We have FREE maintenance inspections.
Our shop offers FREE pick-up and delivery.
We also offer marine repair, maintenance, sales and parts for all boats and PWC.
Feel free to call or email us to schedule your next appointment.
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
We accept checks and debit.
Hartzel Automotive & Marine Car Care Advice for Thorold Motorists: Where Should New Tires Be Placed
When Thorold car owners need to replace tires, they need to know how many they should get, and on which axle they should be placed. Replacing a damaged tire may leave you with three others with significant wear, which could affect your traction control, stability control, and anti-lock brake systems.
If you can’t afford to replace all four tires at once, you should at least replace two on the same axle. New tires should always be put on the rear axle for stability in slippery conditions. Your knowledgeable Hartzel Automotive & Marine tire professional can help you know when your worn tires should be replaced, if you can have a damaged tire repaired as well as selecting the right tires for your needs.
Give us a call
Hartzel Automotive & Marine 905.684.0050 96 Ormond St. S. Thorold, Ontario L2V 4V6
Coolant Service at Hartzel Automotive & Marine
Thorold drivers' cars have to operate in a wide range of Ontario temperatures which requires our engine coolant to be able to perform 'no matter what'. Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant does its thing. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive...
And all the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That’s why auto makers recommend different types of anti-freeze for our Thorold, Ontario vehicles.
There are several different 'families' of anti-freeze available to us here in Thorold, Ontario. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at Hartzel Automotive & Marine will know the right kind for your car.
It’s vital to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in Thorold, Ontario. Regular service at Hartzel Automotive & Marine needs to be done to avoid failures and also to keep your warranty in place.
While the specifics of the service required may vary from vehicle to vehicle, your knowledgeable Hartzel Automotive & Marine technician will know what to do. You’ll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals.
Some manufacturers recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your Thorold service specialist recommends.
Someday, you may have to deal with an overheating problem, so you need to know what to do if your coolant temperature warning light comes on or your temperature gauge is in the hot zone.
Now, overheating can be very costly. Thorold auto owners can literally melt down their engine and have to replace the whole thing. So don't ignore warning signs.
First turn off the air conditioner. This will lower engine temperature right away. Next, crank up your heater to maximum heat and run the fan at high speed. You might need to roll down the windows, but this will take a lot of heat off the engine. Pull over as soon as you can safely do so, especially if you are stuck in slow-moving traffic, and shut the car off. It may take as much as 45 minutes for the engine to cool to the point that it’s safe to operate the car again.
If you need to add water or antifreeze, be sure to wait until the car cools down. Opening the radiator cap or even the overflow bottle when the coolant is hot and under pressure may result in serious burns.
After the engine has cooled for 45 minutes or so, look to see if the coolant is low in the overflow tank. If so, you can cover the overflow tank cap with a large cloth and open the lid. Then start the engine and pour in some water or antifreeze. Pouring it in when the car is running will circulate the new, cool fluid with the warmer fluid in the engine and avoid engine damage.
Of course, overheating is a serious problem and you need to get it fixed right away. Hartzel Automotive & Marine can make sure the coolant is right before you drive home.
Those spring and winter inspections really come in handy when they head off a cooling system problem. And don’t forget that severe service driving conditions, like towing or hot, dusty driving around Thorold, Ontario, mean that you’ll need to service your coolant more frequently.
At AutoNetTV, we suggest that you have Hartzel Automotive & Marine inspect your coolant system to find small problems before they become big, and to change belts and hoses before they fail. After all, we don’t want you to lose your cool out there in Thorold, Ontario.
Smooth Shifting in Thorold Ontario: Transmission Service
So you have some exciting plans for the Ontario weekend. You’re going to take some of your Thorold, Ontario friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you’ve gotten the boat all ready. And you haven’t forgotten about your tow vehicle. You’ve gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more essential than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your SUV maintenance is up to date.
Think about it – heavy expressway traffic on the way out of Thorold. There’s hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it's going to be pretty hot in Thorold this weekend. And all the time you’ll be towing around several thousand extra pounds. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.
Let’s just consider the transmission. It’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the local Ontario lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.
It’s vital to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, it's vital for Thorold car owners to have it serviced by automotive professionals like the team at Hartzel Automotive & Marine in Thorold to make sure it runs efficiently.
An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid must pass to keep it shifting smoothly. Thorold auto owners who neglect regularly scheduled transmission service risk the passages clogging up and starting to have problems.
Thorold auto owners who neglect their transmission for too long will eventually experience costly transmission failure. You really don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.
This reminds us of how much of our driving around Thorold, Ontario is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips, driving in very hot or very cold Ontario weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Thorold, Ontario add to the strain. Basically, any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions.
While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your service professional at Hartzel Automotive & Marine will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.
Now, don’t forget the sunscreen.
Tire Tread Depth for Thorold, Ontario Drivers
Driving on bald tires is like playing roulette. Though you may be fine today, eventually your luck is going to run out.
The Feds don't have any laws for tread depth, but 42 of the states, and all of Canada, do have regulations. They consider two-thirty-seconds of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider one-thirty-second to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Call us at Hartzel Automotive & Marine; (just call 905.684.0050) to find out what your requirements are in the Thorold, Ontario area.
Since 1968, U.S. law has required that a raised bar be molded across all tires. When tires are worn enough that this bar becomes visible, there’s just 2/32” of tread left. But does that older standard give Thorold drivers enough safety?
Consider this: Consumer Reports recommends tire replacement when tread reaches 4/32”. And the recommendation is backed by some very compelling studies. Now before we go into the studies, you need to know that the essential issue is braking on wet surfaces.
We tend to think of the brakes doing all the stopping, but Thorold car owners also need to have effective tires to actually stop the car. When it’s wet or snowy in Thorold Ontario, the tread of the tire is critical to stopping power.
Picture this: you’re driving in Thorold over a water-covered stretch of road. Your tires actually need to be in contact with the road in order to stop. That means the tire has to channel the water away so the tire is actually contacting the road and not floating on a thin film of water – a harmful condition known as hydroplaning. When there’s not enough tread depth on a tire, it can’t move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.
This is where the studies come in. We think Thorold car owners will be surprised. A section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime flat on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to submerge it.
A car and a full-sized pick-up truck were brought up to 70 mph and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths. First, they tested new tires. Then tires worn to legal limits. And finally, tires with 4/32” of tread were tested (the depth suggested by Consumer Reports.)
When the car with the legally worn tires had braked for the distance required to stop the car with new tires, it was still going 55 mph. The stopping distance was nearly doubled. That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, then you would hit the car in front of you at 55 mph with the worn tires.
Now with the partially worn tires – at the depth recommended by Consumer Reports – the car was still going at 45 mph at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. That’s a big improvement – you can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.
Now without going into all the details, let us tell you that stopping the truck with worn tires needed almost 1/10 of a mile of clear road ahead to come to a safe stop. How many Thorold car owners follow that far behind the SUV ahead? Obviously, this is an important safety issue.
The tests were conducted with the same vehicles, but with different sets of tires. The brakes were the same, so the only variable was the tires.
How do Thorold drivers know when their tires are at 4/32”? Well, it’s pretty easy. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.
Now you may remember doing that with pennies. But a penny gives you 2/32” of an inch to Abraham Lincoln’s head. The quarter is the new standard – 4/32”.
Tires are a big ticket item and most car owners in Thorold, Ontario want to get thousands of miles out of them. Just remember: driving on bald tires is like playing roulette.
Have Mr. Washington look at your tires today. If he recommends a new set, come see us at Hartzel Automotive & Marine in Thorold.
Hartzel Automotive & Marine 96 Ormond St. S. Thorold, Ontario L2V 4V6 905.684.0050
Super Slick at Hartzel Automotive & Marine in Thorold: Synthetic Oil
When you get an oil change, it’s always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the car maker recommends. But sometimes we’re asked if we’d like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for Thorold car owners.
Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides essential advantages over conventional motor oil.
First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for Thorold drivers, cooler operating temperatures, more engine power and increased MPG.
Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It provides better protection for severe conditions like stop-and-go driving around Thorold and very hot or freezing Ontario temperatures.
Also, synthetic oil doesn’t generate dangerous oil sludge like conventional oil. This prevents small engine passageways from becoming clogged, which can significantly extend the working life of your SUV engine.
Manufacturers are aware of the advantages of synthetic oil, and many of them are using it to fill their SUVs before delivering them to be sold. Many automobile manufacturer's owner’s manuals now come with the recommendation to use only synthetic oil. Because synthetic oil wears better and protects better than conventional motor oil, it can be changed less often. If your SUV came with a recommendation for synthetic oil, you may have noticed that the recommended period between oil changes is longer than what you’re used to. However, if you switch to conventional oil, you need to be aware that you can’t follow this longer service interval. You’ll have to change your oil more often.
On the other hand, if you are using conventional oil and you switch to synthetic oil, you may be able to lengthen the time between oil changes. You can speak with your knowledgeable Hartzel Automotive & Marine service advisor. He can offer you good auto advice about oils and service intervals based on your driving habits and requirements.
Oil changes are the hallmark of important preventive maintenance at Hartzel Automotive & Marine. All Thorold car owners need them. So we should get excited about a product that reduces how often we need them. Synthetic oil is more pricey, yes, but it can pay for itself by lasting longer than conventional oil. And when you add in the hidden savings of an extended engine life and improved gas mileage, not to mention increased engine power, there’s a good chance that synthetic oil actually saves in the long run. All Thorold car owners pay for car care. But understanding what we’re paying for can make us more savvy shoppers.