Checking the fluids

Collbros, Fluids
Collbros, Fluids empty/full

Oil Maintenance

You should check all the fluids in your car at least once a month as part of your do-it-yourself car maintenance ritual. The oil is the most important fluid to check and it is probably the easiest. With the engine warm, but not running, open the hood and look for the dipstick. Make sure the engine is off and the car is parked on a level surface. The dipstick will be a long metal piece with a loop. If you have trouble finding it, it is typically found around the same area as the spark plugs.

How Much?

Pull the dipstick out and wipe it clean with a rag. Put the dipstick back into the shaft and pull it out again. Hold the dipstick horizontally and find where the oil ends. You will see markings on the end of the dipstick that indicate how much oil is in the engine. If the oil is below the “full” line, add some oil to the engine by removing the appropriate cap and pouring the oil in. The amount of oil you add will be dependent upon how far below the “full” line the oil level actually is.  Only add small amounts, though, as too much oil could damage your engine. Once you have added oil, check it again to make sure it reaches the appropriate level.

Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid should also be checked on a regular basis. Checking this is similar to checking the oil but it needs to be done while the engine is warm and running. Some cars, however, require a cool engine when you check the transmission fluid. Check your owner’s manual to be certain. The dipstick for the transmission fluid is usually found closer to the dashboard under the hood rather than towards the front of the car. Check this level by pulling out the dipstick and repeating the procedure that you use for checking the oil.

Other fluids, including power steering fluid and brake fluid have small containers located underneath the hood.  The caps for each will either screw off or you may need to pop them off to add fluid.  You can generally see if they need fluid though because the containers are semi-transparent and they have a clear line that tells you when they are full.
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