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NRMA motoring expert Tim Pomroy on how to check your car's oil and water a€“ it could save your engine! Accurate warning lights and the improved reliability of the modern car mean that checking under the bonnet has become a less frequent pastime for drivers. The modern engine might also look a bit different from the cars we used to drive, but the basics are the same.
Visit your local NRMA MotorServe store where we can give you the right advice on checking your oil and water in store or at the time of servicing.
A proper oil level is not only essential for the better performance of your car engine but it is also important for the safety. Besides oil level quality of oil is also very important for the proper working of the engine and its parts. Once the engine is cooled, open the hood and look for the dipstick, which is probably located near the spark plugs having ring or a loop at the end of it. Examine the oil on the paper towel for any contaminants and also examine the odor of the oil. Once you are done with checking the oil level and oil quality, adjust the dipstick back into the reservoir and close the front hood. The engine oil has two functions: it lubricates moving parts and helps dissipate the heat produced by combustion. While your vehicle is in our shop, we always perform a quick, free courtesy inspection that includes checking and adjusting tire pressures, checking lights, checking fluid levels, testing your battery, as well as inspecting it for fluid leaks that could be harmful to your vehicle or the environment. We’ll then let you know if there is anything that needs attention and assist if you want it taken care of. A great way to keep your car in good running shape between major tune-ups is to check the fluids yourself. Transmission fluid keeps your transmission lubricated, which can prevent many expensive issues from developing. Power steering fluid keeps your car’s power steering working by keeping it lubricated, adding power to your ability to control the car’s wheels. Your brake fluid is pressurized and adds power to your braking and keeps you from running into other vehicles. When the weather warms up, you’ll want to check the coolant (sometimes called refrigerant or Freon) level in your air conditioning system to make sure it’s ready to work. The windshield-washer fluid doesn’t keep your engine running, but it’s really helpful for making it easier for you to see while you’re driving.
Do you take a lot of road trips or spend a lot of time in your car driving kids to and from activities and school? I wish I could take credit for the condition of our vehicles, but the truth is my family has my husband to thank. The brake fluid reservoir is typically located under the hood near where the brake sits on the opposite side of the wall. You don’t want to wait until an officer pulls you over to realize you have a tail light out. Unlike brake fluid or engine fluid, your car can function relatively well even if you run out of windshield washer fluid.
It only takes a minute to lift up your wipers and inspect the blades for damage or debris that will interfere with their windshield wiping efficiency. You can do this yourself, but if you have a car that sits low to the ground it can be a pain. What good is putting nice, clean oil in your vehicle if it has to travel through a dirty filter clogged with old oil?
While you’re under the hood checking the transmission fluid, go ahead and check the cables connected to the battery. Again, as long as you are under the hood with a critical eye, go ahead and look over all of the hoses to make sure there aren’t any cracks in them.
This is another one of those things that because it involves crawling under the car, I prefer to let someone else do. The reason you need to flush your coolant is that all that aluminum in engines causes corrosion so eventually the corrosion protection in your coolant wears out.
FRAM Summer Car Care – Find tips on everything from trunk organization to DIY waterproof car seat covers. Best Apps for Road Trips – My favorite travel apps to help me locate the restaurants, the cheapest gas, or wi-fi on the road.
Listed here are some of the businesses that make up the National Roads and Motorists'A Association family of businesses, products and services.
With more and more cars requiring specific lubricants and fluids, it's the best way to ensure that you put the correct spec oil in your car. Wait for a few minutes after you turn the engine off, and park on a level piece of roadway for the oil to settle. The easiest way is to check the plastic reserve tank that's connected to the cooling system.
Normally located at the back or side of the engine bay, the brake fluid reservoir is usually made of plastic with a high and low marking on the side. At working condition the oil flows into the engine and absorbs a lot of heat and contaminates by other impurities which are present there. If the oil is below than the “Full” mark sign, add more oil to the reservoir until it reaches the “Full” level mark. If you find any dirt or any other contaminants and the odor like burnt oil, you need to replace the oil. We strive to perform the maintenance services that keep your car from needing repairs later.

If you allow us to service your vehicle, we will send you a reminder email when your vehicle is due for its next service, so you won’t inadvertently forget.
It’s an inexpensive and simple way to prevent engine wear or damage, and save money at the auto shop.
To check the oil, first take your car for a short drive, then wait about five minutes so it can cool down. If you run low, you risk overheating in traffic and getting stranded on the side of the road.
Checking this fluid can be a bit complicated, but it’s better than having a mechanic charge you for putting more in when it’s not needed. Did you know you can save a lot of money and prevent major repairs by performing routine maintenance? He has always been good about making sure we do routine checks and maintenance on all of our vehicles to ward off expensive repairs or unexpected car trouble down the road (Haha! It only takes a few minutes to check everything and once you know where to look and what to look for, it’s so easy that even a novice teen driver can do it without assistance. One of the few things I learned to do (before my husband taught me everything I know about vehicle maintenance) was how to check the engine oil level.
But as long as you’re checking the other fluid levels, it only takes a quick peek to see if you need to add more so we include this in our monthly inspections. And as long as you’re checking and filling all of your own fluids, a routine oil change is usually inexpensive. Each time you change your oil (or have it changed), you should also replace the oil filter. Sometimes, like ours, they are covered with a protective rubber casing that you have to pull back. To check it, just unscrew the cap and check the fluid level on the dipstick, which should be labeled in some way indicating a minimum and maximum fill line. You basically want to check to make sure the belt doesn’t have any tears, bumps, or small holes. Once per year should be sufficient (follow recommended change intervals as noted in your vehicle owner’s manual) to keep your engine running smoothly. You just release the clips holding the filter casing closed, remove the old filter, and slide the new one in.
Unless you have a lift at your home or really want to take turns jacking up your car and removing each tire, this is another job that can be outsourced. You can actually go at least two years in most climates between coolant flushings, but I’m adding it to the annual list just to remind you that it needs to be done periodically. I think it is so important to keep yup with the maintenance of your car – saves money and makes it last so much longer. Before you remove the dipstick, make sure you look closely at its entry point into the engine a€“ or you may not be able to reinsert it a€“ and then wipe with a clean cloth or paper towel. On the side of the reservoir will be a low and high mark and the coolant level should be between the two marks. Normally the fluid will sit between these graduations, and vary slightly as the brake pads wear. However, many fuel pumps, garages and auto repair shops offer oil checks for free, but you can do it on your own. Some instructions are given with the help of which you can perform this task with ease and comfort.
Do not over fill the oil; this can be harmful for the engine and for its different components. If it’s been a while since your last oil change, consider booking an appointment for your next oil change. 5W-20, 0W-20 or 5W-30) is usually marked on the engine oil cap or you can find it in your owner’s manual. With the hood safely propped, pull the dipstick out and wipe the end clean with a towel or rag.
While checking the fluids in your car is a fairly straightforward process, it does take some know-how.
Under the hood, the dipstick in the oil tank should be close to the front of the engine, near you. Much like the oil, to check it you just remove the dipstick, wipe it off with a rag or cloth, and put it back in the tank.
Clean off the outside before you open the tank, as any dirt in the fluid can be dangerous in your system. Most cars have opaque washer fluid tanks with a label on the cap like “windshield” or “washer.” You should be able to see inside without removing the cap. To demonstrate, I enlisted the help of my 16-year old daughter who gets her license in a few weeks. In the picture below my daughter is pointing to the fluid level which, since it is full, doesn’t need anything added right now. Once you locate the dipstick, you simply need to pull it out, wipe it clean, then push it back in all the way and withdraw it again. Once a month it’s a good idea to leave the car running when you return home one night and walk around the car to inspect the lights. The process to check is the same: pull it out, wipe it clean, reinsert, pull out and check. Also watch out for belts that appear oily or glazed since they might slip, which will affect how effectively the engine is cooled. Some benefits of a clean air filter are: increased acceleration, horsepower, and improved overall engine performance.

This is one of the easiest maintenance tasks too so definitely don’t pay someone else to do it. You should be getting your tires rotated about twice a year so make sure the person who rotates your tires checks the brakes and wheel bearings then. Steering and suspension definitely affect the comfort of your drive so it’s important to check (or have someone check) for worn struts or shocks, or a problem with a tie rod end. If you plan to hit the road this summer, check out these resources to ensure your vehicle is in top condition before traveling. I am glad your husband was thoughtful enough o ensure your entire family can deal with the maintenance of the family cars.
Marked towards the lower end are the high- and low-level markings, and the engine oil should always be between these two points.
It's always good practice to check the coolant level on the radiator via the radiator cap, with one important proviso a€“ this should always be done when the engine is cold.
If the level is continuously low and dropping there could be a leak in the braking system that requires immediate mechanical attention. This will not only keep you up to date with the condition of the oil but also save your time. Oil keeps the different parts of the engine safe from friction and wear and tear those results due to friction.
The oil becomes thin and dirty, unable to lubricate different parts and hence may damage them.
Hold the rag or towel under the lower end of the dipstick so the oil won’t drip onto the engine.
Oil also lubricates pistons moving up and down in the cylinders as well as all other moving parts of the engine. The contents of the radiator are pressurized, so never remove the cap when the engine is hot or running. Either way, it’s likely to be near the belts and the cap will probably say “steering” on it. To open the reservoir just unscrew the cap or use a screwdriver to pry off a clamp that may be holding it in place. If it is, you just need to unscrew the cap on the top of the reservoir and add fluid to the fill line.
Insert the dipstick back into the tube and then remove to see where the level has registered. Removing the cap when the engine is hot can cause coolant to spray out under pressure, seriously scalding you.
For better performance and long life of your car engine, it is essential to check the oil level and quality regularly. Another option is to visit your dealer or repair shop and have them top up your oil for you. Now pull it out, but don't turn it upside down to look at it, this makes the oil run upward and ruins your reading. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it with a cloth or towel, and then dip it all the way back into the oil tank. Most cars have an opaque container, so you should be able to see the fluid level without opening the cap. If it turns out your coolant level is low, you can easily recharge the system with supplies from the auto parts store. Later in the post you’ll also find a free printable car maintenance checklist to keep in your vehicle(s) to remind you when to do what. He made sure I, and our teen drivers, know how to perform all of the routine maintenance to: 1) save money and 2) help us understand how our vehicles function.
If it doesn’t pass the first line (closest to the tip of the stick), you need to add engine oil. If it's not between the points, add the correct specification oil via the engine oil filler cap located on the top of the engine. If the level is low you can add coolant, again checking the owner's handbook for the correct recommendation. First, check your owner’s manual, as it contains the proper instructions and safety precautions. Open it carefully with a rag, and look into the radiator to see if you can see the coolant. Get a bit on your fingers and rub it around to see if it is pinkish or clear like it should be.
Otherwise, before opening the cap, clean the area around it with a cloth so dirt doesn’t get into the system. If you’re completely out and in for a dirty drive, the window cleaner you use at home can work until you can get washer fluid.
The oil level can be read by looking to see where the oily part ends and the dry part begins. If it seems low, check the cap or your car manual for the type of oil you should use and then add some yourself. Also check the color of the brake fluid—if it looks dark in color, you should have a mechanic replace it. Never add more than a quart at once without driving and taking a new reading of the oil level.

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16.11.2015 admin

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