Protect your Car – A Year of Living Cheap

You can save yourself hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars every year by making sure you check your car fluids every month to three months, depending on the age of your car.  

Check the motor oil. The oil should probably be checked after the car cools down for an hour.  Pull dip stick out all the way, wipe it off with a paper towel then  reinsert, pull it back out and you can see the level of your oil.  The dip stick has markings on it as to your oil level.  Check your owners manual to see when to add oil and the correct oil to add.

Check the transmission fluid (if you have an automatic transmission). This is usually done with the engine running and fully warmed up, either in Neutral or Park, depending on the make and model. It will be the second of two dip sticks. As with the oil, locate it, pull out  the dip stick , wipe it off with another paper towel (don’t use the same one), push it all the way back in, then pull it out and read the level. Again, look for a level between the two marks on the dipstick.  Always check your car manual to see when to add any fluids.  Never over fill.

Check the brake fluid. Consult your manual for the location, or look around for a plastic reservoir such as one labeled brake fluid. If your reservoir clear or semi clear, you can read the level of fluid right through the plastic. Wipe dirt off the outside, if you need to. ONLY add fluids when your car manual says to add.  NEVER over fill.

Check the coolant.  Your car must be cooled down to do this one.  Most coolant reservoirs are up front near the radiator.  Cars are designed to operate with antifreeze as a coolant, or a mix of 50/50, NOT just water .  On my car it says to add when level is below the minimum level, but all cars are different so, again, check you car manual.

Windshield washer fluid.  This is usually in a clear or semi-clear vessel.  Check the level and add water or washer fluid as needed.  Keep your windshield clean so you can see!

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