diverted and so is one hand while driving. Wait until you stop the vehicle before making or taking a call
Eating: Who needs a side-of-the-road picnic anymore when you have fast food that is carefully wrapped and ready to eat? Unfortunately, we end up more focused on our burger and cola (and perhaps finding that dropped pickle) than we are on the road. Pull over and eat then get back on the road
Filming: YouTube is a great way to waste a few hours on a rainy weekend. It’s like watching America’s Funniest Home Videos and the worst of American Idol all wrapped up in one. Filming videos for YouTube can be fun too… except when you’re driving. If you see something funny on the road, don’t film it while you’re driving. Get a passenger to film or pull over or just skip the opportunity
Anger: It’s so easy to get angry when driving! When other drivers cut you off or fail to signal, you want to reach across from your vehicle to theirs and smack them. But anger does funny things to us. It makes us more aggressive and risk tolerant… and that ends up influencing our driving (for the worse). Don’t let your anger get the better of you. Wait until you get to the gym to blow off some of that anger tension.
Driving should be an activity where we remain fully focused on the road
But many drivers are using their driving time as an opportunity to do other things as well. It puts us all in danger and there is no reason for it.
If you’re happily and safely driving along and some other driver loses control and wrecks your vehicle, the collision repair team at your friendly local Boyd Autobody & Glass shop will be there to restore your vehicle and get you back on the road.
Statistically, nearly everyone will be involved in some form of collision in their lifetime. Thankfully, most accidents that occur are minor and involve minimal injuries and auto body repair. Getting into a vehicle accident can be an overwhelming experience. However, having vehicle insurance in place, protect you from repair expenses to your vehicle and may cover you in case of injury.
If you get into a vehicle collision, there are a few things that can be done post-collision to ensure your safety and minimize stress during the insurance claim process and to ensure a seamless collision repair experience.
Move Your Vehicle
At the time of the collision; most drivers feel that it’s best to leave the vehicle where the accident took place. However, if it’s safe to do so, the vehicle should be moved out of the flow of traffic, as this can help avoid further collisions (by pulling onto a shoulder or side street). Be sure to turn off your vehicle as soon after the collision as possible to prevent further danger from potential leaking fluids which can be combustible. Be sure to turn your hazard lights on to warn drivers of the collision and then exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so.
Check for Injuries
Be sure to check if you have been hurt from the collision, and if there are additional passengers, check to see if they were injured or not. If you or your passengers were significantly injured and require medical attention, it’s vital to call 911 immediately. In addition, if you were unharmed and it is safe to do so, check the passengers in the other vehicle (s) to see if they were injured or not.
Exchange Insurance Information and Document the accident
While you may be overwhelmed and shook up, it’s imperative to remain calm and ensure that all parties involved exchange insurance information and any other details pertaining to the collision. The following details should be obtained:
- Write down the license plate of the driver (s) as soon as possible, just in case they drive away from the scene of the accident
- Take note of the time of the collision
- Where the collision occurred
- The specific location (intersections)
- Details of how the collision occurred
- Collect the contact information of any witnesses that may have been nearby during the time of the collision. This could prove useful down the road as their statements can work in your favor if the matter had to be sent to court
- The insurance information details should include: the make and model of the vehicle, registration/policy number
- The name, address and telephone number of those involved in the collision
- Driver’s license number
If you have a cell phone with a camera, it is recommended to take photos of the scene of the collision and all the vehicles involved.
Call your insurance company as soon as possible
It’s vital to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the collision has occurred. The insurance company will open up a claim for you and will ask questions about the collision. Be sure to have all of the documented information you have obtained from all parties involved, as this will ensure a smooth process with the insurance company.
If you do get into a collision, Boyd Autobody & Glass can help to restore the safety of your vehicle so you and your family can get back out on the road as quickly as possible! To receive an estimate for collision repairs on your vehicle, contact a Boyd Autobody & Glass near you or request a repair estimate online.
The Challenges of Driving At Dusk
One time of day we don’t think about is dusk. Unfortunately, dusk is a very difficult time to drive. Here are five top tips to drive at dusk:
1. Be aware of the quickly changing light conditions. One moment might be extremely sunny so we are forced to wear sunglasses, but within moments, the sun can darken and our sunglasses end up doing more harm than good. If we don’t have sunglasses, be aware that the rapidly changing light conditions can be very difficult on our eyes (which have a hard time adjusting to those fast-changing conditions). There isn’t a lot you can do about it but awareness helps.
2. Be aware of the setting sun. Have you ever had momentary blindness after a camera has flashed? The same thing can happen if we look into the sun while. This can happen if we are driving west during sunset or if we are driving east (and see the sun reflected in our mirrors). If possible, use your vehicle’s shades and adjust the mirrors. Consider pulling over to the side of the road to wait for sun to set, or take another route that doesn’t drive directly toward the setting sun.
3. Turn on headlights. With rapidly changing light conditions, it can be easy for someone to miss our vehicle, especially if the headlights aren’t on and becomes dark quickly. Turn on your headlights if you will be driving during dusk, even if it is still quite light out.
4. Be aware that this is a time for animals to come out. Although timid animals might not come out during the day, many of them come out at night when it feels safer. Animals come out because they are dazzled by the headlights of vehicles. Drive a little slower during dusk and pay special attention to the sides of the roads (especially in rural areas) to watch for movement among the grass that could indicate an approaching animal.
5. Be aware of changing temperatures. It’s easy to point out the obvious changing light conditions. Temperatures change at night and can have an impact on our ability to drive safely: If the temperature and humidity inside our vehicle is different than outside, our windows could fog up. You can correct this by opening the windows slightly or by running the defroster.
There Is A Disconnect Between What We Say and What We Do
Not because we are necessarily hypocritical by nature, but when we are behind the wheel, we might be in a hurry and therefore have an “incentive” to rush and make riskier driving decisions.
One of the ways that you can be a safer driver, is to provide an incentive to be a safer driver. This needs to be greater than the incentive to rush when we get behind the wheel.
How can we create a stronger incentive?
Take out your wallet. Now pull out the pictures of your spouse and your children. Before you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, think about them. Consider how your safe decisions behind the wheel right now will ensure that…
- You get to see them today
- You get to see the joy on their faces when you drive them to play sports
- You get to continue to provide for them by going to work
- You get to go on family vacations with them
Now consider the opposite… the “cost” of making unsafe driving choices…
- You may become hurt or killed and therefore unable to see them today or any other day
- Your wrecked car won’t allow you to drive them to play sports
- If injured, you may not be able to work and may not be able to provide for them
- You may not be able to take family vacations
Imagine that any collision that you have with someone else will have the same repercussions on them — you could be responsible for injuring someone else, keeping someone else’s child from enjoying sports, ruining family vacations, etc.
As Harsh As These Thoughts Are, They Are Not Intended To “Guilt” You Into Doing Anything
But rather they are given as examples to seriously consider the cost of driving unsafely and the benefit of driving safely. With more than 120,000 collisions causing injury or death on Canadian roads each year (according to Transport Canada), imagine the number of families impacted by decisions to drive unsafely. Although not all of those 120,000 collisions were necessarily caused by drivers driving unsafely, many of them were and even a slight reduction in that number can result in happier, healthier families.
- Pack the appropriate gear in your vehicle (like survival gear for longer trips and salt or sand plus a shovel for in the city). If you never need it, great. But the one time you do need it will make it worthwhile.
- Winter driving requires extra time. Plan to leave an extra 15 or 20 minutes earlier whenever you drive. You’ll need a couple of minutes to brush the snow off the car and the roads will require a little extra care when navigating.
- Be extra careful at intersections. Intersections are extremely dangerous in the winter! Leading up to the intersection, the roads become polished from constant braking so they can be extra slippery. As well, snow banks can block your vision… and keep other drivers from seeing the stop sign! Brake early when approaching an intersection, assume that other drivers aren’t going to be able to stop on time, and edge out slowly when snow banks keep you from seeing clearly around corners.
- Remember that it is slippery out! This might be a “no brainer” to you, but even the most careful drivers need to remember that other drivers are less careful. Therefore, even if you are making sure you’ve given enough space between you and the car in front of you, make sure that you have an escape route just in case the car behind you seems to be slipping out of control.
- Watch out for the hidden danger. One of the most underrated dangers on winter roads is the light… or lack thereof. In the winter, it gets light very late in the morning and it gets dark much earlier in the evening. Those dawn/dusk hours are hard to drive in because our eyeballs cannot keep pace with the changing light fast enough. On the other hand, driving during the day can be absolutely dazzling when the sun glints off the snow.
Driving in the winter can be difficult even at the best of times
If you are prepared and cautious, you can navigate our Canadian winter roads safely.
If a collision does occur, remember to be extra cautious! Other drivers who might drive around the crash site could slip and slide themselves.
If you find yourself in a collision, bring your vehicle to Boyd Autobody & Glass. We’re the Canadian vehicle repair experts. We know how important it is to get your vehicle repaired and back on the winter roads quickly and safely.
Here are a few tips to enjoy one last end-of-summer weekend road trip
These iseas won’t break the bank or require that you burn up any more vacation time, but will put the finishing touches on a great summer.
• The explorer. Get out the map and sit down with your travel partner and find a place that is a three to six hour drive away… but it must be a place that neither of you have ever been to. Call ahead to locate a place to stay. On Saturday morning, head out on your trip and discover an entirely new place! Return home Sunday morning but take a different route.
• The scavenger hunt. This is a day-long in-town road trip! You and your travel partner each write out a secret list of 20 or more things you might see around town and put each item on a separate 3×5 card. (Some ideas include: a pond, a cathedral gargoyle, a sequence of street address numbers, a cell phone tower, a mailbox of a specific color, etc.). On your “road trip”, the driver pulls a card from the secret list created by the passenger and goes off in search for that item. Once the first item is found, switch seats and the new driver pulls a card from the secret list created by the new passenger.
• The wanderer. Identify a number of small towns in a big loop that starts and ends where you live. Drive from one to the next, taking a picture of you and your travel partners in front of each town’s sign. Spend a few minutes exploring the town before moving on.
• The movie star. Choose a nearby destination then search for that location on IMDb.com (by using their location search at this link: http://www.imdb.com/search/text). Watch the movie first before you visit the destination and then see it in real life.
• The new you. Rent a vehicle that you don’t normally drive — perhaps a classic vehicle, a convertible, a luxury vehicle, or a sports vehicle — and hit a rural highway for the day. Enjoy the quiet ride, take in the scenery, have a coffee or ice cream at a destination, and return by the end of the day.
Want to enjoy your trip even more? Make sure you have someone else along for the ride, assemble the perfect playlist of music for your trip, bring your camera to take pictures along the way. Summer’s almost over… but there’s still a little more time to enjoy one last road trip!
Tips for Organzing Local Car Show
• Decide on a theme. Do you want a classic car show? Do you want a motorcycle show instead? Do you want an antique car show? Or maybe just a general car show that auto enthusiasts of any type can participate in?
• Gauge interest. Talk to potential participants to see if they are interested in taking part. Check a calendar of local events to make sure that there aren’t other car shows at the same time.
• Choose a charity or local cause to raise money. You’ll also need to decide how to raise support — will you charge admission? Will you hold a raffle? Will you take donations? Remember, it doesn’t have to be financial support; your local food bank will probably welcome donations of canned goods.
• Find a good location. Your location should be central to the area you hope to draw a crowd from. Talk to the owner of a restaurant, ice cream shop, or coffee shop; they might welcome a car show in their parking lot if it will draw crowds to their establishment.
• Start advertising! You’ll need to advertise to two groups of people – car owners and car show visitors. Get car owners to register with you ahead of time so you can manage how many people will show up. Encourage car show visitors to mark their calendars. Talk to local radio and TV personalities to “talk up” your car show on the air. Find local events calendars to include your car show on. Hand out flyers. Create the event on sites like Facebook, http://tweetvite.com/, and http://eventful.com. Encourage social media users to post on Twitter and Facebook. This step should be the one you spend the most time and effort on!
• Round out the show with other participants. Don’t forget that other participants might want to take part: Invite hot dog vendors to sell food, invite an inflatables renter to set up a “bouncy-house” for the kids, ask auto-related vendors if they would like to set up a booth or donate prizes.
One final tip – this one is critical! Always talk to local authorities to make sure that you have the proper licenses and permissions to hold an event. You might require a permit to hold the event, and might require a different permit to serve food or alcoholic beverages.
A car show can draw a big crowd of people because it’s a lot of fun. It can also help raise money and awareness for a good cause. Organizing a car show is a lot of work but with proper planning and some organization, it can be worth it.
So how do you drive more safely in the winter? Here are some top tips to help
- Keep a greater distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. In the summer, your vehicle might be able to stop on a dime but in the winter, your vehicle takes much longer to stop as ice and snow reduce the friction of pavement. It gets even worse around intersections. By maintaining a greater stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, you give yourself room to stop if the road is icy
- Ease out at every intersection. All intersections get icy in the winter. In many jurisdictions, snow plows push snow onto the corners to clear it off the roads. So visibility is dramatically reduced. Slowly ease out of each corner and listen for vehicles as you go
- When you hit an icy patch, steer into the skid. This is one of those lessons that every Canadian is taught but it’s so easy and instinctive to forget. When driving (and especially when turning) your back tires can start to slide around to one side or the other. When this happens, turn into the skid to correct
- Carry a snow shovel and some other kind of gripping device (like a towel, a board, or snow chains) to help you get unstuck if you become stuck
- Carry an emergency kit that includes candles and a blanket. If you have to travel outside of the city, let people know when you are leaving and what route you are taking so they can watch for you
- Make sure you thoroughly scrape the snow off of all of your windows so you can see clearly out of all them. Avoid the temptation to scrape away only the ice so you can peer out a small hole in the front of your vehicle
- After a snowfall, clean off your vehicle completely so that your headlights and taillights aren’t blocked by snow, and so that you don’t blind drivers behind you as snow blows off of your roof
- Slow down. Vehicles take longer to stop and visibility is dramatically reduced by snow banks and snow glare, so driving a little more slowly gives you more distance to react to whatever is in front of you
In Canada, each season presents its own unique challenges. Safe drivers recognize how these challenges change and they change their driving styles to accommodate. This winter, remember that being a safe driver means being a safe WINTER driver.
For many vehicle owners the task of washing a car by hand is therapeutic and an act of pride. Many owners take great pride in the appearance of their vehicles, which in-turn may extend the lifespan of their vehicle. By washing a vehicle frequently it maintains the new-car finish for a longer period of time. While washing a vehicle may seem like a simple task, vacuum, wash with soap and rinse it off, it’s best to start from the inside and work your way out. The following are some tips so that you don’t accidentally scratch or ruin the finish of your vehicle.
Be sure to give your carpets and upholstery a good vacuuming to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. If you want to clean the carpets more aggressively, you can scrub them with a stiff brush (but don’t scrub too hard, because it could damage the carpet) then give the carpet one final vacuum.
Before you start wiping the interior of your vehicle, it’s important to do a patch test of cleaners first to ensure that your vehicle’s interior doesn’t react poorly to the cleaners that you will be using. Start off by wiping a little bit of the product in a difficult to see spot and wait to see if there is a reaction. If nothing happens, then that is a safe indicator that your cleaners are good and you may begin cleaning the interior of your vehicle. It’s important to note that you should only be using a cleaner that is approved for your car’s interior.
The interior of the vehicle builds up dust very quickly, especially in the heating and air conditioning systems and in the air ducts. By simply using an air compressor, you can blow out all the dust and debris from the ducts, which will allow your vehicle to smell fresh and keep the dust down for a longer period of time.
When cleaning the dashboard of your vehicle, be sure to use a damp cloth and a diluted cleaner. It’s important to clean the rest of the interior of the vehicle including the doors, seat belts and the headrests. If there is a residual smell in your vehicle after you clean it, spray Febreze, vinegar diluted with water or a commercial deodorizing product.
Be sure not to wash your vehicle when the body of the car is hot, or if your vehicle was in direct sunlight for a long period of time. The more hot the body of the vehicle is, the faster the soap and water will dry up, which will make the process of cleaning the vehicle more difficult and a higher chance of spots
- The exterior of your vehicle should begin at the top of the vehicle and work your way down.
- Do not use dish soap to clean your vehicle as it can remove wax coatings and make your car more susceptible to scratches and blemishes. Do use a proper car wash soap.
- If possible, your vehicle should be washed by hand. Yes, it does take longer to do than going through an automatic car wash, but car washes tend to leave patches of dirt on the vehicle. If washing your vehicle at home, be sure to use a soft sponge or cleaning mitt. By washing your vehicle yourself, you can ensure that your vehicle is free from any spots.
- Before washing your vehicle with soap, be sure to pre-soak the car. This will help loosen any dirt left on your vehicle.
- If your sponge is dirty,rinse it really well before dipping it again into the soapy bucket of water.
- When cleaning the tires of your vehicle, use a separate cloth or sponge in combination with a non-acid base cleaner and degreaser on your wheels.
- If you still see dirty spots on your vehicle after you finish cleaning it, spot clean it using a cleaner or using your fingers if that helps.
- Your almost done! Now is the time to clean the exterior windows using an ammonia-free glass cleaner. A microfiber cloth should be used to buff the windows. Don’t forget to roll the windows down a bit so the top of the windows can be cleaned as well.
- Lastly, it’s time to wax your vehicle. Over a period of time, the original wax application from your vehicle will wear off. Wax is crucial to protect your vehicle from bumps and scratches, stains and the sun. You should either use a liquid or paste wax and apply two coats for a professional finish. You should wax your vehicle every season for optimal protection.
How to properly dry your vehicle
Be sure your vehicle does not air dry as this will leave water marks. It is best to hand dry your vehicle after you finish rinsing it.
After all of your hard work, your vehicle is now beautiful and shiny and ready to be shown off. If you discover dents or bumps on your vehicle while washing it, bring it to Boyd Autobody & Glass. We’re here to repair your vehicle and get you back on your way as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Why not take a little time to be car care aware and make sure your vehicle is ready for the harsh winter weather ahead? Taking a few simple steps now can save you the headaches and cost of an emergency breakdown later, says the Car Care Council.
Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, the Car Care Council recommends five proactive steps to make sure your car is ready for winter driving.
- Battery – Keep the battery connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it’s wise to check the battery and charging system. Because batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.
- Heater, Defrosters and Wiper Blades – Check that the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system are working properly as heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons, such as defrosting. Fall is also a great time to check your air filters. Wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield should be replaced. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months. When changing the blades, be sure to also check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir.
- Tires – Check the tires, including the tire pressure and tread depth. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires lose pressure when temperatures drop.
- Brakes – Have the brake system checked, including brake linings, rotors and drums. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
- Free personalized schedule and email reminder service – Signing up for the Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle now and throughout the year. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.
“Getting your vehicle ready for winter while temperatures are still mild is a proactive approach to preventive maintenance that helps ensure safety, reliability and fewer unexpected repairs when severe winter weather strikes,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.