You may love your vehicle, but do you know how to properly care for and maintain it? Having an intimate knowledge of each component and the fluids that keep them running is essential for any driver. A lack of such knowhow and application can easily lead to breakdowns and damage to parts. Here is a guide to some of the most vital components, and how one can take care of them.
The motor underneath your hood may seem like a complex network of technology, but it is actually relatively simple to understand and maintain when you look at each part separately and understand exactly what it does.
Checking your Oil
Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. It is what pumps through the combusting heart of your vehicle and keeps you on the road smoothly and safely. While many people rely on mechanics and the like to investigate the health of their oil systems, it is actually very easy to see for yourself. All that you need to do is take your car for a short ride, and then park it somewhere safe and out of the way of other vehicles. Now you can open the bonnet and locate the dipstick, which is generally noticeably colored. After giving it a good clean, insert it into the checking hole, and then slowly and steadily pull it out.
This is a process which you can easily do yourself, without the help of technicians or the wasting of money unnecessarily. It is the first place you should start on your journey to understanding your vehicle and how to take care of it properly.
Using the Dipstick
What you are looking for now is where the oil level ends on the measuring level. There will generally be two marks on the dipstick, and if your oil level falls between them, then you have a safe level of oil. Anything below that, and you will need to refuel your oil.
This can be done by purchasing oil quarts. What you want to do now is to add the quart, and then start your engine and allow the new oil to run through the system for a bit. Turn the engine off, clean the dipstick once more, and insert it in. If you find that your oil levels are still too low, you will need to repeat the process of adding a quart of oil and allowing the engine to run for a while once more. Be careful not to insert too much oil, however, as this can lead to further issues.
Knowing When to Perform an Oil Change
There are various indicators and bodies of knowledge that will guide you towards keeping a perfect oil-changing schedule going. For all of your basic vehicle-related issues, you often do not need to look further than the manual that was issued with your car. The section on oil change will obviously be the most personalized and comprehensive guide you need. Remember to also keep an eye on your oil indicator gauge, which is part of most modern cars’ dashboards.