Markham Auto Repair

The Yummy Mummy Club and AutoNiche are partnering up in the blogging world! Emily Chung is officially their Mummy Mechanic and is looking forward to posting about all things cars. Do you have car questions or a topic you want her to post about? Let her know!

Yearly Archives: 2016

Updating Your Engine’s Computer

Updating Your Engine’s Computer

I’ll have to admit, cars’ touchscreen media/navigation units are pretty convenient. But, as you can imagine, those things are very expensive to replace! For example, a new unit for a 2011 Honda CR-V is just over $5,000 for the part alone, nevermind the cost of labour. You could get a used one online for about $600—but I’d be weary of those. You won’t know if the part functions properly until after installation. Of course, you could always get an aftermarket (non-Honda) unit. Regardless, it’s a big hit for most of us. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions. If the manual doesn’t speak about this directly, here are some general tips to maintain your media/navigation touchscreen unit: Avoid too much pressure when using the touchscreen. Also use your finger to tap, as opposed to your fingernail. Regularly clean your touchscreen to avoid buildup of fingerprints and other unwanted residue. Use microfiber cloths for cleaning ... read more

Categories:

Uncategorized

5 Tips: Taking Care Of Your Car’s Touchscreen

5 Tips: Taking Care Of Your Car’s Touchscreen

I’ll have to admit, cars’ touchscreen media/navigation units are pretty convenient. But, as you can imagine, those things are very expensive to replace! For example, a new unit for a 2011 Honda CR-V is just over $5,000 for the part alone, nevermind the cost of labour. You could get a used one online for about $600—but I’d be weary of those. You won’t know if the part functions properly until after installation. Of course, you could always get an aftermarket (non-Honda) unit. Regardless, it’s a big hit for most of us. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions. If the manual doesn’t speak about this directly, here are some general tips to maintain your media/navigation touchscreen unit: Avoid too much pressure when using the touchscreen. Also use your finger to tap, as opposed to your fingernail. Regularly clean your touchscreen to avoid buildup of fingerprints and other unwanted residue. Use microfiber cloths for cleaning ... read more

Categories:

Uncategorized

Is Your Car Seat Installed Correctly?

Is Your Car Seat Installed Correctly?

On Tuesday, July 16, 2013 a 2-year-old fell out of a vehicle that was travelling on a ramp on Toronto’s Don Valley Parkway. The rear passenger door opened while the vehicle was moving and the child car seat fell out with the toddler still strapped in it. Police believe that the child car seat was not installed properly (I would suggest that the seat wasn’t installed at all) and have charged the driver. Miraculously, the child only suffered minor injuries. An estimated 80% of child car seats are not correctly installed. In Ontario, the fine for not using a child car seat or booster seat as required by law is up to $1,000 plus two demerit points on conviction. The incident serves as a reminder that child car seats must be secured to the vehicle properly for them to function as designed. This should all go without saying, but clearly there are thos ... read more

Categories:

Uncategorized

What I Learned About Driving A Race Car

What I Learned About Driving A Race Car

I spent 2 days at the Bridgestone Racing Academy (in Bowmanville, Ontario) and I have to say this—driving a race car has been on my bucket list for a long time. Where else can I legally go crazy fast and be taught the methodology of going even faster? And have a team of mechanics on hand so that I don’t have to think about fixing the car?! I’ve been driving since the day I turned 16 (so that was a while ago), been around cars for a bit, and driving a regular car is so second nature to me that it took some getting used to in terms of thinking about what I was doing with the race car, when to shift, how to take corners, how to go faster. Apparently a three-day session also teaches the art of passing. Race cars weigh approximately 1,000lbs and have 170 horsepower. That’s something like a Honda Odyssey with over 700 horsepower (base model has 248hp). Do you know how fast you could get to the ne ... read more

Categories:

Uncategorized

Towing A Stroller

Towing A Stroller

A YouTube video shows a woman on a scooter towing a baby carriage across a busy road. It’s earned comments along the lines of ‘most horrible parenting.’ Can you believe this video?! What’s not clear is whether or not there’s actually a child in the stroller. The video is reportedly taken in China. The woman attempts to cross three lanes of traffic, narrowly missing a sedan. She lets the car pass, then makes her way to the furthest-right lane… for slow moving vehicles of course. This video caught my breath just like this one I watched about the infant ejected from a car. Two things come to my mind: I hope and pray there’s no child in that stroller. I can’t imagine what she must be going through that would cause her to think that towin ... read more

Categories:

Uncategorized

Battle Of The Sexes…Again

Battle Of The Sexes…Again

I like this poster for many reasons, which I’ll get to in a sec. A recent article in the Toronto Star exposed some of the sexism that happens to female auto service technicians. The local Toyota dealership employs four female technicians and they shared some of their experiences with discrimination at work. The author, Catherine Porter, also writes that the dealership has been positively affected by the women techs. “Manager Quaison Parris says foul language has decreased. Veteran mechanic Manny Neves says the atmosphere is friendlier.” Theories of why there aren’t women in the trade are also in the article. I’m happy that these experiences were written about so it’s out in the open, because they’re a reality. It’s being recognized that this stuff does happen ... read more

Categories:

Uncategorized

Do You Know How To Change A Spare Tire?

Do You Know How To Change A Spare Tire?

According to a recent Skills Canada survey, many Canadians don’t have practical, everyday skills. The survey results aren’t surprising to many of us in the skilled trades, we’ve long known that Canada is facing a critical skilled labour shortage. Ask anyone who recruits skilled tradespeople and they’ll attest that it’s difficult to find good skilled workers. The survey results are interesting. Amongst the skills asked, 48% of women and 6% of men polled indicated that they didn’t know how to change a spare tire. In another skill that is traditionally gender biased, 63% of men and 27% of women said they didn’t know how to sew a button. “There’s a serious underlying message here that many Canadians are lacking basic, practical knowledge when it comes to completing everyday skills, admitting they require help,” said Shaun Thorson, CEO, Skills/Compétences Canada. “…the growing shortage of skilled trade worker ... read more

Categories:

Uncategorized

Minor Chip In Your Windshield?

Minor Chip In Your Windshield?

Does this happen to you? You’re driving on the highway and all of a sudden you hear a loud ‘ping’. Next thing you know, you’re scouring your windshield to see if there’s a chip somewhere! A windshield chip may be something small and you may still be able to see through your windshield but it should really be addressed promptly. Small chips can easily be repaired but if left untouched, may grow to be a large crack in the windshield. At that point, the whole windshield needs to be replaced. Of note, your insurance company may cover the cost of repairing a chip and that usually doesn’t increase your premium at renewal time! Your windshield is actually an important safety component of your car, and most provinces require the windshield to be assessed during a safety certificate inspection. The windshield contributes to the overall strength of your car during a collision. Imagine your car’s frame without any windows. Can you see that these side pillars and ro ... read more

Categories:

Uncategorized

What Kind of Alignment Type Should I Choose?

What Kind of Alignment Type Should I Choose?

I’ve seen alignment services that range from $50 to over $150. So what’s the difference for some shops to command such a big price difference? There are two types of alignments: 2-wheel and 4-wheel. Often shops don’t specify what type of alignment they’re quoting, so make sure you ask if you’re trying to compare quotes. Two-wheel alignments only consider the angles on the front wheel of the vehicle, and makes the assumption that the rear wheels are within specifications. The cost is cheaper, but as you’ve probably already guessed, it’s not as accurate, because it’s neglecting the measurements at the back of the car. Two-wheel alignments are usually only done under very specific circumstances. Four-wheel alignments take into account the angles of the rear wheels. The front wheel adjustments should always be dependent on the rear wheel angles, even if there are no adjustments available for the rear wheels. Four-wheel alignments require more time for the technician ... read more

Categories:

Uncategorized

Be Prepared for Winter – Have Your Brakes Inspected and Replaced before the Snow and Ice

Be Prepared for Winter – Have Your Brakes Inspected and Replaced before the Snow and Ice

As winter rolls in, the days become shorter, temperatures drop and the leaves start to fall. All of these changes indicate winter is just around the corner; which means harsher weather conditions, unstable roads and the unforgiving cold, snow and ice. It is never too late to prepare your vehicle for winter and if you have yet to start, now is the perfect time. The Importance of Brakes in the WinterYour brakes endure wear and tear on a daily basis, which is why checking them and having them replaced before winter is crucial. It not only enhances the performance of your vehicle, but is necessary for safety as well. Just like replacing your vehicle’s all-season tires with winter ones, replacing your brakes before the cold and snow will help improve your vehicle’s stopping distance. Is It Time for Brake Replacement? You should have your brakes inspected ... read more

Categories:

Uncategorized
12