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
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.
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.