Author Archives: Alibhai

Why can not Canadians show police evidence of insurance on their phone?

26 Sep 17
Alibhai
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We just moved to Surrey from San Diego, and I was amazed when the insurance guy here said ICBC does not allow you to reveal police your insurance information with a program, like we could in California. Is that true? It sounds kind of backward. — Ron, Surrey, B.C.

Even in British Columbia, you still must keep loads of paper in your glove compartment.

“You must legally take the first or unaltered photocopy of the owner’s certificate of insurance and vehicle licence from the automobile while it’s operated,” said Lindsay Olsen, spokeswoman for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).

You will need the paperwork even though, in B.C., your license plate stickers demonstrate that you are insured for the year.

And, no, there is no app for it. Olsen said that there are “no immediate plans” to allow drivers to take evidence of insurance on their own phones.

At the moment, no state allows electronic evidence of insurance if you are pulled over — but 46 U.S. states do.

“It is all about convenience,” said Alex Hageli with the (PCI), a business group that encouraged the laws. “I’ve heard countless stories about how people got pulled over and they realize, ‘Oh, this is expired’ or ‘I have three cards, and they are all older than three months, so I will find a ticket.'”

Connecticut, New Mexico and Washington, D.C. do not yet allow it. Massachusetts does not require evidence of insurance and New Hampshire .

In its , Ontario announced it would allow digital evidence of insurance and require insurance companies to give discounts to customers who opt for it, but no date was set, and the state is still trying to work out how it will work, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) stated in an e-mail announcement.

“Electronics cards would enable drivers to verify their proof of insurance via their mobile device, rather than the present paper pink cards issued by insurers,” stated FSCO spokesman Malon Edwards. “However, drivers would continue to be responsible for confirming their proof of insurance, either electronically or with a paper copy, upon request{}”

We checked with other states, and no one else has immediate plans in the works.

Slips sliding off?

In Canada, the insurance industry says clients are asking to eliminate paper.

“Especially with the dilemma of identity theft, leaving private documents within the car is not the best thing to do,” said Pete Karageorgos, manager of Ontario consumer and business relations with the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Can it also cut costs for insurance companies?

“You gotta recall, from the insurer’s perspective, they might need to administer unique lists because not all people will want to receive it {}” Karageorgos said. “There might be a cost to doing both simultaneously.”

So, should you carry your license on the telephone, will you still require a paper backup?

In the USA, a paper backup is recommended but not mandatory. Rather, states require that you carry either an electronic copy or a paper copy.

“There was some discussion of requiring both, but that would have defeated the purpose,” Hageli stated.

This works in practice can vary. Some companies provide apps. Others allow you to click on an email to set your insurance card into your smartphone’s wallet, together with your credit cards, frequent flyer cards and concert tickets.

“So if I am driving in the middle of nowhere without a reception, I am still able to get my e-card,” Hageli stated. “Theoretically, you can print something out or simply have a photo of your card on the internet and that is good enough.”

Privacy risks?

But there are concerns: Authorities were worried that if a motorist reaches into his pocket to catch a telephone, officers might think he’s a gun, Hageli stated.

And what happens to your telephone if officers take it to the squad car to test it? Could they access your surfing history, personal texts and e-mails? Should they fall your phone or scrape it, could you sue?

If you are using a card on your iPhone’s wallet, by way of instance, you can put your telephone so only the wallet can be obtained while the phone’s locked, preventing someone from viewing anything else, but that would not work for programs or a PDF.

Rather, state laws generally say that officers can not access your data, and they are not accountable for damage to your cell phone.

For Instance, States, “Presentation of evidence of insurance in digital format will not constitute consent for law enforcement, justice of the peace, or other state officials to get other contents of the mobile phone or other mobile electronic device, and won’t enlarge or restrict authority to conduct a search or investigation.”

Have a compelling question? Send it to . Canada’s a big place, so tell us where you are so we can get the answer for your town and state.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Look out for flood-damaged vehicles when buying a used car

20 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

They say public speaking is most people’s biggest fear. Right then must be purchasing a used car. It can be a harrowing trip. The old stereotypes are ever-present. Predatory curbside salespeople peddling poor item. Unsuspecting buyers whose fantasy cars become lemons seconds when they leave the lot. Unusual mark-ups, undetected damage, trouble with the name — all of these are pitfalls that unwary drivers can fall into.

Now there’s another factor to consider: flood damage.

Hurricane Harvey has done its worst, causing carnage and suffering. The automotive side into the catastrophe is an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 flood-damaged vehicles will be write-offs, according Solera Holdings Inc., a data firm based in Westlake, Texas. There have already been 100,000 claims for automobile flood damage. It is a heavy hit to get a town in which 94 percent of the adult population drives.

Most flood-damaged vehicles are deemed total losses by insurers. Sustained water damage causes rust and destroys electrical and computer systems. It may warp brakes and rotors and result in airbag malfunction. Flood damage can corrode the exhaust system and can lead to transmission failure. The “car plus flood equals bad news” list is endless.

Once a vehicle is deemed ruined, it’s delivered to a salvage yard so any undamaged parts can be re-purposed.

Needless to say, where there is calamity, there is criminal opportunity. Flood fraudsters do not waste time. The moment soggy vehicles could be dried out, they are sent off to other areas of the country and sold — with nary a mention of the nautical past — what was called “suckers.” According to the automobile history database firm Carfax, 271,404 flood-damaged automobiles were on American streets in 2016. Guess which state had the most? Texas, with 43,000. Car grifters conceal any information connected to a vehicle’s watery past. They participate in “title washing” by erasing an automobile’s history or by leaving any lingering details off the sheet.

Between Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the sector is likely to have “flooded” with much more watery automobiles. It is possible that some of the lemons will end up in Canada. After all, flood-damaged cars made their way here after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

So, what can a consumer do?

Proceed to a reputable used car dealer. Established traders play the long game. They want happy customers who return, not fleeced marks that hold a grudge. Someone who’s passing off flood-damaged automobiles is going for the quick kill. They are going to pressure you to get fast. There’ll be a few hyped-up narrative describing why the car is really affordable. If you do not act now you will lose it. There might be the inference of the trade being somewhat less than legit (no taxation, cash only). The best way to guarantee a mark will not go to the police is to have them participate in criminal behaviour.

Inspect the vehicle. Start looking for mold and mildew. Despite the best attempts of fraudsters, flood-damaged cars frequently smell like the bottom of a pond that is rancid. Check under the mats, under the vehicle, start looking for moisture from the headlights and from the tool panel. Feel for damp spots and look for water stains. Definitely, the most reliable way is to look at its history. Use a vehicle history company to discover if the car was in any heavy water. You will find detailed advice on the best way best to prevent flood-damaged vehicles online.

When in doubt, bear in mind the adage, “If a deal on a used car is too good to be true, it probably spent a week submerged in water{}”

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new To see the hottest discounts, rebates and prices on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Key tips from experts on Keeping your first car

20 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

In the past month, a veritable army of students packed up their belongings and headed to college or university. Many carried those possessions in their first car, whether it was a rusting junker purchased with summer earnings, a heavily funded newer version or a brand new automobile courtesy of the Bank of Mom and Pop.

Irrespective of the quality of the rides, most will have something in common: A whole lack of comprehension of car maintenance.

Nothing against pupils or millennials; it is only a simple fact of life for those lacking experience. Add in the fact that they are the products of a few decades of computer-driven cars and you have a significant shortage of maintenance knowledge.

“People do not do any maintenance at home any more, so it is not being passed on from generation to generation like it was,” says Angelo DiCicco, general director for Young Drivers of Canada’s GTA branch. “Your grandma was better than me or you on fixing cars.”

Therefore, in the desire to bring rookie automobile owners to grandma’s degree of knowledge, here are a couple of important things to take into account, according to driving specialists.

Tires

They are the Rodney Dangerfield of automobile components, getting no respect from most motorists. “It isn’t necessarily new drivers, but folks just don’t listen to tire pressure,” says Brett Delaney, assistant manager of OK Tire at Langley, B.C. Delaney suggests assessing pressure once per month, making sure the tire-gauge reading fits the recommended pressure recorded on the driver’s side door post.

If the tires which touch the street regularly get no respect, the spare may as well not exist. Check that with all the other tires, particularly since they tend to shed air even faster.

Should you get a flat, do not attempt to alter it on a busy expressway. “Drive off the highway to a safe place, even in the event you hurt the tire,” Delaney says. “It’s far better than putting yourself at risk on a freeway.”

Winter treads

When temperatures fall consistently below 7C, bring out the winter treads. And if funding dictates used tires, make sure they are made for your car or truck and that they’ve at least 7/32″ of tread depth.

“Ideally, it needs to be 11/32,” states Ryan Peterson, director of automotive services for the CAA. “If it is 5/32 or under, you have lost all grip. Therefore, should you purchase one that is 7/32, you are almost there.”

Fluids

Oil changes are a part of any maintenance program, but notice that not all cars are created equally. Since Delaney points out, some cars require a change every 5,000 kilometres, while others can go 12,000 without new oil.

However, if tires are the Rodney Dangerfield of automobile components, windshield washer fluid is his uglier step-brother.

“People do not listen until they’re outside,” Delaney says. “Then you end up driving on a highway with a windshield you can hardly see out of.”

And do not just pour in any washer fluid. Make sure it’s designed for either hot or cold weather.

Maintenance tips

Possibly the most important thing to do to avoid expensive repair bills would be to learn the fundamentals about your car. By way of example, understand that those gauges and lighting are not just decorative.

“You’d be amazed how many people, and not just young people, can not identify what those warning lights and gauges mean,” DiCicco says.

“But bear in mind, you can not rely on these gauges and lighting totally. As soon as they come on or send out an alarm, you are getting very near the end. That’s dangerous. You will need to grab it {}.”

The means to do this, Delaney suggests, is to establish a routine maintenance schedule to examine oil, wiper fluid and tires. Make it a date you won’t forget, like the last or first of each month.

And do not try to cut corners. You will pay a hefty price.

“Automobile maintenance is a great deal cheaper than car repair,” Delaney says.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Why is it illegal to put gas in my car on a Quebec highway shoulder?

19 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

My son-in-law ran out of petrol on Highway 20 in Dorval, Que. While he was on the shoulder of the road waiting for somebody to bring him a gallon of petrol, a routier [Quebec highway safety patrol] truck stopped and told him it was illegal to put petrol in his car on the side of the street, and he has to be towed. He explained that when the police came by he would find a $300 fine and demerits, and anyone who brought him petrol could find an $800 fine plus demerits. I have never heard of this and could not find anything on the world wide web to imply that this is accurate. Was this routier guy stringing him a line? — Norm, Montcalm, Que.

Whether you break down, run out of gas or get a flat on highways around Montreal, you are stuck with a single choice — you need to get towed.

“This area of Highway 20 is an especially dangerous place to run out of gas, so if someone does break down, they must be towed to a gas station with an organization which has contracted with the MTQ [Quebec Ministry of Transportation],” said Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau, spokesman with Sûreté du Québec (SQ). “Several highways in Quebec have been designated , and that’s based on safety concerns concerning the setup of the highway{}”

If you break down on — designated by green signs that reveal a tow truck and state exclusif — you must be towed by the company that has the contract for this zone. Each company handles just 1 zone, so that they can arrive quickly — within 15 minutes — combined with a routier protection truck with a flashing arrow.

“These tow trucks are quickly available, whereas in the event you call the CAA or a buddy, the delays could create serious injuries or injury,” Thibaudeau said. “It is too dangerous to be wandering around outside the vehicle.”

That means it is also illegal for that friend to bring gas or booster cables to come to your aid, Thibaudeau said.

Two trucks required

How can you know which tow truck company to call?

You call the police at *4141 and they send a truck for you. There could be one on the way — MTQ staff track highway cameras for vehicles that are stopped, and ministry trucks patrol the highways, Thibaudeau said.

And if you think it’s something that you can manage yourself, like placing the spare tire? If you attempt to DIY, you can die, a tow truck driver said.

“It’s illegal in Quebec to step out of your automobile if you stall on our highways. It is extremely dangerous,” said Dan Drozda, who works for a Montreal towing company and runs the Facebook page . “Even us, once we respond to some highway telephone, we can’t step a foot from our car until a protection vehicle is behind us blocking the lane{}”

That protection vehicle was required in exclusive towing zones because 2006, according to recommendations following the deaths of an SQ officer and a street supervisor who were struck while putting up security cones following a bus broke down. The Excess vehicle nearly doubled the price of towing to over $100, La Presse in 2007.

We requested several Montreal-area towing firms what the speed may be now and did not get an immediate response.

Everywhere else

If you break down on another street in Quebec, the safest thing to do would be to call authorities, roadside assistance or a tow truck in lieu of a friend, Thibaudeau said.

You are not supposed to walk across the street, and neither is the friend with the jerrycan, Thibaudeau said.

“It is a $15 fine,” he said. “It’s a little fine, but it is an issue of safety.”

The Société p l’assurance automobile du Quebec (SAAQ), a Crown corporation responsible for licensing drivers and vehicles, said in an email it recommends planning ahead to be certain you have enough gas in your vehicle.

If your car does break down, slow down and reach the shoulder or as far right as possible. Put in your hazard lights and stay in your car until emergency services arrive.

“If there’s a possibility of collision, leave the car, lift the hood and move to a safe location,” the SAAQ stated.

We checked the other states and did not find any bans on filling up with petrol or changing a flat tire on the street.

But in Ontario, for example, it is illegal to walk on many sections of the 400-series highways.

And it is dangerous everywhere — in 2015, a 22-year-old guy was When he was hit by a semi while changing a tire on Highway 16 in Saskatchewan. Also in 2015, some time changing a tire on Highway 400.

Have a compelling question? Send it to . Canada’s a big place, so tell us where you are so we can get the answer for your town and state.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new To see the hottest discounts, rebates and prices on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Look out for flood-damaged vehicles when buying a used car

18 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

They say public speaking is most people’s biggest fear. Right then must be purchasing a used car. It can be a harrowing trip. The old stereotypes are ever-present. Predatory curbside salespeople peddling poor item. Unsuspecting buyers whose fantasy cars become lemons seconds when they leave the lot. Unusual mark-ups, undetected damage, trouble with the name — all of these are pitfalls that unwary drivers can fall into.

Now there’s another factor to consider: flood damage.

Hurricane Harvey has done its worst, causing carnage and suffering. The automotive side into the catastrophe is an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 flood-damaged vehicles will be write-offs, according Solera Holdings Inc., a data firm based in Westlake, Texas. There have already been 100,000 claims for automobile flood damage. It is a heavy hit to get a town in which 94 percent of the adult population drives.

Most flood-damaged vehicles are deemed total losses by insurers. Sustained water damage causes rust and destroys electrical and computer systems. It may warp brakes and rotors and result in airbag malfunction. Flood damage can corrode the exhaust system and can lead to transmission failure. The “car plus flood equals bad news” list is endless.

Once a vehicle is deemed ruined, it’s delivered to a salvage yard so any undamaged parts can be re-purposed.

Needless to say, where there is calamity, there is criminal opportunity. Flood fraudsters do not waste time. The moment soggy vehicles could be dried out, they are sent off to other areas of the country and sold — with nary a mention of the nautical past — what was called “suckers.” According to the automobile history database firm Carfax, 271,404 flood-damaged automobiles were on American streets in 2016. Guess which state had the most? Texas, with 43,000. Car grifters conceal any information connected to a vehicle’s watery past. They participate in “title washing” by erasing an automobile’s history or by leaving some lingering details off the sheet.

Between Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the sector is likely to have “flooded” with much more watery automobiles. It is possible that some of the lemons will end up in Canada. After all, flood-damaged cars made their way here after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

So, what can a consumer do?

Proceed to a reputable used car dealer. Established traders play the long game. They want happy customers who return, not fleeced marks that hold a grudge. Someone who’s passing off flood-damaged automobiles is going for the quick kill. They are going to pressure you to get fast. There’ll be a few hyped-up narrative describing why the car is really affordable. If you do not act now you will lose it. There might be the inference of the trade being somewhat less than legit (no taxation, cash only). The best way to guarantee a mark will not go to the police is to have them participate in criminal behaviour.

Inspect the vehicle. Start looking for mold and mildew. Despite the best attempts of fraudsters, flood-damaged cars frequently smell like the bottom of a pond that is rancid. Check under the mats, under the vehicle, start looking for moisture from the headlights and from the tool panel. Feel for damp spots and look for water stains. Definitely, the most reliable way is to look at its history. Use a vehicle history company to discover if the car was in any heavy water. You will find detailed advice on the best way best to prevent flood-damaged vehicles online.

When in doubt, bear in mind the adage, “If a deal on a used car is too good to be true, it probably spent weekly submerged in water{}”

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new To see the hottest discounts, rebates and prices on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Revisiting fanciful failures in the past at Pebble Beach Concours

17 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

In the realm of concept cars, the dustbin of broken dreams is littered with mechanical detritus. There are a couple of memorable gems, however, one of those failed projects. One — featured in the current Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance — may even claim to have made guest appearances at three 1960s television series.

The Reactor, a fancifully futuristic 1964 custom coupe, appeared at the first Star Trek collection, on Batman and at the humor Bewitched, in an episode especially composed for thenbsp;car.

1 look at its retro-revolutionary layout lets you know why. This George Jetson-meets-Popular Mechanics mashup looks like it was created by someone motivated by psychedelic drugs. Its pointed platypus snout and wraparound glass, topped off with tail fins, makes it seem a little like a folded paper plane wrought in aluminum. It’s tough to tell whether designer Gene Winfield was seriously trying to project in the future, or if he meant the automobile as anbsp;joke.

It was powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder power plant from Chevrolet’s ill-fated rear-engine Corvair compact, turned around and mounted at the front. The hood, doors, concealed headlights and roof could be managed by remotenbsp;controller.

Equally adventuresome, but perhaps more serious, was the 1967 Gyro-X prototype constructed for a California firm that pictured a production vehicle. Although it had two wheels, this totally enclosed one-passenger apparatus was no motorcycle. It utilized a hydraulically-driven gyroscope to keep it vertical. With the gyro idle in the rest, two training wheels extended to keep it from falling over.

Science amp Mechanics magazine road-tested the model and reported it could reach a top speed of 200 km/h and not tip in turns. However, it never got beyond the prototype phase. Its appearance at the Concours was its first running performance because its recentnbsp;recovery.

Maybe the biggest eye-popper of this dream-car category, however, was the . The famous 1950s singer bought the car to get a shocking (at the time) $150,000 (U.S.) so that he and wife Sandra Dee could roll up to the 1961 Academy Awards in it. Constructed over seven years by Andrew DiDia, it had an aluminum frame, double wraparound windshield and has been painted with 30 coats of Swedish Pearl Essence, supplemented with crushnbsp;diamonds.

Studebaker, a casualty of the 1960s, made the 1962 Sceptre coupe with a plan to put it into production in 1966. Its full-width headlight assembly, designed to minimize glare to oncoming cars, looked like a monobrow in chrome. As the provider’s fiscal fortunes faltered, however, development of the Sceptre wasnbsp;suspended.

The American Dream Cars category is a first in the Concours‘ 67-year history.

Shopping for a new car? Take a look at the new to find the hottest discounts, rebates and prices on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

My Kia Sorento makes awful noises when riding over bumps. What can I do?

17 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

Whenever I drive over a bump in the road or maybe a crack repaired with road tar, it sounds and feels like the wheels will come through the floor panel. The Kia dealer’s mechanic tested the car and told me all of the Sorentos have the identical issue. The problem began about eight months ago. All was fine up until then. What can I do? Warren

My study left me with a lot of factors, so I reached out to Larry Morrison, fixed operations manager at 401 Dixie Kia in Mississauga. He guided me to a Kia Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) that I think will you resolve your problem.

TSB #CHA01201402 copes with noises over lumps which were traced back to a small inference involving front strut insulator and the upper strut bearing.

There are two repair solutions.

If the strut itself isn’t noisy and doesn’t have a fluid leakage, then only the top spring pad and front bearing mounts beed to be substituted with upgraded pieces. If the actual strut be leaking fluid or there’s concern that the strut could be the source of the sound, then Kia will replace the whole unit.

Warranty coverage on these items is limited to 100,000 km or five decades.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about repair and maintenance? E-mail , putting “Lou’s Garage” in the topic area.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the brand new To see the most recent discounts, rebates and prices on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Can I get a ticket if I get pulled over and do not have my licence?

12 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

If I am driving my wallet and I get pulled over, will I be charged for driving without a license? I thought I had been allowed to make it within 24 hours. Can I save a photo of my license in my iPhone, just in case? — Dorothy, Oshawa, Ont.

Authorities have licence to bill you — or maybe not — if you are driving without yours. However, a photograph on your phone will not help you — at least not yet.

“It is up to the officer’s discretion — you might get lucky,” said Sergeant Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police. “You should surrender your licence when asked to, and a picture wouldn’t satisfy an officer since it may or might not be valid”

Of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states all drivers need to carry a license at all times while “in control of a motor vehicle or street car.” There is an $85 set fine. Or, if you are convicted, a judge can choose a fine of anywhere from $60 to $500.

There is nothing in the law which states you’ve got 24 hours to make it. Still, an officer may choose not to charge you, but you need to give your name and address to identify yourself.

Authorities in Ontario can look it up on the spot to find out if you look like your driver’s license photograph on file, Schmidt said.

Still, you are supposed to be carrying your true licence. And you are supposed to hand it over when requested.

“The ministry doesn’t currently accept photographs of licences instead of the actual card,” Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation said in an email announcement. “Therefore, drivers need to carry a drivers license card.”

Selfie control?

And everywhere else in Canada? We checked — every state requires you to carry your license with you. And nobody has a law which lets you use an image of your licence.

But in a few states, including British Columbia and Quebec, authorities might not have the ability to see your driver’s license photograph in their system.

“Will we take a photograph on your phone? Photoshop is a terrific thing, so, no,” said Constable Jason Doucette, spokesman for the Vancouver Police Department. “The most important thing, you need to carry your card. But if the officer wanted to use discretion, [we] could use another photo ID in addition to the police database to identify you.”

The fines vary. As an example, it has $30 and fees in Quebec, $81 in British Columbia and $172 in Alberta.

“You are supposed to have your permit with you,” said Sergeant Audrey-Anne Bilodeau, Sûreté du Québec spokeswoman. “However, it really depends upon the circumstance. Maybe if you’re in a little town the officer might allow you to go home to get it, but there is nothing in the law which states they must.”

And if an officer is not convinced that you are who you say you’re — if you do not understand your zodiac sign, postal code or previous address, say — you might be arrested until you can prove it. “But from my experience on the street, that is really unusual unless it is a criminal matter,” Bilodeau said.

An app for it?

Just how close are we to a driver’s license that would appear on your smartphone’s wallet, like a credit card or concert ticket?

Nobody has one yet. Iowa and Have been in a hurry to be the first American state to provide digital licences.

Following a trial run last year with 100 state employees, Iowa To offer you a licence app statewide prior to the end of 2018.

“We definitely have to have the ability to accept this as evidence of identity and driving privilege where necessary,” Mark Lowe, Iowa interim department of transportation manager, told the Des Moines Register. “Our law enforcement ought to have the ability to interact with it and we need to be able to use it to rent a car, get a hotel room, buy cigarettes, buy alcohol — matters where you’re typically expected to supply some evidence of identity.”

The program shows a licence rotating picture that programmers call the “Harry Potter feature{}” Users upload a selfie that’s verified from their official driver’s license photograph on file.

There are potential problems, though. What if your battery dies? Or, more seriously, what if a crook hacks to the machine and steals your identity? And would you be comfortable handing your phone to authorities?

Idaho, Colorado, Maryland, Wyoming and Washington, D.C. — are a part of a , while many other states are looking into them, along with , in Australia, the Netherlands and Brazil.

And here at home? We checked with every state, and there is nothing formally in the works. “Alberta is open to exploring options for upgraded ways to display a driver’s licence and will consider this as part of future modernization efforts,” Cheryl Tkalcic, Service Alberta spokeswoman, said in an email.

Renewed hope?

Nonetheless, there are several nods to the current here.

Ontario and Newfoundland enable drivers to renew licences online, though you’ve got to appear in person if you will need a new picture. And the licences continue to be sent via the mail.

Both states require renewals every five decades and new photos every 10 years.

Ontario’s 2017 budget announced the acceptance of digital proof of insurance — that can be found in most American states — but no official launch date was set.

There haven’t been statements from any other states, though most say they are considering it.

While they may not replace paper completely, a pink slip in your telephone would mean you would not have to rifle through a nest of newspapers on your glove box if you get pulled over for speeding.

And they are updated automatically each time you renew, make a change to your coverage or proceed.

“Insurance companies are supportive of this because it provides consumers with some choice and convenience — not everyone goes and checks their mailbox on a daily basis,” stated Pete Karageorgos, manager of Ontario consumer and business relations with the Insurance Bureau of Canada. “But we must develop methods that are fraud-proof and protected.”

Have a compelling question? Send it to . Canada’s a big place, so please let us know where you are so we can get the answer for your town and state.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the brand new To see the most recent discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Revisiting fanciful failures in the past at Pebble Beach Concours

11 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

In the realm of concept cars, the dustbin of broken dreams is littered with mechanical detritus. There are a couple of memorable gems, however, one of those failed projects. One — featured in the current Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance — may even claim to have made guest appearances in three 1960s television show.

The Reactor, a fancifully futuristic 1964 custom coupe, appeared at the first Star Trek collection, on Batman and at the humor Bewitched, in an episode specifically written for thenbsp;automobile.

1 look at its retro-revolutionary layout lets you know why. This George Jetson-meets-Popular Mechanics mashup looks like it was created by someone motivated by psychedelic drugs. Its pointed platypus snout and wraparound glass, topped off with tail fins, makes it seem somewhat like a folded paper plane wrought in aluminum. It’s tough to tell whether designer Gene Winfield was seriously trying to project in the future, or if he meant the automobile as anbsp;joke.

It was powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder power plant from Chevrolet’s ill-fated rear-engine Corvair compact, turned around and mounted at front. The hood, doors, concealed headlights and roof could be managed by remotenbsp;controller.

Equally adventuresome, but perhaps more serious, was the 1967 Gyro-X prototype constructed for a California firm that pictured a production vehicle. Although it had two wheels, this totally enclosed one-passenger apparatus was no motorcycle. It utilized a hydraulically-driven gyroscope to keep it vertical. With the gyro idle in the rest, two training wheels extended to keep it from falling over.

Science amp Mechanics magazine road-tested the model and reported it could reach a top speed of 200 km/h and not tip in turns. However, it never got beyond the prototype phase. Its appearance at the Concours was its first running performance because its recentnbsp;recovery.

Maybe the biggest eye-popper of this dream-car category, however, was the . The famous 1950s singer bought the car for a shocking (at the time) $150,000 (U.S.) so that he and wife Sandra Dee could roll up to the 1961 Academy Awards inside. Constructed over seven years by Andrew DiDia, it had an aluminum frame, double wraparound windshield and has been painted with 30 coats of Swedish Pearl Essence, supplemented with crushnbsp;diamonds.

Studebaker, a casualty of the 1960s, made the 1962 Sceptre coupe with a plan to put it into production in 1966. Its full-width headlight assembly, designed to minimize glare to oncoming cars, looked like a monobrow in chrome. As the provider’s fiscal fortunes faltered, however, development of the Sceptre wasnbsp;suspended.

The American Dream Cars category is a first in the Concours‘ 67-year history.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

What’s the least expensive way to replace my car’s bushing?

10 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

I have been advised that the driver’s side bushing requires replacement in my 2011 Toyota Venza. The part is known as a “knuckle” but it is $500 and you will need to get the entire part, since they don’t replace the bushing. Is there someplace that does take the present bit off and replace the bushing? — James

The information you’re working with is faulty, since the knuckle on your automobile doesn’t have a bushing contained inside.

The knuckle is the focus of the front suspension using the steering tie rod, strut and ball joints attaching to it.

What you are searching for is a common-to-fail bushing located within the front lower control arm.

The internal mounting point of the control arm is connected to the chassis at two points by means of these bushings. The outer end connects to the knuckle through the ball joint.

The suspension is designed to keep the tires in contact with the road surface and has to travel up and down, absorbing road irregularities.

These bushings facilitate this movement.

The easiest of bushings are made from rubber, and as with all parts made from rubber they’ll deteriorate with age.

Unfortunately, Toyota hasn’t made these bushings available separately and the comprehensive control arm has to be purchased.

After-market control arms can be found which will produce the repair cost somewhat easier to consume, but I am unaware of any convenient source for this bushing.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga.

Have a question about repair and maintenance? E-mail , putting “Lou’ s Garage” in the topic area.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail