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Care Tips For New Car Owners (From an Edmonton Mechanic)

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Whether you’re driving a new vehicle fresh off the lot or just have just purchased a new-to-you vehicle, you’ll want to take care of your recent investment! By following a few helpful car care tips, you can avoid common issues that lead to costly repairs and extend the life of your new vehicle.

As a long-standing mechanic in Edmonton, we understand that not everyone is mechanically inclined. This is why we suggest following these easy car care tips to protect your recently purchased vehicle.

Splurge On An Undercoat

splurge on undercoat

Winters are rough for both Albertans and their vehicles. During the colder months, the province regularly salts and sands the roadways to mitigate the ice and snow.

While this practice is safety-conscious and great for traction, sand and salt are terrible for the rust-prone components on your vehicle’s undercarriage.

Over time, these elements eat away at your car or truck’s frame, oil pans, muffler, transfer cases, suspension arms, and other metal surfaces. This means, in Alberta, it pays to splurge on an undercoat for your vehicle.

An undercoat is a layer of defensive wax or rubber sprayed on the underside of vehicles that helps to protect against corrosion. It’s an investment that more than pays off, reducing the risk of rust damage and costly body work.

Peruse The Manual

If it’s been a while since you’ve bought a new vehicle, chances are a lot has changed. The owner’s manual includes all the details you need to better understand your car.

Reading your owner’s manual may not be the most exciting evening reading, but it serves as a valuable ‘frequently asked questions’ to your car, such as what motor oil to use or the recommended service schedule.

Check Your Fluid Levels Regularly

Six fluids pump through your car or truck to keep it running smoothly. These fluids have a shelf life and require regular top-ups or complete system flushes.

Check your owner’s manual for recommended schedules, and contact Bruce Stewart Automotive for regular servicing!

  • Engine Oil
    • Colour: Yellow or amber (new). Brown or black (old)Engine oil is a critical fluid that lubricants your vehicle’s engine. Engine oil needs to be changed regularly, every 5,000 to 10,000 kilometres – depending on the vehicle. If it smells like gasoline, schedule an appointment with an Edmonton mechanic immediately.
  • Coolant
    • Colour: Yellow, blue, green, red, pink, or purple (manufacturer dependant)As the name suggests, coolant keeps your vehicle’s motor from overheating. Check your owner’s manual for the flushing schedule, typically every 50,000 kilometres. However, if your engine starts overheating, bring your vehicle in for immediate attention.
  • Power Steering Fluid
    • Colour: Orange or pink (new), Red (Old)Power steering fluid lubricates your vehicle’s hydraulic power steering system. If your power steering goes out, you’ll immediately struggle to manoeuvre while driving. Just like other fluids, the power steering fluid needs flushing on a regular basis. Confirm the recommended schedule with your owner’s manual.Note: some newer vehicles will have an electric power steering system instead of hydraulic, which will not use fluid. If you’re unsure, consult your owners’ manual or peruse under the hood – if there’s no power steering reservoir, the system is electric.
  • Transmission Fluid
    • Colour: Bright Red, blue, green, or purple (new). Brown, muddy (Old)Transmission fluid is another critical product that keeps your vehicle operating—it lubricates the transmission system, ensuring that the gears don’t grind as your vehicle shifts. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended schedule for transmission fluid changes.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
    • Colour: Varies by manufacturer, often bright pink, yellow, or blue.Windshield washer fluid is the easiest to manage on your own. It keeps your windshield clear for visibility, and all manufacturers offer season-specific fluids. If it’s winter, you’ll want to use washer fluid that can withstand those cold Alberta temperatures!You’ll know it’s time to top up when the indicator light flashes on your dash or you pull the wipers and no fluid comes out.
  • Brake Fluid
    • Colour: Bright yellow (new). Brown, black (Old)Brake fluid lubricates your car’s brake system. It may be time to flush the system if you notice soft, spongey, or non-responsive brakes. If you see your ABS indicator light, this may also suggest an issue with the brake fluid.

Inspect Your Tires Regularly

Check your tires regulary

Tires wear down over time. This is normal! You’ll need to invest in a new set of tires every few years (or less if you drive for a living). In Alberta, you’ll also need a set of winter and summer tires, each designed for their respective seasonal conditions.

Although it’s less urgent for a brand new vehicle with brand new tires, you’ll want to regularly inspect your tires for wear and damage. Watch for uneven wear, low tire pressure, cracks, unbalanced alignment or low tread.

Find A Reputable Mechanic In Edmonton

Whether you’ve just purchased a new or a new-to-you vehicle, you’ll eventually need a reliable mechanic. Having a local Edmonton mechanic on hand helps alleviate any vehicle-related stress!

But not all mechanics in Edmonton are cut from the same cloth. You’ll want to find a trustworthy automotive centre where service is friendly and efficient.

At Bruce Stewart Automotive, we understand that not everyone knows the inner workings of their vehicle. It’s why we provide fair rates and transparent service, so you can easily understand what’s happening under the hood.

Connect With Bruce Stewart Automotive!

We’re on social media! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with what’s going on in our shop, promotions, and general car care tips!

Contact us with questions, comments, or to ask for availability using our convenient online tool here or call us at (780) 465-2783.

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