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August 2012
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October 2012

5 entries from September 2012

Proper care for your automatic transmission

Automatic Transmission
Photo: iStockphoto

Clunk! That’s the sound I heard when I tried to put my old truck into drive. I stepped on the gas and heard another clunk and my RPMs went through the roof – but hold on, I wasn’t going anywhere! My poor old truck just didn’t want to go, and slipped back into neutral. I realized that my transmission was in definite need of some TLC.

Maintaining your vehicle, especially fluids and filters, is imperative to prolonging the life of your vehicle. Your transmission filter and fluid are no different. For this PumpTalk post, we will focus on a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission and how to maintain it.

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How Our Gas Pumps Work

Gas Pump

When I first learned to pump gas (embarrassingly, I was in my '20's, but that's another story), I remember being amazed by how the pump shut off when my tank was full. I was all "How did it know?? Was it magical elves? Yeah, probably magical elves." Obviously, my mind is not all that inquiring when it comes to the inner workings of the gas pump.

We've written here before about how pump calibration works at Petro-Canada to ensure you're actually getting all of the gas you pay for. But we've never done an overview of how the actual pump works. For those of you who don't tend to ascribe the technological wonders of our modern world to elves, read on!

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Watch for Kids – Back to School Safe Driving Tips

School Bus
Photo: iStockphoto

Our second post from the CAA Ontario team answers your questions about a very timely and important subject: Driving safely for back to school season.

With kids headed back to school and summer winding to an end, we want to remind drivers to be extra vigilant when on our streets and be on the lookout for our children walking to school. Parking lots can sometime be the most treacherous of areas with many items obstructing our vision. This month, CAA answered a few questions about properly securing and your vehicle in different parking situations for the safety of everyone.

Q: Is there a preference as to whether you should back into a parking spot or not?

A. Backing into a parking stall is actually safer because your biggest blind spot is behind your vehicle. There is less chance that small children will be in the parking spot you are backing into than in the isle of the parking lot you would be backing out of.

Q. When parking on hilly streets near school zones, what should you keep in mind?

A. When parking up hill you should turn you wheels to the left. If for any reason the car slips out of park the front wheels will settle against the curb and stop. For parking on a downhill slope the opposite is the correct answer. Turn your wheels to the right and the vehicle will again settle against the curb. Both ways it will prevent the vehicle from striking oncoming traffic or pedestrians.

More back to school safety tips for drivers:

  • Slow down in school zones
  • Be ready to stop at all times
  • Always try to make eye contact with kids waiting to cross the road
  • Stop for school buses when lights are flashing

For back to school safety tips for kids and parents, visit:  www.caasco.com/Community-Action/School-Safety-Patrol

- CAA Ontario


Fuel Saving Devices - Helpful Gadgets or Mythical Fuel Savers?

Fuel Saving Device
Photo: iStockphoto

Saving on fuel is always top of mind for us here at PumpTalk, and I'm sure it is for you too. Over the years we have shared many ways to help you save on fuel, including:

Recently, on a visit to my local automotive store, I came across a range of fuel saving tools that you can buy for your vehicle. I was really surprised to see how many were offered and that they all claimed to dramatically increase fuel efficiency. Could it be true? Slap this device onto your vehicle and miraculously save on fuel? Hmmm…. I was definitely skeptical. I started to look further into this and found that there are hundreds of devices that claim to save on fuel. Many have fancy names, and hefty price tags.

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Hittin' the HOV Lane

HOV Lanes
Photo: iStockphoto

When traffic is moving slowly, there are few things more satisfying than realizing your two-occupant vehicle is allowed to drive in the much less congested HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane. While some feel that HOV lanes are only contributing to urban sprawl and are ultimately encouraging more car use, most commuters who carpool find that HOV lanes shorten commute time and reduce per-person emissions, which helps with air quality. Plus, carpooling helps you save on fuel - so everyone is winning!

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