76 entries categorized "About Your Car"

‘Tis the Season for WinterGas™


Well, the holidays are over – unfortunately, winter is not. But when the weather outside is frightful, WinterGas™ is delightful! And it’s available again this year at Petro-Canada.

What makes WinterGas different from regular gasoline?

WinterGas is specially formulated to have a higher vapour pressure. Essentially, gasoline in winter months needs to be more volatile to help your engine start more quickly. So WinterGas helps with cold weather start ups.

WinterGas also includes Petro-Canada’s Tactrol™ additive, which is designed to act as a detergent. Tactrol helps keep your engine operating efficiently and reliably by removing deposits formed in the fuel and intake system.

The final additive that makes WinterGas more effective in harsh winter conditions is our gas-line anti-freeze, which helps prevent fuel line freezing and keeps the fuel moving when temperatures drop.

Is WinterGas more expensive than regular gasoline?

Nope. WinterGas is available in all grades of gasoline – including Ultra 94 – at no extra cost.

Where can I get WinterGas?

No other gas station in Canada makes WinterGas - it's available exclusively at Petro-Canada from November through March in all gasoline grades at Petro-Canada gas stations across Canada (except the Greater Vancouver Regional District, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast).

As our iconic WinterGas commercial says, "you have to live here to get it"!

What’s the winter been like in your area this year? Let us know in the comments. And stay safe out there, drivers!

- Rose R.

Stocking Stuffers for Car Enthusiasts

Car christmas ornament

Car lovers can be a challenge to buy for - especially if you're not into cars yourself. So we polled the PumpTalk team and asked what everyone's ideal stocking stuffer would be - you know, in case we make someone's "Nice" list.

Motor Club Membership I'm a safety girl and like knowing that if I get in trouble, there is someone I can call. A membership to a motor club, like our partner the CAA, is a great stocking stuffer!  

Gear shift cufflinks Maybe your gear head is also a bit of a clothes horse. He can show off both his passions with these cool gear shift cufflinks.  

Something from their favourite car manufacturer OK, the BEST gift would be something new and shiny with 4-wheel drive from the dealership. But since it's tricky to stuff a new, full-size BMW in my stocking, maybe just a keyring that sports the BMW logo. Or a pen. Or a paperweight.

High-end ice scraper It just got frosty in Vancouver and the only ice scraper I could find was in the bottom of my car "go" bag which was this cheap yellow mini scraper that I got as a promo item from a magazine subscription 20 years ago. Time to upgrade. The good folks at The Wire Cutter review a LOT of scrapers and provide some direction on which types work best, including the best one for small cars and large vehicles. 

Car First Aid Kit Ooo .. more safety! Seriously, though - you should definitely have a first aid kit in your car! This one from the Canadian Red Cross is a good basic kit

A great travel mug - insulated, with a spill-proof lid There is nothing like an awesome travel mug that won't spill all over their prized leather seats. I recently upgraded from my old mug to one that is seriously thermal. My coffee stays hot a couple hours longer which makes me a happy camper. Plus, it's better for the environment than those single use cups.

Event tickets Have a hard time keeping your car lover away from the track? Surprise them with tickets to a racing event in your area - or better yet, an event that requires a road trip!

Petro-Canada Gift Card How could we resist? A Petro-Canada Gift Card is the most perfect stocking stuffer of all! They can use it for gas, motor oil or convenience store items.  

Well, we hope we've given you some ideas about what to get your gear head this holiday season! We'd love to hear your about your favourite gift ideas - tell us about them in the comments!

- Rose R.

How Hackable is Your Car? Here’s a Handy Infographic.

Car computer

Back when our conveyances were horses and buggies, your engine had a mind of its own and ran on oats. The gasoline-powered motorcar put the control squarely in the hands of the driver for nearly a century but as car technology advances and computers play a larger role in the running of your vehicle, there is a mounting concern that your car may once again have a mind of its own – or rather, that its mind might be controlled by someone other than the driver.

The more car systems become connected to the internet, the more opportunities there are for hackers to wreak havoc.

The idea of your car being “hacked” – i.e. someone remotely taking control of your vehicle while you’re driving – hit the mainstream this summer when Chrysler recalled 1.4 million vehicles in order to correct a vulnerability in its new UConnect infotainment system that would have allowed a hacker who knew a specific car’s IP address to remotely control parts of the vehicle, from the environmental controls to cutting the engine.

Check out this video from Wired to see some hackers and a Wired writer demonstrating what they’re able to do to his car with their laptops.

Obviously, not every vehicle faces a huge hacking risk – some cars are more hackable than others – and there are steps you can take to keep your car as secure as possible. This handy infographic from forensic engineering consulting firm PT&C|LWG is a bit of long read, but it really lays out which cars are most vulnerable, how “hacking” works on vehicles and what we as drivers can do to help mitigate the risks. Is your vehicle on the “most hackable” list?

Car hacking infographic

Winter Car Care Tips

Winter driving

The last few dazzling autumn leaves have fallen from the trees and this morning, your lawn made a crunching sound. It’s officially winter in Canada.

Canadian winters are notoriously hard on vehicles and having a break down in the freezing cold is nobody’s idea of fun – so here are a few winter car care tips to help you keep your vehicle running smoothly through the season.

Test your battery: Have your battery and charging systems checked to ensure they’re performing optimally. Canadian winters are hard on batteries!

Be cool: When’s the last time you cleaned, flushed and put new anti-freeze in your cooling system? This should be done roughly every two years to keep the system working through the winter.

Check your exhaust system: Make sure your exhaust system isn’t leaking carbon monoxide, which can be very dangerous in winter, when we’re all driving around with the windows shut.

Get a clear view: Make sure your headlights and taillights are working and are aimed properly. Top up your windshield wiper fluid and make sure your wipers are clearing your windshield completely with each swipe.

Keep on top of your tires: If it’s consistently 7C or below in your area, it’s time to switch to winter tires. Make sure you’ve installed four matching winter tires and that they’re properly inflated. Checking your tire inflation regularly is especially important in the winter, as cold temperatures cause tire pressure to fluctuate.

Be prepared: Having a fully-stocked emergency car safety kit in the car is important all year round, but unpredictable winter weather makes it even more essential. Go through your kit and replace any items that are worn or have expired.

Protect your exterior: The combo of road dirt, salt and snow is hard on your vehicle. Make sure to visit the car wash when you start to see a build up of sludge. And make sure to clean the snow off your car before you drive.

How do you keep your car running smoothly through the winter? Let us know in the comments!

- Rose R.


Recycling Your Ride – Good for the Earth and Your Wallet

Recycle your car

I read today that the average vehicle gets retired after about 11 years of service. This is good news – back in 1995, a car generally lasted about eight years before being scrapped. But I felt a pang of anxiety when I remembered that our beloved Saturn Vue, Chloe, is coming up on 10 years old.

I’m not going to lie – I dread the day that we have to retire Chloe. She’s so reliable and comfortable and Saturn doesn’t make cars anymore, so finding a vehicle to match the glory of Chloe will be a challenge. Fortunately, she is well-maintained and is driven sparingly, so we expect her to last far longer than the average, non-glorious vehicle.

Still, it got me thinking - what do you do with your vehicle when it’s time for it to retire? Well…it turns out you can recycle it!

You can check to see if the manufacturer of your vehicle has their own auto recycling program; often auto manufacturers will offer incentives, like a substantial credit towards purchasing a new vehicle, if you recycle your ride with them. But if your car manufacturer does not run such a program, check out Retire Your Ride.

Retire Your Ride is a national program that the federal government started back in 2009 as a way to incentivize drivers with vehicles from years prior to 1995 to retire their high emissions cars. The program was meant to wrap up in 2011 but it was so successful that it still exists today, though it’s now managed by the Automotive Recyclers of Canada.

How does it work? When you’re ready to say goodbye to your vehicle, you fill out a form on the Retire Your Ride website and your vehicle information is passed on to a network of local certified auto recyclers. Each of them bid on your vehicle and Retire Your Ride presents you with the highest bid. If you accept the bid, then they’ll come get your vehicle and leave you with a cheque. Pretty sweet!

The recycling process is composed of three parts. The auto recycler will:

  • Dispose of your vehicles toxic fluids and/or parts in an environmentally responsible way
  • Salvage any parts that can be re-used
  • Recycle the remaining parts of your vehicle into a multitude of other items.

Check out the Responsible Recycling page on the Retire Your Ride website for more in-depth details about the car recycling process.

Recycle your car
Image credit: RetireYourRide.ca 

Ready to retire your ride? I know, it’s hard to say goodbye. But all you have to do is fill out the Retire Your Ride form to get started.

What’s the longest you’ve ever driven one vehicle for? Have you ever recycled your ride? Share your stories in the comments.

- Rose R.