I. “It's a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won't go” – Bertrand Russell (20th century philosopher and logician) II. You can’t control somebody’s attitude, but you can however, control whether or not your car is going to start up the next time you turn your key in the ignition. a. Many people take this simple act for granted.
b. Basic preventive maintenance can almost guarantee the longevity of your automobile. III. Ever since I started driving, over 10 years ago, I wasn’t always conscientious about the state and well-being of my car. c. I’ve made quite a few costly repairs over the years and spent hundreds in avoidable repairs. d. More recently, I’ve worked as a mechanic for 4 years in Japan and have come to better understand the importance of maintaining your vehicle properly. IV. Today I’m going to touch on just a few basic topics in this expansive and growing field. I will be demonstrating how to observe and understand the dash’s instrument warning lights, check fluid levels, and check tire pressure and treads.
I. Every new car now comes with OBD-II - On Board Diagnostics 2. This is a fault-registering system connected to sensors all over the car, engine, fuel, and emissions system. a. Check Engine
i. The most common problem when this light appears is the P0440 code. 1. Many times after refueling, the gas cap is not tightened enough. Retighten the gas cap and check for the light to disappear. 2. If the gas cap didn’t do the trick you need to schedule for maintenance where a mechanic with an OBD2 reader can diagnose your problem. b. Service Engine / Maint Reqd
ii. This light indicates that a scheduled maintenance interval is approaching. 3. Mileage can trigger the light.
4. Engine, oil, and air temperatures can trigger the light. iii. Typically this light turns on and off each time you start your car as a self-check. 5. If it stays on for 10 seconds then turns off, it normally means you're within 500 miles of needing a service. 6. If it flashes for 10 seconds, it normally means you've exceeded a recommended service interval. c. Electrical Fault
iv. If this light stays on when you start your car, you need to schedule maintenance. It means something in your electrical charging system has malfunctioned. d. Brake Warning
v. There are two different brake warning lights on your dash. 7. The first one typically indicates that the parking brake is on. 8. The second one is more serious. The ABS light can indicate many problems a. It has a self-check.
b. If it stays on after self-check it could mean many things as simple as a sensor being dirty to the entire system needing to be replaced. c. If it flashes or blinks after start up, get it checked immediately. The flashing is more serious and could even mean you don’t have any brakes at all. e. Coolant Warning
vi. If this light appears it means your coolant level is low. vii. This is not too serious, but be sure to take care of it soon. f. Oil Warning
viii. If this light appears it means your oil pressure is too low. ix. Low oil pressure is serious, get it checked, changed, or refilled as soon as possible. Transition: Now that you can read and understand the basics of the warning lights, let’s move on to fluid levels. II. Fluids can be looked upon as the blood line of the car. Just as you would get sick if one your blood lines was tainted...