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Kelly's Garage - Active Green and Ross - November 2015

 

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I decided to write about headlights this month after watching Breakfast Television one morning and hearing about yet another pedestrian who had been struck and killed.  It seemed like this was happening more and more once daylight savings time kicked in. I also found a statistic in the news indicating pedestrian deaths have increased 90% since 2011.  I’m sure part of the problem is many pedestrians aren’t making themselves visible enough and/or not paying enough attention when crossing the road.  The other part of the problem is that drivers aren’t seeing the pedestrians and this is due to lack of daytime light and our actual headlights.  I always say, driving is the most dangerous thing we do on a daily basis where we could actually kill someone.  When was the last time you did a circle check on your vehicle to make sure all of your lights are working properly? By the way, the next time you hear from me it will be almost 2016.  So enjoy the holidays and be safe.  If you are going to be going on any road trips make sure you stop at your local Active Green and Ross to make sure you vehicle is in good shape and won’t leave you stranded somewhere.

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Daytime running lights (DRL) became law in Canada in 1990

This month's topic: Headlights


Brief history: The earliest headlights started in the late 1880’s and used acetylene or oil. Acetylene was preferred as it was resistant to wind and rain. In 1940, it was mandated that all vehicles have two round sealed headlights and they were to be made of glass. Technology has vastly improved but their job is still the same, to illuminate the road and to be more visible.

Bad weather Tips: If you have automatic mode on your vehicle it is a good idea to use, however, if you are driving in fog, light snow or rain, you should manually turn your headlights on since the sensor may not turn them on. The full headlight system is much more visible than just your daytime running lights and don’t forget your DRL’s are only on on the front, not your rear tail lights. The Ontario government website states your headlights should be on a ½ hour after sunrise and a ½ before sunset.

Why do headlights turn yellow over time? You may have noticed that your headlights have a yellow film on them and they look hazy. This is because headlights are now made of polycarbonate plastic and since this is very porous the manufacturer covers them with a plastic film. Over time this plastic film both oxides and gets pitted. Ultimately this diffuses the beam and reduces coverage. Active Green and Ross offers headlight restoration services. Essentially what happens is they polish the lense and will help lengthen the life of the light but will need to be done once or twice a year. Eventually, you may have to replace the entire light unit and this can get costly.

Why you can’t see as far down the road as you used to? Headlights actually dim over time and this is why we can’t see as far down the road as we could before. However, this would be difficult to notice since you adapt to your headlights dimming over time. By law your headlights should illuminate 150 meters in front of you. FYI: It is estimated that 9 out of 10 crashes at night are in some way related to problems with headlights.

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Kelly's Garage - Active Green and Ross - September 2015

 

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Fall has arrived, the weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing to beautiful colours and the little critters such as mice are looking for warmer spots to be. What does this mean to you? Well, it means they are looking to places such as your car to make a home in or to store their food in. One lady at one of my car care clinics told me her whole car under the hood was full of acorns and my boyfriend found his exhaust pipe on his motorcycle full of corn. I on the other hand, had my cabin air filter made as a mouse nest. I still have my old filter so that I can show it at my car care clinics. Your cabin air filter is what you will read about further down.

In the meantime, enjoy the Thanksgiving long weekend and be safe!

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The history of Thanksgiving in Canada can be traced back to the 1578 voyage of Martin Frobisher from England in search of the Northwest Passage.

This month's topic: Cabin air filters and what they do for you?

Cabin air filters have been around since 1979 and Saab was the first vehicle manufacturer to install them in their vehicles. The cabin air filter, filters the air that you breath inside the your vehicle and it filters down to approximately 2 microns. This means that it takes mold spores and pollen out of the air. This is a good thing! However, do you know if you have one or not? Many people don’t know if they have a cabin air filter and it often doesn’t get changed. This is why communication is important with where you are having your vehicle serviced.

The cabin air filter is located usually on the passenger side of your vehicle. It can sometimes be located in your glove box, below the dash or under the hood. This filter should be changed once a year and it is suggested if you suffer from allergies that you should change it before your high allergy season. If your cabin air filter is clogged you may notice that the defroster doesn’t blow very strong onto your windshield or you may notice a smell inside your car, which is what I noticed but didn’t make the connection. If you’ve had a problem with mice in your car in the past you might want to put dryer sheets in your glove box or Irish springs soap has been said to work.

If your vehicle doesn’t come with a cabin air filter you can’t retrofit your vehicle, but sometimes your local Active Green and Ross shop may find the cabin air filter box to be empty and in this case they should be able to put a new filter back in.

As I mentioned above, if you aren’t sure if you have a cabin air filter when you take your vehicle in for service be sure to ask your service advisor to look it up!

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