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. Our customers have the opportunity, for the 31 days of May, to meet our challenges and be entered to win a chance to spin our Wheel of Prizes.
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 or e-mail your picture to firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered. All pictures must be received by midnight (MDT) on May 31, 2019.
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.
Submit a picture of yourself completing the following challenges to enter your name into our car care challenge draw. 31 days = 31 prizes. The more challenges you meet, the more entries you will be qualified for!
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.
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.
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.
If you live in a cold climate, the CCA 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 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.
Day #14 - 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 agreeing it’s important and that you will keep records from now on. (only if you mean it of course!)
Uneven wear of your tires or unbalanced wheels can cause added stress on your suspension. Tire rotations and regular tire checks can help you avoid major problems and keep your car running smoothly, longer.
Tires are the only things connecting your vehicle 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.
Send a picture of the manufacturer recommended required tire pressure for your vehicle.
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.
DAY #18 – What is the recommended tire size for your vehicle?
Send a picture of the manufacturer recommended tire size for your vehicle.
DAY #19 – 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.
DAY #20– 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.
DAY #21 – 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.
DAY #22 - 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.
Check your lights – Making sure your lights are working properly and are clean are all ways to make sure you can see, and others can see you. You can also get a ticket for not having working lights. The lights listed below are the ones that legally must always be in working order.
Headlights - If your lights are not aimed properly it will effect how well you can see at night. It will also blind other drivers which is never a friendly thing to do.
DAY #23 – Park your vehicle on a level surface and shine your lights on a wall. The lights should shine at even heights, be aimed towards the road and be of equal brightness. Send a picture showing your lights shine.
Brake lights , license plate and signal lights– Have someone help you or find a window to reflect the lights back to you. The windows at Good News Auto work really well to check your lights!
DAY #24– Send a picture showing your brake lights or signal lights shining bright.
You must submit photographic evidence of yourself completing these challenges in order to be entered into our monthly Win a Spin contest. All entries must be sent by midnight on May 31, 2019.