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A tire-store salesman said that since my sister only drives about 10,000 kilometre per year, she shouldn’t have to change to all-season tires in the summer, just leave winter tires on year-round? Your thoughts? – Fay

Every winter-tire manufacturer declares that driving with their dedicated winter products year round is inadvisable.

My thoughts fall in line with that way of thinking.

Winter tires are far more pliable and will leave you with a noticeable decrease in performance during the hot summer months. This reduction in performance will be most apparent when you need to make a quick emergency manoeuvre.

Having soft, squishy, overheated tires on your car at that moment will put your safety in jeopardy. An excerpt from the Continental Tires website states, “The tread rubber of winter tires is considerably more flexible than that of all-season and summer tires. That same pliable tread rubber that adds traction in winter will wear down quickly in warm temperatures. Using snow tires year-round isn’t recommended. In the long run, it will cost more money than changing them out.”

Given your sister’s limited yearly mileage, and assuming she may not want to do a seasonal changeover, I’m surprised the sales staff didn’t recommend a set of all-weather tires. All-weather tires are slowly gaining popularity, and most manufacturers now have new products available in this expanding market.

When using a portable gas can, I noticed a piece of the can actually fell into my gas tank. Now it’s preventing the gas from running smoothly when I take my car to the gas station. I just want to know what has to be done in order for it to be safely removed. – Karina

If the obstruction can be seen with a flashlight once the upper filler-neck rollover flap has been carefully opened, then it should be reachable with some sort of flexible long-reach pliers or claw-end retriever tool.

These tools are readily available through multiple retailers. If you are not comfortable performing this task, then ask a capable friend or head in to your local repair shop for them to give it a try.

If the piece in question cannot be seen, it has fallen further into an unreachable area. The filler neck will have to be removed completely from the vehicle. Access should be available to look up the neck from beneath. Hopefully it will be right there, easily accessible and not a complicated fix.

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

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