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4 entries from February 2012

Air Filters - The Auto Part That Helps Your Vehicle Breathe Better

Air Filters
Photo: iStockphoto

The first in our series of vehicle maintenance posts is on an auto part that you can easily maintain yourself – your air filter! Keeping a clean air filter is crucial in maintaining proper engine performance and extending your engine longevity.

How does it work?

Air flows through your air filter into your vehicle’s engine. The air is then mixed with fuel in the vehicle’s cylinders.  The cleaner the air filter is, the more air flows through to your engine, optimizing your fuel mixture and gas mileage. You heard right, making sure your air filter is clean can help you save on fuel too. 
There have been many times when I’ve had a quick look at my air filter only to find old cigarette butts picked up from the road, dust, insects and grimy dirt. Yuck! I certainly don’t want my engine breathing that stuff, so I make a point to check my air filter at the time of an oil change – probably more frequently than necessary.  You can refer to your owner’s manual to see how often you should replace your air filter. Here's a good trick to see if your air filter needs to be replaced - hold it up to the sunlight and if you cannot see light coming through it, it's time to change it. Also, most filters are light coloured - similar to your furnace filter.  If it's grey or black - yep, you guessed it - time to replace.
Air filters are also one of the few auto parts that you can easily change yourself – even if you’re a novice!
Check out this great video from, “How to Change Your Air Filter”.
Do you remember your air filter when you think of vehicle maintenance?
Would you attempt to change your air filter yourself… or leave it to the experts?

- Julie S.

Full Serve Gas Stations - Yes, We Still Have Them!


One of my favourite things about our road trip from Vancouver to California last fall was passing through the great state of Oregon. We enjoyed the rugged landscape and the friendly people, sure - but I mainly enjoyed that in Oregon, I didn't have to pump my own gas. Because in Oregon, full serve gas stations are THE LAW.

Continue reading "Full Serve Gas Stations - Yes, We Still Have Them!" »

Performance Driver Training Tips Applied to Everyday Driving

Back in June, we provided you with some great videos on driving from our resident expert, Brett Goodman, on our high octane fuel Ultra 94 Facebook page. Brett is the owner and race director of performance driving school Bridgestone Racing Academy and is an expert in performance driving and safety - on and off the track. He has been racing and offering performance driver training for over 25 years. We've just finished the remainder of the driving videos and wanted to share them with our PumpTalk readers too. These advanced driver training tips can definitely be applied to every day driving - including winter driving!

There are eight performance driving videos in the “Safer Driving Through Performance Thinking Series”.  They include a variety of topics like traction control, skidding, cornering, following distance and more.

Choose the driving video you want to see first:

Or watch all of the driving videos in the “Safer Driving Through Performance Thinking Series” series below:

You can also visit our Ultra 94 Facebook fan page for more performance driving tips.

So what do you think? Were these videos helpful? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Julie S.

How Modern Car Technology Makes These Old School Driving Tips Obsolete

Winter Driving

Many of my childhood memories growing up in Edmonton involve winter driving - mainly in my father's silver 1977 Aspen. This car was a neighborhood legend. The local mechanics down the street would literally come out and applaud when we drove by, because they couldn't believe the Aspen (a.k.a. The Grey Ghost) was still moving.

The Aspen was particularly finicky in the winter and we had all kinds of tips and tricks to keep her on the road. I thought I knew everything there was to know about preparing the car for safe and successful winter driving. But with the advent of modern car technology, I've had to radically change my approach to cold weather car care and driving preparation.

Here are a few of my tips for those of us who still have an old school approach to cold weather driving:

Continue reading "How Modern Car Technology Makes These Old School Driving Tips Obsolete" »