The Top 5 Things You Should Check On Your Auto

by Steven James

Oil - This is the most important fluid to keep control of. There is a dip stick you can pull out and it has a number of gauge lines on the bottom of it. What I do first is make sure the car is on flattened ground. If it is not you won't get a real indication of where the oil is really at. When you initially pull out the dip stick you need to clean it off with a cloth to get it clean then place it back it, wait a few seconds then lift it back out and take a look at the lines. If the oil level is up near to the top line then you are in good condition. If it's close to the net position then you'll have to add a bit more oil. I sometimes add about a half a litre of oil if the level is close to the bottom. Double check the level after adding oil to be certain you have put in enough. I pull the oil fill cap off to test for condensation or moisture. You will know if you do as the oil that's on the inside of the cap will look white or milky. If it looks white or milky, wipe it off and maintain a close eye on it. If it continues looking milky you will have a much more serious problem which must be looked at by a technician.

Power Steering - There should be a level line on the side of the tank or a dip stick that is attached to the cap. Just check either way and add more fluid if needed.

Radiator - Before attempting to check this level ensure that the vehicle's engine is chilled off to prevent excess strain on the radiator cap. If you happen to open the cap while the coolant is hot there is a good chance the hot liquid will come spraying out and burn you so be sure it has cooled off before starting. Now there are a couple of different cooling systems that are used in cars nowadays. I call them an open system or a closed system. On the open system you will have a radiator cap and an overflow tank. Take away the cap and look down inside to see if you can visually see the fluid. If you can see it then the system if full, if you can't see it then you will have to add some more coolant to the radiator. If you've got to add some coolant you may quite likely have to add some to the overflow tank as well. See when the auto is running at operating temperature the pressure within the cooling system will force the hot excess coolant into the overflow tank and then suck it back out into the radiator as the auto cools off. On the overflow tank there should be 2 level marks. One that says cold level and one that states hot level so if the motor is hot it should be up to the hot level and when it is cold it should be at the cold level. You are able to add liquid to the overflow tank at anytime to get it to the proper level.

Brake - When you take away the cap on the brake liquid reservoir there's a plunger on the bottom of the cap. If the plunger is out then you will have to add some fluid. There are no level lines so I just fill it up near to the top though not all the way giving the plunger room to go back in with out overflowing the tank. After filling make sure you push the plunger into position before installing the cap.

Windscreen Washer - This is maybe the best liquid to test and fill. Some of the tanks are in plain sight and some are hidden so all you have got to do is open the cap and fill to the top, replace the cap and your done.

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