Month: August 2020

Five car noises you shouldn’t ignore

If you hear a chirping sound, you either have a pulley misalignment or your serpentine belt might be worn.  Unless you’re listening to Colt Ford’s “Cricket on a Line”

Photo of a worn and cracked serpentine belt.

(photo courtesy of iStock photo)


Unless you are listening to 2 Chainz “4 AM” Ft. Travis Scott, a clicking sound when turning a corner usually indicates that you need to replace your CV joint.

(photo courtesy of


Unless you’re listening to “Der Tod Ist Ein Dandy” by Einstürzende Neubauten, if you hear a squeaking sound when slowing down, your brake pads are wearing down and need replacement.

(photo courtesy of


If you waited too long to replace your brake pads, you will hear a harsh grinding sound.  This means the pads are worn right down and you are scratching your rotors with the backing plate.  Unless you are listening to “<shutdown.exe>” by 3Teeth.

(photo courtesy of .  This site is also a good resource for an actual rundown of what could be causing the sound)


Unless you are listening to “Bike” by Pink Floyd, that siren is the sound of a police car pulling you over.    

(photo courtesy of Ontario Provincial Police)

10 Best Canadian songs about vehicles and driving

Rush Red Barchetta Album Cover

10. Red Barchetta – Rush

Legendary band, interesting lyrics, and the Ferrari Barchetta is dope!


Teenage Head album cover

9. Top Down – Teenage Head

Great upbeat song.  Oh the joys of driving top-down in the summer!


Barenaked ladies album cover

8. One Week – Barenaked Ladies

This one earns a spot here because it was the music for the Mitsubishi Lancer ad in 2002.


Tom Cochrane album cover

7. Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane

Lightning McQueen’s travelling song.


Gordon Lightfoot album cover

6. Alberta Bound – Gordon Lightfoot

I haven’t been to Alberta in a while and this song makes me want to go.


Neil Young album cover

5. Out on the Weekend – Neil Young

I love Neil Young.  Such an icon.  I once bought a used car from a fella named Neil Young.  Not the musician, but still.


Stompin Tom album cover

4. Snowmobile Song – Stompin’ Tom Connors

We Canadians love the outdoors all year long, and what better way to enjoy the winter than on a snowmobile, “and a lake trout meal”.


Paul Brandt album cover

3. Convoy – Paul Brandt

Excellent cover of C.W. McCall’s classic, and best truckin’ song ever!


Spirit of the West album cover

2. Home for a Rest – Spirit of the West

The ultimate travelling song.  Brings me back to the days working at summer outdoor concerts and driving across Canada from one gig to the next.


Corb Lund album cover

1. Truck Got Stuck – Corb Lund

Nothing like friendship and teamwork to take an unfortunate circumstance and turn it around.  Add in guitar, banjo and a couple a pickup trucks and you can’t beat that. 

(images courtesy of

Vehicle Branding Programs

The vehicle branding program is one way the government is helping to keep drivers safe and informed.  Assigning a brand, or status, will let customers know if a vehicle they are interested in has been previously damaged and whether it has been rebuilt to meet Ministry and manufacturer’s specifications.  Brands can be assigned by insurance companies, salvage yards / auto recyclers, vehicle importers, dealers, and auctions. The brand is shown on the ownership / registration card.

In Canada a brand or status is assigned by the provincial or territorial government.  Here are the different categories:

Irreparable / Non-repairable: 

The vehicle has been written off by the insurance company as a total loss, and the damage is too severe to repair.  Some examples are flood damage, fire damage, major collision, or stolen and dismantled.  The vehicle cannot be legally driven on the road in that province or territory.  Ever.  It can only be used for parts or scrap.


This status is for vehicles in Manitoba and Nova Scotia that have been stolen and not recovered.  Once recovered, the police can lift the “Stolen” brand and the car may be re-branded depending on its condition.

Salvage / Salvageable:

The vehicle has been written off, but it can be either repaired or used for parts.  Salvage titled cars can be driven in demolition derbies but still cannot hit the road until they have been rebranded to “Rebuilt”. 


The vehicle had a previous designation as “Salvage” and has been repaired in accordance to the province or territory’s specifications to be safe to drive on the road.  In Ontario, the vehicle must receive a Structural Inspection Certificate from a Type 6 Motor Vehicle Inspection Station to earn “rebuilt” status. 

None / Normal:

The vehicle may have been damaged but not severely enough to get one of the above brands.  Or it may have had a brand in a different province, territory, or state.  Or it may have been damaged before the mandatory branding laws were put in place.  Or it may have never been damaged.


This status is used in British Columbia for a vehicle that has been significantly modified, such as a monster truck, but is still structurally sound and road worthy.

In the United States, the state DMVs have their own branding similar to ours, but with some variations in name and criteria for inclusion.

(Image courtesy of OMVIC)

What’s the meaning behind these car logos?


Audi logo 4 rings.

Audi AG is the result of a 1932 merger of four automobile companies: Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer. The four interlocking rings of the Audi logo represent the coming together of these four companies.



Toyota logo

Toyota introduced its new logo in 1989 to commemorate its 50th anniversary. It is comprised of 3 ellipses. The two inner ellipses represent the heart of the company and the heart of the customer. The fact that they overlap symbolizes the sharing of the same values and mutual trust. Together they form the letter T. The outer ellipse represents the world embracing Toyota, who was expanding to new markets at the time. The negative space represents endless possibilities, and the varying thicknesses in the ovals is a nod to the calligraphic nature of Japanese writing.



BMW Logo

It’s an aircraft propeller. But it’s not. But it still kinda is. Bayerische Motoren Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works in English, arose from the renaming of aircraft engine company Rapp Motorenwerke. It is widely believed that the white and blue inside the circle represent propellers on a blue sky background. The original intent of the emblem design was simply to represent the state colours of Bavaria, but a 1929 advertisement showed the BMW logo superimposed onto spinning airplane propellers, which led people to associate the logo with propellers. Another similar photo in 1942 reinforced this connection, and there was no reason to dispel the myth that this was the original thought process for the emblem design.



Not just for men.  In 1926, the automobile company was formed, and used a logotype that included the name VOLVO inside the ancient symbol for iron, a circle with an arrow pointing diagonally to the upper right.  Although this is also the male symbol, the intent was to convey the strength and durability of iron. 



Skoda logo

The black inner circle represents 100 years of history, the wings represent speed and movement, the arrow represents precision, and the colour green demonstrates their commitment to the environment.



Subaru logo.

The big star in the Subaru logo represents Fuji Heavy Industries, and the five smaller stars represent the five companies that merged with FHI to form what is now Subaru Corporation.  The alignment of the stars in the Subaru logo represent the constellation Pleiades, or in Japanese, Subaru.



Whether you pronounce it with two syllables or three, Jaguar’s logo is, well…. a jaguar.

(Source:  me)