Emily Chung: Mummy Mechanic

Mar
23
2014

Milky, Frothy Engine Oil: Should I Worry?

This milkshake won't bring all the right boys to the yard

Milky Engine Oil Cap

Look under your engine oil cap and you may see a milky, frothy residue. There are a couple of reasons for this — one being more serious than the other. In either case, it's not ideal for your engine.

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Mar
14
2014
Oil Change Maintenance Reminder

The image you see above is from a 2013 Honda Accord. This car came to our shop recently, and for any of you that drive a Honda or Acura product, you’ll know that the maintenance reminder starts to count down in percentage how much "oil life" your car has. Ever wonder what happens below 5%? It starts counting negatively in mileage! The cluster above is showing that the client was 3,574kms OVERDUE on the oil change.

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Feb
12
2014

How A Car Keeps Your Spouse Happy

Improve your relationship on-the-go

2014 Lincoln MKZ

Last fall I took a road trip to Ottawa because I was scheduled to be on set with CTV Morning Live. I had the opportunity to ride with Joshua Norton, who successfully pitched me to CTV, and we started talking about creative ideas for my blog as well as some of his other projects. I believe in giving credit where it’s due and the idea for this blog post is definitely thanks to him!

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Feb
12
2014

What's All That Junk In Your Trunk?

Excess baggage is never good

Loaded car trunk

The jam-packed trunk you see above belongs to a good friend of mine. She travels a lot for work and lugs around product samples. Her trunk (and sometimes the rest of the car) is always filled to the brim. She came to our auto repair shop last week because her car needed to have suspension and engine work done. In order for us to replace her rear shocks, we have to access them through the trunk. Before we did any engine work, we had to disconnect her battery . . . also located in the trunk.

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Feb
07
2014

You're Taking A Risk Every Time You Drive Without These

I'm sick of hearing this winter tire excuse

Winter Tires for Winter

I get it—for some of you, having a set of winter tires means you have to find storage space for them, it's an added expense, and a chore to book the appointment to get them done. It's not fun. I understand. But we do live in Canada, it gets cold and we have SNOW! Some call that white gold!

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Jan
26
2014

Is Your Car Making You A Better Driver?

Looking at technology's influence on everyday driving

When I first started driving I got in the car, put on my seatbelt and away I went. Then came airbags and I remember watching commercial after commercial of those crash-test dummies. Nowadays, airbags are standard on cars and some even come with smaller airbags that minimize the impact of your knees hitting the dash in the event of a collision. Vehicle safety has come a long way.

GM Crash Test

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Dec
23
2013

Where Is Santa?

NORAD and OnStar can tell you

Santa's journey through NORAD and OnStar

It's the happiest time of the year! Beginning 5am Christmas Eve through 5am Christmas morning, you and your little ones can track Santa's journey with the help of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command). You can call 877-HI-NORAD (877-446-6723) or visit NORAD Santa Tracker to see where the jolly man and his entourage are.

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Dec
20
2013

Why You Should Use A/C In The Winter

Using your air conditioner year-round is better for your car

Use air conditioner in winter

Do you only use your car's air conditioning in the summer? Many drivers think that they will prolong its life if they don't use it that often. However, the opposite may be true.

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Dec
11
2013

Know the Signals: Your Dashlights are Telling You Something

Do you stop driving when a red light comes on?

car dash lights

It seems like there's more and more information that manufacturers want to display for you while you're driving. Not too long ago, instrument panels were plain—no lights on—just displaying your speed and RPM.

Old Car Instrument Panel

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Dec
04
2013

2014 Honda Odyssey: Vacuuming Is Child's Play

Make a mess in this minivan—I dare you

2014 Honda Odyssey Vacuum Test

In my opinion, there’s only so much you can do to make a minivan exciting. A minivan, according to Google, is quite simply a “small van, a people carrier.” The 2014 Honda Odyssey is positioned as a minivan with all the bells and whistles—and a built-in vacuum cleaner. Yep, built-in. So our Odyssey clients with this feature have no excuse for driving around in a dirty minivan!

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Nov
13
2013

My Experience Taking My Son Out of School for a Getaway

My personal 4-day challenge to tame my inner Tiger Mom

I grew up in a typical Chinese home, the Canadian-born daughter of Chinese immigrants. From a young age, I knew I had high expectations to live up to; academics were incredibly important (I remember my dad asking me what happened to the last 4% when I brought home a science test that I scored 96% on). After school and on weekends, I had math tutoring. My mom wanted me to be a well-rounded kid, so I had dance, art, swimming, and skating lessons (thankfully not all at the same time). I sang with the Toronto Children’s Choir for a few years.

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Oct
11
2013

One Reason To Keep An Old Phone

An essential part to your car's emergency kit

Old cell phone emergency kit

It seems like people are getting new phones all the time, left, right, and centre. Before you throw away your old phone, consider this: Did you know that according to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), you can use your old phone to make emergency 911 calls?

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Oct
02
2013
2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Here’s how the 2013 Hyundai Sonata is billed: it’s a car for owners that “…look for quality and the features they want at a good price, and even a design that expresses their sense of style.” That’s quite the standard for me to live up to, driving that car!

Just to be clear.. let's look at the transformation. Here's a 1988 Hyundai Sonata:

1988 Hyundai Sonata

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Sep
29
2013
Dry steer

Ok, so I’m not talking about the kind of dry rub for chicken or ribs. Dry rub (commonly known as dry steer) is when you turn the steering wheel with the vehicle stationary. Not a good idea unless you’re doing a really tight turn à la Austin Powers:

Austin Powers warehouse U-turn

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Sep
27
2013

How The Dodge Grand Caravan Fits Into My Busy Life

Mechanic, Child Car Seat Technician, and Mom

2013 Dodge Grand Caravan

When our clients bring in their Dodge Grand Caravan, I usually only have it for a 2km test drive.

When I got my hands on the new 2013 Grand Caravan to test drive, I put on almost 1,000kms in just under one week.

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Sep
24
2013
Hyundai_Veloster

When I first began speaking with Hyundai about road testing their cars, I mentioned that my husband and I are always looking out for our next car in case his reliable 2004 Toyota Corolla needs to be replaced. It has almost 400,000kms on it so we’ve gotten some good use out of it. We need a smaller car and my husband commutes a lot so he wants something fun to drive. I typically have the kids in my car so they’d only be with him every now and then.

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Sep
03
2013

Whining While Turning

No, it's not your kids—it's the power steering

steering whine

Turning your steering wheel all the way in one direction (e.g. to the lock) until it stops is very unhealthy for your car. Ever notice a whine noise when you hold the steering wheel turned all the way? And if you back off just a little bit the whining stops? That’s because your power steering system is under a significant amount of pressure.

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Aug
28
2013

Family-Friendly 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

Winner: Canadian Utility Vehicle Of The Year Award

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

It’s the first time I’m road testing a car similar to the one I currently drive (Buick Rendezvous). We love the versatility of our SUV as it’s a 7-seater and can lug a bunch of things around. I was curious about the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe – it’s 7 years younger than my Rendezvous and I wanted to know how much has changed in terms of new car offerings. It also won the 2013 Canadian Utility Vehicle Of The Year Award. I tested the family-friendly Santa Fe Limited edition over one week and put on about 2,000kms.

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Aug
01
2013
Car navigation panel
I'll have to admit, cars' touchscreen media/navigation units are pretty convenient. But, as you can imagine, those things are very expensive to replace! For example, a new unit for a 2011 Honda CR-V is just over $5,000 for the part alone, nevermind the cost of labour. You could get a used one online for about $600—but I'd be weary of those. You won't know if the part functions properly until after installation. Of course, you could always get an aftermarket (non-Honda) unit.

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