If there is one thing every car owner in the world fears, it is having their car breakdown when they least expected it. While breakdowns are quite frequent and can happen at any time without warning, there will often be warning signs that let you know there is a mechanical fault with your vehicle. The important thing is to watch out for these signs.
There are three ways you can prevent some of the most breakdowns. These are:
– Attentively listening for suspicious noises
– Visually inspect your vehicle’s elements
– Periodically servicing your vehicle
Check Engine Oil Level Regularly
As a car owner, you should check your car’s oil level regularly to ensure it is at the optimum level. A vehicle’s oil consumption will vary depending on three factors:
– Type of vehicle
– Age of vehicle
– How often the car is used (highway or city mpg)
Check a vehicle’s oil level isn’t that complicated; here is a guide on how to do it:
– Find the dipstick in your engine and pull it out. Make sure the engine is cold before checking the oil level.
– Using a lint-free cloth, wipe the dip stick and insert it back into the pipe
– Pull it out again and check where the film of oil is on the stick’s end (it must be between the add or full markers)
– Put the dip stick back to its place, and that is it.
If the level is below the add line, then it is time to add oil to the engine. It is worth noting that you do not add engine oil through the tiny tube you pulled the dipstick. On the engine block, there should be a screw-off cap that might be labeled “Oil Cap.” Unscrew the cap and fill up.
Pro tip: Always check oil levels every 2,000 kilometers and before long trips.
Caution: It’s essential that you check your engine’s oil level on flat ground and when the engine is cold to avoid the liquid being fluid.
Always Listen to Your Vehicle
As a driver, it is imperative that your ears attentive to any sounds or noises your vehicle makes. Always remember that any sounds your car makes will not magically go away and are often a sign of premature wear.
Car sounds and noises that signal tell you it needs repairs:
• Brakes grinding, growling or squealing: This is a sign that your brake shoes or pads are nearing their end and need to be replaced
• A clicking or popping sound when you turn: This is a sign that one or both your vehicle’s constant velocity joints on the front axle need replacement.
• Whining or howling: Your front-wheel or rear-wheel bearings are no longer doing their job. If the whining in rear-wheel drive vehicles only becomes louder when you step on the gas, there is a chance your differential is leaking fluids and needs to be checked ASAP.
• Rhythmic banging, clunking or tapping under the hood: This is a sign that there could be a serious problem with pistons, valves or connecting rods.
Check Your Radiator’s Water Levels Regularly
Radiators are an essential part of an engine and are responsible for cooling down it down. To accomplish this, they are generally filled with antifreeze and water. To ensure there are no leaks, and just as a precautionary measure, check the water level in your radiator after every 1,000 kilometers.
Tips on how to check radiator fluid level:
The great thing is that most cars today have a translucent overflow tank next to the radiator which makes it easy to check your coolant level. Most overflow tanks have markings on the side which tell how high or low the levels are.
For older vehicles that don’t have a visible fill and overflow tank, you will have to check the level of your coolant by looking into the radiator. The great thing about older versions is that they are less sensitive to how much coolant you have in the radiator. With these radiators, simply remove the cap and peer into the radiator to see if the level is okay.
Pro Tip: Never check radiator coolant levels while the engine is hot. If you’ve been driving for a while, give the engine up to an hour to cool down first. Check the fluid level on a flat, level ground for more accurate readings. If you break down Leahy’s Towing are the tow trucking specialists that you need. Give us a call today!