Car Tips 5 - More on Engines


One of the most important things that determine the performance and life of the engine is the lubricant or the engine oil. The oil level must be checked at regular intervals, at least once in every two weeks, and before a long trip. This can be done by raising the hood and pulling out the dipstick. The dipstick is calibrated and it will indicate the level of oil.

The dashboard of almost all cars have an engine oil light or some other indication. This comes on when the engine is low on oil and lubrication is not happening properly. Therefore, it is to be taken as a warning. Check the oil level immediately and if low, fill it. Do not drive on low engine oil. Normally, when you turn on the ignition, the oil pressure light should glow only for a moment and then go off. If it persists, it could be a serious matter and should be examined by a competent person. An engine not having proper oil pressure means that lubrication is not taking place and could result in the serious breakdown of the engine. Therefore, the lubrication should be checked or replaced.

Regularly check the tension of the fan belt and its condition from outside. It is important to keep in mind that it operates crucial engine accessories like the water pump, alternator and such.


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Cooling System

The cooling system is important to protect the engine from overheating. The water coolant level should be checked at least once every two weeks, and more frequently during the summer. The ratio of water to the coolant should be equal.

Particular attention should be paid to the water level in the radiator when the engine is cold. Normally radiators have rated pressure caps. When the coolant reaches a very high temperature, it forces its way through a valve in the pressure cap. The overflow is then collected into the pressure coolant reservoir. When the engine is cool, the overflow is drawn back by a siphoning action created by the reduction of pressure in the radiator.

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