Blog - Russo Auto Sales

Washing Your Car In Cold Weather 2017-12-27

Originally posted at

During the winter months, or if you live in a particularly cold climate, washing your car can prove to be a difficult task as well being an unpleasant one. Water and shampoo solution can quickly freeze onto the surface of the vehicle, literally making it impossible to wash properly. Not only shampoo, but polish, wax and any other cleaning products can easily be affected by cold weather and not perform properly meaning that every part of the car cleaning process can be adversely affected.

Washing Car In Cold Weather

During washing, water can also freeze around the car and cause a dangerous area of slippery ice that can be hazardous to yourself and passers by, and generally it can be very unpleasant trying to wash in freezing temperatures as your hands can quickly become numb and prevent you from performing cleaning and detailing tasks properly.

It is important however, to try and regularly wash your car especially in cold weather because there tends to an excess of dirt, grime and salt on the roads that if left sitting on the surface of your car can lead to damage and corrosion. Thankfully, there are a number of different things that can be done to help the car washing process in cold conditions.

To start with you should obviously ensure that you are correctly clothed and properly wrapped up to help conserve body heat and prevent your extremities from getting too cold and wet. Waterproof shoes or boots are a sensible idea to prevent feet from getting wet then subsequently very cold. Thick, lined trousers, a warm waterproof coat and a good hat are all essentials and even though you will need your hands free for the washing, some form of thin latex gloves worn during the washing process will noticeably help to take the edge off the cold and keep your fingers functioning.

Next, it is advisable to try and wash your car during the middle of the day when temperatures are most mild and when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. If the sun is out, even if you cannot noticeably feel any heat from it, it helps to try and position your car in the sunlight as this will help to prevent water from freezing on the surface, as, even if it is just reflected sunlight from a window etc you will be surprised at the effect it can have on the surface temperature of the vehicle.

Frosty CarIf possible, you should take your car for a quick run prior to washing, or at least leave it running for a while with the window/mirror heaters and hot blowers turned on as this will, after a little while, help to raise the temperature of the exterior as well as heat from the engine and exhaust adding warmth into the body panels. It is logical to do this as you are preparing your equipment and filling the wash buckets so that by the time you come to put water on the car, surface temperatures will have increased a little. Your wash buckets should be filled with hot water which will further help to raise the surface temperature of the panels as they are being washed as well as keep your hands warm and supple.

It is the pre rinse and rinsing stages of the car washing process that can be the most difficult in cold conditions. Most people will use an outside cold water tap for this which greatly increases the likely hood of surface freezing occurring. The ideal solution to this really is either the use of a hot water pressure washer which can be adjusted to heat the temperature of the water being output accordingly, or by connecting your hosepipe to an interior or exterior converted hot water pipe/tap.

These options though, can be expensive or time consuming to implement, so even though they are the best way to deal with cold weather washing, we will assume for the sake of argument that you will simply be using cold water from an outside tap for the rinsing parts of the process and so will focus on the other things that can be done to aid the process.

When washing, the wheels should be cleaned first (using a separate wash bucket) before moving onto the body as this will help to minimize the amount of time water is left sitting on the cold body panels. If the ground temperature is freezing then it would be a sensible ideal to lay down some rock salt prior to wetting the car to prevent your work area from quickly turning into an ice rink. When washing, it may be wise to work a little quicker that you would in more mild conditions to both try and keep your body temperature up and keep standing water sitting on the surface for a minimum amount of time, although, you should ensure that you still wash in a thorough and methodical manner.

Frozen Car PaintworkIf it is excessively cold and temperatures are sub zero then sometimes even all of these methods combined may still not be sufficient enough to prevent water from freezing on the car and the ground and so in these cases it is advisable to not attempt to wash and to wait for slightly milder conditions.

If you know that you are going to be attempting to wash your car in cold weather or during the winter months it is a good idea to properly prepare the exterior of your car before the cold weather sets in. If your car has been properly polished and thoroughly protected with a good quality, durable wax or sealant product then it will make it much easier to wash, meaning it will take less time and also that the surface is protected from road salts and winter grime, and so if you cannot wash for extended periods of time due to extreme cold you at least know your vehicle is protected and that the dirt and road salt cannot bond to and corrode the surface of your car.

If your vehicle is kept garaged you you will have the option of using a waterless wash product or detailing spray on the car while it is in the relative warmth of the garage to maintain it and keep it clean after an initial thorough wash, to prevent it from getting too dirty which means that you will have to rely less on washing outside with water.

If you have no choice other than to wash outside in cold weather then all the techniques mentioned here will help to prevent water from freezing on and around the car and to make the process a little easier and more bearable for you. However, they are not a complete guarantee against the onslaught of excessively cold weather and so if conditions are extremely cold and temperatures are sub zero it is sensible idea to simply hold off washing with water until temperatures pick up and conditions become a little more preferable.

Washing Your Car In Cold Weather - Link to original story

Even Santa Drives A Used Vehicle 2017-12-20

Remember everyone, including Santa when he's not using his sleigh, drives a used vehicle. Russo Auto Sales has your used vehicle!

Keep thieves out of your car this holiday season 2017-12-13

Originally posted By Barbara Roden from

If you leave your car unlocked with valuables clearly visible inside, you’re giving thieves an early Christmas.

Keep thieves out of your car this holiday season

It can be as simple as making sure you lock your vehicle, wherever it's parked.

Unattended vehicles are always a tempting target for thieves, especially this time of year. People are out holiday shopping at malls and stores, often making several stops as they do so, and leaving their purchases in their vehicles. About 10,000 vehicle break-ins were reported across the province in 2016 (640 of them in the Southern Interior); but ICBC wants to remind drivers that they can prevent auto crime from happening over the holidays by keeping their vehicle free of all valuables, not just holiday parcels.

Avoid making multiple trips to your car to drop off purchases, as thieves might be watching. Store them where they can’t be seen from outside the vehicle; advice which goes for anything valuable inside your car, such as electronic devices (including smartphones, laptops, tablets, GPS units, satellite radios, and dash cams). You may think nothing of leaving a pair of sunglasses visible in your car, but they can be worth up to $200. Even leaving some loose change in plain sight can tempt a thief.

Lock your car. It may seem obvious, but police report that nearly 50 per cent of thefts from vehicles involve unlocked cars. Many thefts from cars are crimes of opportunity; if a car is locked, all but the most determined thieves will probably move on to an easier target. And treat your car keys like cash: never leave them unattended in a public place.

Drivers should also take care not to leave valuables in their car when it’s parked at home; wallets, work tools, credit cards, keys and fobs, and electronic devices are among the items commonly taken. If your vehicle is parked outside your house, remove the garage door opener, so thieves cannot use it to gain access to your home.

Drivers should be aware that the contents of their vehicle are not covered by insurance. However, if a vehicle has been damaged as a result of theft, ICBC customers who have Comprehensive or Specified Perils coverage can file a claim. The average cost of a vehicle break-in claim is approximately $1,200.

Keep thieves out of your car this holiday season – Link to original story

Six Vehicle Warning Signs Your Nose Can Recognize 2017-12-06

Originally posted by

Smell Test- BCCAMost vehicles start out with a “new car smell,” but there are other specific odors that motorists should never ignore. Identifying these suspect smells early on can help car owners be car care aware and avoid the hassle and expense of an unexpected breakdown, says the Car Care Council.

“Unusual smells can be the sign of serious, and potentially costly, trouble for your vehicle. By acting quickly and making necessary repairs, you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing there is no harmful damage to your car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council recommends a sniff test of your vehicle to identify any unusual smells, including the following six warning signs:

1.  The smell of burnt rubber could be slipping drive belts or misplaced loose hoses that might be rubbing against rotating accessory drive pulleys. Do not reach in if the engine compartment is hot.

2.  The smell of hot oil could mean that oil is leaking onto the exhaust system. To verify the leak, look for oil on the pavement or smoke coming from the engine area.

3.  The smell of gasoline is likely the sign of a gas leak in some area of the vehicle such as a fuel injector line or the fuel tank. Any smell of fuel can result in a possible fire hazard, so immediate attention should be given.

4.  The sweet smell of syrup may be a sign that your car is leaking engine coolant from a leaky component related to the car’s cooling system. Do not open the radiator cap when it is hot.

5.  The smell of burning carpet could be a sign of brake trouble and a safety hazard. Have your brakes checked right away, especially if this smell is happening during normal driving conditions.

6.  The smell of rotten eggs is never a good one and, if you smell it coming from your vehicle, it could mean a problem with your catalytic converter not converting the hydrogen sulfide in the exhaust to sulfur dioxide properly. This smell can also be attributed to a poor running engine, causing the catalytic converter to become overloaded and fail due to meltdown.

“When you smell any peculiar odor, you should not ignore it. Instead bring your vehicle to a professional service technician that you trust to get an informed opinion on the nature of the odor,” concluded White.

Six Vehicle Warning Signs Your Nose Can Recognize – Link to original story

Child car seats 2017-11-29

Keeping your children safe

Originally posted from

Child passenger safety best practices 

Each year in B.C., an average of 1,300 children aged nine and under are injured and five are killed in motor vehicle crashes. Every time a child travels as a passenger in a motor vehicle, they are at risk of being involved in a collision. Research shows that a correctly used child safety seat reduces the risk of fatality by 71 per cent and the risk of serious injury by 67 per cent. A child who is not properly restrained can be ejected from the vehicle or thrown around the vehicle, resulting in significant injuries or death.    

The correct use of a Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards — approved child safety seat will ensure a child is properly restrained and significantly reduce their risk of serious injury or death in the event of a crash. It's your responsibility as the driver to make sure that all your passengers are properly secured with seatbelts or child-restraint systems.

Stage 1 — Rear-facing

  • From birth until at least one year old and 9 kg (20 lbs).

  • Place in back seat. Position centre-rear.

  • Do not install on front seat in proximity to an active airbag.

  • Don't rush to switch to a forward-facing seat — these guidelines are just the minimum requirements. Rear-facing child seats are safest for your baby or toddler, as they provide better support for their head and neck, as long as your child's weight is within the seat manufacturer's stated limit.

  • Use a convertible seat in the rear-facing position if the baby has outgrown the weight limit of the infant seat.

Stage 2 — Forward-facing with tether

  • Must be over one year old and over 9 kg (20 lbs).

  • Up to at least 18 kg (40 lbs).

  • Place in back seat.

  • May remain rear-facing if allowed by manufacturer's weight limits.

  • Always use with a tether strap.

  • Taller children may fit a combination harness/booster seat better.

Stage 3 — Booster seat


Booster seats ensure proper seatbelt fit. They raise the child to correctly position the adult seatbelt across the bony structures of the chest and pelvis. It's safest if a child remains in a booster seat until they reach 145 cm (4'9").

  • Must be over 18 kg (40 lbs).

  • Required until at least nine years old or 145 cm (4'9"), whichever comes first.

  • Place in back seat.

  • Booster is used with a lap/shoulder seatbelt.

  • Position lap belt low over hip bones and shoulder belt over shoulder and in front of chest.

  • Do not use a booster seat with only a lap belt.

Stage 4 — Seatbelt only

  • It's recommended you keep children in the back seat until 12 years of age.

  • The lap belt should fit low over the pelvic bones.

  • Shoulder belt should fit over the shoulder and snug across the chest.

  • Never put the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back. This could cause serious injury in the event of a crash.

  • Keep the seat in an upright position, not reclined. Seatbelts were designed for upright seating. A deeply reclined seat can cause a passenger to slide out from under the seatbelt in the event of a crash.

Child car seats – Link to original story

Easy Steps to Better Gas Mileage 2017-11-22

Originally posted from

With the average price of gas dipping below two dollars per gallon for the first time since 2009, many motorists have been seeing a real savings at the pump. Putting some of that savings toward basic auto care can lead to more miles per gallon and, in turn, more savings, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council encourages motorists to be car care aware and perform these five simple steps to improve fuel economy and save money.

  1. Check Tire Pressure: Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.
  2. Use the Right Motor Oil: Improve gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using the grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer.
  3. Replace Clogged Air Filters: Replacing clogged air filters on older vehicles can improve fuel economy and will improve performance and acceleration on all vehicles.
  4. Check Engine Performance: Keep your engine running efficiently and improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
  5. Fix It: Addressing a serious maintenance problem, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent, according to

Save Gas Beyond the Pump“Proactive vehicle maintenance is a motorist’s best money saving tip,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Routine auto care not only helps save on fuel costs, but it helps identify small issues so they can be serviced before they become bigger and more costly to repair.”

To help motorists increase fuel economy and take better care of their vehicles, the Car Care Council offers valuable tools on its website, including a free personalized schedule and email reminder service.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit

Why You Should Get a Vehicle History Report that Includes a Lien Check 2017-11-16

Originally posted by Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia at

Find out why You Should Get a Vehicle History Report that Includes a Lien Check.

Check out the link to a great clip which is part of a series of informative videos from the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia.

Why You Should Get a Vehicle History Report that Includes a Lien Check – Link to Video

6 Steps You Should Take Before Buying a Vehicle From a Private Seller 2017-11-08

Originally posted by Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia at

6 Steps You Should Take Before Buying a Vehicle From a Private Seller.

Check out the link to a great clip which is part of a series of informative videos from the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia.

6 Steps You Should Take Before Buying a Vehicle From a Private Seller – Link to Video

How to Spot a Curber or Fake Private Seller 2017-11-01

Originally posted by Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia at

How to Spot a Curber or Fake Private Seller. Tips on buying a vehicle privately.

Check out the link to a great clip which is part of a series of informative videos from the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia.

How to Spot a Curber or Fake Private Seller – Link to Video

Buying a Vehicle Privately - Be Very Careful! 2017-10-25

Originally posted by Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia at

Buying a Vehicle Privately - Be Very Careful! Tips on buying a vehicle privately.

Check out the link to a great clip which is part of a series of informative videos from the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia.

Buying a Vehicle Privately- Be Very Careful!  – Link to Video

How to Sell Your Car 2017-10-19

Originally posted from

There are many reasons you may decide it’s time to sell your used car. Maybe your family is growing and you need something bigger, or maybe you want to celebrate that new job with something sportier. Whatever the reason, selling your used car should be a pleasant experience for you and the buyer. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a smooth transaction.

What information do I need to sell my used vehicle?

Depending on where you live and whether you’re selling your used car privately or trading it in to a dealer, there are different pieces of information you’ll want to arm yourself with to negotiate your used car sale. Hang on to your vehicle’s service records so you can show potential buyers how well the car’s been cared for, and make sure you buy a vehicle history report (VHR) to be transparent about the vehicle’s history. A VHR can alert you to accident history, registration history, unfixed safety recalls, lien status and more, showing the buyer that you have nothing to hide. And even if your vehicle does have accident history, studies show that 61% of used car buyers are open to a car that’s been in an accident, and being upfront and honest with this information and proving that any repairs have been done properly will go a long way in building trust with your customer. (Source: Into the Minds of Consumers).

How do I sell a used car in my province?

Every Canadian province has different rules, regulations and requirements around buying or selling a used car privately, and there are even differences when it comes to trading a vehicle in to a dealership. Depending on where you live, you may need a used vehicle information package (UVIP), emissions test, safety standard certificate or other provincial requirements. We’ve compiled the information you need no matter which province or territory you live in, in this helpful guide.

What is the value of my car?

Setting a fair price is important to a smooth used car transaction. Set the price too high and you’ll miss out on leads, set your price too low and you won’t get as much as you’d like towards your next vehicle. It’s tempting to just browse the listing sites and set your vehicle’s price alongside what comparable cars are listed for, but list prices and sold prices are very different things.

There are many factors that contribute to your vehicle’s accurate value, including its history, odometer reading and condition. Has anyone smoked in the car? Has it been used as a taxi or previous daily rental? Has it ever been in an accident? Does it come with winter tires? Ask yourself what extra features your car may have that can increase its value, as well as what’s happened over the course of its lifetime to decrease its value.

Should I trade in my car to a dealer?

Selling your car privately or trading it in to a dealership is not an easy decision – there are pros and cons to both – weigh them out and decide which is the best move for you.

Trading in your car can be a simple way to go – the dealer will take care of all the paperwork, they’ll fix any little dents or scratches and you won’t have to worry about posting advertisements, taking people for test drives or answering a lot of questions about the vehicle. Depending on where you live, you could also save some money on taxes by trading it in to a dealership when you’re purchasing a replacement vehicle.

Should I sell my car privately?

When you trade your car in to a dealer you might not get as much for the car as you would by selling it privately. Think of it as work – work that you pay yourself for – but only you can decide whether this work is worth the potential reward.

You will spend time and money reconditioning, detailing, preparing, listing and marketing the vehicle, not to mention communicating and meeting with potential buyers, and this work will likely earn you more money for your vehicle. If you chose to sell your car privately, a CARPROOF Vehicle History Report will be a big help in justifying your asking price to any potential customers. Show them the vehicle’s condition and history and give them peace of mind that the vehicle is what you say it is, and that you’re a trustworthy seller.

Where should I list my car for sale?

Online listing sites like AutoTRADER, Kijiji and are among the most popular places for Canadian used car buyers to start their search. Make sure your listing stands out from the rest by including all the information a customer might want to know – including information about the vehicle’s accident history, lien status, registration history and more. Include good quality photographs, accurate odometer readings and any extra bits of information that will help show buyers that your car is the right one for them.

Should I scrap my car?

Maybe you’ve had your car listed for a while and you’re just not getting any bites. Maybe the offers you’re getting just aren’t worth the hassle. Maybe you just want to do something good for your community. Whatever your reasoning, scrapping your vehicle is a viable option for many, and one that can earn you some money or a valuable tax receipt, and help your community at the same time.

There are many charities that will accept pre-loved vehicles to be used for youth employment-training programs, and many will give you a hefty charitable tax receipt that may be worth more than you could get selling the car. This is something to consider for those who own vehicles that are well past their prime.

There are many routes to choose between when you sell a used car. Whichever way you go, make sure you have all the information a buyer may look for on-hand, and be transparent about the vehicle’s history and current condition – it’ll go a long way in building trust with your buyer and facilitating a fair, timely sale.

How to Sell Your Car – Link to original story

Light trucks now dominate the Canadian car market 2017-10-07

Originally posted by Larry Lantz (TADA President) on from

Pickups have become a new status symbol among car buyers — and sales to female drivers are on the rise.

In the first quarter of 2017, of the top five selling vehicles in Canada, four were pickups.

One of the dominant trends in the auto industry over the past four decades has been the steady rise of pickups and SUVs as a market segment. 

In the 1960s and ’70s, pickups occupied a niche market among farming communities and construction companies. They were the preferred mode of transportation because pickups were inexpensive, practical, dependable, and versatile. 

Today, pickups, SUVs and vans (light trucks) now dominate the automotive landscape; light trucks have made serious inroads among urban car buyers of all ages and backgrounds. 

In 2016, sales of passenger cars declined 7.6 per cent over 2015, while light truck sales rose 8.8 per cent. In the first quarter of 2017, of the top five selling vehicles in Canada, four were pickups. 

The popularity of light trucks can be traced to the late 1980s, when General Motors introduced independent front suspension on its Sierra and Silverado pickups, which led to improved handling and a lower ride (since then, other automakers have followed suit).

Prior to independent front suspension, full-size pickups boasted front axles that raised the bodies eight to 12 inches (203 to 304 millimetres) higher than vehicles with two-wheel drive. 

The 1990s gave rise to heavy competition in the pickup market with new designs from GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda have since entered the pickup market as important niche players.

In the 1990s, as pickups gained popularity, automakers added new features, such as sport packages, extended cabs, short cabs, greater load and towing capacity, increased interior space, more four- and all-wheel drive options, and higher ground clearance.

Some of today’s luxury pickups are equipped with the same features found on luxury cars, such as auto dimming headlights, adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled or ventilated leather seats, multi-view rear-view cameras and other high-tech items.

Other factors contributing to the boom in light truck sales have included lower fuel costs, lower interest rates, trucks as status symbols and an abundance of customization options available.

Low fuel costs have meant that consumers are spending less money on gas and putting that extra money into buying pricier trucks and SUVs.

Many manufacturers have offered low financing rates (including zero per cent) in recent years, making trucks and SUVs more affordable.

Auto leasing, too, has made a comeback; consumers are now leasing higher-priced light trucks due to affordable lease rates.

Another driving force behind the surge in light truck sales has been sales to women. From 2010 to 2015, sales of SUVs to women rose 34 per cent, compared to a 22 per cent increase to men. During the same period, premium small SUVs sales to women rose 177 per cent.

Some manufacturers have targeted women in promoting certain SUVs, such as the Buick Encore. Two years ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles collaborated with country singer Miranda Lambert to promote Ram Trucks — specifically targeting female customers.

More recently, smaller SUVs — which include five-seat crossovers to modified hatchbacks — have made a big impact on the industry. In my area (Hanover, Ont.), these vehicles are particularly popular with seniors, who prefer the higher seating for easy accessibility and four-wheel drive for winter driving.

Last but not least, pickups have become a new status symbol among car buyers. Even for those who don’t use a pickup for work or hauling boats, the idea of owning a large, masculine pickup is hugely appealing. It conveys an image of toughness.

All indications point to the light truck sales trend continuing in the years ahead. Of course, a sudden spike in oil prices or interest rates could affect sales, but pickups and SUVs have proved remarkably resilient in the face of changing market conditions. 

Light trucks now dominate the Canadian car market – Link to original story

5 Reasons Why Dogs Love Car Rides 2017-10-04

Originally posted from

dogs ride in the car

Is your dog crazy about going for a ride in the car, preferably with the window open? Why do dog love riding in the car so much? Dog behavior experts have lots of theories. Here are some that might explain why your own dog loves it.

dog riding in car 

1. The nose knows

Dogs have over 200 million receptacles in their noses for receiving scent messages. In comparison, humans have 50 million. A ride in the car with the window open is an intense sensory experience for your dog. As the car moves and the scents change, your dog is constantly getting updated information about the world around him. 

2. Home on wheels

Your dog views the family car as an extension of the family home. This is why some dogs left in a parked car will bark like crazy when someone comes by. When in the car with you, they feel like they are in their home with their family. They will naturally want to be with you in this mobile version of the home, and are just as eager to protect it in the same way they protect the house.

dog in car

3. It feels like hunting

Some dog behaviorists think that riding in a car feels like hunting to a dog. The forward motion of the car surrounded by other moving cars makes your dog feel like she is part of a pack on a hunting expedition. This sensation is said to give your dog a feeling of euphoria.

4. The spirit of adventure

Dogs tend to be naturally curious and outgoing, so they love it when something new and exciting happens. A car ride is a great adventure for them, full of new sights, smells, and sounds…much more fun that just hanging around at home waiting for the mailman to show up.

5. The promise of a treat

Many dogs know that part of the fun of a car ride is the opportunity to stop for a delicious people food snack. Taking your dog out for a Sunday afternoon drive? He might just be wise to the fact that the McDonald’s drive-thru or a few licks of an ice cream cone are in his future.

dog in a car

Don’t forget a few common-sense safety rules when you take your dog out in the car. Dogs are safest in the rear of the car in either a harness or crate. It’s fun for your dog to sit unrestrained in the front seat and stick his head out the window, but that might not be the safest thing. It’s also a good idea to keep small dogs out of your lap when driving. And of course, never leave your dog in a hot car.

5 Reasons Why Dogs Love Car Rides – Link to original story

Canadian Consumers & the Cars They’re Looking For 2017-09-28

Originally posted by Guillaume Rivard from

Fall is high season in the automotive business

After the annual summer lull, fall brings us back to earth and back to business. That includes the auto manufacturers, who double down with new model launches and new arrivals at dealerships.

And that, of course, is because consumers shop for cars in greater numbers at this time of year as well. A recent study by the Environics Research Group shows that the month of September is one of the busiest months for car purchases, behind only May (12%) and June (14%).

The survey reveals some other interesting statistics as well, for example:

  • - The car-purchase process, from beginning to end, takes on average just under three months (2.7 to be exact);
  • - 18% of buyers take between two weeks and a month to make their purchase;  
  • - Only 16% of buyers run through the entire shopping and buying process in less than two weeks;  
  • - 47% of potential buyers set out to buy a used vehicle, and conversely 53% look for a new one. In the end, 44% wind up buying pre-owned, and 56% drive home in a new vehicle.

So what models are Canadian consumers considering during their shopping process? Here’s a list of the most commonly searched vehicles in this country since June 2017:
1.    Ford Mustang
2.    Honda Civic
3.    Ford F-150
4.    Chevrolet Corvette
5.    Chevrolet Camaro
6.    Dodge RAM
7.    Dodge Charger
8.    Honda CR-V
9.    Jeep Wrangler
10.    Toyota RAV4

Canadian Consumers and the Cars They’re Looking For – Link to original story

So you've had a fender-bender in B.C.? 2017-09-21

So you've had a @$%*! fender-bender in B.C.? Here's how police respond

Originally posted by Nick Eagland from

Whether it’s a fender-bender or multi-car pileup, police often have plenty of investigative work to do before the road can be cleared.

Roughly 270,000 crashes are reported to ICBC each year and 55,000 of them are “casualty crashes” involving an injury or a fatality. When police are called — particularly for serious injury or death — investigations can be lengthy, involve charges and require a collision reconstructionist to do a forensic analysis of the scene. 

Investigators are trained to quickly assess whether a crash was caused by impaired driving, medical condition or mechanical failure, but it can take additional time to gather information depending on the circumstances, said Const. Melissa Wutke of RCMP E-Division traffic services.

“Police must determine the reason for the crash or contributing factors … such as if the driver isn’t licensed or has outstanding warrants. In addition, the officer is taking into account the weather, condition of the road and other factors present,” she said.

Sgt. Sukh Sidhu of the Delta Police Department’s traffic section said the process following a minor accident typically goes as follows:

• Upon arriving at the scene, officers ensure the area is safe for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and first responders, often by rerouting traffic with cones or a parked cruiser with flashing lights.

• Confirm that anyone injured in the crash is being attended to by first responders and identify everyone involved in the crash.

• Take info and written or audio statements from everyone involved as well as any witnesses. Collect smartphone and dash-cam footage and identify potential sources of security footage nearby.

• Conduct a thorough investigation of the scene and complete an MV6020 accident report (for crashes involving injury, fatality, vehicle damage over $1,000 or property damage). Provide a copy to the drivers or registered owners of the vehicles involved.

• Have the vehicles moved or towed. Make sure everyone involved has a safe way home. The tow-truck driver typically cleans up any debris and firefighters may do a washdown of any fuel or oil.

• After the scene is cleared, complete a primary report and submit it to a police database. Forward the MV6020 report to ICBC.

ICBC asks drivers to record each others’ name, licence and contact information, licence plate details, year, make and model of car as well as the names and contact information of witnesses. They can then report a claim at or call 604-520-8222 or 1-800-910-4222.

So you've had a @$%*! fender-bender in B.C.? Here's how police respond – Link to original story

Buying a used car or truck? Steer clear of scams and fraud 2017-09-13

Originally posted by Alexandra Posadzki from

July Ono had been buying used cars online for years without problems.

So she was stunned when she got a panicked phone call three years ago from a friend saying the Jeep Ono bought a month earlier was being towed away by a bailiff.

In hindsight, Ono says she had been suspicious of the tall, charming stranger who had posted his car for sale on Craigslist.

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"I was sitting there going, July, there's just something wrong with this person," said the 50-year-old real estate investment adviser. "But I just couldn't figure out what it was."

Ono took the vehicle for a test drive and had it inspected at a dealership. Everything seemed to be in working order.

It was only when Ono got the late-night call while out of town on business that she discovered the seller had used it as collateral on a loan a month earlier.

Online car classifieds can offer convenience and bargain prices, but experts recommend taking to protect yourself from scammers and "curbsiders," full-time fraud artists pretending to be private sellers.

About one in five Canadians who buy or sell used cars online encounter scammers or fraud, according to a recent report by the Automobile Consumer Coalition.

Out of more than 1,000 people polled, 13 per cent said they were contacted by fraudulent buyers who offered to overpay for their car with a phoney cheque, asking the seller to refund the difference.

Another 12 per cent came across listings posted by suspected curbsiders.

Yet 76 per cent of respondents said they weren't worried about fraud.

Online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population, according to the polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association.

Approximately 600,000 of the three million used cars that Canadians buy and sell each year are sold on sites like Craigslist and Kijiji, according to research compiled by the coalition.

"This problem is going to get worse and worse," said Mohamed Bouchama, director of the Toronto-based consumer advocacy group.

"More people are using the Internet because of the convenience. Lots of people don't want to go visit five, six, seven dealerships."

George Iny, director of the Automobile Protection Association, recommends looking for mid-priced cars rather than going for the cheapest one listed when you're shopping for used vehicles.

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"Don't be a price junkie," said Iny. "The seller always knows more than you. If the car is priced below market, it's almost always for a reason."

Buying junk will often cost you more in the long run, as you foot the bill for pricey repairs.

"The cost of taking something that's in average condition and making it good condition is higher than the premium you'd pay just to buy the same vehicle in good condition," said Iny.

When buying a used car, Iny and Bouchama both recommend getting it inspected before you fork over the cash. You can either take the vehicle to a garage, or look for a mobile inspector who will come to you.

Always ask to see the vehicle ownership and the seller's driver's licence to make sure the names match, said Bouchama.

Check the car's history, which will show you how many times the car transferred ownership, if it was a write-off or if it's been in a major accident.

Bouchama suggests buying from a dealer because of the added level of accountability. But if you're going to do so, Iny recommends keeping a sharp eye out for hidden fees.

Provincial laws in Ontario, Quebec, B.C. and Alberta require all-in pricing, but violations do occur.

"The advantage of the dealers is that if there is a problem, there's somebody you can sue," said Iny.

"A private seller may not be around, or you won't find them if they're a curber."

If you're selling your car online, be very cautious any time someone offers more than the car is worth, said Bouchama.

He also recommends taking a bank draft or cash — never certified cheques because they're easily forged.

Consider setting up a temporary email and phone number to conduct the sale, and always bring someone with you when meeting a potential buyer.

"You never know who you're dealing with," said Bouchama. "There are some scary people out there, especially if you have a very nice car to sell."

An extreme example is the recent death of a 32-year-old Ontario man who was killed after he took two men for a test drive in the Dodge Ram truck he was selling.

Despite the fact that the Internet is an accessible platform for scammers and fraud artists, it also provides consumers with a wealth of information.

"If you want to know how much to pay, the Internet has really empowered buyers," said Iny. "It's made experts out of amateurs."

Buying a used car or truck? Steer clear of scams and fraud – Link to original story

Five things you need to know before shopping for a car 2017-08-31

Originally posted by Scott Hannah from

Q: We’ve been seeing quite a few ads for new cars and specials on used vehicles, and it has us thinking. We’ve got one teen learning to drive and the other borrowing our car at every opportunity while she saves up for her own car. There’s nothing wrong with our vehicles, but our truck is definitely too big for what we normally use it for, and awkward for a new driver to drive. With our kids’ post secondary costs coming upon us sooner than we’d like, we don’t want to blow our budget on a new vehicle. There’s so much to consider; what should we keep in mind when we look at cars? ~Mark

A: Replacing your vehicle or buying a new car is always a big decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. Next to buying a house, buying a car is typically the largest purchase many people make. However, unlike real estate, the value of our every day vehicles rarely goes up over time. By the end of a car loan a new vehicle is often worth much less than what we paid for it.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “the best time to buy a new car is when you can afford it,” but kidding aside, now is the time of year dealers want to clear out their lots to make room for next years’ models. Now is definitely a good time to check out what’s new, as well as get some great deals on the good used cars other people have traded in.

The best time to buy a car

Car shopping is best done once you’ve got a clear picture of what you can afford to spend on a vehicle on a monthly basis. Calculate what you can afford each month for loan payments, insurance, fuel, parking and maintenance. If you plan to buy a new vehicle, maintenance costs can still be high because of the work you’re required to have done in order to maintain your warranty. A good rule of thumb is to set $50 – $100 aside for maintenance in a saving account for every tank of fuel you buy. By considering your budget carefully before setting foot on a car lot you’re in a better position to make a sound financial, not impulsive or emotional, purchase.

Here are five more things to keep in mind before you start car shopping:

1.Start your vehicle search from the comfort of your couch

The choices are absolutely endless when buying a car – new versus used; buying with cash, financing, or leasing; whom to buy from, import or domestic; big or small; truck, car, SUV, crossover or van; base model, sufficient options or all the bells and whistles. With all these choices, it is imperative that you narrow down what YOU want before you set foot on a car lot.

Along with your budget, you need to know what kind of features you want, including if there are any non-negotiable ones, and how you plan to use the vehicle before you speak to any salesperson. The best way to prepare is to think about how you currently use your vehicle, if you anticipate your needs changing, and why you are car shopping at this time. Then search online for vehicles to go look at and test drive.

2.Stick to your budget

When looking at cars either in person or online, stick close to your budget. If you can afford $20,000 for a good used vehicle, window shopping for cars that cost $30,000 only leads to temptation spending.

If you are financing your purchase, changing the term of the car loan and/or the interest rate can make a significant difference to your overall cost at the end, even if it hardly changes your monthly payment amount. For instance, a $20,000 car purchase plus 12 per cent tax comes to $22,400. At five per cent interest (APR) for 60 months, the monthly payment would be $423. At the end of the five years someone would have repaid the loan, along with about $3,000 in interest.

However, if $425 is the monthly payment someone needs to stick to, the same $22,400 loan from above could be repaid over 72 months at an annual interest rate of 11 per cent. The payment would be $426 for six years, but at the end, this person would have paid $8,300 in interest.

By either changing the time-frame and/or the interest rate, the monthly payments can be raised or lowered making for very attractive and tempting offers. Use an online Canadian auto loan calculator to see how this works for yourself before you sign on any dotted line.

3.Some of the best deals happen at the end of the month

The closer it gets to the end of the month, the more eager car salespeople are to add one more sale to their list of successful deals. And if they work for a dealership rather than an independent car lot, the bonuses, both for the dealership and individual salespeople, can be significant.

Earlier in the month is the time to shop around, narrow down what you want to buy, and find a person you want to do business with. Later in the month, and especially getting into the last few days, that’s when you want to firm up a deal on a new or used car you’re comfortable with.

4.To trade or not to trade, that is always a good question

Deciding whether or not to trade your current vehicle in when you make a new or used vehicle purchase can be a bit of a dilemma. Selling your car privately will often net you a little more cash, but it can take longer and it comes with certain risks (e.g. someone test driving on your insurance).

When trading a car in, the car lot or dealership will give you less than the book value because they still need to sell it at a profit. However, if you have a desirable trade in, there is still room to negotiate. It can also be to a buyer’s advantage to negotiate a deal without a trade, then see how that deal changes once a trade is figured in.

What some people may not realize is that you can also trade in a vehicle worth the same or more than the one you want to buy. If you have a desirable trade and are buying a good used vehicle, it is entirely possible to get a new-to-you car without a penny changing hands, or leaving the car lot with a new car as well as a cheque in hand. To decide if this is something worth aiming for, check the book value of both your vehicle and the one you want to buy ahead of time; then negotiate strategically.

5.New or used, there are always extras – and some are negotiable

On top of the purchase price, there are a number of extra costs to keep in mind. Taxes are non-negotiable and are definitely worth factoring in as you calculate how much you can afford to spend. Trading a vehicle in can actually lower how much tax you pay because you are only required to pay tax on the difference in B.C., e.g. new car is $25,000, trade in value is $10,000; you pay tax on the difference ($15,000).

There is often a documentation fee that car lots and dealerships charge. From $200 – $500 is very typical and it is entirely negotiable.

Extended warranty packages are offered on new and used cars. They typically come at a fairly steep price, which only increases if rolled into a loan. For some people, the peace of mind is worth it; for others, and certainly depending on the make and model of the vehicle you buy, saving up the equivalent funds in your own savings account is worth more in the long run.

The bottom line on buying a new or used vehicle

Numbers do tell a story – they tell you if your budget will balance and if you can afford your new car without becoming stressed and worried about money and debt. Even after spending hours looking for just the right car, doing your research, and negotiating with your salesperson, if the numbers aren’t telling you a good story, walk away. There are thousands of vehicles available for sale in every city and the last thing you want to do is turn a dream into a financial nightmare.

Five things you need to know before shopping for a car – Link to original story

Cars safer, smarter than ever 2017-08-24

Originally posted on

 Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to reduce crashes significantly, according to two studies released Wednesday.

At the same time, research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety raises concern that drivers may be less vigilant when relying on automated safety systems or become distracted by dashboard displays that monitor how the systems are performing.

The two institute studies found that lane-keeping systems, some of which even nudge the vehicle back into its lane for the driver, and blind-spot monitoring systems had lower crash rates than the same vehicles without the systems.

The lane-keeping study looked at police crash data from 25 states between 2009 and 2015 for vehicle models where the systems were sold as optional. Lane-keeping systems lowered rates of single-vehicle, sideswipe and head-on crashes of all severities by 11 per cent, and crashes of those types in which there were injuries, by 21 per cent, the study found.

Because there were only 40 fatal crashes in the data, researchers used a simpler analysis that didn't control for differences in drivers' ages, genders, insurance risk and other factors for those crashes. They found the technology cut the fatal crash rate by 86 per cent.

That's probably high, said Jessica Cicchino, the institute's vice-president for research, but even if lane-keeping systems cut such crashes by half it would be significant, she said. Cicchino said about a quarter of traffic fatalities involve a vehicle drifting into another lane.

"Now we have evidence that this technology really can save lives and has the potential to prevent thousands of deaths once it's on every vehicle," Cicchino said.

If all passenger vehicles had been equipped with lane departure warning systems in 2015, an estimated 85,000 police-reported crashes would have been prevented, the study found.

A second institute study of blind-spot detection systems — usually warning lights in side mirrors — found the systems lower the rate of all lane-change crashes by 14 per cent and the rate of such crashes with injuries by 23 per cent. If all passenger vehicles were equipped with the systems about 50,000 police-reported crashes a year could be prevented, the study found.

Lane-keeping, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic braking systems, which can prevent rear-end crashes, are some of the building blocks of self-driving car technology.

Greg Brannon, the Automobile Association of America's director of automotive engineering, called the institute's studies "encouraging." But he cautioned that is "critical that drivers understand the capabilities and, more importantly, the limitations of the safety technology in their vehicle before getting behind the wheel."

Cars safer, smarter than ever – Link to original story