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4 entries from November 2013

Do You Understand Your Car's Safety Features?

Safety features: Airbag
Photo: iStockphoto

Safety features might be top of mind when you're buying a car, but according to a poll conducted this summer by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), less than 35% of Canadians are actually familiar with all of the safety features on their vehicle.

I was surprised by this statistic until I read about which safety features poll participants were asked about. I know how ABS (anti-lock brakes) work, but how about EBFD (electronic break force distribution) and ESC (electronic stability control)? How do those work? Does my vehicle even have those? And how do they affect my driving?

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How to Avoid Being Left Out in the Cold - Winter Maintenance Tips from CAA

Car covered in snow
Photo: iStockphoto

Last year, we were thrilled to welcome our partner, CAA South Central Ontario, as guest bloggers here on PumpTalk. This time they're here to share their checklist for preparing your vehicle for its annual battle with Old Man Winter.

It won't be long before the bitter cold arrives and the first snowflakes fly. Before you reach for the parka and snow shovel, be sure to prep your vehicle for the winter driving months.

Make sure your vehicle is winter ready:

Battery: Have your battery tested by a trained technician. Replace weak batteries before they fail.

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Canada's Most Dangerous Intersections - Is There One Near You?

Busy Intersection
Photo: iStockphoto

We've all done it - misjudged when a stale green would turn yellow or screeched to sudden stop when a pedestrian darted out in front the car. When traffic converges at busy intersections, all it takes is one driver's bad timing to cause an accident.

That said, some intersections are more prone to accidents than others, thanks to traffic volume, the state of the roads, poor traffic light timing, distracting signage and other factors like local weather conditions (for example, in cities that see a lot of precipitation).

True to form, it's raining cats and dogs in Vancouver right now, so I wasn't surprised to see that the most dangerous intersection in Canada (according to this Yahoo Autos article) is about a 15 minute drive south of my house - and speaking from experience, it is pretty tricky.

Author Michael Small compiled provincial and national accident statistics to come up with a list of Canada's 20 most dangerous intersections. Is there one near you?

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How New Car Technologies Can Help You Save on Fuel

Gearshift
Photo: iStockphoto

As we noted in our post last fall, Fuel Saving Devices - Helpful Gadgets or Mythical Fuel Savers?, most after-market fuel-saving gadgets don't actually help you save on fuel.

The best ways to improve your current vehicle's fuel economy are still the tried and true techniques like the ones we illustrate in our Ways to Save on Fuel infographic.

Fortunately, as competition heats up among car manufacturers to produce the most fuel efficient vehicle, automakers are incorporating more and more technologies that help drivers save on fuel.

What new technologies are we talking about? Well, for example, according to this article Car and Driver , new car buyers can looking forward to fuel economy improvements in areas such as:

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