Category Archives: Blog

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Full-service gas stations in the Toronto area

When winter has you feeling like you can’t even, don’t even…pump your own gas, that is.

If there is ever a time to take advantage of full-service gas stations it is now. Sure, you pay a little more, but you do it from the warm comfort of the driver’s seat. Fair trade, right?

This winter, keep you toes and fingers dry and warm and fill up at one of these full-service gas stations in the Toronto area.

I didn’t know full-service still existed! #lifeinsales #fullservicegasstation

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Downtown Toronto

Corktown Esso

Shell

North York

XTR

Etobicoke

Petro-Canada

Midtown Toronto

Esso

Missisauga

Esso

Brampton

Speedy Gas

Oakville

Maple Grove Esso

2018 Acura TLX

Is the Acura TLX AWD? That and other TLX FAQ answered.

The Acura TLX arrived on the market with the goal of replacing two models; both the TSX and the larger TL were going away. Acura chose to fill the shoes by developing an all-new model that would carry the nimble and sporty nature of the TSX, but also be large and comfortable enough to replace the more grown-up TL.

Naturally, Acura enthusiasts have lots of question concerning the TLX. We are here to answer them.

Here are seven of the most often asked questions about our midsize sedan.

2018 Acura TLX

Does it have remote start?

Yes! Every single 2018 Acura TLX comes standard with a remote engine starter. This, coupled with the also-standard heated seats (and the optional heated steering), make the TLX pretty well-equipped to handle our cold Canadian winters.

Is the Acura TLX AWD?

All-wheel-drive is definitely an option for the TLX. If you choose to equip your TLX with the 3.5-litre V6 engine, you get the Super Handling-All-Wheel Drive system as standard, as well as a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Does it take regular gas?

Acura recommends that you use premium fuel with a grade of 91 octane or better. While you technically can use regular gas if there is nothing else available, doing so will actually lower performance and diminish fuel economy, so you’ll end up paying more money for that “cheaper” fuel.

2018 Acura TLX

Does the Acura TLX feature Apple CarPlay?

Yes. When the TLX was redesigned for 2018, it gained a few interesting tricks like the AcuraWatch (a suite of safety technologies including lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning/mitigation) and the highly useful Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. You simply have to plug in your phone to use your own map apps, music apps and phone.

What is the TLX technology package?

The TLX Tech is a trim level that includes a few nifty features for those who want to get the most out of their sedan. It includes an ELS Premium audio system, heated rear seats and steering wheel, AcuraLink as well as GPS navigation. Furthermore, the whole interior is covered in perforated Milano leather.

What’s the difference between TLX and ILX?

Simply put, the TLX is the ILX’s bigger brother. It is larger, has an available V6 that offers more performance as well as an AWD system and can be equipped with more options. It also has a higher price point; the TLX starts at $37,891, while the ILX is $31,891.

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Does the Acura TLX come with a manual transmission?

Sadly, manual transmissions went extinct in this vehicle when the TSX was replaced by the TLX. However, to replace it, Acura equipped the four-cylinder variants of its new car with a dual-clutch eight-speed gearbox that comes standard with paddle shifters, giving you more control. On the V6 models, a nine-speed automatic transmission is offered, which also features paddle shifts behind the steering wheel.

Did this list not answer your burning TLX question? Reach out to our Acura experts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

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How to use the Acura Tire Replacement and Inflator Kit

Six steps to an inflated tire.

If you’ve landed on this post because one of your Acura’s tires just suffered some damage, don’t worry, we’re going to get through this together. And the good news is that with the Tire Replacement and Inflator Kit, you probably won’t need to labour over a jack and tire iron, wrenching and sweating on the side of the road to take off the flat and put on the spare. The Tire Replacement and Inflator Kit can repair a puncture to the tread of the tire up to the size of a large nail, so as long as the damage wasn’t done to the sides of the tire, there’s a good chance you’ll be on your way to fixing your tire just as soon as you’re done watching this How-to video:

Step 1: Open the kit and read the instructions.

Step 2: Attach sealant hose to valve stem and tighten it.

Step 3: Connect the power cable to the power outlet inside the car.

Step 4: Start the car engine.

Step 5: Turn the dial to the “Sealant” position and push the kit power button. It will now start inflation.

Step 6: Keep your eye on the pressure gauge and inflate the tire to the pressure written on the pressure gauge found on the driver’s side door jam label.

And that’s it! Six steps to an inflated tire. Keep in mind that this is a temporary fix and your speed should be limited to less than 80 kph. It’s also wise to consult your driver’s manual to see your vehicle’s restrictions following tire repairs.

If your tire hasn’t taken any damage, but just needs a bit of air, the kit can also be used like a standard air pump by selecting the “Air” position on the dial.

Because the sealant in the kit can only be used once, be sure to replace your Tire Replacement and Inflator Kit at an Acura parts department, or just give us a call.

 

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Why your all-season tires won’t cut it in a Canadian winter

The descriptor “all-season” can be a little misleading when it comes to tires, especially if you live in Canada or somewhere that gets a comparably chilly winter. The truth is, all those seasons they’re talking about don’t include a proper snow-and-ice winter.

It’s a matter of simple science, and it has nothing to do with tread. When temperatures dip below 7 degrees C (44 F), the rubber compound in all-season tires becomes much harder, resulting in less traction with the road. Your all-seasons may look pristine, with all sorts bumps and grooves on the tread, but when the thermometer dips, they’ll grow as hard as a hockey puck…and we all know how that performs on ice.

2018 Acura MDX

Even all-wheel-drive vehicles such as the Acura MDX using all-season tires are susceptible to traction loss—the wheels working in concert does aid in getting the vehicle moving from stop, but when it comes time to brake or turn on a patch of snow or ice, the transmission is little help.

Winter tires, on the other hand, are specifically designed to maintain softness in cold temperatures. This gives them the ability to keep contact with the road and provide more braking, accelerating and maneuvering power for your vehicle.

Though we shouldn’t really need another reason, safety isn’t the only argument for winter tires. There’s also the performance factor. Because a vehicle with proper winter tires will accelerate, stop and corner more effectively than a vehicle with all-seasons, it’s quicker in every sense of the word.

 

So when winter throws the inevitable curve ball your way in the form of an icy incline, a three-car-pile up straight ahead, or a just a whole lot of slush and pedestrians this season, ditch the all-seasons and be prepared with a proper set of winter tires.

If you’re in the GTA, we can help with all your tire needs. Drop us a line!

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Tips for teaching your teen to drive

“Mom, Dad, can I borrow the keys?”

That’s a phrase that sends chills down many a parent’s spine. A teenager behind the wheel of the family vehicle (or their own) is a scary thought, but only if they’re not properly prepared. So, some teaching is in order.

Still, teaching a teenager to do anything can be a challenge, let alone something as difficult and important as driving. Here are some tips for getting all the important points across without anyone getting on anyone else’s nerves.

Ditch the distractions

Trust us, they don’t need their phones to learn how to drive. Nor do they need to hear that new Bieber track, even if it is super catchy. Once they’ve got the basics down, then you can do your carpool karaoke, family edition.

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Plan your route in advance

Don’t wing it when it comes to where you’ll be training. An empty lot, downtown during a non-busy hour, the outskirts of town…just know where you’re going.

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Don’t get frustrated

Do you remember what it was like being a teenager? Things can be a little…imbalanced. So, when you’re teaching them the ways of the road, make sure that you always do so with a calm and cool disposition. Even if they’re losing it, don’t let your teen put pressure on you.

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Correct with questions

Rather than pointing out an error, ask them a leading question. When they discover the answer themselves, they’ll feel more accomplished and be more open to your pointers.

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Lead by example

You know that old expression “monkey see monkey do?” Well, it’s actually about teens. They’re always watching you, so wear your seatbelt, signal, don’t forget to shoulder check and for goodness sake, don’t hot-rod.

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Decide what the lesson is before you set out

It’s tempting to just get out on the road and address things as they come up, but making a list of things to focus on during driving sessions is a much better teaching technique. It’ll also help you make sure that you don’t forget anything important. Involve your teen in deciding what to tackle for each lesson. Again, this will also help you realize all the little things you do when you drive that you normally don’t think about.

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2018 Acura RLX

2018 Acura RLX: The Queen’s New Nose

During the Monterey Car Week, Acura unveiled the new style of its RLX flagship sedan. The big four-door car didn’t drastically change, but like a good wine, it only got better with age. Let’s go through its most obvious changes and less obvious modifications.

Styling:

The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the new RLX is the changes made to the front end. The hood is all-new, as is the recognizable front grille. Gone is the chrome “beak” that had become the signature of Acura in the last few years—in its place is a sleek-looking pentagon grille. The rest of the car’s front end is also new. For example, check out the stylish chrome lines circling the fog lights, or the new LED fog lights themselves.

The RLX has also been thoroughly modified at the rear: new LED taillights give the car a more modern look, while the black lower diffuser anchors a sportier appearance.

2018 Acura RLX

Drivetrain:

There are also some changes under the hood. The powerful-yet-economical 3.5-litre V6 is back, still delivering 310 horsepower. However, sitting underneath it is an all-new 10-speed automatic gearbox. While it has been seen in the Honda Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline, this is the first time this unit is used in an Acura product.

The rest of the car’s mechanical bits are unchanged—Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steering still comes standard, as does the FWD layout. Acura hasn’t yet published the fuel economy ratings for the 2018 RLX, but we can only assume that the 10-speed transmission will only improve them.

 

Interior:

The most notable change inside the 2018 RLX is the new front seats, which we look forward to sitting in. Throughout the cockpit, various surfaces are now richer than they were on the outgoing model, and there’s even an Espresso interior colour now on option. The most notable piece of technology that has been added to the already impressive list of features proposed on the RLX is the Traffic Jam Assist. This clever tech will automatically follow the car in front of you when you’re stuck in gridlock, helping those who have to go through congested city centers every day.

2018 Acura RLX

The 2018 Acura RLX is set to arrive in November. When it lands in dealerships, we will finally be able to experience just how far the brand’s high-tech limousine has come. Stay tuned!

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Is the Acura MDX all-wheel drive? This and other FAQ answered.

If you are in the market for a large luxury SUV, you are probably considering the 2017 Acura MDX (and if you weren’t, keep on reading to know exactly why you should be). It has a stellar reputation for reliability and excellence, packs a slew of technology in a luxe package and can sit seven passengers in utmost comfort.

Understandably, you may still have some questions about the 2017 Acura MDX—and we are happy to answer them. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this SUV.

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Is the Acura MDX all-wheel drive?

Yes, every single version of the 2017 MDX comes standard with all-wheel drive. Every version actually comes with the same drivetrain: a 3.5-litre V6 paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The only exception to this rule is the Sport Hybrid, which features a 7-speed gearbox and a tricky AWD system using electric motors to power the back wheels.

Can an Acura MDX run on regular gas?

Like many high-performance vehicles, the 2017 Acura MDX recommends that you feed it with premium fuel. While you CAN use regular gasoline if you’re somewhere where there is no premium, the engine has been fine-tuned to run with a specific octane rating in mind; using a lower grade of fuel will diminish engine power and actually be detrimental to your fuel economy.

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Can an Acura MDX be towed?

Theoretically, yes. However, there are a few things to consider if you want to tow a 2017 Acura MDX. Since the SUV is all-wheel drive, you can’t simply put it on a dolly and drive away; you would need to completely disconnect the driveshaft, which could end up being pretty complicated. Solution? If you’re in trouble and need to have your MDX moved, use a flatbed towing service.

Can an Acura MDX pull a trailer?

Yes! The MDX can actually tow up to 2,268 kg. That means it can easily haul a pair of snowmobiles, or even a small boat.

Does the Acura MDX have third-row seating?

One of the key features of the 2017 MDX is that, yes, it comes standard with third-row seating, so you can seat seven regardless of the trim level you chose. However, if you want more comfort for the passengers in the second row, you can opt for the Elite 6 Passenger variant; it swaps the second-row bench for a pair of captain’s chairs.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

How is the Acura MDX in the snow?

Pretty much like you would expect a modern AWD SUV with the very latest safety technologies onboard. Thanks to Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel system, this vehicle will be able to bring you and your loved ones wherever you need to go, regardless of what the weather throws at you.

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Is the Acura MDX bigger than an RDX?

The MDX is indeed a little bit longer, larger and wider than our RDX, mainly to accommodate the aforementioned third row of seating. However, despite its size, you will be surprised just how nimble the MDX actually is.

Where is the Acura MDX made?

Since the MDX is primarily sold in North America, it is built close to home. Most of the production comes from Lincoln, Alabama, while a new plant in East Liberty, Ohio, recently opened its doors to increase supply.

Should you have any other questions about the Acura MDX, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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best farms to visit in the GTA

The best farms to visit in the GTA

Image via Springridge Farm. 

Autumn in Ontario is an exciting time. Those last-ditch cottage weekends, the back-to-school scramble, the glorious natural showing that is the foliage changing and, of course, the harvest.

OK, so most of us aren’t that involved in the harvest these days, but that’s not to say we couldn’t be. In fact, the GTA has some amazing farms that offer tours, events and all sorts of family fun in the fall. Here are some of the best farms to visit in the GTA.

Andrews Scenic Acres

These two-generation Ontario farmers offer events to bring people together like live music and get-togethers on the weekends, but it’s the you-pick that’s really worth the trip. Their fall you-pick harvests include raspberries, apples, pears, squash, pumpkin and more–get out and get your fingers sticky.

Stop by the farm to check out our weekend festivities such as pony rides and live music!

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Riverdale

Riverdale is a little rural oasis and historic working farm nestled in Cabbagetown and managed by Toronto Parks. Head there on the weekend of Sept 10-11 for the corn roast, contests and fun of the annual Fall Festival.

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Brooks Farms

There’s so much more to do than farm at this Mount Albert operation that has been family-owned since 1875. During their annual Fall Fun Festival (every weekend from Sept 9 to Nov 5, including holidays), you and the fam can experience the corn maze, farm market, train rides, duck races, zip lines and more. Be warned: the kids will not want to leave.

 

Springridge Farm

Springridge Farm in Milton is as much a destination for the food as it is for the good times. Their on-site bakery, weekend BBQ and seasonal pies are each worth the trip. Their Harvest Festival runs weekends from Sept 23 to Oct 29.

Firing up the grill this weekend? We got you covered! What’s your favourite sauce from the farm? A post shared by Springridge Farm (@springridgefarm) on

Applewood Farm Winery

Stouffville knows how to farm, and, lately, they’ve been learning about fruit wine, too. That’s right, wine. So, while the kids are tearing around the straw bale mountain or riding on the tractor wagon, you can shop for some of their unique fruit wines.

Chudleighs

Chudleighs’ orchards are as lively as ever in fall. Explore them with the family, pick some apples, grab a lunch at the farm kitchen or pantry and eat it in the picnic area. Pure autumnal bliss.

We think it’s good to get a little lost sometimes. Wave your hands in the air if you love losing your way in our hay maze.

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Whittamores Farm

If your objective is to exhaust your children so they sleep all the way home and right through the night, you can’t go wrong with Markham’s Whittamores Farm, which has a 2-storey tree fort, corn maze and farm bouncer. Pumpkinland also looks pretty legit–know how heavy those things are?!

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How to detail your car like a pro

Some people insist on doing it all themselves. You know the type. Maybe you are the type. If there’s a way to DIY the job, that’s what they’re doing. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail, but they’re always hands-on.

Now, our trained technicians would be more than happy to detail your Acura for you down at the dealership, but we also fully encourage the DIY spirit. And when it comes to washing your car, the truth is that it can actually be pretty enjoyable and not all that difficult if you’ve got the know how and the right tools.

From the gear you need, to what to clean with what and how, here’s how to detail your own car so it’ll shine like it was meant to.

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Gear Up

Putting together a detailing kit of your own with some of the essentials. Get yourself a couple of buckets, a microfiber pad, several clean cloths, wash-mitt, an ultra-soft chamois, some canned air and Q-tips, and some multi-glass cleaner, auto-glass cleaner, vehicle shampoo, leather conditioner, engine degreaser and tire dressing, as well as instructions on how to use each. You can also buy pre-packaged kits, but just make sure they’re right for your Acura.

Inside Out

Don’t track inside detritus onto a clean exterior of your car–start inside and work your way out.

- Empty out everything! All the change in the center console. All the floor mats! All the Kleenex boxes! Anything that isn’t bolted down.

- Next, vacuum all the surfaces including the seat, carpets, under the seat by moving them forward and backwards to access as much area as possible, and inside the trunk. When cleaning the dash or any surface that may scratch, make sure to use the appropriate soft vacuum attachment.

- Use canned air or Q-tips to remove any stuck materials from hard-to-reach areas such as vents and grills.

- Wipe the doors, dash, console, center console, making sure to use the appropriate cleaner for each surface, or just a damp chamois or cloth. Do not use tire or vinyl shine products on the dash as it can cause glare that may affect your vision, and may leave a film on the interior of the front windshield.

- When cleaning the windows, ensure you use an appropriate window cleaner and two cloths; one to spread the cleaner around and remove the dirt, and the second to dry it.

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Wheels

With the inside spick and span, head outside and tackle the wheels.

For the least struggle, make sure you use a designated wheel cleaner solution and allow it a few moments to do work on the surface.

- Use a stiff brush or pressure hose to dislodge any gunk.

- Make sure the tires shine bright by applying some tire dressing after they’re clean, rinsed and dry.

 

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Then the Fun Part!

Go ahead and get wet!

- Park in the shade, especially if you’re going to wax.

- Rinse the vehicle thoroughly to ensure you remove as much dirt as possible before washing. Use a bucket of warm soapy water and a clean wash mitt to wipe the car’s exterior from top to bottom.

- Make sure to wash the bottom last as there is more dirt lower on the vehicle which you don’t want to drag around and scratch the paint. If there is heavy dirt on the vehicle, rinse your wash mitt frequently during use.

- Have a separate bucket of clean water to wash particles out of the rags and/or mitt as you clean.

- Try to wash, rinse and dry section by section to avoid soapy water drying on the surface.

- Dry with microfiber towel or chamois.

- If you’re going to wax, this is when to do it.

- With a separate cloth and either warm water with a mild dilution of soap or a multi-purpose cleaner, wipe inside the door jambs, doors frames, trunk channels and inside the fuel door area.

Pop the Hood

Didn’t your mother teach you never to cut corners? In the interest of being thorough, be sure to pop the hood and clean in the engine bay.

- Depending on how much build-up there is on the hardware, some engine degreaser may be in order. Apply and allow to work.

- Wash with a hose, making sure not to saturate areas with electrical components as it could cause electrical problems.

- Use a cloth to wipe the engine covers and inside the hood channels.

- Apply approved vinyl/plastic dressing to the engine covers if preferred.

 Get Perspective

With the scrubbing done but before you put your supplies away, check your work.

- You can also take the opportunity to cut down on interior clutter by limiting and re-organizing the items you put back in.

Show It Off

Now that your Acura is glistening like new, time to show it off. Take a victory lap while you plan your next DIY project.

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dog in car

8 things you need to know before taking your dog for a drive

Picture your dog is sitting in the back seat, its head out window, fur blowing luxuriously in the wind, tongue flapping. That is the expression of pure doggy happiness. Your pup might even enjoy going for a ride in your Acura even more than you do. But when it comes to riding around with your fluffy friend, there are a few things you need to know to make it a smooth and safe ride for the both of you.

Take a carrier for your pet’s first trip

If it’s the first time your pooch is going for a ride, it’s a good idea to keep them in a carrier or cage until they get used to it and get a handle for the rules of the road, so to speak. This isn’t just because Fido might panic, it’s also because Fido might get too excited and unintentionally do something dangerous, like jump in your lap while you’re trying to drive. Be sure to strap the carrier into the seat so your dog doesn’t get hurt if you need to make a sudden stop.

 

Even a seasoned pro should be strapped in

A great safety option once you trust your dog to wander a little more is to keep it on a leash and attach the leash to a fastened seatbelt. This way they can lie down in the back or poke their head between the front seats to say hi comfortably, but they can’t go jumping out the window to chase a squirrel. There are even doggie car seats for those owners who are a little more cautious. via GIPHY

Puppy needs pit stops, too

You might be tempted to get a long drive over in one go, but keep in mind that us humans have a little more self control than dogs do…sometimes. When dogs need to go to for a walk, they need to go for a walk. Factoring in a few stops will make the ride more tolerable for both of you, as well as keep you from having to deal with any unpleasant messes in the backseat. 

Don’t leave your pet alone in the car for an extended period of time

With all the stories of people mistreating their animals by leaving them in hot cars, this one seems like a no brainer, but it still needs to be said. Even if you’re only planning on leaving the vehicle for a few minutes, make sure your dogs are at a comfortable temperature, crack a window, and give them some food and water, just in case something ends up keeping you longer than expected. The luxury dog bed and stuffed animal are optional.

 

Know the laws in the place you’re driving

In Ontario, the laws about insecure loads and careless driving can apply to pets. For example, driving with an unsecured dog in the flatbed of a truck would violate both. The laws might change depending on how far your doggie road trip takes you, so make sure you’re also familiar with the law in every destination along the way.

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Put down a blanket

Once you’ve got the safety precautions down, you can worry about other stuff, like how the heck you’re going to clean up all that hair. Covering the seats your dog occupies makes this much less of a hassle, and will make your dog more comfy in the process. It’ll also help if your dog goes for a quick swim, or if you encounter some bad weather during a pit stop, or, heaven forbid, the little rascal finds something putrid to roll in.

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Travelling with cats is a very different experience

Unlike dogs, most cats aren’t too fond of travelling around in a big capsule of metal and pleather. Because of their size and agility, cats are a lot harder to contain too, so it’s best o keep them in a carrier throughout the journey so they don’t end up somewhere they shouldn’t be.

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Every stop is a photo op

The adorable pupperinos on this list are proof that doggie road trips are excellent opportunities for pet-based photo shoots, even before they even leave the vehicle. Enjoy the journey just as much as the destination, and give back to the world by spreading the cuteness.

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