With the kids back at school, it’s official: summer is over. That means everyone in your family is back to the grind, and they’re expecting a ride. As a result, a typical weekday morning probably sees you packing your coffee thermos in its holder and the kids in the back before you peel out of your driveway — ready to join hundreds of your neighbours on the road. It doesn’t take long before you hit rush hour traffic. Then it’s bumper to bumper as you crawl through crowded school zones and merge onto gridlocked highways.
Stop-and-go driving has become a normal part of commuting in the GTA, but it’s not always kind to your car. Gridlock puts pressure on your engine. In fact, your commute involves some of the toughest miles you can put on it. Let’s look at what this kind of driving does to your vehicle, so you know what’s normal wear and tear and what should prompt a visit to our car repair services in Mississauga.
Gridlock produces an idling engine
You kids’ school has likely banned idling on its property for environmental reasons, but an idling car isn’t just bad for the environment. It’s hard on your engine’s ventilation system. Normally, this system flushes acidic combustion parts and incompletely burned fuel from your engine to prevent engine deposits from gumming up its mechanisms. The longer you idle, the less efficient your ventilation system is at removing these deposits.
Eventually, these deposits can obstruct important parts of the engine and interfere with the flow of fuel. If you start to hear a rattling or knocking noise coming from your engine, it’s likely it has a lot of deposits. You should bring your car into our Service Centre before these deposits can do significant damage to your engine.
Your needs regular oil and fluid changes
One way to prevent engine deposits is to stop driving in these conditions, but this isn’t a practical solution for anyone who has to work a 9–5 job. For those who have to drive through rush hour, preventative maintenance can help keep your engine clean.
In the past, we’ve discussed the importance of scheduling a regular oil change to ensure your engine is properly lubricated. Motor oil is an essential fluid that prevents corrosion and your engine from overheating. It also helps flush out debris from the engine.
It needs to be changed roughly every 10,000 kilometres to ensure it’s performing efficiently. Ten thousand clicks are just an estimate, so you may have to change your motor oil more or less often than suggested. Most cars have a dipstick that makes it easy to check the condition of your oil at any given time — though we suggest waiting until the engine has cooled before you do this task!
Remember to check your tires
While your engine idles under the hood, your tires support the weight of your car. They also drive over potholes, debris, and other issues on the road. To make sure they’re capable of getting you where you need to go, you should check the amount of pressure in your tires. Experts recommend checking your air pressure roughly once a month. As a relatively simple process, you can easily do this yourself. If you’ve never done this before, here’s a helpful video guiding you through it step-by-step. It also shows you how to inflate your tires should your pressure be a little low.
While you’re down there, it’s an excellent time to inspect your tires’ condition. Look at the threads to see if they’re worn down or damaged. If you notice any cracks, punctures, or foreign objects stuck in your tires, you should swing by our Service Centre right away. Our crew performs quick and reliable tire repair 24/7.
The Veerpreet Service Centre also doubles as the best tire shop Mississauga has to offer in case you’re looking to buy new tires. Our mechanics install only the best tires Mississauga has to offer, making us your one stop shop for anything related to your wheels.
Check your brakes
While your engine is under pressure from too much idling, your brakes experience stress from overuse. You know the gridlock two step? These steps include tapping your brakes frequently throughout your commute. This extra wear and tear can deteriorate your brake pads faster and reduce your response times.
Don’t wait until sticky brakes or an unusual sound joins your morning commute’s playlist. You should make brake maintenance part of your regular tune-up. This can prevent having to bring in your car for significant brake repairs later. While our crew performs simple brake repairs in Brampton and Mississauga, it’s easier on your wallet if you keep up with basic maintenance tasks — like checking your brake fluid and brake pad conditions occasionally.
Now that the fall has ushered in a return to normalcy in your family’s routine, you’ll be driving in stop-and-go conditions more often. You can prevent gridlock from damaging your vehicle by bringing your car in for a regular tune-up. Together, we can keep your car running in its best shape, so you can get to where your family needs to go.