Visits to the car mechanic can be stressful. How much is it going to cost? How long is it going to take? When you get home from your appointment are your friends and family going to say you’ve been duped?
AutoTrust owner Brad Wohlgemuth is passionate about building strong communication channels to ease the process. He uses photos and video to help explain your vehicle’s issues, and takes time to understand your priorities before making recommendations. But great communication can only go so far, which is why Brad’s also committed to education.
“It’s important to empower people to have these conversations about their transportation,” he says.
If you don’t understand how your vehicle works you’ll never understand your mechanic. That’s why Brad shares his knowledge with Stettler vehicle owners through his blog, info sessions on local TV, and car care clinics.
“I’ve hosted women-only clinics in the past, and taught men and mixed-gender groups as well. It’s important to give people a space where they feel comfortable asking questions. There’s a lot to learn but it can be a lot of fun too.”
3 maintenance tips to save you money
- Check your fluids: “Fluids and lubricants rank among the most neglected items when it comes to basic auto care,” Brad says. Transmission fluid, coolant and engine oil are essential safety items, and regular checks can save you big headaches. These fluids break down over time and can become contaminated with debris, so it’s important to monitor them regularly. “At AutoTrust we use BG Motor Oil Additive which helps prevent sludge and other harmful buildup in the oil. I’ve seen it save many engines from failure,” Brad says.
- Watch for gravel damage: Modern vehicles have improved alloys and coatings to prevent rust, and Albertans don’t have to worry much about road salt, but rock damage is something you should watch out for. “Vehicles last longer these days, and many suspension items are getting destroyed by rocks. Wiring, connectors, brake and fuel lines are also susceptible,” Brad says. “The worst we see is the luxury suspension items like air-ride and auto level control. None of our vehicles are designed to handle the gravel out here in the west. We have the hardest rock in North America!
- Test your tire pressure: Properly inflated tires last longer, perform better, improve fuel efficiency, and keep you safe. “Safety is a big one! That little patch of rubber is all that keeps you from disaster in an emergency situation. Many, many accidents labeled as ‘driver error’ could have been prevented by properly monitoring and maintaining tires.” Check your tire pressure regularly using a basic gauge (just looking at your tires doesn’t help!). Changes in the weather, long drives and Old Father Time can all affect your tire pressure.