Ready For Warmer Weather? Here Are Our Top Summer Car Tips

Summer means road-trip season. After a seemingly endless winter you are looking forward to warmer weather, so you can enjoy the sandy beaches, explore scenic back roads, or endure a visit to your in-laws (which will seem even longer than the endless winter). No matter what adventures you plan to take this summer season, make sure your vehicle is just as ready to hit the road as you are.

Summer means road-trip season throughout the Okanagan and beyond. After a seemingly endless winter you are looking forward to warmer weather, so you can enjoy the sandy beaches, explore scenic back roads, or endure a visit to your in-laws (which will seem even longer than the endless winter). No matter what adventures you plan to take, make sure you prepare your car for summer so it’s just as ready to hit the road as you are.

Here are some summer car tips to prepare:

Tires

If you have not swapped your winter tires for summer tires yet, you better get at it. Winter tires are great in the snow and ice, but they perform poorly on the boiling hot pavement because of how soft they are. This extra squish is beneficial when rolling over crunchy snow and pokey ice, but on the hot, flat, pavement they lose traction and handling performance. These soft tires will also wear quicker which will only end up costing you money.

If you already do have your summer tires on (gold star!), inspect them before you go on any extended trips. If you notice any uneven wear or bubbles in the side walls, it is time to replace them. Check the air pressure and make sure it matches the manufacturer’s recommended PSI, found in your owner’s manual or the sticker inside your driver’s door jamb.

Fluids

We already know that oil is the lifeblood of a car and without it, your car can, and will, fantastically fail. So, before going on any long journeys, definitely take the time to check your oil. If it meets the fill line and is not a thick sludge than you are good to go. If it is low, and still not a thick sludge, top it up with the appropriate type of oil, which will, of course, be found in your all-knowing owner’s manual. If your oil is thick sludge, then make a pit stop and get it changed.

Coolant is another important fluid to check. The name basically says it all, it keeps your engine cool. You can check this by checking your radiator reservoir under the hood of your car. If you are unsure where this might be located, check in with your trusty owner’s manual. Do not open the radiator cap when the engine is hot. A geyser of boiling hot fluid will rush out and you will be in danger of getting some pretty serious burns. If your coolant is low, and you feel confident in your abilities to top it up yourself, just make sure you are using the right kind. I will let you guess where you might find this information.

Steering is an important aspect of driving, so before hitting the road take a quick look at your power steering fluid. Keeping it topped up and clean will prevent difficulty steering and failure of the power steering pump. The all mighty owner’s manual will have information on where and how to check this fluid. If the fluid appears to be muddy brown, book your car in for a power steering system flush and fluid change.

Windshield washing fluid might not be lubricating or cooling anything, but it does help you see the road, and since you’re the brains of this operation that is important. This is an easy one because your car is not very picky when it comes to washer fluid, so you can basically pick whichever one looks like your favorite flavor of Kool-Aid.

Detailing

Everyone wants to look their best when bathing suit season rolls around, and when you prepare your car for summer, it’s no different. Winter can be hard on the exterior and interior and a good detailing is key. Road salt can build up on the paint, in the wheels wells, and on the undercarriage. In time this will lead to rust, so make sure to give your car a thorough washing with a dedicated car soap and get into all those nooks and crannies.

If the paint feels rough even after the car is clean, decontaminate it by either using a detailing clay bar or book it in for a quick decontamination and sealant package. Brake dust and tiny particles from the environment get stuck in the clear coat and will eventually eat through it, down into the paint, and then the metal. This is where rust comes from. Apply a sealant after decontaminating to protect from environmental enemies and the harsh UV rays from the sun.

Do a thorough clean out of the interior. You do not need that Tim Horton’s cup from 5 months ago. Plus, dirt and debris on any material in your car will cause premature wear, making things look shabby well before their time. The cabin of your car is also a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, making it hard for them to set up camp there by shampooing carpets and disinfecting surfaces. Apply a conditioner to your vinyl and leather to prevent drying and cracking in the sweltering heat.

Road Trip Check List

It only takes a little bit of time out of your busy day to really be a Boy Scout and Be Prepared. No one wants to break down on the side of the road but sometimes life isn’t fair, and these things happen. When they do, why not make it as seamless as possible?

We talked about tires earlier in this article, but as fifth wheels so often do, it got left out. The spare tire, that is. Check up on that lonely tire and make sure it’s present and in working order.

Now, you have to check on your spare tire and it’s doing well, but you would feel pretty silly if you needed to change a flat tire and you have made sure the spare is alright but neglected the jack. Take it out, set it up, make sure all the parts are accounted for.

Put together a little emergency kit for your car. It does not have to be extravagant, you are not Bear Grylls. Some essential emergency kit items for your car include:

  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Energy bars
  • Water
  • Roadmap (the paper kind)
  • Flashlight
  • Candles

It would also be a good idea to keep an extra liter or two of fluids, such as oil or washer fluid. Of course, there are many things you can add to your emergency kit, and no one is stopping you from turning your car into a search and rescue worthy vehicle. Figure out what works for you.

Get Out There

The best course of action is to keep up with general maintenance on your car to avoid any mechanical disasters in the future. The more you know about what’s going on under your hood, the better you can plan and well prepare your car for summer. These tips will help you make the most out of your summer and avoid wasting time being on the side of the road. So, get out there and start enjoying, because in five short months winter will be upon us again!

Ensure you properly prepare your car for summer and book an appointment with the car experts at Motor Werke located in Kelowna.

Winter Storage Tips

It’s that time of year again, when car enthusiasts prepare to take their last drive of the season and get their vehicle ready for winter storage. A sad day, indeed, but absolutely necessary in order to ensure that your sports or classic car is ready to roll again in the spring!

It’s that time of year again when car enthusiasts prepare to take their last drive of the season and get their vehicle ready for winter storage.  A sad day, indeed, but absolutely necessary in order to ensure that your sports or classic car is ready to roll again in the spring!

SIMPLE KELOWNA WINTER STORAGE TIPS TO PREPARE YOUR VEHICLE

There are a number of simple steps that should be taken to protect your vehicle from damage over the winter months:

  • Store your vehicle in a dry garage with a concrete floor
  • Top off fluids such as engine oil and coolant
  • Ensure the fuel tank is full and add a fuel stabilizer to the system
  • Set tires to maximum pressures
  • Have the car washed and detailed before it is stored
  • Use a well fitted cover to protect the vehicle’s finish

These are easy, common sense solutions that help to extend the life of your automobile and keep it performing at its best.

Pest Prevention – A must for Winter Storage in Kelowna

One step that many vehicle owners fail to take is pest control – and it can lead to costly damages.

We are seeing more and more vehicles with damage due to mice, rats and even marmots.  Stored cars offer the perfect winter home for critters that are looking to escape the cold and find a warm, dry place to nest.  The results can be disastrous.  Destruction from chewed wires and insulation can cost thousands to repair and can impede the safe operation of the vehicle if the infestation goes undetected.  Health concerns of a rodent infestation are an important consideration too, as hantavirus – a virus that is carried by rodents and can be passed on to humans – can lead to some serious symptoms for unsuspecting drivers.

The good news is that there are ways to discourage animals from taking up residence in your automobile.

  • Place mothballs underneath and around the vehicle to help deter rodents
  • Dryer sheets around  the car are effective as well as mice and rats tend to dislike their scent
  • Set traps in your garage and check them periodically

Try these easy tips to keep your ride from turning into a rodent hotel this winter.  You’ll be glad you did!

Book an appointment with Kelowna’s European car experts today. You and your car deserve the best.

Choose Porsche Repair Specialists

Porsche has a long and storied history of excellence. Since its beginnings on Stuttgart, Germany in 1931, the Porsche brand has been associated with power and performance all over the world. However, there is more to Porsche than powerful racing machines. With models like Panamera, Macan and Cayenne, Porsche provides a viable everyday vehicle option for the discerning driver.

Porsche has a long and storied history of excellence. Since its beginnings on Stuttgart, Germany in 1931, the Porsche brand has been associated with power and performance all over the world.

However, there is more to Porsche than powerful racing machines. With models like Panamera, Macan and Cayenne, Porsche provides a viable everyday vehicle option for the discerning driver.

Whether the Porsche you own is a vehicle used to transport your whole family in comfort and style every day; or it’s a two-seater meant for weekend escapes, choosing reliable, skilled Porsche repair specialists in Kelowna is a must.

Porsche Service Intervals

The Porsche service needs of a vehicle driven every day will naturally differ from those of a performance vehicle that is taken out for a spin only when the weather is fair. No matter how often your Porsche is driven, a major maintenance appointment should be completed every four years at a minimum. This service will include an examination of the diagnostics systems and the fault memory to ensure your vehicle is operating at peak performance.

Other services performed as part of a major Porsche maintenance appointment include changing the engine oil and oil filter, along with a careful inspection of coolant hoses, air intakes and radiators. While it may seem like this is an exercise in looking for trouble, a thorough inspection from a skilled Porsche mechanic can help to avoid serious mechanical issues by clearing debris that could otherwise cause damage to the vehicle.

The key to avoiding unnecessary repairs is finding Kelowna Porsche repair specialists who know what to look for; therefore saving you the time and money that otherwise would be lost to guesswork. Be sure to select an expert in European automobile brands to provide regular maintenance and necessary repairs.

At Motor Werke, we perform a complimentary Porsche inspection at every visit. As part of this review, we will inspect filters and advise if changing is required. Other minor services, like engine oil service, should be performed at least annually, and brake fluid change is highly recommended by Porsche every two years at a minimum.

Porsche Performance Upgrades

Though Porsche is already known for smooth, powerful performance, some drivers prefer something a little extra. Motor Werke is thrilled to help Porsche owners get more out of the experience with custom performance upgrades. Some examples of ways we can help you get the most out of your Porsche include adjustments to fuel delivery and ignition timing, software tuning and calibrations, and modifications to the suspension. These small but significant changes can make a big difference to the performance of your Porsche.

Road Course Circuit and Track Day drivers should look for a shop that focuses on driver safety first and foremost. This includes properly fitted racing seats, harnesses, and a harness bar. Track inspections are the key to verifying the overall condition of your car, including a nut and bolt torque on the chassis which will ensure safety, reliability and performance for your Porsche GT2, GT3 or GT4.

You don’t need a purpose-built track car to enjoy the driver education of a track experience. A Cayman, Boxster and base Carrera will provide plenty of fun! Look out for a future blog post on track day preparation for both driver and vehicle performance.

When choosing a shop for Porsche service and maintenance, you should get the sense that everyone involved in the care of your vehicle loves it almost as much as you do.

At Motor Werke, our Automotive Service Technicians are not just expert Kelowna Porsche repair specialists; they are a team of professionals who love all things automotive. We pride ourselves in taking the time to get to know our clients and their vehicles to make sure your repair and maintenance concerns are addressed the first time correctly. Schedule your appointment or call us at (778) 760-2905 to discuss your Porsche repair and service needs.

Ready For New Rubbers? Winter Tire Tips

You already know that proper tire pressure will extend the life of your tires, and provide you with a safer, more comfortable, fuel efficient ride. Here are a few tips that you may not know:

Snow Wonder People Use Winter Tires!

You already know that proper tire pressure will extend the life of your tires, and provide you with a safer, more comfortable, fuel-efficient ride. Here are a few winter tire tips that you may not know:

 

  • Tires marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol on the sidewall offer the best traction on snow and ice and in cold weather
  • Tires marked with M+S offer better traction than summer tires but are less effective than mountain/snowflake tires in severe winter conditions
  • Tires must have at least 3.5 mm tread depth to qualify as legal winter tires
  • Even if your vehicle has an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), All-Wheel Drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive you should still install 4 winter tires. The key is the grip snow tires provides on snow and ice.
  • Install all four winter tires to maintain control and stability (same type, size, speed rating and load index).

Check out this video showcasing the benefits of using four winter tires of the same type. http://www.rubberassociation.ca/wintertirevideos/wintertirevideos.html

  • Change your winter tires when the average temperature reaches  +7 degrees Celsius
  • If you need to put your tires on rims, be sure you use a qualified installer which uses state-of-the-art equipment to avoid damage; Motor Werke has a new, quality mounting machine
  • Looking at your tires for inflation or damage is not enough, place your vehicle on a hoist for an in-depth tire inspection for  irregular wear, cracks, deep cuts or blisters
  • Do not use the tire pressure written on the side of the tire, refer to your owner’s manual or the sticker on the inside of the driver’s door
  • About 50% of cars have at least one tire that is underinflated
  • Check your tire pressure when they are cool, about 3 hours after you have finished driving
  • Many automated tire pressure monitors only report a warning when 25% or more of the tire pressure is lost
  • Don’t forget to check the tire pressure in the spare;  it may be awkward but it is necessary
  • Noisy tires are typically caused by irregularly or uneven wear pattern on your tires

Sources:

Motor Werke
Drive BC
Transport Canada
Tire & Rubber Association of Canada

Mercedes Benz Maintenance & Care

With models like the AMG, GT, S-Class, SL and SLK to choose from, Mercedes-Benz is a name that is synonymous with German elegance, precision engineering, and a long history of excellence.

With models like the AMG, GT, S-Class, SL and SLK to choose from, Mercedes Benz is a name that is synonymous with German elegance, precision engineering, and a long history of excellence.

When choosing a Mercedes Benz maintenance and repair facility, it is wise to select one that places value on the very same qualities that separate your Benz from other vehicles.

Questions you should ask before you hand over the keys include whether or not they use factory diagnostic equipment and OEM parts to care for your vehicle, and whether or not their technicians have the experience to conduct the rigorous quality standard of Mercedes Benz maintenance.

Mercedes Benz Maintenance Needs Vary by Age, Make & Model

There is no such thing as a bad Mercedes, but a vintage Benz may have some maintenance and repair quirks that are not present in newer models. Issues like “spongy” gas pedals and loose steering have been redesigned in newer models, but an experienced Mercedes mechanic should be able to help you address these issues if yours is an older model Mercedes.

In some cases, things that may seem like a maintenance problem are deliberate design elements. For example, in some Mercedes models, it may feel as though there is only cold air coming into through the vents in the back seat of the vehicle. This is actually a fresh air vent meant to keep rear passengers more comfortable, whereas heat comes from under the seats. If the temperature is too cold, simply closing that air vent will save a trip to the repair shop!

Recommended Mercedes Benz Maintenance Schedule

The needs of every vehicle, no matter the brand, will vary based on how many kilometres it is driven, and the driving habits of the vehicle’s owner. That’s why it’s so important to choose a Mercedes mechanic who will take the time to get to know you and your vehicle. As a general guideline, here are the varying levels of service your Mercedes Benz may require:

INTERVAL ONE (SERVICE 1 OR A-SERVICE/C-SERVICE/E-SERVICE)

This service includes oil and oil filter change, a fluid top-up, and adjustment of the tire pressure to the original factory specifications. At Motor Werke, we will also inspect belts, lights, filters, hoses, tires and brakes. We’ll be on the lookout for signs of fluid leaks, issues with the suspension, and general safety concerns.

INTERVAL TWO (SERVICE 2 OR B-SERVICE/D-SERVICE/F-SERVICE)

In addition to the oil, filter and fluid changes and air top-ups of an Interval One service appointment, this service includes tire rotation and replacement of the engine and cabin air filters. We also inspect belts, lights, brakes, engine bay and suspension – again; we’re on the lookout for potential safety problems or imminent repair concerns.

After either service at Motor Werke, our factory diagnostic tool will reset the service light; thus ensuring it will activate when necessary to alert you to the service needs of your Mercedes Benz.

Expert Mercedes Benz Maintenance and Care in Kelowna

Motor Werke delivers expert Mercedes Benz maintenance and care for all models. We are located in Kelowna, BC, and serve the automotive service requirements of discerning vehicle owners from all over the Okanagan. We take pride in a job well done: every car, every time.

Schedule a service appointment today to see the Motor Werke difference in action.