As we enter our second year of the COVID 19 Pandemic, keeping our sanity and getting away from home will now be more important than ever before. Many of us will rely on our vehicles more than ever this year as well. As we slowly come out of winter here in Alberta, we welcome the warm summer winds.
This also signifies that it is time after a long winter to make sure that your vehicle is up to date in maintenance, and it's time to think about getting the winter tires off of the vehicle. This is a very busy time for us here at Dale Adams so we strongly encourage you to book your service appointment ahead of time.
Here are some tips on the basic maintenance your car will need as summer approaches.
Get a Fresh Oil Change
The oil in your car or vehicle should be changed about every 5000 kms or three months. As Alberta is so dry and as cities spread dirt on the roads to melt ice, there are often dust particles that can contaminate your intake. The extreme temperature changes can also mess with the oil’s viscosity over a long tough winter. There isn't much better than a fresh oil change after winter.
Change and Inspect Your Tires
First of all, it's time to swap those winter tires for your summer tires. This is a great time to inspect both sets of tires now that you can view them off of your vehicle. Be sure that they are wearing evenly and you can use a Sharpie marker to mark the position you took the tires off from to ensure proper rotation next time you swap them. Be sure to check the tread depth and for any imperfections. If you need help, advice and new tires, be sure to ask us. We have access to the best tires in the city!
Check Air Filters
You really only need to change-or at least clean-your air filters about every second oil change. Similar to the above, as you know, we have a dry and dusty climate. Even when you think you are avoiding dust in the winter, that isn't true due to the accumulation of dirt on the roads during winter that gets whipped up by drivers.
Inspect the Belts and Hoses
It seems there is a trend here, but guess what else wreaks havoc on belts and hoses? Yup, it's the extreme temperature swings. Most vehicles in Canada are designer with cold winters in mind, but checking these belts and hoses regularly is key to avoiding break downs. You won't believe how many issues we see because of neglected belts and hoses. Though you can check yourself, we recommend letting a mechanic (namely, the Dale Adams team) inspect these, as they know what they are looking for.
How are those Wiper Blades?
Yes, temperature and thick ice and snow also do a number on wiper blades. As these are so easy and inexpensive to replace, and annoying when they don't work, we highly recommend changing these often. Don't wait for that April rainstorm to find out you can't see as the wipers aren't wiping. Don't forget those rear wipers too!
Check Your Radiator & Cooling System
When winter ends, it is not uncommon that you may have to top up radiator fluids. As cold as it can get in the winter here, we also know how warm it can get here in the hot and dry summers. We also live in the spacious prairies where there can be long stretches between service stations. Don't risk having your vehicle, especially older models, overheating and stalling out in the summer. Be sure to get all your liquid levels checked but this coolant will be key.
Don't Forget the Air Conditioning
After such a long winter, it may be easy to forget we even have AC in our cars. We sometimes see that AC systems have had some issues during the winter, but that never gets noticed until that first warm day. Be sure to have your AC checked to make sure it is performing optimally and that it is working as expected. Isn't it nice to think about needing your AC on a hot summer drive?
We aren't going to tell you to floss your teeth, but as mechanics we do want to tell you a very true story. Performing regular maintenance saves you money. Otherwise, the need for more costly repairs due to neglected maintenance will happen. Regular maintenance also increases the life of your vehicle. We have an amazing maintenance program and we can even send you reminders to book again when you are ready. Booking is easy too. You can call or use our online booking system to find a time that works for you. We have very strict COVID protocols in place and offer a free shuttle service. Don't delay, book today and avoid the rush.
Your Dale Adams Team
7 Driving Techniques You Should Learn from a Race Car Driver & Why
Driving your conventional 4-door sedan may not seem to have anything in common with the experience of driving a $10 – $15 million Formula 1 (F1) car. The former is for average folk, while the latter is for the exceptionally gifted drivers out there, and it’s fair to assume all racing skills are only useful for race tracks. But they’re not worlds apart. In fact, there are a number of driving techniques you can learn from a race car driver, that will help make your daily drive to work or those summer road trips better. Not only are they good for improved performance, they’re actually great for your safety as well.
Let’s start with your eyes and brain here. On the track, a race car driver uses his or her eyes like a film camera, capturing different “shots”, primarily focusing on what’s far ahead of them or where they want to go. They’re not fixed just on what’s directly in front of them.
This is an important skill for you as a driver. Too many people fix their eyes on the car ahead of them, rather than the flow of traffic in the distance. For a race car driver, doing so means putting yourself in a bad position. For you, that could mean ending up in a serious or fatal accident. Keep this in mind: your brain needs time to process the road conditions ahead, and you can only do so if you have time to see what’s taking place beforehand. That calls for looking into the distance, not the foreground.
Like the left hand, you have individuals who use their left foot more than their right. Some of the best race car drivers are in this category, preferring to brake with their left foot. Braking with the left significantly reduces the time it takes to slow down, which of course, is vital at times when driving. The reason for this stems from the fact that your left foot is closer to the brake.
Drivers of race cars need to often decelerate from speeds of 250km/h to 80km/h around sharp corners, so quick braking is essential. For the average citizen, quick braking matters not for the finesse of turning around bends (although it is impressive), but to avoid losing control of your car or prevent a rear-end collision. A second can mean the difference between escape or impact. Braking with the right usually wastes that precious fraction of time, which often translates to a distance of 30 – 50 feet travelled. Left-foot braking, however, cuts that time down by several seconds. In turn, you stop much faster than you would with traditional braking.
For some odd reason, a lot of drivers think the busier they are behind the wheel, the better their driving skills are. They believe the constant steering, braking, accelerating and shifting of gears makes them more skilled since they’re able to multitask so well. They are mistaken. Watch a race one day – the occasional dash cam footage will show a level of stillness you may have not noticed before. The driver is usually focused on turning the wheel.
They maintain this focus to avoid losing control of their cars. Anytime they accelerate, brake or steer, there is the potential of breaking traction, which isn’t always desirable. A loss of traction is something you certainly don’t want as a driver, especially when the roads are slippery due to rain or ice. Unless you have refined chops as a racer yourself, you’ll want to maintain a smooth and steady drive by focusing on one thing at a time, without steering or braking/accelerating too hard.
Here’s a strange tip: don’t just grip the wheel, pull it. Race car drivers practice this weird little hack to gain superior control of their steering. So if the driver has to turn left, for example, they’ll pull down with their left hand (or if making a right, they’ll push down with the right) as if this allows for more dexterity and as a result, more control (although some recommend pulling down and pushing up with one hand).
For both race car drivers and yourself, more dexterity and control means a better driving experience. In terms of safety, you can weave around obstacles such as potholes, or distracted drivers instantaneously. Also, sharp turns that require plenty of stability won’t faze you.
Remember too, that racing isn’t all about speed, and safety plays a big part in the sport as well. That’s why drivers practice how to escape a slide at length since it can actually happen on a race track. Of course, there’s a difference between sliding and drifting (which is common in some motorsport such as rally racing). Drifting is controlled – sliding is not and since it puts the racer in danger, they must put their eyes where they want the car to stop, turn the wheel in that direction and maintain that position while slowly braking.
For both the race car driver and the average joe, doing so can prevent a collision with another vehicle. However, this technique is even more paramount for the average driver, because other motorists most likely won’t have the skills of a professional racer who can quickly dodge an out-of-control car.
Racing in the rain is no doubt riskier than racing on dry pavement. So the race car driver has to keep his vehicle balanced, in order to not spin out on the slippery surface. In motorsports, there’s a “racing line”, which is the path they should follow to complete a course as quickly as possible. However, in rainy weather, racers can’t follow these lines completely, and they’ll have to focus more on finding patches of road that offer the most grip.
Of course, rain can be dangerous both to the racers and regular drivers. But how can you abandon your “racing lines” to find your grip? Well apart from equipping your vehicle with the appropriate tires, you should take your attention off doing the speed limit and trying to beat the amber light. Rather, focus on early braking, maintaining your distance with other cars, and looking out for slick patches of road that may cause skids. The goal here isn’t to get to your point B faster, but to get there safely.
Tire blowouts occur on race tracks too. It can be devastating for the driver since it may cost them the chance of a winning title, like what happened to F1 racer Sebastian Vettel last fall. Nevertheless, drivers remain calm and keep their car moving straight until they’re moving slow enough to drive off to the pit stop. They don’t stomp on the brake or try to steer off the road, as this could cause their car to spin out of control, smashing into other vehicles.
This technique can be hard to pull off because it goes against everything your mind is telling you in such a frightening situation. But it can save lives. Again, this driving technique is probably more urgent for the average citizen, because a lot of drivers out there don’t have the reflexes, poise and muscle memory to stay away from you if you’re out of control. So remaining in a straight path will keep you and all those around you safe.
Learning from the masters
There are a ton of racing legends out there who have their own tips on how to drive a car. Of course, classic heroes like Mario Andretti or modern phenoms such Lewis Hamilton have their own tricks which they may not share with you. However, they all follow some basic driving techniques that you can also use. And they’re not only useful for performance, but your safety as well. So the next time you see something about a race car driver, don’t dismiss them as overpaid young men who get to sit all day – their skillset has relevance for you as well.
Talk to us here at Dale Adams about all your performance vehicle needs.
Some days we love our job much more than others, this was the case not long ago when we were invited to an exclusive up close and personal showing of the new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As one of only 4 official Shelby mod shops in Canada we make sure we are ready for everything Shelby, and this major enhancement release of the 2020 GT500 is nothing to be trifled with. This is a serious upgrade in power, and an even more serious upgrade in handling and traction. Ford is eyeing up the Camaro ZL1 for speed and handling and this is a serious step towards that title.
Others have broken down the specs for us. Be sure to check out these links:
So what's all the talk about? Here's a few things that caught our attention.
Most of the photos you have seen are of an early blue model but we got to see the Twister Orange Metallic Tinted Clearcoat model. The car also comes in these awesome colour options. Grabber Lime, Iconic Silver and Red Hot Metallic Tinted Clearcoat.
If you'd like to talk to us about getting your 2020 ordered, delivered and customized to your liking now is the time to talk to us. Let us make your Shelby dreams come true.
Here are photos we took at the event. Enjoy.
After repeated demand for a Shelby version of Ford’s award winning Super Duty lineup, we are proud to present our Shelby 1000 line of Super Duty work horses. Starting with a cold air intake and emission legal tune, we’ve cranked the torque to 1,000 lb/ft in the 6.7L V8 diesel.
Our craftsmen add practical, yet stylish custom exterior upgrades which include a unique Shelby hood, new front bumper, rear bumper, exhaust tips, Shelby stripes, badges, grille insert and tailgate cover. Shelby spec 20-inch wheels are wrapped in high performance tires while a special LED lighting package provide superior illumination for any occasion.
Inside, we add a Katzkins premium interior designed for the work horse, a carbon fiber appearance package, as well as custom floormats. As with all Shelby vehicles, each have a unique serial number that is displayed on the dash and under the hood of the truck.
Talk to us about your Shelby dreams and we can work with you on designing and registering your vehicle with Shelby American. We offer financing options too! Contact us and ask for Derek!