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May 21, 2019

A Special Supplement to

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ng i v a S & costs ‑Driving to cut the S Y A W le 3W g a vehic of ownin


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op g T e h t p o St NS to skip toppin 4 REASO tion filling sta e h t t a ff o


May 21, 2019 •

T he Mos t T rus t ed Au t o Repa ir in V ic t ori a BC

Service is

our specialty

S Honest Service & Quality Repairs 250-475-2000

earle’s Auto Repair started out as a one mechanic shop in 1979. Over the years, Ken Searle’s reputation became known for quality work. As the years went by, his family run business steadily grew from one mechanic to what it is today, employing 8 mechanics. Searle’s Auto Repair is located at 517 Kelvin Rd, has 2 floors and is still known by many for the quality work and honesty they offer their customers. Searle’s is a NAPA Autopro repair facility that belongs to a network of independent

shop across North America. Being a NAPA Autopro gives them the ability to offer a 2 year, 40,000km Peace of Mind Warranty on all services and repairs performed. They offer complementary roadside assistance that’s good anywhere in North America. Their digital inspection process keeps you up to date with your vehicle and their dedicated team will maintain and service all makes and models, specializing in air conditioning and classic cars. While you’re on the road, Searle’s has your back!”

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? • May 21, 2019

Plan. Test. Buy.

Did you know?

Self-driving cars might once have seemed like a futuristic concept that may never come to fruition, but the future is now. In 2018, Waymo, once known as the Google self-driving car project, launched its commercial self-driving car service in Phoenix. While it’s not widely available and safety protocols, including the presence of human operators behind the wheel, are in place, Waymo has made it possible for people to pay for self-driving car rides. Tech-industry insiders note that Google’s fellow tech giants, including Apple and IBM, also are working on self-driving car services. And like many things in the tech industry, the self-driving- car market figures to evolve rapidly, making it seem as though the availability of self-driving cars became widespread overnight. However, today’s self-driving vehicles are the byproduct of years of research and sizable financial investments. For example, a little more than a decade ago, Darpa, the experimental laboratory of the Pentagon, hosted the Urban Challenge at an air force base in Southern California. At that event, which was one of a handful sponsored by the United States military, several driverless vehicles traversed real traffic conditions. That showcase was an integral component of the foundation of the modern self-driving car industry.

Useful tips and

information about

car buying


...ready to buy a car?

Buying Checklist • Deposits • What are my rights • Buying privately • Distance sales • Lease or buy •Recalls • Where to go for help • Curbers • Vehicle Returns • and many other topics...

Buying tips from…

There are a lot of things to consider before making the purchase. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

Know your needs and budget Research and compare vehicle features and prices Buy from a licensed dealer, not a curber A curber is an unlicensed car dealer – someone posing as an individual selling their vehicle through a private sale. Curbers often advertise online. Typically, curbers may sell stolen, damaged or odometer-tampered vehicles. If you buy from a curber and something goes wrong with your vehicle, you are not protected – the VSA will likely not be able to help you

Test drive the vehicle for at least 30 minutes and check all the features—Ask questions! Request and review a recent mechanical inspection report— Ask for a copy to take with you Request a current vehicle history report or go online and purchase one yourself Only leave a deposit if you know that you will be buying that vehicle  Or, get a written agreement that says when your deposit will be refunded

Understand all the terms of the purchase and finance agreements Know what all the listed amounts are for on the agreement  Documentation, administration, security and other dealer fees are negotiable

Only sign if the agreement is completed and has only the options agreed to or promised Understand the terms of your warranty  Know who provides the coverage

Keep copies of all your documents in case you need them

Never rush this type of purchase! Take your time, make a plan and ask as many questions as you need. Buying a car is a major purchase and every step of the process is important – educate yourself so you can go into negotiations well prepared to get the best deal possible! Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia • 280—8029 199 Street Langley, BC V2Y 0E2 • 604.574.5050 • •


May 21, 2019 •




hen buying a new vehicle, many consumers are fixated on sticker prices. But as any veteran vehicle owner knows, the costs of owning a car or truck go beyond sticker price. Maintenance, insurance and fuel are some of the additional expenses that are part of owning a vehicle. And while it can be hard to get dealers to lower a sticker price, drivers can take other steps to reduce the cost of owning a vehicle.

to cut the costs of owning a vehicle 1. Make a long-term commitment.

Many drivers finance their auto purchases with loans from the bank. When loans reach maturity, or if drivers pay the loans off early, they are free from monthly payments. But over the years, many drivers have seen the maturity dates on their auto loans as the time to buy a new car, essentially starting the process all over again. By resolving to keep their cars once their loans are paid off, drivers are making a long-term commitment to their vehicles and saving some money along the way. Even keeping a car that required a $400 monthly loan payment for one year after paying the loan off can save drivers nearly $5,000 in loan payments, and even more if drivers reduce their insurance coverage once the vehicle is officially theirs.

2. Downsize your vehicle.

Parents cart kids around town in minivans or SUVs that have the capacity to hold sports gear, musical instruments, etc. But if the kids are out of the house or still under your roof but now behind the wheels of their own cars, consider downsizing to a small vehicle. Small vehicles are typically less expensive to purchase, and they won’t cost as much to insure or fill up at the gas station.

3. Skip the bells and whistles. Today’s drivers may want their cars to be mobile offices and entertainment outfitted centers with all the latest gadgets and accessories. Though such accessories might be nice, they aren’t necessary to get you from point A to point B. When buying a new car, buy the base model or one step up from the base model, which could save you thousands of dollars right off the bat. Driving is a necessity that does not come cheap. But there are many ways for motorists to reduce the costs of vehicle ownership.


• May 21, 2019

Wash your car


to protect its value


egular washing is an aspect of vehicle maintenance that some may classify as a purely cosmetic benefit. Certainly washing your car can keep the vehicle looking its best, but there are other advantages to washing as well. It offers preventative maintenance for the car’s paint and can help prevent rust and corrosion resulting from dirt, acid rain and road salt. Leaving contaminants like sap, bird droppings, bugs, brake dust, salt, and environmental fallout on your paint will lead to problems like premature clear coat failure, etching, oxidation, and swirl marks. Be prompt when cleaning off bugs, sap and bird droppings that may stick to the paint and become difficult to remove over time. Keep a microfiber cloth and small bottle of cleaning spray in your glove box to remove them right away. If you live in an area with a high amount of dust or industry, you may need to wash your car as frequently as once a week. Drivers who live along or near coastal areas may need to wash their vehicles frequently to combat sea salt build-up. Garage-kept vehicles may be able to go longer between washes, but in general washing a vehicle every two to three weeks is a good rule of thumb. In addition, a good ceramic coating

can protect you vehicle’s paint for YEARS not weeks as with traditional waxes & sealants, and make washing a breeze. It’s easy to see how washing the car is more essential than one might have suspected. The following are some car-wash tips to follow: -Always use a micro fibre wash mitt and proper car wash soap. Avoid using dishwashing liquid, which can strip waxes and mar the surface. -Do not wash in direct sunlight to avoid rapid drying of the soap and water, which can lead to water spotting. -When washing your vehicle, move the mitt lengthwise along the body panels and hood. Resist the urge to move the mitt in circles as you clean. Doing so can create noticeable swirl scratch marks. -Use a two-bucket washing setup. Fill one bucket with straight water, the other with soap and water. Using a grit-guard or dirt trap in each bucket prevents the wash mitt from dunking into the dirt settled on the bottom. After washing a panel, rinse the mitt in the rinse bucket, before going back into the soap bucket. This prevents cross-contaminating the clean soapy

Use a clean micro fibre wash mitt and proper car wash soap when washing your vehicle. Move the mitt lengthwise along the body panels. water. Using a separate bucket and mitt for wheels, and washing them first will keep dirt from being sprayed onto the already clean car. Using a leaf blower, or microfiber drying towel will safely dry the vehicle without scratching. Avoid leather chamois or water squeegees. -Even modern waxes cannot beat the Performance, Protection and Durability of a ceramic coating. With the ability to last years, not weeks as with wax, they offer noticeable scratch and swirl resistance with jaw dropping gloss, slickness and water

beading. With professional and consumer options available, ceramic coatings are by far the best way to protect and preserve that “just detailed” look and keep your vehicle cleaner. -Don’t forget to pay attention to the interior. Vacuum the carpets regularly to prevent ground-in dirt and routinely clean the upholstery with a product specific to your vehicle’s interior, whether that interior is leather or fabric. Avoid cheap silicone dressings and wipes as they leave an oily residue which attracts dust and finger prints.

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May 21, 2019 •

Unique ways

to conserve fuel

Park in the shade. According to Natural Resources Canada, using a vehicle’s airconditioning system increases its fuel consumption more than any other auxiliary feature. In fact, NRC notes that air-conditioning systems can increase fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent. That’s because vehicle AC systems require engines to work extra hard, which, in turn, requires them to consume more fuel. By parking in the shade on hot days, drivers won’t need to crank their AC systems in order to overcome the summer heat. Listen to traffic reports. It’s well known that idling greatly decreases fuel economy. Before leaving for work or to run errands around town, tune in to local traffic reports in the hopes that you can avoid potential traffic jams that contribute to the needless consumption of fuel. If there’s no way to avoid traffic during your daily commute, consider investing in a vehicle with stop-start technology, which shuts the engine off when your vehicle comes to a halt before restarting it once you take your foot off the brake. The Union of Concerned Scientists notes that this technology can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 5 percent.

Make sure your gas cap is tight. A loose gas cap can adversely affect fuel economy. According to Napa®, a loose gas cap is a common contributor to poor fuel economy. Loose gas caps allow fuel vapors to leak and that decreases your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. After filling up at the pump, be sure to close the gas cap tightly. Many caps will indicate how many clicks it takes to make sure the cap is closed as tightly as possible. In addition, periodically inspect the cap for cracks or leaks, replacing it if necessary. Drive distraction-free. Today’s cars are technological marvels. But all those bells and whistles can be distracting, and distracted drivers are less likely to pay attention to how they’re driving. That can make for unsafe and fuel-inefficient driving. When driving, do your best to minimize distractions, turning off your smartphone and directing all of your focus to the road and how you’re navigating it. Conserving fuel is a goal for many drivers, and that goal can be achieved in a wide variety of ways.

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to skip topping off at a filling station

he familiar click of the nozzle when filling up at the gas station is recognizable to anyone with a few miles of driving under their belt. Once that nozzle clicks, just about every driver faces the decision of whether or not to squeeze a few extra cents’ worth of gas into their vehicles or remove the nozzle from their vehicles, place it back where it belongs and head off on their way. Such scenes play out every day across the globe, and it’s likely that the majority of drivers try to squeeze a few extra drops into their tank. While topping off can seem like a financially savvy way to delay your next trip to the filling station, doing so may only cost drivers and the planet they call home. The following are four great reasons to skip topping off the next time you pull into a filling station.

1. Topping off costs you money. According to the U.S.

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Environmental Protection Agency, drivers who top off at the pump are likely paying for gas they’re not getting. That’s because gas station pumps have vapor recovery systems that feed gas vapors back into their tanks in an effort to decrease air pollution. So any gas that drivers try to pump into their tanks after the nozzle has clicked may only be drawn into the vapor line and fed back into the gas station’s tanks and not your vehicle’s fuel tank.

2. Topping off may damage your car. Topping off won’t just hurt your pocketbook, it can potentially damage

your vehicle as well. Fuel tanks need extra room inside them so gas can expand while the car is being operated. Without room to expand, gas may evaporate into the vehicle’s vapor collection system, which can damage the system and produce greater gas emissions, thereby harming the planet.

3. Topping off can affect the air you breathe. If you had

a choice, would you pay extra for more air pollution? Likely not. But the EPA notes that this is precisely what many people are doing when they top off their gas tanks. When vehicles’ fuel tanks are overfilled, gas vapors can escape into the air and produce toxic air pollutants. That adversely affects air quality, which ultimately affects your health as well.

4. Topping off can cost the gas station money. Many

drivers may wonder why gas stations, which would seemingly benefit financially from topping off, post signs that forbid topping off. But the EPA notes that gas stations are likely to lose money due to drivers squeezing an extra few cents’ worth of gas into their vehicles. That’s because topping off can damage the stations’ vapor recovery systems, causing them to operate improperly and requiring potentially costly maintenance. Topping off at the filling station may seem like a savvy move. But drivers, their vehicles and the planet are best served by taking the pump handle out of the tank at the familiar sound of the nozzle’s click.

• May 21, 2019


The evolution of global positioning systems

How to reduce vehicle maintenance costs


ajor repairs to a vehicle can be expensive. When unanticipated repairs are necessary, drivers’ budgets can be thrown out of whack, potentially causing a domino effect that compromises their ability to pay their bills on time. Whether your vehicle is brand new, a few years old or reaching milestones on its odometer with every kilometre driven, there are ways to care for the vehicle so you aren’t caught off guard by costly repairs down the road. Read your owner’s manual. A vehicle owner’s manual is a great resource that can help drivers keep their cars and trucks running strong for years. Every vehicle, whether it’s purchased brand new from a dealership or preowned from a preowned dealer or private citizen, should come with an owner’s manual. Don’t worry if you purchased a preowned vehicle from a private citizen who lost the manual, as many manufacturers have manuals available for free on their websites. Print manuals may cost some money. Drivers may be able to find their manuals elsewhere online on a site such as Justgivemethedamnmanual. com, which has thousands of manuals from various automakers available. Once you have the manual in hand or on your computer, visit the maintenance section to familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines. Adhering to those guidelines is a great way to keep your car running strong for years on end, and it might just save you from the hassle of sudden expensive repairs.

Protect the engine. The engine is arguably the most expensive part of your vehicle to replace, so protecting it should be a priority. Routine oil changes and oil filter replacements are a great way to protect the engine. Manufacturer guidelines vary in regard to oil change and oil filter replacement intervals, but such recommendations can be found in your manual. Hone your DIY skills. Drivers also can save money on maintenance by doing some of their own minor vehicle repairs. YouTube is home to many DIY tutorials that can teach drivers how to change their own oil and replace the filters on their vehicles. Routine repairs are relatively easy, and many tutorials can walk you through them stepby-step. Depending on how much you drive, learning to do your own minor vehicle repairs may save you hundreds of dollars per year. Perform routine inspections. Older vehicles may or may not alert drivers via noises or leaks that they’re in need of repair. Routine inspections of hoses, brakes and tires, which should always be properly inflated, can let drivers know if their vehicles are experiencing problems before those problems grow and become something costly. Vehicle maintenance costs tend to be most expensive when drivers ignore routine maintenance or miss signs that their cars and trucks might be struggling. By adhering to manufacturer maintenance guidelines and paying attention to their vehicles, drivers can reduce the cost of keeping their cars on the road.


lobal positioning systems can now be found in many devices and have transformed the way that people interact with their environments. Navigation tools have evolved over the years, and the world has long been on the precipice of something more accurate and intuitive. Many people believe GPS started with the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik. Scientists at MIT noticed that the frequency of the radio signals transmitted by the satellite increased as it approached Earth and decreased when it moved away. Satellites could be tracked by measuring the frequency of these radio signals, and thus the locations of receivers on the ground could be tracked by their distance from the satellites. This is essentially the basis behind GPS technology. The United States Navy built the first real satellite navigation system in 1959. Known as TRANSIT, the system was designed to locate submarines and would pave the way for the GPS systems that today are used in vehicles, aircraft, phones, and more. Satellites are necessary for all GPS systems to work. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says the baseline satellite constellation in space consists

of 24 satellites positioned in six earth orbital centered planes with four operation satellites and a spare satellite slot in each orbital plane. The system can support up to 30 satellites in orbit. The exact number of satellites operating at any one particular time varies depending on the number of satellite outages and operational spares in orbit. Due to this constellation, the basic GPS signal is accurate at the worst to within approximately 100 lateral meters and 140 vertical meters everywhere on Earth. People may be surprised at just how farreaching GPS technology is today. GPS sensors are used on objects to track them, as is the case for fleet vehicle management or finding missing persons. Sensors deliver real-time data on horse races and military missiles. However, navigation GPS in vehicles is where GPS may be much more pervasive on the consumer level. These systems can not only provide step-by-step directions and mapping, they can alert us to traffic jams, provide alternate routes, help people avoid accidents, and even find others you know on the roads nearby. GPS continues to evolve and be a valuable navigation tool for people around the world.


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Profile for Times Colonist

Drive into Summer May 2019  

A Special Supplement to the Times Colonist

Drive into Summer May 2019  

A Special Supplement to the Times Colonist