There has been no end to the advances in motoring technology over the past years, but chances are that you still have to check your car’s fluid levels, and the most important of these are undoubtedly oil and water. If you’re unsure why, or even how, we’ve got a couple of pointers ready for you.
Why you should check your oil and water levels
The oil in your engine is the fluid that keeps everything operating smoothly. Over time, your engine will lose oil, and if it runs out completely, it will seize, which is just about as bad as it sounds. Worst of all, repairing a seized engine is a very expensive undertaking which could have been avoided completely with regular oil checks.
The same goes for checking up on your engine’s water levels. The water in your car’s vehicle circulates around the engine, and helps to keep it cool. With no water in the system, your car runs the risk of rapidly overheating, which in turn can cause engine damage.
How to check your oil level
Checking your car’s oil level is a straightforward procedure. First, stop your car on level ground, and make sure the engine has been switched off to allow the oil in it to settle.
Locate the oil dipstick – it should have a brightly coloured handle to make identification easy. If you can’t find it, check your owner’s manual.
Remove the dipstick and wipe it off on a piece of cloth or tissue paper.
Replace the dipstick into its holder, and pull it out again. Now you’ll be able to see the oil level indicated on its markings. Ideally, you want the oil to sit between the minimum and maximum notches.
If the level is below minimum, be sure to fill up on oil, but check that you use the correct grade of oil for your engine. This should be indicated in your owner’s manual. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to contact a professional.
How to check your water levels
Checking your car’s water levels is an even easier procedure, however, it’s very important that you only check your water levels when the engine is cold.
To check the levels, lift your car’s bonnet, and be sure that it’s secured. Then locate your coolant reservoir, and make sure that the water level is between the minimum and maximum levels. If it’s not, be sure to fill up.
If you have difficulty locating the reservoir, consult your vehicle manual, or contact a professional for help.