Author Archives: Kyle Senger

Sea-Doo

Mistakes People Make When Buying a Personal Watercraft

Buying a personal watercraft can feel a lot like buying a new house or a new car; there is a lot of excitement in the air and you just can’t wait to complete the purchase and take your newest toy for a ride. But it is important that you keep your emotions in check so you can use your head to make a right purchasing decision. Quite often people allow the rave of the moment cloud their better judgment, only for them to encounter complications days or a few weeks after purchase. Below are seven common mistakes that people make when buying a personal watercraft;

  1. Assume it is like buying a car:

Of course, the excitement of buying both may be similar, but not the cost and experience associated with each. While a car dealership can still sell a car to you at dealer invoice and still yet make a profit, this is impossible for a personal watercraft dealership.

One of the major reasons behind this is that a car is shipped ready to go, aside from taking out some cosmetic parts. But when it comes to Sea-Doo, these machines are shipped in crates due to a need for compression. This means the dealership will have to pay for re-assembling. Aside from that, most ski manufacturers don’t ship with batteries. And even if they do, it mostly doesn’t contain fluid nor is it charged to go. An average to good battery goes for around $165.

All of the above, in addition to shipping cost, which the dealership may include, makes the experience and cost somewhat different.

  1. Assume dealers enjoy excellent markups:

It is not unusual for people to assume that personal watercraft dealers enjoy excellent markup. After all, we live in a world where some retail outlet offers as much as 80% off. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking advantage of a great deal, the only problem here is that such deals tend to tint the perception of many people, making them assume that everything, particularly luxury items, has at least a 40% markup.

It is important to know that not everything has an excellent markup. In fact, some jet skis only enjoy a $200 markup while it may cost as much as $400 to have it shipped. It is impractical to run a dealership with $200 when you have to pay $400 to have the machinery shipped. The only way the dealership can compensate is by charging freight.

  1. Not considering future needs:

The failure to think ahead is another mistake people make when buying a personal watercraft. If you have kids then it is sensible to put into account how you will want to use it was your kids grow up. To be on the safe side, it is better you assume that you will expand the use of your watercraft in the years ahead. Depending on the activities that you fancy most, buy something that can handle those activities. Boats or Sea-Doos are typically designed for specific purposes, so it would be a huge error to buy a ski boat if your plan is to go fishing.

  1. Opt for something smaller:

It is not uncommon for people to opt for the base unit to fulfill their basic needs for watercraft ownership. The challenge with this, however, is that after a short time, most people outgrow their choice and desire a bigger one. At this point, the most sensible thing to do will be to exchange the old watercraft for a newer, bigger one. But this would still mean paying a sales commission. If you can afford it, a better option will be to get the best personal watercraft for your buck, right off the hop.

  1. Not doing adequate research:

Before you proceed to make payment for anything, anything at all, it is wise that you carry out proper research. This would save you a tremendous headache in the future. This is particularly important when it comes to buying a boat or any other form of watercraft. The process of purchasing these types of pleasure crafts can sometimes be more complex than even buying a house. Visit watercraft review websites and find out what experts have to say about the different water vessels and the experience other people have about using them. An informed customer is less likely to fall into error than an ignorant one.

  1. Taking advice from wrong sources:

Although it is important to carry out proper research before proceeding to purchase, you must be careful about the negative comments you find online. In a lot of cases, these comments come from writers who have issues with the dealer or the brand and have decided to take their displeasure on the product. In some cases, these comments come from boat or engine dealers against a competitive brand.

  1. The best place to buy a watercraft is at a Spring Show:

Although there is some truth in this statement, there are other times and places where personal watercrafts can be purchased at better rates. For example, December is an excellent month to buy a boat or watercraft as dealers typically want to get these off their books and bank their floor plan at the end of the calendar year. June and July are also good months to make purchases.

If you’re currently in the market for a personal watercraft or Sea-Doo, check out our inventory at FFUN Motor Sports at https://www.ffunmotorsports.com/Marine.

Should I Buy, Lease or Rent a Car for Uber and Lyft

Ideally, if you want to work for any ridesharing company it is expected that you own your own vehicle. But there are instances where willing drivers don’t have their own cars or their cars don’t qualify for these ridesharing services, forcing them to either buy, lease, or rent. Unfortunately, this can set you back a lot of cash. In the end you may land yourself in debt, which defeats the entire purpose of working for the ridesharing company in the first place. Below is a rundown of your options, which can assist you make a more informed decision;

What if I already have a car?

The fact you already have a vehicle doesn’t automatically qualify you to be a driver for Lyft or Uber. Each of these ridesharing services have unique requirements for their cars which is state dependent. Below are some of the general Uber vehicle requirements;

– Cars must not be older than ten years

– Cars must have four doors

– The vehicle can be either a truck or a minivan

– The car must have gone through and passed mechanical vehicle supervision

– The name of the driver must be same as that which appear on the insurance of the car

– The driver’s full name is not needed on the car registration

– Drivers must perform well in their driving record check plus they must possess exceptional background record

Below are some of the general Uber vehicle restrictions;

– The use of full-sized vans, marked vehicles, and taxis are not allowed.

– Salvaged cars are not allowed

– Cars must not carry any form of advertisement

The requirements for Lyft is somewhat different to that of Uber. So, if going by the above requirements you don’t qualify to be a Uber driver, you can apply to Lyft instead. Below are some of the general Lyft vehicle requirements;

– Drivers must be 21 years or older

– Cars must have four door

– The model must be 2006 or older

– It must pass mechanical and physical inspection

– The insurance of the vehicle is expected to be in the driver’s name

– Drivers in the United States must possess at least 1-year driving experience

– The vehicle must be registered and must use state-owned license plate

– Drivers must have a good background record

– Drivers must use a smartphone

Lyft XL Drivers

If you own a bigger car, then you can go ahead and sign up for Lyft XL. This option is for drivers who own minivans that can carry five or more people. It is important to know that Lyft XL costs more than the standard Lyft, so as a driver you are likely to make more using a vehicle which qualifies for the Lyft XL category. Aside from that, Lyft XL drivers can also accept regular rides, thereby improving the alternatives available to you.

What if I don’t have a car? Should I buy, lease or rent one.

If you do not have a car or perhaps your car was not accepted into the Lyft or Uber ridesharing program, then you may need to be inventive in your thinking. There are a couple of options available to drivers in this situation. Below are three options from which you can choose from, considering your specific situation;

Renting a car: The Uber method

Uber partners with Hertz and Enterprise to provide vehicles to drivers in a lot of cities. Drivers would be required to pay a minimum weekly rate of $180 for a car rental. You will also be required to make a deposit of $200 before you can pick the car. This would be refunded after you return the car. It is important have all of these costs in mind before you sign up as a driver on the platform.

The rental fee for the vehicle would be deducted by Uber from your income, so if you earn enough money that week your expenses for the car would be covered. Some of the advantages of renting is that there would be no need to pay insurance as this is covered in the overall cost of the rental. Drivers who rent also have unlimited mileage, which can be used for personal use.

The disadvantage to renting is that you can’t reserve a car in advance; it works on first-come-first-serve basis. Also, you won’t be able to use the vehicle you rent from Uber on another ridesharing service.

Leasing a car:

For drivers who prefer to lease instead of buying or renting, a standard car lease is often the preferred route. While securing a lease from a private dealership you must study the contract, as most dealerships don’t approve of their cars being used for commercial purposes. However, that is up to the discretion of the dealership itself.

Buying a car:

This is the optimal option when it comes to working for Uber or Lyft. But you should employ this option only if you can pay for it comfortably and you plan to use the car for other personal purposes. On the surface, it doesn’t make much sense to take an auto loan to buy a car solely for ridesharing uses. However if you’re dedicated to making it work for your income, you can make a decent wage around $20/hour. On top of it, the benefit of owning a car is that it is yours and you can choose to sell it at any time you feel like.

Final thought

The best way to make a profit while driving for Uber and Lyft is to own a car of your own. But if you can’t afford this, then renting from a vendor is your next best option. With renting you don’t have to worry about paying monthly bills, you can simply give up the car weekly. Basically, what you are willing to spend on a car will determine if you should buy, rent, or lease.

Get Your Car Ready for Spring

Get Your Car Ready for Spring

Winter has come and gone, so is driving around in the snow, ice, and slush. This means summer, windows down driving is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to take some key steps to ensure that your car is in top condition for the warmer months. Below are twelve tips to get your car ready for smooth sailing all Spring:

  1. Have your car thoroughly washed:

Of course, you must have been washing your car during the winter months but this would be different. This time you need to have it deep cleaned, inside and out. This would remove the road salt, grime, and grit that may have attached to your car during the cold months.

  1. Switch your tires from snow tires to all-season or summer tires:

Tires built for winter are made from a softer rubber, which allows them to stay flexible during the cold months. If used during summer, they tend to wear away quickly. Therefore, it is advisable you switch your tires from winter tires to all-season or summer tires.

  1. Consider changing your wiper blades:

Just like tires, some wipers are designed specifically for winter. These wiper blades are built from a different type of rubber as compared to their summer counterparts. If you happen to be using such type of wiper blade, then you should consider changing it as the weather begins to warm up. Even if your wiper blades aren’t built particularly for winter, it is advisable you inspect them and try to have it changed if it is no longer doing its job.

  1. Test your air conditioning:

This is of tremendous importance as you wouldn’t want to drive around in a car without air conditioning on a hot day. Not only will it be very uncomfortable, but it can also be quite dangerous. Before the weather gets too warm, it is expected that you test you’re a/C to be sure it is in good condition. If you hear strange noises when you put it on or the air seems warmer than it should be then you should have a professional take a look at it.

  1. Check your brakes:

The winter months tend to cause motorists to use their brakes more as the traffic is slower, plus all the stop-and-go action. Therefore, it is important to have your brakes checked before the summer months. You can ask your mechanic to check it for you as you remove your winter tires.

  1. Keep your coolant cool:

Your coolants are going to be extremely important for the coming warm months so it is important you check their level and ensure that the mixture of chemicals is correct. This can be done using a coolant tester available in your local auto parts store or you can have it checked by a professional if you are not a technical person.

  1. Check your wiper fluid level:

People tend to use more wiper fluid during winter than in summer or spring. You can ensure that your windshield remains clean by filling the reservoir with either water or the blue fluid usually sold at a big box or auto parts store. This fluid would do a better job at keeping your shield clean.

  1. Clean your floor mats:

It is common for car owners to opt for synthetic rubber mats as they are specially built to withstand the rigors of tough weather. At the height of winter, the last thing on your mind will be to clean your floor mats, hence permitting the buildup of dirt. Summer gives you the opportunity to have these mats thoroughly washed. And if there is the need, have them replaced entirely.

  1. Check your emergency gear:

The cold months are over, so you won’t be needing a blanket or parka anymore. Instead, check to confirm that the batteries of your flashlight are still good and that you have a few bottles of water in your vehicle. Also, if you happened to have to resort to using flares during the winter months, now is the time to have those replaced. You should also check to confirm that all the components of your tire jack are present in the car.

  1. Check your technology:

You should also take the time to assess the technology of your vehicle. For those with an older vehicle, you should check to see what aftermarket technology is available for the improvement of your system. While for those with a newer model, you can confirm from your dealer that your tech and software are up to date.

  1. Consult your maintenance schedule:

It is expected that you service your car regularly. The period before the arrival of summer is excellent to bring out the owner’s manual to see what your vehicle is due for, considering the mileage on the odometer.

  1. Check your power steering fluid:

Most garages won’t bother to check this, but it is equally important. Having a low level can make it difficult to steer the wheels, while dirty fluid can damage the entire system. The car manual can give relevant pointers on how to check the fluid level.

With the sun shining, the last thing you want to be doing this Spring is be stuck standing on the side of a road because you missed some simple maintenance. Take the time to get your vehicle prepped, or better yet, let us do it for you at the FFUN Motor Group.

VW of Saskatoon Wolfsburg Crest Award

VW Centre of Saskatoon – 2019 Wolfsburg Crest Award Winner

At the FFUN Group, one of our core values is Driven to Grow. We are the reason for our success. We are great people who are excited about continuous growth and improvement through education and learning from our experiences.

It’s a value that carries us to be better every day, but only truly is achieved when our drive to grow actually delivers growth results for the business and our customers. At Volkswagen Centre of Saskatoon we can firmly say we’ve achieved that this year, after being recognized with the 2019 Volkswagen Wolfsburg Crest Club award.

The Wolfsburg Crest Award is given to the Volkswagen dealers that have met the highest operating standards in Canada. It is an award based on much more than just numbers, as it heavily favours Customer Experience Survey scores, completed by both sales and service. So you, our customer are truly determining how successful we are, and the standards of excellence we’ve achieved for sales and service. 36 dealers across Canada achieved the results to net them in this prestigious club, but the FFUN Motor Group and Volkswagen Centre of Saskatoon are the only dealership in Saskatchewan and Manitoba to receive the recognition.

“We are so excited and humbled to have received this award,” notes Chris Belfour, General Manager at the Volkswagen Centre of Saskatoon. “The Wolfsburg Crest Award has been a goal for this dealership for a last few years. It’s something we’ve been building up to and validates that the hard work and extra effort we’ve been putting in for our customers, every day, is truly paying off. Thank you to all of our staff, customers and friends for making this possible.”

Membership into the Wolfsburg Crest Club is a well-deserved recognition for the Volkswagen Centre of Saskatoon and is a fitting step towards their next big initiative as they look to move to their brand new home in the Saskatchewan Motor Village in the north end of Saskatoon, near Costco, beginning May 1.

With a particular attention to detail and fast, friendly atmosphere for its customers, the Volkswagen Centre of Saskatoon truly is a unique car buying experience on the Prairies. Drop by to see for yourself what it means to be a VW Wolfsburg Crest Club dealer.

The Wolfsburg Crest Club got its name from the location of the world’s biggest car plant. Opened in 1938 and located in North Germany, Wolfsburg is the headquarters of the Volkswagen Group.

Winter Car Buying

Why Winter is a Great Time to Buy a Vehicle

After all the holidays are done, everyone begins eyeing up Spring. They bundle up in the house or take a trip to somewhere hot. No one thinks about buying a vehicle in the dead of winter. But you’re smarter than that. You think of that. And because you’re on the ball and are a deal hunter extraordinaire we’re going to reward you on how to find the best vehicle and the reasons why you should buy a vehicle over winter.

Dealers Want to Move Inventory

This is the number one reason you should be looking to buy a vehicle in winter. You will get the best deals of the year. And that’s not car speak by any means.  Spring and Summer are by far the busy times of the year for buying a vehicle, but car dealerships have monthly quotas that they want to make. Inventory sits on the lots a lot longer in winter and that inventory costs the dealer more by the day. If you come in and make an offer, you generally won’t be greeted with the vehicle being in such high demand it will be gone by tomorrow. Well you might hear that, but the cold weather will relieve many of these type of pressure tactics and put you in control. More inventory to choose from and doing so at your own pace. Sounds like a pretty good time to buy.

Older Models on Sales

Not only is there generally more stock to pick from as the calendar flips over to a new year, but new model year vehicles also begin hitting the lots. You’ve all heard the model year clear-out ads on the radio or in the paper, it’s a bit of a marketing gimmick but there is truth to it. If you’re looking for a virtually new vehicle, you can get a great deal on a 2018 once the 2019s come on the lots. Sure you’ll miss out on those one or two brand new features, but in terms of bang for your buck you’re getting huge value. There’s also only a finite number of last year’s models. Once they’re gone, those deals attached to them are as well. So winter is your time to pounce.

Dealerships are Quieter

On average people only visit 1-2 dealerships in person. So generally speaking the in-person car dealership visits are fewer and further between. The cold weather adds even more to that. To be clear, the majority of car shopping is now done online, in the safety and comfort of your couch or bed. So at all times online there’s no line-ups to wait for. But once you do pick your car, unless you’re paying cash, you still have to get approved for financing. Confirm warranty upgrades. Then get insurance. And eventually sign all of the papers. Across the desk from a salesman. Most dealerships nowadays make this process pretty streamlined. However, coming into a dealership on a busy Saturday in the middle of summer you might get caught in a line-up waiting for the next salesman to come back from his test drive or finish her appointment. Not only is visiting in winter a timesaver for you, but if there’s no line-up behind you trudging through the snow to buy that same vehicle, your chances at paying less for it just got a whole lot better.

Better Accessorized Vehicles

Ever heard of buying a car on a beautiful, sunny day and they tell you they’ll throw in a free set of summer tires? Me neither. That’s because winter in Canada is accessory season. Once the snow hits we all know how different driving becomes. Often because that guy in front of you forgot how push his pedals. Mostly because it is a whole new ballgame from starting your car to getting it to stop. Luckily, when you purchase in winter, the accessory incentives for most dealerships are plentiful. Tired of running out to start that frozen car? Ask them to throw in a remote starter. Getting stuck in the tiniest of snowdrifts? You have to get a set of winter tires. Many dealerships, even if they aren’t advertising a promotion of these types of accessories, will willingly pair them with your purchase. Either as an incentive to push you to purchase or many times they can be financed right into your deal. That way you’ll get the upgrade with such a minimal payment increase that they’re virtually free anyway.

Gauge How a Car Drives in the Worst Conditions

Speaking of accessories, the best way to gauge how a car will actually perform or better yet, improve performance on those snowy icy streets is to drive it on those exact streets. If you’ve ever taken a rear-wheel drive sports car out for a spin in summer, it can be exhilarating. But take it out on a winter day and you might just be spinning your wheels, literally. Now obviously you don’t want to wait for the worst snowstorm of the year to hit so you see how well a car can plow through those ruts or how warm the heated seats can really get, but test driving in less than ideal weather will show you how great it can handle or compare to your existing vehicle and prove to you it’s time to upgrade.

Allows You to Budget

When the Holiday Season ends, the dog days of winter definitely keep the masses from the car lots. As they’re getting ready to prepare their tax returns and deciding on their summer vacation, they’ll regret not fitting in that car payment when their car doesn’t start come May. You however have a leg up, because buying a vehicle in winter allows you to budget the rest of your year. You know the payments you have to make and the available funds that you’ll have left over for all that other summer fun.

No one thinks about it, but there’s a lot to buying a vehicle in winter, including a whole lot of positives. Don’t be scared away by the cold. Come visit the FFUN Motor Group today for a for a nice warm cup of coffee instead and your best deal of the season.

Vehicle Jump Start

So Your Car Didn’t Start, Now What

Record breaking cold across the prairies. We are in the heart of winter my friends, and it’s not the greatest. You know who else it sucks for though? Your poor little vehicle. Actually it sucks just as much for your jacked up truck. Vehicles weren’t really made to handle -50. Here in Western Canada, us humans have adapted. But barring your vehicle spending an extended period in a heated area, you may be left out in the cold. Literally.

If you jump into the driver’s seat and turning the key or mashing the brake pedal and pushing that button yields nothing for you, have no fear. We have some tips for you!

Try turning the key.

We aren’t trying to patronize. Frankly we’ve all become spoiled with our vehicles these days and expect to just jump in and go. If you turn the key in winter and the car catches and starts, great! You’re on your way. If it doesn’t though, don’t call the tow truck just yet. Crank the key or push start for a few more seconds. At that point if it doesn’t catch, stop momentarily. Starter motors overheat rather easily if attempted for ten seconds or more, which would cause a whole other issue for you. Wait a couple minutes, allow your battery to power up again and give it another go.

For manual transmissions, another tactic you can try as you turn the key is slowly pushing in the clutch as you do so. This eases the work required on the battery and might give you that extra boost to turn the engine over

Batteries are not a fan of the cold.

All batteries, from the ones in your remote to the one in your car produce less output when it’s cold. They tend to be the main culprit for a car that won’t start. But a good first step is to open up the hood and take a look if there’s more of an issue than just the battery being dead. Over time a salty substance of corrosion can built up, causing the battery to not work properly. Disconnecting the battery and cleaning with a toothbrush with a concoction of baking soda and water will straighten that issue right up. It’s winter though, so try and do that inside or the frozen water could actually cause further issues. Even if you check and there are no signs of corrosion, always good to ensure you have no loose cables which could be breaking a connection.

Turn off all your accessories.

The best part of having a newer vehicle is all the bells and whistles that come with it. Unfortunately, with each heated seat it means more power required to get your car started. Step one if your engine isn’t turning over is to turn everything off. Your headlights, heated everything, your vehicle’s defrost, stereo, etc. This will allow your battery to give it all she’s got and maximize its amps in hopes of getting that engine started. If this works, don’t jam on that radio to celebrate right away. Let the car run for a bit or you may run the risk of the battery dying on you once again.

If all else fails, it’s time for a boost.

If your engine doesn’t turn over or does so weakly, and you’ve already tried the options above, it might be time for the last resort, a jump start. If you’re a boosting veteran and you’ve done it a million times, simply track down that good Samaritan and get your car running again. Many people are also subscribed to a roadside assistance service through their vehicle purchase or perhaps a sign-up through CAA. In these cases, though wait times may be excessive, you will find a professional who can assist or diagnose a further issue. However, if these options aren’t available, the next steps are up to you. Even if you’re prepared with booster cables in the trunk, it’s not a great idea to give it a go on your own if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can hurt yourself or do further damage to your vehicle. So to make sure you’re all trained up, here’s a quick breakdown of how you can boost your car in these Canadian winters in less than 10 steps.

Here’s what you need to boost your vehicle

  • Your vehicle that won’t start
  • Another vehicle that runs well
  • A driver for the second vehicle
  • Set of battery cables

Here’s the steps required to boost your vehicle

  1. Check to ensure you have a good set of booster cables. No frays or cracks.
  2. Position the vehicle that runs close enough to your non-running vehicle so that the cables can connect from one to another.
  3. Place both cars in park or neutral and with the engines off, attach one end of the red jump cable to the positive red battery terminal or bare metal on the clamp on your vehicle and the other red jump cable to the positive red battery terminal on the vehicle that runs.
  4. Do the same process with the black (though sometimes it can be white) jump cable to the negative black battery terminal on the running vehicle ONLY.
  5. The black ground cable for the dead car DOES NOT get connected to the battery terminal. Clamp this one to bare, unpainted metal on the engine block or a bare metal bolt attached to it. Attaching to the battery itself can actually cause the battery to explode if the circuit isn’t grounded.
  6. Check the connection of the dead car by turning the key to accessory “On” mode, without starting it. If the dashboard lights up, you’ve connected correctly, if not, you maybe need to adjust the clamps a bit.
  7. Prior to attempting to start your own engine, start the donor vehicle that runs, and leave it running for a few minutes with the engine running at 2,000 RPM. You might have to rev up the engine above its regular idle to ensure you’re hitting this metric.
  8. It’s finally go time. Turn the key and try to start the vehicle that was not running. If it is just a battery issue, the vehicle should turn over no problem. Once it’s running smoothly, while it’s still on, disconnect the cables in the reverse order of how they were connected above.
  9. Keep in mind, just because it started, your battery is not charged. Ensure you run your vehicle for a minimum of twenty minutes before turning it off or you’ll be at risk of needing a boost again.

And that’s it, at this point you should be back on the road. Keep in mind though, once you’ve had a dead battery from cold weather, just because your vehicle runs doesn’t mean your battery is healthy. If you’ve required a boost, get your battery checked out as soon as you possible from a certified service technician, like the ones at FFUN Motor Group and ensure there’s no permanent damage that will leave you stranded again.

Winter

If You’re Cold, Your Vehicle is Cold Too

It’s winter. And it’s cold outside. This time of year you either bundle up until you can barely move or you say screw it, and jump on a plane to somewhere where you can wear shorts and have no fear of your legs falling off from frostbite. Winter in Canada can be a doozy. But as much as we hate it as humans, your vehicles despise it just as much, if not more.

You’ve braved the cold and made it into the driver’s seat, so this is the worst time to have a problem occur. Unfortunately, actually starting your vehicle is usually the cold winter culprit. So let’s be nice to our cars, trucks, vans and SUVs and talk about some preventative measures to make those cold mornings a little more pleasant for everyone in involved.

Keep Your Vehicle Warm

Seems simple right. If it’s available to you, the easiest bet is to park in a garage, a heated garage would be preferable, an underground variety would be a close second, but any shelter will keep the vehicle’s temperature that much more bearable. This includes anything that may assist in hiding your vehicle from the wind or cold, such parking under a tree or next to a building. You’d be surprised how much of a difference several degrees of warmth can do for that vehicle of yours.

Next, don’t worry about the power bill, plug in your vehicle’s engine block heater to keep it warm overnight. How it works is it helps the oil and other fluids stay warm so they can continue to flow smoothly, especially for diesel vehicles.

Use the Right Oil

All owner’s manuals will continue detail of what type of oil should be used in all weather types, including cold conditions. Most synthetic oils have no issues in the cold as long as you use the correct type. For reference, that W in your oil type, such as 5W40 actually stands for winter, and is telling you how well your oil will flow in cold temperatures. The lower the number, the better the flow. So make sure you’re aware of what that local oil change place is putting in your car.

Monitor Your Fuel Gauge

This is thought to be a bit of an old wives’ tale but keeping your gas tank topped up or at least filled to half during the winter months is actually very important, even more so if your vehicle runs on diesel. First off, you never want to head out on the road with a chance to run out of gas and become stranded in the cold in winter time, so that’s just good practice. But more importantly, not being topped up can cause issues with water in your gas tank. Condensation builds up when cold water vapour gets in contact with a warm surface. Like water dripping down your cold windows as it meets a warmer surface, if there’s available space in you gas tank, this can happen in that area as well. As it slides down into the fuel itself, this is when issues occur. Water and gas do not mix, and when you add cold to the equation you’re looking at potential corrosion or the freezing of fuel lines that prevent gas from reaching your car’s engine. In the case of a diesel, the fuel can actually gel in the cold weather. This is what causes stalls or refusals to start in the first place.

Antifreeze was Built for a Reason

Antifreeze prevents coolant from freezing. When water or any liquid for that matter freezes, it builds up pressure which can cause cracks in your engine block and other areas of the internal workings of your vehicle. Smooth flowing coolant means happier, running cars. The antifreeze jug itself shows you it’s recommended use based on a temperature range to make sure you’re covered regardless. Typically vehicles use a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water, which covers you to the -35 Celsius range. However, the colder it gets, the larger percentage of that mix you should be using, a 70/30 split isn’t a bad idea when Mother Nature really lays one on us.

Beware the Carburetor on Your Old Car

Used vehicles are sticking to the roads longer and longer thanks the quality of builds we’ve seen over the past number of years. If you have a definitive veteran unit, from the early 1980s or even before that, you may also run into an issue with your carburetor in the cold. These carburetors that mix fuel with air in the engine are very finicky in the cold as their jets get clogged up with ice when the fuel doesn’t evaporate as it normally should. Just another potential issue and likely a reason for an upgrade to your next ride.

Warming the Car Up

Lastly, if your car does start, with a growl back at you or not, the question is always how long you should let it idle before driving away. The answer from auto experts may surprise you, as they advise 30 seconds is more than enough. Your car actually will warm up faster while being driven. So don’t worry about shivering in that cold car until the temperature needle starts to inch up. Go get to your destination and warm up!

At the end of the day if you ran into one of these issues and your car doesn’t start, have no fear. Neighbours, tow trucks and dealerships themselves are always there to help you out. They’ll assist in troubleshooting the issue and you’ll be back on the road in no time. And if you need a vehicle upgrade, we’ve got a few great people we’d love for you to talk to at the FFUN Motor Group.

Winterize Your Vehicle

It’s (Sadly) Time to Winterize Your Summer Toys

We always hate to admit it, but when it gets cold enough out that it’s deemed “hoodie weather” the sad truth is that our summer fun has passed us by for another year. Whether it’s your car, bike, boat, trailer or any other summer toy, the time has likely come to pack them up and put them away for the winter.

Unlike the kid’s toys, you can’t just shove your summer toys into a pile in the garage to pull-out and dust off come spring time. It takes a little preparation, sometimes from the professionals, to keep these units in tip-top shape. So take the time now, so you don’t miss a moment of the season when the weather turns again.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get your summer possessions ready for storage.

Cars and Motorcycles

  • You’ll want to start by performing an oil change and topping up all fluids
  • Fill your tank with gas, adding fuel stabilizers to avoid depletion and condensation
  • Inflate your tires to the recommended PSI to prevent them from flattening from lack of use
  • Clean your car or bike, inside and out, the best you can. This is the greatest prevention for rust or corrosion. If there’s stains on any of the upholstery, remove them now as well or risk having the stain become permanent
  • Vehicle batteries kept in the cold can freeze or crack, so you’ll want to disconnect the battery, as well as turn off the alarm and store it in a warm, dry place
  • Put on your vehicle cover, with all compartments securely fastened. For extra protection, consider using an interior car jacket
  • After you’ve done everything to store your vehicle, do not start it up again. This can add moisture build up in the engine, especially if it doesn’t get the chance to warm up to operating temperature

Boats, Engines and Personal Watercraft

  • There are a lot of variations on how to winterize your watercrafts depending on the models, type, the power, etc. An incorrectly winterized engine can become severely damaged and potentially ruined by leftover water
  • Fill the gas tank and treat it with a good fuel stabilizer. Despite what the instructions may say, double the dosage to ensure the fuel supply is completely treated. Run the engine for at least half hour to ensure the treated fuel gets from the tank into the engine
  • For two-stroke engines, spray engine tuner into the intake while the engine is running. This will help break down hard carbon deposits on the pistons, rings and cylinder heads
  • Use quality engine fogging oil to fog the engine
  • Drain out the old gear lubricant from the gear case/drive unit. If the old lube you removed is black and smelly or milky, brownish with water in it, resolve the left behind residue before you put in new lube.
  • For inboard motors, four-stroke outboard motors, stern drives and personal watercrafts, you’ll want to change the engine oil and filter
  • Grease your fittings, such as the steering
  • Remove propeller(s) and if damaged, send out to be repaired over the winter
  • Store outboards with the engine in its running position to ensure leftover water in the gear case has a chance to drain
  • Tape the exhaust outlets shut to prevent pests from entering and making your vehicle their hibernating spot
  • Disconnect your battery and store it in a warm, dry location with trickle charger installed
  • Wash your watercraft, inside and out, and add a protective finish wax for extra coverage
  • Use a ventilated cover for the watercraft to prevent moisture from becoming trapped

Trailer Units

  • Perform maintenance on the unit (repack wheel bearings, wiring, check/repair lights, check/replace winch strap, rotten bunk boards/covering, etc.)
  • Lubricate your pivot points (tongue jack, coupler, etc.)
  • If you can, jack up the axle and block so tires are off the ground to reduce the chance of flat spotting and rot
  • If possible, remove wheels and tires and store them inside

If you’re not of the handy variety, ensure you consult your dealer, such as FFUN Motor Sports or a local pro to help you to ensure you don’t miss a costly step. The last thing you want to run into is a cracked block, drive housing or clogged carburetors and their costly repair bills come springtime. Though it’s never fun to put away these toys for the winter, it’s all but necessary to keep your car, bike, boat, trailer and more, lasting for years to come. Take the time now and you can enjoy the ride the minute the snow melts next year.

Hyundai Service Competition

Endless Opportunities – One Service Advisor’s Journey from Saskatoon to South Korea

The automotive industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. Sure, that can make business difficult, but it also comes with some huge positives – innovation, focus, and ultimately; improving customer service. This competition exists well beyond selling vehicles at one dealership versus another, it exists internally as dealerships and their staff push themselves to be better, every day.

Cue the story of Spencer Boyenko, a 23-year-old Service Advisor at FFUN Motor Group’s Saskatoon North Hyundai location. Growing up on a farm in Vonda, Saskatchewan, 30 minutes outside of Saskatoon, Spencer was an outgoing kid, but wasn’t quite sure what to do with himself after graduating high school. After dabbling in a couple of odd jobs, he applied as a Wash Bay, Service Drive-Through Tech at Kia of Saskatoon. Showing initiative and raising his hand as looking for more, Spencer was promoted to an Advisor at our North Hyundai location. With the help of FFUN’s training programs, a lot of hard work and guidance from some senior staff, in just two short years, Spencer began to stand-out from the crowd with customer service scores well above average.Hyundai Canada Headquarters

Last month, his accomplishments garnered him a recommendation from Hyundai’s Zone Manager to submit an application to take part in the 2018 Hyundai National Customer Experience Championship. (Yes, there is a championship for service advisors. We told you we’re competitive!). After completing numerous training courses and passing three exams, Spencer was notified he was one of twelve people across Canada – and the only advisor from Saskatchewan and Manitoba – to be chosen to compete at the event in Markham, Ontario.

Spencer boarded a plane for the 3-day event with no idea what to expect. Placed amongst the twelve other contestants, most double his age, he knew he was in for some tough competition. The goal of this contest is to get Hyundai brand representatives to deliver the best customer service in the automotive field. The first days consisted of training modules, with each attendee sharing their own experiences, tips and tricks on dealing with customers and difficult situations. The final day, the testing began, including numerous customer role playing scenarios where you were required to ask the right questions, spark the problems and kindly deal with all customer requests. Once all contestants had completed their scenarios, they gathered around a screen where the results were announced. Low and behold, Spencer’s name appeared on the screen, along with an advisor from Quebec, Frederic Blais, as the National winners. It was announced that the two of them would be heading to South Korea in November to see the Hyundai plant and compete against 30 other countries as Canada’s representatives at the 2018 Hyundai Global Customer Experience Championship.

This is an incredible accomplishment by Spencer. We are very proud of his efforts and look forward to seeing him bring home another championship. But everyone was wondering, how in the world did he accomplish this feat at such a young age?

His response “I started working here fresh, with no preconceived notions of the industry. The FFUN Motor Group has provided me outstanding training around process, how to handle customers and objections. I’ve also had some tremendous mentors and learned directly from their success. I came in to this job with an open mind, determined to grow and have been given every opportunity to continue forward, improve and impress.”

Spencer is wise beyond his years and incredibly personable, which makes his customers feel so at ease. He attributes this to the household he grew up in. This is also how he grew into his love of cars, but that’s not his only pastime, “I also love to play video games”. Yep, the competitive spirit never ends.

Winter-Tires

The Ultimate Winter Driving Question. Winter Tires vs. All-Season Tires vs. All-Wheel Drive?

It’s almost winter, and how you prepare for it, especially driving, can make a big difference. Some people will tell you, if you have all-wheel drive you don’t need winter tires. And others will tell you if you have winter tires you don’t need all-wheel drive. The truth is, neither are correct, because when it comes to winter driving, the more grip you can get on the roads, the better.

The tire industry invented the idea of the all-season tires a number of years ago and people took that as they don’t have to buy anything extra for winter. The truth is, all-season tires state M+S (mud and snow) on the side, but really don’t hold up to ice and snow. This really makes them three-season tires, a term you’re starting to hear the past couple years.

Winter-Tires

A lot of all-season tires are also promoted as being long-lasting – up to 130,000 kilometres. To have that kind of tread life and improve fuel economy, the rubber has to be harder. When the temperature gets below 7 degrees Celsius they become even more firm and brittle, essentially becoming hockey pucks that shoot across the ice. Great in the arena, not great on a busy highway.

Most people don’t realize that tires are the single most important safety feature on any vehicle. Your tires provide the only connection between your car and the road, and life-saving technologies like antilock brakes and electronic stability control cannot do their job if the tires don’t have a good grip on the pavement. Winter tires could actually be called, cold weather tires. The tread stays soft and their bigger blocks of rubber are able to more effectively grip the ice, slush or whatever conditions you’re driving through. Thus, bringing you up to speed quicker and helping you stop quicker as well.

In Consumer Reports tests, winter tires stopped six feet shorter, on average, than all-seasons on ice. And winter tires required a shorter distance – 22 feet less than all-seasons – to accelerate from 8 to 32 km/h on moderately packed snow.

All-wheel drive doesn’t make a difference in stopping either – in fact, heavier all-wheel-drive vehicles can take even longer than a two-wheel-drive vehicle to stop on all-seasons. At the end of the day, all-wheel drive, though great, is a performance feature, not a safety feature, and it has nothing to do with braking and cornering. With all-wheel drive you can accelerate pretty good on snow from a stoplight, but when you have to stop, physics always wins.

So should you buy winter tires? Absolutely. Especially if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle. Take that available grip and spread it to all four corners for acceleration, and when it’s time to brake and steer, your winter tires will really excel and could just save you from an emergency situation.

The magic time for winter tires is when the temperature hits 7 degrees Celsius. That’s when the performance of tire varieties really starts to take shape. This tends to be in October, but in Saskatoon, Edmonton or anywhere in Canada for that matter, that’s never a given. To ensure you’re ready for the first snowfall, avoid lineups and get the full selection of tire options, now is the time to start your search. That search should begin at the FFUN Motor Group tire headquarters, www.treadnation.ca. Shop online and get the best savings and benefits in the Saskatchewan market today.