In simple terms, oil is as important to the engine of your car as your blood is to the health of your body, it is essential to keep your engine running. If you run low on oil, friction in the engine will increase and cause overheating resulting in a breakdown. Check your oil levels frequently this is a very simple task, simply use the dipstick to ensure oil levels never drop below the minimum mark. Most dipstick’s have two lines and the area in the middle of the space in-between these lines represents the optimum oil levels. When you check your oil your vehicle must be parked on a level surface and that your engine is relatively warm.
Be mindful when topping up your oil that adding too much oil can cause damage to your vehicle. High pressure can develop from having more oil than required.
Check your water levels at regular intervals to prevent overheating. Again checking water levels in your vehicle is a very quick and simple job. Open the bonnet and remove your battery cap. There should be a vent cap, which can be removed, at the top of the battery. If water levels look as though they are running low, even by only a small amount, you need to add distilled water (never use tap water) to the battery. The water level should reach the cell inspection hole. Again make sure that you do not overfill your radiator.
A flat battery can cause motorists a major problem. There’s perhaps only one thing worse than the car breaking down on the way to your holidays and that’s being stuck in the car whilst it is still on the drive as you repeatedly try and fail to turn the engine on. To protect against flat batteries, take your vehicle on a relatively long journey at least once every week. If you only do a small amount of miles or your vehicle is left standing for days, charge your battery overnight once every two/three weeks to prevent against frustrating problems.
You can check the voltage of your battery by using a voltmeter. These can be purchased from most motor stores. The voltmeter should give you readings of 12 volts or more.
Also be aware of problems with your alternator. Poorly functioning alternators could stop your battery from charging properly. There are tell-tale signs to look out for which point to alternator problems, including flickering battery warning lights on the dashboard and slow moving windscreen wipers.
Old or leaking hoses can cause overheating and damage to your vehicle. Wait until the engine is cold and squeeze the upper and lower hoses with your fingers. If they feel at all brittle, or show any cracks or general wear and tear, they will need to be replaced as soon as possible. Also check the clamps, which are located at both ends of the hoses. If there is any dampness at all, tighten the clamps, or ask a specialist garage such as A1 Clutches to replace them for you.
It is very important to check the fluid levels in your clutch reservoir. Vehicles with hydraulic clutches can be checked in the following way. Check the fluid level in the clutch reservoir by removing the cap and ensuring that the fluid level is towards the top. If it is not, simply add more clutch fluid. Make sure the cap is screwed back on tightly after you complete your check. If you find that the fluid level is low on a regular basis, contact a specialist such as A1 Clutches and ask them to look for a any leaks, if leaks and fluid levels are left unchecked, the clutch pedal can be rendered completely useless.
To ensure that your steering system runs smoothly, you will need to check the power steering fluid levels at regular intervals. This fluid is located in a reservoir near the power steering belt. These reservoirs are often transparent, so fluid levels can be easily checked visually. Some vehicles have dipsticks which can be used to check the fluid levels. If the levels are running low, top up the fluid. If you find the levels are low on a regular basis, ask a specialist such as A1 Clutches to check for leaks.