You had the best of intentions but it's Day 15 and you've gotten behind on the challenges. We understand. Here is Day #1 through 15 all in a row. Grab your camera and get snapping. There are things to be learned and prizes to be won!! All entries must be submitted by May 31, 2019 by the stroke of midnight in Alberta.
First things first. Send us a picture of you reading the fine print of our Car Care Challenge. The fine print explains how our Car Care Challenge works, some safety tips and what we agree to do and what you agree to do as part of the challenge.
Let’s start simple. Open the hood of your vehicle. For some people it will be the first time you have taken a look of what is under there!
Send us a picture of what is under your hood!
DAY #3 –
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 direction and vehicle specifications to let you know how to get the most out of your vehicle.
Send us a picture of, or link to the owner’s manual for your vehicle.
DAY #4 –
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.
Send a picture of the service schedules for your vehicle and which one you are using based on driving conditions and habits.
DAY #5 -
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.
· Send a picture of the recommended oil weight for your vehicle. This can be found in two places on your vehicle. = one entry.
· Bonus entry if you send us a picture of both locations recommended engine oil weight can be found.
DAY #6 –
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.
DAY #7 –
Fill up with the right octane – Your owner’s manual outline 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.
· Send a picture of what octane level is recommended for your vehicle. This information will be in your owner’s manual.
Under the Hood
DAY #8 - Power Steering Fluid – Changing the fluid as recommended will ensure your power steering system continues to function well.
Check your power steering fluid. Follow the directions in your owner’s manual to check your power steering fluid. Send us a picture!
DAY #9 - Coolant is integral to cooling your vehicle’s engine. A head gasket repair is expensive ($2500.00 – 4000.00), checking and maintaining your coolant level and quality can help you avoid this expensive repair altogether.
Check the coolant – Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions for checking the coolant. Some general guidelines;
DAY #10 - 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.
Check your brake fluid level. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual. Send us a picture.
DAY #11 – 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?
Send us a picture of you checking your windshield washer fluid. Bonus entry for a picture of a spare jug in the trunk!
DAY #12 - 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.
Using the directions in your owner’s manual check (or locate) your air filter. Send a picture!
DAY #13 - 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.
Check your battery is clean and well connected. Send 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.
DAY #14 - Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) - Just like us batteries are happier in warm weather than cold. CCA rating is the battery industry's way of letting you know how well your battery is going to start in cold weather. The higher the amps the better the starting power. That's important information in our Alberta weather.
Take a look at your battery. What are the cold cranking amps listed on the battery? Send us 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.
Day #15 – Maintenance records for your vehicle need to be kept for several reasons:
Resale – a well maintained vehicle holds it’s value better than a vehicle that isn’t. If you are spending the money to maintain it keeping the records will ensure you get top dollar when you decide to sell or trade in.
Warranty – if you want warranty on parts or have an issue with a service having the receipts are the easiest way to get warranty approved.
Save money – it’s easier to know what services need to be done if you are keeping track. Keeping your records makes it easy to keep track and ensures servicing is done on time but not too soon.
Send us a picture of your vehicle’s latest service or repair record. If you aren’t in the habit of keeping these send us a picture of you promising to change your ways.
As with anything these days there is fine print for our 31 Day Car Care Challenge.
Taking a picture of yourself reading the whys and the whats of the challenge is the first challenge!
It's that simple.
31 Day Car Care Challenge- The fine print.
Dependability and Safety - Your vehicle is designed to work safely and maintain proper contact with the road to give you maximum control but if you don’t maintain your vehicle, you’re increasing your chance of breaking down on the side of the road or getting into a collision, both of which can have disastrous consequences.
Confidence - Knowledge is power. If you understand a little bit about what is going on with your your vehicle you will have the ability to ask better questions and better understand “mechanic speak”.
Save Money - Are you spending more on your car than you should be?
Car Care saves Money - Though it may be hard to believe, investing in regular preventative maintenance can help save you money in the long run. Regular maintenance improves your fuel economy, allows you to drive your vehicle longer, and helps you extend the life of parts and avoid some repairs altogether.
Time is Money - Understanding and paying attention to your vehicle can help you identify and give good information to your mechanic. If there is a problem and you can provide the what, when and why of symptoms it will lessen the time it takes for the mechanic to diagnose the problem. Time is money in the shop, less time for us, less money for you.
31 Day Car Care Challenge: How it Works
Send us a picture of you completing the challenges. The challenges will be posted daily on our facebook page (Good News Auto Repair) as well as sent out by e-mail when requested.
31 Day Car Care Challenge: Safety First
Only work on your vehicle when it is in park and parked on a flat area.
Always pay attention to your surroundings, remove all jewelery and wear clothing that will not get caught in your vehicle.
Use all safety precautions outlined in your owner’s manual when working on your vehicle.
31 Day Car Care Challenge: What You Need
Owner’s manual – If you don’t have a hard copy there are online options. An owner’s manual will tell you everything you need to know about your vehicle.
Depending on the age of your vehicle you may be able to find an owner’s manual on your vehicle’s manufacturer site.
Alternatively, these are several sites which may carry a user manual for your vehicle.
No purchase necessary to enter the 31 day Car Care Challenge.
31 If you own a vehicle, this challenge is for you.
Vehicles cost money. Sometimes a lot of money! We want to help. The month of May is Car Care month and so in celebration we are giving you a challenge.
The challenge: Complete one, some, many or all of our 31 Car Care Challenges.
What's in it for me: Learning about your vehicle, and if that isn't enough, a chance to spin our wheel of prizes! 31 Challenges, 31 names drawn.
The challenges will be posted daily on Facebook or check in on our blog to find out the challenge of the day.
Thanks for playing!
Hello everyone, we would like to welcome you to something fun we will be doing; Testimonial Tuesdays. It's our way to feature our customers once a week so we can learn more about our community.
Here is our very first Testimonial Tuesday feature. I would like to introduce you to David one of our many amazing customers of Good News Auto Repair. Our first interview and he nailed it, thank you David for being part of our community.
Good News Auto:
If you could do anything what would you like to spend your time doing?
I have spent a large part of my life travelling the world, and if there's one thing I'd like to continue doing, it is exploring places I haven't been to, seeking adventures, etc. I love reading and listening to music, and these are both excellent companion activities while on the road.
Good News Auto:
What or who inspires you?
I am inspired by people who are kind and generous to others, and I strive to emulate this behavior towards people, animals, and my environment.
Good News Auto:
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I've wanted to be many things while growing up, including a marine biologist (naturally!), an archeologist, a doctor, musician, actor, and many other professions. I have never been very career-oriented, however, so at this point in time I am none of those things 😅
Good News Auto:
How long have you been a Good News Auto customer? How did you hear about our shop? What keeps you coming back?
I have been a Good News Auto customer on and off for 5-6 years, ever since I discovered them. I can't quite remember how I learned of the shop's existence, but what keeps me coming back is the fact that I trust the people who run the company, I believe they are honest and they genuinely strive to provide a top-notch service to their customers. Good News Auto staff are courteous, helpful, and sympathetic to my needs. Additionally, I love the idea behind the JumpStart program and the fact that Chris and Kimberly are such charitable, generous individuals.
Good News Auto:
Tell us your best road trip story, be sure to include your favorite road trip food, music and route.
My best road trip story is probably when I was hitchhiking through Guatemala about three years ago. I got picked up by three other tourists who were driving together in a rented vehicle, and before I knew it, I ended up being the designated driver. We spent an entire week together, exploring this beautiful Central American country, navigating paved and unpaved roads, getting stopped by police, speeding through the capital at night, and even accidentally going the wrong way on a highway (thankfully this happened at night, so it wasn't very busy and I was able to turn around 😵). We stopped at roadside stalls for food, tasted excellent artisanal coffee in Antigua, skinny-dipped in Lake Atitlan, and celebrated New Year's on a hostel rooftop patio❤
Good News Auto:
What is your most memorable vehicle buying story? This can be a good or challenging memory!
I tried to hitchhike to Calgary to pick up a camper van I wanted to purchase a few years ago, and instead I ended up getting a rideshare in a BMW roadster for $20, a little car that got us from Edmonton to Calgary in less than 2 hours 😓
When I saw the camper, I immediately fell in love with it. I bought it right there and then, registered it, and drove it back to Edmonton a few days later (after getting a solar panel installed on the roof, of course!)
Good News Auto:
What do you think about when you are alone in your car?
When I am alone in my car, which is most of the time, I think about various things including how to be a better driver (I'm not kidding, I really do think about that!), the meaning of life, and future travel destinations. I also listen and sing along to great music, duh! 😄
Good News Auto:
If you could only choose one song to play for the rest of your life in your vehicle what would it be?
I don't know what song I could listen to on repeat for the rest of my life, there are too many amazing songs but they all get old after a while...probably something mellow and soothing, which I could eventually tune out if I got bored, but then I could focus on it again once my interest returned. 🎶
Good News Auto:
If you were a vehicle what kind would you be and why?
If I was a vehicle, I'd be a Subaru Impreza, possibly an STI. The reason for this is that the STI is a fast and adventurous car, but as a Subaru, it is also solid and reliable. I like to think of myself as all those things combined.😎
And you wont' believe what happened next! We paid 80% of their bill for them. "Why" you ask? "How" you ask? Two words: JumpStart Fund.
Barb and Doug have a large family and so need a large vehicle. Vehicles for larger families are harder to come by and therefore more expensive. The vehicle they brought in, although it needed a lot of repair work, was in relatively good condition. This is the first item on the JumpStart checklist. The vehicle we are repairing needs to be worth more than the amount of money we are investing in it.
Doug is working full time now but had been out of work for awhile due to health concerns, financially things had gotten behind. Barb has her own business. Doug and Barb both volunteer for local organizations , doing what they can to make a better community. This is the item two and three on the JumpStart checklist. The customer is employed and/or volunteering and need a vehicle to make their life work.
Our JumpStart Fund is designed to assist people who are classified as the "working poor". The term "working poor" is pretty much what it sounds like. The person is working but they are still struggling financially! The experts say an unexpected bill of $200.00 for the working poor can start the slide into crisis. In our experience , a large vehicle repair bill can lead to people having to make really hard decisions - like choosing between food, rent and vehicle repair. Or the repair bill can begin a debt spiral which could take months or years to dig their way out of.
Our safety repair grant offers one time repair assistance so people can keep moving forward. This is how we were able to help pay Barb and Doug's repair bill. We use our profits (after operating costs) to fund JumpStart. This means every one of our customers is part of helping to pay it forward. And in the times we don't make a profit (it happens a lot in the mechanic industry!) we partner with local organizations to make it work.
Barb and Doug are safely back on the road today because of each one of our customers and help from other community organizations. We look forward to helping many more families safely get back on the road. Do you know someone who could use a JumpStart? We would love to meet them.
If you would like to see how else you can help by using our shop CLICK HERE
Kimberly Ferland/Good News Auto
The reason we started Good News Auto was to create our JumpStart Fund. The reason we created our JumpStart Fund was to help people in our community. We have both succeeded and failed in this. As we have learned the most effective ways to help people in our community we have met some amazing people. Brave people , many of the them single parents, who, in spite of many judgments out there, continue to ask for help, to make themselves vulnerable and accept help offered to them.
One such woman is Beth. We met Beth when we offered vehicle for sale through JumpStart (that’s a story for another post!). We didn’t have anything available at the time so off she went to purchase a vehicle on her own. She did her best and we didn’t meet her again until about a year later. She brought in a vehicle she had bought and we had to tell her the bad news: her vehicle had a lot of problems! She had done everything to the best of her ability to buy a safe vehicle for her and her children but, like many others, had not been successful. Her biggest concern was her children. Nothing but that mattered so we started working together to figure out how to solve her problem.
She is a very determined person, she listened to all the hard information we told her and never gave up. She signed on for our Matched Savings program, attended all the Car Care workshops we offer and began working hard to fix her current vehicle. The very difficult part of this was the vehicle she had purchased needed a lot of attention, more than she (or us) believed was wise for her to invest.
Then, the best part of what Good News Auto did happened. A long term customer graciously donated his vehicle. We have long dreamed of a being a repair shop where community takes care of each other and this was an amazing example of our dream becoming reality. The vehicle needed a significant amount of repair and with the help of our partner, Sherwood Park Alliance Church, we were able to complete those repairs and pass the vehicle on to Beth. She was beyond excited and so were we.
In big ways, like donating a vehicle, and in small ways, like making a donation when attending our Car Care workshops , we are able to, as a community, help people continue their journey.