Car manufacturers know they need to design vehicles for all types of weather conditions, this is why they’ve packed our vehicles full of modern technology to help us remain in control for most all road conditions. ABS Brakes, traction control, stability control and various other computer controlled systems are there to help us deal with icy roads. Continue reading

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Suddenly, it’s here.  Winter.

Here in Winnipeg the seasons will suddenly change and we wake up to -20 Celsius and freezing rain and everyone forgets how to drive.

For most of us we keep putting off some of the things we mean to get done before the winter weather hits. We hope by compiling some common reasons for making the investment in winter tires will help you plan for the winter weather. Continue reading

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We love caring for your automobile, but we love taking care of people even more.

This thanksgiving we reflect back to what we care about the most and that is the community, without it we are nothing. Continue reading

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The inevitable small dent on your vehicle.

It happens every hour from everyday use, it occurs from other car doors in a parking lot, to runaway shopping carts, to hail, to fender benders. Bumps and bangs are going to occur. It’s okay though, we can help repair those little dents. Continue reading

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When we look back at the summer of 2015 here in Winnipeg, we’re likely to remember the floods.  It’s been extra wet, and homeowners have experienced more than their share of flooded basements.

Our cars, too, have been subjected to the elements.  If the weather decided to turn your car into a boat, you should know that MPI is recommending that you get it inspected, and open a claim.

Even if everything seems to be fine now, there’s a strong chance that the water compromised your vehicles critical systems.  It’s also likely that absorbent materials in your vehicle’s interior (carpets, upholstery, sound insulation) are harboring mould, which can be a health risk.

When You Encounter Flooded Conditions While Driving

Try to avoid flooded areas if at all possible. If you can safely take your vehicle to high ground, do so.  If that’s not possible, be extremely careful when operating your vehicle on a water-covered roadway.  If your vehicle gets in too deep, sensitive electrical and mechanical components can be damaged.

Think about what you can’t see. Dips in the road (underpasses, etc.) can present extreme hazards when you can’t see them.  Avoid them at all costs.

Consider the current. When a river breaks it’s banks, the current will still be strong.  Be careful – your car could be swept away.

Vehicle Safety Tips

If your vehicle’s engine compartment does become flooded, don’t attempt to start it until a professional technician has seen it.  If the wheels have been submerged, the braking system might have been compromised.  Test them before driving, by proceeding slowly and applying them gently.  If your car is stuck in a flooded area, determine if it’s safer to stay in the vehicle, or exit to escape rising floodwater.  If the water is rising rapidly, open the windows to give yourself an escape route quickly, while the electrical system is still functioning.

Macdonald Auto Body is an MPI Accredited Repair Facility located in Winnipeg.  You can contact us by phone at (204) 783-5407, or on the web at http://www.macdonaldauto.ca

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Every year, nearly 250 cyclists are injured in collisions on Manitoba roadways.  The majority of these accidents happen in summer months, when the weather is good.

It’s important, as a motorist, to bear in mind that the road is to be shared with cyclists.   Bicycles are small, fast moving, and silent, and it’s easy to miss one.  Here is a list of things that you can do to make the road safer for cyclists when driving: Continue reading

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At Macdonald Auto Body, we see all kinds of collision damage.  The fall months bring a big increase in crashes involving wildlife, most often deer.  MPI data suggests that every year, there are 9000-10000 instances of vehicle damage and 200-300 injuries caused by collisions with animals.  Thankfully, fatalities are relatively rare, but they can happen.

Know Where Wildlife Lives

Watch for animals near large open or wooded spaces, even within city limits.  Be especially aware when travelling near water – deer and other wildlife often choose to travel through river valleys. Continue reading

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Nobody wants to think about it, but winter’s coming, and it looks like this year could be a rough one!  Winnipeg drivers who don’t prepare for the arrival of cold weather, ice, and snow could find themselves stranded.  Here are some of the things your need to do to ensure that your vehicle is ready for winter driving: Continue reading

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If you have children, you know that the second they are born, their safety and well-being become the most important thing in your life.

When putting children in your vehicle, you should always make sure they’re properly secured in an appropriate car seat that is designed to minimize the risk of injury in case of an accident.

Here are some guidelines for choosing and using a child safety seat in Manitoba:

Buy a car seat in Canada. This ensures that it meets Canadian standards – look for Transport Canada’s National Safety Mark on the seat:

Car seats expire. Harsh winter weather can take a toll on the plastic material that car seats are made of, so they’re mandated to have an expiry date.  When your seat has passed this date, or if it’s damaged in a collision (or any other manner) it should be thrown away.

Use the right seat for your child’s size. Children are mandated to remain in certain types of seats during different periods of their development.  For instance, infants should be kept in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the height and weight listed in the seat’s manual.  Don’t rush your child through the stages – make sure they remain in the correct stage until they fully comply with the size requirements for the next level.

Make sure your car seat is correctly installed. The seat needs to be securely attached, using either the UAS (Universal Anchorage System) present in most late-model vehicles, or the car’s seat belt, but not both.  The seat needs to be installed at the correct angle (see the manual), and should not be able to move more than one inch in any direction.  Often, local police and fire departments will host workshops for new parents on the correct installation and use of car seats.

For more information about car seats, rules, regulations, and the law, consult the MPI website.

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This summer when you begin planning the next family vacation or the gang’s next road trip, we want to make sure your vehicle is properly prepared for the journey.

While it is true that long drives are far less stressful on your vehicle than every day city driving, but remember that any breakdown will result in your group being stranded far from home. Older cars, and other vehicles with high mileage, are more susceptible to breakdowns. There are a few simple steps that can be taken prior to your trip that will help ensure a trouble-free drive for any vehicle.

If there are any repairs that you know need to be done, have them fixed. An activated Check Engine Light or Oil Warning light might not seem like a big deal for your 3 kilometer commute across town, but on a lengthy road trip, leaving home with a car that you know needs repairs is just about the worst thing you can do.

Give your tires a thorough once over before you leave. Make sure they have good tread and that they’re filled to the proper pressure. If you notice any signs or bulging of cracking, have them replaced or you’ll be at serious risk for a blowout. This is also a good time to check and make sure your spare tire is in working order. Make sure you have the car jack and the necessary tools to change a tire. Don’t forget the wheel lock if your car is equipped with one.

Open the hood. Check your oil level and make sure it’s topped off. If the oil looks or smells burnt, have it changed before you leave. Also change it if the car is due for, or approaching, a scheduled oil change. Check all of the other vital fluids in your car: steering fluid, coolant, washer fluid and brake fluid. Top off anything that is low and consider taking along extra fluids for the trip.

While you’ve got the hood open, check your air filters. They should be checked at every oil change, but it never hurts to double check. A blocked or dirty air filter can reduce your fuel mileage, never a good thing on a long trip. Don’t forget the cabin air filter. It’s often overlooked, but vitally important. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your car on your trip. You should have clean air to breathe.

Close the hood and open the doors, and the trunk. Grab a vacuum and some rags and give your car a thorough cleaning. You’ve gone through the trouble to make sure the air inside your car is clean, now make sure that everything else is clean too. No one will want to spend much time in your dirty car. Wash the exterior and clean the windows.

Make sure you have a map in your car. You may think you know where you’re going, but all it takes is one unscheduled road closure or detour and you’ll be lost in the middle of nowhere. A good atlas is invaluable. It might be old school, but it doesn’t need batteries and it always works.

Last but not least, consider joining a roadside assistance program. For a relatively low fee, you can have the added assurance that help is only a phone call away.

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