Join Us in a Random Act of Driving Kindness

The other day I was caught in some downtown traffic on a rare day when we had snow in Vancouver. It was pretty tense and tight and then it got even tenser and tighter when there was an unexpected lane merge. And I was in the wrong lane. My hands gripped the wheel; my shoulders tensed - I hate tight merges. During rush hour. In the snow. 

And then, just as I started to get all worked up, a car in the other lane slowed and the woman driving it made a big sweeping gesture, ushering me into her lane.

Relief washed over me. I smiled, waved a big thank you and pulled into the lane.

That lovely gesture really made my whole afternoon and it got me to thinking how the smallest things can turn a whole day around. Especially when we're driving. Driving can be stressful, even for the most experienced among us. These small kind gestures go a long way towards making the road a friendlier and ultimately safer place.

Commit a Random Act of Driving Kindness

Monday, February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day. When we're out on the road on Monday, let's all agree to go the extra mile and be kind when we drive. A while back, we asked our fans over on the Petro-Canada Facebook page to suggest some "Live by the Leaf" courtesy driving tips. Some of them are perfect examples of a random act of driving kindness:

  • In a construction zone, smile and wave at the signal person.
  • Leave a gap, when stopped at a light, for vehicles to enter from the side streets.
  • When the gas station is busy and two of us pull into the pump at the same time, wave and let the other person go first.
  • Give a big "Thank You!" wave when someone lets me into a busy lane.
  • Move over into the empty left lane to make way for cars to merge on the right.
  • Leave the closest parking spots for those with mobility issues or young children.
  • Switch lanes if there is a cyclist traveling ahead. It gives them more room and helps other drivers see them too.
  • When you're leaving a busy parking lot and people are cruising for spots, wave and indicate you're leaving and that your spot will be available.
  • Pay for the coffee order for the car behind you in the drive-thru.

Any of these resonate with you? Even if your "thank you wave" is just extra big, I hope you'll join me in committing a few random acts of driving kindness on Monday. Maybe it will even become a habit!

~Rose R.

How Often Do You Get Your Vehicle Serviced?

I love my car – my trusty Saturn Vue, Chloe (named after a character from the series “24”). She’s a 2006 model and one of the reasons that she’s still in such great condition at fourteen years young is that I take her in for regular maintenance. Generally speaking we go in twice a year, Spring and Winter. Usually one of the appointments is just regular stuff – oil check, filter check, tire check, etc. – and the other will be a little more involved – tire rotation, fluid flush – you know, the good stuff.

Maintain Your Vehicle

I really like taking her in for service. The team at the auto shop has been looking after her for ten years now and they always do a great job. Plus I think she appreciates the attention.

Since I don’t have a long daily commute, with my twice-a-year-service, I’m generally ahead of the ten months or 10,000 KM schedule that my vehicle manual suggests – or required, really, at the outset to keep my warranty active. Felling pretty smug, I was surprised to hear about a recent case where Canadian owners are being required to follow the “Severe Usage Maintenance Schedule” (vs the “Normal”) simply because they live in Canada. [1] My Saturn manual states that I need to follow the “severe” schedule when I regularly drive in temperatures under -29 degrees Celsius. Which for most of the country happens at least once a year.

Out of curiosity I checked a few provincial driver’s handbooks to see what they recommend. When they do have a section on vehicle maintenance (about ½ of them do), it is quite generic. Ontario has one of the most comprehensive sections on vehicle maintenance, but it doesn’t state particular timelines or distance driven markers. Rather, it has tips on what to watch out for that would indicate that your vehicle may need service. And it admonishes drivers to check their individual driver’s manuals.

Do you have a particular maintenance schedule for your vehicle? Do you follow your owner’s manual to the letter or just when something serious occurs? Let us know in the comments.

~Rose R.

It’s Auto Show Season in Canada!

If you're a car enthusiast, this is the most wonderful time of the year – auto show season! The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas just wrapped. As always, there were some pretty amazing and futuristic vehicles there; gives their take on the best concept cars and future auto technology of CES.

But don’t worry if you didn’t make it down to Sin City, there are a lot of great vehicles and automobile technology on display at Canada’s auto shows!

Car Show

Happening right now is the Montreal Auto Show at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal from January 17 to 26, 2020. It features the Electric Zone where consumers can learn about the latest in charging technology and inspect twenty different electric vehicles as well as the Expose ton Char where ten cars that have been modded by young Quebecers are featured.

Next up on the auto show circuit is the Canadian International AutoShow at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from February 14-23, 2020. Features at the AutoShow include EV Test Drives, a celebration of Canadian military vehicles and a tribute to McLaren racing.

Early March takes us to Calgary for the Calgary International Auto and Truck Show being held March 11th to 15th at the BMO Centre in Stampede Park. Details are still forthcoming about exhibitors and programs.

And finally, in late March, the Vancouver International Auto Show  at the Vancouver Convention Centre West rounds out our cross-Canada auto show tour. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the auto show in British Columbia and as such the show will kick off with a procession through Vancouver showcasing cars from each decade of the show. The parade will end at the Convention Centre and officially open the auto show on March 25.

Are you planning on attending any of these auto shows? Or are there more local ones that you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

~Rose R.