What You Need to Know About Spring Vehicle Service

What You Need to Know About Spring Vehicle Service | Toronto, ON

Heading into a new season is a good reminder to have routine maintenance done on your vehicle. Here’s what you need to know about spring vehicle service, which you can schedule here at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto.

Check the tires

Tires naturally wear unevenly due to the way a vehicle’s weight sits on them. As we enter spring, it’s a good time to have the tires rotated. If you encountered any pot holes during winter, you may need to check the alignment to prevent your vehicle from veering to the left or right.

Fill up the fluids

An oil change is one of the most common services you should have done after a few months. But don’t forget about other fluids that your vehicle relies on. This includes the windshield wiper fluid as well as the brake fluid.

Replace wiper blades

Snow, ice, and salt can all have damaging effects on your vehicle’s windshield wipers. Check the metal pieces for signs of rust and be sure to examine the blades for any cracks, tears, or warping. The last thing you want are streaky wipers during spring showers.

Miscellaneous items to check

While you’re giving your vehicle a thorough inspection, it’s probably best to check a handful of other items as well. This includes the battery, headlights and brake lights, turn signals, brake pads, and air filters.

If you need assistance taking care of any of these components on your car, let our team of experts at Downtown AutoGroup handle the work for you!

How to Keep Your Car’s Cabin Clean This Winter

How to Keep Your Car’s Cabin Clean This Winter | Toronto, ON

As beautiful as a blanket of snow looks, that beauty quickly turns to sludge and can make its way into your car. Road salt and snow can wreak havoc on the interior of your vehicle, so it’s important to keep it clean throughout winter. Here are some tips on saving your car’s cabin.

Get rubber floor mats

Some of the best investments that you can make for your car are rubber floor mats. Along with being helpful for protecting your car, they’re also easy to clean! While carpet mats absorb the moisture of rain, sleet, and snow, quality rubber mats are designed to protect your vehicle’s flooring. Try to splurge on mats that are sized specifically for your car so you don’t have anything getting underneath them.

Vacuum often

Even if you try your hardest to keep unwanted debris out of your car, it is inevitable that some stuff will find its way inside. As tedious as it may seem to constantly vacuum your car’s interior, you’ll be saving money as you continue to do so. Road salt is incredibly corrosive and can wear down the interior of your vehicle, resulting in costly repairs.

These are just a couple of ways to keep your car’s cabin clean this winter. For more tips, contact our team at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, Ontario.

How to Get Better Gas Mileage This Winter

How to Get Better Gas Mileage This Winter | Toronto, ON

Whether you have noticed or not, your vehicle uses more fuel during the winter. Due to the weather conditions being tougher to drive through, your car must work harder and — as a result — use more gas. But there are ways to get better gas mileage this winter.

Stop idling to warm up

Although it may seem like a good idea to start your car and let it sit to warm up, you’re actually wasting gas that way. Instead, simply driving your vehicle is a better way to heat things up in the cabin and be on the way to your destination, thus saving gas.

Check the tires

When your car’s tires aren’t properly inflated, they’re not performing at their peak. Be sure that they’re not underinflated or overinflated by checking the PSI. Check the owner’s manual for your vehicle, or look at the driver’s door jamb, to find the correct PSI for the tires. Keep an eye on tread depth, too, and have the tires replaced if needed.

Consider a block heater

If the temperatures drop immensely to below freezing, your vehicle’s engine may need some assistance just to start. A block heater is a device that will warm up the engine ahead of time while reducing fuel consumption.

If you notice any issues with your vehicle this winter, contact our team at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, Ontario, for assistance.

Tips for Checking Your Vehicle’s Lights

Tips for Checking Your Vehicle’s Lights | Toronto, ON

As the seasons change, the sun starts to set earlier each day. To stay safe while driving, it’s imperative that the lights on your vehicle are working at their maximum potential. Here are some helpful tips for checking on these important features.

Check when it’s dark outside

The best way to know how well your car’s lights are working is to see how they perform when it’s dark outside. If possible, park on a flat surface in front of a wall or garage door after sunset. Turn on the standard headlights and look at the wall to see if the illumination for each light is equally bright. Do the same with the high beams and be sure to watch for a distinct difference in the level of brightness between the two types of bulbs. If any of the lights seem to be weak or not working at all, schedule a service appointment with our team at Downtown AutoGroup to repair them.

Don’t forget the brakes

Not only is it important for you to see what’s ahead of you at night, it’s just as important that the cars behind you can see you, too. Even when you’re not braking, the brake lights on your vehicle are slightly illuminated to help other drivers know when another car is in front of them. If you have someone that can help you, have them stand behind your vehicle while it’s parked and press on the brakes. If any of the brake lights are burnt out, you’ll want to get them replaced as soon as possible.

Other light components to consider checking include turn signals and the lights inside the cabin, such as overhead lamps and those illuminating the digital components. Contact the service technicians at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, Ontario, for assistance with any of these vital vehicle features.

How to Get Better Gas Mileage This Summer

Better Gas Mileage in Toronto, ON

Are you looking to save money on fuel this summer? Whether you’re planning a lengthy road trip or just want to travel around Toronto more efficiently, these driving tips will help you get better gas mileage as temperatures start to rise. 

Go easy on the accelerator. Accelerating quickly is fun, but the more you put the pedal to the metal, the more gas you use. Try to reduce the amount of fuel you use by easing into acceleration when possible.

Don’t speed. The majority of vehicles are most efficient when they’re sticking between 50 and 80 km per hour. If you go above this speed, you’re going to be using more fuel the faster you go. So, try and stick to the speed limit and only go above 80 km per hour if the signs tell you that you can.

Avoid idling. If you’re going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds, turn off your engine (unless you’re in slow-moving traffic). Idling can waste a significant amount of fuel and is also a major source of pollution.

Carry less weight. Do you have an old hockey bag filled with gear that’s been hanging out in your trunk for the last year or so? The excess weight of this bag — or anything else your car is carrying — can affect its efficiency. The less your vehicle weighs, the less fuel it will use. Keep in mind that the fuel consumption of a midsize car can increase by an estimated 1 percent for every extra 25 kg it carries.

Another great way to save on fuel this summer is to purchase a more efficient car. Visit Downtown Autogroup in Toronto to check out our extensive inventory of eco-friendly vehicles.

Important Summer Safety Items for Your Vehicle

Important Summer Safety Items for Your Vehicle | Toronto, ON

Summer is a great time of the year to head out of Toronto and explore the great outdoors surrounding our city. If you’re planning on heading out for a weekend adventure, though, you should consider your family’s safety. Pack up these important summer safety items in your vehicle to give yourself peace of mind on the go.

Portable Car Battery Charger

Getting stuck with a car that won’t start due to a dead battery is no fun, especially if you’re out in the wilderness or far from the city. Make sure you always have jumper cables or a portable car battery charger. The portable chargers sometimes come with accessories like USB ports to help you charge your mobile phone, too.

Spare Tire

If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, it’s always handy to have a spare tire in the trunk to help you get to the nearest garage or to Downtown Autogroup, where we can help you get fitted with a new tire.

Emergency Supplies

You never know when an emergency might occur. Be prepared for anything with some emergency supplies. These should include a sun shelter, portable phone charger, first aid kit, road safety triangles, a multi-purpose tool, and water and snacks in case you’re waiting for a while.

For more suggestions on summer safety items to keep in your vehicle, or for service to help you drive more confidently, contact one of our service departments at Downtown Autogroup.

Should You Fix or Replace Your Old Car?

Should You Fix or Replace Your Old Car | Toronto, ON

Sometimes, our tried-and-true older vehicles let us down. If you’ve found yourself on the side of the road with a breakdown, you’re faced with a big decision: Should you fix or replace your old car? Here, we look at the pros and cons of each to help you with your decision.

Fix It

The sentimental attachment you have to your old vehicle is one of the biggest pros of fixing it — you will get to keep a car that you love, even if you have to give it a bit of love to keep it running smoothly.

If you fix up your new car, you will also likely spend less money than you would if you replace one, since bills to fix your vehicle are usually lower than the cost of a replacement car.

Replace It

Replacing your old car means you won’t have to worry about future breakdowns. While a newer vehicle breaking down isn’t unheard of, the likelihood is far lower than it would be with your older vehicle.  

Sometimes, your old car’s mechanical issues can cost more than you expected. That repair price of $3,000 to $5,000 or more could easily be a down payment on a newer and better car instead.   

Buying used is a great option for replacing your old car. With a pre-owned vehicle, you won’t have to worry about your car losing a big chunk of its value in the first year. Plus, you can still get new technologies, premium appointments, and more.

If you’re ready to bid farewell to your old ride, stop in at a Downtown Autogroup location and check out our wide selection of outstanding used vehicles.

Buying a Vehicle for a Teen Driver

Vehicle for a Teen Driver | Toronto, ON
Low angle view of a latin family of five standing, embracing and smiling at the camera in a horizontal medium shot outdoors.

Now that your teenager has her driver’s license, it’s time to help her purchase her first car. To make the process easier, check out these tips on buying a vehicle for a teen driver.

  1. Plan ahead. Before you start shopping, make sure you and your teen discuss a few things. Figure out who will be paying for what when it comes to car expenses, set ground rules for car use, and make sure your teen driver understands the type of vehicle she will be receiving.
  2. Think about efficiency. Throughout Canada, gas prices continue to rise. That means owning a car can be expensive, especially if you’re using it every day. Whether your teen driver is heading off to high school every morning or plans on commuting to her university a few times a week, purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle might be a solid option in the long run.
  3. Consider buying used. Used vehicles tend to be a better option for a new driver than a brand-new one. A used vehicle saves you money in the short term, while also allowing your teen driver to get used to being out on the road without the stress of being behind the wheel of an expensive new vehicle.

Still have questions about buying the best vehicle for your teen? Stop in to one of our Downtown Autogroup locations and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

4 Terms to Know When Buying a Used Car

Buying a Used Car | DAG Blog | Toronto, ON
Happy couple talking with mature customer service representative in a showroom.

So, you’ve done it — you’ve decided that you want to purchase a used car. Before you begin the process of purchasing, though, it’s important that you understand the specific terminology that come with buying a used car.

  1. Equity: If you’re trading in your own vehicle, you might still owe money on it. If the money you owe happens to be less than the trade-in is worth, then you have equity on the vehicle. This equity can likely be applied to the purchase price of your new used vehicle.
  2. Wholesale Value: Also known as the trade-in value, this term applies to the amount you can expect your trade-in car to receive from a wholesaler or re-seller (a dealership). The wholesale value of your car will vary based on multiple factors.
  3. Down Payment: When you choose the used car you want to purchase, unless you’re paying for the vehicle entirely in cash, you will likely have to make a down payment. This is a one-time payment made towards the purchase price of your used vehicle, helping to reduce the monthly payment amounts of your loan.
  4. Finance: If you opt for a loan to purchase your new used vehicle, you will be financing the vehicle. This means a lender will pay for the up-front purchase and you will receive a loan that you’ll repay over time.

To learn more, contact one of our location’s finance department as a part of the Downtown Autogroup. We’ll be happy to walk you through what you need to know to purchase a pre-owned ride.

Back-to-School Safety Tips for Drivers

Back To School | Toronto, ON
Rear view of group of elementary students raising their hands ready to answer the question. Focus is on schoolgirl.

Summer is almost over and the new school term is just around the corner. As you prepare your kids to head back to class with supplies and new clothes, make sure you’re also preparing yourself to drive through school zones. Here are some back-to-school safety tips that will help you prepare.

Keep an eye out for children. Children are small and easily excitable. This means they might not be paying attention to where they’re going, or dart in the road without looking. Be vigilant as you’re driving around schools to ensure you can stop in time if a child does run from between parked cars.

Follow the speed limit. School zones have a set speed limit to keep students safe. Children on their way to school can easily get distracted, accidentally stepping into the street. Sticking to the speed limit can help ensure you can stop in time to prevent any accidents.

Obey crossing guards. Crossing guards are there to help keep children safe. Don’t ignore any directions you receive from them. If you’re at a traffic light and it turns green, but the crossing guard says to stay stopped, do what the guard indicates — he or she is trying to ensure that children are safely across the road before your vehicle moves.

Want to learn how Downtown Auto can help get you in a new, safe vehicle before school starts? Check out our new and used inventory of multiple brands and locations!