Remembering Paul Walker

With the recent passing of Hollywood actor and legendary car enthusiast Paul Walker many people around the globe have turned their grief into positive action. In doing so, car enthusiasts have coordinated official memorial cruises and meets to create more awareness for the organization Paul Walker helped co-found called Reach Out WorldWide.  Here in Toronto, the local car scene held several Paul Walker Memorial events this past Sunday, December 8th throughout the city.

Team RedlineNorth attended the meet and cruise event at Canadian Tire at Lakeshore and Leslie in Toronto’s southeast organized by local enthusiast Tim Knight. As usual it was well attended and included some very cool rides in spite of the cold December weather. Unfortunately, we did not capture any of our own coverage however, local enthusiast site Automotofoto’s provided some solid coverage.

Paul Walker Memorial

Paul Walker Memorial

Kudos to the Toronto local scene for all coming together to raise awareness for Paul’s charity.

Drifting videos

You may have already seen some of the coverage of rally superstar Ken Block‘s Toronto tour stop. Well, if you are wanting more on the event, the guys from Autoblog Canada have published their full interview with Ken.  Of course, the real cool part would be to see the video of their drive along which I guess we have to wait to see since they have not published it yet.  In the past, we have published many Ken Block Gymkhana videos which are always worth checking out.

On a related note, we recently came across a cool new drifting video created by Sylvania Canada. Shot in an undisclosed location SYLVANIA Canada and Canadian Tire teamed up to capture the beauty of drift racing at night. In making the video, drift drivers modified their cars with SYLVANIA Silverstar® zXe Twin Halogen Headlight Bulbs and absolutely rip it around a challenging outdoor course.

Winter Tires – Yes or No?

This time of year in the Great White North, also known as Canada, Canadians start to think about installing winter tires on their vehicles. There are a number of benefits to installing winter tires, not the least of which is the ability to come to a complete stop over a shorter distance compared to all season tires. However, there are still a large number of people that don’t wish to pay the additional cost, or take the time to install them.

For winter tire hold outs here are some points to consider:

All season tires lose their traction below 7 degree Celsius (44.6 Fahrenheit) as the rubber compound in the tire becomes stiff.  Winter tires, on the other hand, are made with a compound that retains elasticity which gives you better control and traction down to -30 degree Celsius and below.  This combined with their unique tread pattern provide significantly more traction than all season tires, even on dry pavement.

The following shows the difference in tread between an all season tire and a winter tire, in this case the Goodyear Nordic Winter Tire.

Goodyear Nordic Winter tire tread

You’ll notice the wider tread pattern in the Goodyear Nordic tire, which helps to channel away the ice and snow.

How much shorter does a car equipped with winter tires stop? The RedlineNorth Team recently participated in a hands on demonstration conducted by local retailer, Canadian Tire, showing just how much of a difference winter tires can make. Here’s a short video of the demonstration conducted at a local ice rink.  The red car has been outfitted with Goodyear Nordic Winter tires, while the blue car is running on all season tires.

Vehicles equipped with the Goodyear Nordics on average stop 45 feet shorter than the same car equipped with a leading all season tire.  The RedlineNorth Team drove both of these vehicles and can honestly say the handling of the vehicle with the all season tires, especially when trying to corner, was simply awful at speeds above 15 kilometers per hour (9 mph), where as the vehicle equipped with the Nordics had excellent grip and gave noticeably better handling to the vehicle.

Cost: The Goodyear Nordic tires start at around $100 each (although are currently on sale) and with balancing and taxes you are looking at approximately $500-$600, however, considering the cost to repair a vehicle after a rear end collision, that’s a small price to pay, not to mention the additional safety benefits for passengers.

Of course if you live in certain jurisdictions in Canada, such as the province of Quebec, winter tires are now mandatory on passenger vehicles between December 15th and March 15th – with up to a $300 fine for non-compliance. In the first two years of mandatory winter tire enforcement the new measure helped to prevent an average of 574 road crash victims.

So if you live in an area that regularly gets temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius in the winter and you do a lot of driving, the installation of winter tires is worth considering.  Once you’ve had a chance to drive a car with them installed, chances are you’ll never go back to all seasons in the winter again.

Autoglym Valet Kit Review

Autoglym Valet Kit

The RedlineNorth team were recently provided a sample of the Autoglym Valet Kit from our friends at Canadian Tire to review.  This kit provides the user with a start to finish for all quick auto detailing needs and includes six 500 ml bottles of Autoglym products (Bodyworks Shampoo Conditioner, Super Resin Polish, Fast Glass, Instant Tyre Dressing, Vinyl & Rubber Care and Custom Wheel Cleaner), a Perfect Polish Cloth, Sponge and carrying case.  The only noticeable exception is car wax, although it does come with a Rapid Detailer (see below for a review on that product).  The Autoglym Valet Kit retails for $99.99 and is available at Canadian Tire in Canada. The individual products are also sold separately.

The RedlineNorth team used a black 2003 Nissan Altima to try out the kit.  Black is a notoriously difficult paint colour to keep looking new and tends to show off a lot of imperfections, such as scratches and dents. A perfect opportunity to see what this stuff can do!

First up for review is the Rapid Detailer which is designed to be used between regular washing to remove dust and fingerprints and provides water repellent properties.  In short, the detailer worked very well – so much so it was noticed by one of the wives of the RedlineNorth team a couple of days after the application as the car being ‘shiny’ and ‘looks good.’ In our books that’s one of the most authentic reviews we could have received.  In addition,  given that the application of the product was so quick and easy to apply, the Rapid Detailer is going to be used regularly by us going forward.

All that is required to apply the Rapid Detailer is a cold vehicle surface, a quick spray and a little bit of elbow grease with a mirco fiber cloth.  The Valet Kit does come with a ‘perfect palm’ applicator, as shown below, which we used to apply the detailer.  It was a nice added touch, but not necessary to get a good result. After the application we let the detailer sit for a number of minutes while we applied the tyre dressing and wheel cleaner. We then returned to the detailer to wipe off the product and did some quick buffing to reveal a brilliant shine.  So much so, the black metal appeared almost mirror like reflecting our work area as can be seen in the pictures.  We can honestly say we’ve used a number of similar products in the past, but have yet to such a result in as little time as this took.

Before Auto Glym Rapid Detailer Applied

Before Autoglym Rapid Detailer was applied

Using the Palm Applicator

Results of the Autoglym Rapid Detailer

The Custom Wheel Cleaner was also very easy to apply with a few squirts around the circumference of the rim, about 60 seconds of wiping and then letting sit for 60 seconds, doing one wheel at a time.

At the same time as the Wheel Cleaner, the Instant Tyre Dressing was applied as both require rinsing after the application. Yes, tyre is spelled with a ‘y’ in the UK and as these products are actually made in England – not just the typical cop out of being ‘designed’ in one place, but actually made somewhere else –  it’s therefore fitting they use the British spelling. Again, the application was very easy, a few squirts, one wipe around to ensure an even coating and then let sit for three minutes.

Before Customer Wheel Cleaner

Before Custom Wheel Cleaner

Before Instant Tyre Dressing

Before Instant Tyre Dressing

Literally 60 second wipe

Literally a 60 second wipe

Once the tire and rims were rinsed there was a very noticeable improvement in the blackness of the tire and the cleanliness of the rims.  These two Autoglym products were one of the easiest products to apply that also resulted in noticeable results.

The Results

In addition, the Instant Tyre Dressing can also be used as an engine dressing to protect and improve the appearance under the hood as well.

After using the products

At the end of the day there are a wide variety of car cleaning products out there. The old adage you get what you pay for rings true with AutoGlym.  While other products may give you a similar result, a lot more effort can be required.  The Autoglym products aren’t the cheapest products out there.  Individually, the products retail for $12.99 for the Tyre Dressing, $14.99 for the Rapid Detailer, and $12.99 for the Custom Wheel Cleaner. However, what impressed the RedlineNorth team the most was the easy of use and the little effort required to make a 9 year old car look very good, and stay that way.

If you are like the RedlineNorth team and you have one hour on the weekend once a month to work on the car and you want something that will give you the best results with very little effort and time, we recommend you give the AutoGlym Valet Kit a shot and try it for yourself. Canadian Tire also offers a 1 year exchange warranty redeemable at any Canadian Tire store on the three products reviewed in this post.