Used Car Buyer Beware!

By Kevin Orchard, Wholesale Manager

The Ontario Motor Vehicles Industry Council (OMVIC) recently released a news bulletin warning Canadians about flood damaged used vehicles coming from the United States due to Hurricane Sandy. The bulletin provides some tips from the U.S. National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) on how to spot a possible flood vehicle, such as looking under the floorboard carpet for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.

OMVIC’s news bulletin raises a valid point about the uncertainties that go along with buying a used vehicle from anywhere other than a reputable organization. Used car buyers often think they will get a better deal when buying a used vehicle from a private seller, however that is not always the case. Private sellers often price their vehicles according to what dealers are asking for a similar vehicle and sell it “as is.” There are no guarantees with private sales and you could experience serious and pricey issues with your vehicle within days without the option to bring it back. You typically will not be given the car’s history report and there are often hidden costs like expensive certification and emissions testing that the private seller may not pay for.

At DRIVING FORCE, every used car goes through a 120 point inspection to achieve its status as a certified used vehicle and we include a three month or 5,000 km power train warranty. We also take trade-ins, saving you the hassle of getting rid of your old vehicle. DRIVING FORCE offers vehicle financing too, so we can help you get the credit you need.

If you are looking to buy a used car, truck, SUV or van in Western Canada or the Arctic, take a look at our online used car inventory. You just might find something you like, and we promise to provide you with a stress-free and worry-free car buying experience at any one of our 16 locations, including Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Saskatoon, Vancouver (Langley), Fort St. John, Whitehorse and Inuvik.

Winterize Your Ride!

It’s that time of year again! Time to get out the snow shovels and winter jackets, and also time to ensure your vehicle is ready for winter driving.

Brian Kombani, DRIVING FORCE Sales Consultant in Fort McMurray, shares an article on how to prepare your vehicle for winter with tips from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety:

Driving in winter weather with the snow, ice, wet and cold creates a great challenge for vehicles and drivers. Keeping your vehicle in good technical repair reduces your overall chances for any mishap or disaster while driving for all drivers, but particularly for first time winter drivers.

To prepare your vehicle for winter driving, give it a complete checkup and look at the following tips provided by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety:

Electrical system

   • Battery – recharge or replace if the battery is weak. Also have the charging system checked.

   • Ignition – check for damaged ignition wires and cracks in the distributor cap.

   • Lights – check all lights (headlights, side lights, emergency flashers, directional lights, taillights, brake lights and parking lights) for proper functioning.


Proper tire selection is very important. The traction between tires and the roadway determines how well a vehicle rides, turns and stops, and is crucial for safe winter driving.

   • Use all-season radial tires only in areas that receive light snowfall.

   • Use snow tires in areas that receive heavy snowfall.

   • Use chains on all four wheels when you expect severe snow and icy roads. Check with your local Department or Ministry of Transportation office to see if the use of tire chains is legal in the region through which you are planning to drive.

   • Check tire pressure, and if necessary, restore it to levels recommended by the tire manufacturer. The pressure drops about 1 psi for every 5°C (9°F) drop in temperature.

   • Do not mix radial tires with other types of tires.

   • Check tire balance and correct if necessary.

   • Check wheel alignment and correct if necessary.

Heating/cooling system

   • Check the radiator and hoses for leaks.

   • Ensure that your vehicle always has a sufficient amount of antifreeze rated for the coldest weather.

   • Check the defrosters (front and back) to make sure they are working efficiently.

Windshield wipers

   • Ensure that windshield wipers function efficiently. Replace them if they are old or worn.

   • Fill the washer container with antifreeze fluid and top it up frequently.


   • Fill up the fuel tank before you leave on your trip.

   • Do not let the fuel level get too low, the driving time to the next gas station may take  much longer than you expected. If you get stuck, the car engine will be your only source of heat.

In addition to these useful tips, make sure before you leave to plan your drive in advance, checking your local weather forecast and tuning in to your local road reports to find out the road conditions in the region.

Always plan your arrival time at a destination, taking into account delays caused by slower traffic, reduced visibility, roadblocks, collisions, abandoned vehicles and so on. Always wear warm and comfortable clothing in case you get stuck in the middle of nowhere or your vehicle breaks down.

Remember to slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal driving travel conditions. Driving at reduced speeds is the best precautionary measure against any misfortune while driving on slippery roads.

For these and more winter driving tips, please visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety’s website.

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