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Winter Preparation Checklist

We can all feel that cold breeze blowing -- winter is on it's way, and when it comes it will hit us like a slap in the face! In the past I have always left my to-do list until it was far too late - the first major snowfall would be my reminder to pick up salt! So in an attempt to be proactive, I'd like to share with you my checklist for winter readiness!

6 Ways to Prepare your Vehicle for the Winter!

1. Install Winter Tires -- not all-weather tires!

All-weather tires are great for mild winter conditions like soft snow and slush, but don't have the same stopping time as bona fide winter tires. Studded tires are legal in New Brunswick and I highly recommend them.

 

Here's a link that shows the difference between tires in a simple way (it helped me, that's for sure).

 

2. Switch to winter wipers!

Regular wipers aren't built to handle the heavy amount of snow that we see here in Atlantic Canada. Put simply, winter wipers are stronger and more durable. Don't forget about your rear window wiper if you have them!

 

3. Check and switch to winter fluids!

  • Windshield Wiper Fluid

Winter fluid is designed not to freeze on your windshield and works to loosen ice and snow!

  • Winter-Grade Oil

A rule of thumb to keep in mind with oil is that the colder the weather, the thinner the oil. Thick, cold oil runs like a spoonful of molasses! You can tell the viscosity of your car's oil by checking the first number in your oil specification: lower numbers are better in the cold! So a 5W-30 oil will suit much better for the winter months than a 10W-30.

  • Engine Coolant and Antifreeze

This one is simple -- Antifreeze keeps your car from freezing. This is a crucial item for the winter, as one can expect, because without it your car just won't start. You can check your coolant and antifreeze levels with kits sold at nearly every auto supply shop!

 

4. Get your winter tools out!

This is more than just your ice scraper -- grab your jumper cables and assemble a Emergency Survival Kit. I've seen plenty people stuck on the side of the road in the past few years, so these tools can help them too!

 

5. Keep your gas above half tank!

Just in case of emergency, do your best to keep your tank half full. The scary part of winter is the thought of being stuck somewhere -- try to mitigate that risk as much as possible! Keep a small portable tank in your trunk, as well.

 

6. Schedule a maintenance appointment!

It's crucial before the season starts to have all aspects of your car checked on. Your tire tread and depth, fluids, brakes, electrical and exhaust systems, heating and cooling systems, lights and fuses... all need to be in tip top shape in order to handle the winter to come. 

 

Safe driving everyone!

-Allie

Allie and Kanye testing the camera

Our Pop-Up Shop in Saint John was an eye-opening experience for all of us here at the dealership. Our Sales staff were able to meet and hear the needs of everyone in the Saint John and surrounding area. We were able to get an understanding of the people that we serve in a way that we were never able to previous.

 

 

For me, Saint John provided the opportunity to meet  a great amount of people and hear their wonderful stories. Many people came in who weren’t even contemplating purchasing a vehicle. Countless came just to talk about their father’s 1968 Volvo that lasted forever, or that one time they got into a crash in their Volvo and were thankful that they were driving such safe cars. Some were just auto-enthusiasts who wanted to pop the hood and take a look at how the Volvo has evolved in the past ten years.

Zack posing

I learned through these conversations that a vehicle can mean different things to different people. For some a vehicle means self-expression, driving around the city in a car that accurately represents their ideals and passions. For others it means an escape, taking the car out on long-winding country drives as a method of relaxation and mediation. I learned that, for so many, a vehicle means freedom. Longevity. Capability. Safety.

 

 

I’d like to thank everyone that stopped by to chat with us. It means a lot for me, as a marketer, to meet and understand the people that I try to communicate with every day. It was a pleasure to meet you all.

 

-Allie 

Happy belated Thanksgiving! To any non-Canadian readers, happy belated weekend! I spent a long time this holiday weekend thinking about change. First I started with how I have changed, how my life has changed... I soon became philosophical and lamented on the exponential advances that have been made technologically in the past ten years. Think about it! Our society has moved from science fiction to reality in so many ways: video chat on a mobile phone, depositing paychecks by taking a picture, robots performing heart surgery… there are so many modern conveniences that we (or at least I) take for granted. What’s best is that as this technology advances, the more accessible it becomes… and there is so much more on the horizon.

The automotive world has been abuzz lately with all the improvements being made to self-driving vehicles. Volvo announced in August that they are teaming up with Uber to create the “next generation of autonomous driving cars … up to and including fully autonomous driverless cars.” As well, Volvo has collaborated with Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park, and the City of Gothenburg to release the world's first large-scale trial of autonomous cars by 2017: project Drive Me.

 

Now, I'm a famously cautious woman, a late adopter of nearly every technology. I like to wait and see how new products play out before I invest my own money into the latest and greatest. One thing that has always worried me when I think about autonomous cars is the safety of all others on the road, primarily bikers. My mother and step-father both have bikes, and I constantly worry that one day there will be some freak accident and they’ll be shipped off to the hospital. There are so many possible dangers that need to be taken into consideration when driving a motorbike, and a self-driving car is just adding to that list! 

 

Autonomous Volvo and Motorcyclist

The more I read about autonomous cars, however, the better I feel. Robot cars aren't infallible, but they will work to eliminate human-like error. Autonomous vehicles won't have the potential distractions we do, like attempting to drink a hot coffee while you drive, or taking a side-long glance at your pinging mobile. (PSA: Please leave your phone alone while you're in the driver’s seat!) With the introduction of sensors in-car,  the vehicle will be able to detect the motorcycle and either warn the driver or prevent the vehicle from cutting off the bike. Newer bike models will be able to transfer information to other vehicles, like their location, destination, and speed!

 

Given how fast we're moving as a society towards a futuristic Jetson's world, I'm sure there are going to be so many updates that by the time I’m able to get my own motorbike it’s going to be almost as safe as a stroll along the beach. My eyes and ears are peeled for any more information that comes along to tell me just that, and I’ll keep you updated as soon as I see anything. Until then, please drive safe and be aware of bikers!

 

-Allie

 

Read more about autonomous vehicles and motorbikes here.

Happy October!

I’ve always held the philosophy of celebrating every new month like a miniature new year. What can I do this month different to enjoy myself more, or get more work done? What new things will I do?

 

To me October presents the opportunity to bundle up in big sweaters while facing the crisp autumn air with a piping hot tea in hand. I like to get out as much as possible before the winter cold sets in and I begin my couch hibernation. So although I am super excited to get October underway, I always make sure to do a basic check-up on all important things before I get going: cleaning out my inbox, a quick clean of the kitchen, checking my bank account… If I don’t do it at the beginning of the month, it usually slips my mind once things get busy in the following weeks! Sounds like a good time for your car’s monthly check-up!

 

Let’s take a look…

I’d like to share with you a quick checklist for a monthly check-up for your vehicle, to make sure that you’re in good shape for the busy month to come. A Guide to Auto$mart Vehicle Maintenance from Natural Resources Canada recommends that drivers check the following to identify any problems and possibly save money in the future. Check it out!

 

  • Check the tire pressure and look for signs of uneven wear, bulges or cracks, or embedded objects that could cause air leaks.
  • Look for any type of fluid leaks around the car and underneath. The colour of the liquid will help you identify what type of fluid may be leaking – oil is black, coolant is bright greenish yellow, automatic transmission fluid is pink and power steering fluid and brake fluids are clear, with a slight brown tinge. This is especially important to those with pets, as a lot of your cars fluids are poisonous to our furry friends!
  • Check the fluid levels in your car and make sure they align to what your owner’s manual says is the optimum levels.
  • Check under the hood for cracked or split spark plug wires, cracked radiator hoses or loose clamps and corrosion around the battery terminals.
  • Test your brakes on a flat road with zero traffic: rest your hands lightly on the steering wheel and gently and gradually apply the brakes. If you swerve to one side, that could mean that one of your brake linings is more worn and your brakes could require an adjustment.
  • While you’re out, check your wheel alignment by resting your hands lightly on the steering wheel and driving at a steady pace. If you feel the vehicle pulling to one side, then the wheels may be misaligned.

 

That’s it! Six simple checks at the beginning of every month to make sure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape for the month to come. I wish you all well, stay warm!

 

-Allie

Hello everyone, and welcome! As Atlantic Canada’s destination for all things Luxury Automotive, we believe in service in every available outlet. That’s why, starting today, we’re bringing you some quick and easy reads about everything luxury-vehicle related.

 

Keep checking back for articles that we think you need to know about what’s going on in the auto industry, how to care properly for your premium car, and even some interest pieces written by our own staff!

 

If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us by phone at (506)-457-4500, or by e-mail at sales@volvocarsnb.com!

 

Have a good Monday, and a happy start to your October!

-Allie

Our Reviews

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