Is it finally time? Will you ever make the switch?
It was hard not to notice a few weeks ago when American entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, launched not just a rocket into orbit, but an entire Tesla Roadster – a vehicle that is now destined to rack up millions of miles of traveling as it floats through space. But all the publicity focused on the event brought up some valid questions: what exactly makes a Tesla car different, and why is everyone talking about them?
Teslas – of which there are several models of varying size and specs – are electric vehicles that are pushing the envelope of what the automotive future looks like. Far from the clunky, heavy and awkward box van types that you may be imagining, Tesla is actually known for their innovative design and futuristic approach to technology.
They have refined batteries to be safer, longer-lasting, and more efficient. They have increased the range of electric vehicles to more than 350 km on a single charge, and made them just as fast as any other – the Roadster mentioned above can go from 0-100 km/h in less than 4 seconds! But mostly, they have helped reduce the stigma around electric vehicles and helped many people (about 300,000 as of February 2018) to invest in them as a main method of transportation.
But all of that still hasn’t convinced everybody. There are plenty of people who need to go more than 350 km, as fast as possible – and plenty more who live in areas that don’t have enough of the “SuperCharger” infrastructure to make traveling worth the trouble. And beyond that, all of that technology doesn’t come cheap: the cheapest model, the Tesla Model 3, starts at 35,000 USD (just over $44,400 CAD!) and can end up a lot more than that once the options are added in. The luxury edition, the Model X, can run up over $110,000! And all of this doesn’t mention that even if you decided to buy one today, the manufacturing backlog means you wouldn’t even get it for 12-18 months. And all of that can leave a sour taste in the mouth of many car aficionados
So what do you think? Would you be willing to leave behind a classic gasoline or diesel engine and take the plunge into the growing world of electric vehicles? It’s true that as technology improves, they will get more efficient and more prevalent, but it’s difficult to tell exactly how long such a process will take, and how much of the market it will eventually take over. Whatever your feelings on the matter, at the very least we can tell you this: Lakeview Automotive will be here to help you out! We’re experts on traditional engines, and we aim to be at the forefront of new technology as it makes its way into the driveways of our customers. So whether you’ve got a classic 1960s sports car or a stylish new Tesla, give us a call or drop us a line to keep it working at its full potential!
The Importance of CVIP
If you’re a commercial vehicle operator in Alberta, you’re likely quite familiar with the process of inspections and the regulations that come along with it. In fact, staying up-to-date with inspections is incredibly important if you work anywhere inside – or even beyond the borders of – the province, and a passed inspection can mean the difference between a lucrative contract and a major headache for your company. But many owners aren’t aware that the regulations for the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program (CVIP) have changed in 2017, and that many of the rules are much stricter when it comes to your equipment.
For example, one of the biggest changes this year is how the government addresses brake maintenance. Your brakes could be in 100% perfect condition, but if you don’t have documentation on hand showing that the vehicle is new (i.e., purchased in the last year) or that the brakes have been replaced within the last 12 months –by a certified mechanic from a certified shop, with all the paperwork and signatures in place – then those brakes will not be considered valid. In a surprise inspection, that could really spell trouble if you were caught off guard!
Another modification to the regulations concerns the acceptable levels of fluid leakage. There are now three grades on the inspection scale for this, and anything less than clean hoses and connectors will cost you in the final report. Even a spot on the floor under the engine, dripping from a tiny pinhead leak in a hose, can cause you to fail the entire inspection! It’s easy to miss the problem areas under the hood, since they are covered most of the time, but engines go through a lot of wear and tear, and keeping up with the maintenance on them is extremely important.
Those are just two examples of the new CVIP regulations this year. And in Alberta, with tight delivery schedules and often long distances between destinations, it can be tempting to try and push your luck for just a little longer…but all it takes is one roadside inspection along the way, and your truck (and anything that happens to be in it) could be parked until minor issues get resolved. And that can really rack up the cost when that happens!
You know how the old saying goes: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This idea is definitely true with vehicles – you will save loads of time and a lot of money by taking care of issues before they become big problems. Before you head out onto the highways in 2018, get some peace of mind by bringing your fleet in to Lakeview Automotive to update your CVIP records!
We are a fully certified, highly qualified shop that has everything we need on-site to do a complete commercial vehicle inspection in Calgary for your truck, bus, or other heavy equipment. Our mechanics can prove that your vehicles are ready for the road, and you’ll have nothing to fear the next time you pull into an inspection station. And to make it even easier, we can even come to you if you prefer – we do on-location fleet management all throughout the city of Calgary. From single-vehicle operations to huge groups with over 100 vehicles, we have done it all – and we’ll make sure we find something that works for you.
Give us a call at 403-242-1575 today, or simply fill out the form on our site to get things started. Don’t be caught out in the cold with CVIP regulations this winter – trust Lakeview Automotive to keep your wheels moving!
Winter Driving Tips
We’ve already had our first brush with winter for the year, with several inches of snow falling over the last few weeks. While plows and crews armed with salt and sand can make quick work of clearing major roads, there are plenty of places where snow, ice, poor visibility, and traffic congestion can lead to big headaches for drivers. So what are some ways that you can help ensure that you – and your vehicle – will make it through to spring? Here are some easy winter driving tips to keep in mind until then!
1. Be prepared. Which would you rather have – a few minutes of prep time before you’re on the road, or hours and days of stress after an accident? Many collisions during winter are preventable, and can be attributed to factors that are directly within the driver’s control. Get a set of proper winter tires, as they are designed specifically to have better traction on snow and ice. Invest in a decent snow brush to keep in the vehicle, and be sure to clear off all windows, mirrors, and headlights, as well as built-up snow on horizontal surfaces, before leaving your parking spot. And just in case, don’t forget to keep emergency items like jumper cables, reflective triangles, a flashlight and tools, and a small shovel in your car or truck as well – not only will they help you get unstuck from heavy snow, but they will help other drivers avoid hitting you in poor conditions.
2. Drive carefully. You could be the world’s best driver, but you simply can’t account for everything that’s happening outside your vehicle! And winter magnifies these issues many times over. There may be 100 metres of pure ice beneath some blowing snow, or there could be an abandoned car or an emergency vehicle on the shoulder that you can’t see because of a blizzard. By taking the time to drive slowly and smoothly, planning well in advance of turns, and leaving enough space between you and the car ahead of you, the likelihood of an accident can plummet.
3. Know how to fix things if they go wrong. Many winter drivers are unaware of the correct actions to take in a bad situation, like during a skid or if their vehicle hydroplanes. Refresh your memory on how to deal with the most common winter problems, and if you find yourself facing one, it’s easier to not panic and know how to recover. For a skid, for example, turn into the direction of it and accelerate. And here’s a free tip: never use cruise control during a snowstorm or on icy roads, as it may try to speed up the vehicle if there’s a loss of traction on ice, leading to fishtailing or skidding.
4. Simply pay attention. No one factor is going to be more helpful than this. Be aware of what’s going on around you, and how the people nearby are reacting. Stay alert to possible problems and keep your eyes on the road. Remember, it’s much better to get home late than to come home with injuries and a wrecked vehicle!
Keep these hints in mind to have a less stressful time on the Calgary roads this winter. And if you need winter tires installed, maintenance work done, or a check-up performed, why not let us help you out? Call Lakeview Automotive at 403-242-1575, or simply use our easy online contact form, and we’ll have your car ready to roll again in no time. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Your Vehicle's Very Own Report Card
In school, at the end of every semester, you would get a report card with all your grades on it – it was easy to see which areas were good and which ones needed work, and to follow progress over the years. It’s a good system, and it works well – so we thought, why not do that for the vehicles that we work on, too?
We’d like to introduce our Digital Visual Vehicle Inspection, right here at Lakeview Automotive!
So much more than just a summary of work done, or a receipt for services rendered, this "Digital Report Card" is a full “score card” that helps keep track of all the systems on your vehicle, and the condition that they’re in. True maintenance starts before we ever get under the hood, and this is our way of helping you prepare and anticipate everything you’ll need to keep your car or truck running in optimal condition for years to come.
It starts before we even open up the hood. Our technicians each have their own tablets, with cameras and standardized templates, which allow them to take photos of everything – including the interior and exterior of a vehicle during an inspection, honing in on problem areas that may not be apparent at a first glance.
Next, we go through our checklist of all the parts, systems, and fluids, and give them a grade based on our assessment: green means everything is working properly and requires no further attention within the near future; yellow, while not urgent, means that there’s something to keep an eye on and look at next time; and red means that immediate action is needed to ensure proper operation of your vehicle.
Furthermore, we divide each of those up into sections in order to easily identify problem areas. With handy labels like “Under Hood”, “Under Car”, “Road Test”, and so on, you can quickly tell what parts of your car or truck need the most attention, and how much work it will take to get them back into working order. We include photos of everything we find – worn out parts, brake degradation, cracking belts, leaking oil, etc. – and add in our recommendations and notes on the side, for easy reference later on. It’s a full and accurate record of your vehicle at the time, top to bottom!
And the best part is, once these report cards are maintained over time, it’s much easier to tell what areas are wearing out and which ones are holding up. We can compare pictures, notes, and recommendations across months or years, which allows our technicians to make the most informed decisions about how to proceed. It also gives us a chance to pinpoint where problems are forming, and we can do preventative maintenance before a major, crippling issue occurs – saving you time, stress, and money.
So bring your vehicle down to Lakeview Automotive today for your Digital Report Card, and be proactive about your maintenance – your vehicle, and your wallet, will thank you. Give us a call at 403-242-1575 to learn about how we can help keep you on the road!
A New Dyno In Calgary!
It’s a great thing to be able to offer our customers something that not many other companies can – but in a city as big as Calgary, it’s difficult to be a pioneer in the market. But, with that said, it’s not impossible if you’re as dedicated as we are at Lakeview Automotive.
With all this in mind, we are excited to announce some big news for our shop, and we are proud to bring something new to our customers when they need vehicle repairs in Calgary. We will be one of the very few shops in the city to own a dynamometer!
A dynamometer – or simply just a “Dyno” – is a device that allows technicians to measure torque, horsepower, and drive power in a vehicle. While they come in many different forms and have dozens of different applications, we have done our research and thought about what would work best for us, and are proud to be the new owners of a Mustang Dyno AWD 150 SE!
Not just for the Ford cars, the Mustang Dyno AWD 150 SE is a floor-mounted, full-size traction device with independent roller systems that fit below each wheel. This allows measurements to be performed on each of the vehicle’s four wheels as they spin, separately from each other, which is important for accuracy and precision. With all four wheels engaged by the drivetrain, different conditions can be simulated in order to ensure that torque and horsepower remains consistent – both in the test, and out on the road. With this Dyno machine, we can be certain that any chassis, engine, or powertrain repairs have worked as they should, and that you will not run into any problems later on with unbalanced power. This, in turn, helps minimize odd wear patterns, unresponsive controls, and other issues that arise from the AWD not performing up to its full potential.
And the best part about us getting a new awd dynamometer? They are exceedingly rare in Calgary – there are less than five in the city, and possibly only three, including this one. And that means we can now offer our customers a fuller and more complete experience when they bring their vehicles to us, continuing our mission of delivering incredible customer service and gaining repeat business. Bringing innovation and integrity to the forefront of our operations is one of the reasons we have been around for more than 50 years, and why our customers rank us the best auto repair shop in Calgary, Alberta.
Whether you need a major repair or just general service, come visit us and our new Mustang Dyno at our shop at 425 58 Ave SE, just a few blocks away from Chinook Centre. We’ll be happy to help you get back on the road, with your car or truck in better shape than ever!
Hybrid Car Service Shop
It seems to happen every long weekend: you’re busy, you get wrapped up with all your errands, and you’re a bit late getting to the gas station before your trip out of town. And now you’re staring at a pump price that’s jumped by 10 or 15 cents in the last day, leaving you footing the bill. But what else can you do? If you’re heading on a trip, your options are fairly limited.
But recently, developments in technology have worked to expand those options, and the pump doesn’t have to be quite as painful as it used to be. With the spread of power efficiency, storage, and distribution innovations, engineers in the auto industry have begun looking very seriously at the potential of cars and trucks that run on electricity – not gasoline.
Of course, with this comes a whole new set of issues that many shops weren’t prepared for. There are new systems to learn, new parts and engines to get familiar with, and lots of upgrades that are constantly updating and changing. Luckily, here at Lakeview Automotive, we knew early on that we did not want to get left behind – so we made a plan to get ahead!
We are a fully equipped automotive shop in Calgary that is ready and able to work on your hybrid vehicle, and keep it running in top shape for all those long weekend excursions. With ranges that are always increasing, and fuel efficiency that is always improving, hybrids are becoming more popular – and you don’t want to bring it to someone who hasn’t learned anything new in the last decade! Just like the iPhone 8 is vastly different from the original iPhone, the next generation of hybrid vehicles is totally different from the earliest models, and you want your shop to recognize that while they’re under the hood.
At Lakeview Automotive, we are committed to constant improvement and learning. We stay up-to-date with the latest information, and while we’ll never say no to tuning up a classic car, we also know it’s important to keep up with the times. Whether you’ve got a Nissan Leaf or a brand new Tesla 3, we’ll make sure that more of your gas money stays in your pocket while you’re on the road.
And if you’re looking to customize, tweak, or enhance your ride – or hey, even if you just need to store your tires for the season! – we’re the place to go in Calgary that can do it all. From new headlights and body kits, to stylish rims and subwoofers, we’ll make sure you get where you’re going in the best possible ride that you can get. You might want to take the scenic route just so you can drive a little bit longer!
Visit our shop at 425 58 Ave SW in Calgary, email us, or call us at 403-242-1575. You can even find us on Facebook! Let us know what we can do for you, and how we can make your drives on the city streets the best part of your day. It’s what we love to do!
Mustang Upgrades in Calgary
Summertime in Calgary can be a wonderful thing: the skies are bright and blue, the sun is shining…and all the nice cars come out from hibernation! One of the most enduring vehicles that you see on the city streets in terms of style, substance and speed is an old classic that has only gotten better with age: the Ford Mustang.
Synonymous with power, flair, and an unmistakeable appearance, a Ford Mustang has been a staple on North American highways for decades. And if you’re the proud owner of one of these cars – well, first off, good choice! And secondly…are you getting the full potential out of your Mustang?
You might have been told that the price is too steep to upgrade your classic Mustang, or that getting more horsepower is impossible, or that driving it in the winter is the worst thing you can do. But all of those just plain aren’t true – and we know that, because we’re the Mustang service specialty shop in Calgary that takes care of all your Mustang upgrades and service, even when nobody else will.
We’re not kidding! You could bring a GT in to our shop and ask to crank it up to 1,000+ HP, and we can do it. We can outfit you with the best winter tires for your ride, because even our owner uses his 700+ HP Mustang in the depths of the Calgary winter. And we don’t just make your car run better, we make it look better, too! We install body kits, take care of body work, modify your chassis, and do other aesthetic upgrades as well – it’s like you’re in the UPGRADE section of a racing game, and you’ve got all the options to choose from.
And the best part for you? We consider ourselves lucky to be working on the cars we love and making them the best they can be. We don’t feel the need to charge more for classic or rare cars – we treat them the same as normal, more recent models, and in fact (unlike many shops) we charge less for them than usual! We simply love taking on new challenges and finding ways to tackle difficult projects. That’s why we want you to come in with your Mustang – even if you think your idea is impossible, even if it’s never been done before – come in for a meeting and we’ll do everything we can to make it happen! We’ll invite you right into the back of the shop as we work, so you can even see exactly what we’re doing and find out why it’s happening. We’ll gladly explain our thought process and what we’re working on, so you can be involved with your vehicle too! We like to be transparent and open, so that you feel confident we’re taking your Ford Mustang to the top of its potential.
And hey…if you’re a car person yourself, and you’ve just built a car…congratulations! Bring it in to us for a digital vehicle inspection, where we’ll do a classic car inspection and send you a “report card” with pictures. That way you’ll be informed about any issues that may have come up, with documentation and records that you can use for reference.
Need more proof? Last year we sponsored the International Mustang Meet right here in the city, for the simple fact that it allowed us to see so many amazing cars from around the province, the country, and the world. If you’re looking for anything related to upgrading your Mustang in Calgary, you’ve come to the right place! Simply give us a call at 403-242-1575 to find out how we can sweeten up your ride, or drive on down to our shop at 425 58 Ave SE. We’ll be ready for you!