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.

Driving Safety Tips for Winter in Toronto, ON

Driving Safety Tips for Winter in Toronto, ON | DAG

Winter weather in Toronto means icy roads and the possibility of delays on the roadways. It also means you should slow down and adhere to these winter driving safety tips.

Slow it down

With snow, ice, and sleet on the roads, it’s harder for your vehicle to come to a safe stop. Be sure to slow down and leave more space than usual between you and the car ahead to allow for enough time to brake. Be careful not to make sudden stops, as this could cause your vehicle to lose control and skid.

No cruise control

Most cars today are equipped with cruise control and some are even intelligent enough to manage your speed automatically. But as smart as these systems are, you should avoid using cruise control at all when the roads are slick.

Prepare your vehicle

It’s also important that your vehicle is ready for winter driving. This means checking on vital components like the battery, lights, windshield wipers, fluids, and tires. For added peace of mind, consider stopping by Downtown AutoGroup for necessary maintenance, including putting winter tires on your car.

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to driving safely this winter. Just keep calm and exercise plenty of caution.

Important Autumn Car Care Tips for Toronto Drivers

Important Autumn Car Care Tips for Toronto, ON, Drivers

Autumn is upon us here in Toronto, and that means it’s time to check on your vehicle to be sure it’s ready for months of potentially troublesome weather ahead. Here are some basic car care tips to be aware of as we head into this new season.

Fluids

Now is the perfect time to check on the fluids that keep your car’s components in working order. This includes oil, brake, coolant, power steering, transmission, and wiper solvent. If you’re not sure how to check these or want them topped off, stop by and see us at Downtown AutoGroup for a quick tune-up.

Wipers and lights

Do a walk-around of your vehicle to be sure that all of the lights are working — front and back. Don’t forget to check the high beams and the brake lights when the brake pedal is pressed. You’ll also want to check the windshield wipers for any cracks or tears and have them replaced if needed.

Heating

Few things are worse than getting into your car on a cold morning and finding out that the heat doesn’t work. Do yourself a favor and check the heating system now to be sure you’re not stuck in the Toronto cold during your morning drive.

Along with these main things to check on your vehicle, you’ll want to be aware of the state of your car’s tires, belts, hoses, brakes, and exhaust system. If you’re ever in doubt about anything, feel free to contact our team at Downtown AutoGroup to schedule a service appointment.

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.

AWD or FWD: What’s The Best Choice for Your New SUV?

Toyota RAV4 AWD | Downtown AutoGroup | Toronto, ON
Toyota RAV4 AWD | Downtown AutoGroup | Toronto, ON

There’s no denying that winter in Toronto can be hard on drivers. But do you need all-wheel drive to thrive out on the snowy, icy roads? Here’s a look at whether AWD or FWD is the right option for your next SUV purchase.

All-Wheel Drive

A vehicle with all-wheel drive sends its power to every wheel. This allows the wheels to compensate when one starts to slip, giving you better traction out on the road. If you’re constantly driving in tough conditions, an AWD-equipped vehicle will give you the grip you need. There are multiple types of AWD systems, including a partial system that will only send power to all wheels when it needs it. This makes it more efficient than a typical full-time system.

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-wheel drive is a simpler system than all-wheel drive, making it easier and less expensive to maintain. Because this system is also lighter, FWD vehicles also tend to have better fuel economy. With FWD, your vehicle will be sending all of its power to the two front wheels. This gives these types of vehicles better traction when climbing hills and is even a good option for rainy conditions. Thanks to anti-lock braking and traction control, FWD vehicles can even take on snow, though they’re not as good at it as AWD rides are.

The upshot: AWD vehicles are best for traction in bad weather. However, FWD vehicles are plenty capable, too, and also more efficient. You can find great examples of both right here at Downtown Autogroup in Toronto, and our friendly sales staff will be glad to help you make the choice that’s best for your needs.

3 Winter Day Trips for Toronto Dwellers

Winter Day Trips | Toronto, ON

If you’re looking to get out of Toronto for some winter fun, there are so many day trips to consider. To help your decision easier, we’ve put together a list of things to do this winter near Toronto.

Take in natural beauty at Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Cold weather doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the great outdoors. Bundle up and head to the Crawford Lake Conservation Area. It’s the perfect place for a winter hike. Be sure to check out the meromictic lake, which is a rare lake type that has multiple layers of water that stay separate.

Get a unique glimpse of Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is a beautiful destination by itself, but did you know you can experience what it’s like behind the falls, too? Visit the Falls and opt for the Journey Behind the Falls experience. You can enjoy a close-up view of the waterfall and venture 125 feet down into 130-year-old tunnels.

Relax at a spa. Winter can be a stressful time. Relax this year with a visit to Scandinave Spa. The spa is known for its heated outdoor pools that allow you to enjoy the beauty of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Niagara Escarpment. Right now, it even has strict COVID protocols to keep your visit relaxing, and the spa is only a two-hour drive away from the city.

As you make your travel plans, be sure to elevate your peace of mind with a visit to a Downtown Autogroup location. We’ll provide your vehicle with the service it needs to run reliably for the whole trip.

The Best Toronto Outdoor Activities You Can Enjoy Right Now

Toronto outdoor activities | Toronto, ON

Toronto is filled to the brim with green space, which makes it a lovely city to explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking to get some exercise or simply need things to do this weekend, consider these exciting outdoor activities in T.O.

Head out onto the trail

Toronto is filled with hiking trails to choose from. With the need to social distance out and about, hiking is a solid option for anyone looking to stretch their legs. Consider the Scarborough Bluffs Trails in particular for an easy walk with some beautiful vistas.

Try your hand at paddle boarding

Head out onto the lake with Toronto Island SUP, a local paddle boarding company that offers a range of fun experiences. You can do paddle boarding yoga, go bird watching, and more, all while staying at least 2 meters apart.

Have a picnic

There are so many gorgeous parks around Toronto, which makes heading out for a picnic easy. Pack up a meal of your own, grab a comfortable blanket that you don’t mind getting dirty, and find the perfect spot to enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having in the city.

Catch a movie outdoors

Throughout the city, you can find parks that are offering movies in the great outdoors. The best and most socially distanced option is Downsview Park’s Friday Night Lights series. In this annual movie night, you can bring along your vehicle and stay in it as you enjoy great films.

As you’re driving to these outdoor activities around Toronto, make sure your vehicle is in reliable shape to get you there — contact us here at Downtown Autogroup to schedule a service appointment.

Toronto Sights to Safely See Now

Safe Toronto Sights | Toronto, ON

If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the best of Toronto’s many sights, it’s possible to do so safely. Consider these sightseeing options that will allow you to enjoy the city without stress.

Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari

If your family has been missing its regular visits to Toronto Zoo, then the Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari is for you. This zoo tour allows you to see all of the animals you love without leaving your vehicle. Traverse the staff-only roads that are throughout the zoo with your very own zookeeper, who will tell you everything you want to know about the animals. You can even go through the Lion Cave and see the lions up close and personal.

Virtual Toronto Tour

Discover the city you love without having to leave your house. This virtual tour of Toronto from Air Pano gives you the chance to check out what the city has to offer from a bird’s-eye view. Scan the harbour, check out the skyline, and explore the parks — all while sitting on your couch. It’s such a great opportunity to see everything the city has to offer and even learn some interesting facts while doing so.

Here at Downtown Autogroup, we love our city and hope you’ll take the opportunity to enjoy some of its best sights in a safe, socially distanced way.