May is Car Care Month according to Be Car Care Aware, an organization created to help vehicle owners understand and better care for their vehicles.
Good News Auto has issued a Car Care Challenge of our own. Feeling veklempt? Need something to do? Take our Car Care Challenge!
We know learning about your vehicle will keep you safe, save you money and extend the life of our vehicle. These challenges are simple. Post a picture on Facebook showing yourself meeting the challenges.
CAR CARE CHALLENGE:
This challenge is designed to encourage you to learn about your vehicle, save money and ultimately become more confident caring for your vehicle.
- An owner’s manual is very helpful in understanding your vehicles as well as finding important information about your vehicle. Owner’s manuals for vehicles contain a lot of information including information about: maintenance, what to do in case of emergency, do it yourself directions and vehicle specifications to let you know how to get the most out of your vehicle.
You will also find directions on how to work on your vehicle safely. Make note of and follow all recommendations when completing our Car Care Challenges
Challenge #1 - Send us a picture of, or link to the owner’s manual for your vehicle.
Maintenance Service Schedule. Many of our Car Care challenges are tied to the preventative maintenance needs of your vehicle. The very important thing about preventative maintenance is that it is done in a timely manner. This will save you time, money and extend the life of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you the different maintenance service schedules and how to choose which one is for you.
Challenge #2 - Post a picture of the service schedules for your vehicle and which one you are using based on driving conditions and habits.
WHAT’S UNDER THE HOOD? Let’s start simple. Open the hood of your vehicle. For some people it will be the first time you have taken a look at what is under there! You may be surprised by what you find.
Challenge #3 - Post a picture of what is under your hood!
Use the recommended grade of motor oil – Engine oil comes in different grades and formulations. Thicker oil is harder to pump, so using the right engine oil for your car can improve your fuel economy by one to two per cent.
Challenge #4 - Send a picture of the recommended oil weight for your vehicle. This can be found in two places on your vehicle..
Check your oil on a regular basis. Keeping an eye on your oil level between oil changes will ensure if the oil is low you will know about it before any major damage can be done. Since running low on oil can potentially destroy your engine this could save you thousands of dollars.
Challenge #5 - Post a picture of the oil level in your vehicle.
Fill up with the right octane – Your owner’s manual outlines the octane of gas that is best for your car. Don’t buy premium gas unless your manufacturer recommends it. Similarly, if your owner’s manual indicates that you should use higher-octane gasoline, pay the premium price for premium gas This will help your vehicle run most efficiently.
Challenge #6 - Send a picture of what octane level is recommended for your vehicle. This information will be in your owner’s manual.
Under the Hood
Power Steering Fluid – Changing the fluid as recommended will ensure your power steering system continues to function well.
Challenge #7 - Follow the directions in your owner’s manual to check your power steering fluid. Post a picture!
Coolant is integral to cooling your vehicle’s engine. A head gasket repair is expensive ($2500.00 – 4000.00), so checking and maintaining your coolant level and quality can help you avoid this expensive repair altogether.
Challenge #8 - Check the coolant – Do not open radiator cap. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions for checking the coolant. Some general guidelines;
Brake Fluid – The only thing stopping you is your brakes and brake fluid makes sure your brakes operate well. There are a couple of things to be considered: fluid level and quality of brake fluid. You can keep an eye on your brake fluid, your mechanic can test your fluid’s quality. The test measures moisture and copper content. When these levels get too high it’s time for a brake fluid flush.
Challenge #9 - Check your brake fluid level. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual. Post a picture.
Windshield Washer Fluid – There are two kinds of washer fluid. There is a winter and a summer fluid. Which one is in your vehicle? Do you have an extra jug to top up as needed?
Challenge #10 - Post a picture checking your windshield washer fluid.
Find your air filter. The air filter is how your vehicle breathes. In most vehicles it’s a simple procedure to check and change it. A clean filter will keep your fuel costs down.
Challenge # 11 - Using the directions in your owner’s manual check (or locate) your air filter. Post a picture!
Check your battery – Corroded battery cables force your alternator to work harder and may interfere with starting. A battery service is a simple maintenance service and needs to be done regularly.
Challenge # 12 - Check your battery is clean and well connected. Post a picture.
Remember, if you are handling your battery to wear gloves, be cautious of battery acid, follow all guidelines in your owner’s manual.
If you live in a cold climate, the CCA (cold cranking amps) rating is a more important consideration than it is if you live in a warm one. Battery starting power deteriorates as the battery ages, so a battery with higher starting power should give you more confidence over time. Replacement batteries should equal or exceed the OE (how it came from manufacturer = original equipment) battery in ratings. Replacing a battery with a battery that has a lower CCA than the original equipment may result in poor performance. Your mechanic will be able to advise you.
Challenge #13 - Take a look at your battery. What are the cold cranking amps listed on the battery? Post a picture. Remember, if you are handling your battery to wear gloves, be aware of battery acid, follow all guidelines in your owner’s manual.
Tires are the only thing connecting you to the Road!
Check your tire pressure – Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance, which forces your engine to work harder and burns more fuel. By maintaining your tire pressure at the recommended level, you’ll help maximize your fuel economy.
Challenge #14 - Post a picture of the manufacturer recommended required tire pressure for your vehicle.It will be in your owner’s manual or on the door placard.
Challenge # 15 - Send a picture of you checking your tire pressure and matching it to the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle
Use the right tires – Do you know what size of tires your vehicle needs? Use the size of tire recommended by your manufacturer for optimal performance. The wrong tires can increase your fuel consumption and will likely wear more quickly.
Challenge # 16 - What is the recommended tire size for your vehicle?
Send a picture of the manufacturer recommended tire size for your vehicle.
Challenge # 17 - Do you have the right size tires on your vehicle?
Send a picture of the tires on your vehicle. Do they match the manufacturer recommendation?
Tire Tread – Tire tread is what keeps your vehicle on the road. Recommended replacement is 3/32. Anything less than that will compromise your vehicle’s ability to operate well.
Challenge # 18 - Check the tire tread. Send us a picture. How do your tires measure up?
Did you know tires have a best before date? Rubber compound, like everything else breaks down over time.
Challenge # 19 - Are your tires expired? Send us the production date of your tires.
Don’t know where to look for the production date? Go to www.whycarcare.org and enroll in the Truth about Tires course. Learn everything you never knew you wanted to know about tires!
Test your windshield wipers. It’s important to be able to see clearly.
Challenge # 20 - Spray water on your windshield and turn on your wipers. If there is chattering, streaking or shuddering it’s time to replace the wipers. It’s recommended wipers are changed every six months or so. Send a picture of your view through your windshield.
Happy Car Care Month!