Checking FluidsWritten by Kevin Schappell
Keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape requires constant monitoring of vital fluids. Read you owners manual and look for a diagram of engine. Most times there will be a diagram showing where to check all major fluids. This should be your starting point. If your manual is lost in glove box or you never had one, then ask your mechanic or a friend who knows cars to show you all places to check. There are 4 major levels to check on most cars. ·Engine oil - Usually towards front of engine and marked "OIL" Always check your oil level with engine OFF. Remove dipstick and wipe oil off with rag or towel then put dipstick back into hole. Now pull out and get a reading. You might have to hold dipstick to light to get a good reading as fresh oil can sometimes be hard to see. On dipstick there will be two marks indicating a maximum and minimum level for oil. Make it a habit of checking your oil every two weeks. ·Transmission fluid - If you have an automatic transmission then you will have a dipstick to check fluid level. It is most commonly found towards back of engine compartment or towards passenger side. You should find out how to check fluid by looking at owner’s manual or on dipstick itself. Most cars have to be running with transmission in park or neutral. Also transmission should be warmed up to give a true reading. Make sure car has been driven for a short distance to make sure everything is up to operating temperature. Checking level is just like checking your oil, wipe off dipstick, replace, pull out again and check level. If you have a manual transmission there is no dipstick and to check fluid level you must crawl under car and remove a fill plug. I would have your mechanic check this for you once a year if you do not feel comfortable doing this.
An Automobiles fuel systemWritten by Kevin Schappell
The fuel system feed your engine gasoline/diesel it needs to run. If anyone of parts in system break down your engine will not run. Let's look at major parts of fuel system, Fuel tank: Basically a holding tank for your fuel. When you fill up at a gas station gas travels down filler tube and into tank. In tank there is a sending unit, which tells gas gauge how much gas is in tank. Fuel pump: On newer cars fuel pump is usually installed in fuel tank. Older cars have fuel pump attached to engine or on frame rail between tank and engine. If pump is in tank or on frame rail then it is electric and is run by your cars battery. Fuel pumps mounted to engine use motion of engine to pump fuel Fuel filter: Clean fuel is critical to engine life and performance. Fuel injectors have tiny openings, which clog easily so filtering fuel is only way to prevent this. Filters can be before or after fuel pump, sometimes both. Fuel injectors: Most domestic cars after 1986 and earlier foreign cars came from factory with fuel injection. Instead of a carburetor to mix fuel and air, a computer controls when fuel injectors open to let fuel into engine. This has resulted in lower emissions and better fuel economy. The fuel injector is basically a tiny electric valve, which opens and closes with an electric signal. In picture below you can see injectors towards outer part of intake. By injecting fuel close to cylinder head fuel stays atomized ( in tiny particles ) so it will burn better when ignited by spark plug. Carburetors: A carburetor takes fuel and mixes it with air without computer intervention. While simple in operation, they tend to need frequent tuning and rebuilding. This is why most newer cars have done away with carburetors in favor of fuel injection. Common Problems: I would say most common problem is a clogged fuel filter. Make sure you follow your manufacturers recommendations as to when you should change fuel filter. This information should be in your owner’s manual. Symptoms include sputtering at high speeds or engine not starting at all. Always check ignition system first, if that's ok then next suspect is fuel filter. Next most common problem is fuel pump failing. Most modern electric fuel pumps can be heard when you turn key on. If you don't hear pump running and your car will not start, it could be your fuel pump. The first thing a mechanic will check is relay, which sends power to pump. If this is operating correctly then pump will have to be replaced.