Emily Chung: Mummy Mechanic

Feb
19
2015

Even Your Vehicle Doesn't Like Canadian Winters

How cold weather affects your ride

Winter temperature
We live in a beautiful country with all four seasons coming through the year. Lovely, isn’t it? Except that I’ve been at home for today – refusing to go out because it’s -20C outside, never mind the wind chill. Contrast that with the summer months, where we can have temperatures registering in the low 30C range and that’s not even factoring in the humidity.
 
Manufacturers often have multiple maintenance schedules listed for their vehicles.

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Jan
21
2015

Why this Auto Tech Wouldn't Drive Far Without OnStar

Using car technology to help you after a collision

OnStar Handsfree

You’ve been in a collision – now what?! Accidents happen in 150 milliseconds – that’s 0.15 of a second, but the results can be everlasting. Once a collision has occurred, occupants can be left feeling dazed, confused, and even seriously injured, and with minimal ability to move. Often times, you may not even be aware of where you are in order to call for help.

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Jan
05
2015

Get Into this Habit at the Drive-Thru

What You Should Cover When You Roll Down

Drive Through

Anyone out there remember the old school window crank? It would take FOREVER to get the window up and down. Granted there are still some cars out there with manual windows, and one benefit to them is that they never fail!

Did You Know If You Don't Use This Vehicle Feature It Can Stop Working?

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Dec
31
2014

How Vehicle Manufacturers are Helping to Keep You Safe

Your car is a second set of eyes on the road

Rear Cross Traffic Alert

Car accidents happen – FAST! Before you realize what’s happening, it’s over. It’s easy to look back and think of how you should’ve maneuvered differently, or been paying more attention, etc. The fact is, they happen to the best of us, and sometimes we’re just not able to react quick enough to prevent or lessen the impact but car manufacturers are constantly researching to improve vehicle’s capabilities for collisions.

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Dec
28
2014
Crash Test Dummies

When accidents happen, they’re over before we know it and the results can be frightening just to read, never mind experience. Vehicle safety features are improving every year and manufacturers pride themselves on their safety advances. In fact, they spend millions (dare we say.. billions!) of dollars on research! In every collision, there are 3 stages to it: before, during, and after.

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Dec
23
2014

Why NOT to Follow a Car Manufacturer's Maintenance Schedule

Factory maintenance intervals are the bare minimum

changing engine oil

As I write this blog post, I’m anticipating a lot of people will disagree with me… I’m going to be writing about something that a lot of you don’t want to hear. In fact, I’ve avoided writing about this for a while now because many will disagree with me. Alas, I feel convicted to say it like it is. Whether you agree with me or not – this is based on my experience in the automotive industry.

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Oct
30
2014

93% Of Parents Put Their Infants At Risk In Their Car Seat

This starts from the time they leave the hospital

Infant child car seat

Infants don’t come with manuals, but their car seats do. Yet with all the written instructions and online help, a recent study found that 93% of families made at least one critical error in securing their infant in the car seat or securing the car seat to the car. Two hundred and sixty-seven mother-infant pairs were observed at an Oregon hospital’s mother-baby unit. The results of this study were presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition.

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Sep
30
2014

6 Driving And Car Maintenance Tips For Busy Parents

Life doesn't always have to be in the fast lane

6 Driving And Car Maintenance Tips For Busy Parents

There are only 24 hours in a day, right? How many of us are trying to squeeze every last second out of it? As a wife, mom, and business owner, I struggle with effective time management—but I'm working on it.

To start, I’ve shed a few responsibilities and I've gotten better at saying no...but to be honest, there are a lot of other things I still need to add to that list. I’m sure you can relate!

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Sep
22
2014

How A Car Lover Says Goodbye To Summer

One last hurrah in a 2014 Jeep Wrangler

2014 Jeep Wrangler

As I write, there is snow falling in Western Canada. Where did our summer go? Looking back, summers have always been too short This year I decided to celebrate the end of summer instead of anxiously waiting for the colder temperatures to hit.

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Aug
11
2014

Think Twice About Asking For Your Car's Tune-Up

Do you know what we really do for a tune-up?

Getting a tune up for your car

Quite often we get calls from clients asking for a tune-up on their car. What many of them think they're asking for is an overall maintenance check, making sure that their engine is running well, etc. What a tune-up means for technicians today is different than what it meant many years ago.

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Jul
29
2014

Know Someone Who Really Stands Out In Your Community?

Nominate Someone Special For CARSTAR's Random Acts of Shineness Award

Recognize Someone Who Makes A Difference In Their Community

There’s a big perception out there that most mechanics can’t be trusted. In every industry, you’re going to have the bad apples and it’s no different in auto repair. The reason why I went to trade school was because I didn’t feel comfortable taking my car in for service, so now I’m a licensed auto repair technician at my own shop, AutoNiche.

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Jul
15
2014
Parking Brake

As recently as 2008 and 2010 in Toronto, several cars had their brake lines cut. Your car has the emergency brake (also known as parking brake) feature specifically for situations like these. Brake fluid can also be lost when a brake line bursts, usually due to rust or an improper repair.

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Jul
07
2014
Feet on dash

Summertime is here and many people sitting in the front passenger seat want to put their feet up on the dash or out the window while they're cruising. To be honest, as a driver I can't stand staring at other people's feet.

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Jun
30
2014

Got Scratches On Your Car's Door Handle?

Beware of big rings and long fingernails!

Scratches on door handle

Every now and again at my auto repair shop, we see a car that has numerous scratches in the door behind the handle. Most often, it’s because the client has longer fingernails or big rings. That manicured and accessorized hand looks great, but the client unknowingly scratches the door every time they grab the door handle and pull to open the door. For me, it would be something I wouldn’t even think of or notice, because opening the car door only takes a split second, then I’m in the driver’s seat and gone.

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Jun
04
2014

Car Pop Quiz From A 6-Year-Old: Could You Answer?

Hosting Treehouse TV's Isaiah At AutoNiche

This Is Isaiah AutoNiche

From the time my boys were young, they were fascinated with anything that moved. Cars, planes, trains, etc. So when we got the call that Isaiah (host of Treehouse TV's This Is Scarlet & Isaiah) wanted to come to our shop and talk cars, we were really looking forward to having some fun!

Here's a sneak peek—check it out:

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May
27
2014

Is Your Car Becoming A Mouse-House?

Mr. Mouse, stay out of my car!

Rodents in your car

Did you know it’s not uncommon for rodents to get into your car’s engine bay and build a nest, chew wiring, or store food? As you can imagine, the cost of fixing your car because a cute lil' mouse got in can be quite high. 

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Apr
11
2014

Would You Make This Car Seat Exception For The Prince?

Prince George goes forward-facing in New Zealand

Child Car Seat Crown

Earlier this week, the Royal family embarked on their first visit to New Zealand together and while the frenzy began due to their travelling together in one plane (direct heirs to the throne aren't supposed to travel together), it sure didn’t end there. Plunket is a very well known support service in NZ that self proclaims to see over 90% of newborns, providing information and support, including child car seat safety.

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Apr
10
2014

Is Your Car Giving You Too Much Info?

My fave display: Mazda keeps it sleek and simple

Too much info

In an age where simple and clean lines are emphasized in design, there are a lot of cars with displays that seem crowded, giving too much information and too many options. It’s distracting! I road test different cars, different manufacturers, and I only have one week with each vehicle. If I can’t figure out how to use the information panel in less than 60 minutes, I won’t have time to mess with it later.

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Mar
27
2014

How To Buckle Up When You're Pregnant

Tips for wearing a seatbelt through your pregnancy

how to buckle up when pregnant
Your belly is getting bigger and you may be getting uncomfortable. I remember when I was later on in my pregnancy, getting in and out of my car took effort! To be honest, there were moments when I couldn't wait to have the baby and get the pregnancy over with.
 
We often talk about child car seat safety with clients when they're preparing for their new one to arrive. But what about pregnant moms?

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